LIVE Special: The Human Performance Project with Ryan “Birdman” Parrott

March 21, 2024

In this special live recording, we are joined by former Navy SEAL turned humanitarian, Ryan “Birdman” Parrott. Birdman joins us to share how his experience as a Navy SEAL inspired The Human Performance Project, a groundbreaking research initiative aimed at unlocking the full potential of the human body and mind. We delve into how this project will help equip people with emotional and physical skills to navigate life’s adversities.

Tune in for an inspiring conversation about overcoming personal roadblocks on the path to becoming a better you. Listen to the full episode using the player below, or by visiting one of the links below. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, email us at


*The below transcript has been edited for readability.

Intro: [00:00:00] Welcome to Legal 123s with ByrdAdatto. Legal issues simplified through real client stories and real-world experiences, creating simplicity in 3, 2, 1.

Brad: Welcome back to another episode of the Legal 123s with ByrdAdatto. I’m your host, Brad Adatto, with my co-host, Michael Byrd.

Michael: Yes. As we get ready to close out season 15, we have another live show in Dallas, Texas at Royal Oaks Country Club.

Brad: Yes. It’s awesome. I think we have over 300 people again here, so it’s pretty amazing.

Michael: It’s amazing.

Brad: And this room only holds 50 people, for those who can’t tell. It’s pretty cool. But Michael, I’m really excited, you know, having this great live audience again, we have amazing guests today, but most shows what I do is I kind of quiz you, but today, instead of quizzing you, I think I’m going to bring our audience into it. But before we do, tell them what their theme of today’s show is.

Michael: So, audience, our theme this season is starting a business, and as we’ve discussed before, starting a business is [00:01:00] only one of four seasons. As a reminder, the four seasons are the building season, so starting a business; the operating season, running a business; the scaling season, so think of growing a business and then the buying and selling season. This podcast season, we have been living in the building season.

Brad: Yes. And today’s show we’re going to divert a little bit. We’re not going to be focused so much on building a business. We’re actually focusing on building a better human being. And before we bring in today’s great guest, Michael, I think we have some, fun facts we’re going to go through.

Michael: Well, that’s fine. But Brad, if we’re going to be learning about building a better human being, I want you to pay attention this time. I’m not saying you can use some personal growth, but I’m also not, not saying you could use some personal growth.

Brad: So, you’re saying there’s a chance?

Michael: Yes.

Brad: Okay. All right, Michael. So, like I said, normally at this point I’ll throw some random questions at you. but because I have this live studio audience [00:02:00] of over 300 people, I thought we could ask the audience some tough questions. So, audience members, when I ask this question, you’re allowed to shout out your answers. There are no wrong answers; except for only the right one is correct. So, audience members, how many continents are there on Earth?

Michael: We hear seven pretty much unanimously.

Brad: Wow. Okay. Michael, the correct answer is six or seven or eight.

Michael: Now, Brad, are you considering Louisiana a separate continent?

Brad: No. No, definitely not. That’s totally a third world country. Most Americans are taught seven continents. So, you all yelling that out is correct. Michael, since you’re so intelligent, can you name the seven though?

Michael: I can. And I’ve got it written down right in front of me.

Brad: That’s so easy.

Michael: That’s amazing. Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe and Australia. Is that good?

Brad: Yeah, that’s good.

Michael: Okay, good. But why Brad, do people say they’re six or eight? [00:03:00]

Brad: So, it really depends on where you’re from. Sometimes Europe and Asia are combined to be called Eurasia, so that makes it six. And in other places they argue India is its own separate continent, which would make it eight. I personally don’t have a strong continent opinion. I’m sure there’s some really good debates and blogs out there. Maybe you’ve written some of them, but speaking of continents, how many have you visited?

Michael: I mean, is this a question you’re asking? If it were a competition, would I win if I had less or more than you?

Brad: It’s not a competition, but I know I have more, so don’t worry about it.

Michael: So, you’re saying more would win?

Brad: Yeah.

Michael: Okay. All right. Well then, I get to add a rule since you made that rule, and so you get to pair yourself with every other Adatto in this room for your answer, and I get to pair myself with every other Birdman in this room. In that case, all of them.

Brad: Okay.

Michael: Personally, I’ve only been to two.

Brad: [00:04:00] Okay. Wait, where have you been?

Michael: I have been to North America where I’m sitting right now.

Brad: Congratulations.

Michael: Yeah, I’ve been there a lot too. It was really cool. And then I’ve also been to Africa a few times.

Brad: All right. That’s pretty good.

Michael: I’m adding Europe this summer.

Brad: Okay, well that I can’t count yet then. I have been to four. So just like you, I’ve actually hung out in this North America place a couple times. I did go to Africa for a moment of time. I went to South America for a moment of time. And then unlike you, I actually have been to Europe, so therefore I’m winning.

Michael: Okay, well you’re winning at geography, Brad, way to go.

Brad: Yes, thank you.

Michael: I’m sure you’re really proud.

Brad: I’m so proud.

Michael: Why are you geeking out on geography, Brad?

Brad: Okay, so today we do have somebody who has actually visited all seven continents, but he didn’t just visit, he decided to do some crazy, I won’t say ass stuff because that would be cursing, while he was there to really figure out how fit of a human. He and others were doing some really extreme stunt stuff and stunts on each continent.

Michael: [00:05:00] Well, I have the privilege of introducing our guest, Ryan “Birdman” Parrott, who has been to all seven continents, a little on Birdman’s bio. He’s a former Navy SEAL and founder of two nonprofit organizations that benefit veterans and first responders, Sons of the Flag and the Bird’s Eye View Project. ByrdAdatto has been a supporter and partner of both of these nonprofits. Birdman enlisted in the Navy after watching the Twin Towers collapse on 9-11, and served eight years as a US Navy SEAL, attached to SEAL Team seven. He completed three combat tours to Iraq before being assigned to advanced training command as an instructor. While serving in Iraq, Birdman was riding on top of a Humvee manning the gun in enemy territory when his vehicle was hit by a IED causing a detonation and throwing him from the Humvee. 

I’m sure he can expound and say, [00:06:00] I have heard him expound and say this in a really powerful way. This birthed a lot of his passion for his nonprofits, he regained his composure with his hands and healed the face burns. He witnessed his fellow team members suffer devastating burns and blast injuries. His entire team survived their injuries and went back to operating. So, Birdman established Sons of the Flag to help veteran, first responder, burn survivors, and their families find the help and medical attention they truly deserve. He’s also the founder of the Bird’s Eye View Project, addressing the extreme needs of veterans and first responders through extreme sports. Finally, he has founded the Human Performance Project, which we’ll be talking about today. Did I do a good job?

Birdman: You’re solid.

Michael: Okay, welcome.

Birdman: Thank you, brother. Thank you both.

Brad: Well, Birdman, now that you have had a chance to visit all seven continents, which one was your favorite and why? [00:07:00]

Birdman: America always. Trick questions already?

Brad: How about not America.

Birdman: Not America, Antarctica by far. I love England. I love London. It’s one of my favorite places in the world. Africa’s beautiful. They’re all beautiful. They all have a different – just different everything. But there’s something about putting your feet on ice that actually has land underneath it. And seeing it come out in the Crescent in the mountains, it takes your breath away. There’s nothing like Antarctica. It’s just giant, vast nothingness. Untouched and yeah, it’s pretty gnarly. It can get pretty dangerous, pretty quick. It can get like negative 70, negative 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, so not habitable, pretty bad.

Michael: Alright, well Birdman, this season we’ve been focusing on starting a business as we kind of led the conversation. And as a serial entrepreneur and [00:08:00] founder of multiple nonprofits, we would love to just hear some of your thoughts. So, when someone tells you they want to start a business, what’s the first thing you tell them?

Birdman: Why? I always want to know the why. That’s the most important thing because that’s going to show me if you’ve got the drive forward or if it’s just some kind of novelty idea. You can see the passion and the fire in their eyes. They’re going to figure it out and they’re going to die trying, and that’s how I lead when I run my companies or work towards establishing one. So why, is number one and, why, is the purpose anyway for all of us. It’s always about why.

Brad: You’re not trying to talk them out of this? You’re trying to say…

Birdman: Depends. Depends on what comes back out of their mouth. A lot of people have said they want to start nonprofits and I’ll ask the why, and they’ll get the understanding of what they’re doing, and I’ll say, this is great. Have you heard about X, Y, and Z? I’ve been in the nonprofit space for a long time and there’s a lot of redundancy. So instead of creating something, [00:09:00] help the organization tweak it, add that into their mix, help them. So, we don’t need as many nonprofits, we just need everybody to come together and figure this out together. I would stop people in their tracks if I saw a real flaw like that. But that’s in that particular sector because if somebody said, I want to be a lawyer, and I asked them why; I’ve got nothing for them. Like, well, let me go watch suits and then I’ll come back to you and we’re good to go.

Michael: Tell me, I’m curious, you’ve been through this a few times, what’s kind of been the most surprising thing you’ve learned about starting a business? Like, what’s that been like for you?

Birdman: Identifying my talents, that’s been the hardest thing or the real eye-opening thing for me. It’s identifying my talents to make sure that I’m in the right place and the position in the company that I want to create. So, I could say to myself that I’m founding it, so I’m the CEO naturally, but for me, it could be okay to be the creator of the company and maybe be the COO because [00:10:00] I’m better suited for that. It doesn’t matter because at the end of the day, if you have a mission and you want to make it successful, then you put people in the right place to make it successful. So, talent is really unique; you have to look for special talent and that’s exactly what I do. I’ve been very blessed though. I’ve served with unbelievable humans, and I’ve got incredible friends where there’s a pool of talent just waiting, so that’s that. But for me it’s identifying within myself what my talents are that can bring forth to the job to make it successful.

Brad: Well, that’s a perfect lead into these unbelievable humans that you get to work with or have worked with. I’d love for you to spend some time talking to the audience about that at a high level as to what is the human performance project?

Birdman: That’s a question. You’re good, you’re good.

Michael: Don’t egg them on.

Brad: I’ve got more, I’ve got more for you.

Birdman: So yeah, [00:11:00] this started in 2019, January 2, 2019. I got a phone call; I believe they mentioned that I was a sniper. That was one of my primary jobs in the community. Navy SEALS are gunfighters. You know, a lot of people think that we do everything. We do professional mixed martial arts and all that stuff. A lot of guys do it on the side, but that’s not our sole focus. Our sole focus is to kill bad guys, and so we are gunfighters. So, the idea for me is if I’m going to be a gunfighter, can I be a better shooter? And the only way to do that is become a sniper, to learn everything about coefficients, and so, it’s all math. I was not a scholar growing up, so it was a huge, tall order for me to ask, but I was successful and made it.

January 2, 2019, I got a call that my sniper partner killed himself and it crushed me. His name is David R. Metcalf, and he was not only just a [00:12:00] fantastic Navy SEAL and sniper, but he was our mentor. And I always say, if you can think about that mentor in your life that you know is just absolutely bulletproof, that’s not going anywhere, that you can always confide in, you know that they’re always there and then they’re not. And it dropped me to my knees. I was always raised to serve people; in the military, focused more on serving people. And when I got out, I would eventually and pretty quickly after getting out of the service, going back to serving people. And I said, I’m so tired of losing my teammates to suicide, and I’m not smart, but I know how to form teams and we’re going to figure this out. I don’t care how long it takes. The idea is, I wanted to take a different approach instead of just studying the brain, which obviously a lot of it goes through. I wanted to study physiology because we don’t eat well, we don’t sleep well, we do not correctly exercise, [00:13:00] we supplement with additives and fillers and garbage. And you have a fight or flight response that is out of this world for 20 years and you get out and you wonder why you have a problem. So, everything is related in our body. So, if we can look at your physiology and help you get back to homeostasis for what your body needs, maybe we can help your brain cope.

Brad: Would eating five chocolate chip cookies be a good thing or bad thing?

Birdman: Well, the project’s over with now, so it’s all good. But ultimately, no, my sugar high is a problem. For me, this was called the Human Performance Project and I actually stepped on from my company and started this because I believe in this specific thing so much. I have lost 28 teammates since the beginning of the war.

Brad: Too many.

Birdman: Of which, a third of them to suicide. And it’s got to end. So this was my part to say, could we develop a manual that a kid could pick up all the way up to a [00:14:00] struggling veteran and say, I can take my life back into my own hands because this is simplified and it has all the recipes inside of it. And that’s what we did.

Michael: So that was January of 2019 – did you start that year? You said January 2nd, 2019?

Birdman: Creating the concept, yes. So then tell us January 2nd of 2019, started coming up with the idea. I mean, I spent a few months trying to figure out, just make sense of what had just happened. Yeah, he was an awesome, awesome dude. But yeah, figuring out like what is the approach here because now you’re dealing with – when you dealing with suicide, you have to deal with families. You have to be very, very cautious about how you act and what you do. Because if you don’t pull anything off and you don’t come up with anything, sure you tried, but that’s not a good result. We need facts, we need things, we need assets, [00:15:00] we need help. Tangible stuff. So, it took me a while to figure out how we can make this a tangible thing that could help people, and then we kicked it off. I stepped down from my company and we went full on, and it’s been a crazy run.

Michael: Talk a little bit about what that looked like. You kicked it off, you left your company. What all were you working on? Talk about that.

Birdman: Start with any project you need funding. So how do I bring funding into something like this? You know, do I go after corporations? Well, it was on this kind of downturn because I didn’t really start bringing in funding till end of ’21, beginning of ’22, so it was tough. It was really tough to ask for money, and so I’m like, how am I going to do this correctly? And it’s like, oh wait a minute; the idea I’d already created was, can we do a physical regimen where we create a team of test subjects that are all special operations and pro athletes that I know have the mental drive to get what I’m about to make [00:16:00] them go through done. And I was going to be one of them because you don’t ever tell somebody to do something that you cannot do, unless it’s something that’s completely out of your purview. Like, somebody wants to tell me to wear a dress. Well, I won’t even talk about it because I will. So anyway….

Brad: Only question. I didn’t remember you calling me about that was there my phone was busy or something about, right,

Birdman: Right, right. So, the funding piece, I knew that in order for any project to be successful, you got to get buzzed around it, especially when this is a philanthropic helping thing. So, I’m like, what if we were to, instead of doing this test just regionally or locally, what if we were to take it globally? Because then when we could talk to different troops, different first responders, different people in different countries, and make this truly a global project, bring them in on what we’re doing, why not hit all seven continents? Let’s do that and let’s do a skydiver base jump, followed by a full marathon, followed by a swim on all seven continents in seven days. And that became the test subject’s agenda. Then we started bringing in all these [00:17:00] unbelievable professionals, the pros, the coaches, the dieticians, the PTs, like anything that – and anything that we could pull, psychiatrists, psychologists, neuroscientists to look at what we were doing or help us through the journey.

And yeah, it was crazy. I mean, I remember doing a test week where we had to run a half marathon every day in under two hours, which was awesome. And the last day I tripped on a, I don’t know, some broken piece in the road, about a half through my half marathon. I scraped my hands pretty bad, and I was pretty pissed off about it, so I just started running harder because you know, that’s what we do. Ego is no part of my life, and I didn’t know that at the end of it I fractured my leg. And so, I was like, oh, this is cool. Yeah, but I still ran it anyway and I still continue to run because it was all about David. And so, if you have a mission, whatever you do in life, it’s about, I mean, [00:18:00] whatever you’re doing, your job, charity, anything, if you truly believe in the mission, that’s your purpose for being there, you’re going to crush it. And if you don’t have any purpose within what you’re doing, then you are never going to be happy.

And this project crushed me. It took a lot out of me, but the purpose was there, so that superseded anything that was hard. So yeah, seven continents, seven days, seven jumps, seven swims, seven runs – full marathons. And that was to break down the anatomy, the physiology, limited sleep on planes, can’t possibly fuel enough, can’t hydrate enough. Just throwing stuff down your throat and you’re going to do it in a different demographic with a different atmosphere, different temperatures, all the different barometric pressure, all that stuff. And so, it tested you on every level and you fracture these key people and then you spend the next six months rebooting them to homeostasis, taking that information and then putting it into a manual, focusing on mental, spiritual, emotional, physical, and social. [00:19:00]

Brad: So, knowing how difficult this sounds, I mean for most people, I mean for Michael I’m sure it’s fine, but what was harder, the actual building out and finding the funding or the physical endurance that you had to put your body through every single day basically to get you there?

Birdman: So, it’s interesting, you asked me this 25 years ago I probably said the physical side, but now I’d say the funding. Being a SEAL and having go through hell week and go to war, your kind of just do everything that you need to do these days. Like, you don’t cry about it or whine, you just go get it done. Yeah, it may hurt and it’s going to suck, but if there’s an end date to everything. A marathon has an end point, everything has a shelf life, and I just learned this from my wife the other day that there’s seasons of life, which is so cool. So, for me, the funding was the hardest because it’s interesting, there are so many people that are genuine who want to help, truly help. But the only way to put this project together, it was a multimillion-dollar project, was to have to raise big bucks. [00:20:00]

And it was a bigger raise than I’ve ever raised before, especially within a condensed period of time. So, the price tag was steep for people to go. That’s how I started to do this, was saying, I’m going to put a price tag together for a person to actually join us on the trip where they could actually watch us do this, but then go have a cool excursion on each continent where they don’t have to run the full marathon. They had to do a mile. Like, we made them do some stuff just because it’s about human performance. But then they get to go do the cool stuff and then we’d meet up back at the plane and like, man, I go do dune buggies in the dunes and it’s like another marathon. Cool. Oh yeah, we went to London, and we base jumped and then we did – another marathon, so that was that. And we started selling seats and everything was great. And then it just got really hard because there’s only so many people that can afford a high-ticket item like that. So, you really got to work overtime, and you got to spend every bit of your intellectual capital trying to figure out how to get there.

Brad: Talk about that first event. Where was it? 00:21:00] What was it like? You know, did you have crowds out there? Did anyone know what you were up to?

Birdman: So, we had groups, people that would come in each continent. Obviously, there is only one group in Antarctica. They’re right there, so you’re getting them whether you want them or not.

Brad: It’s just beside the penguins.

Birdman: Penguins were 200 miles away, so we couldn’t see them. Yeah, everybody wanted to take one back with them, but we’re like, apparently emperor penguins get huge, and very protected. So, we started off, it was going to be an initial leg. We fly from all our perspective places. Now, our team was global, so our team came from all different continents. So, we met up in Africa, in Cape Town, South Africa, and then our first leg was to start in Antarctica because that is the most temperamental weather. So, if we’re going to finish everything else up, it’s fine. We can run in heats, rain, whatever, but Antarctica could weather you up from even getting in or off. And so, if it screws the timetable up – so you get into Antarctica, go bang it out, and then we move to the next one. We lost Antarctica on the first trip right away. [00:22:00] There was constraints that put us back from actually going into the continent. So, we’re like, okay, now it’s like military mindset. How do we deviate and make this work because we still have a 7X agenda? Do the marathon here in South Africa, Cape Town. So, we actually did seven continents. We just didn’t do all seven continents on the first go around. We hit six of the seven continents.

So, we went Cape Town, marathon, Perth, Australia, Dubai – let’s see, from Dubai, we went to Egypt, up to London, down to Cartagena, Colombia, and then to Dallas, Texas. So, we did all six continents, seven marathons. We got six jumps. We didn’t get to get a jump in Perth. And again, it didn’t even matter. The jumps were just part of like the minutia what the military does; regardless of if it happened, we didn’t care. Like, there’s no records here. and there is a group that does a marathon on every continent every year. [00:23:00] Some group that does it, they’re crazy. So, we accomplished that mission, but I had promised everybody that we were going to Antarctica, and you always keep a promise. Your words what you got and no matter what you got to figure it out. I think it was five days shy of a year from the date we went on the first trip. We took everybody out to Antarctica to finish that last one strong. So pretty awesome.

Brad: That is awesome.

Michael: That’s amazing. Well talk a little bit, what did you learn about yourself during this journey?

Brad: Nothing.

Birdman: I’m awesome. I mean, everybody – I mean, you learn stuff from yourself every day if you look for it. Really, I learned for me, I’m a guy who likes to overextend myself to help because people need help. People need help. During Covid, I continually said to people like, hey, you know, yes we run a charity [00:24:00] and we’re definitely going to see some change here. But we couldn’t forget about the injuries and the ailments and the diseases that people were dealing with because Covid was such a prominent thing, and so we just stayed focused. Learning on this trip that I massively overextended myself because this was such a megalodon of a project that I need to yield, like reel it in a bit and maybe slow down a little bit in life because this took so much out of me that I was not good for anybody. I couldn’t help really if I tried.

And that’s the problem with people who want to help people. You have to be right with yourself first before you can help others. And if you overextend yourself, which most servants do, by the time you’re ready to help yourself, you’ve got nothing left. So, there’s this nice balancing act that I’m starting to really learn now of like, help somebody, focus on myself, help somebody, focus on myself, to keep that nice wave instead of just this. So that was a big one. [00:25:00] I also learned that I liked the world. It’s pretty cool. I never knew what different places would bring and just such unique cultures and everybody was so happy. Like in Egypt, all the Egyptians came to run with us. Their military came to run with us. They had former military and paratroopers come to run with us. It was just the coolest thing. They had our American flag banners everywhere around the pyramids.

And by the way, seeing the pyramids is nuts. I mean they’re real aliens, I tell you. They are aliens for sure. Seeing those things was just like, I cannot believe it. I facetime my dad and he sees it and he’s like, “You know you can do that on your backdrop on like Skype or Zoom or something.” I’m like, “Yeah, but I’m here. These are real.” And he’s like “, nuts”. So, everything’s got something to offer. But I guess, the biggest thing I learned is it doesn’t matter what you do, it really doesn’t matter where you are; it just matters who you’re with. Who you surround yourself with is what matters the most. Because the trip to me was great to get it going, [00:26:00] but I was so tired by the time we got to the trip that it didn’t matter to see the world for me.

But the people around me, because I specifically hand selected these people based off of number one, their attitude. Like you can have a sub – there’s subject matter experts all around the world for everything, so I can pull from that. But if you don’t have a good attitude, I can’t fix that. I’m not even going to try. But you got a great attitude, we got it. So, I hand selected every person. I even hand selected every investor, every person who went with us. I had to turn down a few people, a hundred thousand dollars price tag per seat, and I’d say no to a few people because they’re bone heads and I don’t want that juice in our squeeze or whatever that term is.

Michael: Well, he just explained why Brad didn’t get the call.

Birdman: Let me show you the email right there. “You’re not invited,” no. So, it was the people, made everything worthwhile. And what happened is that I knew it happened because I hand selected the people; it became a tribe. But I did [00:27:00] not realize how tight this tribe would be. Because when you are forced into an environment – there’s anybody in here who served in any kind of military or first responder, when you’re in a tribe and you’re forced into adversity with the team, you bond and it’s tight. It is so tight. And that’s exactly what these people that had never done this kind of stuff before, we’re having to get off 20-hour flight and immediately lug all their luggage to a point where they got on a bus and they drove out to the desert where they got into dune buggies and they get to change or shower, wash their teeth or whatever. And then they’re going to this next place and then they get back to the – and showering at the airport in this terrible shower, jumping back on the plane and they’re just whooped day after day, and that builds the comradery. That’s really the sauce. And so, if you can figure out a way to not just crush your employees, your people every day, because I heard you do a lot of that.

Brad: Yeah, especially this guy.

Birdman: You figure out how to make it a tribe and just you merge some of that or infuse some of that in there; you got yourself a team for life. [00:28:00]

Brad: So, reflecting now, going back to Bud’s and now with the Human Performance Project behind you, which one was harder? Bud’s Hell Week or the putting together the Human Performance Project?

Birdman: Putting together on the business side?

Brad: You get to choose.

Birdman: Physically, Bud’s. Physically it would be SEAL training, no question. Because remember I said, everything has a time, like a start to finish, but Bud’s is a lot longer. Academically and mentally, I would definitely say 7X The Human Performance project. Just because in the back of my mind, the firepower from what I was driving to do and crush every day was my teammate who was no longer here. So, it was not only a blessing to serve him, but it was also a constant reminder that he wasn’t here anymore. And that I had to fight with a lot. Because again, I always say this, you lose a brother or a sister, [00:29:00] it’s something that nobody teaches you how to deal with and there’s no regimen on how to deal with it. You have to deal with it in your own way as your person the way you are.

But we’re all human. You know, there’s people who put us in this pedestal with Navy SEALS or this special thing and at the end of the day I am like, really? If I get stabbed, what happens to me? I bleed, same as you. Like, we’re all the same. I just wanted to be a SEAL, so I went after it. And I’m sure there could be a lot more SEALS if more people wanted to do it, but they just don’t have the interest to do it. But we’re all the same and we all react the same. And at the end of the day, no matter if we’re warriors or not, we cry and we lose ourselves when we lose a friend. And so, that’s something that I still – I’ve learned now and to not dragging it as baggage, but to walk alongside it.

Michael: It’s been amazing. Well, what we’re going to do next, Birdman, is what we will take a break for a commercial and on the other side we will field some questions from the audience. Great. [00:30:00]

Birdman: Send it.

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Brad: All right, for those who have questions, the monkey with the mic is back there, so we will cut into your question and then hopefully Birdman will answer it. So, any questions for Birdman? Oh, in the back. I got James joining us, everybody.

Audience Member: Awesome story. Fantastic stuff. I’m curious as the results that you kind of saw, would you do [00:31:00] it again to see how they compared or what’s kind of the next step in kind of this iteration of it?

Birdman: Sure. Great questions. So, if I had somebody say, here’s the funding, I’d do it all day long. If I had to go back down the same path, I’ll never do it again. It’s a heck of a thing to carry, for sure.

Brad: Why don’t you tell them about what you’re hoping happens with the funding that we were talking about.

Birdman: That’s right. So, the idea behind this is, we’re creating a manual and a documentary, so everybody will see the whole thing unfold before their own eyes. And so, we’ll get some kind of a distribution deal for the documentary. We have enough content to possibly make a miniseries though, so that would be cool too. I don’t really care. We’re going to use this footage as the marketing material for the manual. And the manual, a hundred percent of the net proceeds of both these assets go to 20 causes of which two are in the UK – all veteran and first responder and they’re vetted, and that’s for life in perpetuity. So, it’s pretty cool there. But the hope is that this manual will help people understand [00:32:00] that there’s a way to pick it back up. Because the thing that I’ve said, because I’ve been at a very low point in my life at times, very dark. And what I’ve realized, I don’t have the suicidal ideations, but I also don’t know how dark I was. Like, I don’t know where I was if there was a scale.

But what if – what if I was at my darkest hour at only at 50% of where I could go? And if that were the case, wow, I’m not that bad. And that’s what we have to really start instilling in people that are dark because you don’t know where you’re at, you’re just dark. But I’ve been there, now I got you. Let’s go. So, it’s pretty awesome. And that’s what I’m hoping this manual does is it shows people, you’re only here, let’s get moving. One simple step today. I will not share his name until he goes public about it, but I’m sure he will. I got a dear friend who was not doing well, not doing well at all. When I say not doing well, he was at the end of his road, [00:33:00] and I called him and I said, I want you to be a part of this project. And he was like, “Man, yeah, I’d love to.” And he goes, “It’s crazy. I’m going to a funeral tomorrow for suicide.” I’m like, wow. He was not a military guy. And two weeks later he says, “Man, I’m sitting here, and I should be the happiest of my life because he’s got a sane life. And he is like, I don’t want to live anymore, kind of. I’m like, geez, that was a text. I’m like, I called him, and I was like, “Here dude, I just need you to go for me right now. Get up off your and walk or run a mile. That’s all I need you to do right now. Just do that and then call me back.” And he did.

Of course he is competitive, so he thinks he did like 1.3, but he calls it kilometers. Anyway, he gets done, he takes me picture of smiling and then he calls me, he is like, I feel good. I was like, why do you feel good? I I did it. I was like, really? That’s what it is? And he is like, well what is it? I was like, I don’t know. Maybe it is that you completed something. Maybe it is that you moved. [00:34:00] Maybe it’s that you have a friend who cares about you. Maybe it’s combination, all that – I don’t know. But what I wanted you to do is show you still got it. Now we’re going to do that again tomorrow. We’re going to keep doing that until you forgot about the pain that you just had.

Because this is just like an addict. There’s a point when an addict is so sober that they will never go back to that place. That’s what we got to do with this post-traumatic stress and this traumatic brain injury stuff. And he ran two marathons during this event, and he’s never run a half marathon in his life. He is fit as all get out now. He’s better than me and he is the happiest he said he’s ever been in his life. So, if we can do that just through the project, what if we take that information and put it in a manual? Imagine how many people we can help. So, hopefully that answers your question, in a very long and drawn-out way. But I know lawyers like the whole thing of like… [00:35:00]

Brad: I’m not like that.

Michael: He’s one of the non-lawyers.

Brad: He snuck in here. Security. Other questions for Birdman?

Birdman: I’ll make my answers shorter.

Brad: Oh, we got one up here. We got a Marine now. Oh no!

Audience Member: It’ll be a simple question since we’re a Marine. Okay, so 10 years ago there was a ton of, you mentioned it earlier, there was just tons of people that were trying to start nonprofits and be supportive. I’m just curious kind of do you see as we’re moving past kind of people that were heavily involved and it’s moving out of the public consciousness, you know, Iraq and Afghanistan. So, do you see less people interested? Is that a good thing that there’s not so many new nonprofits starting? Just curious kind of what you see in the public realm and what do you see as far as people being involved in interest.

Birdman: So, I see a couple things. [00:36:00] I see that we have charity saturation. There’s too many causes. There’s too many duplications, and everybody’s asking the same pools and so there’s donor fatigue. It doesn’t really matter where the economy is. People are getting hammered. When I started getting emails from causes saying, “Hey, you want to support?” I’m like, “I run a charity, which means I’m not rich, okay.” Really? It’s interesting, so this just creeps up on everybody. I don’t think that it’s lost in the American public. I think it’s great that the wars have died off where I don’t even think they consider them war still, really cold conflicts or something, which is crazy. But that’s great. The charities that are really doing the work are sustaining and will help people. But I truly do believe that they got to work together.

And there’s this idea that these organizations that can help their patients on their own in silo. There are great organizations that do work with other charities, but there’s a lot of them that just stay siloed. [00:37:00] Like, I want to do my thing and I don’t like that. So, if you’re going to create something that’s a cause, it better be different from everything else. Completely different. Or do not create one, just start helping a charity that does it already and make them better. That’s the simplest way. I don’t know. We’ll see come election time what happens with the economy and charities, so that’ll be interesting. I hope, I mean, economically right now it’s not the greatest for fundraising, but hopefully we’ll see it change.

Brad: We have time for one more question if we have one. If not, for those listening to us on our YouTube or listening to us on the podcast, we will have links to both of Birdman’s non-profits and to 7X if you want to learn more about it. But Michael, I think it’s time to say goodbye to the other Birdman.

Michael: Yes. The real Birdman, thank you so much for joining us today. And just give a round of applause for Birdman. [00:38:00]

Brad: Well, audience members, we have one more show next Wednesday. We’re going to actually end bringing on series regular, Jay Reyero, who will help bridge the building and the operational season, so thanks again for joining us. Thanks again for joining us today. And remember, if you like this episode, please subscribe, make sure to give us a five-star rating and share with your friends.

Michael: You can also sign up for the ByrdAdatto newsletter by going to our website at

Outro: ByrdAdatto is providing this podcast as a public service. This podcast is for educational purposes only. This podcast does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by ByrdAdatto. The views expressed by guests are their own, and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Please consult with an attorney on your legal issues. [00:39:00]

ByrdAdatto founding partner Michael Byrd

Michael S. Byrd

ByrdAdatto Founding Partner Bradford E. Adatto

Bradford E. Adatto

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