The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast

Nathaniel Todd

June 11, 2024 Chris & Zoë Season 1 Episode 96
Nathaniel Todd
The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast
More Info
The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast
Nathaniel Todd
Jun 11, 2024 Season 1 Episode 96
Chris & Zoë

In this episode, we have the pleasure of hosting Nathaniel Todd where we talk about his humble start in a farming community near Chicago, tearing apart old VHS to working at Colorado’s largest Internet exchange providers.

Rather than pursuing a traditional college education, Nathaniel chose a different path: he joined the army. His decision led to a long and prosperous career, filled with valuable experiences. As a network engineer, he learned the importance of leadership, teamwork, and the art of learning from mistakes.

We will talk about how wrestling played a significant role in shaping his character during his youth. It taught him resilience, self-reliance, and discipline—qualities that have been invaluable in his technology career.

Don’t miss this exciting conversation with Nathaniel Todd!

-
“Wrestling steered my life.
It’s the ultimate in teaching you how to pick yourself back up after you fail
Wrestling paved the way for me to be able to say I made it to where I’m at."
-

--

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

We'd love it if you connected with us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-imposter-syndrome-network-podcast

Make it a great day.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we have the pleasure of hosting Nathaniel Todd where we talk about his humble start in a farming community near Chicago, tearing apart old VHS to working at Colorado’s largest Internet exchange providers.

Rather than pursuing a traditional college education, Nathaniel chose a different path: he joined the army. His decision led to a long and prosperous career, filled with valuable experiences. As a network engineer, he learned the importance of leadership, teamwork, and the art of learning from mistakes.

We will talk about how wrestling played a significant role in shaping his character during his youth. It taught him resilience, self-reliance, and discipline—qualities that have been invaluable in his technology career.

Don’t miss this exciting conversation with Nathaniel Todd!

-
“Wrestling steered my life.
It’s the ultimate in teaching you how to pick yourself back up after you fail
Wrestling paved the way for me to be able to say I made it to where I’m at."
-

--

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

We'd love it if you connected with us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-imposter-syndrome-network-podcast

Make it a great day.

Machines made this, mistakes and all...

[00:00:00] Chris: Hello, and welcome to the Impostor Syndrome Network podcast, where everyone belongs, especially if you think you don't. My name is Chris Grundemann, and this is the Nate Todd episode. Nate grew up in a small farming community just out past the western suburbs of Chicago in Illinois. where he developed a love for the sport of wrestling and at the time a distaste for formal education.

[00:00:32] Chris: With this mindset he enlisted in the United States Air Force and began his telecom career as a telephone systems technician. 13 years after he left the Air Force he joined satellite service provider Viasat and then shortly after that joined the board of Colorado's largest internet exchange provider, IX-Denver.

[00:00:51] Chris: Which is where he and I met, uh, and I've been blown away by Nate's ability to relate and interact with people around him. Um, which is fairly unusual for folks as smart technically as he is. And then we started running together as well. 

[00:01:03] Chris: Hey Nate, would you like to introduce yourself a bit further to the Impostor Syndrome Network?

[00:01:09] Nate: Uh, hey Chris, thanks for having me on. Um, I think you about covered it, I just, uh, the Diehard passionate about anything I decide to dive myself into. So whether it be, uh, athletics or technology is trying to get in as much as I can, as frequently as I can. 

[00:01:25] Chris: Yeah. Yeah. It makes sense. And, and very similar. I think there's a lot of overlaps, I think, between, you know, your biography, but also kind of your interest in things.

[00:01:32] Chris: I, I too grew up in a small town. I too, uh, got into wrestling and I too, uh, hated, maybe still hate formal education. Um, and just authority in general, I don't know if those two things are related or not for you, but maybe it'd be interesting to start with wrestling, which doesn't sound like it's related to technology careers, but I think for me, it has been, I don't know if that you've found that true, are there any like lessons or dogmas or is there, is there any residual effect from wrestling or has, you know, that those years you spent wrestling affect your career either in the early stages or even up till now?

[00:02:01] Nate: Oh, wow. We could spend a whole episode on this. Wrestling steared my life. It's the ultimate in teaching you how to pick yourself back up after you fail. And it's, it's the most personal failure you can, it's just you out there against somebody else, your will, your strengths against theirs. And from, to not belabor on that, but to shift into learning and growing yourself in a technological fashion.

[00:02:26] Nate: Um, you're not going to know everything all the time. You're going to encounter speed bumps, new obstacles, uh, in a technological forum as well. And just being able to own that, accept it. And then what are you going to do from here? Are you going to just live with that? Is that where you're going to plateau or are you going to dive in and grow?

[00:02:44] Nate: So I think wrestling paved the way for me to be able to say, I made it to where I'm at, that's great. Is this where I want to end up or do I want to keep growing? And, uh, it gave me the skillset to be able to be confident in taking that next step forward. 

[00:02:57] Chris: Yeah. Yeah. I like that a lot. That makes a lot of sense.

[00:02:59] Chris: I think definitely that kind of, um, self reliance, right. It's, it's only you out there on the mat at the end of the day, uh, your team may help you practice and may even cheer for you, but, but, uh, on the mat, right. You've got to do it yourself. And that, that, that, uh, self reliance is huge. And then the discipline, right.

[00:03:13] Chris: Because I think, you know, being able to go full out. For up to six minutes physically is pretty nuts, right? I mean, it's, it's, it's like, it's akin to sprinting, but you're sprinting against someone else. Like physically, uh, it's really interesting. Uh, so just the discipline to even train that hard and then not just the training discipline, but the in the moment discipline, right?

[00:03:32] Chris: When you're four minutes into a match, uh, you're both exhausted and, you know, you've got to do something to pull it out. The discipline to like, I don't know what it is, you know, just, just grab yourself and keep going, uh, when you don't want to. 

[00:03:43] Nate: Yep. Some builds in a mental elasticity, uh, to be able to breathe deeper.

[00:03:49] Chris: Yeah. And I really liked the, the pick yourself back up. I mean, I think that's something that's maybe, maybe more broadly learned from, from, you know, any sport, right. Cause I think there's wins and losses and things like that, but to your point, right, wrestling is, you know, Especially harsh on the individual, I guess.

[00:04:02] Chris: Right. Because if you lose, uh, there's no blaming the catcher or the quarterback or, or whatever, whatever else it was. Right. I mean, you lost a full stop. You can't have a good game and still have the, and still have a loss, right? It just doesn't happen in wrestling. Um, you either win or you lose, uh, on your own out there, which is, Feeling that kind of defeat from a young age, I think definitely had an impact on me as well.

[00:04:23] Chris: I think that, yeah, being able to pick yourself back up and maybe also not being too afraid of failure. Um, because I've gone through it so many times, like crushing defeats so many times as a kid. 

[00:04:31] Nate: I think it dovetails nicely into today's ideology of DevOps, where you build it, you deploy it, you maintain it.

[00:04:38] Nate: That's really no different than your, your own athletic success or physical success in general, is it. You go as far as the preparation you put in ahead of time, and then as far the tweaks you wanna make afterward. 

[00:04:50] Chris: I like that a lot. That makes sense. So speaking of more technology topics, I think the, the, the next big thing is, you know, have you ever made a mistake at work 

[00:05:02] Nate: just, just this week?

[00:05:03] Nate: Or are we 

[00:05:05] Nate: always. I, I make, I make mistakes all the time. I, uh, I'm very much, um. I try and I run with the mindset that I'm never going to ask somebody to do something I'm not willing to do myself. I hate putting things out there with the assumption that I got the, all the syntax right up front and that what I'm asking somebody else to deploy at midnight my time, maybe it's daytime their time just without any support.

[00:05:30] Nate: Um, but yeah, I, I, I trip and stumble all the time, uh, and learn as I grow. Pre prod and dev labs aren't exactly, uh, Yeah. 100 percent identical to a production environment. So things that work there and you can build the framework for on one hand, don't go smooth in the production environment. There's always caveats.

[00:05:49] Nate: There's always things that you just couldn't deploy financially driven or otherwise in a lab environment. So yeah, I stumble all the time at work. 

[00:05:57] Chris: Can you recount maybe, um, a very, or even your most embarrassing mistake that you've made in your career so far? I mean, cause you've got, you know, what now, uh, something like.

[00:06:07] Chris: 20, 20 something years of experience as a network engineer of different forms and types. 

[00:06:12] Nate: Uh, sure. I think one of the most significant in my earlier days of ViaSat, I, in trying to start some network segmentation efforts where we were, we had an IGP that just sprawled to every, uh, every which device across the network and the mindset where your IGP is only as good as like kind of the lowest common denominator from a router capacity, uh, and capability perspective.

[00:06:36] Nate: So we were trying to prune some things out of the IGP and I ran into a stumbling block that in trying to take a corrective action, I ended up shutting down 100 percent of our service provider facing network for up to six hours, I think is what we were down with. And I just caused a routing loop where I was taking routes from, from BGP injecting into OSPF and then from OSPF back into BGP.

[00:06:55] Nate: So it was just this, uh, just in turn cratered a bunch of devices that were lowering capability on the backbone. So, The, the end result is, uh, some of the leadership advice that got me a second monitor for my workstation at home. So I have more visibility at the same time. They took it in good stride with me.

[00:07:13] Nate: And, uh, so I was very fortunate that things I had done prior to that built up enough tolerance for an event like that. 

[00:07:19] Chris: Yeah, it's good, right? Yeah. Having having some trust in the bank to withdraw at a time like that is good. And just in general, though, having that a management team that sees that not, and I think not every company is that way.

[00:07:29] Chris: It sounds like based on the way you talked about that, that that's also how you kind of approach management. If somebody on your one of your teams makes a mistake, I mean, maybe, maybe the Turn that into a question. How do you approach it, right? If somebody's done something like that, um, who's reporting up through you?

[00:07:44] Nate: Oh, you, you can't, uh, you can't forget that you've also been there. I mean, that's, you know what it feels like to have that lump in your throat that you just caused X. So trying to, trying to extinguish that burn so that we can get past like the, the ego, uh, hurt and let's actually get into the root of what's going on here.

[00:08:02] Nate: You know, nobody's pointing a finger to say, I hear the term blameless process sometimes. And I think that that's, that's all fine on, on letterhead. You really got to actually have that interaction with somebody to make them feel that, have faith in you, that you're not pointing a finger at them. You generally want to get to the root of the issue.

[00:08:20] Nate: Let's resolve this and let's work together to figure out how we can avoid this happening in the future. So, and I feel like that's been the care and take that has been demonstrated to me. Um, so I, in turn, want to make sure that I'm doing that on the other side and in your action I have. 

[00:08:34] Chris: Yeah. Yeah. So speaking of that, I mean, have you had any like really exemplary bosses, managers, leaders you've worked for who kind of really embodied that or maybe even other characteristics?

[00:08:44] Nate: Oh, I've, uh, I've been incredibly fortunate at every step of the way. It started with, uh, working for my dad's company back in Illinois, small metal fabrication company that makes conveyors to the food industry. I was a company. My grandfather started back in the, uh, back in the sixties and, uh, working there during the summer.

[00:09:02] Nate: It was always an environment of, you never, even though you were maybe working independently on something, you never were really working independently. You always had another set of eyes looking to see if you needed a hand. I was very something that anybody else could help out with. Very much a teamwork driven environment, so I, I had an example of a great leader from birth and a great mentor and then to take that into my military career was very fortunate for all the supervisors, the NCOs that I was positioned under to help guide me in both technologically and, uh, and as a man.

[00:09:37] Nate: Just how to grow when i first got out of service i work for the telephone company in salt lake city again just every step of the way i can go on and on case in point working for the board here in denver there's just i've always been fortunate that's been a great team of not only technological minds but people that are willing to.

[00:09:57] Nate: To just really dig in and lead by example, just very fortunate. Nobody's a hoarding information just for the betterment of their own, uh, their own self gain. It's just really easy to be who I want to be surrounded in that environment with people that are also demonstrating just this selflessness. 

[00:10:14] Chris: Yeah.

[00:10:14] Chris: Yeah, for sure. I mean, and I see that in you, um, a lot, you know, as a friend and colleague, I think I'm fairly constantly blown away by your kind of ability and willingness to take that effort and make a connection with, with everyone, right. With anyone. I know, you know, I've noticed when we go on runs, um, you're, you know, not just, you know, waving at passersby, but like saying some words, you know, anywhere we go, right.

[00:10:36] Chris: Checking in on people, that kind of thing. I mean, it definitely sounds like that's a huge part of, of who you are and how you approach the world. I don't know if there's a question there, but it's interesting. I don't know, maybe you talk about, you know, it sounds like it came from, from your dad and your family maybe early on, but I don't know, it's, it's something that I definitely don't have as much of a focus on to, to my detriment at times.

[00:10:54] Chris: And so I'm curious to maybe explore that a little bit of just that kind of, where does that come from? Maybe, um, like in time inside of you, like, what is that? Like, what's the feeling behind that of reaching out to every single person you meet, it seems like. 

[00:11:06] Nate: Um, I think I've been there on the flip side myself at times in my life where just something as simple as a genuine heartfelt hello, a smile, a wave, tip the day towards the positive.

[00:11:18] Nate: And if I can, again, take what you take, what you want to receive and shoot that out the other direction. If me running by somebody and waving at their car is going to throw a smile on their face and potentially positively impact the next "N" minutes of their day, then it was worth it. And if it's net neutral or if I get a bird back, then so be it.

[00:11:40] Nate: I'm going to keep on going. But 

[00:11:41] Chris: yeah, 

[00:11:42] Nate: especially with running, uh, when, when you see somebody out there, they're doing the same thing you're doing, but it's, they're doing their race. They're doing their run and it's a completely different animal for them inside their head, inside their body. And so any kind of.

[00:11:56] Nate: It might be somebody that's just starting their journey. Maybe this is their first half marathon, maybe it's their first 5k, uh, the first time running ever, and they're just out there lacing them up for the first time, and they just want that bit of encouragement that they're on the right path and it's, it's been so beneficial for me to, to have something like that, to focus in on that.

[00:12:14] Nate: I just, I love sharing that, uh, that energy and that it's kind of a camaraderie, I guess, or a brotherhood, so to speak. 

[00:12:20] Chris: Yeah, yeah, no, it's fantastic. And it's, it's really beautiful to watch. So, you know, taking that move a little bit further, I think, I mean, maybe it's obvious based on that kind of philosophy of life and, and just kind of practice daily, um, you know, why you've kind of moved from pure individual contributor to management, or maybe, I mean, I'm making that assumption.

[00:12:39] Chris: I think you're, you're a leader. Now you've been a leader for a while. You have, you're managing some teams and it sounds like, you know, I'm answering my own question here, but maybe the reason is because you like seeing other people succeed as much as seeing yourself succeed. 

[00:12:50] Nate: I'm actually a contradiction there.

[00:12:52] Nate: I can't stand managing people. I've been an individual, I've, I've managed people for a nanosecond in my career, uh, both in the military and in, uh, in corporate America. And I manage, I guess, in being like a technical lead, I can handle that kind of role where I, I have none of the, uh, human resources responsibilities for somebody.

[00:13:12] Nate: On the hand where I love helping people that want to be helped, I can't stand begging people to work. And that just, I, I don't have a good tact for that. My, my default would be to just, I'll take that back and do it myself, regardless of how loaded up my own plate is. And that's a detriment. I realize that.

[00:13:30] Nate: That's not great. That's not something you build a team around either. I'll, if I learned something, I'm, I'm the first person that's willing to throw together documentation and help other people's people build their skill sets around that as well. I don't want to hoard any information I want to share. I want to watch everybody grow.

[00:13:46] Nate: Technically the reasons you couldn't make it to work today. I don't want to hear that. 

[00:13:51] Chris: Yeah, fair enough. That makes sense. So it makes sense, right? I mean, I think there is a line between a leader and a mentor and I'm sorry, a leader and a manager. And I think you absolutely can be one without having to be the other sometimes to the detriment, right?

[00:14:04] Chris: I think managers that aren't leaders can be the the worst of both worlds in some cases and and leaders who aren't managers I think can actually benefit a team greatly. So that's awesome So I think well at least what I took away was your your first job was working at your your grandfather's company for your dad Or for you for the team under your dad without you without the very first job you had or did you work?

[00:14:22] Chris: I mean, I don't know. Did you work anything else before that? 

[00:14:25] Nate: Nope, that was it. Uh, since it was a family owned business, uh, the opportunities for whatever, and it started at a really early age, like eight, nine years old. I remember my dad bringing back, uh, latches that came in individual pieces and you had to unpackage, uh, all of them, all the individual pieces and screw them together so that they can in turn be welded to the side of the lid to a conveyor by the hundreds.

[00:14:48] Nate: And so, you know, at that point, At whatever hourly rate my dad was willing to, to throw an eight year old's way, uh, I'd sit in the basement and just, you know, pop in some beastie boys and, and let fly with putting these things together. So that was, that was where my working career started, I guess. Uh, and then as.

[00:15:07] Nate: As I grew to be a little bit more responsible with tasks, I started being able to come into the shop during the summers and learn how to, weld, learn how to, uh, to actually take the design that my dad had put together and start fabricating the individual pieces to be put together. 

[00:15:23] Chris: So why aren't you running that business today?

[00:15:25] Chris: I mean, what was the, I mean, I guess there's kind of two moves there, probably one into the air force, but also as you went into the air force, you went into kind of telco. I'm curious as to how you ended up, you know, more on the technology side of things than on. The physical manufacturing side coming from that background and having that potentially that opportunity available to you.

[00:15:41] Nate: Um, I think part of me wanted to be my own person. I didn't want, uh, I'm sure it could have worked out in a fashion where, uh, being a successor in the J. W. Todd company was, was available, but I never really explored that path. I really, I had a strong desire for anything electronics. Even from an early age, we'd have either VHS or Betamax players that would go defunct and I'd get.

[00:16:06] Nate: Just free access to do what, do with it, what you want before we throw it away. So I'd dissect it, take it apart down to the circuit boards and try and figure things out and see if I could, I could make hay with it. And sometimes there were successes there. And sometimes it was just a bunch of pieces going in the garbage cans posted instead of one.

[00:16:23] Nate: Yeah. Yeah. Um, and then my, uh, again, inspired from my dad, as soon as, uh, home computers were available. We had an Apple TV and Adam with a built in Coleco vision. You get your video games in and then you start learning a little bit of QBasic on the side. So there was always like a technological draw from a very early age in addition to this, this family run operation from a, from a physical fabrication perspective.

[00:16:49] Nate: So I always had the, the opportunities and avenues to learn were always present in whichever way. Growing up, my parents provided a great platform for that. 

[00:16:59] Chris: That's great. And so then when you went into the air force, was that intentionally to go towards, uh, like the telco field, or was that just get out of this small town?

[00:17:07] Chris: And then there happened to be an availability on, on like a telco. Uh, and I don't even know, I've never been in the military, so I don't know exactly how that works, how much choice you have in it, but, um, I'm interested in that process. 

[00:17:17] Nate: So, similar to the SAT or ACT, uh, College Entrance Exams that you would take, should that be your avenue, the military has what's called an ASVAB test, which, uh, essentially has four major buckets, one of which is, uh, more technological driven, mathematical, science, and depending on your scores in those different buckets, whittles you down to what your best placement as far as a career field would be.

[00:17:40] Nate: So in taking that test, uh, it was identified that a career in anything electronics and or technology was going to be my path in the military. So telecom just happened to be the next top bucket that I got put into in that regard. You hit the nail on the head in regards to, I knew I didn't want to go to college.

[00:17:59] Nate: It seemed like it was just going to be an avenue to waste my parents money, waste my own money, but I did want to get out of the, the, the town I grew up in was 4, 500 people when I left. And it's not significantly bigger. It's like 20, 000 now, but it was, it was pretty podunk, uh, pretty, wouldn't trade it for the world, but also it's just fun to visit.

[00:18:17] Nate: And that's about it. But yeah, I wanted to get out. I love traveling, whether it be just car trips, uh, on the weekends or going around the world, uh, experiencing new cultures and figured the military was a, a good avenue to be able to take advantage of something like that. 

[00:18:32] Chris: Did it work out that way? I mean, did you enjoy your time there and, and, uh, Get what you wanted out of it.

[00:18:37] Nate: I loved it. Yeah. I, uh, my, I was fortunate enough because of the career field I had, it was available at almost every station that the air force had a presence in. So I got my, uh, you filled out what was called a dream sheet in basic training of here's the available stations that have headcount, uh, vacancies in your career field, and I chose Ramstein air force base in Germany, ended up being able to go there first choice, kind of rare.

[00:19:03] Nate: While in Germany, I spent four months deployed in Bosnia, which really, uh, just that was probably the lowest part of my enlistment, but it was more from the fact of not necessarily where I was at, but just watching the surrounding area just all torn up and not really feeling kind of handicapped in regards to what you could do to help.

[00:19:23] Nate: But then I, uh, transitioned from Utah or from Germany to Utah in 1998 and finished up my four year enlistment there and four years was enough. I realized I could be one hell of a technician and I'm not much of an airman. The government doesn't really care what my opinion is. So, uh, so I, I got out and started pursuing my, uh, career in the commercial sector.

[00:19:46] Chris: Have you ever been on a dysfunctional team? Like a team that really didn't work well together or didn't get stuff done? Or, I mean, you know, I guess, you know, there's all kinds of different definitions of dysfunctional, but I think, you know, when you see it, 

[00:19:58] Nate: Oh, um, I don't think, I think, um, I think I've been on teams and this may sound, uh, I don't care how it sounds.

[00:20:07] Nate: Uh, I think I've been on teams that have been missing me and it was obvious from the start. They've been missing somebody like me, something, somebody to light a fire, to, to help start steering a direction. Let's start, uh, let's start learning. Let's start growing. Let's start changing because what we're doing right now clearly isn't working.

[00:20:25] Nate: And back to your, uh, have I worked for a leader question? Uh, that inspired that my first supervisor at ViaSat was very driven in this regard, uh, Don Ewald. He was just a hammer at this isn't working. Let's get over, let's do what we got to do to accept that and get over that, but let's fix it and just, uh, just another example of how to take things in and.

[00:20:49] Nate: Start the corrective action immediately or as soon as possible to so to say I've been on a dysfunctional team I think I've just been on teams that have missed somebody's that's come in to light a fire in the right direction 

[00:21:01] Chris: Yeah, that's uh, I think a great way of looking at it if nothing else I think that that's awesome and it's because it's easy to go the other way right to come onto a team and be like Ah, this isn't working like f this I'm just gonna be one of these bumps on the log here versus Taking it the opposite way as you're talking about, which is to come in and say, I'm going to do my thing regardless of whatever else is doing.

[00:21:19] Chris: And, uh, and then usually people follow along with that. I mean, it's, you know, I think it tends to be easy to light those fires if you're actually, um, just doing it versus doing it for some other person or I think, yeah, I agree. Awesome. Well, I mean, what would you say at this point, right? So far anyway, what's the greatest achievement of your career?

[00:21:37] Chris: And again, achievement can be measured however you want to. You know, but, uh, from your perspective, is there anything that stands out as something you've done that you're really proud of or something you've been a part of or anything like that? 

[00:21:47] Nate: I, uh, it's some days I wake up and it amazes me that people want to hire me to do this job, but they want me involved.

[00:21:55] Nate: I mean, just as case in point recently with some upgrades at the IX, uh, Denver, where I had over 120, 000 of new purchased hardware sitting in my living room, waiting to be installed. All right. I'm like, these other guys that are on the board trust me, this guy from some podunk farm town, to do this. You know, I was installing all the hardware, I was navigating all the cross connects, and, uh, it was, it's awesome.

[00:22:20] Nate: I, it, so for me, the greatest achievement is the fact that I've earned that trust. And I take great pride in that and I take, uh, I, I respect that and yeah, that, that to me is, so it's, it's nice that that's, that's what it is because I feel like that's something that, that achievement can be brand new every day.

[00:22:39] Nate: Something else that somebody trusted me with tomorrow, let's say. So it's, I'm not hanging my hat on something I did 30 years ago and reminding people of it. 

[00:22:48] Chris: Yeah, yeah. I like that a lot. And I especially like it because I mean, for me, right, what I see there is again, kind of these two possibilities. You're sitting there in your living room.

[00:23:00] Chris: You got, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars of gear laid out on a table or whatever that you're about to go install and things. And the way you choose to look at it is this is amazing. These guys trusted me to do this work. You know, I'm going to go do all this work. And it's fantastic. I think there is.

[00:23:13] Chris: Another possible attitude there, which is, oh my gosh, what am I going to do? I've got all this work to do. I don't know if I'm capable of figuring this out. I don't know if I can do this. It's too much pressure. Right. And I think 

[00:23:24] Nate: that's before coffee happened to trusted, trusted. I looked at this stuff and the, the idea of burning out a 400 gig optic at 7, 500 bucks a pop is, uh, That wasn't fun to have sitting on my shoulders, but at the same time, it's an adrenaline rush, you know, and I'm an adrenaline junkie.

[00:23:43] Nate: I like hanging out the side of mountains. I love running relay races. The Hood to coast that we did last year was probably one of the greatest running events I've ever been a part of. I love the beating your head against something challenge of getting your heart rate up and technologically that was, that got my heart rate up too.

[00:23:58] Chris: Yeah, yeah. That's fantastic. And there is, I think, um, I don't know who first said it or where it comes from, but I think there's, you know, I've, I've heard it said that the physiological response of fear and of excitement is very, very similar, if not the exact same, right? The chemicals that are released, the things that happen, like actually biologically in your body when you're afraid or when you're excited are about the same and which leaves it up to us to decide which one it is.

[00:24:23] Chris: Um, I don't know how true that is, but I try to think that way a lot. And if I'm starting to feel afraid. I try to be excited instead and it works sometimes. 

[00:24:32] Nate: Yeah. I'm an anxious person by nature. So it's easy to like, let that flight mode kind of take over at times. It would be easy. And sometimes it just, it forces back to those.

[00:24:43] Nate: Principles you learned in wrestling, getting your ass handed to you. What are you going to, what are you going to do here? 

[00:24:47] Chris: Yeah. Well, that's another thing about wrestling, right? You're like, there is no running away where you can't avoid it. Like you're on the mat with somebody else, no matter what is going on, no matter how afraid you are or what it might be.

[00:24:58] Chris: Right. You, you, you know, whereas I think like, you know, not to bemoan any other sport, but like team sports, if I'm playing football or hockey or soccer or, uh, or whatever else, I can kind of drift away from the action and maybe not even be noticed. Wrestling. That is not an option. Like you are there for the full round, no matter what, there's no hiding from it.

[00:25:14] Chris: You're just going to confront it and you're, you're not going to be able to run away, so there is no flight option, which is interesting. I hadn't thought about that part of it before. 

[00:25:21] Nate: And depending on the type of, so I, this recalls a incident where in early in my career, I was horribly unsuccessful and there was a tournament I wrestled in where.

[00:25:31] Nate: They had a fastest fall award, so if you, if you pin somebody in the quickest amount of time compared to all the other matches that went on, you won this award, and they, they would announce who the current leader is of that award throughout the day of the tournament. They also would announce who it was over, and I was the recipient of the fastest fall.

[00:25:51] Nate: So even that, you know, the escape and the escape clause in a wrestling matches get pinned, it can be, it can be eight seconds in this particular instance and yeah, handshake. It was like literally right off the whistle. And I got reminded about it all day long until John does something, something, West Aurora, whatever's.

[00:26:11] Nate: Wow. That's not fun. Humbling. 

[00:26:14] Chris: All right. Well, unfortunately, uh, we've perhaps spent more than eight seconds and we've used up all of our time. Nate, do you have any projects or causes or anything that you'd like to highlight for the Impostor Syndrome Network to know about? Could be anything, could be nothing.

[00:26:28] Chris: If there's anything you want to shout out to. 

[00:26:30] Nate: Um, you know what? I, I, I think the, one of the most exciting things I'm involved in right now is the growth of the I X Denver Internet Exchange. And, Getting our brand out there, getting into as many sprawling data centers in the Denver Metro as we can just to, I think the team that we have provides a great quality product.

[00:26:48] Nate: Uh, the integrations we have are, uh, top notch. And I think that there's just a lot of dedication there and I'm excited for how we've handled the Metro today and where we're going in the future. 

[00:27:00] Chris: Awesome. Yeah. Likewise. Definitely plus one to that. Well, Nate, thank you so much for coming on, for sharing your story with the Impostor Syndrome Network.

[00:27:06] Chris: 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. Before we close out, Nate, I do have one more question.

[00:27:24] Chris: I wonder, you know, now looking back over all your years, Uh, if you could, you know, open that interdimensional portal back to Nathaniel Todd, waiting to ship out for the Air Force right before you start your career. Is there any advice you would share with yourself? If you could, 

[00:27:38] Nate: uh, don't get in your own way, just keep learning and don't, don't handicap yourself.

[00:27:43] Chris: I like it. Awesome. That's a great place to leave it. Thanks again. And we will be back next week.