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Beyond the Pen
March 21, 2023

The Raising of a Rebel with Tonya Eberhart Transcript

The Raising of a Rebel with Tonya Eberhart Transcript

[00:00:00] Maccabee Griffin: Words spoken are, but paper, but written, they are captured for all time. I can't explain why, but that thought was in my mind the day I called my dad and approached him with the idea of writing his story first. It's an incredible story, incredibly sad, funny, tragic, and real. Second, it's a story I want my children and my future grandchildren to know in all its glory and its pain.

[00:00:51] When I first approached him with the idea of this book, it was the spring of 2019. I was in Columbus, Ohio at the time, and I called him and said, dad, I have an idea now to those who know me well, that would create a slightly alarming feeling. I have never been known for small ideas. When I told him that I wanted to write his memoir, I couldn't even hear crickets through the phone line for about eight seconds.

[00:01:21] Now, to those who know my dad, well, you'd know silence isn't one of his primary traits. When he finally spoke, his voice was tight, and I could envision him slumping his shoulders and lifting his furrowed brow as he spoke these words. What have I done to deserve a. Immediately I knew it was something that had to happen.

[00:02:01] Hello, are you beautiful people out there and the ethos of the literary world. We are live with a new author and a new story to help those creative juices flow a lot better. Today we are here with a young lady who's helped hundreds of clients position and present the. Uniquely to, uh, attract their ideal prospects and turn their purpose into profit.

[00:02:32] But we're not here to talk about that. No, no, no, no, no, no. We are here to talk about a man by the name of Gene Odom. A man who was raised by alcoholic moonshiners in the mountains of North Georgia, a man whose tumultuous childhood high school basketball stardom and some very questionable choices shaped him into the man he is today.

[00:03:00] A man who's today's guest calls dad. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the brand molder and the rebel herself, Tonya Eberhart. Tonya, welcome to the show.

[00:03:14] Tonya Eberhart: Thank you, Maccabee. What a great introduction. I love it. I love it. My dad would love that introduction. .

[00:03:21] Maccabee Griffin: Well, you know what? You should make sure that he hears this, so it'll be really, I certainly will.

[00:03:26] So, besides the things that I've obviously spoken about, about you and your your dad, could you please introduce yourself to my beautiful book-loving listeners, and tell us something we can't find about you either on the internet, personal, or anything of that nature that you are willing to give up.

[00:03:49] Tonya Eberhart: All right. Okay. So, hello, beautiful people. Um, so yes, uh, as you guys were, are going here today, uh, I grew up in the North Georgia Mountains as well. What is not out there in the real world for people to know is I'm also a basketball enthusiast. My dad for my fourth birth, Day my mom and dad gave me a basketball and put up a goal for me in our yard, and basketball was a great passion for me for a long time, so wasn't quite good enough to make it into the college scene.

[00:04:19] And, and, uh, you know, my, my son still insists to me that there's no such thing as a W N B A, which we need to have a talk about that one day. So , but I love basketball and, uh, and that's probably something most people do not know about.

[00:04:40] Maccabee Griffin: Well if they read the book, I think they get a little bit of a hint of that in there at the beginning. But you know, that's always fun cuz it's funny because I live in Indiana and you know how this state is, it's nothing but basketball. Everywhere. And it drives me nuts. Mainly just because they used to call me, uh, "Fieldgoal" because when I did uh, uh, free throws, it would literally go over the backboard

[00:05:06] Tonya Eberhart: That's great.

[00:05:07] Maccabee Griffin: That, yeah, a little bit of my own tumultuous torture of a childhood. But anyways, I digress. So one of the things I really wanted to do is I'm gonna set this, this man up, cuz this man is, Interesting to say the least. There's, there's a lot of other words that could, we could express about your dad because he is honestly an amazing man for what he went through and for the lifestyle that he, um, that he shows at an early age or was given.

[00:05:41] Um, but I wanted, I wanted to ask you a few things because. Mainly I want, I want, like I said, I want people to understand where he was coming from and when, when he was making a lot of these choices and, and the fact that, you know, whenever he gets in trouble or he is about to get in trouble, his friends have to tell him, don't make me call your daughter

[00:06:06] What? How has that made him, affected him so much that he's like?

[00:06:12] Tonya Eberhart: Well, okay. So truthfully, I, I was dumb enough to think that that worked right for a long time. And, and he was great at letting it work for short time periods. In other words, I'll be good until my daughter goes back home, 600 miles away, and then I can just get back to my regular business.

[00:06:30] Right? But we have always, throughout thick and thin, you know, we've always really had. Great relationship of understanding. Even when we were disappointed in things, we had a great relationship. So I feel like there was respect, you know, for me and um, when I said those things, dad, these are not your, Friends, you know, or Dad, why are you doing this?

[00:06:57] You're making terrible choices. You're only gonna end up here again. He understood that, you know, he obviously is the truth and nobody really wants to face the truth, but when it's coming from your daughter that you do have a good relationship with, I think that it does make somewhat of an impact. at least for a little while.

[00:07:18] And then as the years go by begins to make less and less of an impact. And that was in proximity to, um, uh, the miles as well. The farther I moved away, , guess what? The, the, the more, the less tension there was on that rope. So, um, So I'm proud to say that it did work for a little while, but as in all things, people are going to make the decisions that they're just, that they're going to make.

[00:07:45] And at the end of the day, that's why they say, well, they have to hit their bottom. It has to be their truth. They have to make their own decisions, and they don't generally make those decisions for other people and you don't want them to. It had to be his decision for his own life and eventually he made that.

[00:08:02] Maccabee Griffin: Yeah, it definitely, um, , it explains a lot. It honestly does. How do you think your father's upbringing shaped his views on parenting and the, the role that, um, the, the moon shining business had on his own family?

[00:08:21] Tonya Eberhart: I think that there are a couple of different ways you can look at it. One is to say, okay, if you're treated a certain way, when you grow up, you swear I'm never gonna do that to my kids.

[00:08:31] And then you end up doing it right. And that's a very common, unfortunately, a very common occurrence. Mm-hmm. with my dad, however, It actually was the opposite. He would say, I don't wanna be that kind of parent to my children. And he was a much better parent to his children. I feel very strongly about that, and I think that that meant a lot to him to be a man of his word and a man of honor.

[00:08:55] And many, and, and you know, you might chuckle at that just a little bit if you read the book right. But he all, he was a, he still is. He's a very honorable man and um, the choices that he made sometimes were not that honorable. But at the core of who he is, he wanted to be the man that he did not have as a father growing up. I think it impacted him a lot that way. A whole lot in negative and positive ways.

[00:09:23] Maccabee Griffin: Yeah. Especially when, uh, it came to you and your brother fighting all the time. What, what was it the situation? Um, oh yeah. He went out and bought boxing gloves, gave it to his children and said, fight it out and get it over with.

[00:09:39] Tonya Eberhart: Yeah. Yeah, he did. And that was literally like, I know it sounds probably like a, uh, an impulsive or, you know, something that dads probably shouldn't do. I don't know that he had much of a choice, like we constantly fought and my poor brother, if I could just like put it on record right now that his name is Michael.

[00:09:59] Um, Michael, I'm so sorry. I was such a mean big sister when we were little because I was horrific. Like it literally was bad all the time, and most of the time it was my fault. I have no idea what that brought on. I think that there are a lot of big sisters that way. At least I think that it would help me to think that way.

[00:10:18] Um, but yeah, he, well, he didn't have a choice. We were gonna go at it no matter what. And that day it just brought the realization that it's like, okay, everybody else is noticing this too. And um, and it was a, a moment that I'll never forget, but we still didn't stop.

[00:10:35] Maccabee Griffin: Well, yeah, it is never gonna happen. I have sisters.

[00:10:38] Tonya Eberhart: No, no. So true.

[00:10:39] Maccabee Griffin: I con I constantly have fun with them. I, I have to because it's, I don't know, it's just a thing. I guess as the older sibling, it's just, you know. We have to have fun with somebody, you know?

[00:10:52] Tonya Eberhart: Oh, we do. Now, today, my brother and I have an amazing relationship and we don't fight. You know, when I said fight, when we were younger, it was actually physical fighting and, and yelling at each other and everything.

[00:11:03] But as I got older, and especially when I moved away from home to go to college, that all changed and, and it was almost like, Instantly, we became great friends. We always loved each other. There was never a question about it. I was the only one that could whip up on him. Right. If anybody else in the neighborhood tried to do that, I was coming after them with a vengeance. Um, and I think that's just a, a typical situation for a lot of, a lot of kids.

[00:11:28] Maccabee Griffin: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. I'm, I'm very protective of my sisters now. Some of my sisters, I really don't have to worry about too much, just because, you know, They're hillbillies and, uh, . There, there's definitely one.

[00:11:42] Tonya Eberhart: They take care of themselves.

[00:11:43] Maccabee Griffin: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. When, when you're , let me, lemme put it this way. When your hillbilly mom, who is like five foot, nothing of. Fuck nothing. Soaking wet basically has the capability of looking at a person's dead in the eye and terrifying them when they say, I can make you disappear. You kinda just like..

[00:12:07] Tonya Eberhart: You sort of believer

[00:12:09] Maccabee Griffin: Yeah, you do. You do. And when that, that. Trait kind of, you know, falls in line with your sisters as well, you know, you're like, yeah, I'm, I'm good. I'm good, . Don't worry about it. Sit back and just laugh. My dad did the same dang thing. He was like, yeah, I taught him good. But you know, it's one of those things that when we look at our, at the.

[00:12:33] Like you said, the dynamics between our families and the sibling rivalries and things of that nature, you know, it has an impact on us, you know, mentally, emotionally, in your case, physically. Um, but let's talk about the impact about, you know, Your, your father's grandmother? Grandmother. Uh, grandmother, uh, Winnie.

[00:12:58] Tonya Eberhart: Winnie, yes.

[00:12:59] Maccabee Griffin: And, uh, you know, the, the emotional impact that she had on him and a specific position, point in life after, uh, after the passing of her husband. How did that, that whole entire experience, that situation affect him mentally and with, you know, the relationships with his loved ones around?

[00:13:24] Tonya Eberhart: So he was really young when, when that situation happened, but he remembers it.

[00:13:29] Maccabee Griffin: Mm-hmm.

[00:13:29] Tonya Eberhart: And I think that when you're that young as a child, and I'll explain it for the people who you know, have not read the book yet. This was my great-grandmother. My dad's grandmother, her first name was Winnie. And um, she was standing in the kitchen one day and actually picked up a butcher knife and was holding it back, getting ready to stab.

[00:13:52] My grandmother, her daughter, and um, and my uncle stopped her arm in mid swinging, and, and she, she had a mental disorder quite obviously. She was, you know, mentally incompetent and eventually she spent some time in a mental ward. But I think when you're young like that, nothing can come out of that except for instability and uncertainty.

[00:14:19] Maccabee Griffin: Mm-hmm.

[00:14:19] Tonya Eberhart: Um, because then his mother later as, as he will say, you know, my grandmother had some mental problems of her own and, you know, alcoholism you as well on top of that. So there were things that brought instability to him at a very young age. And when you have that, Impacts and affects everything that you do and who you become and so forth. And I look back at his life and think, wow, he overcame a whole lot more than he succumbed to.

[00:14:52] Maccabee Griffin: Yeah.

[00:14:52] Tonya Eberhart: In my opinion over that timeframe, and I think that's what I'm so proud of him for, is that he really did overcome a whole lot more.

[00:15:00] Maccabee Griffin: He did, he really did. Obviously, you know, with his love of basketball and some of the people around him, like his, uh, one of his old principals, um, He, he did have a little bit of stability. I think at one point you stated that, um, when he wasn't home, when, like when he was at recess, that was like his safe zone. Like he could do anything even, you know, at the, you know, ripe old age of what maybe eight, nine years old having a smoke behind the, you know, in the..

[00:15:33] Tonya Eberhart: Oh yeah.

[00:15:33] Maccabee Griffin: In the smoking area. In the third grade.

[00:15:36] Tonya Eberhart: In the third grade. So here's an update for you, Maccabee. Uh, just a few weeks ago, my dad was finally inducted into the Dawson County Hall of Fame for his basketball career that dates back to 1966.

[00:15:51] Maccabee Griffin: Wow.

[00:15:53] Tonya Eberhart: And it was a huge day for all of us. Um, we have a video of him being inducted and he actually told that story of smoking in the third grade and getting caught by Herbert Robinson. And that was his principle at the time. And what an impact that Herbert made on his lap because he was that guiding light that compass for him. He adored and revered that man and. I think states that in the book that he is it, he could learn just spending 10 minutes with Herbert Robinson would give him 10 years of wisdom.

[00:16:28] Maccabee Griffin: Yeah, absolutely. And, and there's a lot of wisdom in, in regards to this book. I mean, you know, obviously when we look at someone real, someone who's been through hell and high water and who's came out a above it all. Not unscathed, but enough to, you know, be willing to say, I've got some scars. Here's what happened to 'em. Some of them self-inflicting. But, um, let's talk about the family business. Let's talk about the young life of being in the liquor business, so to speak. It had a major impact on, on you guys growing up e even as with him growing up as well and bracing was a huge thing for you guys as well. I, I believe you stated at one point your great, uh, your great-grandfather, your grandfather was the fastest moonshine on, on, on his feet. How did these experiences shape his views on entre entrepreneurship and risk taking and same thing with you.

[00:17:42] Tonya Eberhart: Okay. What an interesting question because I actually had never thought about it that way. Um, he just grew up with entrepreneurship, right? Because that's really what the liquor business is about. Either you worked for somebody or you operated your own still. And my grandfather at. One point was known as he was known far and wide in his region for being a moonshine runner. And a lot of people would think, oh, well that's one of the guys running in fast cars. Well, he did do that, you know, he wrecked every car he ever drove, uh, driving fast.

[00:18:15] But what they really meant was running on foot, because back then, you know, they used to. The tax people revenues. Right. And when the revenues were after you, there was sort of a gentleman's agreement there that even if they saw you and knew that it was you, if they didn't catch you, you were, they let you go.

[00:18:35] So he would outrun them on foot many times and, and, and get away with that. Now, obviously not every time, because he spent some time in the penitentiary, for that. But I think it does have a bearing of like, when you have that much freedom, Those choices, that's a natural bent toward entrepreneurship. And I saw my dad have both sides in his lifetime.

[00:19:00] He worked in a manufacturing plant for, I believe it was 27 years before he stopped that, um, and started building an apartment. Complex. So he started building multi-family units, and that's how he ended up retiring through real estate investments. So that was the more entrepreneurial side of his life was that, and of course, you know, some of the, you know, the activities in, in the, you know, in the, in his world, right?

[00:19:30] He might consider more entrepreneurial, but really he was more, you know, he, he. Spent more time partaking of that of the, of the drugs and the alcohol. Where his entrepreneurship came in was actually real estate investing. And I don't even know if that's in the book actually. Not that that's all, not that that's saw, yeah.

[00:19:51] So, so he had, he had both sides of the coin, but I can tell you he was far, far happier on the entrepreneurial side because he didn't really have to listen to anybody. Because if you think about it, when he was growing up, he didn't have anybody. Um, really forming who he was or disciplining him, you know, on a daily basis of here's how to behave as a young man and mentoring him.

[00:20:18] And so when you have that, I think you feel much more free and you take liberties and, you know, building a business and doing things on your own. Um, I know for me I was. I am much, much happier as an entrepreneur because I answer, everybody answers to your clients. You always answer to your clients, but answering to somebody else who is running the business show, that was not a big, that was not a good point for me because I could see, oh, well, what if this is wrong and this is wrong?

[00:20:50] And if you didn't agree, you could never fix what you felt needed to be fixed. So I've just felt like there's never really been another choice for. Um, but we've both, I was in the media world for a long time. I was, I had bosses telling me what to do and when I could do it. And then I started my own thing and I can tell you your own thing is a lot better, even though you still have bosses, which are your customers.

[00:21:16] Maccabee Griffin: That that is definitely, um, something I think a lot of people need to really, uh, walk away with, with that little gem of just wisdom right there, ladies and gentlemen. But, I wanna follow up on that a little bit because you were talking about how your father liked to enjoy a little bit of the, um, let's just say al it is the, the, the addictions of drugs and alcohol.

[00:21:44] Tonya Eberhart: Oh, he definitely did his unfair share of both. And he will tell you that if he's sitting right here, No, no question.

[00:21:50] Maccabee Griffin: Hey, and, and he's proud of it because of the fact that he lived through it. He, he found a way to get past that. Um, but I wanted to discuss the concept of, one of the statements you said early on in your, your letter at the beginning was normalizing dysfunction in the families and how it could either be, you know, considered a swirling world of chaos or just being normal. How did this affect your father's ability to recognize and address his own struggles with addiction?

[00:22:27] Tonya Eberhart: I think he always had this innate ability to stand outside of himself and look in. But he was also just not ready to give it up, right?

[00:22:37] Maccabee Griffin: Mm-hmm.

[00:22:37] Tonya Eberhart: Some people are quite oblivious in their alcohol and drug use, and they have no clue what it's doing to themselves or others. I feel like he always knew, but he's just like, I don't see a better way right now, or, this is fun right now, or, this is just what I choose to do right now. But I think he was always smart enough to know what was going on. For the most part. Um, and I, I think that there are just a couple of different ways you could look at that. Either you, either you either are not realizing your own surroundings or you're hypersensitive about your own surroundings and where you came from, and kind of use that as a little bit of a victimhood, right? I think there are lots and lots of victims in this world that fall prey to drug and alcohol abuse. Um, and I think that's one thing that many of them have in common.

[00:23:30] Maccabee Griffin: They, you're absolutely right with that. You know, one of my things, uh, my dad was an alcoholic too at one point as well. Uh, he was an alcoholic for 19 years. Until he got sober and then he was still an alcoholic for the rest of his life. Because once you're an alcoholic, you're always an alcoholic. Once you're addicted to something, you'll always be addicted to it. It just depends on, as you said earlier, the choices that you make.

[00:23:53] Tonya Eberhart: Mm-hmm.

[00:23:53] Maccabee Griffin: If you choose to take it, great, well then you're still stuck in the same rut, but if you choose not to, then. You're fiddling that hole and just walking by, and that's one of the things that your dad did. And I'm so happy again that he's in the Hall of Fame for all of his, you know, joys of being one of the greats in basketball in that area. And there's something else about your dad that you, you, you talk about a little bit and it his unique sense of humor, and the ridiculous that is his brain. Sometimes I wanna talk about, I love this, I wanna talk about the billboards.

[00:24:41] Tonya Eberhart: I knew you were gonna go there.

[00:24:44] Maccabee Griffin: It's one of the most funny parts. I'm sorry. That has to be said.

[00:24:49] Tonya Eberhart: No, not yet, but hardly, um, time passes when I, that I spend with him that we don't at least like mention it. We'll pass, we'll be in a car and it's like, oh, look at, there's one of those billboards I was telling you about. So, so to bring the audience in on this, um, Inside joke just a little bit years ago, my dad came up to Ohio to visit with us and we were traveling from Columbus to Cincinnati at, for my son's volleyball game.

[00:25:15] And so on the way there, we, of course, it's nothing but like straight highway and cornfields and billboards were along the highway and he said, Hey, honey, uh, I, I came up with an idea and I can't believe nobody's ever thought of it. and I said, what is it? He said, you see that billboard over there? And he was talking about the billboards that are kind of like a sandwich.

[00:25:35] There's a billboard on one side and then on the other side, you know, coming either north or south or east, west, right? So you see a billboard either way, either direction you're traveling. But in between those, there's kind of like this platform that connects the two billboards. And I said, yeah, I see. He said, you see that platform?

[00:25:53] And I said, yeah. He said, I bet a man could live. Platform. And then we started talking what took at least an hour and a half conversation where we started talking about all the ways a man could possibly live on that platform in between two billboards, and it just got deeper. And deeper and crazier and crazier.

[00:26:16] Even talked about, well, dad, where would they go to the bathroom? Dad said, well, you know, I mean, I bet you're just expecting me to say cut a hole in the, you know, platform and just, you know, go to the bathroom through the hole in the platform. He said, no, no, no. He said, you see those pipes leading up to the billboards, you could take the cap off that pipe and I bet you it would take five years to fill that pipe up, and that was. And it just kept going. We talked about, I, I said something about he said, you know, you could take one of those, um, little, uh, what do they call those little burn burners that like propane burners. One, one eye burners that you take camping. I bet you could take one of those up there and cook a steak.

[00:26:56] And I'm thinking steak on a billboard. But it kept going and kept going and talked about the view that you would have and how you'd have to really think hard about like how often the billboard people came around to change out the billboard or maintain the lights and so forth. And you'd have to be gone during those times and how that would work.

[00:27:19] And, and I actually thought I'm just gonna, at, at one point I. Am I in the Twilight Zone? Are we really having this conversation? And then I thought, you know what? Let's think this through. Let's take it all the way through. So being the branding person that I am, I said, dad, we could create some pants that have all these pockets and Velcro straps on 'em and everything.

[00:27:39] And we could call those Billboard Genes as, as in Gene Odem's billboard jeans. And those could be how you get everything up and down. You know, your tools or your, you. Drinks or your what, whatever, you know, you can just attach 'em to your billboard jeans. And then it just kept going from there. Um, and we just had the, the most fun imagining that particular circumstance and experience. And that is my dad's sense of humor. Um, he can just make you fall over. , um, with any of his hilarious insights at almost any time.

[00:28:17] Maccabee Griffin: Well, again, looking at his past, you know, he's got a lot to, uh, uh, to really attach and to really pull from as well, so I can understand that. I do. So one last thing before we get into the, the real fun of the, of this part of the show, you mentioned the question, uh, or to him and it was something that he was really going over in his head when he was writing. When you guys were writing the book. It measures the question of whether memoirs are self-serving or a way to explain the reasons behind our choices. How did your father approach his question when writing his memoir, and what insights did he gain about his own life and choices through the process of reflect?

[00:29:08] Tonya Eberhart: I am glad you asked that question because my dad sort of doubted like several times throughout the process, he would think, are you sure that this is not, you know, self-serving? Or are you sure this is whatever? But when I asked him point blank, dad, why are you, why do you wanna do this? And he said, I wanna do it as a way to say I'm sorry for the people that I've harmed.

[00:29:32] And to explain to other people that. There are different choices that you can make. And that one hit at my heart because I knew him and I knew that's exactly why he wanted to do it. And, and he'll tell you he loves fame. You know, he loves being, he loved being the basketball star in 1966 and he, he enjoyed that.

[00:29:55] He loves it all. At the end of the day, if he felt like what he did was hurting someone, that became a real problem for him. And so I really do feel like it was a way to both explain why he was doing it, not ask people to condone that, but to say, Hey, maybe you understand me a little bit better if you knew where I came from. And by the. I'm really sorry. Right. And I think that that was a big, cathartic moment for him. I do, I, I, I would hesitate to say what else went through his head, but I know he shared those moments with me.

[00:30:38] Maccabee Griffin: What was it like for you as a daughter to go through this process with?

[00:30:44] Tonya Eberhart: It made me realize how important it's to document your life, and it made me appreciate him so much more where he was coming from. It made me have greater tolerance, um, because I have, you know, in my lifetime, it's easy to be a black and white person. This is good. This is bad. This is right, this is wrong. Um, I still am that way to, to a degree, but I think. This whole experience and how I grew up made me, gave me something that has been very valuable to me in my life, and that is adaptability.

[00:31:20] I can have a conversation with anybody and try to understand where they're coming from. In how they approach something. And that's what my life experience has taught me. Um, and he's the same way. He's very much the same way. So it taught, it taught me a lot of things, but how to doc, why it's important to document, and why it's important to have compassion and tolerance.

[00:31:47] Maccabee Griffin: Yeah, cuz that's something I think that every family should do. And, and you know, there a friend of mine, uh, she has a business where she, that's literally all she does. She sits down and she documents family stories for them. And it's really, uh, an amazing thing that I think every family should go through because of course there's situations that we've all been in that.

[00:32:10] We know the truth, but yet, you know, like you said, there are people out there that see black and white and it's, that's it. So they're gonna condemn you no matter what, but when you actually are able to express, Hey, this is the reason why, then it starts to, that gray area starts to grow a lot more instead of being that little teeny, tiny little, that's true.

[00:32:31] Tonya Eberhart: It adds a different dimension to how you understand a person. Um, then you're not just looking at it with one linear thought process. There's like, oh, I can see why this happened now I can see why that choice was made over this one. And it just sheds more light.

[00:32:51] Maccabee Griffin: God, man, you, you and your dad are just like creating. Pathway of just wisdom for people just to pick up all these little gems of, of wisdom and just, just eat it all.

[00:33:03] Tonya Eberhart: Well, thank you.

[00:33:04] Maccabee Griffin: Um, so if, speaking of, of, you know, going past all these little grays and understanding what makes us human, Now it's time to, let's, let's just create a human in this sense. This is the part where we get to sit down, do a little bit of character improv and just see where these creative, you know, juices flow. And I'm going to use your dad's story as a little bit of a, of a foundation for this, and I want you to see, I wanna see if you can create a backstory for this specific person and how you as an entrepreneur, the brand face herself would be able to help this person. Okay?

[00:33:55] Tonya Eberhart: Okay.

[00:33:55] Maccabee Griffin: So we have a male mid thirties who at one point was a windmill maintenance man that happens to be homeless at the moment, but he has a unique sense of humor and is very creative musically. However, he's very shy and he isn't very good with technology. But yet he heard through some interesting conversations how to find rent free room and board on a billboard and through this, people have heard his music, they've been able to help him, you know, get some music and everything.How as a brand, molder yourself, would you be able to help this?

[00:34:46] Tonya Eberhart: Okay, so we're trying to help him grow a business or what are we trying to help him do specifically, because I have lots of ideas running through my head.

[00:34:55] Maccabee Griffin: Well, what, what would you say, what would you think when you see someone like this, they have no clue what the heck they're going to do?

[00:35:01] Tonya Eberhart: Okay, so he was, he re, he worked on maintenance of windmills.

[00:35:08] Maccabee Griffin: Mm-hmm.

[00:35:08] Tonya Eberhart: And now he also has found a talent in finding rent-free living space on billboards. So how would we combine those two things? Okay, so first of all, I think you can figure out a way to make money from where your passion is, right? So he loves music, okay? So one of the first things I would do is probably put him at like state fairs or big events and things and bring a windmill. And figure out a way to make music with a windmill.

[00:35:37] So think of it like the xylophone, ding, ding, ding, right? Okay, so, so you bring your little drumsticks and you figure out how to make music with a windmill, right? And so that's one thing. And then it becomes known as this big windmill music guy, right? So instead of woodwinds, it's wind. Okay, so you think of that right, and then, then you take that same passion and you put the windmill on top of a billboard to provide the electricity for the lights for the billboard. That's where you get your free living, right? So, so now you've got all your electricity paid for from the windmill. That also happens to be your musical instrument.

[00:36:22] Maccabee Griffin: Ladies and gentlemen, Tanya, you heard, thank you again. I love this. This is why I enjoy doing these little creative concepts right here, because you never know who's gonna listen. I, I bet you right now somebody's gonna be writing all this down. Like, Ooh, this should be great. Ooh, this is a great idea for a business. I'm taking this.

[00:36:42] Tonya Eberhart: Yeah, exactly. And it's really two businesses in one. So it's the personal side and the professional side. Think about that. Cuz when you build a personal brand, you actually bring out the personality, the characteristics and attributes of human being, and then you somehow connect those to the professional attributes that they have and how they can help their customers. Right? And so how he becomes known is through his music and the windmill, and then how he takes that to the next level and creating a room free place for people to live. That also is now electricity free, you know, uh, electricity bill free anyway.

[00:37:20] Maccabee Griffin: I was about to say it was like, hmm .

[00:37:22] Tonya Eberhart: That's right. That's right.

[00:37:24] Maccabee Griffin: So now here's another fun part that I truly love. Now let's talk about you a little bit more. Okay. I'm gonna present a few questions to you and briefly, uh, if you can answer them. So let's start out with when you're creating. A business plan, what is a majority of the time, what is your inspiration?

[00:37:48] Tonya Eberhart: It would be how I'm gonna change the lives of the people that I serve. That that would be at the end of it. So you go all the way to the end and then you kind of reverse engineer it, right? So you look at, um, and, and, and our process, actually, this is a pretty easy answer for me because we answer. Very important questions. Exactly who do I serve, exactly, how do I serve them? What qualifies me to serve them? How does it make their life better? And then what makes me different from everybody else also, trying to serve that same person? So I would start asking those questions with the end goal of what is the transformation here? How am I gonna make a difference in that person's life? And when you start, there's no losing in that situation. It's just a matter of can it be done?

[00:38:40] Maccabee Griffin: It's not even, can it be done? When will it be done?

[00:38:43] Tonya Eberhart: That's so true. So true. You know? Absolutely. Unless you know you wanna do something that you don't have any skills, knowledge, or talent for, and then it's like, okay, well that's, I wanna be an astronaut. Right? But I. Don't have that skill and I don't have that education. But could I do it? Absolutely. I could go to school tomorrow. and and hope to be an astronaut.

[00:39:04] Maccabee Griffin: An astronaut. Yay. Um, alright, so now we got your inspiration. What is your creative kryptonite?

[00:39:13] Tonya Eberhart: Noise. Noise. Yeah. I, and, and to two just, I like complete silence to work in where I really get a chance to think by myself. Um, and, and groups. People inspire me. Ideas and brainstorming and things like that really inspire me. But when it comes time to actually create, I've gotta. I call it white space, you know, that comes from the art world, right? Or the design graphic design world where people cram everything that they can think of into an ad and then step back and look at it. And I'm going, oh my God, where's the white space? We need some white space here, because nothing stands out in a middle of a mess. So I have to have my own white space there to, to really create.

[00:39:57] Maccabee Griffin: Yeah. Well, for me it's, it's more of a padded room for me. So, you know, a lot keeps everything all there and stuff. Um, is there a quote that inspires you to continue doing what you're doing?

[00:40:10] Tonya Eberhart: There is, well there's, there's two actually, and one is the one that we came up with when we first started BrandFace years ago. It's a great brand doesn't just change the way others see you. It changes the way you see yourself.

[00:40:23] Maccabee Griffin: Mm-hmm.

[00:40:24] Tonya Eberhart: And I see that transformation in a lot of people that they come into the branding process and they think, okay, I know this and I know this and I know this, but they're not seeing the. Depth and breadth of their own power, right? And their own uniqueness. And that to me is a beautiful thing. And I love, love, love that. The other one is from the late, uh, Dr. Wayne Dyer. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. That one propelled for many, many years and still does to this day. Every time I come upon a situation and I think, man, I wish that was different, or, I wish that person was not like that, or, I wish this was just totally different, right? I can look at it and say, well, Let's, first of all see if it, if I can take on the responsibility to change the way I look at that. And I think that's helped me. And that's where a lot of that adaptability came to the surface too. It's like you need to understand who people are. Even if you want them to be different, they're not going to. So the, what you can do to save yourself is understand where they're coming with that difference.

[00:41:38] Maccabee Griffin: Yeah, and finally, what is next for Ms. Tonya Eberheart?

[00:41:46] Tonya Eberhart: Well, um, we're in the middle of, of what's next right now. Um, we actually have, uh, have started a mastermind now to brand to personally brand coaches, creators, and experts across many different industries and putting them all in one room together to really bounce their brand off of other, other peers. Um, putting it through that type of a process has been eye-opening and fantastic experience. And so that we're in the middle of right now our very first mastermind, and I love the process. I love the people. It's amazing.

[00:42:23] What would be next for me is I'd really like to explore writing. Other memoirs because I enjoy getting into why people do what they do, why they make the choices they make, where they come from, and how they maneuver through life. I really enjoy doing that. So I've been thinking about, you know, writing those legacy stories for some people um, I don't know know exactly what that looks like, but that to me is on the horizon.

[00:42:51] Maccabee Griffin: Again, thank you Tony for being on here. We appreciate it. Now it is time for the Shameless self-promotion. Where can people find you? Any events that you got up coming up? The floor is yours.

[00:43:04] Tonya Eberhart: You got it. You got it. So simply you can, you can go to tonyaeberhart.com. Uh, that is one way to find me and it, or Brand Face. That's, that's our company and I'm the founder of Brand Face, where we do the personal branding. We build profitable personal brands. Um, And uh, and everything personal about me, like my authorship and so forth on the side. That's on my personal website, which istonyaeberhart.com.

[00:43:32] Maccabee Griffin: Again, thank you again for being on here. I appreciate it so much.

[00:43:36] Tonya Eberhart: Thank you for giving me this platform to share my dad's story. I appreciate it and on behalf of him, I know he would too. Thank you so much.

[00:43:44] Maccabee Griffin: You're very welcome.