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016: An Interview with “The Office Guy”: Eric Schroeder

Optimal Training Podcast
Optimal Training Podcast
016: An Interview with "The Office Guy": Eric Schroeder

Thomas and Alex go deep with a wide range of questions for the office guy as a “get to know you” with the operations manager at Optimal Performance Training Center. Some of the athletes refer to Eric as the office guy, buried deep in paperwork and files on his desk, and the nickname stuck. Your questions will be answered!

Office decor
Artist rendition of Eric’s Desk

Oh welcome back to another episode of optimal performance training podcast. I’m your host Thomas Bose and today I have with me Alex co-hosting Coach House is the building ladies and gentlemen, then we have are always special guests a friend of the podcast really air trotter. Thank you yes welcome yeah thank you thank you a lot better being the other side yeah weirdly enough we’re actually interviewing Eric the office guy Schroeder today, and this is gonna be a good one because today is week, one of our well we call it’s a day in the life series or anyone call this sure sure. 

Dan the life, um over the next seven weeks you’re gonna kind of get to know our staff how we how we do things in our data lay lives what we do when we’re not at the gym and we do we are the gym, um, so this is kind of piggy backing off of. 

A post that Eric did kind of about his life what with the morning afternoon evening looks like for him and a truly what what what is it what is. A day in the life of an operations manager hmm. Eric I saw your video earlier man. I’m gonna be honest. 

I think people are gonna excited um, if we’re fully encapsulates who you are no question about it. I mean, if if I were to give Eric like an intro. He’s very serious but not um wise wise man, um, I think about it like I think if kids are gonna watch this they’re gonna be like what is his dude talking about but like if but if you’ve been around the block a few times like you’re big always do gets it. 

Eric gets it and there’s no there’s no doubt about that, thank you gentlemen, no but, Enough of us who wants to hear about us we’re here to talk about you so Eric we’re gonna shoot rap and probably just fire off a few quick questions here or long questions, honestly. 

Try to get to know you a little bit. I think I think you do a lot of behind the scenes work here so let’s go let’s go ahead and kind of just squash that that whole misconception that you just sit here and play solitaire all day, oh what do you do for optimum performance training center, my role varies based on the needs of the business so that, It can be anywhere from running our management our system software for our membership, it could be looking at expansion opportunities, it could be running our financial our books our taxes that sort of thing so really there’s no. 

Cookie cutter day that I could describe to you that would kind of fit what I do here. I would say I’m definitely more of just kind of back off this behind the scenes like people some of our youth athletes they’re like, oh Eric the office guy and I don’t take that much offense to it just kind of I play along to be scared of the officer yeah offices are terrifying. 

No that’s good I would definitely say half the time I’m sitting next to you watching what you’re doing or I notice what you’re doing. I should say yeah and you do a great job and like I think it’s not always the work that wants to be done but it’s the work that needs to be done and I don’t think anybody does it better than Eric so we’re definitely lucky to have him this place would probably be non-existent without him so quick thank you to you, but I mean, that’s that’s kind of boring I’m gonna be honest, so like we’re gonna kind of spice things up here a little bit like, Obviously you’ve talked about your background a little bit in collegiate sports we’ve talked about just like this little kind of misconceptions here and there now I’m misconceptions just kind of backstory of your life let’s go ahead let’s go back to the beginning where you from tell us a little about your family you’re upbringing in kind of what was important what wasn’t what made you who you are today or from I was born in Battle Creek Michigan and grew up most of my life and climax michigan for those of you know, climax Scotts high school middle school a bunch of school. 

I did all three of those. Sure fortunately my opportunities were limited so I hated school and I think it’s a good thing because it led me to expanding my horizon looking for other opportunities and just being just being different like I just didn’t want to fit in and want to be like everyone else in my school, so it enabled me to kind of think outside the box research grow educate myself outside of what’s traditionally offered and like a K-12 system. 

I ended up at Cornerstone University where I ran track and study exercise science. And from there I got my MBA I hopped around did so many different jobs that I don’t even remember them all but I mean, we could dive into that if that peaks your interest at all and kind of file into this position through. 

I don’t know it’s just we went to Korea my wife and I we came back and I decided to start a podcast thinking that’s a great opportunity to meet business owners who I could potentially work for and here we are genius. You literally picked us on destiny that’s ensuring I I do think people would like to hear about Korea, um, that’s that’s I remember you had just gotten back from there when we connected or had been pretty recent and that seems like something I mean, nobody really does that I don’t even think people really know you have done that so once you go ahead and deep dive into that whole experience how that came about why you chose to do it and then just kind of a couple key takeaways that you had yeah for sure. 

So kind of what came about is my fiance at the time. Carly expressed a desire to travel the world and kind of just. See things in a different culture in a different lens and at the time I was being let go of my position because we were getting married and she was my boss the company we worked for was like now it can’t do that so one of these got to go. 

And I took the L on that one. And I’d be able to take a bigger W. Yes. It was kind of by my time just doing like our jobs in the meantime and Carly had mentioned like oh I want to travel. So I just looked where can you make money and travel? 

Teaching English came up and I put up one application. And the next day I got a call from the recruiter and then they were like the superintendent of school wants to meet with you and it just it just kind of flowed it was really like it was all of a sudden we went from being in Michigan and not thinking about anything outside of Michigan and then all of a sudden it was like yeah, we’re definitely going to the South Korea like one month. 

It was like that quick so it was like sell our sell all of our possessions like figure out how we’re gonna live where we’re gonna live what we need to know what we need to kind of prepare for and we just took the leap. It was definitely a. Like a faith over fear moment if you can call it that and once we get out there it was like everything kind of led to this. 

Like how it came about and then once we were there was like, hey not only are you a teacher in the school and you’re gonna get paid really well. You’re also not gonna work very much so you get time to do what you want to do and you also get to travel eight weeks out of the year and get paid for it. 

Like just like so many things that kind of just were like here you go, like, Good for you It was it was awesome opportunity so we stayed there for two years we we’ve melted. There was some hard work in there for sure like there’s definite moments where you had to like persist and show some career capital per se I’m there. 

Some people I go to South Korea or any Asian country or any country to teach English, they don’t have work experience and it tends to kind of eat them in the I don’t know. I’m trying to say it by some of the butt per say because they go there and they expect everything to be well thought out and Taken care of and there to be systems in place already and oftentimes it’s not the case. 

And with work experience, you you realize that you get you get a company and you’re like, okay not every company’s around the way it should be most or not mm-hmm and that in that kind of reinforced my belief like yeah, I definitely want to have my own company or be part of something where I have more of a directional control in the future. 

So end up having a kid out there and then two months after Luca was born we came back to Michigan and kind of looked for the next thing. Gotcha. Wow. That’s awesome. I mean to just drop everything on a whim it’s seemingly and then just go Teach like did you have to like did was there a process of where you had to learn Korean first and then instruct an English or like it was there like because was that whole two years is like you get there. 

It’s like week one. It’s like all right, let’s teach some English like I’m at work week two teacher. So we didn’t have to learn any Korean and they were like, you know to learn Korean. And then week two you get in the classroom and you’re like hello and you get blank stares. 

And then one or two kids are like hi teacher and then you move on and you get through a lesson like you give them a worksheet right you get ten minutes into it and you’re like, oh crap what do I do now and it’s literally like flying by the CD pants, okay, you get a handle of what do the kids know what can I get by with like basic English like you have to find that level with the kids and then trying to learn Korean while also like I need to go get groceries, how am I gonna do that now that sort of thing so it’s a lot when your first day. 

Are like the first two months just flew by and then after that like slows way down, once you’re there for six months feels like. Like time is twice as long when you’re out there because you don’t have friends and family to go visit you don’t have things going on you’re literally teaching and then you’re doing what you want okay, which is great and I’m sure a lot of kids that might be listening to this or like that sounds awesome yeah right well what you feel with your with all that down time? 

I did a lot of book reading did a lot of. Wasted time play a lot of video games that sort of stuff and I’m not that ashamed but I like I wouldn’t do it now but at the time when you have 16 17 hours in your day, you fill it with random stuff you just find stuff to do I made a lot of spreadsheets yeah. 

I was a spreadsheet guy for anything specific just kind of like future planning what would it be like to? Flip houses and like a lot of financial modeling that sort of thing personal financing budgeting a lot of stuff that actually prepared me for this job wonderful. Thanks Charlotte for all those book read books you read which ones do you think probably like the two or three that really pop out your mind is like filing like these books can change the game for me, oh shoot, um, let me think. 

We’re at the time. I head, I know Tony Robbins was a big one Tim Ferriss. I’m saying author’s names because there’s riots yeah. Tony Robbins is like, hey have some belief in yourself that you know that sort of mentality I and I’ve been a shy kid. I know Thomas and I we kind of I don’t know about you Alex, but we kind of grew up like shy quiet and reserved and just we would listen and that’s great get you to a certain point but at a certain point you have to stand up you have to talk you have to assert yourself and ask for things and move forward and I learned that from Tony Robbins books Tim Ferriss. 

Kind of like life hacks or just how to live a better life. Streamlining streamlining for sure like minimizing minimum effective dose just good principles to kind of build a foundation. Jordan Peterson 12 rules for life, that was really good to start that one out. I heard that one is like a mastery yeah, that’s really good. 

And awesome. No man, that’s so cool. I like I remember when we first met I think it was back in February and we talked about that like you just got back from Korea. I’m like why it’s like literally living in Korea I got it on a trip yeah so how many hours a day so if you were had 17 hours a day like of yourself like how many times how many hours do we did you work, like what did that look like the worst schedule piece of that. 

I was it was scheduled 30 hours but on an average week, we would work. Three hours Monday Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday, so that’s 12 and then two on Friday. So 14 hours and then you have like prep time in the office where you’re supposed to be like preparing materials for next week, but. 

We created our own textbooks so like you creating our textbooks I already know what we have in there I don’t know what I’m teaching yeah and I’ve already talked like at a certain point I’ve already taught so many classes. I I could I could walk into any group in Korea was this like I would teach him English sorry to cut you I was just like an after school thing where people just need an extra help or was this like what was so so we worked at like a camp so there’s some schools where you come in as a teacher and you’re working in conjunction with the school and you have your own classroom that sort of thing we were at camp and so schools in the area would send the kids. 

Afternoon for a three to four hours for a week, okay, so we had a new group of students every week and we would have a different level of English ability would have a different age group and so it was fun it was always different as always something new but there’s an element of teaching and I know from being here where you take someone from square one like we get new athletes in today that are 10 years old, you can just see them at 16 just being the best on the field the best in their class the best in the state. 

And just being a part of that process it’s so rewarding and yeah you didn’t get that there right because they’re gone after five yeah yeah, that’s frustrating there’s no like long-term payout if you will, um, And like realistically for stuff like that like we can’t really get a lot of accomplishing a week, could you? 

Not really and so you take that new account for sure you’re kind of you step in as a facilitator for where they’re at so to compare it to an athlete like someone’s a great athlete but they might be needing a little bit more speed like you’re gonna do a couple sprint days and no like hey by Friday you’re not you might not be faster but like we’re gonna work on foundation, we’re gonna work on technique we’re just gonna give you some tools to help you and try and just trying to encourage that process to one big thing is like getting in front of a foreigner as a Korean you have an American teacher like that’s inspiring for a lot. 

Of kids okay and they would write stuff like you’ve inspired me to learn English so much more. I’m like, oh okay yeah, you’re walking for the worksheets yeah, that’s sweet. Now, that’s interesting. I mean like, It sounds like even like just from that that you just say that one thing. 

I mean, that’s quite the impact. And like, Called it sorry. Alex officially owes me a hundred bucks, that’s enough that air or off airbed. Oh we over that later. But um 800 smackers. There you go. That is I’m rich. No. Yeah. Yeah coaching is working out the background here. 

We’re after after hours on a Friday evening, this is not something we do regularly. I think the last time we did this was when we roasted Trevor. Yeah, which needs to happen sooner or rather than later? Oh remarkable time, but yeah December 4th, there we go. Market calendars Colton um but no I think going going into more of Eric’s story here let us it sounds like it was a pretty critical. 

I mean that was resent and obviously like that had a pretty big impact on you guys but you’re also a husband and you’re also a father and that’s a whole piece that no one really sees especially this place like you want to I don’t know you want to go into nitty-gritty details, but like sure what about that has changed to you, especially more recently the stuff that’s happened in your life. 

Yeah. Everything. How I put this without sounding. Cliche or trite man, you got it. It’s I mean everyone here is this like oh being a dad or being a mom is totally changed my life. It’s totally true like there’s no. There’s no life without Luca and I can’t imagine who I’d be now without that experience and. 

And being a husband too like, you know, I’m getting kind of teary-eyed here just talking about it but it’s really important to me, it’s very very impactful very huge and it’s hard to it’s hard to put in a work yeah being asked a question like this. I’m like, I’m like, it’s so meaningful people like oh my gosh move on, please. 

But what how can I kind of summarize? Or at least talk on a little topic, um in the video I made today for instance being a dad my favorite part about being a dad is like each day. I’m like, I’m not approaching like with what I can learn or how can I learn something from interacting with my son but it often comes up whether I want to or not and those days when in the past where I have a bad day and I want to like stay in bed and be lazy where I want to slack off do stuff. 

I shouldn’t or I want to be selfish and not care about others, like there’s no time for that and when there’s no time for that level of. Like neglect. I’d call it neglect for what’s important it’s just it’s just like you always have that reminder it’s just it’s just wonderful, which is awesome. 

Yeah, it sounds like a big accountability piece as well as well as like pair that with discipline. Yeah, it’s disciplined by default. Yeah, which I mean like, No one Eric as long as I have um and much I mean we spend a lot of quality time together I’d say like the dude’s very disciplined and I think his family definitely only adds value to that which is cool to see and it’s encouraging because I think a lot of times often people will use that as an excuse rather than like kind of go modality for like positive change and I think you’ve kind of steered in the direction of like all like like people still do neglect their kids or their family like we’re probably like some people still do have bad days and they don’t they don’t view that in the same light, which I think that speaks to the left. 

Level maturity in the level of seriousness you kind of take what you do which is which is sweet and like I said with a couple of times you were very lucky to have you but um, that’s cool, um, I know I’m sure I’m sure all the kids are like only once listeners or another like dude, why are you guys talking about families like there’s nothing to do with anything? 

So let’s but it has everything but yeah, but I mean, like come on. But let’s move on. I have a rapid fire. Oh that looks like you’re collecting questions from Twitter Alex, I have four millions of dollars. I’m shooting in. Questions here is gonna be this or that and you just need to answer right off the cuff second. 

Oh, we’re not gonna make swing himself. No, not at all. Okay, we can go back through it after we started we should rapid fire ready. Taco Burrito taco soccer football soccer Apple or Samsung. Apple food. Okay. Cookie Squad or deadlift deadlift. Lugar Carly Luca. 

All right, let’s go through why talk over burrito or burrito over taco, he said Santa, um. The crunch the crunch. I’m gonna check your Eric yeah. Soccer football, you said soccer? Yeah. I used to love football. I had grown to have an appreciation for soccer. I think it doesn’t get enough love in America, so might as well. 

Yeah, yeah the change you want to see in the champion for soccer. There you go champion for soccer. So you definitely slipped and said Apple over Samsung. Yeah housing about delicious crispy apple and didn’t notice Samsung was that was a fish and then I realized it’s for talking about phones. 

All right Samsung Samsung okay, that’s a bummer to cookie or you said three it’s cranberry so cook your cake you said cookie yeah, I don’t even know big cake guy. I didn’t like it yeah, oh yeah, I’ll take your chocolate chip cookie over a nice slicing day that yeah that’d be a battle for me this is cheesecake yeah yeah squad dello if you said deadlifts yeah, it’s your big deadlift guy your Eric the back it’s super easy, yes. 

Default it’s like what I shouldn’t do in the gym and I love doing it yeah fair enough your bill for it look good or Carly and you gave us the truth yes and I’ve told her hundred thousand times yeah, so it’s wrong. I’ll be very much but he comes first. 

Wow. I don’t I don’t know what that means on a day-to-day basis yeah, it’s just my perspective. Yeah. I mean, we can always we can’t really out for any insight to that good yeah yeah problems yeah. I don’t have to make that choice no this is good. I guess like kind of being closing here, so our rapping it up. 

Is there anything you’d like to share kind of I know like you like in the past you’ve been a big facilitator right like you we call Eric our integrator so like we’ll come up with a great ideas but like these ideas don’t really happen unless Eric doesn’t because like we do a really good job of coming up with new plans new projects new implements, but when it comes down to the day-to-day, it’s like Eric finds a way to get it done and that’s what it’s so special about him, so I think we often take that for granted but I mean, like what what look what’s in closing something we want to kind of close on that like you don’t get to necessary. 

Like project out there because like you’ll run the podcast and you ask a lot of great questions and you phenomenal listening and as you’re as you’re doing that, we never really get to hear your side so like in closing what’s like one or two things here that like you want to convey out to our audience or kind of what you’ve learned here just even being with with our team the past. 

I mean, what is it you came in about right around March so any closing what one or two things that you think you’ve learned you’ve appreciated or anything you want to kind of share and closing about TC fam sure sure, um, One thing I’ve learned is that there’s always time to do the work and that so like my default mode is getting the office bury my head in the computer and look at what I need to do and do it and work work hard and that I often miss what’s happening out there on the turf on the gym floor which is 100% more important than what happens here like we do have to get this done but like the thing I’ve learned is it there’s always time for it will get done there’s something that’s going out there or just just saying hi just checking in just being out there. 

And I think in the past maybe month or so it done a decent job of that some days are better than others, but yeah ever since you got that crisp white sweatshirt, you definitely been on the floor like well, I gotta. Somebody’s got appreciated this yeah, that’s crispy merch something else. 

I would say. It’s very interesting. Being in our coaching sessions, so we do coaching sessions once a week and Thomas definitely leads these and I have a degree in exercise science and I used to be an athlete in college and. Definitely think of myself as knowledgeable in the space, but sitting down and being in this group like I know when I’m sitting there, it’s like, Just because you guys are out there in your coaching and you’re integrating everything you’re learning each day, like I’m like well, I’m definitely not the wisest in this field and it’s cool it’s great to be a part of like it’s really nice to sit down and learn something during those those sessions and during those teaching moments and to kind of see all of us like learn something new and then how can we implement it and the the changes we’ve gone through as a program as an organization have been huge and it’s like we. 

Start to believe something we adopt some new knowledge and we try it out and we realize like hmm, maybe that’s not the best approach, let’s shift a little bit just that adaptability that ability to change on the fly. I think is huge and that’s been really great seeing that great being a part of it there’s a million things. 

I could say about OPTC my I love it here, so I’ll just kind of use that no appreciate it man, that’s awesome, like I said countless times and not meeting my people myself here, but we are lucky to have air carrying and I’m glad he kind of kickstarted this whole series. 

And next week you’re looking at interns then oh yeah, he’s smooth as bars this side of the Mississippi, you will not want to miss as I promise guys, thanks for checking us out tonight, go ahead have yourself a great week and we’ll get you next time peace.

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