A Lifetime of Side Hustles & Fear Busting

fear gardening music Mar 17, 2022

Dr. Fred shares his journey through multiple side hustles, built mainly on passion projects. He shares that profit follows passion, and how to listen to the guiding voice within. Learn about his love of gardening, sustainability, homesteading, and music, in this episode of the SideHustle Lounge.

Guest Information:

“Fiddlin' Fred” Mayer, PhD is a string teacher, ensemble director, instrument designer and builder, and active musical performer. On 5-string viola, an instrument he designed and manufactured, Fred has played with too many bands to mention, none of which anyone has heard of, nor cares about. The only thing that matters is that his music lifts the spirits of those within earshot.

Fred is also an organic farmer, running his own farm operation from 2006-2017 and in addition to his musical activities, has worked at numerous food and medicine producing grows. Lately he has parlayed his organic farming skills to become a garden coach; helping new homesteaders establish their gardens, green-up their thumbs, and show home gardeners how to boost their backyard yields. He maintains his personal production and 'laboratory' gardens at his home in the Ozark Mountains of NW Arkansas.

If you're interested in any of my musical, gardening coaching, or business coaching services contact me at [email protected] Websites include:





Episode Highlights:

15:28 It's just a continuous cross fertilization of picking up knowledge here and there and applying it to wherever you happen to be landing - wherever you are on the planet.

31:04 Most fear that I have discovered is one step away from freedom. And you just have to identify that step and move right into it.

33:10 Failure is definitely overrated if you can find success.

--- Full Raw Transcription Below ---

Frederick Mayer (00:00):
So fear busting is actually looking at what is your deepest, darkest fear, and realizing that there's only one component, one hurdle between fear and freedom.

Introduction (00:18):
Welcome to the SideHustle Lounge. If you're looking for flexible ways to earn income, grow your mindset, and live the lifestyle you've always dreamed of, you are in the right place. So lower the lights. Grab your favorite beverage, and join your host, founder of NotaryCoach.com and Amazon bestselling author of “Sign and Thrive: How To Make Six Figures As A Mobile Notary And Loan Signing Agent,” Bill Soroka.

Bill Soroka (00:52):
All right, cheers and welcome to my next guest today. Frederick Mayer otherwise known as Dr. Fred, just Fred, Fred, thank you so much for making the time with us today.

Frederick Mayer (01:05):
Hey, glad to be here. My dad called me, he called our family "Mayor" just to kind of get that clarified cuz when I'm out on the west coast and I get introduced as Fred Mayer people think that I own the stores. And so I actually had to change my name when I went out west, you know, a lot of people changed their name when they go out west from John to sunflower. Okay. But I, I went the other way. I went from Fred to Frederick and so I could say my name was Frederick Mayer and that delayed the Fred Meyer joke by about 30 seconds.

Bill Soroka (01:38):
Yeah. Well I'm glad I didn't go there. I totally misread your pronunciation in here too. I thought it around. Those are not your stores, but that's exactly where my head went. It was Fred Meyer Stores!

Frederick Mayer (01:48):
Yeah, they are my stores come, you know, we take all forms of you know, you know, anything cash credit card Bitcoin, you name it, you know, we'll, we'll take your money.

Bill Soroka (02:00):
I love it. I love it. Well, I love your bio too. Can tell you're a man of many passions and I'm excited to share those with our audience today to kick us off. I'd just like to know, you know what your side hustles are right now are today.

Frederick Mayer (02:18):
Okay. Yeah. My side hustles right now are have to do in basically two arenas the, the musical arena. And as far as you can expand with that and then the agricultural arena, which again is totally expansive and open ended. So actually my side hustles involve doing a thing called garden coach, where I parlayed my skills. I owned a, an organic farm, a production farm for about 11 years and I've worked on a lot of different farms. So I parlayed my, my organic gardening or organic farming skills into backyard gardening and homestead gardening where I help homesteaders and backyard gardeners green up their thumbs and boost their yields. Okay. So that's one of my arenas. So I, my garden coach thing has me actually on retainer right now with a a young group of homesteaders who also happened to be the offspring of those parents happen to be my violin students.

Frederick Mayer (03:22):
So that's where the whole thing has actually has emerged. The other side hustle has to do with anything musical that I could do, making arrangements. I play a lot of weddings. I teach - my core thing for years and years, and it was to be a public school music to teacher conducting bands, orchestra, choirs, general music theory instrument building and things like that. So basically my side hustles have have in been in those two arenas and I've found all kinds of ways to connect with people and actually be of service to help them for fill what it is that they want in their lives. And so the side hustle for me is actually part about making some, some money and, and big part about being of service to to help people out and to raise the vibe and, and help humanity and, and especialy young people and to teach. So that's, that's what's going on right now.

Bill Soroka (04:23):
Yeah. Well, I love that. And with these two particular fields, let's go back to the homesteading cuz that is, there's a huge, popular trend happening right now with homesteading. There's even a, a a, I don't know if it's on HDTV or it's on tell television where they're going in and doing these homesteading and then this crew comes in and helps them save their homestead, whenever things aren't going according to plan. And a lot of it has to do with their gardening. So what's the passion behind these homesteading and gardening.

Frederick Mayer (04:56):
Yeah. I, I, your own food. Yeah. You grow your own food. Well, over the last several decades, we have been sort of wooed and coerced into believing that everything is gonna be taken care of. And now people are realizing that maybe that's not gonna happen or it's not gonna happen in the way that that has been said. And so in the process of this wooing, we have let go of our personal responsibilities to take care of ourselves and take care of, of people and things around us. For example we always thought that if we got sick, we could always just take a pill and boom, everything would be fine. But now it's becoming clearer that we need to take more, pay more attention to ourselves and our bodies. So I think that the, that trend as you're referring to, has to do with people stepping back and saying, I'm gonna, I'm gonna grow my own food.

Frederick Mayer (06:00):
I'm gonna grow my own medicine and whatever I have is overage I'm gonna share. And maybe I got more something that somebody else does. And, and so then that whole exchange thing becomes very neighborly and helps knit folks together and help them feel connected. One of the things that when I was running my farm and I that I was such a big benefit was the feeling of total connection. I felt connected with the seasons. I connected, felt connected with the land. I had Great Pyrenees dogs who once that I literally bought the farm, I bought the farm Bill. Okay. And that, that came with dogs, chickens, barns stuff, falling down stuff, having to be, I mean, I spent so much money and so much time, but what, what I ended up with was a complete piece of mind that I feel completely in the flow of nature and completely in the flow of the forces that are supporting me and the, and I'm helping to support. And I, I think that anybody who gets even a taste of that, it's kind of like, you don't want to go back or you wanna always have some piece of that connection going on. Cause that makes us feel alive. And and it connect us back to all the sources that we need to to pay attention to.

Bill Soroka (07:22):
Yeah. That's anyway, go ahead. That's interesting. I think there's a, for many of us, especially for me, that connection to nature is something I crave and I don't even realize I'm craving it until I I reach a certain threshold and then I go for a walk in the forrest or out in, just out on a drive, even through the nature and it can reconnect. So having that level of connection with the four seasons that really spoke to me, as you said, that cuz out here in the desert, sometimes we forget there are four seasons. Yeah. But I'm really curious how you, how you even decided to buy a farm. How'd you get where'd that come from?

Frederick Mayer (08:03):
So after 27 years of public school teaching I stepped off the podium. I stepped down from that. Literally built my dreamhouse on a canal in Southwest Florida, you know, pool in the back canal in the back boat lift, you know, a little run about in the mangroves catch fish. You know, I was working every tide to my advantage. Tide go out, I'd go out in the rip and pick up shrimp anything, you know shrimp and, and, and little pieces of whatever would, would, would bait up. And then the tide would come in and I'd go fishing out in my canal and catch, you know (INAUDIBLE) had dinner for four whenever I wanted to. Okay. So I had that, but then the area around me in Southwest Florida, this was in the 2004, 05, 06 was becoming so overly developed so fast.

Frederick Mayer (09:00):
So uncontrollably and Florida is a wonderful place, but it feels unsustainable. And it's proving to be unsustainable, but nobody - not everybody's waking up to that yet. So I was sitting in, it was in my, my dreamhouse and I had a great routine where of of exercise meditation, all that stuff. And I was sitting and his thoughts came to me, says, you gotta be going to Northwest Arkansas. Excuse me. I'm going really? Yeah. So I, I came out of my little office, my little space. I said, hun, we're gonna be going Northwest Arkansas. Well, let's find out where it is. And, and so the whole journey was a component of what drives me, which I call fear busting. So fear busting is I actually looking at what is your deepest, darkest fear and realizing that there's only one component, one hurdle between fear and freedom. And so what happened was we caught a flight and went up and took, took a look in Northwest Arkansas and decided that we could probably make a go of it there. Cause I wanted to learn how to grow my own food. I wanted to be more sustainable. I wanted to be able to, I wanted be able to take better care of myself and not be in a situation where I was at, at the mercy of some factors that were under, outta my control. You

Bill Soroka (10:36):
Didn't wanna rely on the Fred Meyer grocery store for your sustainability, right?

Frederick Mayer (10:40):
No, no. Or, or any of the other grocery chains that are there for that matter. So yeah, exactly. So, so I went there and we just bought a little toehold place cuz the farm really wasn't on the market yet. And so I put my house on the, on the market in Florida and right when I did that, the housing market started to crash. And so instead of turning my house over in literally two weeks just the delay of of, of a few weeks at that time, I was nine months sitting on my property. And so I was, so I had a house that was, was in Florida and I had a house that was up in the Eureka Springs. I was like so at some point something had to give, so they both went on the market and they both sold within two weeks of each other.

Frederick Mayer (11:29):
So I was gonna be homeless with a whole bucket of money. Right. So as it turned out, the farm came on the market that time we bought that. And then I began to, to work with the land there. He began to talk to me and I also apprenticed with a very, very fine organic farmer, a French organic farmer who was in the area who sort of like the premier organic farmer of the area. And so I was his boy Friday for a year and a half. Okay. So, you know, I went there and, and worked and got my veggies and brought the beer and we all had lunch together. And, but at the same time I was working for Patrice, I had my own lab, right. I had my own property. And so I could begin to apply and adapt ever was going on there to the situation that I was in.

Frederick Mayer (12:16):
And things are always different depending on, you know, everybody's piece of ground is a little different, so you have to adapt to that. And so then I began to modify my my growing and, and techniques based on what Patrice shown me that applied better to my piece of ground. And, and over a couple years I started getting productive enough and I had chickens - a 150 laying ends. So I had table leg business, and all the chicken manure from that for composting. Plus I had these veggie patches that I evolved and then we grew some gingsing and we grew comfrey and we grew lavender(?) things that we could actually make products from at the same time that were helpful for us because we needed the products okay. For our better health. So that was how that all came about. And I had great help you know, putting the farm together since I had some cash, I could, I could pay labor to help me get things established. People who go in without the resources to do this, it's very, very difficult or, you know, they're relying on volunteers or whatever, you know the only way to, to make a million dollars is to go in at least with two, you know? So so yeah, that's kind of…

Bill Soroka (13:30):
Year, I've heard that before. So true. And then what, at what point did you to let go of the farm or did you sell it or just move on to something new? How'd that look?

Frederick Mayer (13:42):
Yeah. So I've been married for over 40 years. I'm not sure I would recommend that to everybody or anybody for that matter, but anyway, I've been married for over 40 years. It's great. And my wife is very, very sensitive to allergens and things like that. The area that we were in did have some industrial chicken farming. And so when they would, and, and the way that people in the Ozarks, I mean the ground, the Ozarks is nothing but rock and clay, basically. Okay, you gotta make your own and soil, me and the good Lord and a lot of good inputs help me to actually build soil on my farm. So the way that, that, that the, the midsize ag works, there is people who have these huge chicken houses and chicken farms also run cattle. So they take the chicken litter and they spread it on their fields to fertilize the hay.

Frederick Mayer (14:38):
And so when that happens, all, all that is in the air and everybody's coughing it, they call it chicken lung up here. Okay. And, and so it's not a good thing. And so that was not good for her. And so we said, you know, let's sell the farm and it took us a while to sell the farm. And then we moved out to Oregon where my kids were my kids and grandkids are all relocated and were out there for a few years. And so then I experienced a whole nother level of farming, you know, which is basically all about cannabis, just probably like it is in, in Colorado. The main ag there is, is cannabis in Southern Oregon. So it was very interesting to take the, the my or organic farming skills to the cannabis farm because basically I had to leave everything at the door at the gate, I should say. Yeah. Because what they do is, is complete. And then I picked up those skills and say, well, how do they, those also work in the garden. So, yeah. Yeah. It's just a continuous cross fertilization of picking up knowledge here and there and applying it to wherever you happen to be landing, you know, wherever you are on the planet.

Bill Soroka (15:45):
Yeah. Yeah. You gotta bring all that stuff with you and intertwine it. I love that. So now you have the garden coach business.

Frederick Mayer (15:52):
Yeah, the garden coach. So I just have a little three quarters of an acre on just sloping land. Most of the stuff in the Ozarks is like pretty straight up or straight down. You know, I sell a lot of lots like that too. I don't know who's buying 'em, but somebody's buy 'em. So so yeah, so I set up my own little grow for veggies up on a deck because there's a lot of deer and there's a lot of rocks. So I just grow in… I'm doing mainly container gardening right now, although I am putting in a plot actually today. And when we're doing with our interview, I've got a kid who's coming, he's working with me on, on a terrace. And so there's another area that I'm gonna, that's already cleared. So I don't have to, you know, I don't have to do that piece of it. And I'm more interested now I think called a restorative agriculture, which has to do with using and and planting more perennials to, for our food for our food supply simply because there's just less inputs once they're established and they establish for much longer. So rather than having to plant something every year once you get established then for the next 75 to 200 years, your plants are sustaining you.

Bill Soroka (17:08):
Wow. You know, what's really coming through Fred, as you talk is, I can tell you're really passionate about this. I wonder if you can answer a question for our audience here is when choosing a side hustle, cuz you've had a lot through the years. And I wanna talk about that here in a minute, but what do you think is more important having passion for it or it turning a profit?

Frederick Mayer (17:30):
The passion will turn a profit. So yeah. Love what you're doing and, and make sure that whatever you're doing is a, a service to, to everybody. You know, there's, there's a, there's a famous financial guy who kind of sums it up. Have you ever heard of Robert Kiyosaki? He wrote…

Bill Soroka (17:50):

New Speaker (17:51):
Yeah. You know, Robert Kiyosaki. Okay. You know Rich Dad, Poor Dad, poor dad, rich dad, whatever it's Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Yeah. Okay. So he has and I, I kinda keep this like handy so I can refer to it every now and then. So his number one thing at the top of his 10 Steps to Awaken Your Financial Genius. Number one is find a reason greater than reality. The power of spirit, a reason or purpose is a combination of wants and don't wants. And so, you know, that to me, speaks to passion and, and, and do something that you really enjoy doing and make it of service. Don't worry about making money at it because if you love doing it, you know, you're gonna do a good job and that's gonna speak for itself. You know, you don't have to worry about the front end, the back end, just do your part to share the best that you can with people. And that will be enough. And that will multiply a hundred fold, a thousand full 10,000.

Bill Soroka (18:52):
Did you do you feel like you kind of inherently knew that when you first started out in your career in your side hustles or was that a learned lesson?

Frederick Mayer (19:00):
No, I think it was a learned lesson. My first side hustles when I was seven years old and I was selling seed packets and here I am, I spiraler, you know, yeah. You know, went from selling seed packets and, and consulting with an herbologists cause I was, I thought I was gonna be an MD when I grew up, cause my dad was an MD. I was on that track. So my first side hustles always our first side hustles are to get some cash because you're looking to create some extra income to buy something in, in particular that you really want. So that's when my first side hustle was to to sell seed packets. Okay. It looked like a good thing to do and made a little bit of money, but I, you know, made a lot of friends too and met a lot of people and saw some situations.

Frederick Mayer (19:49):
And the more that you could see, then the more that you can expand. So in, in, in a lot of different realms. So anyway, so that's how that got started. And another side hustle that, that, that came about in the music business had to do with when I lived in Alaska, I lived in Alaska for 10 years, I was there as a a cook on a tug. All right. So I had worked, I had worked as a cook on a work crew before, and then I also worked tugs of barges and this is different places along the west coast. And then so I needed a cook for a tug. So I had all the experience for that. And the tug was owed by a saw mill. And the saw mill was in this really remote area, huge sawmill state of the art where the, the, the lumber ships from Asia came to our dock to get loaded.

Frederick Mayer (20:42):
And so the mill did primary processing so that the jobs stayed in the us, at least part of the job did so they didn't ship logs. But anyway, then growing up as a kid playing violin, I knew that there was certain wood that went into the violin. For example, the sides back and neck are made out of maple. Typically, you know, traditionally there's a Ebony fingerboard and pegs. And then on the top is spruce and Southeast Alaska has the finest sickest spruce in the world. And I was sitting in the middle of it. So I began to put two and two together that this spruce is something that instrument makers needed. And so I, I was fascinated by, by spruce. I loved spruce. I went crazy on spruce. I loved red, Cedar, yellow, Cedar, you know, I loved some, all those woods.

Frederick Mayer (21:37):
So the whole wood thing became a side hustle cuz I was teaching 6, 7, 8 hours a day. And then I created, I found a I found a supply and a scam that I could take advantage of that was mutually benefited everybody. And I found a source of spruce logs that had already been cut that had been used for a bridge in the way they build bridges for logging modes. I was living in a logging camp later on. I, I taught music at a logging camp. That's a great place to start. Yeah. Is they put these spruce logs across the Creek. You know, they put a head log parallel to the stream bed and then they put six or eight or 10 of these spruce logs across the Creek. And they strapped together with three quarter inch cable and big staples, six inches of crushed rock and that's a bridge.

Frederick Mayer (22:32):
Okay. And when they get done with that area, then they're gonna pull that bridge. They're gonna water bar bar that area to prevent people from going out there and, you know, getting into something that, that maybe they don't need to get into or whatever. Or if they like that road, then they're gonna use it. Then they'll upgrade it with either another log bridge or steel bridge. So all this material, that's the best spruce logs you can find in the area that have already been cut dragged to the site are piled on the side of the road and nobody wants 'em because they're full of rock and they're full of staples. Okay. So nobody's gonna gonna run 'em through a traditional mill. Well, what I discovered is that you could actually cut this into sections split 'em open by hand and see what the grain and the characteristics of the spruce look like and to find out whether they would be useful to instrument makers.

Frederick Mayer (23:27):
Well, since nobody wanted that wood, the forest service said, yeah, I mean tell us which ones you want and we'll scale it out. So basically I was buying the wood in the round for $40, a thousand board feet, and I was selling it for $4,000 per board feet once I had processed it. So if it didn't make into a base top, it might make him into a cello, if not a cello, it would make into a guitar, not a guitar of Viola, if not a Viola, then maybe it would make him into a violin. And if not, violin, maybe they was, you know, word for bracing that they needed to brace guitars. And, and if not that then the knots heated my house. So there's no waste.

Bill Soroka (24:03):

Frederick Mayer (24:04):

Bill Soroka (24:04):

Frederick Mayer (24:05):
Yeah. So and then I was shipping that out of a logging camp and it all had to go through on the airplane to get to the post office and then ship all over the US and all over the world. Wow. So for splitting wood, two hours a day, I was equaling my teaching salary just because I found a really high quality in demand product that was abundant in my area. And then I had to figure out how to process it the way that the, the, the makers wanted it. And it took one trip. My first trip, I had these really totally random not knowing what in the world was samples of spruce. They were resonant, you know, you could hold 'em DoingDoingDoing. They would ring. I knew it was good wood. And always my side hustle, somebody has said has taken me under their wing and said, do you want me to show you exactly what product we want this to look like? I said, sure. He says, can I, can I whack away on this piece right here? I said, yeah, he got a chisel, but put it in a certain and put it in a pie shape like that, where the grains running across just got up. He says, this is how we want it. Boom. That was all I needed.

Frederick Mayer (25:15):
Yeah. After that I was selling thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars worth of spruce. And I was building a boat. I bought a boat when I was in this logging camp. It was a steel vessel. So it was 30 foot steel vessel with a hull and an engine. And so I needed, I needed some cash to be able to build the boat. So yeah, that's how that worked out. Then I became like a Boatright after that,

Bill Soroka (25:40):
Talk about connecting some dots, Fred, I love it. And you're recognizing opportunities and I think that's really the in an abundant universe as such, we live there's opportunity everywhere. When you can recognize it through

Frederick Mayer (25:54):
Ture that.

Bill Soroka (25:55):
You kinda led me to my next question though, cuz you've been a teacher for 27 years and I've known a few teachers. My grandfather was a teacher for 30 years and didn't necessarily was not in a position to buy his dream home or build his dream home in Florida. So my question for you is did all these side hustles that seem to almost interconnect and I love your idea of the spiral that spiraled up for you. Did that help you build your dream lifestyle later on down the road for retirement or semi-retirement whatever you might call it.

Frederick Mayer (26:30):
Yeah. And that's a great question. Directly and indirectly, they probably did. Actually I know that they did. Because the side hustle in Alaska with the wood actually went into a boat and then I traded boat even Stevens for land. So I still own lots up in Alaska, but I'm really problem. My, so actually I'm gonna gift that to my grandson. So it kinda helps somebody's lifestyle and lemme see you the other side. Well, the other side, yeah, they pay the bills, they pay some bills. Cuz I play a lot, a lot of weddings and I still do a lot of teaching. So my public school teaching was 27 years. That, that, like I said ended in 04. So now I'm 18 years side hustling on the music side, you know, which has been basically just an independent contractor or freelancer. So I, I'm not connected with an institution, which is the traditional way to make money in music at least has been for about 500 or 600 years until the last 20 or 30 and things are evolving in a different way.

Bill Soroka (27:39):

Frederick Mayer (27:40):
So did that answer the question, I'm not sure if it does or not.

Bill Soroka (27:42):
Yeah. Yeah. I think, I think it definitely got there and I love thank you for showing the, the path, you know, the the wood paid for the boat, the boat got you land and you just keep moving up from there. So that was, that was awesome. And, but before we wrap this conversation up, Fred, I wanna go back to your fear busting strategy. I think I'd like to dive a little deeper into this and how, what is your fear busting strategy? Can we, is it tactile? Can we tell people how you do this and what they can do to get over fear?

Frederick Mayer (28:17):
Absolutely. When you look at what your most …. daunting fear is at any given moment and what is really stopping you think of it as an onion, with many, many layers to peel off and at the core is like, what is the worst thing that could possibly happen? Okay. That's it, in a nutshell my first fear busting was when I was a late teenager and my greatest fear was, oh my God, if my car breaks down, what, I don't know anything about cars, how am I gonna, you know, how? And so what I did was I discovered that there was one thing that was preventing me from making mechanicing and learning about my car. And that is I accidentally one day got my hands really, really, really dirty. And I realized the reason I wasn't mechanicing is because I didn't wanna get dirty hands.

Frederick Mayer (29:19):
And then I discovered 'Goop' and then I was, I was pulling the head off and I was changing it, you know, a clutch by the side of the road, you know, and, and I was listening to "Car Talk" and guessing stuff before they did. So, you know, it is just, you find one thing. And then another fear busting thing that happened to me was well of course the farm thing and just facing that. Okay, well, what is it that, that I don't, I'm definitely, definitely afraid that maybe I won't have enough to eat and I'll starve today. Well, you know, one step, but what do you gotta do? Well, you gotta get a place and somebody that you know, and the motivation to help you get going. And I met with Patrice and then another fear busting thing that happened to me. This is probably the most pivotal one.

Frederick Mayer (30:03):
When I was up in Alaska, there was a fishing hole out in Clarence Straits. I lived on Prince of Wales Island, which is a large island in Southeast Alaska. And you could only fish this place when the winds blew from the north. Okay. This is a large channel where the winds either blew from the south or they blew from the north and 85% of the time they were born from the south. So when it was north, when there was a north wind and it was favorable to go out, I would go to this fishing hole. And the cool thing about this fishing hole is that you would, you'd go, I, I had it triangulate and, and you would drop your bait down and then you would, you're drifting across it with the wind and then you'd bring it up and then you drop it down again and you'd go another two or three fathoms and you pick it up again and keep doing this.

Frederick Mayer (30:47):
And then you get to the bottom. As soon as you got to the bottom, there was a fish on, you just reel up. He's great, big, huge ass red snapper, you know, and you just reel it up and then you motor up and you get on the north side and you just drift over. You do that all day long. Well start to get kind of choppy one day. So I said, well, I better dive into the Cove. It's close by. I knew the area. So I went into this Cove and just changed my fishing gear. And so I'm in a 15 foot wooden skiff and I look out my skiff and I see this circling my skiff, a huge dorsal thin I'm going holy moly. I'm about to be shark lunch. And so I kind of got myself calmed down. I looked around and saw what I had in my boat. So I had an, oar, and I had a huge hunting knife and I had some line. I just lashed the lashed, the, the, the knife on the end of the, or so now I had a harpoon at the moment that I went from being the prey to being the predator, my fear evaporated, I took one step. Okay. And most fear that I have discovered is one step away from freedom. And you just have to identify that step and move right into it.

Bill Soroka (31:52):
Excellent. Fred, excellent advice and great story too. So, and did the shark leave you alone or,

Frederick Mayer (31:59):
Oh, yeah. Here's oh, sorry. Sorry. I didn't need

Bill Soroka (32:02):
To, I'm on the edge of my seat.

Frederick Mayer (32:03):
So the shark, I'm the 15 foot skiff and it's like a 17 foot shark. Well, oh, I I'm standing up in the boat with my harpoon. I look over, I see the markings on the shark and it's it's a basking shark and they're vegetarians And it just kinda meandered off later, but it was there. The shark medicine was there to teach me about that conversion from fear to freedom.

Bill Soroka (32:29):
Yes! I love that. The difference between fear and freedom is often just one step. Fred I'm… I'm also compelled to ask you another question too, because I'm fascinated with the voices that we hear sometimes throughout life and being able to determine is that your instinct, is that something spiritual happening? Is that your fear talking, they often have the same tone they sound the same. So when you were, when you heard that to tell you that you're going to Northwest Arkansas, what do you think that was?

Frederick Mayer (33:07):
I'm pretty certain I know what it was. At different stages of my meditation practice, which continues, we deploy different techniques to get answers. Okay. Basically what we wanna do, all the metaphysical, all of the spiritual, all the religious, everything that deals with the spirit of humanity is focused on helping us try and make the next best step. Right. I mean, you know, I think failure is definitely overrated if you can find success. So so at that time, my practice was one that evolved to a place where I could ask or be open to receive. And then you sit back and listen, I think that's a pretty common meditation technique. So that was the way I was doing that. Now it's very different now. Okay. But that's how I was doing it then was that kind of a meditation technique where you could just relax open up and begin to listen to those kinds of notions that come into you.

Frederick Mayer (34:29):
And, and that is just an element of continuing to connect with your own divinity. You know, we're, we're really divine beings that are walking around in a meat suit. Okay. Okay. In my opinion not bodies trying to, you know, take on some kind of spirit the Spirit's already there. So it's just a matter of finding ways that you can personally connect with that and have it be meaningful and trust it and have faith, which gives you, you know, confidence and strength and victory in every step of your, your your life. Hmm.

Bill Soroka (35:05):
It's beautiful. So when it comes to that experience in particular, Northwest Arkansas, was there, do you think a, a lesson that you were to to learn or to deliver to someone else, do you think there was that kind of connection or was it just up on whatever's coming next for you?

Frederick Mayer (35:26):
Let me answer that question with a question. So Bill, are there places that you have been on the planet and like, and for example, where you're living now, that you feel right in being there, where are the places that have been there for you?

Bill Soroka (35:44):
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. even beyond cities in just drilling down to the actual homes, I think they've filled some sort of purpose for sure. If not for me, for someone else, that chance connection that happened to that person, that I met, this opportunity that presented itself in those situations. Absolutely.

Frederick Mayer (36:08):
Yeah. So I think it's important for people to feel and realize that there are places on the planet that work for them for any given amount of time might be for a day, for a year, for a lifetime where everything that they need comes more easily.

Bill Soroka (36:31):

Frederick Mayer (36:32):
And I was on a mission when I got here. I was on my fear of busting mission when I got here. And it turns out what I needed from the area here and what the people who were in this area needed from me seemed to be a pretty good match.

Frederick Mayer (36:49):
A good fit. And it continued to be. And when I was out for four years in, in in Oregon, and then later in Florida, before I came back here, people started calling me from up here. I started getting work up here. It's like, I don't live here anymore. And finally, I got convinced. I mean, when something happens once, you know, I just gotta make note of it. It happens twice. I really started paying attention. And and so I got contacted by these homesteaders to teach their kids violin. I, and I was not wanting to do things by by zoom, like zoom lessons as much. I'd had some zoom lessons experience and it wasn't really like, great. And then I started taking a class of violin class and the guy did it by zoom and was like, oh, and he, it was a three level class. It's like, okay, I'm teaching you violin and jazz the technique. And you know, these tunes and I'm teaching you how I do this on zoom. And the third level is I will teach you the back end of how you can monetize this. Okay. Yeah.

Frederick Mayer (37:51):
Wow. So, I mean, there's a great course. Chris - Christian Howes, Chris Howes - great violinist, great human being great class, still in contact with him. So come to find out they weren't interested in online lessons necessarily. And then I found out they were the new homesteaders. So what happened is I left Florida after Easter in 21. And they also had, it was two sisters, their husbands and their two kids each. And they were two pieces of property that came on the market. They were adjacent to each other at the same time. And they bought the entire 73 acre parcel. And wow. So now I'm homesteading helping them with a homestead garden. I go out there and teach letters out there yesterday for three hours, you know? So that's another, that's, that's how the teaching goes here is that you go to a place where there's a family and you teach the entire family. So we have these family bands and family string quartets out here in the Ozarks that, that are mainly homeschool students who have the time. And usually there's a parent, that's a, a musician and they build a musical legacy in their teens and have a musical job core that they can go out and freelance and make money, put themselves through college is what some of 'em did. So so that's kind of how that happened. Yeah, that's pretty cool. Yeah. So I don't, I lost our of the question. Tell me again.

Bill Soroka (39:18):
No, I mean, we nailed that we're we were talking just about, you know, whatever that energy is that calls you to a place and the purpose that it serves. And it sounds like…

Frederick Mayer (39:27):
So it kept calling me back. And so, so, so I went up, so I came back to, to it's called Hippy Holler. And so another it sell, one of the pieces property is called the the Stone Pig because they have stone pigs at the entrance. So they called me. And so I, I, I went up there and the week after Easter and they have tiny houses, so they'd have a little Airbnb at Hippy Holler okay. Plug for them. And so they let me stay in the high, tiny house. So I would get up and do garden stuff, four to seven hours, take shower, change hats, and go teach violin lessons all evening in the afternoon. At the same time another guy contacted me and said, Hey, can you gimme cello lessons outta here? He said, sure. And then another person contacted me and said, Hey, I got a wedding up here.

Frederick Mayer (40:09):
Can you play? Cause I used to play a lot. My, I do play a lot of weddings up here. And so it's like, all right, well, I guess I'm gonna go. So I was running this triangle from Southwest Florida, 1300 miles, the Ozarks. Then I got a job at a winery in Western New York to the Finger Lakes 1300 miles. Then I had gigs back and forth. So I was doing this 1300 mile triangle and each, each leg was for most of last spring and summer. And then the place came for sale here and more people were wanting me to move back. And so that sense of place returned and said, you know, we need you here. We want you here. There's opportunities for, and we are supporting you here. And I in turn, am supporting what and bringing knowledge and, and joy and whatever information and to them. And so that's the exchange that has happened and is very encouraging.

Bill Soroka (41:06):
Yeah. Fred, it sounds like you're definitely in the right place. Thank you for sharing so much of your insight on this. I think I learned so much just from this real brief conversation with you. So thank you for hanging out with us in the Side Hustle Lounge.

Frederick Mayer (41:19):
Yeah. It's been a pleasure and you're a great host and keep up the good work!

Bill Soroka (41:25):
Yeah. Thank you so much. And for those who are listening, if you'd like to connect with Fred, it makes himself totally available to you. Just visit the SideHustleLounge.com/vip. Join the VIP room for free. I'll have links to all of Fred's websites for everything he's got going on. Plus his email address in there. If you'd like to connect and talk about business coaching, garden coaching, or anything you may have heard on today's episode. Thanks Fred.

Frederick Mayer (41:48):
Thanks a lot, Bill. Have a great day.

Bill Soroka (41:50):
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