Nick Crabbs: One Paradigm Shift Away From Fulfillment

Nick is a partner and founding member of Vynyl, a product development firm that works with corporations, institutions, and investors to build unique mobile and web applications that are technically excellent, visually appealing, and create real & measurable business value.

Prior to his work with Vynyl, Nick spent nearly a decade working for some of the nation’s largest banking institutions, local municipalities, and large enterprise environments as an IT specialist and manager. Embracing his more entrepreneurial endeavors, community engagement, and tech evangelism, Nick has worked with several start-ups, local community organizations, and leadership with large-scale events to leverage his knowledge and expertise in technology, management, and recruiting to judge events, offer mentorship, speak on panels, and contribute to a growing tech and entrepreneurial ecosystem.





welcome to the one away show presented by bw missions i am brian wish and i am


your host and thanks so much for being here on this show i sit down with compelling entrepreneurs authors and rising leaders


to talk through their most transformative relationships experiences and epiphanies


curated with entrepreneurial leaders in mind we’ll dig into these finite moments in people’s lives and understand how


they helped set their path forward nick krabs is a partner and founding


member of vinyl a product development firm that works for corporations institutions and investors to build


unique mobile web applications that are technically excellent visually appealing and create real and measurable business


value prior to his work with vinyl nick spent nearly a decade working for some of the nation’s largest banking


institutions local municipalities and large enterprise environments as an i.t specialist and manager


embracing his more entrepreneurial endeavors community engagement and tech evangelism nick has worked with several


startups local community organizations and leadership with large-scale events to leverage his knowledge and expertise


in technology management and recruiting to judge events offer mentorship speak on panels and contribute to a growing


tech and entrepreneurial ecosystem [Music]


nick welcome to the one away show brian thanks so much for having me yeah


so excited to have you here been fun watching you uh stand tall in front of the boise


innovation community the last couple years um so nick what is the 108 moment that you


want to share with us today yeah well you know of course without giving the the


full introduction and backstory of my whole life and where i was born and all that good stuff


uh i think uh you know mine might be strange from your other guests in the sense that


i kind of looked at a series of small moments that have culminated in something that’s that’s pretty important


to me and i’ll generally quantify this as you know about


six years ago seven years ago somewhere in that range um you know i made this


unintentional transition from you know working on my business all the time you know knows the grinder


doing doing that stuff uh to volunteering a whole bunch of my time in different community


organizations and that includes you know what is now boise entrepreneur week which is the the


state’s largest um kind of entrepreneurial community-led focused event um it’s a week-long thing that


happens here in boise every year that’s been pretty crazy to you know being on a school


board and what that experience has especially been like over the last two years with covid and


and you know being advisors on companies and college programs and


you know blah blah blah blah blah and i get so much fulfillment from


you know spending my time really at the end of it trying to help other people being successful


at their ambitions and the weird thing is i think in my business life i’ve always kind of taken


that position as well like i’ve always had another founder that i was being brought in to be like the number two guy


right evp c whatever right but there was always someone else who i was kind of being there to try and like help elevate and


and you know run around behind them with a bucket trying to pick up the the water that was flying off of what they were


doing and uh you know i found in community work and in ecosystem building like it’s


a lot of the same kind of stuff it’s just uh you’re doing it on a more macro scale for your region than than just


inside your company wow well that’s a lot to pick pull away from that answer and uh you know what i


was thinking about as you were talking was you know the founder type you know


they’re so heads down they’re still in that tunnel of let me build build build build build and


come up for air you know when i’m 40 and uh yeah go to the beach and call it a day but you seems like


you were looking at a little more forethought to okay i can still


live some passions and build passions but i can also expand and evolve in layers and help in different


areas in the community what made you maybe look outside your let’s just maybe


call it your comfort zone uh of work and say you know maybe there’s more to the world than just business and i can help


and serve in different ways yeah no that’s a great question um


you know i think the catalyst was that you know as a business owner operator i


you know you’re involved in a lot of this kind of stuff you maybe get asked to speak at a conference or you


get asked to hop on a podcast or like well like you’re certainly a resource that different um organizations might


pull from to come kind of offer some perspective and and


you know i always felt like that stuff and i’m using that very generally here could like go better


right especially in my local community i was like man if i was in that position i would do it this that or whatever way


right and of course entrepreneurs you’re like problem solvers so like in every interaction you can’t even help it like


whether you want to or not when someone involves you in something there’s always this thing that happens in your brain


you’re like man if i was gonna do this this way i’d have a totally different way of doing it right like we can’t help it uh maybe we’re a little broken


because of that um and so i don’t know i just would always have that kind of feeling behind these


interactions and um the municipality was actually the first ones that asked me to like run


something right the city i had you know kind of sent them an email on some ideas on a program they


were working on and and one of the points that i made was you really need to have an entrepreneur run this like entrepreneurs are built to


like especially for an entrepreneurial program you need to have an entrepreneur that can give the correct advice like


understand the problems that other entrepreneurs are having if you just have like a city official or a college


professor or something you’re going to like miss the you’re going to miss the beat right it’s not going to be quite right because they don’t really live


that life and understand those problems um and so the city i have to credit them they’re like great you should run it and


my first gut reaction was like oh man i should have never opened my mouth what was i thinking like


what have i done um but you know that was kind of the start of it was was just like trying to


offer some advice to someone else’s program on how maybe they should go about doing it


um yeah i mean i i think you’re right right when you’re born a certain way or you


develop a certain muscle you’re always looking at how can something be a little bit better and so no matter what line of


work you’re in community service or community work or work work uh you’re always going to maybe have that edge to


finesse things in a way that you you have a vision to shape it well whether you’re an entrepreneur or not it’s the


entrepreneurial mindset right that’s really what this is and you know some of us are more sick with it than others


but that’s what it is right there’s like there’s some percentage of the population that just like has the entrepreneurial mindset whether they


went to school for it or whether they didn’t it doesn’t really matter your background right like you have it or you don’t i think you can work on building


it right it’s not to say that those are stationary places but um yeah that’s what it is and and uh you


know i think that’s a big component of it totally so i couldn’t agree more with you i think


you’re right just having that mindset is just in life is it’s such a tool toolkit that you can leverage in a


way that can help others uh which you’ve done uh you know nick i’m curious you know you


you going back to what you said at the beginning of wanting to get involved in the community


and seeing your talents used in multiple ways was there something inside you that maybe felt a little unfulfilled or or


shallow or you just wanted to expand the horizons and then the second part to


that question is when you started to dip your feet in the water on


the community side did any thing inside of you change like a sense


of aliveness or a different kind of purpose i’m just trying to understand the feeling of the the two


yeah i mean there’s a there’s probably a few different ways to answer that


question and and some of it is like why why would you spend you know 450 hours a


year and more um you know volunteering your time outside of just working on your business


i still have a business to work on right i still have three partners and we run a you know a software company and and


that’s like still a reality every day too but i think that for me


um it was a really great opportunity to flex some muscles that i knew i had and


i used them in my business life no doubt um but like


it wasn’t quite the same of like going out and kind of being the master of your domain volunteering your time right you


don’t have to like ask for permission very often when you’re just like showing up to help right


and so that’s like i thought that was something that i was going to enjoy about doing these and like it’s


specifically around like running boys the entrepreneur week for instance right like given a program like that you know


it really was pretty evergreen there they hadn’t like they hadn’t built anything really yet and so i i kind of


got the opportunity to just turn it into what it was um and and that was like a ton of fun to


think through all those things and i think the other thing about doing this stuff is you learn yourself like


this has been some fraction of business school for me right like the amount of learning that i got to do by interacting


with all these other people their startups their problems their fundraising cycles that they’re


trying to go through like i get a small piece of the benefit of


every single one of those just in like understanding how the solution was arrived at and and like that’s awesome


that’s super awesome and so you’re asking about change like how have i changed through this well yeah i have a


lot different perspectives a lot of different perspectives on how you build community how you fundraise how you run


a startup what a good idea what a bad idea is i mean like fundamentally different than what i


would have thought five or six years ago okay so let’s take that and build on


that one step further you you you come into boise startup week i love


what you said a lot about you don’t ask for permission when you’re just showing up to serve and help i mean


that is so true and so pure for you you said there are a lot of things that you would have done


differently um that or you’re thinking about things a lot


differently than when you started especially let’s say in relation to building community so


five years ago how how were you thinking about building community and how has that changed since you’ve gotten your feet in the


trenches yeah i mean wow like i could we could we could do a whole talk and a whiteboard


about just that no doubt but um you know i think one of the biggest one


is is understanding how important relationships and relationship building


truly is in helping others access their opportunities or their best lives and so


what i mean by that is i think when i first started i was like looking for mic drop moments right i was like looking


for these opportunities to like walk in a room and like say a really smart thing and like


figuratively drop the mic and be like thanks folks i’m here all week right like i think i was looking for moments


like that at times um and i thought that was a way to to get something right i thought that just


being like invited to being on the stage or in the news article or like whatever


it was like i thought that was some pathway to get something and i realized like that’s actually the


the least beneficial part of doing this stuff actually the more beneficial part


is the person who invited you to come like how can you help them what can you do for them because that’s like a


lasting lifelong you know useful relationship that you both can get like


great interaction from have fine fulfillment like that that’s the better part than whether or not you


did some other activity and then the mic drop moments are really irrelevant right like then you don’t have to


it doesn’t matter you just show up and like all right well i see it this way like you know maybe people don’t agree with me maybe it’s the wrong way like


you can be a lot more you know maybe egalitarian with the way that you talk about things you certainly don’t have to be as definitive in how


you talk about things and i think it’s a big difference uh what do they say this only the sith speak in absolutes right


so now it’s like a weird thing that like sets me off is when i hear people talking these really crazy absolutes i’m


like ah you know they’re evil because they’re because they like haven’t they haven’t gone through the cycle to be a


little bit more egalitarian and how they think about this stuff well to your point i mean i think a lot of people will pay a lot of money for


just the mic drop moments or their they work too they might drop moments yet i think what you’re saying what i’m


hearing you say is you know the mic the mic drop moments are the byproducts so when you get to them


you can just show up and be yourself and it’s just like keep going on with your day and say yeah that was good but you


know you’re not doing it for the mic drop moments you’re doing it because of all these small moments that maybe created a bigger moment yeah i i i mean


i’ve gotten to a point where i don’t even know that that like that’s not the value at all right the value the value


in having any of these kind of interactions is the fact that you get to meet interesting people and you get to spend


your time trying to figure out how to either be a community builder together or to bring resources to what they’re


trying to do you know sometimes i’ll be they’ll be like oh it’d be really great if you could come be on this panel and


that will like you know bring some audience or whatever and i’m like sure like it you know again it doesn’t really matter


what i’m saying there it’s mattering that they’re getting something for me showing up or me bringing a resource to them


that’s the better part that’s the part that makes a difference in anyone’s trajectory including yourself it’s not


that you said something smart yeah no i i love your humble uh mentality about you know the way you go


about things and relationships so let’s let’s so let’s keep diving into your experience with boys who start up again


if you have other service opportunities by all means slip them in here that you want to share um you know


what i’ve noticed is you you know this these moments was very formative for you and


you were able to open areas and help usually though you know to make something formative there’s there’s


certain people who make that experience super formative or specific experiences that you can look


back on and say within the just should say the nucleus of serving um i’m sure


there have been people or specific moments slash experiences where you look back and you say that that really shaped how i feel about


this are there does anything maybe come to your mind when i was saying that that would be worthwhile to highlight or


speak to oh yeah absolutely so there’s this statistic i started like


talking about um as like entrepreneur week and some of the activities that we do there come up


and it’s that in in seven years we’ve awarded


uh something on the order of about 340 000 of like non-diluted funds to


early stage companies some of them may not like really be qualified as startups but like that’s not what the way they’re


there to judge right like we’re there to judge how they pitch and and we award money the


the thing that i think we’re the most proud of is every single one of those companies is


still in business today that’s like shocking i mean that is bucking the


trend beyond belief and these aren’t like huge checks right this is ten twenty five


thousand dollars but these are really really early stage companies really you know if you’re from looking at it from


an investor perspective really high risk and so the fact they’d still be around and thriving in most cases i mean


they’re growing and hiring employees and getting their products on store shelves or acquiring new users


and why do i like say that’s the the part that’s most interesting there’s a ton of other stuff we do beyond that but


it’s just stuff like this didn’t exist before there was no


place you go pitch and get non-diluted funds in boise idaho it didn’t exist


and so you know founders would leave or they would kind of die on the vine before they got that first like check


it’s also very validating when they go out and try and raise real money they get a lot of news articles written about them blah blah there’s all this good


stuff that surrounds them as they go off in the world and


every year when we run entrepreneur week the lead up to it is just kind of like it’s crazy right trying to put on an event with a hundred and some odd


sessions and all the stuff and it’s hard and every year i’m like god i don’t know if i have another one in me like this is rough and then we


award these like checks and we see all the previous winners because they all come back and i’m like oh that’s why we do it


that’s it right there like it’s all worth it again and i ride that high for like three or four months and totally forget all the pain of how hard it was


to organize the event and so it’s like euphoric recall i get like stuck and to do it again because


all i remember is the good stuff well i mean you’re making me go back to my college


entrepreneur days and think about all the events and the people who made them possible right and and i think what’s so


special about the position you’re in is you know the people who show up or the students who are awarding checks they


may not truly notice or uh let’s just say always appreciate it


uh just because they’re in their own mind but you’re able to have this holistic view of


you know the what the event you’re put on the opportunity you’ve created and you get to like really see and feel


uh that impact i mean you really get to serve uh in such a beautiful way


well and it’s it has parlayed to an interesting place in my life too you know i mean i now


my partners and i last year well i guess 18 months you know we’ve deployed like 1.8


million in really early stage venture investment mostly in boise but kind of all over the place


um you know i wouldn’t have seen four or five years ago that that would have been the direction of of


you know what i’d be spending my time on but you know i mean when you’re involved in that ecosystem and you’re building


something like that you’re you’re gonna see all the great founders that are worthy to be invested in and so you know it’s


who who better who better to you know in some regards and so um


yeah i mean all that stuff just builds on it on top of it and there’s always people in


ecosystems who like ultimately are connectors right they’re people who will help bring resources to it and i think i


now get to credit myself being that but it’s it’s i guess it’s weird when you’re like self-crediting yourself or something like that


but you know like it seems like that’s kind of where things have have gotten to and and it’s um


it’s a fun place to be yeah well i appreciate you um staying and you like you again i


think you should be proud and grateful and you’ve created these opportunities for yourselves but you know by you


putting yourself uh in a leadership role within the community like you get to get to see the


direct impact maybe in a different way from customer experience and clients that you’re working with in the day job


so to speak so um it’s neat it’s also maybe what i’m hearing is you know you’re a partner of vinyl


the software company but you’re noticing i guess let me ask this morning a question how are you noticing right your


community experience uh impacting the the business and vice versa


so we have this philosophy at our company generally which is why i get a


lot of permission to like go and run off and be a board member for a school board or


something right which is that one way for us to sharpen our own tool


as engineers as entrepreneurs as you know creative thinkers is to go and


spend our time solving problems for others at the end of the day like especially a business


like ours that’s that’s what we’re paid to do right like we are a services company paid to build and


write software in interesting ways for clients and be engrossed in their problems to make them better and so what


better way to sharpen your sword than to do that in your backyard for the place you live work and play and the people


who are your neighbors right it’s a way to sharpen your own sword and being better at your craft and so we encourage


our employees to get involved in all kinds of stuff i mean they serve on boards of this that or whatever we sponsor those events as well like i mean


and we encourage them to do so because we think it’s a way to to keep your spirit of service alive uh in everything


you do in your life yeah it’s neat that you know you have that trust built in um but you’re looking at


from a problem-solving angle you’re looking at it from an angle of i mean the application of experience is


too you know while you’re you’re on a school board you know i’m sure you’re learning things and you’re meeting people though that


you can apply different perspectives to solving different problems uh so i i find that fascinating something i’m


curious about uh nick is you’ve talked a lot about how uh


from an element of change and uh you changing as a person through you know


you said your your views on community have changed not just you know my job moments but now i’m gonna make maybe


steeper deeper divots with individuals on the relational level but


beyond maybe the interpersonal side or perspectives that have shifted


how do you think you as a person as nick grabs changed the most by serving


without expectation but serving out of just pure love for what you’re doing how have you changed as a person


yeah um this is this might sound really silly but i think i found a sense of calm that


i didn’t have now that could also be the transition from being in like your late 20s to your early 30s


like i’m not sure if i just got older and therefore i am also wiser or if some of this stuff led to that um you know i


uh i think that’s been something that’s been a little different i think when you’re younger and you’re scrappier you


spend a lot of time really trying to like fight it out right sit down at a table and put your elbows out


make sure your points are heard make sure that the things you’re driving on are successful and and you know you might be a little bit


scrappy or a little bit of a fighter about it and i think as as all this work when you’re spending so


much time in community stuff where that like behavior doesn’t really like accomplish the goals in the same way that it does


maybe as you know a ceo of a young hot startup um


like i i find myself having a lot more kind of like all right like i don’t know if i like love the


opinion that you have but like i also don’t need to like fight with it either like i don’t need to like i can be pretty lazy fair be like oh


cool man that’s great like a high five good luck right like and so i find myself having like more and more of that just applied generally


across my life is that i you know you don’t really need to stick your elbows out in every situation


totally so it’s kind of weird i wrote something down before you just said that answer i was going to ask you about um


i’ll tell you what it was but i’m going to keep you on the edge of your seat for a second to build on that before i kind of


lean into what i was going to ask you were you more of a fighter or more of it i got to have my point heard oh yeah oh


yeah tell me more tell me more and maybe where you think it might have come from


i mean i have no idea where i learned this but i i think for the longest time i thought the way that you arrived at


good solutions for things was that you had to fight about it right so like


maybe i was like okay i need your thesis and regardless of what you say i need to


provide some antithesis and we have to like battle that out and we will arrive at the correct decision through the


other end and so i think i spent a lot of my early entrepreneurial days like assuming


that is how it was done um and i don’t know where i learned that i couldn’t tell you i couldn’t i you


know i’m sure a therapist could figure that one out for somebody else but like i thought that’s how you did it and um


you know i mean in some cases you still have to know where to where to put your foot down i mean certainly that’s true in any case in business you


have to know how to negotiate things in a correct way but when you lead from a place of having healthy relationships


um you approach those problems a little differently right when you lead from a place of like


i don’t need to win the argument i need to make sure that you and i can work together on some common ground when


that’s like the actual goal almost regardless of what the outcome is i think that really changes how you


operate in all of the situations and so i don’t you know i don’t find myself having to do that a whole lot uh anymore


and maybe again that could just be getting older thing that could be a community thing i don’t really know but


like that has changed and and i think it’s a good lesson that i had to learn i think a lot of people have to learn


that lesson i wrote down before you talked about getting comfortable you know maybe in your early 30s i wrote down something i


wanted to ask you before the interview i wrote comfortable with yourself and i noticed when we were having dinner on boise a few weeks ago i just noticed a


sense of extreme comfort with who you were it’s just i mean i’m not telling you this to just boost an ego or like


yeah i’m telling you this because like when we were in conversation you were just so comfortable in your own


skin and i like it really uh i reflected on that


and uh it was very neat i had literally all my journals about it like i was like very comfortable with yours like you


know and i i just thought i admired it and you said it came from service i mean


or maybe a part of it but when you so my question is to build on that when you said you were in such a fighting like i


gotta prove a point and that’s how i you know i’m gonna win and get my point across


i’ve noticed that when we’re in such conflict with maybe who we are other people it’s like we’re adding weight like a lot of baggage and like things


to ourselves i mean do you have any kind of like breaking point at all like in this process where it’s


just like i gotta strip all this down because the weight of this burden of fighting is just too much


wow there’s a lot to unpack in that question i mean it’s a big question right so like


there’s a lot of little things that add up in people’s lives to make them comfortable in their own skin and the truth is we all know that


some people go through their whole life never really finding their their own personal zen whatever that may be right


and not to say that i’m some like guru who’s figured out because like i i figured something out kind of


maybe that works for me right um but i think that


it stems from a lot of things like what are the what are the important parts of anyone’s life that bring fulfillment i


think there’s some like truth universal truths about it right like let’s cut out the normal stuff like okay am i fed am i


housed can i like provide for the basic necessities to exist right like that’s pretty that’s a very base level one but


then it comes into what are my relationships like right what is what is my relationship like around me


and you know i think when i was in my like late 20s and and you know being a


young founder and really early in that i mean it wasn’t this wasn’t my first venture um


you know i think most my relationships were okay but i also found that i would like be in these strange


situations from time to time and i don’t know if there was some like light bulb aha moment that went off in my head i


don’t think that happened but i think that like people want you to be authentic with them


and the expectation is that they can then be authentic back to you and you can build like healthy relationships


with those people and this transcends business relationships but it’s certainly applicable too but i mean you


can talk about with your siblings your parents your significant another your like whatever i


mean i have people who like come and help me work on a farm i will live on a farm right and so like it’s true there


too right like honesty authenticity and like making sure that you’re going


into each one of those interactions where you’re prepared to give that authentic self


um i mean we’ve all run into people who are like man i just don’t feel like they told me the truth right i feel like they’re being sneaky or whatever like


there’s some like hair raised on the back your feel your neck like your goal should always be not to be that person


right like what can you do in your interactions i think once i made that change in my


life where i stopped having to worry about always being right i stopped to have to worry about always having the


best idea i stopped having to worry about trying to prove myself in a way that um


you know maybe people who are in their early 20s feel like they need to do um it made a


substantial difference in my ability to maintain positive relationships with other people uh and i think it certainly


for business certainly for volunteering certainly for all these places in my life it made a big difference um and and again


no one’s perfect i fall down too but like that’s uh that’s a that’s a thing that i think


helped a lot yeah one more i appreciate the transparency i mean that’s what i know that’s what i felt is just


authenticity and honesty and and i try and do that most of the time


but i also find it very rare especially in other men younger men


um and it’s just it was so apparent and like that’s why i was i just i walked away


from that conversation and i was just like that’s really neat um and so i


you know when we have those formative life experiences that precede us and shape us like you said it sounds


like you built the awareness to say you know what i don’t really want to look like this anymore and


serving in the communal sense give you an outlet uh maybe to show up a little differently


and i mean let me ask you another question around like self value or worth once you started


um volunteering in the community you know boys startup week and uh


did you did you like who you were better you know do you do you like the person that you were becoming more did you


notice any shifts there well and that’s it right i think that’s the key which is that i don’t know if i


would have come to this realization again i’m talking about it like i sat down one night and i had like a cognac in one


hand and was like aha eureka we figured out the secret right like


no like what happened was i started spending a lot of time trying to help other people and through that


process over years you just like you realize that like you have to show up in a very different way to do that


and and so you’re almost like subconsciously training yourself to value the way that you interact with


other people and it is really different when you’re trying to lend your talents in a volunteering capacity um and do


that for a sustained amount of time um i think i think doing it once here or there you know like showing up a soup


kitchen on on thanksgiving that’s great if you do that awesome i’m not trying to put it down it’s a good thing to do but like it’s


not sustained right so you kind of get your moment to like pat yourself on the back but did you like reprogram some


core part of you was that even a goal i don’t know but for me that definitely happened it happened without me trying


to make it happen it just happened organically because you have to act different and um and i think it’s been awesome i


mean i think it’s been a wonderful thing in my life i think it’s unlocked a whole bunch of other stuff that i would have never even considered right again the


farm is a great example for your listeners i had no plans of being a farmer i am not a


farmer i know i’m from idaho but like that is not i grew up in apartment


um but you know it was like it was a cool thing that just like has always intrigued me and i just happened to have


like met the right people in the right moments and we like had built lasting friendships and i was like screw it


let’s have a farm that sounds awesome like yeah i mean you’re you’re so present to


the signals i i just i want to do him on one one last point let’s shift to the farms because it’s fascinating what i


think is so neat about certain what you’ve done to serve and give is you’ve done it and i i think you said it’s not


sustainable to the soup kitchen because perhaps it’s not as aligned to an experience but you’ve been able to serve


in a way that’s so aligned to your strengths and skill sets without expecting a payday at the end of it and


then you get that merger and kind of shared nucleus of you know it can help in both areas so i think


that’s a really interesting when you think about serving okay how do you do it in a way that’s connected where you can bring your


skills right relationships into it opposed to doing something so different


even though that might be really nice may not be as useful over the long haul doing it so just


wanted to hammer that point well and the feedback you get to gives you kind of this unintended upside which is that you


get a place to practice and learn yourself right and so when you’re using


and you’re applying like your craft your skills to that volunteering it really is a different experience


because again you don’t have to ask for a mission you can try different things you can be more brave maybe like i


certainly felt that i got to be more brave about stuff i wanted to try so anyways i mean it certainly uh it


certainly is has a lot of impact in wherever you are and whoever is around you yeah uh so cool i mean you just see


how your face lights up when you uh talk about it i mean i can send you the video after but you can just tell like it’s


coming from a place of internal joy i was in boise a couple weeks ago and uh nick had me over for dinner


bomb bomb indian meal chicken curry rice it was incredible but


he beyond beating him in pool on the first game that he wore a glove because he was so good um


he also showed me his tour a tour of his farm uh lucha was amazing you literally


are living on like a self-sustaining comedy like that you’ve built and it’s fascinating so again like i think this


goes with being comfortable with yourself you’re like screw it i’m gonna go build a farm and why not like how did this happen unravel i find it such an


interesting part of who you are yeah well so first i’ll say something that may or may not be true which is i think


all of us have this fantasy in some form right all of us like have this dream of some kind of


like self-sustainability whether that’s a farm or just like growing a garden or whatever like there’s very different ways that it


manifests but all of us have some kind of agrarian desire in us somewhere


and i’ve been thinking about this for a long time and


i didn’t really know what the end forum was going to take but i’d always been like ah we should be more connected to our food like you know that’s like out


of whack out of balance in our culture like all this stuff comes from a factory and it’s probably killing us in fact we know it’s killing us yeah we still eat


it and so like that was one component of it the second component of it is there’s such an


opportunity for community building in that kind of activity right people who have shared purpose goals visions


around something so like core to who we are as humans which is our food um


and so like through kind of those things i just been having lots of conversations with my friends and people i would meet


and you know i’d find someone who ran like a small urban farm or uh you know a


co-op farm or something along those lines i was just fascinated by these people i’d like talk to them for hours


about like why how what did you do um coupled with this i i had this idea


that like land use in this country is one very privileged and my whole farm


is very privileged place so like i understand where i’m coming from here but like land use in this country is


very privileged right the concept of a home is that i will like buy a piece of land and i will like live in it with my


significant other and we will have 2.5 kids and like i will pass this home to those


2.5 kids when i die and it will be like a source of wealth and and like that’s our land use


and by the way the most cultivated crop in the united states is grass which is silly


like what a waste of water and so i just couldn’t see myself doing


that i just couldn’t like believe that that was gonna be my life and i was so excited and energized by something very


different um and so then i had to figure it out what what does that actually look like and the goal was let me start here this


was the goal of the farm how do i use a piece of land


for a community purpose to make it a free house there we go how do i use a piece of land


for a community purpose to make it a free house and there’s a whole bunch of ways in


which i do that but largely it’s true so i live in you know on a couple acres here in boise in a you know


3 800 square foot house with a guest house and the house is free because of a combination of selling veggies the


combination of having artists and musicians paying for you know rent and all the things that would come with them


coming and going um a combination of of course tax incentives that come from producing food and caring for animals um


a lot of people know this but my goats are a tax write-off like who wouldn’t i didn’t know that until i talked to a tax guy right


and so when you add all that stuff together it’s largely very close um of a free house


and i think that we should be thinking about land use as a way to help other people live


happier better lives um as a community project and i think there’s a financial incentive for the


per the people who put that together in order to have a home like that um again my rants are way below market rate


and yet i’m fine right and so i think that’s that was the goal the the output of that


is we spent two years um i mean completely redoing this property we ran


30 000 feet of drip line irrigation we produce truckloads worth of veggies


we sell it at a farm stand every saturday i have never had so much fun working on something


and you know i mean there’s nothing more pure than like grabbing a shovel and walking outside and digging a ditch so


that like the water can flow across your cornfield correctly like that’s as pure as it gets like and when


you come in and you’re like muddy and sweaty and everything hurts because you’re not


in shape enough to dig the trench right like like that is one of the best feelings that


i’ve experienced like it’s so fulfilling to have the place that you live


be that yeah totally for those that can’t visualize nick’s farm i mean it is


big i mean you got the goats in the back you the little front line you have all the different you know the fruit trees


yeah i mean it’s a it’s a big place it’s it’s amazing how much effort you got that wall by by the road


i mean it’s i mean i what you’ve done in just two years right is pretty cool the the the other thing i


was thinking about as you were talking and maybe not when i first um was there was


um you were talking about the farmers market that you do


in a way though right connecting back to the first part of our conversation the farmer you’re serving a community


you’re you know you’re you’re serving you’re creating a place for people to come to organize meet connect a really


shared beautiful shared experience um you know in a way that’s probably fairly


affordable for the community i mean have you do you see the farm as a vehicle to serve as well i mean what how


do you think about it well i mean certainly as a as a community builder absolutely i mean that


was intentional right we wanted people to come here and be here and experience being here and i mean it’s really like


just an example of this so we’ll have people who come to the farm stand and we like have pre-picked the veggies right


so they’ll be like a creative potatoes and they’ll be like a crate of you know radishes or whatever and like people be


like can you give me a tour and show me where the radishes came from and can i pick them myself right like we’re like


yeah sure let’s do it right and so like there’s this this whole component of people being


really excited about what we’ve been built here especially the people around us and you know a couple square miles


right um and similar to like entrepreneur week where i was talking about the payoff there where we see like these founders


going off and like doing something great like to see someone’s joy coming on a place and being like i’ve


been watching you for a year and like seeing you guys with out here with shovels every day right digging in the


field and now i get to pick a radish and like take it home and eat it


um we were we were doing this thing for a while where we would give everyone 15 off if they sent us pictures


of what they cooked with the food um and so our like instagram which is getting flooded with all these pictures


of like the dishes that people made and it was sick we found out one guy’s like a professional chef we had no idea


he came every saturday we had no idea this dude was a professional chef he like works at one of the restaurants in downtown and these were the veggies he


was buying for his family right so this is what he would cook at home and dude his dishes were sick they were


so good looking so no 100 right it was intentional to be a place of community uh we also kind of


stumbled into it right because we bought the farm and then cove it happened and like a whole bunch of people i knew who were bartenders musicians


artists whatever they all lost their jobs and i was like hey like come grab a shovel i can’t pay like a ton but like


you know i’ll give you some money to like dig a bed and plant some onions like whatever let’s and you can eat it too


like it’s cool [Laughter] yeah no nick i mean it’s a dimension i mean i


struggled with this a lot in my early 20s and you know growing out of it in my mid to late 20s but


work becomes so much of an individual and what’s so neat is you’re branching out and building layers


and i know you’re a musician and are you you’re very talented with music but uh


you have all these components to you beyond the maybe one thing that pays


your bills uh and you can serve a community to the farmer’s market you can serve the


community through uh boise entrepreneurship week uh you can


be a part of people’s lives and give the gifts that you’ve created for built in with internally now you can start giving


those and serving in different ways and and you know become more multi-dimensional um


in a way that you know you can create large impact on on your own terms and i think that’s


what’s so neat for someone so young right i think people get old they get the kids in the


nutritional lifestyle and get married and all the things but i like how you’ve done it different and you haven’t maybe


fell into society’s expectations so to speak well i think that like we tell children


that we want them to follow their passions right like be passionate go follow your passions but you know what i


don’t think we really mean it like when our kids are like great i want to be an artist we’re like no no no no


whoa whoa whoa whoa you need to go get a college degree preferably in something that’s like paying a lot of money and


that should be your passion right like we don’t really mean it when we tell this to kids and so you know really what


you’re poking at is that like i i try to work on things that inspire my own passion right and if


it’s not that then i probably won’t do it right like so it has to be something that stirs that thing in me


um and then i’m all in like i’m two feet in i you know i can run fast and i’ll run as fast as i can in it because


it like brings some sense of joy to and purpose to my life yeah i i love


everything you just said and i think it’s so true and it’s just great to see so


uh nick i’ve been thinking take me like you may have no idea 20 you made no idea


10 but maybe 5. who’s net crap in five or 10 years what what what do you


see for your life the impact you’re you’re serving i mean what maybe give me the the core tenets of


the craps yeah i mean this is this is going to be the most boring answer ever but man i have


no idea you know i have no idea right i think that


you have to live today on today’s terms you live today on how you’re going to


help the next person in front of you you spend your time by working on the next right thing in front of you


and it’s amazing how many good things that will shape your life happen and i’m a very like


try to get narrow and compartmentalized kind of person i think it’s the only way that i can like do all the stuff right


a lot of people ask me like when do you sleep and they’re like well you have to understand like i don’t have kids and i like you know like there’s all this


other stuff i chose not to do so i could do these things instead but it also is having some discipline to just like okay


this is the next person i need to help this is the next email i need to craft this is the next you know report i need


to send it like this is the next trench i need to dig and this is where the corn is planted right like


i mean i’m injecting a few different things from my life here but like i try to think about it that way if i spend a bunch of time thinking about


what five years brings you know i have a hard time doing it because it never works out the way and the root of


all pain is expectation so why put expectations on yourself that you’re maybe gonna be disappointed about later


right sure well the there’s pain either way is what i’m learning in life it’s just


you choose your pain so well if if you’re if you’re good with any outcome to some extent like if you know how to


roll with the punches it’s hard to be disappointed yeah well i’m so i’m reading a book


right now on that it’s called emotional agility yeah but anyways it’s a hard skill to learn


um but you know it’s it’s a i think a great skill to have because you’re right like


learning to take a punch and that spiral is a useful skill and


you can navigate life much easier so nick this has been uh


just as good if not better than i expected uh always a treat um


where can people get involved with boise startup week where can they contact you at vinyl where can they reach out to you on linkedin what what’s what’s the best


places for you yeah i mean if any of this resonates with anybody and meet up i’m always happy to chat um so linkedin


is definitely the the best place just kind of blanket reach out to me you can literally just search my name nick krabs


n-i-c-k c-r-a-b-b-s um and i should come up there are not that many nick crabs in the world


believe it or not and in terms of boise entrepreneur week you can get that at boise entrepreneur


week dot org and vinyl if you want to see what i do for my day job is vinyl


b-y-n-y-l dot com awesome well thanks for being here i really appreciate your time awesome


thanks so much brian if you enjoyed this episode as much as i


did i hope you leave a review on the platform of your choice and share it with a friend who you think would find


it valuable if you’d like to receive a written newsletter and thought leadership head on over to


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see you on the next show [Music]



This post was previously published on Arcbound.


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The post Nick Crabbs: One Paradigm Shift Away From Fulfillment appeared first on The Good Men Project.