The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast

Maxie Reynolds

February 27, 2024 Chris & Zoë Season 1 Episode 81
Maxie Reynolds
The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast
More Info
The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast
Maxie Reynolds
Feb 27, 2024 Season 1 Episode 81
Chris & Zoë

Today we chat with Maxie Reynolds, a former underwater robotics pilot, cybersecurity expert, and founder of Subsea Cloud.

We cover Maxie’s diverse and adventurous career path, from working offshore in oil and gas to studying computer science and cybersecurity, to starting her own company that combines her passions for the ocean and technology.

Maxie explains the concept and benefits of Subsea Cloud and addresses some of the challenges and misconceptions about putting data centers underwater, such as security, maintenance, and thermal pollution.

Join us for this deep dive into Maxie Reynolds's career.

The world doesn’t care if the data center is on the beach or if it’s an inch in water or at the bottom of the ocean.
The focus should be to reduce the energy because that’s what affects the world

Maxie's Links: 


Thanks for being an imposter - a part of the Imposter Syndrome Network (ISN)!

We'd love it if you connected with us on LinkedIn:

Make it a great day.

Show Notes Transcript

Today we chat with Maxie Reynolds, a former underwater robotics pilot, cybersecurity expert, and founder of Subsea Cloud.

We cover Maxie’s diverse and adventurous career path, from working offshore in oil and gas to studying computer science and cybersecurity, to starting her own company that combines her passions for the ocean and technology.

Maxie explains the concept and benefits of Subsea Cloud and addresses some of the challenges and misconceptions about putting data centers underwater, such as security, maintenance, and thermal pollution.

Join us for this deep dive into Maxie Reynolds's career.

The world doesn’t care if the data center is on the beach or if it’s an inch in water or at the bottom of the ocean.
The focus should be to reduce the energy because that’s what affects the world

Maxie's Links: 


Thanks for being an imposter - a part of the Imposter Syndrome Network (ISN)!

We'd love it if you connected with us on LinkedIn:

Make it a great day.

Machines made this, mistakes and all...

[00:00:00] Chris: Hello, and welcome to the imposter syndrome network podcast, where everyone belongs, especially if you think you don't, my name is Chris Grundeman. Zoe Rose remains out on maternity leave, but don't worry. She will be back. This is the Maxie Reynolds episode, and I think you're going to really enjoy it.

[00:00:25] Chris: Maxie started her career in oil and gas. As an underwater robotics pilot and subsea engineer working in Norway, Venezuela, Australia, Italy, Russia, Nigeria, and the U. S. She then transitioned into cyber security at PWC in Australia, working in ethical hacking and social engineering. She also published a best selling book in 2021 titled the art of attack attacker mindset for security professionals.

[00:00:47] Chris: In late 2021, she moved back to the field of subsea engineering and created subsea cloud, a data center infrastructure company that places data centers underwater. Uh, pretty cool.

[00:00:58] Chris: Hey Maxie, uh, would you like to introduce yourself a bit further to the imposter syndrome network? 

[00:01:05] Maxie: I generally go by Max or Maxie.

[00:01:09] Maxie: Maxie for sort of like in a dog park. Don't shout Max. And yes, I've been through a few careers now, which I'm happy to go into. And I also. Definitely suffer from chronic imposter syndrome. Um, so happy to talk about that too. 

[00:01:25] Chris: Perfect. I think we're in the right place. Um, I am curious what led you to get educated in computer science and underwater robotics?

[00:01:36] Maxie: Just as self loathing, I think, um, pick two hard things. Uh, so for as long as I can remember, and obviously I'm a little bit biased. I've colored my own thoughts through the years, but I think for as long as I can remember, I wanted to travel. I wanted to be able to ride my bike without the stabilizers. I wanted to be able to get a car.

[00:01:58] Maxie: I wanted to be able to go as far away from. Whenever I was, I've always had that, and it's only sort of getting lighter now. So, I was actually searching for a job where I could travel. Um, I left, as a sort of, uh, context here, I left home very early in school, a little too early too, so 15 for, for both. And I thought and felt like I was an adult, and I obviously was not.

[00:02:23] Maxie: Um, and so I was a little bit of a social nuisance for a few years there, back home in Scotland. I apologise to the Ladro community. And then I sort of was starting to grow up as much as you can at, you know, 18. I was thinking like, what am I going to do? And I still wanted to travel, but of course I had no money because I think I was working between being a cleaner at the time and also bartending.

[00:02:46] Maxie: And so I'd sort of was racking my brain and I was Trying to find resources on how do you travel and there was things like you could go abroad and teach But I couldn't teach because I'd left school at 15. So that's you know, it wasn't really a track I wanted to go down and then my grandad worked offshore Or had worked offshore.

[00:03:08] Maxie: He was retired by then and I felt like oh, yeah, he went away every month Um, I heard stories of his youth and things like that. So I started to look into that and then I worked, and I will say sort of tirelessly worked, to get offshore. And it was a very circuitous path I took to get there. And then I also at the same time was working offshore.

[00:03:31] Maxie: For my beginnings offshore I was studying underwater robotics with a university in England and also just on job training with the company that I was working for. So that was the start for me. And it was also a little bit of a confidence boost in that, okay, so I can learn and what else can I do now? So when you work offshore, you're, uh, 30 days on, roughly 30 days off.

[00:03:55] Maxie: But when you're on the vessel or the rig for those 30 days, you have 12 hours on, 12 hours off. So I had like quite a lot of time on my hands. Also paid time on my hand. So I started with the Open University and that's how I chose computer science. I talked to who I considered to be smart people around me and said, like, what, what do I study?

[00:04:17] Maxie: What would we do? And everybody was saying computers at the time and this was It wasn't that long ago, it was, well, maybe nearly 20 years ago, so dating myself too, but um, so computer science it was, and I took a few other, uh, little courses, some other degrees, but that's the one that's, I guess, gotten me farthest in terms of the paths that I followed.

[00:04:39] Chris: Awesome. That's super interesting. I also left school a little early. I think you beat me, um, as far as age, but, uh, but I also left school earlier than I should have and definitely, uh, cast about a little bit in my childhood and then, and then found a path eventually. So that, that resonates with me for sure.

[00:04:55] Chris: Maybe you can tell us a little bit more about like, I'm really interested in it. And we'll, we'll get to kind of more of your career journey and maybe more into like digital infrastructure and stuff, obviously, but like being a ROV pilot and like working offshore, I mean, that sounds really interesting.

[00:05:06] Chris: Maybe you can tell us a little bit more about like what that, like the 30 days on 30 days off, 12 hours on 12 hours off. I mean, the schedule alone is pretty interesting and unique. But what's the actual work like? I mean, that's super interesting to me. 

[00:05:16] Maxie: So it's very technical and it's very, um, outcome driven, obviously.

[00:05:20] Maxie: So when you're on, say, a vessel, which I typically did work on, you are responsible for the day rate, and that can run into the hundreds of thousands a day. So, if you break down because you were technically sloppy, for instance, you didn't pre dive, didn't do a pre check on the machine before it goes into the water and it breaks down, and that machine is now broken for three days while you're waiting on parts or something like that, you're responsible for hundreds of thousands and potentially millions of dollars.

[00:05:52] Maxie: Wow. So, there is some pressure there. Um. Yeah. You're also part of a 24 hour team, and if something breaks down, and it will break down, you might not go to sleep. So it's a very hard job, and it's not overpaid. You are paid very well, but it's quite strenuous. But from a technical standpoint, our ROVs are quite interesting.

[00:06:13] Maxie: So they're sort of the workhorses of the sea, they do what divers cannot, and they have like tooling, um, to pick up things, to drop things, things like that. They have baskets, they have sonar, they have like a lot of different tooling just to be able to do their jobs, and they can go very deep into the water, which is helpful.

[00:06:35] Maxie: So we do things like surveys of pipelines, or laying the pipelines, or bubble watch, things like that. So it's all very interesting, and basically without ROVs Without the vessels, without the crews, all of the crew on the vessel, you don't have electricity in your house most likely, you don't have your keyboard that you're typing on, you don't have the phone that you're looking through, so it's dirty work, so to speak, but it's very important and we're probably not moving away from that any time soon.

[00:07:06] Chris: Yeah, it's interesting. I mean, I definitely can see some corollaries. Obviously, I think, maybe not obviously, I think there's some corollaries and some, some non, right. I've worked my pretty much entire career in digital infrastructure and networking and the internet and things like that. But I think, you know, the energy infrastructure is similar in some ways, right?

[00:07:22] Chris: I mean, it's obviously quite different. And that's why I said, you know, took back my, obviously. But, you know, I think the way that people look at both today, you know, when I walk into a room and turn on the light switch very, very, very rarely, if ever occurs to me and probably most people, all of the work behind that light bulb turning on, just like when you turn on your computer and go on to whatever your, you know, favorite application is, you very rarely think about all of the you.

[00:07:45] Chris: Yeah. Um, folks that are out there trenching and putting in fiber and building data centers and, and, you know, the physical aspects of, of actually that infrastructure that's required to provide these utilities to our homes and businesses. 

[00:07:56] Maxie: It's so interesting that the linear path, like, or maybe not like the sequence of things is so interesting.

[00:08:05] Maxie: There's a book that I. I can't recommend enough. I recommend it everywhere, which is called How the World Really Works. I call the author Václav Smil. His name might be Václav Smil. He's like a genius to me and a role model for me, actually. I like the way he looks at the world. For instance, like, the whole world can't go vegan, let's stop that narrative, but here's sort of a breakdown of the embedded fossil fuel within a tomato that you eat.

[00:08:34] Maxie: And it's like a tablespoon, especially if we're growing them in Britain where they really shouldn't be growing. Like, there's, there's different, there's all these intersecting variables that Go towards how good or bad an impact we're having on the world, and we don't know that much. I see this quite a lot when I'm interviewing or on panels, um, for my current company.

[00:08:58] Maxie: I hear myself saying all the time, we have a public with very strong views, but no technical background. We're not a technical, like, population, and we're certainly not a technical or scientifically centric, or centric government. And so, you see these feelings like, renewable energy is great, but here's the limitations.

[00:09:22] Maxie: People can't understand that. Um, and they think I'm lobbying it for the fossil fuel companies and I'm thinking no, it's just here are the limitations. There's attenuation, there's storage things that we just haven't solved yet, that's why we're not powered by renewables. So I think the, how the world really works really puts that into perspective.

[00:09:43] Maxie: For people. 

[00:09:44] Chris: Yeah, absolutely. And I definitely, without diving too far down the path of maybe going towards politics, I think that we could definitely do with a little more science and a little less dogma in general. Even, even in technical terms, right? There's these kind of religious debates that happen over one technology versus another, instead of just stopping and looking at what are the actual merits, what are the actual technical facts.

[00:10:05] Chris: Um, let's do an experiment, let's figure this out. 

[00:10:07] Maxie: Yes, exactly. You can see across America, and definitely the UK, I've not looked closely at other countries, that now there's, it's not political rivalry, it is simply like political, like hatred. There's identity in politics, and I say that not to have a political debate at all, but because it trackles down weirdos.

[00:10:30] Maxie: So now what you see on LinkedIn or at your conferences or, you know, wherever you're looking, you see almost like outrage industry and binary outcomes. And it's actually, we live in a very complex world where you, picking a side and overgeneralizing isn't doing anyone any favors. So now we have this fossil fuel side plus the, uh, renewable side.

[00:10:52] Maxie: And that's those two things, it's not either, or, you know, so. I'm fumbling because I'm trying not to get into it at the same time as it's probably an important topic, but for another time, 

[00:11:04] Chris: it is an important topic, but yeah, so moving things along, you know, you explained a little bit about you had this extra time and you were looking for things to do or things to learn.

[00:11:13] Chris: It sounds like you're pretty naturally curious person and fairly ambitious. Probably. Yeah. And people recommended computers and then maybe that was also cyber security. Maybe you can tell us a little bit more about kind of that shift from. Hmm. You know, working with robots underwater to doing cyber security.

[00:11:29] Maxie: So, I had been working offshore for about 10 years at that point, and I'd tried some other things in between, but just, but not seriously, not as other careers, just as tangential, uh, things. And so, the day it had started to drop, I was becoming a little fatigued working offshore, and so I thought, well, I have this degree, which seems to be important just now.

[00:11:55] Maxie: What to do. So I started applying for jobs. I, I ended up working PWC down in Australia and they took me on as quite an old graduate at the time. Everyone else obviously just finishing college. I think they were 20, 21 and that here was me, so 30, 31. So they took me on and put me in their cybersecurity learned some of the basics of logical hacking and also some of the basics of social engineering.

[00:12:23] Maxie: And my visa was sort of quickly up there over a couple of years and so I came back to America and I actually did go back and forth between, do I go back offshore, do I keep following this, like what, what to do. And I also, also looked at cyber security in the offshore industry because it's a, it's quite the thing.

[00:12:44] Maxie: There's no redundancy for a, for a vessel or a, or a rig if it's blown up or accidentally or on purpose. So I did look there. And then I ended up in. Um, social engineering, red teaming in the States, and that sort of is linear from there. So logical hacking is one thing. If you can get into a company that way, that's not good, but also even if they're bulletproof there, and by the way, no company on earth is, then if I can walk in and I think you've had like Lisa Forti, Snow on this podcast, who are friends of mine and work in social engineering.

[00:13:18] Maxie: Yeah. So they. Same thing, if you can walk in, if you can almost, let's call it, for lack of a better term, flag your way in some place, then you, all bets are off. Now you have physical access, so it's very, it's very important. So I was doing that, and one of the things that, uh, one of the companies I worked for concentrated on at some point was data centers.

[00:13:41] Maxie: And I had sort of this idea as I walked around, which was, and it was, it was just, it wasn't a brilliant idea, it was just, One of those ideas. And I thought, well, if you really want to keep it secure throw it under water, and then that started to gain some traction within my mind, and that's how I started this one.

[00:14:01] Chris: Wow. Interesting. Yeah. So before we get into that, I'm curious, you were, at least we're born and kind of grew up in Scotland and then worked offshore for a ton of time, and then we're in Australia for a little bit, and then now based in the U S I wonder if, you know. And maybe it hasn't affected you at all, but I mean, is there cultural differences that have affected kind of your career and your life and moving between those places?

[00:14:20] Chris: Those are all pretty far apart, but I don't know. I mean, it's interesting. 

[00:14:23] Maxie: Not for me. I'm sure there are, and I'm sure I would be more inclined to say I lack the self awareness to know if I'm a cultural misfit in any of those places or companies. It wasn't for me, it's always a steep learning curve and I know that going in and I'm quite happy to learn.

[00:14:43] Maxie: I generally follow this arc which is I'm quiet going in, let me see what it's like, let me get a lay of the land, then I'm loud because I think I've, I understand and now I've gained some confidence. So that, I didn't have that for me. What I will say is I had, there was a little bit of a shock going from the offshore world into the, professional world on land, because, you know, as an offshore worker, we refer to everyone basically on land as the adults.

[00:15:09] Maxie: We'll say, like, especially in our corporate offices, like, well, we'll have to see what adults say. And I was a little bit taken aback by the schedule, the nine to five. I, that, I think I actually went into depression. I was just like, what is this? What? You only get two days off a week? Decompress? Like, I don't understand how you do this.

[00:15:30] Maxie: So, yeah, so I did have a little bit of a shock there. 

[00:15:32] Chris: Yeah, that's interesting. That makes sense. And that's, it's a good reminder that there are these kind of different forms of culture. And I can definitely see that having worked kind of in my very younger years, maybe on construction sites and things like that.

[00:15:42] Chris: I have friends who are, you know, firefighters and forest rangers, which have just very different lives as far as schedules and things than I do. 

[00:15:50] Maxie: I imagine. Yes. 

[00:15:52] Chris: So going into the kind of what you're doing now, you're the founder and CEO at Subsea Cloud. So this is your kind of creation, your baby. And you talked a little bit about like, it was maybe cybersecurity kind of pushed that direction.

[00:16:03] Chris: Um, obviously there's a lot more to it than just cybersecurity. Maybe you can tell us a little bit about, I mean, maybe starting with like what a typical day looks like, you know, starting a new company like this and running it today. 

[00:16:11] Maxie: A typical day for me allows my imposter syndrome to, like, rule my life because there's a few things here.

[00:16:20] Maxie: So one is I wake up, I check my emails. That's the first thing. And I reply to those emails in a sort of timely manner. And there's some days where I have so much to do that it's overwhelming. But I can quickly solve for that, prioritize, things like that. However, on the days where I'm twiddling my thumbs, there isn't much to do, there's nothing within my control, or my illusion of control, then I sort of think to myself, like, well, am I doing something wrong?

[00:16:49] Maxie: What, what am I, what am I not doing that I should be doing? Is this why other people are further ahead than me? What is it? So, that's my mental day, but my, my actual day does involve just Speaking with clients, maintaining and cultivating partnerships. Um, I have employees I have to communicate with. And just sort of strategizing.

[00:17:12] Maxie: There's of course a difference between strategy and planning, but I do something in between both most days. I don't know if that's a very good detailed answer, but 

[00:17:21] Chris: it is. It makes a lot of sense. Yeah, let me try a different way. So, I mean, obviously this is one thing that I think is kind of funny because of what we talked about earlier, right?

[00:17:28] Chris: That people don't necessarily think about a lot of the infrastructure that goes into the services they use. You know, what do you tell like a complete stranger, somebody not in the industry, somebody who doesn't really know about technology? How do you explain what you do with a layperson? 

[00:17:39] Maxie: Yes, it is quite difficult to explain.

[00:17:42] Maxie: We have, we've also touched upon how we have a public with a non technical background, but very strong opinions on technical things. So I'll try to be succinct. I talk about data centers. I tell people, I tell this layperson what a data center is and does, that they probably touch a data center. A lot of times throughout their day, everyone does.

[00:18:03] Maxie: And then I talk about how we cool our data centers. And that is really the biggest point of contention for my company, which is, so you're putting something hot into water. And I spend a lot of my time talking to people about why that's not a bad thing. So we talk about something quite technical, which is the properties of water and specific heat, and how we don't heat the water up.

[00:18:31] Maxie: So I would say that is the thing I spend my time talking most about. When I'm in a technical meeting, we talk about things like the security, who looks after the NOC, who looks after the SOC. It's not our company. We're simply a glorified, wet landlord. Yes. 

[00:18:48] Chris: Yeah, yeah. Interesting. And that's funny when you started talking about, you know, putting something hot in the ocean, you know, my engineering brain kicked on first.

[00:18:54] Chris: And I was like, well, that sounds great. You're going to dissipate all the heat from the data center. Sounds amazing. I hadn't thought about the other side of it, which is like, Oh, those poor fish, are you boiling them alive? Right? Yeah, 

[00:19:02] Maxie: exactly. And that is exactly where most people's minds go. And most people don't have an engineering background.

[00:19:07] Maxie: So what we see is that, you know, water liquid and water has a very high specific heat, which just means that. It can hold more heat without raising its own temperature. And the analogy I like to make is, you're in your garden or you're at the beach on vacation, wherever, and you sort of have to quickly get to the water because it's so hot under your feet.

[00:19:31] Maxie: You get in the water, it's cold, typically. And that is specific heat. So, it's the same sun beating down. You'd think, well why, the two materials here should be equal in temperature, but they're not. And that is because they have different characteristics. So I spend a lot explaining that in the fish. don't see it.

[00:19:53] Maxie: It's, it's, there's no negative impact on the environment. So from sort of half a meter away from the units that we put down, there's no sign of them. There's no signature. It's about a thousandth of a degree in that half a meter or so. So the fish kind of don't know. And we, I personally, I would not do it if it was bad for the environment.

[00:20:11] Maxie: My focus is Sorry, the environmental benefit. 

[00:20:15] Chris: Yeah, right. Because I guess there's, there's probably also a somewhat corresponding reduction in the need of energy to cool the thing. Right. So you're actually probably a net gain overall, I would guess. I mean, maybe. 

[00:20:25] Maxie: Well, it is, it's, it's nearly half. So we, we reduce the power consumption, the energy.

[00:20:32] Maxie: By nearly 50%. And so, because there's no power used for cooling, the cooling's all natural and free, and we live in a globe and it's easy to forget that Britain is pushing their manufacturing over to China and saying, but we're, we're green now. And we're like, well, no, you've just We'll all still see the same CO2 and other emissions.

[00:20:54] Maxie: It's just, they're now not in our country, but they will get here. It's the same planet. And I go through a similar path when I'm talking to people about data centers, which is the world, if we can sort of anthropomorphize it, doesn't actually care if the data center is on the beach or if it's an inch in the water or at the bottom of the ocean.

[00:21:14] Maxie: And the care, the, the point, the focus should be to reduce the energy because that's what effects the world. And so I spend a lot of time talking about that too. . 

[00:21:25] Chris: Yeah. Yeah. I love it. I could definitely dive really deep into this and talk a lot about, um, more about kind of the, these, these data-center deployments underwater.

[00:21:32] Chris: But for the sake of time and things I'd like to maybe ask you about the process of, of writing a book, right? The Art of the Attack. Yeah. Um, as, as popular, uh, I think it was published in, in 2021, so a couple years ago. And I'm just really, really curious about the process of writing the book and then how the experience has gone having published the book.

[00:21:48] Chris: Did that, you know, I don't know, does that change anything or has there been cool? 

[00:21:52] Maxie: It was an interesting journey. It was not my first book, so I had some experience and I do sort of enjoy the writing process. Um, it's pressure driven for me. So I was offered the deal by Wiley. I went to them and said, Hey, there's a, there's a gap here and I think I can cover that.

[00:22:10] Maxie: I said, yes. So I wrote it and it was in a very short span. I think it was eight weeks. I think I asked for an extension because that turned out just not to be feasible. 

[00:22:21] Chris: Yeah, that sounds impossibly short. 

[00:22:23] Maxie: Yeah, no, I know it was. I think, I think I nearly melted down like 10 times. So, um, but it was written within a very short amount of time.

[00:22:33] Maxie: I can't read the book myself, I, I lack that ability to go back and look at my old work, Imposter Syndrome, and just the cringe factor. So I don't know how good it turned out, I remember thinking, okay, This is well, as well rounded as I can make it. I think I've covered everything. I might have done some things differently.

[00:22:56] Maxie: I might have taken longer to write it, but overall, I think it turned out well. And I do still get, you know, that was a couple of years ago, maybe three years ago, that it came out. And so I still get quite a lot of messages, actually, people saying like, I love this book. It really helped me. And I really enjoy that, I do like that because I don't think anybody would say that just because, there's no reason.

[00:23:19] Maxie: So I do enjoy that, and then I think it's a soft skill book. There's not a lot in there that's actually technical, but should still be helpful. I'm, I can't believe I'm going to say this sort of thing, but I am sort of against the soft skill books you can work most stuff for yourself. I think it's an industry that sort of grabs money and attention.

[00:23:41] Maxie: And it's oversaturated now. And still, this is sort of a soft skill book at the same time as I hope I didn't write it just to write it and make money. I wrote it because I thought there was a gap in the market. 

[00:23:52] Chris: Awesome. That makes a lot of sense. Yeah. And I definitely, I kind of feel that idea of things being pressure driven.

[00:23:59] Chris: I don't know if it's just books for you, if it's other things, but I definitely, we talked to Paul Vixie, who's, who's a friend of mine and has done some really amazing stuff for the internet. And he talked about anger being his driver, that he just gets up in the morning and he's mad that something's wrong and he has to go fix it.

[00:24:11] Chris: I should film it. And so I mean, you know, but for me personally, pressure seems more like what I feel. I just feel like there's these things I have to do. Um, does that permeate other areas of your life or was it just the book that kind of felt that way? 

[00:24:22] Maxie: No, everywhere I do the same thing. And sometimes there's this sort of dendric path that follows.

[00:24:28] Maxie: So, so there's pressure. I wait until the last minute. I'm a great procrastinator, and sometimes it's just one thing that I'm procrastinating on. Other times, I've got this one big thing that's a huge pressure point, and it forces me to organize myself, and prioritize my to do list, and also to work out exactly how I'm going to perform that.

[00:24:49] Maxie: So sometimes it has this follow on effect. And sometimes it's just one thing. When I was writing the book, I had pressure because of the book, and I had a full time job at the time. And it wasn't my company. I wasn't in charge of my schedule. So I did find that that helped me become far more efficient.

[00:25:06] Maxie: Probably more effective, but definitely far more efficient. 

[00:25:10] Chris: That makes a lot of sense to me. Does that procrastination come from the imposter syndrome? We talked about, you know, these feelings of imposterism a little bit, you know, are you avoiding doing things because you don't think you'll be good enough or is it just general human nature or, or, and that's just human nature.

[00:25:23] Chris: I think it's, I looked around at other, other life on this planet. And I, I feel really good that we're, you know, we're not the laziest. No. You know, life in general seems to be conserve energy, right? That's kind of one of the points of being Alive. 

[00:25:35] Maxie: Yes, that is exactly. No, uh, it's human nature. And I have my own motto, which is, why do today what you can do tomorrow.

[00:25:44] Maxie: So I live by that for, for most things. And I'm very good at knowing, okay, now it has to be done. You have to do these things now. So. I'm okay with that. 

[00:25:53] Chris: That makes sense. Unfortunately, I think we're just about out of time for today. Max, do you have any projects or causes that you'd like to highlight? I noticed that you, you volunteer at a hospice.

[00:26:04] Chris: That's kind of interesting. I don't know if that's something you want to talk about, or if there's other things you might want to highlight for folks to look into on their own. 

[00:26:09] Maxie: I know that when I lived in Alabama, I, I did, and I don't do that any longer, actually don't do much for other people now, so sorry.

[00:26:18] Maxie: Um, I would say that I think probably one of the things that I, I couldn't, I'd be sort of remiss if I didn't bring up on this podcast is just probably how I deal with my imposter syndrome. I'll try to be succinct. So intellectually, I can work my way to a very non critical viewpoint, just internally, where I admit to myself that, like, I am an expert in this field, and I can be fair to myself and realize it's okay not to know everything.

[00:26:46] Maxie: And there are sort of two following points from that, and one being that I don't think I owe it to myself to be nice to myself, and I actually cringe at that saying. There will be no sort of inner Molly Coddling, so to speak of, um, but I do owe it to myself to be sort of fair to myself and that overall I think makes me a much more well rounded and well adjusted person when I'm fair to myself.

[00:27:12] Maxie: And the second point, which also sort of bolsters that, is that I was terrified to talk with investors, for instance, or anyone who knew anything about money, like if you told me that you had a bank account when I started this company at one point, I was terrified to talk to you because the thought of having to talk to you about money.

[00:27:31] Maxie: I was just, I was so intimidated and I wouldn't know that I wouldn't know the answer. So now. I know that I can learn, but it was a steep curve for me. So again, intellectually I could learn and I knew that, but there was this overwhelming feeling that I was already falling or failing and I was going to be discovered as a fraud because I didn't know what these other people knew.

[00:27:53] Maxie: And that in some senses is really debilitating. Um, so there is a difference between confidence and imposter syndrome. I have really high self actualization. If I think I can do it. Without getting into the details of what I have to do, like starting a company, I will do it. I don't have under confidence and I know that I can learn things.

[00:28:16] Maxie: I have imposter syndrome, where I think I'm going to be discovered by not knowing something. And that, I think, is similar to most people. And to end that, and just to wrap up, I know we're close on time, I would say that I think most people have the inverse of us, imposter syndrome sufferers, which is, and I actually don't envy them, but.

[00:28:38] Maxie: I would like neither bias to exist, so for most people I think they connect their wins to skill and their fails to bad luck. I tend to associate my wins to luck and my fails to skill or, or lack thereof and if you work on that I think that's a really interesting way to get over imposter syndrome and start to follow your own path.

[00:29:00] Maxie: I've gone through three careers, I'm sort of on my third, and I enjoy that, I don't feel bad about that, I feel really good about that. So there's different paths to things, but you have to work out where you're undercompetent versus where it's imposter syndrome. 

[00:29:15] Chris: I like that a lot. That really resonates with me.

[00:29:17] Chris: I tend to try to believe what's most useful to believe, which maybe sounds a little weird, but it's very easy to say, Oh, like bad things are happening to me. Woe is me. Like, like, you know, I have all this bad luck. Things are happening. It's just as easy to turn that around and just create the narrative that this is a challenge that I can overcome.

[00:29:37] Chris: And that, you know, even if you still want to say that there's some, there's some outside force, maybe it's a test instead of, you know, just somebody shitting on you. Right. 

[00:29:43] Maxie: Yeah. I don't subscribe to this sort of outside force theory of life or, or any sort of like theism, but I do truly believe and can obviously, cause I'm biased, I bias confirmation.

[00:29:56] Maxie: I believe that. There's randomality, and that is what luck is. And so I am always trying to walk the line of, was it good luck or bad luck? It doesn't matter. There are forces outside of my control. I was born female. I didn't choose to be born female. And I'm not saying I would have chosen to be born male either, but like, I didn't choose where I was born, when I was born, the gender I was born.

[00:30:19] Maxie: Those sorts of things are out of my control. That's randomality. But how I get to opportunities through that. Somewhat within my control. 

[00:30:27] Chris: Yeah. I like that a lot. I definitely, I look a little bit too like the Stoic school of philosophy, which I think kind of talks about the same thing, which is that basically nothing is in your control except for how you react to it.

[00:30:39] Chris: Right. The only thing you control is what you do. Seems legit to me. 

[00:30:43] Maxie: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Well, and, and, God, I don't know when I'll stop talking. But yes, I do believe that and I'd like to stop there because the next, the follow on from that is free will. So, and like. I don't know if that exists, sort of, not in a, not because it's deterministic, not because there's a god or someone else pulling the strings, but because if I say to you, well for instance, I got up this morning and I had a cup of coffee, but I did have the choice of tea.

[00:31:14] Maxie: I didn't think about it, my brain said I want coffee. Where was the free will? If I say to you. Like, there's so many, there's a good book by Sam Harris on free will, which I've read and I so want to disagree with his points, but he's such a disciplined thinker that it's difficult, but it does bring into the conversation, public conversation, is there free will?

[00:31:35] Maxie: If you and I were swapped, atom for atom. Would we do things differently? 

[00:31:39] Chris: Right, right. Yeah, it's a very, very interesting question. I, again, I choose to believe that I have free will because otherwise life seems a lot less exciting, but if you really get down to the evidence, I don't really have any evidence for it.

[00:31:49] Maxie: Not me either, do I? So that's why I don't look. I just no longer look there. I've had enough. 

[00:31:54] Chris: Well, awesome. Max, so much for sharing your story with the Impostor Syndrome Network. And thank you to all of our listeners for your time, your attention, and your support. If you found this episode insightful or interesting, or even just entertaining, please consider paying it forward by letting others know about this show and the great guests we have on.

[00:32:11] Chris: Um, I think we have just one more minute here, Max, if you wouldn't mind. How did you figure out what you're good at through kind of these, you know, was it just pure experimentation? I don't know. Like, I think it's interesting to me. Like, it seems like now you're on, you know, you've gotten to a place where you've got your own company.

[00:32:25] Chris: You're, you're driving forward in some really cool ways. But you know, one thing I think about is you're probably not doing everything at that company. There's probably certain aspects of it that you're really excel at others that you don't. How did you learn the difference between the two? How do you know what you're good at and what to delegate?

[00:32:39] Maxie: Yeah, there's two, two inputs for that output. One is I know what I'm not good at or I quickly find out what I'm not good at and everyone can do that. I don't need to explain that. And then the second one is that I. know what I don't want to do. I didn't want a nine to five life and I tried it. I didn't want to stay in one place.

[00:33:01] Maxie: I also tried that, like all of those things. So I know what I don't want to do and I try to not do that. So it kind of points you in a direction of which you have to follow. So that I would say it's like, I don't know how helpful that is for people, but that is my sort of journey. Those are the inputs.

[00:33:17] Chris: Makes sense to me. Again, thanks so much for being on. This has been wonderful and we will be back next week.