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Why do we do what we do? It's simple; it's all about humans. In other words, it's all about you. But why am I passionate about HubSpot and your success?




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2 min read

Change, discomfort, and growth; an unexpected fireside chat (HubHeroes, Ep. 14)

Change, discomfort, and growth; an unexpected fireside chat (HubHeroes, Ep. 14)

Ask anyone who knows me, one of my favorite nuggets of wisdom to share is, "Sometimes you don't have the day you want, but you have the day you need." In a way, the same holds true for this episode. Did we talk about what I wanted for this episode of HubHeroes? Nope. Not even close. But do I now see we recorded the episode we needed to record this week? Absolutely. 

I had zero intent of recording anything for HubHeroes that even remotely resembled a Thanksgiving-themed episode. Let's be honest, while there are exceptions, most branded Thanksgiving content is more self-serving in nature rather than truly focused on expressing gratitude.

However, after a twist of fate, a Thanksgiving-themed episode is exactly what we created. 

In this week's atypical episode, it's just Liz Murphy, me, and our mics. (The rest of our crew will be back next week, don't worry!) Looking ahead to Thanksgiving and everything we're currently grateful for, we talked honestly about painful lessons learned, how uncomfortable moments shaped us as humans, the people who have brought us to where we are today, and how important it is to be open to pivots in life. 

I've gotta tell you, much of what I talk about in this episode I would have never dreamed of sharing before now. But as I tell anyone who is considering working with me, the humans always come before HubSpot in any client relationship. So, it was only a matter of time before I was willing to share my goals and my fears, as well as the experiences that created the man many of you know now. 

Next week, we'll return with our usual HubSpot-fueled shenanigans. For now, however, I'd ask each and every one of you to listen to this episode whenever you find it in your feed – as you're traveling to see family, as you're prepping your turkey, or maybe when you're trying to find a moment to center yourself and refocus as we look ahead to a new year. 

This isn’t a fluffy episode. This episode is my way of opening up to you in a way I never have before, and it’s also a challenge – every single one of you has a unique human experience that informs how you show up in your personal and professional lives. And guess what? So do your customers. Now, ask yourself how much do you allow the “human” element to influence the way you show up, what you do, and how you reach your goals? 

For those of you who celebrate, Happy Thanksgiving. 🦃


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1 min read

The true power of HubSpot Academy (HubHeroes, Ep. 29)

We do our best to plan out every HubHeroes podcast episode in advance, so we can guarantee you always get the most out of HubHeroes every time you...

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HubSpot and email marketing Part II: Electric Boogaloo (HubHeroes, Ep. 28)

1 min read

HubSpot and email marketing Part II: Electric Boogaloo (HubHeroes, Ep. 28)

Alright, HubHeroes, we are back for Email Marketing and HubSpot Part II: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO! In our last episode, we told the epic tale of how email...

Read More
HubSpot email marketing strategy + best practices 101 (HubHeroes, Ep. 27)

1 min read

HubSpot email marketing strategy + best practices 101 (HubHeroes, Ep. 27)

When we talk about email marketing, we have to acknowledge that we've all come a long, long way since ...

Unlike dial-up, AOL chatrooms, and AIM...

Read More

Meet your HubHeroes

Liz Murphy


Agency vet, content therapist, messaging strategist, HubHero wrangler.

Devyn Bellamy


HubSpotter, partner enabler, strategy wizard, BLACK@INBOUND.

Max Cohen


HubSpotter, senior solutions engineer, CRM evangelist, a millennial on TikTok.

George B. Thomas


HubHeroes leader, growth catalyst, guardian of humans, HubSpot expert.


Liz Murphy (01:08):

Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, pelicans, pineapples, Guinea pigs, whomever you may be. Welcome back to a very special and very different episode of Hub Heroes. George, it's just you and me today. And for those of you listening, I'm Liz Murphy, content strategist, professional Nerd Wrangler.

And George, it is, the countdown is on less than a week until Thanksgiving. And when I was thinking about us arriving on the mic this week, we're in a season of harvesting, but also a season of change, especially for you specifically. So I thought it might be nice as people are preparing to travel with friends and family, if you're me frantically figuring out how the second oven and my double oven actually works right now, it is a, it is a holder for pans, so that's gonna be a fun adventure.

But I thought it might be nice to just take a moment to stop and reflect because last week we made a big change to this show. But you've had a lot of changes that have happened this year. You went out on your own, you started your own business, you started this brand new podcast. You have been bringing all of these people together to really do something remarkable and magical. So George, what are you thankful for this year?

What are we thankful for this year?

George B. Thomas (02:18):

Yeah, I think it's, it's interesting. There's Liz, first of all, so much to, I'm thankful for, and as I'm listening to you in this kind of intro and to position this, some big topics that came to my mind of like mindsets and being a transition specialist and even knowing what the heck HubSpot is are some of the things where my brain, of course, you know what I'm gonna say in these different directions, right? That's gonna be a t-shirt someday, which I'm thankful that it'll probably be a t-shirt someday. But if I start at kind of the beginning of the story, you know, one of the things that I think as you're driving to visit the in-laws or you're going over to Friendsgiving because you're away from family or it's just you sitting at the table with, you know, wife kids or by yourself and you're listening to this or getting ready to be in any of those situations.

I think one of the things that you mentioned right there at the beginning, Liz, that I want to hit upon is many times we don't actually stop to reflect. We don't stop where we're at. For instance, if we're climbing the mountain of success or we're climbing the mountain of significance, we're always trying to reach that next goal. We're setting a goal almost before we even reach the next one. And we don't stop and we don't look back and go, wow, I've come a long way. And the reason I'm bringing that up is because it's a core fundamental piece that sits back on my whiteboard behind me. And the sentence literally says, you've come a long way since 2013. And to be thankful for somebody who at one point in my life knew nothing about HubSpot, was an inbound zero, didn't believe that they ever belonged in, in a position of owning a company, that they played a great number two to a number one, a robin to a Batman. I'm thankful that over the last 10 years that a, I learned about HubSpot, that I'm, I'm thankful that I learned about Inbound. I'm thankful that I had this journey through multiple agencies. But to kind of even circle back around to another thing you said in that intro is I'm super thankful that I have this ability to be a transition specialist. And at 1.5 months ago, I said, maybe it's time to be a business owner.

Liz Murphy (04:35):

You said something there, wait, hold on, let me be my best, George. Here's where my brain went. Two different directions. Number one, it reminded me of that episode of the office when Andy said, man, I wish somebody told you you were in the good old days when you were still in the good old days. And then the second thing that you mentioned is that really stuck with me, is that you really don't often know where change is going to take you. And we're at an interesting point in the year when a lot of you who, who are listening right now, you're probably evaluating budgets, your tool stack, what the heck are we gonna be doing next year? Are we in a recession? Are we not in a recession?

Are we in a mini, there's, this is the time when we're all sitting and reflecting and thinking about where we've come from, where we are and where we're going. And when I think about this year, George, and I wonder if you had the same thing. What I'm thankful for the most are those moments where I was pushed into change and it was like all of these little things lined up. And to take everybody back to a moment, let's go back to, what was it, March, you and I? Or was it? No, it was May you and I happened to get to the airport in Charlotte early at the same

George B. Thomas (05:42):

Time, which I'm thankful for by the way.

Liz Murphy (05:44):

And that's the exactly the point. And I'm so incredibly thankful for that moment because you and I both ended up having conversations we would never have had. We ended up connecting in ways that we would've never connected that led me here harassing you on this very microphone. So I think about these moments where we take a lot for granted and we don't capitalize enough on the moments when we're called to change, when we're called to notice that the status quo no longer works anymore. And I see you nodding your head. What are your feelings around that?

We inherently don't like change, but we need to embrace change

George B. Thomas (06:20):

Yeah, I mean, it comes down to a couple of things for me, fundamentally, and maybe for the listeners as well, one, humans, we inherently don't like change. Usually we like to know where our things are, know what we're supposed to do. We have our little comfort zones. I mean, there was literally a book written who Moved My Cheese because to fight against the fact of not wanting to change and almost needing, in your words, being forced into change instead of embracing change. And I'm thankful that for my whole life from when I was a kid and my parents were in the military and we moved a lot and I, I just got really comfortable with things always changing. And by the way, that's the only thing that stays consistent is change. It's not gonna be the same tomorrow as it was yesterday. One of the things that I think can be a superpower for the listeners is that we actually embrace change instead of fighting change.

And that we're always looking for when it is or does make sense to what I like to call Pivot. Let me explain why. Keep talking about Pivot and Transition Specialist. For years I was a designer developer, then I learned about HubSpot, I made a transition into learning about HubSpot. When I started to learn about HubSpot, I was working at a small agency, but then I got offered a job with the sales line and Marcus Sheridan and I made a transition. It felt right, I'm gonna go back to why these things can feel right fundamentally. But then Marcus said, let's start a podcast transitioned into becoming a podcast specialist that I just happened to be talking about HubSpot. Then it was like, let's do video became a video specialist. Just so happened that we were making videos about HubSpot, but there was always these changes that were happening and and diving in.

And I was on an interview once, I was actually interviewing the other person, now Dean Delly, I'll never forget this interview until the probably the day I die. And he goes, dude, you are just a transition specialist. And I go, what do you mean by that? He's like, man, you are not afraid to pivot on a dime. You are not afraid to go in a different direction. And I had to stop and think about that. And I'm thankful for that conversation with Dean because it made me actually stop, think, reflect. And he kept using the words You're not afraid to, which led me to this fundamental mindset that I'm very thankful that I embraced years ago. And I hope that the listeners will actually be able to take with them after listening this as they move forward. And that is their relationship with fear. Many times, and you talk about recession, not a recession, many recession, many times we base our strategy, we base our actions on the beliefs and fears that we have.

And so one of the things that fundamentally I, again, am very thankful for is my relationship with fear. And that is, I don't really necessarily believe in fear. I believe that fear is false evidence appearing real. We never truly fear the past or we never talk about fearing the past. We only fear those things that we haven't seen or haven't been through. And so if you have a mindset of its false evidence appearing real that enables you to actually transition, pivot, and strategize in a completely different manner than you once would. The second piece of this is your belief structure. We'll probably dive into that a little bit more because I know we're gonna talk about like starting a business and belief in oneself and stuff like that. But my takeaway for this right now is diagnose what you believe or don't believe about fear, what you believe or don't believe because of that about mistakes versus learning lessons. And if you can sit and unpack that for a little bit, fundamentally it's gonna change your life.

Liz Murphy (10:12):

I love that you brought that up because it reminds me of a video I think I've actually sent you, and everybody can google this, but I will put it in the show notes. I saw this video, oh my gosh, I was gonna say a few years ago, but I think it was about seven or eight years ago at this point by rabbi Dr. Abraham Toki talks about lobsters. Now lobsters look like nightmare fuel from a Tim Burton movie. But on the inside, underneath that shell, they're just fleshy little creatures who want to be loved and probably not eaten, but like all creatures lobsters grow. But unlike us humans where our whole body grows at the same time, their shell actually does not grow along with them. So at some point, their growth is going to become inhibited and they're actually gonna start feeling physical pain because the home that once served them well is now harming them.

It is preventing them from growing into the next stage of life that they are meant to grow into. So what they do is they go under a little rock, they hook themselves out of their shell, they grow into a new one, and then at some point down the line, it happens again. And what's fascinating about what Rabbi Toski talks about is that imagine if a lobster were a human. And what would happen is instead of going through the process, the necessary pain, because you made a great point, even when change is positive, we're afraid of it. We don't wanna do it. I wanna stay in my sweatpants and if anybody touches my cheese, I will fight them. But if the lobster were a human and they were to go to a hospital, the doctor wouldn't tell them, Hey, this is necessary. You need to grow through this. You need to go through the process process. They'd be throwing painkillers at them faster than you can possibly imagine. So the key here to always remember, and I'm gonna quote him on this because he said it so beautifully, is to remember that the stimulus for the lobster to be able to grow is that it is uncomfortable. So I wanna ask you, George, on that note, what uncomfortable moments are you thankful for?

What moments of discomfort are you thankful for this year?

George B. Thomas (12:17):

Yeah, there's so many. And, and what's funny is, Liz, over my lifetime, I used to have a very unhealthy relationship with being comfortable. I wanted to be in my space, be in my zone, you know, to the detriment of who I was actually bringing myself to be in the world. And now what's funny, and I'll, and I'll talk to you about some uncomfortable times that I'm thankful for, but what's funny is I wanna fast forward for a second and, and I want to hit upon kind of your lobster story a little bit. And by the way, it enables me to be who I am as a marketer. It enables me to be who I am as a trainer. It has enabled me to be the person that brings HubSpot community value in the manner in which that I actually bring the value. And that is, I have this crazy little feeling now that when life gets rough, I actually get excited.

Now I said that to somebody at one point and they're like, dude, you're not right in the head. But I do, I get excited when life gets difficult because I have come to this belief and I call it God, you can call it the universe, you can call it whatever you want. But we don't actually become who we're supposed to become with tissue and toilet paper. We become who we're supposed to become in life with chisels and saws and hammers. And it's an aggressive, painful time that launch us into who we're supposed to be. So a couple that I'm thankful for is one, at age 18 and a half 19, uh, I went through a real painful process of breaking out in hives. I was in the military, the United States Navy. These hives were actually happening around my heart and my lungs. It was hard to breathe.

There was an a rapid heartbeat. We were actually underway. This is right before Desert Storm, by the way, we're underway doing test ops. And it got to the point where they had me on massive doses of Benadryl and steroids to the point where they couldn't wake me up. And what's interesting is my master chief, when I finally did get woke up, he's like, this is no good little Filipino guy, cool as hell. This is no good. Go to the doctor. If we can't wake you up to do work, then this is no good. The doctor, he looks at me goes, George, we can't figure it out. And by the way, um, not that this would ever happen, but if there was a fire that happened on board ship, we couldn't get you out. We couldn't wake you up. So we're gonna have helicopter come, we're gonna send you a transient personnel unit and we're gonna get you fixed up, get you back on literally packed my seabags helicopter came, flew me to shore.

13 hours later, Liz, I woke up and there was a TV announcer and it was talking about how the USS Cunningham missile guided Destroyer DTG 17, the number one boiler exploded, 18 people injured, one person died. By the way, the birthing space where I would've been sleeping was located right above where the number one boiler was located. And so I can look back and go, I was 13 hours away from being alive or being dead. And so that was a very aggressive, painful transition because I thought I was gonna be in the military for the rest of my life. I ended up getting a medical honorable discharge. And for the next three years I went and worked at a camp in Jude, Ohio teaching kids about Jesus and how to ride horses, making a hundred dollars a month. But the level of growth that happened through those three years from fundamental principles of how I show up for the HubSpot community were birthed in that timeframe.

Liz Murphy (15:46):

So let's flash forward here a moment. A lot has changed with you internally and externally since that time. I want you to look back at yourself previously, cuz you and I have had offline conversations about when we look at our past selves and all of the lessons we've learned. Sometimes when we look at our past selves, we don't necessarily do so with a a kind lens or a kind look. So if you could go back and talk to yourself at any point in your life and just put a hand on your shoulder and say, bud, I am thankful for who you are right now because this is where we're gonna go,

What would you tell your younger self, based on what you've learned and know now?

George B. Thomas (16:23):

Man. Yeah, this one's aggressive. But I would go to, I would go to the George B. Thomas, that's a high school dropout, right after my math teacher told me that I would never amount to anything because I was in a dark place. Uh, I was in an angry place. And I'm thankful that there became a time in my life where my perspective on the story dramatically changed. Let me explain. So when you drop out from school, when you feel like you're never gonna be somebody, like my math teacher said, it puts you in a dark place, very angry. You make life decisions out of that place. And I did it for a lot of years, but I would say to myself at that point, don't worry. This, this right here is what is going to turn you into an aggressive learner. This right here is going to be the fuel that makes you wanna be the most incredible educator that you can be for the community that you're going to serve in the future.

This is what you need. And here's the thing. For a lot of years, I would wanna go back and see that math teacher and I would've wanna punch that math teacher in the face. And I remember about maybe eight years ago, nine years ago, somebody asked me a question, and it was in a podcast I had, they got asked me to be on a podcast with them. And they said, Hey, if you could go back and talk to that math teacher, what would you say? And I knew that my perspective had changed because the answer that came out of my mouth, a I couldn't really believe, but I'm thankful for, was I said I would thank them. I would thank them because at that moment in time, even though they weren't doing it out of, uh, the being the best teacher that they could be, it was the thing that I needed to unlock a future that I was going to have. And so I, I didn't at that point hold any anger. I really would want them to. This is gonna sound weird. It would be more important for me to understand if they had been holding on to the words that they had used against somebody else and me to be able to say, oh, don't worry about it. I forgive you because it's, it made me this.

Liz Murphy (18:37):

I know in the last episode we joked a little bit about your love of the word humans. Humans. But it's something you've brought into your business, this idea, not it, you know, for example, you have servant-based HubSpot demos where it, you are not with HubSpot. You're not there to make a buck. Not all the, all of those different things. But the thing that strikes me, because I was just looking at your website here for a moment, and you go deeply into your story on your website, but you actually start by talking about the fact that you believe the human stories, these micro moments and these macro moments in our lives. You go out of your way to learn those things about the people that you work with as clients because it yields better outcomes because it all starts with the humans. And so, while Max and Devin aren't here, I'd love to just hear you talk a little bit about why these, the human element of everything we do is so important. Why stories like yours and the story of every person you work with or anybody who ever touches HubSpot, why it matters,

all jokes aside, why does the human side matter in business and in HubSpot?

George B. Thomas (19:44):

Man, this is, this is gonna be a deep episode. We have to understand this about the humans around us. Maybe more importantly, we have to understand this about ourselves. We have been wonderfully crafted. We have been made to be this person that we are supposed to be. We're also very much connected from an energy perspective, from, uh, an aspirations or goal or living a good life. Many of us want many of the same things. Some of us actually, and many of us, I'll say in our own little way, love to help people. We can help people faster, better. The more we know them. The more we understand them, the more, and my dad used to say it this way, never judge a man until you walk a mile in his moccasins. By the way, the underlying lesson there is empathy. How am I going to give you, whether it's about life, your kids, your wife, your husband, your partner, your business, your sales pipeline, the way that you do HubSpot forms.

If I don't truly understand you, your goals, your historical hurdles that have stopped you from being successful and the aspirational direction that you're trying to go, if I don't know those things about you, then it's very hard. I can teach you a thing, but I can't teach you a best way to use that thing for you. And there's a dramatic difference in that type of education when you can apply that level. So I i, if I wrap this portion of it up a little bit, what I will say is that we have to understand how special we truly are. We have to understand how connected we are, and we have to understand the power of the words that come out of our mouth to direct people in a different direction. And with that, for me, there is a level of responsibility to do my due diligence to understand them. Where I don't sit back and go like my math teacher potentially, oh crap, did I just send them in a wrong direction?

Liz Murphy (22:06):

It reminds me a lot of, of also how you teach HubSpot. You know, people, and you wrote about this last week, I'll link it in the show notes about how so many people get so obsessed with all the bells and the whistles and the features and the tools of, of whatever hub you open up. You open up the box, you're like, I can blog now, I can do templates, I can do sequences, I can do this. And you're like, m we're going to start by learning about the humans and the contacts. And I think you bring up a really great point here because it's not just how we connect from a business to business relationship level. I, this is something I teach a lot when I'm working with, uh, businesses, when they're trying to make their content more effective when they're trying to, as you put it, show more empathy.

I think sometimes a lot of people know how to spell empathy, and that is where that conversation ends. I think a lot of people forget that every single data point in your HubSpot database is a human being with a story, a human being who is waking up in the middle of the night, petrified of, man, if I don't show value to my boss, this isn't just about getting results. This is about whether or not I'm keeping my job and and keeping dinner on the table for my family. I thought our strategy was really going great. Now all of a sudden they wanna know a strategy. I mean, wait, why are they asking for all of these things? I think people forget that at the end of the day, you're moving data and looking for insights and looking at graphs. And every single inflection point, every single number that contributes to any of the charts you ever see inside of HubSpot is a person with a story, a goal, a fear, a challenge, somebody who told them they could not do something or can never do something. Or maybe they're proactive and excited and trying to see something new. I think people really forget that they lose the human element of the entire story.

every data point you have in your portal represents a living, breathing human being

George B. Thomas (23:52):

It's, it's funny, you started to rattle off things and, and my brain was already going into a level of they forget that every data point, everything that they do, that it's a human that evoked an emotion that took action to go to the next step of where they're gonna be at or who they're gonna be. And when you start to think in these micros, because by the way, for me, it's never been about HubSpot. It's never been about HubSpot. You know what turned me on about HubSpot and made me go in the direction that I went in in 2012 is their actual marketing was don't call me a customer. Don't call me a customer. And they were leaning heavily in 2012 on that. It's about serving humans as a historical bouncer of a bar and a pastor at a church. That's something that I can get behind.

I love serving humans. And so this was like, how do I educate myself, oh my God, there's HubSpot Academy and I can learn how to do this thing and I can serve people along the way. Wait a minute, you mean I can turn myself into an inbound zero into an inbound hero? I can become an expert all my life. I've been waiting for a hand up, not a handout, and here it is a SAS software giving me a hand up to the aspirational place that I wanna become. It's never been about HubSpot, it's been about the human journey that they evoked an emotion. I took an action and continue to have, by the way, a mentality that I am thankful about, become 1% better each and every day along this last 10 year journey. Well,

Liz Murphy (25:34):

Let's focus on this past year of this past 10 year journey. I know, I mean, you didn't really do much this year, you know, started a business, did all these different things, whatever. Are there any people who come to mind where you just wanna take a moment and shout them

What are the people you're thankful for this year?

George B. Thomas (25:46):

Out? Godless we'll be here forever. I mean, people that I'm thankful for. I, I gotta start with the fact that I'm thankful for my wife. My wife has been absolutely amazing in allowing me to chase this dream that I've been chasing for I would say the last 15 or 20 years, where it's just this thing. The next thing, this pivot, this transition and thankful that she's always been there to be like, if you believe this is best for us, then let's do this. And especially when it was like, Hey babe, I wanna quit my job and I don't know what we're gonna do about insurance and I don't know what we're gonna do about this, but I really think that I should start a company. If you think this is the best for us, then let's double down. Like to have a partner in crime that is that amazing, I'm super thankful for.

The other thing is I'm thankful for serendipity in relationships. Meaning meeting, you know, mark Killins of the HubSpot Academy, being able to actually talk to, uh, the HubSpot Academy employees in 2013 or 2014 and thank them person to person for doing all the things that they do and don't get thank for because they are enabling me to become the person that I'm becoming. Like that was an impactful moment. I'm thankful for all of the people who have ever worked at HubSpot Academy out of that. By the way, that's probably how Marcus Sheridan heard about me is there was some scuttlebutt about this guy who's like going crazy ham on HubSpot education and becoming somebody that's kind of special. And so I'm thankful for Marcus Sheridan and the five years of working with him because that was the bedrock of actually becoming a great communicator, starting to podcast, doing video, all the things that I love and would call my zone of genius today come from that hitting the stage in speaking, doing MCing, like it's all rooted in that.

But then I also have to be thankful for Bob Ruffo is the Liz Murphys, the people that I met at Impact, heck, Zach Basner knew him way before that, by the way. Super thankful for that dude cuz he's just a good guy and I love him to death. And to be honest with you, for many years in our life, I treated him like he was a son. And now he's, I treat him like he's a brother because he is. Here's the thing, I have to be thankful for people like Remington bag and Rachel bag too, because when I got to a point where I wasn't ready to make a change, they gave me a place to call home and not only call home, but to call home and have the freedom to just be who I am, right? Not many businesses would be like, Hey, welcome in, and oh, you wanna create sprocket?

Talk the community. Oh, you wanna make videos? Oh, you wanna do podcasting? And by the way, what's the return on investment on this? No, we can't. No, no, no, no, no. They gave me a home, a place to land, a place to be myself and dare I say, a place to heal from the road bumps, the speed bumps, the bruises that I had kind of gotten along this interesting journey that is HubSpot and inbound and agency life. <laugh>, there's, I, I could keep going. I mean, I could mention my parents, I could, I could mention my grandparents who are like prayer warriors and like probably have a century worth of blessing over me because of them. Sean Farrell from Qds. I mean there's just so, Ian Altman, Joey Coleman, Anne Hanley, Mitch Joel. I mean, like, that's the thing. Like I'm, I'm thankful that I'm super blessed to call some of the most amazing humans on the planet friends and have had chances to collaborate with them.

And again, I go back to Liz, we're gonna, I know we're gonna talk about the business here in a hot minute probably, but I, I go back to like, I can say all these things, be thankful for all these things, think all of these things and understand that it all started in a one room log cabin with no running water in Lincoln, Montana where we would bathe with the stream of runoff of the mountain. At nine years old, I would ride my pony to a one room schoolhouse by 17 and a half hours of high school dropout. Yet I sit here thankful for the people that I know and the relationships that I have and the future that I have no idea where we're headed. Now let me go ahead and say this piece to wrap up people that I'm thankful for. When I started my business, I knew that there were two things that had to hold true for me to actually enjoy what I'm doing.

I knew that I wanted to start a YouTube channel because I loved to create videos and I knew that I wanted to start a podcast because I loved to add value to the HubSpot community out of this tool that is podcasting. I sat down and I dreamt how could I create the most amazing podcast? How could I beat something that I had historically done with Marcus the HubCast? How could I evolve myself, challenge myself, put myself in a pressure cooker who out there is smart enough to call me on my ish to actually say, you might not be right. Or have you thought about it this way? And so two people that I am absolutely uber thankful, by the way, I have another one that I'm gonna mention here in a hot minute. But two people that I'm uber thankful for is Max Cohen and Devin Bellamy, because they're both rock stars.

They are absolute HubSpot Wizard Ninja Guru. But aside of that, they're just great humans. They're super smart, they're super open. They both want to impact change. Devin Black and Inbound Impact Change Max teaching people for years how to use HubSpot in a right way, impacting the right change and then showing up. By the way, unpaid on a weekly, almost weekly basis. Sometimes we miss one here and there, you know, whatever. That's not why we're here. But on a weekly basis, unpaid to do a podcast for some weird dude that decided to start a business and wanted to add value to the HubSpot community. So they are on the tippy top of people that I'm thankful for One other one, but you gotta promise me not to get emotional is Liz Murphy. I had the opportunity when I started the business to go through a coaching kind of voice tone.

How do you want to show up? I kind of thought I was a baller, but I always try to stay super humble, right? Happy, helpful, humble human. Like that's just my mantra has been for many, many, many years. But I'm thankful that Liz, we know each other. I'm thankful that we actually went through that process and I'm very thankful by the way, tying this all together to that change is hard and the lobster breaks through their shell. And if we as humans can kind kind of find ways to do that as we move forward, it's, it's gonna be a good thing. During the process of going through the voice and tone and coaching portion and and getting new copy on the website and showing up how I wanted to show up. You asked me what seemed like it should be easy words to hear, but they were uber difficult.

And so I am thankful for the words when you said George, what does it look like to show up as a whole ass human? Because one of the things that I had not done is I had not fully forgiven myself for the human that I was pre HubSpot, pre trying to be a good dude. I had not forgiven myself of the angry guy, of the dropout guy of the mm, he might be a little shady guy. And when you ask me those words, I kid you not, it was the key that had to turn to unlock who I needed to be to 10 x 20 x the belief structure that I have to actually get the, to place and make the decisions that I've had to make in the last five months of owning my own business.

Liz Murphy (33:52):

Well thank you. And one thing I will say about all of that, I'm not gonna deflect, I wanna dig a little deeper and, and then I've got a couple more questions I wanna ask before we start thinking more about Turkey. I think one of the big flaws in that logic, cuz I run into a lot of people who think that way, is that you're chasing this idea of when am I gonna forgive myself for who I used to be? And instead, honestly, you just need to be thankful for them because they're the reason you're here standing in this spot. You have always been this person. You were just going through your different shell moments, going under the rock, building a new shell, creating a new shell coming out. Again, when you think about the past five months of this business, because you know, I'm so good at talking about my one feeling we have to deflect at some point the last five months, what are you the most thankful for

The importance of reciprocity and value

George B. Thomas (34:38):

The last five months? I'm actually thankful for the last 10 years. And, and what I mean by that is you'll hear things on the internet and you're like, oh, that's cute, that's nice. And one of the things from the 2012 and and kind of going through is, you know, there's a guy, Gary v he's kind of famous, but he would, he would talk about reciprocity. There's a guy, Marcus Sheridan, he's kind of famous. He would talk about the word trust. And so the, I was kind of in this reading ground of reciprocity, trust, value, content creation and just this like cycle of how much value can I add to a community? How when I add this value to the community, will they trust me? But I never really paid attention to the reciprocity point other than I knew that the agencies that I worked for were getting calls because they wanted to work with that agency.

And sometimes it was because I was there and sometimes maybe it wasn't because I was there, but I knew that there was somewhat of impact that was being made when I started the business. There was a flood, and I'm not kidding, there was a flood of reciprocity that I almost drowned in the business because of how much people were ready to work with the human. That is George B. Thomas, that for years and years and years. Video, video, podcast, video, podcast, podcast, video, video, video. And they had no real direct line to give back because it had impacted their life and their journey so much that when they saw the opportunity, boom, there it was. And so when you hear stories of like trust and reciprocity and adding value to the world or aka reaping what you sow, and you think, oh, that's cute. No, no, no, no, no.

That's some real ish right there. And I think that's too why I tie back to the importance of HubSpot and the tools that HubSpot gives you is because it literally is the thing that you can use to add value, add value, add value to the humans that you serve, which then they can trust you. They can like you, they can know you, but more than that they can give back to the things that you've given. And man, that's a wonderful place to be as far as when you're a business owner or you wanna be part of a business that is flourishing,

Liz Murphy (37:02):

Let's bring it home. Just because it's just you and me doesn't mean you get away without a secret question.

George B. Thomas (37:07):

Ah, here we go,

Liz Murphy (37:09):

<laugh>, it's actually a two far, what is your favorite moment that you look forward to every Thanksgiving? And then what's your favorite thing to eat?

favorite Thanksgiving foods and traditions

George B. Thomas (37:17):

Eat? Oh wow. It's almost the same thing, but I'll, I'll make it too. So, so what's funny is the, my favorite thing that I look forward to at Thanksgiving is actually the day after Thanksgiving. I know that sounds weird, I know that sounds weird. However, there is a sandwich that if anybody knows what Friendly's restaurant is, there is a sandwich that they used to make. They don't make it anymore. It's sourdough bread, it's stuffing, it's Turkey, it's cranberry sauce, cheddar cheese, and a light spreading of mayo grilled. And it is freaking fan fabulous. It is heaven on earth. It the gods came down to whoever owned friendlies and said, you should make this sandwich. The fact that they don't make it anymore is beyond me. But for years, the day after Thanksgiving, I make that sandwich and I relive my love of that sandwich. So my favorite thing about Thanksgiving is actually the day after because all the preparation, all the food gives me the tools in utensils that I then make that sandwich. Now with that said, I need to at least throw something out there that people can like listen and go, dude, you're stupid, or dude, you're amazing. And that is, I have found over time what I'm about to say, say is one of the most polarizing Thanksgiving things on the planet. And that is, I love me some green bean casserole.

Liz Murphy (38:44):


George B. Thomas (38:45):

Ah, see that's, and there, you either love it or you hate it, but I will go back for seconds, thirds, give me some more of those crunchy onion things on the top. Like let's go. I am all in on the green bean casserole. I just gotta throw that out there.

Liz Murphy (39:02):

Between that and your sandwich takes, I'm having a hard time here, but I mean, on the one hand, the only child and me is going, well, we'll never have to fight over the same than that, the Thanksgiving table. And then the other part of me is like my dude, those are sad, bland beans.

George B. Thomas (39:17):

No, God, you, the way that my wife makes green or my mother that mothers and wives in my life, maybe I'm just blessed, I know I am, but maybe I'm blessed. The green bean casserole, it's, it's euphoric.

Liz Murphy (39:32):

So spoiler alert, green beans feature neither of my answers unless it's me just going goodbye. Like, like in Toy Story when Andy's like, I don't wanna play with you anymore. And just a slow mo dropping into the trash can. My answers would be this. I have two obviously. My favorite moment moment is on Thanksgiving morning. So I always make some sort of like breakfast, one dish casserole, and we watch the Thanksgiving Day parade. But then my favorite thing afterward is there's the dog show. My favorite thing is we have three little lunatic dogs, Brisco Hammond Nugget. And I love sitting there with my husband, Patrick, watching the dogs watch the dog show right before I then have to panic and make Turkey and do all these different things.

George B. Thomas (40:18):

Yeah, yeah. It's the calm before the storm for you.

Liz Murphy (40:22):

Oh yeah, yeah. And my favorite thing to put in my face is corn pudding. It is a recipe I actually got from my stepmom who was not a big fan of vegetables. So when she was an adult and was tasked with bringing the vegetable for Thanksgiving day, she brought corn pudding. So it became a staple at all of my family Thanksgivings growing up. And it's jiffy and sour cream and cream corn and regular corn and a bu and melted butter. And you put a little bit of cheddar on top and you mix, mix, mix, throwing the oven for an hour. You're breaking

George B. Thomas (40:54):

My, I No, you're breaking my brain. I, uh, jiffy like the peanut butter?

Liz Murphy (40:58):

No, jiffy like corn.

George B. Thomas (41:00):

Oh, like cornbread, like Jiffy cornbread. Oh, okay. So it's cornbread and it's creamed corn.

Liz Murphy (41:08):

It's and

George B. Thomas (41:09):

Butter. And it's butter. Sour cream. It's sour

Liz Murphy (41:10):

Cream. Sometimes a little cheddar depending on the recipe. Creamed corn, regular corn. What's crazy about this is that I go to Friendsgiving dinners, I go to holiday potlucks. I bring this every time. It's always a favorite. And it takes me like no time to put together.

George B. Thomas (41:26):

So I need to know if you charge for this recipe or you give it for free, because I, I would wanna make, yeah, I would would wanna make this like yesterday.

Liz Murphy (41:35):

It's so freaking good. You pop it in the oven 55 minutes at 3 75 and you're done.

George B. Thomas (41:42):

Man. I'm thankful for this episode because I got a new recipe.

Liz Murphy (41:46):

I know, right. And on that note, we have a lot of really great topics for you guys coming up in future weeks. Just because it's the holidays doesn't mean we take time off. We're gonna have a special guest coming in and joining us soon to talk about HubSpot Marketing Hub. We're gonna be talking about HubSpot. Is it Enterprise, is it not Enterprise? We have lots of really good stuff coming up soon. But for today, George, I'm thankful for you too, buddy. And listeners, we're thankful for you. And if you're thankful for us subscribe, leave us a review. But for now, go be with friends, go be with family, eat some really good food, and we'll see you on the next episode of the Hub Heroes podcast.