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Hey everyone. Stay tuned to the end of the interview where I’ll give you some actionable insights that I learned from my guest. These insights are also in the show notes. As always, thanks for listening.
Now on to my guest for today, George Boutsalis, cofounder of a new app for social voting, Cast.
George comes from a family of successful entrepreneurs in Toronto, and from a young age he engaged in the typical entrepreneurial activities - shoveling snow, lemonade stands, and selling his younger siblings’ toys. After graduating from college he went to work in the family business, a commercial cleaning company, starting as a custodian and working his way up with the aim of some day running it.
While he liked the work, in 2017 he began to wonder if there wasn’t something else for him. He set out on what turned out to be a 13-month sabbatical travelling the world. George shares that he became a more self-aware, empathetic person in the process - traits that will serve him well as a leader.
George returned to his work managing the cleaning business, but he’d also started thinking about the problem of social media and the difficulty of sharing honest opinions and engaging in a civil discourse. While he was travelling, he texted his idea to his friend, who would become his cofounder. Over the years they evolved his initial idea and then, when covid hit, causing a slowdown in the commercial cleaning business, George found an opportunity to develop the idea.
Cast emerged as a result and it’s what George now focuses on. Cast is an app that gives people the opportunity to vote anonymously, which George believes will give people a more honest perspective on what people are really thinking and feeling, creating a better starting point for discussions and arguments than the current social media options. Even though he’s less financially secure, George says he feels freer and is the happiest he’s ever been.
Now, let’s get better together.
- George talks at length about the impact his travels had on him. By seeing the wide range of differences out there, and becoming more self-aware as he found himself places all alone where he didn’t speak the language, he’s acquired a sense of empathy and a desire to engage with different perspectives. Even if you can’t go on a sabbatical and travel the world, just getting out of your comfort zone, putting away assumptions about others and getting curious -as well as practicing more self-awareness - can do a lot to help you grow as a person.
- George shares that he feels happier and free than he’s ever felt. Finding a passion project to engage in, and working with people he loves to work with are what he cites as major factors. The lesson? Find something you love to do, and find people you enjoy doing it with.
Links to Explore Further
- The Pal’s Podcast
- George Boutsalis on LinkedIn
- Operation Charlie Tango -CAST RV Road Trip on YouTube
- George on Instagram
- Breaking Points
- The Sabbatical Project