Episode 263: Healing your hometown with Bob Dalton, CEO of Sackcloth & Ashes

Bob Dalton is the founder and CEO of the blanket company Sackcloth & Ashes, based in Oregon where they give a blanket to a homeless shelter every time they sell a blanket.Bob’s story of conviction to Christianity is soul-stirring, and as he takes me through that journey he also unfolds how his company, Sackcloth and Ashes was born. He talks about the miracles that came about that catapulted Sackcloth & Ashes into almost overnight success, from a placement in Anthropologie that created orders beyond what they could even fulfill, to an official collaboration with Instagram where they were featured to the millions of followers that follow the official instagram account.Finally Bob really gets to the core of why it’s so important to serve in your hometown, and how you can make the biggest impact in the world by going just down the street and truly seeing your neighbors and ministering to them.

Buy a blanket and get involved at https://sackclothandashes.com/collections#Shop-all

Bob Dalton on Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/bobxdalton/

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All right, Bob Dalton in the house. This is so exciting. So fun to see you again. We got to meet in LA last year at an event with some mutual friends and We sat down next to you and I found out your name was Bob and I told you that we had a little baby named Bobby and you said oh only like my very closest friends get to call me Bobby Yeah, only the hometown or the people in my ghost circle.

Yeah, only the homies. Yeah Yeah, but Bob you have such a cool story. So I'd love to just start out with that If anyone isn't totally familiar with you and your incredible company sackcloth and ashes Can you kind of just tell us like how that all got started? Yeah, how far back do you want to go? Do you want me to do you want me to start with just kind of the Beginning stages of the business or do you want me to go back further?

I want you to do whatever you love whatever part of the story you love to tell that's what I want you to tell Yeah, I would say Because you have a lot of people listening that are believers I that's been a huge part of my journey so and really laid the foundation for me of Understanding who I was before I started a business.

Yeah, which I think is really important Despite what the business ended up doing whether it became successful or ended up crashing to the ground like there was an you know A foundation that was building me of understanding who I was prior to Being deemed as an entrepreneur or a business owner. So my faith journey started in high school Earlier to start before that, I started riding the church bus when I was young.

Yeah, and I grew up in this little Tough part of town in Coos Bay, Oregon and a little coastal town and It was just my mom. She was raising myself and my little sister and the church bus would come through a little apartment complex and I was like Church because this isn't a metaphor. It's a literal church bus.

Yeah, it's a church bus that comes and picks up all the you know the poor kids Know all the kids that couldn't get a ride to church or you know you know their families didn't go to church or whatever the church bus would come and pick up you know kids in the community that still wanted to participate and all these kids were getting off the bus and they had candy and stuff so i'm like i want to go to church yeah and so i started going to this baptist church old old school baptist church when i was in like second grade and started riding the church bus every week and that became a really strong part of you You know community for me and Um, so I went to the baptist church up until about sophomore year in high school Sophomore year in high school.

I started going to an organization called young life Yeah, and started going to young life club every week and got to hear a completely different version of the stories of jesus And that were really inspiring to me They were like 15 minute little messages, but they were just the stories of jesus and I really became captivated not just by The way in which he told the stories of Jesus, but By how he lived his name was Todd Tardy And he would just demonstrate a lot of the things that he was talking about.

He would come to the school Hang out with us you know Take us out to breakfast and really when he was telling the stories of jesus. It was like We got this like embodiment through him Of the love of god and and he would have us over to his house for dinner and stuff like that So the contrast between the Baptist community and Young Life was very different.

And the really, the big difference was the Baptist community was really focused on their little inner circle. Like they, I would, they, it's not that they didn't care about anybody outside of the circle, but it was really about their little community. Young Life was about reaching the furthest people you know, and so they were very much outwardly focused and wanting to.

connect with and love anybody that, whether faith related or not. And so I was just this kid that kind of went to the Baptist church because it was a big part of community. Young life was a big part of understanding the love of God for me. And so Todd became a huge mentor in my life and kind of a father figure.

And he was the first person to say that I was a leader. He was the first person to give me an opportunity to speak. And really laid the foundation for me of who I was going to become as a young man. Yeah. And he was the first man that I looked to and was like, I want to be like that when I'm older.

Somebody that served his community, loved his family. So, after I graduated high school, I realized pretty quickly that college wasn't for me. And so I was on this kind of questioning of what is for me? What, what is my purpose? Yeah, and I ended up moving to Monmouth, Oregon about three hours away, and they didn't have a Young Life there.

And so I was like at 19, I was like, I'm gonna start Young Life. Oh cool. And so having zero experience starting anything, I found myself many nights looking up into the night sky and being like, God, I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm willing. And he would open door after door, and I would start getting connected to people in the community, and kids in the community, and eventually I was able to form, like, a Young Life team, and that came about because I went to the University of Western Oregon campus, set up a little booth, and had, like, a Young Life booth, and I was, like, recruiting Young Life leaders.

And got like 40 people to sign up on the list and I was like, all right, cool. I'm gonna build this Young Life team. And I Was told by the area director that that he's like, oh none of those kids will end up showing up to your first meeting You know like very few of them So I ended up meeting with every single one of them all 40 of them in 15 minute little meetings at Burgerville And would sit across the table from him and be like God's gonna do great things in this community we need to expect great things from God and If you want to be a part of what he's doing like show up at this building at this time on Wednesday Wow, and so like 30 of them ended up showing up and that became This like group of 30 college students and i'm like their peer.

Yeah and working with them on Our strategy of going into the high school loving on kids going to their games Supporting them where they're at and it just became this really powerful community and out of that team It ended up really having a massive impact on the community of Monmouth. And we ended up having over 100 kids come to the club every week.

We had relationships with the teachers, relationships with local business owners. And so from 19 years old to 24, I got to be a part of starting something from nothing and really relying on God to help curate. Whatever he wanted to do in that community, and I was kind of the one that was helping to facilitate it all.

I don't, you know, and after doing Young Life from 19 to 24, at 24, I hit another crossroads where I was just like, I don't know what I want to do with my life. And that was where I really did some soul searching after getting to be a part of that Baptist community, getting to be a part of Young Life. Like, where am I at after experiencing all this?

And I remember this vision that I had that I was running on a track and I was beating everybody that I was racing against and a trophy appeared in my hand and then I kept running and I kept winning and then another trophy appeared in my other hand and I kept running and kept winning and another trophy and another trophy and by the time I had like eight trophies I'm carrying I just start getting past.

And it wasn't until I set the trophies down that I was able to run at my best ability again. And that was like a vision I feel like God gave me really early on in understanding that the love of God is not based on how successful you are or how much you failed in life. That's not about success and failure.

Both of those are illusions. What matters is who has he created you to be. And are you going to stay true to that? And that's what was instilled into me prior to starting Sackcloth or doing anything that people come up to me now and they're like, thank you for the work you're doing or you're so amazing or whatever.

None of that was, is impacting me in a positive or negative way. Because I'm deeply rooted in who I am before anything had ever started, you know, wow So so profound by the way, like this is just I'm like feeling this is incredible Keep going. It was just a deep part of who God was making me to be and really set the trajectory of like I Think that's what I understood the love of God.

I can go and do great things for him or I could Get rid of everything in my life You Get hooked on drugs and curse God in a gutter and his love for me wouldn't change And that's when I realized the freedom that I had and that the goal isn't to like impress God with my successes or Disappoint God in my failures, but to stay true to what he has for me and That was what really sackcloth was birthed out of So that was kind of my backstory in my faith journey.

Yeah. At 24, right around that same time period as I'm doing all this soul searching and realizing the love of God for my life, my mom ended up going through a series of events and ended up living on the streets. Mm hmm. And it was through a lot of different things, but she had lost a couple family members, her mother and her brother.

Mm hmm. Sent her on a huge downhill spiral and she ended up trying to start her life over and struggle with it and ended up sleeping on beaches and benches. That completely changed me and my understanding of homelessness. Yeah. Because out of all this ministry work that I was doing and out of all this community work I was doing, I would judge people on the street.

It was the one, it was the one issue that I would drive by people on the street and whisper in their mouth, I have to go get a job. So her ending up in that situation changed my paradigm of how I view the homeless community. And so I started reaching out to shelters in my community to see what they needed, and they said blankets.

And that's when I came up with the idea that for every blanket that I sell, I'll donate a blanket to a homeless shelter. And then that quickly evolved into, we have homeless shelters around the United States, Homelessness is not a national problem, it's a local problem. Yeah. What if we, for every blanket that's purchased, donate a blanket to that person's local homeless shelter?

And I wanted to give people an opportunity to make a difference down the street from where they live. So, I called the company Sackcloth and Ashes, because it's ancient Jewish symbolism, which means mourning and repentance. So the idea was, every time somebody wraps themselves in a blanket, It symbolizes mourning over the homeless population and repentance by contributing to a homeless shelter in their area.

And so that's how the business side of things launched in that kind of difficult time of navigating all that with my mom and coming out of that really deep season of like understanding the love of God for me, getting the experience of launching something from nothing, and then having this idea of, I'm going to start a blanket company.

Wow. So incredible. I mean, wow. I'm just somewhat speechless and that like never happens. I always have something to say but really that's incredible. What a cool story and I love too that you developed this relationship where you had so much trust in God and that like he was going to help you with this, you know, something that someone told you like you're not going to be able to get these kids to show up.

Like this is not going to work out for you and that you just partnered with God and you got it done anyway. Yeah, it was like a recent reminder for me the other day. I was having a conversation with a younger kid who's cut my hair. And he's coming out of a pretty difficult time. He said, I'm going to prove everybody wrong, you know.

And I lived that way in my 20s. I lived in a way that I wanted to prove everybody wrong. Because it was kind of that, the thing that really motivated me was when people said that I couldn't do something. And so you know, you have that area director who's like, those people won't show up to your meeting or you know, there's just many times that I kind of like, even just in my own mind, tailored my own narrative to everyone's kind of against me.

So I got to prove them wrong. Yeah. So I live most of my twenties with this mindset of being this hustler, like who wants to prove everybody wrong, you know? Sorry, I was almost going to sneeze, but it didn't come out. Um, so I wanted to prove everyone wrong. Then in my thirties I had a realization that, nah, I want to live my life to prove everybody in my life right who believes in me.

And then right when I was starting to enter into that mindset, my therapist was like, nah, you shouldn't prove everybody wrong, nor should you prove everyone right. You should just do what is right. And that got me back to the foundation of like, it's not about success or failure. It's not about. Proving people wrong and proving people right, but staying on this track of, you know, wanting to do right because that's what I'm called to do.

Yeah, I love that so much. Well, I remember you telling me also that you had, like, kind of an interesting journey, too, just getting sackcloth and ashes into stores. And there was Some cool story with anthropology. Tell me about that again. Yeah, I launched the company as soon as I was like, all right, I'm going to do blankets.

I drove down to Joann's, bought a sewing machine and a roll of fabric. You did it yourself? Wow. I still get Joann's, uh, coupon codes on my phone as a reminder. So I'd go to Joann's, I'd stay and get a little ticket. Um, bought a sewing machine, roll of fabric, try to learn how to sew, realize I'm horrible at sewing.

Found a local seamstress in my community that was actually doing, you know, sewing jeans and, you know, prom dresses and stuff. Yeah. I was like, Hey, her name was Tammy. I'm like, Tammy, would you be interested in making me blankets? And so she started making me blankets and I paid her per blanket and then I take the blankets and put them in my trunk and I didn't have a website yet.

I was just like, I need to get into like 20 shops and then launch a website and then put the 20 shops on there. So it looks like I'm, You know, bigger than I'm, yeah. So super smart. I probably went to 200 shops, walked into all of 'em with a box of blankets and was like, Hey, you guys interested in buying these blankets for every blanket?

I, you know, you buy, I'm gonna donate a blanket to your local shelter. And it was just like, you know, nine out of 10 nos, you know, they're like, who are you walking in these shop? Walking in my shop with a box of blankets. Yeah. Um, but I got into like Tony Shops. And then one of the shops I walked into naively was Anthropologie in Portland.

I came in with a box of blankets and I was like, hey, you guys want to buy some blankets? And they're like, it doesn't really work like this. So I was like, well, here's my card. You know, if you change your mind, this is what we do. Yeah. And my card had made it to the manager. And the executive anthro team happened to come through that week.

Wow. So somehow my card got in the mix. And I got an email, I launched Sackcloth June 1st of 2020, uh, 2014, and in July, one month later, I got an email from Anthro's corporate team and they're like, we're interested in 8, 000 blankets. What? And so, I went from like, getting into 20 shops, launching Sackcloth at Ashes.

org because I couldn't afford the dot com. It was like two grand. And then, Anthro hit me up and they're like, we want 8, 000 blankets. So I'm like, oh my god. So I hit Tami up. I'm like, Tami, how many blankets do we got? She's like, 80. So I'm like, Tami, you're gonna have to start making some. How fast can you make blankets?

So we were only able to fulfill like 800 of the 8, 000. Because that's what we were working with. Yeah. And I was getting my fabric. The reason why they like their blankets was I started, I went from Joann's to ordering fabric from fashionfabrics. com. It was like this like, Wholesale fabric website. And I was just getting fabric sent to my house.

But it was this beautiful tweed wool. And it was like, once they were out, they were out. It was like specifically created for like some sort of shoot. Or fashion line or whatever. And And I got the, I bought all of the rest of it. And I had Tammy make blankets out of it. And Anthro was like, these are, we've literally never seen blankets like this.

It's incredible. And that's what they ended up buying. So I was only able to make like 800 of them. But we got on Anthro's website and in their stores, some select stores, and that was a huge credibility booster. So that was our first big break. The second big break was I spoke at a conference, like a little tiny boutique conference in Portland in November of 2014.

And, gave him my little spiel, walked in the back, I had a little booth set up, we're selling blankets, and this guy comes, and I'm like, yes, someone's gonna buy a blanket. And he goes, hey, I just want to introduce myself, my name's Jeffrey Giersing, I'm the head of All North America for Instagram. And I'm like, I was like, I don't even care, like, I was like, are you gonna buy a blanket, like, you know, and so he ends up buying a blanket.

like, And I don't even hear, like I was like, I don't, I was just so stoked that somebody was buying a blanket. I was just like completely, and then he emails me like shortly after that and he's like, Hey, your blanket's on the back of my couch. I think that I can pitch my team to feature you on Instagram's Instagram.

And I'm like, I don't even know what that one means. Yeah. But I looked it up and Instagram has an Instagram account and they had 42 million followers. Yeah. So I was like, okay, and he's like fill this form out. I fill it out and then like Had it been like a couple days later. He's like it got approved.

We're doing it. We're featuring you on Instagram's Instagram I'm like, how long do I have to prepare for this? And he's like, we're posting about you tomorrow. And it was the day before Black Friday. Oh, perfect. So I hit Tammy up, Tammy, I'm about to get featured on Instagram. And she's like, Insta what? You know.

Oh no. Nevermind Tammy, just make as many blankets as you can. Yeah. So, Instagram featured us, and our story went out to the world. And I got hit up by like, I mean it was endless. Like I was refreshing my phones like, 100 And I did that like, for days. And then messages from around the world, some of them negative, some of them positive, but it was just like instant Massive publicity.

Yeah, and at the time there wasn't like influencers There was just content like photographers that had a hundred thousand followers because Instagram was featuring some of them But I had this open door to work with all of them Yeah so I started sending blankets to all of these photographers and they started taking photos of our blankets all around the world in The most beautiful spaces and that's how we really started scaling.

So for the first four years of the company, I invested all my energy and time into content creation and influencer marketing and got to work with everybody. And at the time there was no like influencer rate or anything like that. Like we were creating it on the fly and I was trying to stay fair because I had eight whiteboards, uh, In this little Sunday school for church, I was running the company out of.

And there was this list of all these influencers and content creators and the dates that they were going to post. And, and so if a content creator reached out to me and I was like, Hey, well, I'd love to shoot your blanket and post about it. And they were like, it's 2, 000. I'm like, ah, it's closer to a thousand because I'm working with all of you.

Or if they were like, it's 500. I'm like, Actually, it's closer to a thousand. So I was trying to stay fair to like whatever the rate was of what we were kind of creating in the early stages of influencer marketing. And so we grew 100 percent year over year as a brand in the first four years, 90 percent of our sales were through Instagram.

Wow, that's really cool. Yeah, so that's how the brand got built up to 2018, 2014 to 2018. We got in Anthro featured by Instagram, and then just rode the wave of of the growth of Instagram and all the photographers and influencers that were on the platform, and I got to work with a lot of them. That's so cool.

Wow. I mean, what an incredible story. And then you mentioned a second ago that the second big break happened when you were speaking, and that's something that you've really been passionate about and shared a lot about, and you talked about homelessness a second ago. So when you speak, what are the messages that you like to share with people?

Like, what do you feel like is What is the most important thing that you share when you get up in front of a crowd? Yeah. The number one thing, the number one message that I will spend the rest of my career slash life promoting is advocating for localism, which is people making a difference in their community and people and organizations making a difference in their community and really showcasing that.

If we have a shot at changing any societal issue, it has to be done on a local level. Yeah. And I discovered that because I started doing blanket drops around the United States, where I'd go to shelters and programs to pass out blankets in person, but I'd get a front row seat at all of the best work and solutions that are being created to help the homeless problem.

Yeah. And as I was doing that, I got to see all of these people that have been showing up week after week, month after month in their communities. creating a difference. And that won me over. Like I was like, we have so many strategies that we're trying to fix these huge problems, but it's these people that are showing up in their community and creating an opportunity for other people in their city to come and join them in creating a solution that's working for that community.

And so you can't just create a solution and act like it's going to work for every community. Right. It's going to take a real true look at what is this community's needs, what are they going through, and what type of solution will work for them. Right. And so after seeing all this, the two biggest things that came out of traveling the U.

S., going to over 30 cities, Was, if we're going to make an impact, a true impact, where we're going to see the needle move is, it's got to be done on a local level and it's got to be done in finding and supporting solutions. Find what's working and support it. And that's become my life's work, is wanting to be a voice that is inspiring and helping empower people to make a local impact.

And finding what's going on in their community solution wise, and joining, and supporting. That's really cool. Yeah, what do you feel like the communities that are having success, what are they doing, what are they doing well, what are they doing that you're like, Oh, that's smart, and that works as far as like, their efforts are maximized, or they're good at like, bringing people in or whatever, I don't know, whatever they're doing that you observe that you're like, more people should do this.

Yeah, one of my favorite examples is right in my community, in Oceanside, California. That's where I live now, and During COVID, when all my travel stopped, I was like, alright, I'm going to get plugged in somewhere here. And found this amazing organization called Humanity Showers. And it's ran by Jordan Verdeen, who's become one of my best friends.

And he's one of the best solutionists I've ever met in the United States. And he started off with Going around and taking portraits of people on the street and telling their story. And that evolved into asking them the question, What do you need? What do you want? And he said almost every time, he said, I want to be seen, and I want to be clean.

And so he created, he started with wipeys, and then he went to like, buckets of water, and then that evolved into a shower trailer. And now he has six shower trailers operating around San Diego. and they're going to the same places every week. So the homeless know where to come. And it's a hundred percent volunteer run and primarily run by the homeless.

And off of like a 2, 500 a month budget, but he's servicing over 2, 000 people a month. Wow. So that's my favorite case study. Yeah. Because you have nonprofits that are raising millions of dollars and they're strategy might not be that effective. Right. And they're only servicing a couple hundred people off of millions of dollars of budget and or government funding.

And then you've got Humanity Showers, which is mobilizing. It's, it's mobile and it's consistently in the same place where they're creating community. And so if you go to Humanity Showers, I'm going tomorrow morning. Um, you show up and it's this beautiful spirit. like the spirit of the community.

Everyone's happy, connecting, there's clothes, there's barbers, there's showers, there's music, and it's just this beautiful atmosphere that they've done such a good job at creating where people know they can show up, get what they need, connect with people, feel loved, and out of that community Jordan's been able to help a lot of them transition off the streets because it's been done out of community.

It's not about the showers, it's about the consistency of showing up and being a part of a community that's really making people feel seen and feel loved. And so, that's one of my favorite examples of what I've seen is working. Yeah. Um, and that's just really like, a dignifying approach. Yeah. I love that.

It's really cool, too, that they're telling people stories, because going back to what you said earlier about before your mom was in that situation of being homeless, it's You know, you had these kind of preconceived notions or judgments and I think that a lot of us do a lot of that is taught, you know, a lot of we, a lot of what we experience when we're kids or as we're growing up or, or in school or even, you know, I just remember, um, Being taught that like, okay, if someone is panhandling, it's not helpful to just give them money.

It's, you know, there's all these other ways that we can help people that are more effective because they're going to just, you know, most likely use that money for drugs. And so I think that there's a lot of, I think that the education piece is missing and not like humanity that you said. So, I don't know, for someone who's listening to this, it's like, yeah, I don't have any like personal experience with family members or people that I love who have gone through homelessness.

Like, what would you say to them or how do you teach people about being more compassionate and understanding for people in that situation? Yeah, that's a good question. Um, It's interesting, Princeton did a study that when we drive by people on the street, we don't recognize people as people, we see them as objects.

And making a simple change of being able to look at somebody in the eyes and acknowledge them is a really big first step. You don't have to give something to someone to help bring a little bit of dignity and respect to them as a human being. Um, but as far as like what to do or how to see. It really is a deeper question because it's rooted in, in how we're wired and who we are.

And so I always say answer two questions to help identify what your purpose is. Cause you, not everyone is called to help the person on the sidewalk. Not everyone is called to help, you know, go to homeless shelters or whatever. But, answer two questions. One, what brings you joy? That's the craft you love to do, the thing that wakes you up in the morning.

And the second question is, what injustice do you hate? And that's the question that causes you to lose sleep at night. It's the thing that may have been done to you or that you've observed in society. But when you can do what brings you joy to bring relief to the injustice that you hate, that's when you've found your purpose.

And so, a lot of people spend their whole lives for figuring out and doing what brings them joy, building their careers, being creative. You know, whatever that might be, but if you don't ever get to a place in your life where you're using what you love to do To bring some aspect of relief to the injustice that you hate.

You're always going to feel like there's something a little bit missing And I think that we're all on that journey of figuring that out. So You know if you feel called to give something to someone on the street, I don't think that that's wrong There's a jewish parable uh, that's like If There's ten people that are in need, um, but nine of them are, are lying about it.

Do we withhold giving to the ten in case that, um, one is lying? Or do we give in case one is not lying? And, um, and so I've always kind of tried to live by that principle. It's like, you can have ten people that are begging for something, but Um, and do we just withhold that because we think that they might be a fraud?

Or do we give to all as much as we can and we're called to in case that one is not a fraud? And, um, and I feel like that's a good principle to live by, but I think that from the deeper and the bigger question isn't just a matter of, you know, obviously we should acknowledge people in the street, recognize their humanity.

give when we feel called to give but the deeper question is how are we contributing to something that we feel like is a true injustice that we're passionate about helping and everyone's on their own journey of figuring that out. That's a really cool question and something I'm definitely going to be pondering so thanks for thanks for sharing that.

I'm curious now with the success that your business has had and where you guys are at now. How you work with God in, you know, I don't know, you have, you know, bigger success, but probably bigger challenges too. So, how does, how is that relationship now working in, you know, I mean, how many employees do you have?

How big is this, this thing that you've built? Yeah, it's, I live in the biggest paradox. Because on one hand, there's so much good happening. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Um, both impact wise and just publicity and notoriety and affirmation and, you know, just tons of opportunity. Yeah. And then on the other hand, it's just a constant battle, constant struggle, constant problems arising, um, that need fixed, constant things that we, I have to figure out how to solve.

Um, and I live in the biggest paradox where I am back and forth all day long. Yeah. Fixing problems and living into the joy of getting the opportunities that I get. Yeah. Um, and so it keeps me in a really humble place. Like I, I've been feeling that paradox more than I've ever have, uh, lately and I, yesterday I prayed over my meal for the first time in years and I went like after I finally shut my laptop after like eight hours of meetings, I went to a little.

chicken sandwich spot close by, sat down, got, I had a diet coke and a chicken sandwich, and just thanked God. Like, I was just like, thank you God for this meal. Like, it was just the first time that I just truly felt gratitude over, like, this meal. And it revealed to me, it was just a weird moment because I was just like, wow, I haven't prayed over a meal in years, but it showed me this, like, really humble spot that I'm in right now of How much responsibility and pressure that I live with every day and that God in that moment has me exactly where he wants me is just to find gratitude in the smallest things of not taking things for granted and and really being a place of reliance of Whatever he wants You know, a lot of people always say like your business is your baby or whatever and I truly don't feel that.

I, if sackcloth went away tomorrow, I know what my purpose is. I know what my message is. My identity is not in my business. And sackcloth is just a vehicle right now that I get to be a part of and be a part of leading. But as soon as I'm called away from that or it no longer exists. I know exactly who I am and, apart from that.

And so, staying grounded, tracing all the way back to my beginning of my story, you know, staying grounded in who I am, despite success and failure, and living in a place of trying to be just grateful for what I have and the small things. Yeah, just in a really humble spot. Yeah. Yeah, I think that a lot of people don't realize until they get into entrepreneurship or into a leadership role that leadership is lonely.

And that there's so much that you carry, just like you're talking about this paradox, you know, there's so many things that you don't anticipate until you're there. And then you see like, oh wow, bigger, you know, bigger success, also bigger problems. Yeah. Always things to, always fires to put out. The other day, one of my friends that has been in, um, HR for years, like, she was in, she did HR for Meta, for Facebook and Instagram, and has gone on to be, like, C level at other companies that have gone public, like, she's very under, she, well, she's well known and understands, um, the HR world, but she was telling me more.

Okay, Corinne, in entrepreneurship, you're always either in the ER, in the ICU, or you're on life support. So you got to just like be grateful for the days that you're not on life support because if you only have to go to the ER today, then it's a good day. And it's, it's kind of true in like owning a business and, um, But my, my question is what do you tell people, um, As they're like, you know kind of ramping up I'm sure there are people that are listening to this who are kind of in that like middle mode where maybe they've gotten something going and and it could be a business or it could be like a church organization like you're talking about or it could be um, you know a community effort or just something that they like believe in and they're kind of in that like middle phase where it's it's getting going but they've got doubts and like How would you counsel someone that's trying to like get something to actually happen?

Yeah You I feel like my answer's been the same for the whole time I've been doing this. Anytime I've done an interview and been asked that is stay true to yourself. Like, I can't say it enough that the magic of what I've been able to experience and all of the wild story of the ups and downs and why I'm still in the game.

Even though I've wanted to throw in the towel so many times is my story of trying to fight to stay true to myself and what I feel like God has for me. Yeah. And that's it. Like, I'm not doing this for other people. I'm not doing this for money. I'm not doing this for whatever other reason. Like, I'm doing this to truly fight to stay true to what the mission God has for me.

And, and it's a hard route. It's a hard route and I think anything great that we set out to do or anything that we feel like is our purpose or something that we're called to do, it's going to be difficult. Yeah. And none of us are exempt from difficult circumstances. None of us are exempt from experiencing really, um, um, hard obstacles and challenges and problems.

That is going to come 100 percent of the time, you know, in your story if you fight to stay true to yourself. Yeah. But I would take that route all day over becoming a version of myself that I'm not. Or selling out for something that I don't believe in. Yeah. Um, it's not worth it. It's not worth it. And you know, yeah, both routes are difficult.

Yeah. Yeah. But I would rather choose the difficult route of fighting to stay true to myself. Yeah. And that's really, that's proven well for me, too. A lot of times when we've done things that don't make sense, but it just feels like that's what God wants us to do. It ends up working out so much better than, you know, what I could have envisioned or what I would have picked for myself if it was like, okay, pick whatever you want, you know.

It always ends up better when I just try to, like you said in the beginning, too, you were, you Realize that it wasn't success or failure. It was how close am I to The path that God is paving for me. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, that's been our Totally our course, too So, okay last question if there's one message that you want the person that's listening to this to remember What do you want that one message to be?

well, usually I say stay true to yourself or Find something in your community to get involved with um But,

Let me just search my, search my soul real quick. First thing that comes to mind is, Stop blaming other people from keeping you to do what you're supposed to do. And I feel like both on a societal level, we're blaming the government, We're blaming businesses, we're blaming the other political party, we're blaming everybody and we're not taking responsibility for what we're supposed to do.

That's a societal level. On an individual level, we have to stop blaming other people and coming up with excuses for not doing what we feel like we're supposed to do. And um, I would say if you have any blame in your heart, it's time to let it go. And it's time to start stepping into what you're supposed to do.

And um, and I think that's going to set you free. So good. Thank you so much, Bob. Thanks for all of the incredible stories you shared today and all of your wisdom and the joy that you brought to this interview. Where can people find you? Where can they find Sackcloth and Ashes and get involved and, you know, all the good things that you guys have going on?

Yeah. So our website is Sackcloth. com. And then, um, if, uh, you want to kind of stay connected to what I'm doing, you can search me on LinkedIn. Just search Bob Dalton. I post all my updates on LinkedIn and have that kind of as my main platform. Um, but yeah, thank you so much for having me on and for the conversation and letting me share my story.

Yeah. Thank you.

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