Reaching True Success by Focusing on Your Foundation with Ian Lobas
What is true success to you? It is so easy to get lost in all the grind of work and home responsibilities that we tend to lose sight of what really matters to us. How do you get out of this fix and kick-start your journey towards a truly fulfilling life? You will learn from this episode that it all starts with focusing on your foundation, knowing who you really are, what ticks you, what really matters to you and building your vision board around that foundation. Joining Moneeka Sawyer to talk about this is Ian Lobas, a successful entrepreneur, real estate investor podcast, host speaker, and full time high performance coach. Your life is not in the future. It is now. Learn how to take the reins back and have it go your way.
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Reaching True Success by Focusing on Your Foundation with Ian Lobas
I am excited to welcome to the show Ian Lobas. He’s a successful entrepreneur, real estate investor, podcast host, speaker, and full-time high-performance coach. Ian Lobas absolutely loves life. After years of grinding it out in the shipping and real estate sales businesses and making sacrifices in every other area of his life, he was burnt out. The money, the power, the success, none of it mattered anymore. He was in a failing marriage and barely knew his kids. Every day he would ask himself, “Is this really it? Is this all there is to life? Am I meant to do this forever? How can I have the life I want in every area?”
That’s what Ian set out on a mission of intense personal development to figure out why he was avoiding fear, what was causing the pain, how to clear and remove it from his life, and how to make sure it didn’t get between life and what mattered to him most. His family and living life fully with no regrets. I’m excited to share him and his wisdom with you on our show. Afterwards, if you would like to connect with Ian, you can reach him at [email protected]. Ian, welcome to the show. How are you?
Moneeka, I am fantastic. When you read that bio, it still gets me because it was almost like you were describing some other guy. What you were describing is a different guy than I am now.
We all have a journey to bliss. That’s why I wanted to chat with you because in that bio, I could see myself. I went through very similar things and a lot of the ladies on the show have gone through a lot of different things. What’s amazing about this crazy time in our lives, with everything that’s been going on with the Coronavirus and everything, we’re all getting a chance to look at it. We’re getting some more downtime. We’re living our lives differently because we have to. It’s allowing us to do a reset. Many people are in that place. I know I was. I know you were. As we’re re-evaluating what we’re going to do going forward, here’s an opportunity for a conversation that could change everything. I’m excited for you to share with us a little bit more about that journey and how did you pull yourself out.
I appreciate you having me on. I love meeting you at New Media Summit and being a part of this journey with you now. Men or women, it doesn’t matter. It’s the obsessive identity-rich journey of power, what money, and what success can give you to mask what you’re hiding from, what you’re running from, what your fear points are, and what you’re generally avoiding in your life. It is that stuff that’s deep down that scares you. People use success, money, power, drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, and whatever else you want as an avoidance technique. As I said in my bio, I got to the point where at the end of 2016, I had done hundreds and hundreds of hours, even thousands, of personal development. Reading 65 books, going to fifteen seminars, and spending $50,000-plus on personal development.
At the end of the year, I’m thinking, “I did so much. I’m changing.” My wife says, “I’m out.” I thought I was doing so much work and look at all the stuff I’m doing. Look at all the work I’m doing in my life. I’m like, “I don’t like who you are still.” At that moment, what my wife said to me was, “Are you the model of a man that you want your daughter to attract into her life?” It still brings up emotion in me because it was like an eighteen-wheeler running into me. At that moment, I stopped and thought, “No, I’m not.” That’s when my wife said, “You’re doing all this stuff but it hasn’t changed anything about you. It added to all the things you now know and you’re already self-righteous enough. You already try to look smart and look good all the time, anyway. Now, it gave you more ammo.”
That is when I learned the difference between being and doing. That real big quest of like, “How do I change my being? I don’t like myself. I don’t want to get divorced.” Truthfully, it was a divorce attorney who said to me, “I’m not going to take this case. This isn’t what you want. You’re selfish. You’re a jerk. If you can figure out the guy deep down inside that you’re hiding behind all this stuff, when you figure that guy out, you’re going to live a great life because it’s in there. I hear you. I see you. You’re not the guy that’s masculine, tough guy. You’ve got a side to you that people enjoy. If you can have him come out all the time, you’ll have a great relationship in life.” That’s what I did.
There’s something that I say to my audience all the time is that we can’t control what’s going on outside of us in the world. We can’t always control how we choose to respond. What that has to do with is who are we being in the world? Who are we truly inside that is showing up in the world? Many of us may not like that person. Part of that has to do with we don’t even know how to keep ourselves happy. We don’t even know how to create that inside job that everybody is talking about that most of us are giving lip service too. My journey with bliss has been about creating that bliss equilibrium within myself so that no matter what is going on outside whether the economy, election, Coronavirus, my husband is having problems at work, or whatever. No matter what is going on out there, Moneeka is the same person. I show up the same way everywhere.
It doesn’t mean that I don’t have challenges, I don’t fall off the horse, I don’t have my own issues but it means that I am in the habit of coming back to this place of bliss, joy, and being the kind of person I want to be in the world. I may fall off the horse but I don’t stay off for very long. That’s the key. The conversation is about there’s a lot going on out there that we can’t control. There are cycles in what’s been happening. A lot of us are experiencing a lot of emotion up, down, and sideways. What is going on? How do we become blissful in those circumstances? I love your input on what you think would help people.
One of my areas of specialty in my coaching consulting business is helping people to separate from the identity that they created around that avoidance, around that pain, trauma from the past, or whatever it might be and realize who they are inside or who they choose to be. The choices that they can make at every moment going forward because it’s your responsibility to every moment. You have a choice and it’s not 50 million variables, it’s two. Toward the goal or away from the goal. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out how to do that.If you can find the person you are hiding deep inside you, you are going to have a really great life. Click To Tweet
It takes a very clear mind to set a clear goal and to understand the path to get there. When you face an obstacle that you can go left when you know the goal is right, you have a choice to go left. Go left and understand that when you kick a ball downhill, it will not stop. Whatever happens on the other side of that choice, that’s your responsibility. It’s not the other guy who cuts you off or the other guy who made you late. It’s none of that stuff and you have to start owning that responsibility of those choices that you make.
I talked about this a lot. Take 100% responsibility and it can be scary because it’s like, “I’m responsible for all of those bad things that are happening to me.” Not really. What taking 100% responsibility gives you is the opportunity to create change. Those bad things are happening to me and if I take responsibility then I have the power to create change. It’s about empowering yourself to run your own life. One of the things that you talked about that I love and has not been on this show before but I’m very aware of and I teach to my coursework is towards goals and away goals.
There are a lot of people running away from the fear of the Coronavirus or it’s fall out like, “What’s going to happen?” There’s a lot of ifs and there’s a lot of fear. People don’t know what’s happening and they’re running away from that fear. Let’s get into the mode of the towards. First, why don’t you define a way in toward goals because we think it’s intuitive but there might be some people going, “That’s an interesting concept. How does that work in my life?” Let’s talk about how we can utilize that concept now.
I always want to foundationalize with something that a lot of people know, maybe not everybody. If you’re familiar with Michelangelo’s David, I don’t know if this story is true, but I’ve read, I’ve always been fascinated with the David especially in personal development in myself as a coach, a leader, and somebody who helps people shift and change their lives. Michelangelo was quoted and somebody asked him, “How did you create the David?” He said, “I didn’t. I knew what pieces of marble to remove and David was already there.” I equate the same thing to who we are. What we put on in terms of the pieces of marble that we don’t need on ourselves, our spirits, our souls, whatever is from all that stuff that happened to us in the past.
Whatever happened at high school and childhood, your first breakup, all that pain started to build the armor. All we’re talking about here is identifying the pieces of that armor that no longer serve you and removing them. The next time someone cuts you off in traffic, the choice you make is not toward anger. You understand and have identified, “I know why I get angry at this. I can take that off. It no longer serves me.” The next time someone cuts you off, you don’t make meaning of it and you move on. It’s easier said than done. It all comes with practice and building a habit. There’s still stuff that irritates me. There’s still stuff that makes me upset and angry. It’s just in that moment, I choose to be responsible for my choice.
Does this either go toward the goal of building this business, getting home on time, spending time with my kids, going out to dinner with my wife, or does me chasing this guy down and flipping them off to prove some point that doesn’t even matter, does that go toward my goal or not? The biggest thing that people can do is clearly identify goals that are not based on who they become in their job or social circle. It’s pure, “I want to spend more time at home with my kids, or I want to take my wife out on a date twice a week.” If you’re single, it could be something that’s a hobby. It doesn’t take identity. Some of this stuff takes money but it doesn’t take your identity around those things to get this goal accomplished. It’s you who can do it.
I always tell people, if you get fired from your job and your bank account is empty, will you still have any goals? Most people say no. The fact is you’re still going to have a goal or you’re going to die that moment. The exercise is you got fired from your job or your business failed, you have no money but the people around you who you love whether it’s your family, your friends, or extended family, they’re still there. What’s the foundational piece? Once you have the foundational piece, you can start building from there. I guarantee you, that goal sheet looks much different than most people’s dream boards or vision boards that have fancy cars, big vacations, and stuff like that. That’s all-important but foundationalizing it, that’s how you get that built.
What do you mean by foundationalizing it? Let’s go deeper there.
I work with a lot of people and I’ll ask them, “Build me a vision board. Let me see your vision board.” They’ll show me pictures of yachts, jets, ten-carat diamond rings, vacations for $50,000 to Tahiti, and they’ve got $500 in a bank account. They have this dream of one day being able to achieve that stuff. The challenge is that who they are within that. They have no idea how to attain that because the person that they are can’t attain that. Do they have the skills? Sure, they can acquire those. Could they find the money? I’m sure they can but the person that they are is never going to put all that stuff together. That was the problem with me. I could do all this work on myself but until it soaked into the bone, that’s the only time that it’s going to change things radiating outward.
For everybody reading, it’s not about more stuff you can add to your plate. It’s not about the next book, podcast, seminar, or big things that made these big impacts. It’s about these little tiny choices, not yelling at your two-year-old kid because they spilled something. Saying like, “This is a two-year-old, what am I doing?” Make a choice at that moment to say, “I want my kid to spend more time with me. I want to be a better example.” Be a better example of that moment. As you start to do those things where it’s like, “I could stay at the office for another hour to get this work done,” or “I could fulfill on the promise to my kid or my girlfriend to go out to dinner or go see my grandmother in the hospital,” whatever it might be.
Those little things that don’t register as a giant on your radar because it was high consumers and our minds are moving so fast and we want big dopamine hits, those are the things that when you start to think about the little tiny pieces that make a widespread effect, those are how you build the foundation. Instead of saying like, “I couldn’t see my grandmother for the last six months. She’s been in the hospital because I’m going out to dinner with clients. I’ve got this or I’ve got a deadline at work.”
Compartmentalizing that stuff and saying, “If all that work stuff goes away, am I still going to make up reasons why I can’t go see my grandmother in the hospital or why I can’t take my girlfriend on a date?” It’s not true because you’re going to be depressed because your identity is gone. You have to create an identity around what would be there without any of the other stuff that runs your life. What I became an expert on is how to remove all the other barriers, all the blind spots, see what matters most, and build from there.
That’s a lot of what people are going through. We were spending an awful lot of time with ourselves and for some people, it’s uncomfortable because all the external stuff is not available for us or it’s showing up differently. Do you have any specific tips on how to get to that person? What can we do? I know that you’re going to give some good juicy stuff. What could we do to get that started?
I agree with you. I’ve been talking to my neighbors from a distance. I was the guy that could never work from home. I had to get out of here on a routine, a structure, and a schedule. I also realized through the work that was an identity was to go to Starbucks and be that guy, get this parking spot and I’m that guy, show my car off and I’m that guy, have this office and I’m that guy. All of that stuff was wrapped up in this fake facade and this balloon that can be popped in any time. What I tell people because I’ve had a lot of calls with people literally going crazy because they can’t be that person. They can’t get up on Monday morning, go to the office, and escape the things at home or the problems that they had.
The tiny things you can do, you can start to fill in with what you’ve always wanted to do or dreamed about doing, you have the time. Don’t sit around and complain about it or be depressed over it. If you’re at home with your kids, that’s amazing. That’s a God-send. That’s a blessing and a half. What people are seeing now is a spotlight shine on what they’ve created around them. I have some friends who are like, “I can’t stand my kid for more than an hour a day. This kid is driving me crazy. He’s jumping around. His language. I never realized this.” I’m like, “You created that. Why don’t you sit down and be present with your kid?” I posted a video on my Facebook page of my daughter doing her affirmations in the mirror.
I never would’ve done something like that. I was having conversations, she started getting up with me at 5:00 AM. She was already up. In the moment making that decision, instead of me being irritated because she’s affecting my morning routine, why don’t I be a nice parent, a dad, and include her? I said, “Why don’t you follow Daddy, we’ll go in, and you can see what I do in the morning?” I would brush my teeth and I would do my affirmations in the mirror. I would come and do a little meditation then I’ll do my journaling. I do some pushups and sit-ups. As she went on throughout the weeks, she started doing it with me.
She’s been saying affirmations since she was a year old. Now we run them in her bathroom mirror and she does them. I can tell you that this kid is so happy in the morning to get up with me and to do the things that I like to do. It also has a bonus of she’s building confidence in herself as a woman who’s four years old. It melts my heart as a dad to watch her. I taught her how to snorkel in the bathtub which sounds weird but I want her to scuba dive. I was watching YouTube videos and it says, “Teach them how to snorkel in the bathtub.” I watched her and she was like, “I can’t go under.”
I’m like, “If you say you can’t, then you can’t. Take the snorkel off.” She said, “I want to.” I said, “Tell yourself that you are afraid and it’s okay. You can get yourself through it.” Sharing those moments with her, teaching her life’s lessons, and that’s the stuff that I’m talking about which isn’t like these monumental moves. It’s not a big fat paycheck. It’s not your promotion or your brand-new car. It’s not that dopamine hit. It’s a long, slow burn but you’re creating something in somebody else that has major lasting effects. If everything else went away, my daughter still has confidence in herself and a belief in herself that most kids her age would never even know until they’re teenagers when it gets shattered anyway.
They still have tools that a lot of teenagers don’t have.
Those are little tiny things. It could be the morning routine that you’ve always wanted to do but you’ve never made time. It can be the time with the children, your spouse, your boyfriend, girlfriend, or whoever that it’s always been work, this, or my hobby comes before. You don’t have any of those options right now. As far as we know, because the world could end, you’ll never have those options again. If the world delivers it, great. If it delivers it the next day, great. In the present moment, this is your life. Make the absolute best of it. Read that book, watch that show, spend time with your kids, or take them outside and play with them. I built this swing set that I’ve had in my shed for a year because I didn’t make time.Your life is right now. Make the absolute best of it. Click To Tweet
Just little tiny things and start with the morning routine. I tell people to focus on children, spouse, and yourself if you have a family. If you don’t, it’s all about self-love and self-care. If you want an easy way to do self-love and self-care, boil a pot of water and make yourself loose tea. You have to strain it, you have to steep it for fifteen minutes, you’ll be with yourself doing something for yourself for 25 minutes for a cup of tea. If that’s not self-love, I don’t know what is because you’re saying yourself like, “I care enough to spend this time making myself a little cup of tea, not rush the microwave, and not run around 50 million things but I’m going to spend this time on me right now.”
First of all, it’s such an easy thing that all of us can do. It’s something none of us would ever think about. It can be such a meditative beautiful experience because normally, what do we do in the morning? We’re like, “I’ve got to get my cup of coffee, a cup of tea, or whatever.” We’re running around while it’s steeping and doing tons of things. What if we slowed down? What if we took that moment? We don’t have to rush around in many cases. Even we did, it’s okay to give ourselves fifteen minutes just for us. Have a bubble bath, wait for a half-hour for the water to heat up, fill up, and all that stuff. It’s something that can happen at the moment that will slow us down. It’s something to do. I know so many people, when we talk about slowing down, they’re like, “I’ve got to be doing something.” This is something they can do that also slows them down.
Doing something is an avoidance tactic for facing who you are. When people have to sit by themselves and be with themselves, it’s scary. Friday evening, you can go, “Two days.” I’m only speaking to those people. There are people that are reading and they’re like, “I’m content with my life. I’m going to take some of these tips and add them.” For those people that hit Friday night and they’re like, “Two days, I’ve got to make it through, get home, make it through two days. Get back to the office.” What I’ve found in my business is a lot of those people, not hate but dislike the weekend because they don’t have something to keep them busy and their mind off of work that they need to do on themselves. They also hate their job.
They’re in this vicious cycle of monotonous negativity filled lifestyle that affects their health and their relationships and then at the end, you don’t have anything. It’s not a way to live. The teething is a small example of how someone can take care of themselves. I know the naysayers, it’s not going to be your audience, it’s going to be whoever hears it like this. Somebody is saying, “He doesn’t have four kids. He doesn’t know.” I have two kids. I take care of my daughter in the morning and my wife takes care of our son. That’s our commitment. I’m sure my wife would want me to step in a little bit more with the baby but he’s so small. He needs her all the time.
I take care of my daughter. I understand if you have a little bit too much to do. That’s no excuse to not take time for yourself and make yourself a cup of tea. What you’re saying to yourself is with all the stuff going on in this world, I care about me. I care about taking a couple of minutes for myself to do something for me that doesn’t mean anything but what I make it mean to myself. I’m making myself a cup of tea. That’s it. I’ve found that to be so symbolic of the love I’m feeling for myself at the moment that on those days when I’m like, “I don’t know what I’m going to do.” It’s a Japanese tea ceremony. I don’t go the full gamut but it’s about meditation, the steeping of the tea, and the releasing of the important medicinal pieces of that tea leaf. There’s a lot of stuff going on in there.
It’s a ritual that serves us. There’s a reason that many spiritual practices, many religious practices, business practices, family practices, all of these things, we have rituals that help to enhance or amplify the experience. When you have a ritual that you can do that represents self-love, you have access to that ritual at any moment. We started talking about something to do. To do is often an escape tactic. It also can be a ritual. It depends on how we use it. This is all in our mind and the experience that we make it. I know that we’re going to talk a little bit more about what we make of things, the meaning that we give things but this is something that we have control of in our mind. What are we turning this experience into for ourselves and for the people around us even? Here’s the thing. You, as a dad, and he has a wife, daughter, those sorts of things, if I’m taking care of myself, I’m a nicer person to be around.
Most of the time. There’s always stuff that’s going to come in and do its best to affect how we’re being on a minute-to-minute basis. That’s our choice.
Because you’re doing those things to take care of yourself, you’re not as vulnerable too.
That’s the biggest point, as you remove that armor that we talked about from that identity, that’s created on a foundation of sand. You start to open up the possibility for yourself. What could be? It’s a habit that you have to build. Try something little. The tea thing might not work for you. You might not tea but it could be with your coffee. For those people that are coffee crazy and they’ve got to have it first thing in the morning, wake up 30 minutes early or 20 minutes early and have a ritual. I brush my teeth and it’s not about boiling water or this. It’s about the separate ingredients going together and not it being an instant world because instant gratification is what pulls us so quickly off of our mark that when we slow down and we have to put something together, this could be with a puzzle too or things like that. You can do it with your kids.
I say that as a dad and an entrepreneur. From a dad who could care less about the family. If I had time for them, I might make it if something else didn’t come up. That’s where I’m coming from. It could be literally anything, wake up a little bit earlier. If you’ve got a bunch of kids at home, if you’ve got a job and you still have to go to telecommute, give yourself that and own that. If you can take the next step and write in a journal, write in a journal, “I love myself.” I guarantee you 95% this audience has never said, in words, in a mirror, or in a journal, I love myself. I care for myself. I have 50 million exercises and different things that people can do but that’s something simple. Make yourself a cup of tea and write in a journal that I love myself, I took time for myself. I’m telling you, the foundation that that can build, although it sounds very simple, is monumental.
It’s delightful to hear that somebody else is doing that stuff. I have never admitted this because I feel like it sounds a little bit narcissistic and it’s not, it’s exactly what you expressed. Every day, I do a lot of physical therapy because my shoulder is bad. After the physical therapy, the reward is I stand right in front of my full-length mirror because I have to do physical therapy and be able to watch myself. I’m standing there sweating, hurting, and feeling bad because it hurts to do this. It’s called pain therapy, not physical therapy because I stand in front of the mirror. After all of that, I look directly at my own eyes and say, “Moneeka, I love you, powerful woman.” Saying it now without looking in my eyes tears me up but when I’m looking at my own eyes, it is powerful.
For someone that tries that and it doesn’t register right away because you’ve done that to yourself. I’m saying that from someone that took almost six months for it to register. When I look in the mirror and say, “I love you,” it was nothing. All of a sudden, one day I teared up and I’m like, “I got it.”
I heard it from myself.
“I allowed it in.” The symbolism or the reflection of you being able to say that to yourself is the amount of armor that you have up. In the moment when you’re doing this work to remove that armor, to reveal the true you, that makes it easier on people. They don’t have to build a whole new them. They have to remove the stuff that doesn’t work anymore for them with your marriage, your job, and your relationships with your kids. When you finally say I love you that day, whether it’s six months, a year, or two weeks later and it registers, you know that you’ve got stuff clear that you were intending to clear. You’re free. You’re revitalized and you have a new life at that moment.
We need to wrap up this part of the show and I’m excited to go into EXTRA. There are a couple of things I want to ask you. First of all, what are you going to be talking about in EXTRA?
We’re going to go deeper into the stuff that I talked about. For people that are curious, we’re going to be going deeper into the meaning and the outcome that we tie to things that affect us from the outside in, and then from the inside out. It’s this vicious cycle.
We’re going to turn it from a vicious cycle into a magical cycle. We’re going to turn it to a blissful cycle. That sounds amazing. I’m excited about that. Ladies, you’ll definitely stay tuned for that but before we sign off, could you tell us again how people can get in touch with you?
I’m in a transition period. I’m purchasing a new business and a new podcast. You will be able to catch me on that very soon. Ian Lobas on Facebook, you’ll see it because there’s a little picture of my daughter. On Instagram, I am @YourDefiningMoments which will be changed. My email is [email protected].
Thank you so much.
It’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Ladies, we are going to move into EXTRA. If you are subscribed to EXTRA, please stay tuned. If you’re not, but would like to be, go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenEXTRA.com and you can subscribe there and get all this EXTRA content. I was telling one of my guests that EXTRA is my true hard work. This is the gift that I want to give all of you because this is the place where my guests who are amazing on this normal show, they get to shine, go deep, and give you those special things that are going to change your life. It’s my true gift to you. If you haven’t checked it out, go check it out. It is worth it. I learned so much from my guests in every single show and I am completely blown away by what I personally take away in every single EXTRA episode. For those of you that are leaving us. Thank you so much for joining us for this portion of the show. Always remember, bliss is your birthright. Choose to live your bliss every single day. I’ll see you next time.
About Ian R. Lobas
My name is Ian R. Lobas and I am a professional Realtor with Keller Williams Gateway in White Marsh, MD. I’ve had a vested interest in real estate from a young age, and I bring a wealth of experience in sales, marketing, and negotiation to my clients. I’ve been consistently ranked as a top sales agent due to the detailed focus I put into my core values. The values I rely heavily on are energy, effort, education and passion. These help me best serve and create long-lasting client relationships.
Prior to my career in real estate, I worked at an international shipping and custom brokerage business. In this role, I gained valuable experience in negotiation and transaction management, sales team management, cargo logistics & operations, marketing, advertising, and import/export complex international contracts. I’m committed to taking my past experience and using it for the benefits of my clients now and in the future. I would love the opportunity to help you buy or sell in Baltimore today.
As a Full-time, full-service REALTOR, I specialize in Residential Purchase and Sales, New Home Sales, Luxury Condos, Luxury Homes, Investment Properties, Waterfront, Renovation/Rehab, Property Staging/Decoration.
Energy and effort make the difference! For the most in-depth information and exceptional experience, call me today!
Check out my TV Commercial for National Association of Realtors!
Moneeka Sawyer is often described as one of the most blissful people you will ever meet. She has been investing in Real Estate for over 20 years, so has been through all the different cycles of the market. Still, she has turned $10,000 into over $5,000,000, working only 5-10 hours per MONTH with very little stress.
While building her multi-million dollar business, she has traveled to over 55 countries, dances every single day, supports causes that are important to her, and spends lots of time with her husband of over 20 years.
She is the international best-selling author of the multiple award-winning books “Choose Bliss: The Power and Practice of Joy and Contentment” and “Real Estate Investing for Women: Expert Conversations to Increase Wealth and Happiness the Blissful Way.”
Moneeka has been featured on stages including Carnegie Hall and Nasdaq, radio, podcasts such as Achieve Your Goals with Hal Elrod, and TV stations including ABC, CBS, FOX, and the CW, impacting over 150 million people.