Looking Back on 50 Episodes of Fast Forward Maine – Rich Brooks & Yury Nabokov

Looking Back on 50 Episodes of Fast Forward Maine

With fifty episodes under our collective belts, we take a look back on what we learned from our guests, the Coronavirus pandemic, and each other.

Rich Brooks: So normally this is the part of the show where I introduce our guests, but today we’ve got no guests. And this is actually the first time since one of the first episodes that we haven’t had high end equipment sitting at the Machias Savings Bank recording studio with a guest. And here it is just you and me, Yury, face-to-face via Zoom. How’s it feeling for you?

Yury Nabokov: It feels different, but as always it’s exciting. We’re trying new things and we’re always delivering on the mission of Fast Forward Maine. So regardless of the circumstances, we are here to provide valuable insights and resources to people that it matters the most.

Rich Brooks: Yeah. I mean, obviously the ability to communicate and share ideas has not gone away. In fact, if anything, we’ve just strengthened some muscles. All of us, not just Yury and I, we’ve had to strengthen some muscles. We’ve all had a stretch in terms of being able to communicate through a lot of ways that maybe not all of us were comfortable with before. But here we are, Yury, and I, obviously comfortable using Zoom, comfortable recording podcasts, and so we’re going to continue on and keep the conversation going, keep sharing things.

This is also the first time we’ve ever recorded a podcast remotely. Even when I think back to that first episode where you and I realized that we had to share one pair of earbuds so we could hear the guests. Never again. Since then we’ve really had all this ability to meet in the same room. And here we are. We are separate and we are recapping, this is our 50th episode. We’re sitting down. We’re going to talk a little bit about that, but definitely a different field. And just like we talked about, it’s just something that you need to adapt to and hopefully it’s not going to be too long before you and I are sitting across the table with a guest to my left, your right. And Cody on the other side of the table recording everything for us.

Yury Nabokov: Well Rich, regardless of the changes in the current environment driven by this worldwide pandemic, has anything changed in the content and the approach of Fast Forward Maine since the last time we did a recap at episode 25?

Rich Brooks: Well I think the biggest change has just – for me at least – has been in the fact that we’re using this lens that you and I have talked about before. The lens of what does a business owner need to know about blank, whatever the subject is. And this all came about because we were at the beginning talking to a lot of really amazing people who were helping the Maine business ecosystem grow.

You know, people like SCORE and people like the SBA and Maine Small Business Development Centers, and MTI and all these different groups. And it really is amazing how many groups are out there for that don’t charge the business owners or the businesses here in Maine to help them. That’s just insane. I wish I knew that when I first moved to the state.

But after doing so many of those, a lot of the messages were the same. And so I think when you and I realized that, we decided that we needed to have a new approach to this. And so rather than just say, “Here’s another amazing organization you can turn to”, we started tapping into their areas of expertise. And I remember talking to one of the SCORE representatives who was really good at helping businesses figure out their business plan. And we were like, “Great, then what we’re going to do is we’re going to position you as a business plan expert”, which she already was, and we’re going to have a conversation around that. And by doing that, we’re going to show how amazing SCORE is, but we’re not just going to talk about how amazing SCORE is. We’re going to create content that if you just listened to that one episode, you’d take something away.

And for me, that was a real turning point for how we were sharing content by really focusing on what were the big takeaways for somebody who wanted to tune in and give us 20 or 30 minutes of their time.

Yury Nabokov: I agree. I think it was an incredible pivot. And with that minor alteration, we’re actually expanding the horizons and the impact of the Fast Forward Maine podcast.

Just to reiterate what you said, we talked about organizations and now we’re shifting into specific topics. And because of that we had great conversations about starting business in Maine, or bringing businesses from outside of the country to Maine, operate business and sell products outside of the Maine marketplace to international companies.

We talked about developing resiliency in business. We talked about developing and starting partnerships. And it’s kind of crazy to say, but we even talked about working remote right before it became a trend. Unfortunately, it became a trend, but thanks to that pivot, what do business owners need to know about X, we helped to expand our own horizons and we helped to expand the horizons of our listeners.

Rich Brooks: Yeah. It was funny because we interviewed Chris Clegg, who was the one who spoke on managing a remote team, and it was literally on the cusp of the Coronavirus. I remember when he came in I reached out to shake his hand and he’s like, “You know what, I’m just doing the fist bumps”. Or maybe it was the elbow bumps already at that point. And I’m like, “Yeah, yeah, you’re right. You’re absolutely right”. And then just a few days later, they issued the stay at home order and it just absolutely changed everything.

And I remember we quickly just decided, let’s get this video component of it right away. You know, that was like a big thing for us, just so we could put that content out there.

Yury Nabokov: Yeah. And if you tied those episodes together, when we had Chris talk about remote work, and then going back to Marty Grohman, talking about sustainability and resiliency. They just all fall together under kind of like one umbrella of what does the business need to be moving forward. I mean, right now we’re just trying to survive this period, but I think we pre-anticipated certain major shifts in the way the business are, and how to survive them.

Rich Brooks: So what do you think about in terms of the reaction to Fast Forward Maine, and how has that changed since the beginning?

Yury Nabokov: I think we’re starting to actually see a following now. Do you remember when we, in the beginning of what’s kind of like pushing the message out there, trying to find the audience to share the insights. And now I feel like we have the following that is expecting valuable information from us. And I feel like there is an obligation to deliver on that. Because over these 50 periods, we’ve met incredible individuals and some of those individuals are continuing to help us to expand and kind of increase the impact of our message. So it’s exciting to see that.

I actually wanted to ask you a similar question on a similar topic. What was your reaction when Maine Biz reached out to us wanting to learn about Fast Forward Maine and just  podcasting in general?

Rich Brooks: Well, I think on some level that was just excellent timing on our behalf. We just happened to be in the right place, the right time. And they were looking for some more stories to tell and we were there. So I think this is one of those moments where every business owner learns this at some point is, you have to be ready when the press comes knocking. And when they did want to talk to us, we made ourselves available.

You and I both know, just trying to coordinate our own schedules together, how busy we both are. But when all of a sudden you have this opportunity to get in front of a traditional press or really any kind of press that has reached like Maine Biz does, you take advantage of that. And so we pushed aside things. We made sure that we made ourselves available for the reporter. And I know from being interviewed before, you may talk to a reporter for an hour and you get one quote. We actually got a number of nice quotes in that article. I was really excited to see that. I thought it was a good piece from beginning to end.

And of course, our friends, Tanner Campbell, who’s been on the show before, and Nancy Marshall, who will be in an upcoming episode, were both interviewed as well. So it was just you and I both loved the podcasting format. We think that there’s a lot of value there, both for creating content, but also for the end user listening to content. So again, you and I just really enjoy this, but it also happens to be kind of the way things are going. So again, just excellent timing.

Yury Nabokov: I agree. And honestly was so pumped to be featured in the same article with the people who I truly respect and admire the work they’re doing. And I was just like, wow. I mean, you’re a different story. But I was like, “Oh my God, I’m in the same article with these guys. Look at me go!”

Rich Brooks:  That’s very cool.

Yury Nabokov: That’s really cool. What do you think about the number of inquiries about conducting workshops or webinars?

Rich Brooks: I’ve definitely seen an uptick over the past couple months of people asking us to put on some of our workshops in their neck of the woods. Sometimes it’s from people who we do something in the next town over. I’m like, you are going to have to go to Portland or whatever. So, we’re not going to every single town in Maine, but it’s nice to see that people want those workshops to be put on in their neck of the woods. But also it kind of leads into the question around we were already discussing the idea of putting on webinars well before Covid. And so that was one of the things when we saw one, two, and then three of our planned workshops have to be delayed or even canceled, that’s when we said, let’s roll out those webinars now. Let’s take a webinar and do it instead of a workshop just to kind of keep that conversation going.

And then we had the idea of, since normally we do it in a geographic area and that sometimes has driven the content we talk about, what if we just focused on instead of a geographic area, one industry. And what industry is hurting more right now than hospitality and tourism industry in Maine. And so that was the webinar that we just put on with the help of Hospitality Maine just this week. And so we got a great response, it was great to part with them.

Kind of curious, what did you think about the webinar and did you like the idea? Do you think it’s valuable to continue to do them that are industry specific or topic specific, rather than more of the general information we’ve done in the workshops?

Yury Nabokov: You know, I’m split on 50/50. Clearly when we have a topic specific or the industry specific content, that allows us to bring a lot of individuals that are dealing with the same type of opportunities or facing same type of challenges to put the right message in front of the right audience. I think it’s incredibly valuable. But what I really loved about conducting the in person workshops that were driven by the businesses in the specific community, we were able to bring a lot of people together that may not have the same type of customers, but it created the opportunity to network and look for partnerships.

 And you know, if you remember the interview with James Morin, the whole topic was about the partnership and how partnering with different companies would give you a lot of exposure or new insights that you never had before. So when you talk about a specific topic with the people that are just living breathe that, I feel like it limits the impact. But when you expand the horizons, it creates opportunities for ideation and seeing new ways of doing business that you have never experienced before. Just because you know someone else is not in your niche, it doesn’t mean that you cannot learn something valuable from them.

Rich Brooks: Yeah, I hear you. I absolutely agree. First of all, just in-person is so awesome. I mean, that’s one of the reasons we wanted to put on workshops in the first place. Obviously we couldn’t do that this spring, and we’ll see about the summer.  And the other thing is you do learn from other industries. You hear the problems that there are, the challenges that they’re going through. And it may resonate with some of the stuff, or you may have already conquered that and be able to share some of your successes with that person to give them inspiration or ideas on how they can fix their own business challenges.

One thing about the webinars that are really good is the fact that we’re pulling from all over the state, so it makes it more accessible for everybody. And so you’re able to bring all those people in so you can focus on just one category, like in this case, tourism.

But the other thing we might try and do with other webinars is even if we’re not pulling from a specific industry, maybe we focus on a specific element that many businesses might share; customer acquisition, customer tension, financials, whatever it would be. And that might be another way to create a theme for a webinar that would bring a lot of interesting attention.

 We still haven’t cracked the nut on how do you create networking online. That’s still a challenge. I mean obviously there’s networking sites online, but I’m talking about that kind of serendipitous meeting that you might have with somebody while you’re both waiting in line to get coffee at the Machias Savings Bank in Brewer or whatever the case may be. That is something I definitely miss and I miss having those conversations in front of people for sure.

Yury Nabokov: Do you think virtual masterminds can be a thing that may lead to that?

Rich Brooks: It certainly could. I mean, again, I think the bigger the group the more you start to lose out in some ways on that mastermind. So a smaller group is definitely going to be more effective. I know that I am involved with currently now just one mastermind, but I’ve been involved with other masterminds in the past. And these are just groups of like-minded people that get together on a regular basis and we discuss our businesses. That’s been very effective. I don’t know if we could mimic that.

I sat in on another webinar/presentation a few weeks ago, and it was more of a mastermind and they had like 50 people in there. And to be honest, it was a cacophony of ideas and maybe it was just a little bit too many people. So I think there’s an opportunity for some sort of app out there. I just think that there’s a right size for that type of networking group online, that it might be able to get a little bit bigger when you’re offline.

Yury Nabokov: Yeah. Like you know, having 20 to 25 people versus like what we had with the previous webinar where we had what, 250 register and 130 in attendance. That would be really hard to network, it’s just the same screen

Rich Brooks: You’re right. And I have seen there’s a feature, I think on Zoom that you can start to break off into smaller groups. But that’s just a little bit beyond our capabilities for our very first webinar.

Yury Nabokov: Well, I think with the first webinar, I think we did a pretty great job. But enough with the webinar. I wanted to know what did you think about the virtual summit?

Rich Brooks: Well, it was kind of like a webinar on steroids, and we definitely dove into the deep end right off the bat with that. I thought it went really well from just a technology standpoint. I mean, we were already kind of hindered because of Covid, which is why we turned our first ever conference into a virtual summit. We expanded it to two days.

I actually went into the office wearing a mask, gloves, the whole nine yards, because I wanted to make sure that we had the best connectivity we possibly could. And back then I was terrified. I’m like, am I taking my life into my own hands? Am I at risk? But you know, so it was a little bit nerve wracking to go into the office to do that.

And I know you were in your own offices as well, but I thought it went really well. It was a lot of content to be shared virtually over two days, but people hung around for it. There was a lot of value and there was a lot of engagement.

Some of the lessons that I think I took away from it was six hours, whatever it was, and then two days in a row, that might’ve been pushing it in terms of the amount of content. And maybe what we could have done is like a week’s worth of virtual summit where it was only the mornings, give people a two or three hour blast of great content, then give them a half day to think about it, get back to work, whatever it would be.

But you know, like you said, we were kind of making it up as we were going along and we were in mentally, we’re still thinking about like how is this like a conference we wanted to put on, but I really appreciated all the guests that we had, all the speakers, they were seemingly all okay. And this was back before everybody was doing Zoom. So really the fact that they were all like, “Yeah, let’s just do this. I’ll do this from home. We’ll figure it all out”. And the feedback and the engagement we got from the audience was great.

So will we do it again? Yes. It may not look exactly like it did the first time. It may be more on the webinar side of things rather than the two day summit. But, hopefully we won’t have to do it again. Hopefully next time we’ll be doing it by choice. That’s certainly what I’m hoping.

Yury Nabokov: Oh, absolutely. But you know, with all these changes that are driven by the environment or certain regulations or fears or demands, we still delivered that. That was the most exciting thing. You know, it was new, it was fresh. There were like a lot of unknowns. But like you said, people said, let’s do it.

And you know what I really appreciated? Clearly you know I am forever grateful to everyone who participated as the guest speakers. But the attendees themselves that were so forgiving, that were so understanding of the environment that we were in. And I felt instead of delivering value to the attendees, I felt like the attendees were supporting me. To just feel confident and comfortable with whatever I was trying to do during those two days. It’s just, it’s amazing what kind of business community we have here in Maine. And I only wish the best to every single person who is facing the challenges right now. And hopefully they are going to be new bright opportunities ahead of all of us.

Rich Brooks: Yeah. They were very forgiving. Not a lot went wrong, but people understood that things sometimes do go wrong, and it is a very supportive community. Obviously we put that on because we were planning a conference that we couldn’t put on, it was impacted by COVID. How do you feel that COVID has affected both Fast Forward Maine as well as the state economy? I mean, there’s some obvious answers there, but what do you see out there?

Yury Nabokov: Well, for Fast Forward Maine, obviously as you said in the very beginning, we are not in our studio. I really miss being in the studio, seeing all of our guests, hanging out with Cody and just seeing the hustling and bustling in the Machias Savings Bank lobby. That’s one thing.

So clearly everyone is swamped right now trying to just survive and maintain their businesses afloat, regardless of the industry, regardless of the nature, regardless of the geography, that is really hard. And having said that, it clearly puts a lot of pressure on the service providers like business to business. Everyone is busy right now. So to have someone for an interview for 30 minutes to an hour is like asking them to basically write you a check, and then they send you a check and they come on your show and they talk to you. Because if they’re talking to you, they’re not helping someone else. So I think it puts pressure on individuals who generally are giving and willing to share their insights. It’s like, do I come do a Fast Forward Maine and we can record this episode and then syndicate in a month or two? Or should I just use this time and talk to my clients and look through their finances and stuff?  So it definitely is a major challenge, and like I said, I’m just grateful to those who are still listening to us and I’m grateful to those who are willing to come on the show and participate as the guest.

What do you think, Rich?

Rich Brooks: Well, it definitely obviously impacted us personally in terms of the Fast Forward Maine brand. We have had to delay a number of our in person interviews. And just before we started our recording today, we talked about the fact that we probably should record some episodes remotely using Zoom like we are today, to give us a little bit of a buffer. We still had like four weeks in the can, from this date. But you know, I hate living hand to mouth when it comes to podcast episodes, so we’ll probably go out and start doing some of these remote interviews.

Obviously the virtual summit was another one, and you know, I recognize that. There’s a lot of businesses that are obviously hurting right now. That’s one of the reasons we did the virtual summit for the hospitality and tourism industry. We certainly want things to bounce back. I don’t want to get into a political debate about how quickly we should go back to work and all that sort of stuff, but I know everybody wants to get back to work and I know that we want to reopen the state economy in a smart and healthy way. And hopefully the people are getting a hit right now with everything that’s going on, but hopefully it will be a pent up demand when things get back to normal, and things will get back to normal.

So this’ll be a very strange time we will have lived through, but hopefully we’ll look back a year from now and be like, can you believe how crazy everything was back then?

Yury Nabokov: In addition to what you said, as the host of Fast Forward Maine or as an employee at a financial institution with Machias Savings Bank, and I actually had a conversation with Larry Barker, our president, this morning. And we were talking about how purpose and contribution to the success of the people around us is starting shape into something different. It’s one thing when you wake up in the morning and you’re like, “Hey, it’s Monday or Tuesday, I’ve got to do this, this and that”, and now you’re just like, “All right, here I am. I only have 10, 12 hours today. Here’s the people that are waiting and expecting me to do something for them. I am going to do my best.”

There is no wiggle room for anything and its like, when we record the podcast, I want to make sure that we deliver as much value as we can. You know, we come prepared.

You know, it’s starting to be a lot more serious than in the past. It’s like, don’t get me wrong, every time we have a guest, we’re prepared. But now it is starting to be a little bit more like on the extremes, like, all right, I only have 30 minutes with this guest. What can we get out of their heads? What can we get out of their 30, 40, 50 years of experience that can be extremely impactful?  It can be tactical, but can also be tied into the strategy to support someone.

So it’s just a completely different sense of commitment. And when I hear the phrase when people say, “bounce back”, honestly, I want to bounce forward. I want Maine come out of it guns blazing, swinging. And you know, Chris Brogan talked a little bit about it. He said that we’ve all claimed that digital first, we’re digital ready. And then reality, look around, we’re really not. Websites are clunky, e-commerce for half of the businesses, they don’t even know one tool to another. Marketing and communication is very sporadic and inconsistent.

Data is another major challenge for Maine businesses where  so many different systems that are in silos and not have the information starting to make sense when you look at your financials at the end of the month, because you don’t understand what kind of challenges contributing to or impacting your bottom line. And you cannot cross-reference or correlate all the incoming data because systems are in silos. So hopefully a lot of the businesses will survive. And I really hope that a lot more businesses will start because of the opportunities that we will be creating moving forward. So I’m not bouncing back, I’m bouncing forward.

Rich Brooks: What do you wish you knew now, or what do you know now that you wish you knew when we first started?

Yury Nabokov: You know, I was thinking about this question. And the thing that I wanted to say is that I wish I knew how passionate I’m going to be about Fast Forward Maine.

Rich Brooks: I could have told you that, Yury.

Yury Nabokov: You know, when it started I was a little bit, I was not skeptical. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about creating value and doing cool things with the people that I like and respect. It just, it makes things a lot different. But honestly, I wish I knew that I’m going to be as passionate as I am because I feel like I’m spending so much time thinking about how can we grow Fast Forward Maine. What are the other types of content we can be providing? Can our webinars or trainings get certified that would allow individuals to receive continuing education credits? What are the other companies that we can partner with that would allow us to scale up, not necessarily in the number of individuals who are participating in the work that we’re doing, but in the amount of the impact and the number of businesses and individuals that we can impact across the state?

So for me, like I said, I wish I knew that I’m going to get as passionate as I am right now back then. I would definitely scale back on some of the initiatives that I was trying to push at the time. So now I find myself with my back against the wall just because that’s what I set myself up for.  But t’s a good thing. It’s a good experience to be in.

But Rich, I know that Fast Forward Maine is not your first podcast or a new initiative. You are like a serial entrepreneur. You have countless ideas that you’re always working on. What’s your experience? What do you know now that you wish you knew then when you launched Fast Forward Maine? And especially for you, Fast Forward Maine is the idea you had for almost what, 10, 15, 20 years?

Rich Brooks: I had the name. You were the one who really kind of helped me tie those two things together, because we were already talking about this. It was still under The Agents of Change brand when we decided to really kind of separate it and refocus on business owners rather than just marketers. That’s when I told you about the brand, Fast Forward Maine, and you’re like, “I think this is it, Rich. I think this is what you were supposed to be doing”. So that was great for you to be able to put two and two together for me. I appreciate it. And I still absolutely love the logo designs that Josh Fisher did for us. I’m looking at it right now, it’s just so damn clever.

So one thing we talked about before, I feel that the lens of what do business owners need to know about blank is such a great lens, because it really helps me focus on what’s most valuable. Because when I’m creating or when we’re creating, but when I’m thinking about what we want to be talking about in the shows, I’m often thinking about what do I wish I knew 23 years ago? What do I wish I knew when I started my business? And that’s really helpful. I’m not sure that everybody has the exact same experience to me that they need to know the same things, but I would have loved somebody to take me under their arm and say, “Hey, this is what you need to know about PR. This is what you need to know about HR. This is what you need to know about understanding your financials, marketing, customer experience”. All these sorts of things.

The content that we’re creating now with its new focus on what do you need to know about, that to me is probably, I wish we’d been right out of the gates with that. That’s one thing – let’s not call it a missed opportunity because this is all about growth – but that’s one thing that I wish, and then just some specific tactical things.

One is, I had no idea how powerful the Portland business librarian was. So Williams Bandoma, who I think we just launched his episode this past week when we’re recording this. That was just eye opening for me. And then another one you mentioned the credits, being able to provide continuing ed credits. And I don’t know if you saw this, but somebody who sat in on the webinar last week, she was looking for not necessarily a credits, but she was looking for certification, maybe to show her boss whatever it would be. That was really interesting.

And I think back to when we interviewed Charlie Collins, who was talking about those badges that the community colleges were moving forward with in many ways. Maybe Fast Forward Maine creating some of that, like those are some things. I guess that those last two are not things I wish I knew. I mean, I do wish I knew, but not necessarily for Fast Forward Maine, they were just really cool things that we learned along the way.

So usually at this point are ‘fast takes’, Yury, as you well know. And it’s always about what did we learn. So it’s always about looking back, recapping. But for this episode, which has been about recapping so far, let’s talk about fast takes for what’s going to happen.

Where do you want to go from here? Where do you want to take Fast Forward Maine in the future?

Yury Nabokov: Well, I think we have – well, I want to believe we have – a pretty solid foundation. I think we’ve developed a group that supports us and believes in the mission of Fast Forward Maine. That is great. So from that point on, first grow the impact. Develop a solid library of resources that we can actually categorize and start putting under specific umbrellas for, small businesses, big businesses, specific industries and niches. So we become the helpful resource. Not necessarily like the organizations or whatnot, but we’ve talked about it, there are so many resources out there that are just kind of, when you start diving into it you start getting in the rabbit hole of all the nonprofits and training opportunities that are available out there.

So I want to kind of find a way for us to make it a little bit more user friendly and easier to navigate for those that rely on us. Clearly I want to explore the opportunity for how can we get certification or badges for some of the content that we create as the Fast Forward Maine team. And ultimately I want to find new partners for Fast Forward Maine so we can continue to grow and expand and create additional opportunities for those that rely on the information and the resources that we provide.

So that’s a lot from me. I know it sounds overwhelming, buddy. My hand is in my head, we already have it. You know how I operate. It’s like, “Hey Rich, we’re going to do this”, and you’d go do it. But Rich, what are your Fast Forward takes into the Fast Forward future?

Rich Brooks: Yeah. So you hit a couple of things that I was thinking about, more partnerships for sure. We talked about the certification in badges. I love your idea of creating resource categories on the website, because I think that we’ve done a really good job in terms of creating content by having guests putting on workshops. But they’re almost instantaneous. They’re really in the moment and they’re not recorded and they’re not well organized. And maybe that’s something that we need to think about by the time we get to our 100th episode and we start recapping what’s happened in the first hundred episodes, is that we really do need to create more of an online resource. Like a library of things that businesses can go to check out the podcast, checkout articles.

Because one of the things that we had talked about is starting a blog and getting and really doing guest blogging, having other business leaders and owners write on the topics that they’re experts in, that they’re passionate about, and really create something valuable for Maine business owners and leaders and entrepreneurs.

And this also comes back to the point of, I’m in marketing, I’m always about let’s reach a quality audience but also a bigger audience. And so what I really like to focus on in the next 50 is not just organizing the content so that it is easily digestible and findable, but also I want to get more people aware of this. We have been building, our numbers continue to increase, but in some of our partnerships I would love to really see this explode. I’d really like to be able to get this in front of so many businesses. Because we’ve had people who’ve come on the show as guests who we know, who know us, but don’t even know the podcast, don’t even know that about Fast Forward Maine. So we really need to put a focus on organizing the content so anybody can access it, and then making sure that people are aware of it. And that’s my Fast Forward take.

This has been great, Yury. Any last thoughts before we sign off today?

Yury Nabokov: Yeah. Actually, there are a lot of thoughts, but the only thing that I would like for the listeners to hear is that I’m a true believer in opportunities, that there is always a storm. And regardless of how severe the storm is, we just need to believe that greater opportunities are ahead of us. And Fast Forward Maine is going to be there when they need us, and if they need our help, all they have to do is just reach out and ask.

Rich Brooks: Sounds good.

Yury Nabokov: I almost teared up. I get so emotional about everything that is going on right now. And it’s been hard, I’m not going to lie. It’s been hard. I want to go out there and help everyone with everything that I can, from writing a blog for someone, to recording a video for someone, to review in their finances. There is just so much going on that I just want people to know that we are all in this together.

And, it just, you know, it’s incredible to see how everyone is working together towards fulfilling the needs and the obligations of everything that is in our court, Rich.

Rich Brooks: Well, I want to just sign off by saying that people may not know you as well as I do. So, you are one of the most earnest people I know. And so it may come across if people don’t know you that you are selling them something. But you’re really not. This is literally just who you are. And so I wanted to just take a moment to say that I really am grateful. I’m grateful for everything you’ve given me over the years. I’m very grateful that you partnered with me on this, that we get to be co-hosts on this podcast. You have a certain level of energy that is really nice, matching against my own. Who I am, what I do, your level of interest in everything, in every aspect of entrepreneurship. Very refreshing and it’s been great to partner with you and I’m looking forward to the next 50 episodes.

Yury Nabokov: Awesome. Let’s bring it.