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Dr. Hoby Wedler is the co-founder of Senspoint, which has a sister brand called Tucker Branding, and it is a full-spectrum design company with a distinct focus on telling stories to create truly memorable experiences using all five senses.

Dr. Wedler has been completely blind since birth. He is a scientist, a food and beverage expert, and a passionate explorer of anything sensory. Dr. Wedler earned his Ph.D. in Computational Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Davis.

He also founded Accessible Science, a nonprofit organization that held annual chemistry camps for blind or visually impaired students. Dr. Wedler began opening doors to the world of wine aromas by holding truly blind wine tastings in Francis Ford Coppola’s wineries, and he’s conducted these all over the globe.

Dr. Wedler was recognized by President Barack Obama in 2012 when he was named a Champion of Change.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Dr. Hoby Wedler discusses how people can stop making excuses
  • Dr. Wedler talks about how and why he specialized in Chemistry
  • How Dr. Wedler’s parents taught him to embrace hard work and pushing himself beyond his blindness
  • Dr. Wedler shares how he was able to pushback against people who say that he can’t do what he wanted to do
  • Dr. Wedler talks about holding wine tastings for Francis Ford Coppola’s wineries and how people reacted to his events
  • Dr. Wedler shares the advice he gave his friend who lost his eyesight on how to keep going
  • The Senspoint case study on how they helped a glass company design silky glass
  • Dr. Wedler talks about the product activation project did for Barilla
  • Dr. Wedler shares how some of his high and proud moments came from low moments in business and in his personal life

In this episode…

We make a ton of excuses for not doing the best we can, but when you listen to Dr. Hoby Wedler’s story, you will realize that there really should be no room for excuses. Not one. Dr. Wedler is the perfect example of someone who didn’t accept or make excuses. He set the bar high for himself and defied anyone who tried to dictate what he could and couldn’t do. So not only did he major in Chemistry even when people weren’t very encouraging about it, but he actually went ahead and earned a Ph.D. in Computational Chemistry.

According to Dr. Wedler, the secret is to expect the world of yourself and to never let anyone pull you down or box you in. Dr. Wedler exemplifies this belief and approach to life, and he says that his motto is to always challenge yourself to do something that you either dread doing or think you can’t do, and just take baby steps and you’ll get there.

Tune in to this episode of Inspired Insider Podcast with Dr. Jeremy Weisz as he talks with Senspoint co-founder, Dr. Hoby Wedler, about his inspiring story and why he believes that making excuses can pull you back instead of pushing you up. Dr. Wedler also shares some of the remarkable things that Senspoint has worked on, what it was like for the attendees of his blind wine tasting in the Francis Ford Coppola wineries, and how his parents helped him understand the value of setting the bar high.

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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here I’m founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders. And, you know, I’ve Dr. Hoby. I’m gonna introduce you in a second. But, you know, Dr. Hoby is one of the reasons I started this podcast. He doesn’t even know it. It’s really to capture some of the most inspiring stories, what I consider some of the most inspiring people that I learned about or know, you know, I had a past guest, which is Chris Ategeka. Chris Ategeka Most people have never heard of him, but he started to for profits to nonprofits. And he, you know, at age seven, he became an orphan because both his parents died of AIDS and his oldest five children. And one he was taking his brother to the hospital, Dr. Hoby, and his brother died, and he started a nonprofit to create old bikes and he created like ambulatory bikes, so because in his village, you, you know, it’s a long way to the hospital. And so he actually created that and he wore his first pair of shoes at age 17. He actually ended up he speaks nine languages, he ended up coming to the US and getting his PhD. It was just an amazing, amazing story. I’m not even doing remarkable. I’m not even doing a justice to be honest with you. So check out that and other episodes on InspiredInsider calm. Before I introduce today’s guest, this episode is brought to you by Rise25, which I co founded with my business partner, John Corcoran, and what we do is we help businesses connect to their dream relationships, partnerships, clients, you name it. And we help you do that by running your podcast and you know, Dr. Hoby for me, the number one thing in my life is relationships, I’m always looking for ways to give to my best relationships. And podcasting is a way to do that. And it really was inspired by my grandfather who was a Holocaust survivor and him and his brother were concentrated in concentration camps in Nazi Germany and they were the only members of our family survive. Why am I telling you this? Because he was interviewed by the Holocaust foundation his legacy lives on because of a podcast or not because the price because of an interview, and you know, I put that on my about page of my podcast website. My kids can watch it my when I have hopefully God Willing grandkids can watch it and anyone can watch it. His legacy lives on because of that interview. And that’s what I consider when I have my guests on. So it’s not just relationship is not just business but is actually I believe it’s helping people leave a legacy beyond themselves. So I’m excited to introduce today’s guest in a shout out to Justin Breen. I would not know today’s guests without Justin Breen, Justin Breen. Thank you his book Epic Business you need to check it out. Yeah, BrEpic Communications the foreword was from Chris Voss, one of my favorite authors. I’ve also had him on the podcast have of Never Split The Difference. If you haven’t listened to that book or read it. It is a must must listen to. Dr. Hoby Wedler has been completely blind since birth. He is a scientist. He’s a food and beverage expert and a passion explorer of anything sensory. And you need to watch this TEDx talk. It was phenomenal. I didn’t know he’s a comedian also, but he earned his PhD from UC Davis in organic chemistry. He founded accessible science, which is a nonprofit organization, which held annual chemistry camps for blind or visually impaired students throughout North America. And he began opening doors the world of wine aromas, by holding truly blind wine tastings in Francis for a couple of wineries, and he’s conducted these all over the globe. And Dr. Hoby co-founded Senspoint which is a sister brand called Tucker Branding, and their a design company with a distinct focus. And you guessed it and telling stories to create memorable experience using all five senses with wine, spirits, beer, food and beverage and many others. And most people maybe don’t know about this, Dr. Hoby but us recognized by President Barack Obama in 2012, when he was named a champion of change. And Dr. Hoby thanks for joining me.

Dr. Hoby Wedler

Dr. Jeremy This is such an honor I love this this podcast you put together you know it’s it’s just a such a phenomenal way to wait a way to share stories and way to create relationships. And I just love what you said about your grandfather and and having his legacy live on. I do have to ask you must have heard some pretty amazing stories as a child growing up

Jeremy Weisz

crazy stories and that’s what I love about your story is like when I think of his story, and when I think of your story, I think when we make excuses. That is just It’s terrible. Like, you know, we have we create excuses. We tell we have self talk, we tell self talk of excuses. And when I think of is sort of like, what is my excuse, what he went through and what he started with, and he came to the United States with zero dollars, and what he would not know in the language in same thing with you the things that you have to that all of us take for granted. And then we have these excuses. And like, I mean, listen, I don’t even know how you, you email me right away, you text me back right away. And like, I don’t even know how you manage everything and do everything. And so I want to talk about I want to start the conversation with people telling you, you can’t do things. Okay. Yeah. And some of those pieces, you know, those points along the journey, where people told you, you can’t do something.

Dr. Hoby Wedler

Such an interesting question. Yeah. First of all, I really think that the desire that you know, that people have to make excuses just comes from a lack of belief in oneself. So I think that, that what we need to not make it in order to not make excuses is we need to have extremely, we need to expect the world of ourselves. Because the minute that we drop those expectations, or lower the bar, is when those excuses start to come out, oh, I couldn’t go to this meeting, because I got stuck in traffic. But if you’d left 15 minutes earlier, you wouldn’t gotten stuck. You know, it’s like, it’s all this stuff. And I just think that if we if we keep that those expectations high, and we’re hard on ourselves, and we mess up and we celebrate ourselves when we do well, yeah, I think it makes it a lot harder to make those expectations or to make those excuses. And one of the problems that I see in a lot of the world of other blind people, I knows that, you know, sometimes society around them holds those expectations kind of low. And it’s like, hey, if you got up out of bed, and got dressed independently and make yourself a bowl of cereal, that’s pretty good. You know, a lot of people hear that. And it’s like, Yeah, but but we’re all human here. And we have to learn how to be the How to be the best at whatever we do. And just, you know, always be asking, What more can I do, and I, I did my parents so much credit for building those expectations up in me, from a super young age, they never lowered the bar, I have a sighted brother who’s two years older, and I said, my parents, it was hard for them when they had a blind child and realized, Oh, my gosh, we’re gonna raise this blind kid. And we don’t really know how to do that. But they learned they figured it out. And then they kept that bar, just as high as it was for my brother. And my brother was a total Trailblazer and madly successful. So it’s like, he sort of paved the way for me to say, Oh, my gosh, this is, this is what I need to follow. And I’d be, I’d be grateful if I could do half of what of what he’s done. But it’s all about keeping those expectations, you know, really high and believing in ourselves. And I think what happens with nice high expectations, if they’re instilled in us is that we don’t let other people’s low expectations bring us down with them. So it’s kind of the analogy that I would think of is like, you know, if you’re, if you’re holding up 100 pound bar, you know, like, on the ground, one ends on the ground, the other is in your hand, you’re holding that up, and someone comes in and tries to tries to lower you down and sets a one pound pound of butter on top of the end that you’re holding, not really gonna feel it, you’re gonna keep that thing held right up high, right? Because, because your expectations are already up there. And someone comes and tries to lower than, you know, from a very foundational point. And if somebody comes along and tries to lower them, it won’t, you’re not gonna let it happen. You know, so I’m just saying that I’m, I’m grateful for every opportunity I’ve got ever received in my life. And I think it’s all because my parents had those high expectations and told me very clearly, you know, this is your life, if you mess up, you should be blamed for it. And if you do, well, you should get the credit for it. So you got to take responsibility for yourself. And it’s what led me to really be an educator. So I think that nobody, nobody really thinks that way thinks that they know and if they do, they’re wrong. I’ve had a few people in my life who, who think that they know what I can and can’t do. A lot of times people will say something like, you can’t do that you won’t be able to do that. You know, and what comes along with that is this idea of Well, let me show you how we can do that. So let me tell you a couple of couple of fun stories, actually, from my high school days when I was still up and you know, growing up in my brain was still developing and I still think it was all because of these high expectations that I was able to do what I did. So I’ve always I’ve always had the heart of a teacher. Always ever since a young age. I loved getting people excited. Did maybe something they didn’t know they were excited about. And just helping people see the world a little bit differently and just thinking through things. And it was a high school teacher, honestly, who got me so excited about organic chemistry and got me to ultimately pursue a PhD. And it’s amazing what a great high school teacher can do. But that high school teacher at the beginning of my chemistry career, so I’d had her class for physical science, and she knew me and she’s very good teacher, but I think her attitude was kind of get through the physical science, just do the do what you have to do. I got an A in her class when I did well, and she was super supportive. But when I came knocking on her door, close to the beginning of my junior year, saying, hey, I want to take honors chemistry, she’s the honors chemistry instructor, very good chemistry herself. She says, I don’t think that’s going to work. You’ve taken physical science, you’ve taken biology, you’ve kind of done your science requirements, man. And I said, Oh, you but I want to take chemistry, you kind of inspired me to love chemistry, even in freshman physical science. And she said, how’s that gonna work, you can’t see what’s going on in the lab. I said, hey, let’s, let’s work this out together. We’re gonna find someone who’s taken the class before you trust, some senior you trust, who’s going to just be my eyes. I was able to work with with the, you know, sort of registrar’s office Counsel’s Office, whatever you want to call it and found an awesome student. And she was my eyes throughout the lab experiences. Now the other thing this instructor do she, she preached to the class, the whole class, you know, when we were sitting there and lecture, saying, Let me tell you guys, chemistry is everything. It’s why we breathe, the air that we breathe. It’s how our bodies process that air. It’s the water you drink, it’s everything and anything around you. So you all should make chemistry more of a part of your life. And think about studying and think about studying science in your career, and actually walked up to her. And I said, after one of these lectures, it was one on one, it was during the lunch hour or something. I said, How do you think I should? I love chemistry? And how do you think I should? This isn’t the sort of beginning semester of the class? How do you think I should pursue chemistry because I want to I just want some guidance. That’s maybe how I should do this is one guy. And she said, you know, can I basically do what you what you’ve told the rest of the class to do? And she said, holy, I really don’t think that’s a good idea. I don’t think it’s practical for you, because chemistry is so visual, you really need your eyes to do chemistry. And that was it. That was a hitman. That was like, okay, so I found something that I really like. And now I’m being told by the person who’s telling everybody else that they should totally pursue this, I’m being told not to pursue it. I gotta figure this out, I got to figure out how to make her an ally, and get her to, you know, make Help. Help her to understand that I can do this. And then she’ll be on my side able to figure out with me how to how to, you know, pursue this degree. thought about it, I thought about it, I came to this conclusion, it was such a fun thing is a Tuesday morning, I still remember it. It was I think the second week of the second semester. And I went into a classroom before school started so early in the morning when she was just getting ready. And he said, you know, you told me that chemistry was a super cerebral science, you know, visual science that we that we need to see to be able to do. Can anyone see atoms? I don’t think anybody can see. So let’s just think about that for a second. She said, Oh, yeah, I’m really good point. You know, I told her that chemistry is a cerebral science, it makes sense. When you think about how atoms and molecules and everything fit together, it’s all happening in our mind. And all our eyesight is telling us is maybe what’s happening in the lab. But it’s not really telling us anything about the chemistry, we have to know chemistry to be able to interpret those data. And in fact, most chemical reactions, most things that we look at, we don’t even use, you know, our eyes to see. So there’s, there’s a technique that I know, you know, Dr. Jeremy called nuclear magnetic resonance, where we use radio waves to probe things. And then we use a machine which is an eyeball for radio waves, to tell us what the heck the radio waves are saying. So the whole point is that chemistry is a cerebral science. And she just totally turned and became an ally.