ORIGINALS: Architect Your Life with April & Eric Perry

ORIGINALS: Architect Your Life with April & Eric Perry


– My name is Alex Guevara
and this is Originals. We talk to innovative, creative and rule breaking people
from all walks of life. In this episode, we talk
to April and Eric Perry, the founders of Learn To Become a website that helps people achieve what they were meant to do. See why building a command center and staying organized is
essential in achieving goals. (upbeat music) April and Eric Perry of Learntobecome.com, this huge growing community
of just supportive people, architecting a life of excellence is at the mission, the mantra. – I think you should tell them about– – Yeah. (laughter) – Well that is kind of
the mantra, the theme. We love that idea that
we’re all in life together. We’re trying to grow and go forward. I think one of the reasons why we love this learn to become community so much, is because we don’t pretend
or even think of a moment we have all the answers
to life’s questions. The power of this community
is the power of the community. Is the fact that we’ve been
attracted so many people who are like minded, they want to learn and we believe firmly that there are a lot of correct and true
principles out there. And people can learn and kind of master, develop and grow from
and as they learn them and they consistently do those things, kind of an ongoing basis
it changes who we are. It changes what we become. So we love this community
because it’s a whole group of people out there
sharing their best practices, their ideas and so we
started it as a community ’cause it’s a gathering place but the people have come to it,
it is this amazing community where they ask like,
why are you in district, why are you in the community so often? Because we love to learn and grow and kind of interact with them. – Yeah. – Every bit as much as I think they enjoy interacting with each other or with us. So it’s just a powerful
community where we’re trying to figure out how do we find better and even the best ways to go forward and to create or architect the lives that each of us truly want. – [Alex] It’s almost as if you are giving these community members the tools for the foundation to then
build their own success. You talked about this command central. – Yeah (laughter). – And it’s an actual physical space. – Yes. – And I think that’s what’s
great is that sometimes you read a book and it’s
always a hypothetical kind of– – Get organized. – Get organized by this
idea of this command central where get the core, get that started and everything emanates from there. – I love talking about this
because it is something tangible that we can
wrap our brains around. As we started talking
about life architecture. I think everybody wants
to talk, at least at some point in their lives about their vision, about their mission,
what they’re looking for, the kind of relationships
you want to have, what you want to be
doing for your profession and how you want to grow and give back. Those are kind of common things that people are interested in. But the how often seems impossible, because when you’re living
piles of paper from the school, bills are overdue, emails are coming in, text messages, then
you’ve got someone drop something off at the door
and you’ve got to get this project done and then you
have to be somewhere at seven. Especially as you get a family, it just becomes so overwhelming
that people get discouraged and they don’t want to
go to bed in the morning and they don’t want to go back
to that job that they hate and they come home and they
don’t want to invite people over because their home is just
piles and they’re embarrassed. So there’s a lot of people
just slogging through everyday and just wake up the next morning with really no hope it’s gonna change. Like it’s the same thing everyday, What we do is we introduce a tool and the command central
is actually a system of folders and step by step processes you go through is to hold the information as your commitment, as your calendar. That paper from school, that
x-ray order for your doctor, all that stuff that’s typically on your kitchen counter in a big pile. We show you the flow
chart, what to do with it as it comes in so, when my
kids get home from school, when our kids get home from school. I always call them my kids. (laughter) – I get ownership here and there. – When our kids get home from school and they walk in and
we’ve got seven new things that we need to do, it just
goes right into the system. It’s not a big deal. As emails are coming in, they
just go where they need to go and they’re at zero every
night when we go to bed. As we’re working on
projects for our business, we sit down and say here’s our projects, we get them all done throughout the week and it’s like not stressful. – So maybe you can say never, but when was the last time you felt your house was messy. (laughter) – Never. – Well, here’s the thing. It’s not a problem if the house is messy. We have a bunch of teenagers who come over and we’ve having a pizza
party or something like that. You’re gonna have stuff out, but then we have a system that just put it back where it needs to go. – Yeah. – When we were moving,
obviously we’ve boxes and we’re pulling
everything out and you know, it’s a little chaotic
but we’re decluttering, organizing and cleaning so
when we came to our new house, every box we opened had
the stuff that we loved so we were happy to take
it out and find a place. It wasn’t like, I was at a friend’s house and she just moved, she’s
like, I opened the box and there’s an empty box
of crackers in there, like someone just boxed it. (laughter) And so I think that when you just have a system in place, it’s okay. I had a concussion back in
November, so for six weeks I was on my back, in bed, not
thinking or doing anything. Just laying there
helping my brain to heal. So Eric and the kids are
taking care of things and we had systems in place to keep things generally organized, but we’re okay if things
aren’t like picture perfect. We’re not here for a magazine shoot– – Right. – To come in and look at
our house and see everything and it’s okay if we’re comfortable or you share your philosophy. A little catch phrase
you like, is that, it is clean up to be healthy but
messy enough to be happy. – [Alex] I love that. – And I like that too because
then I’m not stressed. Our kids come running in, they’re super excited about something, they drop their backpack, like that’s okay we’ll pick it up later. – And a couple of things
we’ll actually share in the program are the ideas of kind of a few basic systems you can put in place, ’cause this works if you’re
in tight living space. A small apartment– – We had tiny apartments, started. – We have more living space. Like a couple of systems that
we use now we have children, that are kind of now in elementary to early high school ages
and it’s really powerful because once at night we
have what we call zones and it’s a five or 10 minute
place where each child and each family member has a place that they go to just tidy up. Give it a basic, you know tidy
and then we’ll do cleaning, more deep cleaning on Saturdays
for like one to two hours. It was something that simple in place, a home environment can
stay relatively organized and clean because it’s not
about perfect cleanliness right? We actually want to
have a place be livable and enjoyable where that feels comfortable and people want to live there. – In one of your podcasts in the writing, this idea of the value, I don’t know if I do want to put words in your mouth but it seems like there’s a higher value on the idea forward progress and the sometimes incremental or
astronomical kind of changes but it’s that progress towards better. – That’s more. – That’s more important
than this idea like this is the podium, you
need to be at first place– – Right. – [Alex] In x amount of time. – Well actually one of our classes, one of my favorite things
is share inside the class is just this concept that
when we talk about the word perfect, it actually comes
from a Greek word teleios, which actually means fully developed, complete and growing. So it’s not like this finished end result. That’s not like the
destination, it is the process. It’s the progress we make each day. I think it helps a lot
of people, us included because you realize it’s a whole pattern and process of growing and becoming better and there’s
got to be a lot of sense of satisfaction and
fulfillment in that as opposed to everyday we just lament
and stress out about the fact that we’re not
atop that pedestal yet. – Sure. – Well, there is someone
one time who said, okay I’ve written a post and
she said, April why do we have to keep learning and
growing and becoming better. Can’t we just be happy who we are? And I thought that was a fair question. – Yeah. – Right, is it that I’m
growing and learning because I think that I’m
not enough right now? And I think it’s not the case. I think it’s looking at a seed and saying, is that seed not enough right now? Why are we expecting it
to grow into a plant? Why can’t we just let the seed be itself? And like, of course you can but the seed has more potential than just being a seed. – [Alex] Sure. – And so when I think about our life and our children and what we want, I think it’s being very content
with who you are right now, recognizing I’m not setting
goals because I’m not enough. I’m getting goals because
there’s a higher potential and there’s more people who I can serve. I think that’s a different perspective. – I think one of your
main core foundations is your belief in a higher power. – You know, I could learn to become, a couple of our core values we start off, we thought we’d learn our life, architecture and productivity. We realized we got that totally wrong. Productivity comes first. People get all excited
about being productive. Figuring out how– – Solve the pain point
of the piles (laughter). – Solve the pain point then they can think about their life architecture. Once they got their architecture, they know where they want to go, then they know how to be productive. They take off but the last two values that are kind of listed on our site are family and spirituality. And just to answer that question
to put the framework on. Learn to become, we don’t
try to be prescriptive at all about what family should mean to someone or what spirituality should mean. We do feel personally and
I think as a community, it’s important to define that for yourself and build a strong, build
yourself individually. Build a strong family
and build a connection with some divine or higher power, however you choose to define it. Because we think the results
that you’ll get over the course of a lifetime
will be that much better. – What I love in our
community that we have people from all backgrounds and
that we can have respectful conversations and that
my favorite emails are the ones I get from people who say I started going back to my church. It’s not the same church I go
to, but I’m okay with that. – [Alex] Yeah. – I think it’s awesome that this person is now connecting with something that– – Or we’re doing things
as a family to connect more closely with each other
and with something divine. – Yeah but one of the things
as you were talking about where this desire comes
from to help other people. Eric and I we’ve been
married almost 19 years now and kind of fun story that
our first date was right here ’cause this home used to
be a little driving range. (laughter) And so that was one of our first dates, that was our first date. – It’s built on a driving range. The home didn’t use to be a driving range. – The house is built on
what was a driving range. (laughter) So this is exciting for us to be here, but when we were first married, there were a lot of just
challenges that we went through, like anyone go through when
they’re starting a family, when we went back to school and we had student loans and our mortgage and to having kids and
I had several surgeries and there was just a lot
going on in our lives and both of us had been raised in families with strong faith. So from the time we were both very young, faith has been apart of who we are as far as learning how
to pray and how to think and how to set goals and
service, reaching back. That’s just embedded in who we are. Which is always so fun
when we had gotten married and that we were really united on that. But I remember very clearly, months, years of feeling stuck and feeling, I don’t
know what my purpose is. I sitting here with little babies who are spitting up on my last clean shirt. I don’t know whether to
go to the laundry mat, we have this suitcase full of laundry because our washer is broken. Just things like that where I felt like, this is not the life that I imagined. The life we’re living now,
this is what I imagined but at the beginning we were not there. And so I have a goal everyday to connect with God first. So before I open an email,
before I open social media, before I jump into work, it’s
I need to connect with God and be able to hear, okay
what’s my job for today? And have that connection and
then during those moments that were so hard, when we were struggling trying to figure out career path and trying to figure out what we were doing starting a
business and it was hard. I just promised God that if
we could get to the point where I didn’t have to be
stressed about that anymore, that I would reach back and
help people coming next. So that was a promise made from both of us have talked about and
worked toward and so. I wouldn’t say we have arrived, but like we still have
a lot, we’re learning. But now that we are in a stable place and we do have a thriving business and we have systems in place to support us and that stress isn’t
there, we’ve been really clear with our kids that guys, now that we’re here in this new home, we have a responsibility
to use this home well. We have a responsibility
to use our time well. It doesn’t belong to us. This is for other people
and so I think that when you have when you’ve seen people in your life who’ve had those servant hearts and you know your life
has benefited from them, like wanting to be like
that, that’s been something I’ve been excited about ’cause
I think our life has been so blessed by so many
people, so many mentors who use their skills to reach back and we just feel like it’s a privilege to get to continue that. (upbeat music) – I just had, really quick,
I think it’s intrinsic to the human nature or the human spirit. I think everyone wants to serve. Even if it’s in a small way. We see something that needs
to be done for somebody else and just we’re naturally
inclined to want to do that. – Yeah. – And so, with what we do
here at Learn To Become, we make it really clear
our website is not any denominational, it’s not faith based. We actually call it a very
principle based community where people can come in and share. And we love that people
come in from all religious faiths and traditions and backgrounds. Or none at all, but they’ve
and they’re defining their values, what’s important to them. And I think it’s interesting because being able to give back and to serve to help
others pretty much lands, at the not at the center
but somewhere near the center for almost every
person in the community because I think as human
beings that’s how we’re wired. – I’ll speak for myself but
I think that a lot of people who are just listening to you guys it’s extremely inspirational and moving. I think now as a new parent, I’ve looked even closer
at parents and couples and personally I’m very
inspired by you two and I’m really hoping
for continued success and I’m gonna steal a lot of
what you talked about today. (laughter) And try to adapt it to my life. Really thank you so much
for speaking with me today. – We’re privileged. – It’s been an honor and a pleasure. So thanks guys. – For us as well, thank you. – Absolutely. (upbeat music)


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