Search Interviews:

Jeremy Weisz 15:03 

With this new model, how did you think about pricing compared to the last agency?

Howard Chang 15:10 

Yeah. So we do not bill by the hour. We do something called value pricing. We basically set a price for our services, and then the other thing that we do, which is 100% completely taken price negotiation off the table, is we do option pricing. So for instance, if we got approached by, let’s say, a company to do a website, a big enterprise website, we’ll decide what we believe that website is worth based on our experience, and then we’ll also offer them options. So here’s your minimum viable product. This is what you essentially ask for in your request. Here’s what we believe you actually need. And then here’s what some of your competitors are actually doing, all this added value.

And we basically give them three options. And every single time, the procurement person the lead on that project will go, hmm, which one should I pick? As opposed to, can you sharpen your pencil on this price? No, small, medium, large. And I would say 80% of them pick medium. They usually pick our recommendation of what they think we should do. So I think the combination of value pricing and option pricing has completely changed the conversation on pricing for us, it may not be for everyone. We don’t even disclose hourly rates anymore. We don’t disclose time we’ve spent. If it takes us 10 hours or 100 hours, that’s irrelevant to the client. Here’s a price. If this outcome is worth it to you, then pay the price. And if not, that’s okay. There’s lots of other people you can work with.

Jeremy Weisz 16:40 

And is the engagement typically broken into that, okay, let’s pay for that initial strategy, and then once you present all the research in the strategy, then they can make a choice at that point?

Howard Chang 16:54 

For sure. I mean, we do have these, what we call staged engagements, so we definitely will start a project, sometimes just doing the research and strategy, which then often leads to execution. I would say 80% of the time, it leads to execution. We do have some just pure strategy and research projects that we’ve done for organizations that’s all they wanted, but we’re also happy to take it right through to the finish line as well.

Jeremy Weisz 17:19 

Talk about the niche. What niche from the previous agency did you have? And then how did you decide on the categories in this one?

Howard Chang 17:31 

Well, I think because we’re a value based company, number one, we want to work with people that are aligned in values. I had an experience in my previous agency where we worked with a pharma company for a number of years, and it was a fairly innocuous pharma. It wasn’t like, selling oxycontin or anything like that, but it was really around a lot of cosmetic pharma. And started off very innocuously. They asked us to build them an e-commerce site. They asked them to build us a CRM site. But over time, we started seeing some kind of what I would call ethical transgressions.

They were starting to make claims that I didn’t think was really backed down on science, and so I actually made the decision to resign from the business, which was a big, big challenge, because obviously you’re giving up a lot of revenue when you make those decisions. But that lesson really helped me navigate forward into some of my existing clients, where we’re really trying to work with companies that share similar values, that want to do some good work, and most importantly, I want to work with people we want to hang out with. So the personal relationships are really important too. So I would say, the way we vet our clients, is quite personal. Because I think all business is personal in a way, right?

Jeremy Weisz 18:41 

What mistakes do you feel that you made in the first agency that you bring to this one that you realize, okay, I’m not going to do that again.

Howard Chang 18:47 

Well, we used to go after a lot of awards, and we actually won a lot of awards. And I remember getting rid of all the awards when I wound down that agency, and it was like, literally a truckload of awards, like it was terrible. I felt, as an environmentalist, I’m like, that’s a lot of plastic and hardware I have to throw away here, and I got rid of them, and we have kind of a no award policy at The Turn Lab. Because the way we look at it is, we’re here to build great outcomes. We’re not here to self-aggrandize our agency with awards, because the challenge with a lot of awards, and I’m not opposed to agencies going afterward, I think it’s probably very fun to go to cans and win some great stuff, and it’s a great way to attract talent, lots of benefits to awards.

But what we found is that awards were distracting. Our creative teams were focused too much on winning awards and not enough on actually solving the problem. So with The Turn Lab, and we have a great creative team, we have 15 amazing creatives, but they’re all very business minded. They’re all solutions-focused, like, is this creative solving the problem? That’s the question they’re always asking themselves, as opposed as, is this creative going to get me to cans? Because sometimes that great creative to get you the cans. No one quite actually remembers what it did or did it actually help drive the business forward.

Jeremy Weisz 18:47 

Love that. So there’s a no-awards policy. What other policies like that come from the previous agency that you’re not going to do again?

Howard Chang 19:46 

No YOLO, right? Like, no throwing stuff at the wall to see if it sticks. I think as naturally creative beings, I think humans, we like to take risk. And I think risk is often worthwhile to take. But I would say, look, before you leap, right? So, yeah, you can go jump off that 40-foot cliff. But check it. Check the rocks below. Make sure you make sure they’re okay. Make sure you know how far you got to jump out to clear the rocks, all that kind of stuff. So, so I do think really moving away from that, my gut tells me to, hey, let’s do a gut check. Your gut might tell you this, let’s do a gut check. So we really moved away from that, you know, by the seat of your pants kind of approach, I think a lot of creative shops lean in on sometimes very successfully, but then sometimes there’s a big miss, because that seat of the pants, one of the things that I really learned early on was we often think we’re the customer when we’re usually not the customer, right?

So, oh, well, I would like that. But why would you like that? I’ll hear a client who’s like the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company. So, well, I wouldn’t buy that. I said, well, are you the customer? Because I think you’re, you’re selling widgets to like the average middle-class person. You’re not the average middle-class person. And I see the same thing happen with agency executives as well, where they often think they’re the customer. Well, I don’t like that color, or I don’t I wouldn’t do that. Well, do you actually know who the audience is? And so I think those pieces, I think are really important for us as leaders to understand the audience. Intelligence piece, I can’t understate the importance of that, because we’ve stubbed our toes so much in the past on that, and we’ve learned so much to value and appreciate it, and that’s really helped us build a lot better outcomes for our clients.

Jeremy Weisz 22:01 

You talk about how an example of this in the golf space? You want to talk about that for a second?

Howard Chang 22:08 

Yeah, we had a client. Years ago, a man I respect very much to this day. We remain great friends. He launched the biggest golf retailer in Canada called Golf Town, and eventually ended up buying Golfsmith and states as well. Like this was a very, very accomplished CEO, and I remember early on in our relationship with him, and we did work with him for 10 years and helped build it into a $400 million retailer. So we had a great relationship. But in the beginning, we used to have these incredible arguments where he would go, I would never buy that, and I would never buy this. And I said, don’t you fly around in a private jet? Like, are you really your average customer? So he goes, he goes, well, yeah, golfers are rich people who drive Escalades.

I said, well, let’s do some research for you. And we actually found out that 85% of his customers were public course golfers, and a lot of them were what I would call Joe Six-pack. Like they worked in the trades. They had a little bit of time on their hands, because they knocked off the trades early, and they went and did 18 holes at the end of the day, and they were coming in and buying lots of golf equipment from this guy. So when he put like, $700 drivers in his ads, which we thought, don’t do that, you know, don’t lead with the $700 driver. He really pushed us. But when we showed them the data that proved that his average customer wasn’t him, it was a big eye-opening moment for him. And I think that they really changed their business. They went from a niche retailer into an international powerhouse throughout North America.

Jeremy Weisz 23:40 

How did the ads change? So obviously you take those expensive drivers out, what did you find did work?

Howard Chang 23:47 

Well, we did some simple experiments. And this is the interesting thing, is that we started going from like lowest to highest pricing in our ads, both digital and back in those days, in the 2000s we did some print ads as well. So digital and print ads website, we started arranging things around, let’s put a bit more value. We also understood that golf was a very intimidating sport, so a lot of people entering golf, like, I don’t know what to do. What do I dress? What do I wear? Oh, my God, my boss invited me to golf. What do I do? So we started doing a lot of content on the website around golf, 101, golfing with your boss. 101, right? Like, don’t step on the putting line. It’s just little etiquette things. And we actually created a channel called GTTV Golf Town Television and this channel became the biggest Golf Channel online in Canada, bigger than the PGA in Canada.

So what we did is we really understood that if we really want to connect with the audience, we need to fall in love with their problem, which was, golf is complicated, golf is expensive, golf is intimidating. We really increase their participation in women in golf and women coming to store. We built out, we helped them build out a really big and impressive soft goods business by really positioning golf clothing as golf fashion. And really. Changing the conversation, and again, that is through audience intelligence. We did the research, we talked to customers and transformed their business. And I think that’s the kind of stuff that we love doing. We love solving problems and we love making shit happen.

Jeremy Weisz 25:14 

How about starting The Turn Lab? Right? You come off a successful company? Do you go out and look for a client first? Are you hiring first? What’s the order of things when you’re starting up this company?

Howard Chang 25:32 

Well, I mean, when you’re starting you’re just trying to keep the lights on. So, you’re sometimes taking on business that isn’t quite 100% there, but you do it because you got to keep the lights on. But I would say, in the beginning, we thought very carefully about the kind of people and companies we wanted to work with, so that was an important piece. We really worked on our own brand strategy. To be quite frank, we spent a lot of time crafting our positioning, crafting our values, crafting our purpose, because we wanted to make sure that we had some kind of blueprint to check these decisions against. And we do this for other companies, because it’s really important. I remember reading the Ben and Jerry’s brand position years ago that another agency had done, and I really loved it, because I think the brand promise was, outrageous ice cream with a conscience.

And I thought, yeah, that’s a great promise, because if I was a product developer at Ben and Jerry’s, I probably wouldn’t approach the executive team with a flavor like French vanilla, because it doesn’t align with a brand promise. So often brand strategy really supports and propels business strategy, so we did a lot of that work ourselves, and that really helped us get better at making good decisions. It also helped us get better at recruiting. So one of the things we found is, no matter how talented somebody is, if they’re not aligned, they’re probably unproductive for your company. I would rather have someone who’s a middling performer but highly aligned, and get more those people in, because then they’re willing to collaborate, then they’re willing to row in the same direction. And I do think that kind of teamwork is much better than having a couple of rock stars who often have their own agenda.

So I think, really understanding corporate culture and the impact on culture, on performance and outcomes and innovation, is a really important piece of any for any business leader. But for startup, for us, it was mission critical, because we couldn’t afford 55-60 staff that we have now, we started with like 12. So every person we hired had to be really productive for our objectives.

Jeremy Weisz 27:30 

I would say, even for some people, starting with 12 is large. Do you self-fund that? Do you have other co-founders or investors?

Howard Chang 27:40 

Well, like I said, my first business was successful, and I’ve been an entrepreneur for a lot of years, so I was able to self-funded, right? So I didn’t have to go to bank financing. I had to fund it personally, my own money, which is a risk. You know, when you’re putting seven figures of your own money to start a company, you’re kind of thinking, wouldn’t that be a nice vacation home but as an entrepreneur, you take these risks, it’s a calculated bet. So, I would say that, like even with Just Boardrooms, I find that an interesting conversation, because when I was going through angel funding to help us fund some of the marketing we fund most of it ourselves, and the payrolls on our tab and all that. But you still got to fund marketing, you got to fund growth initiatives.

And so when I was talking to some of the angel investors, they say, we get pulled into these, you know, startup meetings all the time, and it’s usually like, four kids banging out code in the basement. You guys have this whole infrastructure, like you’ve got all this stuff, you’ve invested so much. That’s the big difference. Is that I think with startups, a lot of startups don’t have the right support. It is probably for very bright kids banging out code in the basement, and they have a great idea, and they usually get stillborn. It doesn’t go very far, because nobody understands marketing, nobody understands financing, nobody understands sales, nobody knows how to pitch an angel properly. So one of the things I would say that we learned in this whole startup process of myself being a multiple startup founder, is there’s so many pieces of the puzzle to make a business successful. You can’t just have a great idea, you can’t just have great technology. You need to understand the whole business prospect of what you’re doing.

Jeremy Weisz 29:16 

Talk about how you incubate within The Turn Lab. And we’ve seen a lot of, not a lot of but there’s several really high success stories that, MailChimp comes to mind of an agency, and then something gets incubated inside of that agency and turns into a billion dollar company. Obviously, that’s a unicorn situation. But how do you incubate companies within The Turn Lab?

Howard Chang 29:43 

Well, I think for us, the thing is, we’re always looking for a problem to solve, and sometimes we get approached by companies with an awesome problem to solve, and we will put them through a process and look at how we can support and sometimes we do it very directly. Sometimes we do it indirectly. I’ve been. Invited to sit on advisory boards for startups. We offered them some of our resources. In the case of Just Boardrooms, it was a problem that we saw that we didn’t see anybody else solving. So that’s why we jumped in and we got involved. And it is complicated. I mean, you’re taking a lot of your resources, my controller, my new CEO, who joined us from a big creative agency looked at scans, at our numbers initially, because they went, wow, you’re putting like, like, big six figures a year into this incubator piece that could go right to the bottom line.

I said, yeah, it could go right to the bottom line, but then that would be boring. I think one of the things I love about building businesses is, how are we leaning in? How are we giving back to society, community, the market, in a way that makes us feel like we’re actually doing something of value, right? We’re not just billing for a fee. A lot of startups don’t make it. Just Boardrooms seems to be working really well, like we’re getting almost 40% compounded growth month over month. So that’s amazing, but it might not be successful in the long run, because we don’t know what headwinds are going to run into, but we’re still making the bet. And I think making the bets important. I mean, if you think about the growth of economies, it’s only growing because we’re all kind of making bets, right?

Jeremy Weisz 31:17 

We’ll talk about Just Boardrooms in a second. But were there other companies on the table to go after at that time? And how did you choose Just Boardrooms?

Howard Chang 31:27 

Yeah. So we had an interesting startup founder approach us with a marketplace for bicycles, because in the middle of the pandemic, no one could get a bicycle. There were so many supply chain shortages. He had a great idea around bringing together all kinds of sellers into one marketplace. So you could be Jeremy with a bicycle and put it on the platform and sell it, just like an Airbnb listing. You could also be a bike shop. It’s kind of like a list of bicycle you could also be a manufacturer list of bicycles. A really great idea. I think they’re called we cycle. They’re still out there. We ended up not going down the road, because all of a sudden, in the middle of the conversations, the market changed a lot.

All of a sudden, there was a glut in bicycles the year after, because people the lockdown ended and people could actually go back to doing other things other than riding a bicycle around. So I’m an avid cyclist myself, but I understood very quickly that this marketplace dynamic was just too volatile for us to like, spend potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars of our own money incubating this so that’s just one example. We get approached by startup founders all the time. We do vet them carefully, and sometimes the best thing we can do is give them a good reason why we’re not doing it, which would maybe help them rethink their business as well. So again, we don’t do it lightly. We do spend time with these founders, and we also learn a lot in the process. So we get something back from these conversations as well.

Jeremy Weisz 32:49 

Are they coming to you, Howard, maybe hiring you for research? Or are they coming to you, we’d like to partner and have you take equity stake and help run this.

Howard Chang 33:01 

Both situations happen. So we get approach to help build technology. We got approached by a company called We Book Care. Great idea that they’re based out of Vancouver, and they’re trying to launch, again, a global platform for getting health resources help, like a Uber type model, where, if you’re a healthcare professional, like a nurse, for example, you can list on the platform as a provider and a user. Let’s say Jeremy, you’ve let’s see elderly parents that need care. You can put them together on the platform. So it’s great.

So they were struggling with their technology, so they came to us and actually helped us for help for research and also to help manage their whole technology ecosystem. So we came in as a consultant. We actually did some programming for them as well, but they also had programmers they were using. So that’s an example of how we came in and kind of did a fee-for-service type of approach. But there are others that we have taken equity stakes in. So we’re a little bit private equity, we’re a little bit VC and a little bit service provider at the same time.

Jeremy Weisz 34:07 

Is it a combination sometimes where, so it’s like, “Hey, here’s a proposal, but we’ll knock X amount off for equity.”

Howard Chang 34:17 

Yes, those are definitely conversations we’ve had, and we’ve done a couple of deals like that in the past. I would say we’re always careful around those kinds of deals, because a lot of startup founders, they’re just really, really anxious to get help, and we want to make sure we’re giving the right kind of help, you know, just taking an equity stake, unless we’re willing to lean in and actually be involved as advisors whatnot. It’s not that much value to them. So, so, you know, I’ve learned in business that success isn’t actually about what you get, it is about what you give, right? So we have to really understand, what are we willing to give to help others? Because that’s usually our path to success.

Jeremy Weisz 34:58 

Totally. Yeah. So let’s talk about Just Boardrooms. All right, how’d that happen? And I’ll pull it up here. So if you’re listening to the audio, we will show there’s a video version of this as well. But how did that come about?

Howard Chang 35:12 

So in the middle of the pandemic, you know, we saw this massive collaboration deficit happening in our industry, to start, like the marketing industry. This is an industry where collaboration is literally the key to our outcomes, right? If we’re not having collisions and we’re not having arguments, we’re not having debates, it’s very challenging to create better outcomes. I saw a report published by Microsoft in the middle of the pandemic. They studied thousands and thousands of workers globally, half of which work predominantly in the office, and half of which were predominantly remote, and what they were actually trying to do was measure productivity, and they actually noticed there wasn’t a massive amount of productivity difference. What they noticed was a big difference in quality of outcomes and a big difference in quality of innovation.

So they found that the in-office people were more innovative. They produced better product. A Harvard Business Review published a study that show that you’re 10 times more likely to close the deal in person than over a video conference call. So this collaboration deficit was really impacting businesses. So we really wanted to create an easy, frictionless way for people to create moments that matter and meet for those moments that matter, our tagline is more handshakes and more places. And the whole idea here is we want to make it easy. Let’s say for you, Jeremy, if you don’t have an office, or even if you have an office downtown, maybe you might want to meet closer to where your client lives, or maybe you might want to meet closer to where your team lives. So this frictionless on…

Jeremy Weisz 36:31 

Yeah, totally. Like, I know you have places in the city, actually. So, like, I’m in the suburbs, so I want to meet someone in the city. I can go here. I know exactly where. This is, North Ravenswood. It’s like a super nice, like, industrial area that’s got, like, lofts and brick and you can see that, and for 20 bucks an hour, I can have a professional space and probably have internet, which instead of meeting at a public coffee shop or something.

Howard Chang 36:54 

Yeah, public coffee shops are hard now, right? You don’t really want Brad the barista dropping in on your conversation around the technology project that you’re working on. So I do think that this piece. We started in Toronto, so obviously we’re growing. We’ve only have a couple of places in Chicago right now, but we expect hundreds in Chicago over time. We already have over 100 in Toronto. We’re now in 50 markets in the US and Canada. We’re in Austin, Seattle, Vancouver, Montreal. So it’s growing quickly. What I love about this whole concept, it’s the whole idea of exponential growth through a platform. There’s companies and there are platforms. You know, platforms are like the Ubers and the Airbnbs. The wonderful thing about platforms is it doesn’t cost us any money to onboard a new host. These hosts in Chicago, they list for free, and we take a 15% take just like an Airbnb, if we rent, and that 15% we just pile into marketing.

We just do pile into the paid search retargeting. So these hosts, they basically treat us like a marketing channel. We bring you prospects for them, and we make incremental income off of inventory that they have. So we have no leases. We have no overhead. Our overhead, is basically sales and marketing, and, of course, the technology. So it’s an interesting model for us. And when we launched it in March of 2023, I think we had like, three bookings, and we like, oh, maybe we have a business, someone actually booked on our platform. And now it’s grown to the point where we definitely see incredible runway for this. We’re in North America now. We’ll be launching in the EU soon as well, with hosts there. So we really want to be the Airbnb of professional meeting spaces and lots of stubbed toes hits and misses along the way, there was moments where we’re like, how is it possible that no one’s booking this week? And now it’s like, how is it possible that someone’s not booking this hour? So it’s changed a lot in the last few months.

Jeremy Weisz 38:52 

This is funny. I’m on the just for booking about page and some really funny videos here, but this seems like a beast to do. Talk about some stub toes. I love your term. That term stub toes related to this. What are some things that you learned along the way that you had to iterate on?

Howard Chang 39:15 

Well, I think everybody thought we were trying to be WeWork, right? So like, no, no, we’re not. We’re not trying to be WeWork. Can be a host on our platform. We were a platform. We’re a marketplace, we’re not physical infrastructure. We’ve had angel investors going, well, what’s, what’s the difference between this and WeWork in Regis, and we were very often compared to, like, physical spaces, so we really struggled to get our story straight and articulate it properly. And that’s gotten a lot better now. So I think, when I say things like, we’re the Airbnb of that helps. We actually had, we’re a collision presenting last year in Toronto, the collision conference, and we had actually a executive come up to me and say, I’m a little insulted. I go, what do you mean?

He goes, Well, you say you’re the Airbnb of meeting spaces. Why aren’t you the of meeting spaces? Why aren’t using our brand? He goes well, with all due respect, Airbnb is better known, even though is actually a much bigger company. But the other thing is, is all about professional hosts. You guys are all about hotels. What we’re about is not just professional hosts, but nonprofessional hosts. So on our platform, we have law firms, we have ad agencies, we have consultancies. It’s not just co-working spaces and hotels. And he goes, that’s a really good point. He says, I like your model. So one of the things that we’re trying to do is we’re trying to get better at bringing nonprofessional hosts on board.

I mean, if you’re a law firm and your boardrooms empty 70% of the time, why wouldn’t you want to monetize it for 80 bucks an hour? 90 bucks an hour? And then there’s an old saying, everybody needs a lawyer. So you know, one of the great stories that we had is we had an ad agency on our platform in Toronto who landed a client through one of our guests. So guests came in after the meeting. He was chatting with the receptionist and said, like, what do you guys do here? And they go, oh, we’re in aginated. She goes, oh, we’re actually doing an RFP right now for a rebrand. Would you guys like to throw your hat in the ring? They did, and they won the business. Yeah, it’s great for networking. So I think you know, whenever you build a platform, there’s all kinds of surprises that come out of it that you don’t really know, because all you’re doing is bringing people together.

That’s essentially what we’re doing. We’re bringing people together, and how they connect and collaborate is of their own creation. So that’s the kind of power of this whole idea.

Jeremy Weisz 41:31 

Yeah, definitely. I mean, this is a great part. I’m gonna share this with a few people. Obviously, I know a lot of agencies, and also they all have, like, a video room or something. It’s underutilized. They want people to use. But, you know, I travel. I’ll go to Scottsdale once or twice a year. So I’m looking here at, I usually have to kind of go through this whole look like you’re saying, like this Regis thing. Well, I don’t really want a whole monthly membership. I just want a room for a day. And this would be super easy and super affordable, even maybe just for four hours, right? And they’re like, no, we can’t do that. You need to get a whole day or a week or a month, and so like this one here, this is great. I get it for like, five, six hours for like, 60 bucks.

Howard Chang 42:17 

I know it’s amazing. And also, if you have someone that you’re meeting out there, it’s, it’s much better and more controlled environment where you can meet them in a professional space like this, versus a coffee shop, right? And sometimes a business lunch gets awkward, right? So, in a setting like this, you get down to business in the most productive way. And that’s what a lot of feedback we’re getting from our users is that they just find by using our spaces, they’re just more productive.

Jeremy Weisz 42:45 

Totally. First of all, Howard, I just want to thank you for sharing your journey, your lessons, your story. I have one last question, before I ask it, I just want to point people to check out to learn more. You could check out or If you’re listening, you have some extra space, or you need a space, check out Just Boardrooms. And my last question, Howard, is, I mentioned the front of the interview, just, everything vanishes in our lives, and the number one focus becomes if there’s a health issue, right? And so talk about when you got the cancer diagnosis and how that changed things for you.

Howard Chang 43:28 

Well, I will say that whenever you’re faced with an existential crisis in life, it catalyzes stuff, right? So in my case, it catalyzed a lot of stuff personally around my health, but it also catalyzed stuff around my business. Like I’ve been thinking about this different model for years, and when I got the cancer diagnosis, that’s what made me actually make the decision to shut down my old company and start this new thing. I said, well, how much time do I have left, if I was in my 50s at the time, and I was like, if I wait, maybe I run out of time, so let’s just do it. So it catalyzed some decision-making, which I think was really important.

And as I navigated my own health crises, I got really good at falling in love with cancer, the problem of cancer. So I did a ton of research. I talked to some amazing researchers and scientists and doctors. I really leaned in and I fell in love with the problem, which actually really inspired me around the idea of falling in love with the problem in business as well. And so I think there’s a real connection between my own health crisis and some of the decisions I made around family, business, how I want to live the remaining years of my life. I think that was all catalyzed through cancer. So cancer was kind of a gift, in a way, like it kind of luckily, I’m through it like I went through some very innovative, successful surgery in Germany. Actually went out of country to get a focal therapy that my tumor was quite large, is quite advanced. So you had prostate cancer? Prostate cancer.

Yeah, prostate cancer. And if you know anything about the current treatments for prostate cancer, most have massive side effects, you know, continency, rectal dysfunction, all kinds of issues. So I did the research to find a therapy that was actually originated in Albany, New York, and so it’s available in the US, called IRE nano knife. It’s a focal therapy that involves putting very fine needles through your perineum, into your prostate tumor, and then ablating them. So American innovation, and then this clinic in Germany, who adopted it had done more than any clinic.

Jeremy Weisz 43:31 

It sounds super painful.

Howard Chang 43:44 

It actually is not painful at all, if you think about a robotic or manual prostatectomy, they’re literally cutting your prostate out with a knife. And there’s so much nerve damage that most, a lot of men end up wearing diapers for the rest of their lives. So this one, you’re 100% asleep, you’re under, they go into the perineum, you spend one night in the hospital, and within a few weeks, you’re back to functioning normally. So in my case, they were successful in getting the entire tumor out, and so it was great. So for five years, I was cancer-free, but then my cancer came back two years ago. So the one downside of focal therapy of any type is they leave part of your prostate healthy.

Well, as I’m getting older, like a lot of men, prostate cancer can occur in the healthy tissue. So it came back again. This time it took a different approach. I actually went to my urologist in Germany. Said, look, you’ve seen the tumors. What do you think? And he said, well, they’re not huge, so you probably have some time. So we could do like, what they call active surveillance, which is basically nothing, and see where it goes. I said, well, I’m not going to do that. So I met with a naturopathic oncologist who’s also, I think, a chiropractor background, and she recommended some specific therapy. So I cut out alcohol out of my diet. I cut out refined sugar. I started eating a predominantly plant-based diet. I started eating anti-inflammatory foods like curcumin and lots of dark leafy greens.

I started doing a vitamin C IV once a month, and after 18 months of this therapy, I went back to Germany, and all my tumors are gone. Again, falling in love with the problem. So what I did may not have worked for everyone, but it worked for me because I really did the diligence myself. So I think cancer has been transformational for me in terms of learning about myself, then it’s also directly or indirectly impacting my business as well.

Jeremy Weisz 47:25 

Howard, that’s really valuable. I really appreciate you sharing that. Everyone, check out check out and we’ll see everyone next time. Howard, thanks so much.

Howard Chang 47:36 

Thank you so much, Jeremy.