Andrew Glazier on action over idealism

Defy Ventures is a different kind of organization. They are working with the incarcerated to help them hone their entrepreneurial skills and provide themselves and their communities with hope. CEO Andrew Glazier joined Defy with a pragmatic, business vision and is translating that with action. You will find this episode inspiring, trust me.

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Adam Pierno
Welcome back to another episode of The Strategy Inside Everything. This is a, this is a little bit of a curveball from what we what we often do on the show. I’m really looking forward to this conversation. today. Joining us is the President and CEO of defined ventures. Mr. Andrew Glazier. How are you today, sir?

Andrew Glazier 0:42
I’m good. Glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

Adam Pierno 0:44
Where are you calling in from?

Andrew Glazier 0:46
I am calling from Los Angeles, California.

Adam Pierno 0:50
If people are not familiar with Defy, I want to save that a little bit. First, I want to go into a little bit of your career if you wouldn’t mind giving people just kind of where you’ve been and what you’ve done to catch to get them up to speed and then we’ll we’ll let unfurl this story

Andrew Glazier 1:09
Sure thing yeah so let’s see I am a native to Los Angeles so born raised here and add a bit of a curving path but initially kind of out of out of college I had designs on ruling the world as an elected official. So I worked in government for about five years mostly in state and local here and then after doing that for a little while I had this realization that there was all these things I didn’t even know and so I went to grad school to get my my MBA and I didn’t find everything you need to know there but it was still good. And you know, at that point then I had designs on given up a rule the world bad design, the making millions, so I decided real estate development was the path for me

Adam Pierno 2:00
So you were going to change course from public service into into that real estate development world, correct?

Andrew Glazier 2:06
Yeah. And real estate, you know, doing infill residential development and mixed use development. There’s a public policy aspect to that about making level of places and things like that. So certainly that was my, my, my angle there was, you know, how do we use real estate development for the good of community development, but on a for profit level. So I finished Business School in 2006, which is some of your listeners may recall, was economically an interesting time to be entering the workforce.

Adam Pierno 2:37
So it was probably good for about a development for about a really racing year you were really psyched and then you hit the wall with us, right.

Andrew Glazier 2:46
So what ended up happening is that I went to a small entrepreneurial little group with two other guys. And I was little junior. I was junior associate there and initially came in because we didn’t real estate finance and ended up running a construction site for two years because that was what was there to be done. And so I taught myself general contracting for a little while, which was where I had my first interactions with people who were formerly incarcerated. And that’s where I learned about a little bit, not a lot, but just through those interactions kind of really came to this realization that if you had a violent felony record, fair to get a job, and so cut to two years later, it’s not 2008 the market is falling apart, meaning real estate had a mutual party of ways.

Adam Pierno 3:34
A lot of people did. Don’t take it hard.

Andrew Glazier 3:36
That’s right now I realize I had this moment I was like, I don’t think I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

And I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be doing at that point. But I was pretty sure it wasn’t that. And so a friend of mine was working at a national nonprofit called City Year, which is an education based nonprofit, it’s also affiliated with national service. And I am my government service, three years of that had been actually at the school district here. So I had a pretty solid backing in public education. And she, you know, asked me if I would come help out there for six months. And I was like, Yeah, okay, well, I’m already working in the nonprofit industry might as well, you know, make the world a better place while I’m doing it. And so I went there was a sensibly for a six month contract and stage for eight years.

And then ended up running all the program work for the LA chapter, and then a city or and then after that amount of time and decided I was ready for my next thing.

And ended up here at Defy.

Adam Pierno 4:39
And how did you discover Defy?

Andrew Glazier 4:41
Yeah, you know, it was it was a friend of mine who I had known at City Year as well. And when I left City Year, I just let people know that, hey, I’m, I’m open. So I send some stuff my way that looks interesting, Defy came my way. And I initially came on as the Executive Director for Southern California, which at that point was a new expansion chapter for the defined ventures, organization. And then, after five months in the executive director squad here, they asked me to move into the chief program officer role for the National org. And then four months after that, five years after that was an unplanned departure from our founders, you know, and then I was unceremoniously promoted to CEO president role. And it’s been about 18 months. And

Adam Pierno 5:34
would you mind telling people about the mission of Defy Ventures because when I read about it, I reached out to you guys right away and said, I need to talk to someone there.

Andrew Glazier 5:43
Yeah. So our mission is to change perceptions about people with criminal histories, give them their best shot at a second chance, and actually really changing mindsets. And that goes both for people who have criminal histories and people who interact with folks who have criminal histories. But change those mindsets is really what we’re after. And our vision is to cut the recidivism rate in half, by leveraging entrepreneurship, as a tool to increase economic opportunity and to inspire personal transformation. And so you’re helping train, teach, empower, allow people the opportunity to become entrepreneurs to learn skills, which are really the bootstrap skills of the American dream. That’s right, for both currently and formerly incarcerated. And we think about it, we’re creating both entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs. And, you know, because we, you know, a big part of our curriculum that we run in prisons and in transitional facilities, is career readiness and personal development. But really, what we’re trying to do is, is light light a fire and people for whom, you know, their fires have been pretty well doused for the last, however many years, and inspire them really to think about what their contribution can be, is them launching their own business, or what is them working in someone else’s business, but really using their entrepreneurial spirit to help grow that business. And so that entrepreneurship really cuts across in a lot of ways.

Adam Pierno 7:09
When I when I read, as I was researching before this talk about define its founding, the something I read that Catherine hope confounded defy. It said that she was on a visit through a prison. And she was inspired by the the prisoners mindsets, the incarcerated mindset. Yeah, all that it was very similar to the entrepreneurial mindset, can you can you expand on that a little bit? I had trouble wrapping my brain around how, what she what she may have seen or what you’ve seen? Sure, well, look, I mean, when we go in prison, and we do this exercise, where we ask these series of questions, and people sort of share, and if you ever go to prison with us, it’s the most powerful thing that we do. But one of the questions that we asked her, What are the statements we make? And he bought to say if it’s true or not for them? Is, have you ever started your own business? And initially, when I asked this question, typically, you know, maybe 40% of our entrepreneurs and training, as we call them, these are the residents in these in these prisons,

Andrew Glazier 8:07
by 40%, of them will will sort of say yes to for me. And then when I say legal or illegal, most of the room steps forward. from the, from our Rei. Geez. And what you know why that’s relevant is there are plenty of people in this world who are very successful at running illegal businesses. And our view is that skills are skills. And, you know, if you’re running a, you know, a 15, block, drug Empire is not as quite as Empire status, but you know, drug business, or an operation operation exactly right. You understand, supply and demand, you understand marketing, understand customer acquisition, you understand basic operations and logistics and moving product and inventory. Accounting, right, you may not know that that’s what you’re doing, but you are doing all those things. Now, you may have very questionable HR practices and be operating in a difficult regulatory environment. But, but but those skills are very transferable, right. And so our goal is to say, look, you have assets, you have skills and knowledge, now, let us help you channel those into legal enterprise, and legal careers, because you can take that stuff, and you can apply them and time and time again, you know, our volunteers who come into prison to judge a shark tank pitch competition, right? They’re blown away by the quality of these three minute business concept here and the level to which these individuals are thinking through these businesses. And that’s why we’re doing it right. And yeah, who is more

Adam Pierno 9:47
skeptical? Are the incarcerated, or the residents of the prisons more skeptical of the idea of being given the opportunity and being able to really put a voice to these ideas? Or are the volunteers and the people that you are working with out in the business community more skeptical?

Andrew Glazier 10:05
You know, I think when our men and women join the program, right, you know, I think they’re interested, but skeptical, they’re going to be able to make a pitch at the end of that

seven month program.

By the time they get to the end of the seven month program, you know, you the change in confidence in them is really amazing. I mean, you see these people who somebody said to me yesterday, somebody who was himself formerly incarcerated said, you know, what, all these men in this room, and I was in a maximum security prison, all these men in these room, you know, today, they can just be like, Steve and Mike and Robert. And, you know, and they’re back to just being that person again. And, and, you know, interacting with our volunteers and with confidence and just being humans, and, you know, doing these pitches, and that’s an amazing change from one day walk in. And I think for our volunteers.

No, no, skeptical is the right word.

Adam Pierno 11:09
Yeah, that’s fair. I don’t want to put a word in yet.

Andrew Glazier 11:11
I mean, I think I’m trying to describe it. When I think the attitudes of people when they walk in, I think they walk in not knowing what to expect, we’ve heard, right, because you didn’t do as long as they heard or read, like, oh, you’re going to do these things. I think what they’re skeptical about is that they’re going to walk in, and they’re going to meet people that they’re not going to be afraid of, and that they’re going to find all this talent in there. That’s a skepticism that just comes from how we decide to think about a criminal justice system, who’s in their

Adam Pierno 11:42
ignorance about incarceration in prison, and just,

Andrew Glazier 11:46
you know, it’s a mindset, right, you know, the system is designed to, for you to forget who’s in there. And, you know, if you haven’t been part of the criminal justice system, which, you know, most of us haven’t, right? You just like, and if you haven’t had family, or other people, which like it will do have interaction with it. But if you have never had any sort of interaction, or any reason to understand, right, you have what you see on TV, or what you imagined to be. And so then you walk in, and you spend his day with us, and you walk out and people just are like, this is not what I expected. I had no idea was going to be like this, I had no idea I’d meet people like this. And my mind is forever changed. And are they involved for the seventh seven months of the program? Or? Or did they show up kind of in a judging phase to hear the pitches only? Yes, the volunteers are episodic. So we have two big volunteer events. One is it the middle. And that’s a coaching day, we’ll have a group of volunteers 25 to 50, come in at a time. And Coach around resumes, personal statements, and the initial business concept. Nice. Then we bring another group back, there’s typically overlap with that middle group, it’s about but it’s about half new people for that pitch competition at the end. And so they’ll be some people have been there before. And so given him it’s all new.

Adam Pierno 13:04
Okay. It’s pretty interesting to to wonder what the volunteers say when they come in for a coaching session, and then come back and see the polished pitches, is it are people already on their way? When they

Andrew Glazier 13:16
are they are just like, I just can’t believe how much progress these these guys made from, you know, three half months ago, yeah, like I see it myself, right. I’m in there from the very start. And I do the coaching myself till I sit down and coach somebody, and this is like, I don’t know, this guy’s gonna make it. And then in the end, they win this pitch competition. And you’re like, wow, they just like really figured it out. And I found it.

Adam Pierno 13:37
And what’s the result? Like, what what happens at the end of a pitch competition? Are they funded are they are they.

Andrew Glazier 13:42
So we have a, it’s a competition. So we’ll pick our top five of the top five will win, either us because we can’t fund them while they’re in prison. So they get us up to $500.

down to $100, when they release, then we we bet him the prize money.

Adam Pierno 14:01
Got it. But not until they’re not until they release. That’s right.

Andrew Glazier 14:03
And then they have an opportunity to join our post release programming, where we actually have a small business incubator where they can actually launch a business if they want with

Adam Pierno 14:10
us. Oh, that’s fantastic. And it is their choice at that point. If they want to participate or not legally, yeah, our first thing

Andrew Glazier 14:17
for them is you got to get a job. And so something we’re really working on right now is building up our employer partnerships. So that when folks come out, we can help get them connected into companies that are willing to hire them. And really all we’re looking for do, we’re willing to interview, just an interview. And so what we love doing is bringing prospective employers to prison with us. So they can kind of get a sense of like, Look, this is who we’re working with. This is what they’re going through, these are skills they have. So then they come out and say, Okay, I would I would hire somebody, you know, I’ll interview some people

Adam Pierno 14:45
write on paper, it sounds like a crazy idea. But then when you meet someone face to face, and you say, Oh, that’s an actual person, there are these ideas.

Andrew Glazier 14:52
That is right. And so then we have our initial work with them is really around continued career readiness stuff, and then once to stabilize will offer them the operation you apply to be in our incubator and want to start that business. How many funding at the end of that? Got it? How many people are you working with on a, you know, at a given time during a given program? I know you’re in several cities? Yeah, we’re working in seven states right now. And I, you know, I think we’ll probably push 1000 people through our prison program this year. That’s amazing. And, yeah, and you’ll we’re and then we, in our post release programming, just probably, you know, a few hundred of the post release.

Adam Pierno 15:32
Are you and you’re trying to flip that? So there’ll be more people in that post release over time?

Andrew Glazier 15:36
Absolutely. As people come out. So we’ve been running our prison programming now. Really, it’s Gail, if you will, you know, more than like, a couple places. We’re an aging prisons right now. So we’ve been running at this level of programming for the last like, two years. And so we’re really starting to see an acceleration of people coming out now. And so we would expect to see those numbers in our posts these program grow pretty quickly.

Adam Pierno 16:00
Does participation in the program help them meet their release criteria?

Andrew Glazier 16:06
It does, actually. Yeah, I mean, certainly, it helps them with parole, it helps them just programming when they get to, except there’s anything California we’re doing. And we certainly have seen people go to board, the parole board where the program is like, Oh, I see you did a phi, right? You’ve met all your other stuff. Great. And it definitely it helps them as a criteria to release.

Adam Pierno 16:31
I wanted to ask you, as an executive, you were there. But you came from outside the company was already or the organization was already founded? Yeah. You were put into this role as president and CEO, when they when they organization was already moving in a direction. And I wanted to know, what were the challenges? of, you know, I talked to a lot of founder CEOs. Yeah, talking to an incoming CEO or incoming executive, I just was wondering, what kind of challenges have you faced or what was the biggest thing you started to take on when you stepped into that? role?

Andrew Glazier 17:06
Yeah, so

you’ve opened a can of worms this question.

It’s a it’s a fairly long answer. But that’s okay. We have time. Okay. So founders are great. I love founders, we have lots of founders, that kind of our program, founders are great doing something that I don’t do, I’m not good at, which is, you know, bending reality to their will to kind of conceive of an idea. And then sort of willed it into being right. That’s not what I do. I’m a, I’m a systems builder, and a scaling guy. And so I’ve had to get in touch with my, my sort of startup side, because what happened with us is we had a founder, who had an incredible vision. And she put together, you know, a really visionary program. And then, you know, had a pretty deep case of founders syndrome. And so when she left, I, we were crippled. Because the vision left with her. Well, it’s not so much division left with her donors left with her. God. I mean, there was even worse. Yeah, so I thought that when you have charismatic founders, this becomes a real difficult transition. If the founder owns all the relationships, and and from the end, and if there’s a public perception, she owns all division, even if they don’t, right. When they leave, then you have a bunch of people who are like, well, I’m attached to that person. And so I don’t believe that this can survive without her. Right, she becomes the brand and it’s 100% 90% 100% You’re absolutely right. She was the brand, if I was synonymous with her name. And so when she left for a lot of people, the brand lead with her. got it right. And now you add a dose of, of scandal, a bad press, which we had, right associated with the individual and true or not right. And much of it was not true. Some of it may have been true, right. But we ended up losing a significant portion of our donor base. I live from people who said, Well, I’m with her she’s brand, or she was the brand and the brand has changed since I’m no longer with you. Right, right.

Adam Pierno 19:30
You had multiple factors. It wasn’t it wasn’t just stepping into that role. But you said the time when all these things were happening. Yeah, correct. So.

Andrew Glazier 19:38
So when I stepped into the role, we flatlined, and literally went dark for a week. And so my job coming in was to basically sort of deliberate the organization. The jump started, we’re going to do it. No joke. That’s what we did. And, you know, the good news was, is that we have this incredible program that people like you, once you see it, you believe in it,

Adam Pierno 20:08
right? I haven’t even seen it. I’ve read, I read two paragraphs on it. And I said, I have to talk to somebody.

Andrew Glazier 20:13
That’s right. And so we had this really awesome product, if you will, of like, this is what we’re doing. It’s really important. It’s too important not to do, yes, right? huge asset. Right. So then we just need that we need to leverage that asset and then bring bring in just rationality. Right? We had to rationalize our, our, our finances, we had to rationalize our workforce, we had to rationalize our program. And there are aspects of our program, that as a program guy coming in, and doing it, you know, I said, Look, you know, we need to be really clear about what works and where you want to invest and what we need to change. So the first order of business was, let’s clean up our finances and make sure we have enough money to keep the doors open. That seems important for sure. And so we were lucky, we had some some visionary investors, who were willing to invest in our work and make significant contributions and step up. And we need a new a new business model, because the old community control model that we had as far as growth wasn’t working for us.

Adam Pierno 21:15
So in a sense, you you had to play the role of the founder. Even though that’s not what you’re typically great at. You had to re re refounded. You had to redefine, okay, this is the new vision based on reality. And based on my systems skills that I have this right, this is how

Andrew Glazier 21:33
I can see it going forward. You know, we had a great foundation to build, like, I mean, look, if you’d asked me like 10 years ago, hey, I want you to you’re going to go into prison, you’re going to be entrepreneurs ship, and you’re gonna have a shark to come to Bolivia, you are bananas. Right? I can’t do that. Right. So we had that part. That’s in my view, that was the hard part. Right? That was done. Right. And so then for that is just iterating. And so that I’m great at. So we did a lot of iteration from it from a business standpoint, though, was basically refounding the business model. And coming up with here’s how we do it is what growth looks like. And then taking our program and right sizing things, making some really hard decisions, really hard choices that and, you know, stuff that was, you know, so my worst hours in work hours is professional things that I had to do. But things that had to be done, and what we’ve come out of that and we stabilize, you know, nine months later, which I think not bad coming out of a total collapse situation. And we’re going again, and so we’ve been adding, we added, you know, three new markets in three new states in the last within the last year. And the program is humming and, you know, we’re we’ve got some new initiatives, you know, we we’ve we’re doubling down on supporting women. We’ve got a new program that’s piloting for Agent 24 year olds. And, you know, we’re, we are at building back up to worry work. Oh, that’s great. So that’s great. But yeah, that was that was the challenge of taking over from a founder is, you know, anytime a founder leaves, you lose that charismatic aspect of that person and their relationships, and is always going to be some people. And but even in the most orderly transition, it’s still disruptive, right? But when you have a very disorderly transition, you get all that plus

Adam Pierno 23:24
whatever else, right? Plus a tidal wave of of all the other stuff that comes with it.

Andrew Glazier 23:28
Yeah. Yeah. Now, you you.

Adam Pierno 23:31
Thank you for going into that. That’s awesome. Yeah. To hear about how you how you handled that. You mentioned new markets. And I wanted to know, you know, how you approach new markets? Is it new markets built around a population? Is it built around a single prison that you have targeted? And then is it finding community sponsors on the employer side? And on the sponsors? volunteer side? Who will come in and participate in the coaching?

Andrew Glazier 24:00
Yeah, yeah. So here’s something that I figured out relatively early in my tenure as CEO is, I did not want to be in the position of dropping into community on a social justice issue like this one, and sort of like parachuting in and be like, I’ve got the solution, everybody, so look at me, and then throw your money my way. Right? So I just think it doesn’t work very well, right. I mean, there’s certain the organization to pull that off. This is not, this is not the place to be doing that. So what I look for is a, as a partner, I look for somebody who’s already established in a prison adjacent. work, right. So reentry programming, right? The best partner for us is somebody who’s already successfully delivering some reentry services, and is looking for a prison enrich program. And or is looking for a way to bring entrepreneurship in as within family programming, right. And that’s what we’re going to shine is because now I can find a partner who knows local landscape, knows the political landscape knows the funding landscape is already has community credibility. And they’re just looking for, you know, some programmatic aspects that they can do in prison. And what I’ll say is, look, look, there’s good programs all over the place for what we do. And the way we do it. I think our program is the best thing out there when it comes to using entrepreneurship in this transformative way. And so, what we are able to do is say, look, you existing program, once you join the defy affiliate network, right, you’re still your program, right? You’re still reentry program of, of, you know, anywhere USA, right. And now to five venture to five feeling to five inches is one of your family of programs, you deliver our program as it almost like an a franchise way, right. And we’re going to provide a ton of technical support. And, and you’re to be part of this network. Now, other providers who are going to and, you know, the vision for me is to is to get to a place where a critical mass, we can bring all these people together annually, we can actually have a real great exchange of best practice. One of the things about criminal justice is, for the most part, it is a lot of very local based organizations, there aren’t very many on the national front that are out there. Because when it convenient people together doing their own direct service, right. So we think there’s a real opportunity there to kind of come in together as not only a way to provide what we think is a very effective program, we have data that says it’s a very effective program on both the enrich and on the on the entrepreneurship side. But also to say, look, we can be we can be a connector between all these programs.

Adam Pierno 26:45
You mentioned technology said we have the technology for this program, what kind of technology are you enabling that makes the program go? Is it it’s a delivery of information to?

Andrew Glazier 26:55
Can we get so some technology? What I meant to say was technical support. Got it? So technology wise, I wouldn’t argue that that’s our particularly our strong point, we do have a bunch of videos and online curriculum that we use, and do a lot of online anything in person. Most of the strong limitations on what to consume.

Adam Pierno 27:14
Exactly. So. But over time, you know, we are we are part of what we do offer sort of a backbone, sort of data management system, and also the data analysis, we can kind of build some economies of scale there, where the data comes in, we able to push it back out and use that really, from a collective standpoint of what’s working. Got it. And then you also mentioned the kind of a franchise model, which that’s exactly where I was going, when I when I call you use the word market. How much of it is able to be copy pasted town by town? Is it really since you’re a systems thinker? Is it very simple to modularize and add to a new community once there’s an organization that’s willing to sponsor it?

Andrew Glazier 27:56
Yeah, Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, it is very modular, right, we have the books, it’s a 1200 page curriculum, we have the training set up, we get to be trained up in like 12 hours, it’s designed to be delivered by a layperson, that’s great. And then you know, the data systems are set up. So it’s all sort of plug and play you everything’s ready. There’s surveys, there’s other stuff that’s collected, it’s put into our system, everything’s pre set up. So if somebody says, like, Listen, I got the money to do this. And we have the relationships, we’re ready to get going, we can get people up and running in like three months. And, you know, which is just basically long enough for them to get trained up. You know, make sure they’ve got all the permissions from the local departments of corrections from the state departments, and then go recruit a class inside and get going on it. And, you know, it’s it. One of the nice things about the program is that it is so plug and play, right. It’s, it’s built to be delivered by layperson, but also to develop talent inside the prison, to the people who complete our class then become peer facilitator. So then they support the follow on classes. And then the volunteers coming in, right. You know, what, what we’ve done is we’ve made criminal justice, from volunteer standpoint, very accessible for people to volunteer and do particularly in the business community. Because you know, when you talk to a volunteering, like, well, I want to be some is going to be meaningful that I feel like I’m going to using my skills to give back. Great, you know, how to coach on a resume and a personal statement, you know, about business, you’re our people

Adam Pierno 29:28
wouldn’t I wouldn’t have thought that that would relate to prison in any way, really, I would not have made a line there are places I think I would go do that before prison or,

Andrew Glazier 29:37
and, and there are plenty of places where you can do that and be meaningful, and prison is just is one of those places. If I would argue it’s more meaningful, a lot of ways in just about anything else you can do because it is so far out of anybody’s comfort zone, to get in there and do that. And so from a sort of a grow that personal growth experience, I can’t tell you how many volunteers say the same thing. At the end of the day, I got more from the defy tease than I gave. Right.

Adam Pierno 30:05
Right. And so the inspiration that you might see of somebody working their tail off and bringing ideas forward,

Andrew Glazier 30:11
or in the worst possible circumstances, right. And with with every everything arrayed against them, right, and there’s still there being like, I’m gonna come with an idea. I’m gonna try this. And, you know, you know, so many people walk out, and I’ll talk to me earlier, they’d be like, they may never come back, and I’ll see them like, that did change my life. Right?

Adam Pierno 30:31
Yeah, I’m, I’m, I’m going to be volunteering here. Before you and I spoke, I was already queued up to do that. You also mentioned that it helps when there’s someone inside that already has a program that makes them receptive to this. So you’re not out there trying to sell this to every prison, every you know, group that isn’t receptive to it, you kind of looked for your people that are aligned, and help them understand how to make this easy to execute. And you you’re taking down the barriers, like any kind of enterprise sales organization, is that Yeah,

Andrew Glazier 31:04
and we’re basically saying, look, you already you already work with this population in a reentry setting, right. So we’re talking to somebody now, who runs traditional housing and wraparound services, for people who have come out of prison, right, they do a great job with that, they know that they would be even more effective if they had an enrich program where they could go into the prison and start their programming there. And they could spend, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars developing and refining a program, or they can just come to me, and you know, and they’re going to network and network benefits out of doing that. Right. And, and, and I have a program that’s, I’ve got five years of data, I can show that there’s what it does,

Adam Pierno 31:42
how much of the how much of the work is the inspirational side that me an outsider, and probably your volunteers here and react to versus the very practical, almost transactional, hey, you’re trying to execute a program, I have a program, you can plug into that slot, and I’ve already done X amount of work, and it’s going to work in this way. If these things are figured out for you, how much how much are you talking on those levels when you’re working on this?

Andrew Glazier 32:12
So my my favorite thing to do is if somebody’s interested, say come inside with me, come and see it, and feel it. Yeah. When you come in and see it and feel it, then let’s talk. Because, you know, we’re not just looking I mean, we’re a nonprofit, right? I’m not I’m not making I’m not making hammers yet. Right? I what I really want our partners who want to be true partners with us to not only execute our program, but also to give feedback and be like, here’s how you could make it better. And here’s how we can work together to advocate on this incredibly important issue. And this is how we build up an army of volunteers are going to be, you know, eventually be an army of advocates for us. So I want people who are aligned in our philosophy in terms of how we approach things, right. There’s people who are on certain side of the issue where like they go, they think that they’re, you know, saviors, right. I don’t want them. We’re not going to save anybody not paramedic, right? We’re empowering people. And we’re bringing in volunteers, and we’re creating human connections. That’s what we want to do. Right? If you have to say people, like, we’re not the right partner for you. Yeah, there’s a different organization for that, yeah, you could do this or else, right? Likewise, there are people who are like, you know, you know, want to call them all ex cons, and like, you’re going there, and we’re going to help the ex cons and you know, you know, we’re going to, you know, change them from animals, right? That’s Those are my people either, right? You know, we’re doing this work, because we believe in redemption and redemptive communities, and we believe in that all human beings are are redeemable. And, you know, and that doesn’t mean nobody’s gonna get out of prison. Right? I mean, don’t confuse redeemable with with a lack of accountability. That’s not it.

Adam Pierno 33:53
That is an important distinction. I’m sure that’s something you have to discuss a lot.

Andrew Glazier 33:56
Yeah. But redemption can look different. looks different to everybody. And so I’m looking for people who are in this philosophy of, we want to give skills, we want to help them want to make sure we want to empower these individuals. And when they come out of prison, they have their best shot at being successful. And and we talked about second chances. But in reality, we look, let’s be clear, so many people we work with, they never had a legitimate first chance. Right. And so we’re about fair cheaters. But that’s a second chance or third chance or first chance we’re about fair chances. Yep. And so yeah, so so we’re looking for people who are already in the space, understand the population that we’re working with, but are looking for a program that will help them become even more effective on the inside, because they’re already working on the outside. Got it?

Adam Pierno 34:45
Yeah, I love I love what you’re doing. Before I let you go, what’s your favorite pitch that you’ve heard if you can share?

Andrew Glazier 34:52
Yeah, many great ones. There couple of good ones. You know, one that really sticks in my mind. He was this guy, Brett at a city at a prison here in California. And it was my was like my first one of my first events that I’ve gone to and it just started the organization. And I sat down with him. And he started telling me how he wanted to cultivate mushrooms. And anyone to do high end growing mushrooms like chanterelles, and morals and was like, those are really hard, like morals grow in the ashes of a forest fire. Like what? How are you going to do that? He’s like, I know how to do it. I’m a fourth generation pot farmer. Okay. Yeah, grow mushrooms do like yeah, grow mushrooms do like, Okay. And then it’s like, oh, so that, is that what you read for? He’s like, No, you know, I was a mercenary. And I did this, that and the other. And you’re not going to see like my first conversation with him. This is the correctness of the coaching days of that sort of the midpoint of the program. And he was very sort of cavalier about his history. And I was like, know, this guy. I’m not sure.

Adam Pierno 36:04
Right. And, and it’s halfway through. So that’s probably that’s probably pretty common about

Andrew Glazier 36:10
halfway through. So, you know, as I was talking to my program director about a couple weeks, I was like, so what about Brett? She’s like, yeah, pretty interesting. And then the next she came back, just like, you know, I talked to Brett, me told me today said, You know what, when I started this program, all I could think about was getting revenge on the people that put me here. And last week, I realized that I want to have a legacy. And I care about repairing the harms of my community, and the legacy I set and the laser set for my children. And so I’m going to be different now. And that guy came, and three months later, he won the pitch competition with this mushroom idea, which is a really good idea. It is a good idea. And he’s got like four years left to go. And not only did he win the competition, he came back as a facilitator, then Coach, an entire nother class of guys. And so I came in from my recruitment day, and it was the first recruitment I’d ever run. And he was there with me and I did it. And I was like, go to Osaka, Andrew, you gotta go hard on these guys. They’re not clapping enough.

Adam Pierno 37:21
So – he became a cheerleader for the

Andrew Glazier 37:26
Well, it was a full conversion on this guy who was just like, found himself and his center and knew what he wants to and how he was going to do it. And then at the end of that program was like, Brett, you can coach the next coach, like, no, I not, like why not is like, well, cuz I’m starting college. Ah, right. And so like, he was this guy.

Adam Pierno 37:46
Even better, right? You’re like, I’m

Andrew Glazier 37:48
fine. Good. Fantastic. I’ll accept that excuse. And, you know, he gets another three years. And you know, this movie is two and a half. Like, I just can’t wait to see what this guy does. But like, it just like you. I wish I mean, I’m gonna wish like, people were like, oh, it just that’s just that guy, though. Right? It’s like, I hear this, I see this happen over and over and over again. It’s the norm not the exception. You have people get to the end of that. And just like, I know what I want to do, and I know I’m going to do it. And I’m going to do it.

Adam Pierno 38:17
That’s amazing. I almost if even if it was just breath. Yeah, I would say maybe that’s enough. Like maybe that’s worth it. If you turn if you took one person who was a bad person or had a bad experience. And they saw the way that they could change their legacy through their actions and through learning, and they let a whole class Yeah, right. Maybe that’s enough. One person is a fantastic story. If you’re doing more than that at scale, it’s even better, but some Yes. Celebrate. Celebrate one great story. Sure. I mean, I love where your head’s at. But

yeah, not living it and trying to scale it.

Andrew Glazier 38:53
But But look, I mean, this is the power of entrepreneurship is that when you go to prison, you’re told you’re worthless, and you’re 70. Right? And so then you start to believe that you’re worthless and stuff you. And so when, when now, when you have a program to come in, and like none of them know, you got it all wrong. You’re worth something. You’re a human being, you’ve made some mistakes, but you’re human. Right? So let’s build on that. And now as an entrepreneur, you can’t be an entrepreneur right? Unless you you arrive this place you believe anything’s possible. That’s right. So being an entrepreneur is is like I can do this thing that other people aren’t doing. Absolutely. And then you apply that to your own life. And so we call our program department delivers it’s called CEO of your new life and was like and that’s what we want you to do is believe that things are possible and that will help them get a job that will help them be successful in their life. And if they want to start a business you will help start a business that’s good to know.

Adam Pierno 39:50
Absolutely. Alright, well this was fantastic. Where can people find you online and how can they support the five ventures

Andrew Glazier 39:57
Yeah, love it if they would, we’re at www five inch dot o RG define ventures defy DFY ventures like ventures. Check it out. If you’re in California or New York, Colorado, Illinois. We got events coming up. And North Dakota, we started do some programming there. That’s very new. So we don’t have anything coming up just yet. Washington State. We also are doing some programming there too. So if you’re in any of those locations, check out our website, we’ve got links to all the locations we’d love to have you join us. If you feel moved, and you want to support your organization, click that Donate button. Just to give one plug on on value here, go for it in California to keep somebody incarcerated for a full years $81,000 per person per year, at $1,000 per person per year. And our program for the in prison program is roughly $1,000 it gets me to seven months and our recidivism rate once a release is seven and a half percent i mean seven 8% people once they release go back to prison, XM point to the national rate for the one year returned to prison raise 30%. He can do your own ROI calculations on that. But we think it’s a pretty good value. And so anybody who wants to help support us 25 bucks 100 bucks gets set a book for somebody 25 bucks a month is amazing. We welcome any support I need. Thank you for having me on the show.

Adam Pierno 41:25
Oh, this is amazing. I will include links to everything in this in the show notes and it was really wonderful speaking with you, thank you for taking time to to chat.

Andrew Glazier 41:35
Great come on out and volunteer was love to see out here. You gotta be Alright, sounds good.

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