Episode 159 – Unstoppable Visionary and Chief Marketing Officer with Travis Michael
Travis Michael is all of what the title says. As he says he “played jump rope his entire life over the Mason-Dixon line spending time between the mountains of Johnstown Pennsylvania, and the city bay life of Baltimore”. As I spoke with Travis during our initial call as well as during our episode he is an incredibly curious person who also wants to do good in the world.
He will tell us a great deal about his new app called “Bridgd” which you can learn about at www.bridgd.com.
In addition to app development, he and his company help other companies and nonprofits improve their efficiency by streamlining and enhancing what they do and how they do it.
Now, Travis is completing work on his book, “Honor Thy Father” which he expects to have published in the August 2023 timeframe.
I think you will enjoy Travis and his wisdom. I know I did.
About the Guest:
Founder of Trav Media Group, Travis Michael played jump rope his entire life over the Mason-Dixon line spending time between the mountains of Johnstown Pennsylvania and the city bay life of Baltimore Maryland before traveling the United States helping companies as their one-stop Chief Marketing Officer. In his spare time, he’s spending time with his family and friends while donating time to his church and community.
Ways to connect with Travis:
Website – https://trav.media
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Bridg’d App – https://bridgdcom.com
Instagram & TikTok – @travismichael.official @trav.media
About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.
Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
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Michael Hingson ** 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
Michael Hingson ** 01:20
Greetings, everyone, I am Michael Hingson. And you are listening to unstoppable mindset where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Today we get to talk with Travis Michael. That’s his pen name and what He wants us to use, which is great. And it’s his pen name because Travis is about to come out with a new book. And we will definitely talk about that in the course of the next hour or so. But Travis, welcome to unstoppable mindset. We’re really glad you’re here.
Travis Michael ** 01:50
Michael, it’s a pleasure being here. We have had so many amazing conversations that I’m excited to see where this one goes.
Michael Hingson ** 01:59
Well, let’s start. Let’s start with something that I love to do, which is learn a little bit about you as a younger Travis, where you started from what you did, and and kind of how you got where you are. I know you talked about jumping rope over the Mason Dixon Line going from Pennsylvania to Baltimore. See, I know how to say that. Right? Yeah. And I lived there for six months. So And anyway, so tell us a little bit about Travis.
Travis Michael ** 02:32
Yeah. So you know, I, I love to like preface this with like book recommendations. There’s a really good book. It’s called outliers. And it’s basically about people that have had access to unique things in their lives, right, you know, what really defined your childhood and what drove you. And I was fortunate to be able to go to what’s called a magnet school. So magnet schools, they had a four big professional focuses. And that was environmental science, Applied Engineering, visual, graphic art, and mass communication. And so by sixth grade, you’re taking a two period class with that specialty and you transition every quarter, by seventh grade, you narrowed it down to two. And by eighth grade, you’re taking that specialty class the entire year through. And so, you know, people, you know, kids that go through those types of experiences and have access to more tools, as laid out in outliers. I Bill Gates, people realize that he worked at a college that had a supercomputer. So he he actually worked in the lab of the supercomputer to have access and access to it. And then he was able to understand the different problems because he was there, troubleshooting. He was there helpdesk, essentially. And, you know, he took that knowledge and that knowledge base and was able to expand upon it. So you know, I love talking to people and finding out like, what really drives them and being able to expand upon that as well. So yeah, that was kind of me growing up, right, you know, the I try to like take in as much as I could. From a media standpoint, my focus was visual graphic art that has really driven me and my helping take people’s visions and use my skills to drive their visions as well.
Michael Hingson ** 04:45
But you talk about really wanting to help people interact with people and help them I’m not trying to put words in your mouth as such but become better than they are what what caused you to have that kind of a wide scope and wide view of what you wanted to do, because that’s far beyond graphics?
Travis Michael ** 05:03
Well, you know, right as a kid, you know, you’re like, I want to, I want to change, I want to, I want to make a change, there’s something that’s not right. There’s something that’s off. And I just, I needed to I wanted to, there’s a lot of blocks in communication, right there in and how people communicate and the ability to communicate. You know, and I, in middle school, I was, I think it was in the early 90s, when American Sign Language came into play. And whenever I moved up to Pennsylvania, in eighth grade, I had access to a, there was a young young girl in my grade, that she, she was deaf, and they offer sign language classes, and I took some sign language classes. I know very little, I think I know, the ABCs up to like, G. And that’s where it stops. But I also knew that like, obviously, there was there’s a huge disconnect there. Right, Mike? You know, there’s, there’s having the ability that there’s, there’s some sort of even social block right, in being able to communicate,
Michael Hingson ** 06:23
and that’s something that has fascinated you, and that you’ve wanted to kind of address and you do that primarily through dealing with graphic arts, or do you go beyond that?
Travis Michael ** 06:34
Well, I like to go beyond that, right. And I just just got back from Chicago, and I ended up there is a stop at the Wonder Museum, and I would highly recommend if you have the opportunity to go to Chicago, definitely check it out. But it offered experiences and, you know, anytime any type of social engagement is an experience, and I want to be able to help those that have communication blocks, be able to communicate, in general, you know, being able to not be a fly on the wall, not just, you know, a person in the back, doing their best to read lips. And so, whenever I was in Chicago, there, I’m, I think I’m very approachable, Mike. And next thing I know, I’m being a tourist, I’m taking videos and pictures. And this gentleman approaches me. And he starts is puts up one thing, he starts signing, and you could hear just in his voice is I’m deaf. Just like that’s like all he was able to get out of his voice at a very low get Gatsby. And then I, I he was trying to show no sign to me. I said hold on one second. It just so happens that I’m developing an app for deaf people. And I pulled the app out. And it started transcribing my voice as I was talking. And I was able to communicate. And we had a wonderful conversation about it, even whenever we were kind of walking and talking. That I was I had my chin down. I was kind of, you know, looking down and talking. And he’s like, he’s like, Hey, I’m up here. I can’t read your lips. If your chin is down.
Michael Hingson ** 08:54
And I was gonna ask how did he understand you? It wasn’t mainly lip reading, or I definitely want to learn more about the app. But did he read your lips? Is that how you he understood you?
Travis Michael ** 09:04
Yes, that’s how he understood me, you know, as his education revolved around, being able to read my lips, you know, being able to read lips, period, not just my lips, anyone’s lips. And you know, they can hear low tones. Yeah. And it’s, it’s very interesting. I had a we really didn’t miss a beat in our conversations as I was able to use the app. And if there was something that he was trying to communicate communicate with me that wasn’t getting through. He could just use my phone and type in whatever you type it in, and then hit play and it played out the speaker.
Michael Hingson ** 09:53
I when I was in elementary school, and I don’t remember what grade I was in In but it probably was third grade. Or earlier, I’m going to say the third grade. We were at a Halloween party at the school. And I ended up sitting across a table from a gentleman who was one of the janitors at the school. And we talked for a while. And occasionally I looked away. And he didn’t necessarily respond. But then he volunteered that he had been deaf since Pearl Harbor. And that he communicated, he did not, his voice was as natural as someone who was a full hearing person. But he understood people by reading lips. And it’s the first time I ever had exposure to that. And he was very kind and very generous with his time telling me about it, because I became, of course, very curious being blind. And we had a wonderful conversation than in several since when when I was still at that school, but it is it is fascinating. And he was as good as a body could be at reading lips, he certainly understood me.
Travis Michael ** 11:14
So he was able to speak back to
Michael Hingson ** 11:18
Yes, he absolutely could speak back to me. And I had no clue that he was death, because he served in the military. So this was like, What 1958 or so. And he had been in the military and served at Pearl Harbor, and which is when he became deaf, so he continued to be able to speak very well.
Travis Michael ** 11:40
Ah, gotcha. That makes a lot of sense. And I
Michael Hingson ** 11:43
had no idea that he was deaf or, or anything other than just a person who could talk to me and I could talk to him. And then he told me about being deaf. And that was, I’m sure, in a sense, brave of him. But for me, it was fascinating. And I haven’t thought about him very much since then. But this brought it up. And just as fascinating that you’re having success, how’s the app doing?
Travis Michael ** 12:11
Oh, it’s wonderful, we’re getting ready to launch the new the new user interface, it’s a lot brighter cleaner. And you know, from there, because that’s going to be the base base design that we have, we’re going to be pushing out a lot more demos and videos, because now this is okay, we’ve proved out the model, it works. We’ve got approval from Apple and Google for the model. And now we’re getting ready to do a full launch with some really neat upgrades, including voice segmentation. So if you’re interested, you can find that app over to read br idgd.com. So that’s bridged with no E. It’s no e.com. And you can download and be a test user right now, we’re, we’re really excited to roll out the next version with some really cool updates, and ultimately expand out into other markets, including translations. And so stay tuned for some really awesome upgrades that are going to be incremental in connecting people not only of speaking and non speaking and hearing and non hearing, but languages all across the globe, as we build this thing out. So head over to bridged.com with no E, and sign up as a test user, and where we’re really super stoked about getting this thing out here, Mike,
Michael Hingson ** 14:02
when will the next upgrades and so on come out?
Travis Michael ** 14:06
Yeah. So we’re ready, getting ready for phase one be new upgrades will be coming early fall. So I think August, we’re going to be really pushing it out. But we were probably going to have some short term upgrades, including the new UI, maybe not with the full scope. But we’re, we’re really close to full implementation. I think we’re, you know, just to keep this moving. I think there’s just gonna be I think it’s gonna be like dollar 99 a month, very minimal, just to be a being able to support the technology. So it’s not a whole lot, but it’s something that we can put into a humanitarian effort to be able to connect with Many people have many different languages Have you
Michael Hingson ** 15:05
have you tested it with VoiceOver and so on to see that it’s accessible from that standpoint.
Travis Michael ** 15:13
Really, we’re just focusing on the, in real life, engage engagements, you can customize what’s really beautiful about this, this app is the ability to then speak back, there’s a lot of platforms where you can just, it just transcribes. But then the user has the ability to, to then type in a quick reply, or selective select from a series of quick replies that are already loaded, kind of like your emojis that you pull up another, it’s like another keyboard, and you can have, you can actually program your quick reply keyboard, based on, you know, maybe you have, you’re going to the doctor’s office, and you have some, quote, some questions that need to be answered. And rather than picking them on the fly, you can add them into the keyboard under your favorites, you tap it, if you add it to the keyboard, and then it plays through the phone speaker. And you can go down and you’ve talked to actually talk to your doctor about these things. And being able to maybe have questions for you, just in general, just being able to converse, you know, pick the conversation type, it’s going to help them be able to communicate better.
Michael Hingson ** 16:45
Well, the question I was asking what I was getting at is that with like iPhones and with the Google Android phones, there are what are called screen readers, there are software packages that will that will verbalize whatever comes across the screen. And in this case, you’re going deeper than that, because you’re also dealing with providing input by other means. And my question really was, have you explored making sure that the app is accessible using screen readers, for people who may not be able to necessarily see everything that comes across the screen, but needs to hear it. And that’s a little bit different set of gestures, it is all part of what Apple provides. And, and the Google Android phones do, although I think Apple still does a little bit better job of it. But what what VoiceOver is, is a software package that will verbalize whatever comes across the screen. It also means that if I needed to, I could type messages. If somebody isn’t a lip reader, for example, I’m assuming that this is part of what the app would allow one to do would be for me to be able to type and then it would appear on the screen. And voiceover would allow me as a blind person to be able to do that. So my question really was, are you looking at accessibility for the product across the board?
Travis Michael ** 18:20
Oh, absolutely. I think that it’s going to be critical for for those types of conversations. And you know, and being able to last time we talked being able to add that. Well, I’ve also had some very interesting conversations with with Google. And I look forward to having more about exactly that. Being able to provide accessibility in improve their accessibility, that
Michael Hingson ** 18:54
I will have to download the app and and experiment and can give you some feedback regarding that. Because a lot of app developers don’t really understand what they can really do to make visual and non visual, well, visual apps more usable by people who may not see what’s on the screen. And so Apple provides a lot of information about that, but there are no requirements for any of that. So a lot of people don’t necessarily see it, or they may make their app work. And then the next time a new update comes out, something gets broken because it doesn’t become part of their process to keep that going. But I’ll be glad to download it and take a look at it and see what it looks like. It sounds like it would be a lot of fun to do.
Travis Michael ** 19:46
Yeah, yeah, that’s, you know, and we’re gonna be, you know, constantly working on improvements. This is a definitely a new space that we’re looking to help people explore And upon, and being able to have the ability to remove social norms, where, where social norms aren’t necessarily good, where Deaf people are not communicating, they’re typically standing in the back and being a wallflower. And because you don’t know, or most people in that contact group, don’t have don’t have don’t have the ability to communicate, whether it be ASL, or what have you, soy, or even, you know, having someone there that that knows ASL that can translate. And then it’s, there’s still that barrier, there’s still that extra person. Whereas, you know, now you can kind of have that freedom to go to the store, go walk down the street taught, you know, talk to someone randomly. And it really helps clear that that pathway, right, right.
Michael Hingson ** 21:10
What What got you started doing this app?
Travis Michael ** 21:14
Well, so the president of the company is deaf. So this is I’m doing this, I’m creating this app for my client. And his dad, and I had been working together. Now his dad’s the CFO of the company. And his dad, Todd Trichur, pulled me aside after one of our meetings that we had been working together on his HFC, one quick question. Can you build apps? I see. Well, yeah, absolutely. You know, I just developed an app for client out of Los Angeles, like an Uber like app that people can just book trips to and from the airports just right from their website. I said, Yeah, sure. Got it. Got a team, you know, we’re really starting to roll on some big projects. He says, Well, my son was born deaf. And I’ve always had in my head that when the technology was there, we would build this app together. And being able to help deaf people communicate in real time, using this technology. And he’s, you know, done a lot of market research. And I think it’s time to just start pulling the trigger on this and move forward. So we go through many conversations. I built I personally built the user interface user experience that I’ve laid out for my developers, wonderful team that put this put what we have to get put the kind of the, the engine behind the machine. Well, I kind of just had the, the brick and mortar, right. So it’s, it’s been a wonderful experience. And we’re picking up steam, and some other really, really cool projects that we’re looking to take some of these industries by storm, with our creativity, and how we have how we start building markets in a positive way.
Michael Hingson ** 23:38
What’s the name of your company?
Travis Michael ** 23:39
So my company is travel Media Group. You can find me online at if you just type in travel dot media. There’s no.com It’s just https colon forward slash forward slash Trev. Tr AV dot media, I think if you look down here, yeah, right there. Under my Zoom picture here, you can see my my website. I work with companies doing you know, it’s great, because I have the ability to flex. And you know, I can be doing these wonderful mobile apps. And then I can also kind of switch into for marketing training, and working with different teams. On You know, I’m able to kind of be more budget friendly for nonprofits, where I can instead of doing it, I can train people, and then they can kind of work the plan. So, but I’m also doing, I still enjoy doing logos. I still want to, you know, doing custom websites, I build a custom website for a client out of Georgia, that does. Jet parks for private jets, build a custom, ecommerce quoting system for their website. And there, it’s been just steamrolling, or our SEO has been wonderful. The ability to add parts to their, to their quoting system is, is pretty seamless. And then they can just quote out the prod the product and get people into their, their funnel a lot quicker. So it’s, you know, a lot of this is is just problem, problem versus solution, finding the solution to, you know, unique problems and identify the market. You know, again, I do my own market research and with search engine marketing, and I try to understand the entire funnel. And, you know, a comp a company may have different a few different demographics that they’re partnering to. Right. You know, I could be working with marketers, you know, and I can also be working with CEOs, you know, so many different parts and understanding supply chain as well. That’s a big help.
Michael Hingson ** 26:20
Yeah, yeah. There’s, there’s a lot to that, isn’t there?
Travis Michael ** 26:23
Michael Hingson ** 26:24
How long have you been doing this? How long has the company been around?
Travis Michael ** 26:28
Yeah, so I started traveling media in 2017. I was just out as bootstraps in a computer, right? And just just talking, I saw one of my first clients that they dealt and drones, they they actually built drones. That got me into some really cool spaces. Gave a handful of clients in the aviation sector, one of one of them, does the, the drone light shows. So you know, if you’re in the aviation world, the trade show booths, done, you know, even like, instructional instructional design. So on the back of all those drones that for those light shows, I there’s a sticker that they put on him. And that sticker just happens to be my designed, very kind of Honeycomb like, so it’s really cool.
Michael Hingson ** 27:29
What did you do before you started travel media?
Travis Michael ** 27:33
Michael Hingson ** 29:40
explain that just a little bit more for me. I’m not quite sure I follow what yeah, what that’s doing.
Travis Michael ** 29:45
Absolutely. So it, basically it’s handling the user registration. So if you when you register on the mobile app, right, so Michael Pinkston, at my I go hangsen.com. And it goes to all that information is then. So your your profile is then created on our website, in our in our database, right? That database doesn’t necessarily have to be on the website, it can be on an entirely different shooter. But for the kind of being able to control the two, we’re able to create that that communication gap worried. So the app can then talk to the website. Does that make sense?
Michael Hingson ** 30:44
Yeah, I think I, I follow it. So and so by the app talking to the website, it and obviously keeps the profile up to date. What does it do for the user, in terms of communicating with others and so on?
Travis Michael ** 31:00
Well, all it does is, you know, if you lost your password, maybe you switch apps. Okay. So that’s all it really handles. Right? Got it.
Michael Hingson ** 31:11
Okay. What do you think about this whole discussion of AI Artificial Intelligence, which well, not widgets, but artificial intelligence products, like, chat, GPT, and so on, you know, they’ve become so sensational, sensationalized? What do you what do you think about all of the furor around all of that?
Travis Michael ** 31:33
Well, it was coming. It’s I mean, we it’s been, you know, we’ve been working with autocomplete now for how long? Right? So like, that was just a form of AI. Yeah. And now we know, it’s expanding into more of a user interface where the end user can dictate what the outcome should be. And so you really have to be able to figure out, it’s your best use cases, for what you need. Right. I, people are afraid of the maliciousness behind it. I’m sure that there’s some sort of kill switch. There, there would have to be.
Michael Hingson ** 32:33
The other aspect of it is that we keep hearing about all this potentially bad stuff with it. But look, we haven’t eliminated the dark web. And we have the internet and the internet is is a way to get a lot of information to people and has been since the early 1990s. So it’s always going to be dependent on what we use it for and how we use it for and hopefully, we have enough fried people who will use it. And that will hopefully set some of the tone about don’t do bad things with it, because that’s not appropriate. But the other part of it is, if you said, a kill switch, or we will have to probably put some governors on it because too many people are going to misuse it. When they don’t need to they’re gonna go down a rabbit hole, they don’t need to go down.
Travis Michael ** 33:28
But Potentially, yes, potentially, potentially, I, you know, I’m not the I’m not the all things on this. But, you know, my, my theory is, you know, use your powers for good. Yeah. And, you know, we’re getting ready to our next version. With with working closely with Google, hopefully, we’re gonna get an early release of their new language model, that also includes the includes AI. So being able to better provide a better trans transcription experience, your voice to text is actually going to be more accurate. And also working on being able to segment people’s voices, and ultimately using that as a security model. So as we identify, this is Michael Hinkson speaking, and in the back end, it creates a digital thumbprint that every time you’re you’re now you’re now speaking, that it actually authenticates that it’s you. Right. And it will also provide security from Ai duplication. You know, that’s a one of the big focuses that we Been looking at these different different programs duplicate, you know, Morgan Freeman, like, obviously it’s not Morgan Freeman speaking, it was the AI speaking like Morgan Freeman. And that’s what we want to, you know, basically safeguard. We want to safeguard your voice, there’s been too many incidents that I’ve come across where voice has been captured, manipulated and used for malicious.
Michael Hingson ** 35:43
Although I’ve said to, to a few people, jokingly, I know I’ll really have arrived when I can hear John Wayne read The Hobbit. You even imagine that? Yeah, but you know, and, and the reality is, it’s ultimately going to come down to how we use it and how we treat it. And it’s going to be up to us. And that all comes down to moral compasses, and so on. Here’s a question regarding your app, have you thought of, or is the capability coming are there where a person who’s deaf or hard of hearing can sign the phone can pick it up and translate that into text or to voice that is spoken out by the phone,
Travis Michael ** 36:34
there is technology, I have even seen gloves that have been developed. And, you know, a lot of that is, you know, they’re already using some of that movement stuff with, with robots, you know, as they’ve been, you know, focusing on you know, wrote a hand robotic hand going in acting like a human hand, you know, maybe even like, creating bionic hands for people that maybe we’ve lost a hand and the transfer of energy and those types of things. So, that’s a little bit further outside of our scope. For this, we really wanted to start small.
Michael Hingson ** 37:18
Sure, no, I appreciate that. But the reason I asked the question probably is reasonably obvious. If I’m communicating with a person who is deaf and who doesn’t speak, I can’t see their signing. And so the question is, how will I communicate with him now, there are some technologies, for example, there is a device that a person can type on, and it will produce Braille at the other end, and obviously, you can type on a computer. And with voice technology, it can be heard, but it just seemed like it would be intriguing and interesting to think about the concept of the app, being able to take advantage of the camera on a smartphone, to see the person signing and verbalize that, but I don’t know, all the ins and outs of the pluses and minuses of how hard that would be. My first job out of college was actually working with Ray Kurzweil, the developer of Omni font OCR. And that’s when I also first got introduced to artificial intelligence because his first machines would reprint and the more they read, the higher the competence they gained of being able to read material, especially when characters were somewhat degraded, and it actually learned. But it just seemed like an illogical interesting idea might be for this. If signing is uniform enough, where a software package could be taught to interpret signing, if that could be the case, it would be trivial to then output it to voice because the phones already have the ability to talk anyway.
Travis Michael ** 39:02
Is there anything that like, would you know, I’m thinking I’m thinking of like hardware is there is like a, like a Bluetooth. Maybe, like a Bluetooth device where maybe as it would be typing, or as it would play out of the phone speaker. It could also be like felt, you know?
Michael Hingson ** 39:29
Oh, yeah, I mean, there are ways that there are refreshable braille displays that I can connect to my iPhone so that I can turn the speech off completely and use just the Braille display, to read whatever’s coming across the phone, but I’m thinking of the other end of it is the person inputting information. And so I was thinking that if a person who was deaf signed how II See, would it be for that signing to be interpreted? Because if you said, you know, A through G, well, if somebody signs an A, can the phone be taught to recognize that a? If it can, then it doesn’t matter what the output is, it could be outputted directly to the phone speaker or it could go to a Braille display or whatever. It’s the recognition of the sign. That’s the issue. Yeah.
Travis Michael ** 40:28
I think that might be something we tackle. As we start looking down the line. Whatever we get, we won’t really want to get into AR augmented reality, like the Google Glasses and those types of things. Yeah. Because then as the person is speaking, you can then do like real life closed captioning. You could also do what you’re talking about. So if I’m, I can actually, you know, sign. And then the AR, could then close caption the sign language, essentially? Well,
Michael Hingson ** 41:07
yeah. Well, yeah, I could close caption it. But the idea is that if it recognize the signing, then the output part today is very straightforward. Yes, it could close caption it and put it on a screen. Or since it’s recognized it, it could just as easily go through the voiceover screen reader on the phone to verbalize it. Yeah, none of that’s the problem. The issue is recognizing what is being signed from the signer. And so as you said, og augmented reality, if that’s the way to do it. But anyway, it’s an intriguing idea. And it would open up some interesting vehicles for communication, which, which would be kind of cool. So in addition to developing apps you work with, with other companies, and I know you’re kind of almost a global chief marketing officer in a lot of ways, aren’t you?
Travis Michael ** 42:05
Yeah, absolutely. You know, the companies bring me in to kind of turn their brand around, and not just turn their brand around, but, you know, help them embrace technology for for operational purposes, you know, that there’s like, for instance, this new website has kind of acted as they’re another sales tool, they website doesn’t take a day off, it’s there, you know, so being a collection hub for the for that business, and, you know, finding unique problems, and you’re getting them getting their teams to kind of cheerlead the path forward. So working, I’ll typically come in, I’ll work very closely with the president CEO, to understand where they’re where their mindset and leadership is, and help them prepare for the next steps, what their teams can be expecting time that their teams need to be allocating to these different projects, right? It’s not just me, I don’t just come in and wave a wand, and tada, here it is, their teams, your things will change dynamics will shift, you know, how do a step that you once did, or maybe three steps that you once did, are now done in one step? Because something system was optimized. So that’s where I come in, but I also have to make sure that, you know, you know, maybe they what was done, what was once done was was wasn’t done in vain. Like it was there. It was it some things are grandfathered in, that maybe aren’t necessary, and a new system can be put in place. So,
Michael Hingson ** 44:14
companies are are always looking for or should be looking for ways to improve their processes. And I’ve talked to a couple of people on unstoppable mindset who were very much involved in trying to help companies really reorganize their basically their way of doing business, their, their way of getting things done inside the company, and so on. And so I appreciate exactly what you’re saying, which is it’s all about trying to become more efficient, and trying to have the best processes possible.
Travis Michael ** 44:49
Yeah, and I’ve there’s a really good John Maxwell book. He’s John Maxwell. If you read anything of his you’ll be better for reading it. He’s just one of those guys that has a very, very deep message. And I just read his book as good Leaders Ask Great Questions. And you really have to start asking great questions, if you’re in this in a position of leadership. And, you know, I ask questions to prepare my, the companies that I work with, I don’t ask questions to be nosy, or judgmental, I ask questions because I need to understand what their starting points are, what have they done? Where are they at? And how can they move forward? And that’s a lot. And then I provide training around different aspects around that model. And they’ve, they’ve been proven to be very helpful and healthy and business’s understanding their why why are they doing this? Who are they talking to? And what is the message behind what they’re doing? And I’ll take all of that, run it through my marketing machines, my branding, machines, design, technology, audits, all of that. Understand your industry, and, you know, what your, what your end goal is. And some of the companies, you know, I work with companies that are our profit, nonprofit, and defense, and they they all have many different hats in many different industries. And one industry does this, this, but not this, and then another company will go, Oh, I do not this, this and this, but we work together, and it’s their partnerships. And there’s something to be said about partnerships. That can really be beneficial, especially when you find people that are moving in the same direction as you.
Michael Hingson ** 47:11
Well, and, you know, one of the most important things that we can do as human creatures is to ask questions, it’s it is curiosity, it is trying to learn, and when you’re asking questions of company leaders, to help focus them in is clearly also helping you.
Travis Michael ** 47:33
Yeah. You know, and one of the great questions is, what books are you reading? Yeah. What books are you reading? Because I need to know that, that they have, if there’s a point that I’m trying to get across, it’s going to be better if I can, if I have a client read a book, or read a chapter, and then he can go, Okay, I see what you’re saying. Now, here’s how they overcame that. And, for me, it’s a wonderful thing. It’s a, you know, diagnose prescribe model, that hell helps me from the, you know, just giving book recommendations as and that has even even reading for me has been a huge shift. That was never me. That was never me. I was Bye, bye. Your kids are my little cousin graduated the other day. And my grandma was like, Oh, my goodness, she’s on the Dean’s list or the you know, the high dean’s list and you know, forgetting being on the Dean’s list for so long. I was like, that’s wonderful. And I just kind of snickered I got you know, that was never May.
Michael Hingson ** 48:57
I love to read a lot of fiction, which I do for relaxing. But I also do like to read nonfiction. One of my favorite books, and I quoted often in one way or another in speeches is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, which is really, I think, the best short book that I found that describes what a good team should be and how to get there and I also love some of the Malcolm Gladwell books. I really enjoyed reading David and Goliath. Again, he puts a lot of things in perspective.
Travis Michael ** 49:35
Yeah. It’s seeing the Go Giver. The Go Giver is wonderful. Yeah. Being able to get yourself into a, a mindset. And this person is struggling in sales. And he’s like, there’s this guy in the back that I swear I maybe see once every week and he’s never We’re here and all whenever he’s here, he’s just kind of feet up and kick back and everybody seems to love him. And if he’s like, how does this guy do it? He’s kind of getting the same sales. He’s like, sales professional, he’s, but he’s, it’s such like, what’s the difference between sales and business development? Right. And so that was that’s when things really changed and he was able to get understand mentorship. So if you’re trying to understand mentorship, and that’s a really good one as well. Let’s see, Jocko willing and feel like Jocko is if I like I, my I I’m not I’m not really much of a reader, I audio books. I’m writing and I’m reading all day long. So by the end of the day, my eyes read Yeah,
Michael Hingson ** 50:55
I love audiobooks. And they’re becoming more prevalent. audio book sales continue to be on the rise, which is great. Even as print, sales have gone down some. And I think ebook sales are going up, but audio books are great. And even for people who are blind and so on the Library of Congress has a number of programs. And they’re they’re coming out with new programs to make access more easy and usable on things like smart speakers like the Echo, and so on, which is great. So I can turn a book on an echo now and listen to it while I’m either cooking or maybe not even doing anything else. But I can do it from any echo device in the house. Once the the app while the skill was activated, then every echo knows about it. So I can stop reading in one room and come back tomorrow and be in another room and tell it to pick up right where we left off. And it does, which is great. makes reading a lot more convenient.
Travis Michael ** 52:03
So for those who aren’t familiar with how the echo work is it just you have like a main hub. And then like speakers in like multiple rooms,
Michael Hingson ** 52:11
no. Um, so the Echo is what they call a smart speaker. So there are echoes or echo dots. And Echo shows a lot of different ones, some have screens on them, and so on. But you connect it to your network. And then it communicates with, I assume the Amazon server that coordinates whatever goes on with echoes. And so you can have four or five echoes around the house. And I can go to one and I can say what’s the temperature outside and it will tell me and so on. But there is the skill that actually the Library of Congress, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped is, is creating, it’s called My Talking books. And it’s a skill that runs on the echo. So I can tell an a device to open the app, my talking books, and then I can say, let’s say I’m starting from scratch, I could say open or find the Go get the Go Giver. And assuming it’s in the collection, which is not a given at all. But assuming it’s in the collection, it will find it from my voice input. And then it can start reading it. So I can read for an hour and then quit and come back. And if I have several echo devices around the house, I can go to any one of them because they all communicate with the same Amazon server somewhere in the world. And I can pick up right where I left off. But I find the Echo to be a really handy device for a lot of different things, whether it’s even just doing whether I use it to control my home security system. Even turning the lights on and off and making sure they’re off because I don’t see them. And when my wife was alive, she was used a wheelchair. So it was also a lot easier if she were on the bed to just tell the system to turn on light. So it’s really handy.
Travis Michael ** 54:15
So do you typically walk around the house with the lights off? Or?
Michael Hingson ** 54:20
Yeah, mostly I do I don’t need to have them on. So my wife has passed so I you know we have solar so it doesn’t really matter a lot but
Travis Michael ** 54:28
but that helps you with your electricity bill. Hmm, yeah, it
Michael Hingson ** 54:31
does a lot anyway, but I but I don’t turn the lights on at night. So far it hasn’t bothered the dog or the cat a whole lot. So it’s just the three of us. There we go. But if they’re sighted people in the house, I do like to help my light dependent friends by turning the lights on for they
Travis Michael ** 54:51
defended friends. I love it. You know?
Michael Hingson ** 54:55
Well, light dependency is a disability. It’s just that technology is covered it up by Thomas Edison. and inventing the electric light bulb, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. Well, above it, tell us about your book that you’re writing. Yeah. So
Travis Michael ** 55:10
writing a book that it’s really kind of about my my background, and, you know, really challenging family dynamics and being able to help break generational curses, and the through some of the events that I’ve experienced, that have kind of shaped me into who I am as a person, and you know, how I’ve developed some understandings about myself and kind of some really funny, really crazy, very serious events, you know, and I really wanted to share this because it the show was that a lot of the struggles that I went through, I went through myself, because if they’ve they’ve challenged a lot of my trust issues. And so if I understood that I went through it myself, and I’m sure that many others out there are going through challenging family dynamics as well. And I want to be able to help them, give them my share my perspective, and maybe maybe it helps them to, you know, kind of get over the some of some of their hurdles that they’re having. And, you know, I’ll kind of leave leave it with this. It’s, it’s forgiveness isn’t always about, you know, forgiving. Let, it’s not, it’s not for the other person. Yeah. Forgiveness is for you. Yes. And you have, it’s also about building a forgiving heart. Because we’re human. And if all we can just be better humans, and develop forgiving hearts, I feel like this, this world would be in such a better place, and being able to move forward, and even build, build boundaries, you know, sometimes you just because you forgive, doesn’t mean, you know, it’s I, sometimes it’s, it’s good to kind of create that, that space to allow yourself to grow. But, you know, but having those spaces and you’re still holding on to that, that old junk. It’s,
Michael Hingson ** 57:27
it haven’t really forgiven yet. Haven’t really forgiven yet. And I, one of the things I talk about a lot are dogs, needless to say, and I talk about the difference between dogs and people in the dogs do love unconditionally, I believe that I watched a 60 minutes show the other day that talked about the difference between dogs and wolves. And there are actually physiological genetic differences, that they’ve been able to pinpoint, basically, what they call the friendly gene and a dog, and then we’ll stone house. But I think dogs love unconditionally, but they don’t trust unconditionally, what they are, however, unless they are, had they’ve truly been overly traumatized by something. Dogs are open to trust. And that’s the difference between them and us. We’re always into what if what if this person really is not interested in gaining my trust? Or what if they’re going to abuse, the trust and all that, and we, we have become so mistrustful that we tend not to recognize any more the value and being open to the idea of trust. Now, if somebody doesn’t earn our trust, okay, then we recognize that and we move on. But if somebody can, and we’re open to that, what a wonderful thing.
Travis Michael ** 58:48
Yeah, it’s being able to, you know, create that kind of space for yourself. It’s, you have to be able to, you know, trust yourself a that, that you’ve gotten this far. And, and being able to continue to push forward. And, and build, build things, create things, you know, in love you loving what you’re doing. And if you’re not loving what you’re doing, then you need to take the time outside of what you’re doing, and figure out what it is and push towards what you want to do.
Michael Hingson ** 59:26
Yeah. And recognize that there are probably lots of people out there who would be really happy to support you. You’d be shocked. Yeah, absolutely would be shocked at the number of people who, if they really understood we’d be willing to support you. Well, so what’s the name of the new book and when can we see it?
So the new book is called Honor thy father’s and it really pushes towards the you know, the father dynamics and push towards you know, mentorship and Understanding how important it is to seek mentorship and being a good mentee. And, you know, I first discovered mentorship in Toastmasters, and Toastmasters is a an international public speaking organization. Wherever you’re at in the world, I’m sure there’s one nearby you, if you’re trying to get better at public speaking, and really shed, that skin that has kind of kept you in this box. You know, Toastmasters is a wonderful organization, to be able to stretch your speaking skills in front of a supportive group of people who are trying to achieve similar results. So within that group, I, you know, that’s something that I had to really sink in it within that group. They gave me a mentor. And I didn’t know what a mentor was. And, you know, at some points, I was probably not a really good mentee, if I’m being honest, because I was kind of in my own head doing my own thing. And I’ve graduated from that. And we’re wonderful friends and hate you. So he, he’s my public speaking mentor, well, he’s not he’s he’s in he’s, we’ve also done develop great relationships and in sales and talking to people in systems and in growth, and he has a wonderful mindset. And but then, then there’s other things and I’ve learned about mentorship, and so many other places that have provided me wealth and growth. So the the book is, we’re we’re looking to come out with it in the fall. But we are going to launch the marketing for it on Father’s Day, ironically, so you can catch Honor thy father’s. And I’ll be promoting that. You can follow travel media, online and travel media group on Facebook, travis media, or I think it’s Travis dot media, on Instagram, on tick tock, travis media as well. So you
Michael Hingson ** 1:02:13
have a picture of the book cover.
Travis Michael ** 1:02:17
design that right now. So as soon as we we get that out, I’ll be sending it over to Mike,
Michael Hingson ** 1:02:23
please, because we will put that in the show notes, by all means.
Travis Michael ** 1:02:27
Absolutely. Absolutely. I’m sure. But I think by the time that we published this, I’ll have the show. I’ll have the graphic ready for you.
Michael Hingson ** 1:02:35
Perfect. And any other pictures and other things that you want us to have? Well, I want to thank you, Travis once again for being with us today. This has been enjoyable and fun. We spend a lot of time talking about the app and I’m gonna have to go play with it and, and maybe give you some feedback, or at least learn a little bit myself, which will be kind of cool. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Travis Michael ** 1:02:58
Looking forward to hearing and hearing your feedback, Mike.
Michael Hingson ** 1:03:01
But I really enjoyed today and I hope you did as well. And I hope all of you listening did we appreciate you doing so? So, enjoy it and get a hold of Travis let him know but I would appreciate hearing from you as well. We would love a five star rating from you wherever you’re listening to unstoppable mindset. Five Star Ratings are greatly appreciated. You can also email me at Michaelhi M I C H A E L H I at accessibe A C C E S S I B E.com. Love to hear any thoughts you have, as well as suggestions for others that you think we ought to have an unstoppable mindset. We’re always looking to make new friends. You can also go to our podcast page www dot Michael hinkson.com/podcast Michael Hanson is m i c h a e l h i n g s o n.com/podcast. We’d love for you to go there. And you can leave comments there as well. But either way, please keep us posted. Let us know and trap us likewise, if you know anyone who want to come on love to to get your thoughts and you know we’ll have to do this again. Especially once the book is out and you start getting comments and all that we’d love to catch up with you again on this.
Travis Michael ** 1:04:13
Absolutely. Thank you for your time, Michael, I greatly appreciate it.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:04:21
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com. accessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.