Episode 219: When Passions Collide - The Winding Journey of Two Creative Minds Leading to Entrepreneurial Success

your next stop Feb 27, 2024

Uncover the unexpected journey of Octavian Badea, the co-founder of Visual Arts Lab, as he delves into the personal struggles and triumphs that shaped his entrepreneurial success. From battling anxiety to discovering his true passion, his story is a testament to resilience and the power of seeking help. Join us as we unravel the surprising twists and turns that led Octavian to not only overcome his own obstacles but also to build a thriving business alongside his wife. Stay tuned to discover how their extraordinary bond and shared experiences have fueled their creative genius and success.

You can find Octav on Instagram and check out Visual Arts Lab on their Website.


Remarkable Quote:


“Working on something you like is such a big accomplishment. Every single time I go to work, I feel so happy.”


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Welcome back to your next stop. This is Juliet Hahn. In this episode, I speak with Octavian Badea. Now, Octav, I don't know if I said that right. I think I said it better in the episode, but then I kept getting tongue tied.

You guys know how it is. But Octav is the co founder of Visual arts Lab. I have the pleasure of actually working with he and his wife, who own and co founded this amazing agency. We are doing a bunch of things with them with Fattech. That's how I first was able to kind of get in their world.

And, I mean, the creative minds behind these two is incredible. So we really get to dive into Octav's past and how he became the co founder of this creative agency. Born from passion, from filmmaking, branding, and content design. And when I say they are so talented, it is an understatement. They're young and they are just amazing.

I'm also doing a number of things with them for word blindness. And so they're going to be in our lives for a long time. And you guys, anyone that is doing anything out there in the creative world, you definitely want to listen to this. You want to share it with as many people, because not only does Octav take us through his personal journey, he also shares when he came, anxiety really actually took over his world. And he takes us through how getting help is really what helped him be able to be where he is today, the support of his wife, but he really takes us through that journey.

So this is really close to my heart. You guys don't want to miss this again. You can find Visualartslab, nL, you can also find them all over social media, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok. Something you definitely want to check out.

Welcome back to your next stop. This is Juliet Hahn. You know, I say this every time. I'm so excited to bring you someone that has followed a passion. And I'm going to welcome and I'm going to say it.

Everyone knows that I sometimes say names wrong, but I'm going to do my best because I did practice Octavian Badea again. My listeners know that I'm not always great with the name pronunciations, thanks to my wonderful dyslexia, but it now is a little bit of a joke because sometimes when I have really hard names, that's what happened. So I'm going to introduce you are the co founder of Visual Arts Lab. It's a creative agency born from the passion of filmmaking, branding and content design. And I have had the pleasure of working with you guys.

I mean, I could go on and on about this amazing brain that you and your wife have and what you guys bring. And we decided, you know what? I think it would be perfect for you to come on your next stop because you're doing so much of what my listeners listen to. But I would love for you to give a little background because your name, Octavian. And I'm not going to say the name again, the last name, because I screwed it up the first time.

But if you can give us a little background of where you come from, and then we're going to get into your story. Yeah, sounds good. Well, yeah, I originally come from Romania, was born and raised in Romania, and then when I was around 19, I think, yeah, 19 years old, I moved to the Netherlands. Okay. I don't know your and Alex's story.

Can you give us a little bit of that? So when you moved, when you were 19, did you already know Alex? No. Okay. So I did a high school back in Romania, and then I've had some friends in Croningo, where I currently live, studying here.

So then my parents always pushed me to study abroad. So that was kind of like all my life. I knew when I finished high school, I will move abroad and study abroad. And then, yeah, because I had some friends here, decided to come here and study. So I pursued a game design bachelor, which I didn't like.

Yeah. After two years, I realized I don't like games anymore. I still like playing them. I don't like making them. And in high school, I thought it would be so cool to create games that I can also play.

It wasn't my cup of tea. So, yeah, I decided to just shift my career to something else. But, yeah, to answer your question, I met Alexandra, I think, two years after I moved here. And it's a pretty funny story. So we're both from Romania and we're both from Bucharest.

We actually also live pretty close to each other in Bucharest. And then we both crashed a bulgarian party, both of us being Romanians. We gathered our romanian groups and we said, yeah, it's an eastern european party. So, yeah, let's crash it. So then, yeah, we met there.

And I think from the first time, we had a connection. History. Yeah. You grew up in the same kind of area. Did you have any mutual connections back at home that you were like, oh, my God, I can't believe we never met until now.

Yeah, it was exactly that. We had some friends that. So I used to play professional basketball in Romania, and most of her friends were basketball players. So we had some friends in common. And we actually realized, I think three years after we got together that we were also in the same place and in the same places, but we just never talked with each other.

So she was singing when I was around 17, 1617, she was singing. She's an opera singer, by the way, or she was an Oprah singer, but she can still do it. And yeah, she had a concert and I was at that concert, which was super funny because we met. And then I also play guitar and bass. So yeah, I heard she's a singer and then I said, yeah, I also play guitar, so let's just play together.

So that's really how we met. We were kind of in the same band. Oh my God, I love that. And I mean, so many things that fascinate me with creative minds, but also really talented people. I mean, we've done now with Fettech, we're doing work with you with word blindness.

We've seen what you've done with aura muscle.

I don't just say this, but you guys are super talented at that level of a professional athlete. There's 1% of people that have kind of this uber talent. And we talk about this on masterminds in medicine, actually with some of the scientists, it is this kind of human that is created that is super. They have all these skills, but then they also now to hone them in and then bring them to fruition. So I always get fascinated with the brain and how that works.

But also sometimes when you have all of these talents, when you know that you're really good at different things, it's sometimes probably hard to be like, well, what do I want to actually do for my life? Did that ever happen to you where you're like, okay, I'm good at this, I'm good at that, I'm good at that. But what does that mean? Oh, yeah, definitely.

I was always a creative mind. So when I was in the fifth grade, especially in history classes, we've had all these kings of Romania from the past. And what I was doing is I was listening to the teacher while she was talking and I was drawing every single king in my notebook until a certain point when the teacher came to me and she was like, oh my God, that looks for a guy who was like twelve at that time. It was like pretty much the picture in my notebook. And she was like, yeah, you're so talented, you should do something with this.

So then I also talked to my parents back then and I said, well, I want to draw and keep drawing. And yeah, after a certain point, I don't know. For me, it's not like I get bored of stuff, but I'm less interested. So I started doing architecture, which was very nice for like two to three years. But then I was like, I don't like it anymore.

And then, yeah, I also went into music. And same with music, I played for like two, three years. And then I was like, well, I want to try something new. And I always wanted to just find something new for myself to try. So, yeah, after some time, after trying so many things, I think I now finally found my favorite creative thing to do, which is just social media and videos.

And I was lucky finding this because I had to do a minor for the bachelor in game design, and I was looking for the minors, and nothing really seemed interesting. And one of them really caught my eye. It was creating short films. And I thought, that's so interesting. And what really caught my attention was that they said, at the end of this minor, your video will be in the cinema in the Netherlands.

And I was, ah, that's so cool. I think that attracted me the most. And then, yeah, I started doing this minor, and I really liked filming. I really liked being behind the camera and filming stuff. And then, yeah, after finalizing that minor, I kept on doing that.

So I was looking for clients, and I went from restaurant to restaurant and from concert to concert, and I told them, I want to do this for you for free. I just want to learn and do this just because I like it. And I think, yeah, I finally found that one passion.

And I think sometimes there's something too, when it's really important for people to try different things. And in our society, we say, as you said, it's not that I got bored, but it probably was like, oh, you're jumping around. You need to focus, right? I mean, knowing my dyslexia and adhd, I used to get that all the time. And sometimes it's like, well, no, it's just not what I'm meant to do.

And so why won't we put the positive spin on it? You were trying all these things and you happen to be very talented in it, which is a gift, right? That's a gift that you have. And then it's like, okay, well, that's not what I'm meant to do. So I learned something from that.

But then I'm going to the next thing, and that's what I want the listeners to hear sometimes, is you could be the person that's trying all these different things. Maybe you're not holding that same job because you're like, oh, I want to get to the next thing. I get the next thing. Yes, there's some negative to that if you put the negative to it, but if you put the positive to it and it's like, well, I'm trying these things. It's just not what I'm meant to do.

And if I continue to kind of be curious and try other things, maybe I can find what I'm doing. So I want to take it back for a second, though. I would love to know a little bit about what your parents did for a living or what they do or what they were super passionate about when you were growing up. Yeah, sure. So both my parents own car parts store, and it's, well, not only car, but vehicles.

So anything from just cars, trucks, vans, to also just like, more complex vehicles. Yeah. So they're entrepreneurs. Yeah, they're entrepreneurs. And, yeah, I always had a connection with both of them.

So my father is very into mathematics, and I was also in school, my passion was just doing math, also next to drawing and doing all this creative stuff, math was always there for me from the first grade. I was passionate with math. I was doing math for fun when I went home. So I get that a lot from my dad, which is nice, because now I feel like I'm more organized having this math logic behind. And my mother was always creative, so she's the creative part of the company they both own.

So, yeah, I got a bit of everything. Yeah, I was going to say you got from both sides, which is really fascinating. Do you have siblings? Yes, I have a sister who's ten years younger than me. Okay.

And did she get both sides or did she kind of get one? Because a lot of times you see from parents, not everyone gets both sides. So sometimes you have one of the strengths of one parent and maybe not the strength of the other. And it really is interesting in kind of how the human beings are born and shaped. So does she have kind of your well roundedness, or is she more one way?

Yeah, it's very interesting because we're both kind of the same, but different at the same time because I'm more creative than I think organized, for example. So I get to get lost in my mind with all these creative thoughts. She's, like, super creative, but she's, like, the most organized person I've ever seen in my entire. Seen every time I went to her room, because I'm now living in the Netherlands and she's in Romania, I don't get to visit her that often. But every time I go back in Romania, I enter her room, everything is squeaky clean, and everything is just like.

Her OCD is so much. She has everything organized the way she wants. And you move one thing, like 1 cm, she will see that. She will see that, and she will tell you about, yeah, we're both the same, but different at the same time. I love that.

So now I want to take it back. Know how you and Alex created visual arts lab? Like, where did that come from? I know we're jumping big parts of the story, but I think that this is important because then I also want to get into the foundation in Germany that you have recently kind of become a part of owners of taking it over. But I would love to kind of feel, because the listeners do kind of love that timeline.

It's like, okay, was it an idea? And you guys jumped. Was it? And I think I know the answer. Just working with you guys and just hearing a little bit about your background, what was the process of that?

Yeah, we started visual arts lab five years ago, and it was because, well, as I said, I finished that minor in videography and I didn't like game design anymore. So I said, okay, so what now? I'm quitting my study. I don't have a bachelor degree, and I didn't have a job back then. And I said, well, I'll just pursue this.

So, as I said, went from restaurant to restaurant and begged people to do stuff for free for them, just for me to learn this. And I had the theory from my study, but then I wanted to actually do stuff for clients. So, yeah, just basically went from door to door asking for projects. And back then, Alexandra was also working for the university, and they needed a lot of video. So then I got connected with them and started working for the university.

And then they don't employ, but they do work with companies. So at that point, we said, well, then it is time to open our own company. So that was the start of visual arts lab. And, yeah, from there, then onwards, we again kept doing the same thing, went from door to door and just tried stuff, and we tried to make a name out of the company, and we tried to build the network as soon as possible because we both knew that as soon as we build the network, then we're good to go with the company. We have enough people to just say, okay, do you need a video?

Just come to us and we'll sort you out. And then, yeah, we were lucky enough, I would say, to work with university, which is a pretty big name in the Netherlands. Like, everyone knows about our university. So it was a nice thing to put in our cv and in our portfolio. And from then on, just people started contacting.

Yeah, yeah. We just got to this level right now. We also had some projects in the beginning with Henkel again, Alexander was working for Henkel back then, so it was easier to get a small project and it was a small shoot. But for us to work for such a big corporation in, I think our first year was such a big deal, and then till this day, it was such a great experience to work for them. And we learned so much.

And, yeah, that was kind of how we started. And then from then on, it was all about the network for us and all about just meeting new people and just seeing if we can find an opportunity. We were always saying we don't want to work with someone if they don't need us. We're not going to go to a company and then say, you need videos if we think that they don't need videos. For example, your integrity, I mean, that's one of the things.

Yeah, exactly. That is beautiful about you guys. But the other thing is that I love so much is how you guys work together, and you can see that it's a really big partnership. So if you can take us through a little bit about. Because I know when we started working together just recently on word blindness, it was really cool to see what originally you guys came up with because that's one of the things that anyone that's listening to this, which I think is beautiful now, I've worked with a number of pr companies.

I've worked with agencies. I was in the advertising world. One of the things that you guys do so beautifully is that you do listen to what the client is saying, that they feel what they want to kind of get across, and then you guys come back and you kind of lay things out. Now, working with you, with Fettech and word blindness, I mean, it's been spot on. Like, Danny and I sometimes laugh because we're like, okay, how do they literally get exactly what we want?

But then if we say, okay, let's build on that, this is another idea that we have. You guys are really kind of great at pivoting and keeping your original thought because you're like, well, this is what I heard in the beginning. This is what I want to keep. And then kind of pivoting and growing off of that. So if you can take us through what your expertise is versus what Alexandra's expertise is, and then how you come together to kind of really bring the beauty to a project.

Yeah, well, I think it works. And we laugh about it all the time because we're so different from each other, and we're like yin and doing. She's this super organized person that's very into business, very into just proper business, while I'm so creative and I don't give an f about any of the business side of things, and I'm only in my creative head, and I'm just thinking about videos and branding and colors and stuff. But I think that works with us because she's the one that tells me, okay, you need to slow down, and then you also need to come to my side of things, and then you need to help me with that. And I'm also doing the same with her.

So I take her from that business side of things where she's just like this. She's focused, and then I get her to this creative world where she can let go a little bit. And I think that's what really works with us. And I think what we did and what I think we're doing very well right now is we're listening to the client. And we realized that after a few years.

So, for example, we had a project with the university, and we had a project where we had to create a set of videos for teachers. And then I created these flashy videos where they were amazing, but of course, they didn't like them. For a professor that's like eight years old, to see a flashy video means nothing to them. And then we both realized, well, this is all about just listening to the client and studying the client and studying the company and the audience that the client has. So then we always say it's like, data driven.

We do data driven content. So we're not just creating a video. We're researching, like, target audience, we're researching the trends, the client, just all of these data, and then we're gathering the data, and we're putting it into what we're doing. So I think that's what we've been doing for most of the time. And it's been working.

It's been working until now. And, you know, it reminds me so much in a very different way, but Clay and Danny Fetty, the way that they both are so different, but they bring this beautiful balance to each other. And I have to say, my husband and I are very much like that, but we're not in business. So it's kind of how we run our family is very. We're literally opposites but we bring and we see and respect just like you guys.

And that's what Clay and Danny is so beautiful, that you guys respect each other. You know what each other's strengths are. And you play off of it. And you really kind of say, alexander, because we've seen you on the calls. Alex will look to you and be like, okay, I think that's going to be more of you.

But I think, tell me if I'm wrong. This is where my thoughts are. And it's a really cool kind of process to even watch because you guys can do it on the fly. And as you said from that first job that you had, you learned a lot. Okay, this is what I think is going to be really cool.

But is this what the brand and the customer are going to want? And that's like a lot of people go into business. A lot of people do things and they don't always think of that. And so that's like a beautiful gift that you guys had and also a beautiful gift that you got that in the beginning of your career. That's what you learned early on.

And so one of the things that I want to take it now, too, is when we connected with the Brent Sopal foundation, and I connected you guys with Brent again, we met you through Tanya Ora mussels, who went to the same college as Clay. They went to Rose Holman, which is just a fun connection because I love know talking to Alex and mean, I'm sorry, you're an Alex and Octav talking to Tanya about stuff. And then all of a sudden, I remember Danielle saying, well, who did your website? Who's doing your stuff? I think we're going to be needing it.

I do it, but I really kind of want to kind of think of someone else. And she put us in touch with you guys. And really, from the moment we started talking, we were like, okay, this is going to be beautiful. We got each other. I mean, all of us got each other, which was awesome.

And then you guys turned around a website and did stuff for us for viramed in like, I think, like seven days. It was something like, oh, my gosh, this is incredible. And you're like, yep, we're still sleeping. And yes, we're still doing this. And yes, we're still.

And we're like, okay, this is insane. So that is one of the things that I thought was really cool. So then with the whole thing that I'm doing with the dyslexia and the word blindness podcast, we came to you and said, okay, can we just pick your brain, and how can you help us kind of elevate this? And that was when you met Brent and then listened to his story on his YouTube channel. And can you take us through that?

Because just recently, you shared something very personal, and if you don't want to get too into it, you don't have to. So I'm going to kind of leave the stage to you to talk as much about it or as little about it. But I thought it was. I mean, I actually got choked up. I know Brent still is.

Like, that means so much to me. But you listened to his story, and what did that trigger in you, first of all? Yeah, the whole process, what you described is so interesting, like, how we got to be working together. But, yeah, just hearing that story was interesting for me because I don't relate as much with dyslexia. I have dyslexic friends, but not being dyslexic myself, I can't relate to that as much.

But I really found a lot of similarities with anxiety. And, yeah, for five to six years, I've been suffering with pretty bad anxiety. And, yeah, like, how Brent described everything. Like, all these cases where people don't even know about dyslexia, and people don't really know how to react to dyslexia, and some people don't even know just different words for dyslexia. And I've had literally the same thing.

And while Brent was talking about it, I was in my head thinking, like, this is what I go through almost every single day. Just people not understanding what I'm going through.

It's been a roller coaster for me with anxiety.

It started when I was in the bus going to Germany. Alexandra was living in Germany back then. And, yeah, just in the bus, I just felt like I can't breathe anymore. So it just went off at the next stop, and I think for an hour, I just couldn't breathe. And my lungs felt like, I don't know, they're exploding.

So I had an anxiety attack, a panic attack back then, and from then on, it just kept happening. Like, every single day, it just kept happening. And it got to the point where I couldn't go out of the house because I was either fainting or I was just throwing up, or I was just in such a bad state where my whole body was going numb. And for, I think, one or two years, we couldn't go out of the house. I couldn't go out of the room.

And I think for the both of us was such a.

Yeah, I can't even describe it. It was something else. It was something that I can't describe. Just going from going out with friends and going to places and doing so many things to just being locked in a room for the both of us, it was a shock. And, yeah, we've been going through this also with Alexandra in the beginning because she didn't know how she should react to what I was going through.

And for me, it was also like I couldn't explain it to her. So from that to just later on going to school or going to clients and then getting panic attacks and getting anxiety attacks and people not knowing how to handle that, that was, I think, the hardest thing for me. Just trying to, well, going through anxiety, first of all, but also trying to just explain to people how I feel. It's hard. So I want to pause you for 1 second, and thank you for sharing that, because I know it's not always easy, and I don't think you talk about it very publicly all the time.

And so I know that that is also not easy. But sometimes there's a healing aspect to that. But have you kind of traced back to the origin of where you think your anxiety started and happened?

Yes, I did. And it has a lot to do with just the study, like the game design study and that whole process of me quitting the study and also things from childhood. But, yeah, I did trace it back. Since then, I did four years of therapy, and I'm glad to say I'm now better. I still go through panic attacks and anxiety attacks.

I still can't fly right now. I barely got in the train, and I started going by train lately, which is very nice because I feel like it's one step closer to how I was before. But, yeah, I did therapy and we did go through all these causes. And, yeah, it's very interesting to just kind of look at yourself and look at what triggered this. Right.

Because, again, and we talk about this on word blindness all the time, is that we all have trauma. It doesn't matter how wonderful your upbringing was, how wonderful life was, or how hard life was, right? I mean, we all have different aspects of our life, but we all have that trauma. And if we stuff it, that's when it sometimes comes out in the wrong way. But sometimes we don't even realize we're stuffing it.

It's just one of those things that happened, and your body naturally forgets about it because it's like, okay, that's too much. I'm not going to think about that too much. But probably growing up, as you said, and then stopping the gaming, it sounds like you come from a family that's high achievers, right. And they're like, you're going to be going to overseas, you're going to be leaving. There's all those different things.

Even though that's a positive things that your parents are encouraging you as parents, sometimes we don't think about, okay, well, if it doesn't go the way that we are thinking, it's going to go, how is this going to affect the person? Right. How is this going to affect our kids? And if I think too much about it and I give my sank, I'll lose my mind. If I think about, okay, of everything that I've done for my kids, what is going to be the thing that could set them off?

Like, right. Have I always been the best mom? No. Have I always been in the best place myself? No.

Have I done my best? Yes. Right. But you think about these things, and so a lot of times for people, kind of that failure that they put on themselves. So I would love, when you decided to stop the gaming, did your parents put pressure on you in a way that affected you?

Yeah, I think it was one of the causes. Because, well, back home in Romania, just having your bachelor is so important because Romania is a very traditionalist country. So everyone is christian there. Like, 99% of the people there are christian, they're orthodox, and they go through life like, okay, you need to go through high school, bachelor, and then you need to have a job, and that's it. And I was never like that.

So when I decided to quit my bachelor, I was like, I'll just quit. So, yeah, for them, it was a shock. And it wasn't that they put pressure on me, it was that I felt pressured about how they feel. Although I never asked, I still had that pressure. You felt like you let them down.

You felt like you let them. Exactly. And, yeah, back home in Romania, it's all about this. You can't let people down, and you can't let that person down or your family down.

We were raised in distress, I feel like. And then for me, not being that person, it was a bit of a shock, and I felt like I let them down, but at the same time, well, I wanted to do this. So, yeah, it was kind of conflicting. Right. Yeah.

It was one of the reasons why I was under a bit of stress during that period of time. Right. Which makes sense. I mean, it does make sense. Right.

People don't want to let other people down. But I think sometimes there's so many people that I talk to on this podcast that became entrepreneurs were in a traditional life, a lot of them second generations or from Europe or whatever, that this was what their parents like. This is what we sacrificed for you to be able to do this, and this is what you do. And it's interesting being an american. Obviously there is pressure, but ours is like, we just want our kids to be happy.

I mean, we can argue both sides, right? We can say, yeah, but you need to put a lot more pressure. Some people think that Americans, there's not enough pressure, right? There's just like, okay, this just laws a day, but there's so many different interesting things. When you think of people's cultures and where they've come from and what their parents have been through and what was sacrificed, and generationally, we sometimes put those pressures down and it continues.

And then when it's broken, sometimes it's for the best because it's about mental health, right? I mean, if you stayed in that gaming and you were miserable, something else was going to happen. Right? And so you had to follow your passion, you had to follow your heart and then work through kind of what came with that. Yeah.

And I'm so glad I did because I found what's best for me and I found something that makes me happy. And I think every single day I tell myself it was such a good decision to leave that bachelor and to just pursue what I like doing. And, yeah, just grabbing the camera because you also mentioned the website, for example. Just working on something I like doesn't feel like work. And I know that's such a cliche to say, like, it's not work if you like it, but it really isn't like just grabbing the camera or just working on a website.

I really like working on it gives me such a nice feeling and an accomplishment that I can't describe in words. And I think just having this idea that if you're in a certain culture, you just need to do things a certain way. I was never a part of that and I never did things I don't like. And I know sometimes it's also good to do these things, but I was always that guy that if I don't like it, I'm not going to do it. And that was one of the reasons why I decided to stop.

I was like, I don't like it anymore. I'll just quit and I'll change and do something else. And, yeah, again, I'm so glad I did because again, just having something just working on something you like is such a big accomplishment. And every single time I also have a full time job, every single time I go to work, I feel so happy. Like, just going to work and feeling happy.

It is pretty cool. It's very. So the other thing that you shared is that, know in Germany, there was a foundation that helped you with your anxiety. So can you take us through that a little? Yeah.

For this one, I will not share everything because there is something very cool coming soon. So I don't want to give any spoilers to it. But, yeah, there was a company that really helped me. I was working for them four years ago. Five years.

Four to five years ago. And, yeah, I was doing videos for them and I was doing all sorts of things, or also a bit of design, also, like, photos. And then this anxiety thing started and I contacted them because they were working with mental health. And then I told them, look, I am going through this, could you help me with this? And then they were so nice.

And then they said, yes, of course. And, yeah, I did therapy with them for four years now, and it's been going great again. I always say, like, they're the reason I go out again. They are the reason I hang out with my friends again. They are the reason I go by train or I just go to restaurants or I just go outside.

In general, they were a big part of my life. Although I met them five years ago, they were and still are a big part of my life. And, yeah, we decided to help other people that are going through the same thing. And one thing, as I said before, is people didn't know how to react to what I was going through. And I also didn't know how to tell them I wasn't able to speak freely about what I was going through.

And this was again, because back home in Romania, you don't really speak about these things. You just hide them and then they're just there. And the moment I was able to talk freely about what I was going through and then just going to, for example, the store and then tell them, like, look, I have anxiety, I might feel sick at some point. Just so you know, that whole speech made me be able to just go in that store and buy the things I want to buy. So, yeah, for me, they were so helpful.

And that's why I also want to just help people that are going through the same thing as I am. I will be starting something very soon that will help those people just talk freely and just bringing people together and creating a community that just helps with anxiety. Well, and I think that what you said is so important, they helped you be able to get a voice and to put words to what you were going through. And I think so many times that is what's really hard for people is they don't have the words to be able to express it. So as you said, you would get like, okay, panicked.

That, okay, what if it happens in that store? What if it happens there? And then that would keep you from doing it. But the fact that you were able to have the words, you kind of get empowered to be like, okay, I know, and have tools. I'm sure they gave you tools to like, okay, if you feel like this is coming on, do x, y and z.

Obviously, I don't know the tools, but to do things like that. And so maybe can you share again, you shared a little bit about what you can go into and say, the shop owner, this might happen. I just want to let you know, to be aware. But are there other things that they gave you the power to kind of do that you can share with others? So if someone's listening to this and being like, okay, I don't know where to go, I don't know what to do.

You can kind of give them a couple little takeaways. Yeah, for sure. Well, I think the first thing and the most important thing for me was just to just seek help. First of all, I think that's the most important thing. And the main thing, if you feel like you are going for something, just find help.

Also, for anyone who's going through this, feel free to contact me, because the sooner I talked to someone about what I was going through, the better I felt. The first case was, well, obviously talking to these people, but also opening up to my friends at some point because they haven't seen me for so long. I just said, at some point, I'll just open up about this and tell them what I'm going through, and then we'll just see how that goes. And they were so nice about it and they wanted to help, and they said, just let us know if you need anything. And then everything went so much easier after that because every time I was maybe hanging out with them and having a panic attack, I was telling them, look, I don't feel good.

Is it okay if I quickly go outside or is it okay if I go home and maybe come back after I'm good? And then they were always like, yeah, of course. Just let us know what you need. If you need anything, we're here for you. And that was such a great help, although it's just a couple of words.

It was such a great help. And, yeah, I don't know. The support I was getting in that period was insane. And I think that's the most important thing. And obviously, we've been also meditating and doing breath work and all these tools for me to just go out and having a normal life.

Although I'm having.

Think and thank you for sharing that. And I think one of the things is that you gave people the mean, and that's what I think you really connected with. What we're doing with the Brent Sobel foundation and moored blindness is that when you have someone understand you, it just feels so much better. You feel more comfortable. So.

And I'm sure your friends really appreciated it because they knew something was going on. They felt like, okay, you're not telling me, so that means, okay, maybe we're not as good as friends as we are. And, okay, I guess this doesn't want to hang out, thinking the worst or thinking something else, but when you just put words and just say, hey, this is what I'm going through, people are like, oh, okay, great. Thank you for sharing that. I'm happy to help.

What do you need? I care about you. Right. I care about you as a human. You're a friend of mine.

And so I'm sure also for Alex, because, as you know, when you guys shared, it was kind of early on in your relationship, the fact that she was also seeing that you were getting help and wanting to work with people and understand what you were going through, because I'm sure you also were like, I don't really know where this is coming from. I maybe can kind of think, but I don't know. For her to, you know, Octav is out there kind of exploring because we're building this relationship. It also probably made your relationship a little stronger. Can you share a little bit of that if you're comfortable?

Yeah. No, of course.

This whole anxiety thing was a journey for the both of us. And while in the beginning, we didn't really know how to react to it, and she didn't know how to react to it. And there was situations where, for example, she would get annoyed because she was, again, stuck in a room and she couldn't really do anything about it, she wanted to help. She wanted to be there for me and with me. But then two years of her life, she was stuck in a room with me.

And it was hard for her, and it was hard for the both of us. And I really think it made our relationship stronger, and it taught us so many things. It taught us also, because these two years were before Corona. So we were stuck in a room for two years, and then Corona came, and then we were stuck in a room for two more years. So, yeah, we really learned how to live with each other and then just understand each other in so many ways.

I also understood her not being able to see her friends or go out, and I understood that it is hard for her. Obviously, it was also hard for me staying in a room, but she was staying in a room and she wanted to go out, and that was so different because I was scared to go out. I didn't want to go out. I just wanted to be in that room. So for me, it was like the easiest choice, but for her, wanted to get out, but she couldn't.

It was so hard. And, yeah, I really appreciate her for being there next to me for this whole journey. And we both, I think, helped each other to understand each other and to understand our needs.

To have a successful relationship. The other thing is, and then be able to have a business relationship or where you're working a lot together, because not everyone can do that either. Not all couples can be working with that much space. Sometimes they need a little space. So one of the things, though, I'm sure, and I actually shouldn't say I'm sure, but since you have this feeling of letting down and that was causing some of your stuff, I mean, also taking on feeling badly that you were having her stay probably added to it, but then you had to adjust and be like, okay, I can't take this on as well.

And so I'm sure the communications that you guys had during that time just built a strong bond because you really got to know each other and understand each other. Yeah, of course. I think this just having a business relationship and also having our own relationship and going through so much really made us connect with each other. And I think it helped us a lot also, because you mentioned how we're in meetings, right, and we complete each other. I think that was a big part of that.

Just understanding each other first, emotionally and mentally, really helped us going forwards also with our business. Yeah. And I'm going to actually leave it there because that's beautiful. And it is. Sometimes these hard times are what grow us to be the people that we're supposed to be and then making the impact that you're doing and what you guys are doing, because you're doing really important work for so many.

I mean, you're giving brands.

It's it's such a pleasure to work with you. I know you guys always laugh and smile, but Danny and I are always like, oh, my God, we love you guys so much. You're so smart, but you're so smart on so many different levels. There's the creative smartness. There's just understanding people.

You guys seriously are that 1% of talent. And I'm so happy that you've been brought into our lives. And I want people to know that they can follow you guys at visualArts with an S lab NL and then also on Instagram, if you guys, again, Octav said, if you're suffering from anything, you need help, reach out. We'll have that. You can go on the website, but you can also go on social media.

And I thank you for joining your next stop and sharing your story. Well, thank you very much for having me. It was a pleasure. And I also really like working with you guys, and it's been a pleasure since we met you to work with you. And, yeah, thank you very much.

You're welcome. So you guys, you know what to do. Like, rate, review, and share again, you might be listening to this and be like, oh, that's a great story, but you don't know who needs to hear this. You don't know who right now is suffering. You don't know who's suffering from anxiety mighty silently because they don't know what to do.

And this episode can help. So thank you again for joining another episode of your next stop. I hope you liked this episode of your next stop. Please subscribe to my channel, share with your friends, and join in each weekend.

My focus is entirely on helping you follow your passion, even when you feel like you've got stuck in crazy town. There is a way out, its me helping you. You don't have to ditch everything in your life that is making you feel overwhelmed and stuck, you just need some help to navigate it.


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