Thank you so much Brittany Hodak for having us on your podcast, Creating Superfans! It was a true pleasure.
In today’s episode of the podcast, I have TWO special guests: Bridget Hilton and Joe Huff.
Bridget and Joe are obsessed with experience – but not in the same way that I am. They’re all about how to embrace the human experience. In fact, they call themselves experiential billionaires. Determined to unlock the secrets of their power to transform lives, they have spent years interviewing social science experts, conducting the largest study on life experiences ever done, and turning themselves into experiential guinea pigs.
Together they have trained to be samurai, stood face to face with hungry lions on safari, built schools for kids in need, worked with A-list celebrities, helped give 50,000 people hearing, and explored the experiential riches life has to offer. In our conversation, we talk about their new book, Experiential Billionaire, the top experiences they’ve had, and the actionable steps you can take to build a truly fulfilling life and die with no regrets.
[00:01:54] Bridget and Joe share what it’s like to officially be published authors.
[00:03:26] Bridget and Brittany share how they know each other and their “three careers”
[00:05:01] Joe recounts a vulnerable experience he had with this dad that led him onto the path of becoming an experiential billionaire
[00:07:41] Bridget shares her background growing up in Flint, MI and working the ‘worst’ jobs in the music industry.
[00:8:39] How Bridget got the idea to start an electronics company (LSTN Sound Co.) that would provide hearing to tens of thousands of people
[00:11:33] Where did the name ‘experiential billionaire’ originate?
[00:12:46] The entrepreneur irony of being broke while running a ‘multi-million dollar’ business
[00:13:31] How Bridget and Joe’s social impact led to a ripple effect of experiences
[00:19:31] The difference between the younger generation and the older generation when it comes to the experiential billionaire mindset.
[00:20:48] What percentage of people regret not doing the things they wanted to do in their lifetime
[00:22:34] The connection between strong relationships and meaningful experiences
[00:28:01] Has Bridget ever met the woman in the YouTube video that inspired LSTN Sound Co.?
[00:30:06] Joe gives us the top five experiences he’s ever had, including amazing trips across the country and some of the most vulnerable moments with his family.
[00:31:47] Joe caveats that the journey of achieving something has to be as enjoyable as the result itself
[00:33:18] Bridget shares her top five experiences she’s ever had, including giving the gift of hearing to young children, seeing all 50 states, and going through a mental health crisis.
You can get “Experiential Billionaire: Build a Life Rich in Experiences and Die With No Regrets” here.
More on Experiential Billionaire, including the Treasure Maps Card Deck, merchandise, and FREE instructional guides here.
Bridget Hilton’s Website
Joe Huff’s Website
Brittany Hodak [00:00:02]:
Hello and welcome to the Creating Superfans podcast, where you learn how to turn your customers and employees into Superfans. I’m your host, Brittany Hodak, and I’m a speaker, author, and entrepreneur obsessed with all things customer experience. Here’s the thing. We’re living in an experienced economy right now, and regardless of the size or age of your company or even the products or services you’re selling, one thing’s for sure, if your customers aren’t telling their friends about you, you’re in trouble. If you want to create Superfans, being great is no longer good enough. You’ve got to be super. This is the show that teaches you how.
In this episode, I’m thrilled to welcome two very special guests, Bridget Hilton and Joe Huff. Bridget and Joe are obsessed with experience, but not in quite the same way I am. In fact, they call themselves experiential billionaires. Determined to unlock the secrets of their power to transform lives, they have spent years interviewing social science experts, conducting the largest ever study on life experiences, and turning themselves into experiential guinea pigs. Together, they have trained to be samurai, danced with the Northern Lights, tracked silverback gorillas in a hailstorm, stood face to face with hungry lions on safari, sped across glaciers on dog sleds, and so much more. In our conversation, we’re going to talk about their new book, Experiential Billionaire, their favorite experiences and the steps that you can take to build a truly fulfilling life and die with no regrets. So I’m joined by Bridget and Joe. The book is out today. Congratulations, you guys.
Bridget Hilton [00:01:51]:
Thank you so much for having us. We’re really excited.
Brittany Hodak [00:01:54]:
How does it feel to finally be published authors?
Bridget Hilton [00:01:57]:
Well, it’s been quite a journey, as you know, and I’ve loved books since I was a little kid, and I just can’t believe that today I actually can say that I have a book. Like, I’m holding the physical book in my hands right now. Pretty amazing.
Joe Huff [00:02:12]:
Yeah. We thought the journey was just such a remarkable and trying experience. This is such a lifetime, bucket list, kind of big ticket thing that you think, I’m going to write a book. And the book itself is so much more than we thought it was going to be when we started and so different in all of these ways. And in a lot of ways, though, the actual process was such a rich and rewarding experience. But finishing it, it does actually have quite a bit of a sweet taste to it to get to that point and now actually see it, it’s been a really rewarding feeling. It’s such a personal thing to share with the world, as you know. Of course.
Brittany Hodak [00:02:57]:
Well, it is a huge deal and I’m so glad that you guys are enjoying it and embracing it and basking in the fun of release date, release week and everything that is going to follow. So I am so excited for you guys. We’ve been friends now for over a decade, but doesn’t it feel like a century or so? Is it just me? Doesn’t it feel like maybe it’s because music industry years count for so more than calendar years, but we go back always.
Bridget Hilton [00:03:26]:
Yeah, I always think about my life right now. I’m entering this third career, right? So my first real career was the music industry where we met. And then my second was entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship with listen and whatnot. And then this is like my third one. So you’ve seen all three, which is pretty crazy.
Brittany Hodak [00:03:46]:
And it’s also been really fun parallels because mine was the same, was like my first career was in the music industry, then entrepreneurship with my music startup and then speaker and author. So yeah, we definitely have a lot in common there. And for people who listen to this show regularly, you know that the Creating Superfans podcast is typically about customer experience, occasionally about employee experience. And I’m so thrilled to have you both here today because everything is experience and the book that you’ve written, Experiential Billionaire, is about something bigger than just customer or employee experience. It’s really about the human experience and what it means to truly embrace this one life that we all have, this one opportunity we all have to create experiences. So we’ll get into both of your backstories, but just kind of what is the quick version of what compelled you to write this book, Experiential Billionaire, and what the idea behind it is of that it’s not about well, I’m not even going to say anything else. Just how did you come up with this idea for the book? How did you come up with a brilliant name? And how is this philosophy something that people are embracing to really change the way they think about the decisions that they make day to day and year.
Joe Huff [00:05:01]:
To year, to say it quickly? I don’t know if we can do that, but we can try. Our journey of how we started to really change our view of wealth started way back when we were younger. I grew up in the Midwest. My parents met on an assembly line making brake pads, and my closeness to the lifestyles of the rich and famous was pretty far. It was a distant dream, but yeah, I definitely grew up wanting to be rich. And something happened when I was young. When I was 18, my dad had a sudden heart attack and wound up being rushed to the hospital. And it turned out it wasn’t a heart attack and he had heart failure and he needed a transplant and went on life support. And it was just this crazy period of just terrible stress. But as we were waiting, thinking that this was the end for my dad, I just kept going over in my head like, this is all wrong, this is something wrong. My dad was so young, he was 48 and he had all these dreams for the future that he thought was going to happen and now this future might not exist. And just thinking that so many people live like that, that terrible moment gave me this great gift, this gift of urgency and to kind of go to what you’re in Bridget’s first career. My first career was survival. I was like a derelict. In high school, I somehow turned my life around, but out of high school I just went into survival mode. But I went about it in a way where, as my dad got his transplant and he went on into his bonus round of life, as he liked to call it, he changed his whole life and went after all these dreams and goals that he had put off forever because he had all these regrets about never having done them. So I actually went off and tried to do all these things that I had wanted to do because I didn’t know how much time I would have left. And the long story short, that survival mode gave me this just wealth of life experience that didn’t all translate to wealth, but it gave me life experience that then gave me opportunities to do things in the business world with that experience and that knowledge. And that led me to actually get into a position to actually do things to make the world a better place, which was an experience that was so fulfilling and that led me to Bridget, and that’s kind of where our stories dovetail and I’ll let her jump in. And I didn’t include a lot of specificity there, but I think that Bridget can give you some really cool stuff to go from there.
Bridget Hilton [00:07:41]:
Yeah. So very quick backstory on me. I grew up in Flint, Michigan, as you like. I didn’t have anyone around me that was like a motivational person as far as I didn’t know any entrepreneurs, I didn’t know anyone that had been successful. So it was like a little bit rough. I had a rough go at it for a while, just as Joe was saying when we were in high school and whatnot, but I ended up having this huge dream of being in the music industry. And I started with the very bad jobs, the ones at the local venues where my job was to pick up trash. You know exactly what I’m talking about.
Brittany Hodak [00:08:29]:
Maybe one day I’ll get promoted and I’ll get to be that big important person who hangs up the posters in the record stores. If only I could reach that rung of the corporate ladder.
Bridget Hilton [00:08:39]:
It literally was that I went from picking up trash to getting coffee for people as an intern. And then eventually I got this dream job where I got to hang up posters at the record even. It was like in the dead of winter in Indiana and Ohio and Michigan. And like, it wasn’t a glamorous job, but to me it was like the greatest thing that had ever happened to me. And long story short, I ended up getting laid off when the Detroit office of Universal got shut down. And I thought it was the end of my life, and I was very sad. But it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me because I got to move to Los Angeles. I got to meet all of these amazing people. I started having all these incredible experiences, like going to national parks with all my friends, going to all these shows that were like, 100 people capacity type shows where all these things that wouldn’t have happened if I would have been staying in my comfort zone in Michigan. And it really changed my life. And I got to pursue all these dreams, and I was still broke, and I was making, like, $20,000 a year, but I was doing all of these things that were so cool that if I never had this dream, it would have never happened. So one day at work, I was, like, on YouTube, as you do in a cubicle, and I saw a video of a woman hearing for the first time. And it got me thinking about how important music had been in my life and how my life would have never been what it was without music. And I had the idea of maybe if I could just give one person hearing, that would be, like, such a cool thing. And so I had an idea of starting a company where we would sell headphones and speakers and then give the proceeds to giving somebody hearing. And around that time, I met Joe, and we have worked together since then. That was over ten years ago. And we’ve ended up giving over 50,000 people hearing for the first time. So something that I thought was maybe just, like, one person would get helped ended up being, like, a huge ripple effect just from seeing this video. And obviously, it goes without saying that was the greatest experience of my life, is to travel around the world and get people hearing.
Brittany Hodak [00:11:05]:
And you have truly been all around the world. I mean, the two of you have gone just about everywhere to help share this gift with people. I would love to hear about some of those experiences and how that shaped for both of you this sort of new definition of what success means, like the idea of being an experiential billionaire versus a literal billionaire.
Bridget Hilton [00:11:30]:
Just one thing around the experiential billionaire actually started as an inside joke with me and Joe because we’re so poor, but we are experiential. Ten years ago, maybe not ten years ago, I’m not even sure when this was, but 2015, I was on Forbes 30 under 30, and it was so funny because I literally had, like, less than $30 in my bank account, and I was just like, this is not real, okay? I’m not an actual billionaire. I’m an experiential billionaire. And we had joked about it since then. So when we came to the title of this book, we just knew that it had to be that.
Brittany Hodak [00:12:13]:
And I think it’s so fitting, too. And obviously, we’ve been friends for a long time, and I remember many of these conversations where I would be like, oh, my God, you guys were just on the Today Show. You’re crushing it. Or you were like, you’re crushing it. You were in Shark Tank. And we would laugh about how successful everything looked from the outside. But on the inside, it was like, wouldn’t it be great if we could get this jerk client who’s 14 days late paying us this $82,000, the $82,000 so that we don’t have $1,700 of interest on our credit card this month.
Bridget Hilton [00:12:46]:
Because they’re so I can pay my rent. Yeah. So much more than what we ever made. As you know, as a startup founder, there’s this veil of success that you have to kind of do, and you’re like, yeah, my company is worth $20.
Brittany Hodak [00:13:04]:
Million, but that doesn’t I’m worth $26 right now.
Bridget Hilton [00:13:09]:
That doesn’t mean you have a discrepancy. There’s, like, literally tens of millions of dollars in the delta between what you have and what you’re quote unquote worth.
Brittany Hodak [00:13:19]:
Yeah. Or you have it, but it’s like all inventory tied, know, in another country or know, some shipping container somewhere on some body of yeah.
Joe Huff [00:13:31]:
The cool thing, though, the impetus for the book, obviously, Bridget and I joked about that constantly because of this perception people had that we were rich, but we felt rich. We felt like, this other kind of rich, right? So once we started to really figure out that disconnect and this, again was building for a long time, so many of my experiences, starting way back when I was young, involved no money at all, but they were the best experience. And a lot of the stuff, like, for instance, even music related, I’m sure I’ve actually been lucky to go and go see a show from a luxury box that some other company paid for or something. But my favorite shows were ones I climbed the fence and snuck into and literally ran and got chased by a security guard because I really wanted to have this experience. I had no money or whatever. I’m not advocating that, but it was really fun. But the point really is that as we started to realize that, and then we started to look deeper into this actual kind of like we call it like it’s like a glitch in the human brain, but essentially everyone’s regrets as they get older. They’re not monetary. They’re the things they did do, the actual things they never tried to do or never tried to achieve. So what people are chasing is that experiential wealth, and that’s why people are really usually trying to make money, right? They’re like, if I have some more money, I can do these things. And buy these things that will give me new experiences, but we lose track along the way and we just keep putting off the things that we can do or should do or want to do to just chase the money part. And it’s not about money versus experiences because money is obviously super important and it’s very hard to survive without it. But what we are saying is that experiences are the most important thing to continuously invest in because your time is the most valuable thing. And again, these are things that everybody quote, unquote knows, but yet we don’t act like that. That’s the glitch part. We all of a sudden look up and it’s like, oh my God, I actually wanted to do these things. And I’ve been saying, I’m going to do it someday, forever. And then you realize someday is not a day on the calendar. You never planned it, you never took any steps, you never did anything about it. And that’s really where the book came to take its shape, because the book really covers all of those steps. It covers first we did the survey of over 20,000 people around the world asking them what they valued the most in life, what they regretted the most in life, and all of that information came back. It was just overwhelming. But from there we go through how do you find the urgency to actually figure out what goals you want to have? How do you visualize and start taking steps? How do you take responsibility, the steps in goal setting and planning and overcoming the obstacles that everybody has, like money and time. And I’m afraid it’s a step by step playbook on how to actually build a life rich in experiences, because we know that’s what you’ll regret if you don’t.
Brittany Hodak [00:16:49]:
Well, I was just going to say what I love about this book is it’s got a fantastic storytelling aspect to it, so it’s got almost some memoir aspects. It does a really fantastic job of telling both of your stories. And I’ve never co authored a book before, but I imagine it must be very challenging in some ways probably harder than doing it yourself, where it’s one voice, one story, one narrative. But it also does lay out a very simple roadmap that people can follow, so that whether you’re 16 or 65, by doing some of the things that you outline and suggest in the book, people can begin to make those deposits into their experience bank to, as you guys say on the COVID live what is it? Live a life rich in experiences and die with no regrets? Something like that?
Bridget Hilton [00:17:37]:
Yeah, exactly what it says.
Brittany Hodak [00:17:39]:
Exactly. Okay, great.
Joe Huff [00:17:41]:
And it translates to the financial stuff or the business success, et cetera, because it’s the kind of things, when we talk about the stuff that made people think that we were, quote, unquote, killing it, the partnerships with Delta or with Google or Spotify or all those things. They did those things because the experience we were providing and then they were then able to provide that experience to their customer, and then it just trickles down to, like, people feel like they’re a part of something and they’re connected and they’re emotionally invested. And that’s what makes society so great and so rich, right, is when we feel like people understand us, we understand them. So I think that’s something that from a business standpoint, people mistakenly separate them out and go, well, these are my personal goals and experiences, and this is work stuff where it’s a lot more together than people understand, I think. So that’s something we’re trying to really bridge that gap.
Bridget Hilton [00:18:41]:
Brittany Hodak [00:18:42]:
Well, this is something that is intuitively understood by younger generations just because we’ve been afforded the ability to grow up in a very different world than our grandparents did, with very different access to technology and information that creates this sense of connectedness. But I would love Bridget to hear about sort of what you found in the research and in what you’ve seen. Anecdotally in the mindset behind the embracing of the experiential billionaire lifestyle in younger generations versus older generations who maybe grew up with that mentality of, like, work hard, save, and have the experiences when you retire. Like, you’re not allowed to start thinking about your own experiences until you’re 65.
Bridget Hilton [00:19:31]:
Yeah, I definitely think the younger generation is more attuned to this. There’s no question about that. But there is still some sort of mind shift that they need where they might have parents that are like, you need to go to college and get a good job, and that’s all you need to do is just study, study and work, work, and never do anything else. So there still is that with the younger generation, but it is definitely less like Jenna said, we interviewed, like, 20,000 people about this, and a lot of them were 65 plus. And there was so many people that said the same exact thing. Like, I was living for someone else, I was doing the things that other people told me that I should do versus what I wanted to do. And so we’re trying to instill in the younger generation, don’t always obviously listen to your parents, but don’t always just live for someone else, because at the end of your life, you’re going to look back and be like, that’s what I regret is doing things for someone else and not the things that I wanted to do. There’s a study from Cornell. It’s actually 76% of people on their deathbed say that the number one regret is not doing the things that they wanted to do in life and doing it for someone else.
Brittany Hodak [00:20:45]:
76%. And that is a huge number.
Bridget Hilton [00:20:48]:
Yeah, and it was actually 80% in our study. So it’s just really sad. And I think that just that one little mind shift is really important. And yeah, it’s been really fascinating. A lot of these things. One of the questions we asked was, what’s the number one thing you would do? If you could do one thing, what would it be? And a lot of these things were not the big bucket list things. It was like, I would reach out to my old friends or I would go to whatever the next state over was. And it’s like, you can do those things today. You can literally do these things today. Why are you not doing them? It’s because people put everything off until this fictional someday. And someday actually isn’t a day on the calendar. So you need to start planning the things that you want to do now and not wait. Yeah.
Brittany Hodak [00:21:41]:
And making them a priority. And I think in the book you talk about giving yourself the permission to do that. And one of the concepts that you talk about in the book is the interconnectedness between relationships and experiences. So even though we’re talking about doing the things that are priorities for yourself, it certainly does not mean becoming disconnected from your community. It certainly doesn’t mean becoming a selfish person who thinks only of yourself. It’s about creating these rich experiences and creating an environment where there’s permission for you and the people you love to do these things. Because I’d love for you guys to talk a little bit about the interconnectedness and the survey results that you found between relationships and experiences and how it’s better not just for your health now, but for your health forever.
Joe Huff [00:22:31]:
Oh, yeah. Studies show very clearly that having strong social connection actually leads to longevity. It’s an increase anywhere, depending on the study, from five to nine years just from that alone. But the thing that’s interesting about experiences and relationships is those cool experiences, strong experiences, powerful experiences create those really strong relationships. Right? You remember, you have this fond and incredible strong bond with someone that you did something really cool with, whether it was a camping trip or a destination wedding or you guys just wound up. You were in a car. Together that got a flat tire and it turned into an adventure to get home from the desert or who knows what those types of moments are when people become real and raw and bond and then they form like a lifelong kind of bond. And then those strong relationships then turn into more opportunities for experiences because the more people that you have those strong connections with, the more times you’ll be brought into the fold for other opportunities to have experiences. So it’s just this kind of recurring snowballing effect where the more you put yourself out into experience new experiences with people, the more you’re going to build bonds and then wind up having more and more experiences. I mean, Bridget and I are like a perfect example of we when we met, we literally met. She showed me this video of this girl hearing for the first time. I was like, oh my God, this is amazing. We have to do this. We high fived and we flew to China to figure out how to make headphones like a week later. And we spent a week and a half in Asia together. We barely knew each other.
Bridget Hilton [00:24:17]:
We literally met like one time before that.
Joe Huff [00:24:19]:
Yeah, we came back and we were obviously started business and all that, but we started off the business and friendship relationship on this super personal level of knowing each other. From traveling a week to a place that neither of us had gone or spent time or done any of these things. Those are very strong memories that you forge together. And I think that that’s a good example of just the beginning of a relationship can turn into a much longer relationship if it starts with some kind of really cool experience to form it.
Bridget Hilton [00:24:56]:
That goes for relationships at work, relationships like romantic relationships or friendships. It can be anything. So I had a cubicle mate that I would sit next to for ten years. I’m going to get more out of an experience that’s like a novel experience with them than I would of sitting next to them for a few years.
Brittany Hodak [00:25:17]:
Yeah. And that’s one of the reasons that off sites are so important and so many companies invest in experiences for their employees. One of the things that I talk about all the time is this idea of superfans and connections, relationships being created where two stories overlap. So when you can connect over something that you share, and whether that’s through a shared experience or through a shared love of a third thing, whether that’s a sports team, a music group, whatever it is. But yes, those experiences are what bind you. It’s what separates someone you know and care about and have fond thoughts of from the other billions of people on the planet whom you haven’t yet had an opportunity to create those bonds with. So I think having those experiences, as you said, Joe, can really sort of elevate things very quickly to the next level when you’re getting to know someone or work with them for the first time.
Joe Huff [00:26:09]:
I use some examples in the book and just in telling other friends stories, but I’ve shared experiences with people that were very just random, whether it was just something like I said, like a concert, or there was actually someone that I let stay with me that needed a place to stay. And it was super personal. They were on a hard time. I let them stay with me for a bit and then cut to down the line. They became super successful and they invited me to fly first class to Australia with them. And that happened because of some act of kindness that created like, a situation that those are the kinds of things that you don’t know what you’re going to do and how that’s going to affect and have a ripple effect in your life and in other people’s lives, et cetera. Even Bridget and I would listen. Something that I think is really interesting is the whole journey of Listen was absolutely chock full of incredible experiences on the ground doing the mission work where we see people get hearing. We get to actually fit people with hearing AIDS and see them hear for the first time and everyone’s crying. This is an incredible, powerful moment. We don’t even know how many people that we touched in that kind of way. Like, we actually helped them in a way, went on to help others and do other things and so on because of something that happened in their life. Just like we’re affected by, for instance, the video that we saw, right, that woman posting the video of her hearing for the first time had a huge ripple effect. So I think the experiences that people share like that it’s really endless how much positive effect it can have in the world. It goes way beyond just business or the known personal. It just has like an endless kind of potential to it.
Brittany Hodak [00:27:54]:
Did you all ever connect with the woman in that first video that you saw that inspired Listen?
Bridget Hilton [00:28:01]:
Yeah, actually, when we did this commercial for Google, which was an incredible experience, basically, they came to our office. They chose us out of like how many people, Joe? It was like thousands of.
Joe Huff [00:28:16]:
They basically reviewed all of the Google business accounts that had a video for their brand. They looked at every video brand.
Bridget Hilton [00:28:27]:
They chose us, and they were like, we’re going to come film a commercial. And we kind of just didn’t even understand, really. And we had this office that was like literally 400. They showed up and it was like a full camera crew. Looks like they’re going to film Star Wars or something. And we were like, I don’t think we have enough room for this. So they ended up renting the space above us and pulling the cameras down from the windows. It was like this whole hilarious situation. But the point of that is that when that happened, we actually did reach out to Sloan and we got her permission to use the clip that she had created in this Google video. So we connected then. And I’m going to send her the book because I think that she’ll really enjoy that story because there’s a part in the book where I talk about seeing that video. So thanks for the reminder.
Brittany Hodak [00:29:19]:
Yeah, no, that’s amazing. I think there probably are so many ripple effects like that. And you guys have done some crazy things. I mentioned a couple of them in the introduction. But you’re not a name dropping here where you could I mean, you guys were doing things with Bill Clinton and Sir Richard Branson and the Kardashians. And I mean, many, many experiences that for some people would. Be once in a lifetime. And for you guys seem to know, once a week or once a month. I love that you’ve laid out this roadmap of the experiences. I want to do like a lightning ground style thing with both of you. We’re going to start Joe with you. I want you to tell me, what are the five most unbelievable experiences off the top of your head that you have had?
Joe Huff [00:30:06]:
I would say some of the things that jump to mind, obviously are the big travel things. And travel just let me preface it. You don’t have to be rich and travel the world to have great experiences, but travel does come up often on most people’s lists because it’s full of new and novel experiences. But just recently, Bridget and I were fortunate enough to be able to go to Egypt and go and see the pyramids, which in itself was incredible. But then while we were in the there, we went and toured the tomb and went inside the pyramid. And that experience was really remarkable. Extraordinarily claustrophobic, I would say. Some of the ones that again jump out to me. Machu Picchu was really incredible. To stand and view this ancient civilization, that really was just a remarkable feat. And the journey there was really a memorable experience that we had with our team from Listen. So that was a really wonderful experience. There’s something very hard to explain about the feeling you get when you go to the Maasai Mara and you go on safari. That’s something that I would never have expected that I guess I just thought that’d be cool to go on a safari. And then when we were able to do that, we were doing some mission work in Kenya and we tacked that on. That was really remarkable. And I’m going to apologize. I’m sorry. I’m probably stealing all the answers.
Bridget Hilton [00:31:40]:
Bridget Bridges I feel like I could.
Brittany Hodak [00:31:43]:
Ask Bridget to name 50. So that’s why.
Joe Huff [00:31:46]:
Brittany Hodak [00:31:47]:
Joe Huff [00:31:47]:
Joe exactly. And then some of the other experiences. I could name some more travel ones, but there’s some that are just a lot simpler. For me personally, I think the obvious ones of the birth of my children and my wife and I got married in Bali with a bunch of friends and it was just a really fun, amazing experience. And then one of my top experiences in life by far is my wife just beat cancer. And that was going to her last chemo session. Was like a very powerful experience for me to look at that empty chair when she got up and knowing that she’s not going to go back and we’re not going to go back there. So that was like a really powerful personal experience for us. And obviously the irony isn’t lost on the fact that we were in the middle of the book and we got served this crazy reminder. I would say the types of experiences people I think should have. I’m just going to add one last thing, is, whatever your dream is, the experience of attempting it, I think people get hung up on the result. Knowing you’re trying something feels so good. It feels so, you know, people, I think, get caught up on some end result that makes them feel like I lost or I won if I got it or didn’t get it. But it’s really just knowing you’re taking steps towards something and that’s the real key.
Brittany Hodak [00:33:17]:
Thank you for all of those, Joe.
Bridget Hilton [00:33:18]:
All right, Bridget, you’re up my top five. All right. Number one, I think, has to be giving people hearing. I mean, like the first experience that we ever had in Peru, we’re giving this girl Maria, who was turning 18 that day, hearing for the first time. And it was like the culmination of a year of work and this big dream that we had. And then we got to see it in real life and we’re like, oh, this is, like, working. This is amazing. And then she started crying, her parents were crying, joe and I were crying. And that was just like a moment of like, oh, I can do something that changes people’s lives. It’s possible. And that created all of the other things that we did. So that’s number one, probably. I love nature, so anything in nature is like, my favorite experience. I would say one of the coolest things I ever did was do a road trip around Iceland and on the very last night, we saw the most majestic Northern lights show. It was just insane. I love nature and I love that you can just have all these amazing experiences, even locally. Just going on a hike or whatever is my favorite thing. I went to all 50 states and that was a huge experience for me. I did the 50th one last year. I went to Hawaii and I think that was just so important for my mindset, is to understand people along the country. Obviously, it’s so divided and people have their views for reasons, and I can now see why people think that the way that they think. So I love doing that. Number four, I mean, I would agree with Joe and the safari. I think being in East Africa was one of my favorite things I’ve ever done by far. And we’ve gone several times. I have to know the fifth experience is happening right now. This is one of the greatest weeks of my life, is to be able to put out a book. It was a huge goal of mine my entire life, and I feel like it was such a long journey. It was a hard thing to do, but now I can say that I did it and no one can ever take that away from me.
Joe Huff [00:35:34]:
Can I jump in and add something to you really quick? I just want to say that the bucket list stuff was so far fetched for both Bridget and I growing up. Like, the idea of going to Africa on a safari was so, so far from reality and those moments, anyone can put that on their list and try to figure out a way to plan it might take you four years or six months or whatever, depending on how you do it. But the reality is, it is all the small things, though, that being out in nature, even the little things like whether you go kayak in the local lake or river ocean or wherever you’re at, or learning how to surf or going for that different trail hike or whatnot. That’s the stuff that really fills up all the spaces in life that make a huge difference, so that you’re not just waiting for this thing. So I just think that’s so important that I know if I was listening to this podcast 20 years ago, I’d be like, Cool, I guess I’ll just go on safari. Not that’s not even possible. But the point is, Bridget and I wound up on safari and wound up guerrilla trekking in Rwanda and wound up in Sri Lanka and Korea and China, all these places, because we started giving people hearing aid, because we wanted to give back. And that gave us this crazy set of new opportunities we never would have expected. It just led us down this path. But if we had started out with this, like, where do we travel? We would have been like, well, we can’t do any of that stuff because we had no idea how or where. So the point is, Chase, follow your heart, right, and it’ll somehow get you things that you have no idea that you would ever get.
Bridget Hilton [00:37:21]:
Yeah. And honestly, for me, the most life changing experience I’ve ever had was a mental health crisis, right? So in 2020, a lot of things happened in my life. It was like domino effect of all these bad things. I got separated, I moved, my place was robbed, COVID happened, our business was struggling. There was just like, so many things happening at once. But that was such a negative experience. But it turned into the most positive experience of my life. And so now I’m, in my opinion, a better, more well rounded person. I have changed my life where I live. I love it, and I just can’t imagine my life without that happening. And it’s funny, when we asked, like, 20,000 people what the most valuable experience of their life was, a third of them said a negative. Nobody wants to have negative experiences, obviously, but if you can reframe it into something positive, that’s something that I really want to help people with through this book.
Joe Huff [00:38:18]:
That’s how diamonds are made, right? Under pressure. You don’t get that kind of quality life if you don’t try some stuff and fail and fall down and get scraped up and beat up. You just got to keep getting up, right?
Bridget Hilton [00:38:32]:
Yeah. I don’t have any diamonds, but I have heard that that’s how they’re well.
Brittany Hodak [00:38:38]:
It’S a phenomenal book. Congratulations to you both. I’m sure it will be a huge success, and I know it will change lives. You two are individually and also together as a team, the kind of people who always pay it forward, who always look for ways to help others. And this book is an extension of that. Instead of being greedy with the wisdom and the knowledge that you’ve gained, you’ve turned it into something that other people can emulate and go on to also become experiential billionaires. So thank you both for coming on the show. Thank you for writing the book. Where can people find out more about the book and launch on their own path to becoming experiential billionaire so they.
Bridget Hilton [00:39:22]:
They Can go to experientialbillionaire.com. The book is available on Amazon, hardcover, paperback, Kindle, et cetera. And then our personal sites are Bridgethilton.com and Joe Huff.com.
Joe Huff [00:39:35]:
We also have a card deck. That’s a quick and easy way to start having new and novel experiences every single day, and you can find that on our website as well.
Brittany Hodak [00:39:45]:
And it is for people, and I also can vouch for that. It is a great thing to do alone or with the people that you love. It’s like cards against humanity, but where everybody wins it’s.
Joe Huff [00:39:56]:
Cards for humanity.
Brittany Hodak [00:39:57]:
Yes, exactly. Cards for humanity.
Bridget Hilton [00:39:59]:
Cards for humanity.
Brittany Hodak [00:40:02]:
Bridget and Joe, thank you again and congratulations again.
Bridget Hilton [00:40:06]:
Joe Huff [00:40:06]:
Thank you so much for having us.
Brittany Hodak [00:40:08]:
All right, that’s all the time we have for today’s episode of the Creating Superfans podcast. Thank you so much for tuning in. Now, remember, if you’re a Superfan of today’s episode, you can help us out in a big way by leaving a review and a rating wherever you get your podcasts. It may seem like a little thing, but it can make a huge difference in helping others discover the show. Now, until next time, remember, Super Fandom is a two way street. Show your love for your customers and your employees, and they’ll love you right back. We’ve got an exciting show lined up for next week, so I hope we’ll see you right back here. Bye.
About Bridget Hilton
Bridget Hilton creates tools to help teams and leaders connect in the workplace through rich experiences and shared goals. Her keynote helps Fortune 500 companies navigate topics of mental health and wellness, burnout, employee belonging and connection, inspiration, motivation, and goal setting. Her book Experiential Billionaire and card deck Treasure Maps is out now. She is located in Los Angeles, CA and is booking keynotes and workshops worldwide now.