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Leading from the Heart W/ Marcel Petitpas #22

Updated: Nov 7, 2022

What is more important to you being right or pursuing truth? These two goals can often come in conflict with one another, and far too often are desire to be right can be the barrier to deeper connection. In this episode, Marcel Petipas and I dive deep into some of the greatest social and political challenges we are collectively facing: cancel culture, identity, politics, tribalism, political corruption, and so much more. We engage in constructive and nuanced dialogue with the common goal of deeper understanding. Marcel also shares his thoughts on the importance of emotional intelligence and critical thinking in navigating our complex world. We will ultimately disagree with one another, and that's part of what makes life diverse and beautiful. And underneath all of that, it's so important to remember that there is more that connects us than there is that divides us. This episode with Marcel might just be my favourite episode yet. I hope you enjoy.


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Marcel, thanks for taking the time to join me on the show today.

Marcel Petitpas: Thanks for having me, Stu. It's great to see you again.

Stu Murray: Likewise. It's been a long time, so I remember meeting you back, man. It's been getting close onto a decade, way back at yoga, and we were diving into the practice there together, and I remember meeting you and said to myself, This is somebody who.

Is doing the work, who is curious, who is interested in growing, in changing, in being a better person? And I felt that from you, from the moment I met you. And I'm curious right off the bat, like is that something that has always been with you or has there been this progression to leaning in more deeply into that transformation?[00:02:00]

Marcel Petitpas: Ooh, that's a good question. Um, I think I did a personality test recently and there was a thing, you know, these personality tests are always funny. There's always. Quite a bit of it that you take with a grain of salt. And then there's certain amounts of it that you know, I think you believe cuz you want to.

And then certain amounts of it that are like hard truths. And one of the things that came up in it was like this statement of like, you believe that you, you generally believe that you are better than other people. And I had to like sit with that for a minute and acknowledge that I think that that has been, I, I don't know if better than other people is the way that I would wanna frame it.

Of course cuz it doesn't sound very good. But I do think that for most of my life I always felt that I stood a little bit outside of kind of the rest of the people that I was surrounded by. I always felt like there was this kind of gap between us and I could never really quite put my finger on what that was.

And I, I don't know that I really can today. Uh, maybe that's why I kind of ended up being an entrepreneur, and [00:03:00] maybe that's kind of why I have done things that most people would consider like non-standard. Um, you know, in terms of like getting very interested in mindfulness and things that, I guess you and me feel kind of normal, but when you really zoom out and look at the general population, like there are not a lot of people that are spending a lot of time thinking about meditation and yoga and fitness and like, you know, personal development and growth and so, Yeah, I don't know.

Maybe there has always been a part of me that has had an appetite for that kind of thing. And certainly the more you get into entrepreneurship, which I'm very fortunate to have kind of developed an interest in and been extremely well surrounded in, especially in Moncton, that's where I kind of developed a lot of my early mental relationships that exposed me to the fact that entrepreneurship is largely a personal development exercise.

And to, to, I think I've come to this realization time and time again that most of the time my personal development has been the bottleneck and the ability for a business organization that I'm leading to grow. [00:04:00] And so it's been a really good, I think marriage of my personal and professional development being coupled in, in some way.

And that has led to, you know, more of a voracious appetite for exploring all of the different elements that come with that.

Stu Murray: That's fascinating.

I really like what you said about the personal development. Being that bottleneck potentially of a business growing or of your own organization growing and, and I think there's so much truth in that, and it seems to be in the field of entrepreneurship, in the field, even in the field of business in a larger perspective.

There's so much about leadership, about self discovery, about taking the time to reflect, and that's fascinating. And I really want to dive into your journey through entrepreneurship and how that's paralleled through the personal development world. I'm curious, so going back to where we met with the yoga, like what brought you into mindfulness and yoga

in the first place?

Marcel Petitpas: You know, that's a good question. I, I think largely [00:05:00] I was influenced by my fiance Kira, who at the time was managing the studio that I think we both met at . Uh you know, she was, she was there and she was, you know, very much into yoga and I think she kind of pulled me into it and exposed me to it to a large extent.

For the first time I had been to yoga, you know, hot yoga and stuff like that a little bit before. So initially it was kind of a fitness interest, but as you know, you start to spend more and more time in that environment. You can't help but start to understand that there's this whole other door and behind it is this whole other side of things that as an athlete I hadn't considered, I was there to get more flexible and, you know, do kind of a, an alternative form of exercise, given that I traditionally have done a lot of weight lifting and there was a strong case for why yoga was gonna help improve that side of my performance.

But then of course, the, the whole other side of that that opened up for me was big. And then, uh, I would say that Eve du set. Who's an early mentor of mine was also a big influence. Um, he was an example of a person that, you know, had really achieved a lot of the things that I aspired to [00:06:00] achieve and embodied a lot of the things that I aspire to embody.

And, uh, as you and I both know, like he, a very big part of his life has been yoga and mindfulness, and I think he set a good example as well, that that plays an important role in your ability to be productive and successful as an entrepreneur and to be a, a good leader to people. So much of that has to do with self-awareness and being able to, uh, take hard feedback and acknowledge your shortcomings and, um, be aware of those things as you engage with your team.

Stu Murray: Yeah, totally. And, and bringing that mindfulness aspect allows us to be more compassionate. And I resonate so deeply with that journey. Having played football, getting into hot yoga myself, just as a means, that's where we met it. It was like the time I had entered into the yoga world was right when I met you actually, and very much for the physical.

I was like, I, I would have shoulder issues and other body pains and notice profound deepening there. But when that started getting into [00:07:00] the, like just that spaciousness that I had in my mind to be able to step back from my rambling thoughts and all of these different ideas I had that just, that fire that was always going to be able to have that space.

Like it changed the way I related to myself, the stories I held with myself, and then it started to transform relationships. So I guess, yeah, once you get in and you, you start getting into all these things, not only does it per improve the ability as an athlete, but man, it can really just transform so much of our day to day lives.

Marcel Petitpas: Yeah. And. I think what's really interesting to me as well is the being surrounded by people that this is just normal to them, I think is an important factor as well. You know, I, I was fortunate that the community at that, um, yoga studio that we both went to was, was pretty good. And, you know, we got to spend, especially because, uh, Ki was managing it at the time, got to spend some time around those people.

A lot of the entrepreneurs that I met, [00:08:00] also, you know, were very much into personal development, yoga, meditation, all these different forms of mindfulness. And so that really helped normalize it for me as well, which I think is a barrier to a lot of people. If they're not surrounded by other folks that see that as a normal or worthwhile pursuit, then there is this very real kind of social stigma that you kind of have to get over to get into that.

And, it's unfortunate, but, I was lucky that kind of, that wasn't a barrier for me and it was, I was very much invited into being more interested in that side of it.

Stu Murray: I love that. And I think you're speaking truth to that, particularly for men. That's a challenge, like self development and internal reflection, going into those uncomfortable emotional states, listening to old stories and patternings that we might hold, that's definitely not something that we see modeled too much in the mentors and leaders within our society, particularly the men that I, that I see, in which we call leaders in these hierarchical senses at least.

And I've, I've just found that [00:09:00] totally fascinating and. It's amazing though when you do meet these men or women in those communities that can help us hold space because like you said, we're in a world of infinite distraction and it would be so easy to live an entire life without needing to reflect too deeply.

Like, oh, an uncomfortable emotion comes up. What? What do you want? You want, you want a drug, You want television, you want food, you want your phone. You what? Which pick and choose. We've got a cornucopia of distractions ready at your avail to be able to dive in and forget about these challenges. But being able to go in there does require our community both to keep us accountable and to help hold space for those more challenging moments.

Marcel Petitpas: And I really see it as an essential skillset for leadership. And I know for a fact that we, you know, we wouldn't be where we are at Pero if it wasn't for. The ability for me to be [00:10:00] self aware when I'm messing up or when I've done something that, you know, has upset somebody on my team or that there's a misunderstanding.

Like to be able to sit in that uncomfortable conversation and work through it and genuinely, you know, be curious about the other person's perspective, or to be able to see and hold this space for somebody because you know this as well as I do that. And most people listening will probably see this. It's so easy to see when all the people around us are kind of getting in their own way and they have so much potential, but they've got a mindset block, or they have a belief that's kind of holding them back from pursuing something that we have the utmost confidence that they're gonna succeed in.

And the same thing is true in terms of empowering your team, you know, in, in a business setting where a lot of times, like, you know, that there's a member on your team that's capable of experiencing what they wanna experience or going and, and doing a project that they are interested in doing, but they're afraid or they don't believe that they're good enough or whatever the case might be.

And it, it's a really important skill set to be able to know how to sit [00:11:00] with somebody and help them work through those thoughts and uncover for themselves the opportunity that's in front of them because you can't. Prescribe or tell or talk away somebody's, you know, limiting beliefs. It's really difficult.

Of course, the thing that's really hard is doing that for yourself. And that's always been the challenge no matter how much work you do on this, that reading the label from inside the bottle is always challenging. But it's a really powerful thing to be able to do as a leader, to sit with somebody on your team and help them come to a conclusion that they are ready to take on a new project.

They are ready to ascend into another role. They are ready to, you know, get a little bit outside of their comfort zone and, you know, improve their skillset and get closer to where they want to be in their career. Uh, and that's been really, really powerful to watch some people on our team really make some big strides.

And I like to think that I've played some part in creating the space for them to.

Stu Murray: I love that, Marcel.

It's so easy for that advice monster within us to wanna [00:12:00] emerge when we see somebody else suffering and just be able to pull that away, you know? And both from the aspect of maybe we have more experience with something that they're struggling with and it's, Well, I know the answer to what they need to do. I can help them navigate that barrier. Or maybe it's just challenging for us to hold space for that pain because we can recognize that within ourselves. And so I see those as, as often things that come up within me that I have to resist my urge to want to diffuse somebody else's challenges with these things.

And you mentioned holding space quite a few times here and creating that space. And I'm curious from your perspective, what does holding space look and feel like as a partner, a friend, a business leader teammate?

Marcel Petitpas: Yeah. I think it's a lot of what you just described. It's having the ability [00:13:00] to withhold what you believe to be right.

Let's be honest. That's all it is. It's your belief of what the right answer is, and there's a lot of assumptions baked into that often and create the context in which somebody is comfortable, like going deep and being vulnerable and just talking about something. Because so much of the journey to getting to an answer is that process of just having somebody verbally articulate what's running through their head.

And so much of the time, that's what leads them to a conclusion. But the context for them to be able to do that is so important, and that requires them to feel comfortable. It requires them to feel a sense of trust. It requires them to feel heard and understood. It requires sometimes for you to ask questions that maybe, you know, their mind is protecting them from asking themselves, because what lies behind that is, is difficult to absorb.

It's, you know, it's an art and a science. Like, of course, psychology, has a playbook [00:14:00] for how to facilitate these kinds of conversations. But so much of it requires the self-control to, to your point, try not to step in and solve the problem, realizing that that's not really helpful. Most of the time this has been a, as a partner, I think a really big learning lesson is like, my job most of the time is just to listen and make my partner feel heard and understood.

And I sometimes have to explicitly ask like, what do you need from me in this moment? Like, do you want my input? Are you looking for feedback? Or, you know, do you just want to talk about this? And I think it's okay to also just be explicit about like, what is the context of this conversation?

Who do you need to show up here? So that you can kind of anchor yourself to that? And. Try your best to show up in a way that's most helpful given the context. Mm,

Stu Murray: I love that. I think the, these are such important conversations and important things to, to meditate on when we want to look at how we wanna show up in [00:15:00] society, in our partnerships, in our friendships, in our businesses, particularly in times where we're struggling so deeply to hold space for each other. Communally we're in massive times of division and conflict and where everybody seems to hold this degree of certainty about what is right and what is true.

And I, I love that idea. You hold about validating what's alive in somebody else. And I think that can connect them back to that. It's like, it's okay. It's okay to feel the anger. It's okay to feel the frustration. It's okay to feel the sadness. It's okay to feel the self-doubt. All of these things don't diminish my sense of self-worth.

That's part of being human and connecting us back to that, that center and building trust. And how, how do we build trust with people we disagree with, with people who are on different sides of a political spectrum or on all these [00:16:00] things. How do we create that right container for us to move forward together in this current social political climb that we find ourselves in?

Marcel Petitpas: Yeah, it's a, it's a big question. Of course, if we had the answer to that, then we'd probably be a lot better off. But, um, I think about this a lot actually, and I think the simple answer is critical thinking and emotional intelligence. These are two things that I filter for aggressively when we hire.

And I'm very, very lucky to be surrounded by people that have ver are indexed very, very high on both of those spectrums, EQ and, and emotion, like emotional intelligence and the ability to think critically because so much of this has to do with being able to separate emotions from facts, beliefs, from, values like these things are different, but when you are not, Trained or you don't have practice, so that muscle hasn't been developed.

All these things can just kinda get conflated into one thing and it creates these [00:17:00] very, very unproductive social dialogues that I think we're seeing play out all over the place. And I saw the early beginnings of this back in university and didn't realize just how grave things were at that time. But in hindsight, it's 2020.

I went to the University of Prince Island for one year before dropping out. And when I was there at the time, there was a mandatory class called Global Issues. And the whole point of the class was to teach critical thinking. The assignment for the semester was. You know, you would learn about the idea of critical thinking.

Then you would choose this very difficult topic to write about, one that didn't objectively have a clear answer and you had to write an essay on it. And I remember that being like an extremely stimulating exercise for me to write about a topic that like I, at several times throughout trying to write that article, had to walk away from my computer, take an hour off because I was getting trapped in my own mental loops.

Like I would end up being like, I don't even know how I feel about this. Right. And like that's important that like, those are the kinds of things that in real life you're gonna rub up against where it's like you have a decision [00:18:00] to make and. The, What I'm learning about entrepreneurship is like, that's what leadership and entrepreneurship is, is getting more and more and more comfortable with compromise.

Because at the highest level of leadership, your job is to, is not to choose the optimal decision, cuz that doesn't exist. It's to choose the least shitty one. You think about like what it's like to be the prime minister of Canada. I don't think there's a single decision you can make as the Prime Minister of Canada.

That doesn't hurt people. It's a question of how do you reduce harm? That's, that's your whole thing. But there are always gonna be people who are affected negatively by the decisions you make. There are always gonna be people who follow through the cracks in policy because policy is subjective, it's binary.

Human beings exist on a spectrum. Social behavior, social economics exist on a spectrum. And the same thing is true. The bigger an organization gets or the more responsibility you have is you're basically always gonna be faced with compromises. And I think it's just a tragedy that we're not. Like that, that is not a common thing that people practice is working through these [00:19:00] objectively inconvenient situations where it's like, yeah, there is not a right answer here, and you just have to like really work hard to think through these things.

So that's what global issues was. And the TLDR of that story is, I love that class. I had Ron Shrigley as my professor, who I thought was a brilliant man. He designed the whole curriculum. Everybody hated global issues, hated it, complained that they had to take it, complained that it was a mandatory thing.

The backlash from the community was so bad that after a couple of years they just, they kind, I think they gave up on it. They didn't, they didn't force people to take it anymore. But at that time, I saw, and this is like a, a pretty good sample, right? You're at a university, so very small percentage of the general population that's there.

You know, you like to think that there's a, a strong filter for people that typically are indexing high on IQ that are maybe interested in pursuing, the edges of human knowledge and things like medical science and art and so on. And even within that selection of the populace, you saw this very thehe rejection of the idea that learning how to [00:20:00] think critically was an important skillset and one that was worth investing some time into.

And at the time I didn't realize how grave this was, but now you look at the context that we're having public dialogue in, and it's so clear to me that what's missing is emotional intelligence and critical thinking ability. And what you end up with is these situations where facts and beliefs are conflated as being the same thing.

And what I think we need to understand is that in every conflict there are three things, and all three of them are true at the same time. Even if they're incompatible with one another, there's what actually. The facts. Those are indisputable. And then there's how each person interprets those things. Right?

And those could be completely different. And those are also both true, even if they are completely in conflict with one another. Right? So take Covid, what does that mean for you? What did it mean for me? I, I might be framing covid as a really positive thing for me in a lot of ways. You know, these are some things that were difficult, but I learned about, it forced me to spend more time on this part of my life.

I, it gave me the time and space [00:21:00] to explore this other interest that I have. Whereas for somebody else, like it could be the reason they lost their job. It could be the reason they lost a loved one. Right? The facts of covid happening. Those are irrefutable. The things happened that happened, but everyone's beliefs and interpretations and like perspective on how that happened, those are all real too.

And they exist within those people. But we, those things are all being conflated together and it's creating a very difficult context where we can't agree on any of the anchors. We can't agree on a platform for the conversation. Therefore, nothing good can come of the conversation. And I think a large part of that is like people are not trained in the ability to sit down and just like take a second to consider like, okay, what are the different elements at play here in this conversation?

And, and like, what are my beliefs? What are my values? What are the things that I believe are fact, What are the questions that I don't have answers to that I need some clarity on in order for me to like, engage in this conversation, and feel good about it? Like, these are just not mental [00:22:00] exercises that we're going through most of the time.

And it makes it really hard for anything to be good about how these dialogues are playing out, and it makes me very sad.

Stu Murray: Wow. It is clear that you have been thinking and feeling deeply on these topics, man. It's, and, and likewise. Honestly, I couldn't agree more with you and it's something that it's been a deep concern for me and.

I love what you say about the ability to separate facts from beliefs or what I've been saying. The idea to have a space between who we are and the ideas that we hold. If we're having our ideas challenged, the idea is separate from our own identity. And we, I don't think, as you said, we've had very little training in that we don't learn those things in school.

And schooling is often very synonymous from my perspective as a former public school educator is often very synonymous with [00:23:00] conformity and compliance. And so it seems like we've trained a population that's seeking a dogmatic way of going about living. And life is just more nuanced and more messy than that.

Yeah. And as you said, there's always those three truths

Marcel Petitpas: and you know what's interesting is I, I see that very much as like, I think as human beings we're catching up to. The freedom that we have from social constructs that have typically solved these problems for us as a populace in the past.

And so there's, there's two or three major erosions that I see. So this is like, we're getting, this is, I love that this is the context. I could just talk about this on this podcast and it's appropriate. So like, I think in the past, Religion offered a very, very, broad, like most people subscribe to, you know, what I would call like a packaged religion that was defined and fairly well adopted.

And so within that you could find common belief, shared values, community. You had a pretty good rubric for [00:24:00] like, how you were supposed to assign value to things in your life and meaning, right? You, you were kind of prescribed like, here's what's meaningful in your life. And a lot of those decisions, you, it wasn't up to you to kind of wrestle with the nuance or deal with the fact that like, we actually don't know shit about shit and we don't have answers to any of these things.

And the statistical likelihood that anyone has a hundred percent of this figured out is zero, is negative a million, right? But like, it's, it's way easier to just say, I'm gonna adopt this set, this framework and then I won't have to think too hard about any of this stuff. And then similarly with school, I think we've seen an erosion of the traditional kind of education to career path.

And we're seeing that whole kind of system break down. And that erosion is creating other, like a context where again, like most people now are challenged with these hard, nuanced conversations. Politics is kind of eroding and becoming somewhat of a shit show. And the byproduct of this is like, I think that community in a sense of belonging and a sense of shared [00:25:00] values is a fundamental human need.

So you're seeing this because the demand is still there. Now you're seeing it show up in all these really strange places, right? Like vegan is like your diet is now your, the equivalent to your religion. It's like, it becomes conflated with your identity, whether you're a CrossFitter or a runner or a, like these things that used to be.

Tied up in a person's identity. The, the video games that you watch streamers play, like the communities on the internet that you show up in, like, because I, I think to a large extent, religion and politics are not taking up, and solving a lot of those core fundamental needs. People are ascribing way more value to these other things.

And again, to your point, the tension is those become a part of their identity. And I think that's where emotional intelligence becomes very dangerous when. You are not aware that your identity is being now propped up by these beliefs that you have [00:26:00] or by these kind of things that you're subscribing to.

And when those get challenged, of course it becomes an emotional conversation cuz that is a personal attack and that is unraveling something that, a box that you've been able to close and tuck away and not thinking about anymore. Which is that like, my values are x I'm the type of person that y so it's really a fascinating thing to me that I think, like so many of the things that have taken care of, a lot of this are eroding and now we're having to deal with this far more complex spectrum.

But underneath it all is, is this issue of, yeah, emotional intelligence and not being able to parse these things apart and, and kind of be objective with ourselves.

Stu Murray: I love that so much that's so incredibly well articulated. And I do agree like identity politics, tribalism are some of the greatest challenges that we're going to need to overcome as we redefine meaning in our lives and in society as we're going through political, religious, individual changes.

And [00:27:00] we have to rean anchor ourselves here. There is going to be something profound in, in these shifts, and we're going to have to get away and be able to hold space for uncomfortable conversations. And I just, within that, the thing that was coming up for me as you were talking, Marcel, is this idea that there's more that connects us than there is at divides us.

And I think it's something that we need to come back to beyond the labels of I am a vegan, I am this, I am that we are human and we are a one species of many living on a rock that's flying through space. And we need to learn how to come together because I, I. That we have enough, We ha we live on this abundant planet and there is more than enough for all of us and for all of us to thrive and take that covid response.

As you said, yeah, we have different views and we have different beliefs and people have been impacted from [00:28:00] all ends of this spectrum. And all we've really heard is this, these two sides and there's a, this camp and at that camp and like I haven't seen much constructive come out of that mindset, but I wonder what would happen if we took the belief that everybody actually cares about healthcare.

Everybody actually cares about the wellbeing of themselves, of their family and their society. And we started. What if that was a common place that we could start and then build up from there? But it just seems like w we've isolated ourselves to the point that the othering that is taking place leaves no space for trust and mutual respect in the conversations, in the relationships that we're holding.

Marcel Petitpas: Yeah, and I, you know, unfortunately it's fairly well documented that human beings tend to be bonded over a common enemy more so than a shared belief for a shared value. But certainly shared beliefs in shared values are fundamental to how people connect. And I think one of the best examples I've seen of this is like, you know, I [00:29:00] grew up in Prince Edward Island where, the person like you would get into fights with the people that went to the school that was like a 15 minute drive away cuz they're from a different community.

But then soon as I get on a plane and go to Europe, anybody with a Canadian flag on their backpack, like we would be instant best friends. Like the context mattered and it was like, what strands of commonality could we kind of grasp onto? Um, it, it's a really fascinating thing that like, these are not hard lines.

The context matters a lot and unfortunately the context that we exist in right now is that adversarial media is what sells and gets clicks, and gets people's attention and gets people emotionally invested And, um, I think there's also this, like I, I find story fascinating because I think it's one of the very unique ways in which human beings communicate.

I think it's a big part of the reason that we drive cars and monkeys don't, for example, but every story needs a conflict. Every story needs an enemy. A story is not a story without some kind of a conflict or an enemy, whether that's [00:30:00] another person or it's a situation that needs to be resolved. Conflict.

So like I, there is this very fundamental thing that for generations has been how we communicate as human beings. That we find meeting and connection and relate to things in terms of there being a problem that needs to be solved. And I think that's a big part of the reason why as human beings we tend to come together around problems more than we come together around kind of these shared values and solutions.

So I think the way that these dialogues are framed is really important and I, I would hope to see that more of us get on the same side of the table. Cuz I've been having this conversation about covid forever, which is like, Everybody wants the same stuff. They want their family to be safe, they wanna be healthy.

They don't wanna lose people. What we disagree on is our beliefs about how we arrive at that outcome, right? And the same thing is true about politics. It should be at least that. It's like when we look at things like that are controversial, like drug policy or most recently, you know, uh, like abortions and, and the laws around that.

Everybody, [00:31:00] I think to some extent, or I would like to believe that everybody to some extent wants the same thing. They wanna reduce harm to other human beings. But what we disagree on is how we arrive at that outcome and what is the most optimal outcome. Understanding that people are gonna fall through the cracks again, no matter what decision gets made.

There is no optimal outcome. But it's about what is the kind of least shitty outcome that can be created here with some kind of a policy or some kind of a decision. But that stuff is, it's just hard. Those are really hard conversations to have. And the other thing that's tough about this, my co-founder said this was really profound.

Lies can make five trips around the world before the truth can get their pants on. And like the truth is complex, but misinformation is not, It tends to be very simple. It has very round edges, it's very easy to absorb. And so, you know, there's like a path of least resistance that, you know, I, I think this is a part of the reason that like, religion was a popular thing cuz it's like, it's a lot easier than having to sit with [00:32:00] the uncertainty of the universe and like, deal with that and contemplate it all on your own.

That's terrifying. It's a lot. And most of us are too busy and too concerned with meeting our immediate needs to take the time to kind of think about that. It's a luxury to have a lot of time and space to think about that. It really is. So I think that's true now about all these other social issues that we have more exposure to.

We ever have and we feel like we have more input on than we ever had because we can just like engage in a public dialogue around it whenever we want.

Stu Murray: Yeah. We are, seems like we're just blowing dust into space so much as we interact, on social media with these algorithms that like, what if Facebook had a button on it that was said, That's a valid point.

Let's sit down and grab a coffee and talk about it. Our social spheres that are hijacking our prefrontal cortex and our ability to rationalize are gearing us towards just pitting us against one another in really inflammatory ways and. That social media sphere is a [00:33:00] really interesting way to dehumanize one another because a lot of the things that we say on those places are not things that we would say to somebody's face because we see the human that is behind that and I think that is a really dangerous place that we're operating from.

And even in these last couple of years, like what's some of the big outcomes that I've seen is that the rich have gotten richer. That government influence has, has actually seemed to have more of an impact. And I. Have seen that people, neighbors, people, divorce rates have gone up, neighbors have fought.

Families stop seeing each other. And so the proletarians or the lay people seem to be at a greater conflict than ever at the expense of society. And like fundamental local, rural economies, small businesses, these things are all taking the hit. And that really, I find that really unfortunate because I think we're caught up in, in talking [00:34:00] about things that we largely are not even necessarily influencing and, and wasting so much energy with frustration and with challenges that are, that are fair, you know, where there's a lot of valid frustration and a lot of challenges because as you said, there's going to be harm done no matter what in, in whatever of these decisions that we make.

But I just believe when we can create. Relationships be that relationships with one another or relationships with ideas with society that are rooted in trust. I think it, it's a doist principle. Trust. Trust people, and they'll become trustworthy. I, I've been meditating on that a lot. What if we created systems and structures that were rooted in trust and rooted in assuming the better nature of people, similar to, you know, Portugal having the highest drug abuse rates in all of Europe, and all of a sudden moving towards a decriminalization model that shifted all of their money away from penalizing and criminalizing [00:35:00] individuals who are using drugs recreationally regardless of the drug, Not drawing some arbitrary line on what drug is good or bad, and having somebody outside of them decide that, but trust that an individual is doing the best they can with where they're at, and creating policies that actually support people and go down to the root of healing.

So let's turn the money into education. Let's turn the money to healthcare and get to the root of some of these places where problems are being had.

Marcel Petitpas: Yeah, Yeah. And you look at the data and it's been the most effective drug policy we've ever seen. And, and so you scratch your head and wonder, Well, why wasn't everybody doing this Right?

If. The objective is to reduce harm with drugs. Like clearly that's the playbook or some element or some iteration on that is the playbook. But then you get into the social dialogue about it and there's a conflation of, well that feels uncomfortable to me. I don't like the idea of telling my kids that it's okay to, you know, and of course we create these platitudes and speak in these absolutes and it's like, [00:36:00] okay, so that's your inability to separate how you feel and your interpretation from the facts and the data, which is that that shit works better than locking people up and spending all this money, keeping them incarcerated and basically just like reducing any chances that they're gonna be rehabilitated and contributed to society in a positive way.

And then underneath of like, this is probably true in Canada, it's certainly true in United States. Then there's all the money and there's all the incentive structures that are created that, you know, create a real, real compelling reason for people to want to have full jails, cuz. People are making money from that.

There is an entire industry built around that. Um, politicians buy stocks in these, these companies and then make policy changes that are gonna incarcerate a lot more people, just like they create policies that start wars and like, all, like, you could see this information, you can see politicians buying and selling stocks like Nancy Pelosi most recently, like huge.

And no accountability at all for this. Clearly insider trading like buys us millions of dollars worth of stocks in an industry and then releases a policy a [00:37:00] couple days later that's going to like fundamentally shift to that industry. But this stuff is happening all over the place. So unfortunately there is this very sinister backbone to all of this.

But what we know is that as a public. We have the power to change these things even when the odds are stacked against us. We've seen it done in the past, but it does require a tremendous amount of coordination. It requires a tremendous amount of trust. And unfortunately, these days it seems like it requires a tremendous amount of pain before, that common enemy is strong enough to unite us despite our differences.

It's, but it's a really interesting thing, But what's clear to me is like we need conflict as human beings, and that is our Achilles heel right now, but it could be our greatest strength because, if we all decide that there's a cause that's worth fighting for, or there's a common enemy that's not necessarily an entity or a human being, but a problem in the world that we need to combat, then, I think collectively like we might be able to facilitate, um, some kind of relationship with each other, some kind of dialogue [00:38:00] where there actually is some progress.

Uh, and then it's a question of how do we work through the nuances of. Okay. We all agree that we want global warming, for example, to stop the problem there, of course, is like we can't all agree that it's happening. But assuming you can get over that initial hurdle, which I'm glossing over, it's not a small thing , but assuming that you could get everybody on the same page, then there's the question of how do you deal with the disagreements on how we solve the problem?

Yeah. And yeah, that. That requires critical thinking. It's really that simple.

Stu Murray: It does. And we're there right now because some people are saying, Oh yeah, put in the carbon tax or this the more recent thing that's come out of the Netherlands and now Canada's adopted with the 30% reduction in nitrogen fertilizer.

That is now, it's like, yeah, no, nobody's gonna argue that we want 30% less nitrogen in our waterways. Or same we, that we want less carbon in the atmosphere, but who's taking the blow? It's not the corporations, it's not the politicians, it's the individuals who are now having to tighten the reins on their own bank account and worry about putting food on their [00:39:00] kids' plate.

So there's a lot of nuance and as we approach these things, and I agree. I think one of the biggest things is we've gotta get money outta politics and we need to create social systems that actually favor the individuals and the societies rather than the big corporations and the influence. We need more accountability there.

And if you wanna police, big pharmaceutical companies, the regulatory companies shouldn't be funded by the pharmaceutical companies themselves. We need better checks and balances in place to create actual, equitable and democratic structures that, that genuinely benefit all of us.

Marcel Petitpas: And That is a huge, huge discussion, right?

There's so many reasons why that's hard, but it's clear. The world is operating on like Windows 98 and it's 2022. And you see like the, the best evidence of this is like Airbnb is a billion dollar company before any kind of dialogue starts happening about regulation, Uber has already like completely [00:40:00] replaced the taxi before anybody really starts talking about regulation.

And this was a deliberate strategy at Uber. If you recall, when they first started rolling out, it'd be like they'd go in, take over a city and then they would go to court with the city and start dealing with this stuff because they knew they could move faster than the social operating system that is in place to try and regulate these kinds of things and create so much adoption that they had enough leverage to then basically force the city into having to do some kind of a deal with them.

And they repeated that playbook over and over and over again. And the dichotomy with this, cuz I've had lots of discussions about this, I'm sure, as you can imagine as well, is that like, of course the answer there is like, well, why don't we make our government faster and more nimble? Well that makes it more brittle, right?

Like you look at some of the stuff that happened in the United States, the ability for a certain group or lobbying power to leverage things like social media, paid advertising to shift public sentiment very quickly around an issue. Like if [00:41:00] your government is too reactive, those things can create massive change very quickly.

That's dangerous. That actually decreases, I think, the effectiveness of government in some ways. So there's this tension that exists between how easy it is to change the way that government works, as well as the policies that it enacts, how much friction is in front of that. But it's in direct conflict with having to be able to keep up with the pace of change, which is exponentially growing.

And then you have the whole other dichotomy of how much public sentiment and how much like public involvement should there be in decisions about policy. And that's not an obvious answer either, cuz like imagine if voting on, uh, an issue like abortion, for example. Was open to the public. Everybody gotta say, I mean, you see what happens on Facebook discussions about, that's what we're talking about.

This is how decisions get made. That is clearly not the answer. And if the, like we know that politicians are not qualified to be experts in all of these things. None of us are qualified either. Like I'm not qualified to make economic [00:42:00] policy or environmental, I don't know anything about that stuff. I'm not nearly educated enough.

So that's a very complex issue in of itself as well, is like how do you create this distributed network of influence while also creating competency? And how do you create a more nimble government while also creating some level of rigidity so that it's not just changing constantly, right? There's so many tensions and it's such a nuanced issue and all of us have got opinions on it.

But let's be honest, like that is a very, very difficult challenge to solve. But there's no question that, like it is breaking down right now and like the operating system is way behind the, the new world that it's existing in. And the problem is it's very hard to change the way that it is now. It's the, you know, maybe we can land on some changes that are gonna be productive and progressive, but like it takes minimum like four years to make any kind of serious change to the way.

The political system works. That's a long time. I mean, you and I both know a lot of stuff can change in four years. Like we've seen entire [00:43:00] industries, new categories get created in that time that basically take over the world. That was, you know, ride sharing that was, you know, direct to consumer.

Mattresses like that happened in four years. Like now we buy mattresses on the internet. That's just how we do it. This, this is crazy. Like we've never seen this kind of change before at this. You're right, you're

Stu Murray: right. Sorry, Leons. No . Yeah, it's you're, But these are the que we should at least be starting by asking these questions.

I think these are the places to start. Let's start by asking questions rather than assert statements. Let's come together and really remember what it is at the root that we're trying to work towards. And it's also very challenging because it seems like governments are getting larger, less nimble, bigger, bigger, bigger.

And anybody who's becoming elected into these things are not normally the ones that are going to put in the policies that allow for a more democratic system or allow for a different way of doing things that are actually going to serve it. It [00:44:00] seems to be continuing to perpetuate, and I mean, the amount of money that is flowing through.

Corporations to influence elections and to do these things is, is quite worrisome because your and my influence seems to be a lot less than a large corporation's influence on the outcome of, of certain elections. And, uh, you know, look at how much BlackRock or Vanguard or Pfizer are, are paying for air time on american news.

I mean, maybe these are conflicts of interest as well that ought to be evaluated because the amount of influence that we have, be it through the television screen that we have, or through now these algorithms and social media networks that are run by private corporations, there, there is a lot more influence there than I think a lot of us would ever be able to recognize.

I think would like to think that we're not flawed and fallible and you, but the reality is, Is that we all are, and that [00:45:00] everything is constantly, uh, subconsciously, at least influencing our decision making.

Marcel Petitpas: And I think, like all of that is true. And what's dangerous is that because all of this is so scary and so nuanced and so difficult to wrap your head around and behind every door is a room full of other doors and there isn't an answer.

There's this tendency for us to just wanna subscribe to the answer that seems to make the most sense in the moment for us, and then close that door and, and tuck it away. And, and then that's our stance now. And then the way that, yeah. Public dialogue is happening now, that becomes a part of your identity, right?

And this very adversarial, you know, almost like you, you do or you don't belong to this group now based. Your belief about this thing. And it makes it very hard to have any kind of conversation about it. And yeah, it's, it's all, it's, it's a very, very, very challenging ecosystem for all this to be happening in.

And to your point earlier, like this [00:46:00] distrust and the ineffectiveness of government is leading to the richest people on earth making decisions about capital allocation. And basically, like you look, Bill Gates, perfect example, right? He had a choice. He could either like when he sold his share in Microsoft or when he passed on, have a substantial amount of that go to the government and let the government decide how that capital was gonna be deployed to make the world better place.

And he very clearly decided. He didn't think the government was gonna do as good a job of allocating that capital as he would. So he created a trust. He transferred all of his assets into that trust. The government will never see any of that money. And now he and his family and the people that he appoints to that organization get to decide how that money is deployed.

And I would make the argument that he's been pretty damn effective at deploying that capital to make the world a better place. I mean, like he's working on some of the biggest issues in the world. Say what you will, but he shouldn't. Like, that sucks, right? That the, this person that has the ability to put a lot of [00:47:00] resources in the government hands has so little trust in their ability to deploy capital effectively.

That that's the length that he'll go to to make sure that they never see any of the money that he retains control. And it's a good thing that I think Bill Gates is focused on solving like really important problems. And that's how he wants to spend his time now. But not every billionaire is gonna be that way.

I think this is a very, very like small sample. You'd like to think, you'd like to hope that. When Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos finally stop building companies and decide to like, I dunno, find some other altruistic path that they're gonna behave in the same way, but like, that might not happen. And that's a ton of the capital that exists in our economies.

They're tied up to your point in a very, very small group of people, in a very small group of corporations and individuals, and they're making decisions about how to allocate that capital because they don't trust that governments are gonna be doing a good job if that, that money finds their way into their control.

Stu Murray: I agree. I'd have some contentions around [00:48:00] Bill Gates actually doing things that are of high value. I know he's taken quite a hit these last couple years and a lot of them are some pretty far out claims and allegations, but honestly, I don't necessarily. Trust or believe in either of those as the ultimate source.

It is sad that people with a lot of money don't see government as a way to effectively affect change. I mean, having worked in bureaucracy the last six years, I, I've seen how clunky and how written like. Ineffective. It is as actually adjusting to what's around us. But I also see that there's just so few extremely wealthy people.

It's unbelievable to have such a staggering income gap where you can have 1% of people just have as much as 50% of the entire global population. And I don't love the fact actually that a private corporation like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the number one funder of the World Health Organization who's been influencing health policy [00:49:00] around the world and who also has a financial vested interest in vaccine development and, you know, has some shady past around these things, or has now become the number one private farmland owner in the United States.

I think these are things that are questionable, that ought to be Asked at least openly and openly discussed with transparency. But to the degree of the nefarious of all of these things, I think that's where these slopes can just veer off and everybody then stops being able to listen.

But, again, putting the right checks and balances in place and, and trying to have some places, so that be it big governments with corporate influences or, or some very few wealthy, rich people can massively influence certain systems and structures so that it derails what's actually best for the vast majority of people.

I worry about those things for sure.

Marcel Petitpas: Yeah, I mean it's, it's, it is worrisome and, you know, I think about [00:50:00] this a lot like. I think probably the, the thing that always, always pays off for me is getting more and more comfortable and going into situations, assuming that I'm wrong or assuming that I don't understand the full picture this.

And anytime that I've done the opposite of that, assume that I was right, like businesses failed, like ideas didn't find product market fit. This has like, clearly has been my, the biggest skill development for entrepreneurship and I think is the key to finding product market fit is like the difference between, to me, like an a seasoned entrepreneur and, and not seasoned entrepreneur.

And I'm saying this because I have been the not seasoned entrepreneur for many, many years up until very recently, is the one that's not very experienced assumes that they're right and executes as though they're right. And you can spend a lot of time and money getting to a place where you realize very violently and very unforgivingly that you were wrong, right?

So it's simple example of this is like, I'm gonna build an app. And the app is gonna be amazing, and it's, we're gonna be the next [00:51:00] Facebook. So I'm gonna take all of my time and money and resources, maybe raise a, a round of investment from an investor. You deploy all of that building the. Then you launch it to your users and find out that there were a whole bunch of assumptions that were incorrect around how that was built.

And now it's like, well, you don't have any time, money, or resources left, so that's it. You're dead. You're dead in the water because you assume that you were right. Whereas if the same idea is approach with this sense of like, I'm probably wrong about a lot of assumptions. What's the fastest, cheapest way that I can get some version of this concept in front of people and start validating the assumptions that I have, right?

That's the path to product market fit. And it's just about like, okay, how do we basically try to prove ourselves wrong as quickly and as cheaply and as as, as you know, close to the customer as possible? And I think that's true about most problems in the world. And the issue is that a lot of us, even though most of the time we have absolutely no grounds to stand on, think that we're right, instead of going in and saying, You know, I'm probably [00:52:00] wrong about a bunch of things.

Like I'm really curious to hear other people's perspective and. Every time that I've approached problems in that way, it's been eyeopening and I have been wrong about a lot of things, and I feel like I've been able to contribute in a more positive way. But for whatever reason, it's hard for us to do that.

And it's a thing that I ha constantly have to be reteaching myself and re reminding myself to do. And I think it requires a certain amount of self-awareness and comfort with yourself. And confidence. Um, and again, this understanding that like, if this turns out to not be true, like it does, it doesn't just shatter my identity as a human being, like I, it doesn't invalidate my existence.

But those things are, are hard to parse.

Stu Murray: Totally. I appreciate you bringing back to that, Marcel, I was actually wanting to circle back because one thing I wanted to touch on was exactly that, that beginner's mind, which I think sits at the core of critical thinking, one of those fundamental skills that you had.

And I just love [00:53:00] meeting people who are willing to admit that they were wrong or share with me that I used to hold this certain belief and I changed my mind because, and that to me, I just, there's something about that and people, even if they hold a different belief than I do, I love listening to people, and I'll listen to somebody who I disagree with all day that's explained how they've changed or view on a certain thing or this because it's real and it's honest.

And there's this difference between a narcissistic confidence that we have where we've really just got our blinders on and it's this egotistical drive to prove that we're right versus what I've been calling a quiet confidence that I can see emerge in somebody who's willing to continue to throw something at the wall and see what sticks and continuously reevaluate that process and know that that's an ongoing process that requires nuance because there's changing context and changing times, and all these infinite [00:54:00] variables that are constantly coming at that.

And one thing I've learned as a tool is this idea of like, when I experience judgment come up inside of myself, That's a really powerful opportunity for me to pause and reflect because I think societally we've been conditioned. When we feel judgment, we point outside of us and it's that old saying, wherever there's a finger pointing out, there's always three pointing back at us.

Right? That, as cliche as it is, it's rooted in some deep truths because what I've learned is where I'm judging something is where I'm lacking confidence in myself. If there's something that I fully fleshed out, I used to have a really hard time watching. My parents watched television, and so as I was starting my early transformational journey, I really saw a lot of television and a lot of news and a lot of these things being the antithesis to personal growth and development and [00:55:00] getting really much in our way.

And so I used to hold a lot of judgment and saying, Well, that's blocking their personal development. And years later, I revisited that and was able to hold space and I can sit in a room with virtually nothing. The only time is if I'm trying to sleep and it's too loud. But other than that, what that's informed to me is that I've healed a lot of my relationship with being able to be comfortable with that kind of thing.

And so I think that's a really awesome opportunity when we are catching ourselves, pointing out and diagnosing what's wrong with something to stop and say, Well, what's alive in me and what needs do I have? And where might I have an opportunity to grow here?

Marcel Petitpas: And you know what I, I find is. You're right. It's really nice to hear somebody talk about how they were wrong and changed. But it's really easy to tell that story when you found the answer , because it's a great story, right? And every story kind of falls the same, the same [00:56:00] framework, situation, struggle, solution. So when you have the solution, of course, and this is like my qualm with every business documentary that's ever been created, is like, well of course once you have had success and it's easy to look back and piece together all the reasons why these failures were actually the right time, the right place, the right lesson we extracted from this, that eventually led us to the answer.

It's way harder to have the conversation when you're still in the struggle and you don't know what the solution is. And I find for myself, when I start pointing the finger, it's because I'm really grasping at trying to resolve. That story. And I have a lot more time admitting and being open and having the conversation about like, I'm in the weeds right now and I don't know what the answer is.

And I think that's the problem is we're in a lot of these situations as a society, like we're in the struggle and a lot of us are grasping at like trying to figure out what the solution is. Cuz it's a lot easier to have the dialogue once we have it. But what I'm really impressed with is the person that's able to have the conversation about the struggle before they know what the solution is.

Mm-hmm. . Cause that's really hard. That's really difficult. [00:57:00]

Stu Murray: You're right. I love that. And that's where it comes in. And showing up, being able to take off the armor and being, When we see vulnerability, it's this kind of a weird paradox, right? Because when we see vulnerability, somebody outside being willing to admit.

They don't know and stand in the messiness, stand in the not knowing. And we see a certain strength there that is just so beautiful. But when it comes to ourselves to stand in, that we see that as weakness. And it's this really interesting paradox. And so being able to stand in transparency and vulnerability to take off our armor and show up at the table, not having all of the solutions, but being willing to cooperate and to listen fully and to ask questions and to bring that beginner's mind.

And an open heart is just such a powerful starting place to affect real, genuine healing and [00:58:00] transformation

Marcel Petitpas: hmm. And you know, I think also the other side of that is how we show up when somebody does have the bravery or feels the comfort level to have that conversation. It comes right back to what we were talking about earlier with regards to holding the space.

Cuz we have a tendency as human beings because again, we're so ingrained in thinking about stories that we want to resolve the story cuz it's much more engaging and it's much more interesting for us to, to engage in that conversation when we feel like there's a resolution. And so that's when it's really easy to fall into the trap of being prescriptive and trying to solve the person's problem.

And that might not be the best way to have that conversation. You might also need to just, even though you might think I've got this figured out, or I know what the answer is, like be able to acknowledge okay, this is a moment where maybe we just need to hold the space and create the context and provide, you know, that for the person that has been.

Vulnerable enough to just admit that they don't know the answer. That's not necessarily an invitation to provide them with what we believe the answer is. And [00:59:00] that in of itself is the messiness of effective public dialogue around really difficult conversations.

Stu Murray: Totally. I, and I think there's something that's been helping me is just entering into relationship with society, relationship with individual, and knowing not just up in my head, but in my heart, that person already has the answers and that if I'm holding that right space, If I can really come into that transparent, vulnerable, honest, authentic way of relating, then I can be the mirror that they need to see themselves more clearly and to step out of their victim's state of mentality.

And back into that master. We can't be the victim in the master at the same time. And when we are able to be the mirror for somebody else that they need to see themselves more clearly, almost 10 times outta 10, that is what is [01:00:00] required for them to overcome or to transcend that victim state and to For the answer to land.

Marcel Petitpas: Yeah. And the answer for them might not be the same answer as for us, Right. But it comes back to that idea that like the facts might be objective, but everybody assigns meaning and a story to. Thing in their own way. And that's also a very difficult thing I think, for us to like really sit with and be comfortable with and learn to accept as we go through that process.

Cuz yeah, I have a tendency to, you know, like everybody be a steerer. Yeah. Try to steer people and all that stuff. And man, it's tough to let go of, of that need to be right. Whether it's because we believe that. There's a part of our identity that's tied up in being right, or because we think we know what's right for that other person or because like we're actually in the conversation for us and not for that other people or that other person.

I think that's [01:01:00] where a lot of our desire for having a resolution to the story comes from is like, unless there's a resolution to this, then what's in it for me? What's, what is the benefit for me being involved in this conversation of, Oh, I'm getting out of it is a problem and I'm not getting a solution.

There is no end to this story. We're just leaving the episode on a cliffhanger and going to commercials and I don't know when the next season's gonna be released, like, It's, that's like a real world example of that playing out. And we do not like that as human beings. so we, we tend not to gravitate towards those conversations cuz they're just like, it's not a con, it's not a, it's not a story, it's not a conveniently packaged story.

Stu Murray: They're tremendously uncomfortable. And there's a shared vulnerability that exists in stepping into those realms, those unfinished stories, the ongoing messiness. And that's challenging. But every single time it's allowed me to deepen my relationships, deepen my connections, to learn myself, even just by listening and holding space.

And I agree with you. There's just, there isn't going to [01:02:00] be that, that one right answer and what's good for you could be very different for me and for those who both coexist is something fundamental as we move forward in society and in our own personal worlds. And I think that is a space that I wanna continue to step into and hold space for others.

Being a man, being somebody who is continuing to reflect and grow so much of what we just talked about and so many of our deepest challenges, like when I come back to what can I do? And that question for me as an educator, that always comes up, Okay, here's all these wicked problems and these challenges.

So what, what can I do? What is my part? What is my role? And the thing that continuously comes back to me there is healing. I need to heal. I need to be that clean mirror that other people need to see themselves more clearly. [01:03:00] And I need to do with my traumas and my inherited traumas that I've received from intergenerational experiences that have come down the pathway and sit with that little boy in me who's been wounded and who has reactive tendencies to want to be right or override, or who gets really insecure. And in those moments doesn't become a good friend or become a good brother or a good, you know, whatever, member of society.

And so I think it's really admirable that you're growing in your, your influence in your business and, and bringing that healing work that you're doing, Marcel into the workplace and into as a, as a byproduct that out into the world. It's, it's really beautiful.

Marcel Petitpas: Well, and you know, I, of course I'm making it sound like I'm doing it perfectly all the time, and that's not, absolutely not the case, right?

Like anything, this is a process and not make lots of mistakes too. But, um, to your point, [01:04:00] it's, it's just about. Kind of continually being focused on doing that work, and trying to find those little opportunities here and there where we can show up in that way and provide that either for ourselves or for other people.

Stu Murray: Mm. So as, we've really veered off. I thought we would end up talking a lot more about what you've been doing in the entrepreneurial space, but I really loved riffing on, on this stuff with you. I think these are, these are topics and stories that I've been sitting with really deeply for some of these, this past while, and it warms my heart to talk with somebody who's also been reflecting and who has a high capacity for critical thought and is developing their emotional intelligence.

But as we start to wrap things up here, I'm curious for you to be able to share a little bit more about what you are doing in the entrepreneurial space currently.

Marcel Petitpas: Yeah, it's funny this, it's like so dry relative to what we've just talked about, but I run a company [01:05:00] called Barito and we basically, help digital and creative services businesses measure and improve their profitability, which also sounds like very capitalistic. But underneath that is really, like, when I say more profitable, that's the chocolate that draws in the owners. And you know, when you're in a business mindset, you're thinking about the numbers. Really what we help them do is see into the future so that they're not overworking their team, they're hiring people at the right time.

The business is healthy so that it's better for all their stakeholders. So that's what we do. We do a lot of consulting, we build a lot of technology to help deliver that consulting, and we specialize in that business model. It's been a very fa very fascinating journey to kind of get to where we are.

And we spend a lot of time, I personally also spend a lot of time being wrong about a lot of things and being too stubborn to see it. It's just, I think a big part of the reason it took longer than I wanted it to, to get traction and be as successful it is now. Yeah.

Stu Murray: Well, I have no doubt with, with who you are as a person and the journey that you're on, that it will continue to, [01:06:00] to grow and evolve so much and change and, and transform and I have no idea.

No, no doubt that the anybody. Able to work on your team is not only having the opportunity to experience something meaningful in the work that they're doing, but also getting an opportunity to develop and grow personally within the team environment that you're creating.

Marcel Petitpas: I would hope so. And, and that's kind of been a really core philosophy to me is, you know, I think unfortunately I also have had this belief that I wanna have an impact on the world, and I'm still trying to figure out how much of that is just my ego and my desire to be relevant and to do big things, and how much of that is genuine.

But I think all of us to some extent have a desire to leave some kind of a mark on the world. And my belief is that probably the best path that I have personally, is to do that through private enterprise, because I do think that business can be a really powerful force for socials [01:07:00] change.

A in the way that it, creates employment and impacts clients and stakeholders and all that stuff. But also because, yeah, I think you can get a lot of personal development out of your career. And I really believe and want to try and create a space where people that work for Parato.

Are better off than we found them after year, after two years after they've stopped working for us and they've got a higher degree of tools and capabilities and capacity to serve their communities. It just like whatever is important to them, they come out better equipped to do that as opposed to, I think what has been the playbook unfortunately in some other companies where the objective is to extract as much value as possible from that individual until they inevitably burn quit, or, leave.

And I really see it differently. I think in organization, any organization, community, whatever is. It's a group of people coming together and the health of the organization can only ever be as good as the health of the people that make it up. And [01:08:00] I think that there is a really healthy tension there that we need to be aware of as leaders.

And so that's kind of my big project, like macro level. And I think the thing that really interests me about not just company building, but like building any kind of an organization, is it, there's a lot of the stuff that's very tactical and strategic and that's all very stimulating and interesting, but like the human problems are, are really where I get to stretch myself.

And it really pushes me to do a lot of personal development and I think is the big qua part of the equation that is largely gated by my ability to keep working on myself.

Stu Murray: I love that. And it, it comes back to that whole aspect of personal development being part of that bottleneck. And obviously you're speaking to that through experience and I think it's a really honorable principle to hold of leaving people.

Better than when they came I hold that same idea with our relationship with nature. Like, allow me to be, allow me to tread the earth lightly, allow me to be of service, [01:09:00]

Marcel Petitpas: allow me to,

Stu Murray: to use whatever capacities and tools I can to just contribute to healing and, and positive transformation in this planet.

And I think all we have to do is look to nature to, to see that she thrives when she's in our, a diverse ecosystem, that that allows possibility and potential to, to come up. And so when we can create a space where diversity of thought, diversity of speech, diversity. All of these things can come together and coalesce and we can create a respectful environment for that.

We're gonna have really

Marcel Petitpas: resilient

Stu Murray: and really strong structures, be that natural social, business structures. So it sounds to me that you're really doing that personal work and communal work to create these structures that can be resilient and allow for organizations both your own and the ones that you work with [01:10:00] to

Marcel Petitpas: thrive Doing our best.

I still lots of work to do. Like diversity is candidly like an issue at Barto. We're basically six white dudes, and I, that I think that's somewhat representative of our industry and the size of our business. But we're not perfect in that respect either, and we're aware of it and it's just, it's a.

It's a constant project. But that's, that's what makes it interesting, right? Business is the infinite games. There's a lot of infinite games. Business is one of them. Apple is a trillion dollar company with a tea now. Like there is no ceiling to this. So it's, it's, it's really about engaging with the process and assigning a meeting to the right parts of it.

And, yeah, there's always something to work on, always something we're not quite doing as well as we'd like to be. I love that brother.

Stu Murray: And if there's anybody who's interested in connecting with you on the business side or is just lit up by some of the things you've shared today, what is the best way for them to be able to check out more of what you're doing or to

Marcel Petitpas: get in contact?

LinkedIn probably is the best place to find me. Of [01:11:00] course on my Instagram is Facebook and all that stuff. Come find me and if you're offended by anything that I've said then you know, feel free to send all your hate speech to my dms on any of those things. Please don't cancel me or whatever. But I'll probably just ask you questions cuz that's how I respond to stuff like that.

I'll just be curious as to who hurt you or why you're so upset about something . Cuz there's probably a lesson in there for both of us, but, yeah, LinkedIn is probably the primary place. And then if you're interested in what we're doing at per keto, check out our website per and we produce lots of content and podcasts that's very specific to creative services.

So if you happen to be in that space then definitely check us out. I

Stu Murray: love it. Do you have any last messages or thoughts to share with people as we take stock on where we've been in this last little while and, you know, move, move society forward? Like what? Any last messages or notes to, to leave?

Marcel Petitpas: Yeah, I mean this has been, yeah, unexpected. I think for both of us, it's been a very wide ranging [01:12:00] conversation. But what I enjoyed about it is we talked about pretty much every hot button issue that there could be, and it was just like a dialogue. And I hope that that's an example to everyone that like, yeah, there doesn't have to be an end to every story and you can just be curious when somebody is that disagrees with you.

Like just be empathetic, try to understand where they're coming from. There's so much power in that and hopefully we can just be having more conversations like this. And I think if we. Like continue to practice doing that, then the world will eventually be a better place because of it. So yeah, I don't know if that's the takeaway from all of this

I think it's a good

Stu Murray: one. I think it's an excellent one. And thanks, Marcel, for your courage to be vulnerable and your ability to admit you're wrong and to bring just an open mind to the, the [01:13:00] things that you're doing. I've, again, I've known that since I've met you and you've been a standout as a high quality individual from, from that point on.

And I've been always curious following your journey, and I just have trust and faith that. Whatever you're doing in your personal life and, and whoever you're working professionally with, that you're going to be continuing to make positive changes even as you stumble through it, as imperfectly as you say.

It's a real pleasure to connect with you in all of those ways and I look forward to continuing to do so, man.

Marcel Petitpas: Yeah, likewise. Do it. And thank you for creating this space and this platform and having these dialogues. Like it's important and I wish more people would do it in a public space like this, and it's, it's brave of you to do it.

There's a lot, this episode exposed you to a lot of opinions and things that are polarizing and I think it's great that you're, you're doing this and I, I appreciate you having me on. This has been a lot of fun. Thanks a lot, brother. My.

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