The Dead Pixels Society podcast

Igniting Transformation: A Journey With Leading FireWalk Instructor, Dave Albin

November 16, 2023 Dave Albin Season 4 Episode 141
The Dead Pixels Society podcast
Igniting Transformation: A Journey With Leading FireWalk Instructor, Dave Albin
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What if you could ignite the fire of transformation within your team and yourself? In our latest episode, Gary Pageau of the Dead Pixels Society is joined by Dave Albin, America's leading FireWalk instructor, who’s spent his career doing just that. Albin recounts his journey from sobriety to self-discovery, sharing fascinating insights from his experiences in the security and limousine industry, and his pivotal experience at a Tony Robbins seminar that led him to the path of FireWalking.

In this conversation, Albin shares how he became the captain of Tony Robbins' FireWalk team, and how his military background and security experience opened doors to subcontracting opportunities for Tony Robbins. He uncovers the transformative impact of FireWalking at corporate events, such as those at Google, and the power of reflexology as a means to understand our bodies better. Albin's story is a testament to the transformative potential of personal development and the impact it can have on both individuals and teams.

Finally, we delve into how transformative experiences like FireWalking can be a valuable tool for entrepreneurs looking to invest in their teams. Albin shares innovative strategies beyond FireWalking, such as rebar bending, the arrow break, and board breaking, demonstrating how these experiences can foster stronger relationships and teams. We also discuss how reflexology and other therapies can be employed to further understand our bodies and enhance team dynamics. Don't miss this episode packed with valuable insights and strategies to ignite personal and team transformation.

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Hosted and produced by Gary Pageau
Edited by Olivia Pageau
Announcer: Erin Manning

Erin Manning:

Welcome to the Dead Pixels Society podcast, the photo imaging industry's leading news source. Here's your host, Gary Pageau. The Dead Pixels Society podcast is brought to you by MediaClip, Advertek Printing and IP Labs.

Gary Pageau:

Hello again and welcome to the Dead Pixel Society podcast. I'm your host, Gary Pageau, and today we're joined by Dave Albin of FireWalk Adventures. Dave is the number one FireWalk instructor in America and he's going to talk to us about team building and culture and all those kind of things, and he's coming to us from Ash County, North Carolina. Hi, Dave, how are you today?

Dave Albin:

Hey Gary, Thanks for having me man, it's a pleasure to be here.

Gary Pageau:

So I mentioned the first thing people are listeners, are going to say when they get to. This is what is a FireWalk, and how on earth did Dave Albin get involved in FireWalking?

Dave Albin:

Well, yeah, it's. You know. The bug's bunny answer is I took that left-hand turn at Albuquerque, right, you know, got into the. You know, years ago, June of 88, I was a really messed up young man, grossly addicted to heroin, cocaine, alcohol, cigarettes. It's pretty messed up. And I woke up one morning and I said that's it, I'm done, I'm not doing this anymore. And I was married to a woman, had three kids. I was her stepdad and I was living in the basement. They were living upstairs and I said I'm going to end my life. I can't take this anymore. I'm in so much physical and emotional pain. And so I loaded the pistol, stuck it in my mouth and as I'm ready to pull that trigger, it dawns on me that the three kids that I've you know I'm their stepdad. When I pull that trigger, yeah, my troubles are over and theirs just begins. And I'm like you're going to ruin their life. Man, you can't do that. Just stop. Figure out another way. Come up with something, man. Just suicide is a is a permitted answer to a temporary problem. And so all this stuff that's going off in my head. And long story short, gary, I called alcoholics anonymous. They came and picked me up and I've been sober every since. So this June this last June right I celebrated 35 years. Well, here's what happened. Congratulations, oh, thank you, I appreciate that I really do. It means a lot. And so, when I was getting sober, the personal development industry showed up in my life at the same time in 1988, and I had insomnia, right, so my sleep patterns were all over the place.

Gary Pageau:

And so what was your career then? What were you doing? What was your day to day?

Dave Albin:

I had. I was in the security industry, so I was installing and selling alarm systems, residential and commercial. And I also, prior to that, I was in the limousine industry. I was selling limousines. I was working for a company at a Springfield Missouri called Executive Coach Builders and they built beautiful limousines and I was working for them selling limousines to the marketplace.

Gary Pageau:

Personal development was coming into play, and it was getting to be big yeah.

Dave Albin:

Personal development was coming at me. I'm up late one night, three o'clock in the morning. There he is, you know, a young Tony Robbins on the airways, gunthy Ranker, promoting his program called personal power, a 30 day program for total success. Right, and if you can't, I couldn't stand it. I thought he was a, it was just obnoxious. Right now motivated you know and I'm not motivated man, I'm hurt Right.

Gary Pageau:

So I would have great teeth and all the hair and all the hair and the teeth.

Dave Albin:

He's six, seven, he's bigger than live. Yeah, yeah, yeah, but he's obnoxious as hell. Right, I want nothing to do with the guy, but he said two things that got me One. He said we'll do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. And I went you've got to be kidding me. You nailed me, tony, because that's why I was drinking and drugging and I was either, you know, trying to get rid of the pain or I was chasing pleasure. Well, the other thing that got me said that the way we make decisions, the guiding force in our life, is we make them out of inspiration or desperation. And I'm like, well, I'm pretty desperate, maybe I should listen to this guy. And I did so. I bought his program, they sent it to me, came in a big box, you plugged in and it came on, these little white things called cassette tapes. Some of your audience will probably have to look those up. They're in the Smithsonian, they're right next to eight track tapes and reel to reel. And so, yeah, man, I plugged them in, I went through the program and it worked. I started working out, I started losing weight, I started my own business, I started a chauffeur school, right, because I was doing the limousines, I was moving into the alarm and security industry at the same time and, yeah, my life changed. I was in a horrible marriage, so I had to plan the exit strategy on that, and one thing led to another. And then, seven years later, right, this all happening in 88, 89, when I'm getting sober. In 95, I found out Tony was coming to town and so I bought a ticket and I found out later we were going to be doing a fire walk and my answer was a hard hell. No on that. I want to go, I want to see Tony, I want to listen to what he's got, but I'm not going to be doing this fire walk thing, that's for sure. Well, when you get there, you know, yeah, good luck with that. You know there's 3,500 people. Tony took to stage at two o'clock in the afternoon. Next thing, I know it's after midnight. Crying out loud, I've been in a room for 10 hours with this guy. And the next thing, you know, Tony says take your shoes off. I'm like, oh no, I'm falling for that. And so I got out there and you know the ambiance of all this is insane. Everybody takes your shoes off. You start walking out into this big parking lot. He's got everybody chanting and clapping right, so everybody's clapping yes, yes, yes and I'm going. No, I ain't doing this.

Gary Pageau:

Now, now, now, now, now, now was that mentally where you did that internally. But I actually know he's got up.

Dave Albin:

He's got everybody physically clapping and chanting yeah.

Gary Pageau:

But, but your brain is saying no.

Dave Albin:

Oh yeah, I'm saying no because I'm not going to do this firewalk thing. And you know what's funny, Gary, I didn't even know what a firewalk was. I don't represent that.

Gary Pageau:

For those who don't, can you just kind of describe? With the objective of the firewalk the objective is. I think everybody knows have they kind of seen it on TV? Yeah, right. They've all watched the Office. I think they do a firewalk episode, but you know it's got an objective to it, it's not just walking over hot things.

Dave Albin:

Well, it's a thousand year old ritual. It's been around a thousand years. Yeah, here in the West we don't know much about it, but if you're in India, you do. If you're in the, if you're Fahishan or you're a Polynesian or Hawaiian or a Portuguese or Spaniards, or into Europeans or Native American Indians, you know what bar walking is right, yeah. So basically, what you do is you build a fire, you let it render, it burns all day, you have these beautiful blue coals that it renders, and then you lay out a lane of sod, of grass about three feet long, three feet wide, maybe 15 to 18 feet wide, take a flathead shovel and you shovel those coals onto that grass, sprinkle them on there, and that's what you walk on and that's what Robbins has been doing for over three decades, and so that's where I'm at, you know. So that's what they did. They had this big fire and they had wheelbarrows full of coals and they pulled them in between these lanes of sod and grass and they sprinkled those coals on that grass and people started walking on them. And again, when you get out there, when you go to Tony Robbins' seminar or Firewalk, there's nothing like it. It is insane. It is a dog and pony. Show my friend, because you've got people clapping and chanting. There's African drummers, so it's, you know, dun dun, dun, dun, dun dun. And then, once people start walking right, they're screaming, aiming with exhilaration, they're celebrating like crazy. Right. And once you do it, which I did I got some help from one of Tony's people. He got me across the fire. And once I got to the celebration end, it was one of the most transformational moments of my life by far. Nothing like it on earth. And we were doing it collectively, 3,500 people doing this right, right. So you know, our self-confidence, our self-belief and our self-worth all got raised at the same time. And in fact, in that moment, as soon as you finish the Firewalk, you're like what else can I do? I just walked on coals that were a thousand degrees and I did it without burning myself. Right? What does that mean? What other lies have I told myself, right. So that's where the shift came, you know, and how we deal with fear, you know, business owners, we all know this. At some point you've got to take the first step. Well, with Firewalking, here's what I can tell you. You take the first step, oh well, you'll take the second, third, fourth and fifth. I promise you you will not stop in the middle of that fire lane. That ain't going to happen. So the bottom line was, you know, it was like where's the bus man? Let's go to Everest. Let's go climb that mountain Right, and that's what it does. And now Tony's got a 40 event going on here. That's day one. He does the Firewalk the night of day one. And where it got interesting for me was day two, as we all came in, we were standing in the four year that morning getting ready to go into the venue. To this day I've never seen anything like it. That Firewalk last night, you know, the night before, as I said before, it's like okay, did we drink the Kool-Aid? Yeah, we sure did, Because the next morning I've never seen people get along like this. They're laughing, they're crying, they're hugging, they're talking. They're talking about the Firewalk, they're talking about the fears of the light. It was beautiful, just a beautiful thing to watch and be part of, and so I fell in love with it. I found out later Tony uses a lot of volunteers for these big Firelocks and I called Robbin's research. I filled out an application, I sent it in, I got approved and the next thing I know I'm in a Tony Robbins seminar now as a volunteer crew member. From there I became a subcontractor. I had a military background, security background, so I started helping take care of Tony's celebrities and then from there I was living on a farm and by then, you know, I knew how to use a log splitter and a hatchet and tools. So they put me on the fire building team and I learned all that. And that was all going on in 95, 96 and 97. 2003,. Tony offers me the captain's position and what that meant was I would be in charge of all of Tony's Firewalks globally. He also paid for my family to travel with me, so my six year old daughter, my nine year old son and my wife at the time were on the road with Tony Robbins and again that happened in 2003. 2005, we set a world record. We went to London, we went to the Doc Lens, to the Excel Center, and we firewalked 12,300 people. Now I see it's a world record, but I want to disclose something. Dennis Book of World Records was not there. However, there's never been a firewalk anywhere in the world. 1,300 people, I'm just saying and right, and the only thing that's ever come close to that's another Tony Robbins seminar with 11,000 or 10,000. Right, so that went down in 2005. And then, in 2014, I'm driving down the road, my phone rings and it's a company called Google. That's G o o, g L e. Some people have heard of them, right? Yeah, you know some haven't. So anyway, they call me and they're like hey, are you the Dave Albin does the firewalks for Tony Robbins? Yes, what can I do for you? Well, if you're not under any contrarial obligation or non-compete, we'd like to talk to you about hiring. Okay, well, homeboys are free agent. What you got? Well, we got 148 executives. On such and such a date, they're going to graduate. We want to feed them lunch, we want a motivational talk, and then we want a life changing experience. Hmm, interesting, google wants a life changing experience. Why? Because they know. They know what doesn't challenge you doesn't change you. These guys are going to graduate. These 148 executives were in a really intense nine month curriculum, so they want to cap it with a life changing experience to anchor it in, and so, as we talked, I said well, if you want to do this during the day, I can't do it, because I don't do fire walks during the day. I need to be able to see the color of the coals. Can't do it, only do it at night. What we could do, though, if you want to do it during the day, is we could do a glass walk. They're like what A glass walk. You mean walk on broken glass, that's right. And they're like, ooh, tell us about that. So we did and in 2014 went to, went to Mountain View.

Gary Pageau:

Somehow coals seem better than glass. I know, why? I think that it just seems like that's better.

Dave Albin:

It's funny because all my fire walking friends are like I ain't walking on no glass, kiss my ass, I ain't doing that. I'll walk on fire all day long, but I ain't going nowhere near that glass. You know, we've all cut ourselves as a kid, right, or or we broke something in the kitchen and our moms are going get out of the kitchen. It's glass, you know. So we've got some. We've got some associations to that, so, anyway, so we did it. We did. I ended up doing two glass walks for Google. And the next thing I know, gary, I'm at NASA and then I'm at Notre Dame, virginia Tech, remax, chick-fil-a, the EO organization, the entrepreneurs organization, the YMCA, heineken, and it just, it just grew organically, and so that again, that all started in 2014. I retired from Tony's organization 2014 after close to 20 years with them, and Firewalk Productions was born in 2014. And no pun intended, well, maybe a little. We've been going hot and heavy ever since.

Gary Pageau:

There you go Hot and heavy ever since. So you know, you've seen a lot of companies and you've seen a lot of, you know corporate styles, and all that with all your various clients. Why do they feel the need for a transformative experience among their staff? What are, what are they? What are they trying to fix?

Dave Albin:

in most cases, In most cases, they're trying to fix dissension. So you typically have three types of clients. You call me one. There's been a total meltdown on the company and if they don't fix it, they're in big trouble. And any CEO where the company is being traded on Wall Street, all the shareholders are looking at him or her and say you better fix it. Productions dropping. I don't, and you know, the bottom line is we just got shredded in March of 2020. Right, so everybody's arguing about mask and they're arguing about vaccines and they're arguing about the political landscape. Well, I got news for you Business doesn't give a rat's ass about any of that. Here's what business wants. It wants people who are good at what they do to get along and perform on the field as a unit, and that they don't do that. Right, you know, if you did a fire walk for a professional football team, right, nobody'd say a word about it, right, because, oh, they have to keep it motivated, they have to keep them inspired. Okay, then what's the difference between the football team or the soccer team or the baseball team and your company? It's a team of people moving together as a unit, and they're either productive or they're not. And so that's one client that calls me that you know there's a breakdown in that in the in their personnel. The other time they call me as things are mediocre, things aren't really bad, but they're not really good either. The other times people call me and I love this is when they're kicking ass, right, right, they're out there, they're running on all eight cylinders and yet they want to take it to the next level, right? So that's a beautiful environment to go into, and sometimes they're launching a new product or things like this. So it just depends on the circumstances and what's going on with the client at the time.

Gary Pageau:

You know, people tend to come together for these team building events. There's all kinds of them in a corporate environment where you know they do a. You maybe do a fire walk, maybe you do an offsite golf outing or whatever. With how do you, how does a company maintain that momentum? Right, because once the experience is over we're human beings we tend to revert back to our prior behaviors. Is there something special about a fire walk that lasts longer or is better than some of those other ones?

Dave Albin:

Well, there is. It's the way I do it, and what I mean by that is I create an experience that's going to cause lasting change. And here's how I do it. I incorporate the board break with the fire walk experience. So right. So if you go every, all of martial arts people listening to this right now know exactly what a board break is, because to get their upper belt, they had to go break a board with their hand or their foot or their knee or their elbow, whatever. And so what I did is I took the board break and I brought it into the fire walk. And here's what I did. Number one I have them write something on front of the board they want to move towards. Number two I have them write something on the back of the board they need to move away from, and then I invite them to write anybody's name on the board that they're in conflict with Right. So, if forgiveness or reconciliation as part of that relationship at instant night, stop carrying that around with you. That's insane, it's going to stop tonight Then to create the right of passage and this is why I want to. I do a lot of, I want, you know, moving in the direction or doing a lot of work with veterans and first responders because of the suicide rate. I have them write anybody's name on the board that they've lost. So if they lost somebody over in Iraq or Afghanistan or whatever, then I invite that their energy to the experience tonight. So they write that person down. And there can be more than one, there can be 10, there's no limit on it, right. And so then we take them outside the fires, going on. We have board break stations. They break the board, we walk them in a circle, then they fire walk and then they throw the board in the fire. And then, to put the icing on the cake, I do heart calibration. What I mean by that is I have a hug that I put them in and I have a breathing exercise and what that does is it gets all the participants heart to calibrate. They all start beating at the same time. So when you've got the board, break, the fire walk and what I call the whole opponent, opponent, hard hug, now you've taken this group of people and you've literally transformed them. And that that creates lasting change. And so that way you know, like you said, a golf outing, give me a break, that's not going to change anybody's life, it's not. All they're going to do is get pissed off at Charlie, because Charlie wins the damn thing every time because he's got a handicap right. Right, so yeah, because here's the bottom line and here's what Navy SEALs know what doesn't challenge you, does not change you and ain't going to happen. Navy SEALs don't become Navy SEALs by sitting in a classroom. I know it's part of it, but they become Navy SEALs when they take them off the coast of San Irofri and put them in the water at three o'clock in the morning, knowing that there's nine different killer sharks that they have to deal with when they're swimming in. That's what creates change, right? So yeah? So I just. I just took the fire walk, which is a thousand year old. Experience added some more things to it. We knock it out of the park.

Gary Pageau:

Have you ever had to turn down a client or a corporation or an organization because it's like, yes, you're not ready for this. You really you're, you just want an activity. You don't want to change? I mean because the reason I asked the question, because I can see where you know you would. You would have an organization, they've got an HR department, they've got an employee committee or something, and they say, oh, we need something for our annual thing. Yes, and you know, they're just looking for an activity or something, a team building exercise, right, a trust fall or some stuff. And what I think your offering is something a little deeper than that and it may be actually, you know, an organization. Some organizations may not be ready, ready for it. I'm thinking of several, like I know in our industry, who are you know, who are just, you know, they're the kind of do performative things from a management style, but they're really not looking for the commitment, that level that you are.

Dave Albin:

Well, the thing is is that you know they come to me and if we come back five years later and say, hey, remember, you went to that event that time. What did you remember? The fire walk, the board break, the hard hug, they're going to remember it. They won't remember me, they won't probably even remember what I said, but they're never going to forget how I made them feel. Not going to happen. So if you want to scavenge your hunt, go scavenge your honey. Right, I'm not in your league. Right? There's a reason Google called me. They knew what they wanted to create. You know, in fact, you know. It's funny, gary. Google's the one who came to me and said hey, listen, we're not trying to tell you what to do here. One of these Google executives literally reached out to me at lunch and said hey, you know you can do whatever you want, but there's a huge marketplace for you because you're one of the only guys out of here that's creating the paradigm shift. Right, that's the key. It's a life changing experience. Right now, it pays right this second. When I did my fire walk and I got to the celebration end, the feeling was exhilarating, and so is 35 hundred people. So I saw and witnessed with my own eyes, and now, having done it, you know, for multiple, multiple years, now a couple of decades, I see it I've fire, walked over a half a million people with Tony Robbins and I. So I've got, I've got some, I've got some numbers here and how many burn toes have you seen? I mean you don't? Here's the interesting thing about fire walking. It's got this illusion that you're going to hurt yourself or burn yourself really bad, In fact. I'll give you an example. You can go watch it yourself. Go Google Oprah's fire walk and watch. Okay, so can you get a blister? The coals are 1000 degrees. Let's start there. Can you get a blister? You think? So what? It'll be gone the next day. You're not going to go to the hospital, right? You're not going to. You're probably not going to need any medical attention. You know, I burnt my hand on the stove the other day and that was 10 times worse than anything's ever happened to me Fire walking. I'll tell you what's dangerous. Put your kids in soccer, right. Go to the beach, walk across the sand, you know. Go walk across asphalt.

Gary Pageau:

Trying to cross a busy street.

Dave Albin:

Yeah, exactly, you know, it's funny because I went. I got called by a client one time and the corporate the CEO wanted to meet me, so they flew me out there to Arizona and I got there the next morning and I went into the board room with all the people and they wanted to do a fire walk for about 350 people. So I'm sitting there and CEO introduces me. He said hey, you know we brought in Dave Alvin. You know we want to do this fire walk for 350 bar sales and marketing people. Who here's got any questions? Well, the corporate attorney, sitting like three chairs for me, he goes. I got a question. He goes how many of our people are going to get burnt? I'm like well, that's a fair question. So let me to answer your question. You know, in a really good way, so you understand. Let me ask you a question how many of you are sitting in this room have ever taken your family to the beach, to the river, to a pool and gotten them sunburned? Anybody not ever done that. And there's, like you know, all the hands are up. I go how many of you should come back and did it a second time? Now they're laughing, right? I said Well, let me tell you something that's 100 times more dangerous than any fire walk you're ever going to do with me. So to back to your question can you get a little blister on your foot? Yes, Is it gone the next day? Yes, For the most part. Oh, it might hang around a couple of days, but from a reflexology standpoint that's another interesting point A lot of times where somebody might get a little hotspot on their foot, If you look at the reflexology and what organ that hotspot is on your foot, there might be a, there might be something there for you to pay attention to. So what is reflexology? Reflexology is on the bottoms of our feet. There are spots that are our nerve endings for every organ, pretty much every organ in our body. Okay, so you have a spot for your heart, your liver, your lungs, your kidneys, your pancreas, your gallbladder. They're all on the bottom of your feet and so, again, you can pull it up, Just go, just go Google reflexology and you can actually give you your right foot and your left foot and you can look for it. Look at it yourself.

Gary Pageau:

So that I think it goes a lot to where, like what acupuncture does, right? Yeah, a lot of it.

Dave Albin:

Absolutely Okay. Yeah, acupuncture is a little, you know, it's your whole body and it's the meridians, right, that we're dealing with from the acupuncture standpoint. So, but yeah, reflexology is pretty good stuff. So, anyway, you know, yeah, can you? You know, I've walked a half a million people. Has anybody ever been hospitalized? Nope. Have we ever been sued? Nope, of course I say that now somebody else Go ahead. You know you sign a non, you know you, you sign a non disclosure, right. Or you know a whole harmless agreement. I should say and so, but again, people don't get hurt, they just don't. But there's the illusion that you are because you're walking on caught coals, right. So, um, yeah, and, and, by the way, and to toot my own horn here, I know what I'm doing, right, I've been doing this for three decades.

Gary Pageau:

Right.

Dave Albin:

And so I know how to keep it there's. There's ways you can process the coals and use a certain kind of wood and it has to be kiln, dried and get the moisture out of it, and then you lay the coals, you pat them down with a shovel. So there's a lot I do, especially for people that are doing the firework for the first time.

Gary Pageau:

Right. Do you ever have a repeat? Have you had repeat customers?

Dave Albin:

Oh, gosh, yeah, I've got, I've got a couple clients every single year. You bet you that we are back and we are, you know, and then we kind of, you know, we kind of add to it. You know, we'll maybe do something a little different, we'll mix it up. But yeah, tribally, a lot of the cultures out there that were fire walking over the last hundred to 200 to 1000 years, they're doing it all the time, right, like the Indo Europeans. Every time they went, the warriors go, went into battle. They did a fire walk every single time, and if you didn't fire walk, you just honored your family and you weren't allowed to go to battle as a warrior. So, yeah, they, they do it all. Some cultures do it all the time.

Gary Pageau:

So let's look kind of bring this back to sort of business objectives. Sure, just maybe not fire walking specifically, but from a management standpoint, what are like the three things that a manager should be looking for as results from this transformative experience? You kind of touched on a little bit on them earlier, but can you kind of you know, kind of sum up as, like you know, I'm interested in having a transformative experience from my top performers because I'm having dissension problems, I'm having you know territory issues, I'm having you know boundary issues or whatever you know, and then I mean, obviously it's not a cure all in some ways, but it's. You know, what are they going to have to do afterwards as well?

Dave Albin:

Well, you know, it reminds me of the story of the CEO and the CFO, or having a conversation, right. And so the CFO says to the CEO hey, what happens if we invest in our people and they leave? Right. And the CEO says what if we don't? And they stay Right, exactly. So the bottom line is you're going to get what you get back If you invested, if you invested your people, I mean. Richard Branson taught us that Don't invest in your clients. Invest in your people. Invest in them, show them that you care, show them that you're interested. You create a life-changing experience for like this for your, for your culture and your people. They're never going to forget that and it's gutsy. You know what I mean. Any CEO, business owner, entrepreneur, they get it, they know investing in your people, and so it's the bottom line is you got to monitor it. I did one client one time and they came back to me like six months later and they said that their production had gone up 14% after the fire walk.

Gary Pageau:

Right.

Dave Albin:

Now, was that because of me and the fire walk? I don't know it's? We did the fire walk and a few months later their production went up 14%. But again, I don't typically monitor it on my end. But there's a lot of things you can do. You know, you start to get creative. We do more than just the fire walk, like when a client comes to me I've got the rebar bend, we've got the arrow break. That's where you put the arrow in the soft spot of your neck. You put it up against the wall, you say three, two, one, boom, you step through it, you break the arrow. That's really great for women on many levels, especially if they've ever been abused and they've been grabbed around the neck. It's a liberating experience for them because it allows them to break through the past of being choked out or, you know, being grabbed or hurt. You know we have the board break experience, which is phenomenal. We even have one where we set the board on fire and you break through that. We have obviously the glass walk experience, which is profound. And then, of course, you know, kind of our grand finale, if you will, is the is the fire walk and the board break and the hard hug.

Erin Manning:

But the hard hug can be incorporated.

Dave Albin:

It doesn't have to. You don't have to do it after the fire. In fact, I, when I teach people to do it at the events, I'm teaching them. I'm telling them look, go home and teach us to your family, get, get, do the family, do the hard hug and get all the family's heart to start beating at the same time. I think people would find any value in that. You think, yeah, you know what I mean. So I'm I'm not like hiding it, I'm, I'm doing the polar opposite of that. I'm out promoting look, do this, do that. I'm not saying go create your own fire, don't do that.

Gary Pageau:

Absolutely not. Yeah, that's a little. Don't go into the recycling bin and breaking all the glass you find in there and walk. Don't do that either. Oh dear God, yeah, don't do that.

Dave Albin:

And that's why, you know, a couple of years ago I created the Dave Albin Firewalk Academy. I just had it here last week. I had 11 people up from all over the world and they came and they spent a week with me and I teach them all this stuff. I teach them everything I do the fire walks, the glass walks, the board break, brick breaks, arrow breaks, rebar bending all of it and how to. You know how to, how to market yourself, how to run a business, how to set up an LLC. You know sales and marketing. You know one of the things that I do. If they anybody wants to go to my website, you can actually click on my link and it says affiliates. And there's two things in there that I do to get new clients and keep clients. One of them is my own personal magazine, which is really, really powerful and they're cheap. Literally, I've got my own personal magazine. It's high gloss, it's gorgeous, it's got me and a picture of my grandson on the front and then and then they write all the editorial in between all the pages. Now I write on the, I write the letter on the on the front inside cover, then on the back of the magazine, it's got my QR code, my website, my information, a really beautiful picture of somebody fire walking, and then I just say book the most powerful life changing experience in America and say 25% off, right, so then, so I've got the front cover, the back cover, the front inside cover and the back inside cover, and then there's two tearouts in the, in the middle, which has got like a recipe, but then it's got all my information on it as well, and so so to send those to my ongoing clients so that I'm in front of them on a regular basis, which is really important, right, it's four bucks a magazine delivered. So, again, if you go to my website you know it's firewalkadventurescom you go to affiliates, click on that and then there's a tab that it says reminder, media reminder Hmm, interesting, sending magazine. So you can go look at those. And if it resonates with you, you know, by all means. The other thing I do, let's say I want to get into, I want to see the CEO of some major corporation. I've studied them, I've looked at them and I go. This is a match, these guys would hire me because they're, you know, they're already doing motivational stuff, they've got inspirational speakers and so on, and I'm like this could be a really good fit. So how do I get past the gatekeeper to that? Ceo? Right, I have a video box and I know you can't see it. I mean, you know, gary, you can see it because we're on here and it just comes in a really nice package and then, when you open it up, right, it's got my logo on it. My flaming feet looks really, really cool. And then, when you open up this box, it's got this box, it's got my information on the back, the QR code, schedule, your discovery call. And then, when they open it up, as soon as they open it up, here's what happens.

Gary Pageau:

Oh, it's got the little the video screen and all that yeah.

Dave Albin:

Right, yeah, yeah.

Gary Pageau:

People try to use extras. Kind of funny people in our industry have tried to use those to create like photo albums and things.

Dave Albin:

So these these are awesome, yeah, and they work. I mean, you know you get. And here's what's interesting. Let's say I send this to the CEO and the gatekeeper, susie, you know she intercepts it Right. Well, if she opens it up and plays it, you know what she's going to do. She's going to they're so, they're so cool and so awesome. She's going to run it into the CEO for you. And I send these out. Right now. I'm getting about a 72% response rate, that's 72, 72% Direct mail marketing gets. If you can get 2%, you're lucky, right.

Gary Pageau:

Well, I mean, you're doing very targeted stuff too.

Dave Albin:

Yeah right, I'm oh, I'm cherry picking. Why would I want to waste time with anybody that's not going to, you know, benefit from my product and my service, right, right. So again, I go research and I have people that help me with that and I'm like, oh, look at this company. Oh yeah, they love you, like. Let me give you an example. I just sent one to Black Rifle Coffee Company. Well, if you've looked at any of their ads and you follow Black Rifle Coffee, these guys are whacked man in a really great way. I love them. They're funny as hell. Their ads are insane. They break all the rules, you know, and they're all combat veterans, they're Navy SEALs, they're, you know, they're airborne ranger. They've been out and seeing it and now they've created this incredible coffee company. So they want to, and I want to, work with veterans, right. So you know, it's a really match. It's a great match for me and them, because we can do I can help them do a lot of work. And then, you know, my bottom line is that I want to put veterans to our program and we called it the do no harm, right, the do no harm firewalk. So what we mean by that is that we bring them in. We're going to do the board break, we're going to do the firewalk, we're going to do the hard hug Everything I just explained. But we're going to do something quite different for them and that is they're going to take a note. So when they're at the event, I'm going to tell them about this 1000 year old ride of passage staying called a firewalk. They're going to have to raise their hand and promise to do no harm. Well, when veterans do that, they understand code and honor and discipline. So if they raise their hand and promise to do no harm, guess what I've got them. And then I went to the Zippo lighter company. Everybody knows Zippo. They make these really cool lighters, right? Well, I had a sit down, meeting with them and I said well, you guys make us a lighter for these veterans. And they said, yeah, absolutely. So I went, I went up to Bradbury, pennsylvania, went to the plant, went on the tour, sit down with the, with the design team. They're going to take a 1941 replica of a lighter they made for the military back then. They're going to powder coated in black, and then they're going to laser in the words do no harm. So now the vets are going to get, you know a lighter, they're going to get a medallion, just like you get an AA. And then the other thing again, I have to auditorily. Maybe they can hear this. Okay, you can hear that. What that is, that's a container of the coals from their firewalk. Okay, so, it has a sticker on the front that said you know I did my firewalk in 2024, do no harm, it's a physical reminder. Physical reminders. They can wear something. And then I also have a necklace that's got our flaming feet logo on it. And you know why do? Why do vets commit suicide? Because they're over there, together, as a unit, they're keeping each other alive, they're saving each other's lives and they're playing life at a really high level. And then they come back and they get fragmented. They go all over the place, right, and so what they lose is their purpose. Right, and I'm bringing the purpose back. So now the purpose is you raise your hand. You said to do no harm, but now here's what I want you to do you need to go recruit. You need to go find your fellow veterans or your fellow first responders and get them into this environment. Let's get them across the fire, let's get the board break, let's get the hard hug, let's get these things in their hands and let's create purpose. You know why do they give a veteran a dog? Because they have to. The vet has to take care of the dog, right, aka, purpose, purpose. Same thing here we're creating purpose and we'll be saving lives at the same time.

Gary Pageau:

And creating purpose is really what business overall is about. In a sense, where there's, you know, profit is a purpose, a family legacy is a purpose and all these other things are a purpose. To find out more about your purpose and fire walking in general. You plug it before but say it again where can people go for more information?

Dave Albin:

Yeah, it's real, real, simple. Just go to our website. It's firewalkadventurescom All one word Firewalkadventurescom. Everything's there Our academy, the affiliates that I talked to you about, where you can find the video boxes. You can find the magazines two really incredible companies there. I deal with them on a regular basis and then you know I'm accessible. My calendar's there, our phone number's there, so anybody wants to reach out. You want to talk smack about business? Get my calendar, get on my calendar. Just because you know we're in a different industry Doesn't mean we can't help each other as entrepreneurs, because, let's face it, we're all in this together.

Gary Pageau:

Well, thank you much, Dave. It's great to meet you. You've inspired me to. I don't know to do something. Fair enough, I'm ready to hug somebody, but I'm ready to do something that's funny.

Dave Albin:

You say that the guys hate it, the girls love it.

Gary Pageau:

All right, my friend, good to see you Take care.

Dave Albin:

Thanks, Gary, ciao.

Erin Manning:

Thank you for listening to the Dead Pixel Society podcast. Read more great stories and sign up for the newsletter at wwwthedpixelssocietycom.

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