Thumbnail: Living A Mindful Desert Island Life; Jason Barnard

Jason Barnard is the CEO of Kalicube, a software company that leverages Google to create future-proof brand-focused digital strategies for businesses. Jason has been touted as the one person Google says has as much insight into their knowledge algorithms as their own insiders. Jason is known as The Brand SERP Guy, a digital marketing consultant who specializes in Brand SERP optimization.

Jason also spent 8 years as a Punk-Folk Musician and 10 years as a blue dog in a cartoon TV series for kids produced by ITV International and airing in 15 countries. On today’s episode, Jason discusses the benefits of living a mindful, desert island life.

Welcoming Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) to the Mindfulness Mode Podcast

[00:00:00] Bruce Langford: Calm, focus, happiness. Hey, Mindful Tribe, we’re here today and we’re going to talk about Google. We’re going to talk about CEO, about getting found. Let me try that again. It would be SEO. Okay, let me try this again. Okay. 

[00:00:24] Bruce Langford: Hey, Mindful Tribe, welcome to the show. Today we’re going to talk about Google. We’re going to talk about SEO, getting found online. We’re going to talk about those kinds of business things, but we’re also going to talk about, as usual, mindfulness. We’re going to talk about music and how that’s part of mindfulness. But I’m here with a really interesting and fun guest. I’m here with Jason Barnard. Jason, are you in mindfulness mode today? 

[00:00:52] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I wasn’t, but since I started talking to you, I am.

What Does Mindfulness Mean to Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)? 

[00:00:56] Bruce Langford: That’s good to know. We’ve had a really nice little pre-interview chat. And all of a sudden it’s like, hey, we better hit record because this is all good stuff. And it’s so great to talk to you and to learn a little bit about you. Well, let’s start with this. What does mindfulness mean to you, Jason? 

[00:01:15] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I was looking at that question earlier on and thinking about all the different things that come to mind when I think about mindfulness. And we were just talking about music, and I’d like to dig into that a little bit because it’s an interesting concept and interesting thing that I hadn’t really thought about in terms of why I play music and how I play music.

[00:01:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But generally speaking, I look at it as being hyper aware of what’s actually happening in the moment and hyper aware of the people around you and how they feel. And I’m actually told that I tend to do that too much. I think about too much about how other people are experiencing what’s going on, and I obviously have no idea. So, one thing I need to do to be more mindful is to be mindful of the fact that I don’t know what other people are thinking, how other people are feeling.

The Experiences of Jason Barnard (The Brand SEP Guy) as a Professional Punk Folk Musician

[00:02:06] Bruce Langford: That’s true. We can’t assume. That’s for sure. Well, let’s talk about music. You’ve done music for a long time. Tell us about your experience being a musician.

[00:02:16] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I was a punk folk double bass player in France, where I live now. I moved from the UK and joined a band and became a professional punk folk musician. And we made a very bad living, but we still made a living. And I actually at the time thought that I wasn’t really a musician. I was just playing for the show. I wanted to be on stage, and I wanted to make people happy, and I wanted that experience. 

[00:02:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And when you are playing a gig, you are really in the moment of what you are doing and how it affects other people. And it turns out I’m actually quite a good musician, but at the time, I was simply there for the show and the experience of seeing a crowd of people enjoying what we were doing and taking them on a journey with us, with our music.

How Does Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Cope-Up With Performing in Front of Big Crowds? 

[00:03:10] Bruce Langford: Right. That’s fascinating. Did you have a tough time at first when you got in front of big crowds on the stage? Did you feel nervousness? How did you deal with that experience? 

[00:03:25] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That’s an interesting question. So, I talked to the drummer, who is a seriously very, very, very, very good drummer. And he would feel sick before a concert and feel so nervous that he would feel sick. I was going, you’ve got no reason to feel nervous, you’re so good. And he said, but if I don’t feel nervous, I can’t play, that’s part of my makeup in terms of how I got on stage.

[00:03:47] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I never felt nervous. And I don’t know whether it’s because it’s a natural place for me to be or a natural thing for me to be doing, or because we played a lot in the street before I got on to the bigger stages. And playing in the street is actually more stressful because you have to give a real show, because you have to get people to stop when they’re going about their busy lives. So, playing in the street was actually more difficult than playing in front of 5,000 people at one point.

More of Jason Barnard’s Experiences as a Musician Playing at a Garage Party

[00:04:17] Bruce Langford: And now, today, you still have a band, you still perform, you still practice. And if you don’t get a performance to play, what do you do then? You told me in the pre-interview chat. 

[00:04:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. We used to call it the garage party, in French, la fete de garage. And I moved out of the flat that had the garage. We used to fill the garage up with our friends, and it got up to 200 people in the end, about three years ago before COVID. And I remember very, very clearly the very last garage party at the end of 2018. We had 200 people in the garage. I was playing music with Hugo in a band called Barcoustic, and I saw people dancing with a smile up to here, just so happy. 

[00:05:06] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And for me, that was a moment that’s completely stuck in my mind, and that was a moment where I would say I was mindful. In the middle of this massive party, with people jumping up and down whilst playing music, this snapshot of giving people that pleasure, bringing them together to listen to the music.

[00:05:25] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And what was lovely as well is that in the village where we are, which is about 5,000 people, there were lots of clans of people who don’t really mix with each other. And yet we managed to get five or six different clans all together. And I felt hugely proud and happy to have been able to welcome these people who never usually talk to each other, even though they see each other in the street once a week.

[00:05:52] Bruce Langford: I take it you’re an extrovert. 

[00:05:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I tend to be quite extroverted and quite annoying, I think, as well. Now I’ve got a terrace, so we can’t do it quite as big a party, but it’s a terrace party. And last time, we had about 60 people.

Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) on Being Mindful of His Neighbours When Having a Party 

[00:06:07] Bruce Langford: Right. Sounds like so much fun. Does anything ever turn bad or nasty or you get neighbour complaints or anything like that?

[00:06:16] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): We had some once. But generally speaking, I am mindful of the neighbours. And we don’t play too late, we don’t play too loud. Actually, I had somebody who came up to me at the party and said, turn the music up. 

[00:06:30] Bruce Langford: Turn it up.

[00:06:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. It’s already loud enough. And he said, but if you just turn it up, turn it up, turn it up, wait till they call the police, and then you know what the limit is. I’m going, why would I do that? The music is perfectly loud as it is. Everybody is having a good time. Everyone can hear it. And his theory was just that if you push people to their limits, you find where the limits are, then you know how far you can go. And I didn’t get on board with that.

[00:06:55] Bruce Langford: Not your philosophy, right?

[00:06:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No, not at all. And we actually had a neighbour who leaned out the window of the first party we did in this new place. And they said, oh, music. And they looked happy. So, I said to them, come on down and join the party. And they said, we haven’t got a babysitter, but next time definitely. And then shut the window. And that was it. And they’re invited to the next party.

Jason Barnard’s Life on the Road as a Professional Musician 

[00:07:20] Bruce Langford: That’s cool. That’s really fun. Most musicians who have done as much playing as you have some really, really interesting stories about being on the road and doing all this. Do you have any stories that pop into your head that might be somehow related to mindfulness?

[00:07:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I think being in the van is one of the things that people don’t think about. Because if you see a band, you see them play on stage. Let’s say we’re in front of 500 people, lots of people dancing around, everyone’s having a party. And then you don’t think that yesterday we were in a completely different town, and we’ve just driven 5 or 600 kilometers set up the equipment, had dinner, and now we’re playing a gig. Then we’ll have a party, sleep for four or five hours, get up, get in the van and drive another 5 or 600 kilometers. 

[00:08:12] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And so, every day you are driving 500 kilometers, let’s say. And in a year, we would drive over a hundred thousand kilometers. You have to learn to sit in the van and be very, very, very bored. And so, it gives you a great deal of time to think.

A Depressive State Experienced by Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) When He Was in Mauritius 

[00:08:30] Bruce Langford: Yeah. And do you meditate? Is that part of your life? 

[00:08:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No. I’ve been told or somebody had suggested to me that it would be very, very good for me, but I find it very difficult to stop my mind twirling. But one of the things that I did learn was that I was in Mauritius and had some problems and fell into a quite serious clinical depression.

[00:09:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And one of the things that happened was that my mind would just race and go round in circles and go down these terrible rabbit holes, and I couldn’t or felt I couldn’t pull it back. And one of the things that I learned, and it might be called meditation but I wouldn’t classify it as such, was to learn to stop it. And it was really interesting because your mind starts racing down the hole. You stop it for a millisecond, and it comes back to the start, and then it starts again. 

[00:09:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I remember thinking, this is, I’m never going to be able to stop it because it only stops for a millisecond and it isn’t enough. But little by little, you stop it for a tiny bit longer. And then after a while, you managed to stop it for, let’s say, a minute. And then that’s when you can start to recover. So, for me, the mindfulness was being aware that my brain was running away with itself and pulling it back systematically over a period of three or four months.

How Did Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Overcome His Depressing Experience?

[00:10:03] Bruce Langford: So, that depressive state, did that really only happen one time to you or is that something that you experienced from time to time? 

[00:10:11] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s happened very, very seriously once, and it’s come back to haunt me twice more. But one of the interesting things, I think, is once you’ve been right down to the bottom of that hole, you know where it is. And it makes it easier for you to understand that it isn’t something that should control your life. It isn’t something should dominate you, but it is something that you need to accept to a certain extent. And from my perspective, knowing where the bottom was for me means that I can stay away from it now.

[00:10:57] Bruce Langford: Yeah. And what’s your first move? Do you go towards music and think, this is the way I’m feeling, but now I’m just going to play some music or something like that?

Even if the rest of the day is pretty terrible, every day you’ve got something that you can celebrate or be joyful about.

Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)

[00:11:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I would love to say yes, but it isn’t. Music does help, but it’s hugely difficult for me to take action. The first thing I need to do is do small actions. So, when I was in the terrible state in Mauritius, it was doing one thing. And in French, we would say celebrer, which literally means to celebrate, but it doesn’t mean jump up and down, but be proud of the fact that you’ve done something. And even if the rest of the day is pretty terrible, every day you’ve got something that you can celebrate or be joyful about or be proud or confident or happy or positive about. 

[00:11:56] Bruce Langford: And music really helps us to do that a lot of times, but music can help us reach all the different emotions at times too, can it? 

[00:12:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I find singing is the number one best thing for that, and singing at the top of my lungs. I’ve got quite a deep voice, and I can sing in tune. I’m a singer, so I can sing. And that does immediately bring positive emotion, as long as you’re not seeing terrible blues songs. Not terrible as in bad, but some depressing blues songs. 

[00:12:30] Bruce Langford: Depressing, discouraging, yes. 

[00:12:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But I wrote some songs for kids, so one thing I did was sing those to myself.

Boowa and Kwala: A Cartoon TV Series Made by Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) and His Ex-Wife

[00:12:37] Bruce Langford: Did you ever make an album of songs for kids?

[00:12:41] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, I made two. After the punk folk music career, I then had a cartoon career where I was a blue dog in a cartoon and my ex-wife is a yellow koala.

[00:12:52] Bruce Langford: Yeah. A lot of people have probably seen that. Tell us about that. 

[00:12:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Boowa and Kwala, big blue dog, little yellow koala. And it was games and songs and animations and a TV series and two music albums. And I wrote 96 songs for kids, some of which are rather good and some of which are fairly appalling, as you would expect. But they all have one thing in common is that they’re very cheerful. And I think by nature, deep down, that’s exactly what I am and who I am. And the fact of being able to sing them and that they mean something to me was usually helpful.

[00:13:37] Bruce Langford: And so, am I right that series is called In the Noughties? 

[00:13:42] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No, no, no, that’s me trying to be funny. It’s called Boowa and Kwala.

[00:13:46] Bruce Langford: That’s you being funny. Okay, tell me more then. The series is called what?

[00:13:50] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Boowa and Kwala. 

[00:13:53] Bruce Langford: Okay. I see. And can we find that on YouTube or something?

[00:13:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, there are a few episodes on YouTube. There are lots of the songs on YouTube. So, if you just search Boowa and Kwala, you’ll find songs of Boowa and Kwaala and animations. And it’s really, really sweet and really lovely. And I think it brought positive energy to the world, which is something I’m hugely proud of.

Jason Barnard’s Island Life While Making the Cartoon TV Series

[00:14:27] Bruce Langford: Well, you spent 12 years on a desert island. Now mind you, it’s not a tiny desert island. But tell us about that experience and what it did for you. 

[00:14:38] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Well, that was making the blue dog cartoon. 

[00:14:40] Bruce Langford: That’s when you made that. Okay.

[00:14:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It was in 2000 when everyone was saying you can go anywhere in the world and run an internet company. And we just spun the globe and picked Mauritius, which is a tropical island off the coast of Madagascar. So, it’s all beaches all the way around with palm trees and lovely little houses and delightful, cheerful, welcoming people, some really good foods, some really great times. But 12 years on a tropical island got a bit boring, I have to say.

[00:15:11] Bruce Langford: But was it mindful? 

[00:15:15] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It was actually, yes. I think it was a combination of it’s sunny almost all the time. The people are incredibly kind and generous, and we were making cartoons for kids. And we brought up our daughter in that atmosphere, and it was an atmosphere for most of the 12 years of calm and idyllic existence whilst producing an immense amount of great content for kids. So, it was a strange combination of feeling relaxed, feeling happy, and creating vast amounts of content, working incredibly hard, but never really feeling the strain.

What Did Their Island Life Do to Jason Barnard’s Daughter as a Person Growing up in That Environment? 

[00:16:02] Bruce Langford: That’s incredible. What do you think that did for your daughter, what did it do for her as a person as she grew up in that environment?

[00:16:10] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I don’t think she could have wished for a better childhood, sunny all year round, kind and gentle people, as I said. She was naturally very cheerful. We were very present as parents. And she helped us with the cartoon. So she was part of our work. And we were also a great part of her life because there were lots of things going on and because we had the time. 

[00:16:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): For some reason, we had immense amount of time. And I seem to remember people telling me after your childhood, when you think you have or you feel you have immense amounts of time so much that you get very bored, that never happens again. And now I think about it and now you ask about it, that time in Mauritius did feel like I had that childhood time back. 

[00:17:00] Bruce Langford: Yeah. That sounds like an amazing existence, and for so long. Some people maybe go to a place like that for one or two years, but you were there for 12 years. 

[00:17:12] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. And as you said, for my daughter, that was her whole childhood. We got there when she was 3, and we left when she was 15. And so, she had that perfect period of time from 3, when you start to understand the world around you, to 15, when you don’t want to be stuck on a desert island and you want to be going out with friends in Paris or in Nimes in the South of France. Then she got the perfect timing, and it worked out beautifully from that perspective. So, she then got back to Europe and got the pleasures of a busy city life, having made the most of a tropical island for 12, 13 years.

Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) on Working on SEO to Help People Get Found on Google 

[00:17:50] Bruce Langford: Well, now you work with Google, or at least you work on SEO to help people get found on Google. And it sounds like you have a really interesting approach, and you tell people to think of Google as a child. Tell us about that. 

[00:18:07] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Right. Well, if you look at what Google is trying to do, it’s trying to satisfy its users when its users ask it a question or explain a problem. So, if you’re searching on Google, you’re looking to the solution for a problem or the answer to a question. And in order to answer that question, it needs to understand who has the answer. So, we need to educate it that we have the answer.

If you want Google the Child to send its users to you as the solution to their problem or the answer to their question, you need to educate it.

Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)

[00:18:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So from Google’s perspective, it’s a hungry child or a child hungry for knowledge rather, who wants to understand everything about you. And if you want Google the child to send its users to you as the solution to their problem or the answer to their question, you need to educate it about what you can provide as an answer, why you are a credible solution, and indicate to it that you have the content or the information that the person is looking for.

The Definition of a SERP and a Brand SERP According to Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)

[00:19:06] Bruce Langford: Right. And you’re known as The Brand SERP Guy. Now, some of my listeners may not know what SERP is. You can tell us. 

[00:19:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Yeah. SERP is search engine results page. So, it’s the page you see on Google when you search. And a Brand SERP is the search engine results page for your brand name or your personal name. So, it’s like your Google Business Card. And there, educating Google really comes into its own. Because there, what you’re trying to do is educate Google what content, what information is interesting and pertinent and helpful to your audience so that it can present you to your audience when they google your name in the best possible light.

As The Brand SERP Guy, What Is Jason Barnard’s First Step and Approach in Helping His Clients?

[00:19:54] Bruce Langford: So, when you work with a business to get found online this way, what are some of the first things you do? What’s your approach? 

[00:20:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): The first thing we do is look at their digital footprint. We collect all of the information about them that’s out all around on the web, especially their social profiles, their website, and articles they might have published. And for a company, articles about the company, review platforms, so on and so forth, so that we have an idea of what a mess they’ve made of it, because everybody has made a mess of their digital footprint.

[00:20:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And we clean that up, which means that what we do is clarify for this child that is Google what it is it needs to understand about the person or the company. And then, of course, we work on the website to make sure that the website is incredibly clear about who they are, what they do, and which audience they serve, and why indeed Google should choose them, why they’re a credible solution for the user in the wider sense of SEO. 

[00:20:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But when focusing on the Brand SERP, that search engine results page for your brand name or your personal name, we’re simply trying to get Google to represent you the way you intend to be represented, so your brand narrative and your brand message is presented by Google in the way that you wish.

Is Being The Brand SERP Guy as Fun as Playing a Cartoon Character for Jason Barnard? 

[00:21:13] Bruce Langford: So, is this as much fun for you as playing a character, a cartoon character in a TV show? 

[00:21:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Strangely enough, yes, it is. I loved being in a band, standing on stage, playing the double bass, punk folk, absolutely brilliant. I loved being a blue dog. That was so much fun. And both of those are things that I would do again if I had the opportunity. But working on Google since I figured out that if we treat it like a child, it becomes an educational exercise and I become the teacher and I can teach this child, I find it infinitely fascinating how we can place information so this child understands and that it’s confidence in its understanding.

[00:21:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And trying to figure that out is it’s like music, in fact. Is it something that you might be very good at, but you will never fully master because the goalposts are constantly moving? And with music, however good you get, you can keep getting better and you can keep finding new depths to it. And I found the same with the blue dog and the yellow koala. And that’s the similarity. Those are the three things that I know I will always want to do: play double bass and sing, be a blue dog in a cartoon or make videos, and figure out how to educate Google about who we are, what we do, and which audience we serve. 

[00:22:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And one of the things or the thing I like the most about it is I have a database of Brand SERPs and data from Google of about a billion data points. And I dig into the data and try and figure out how it all fits together. So, it’s trying to figure out how this child’s brain works, how this machine functions. That’s hugely interesting, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.

Does Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Continue to Travel a Lot After the COVID Pandemic? 

[00:23:03] Bruce Langford: Right. That’s very interesting. Well, before COVID, I know that you traveled a lot, you spoke at a lot of conferences, and you got around all over the world. Has that resumed now? 

[00:23:15] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, not really, no. I’ve slowed down on that. I was traveling full time. I was a digital nomad for two years. And that was hugely fun. And then COVID hit. And what was interesting is that COVID hit, I had to stop, and I realised a couple of months later I was about to go bankrupt, because I was on my own making money as a consultant. I didn’t have Kalicube as a company at the time. Although Kalicube exists since 2015, I wasn’t working on it actively. I was just maintaining it, and I was working for clients directly as a consultant. And so, COVID saved my company, which is great. So, it’s a positive thing from COVID. 

[00:23:59] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It also gave me the opportunity because I didn’t have a home. I asked my daughter if I could live with her, so I lived with her for a year and a half, as she’s grown up. And so, as a father living with your grown up daughter and actually getting on incredibly well together in her flat, sleeping behind the sofa for a year and a half was a huge honour and a great pleasure for me. And she enjoyed it too. I think it was good for both of us because of the COVID situation. Being on your own would’ve been a very, very difficult, tough time. 

[00:24:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then after COVID, I thought, well, do I really want to go back on the road? And the answer was no. So, I set up a team. And now Kalicube is a 12 person team, and we work incredibly well together. And that’s moving forward really, really nicely. And the other thing I really like about Kalicube is the team.

The Kalicube Team: Being Mindful of Their Roles as an Individual and as a Part of the Team

[00:24:54] Bruce Langford: And is that team local or is it located all over the world? 

[00:24:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Almost all of them are in the Philippines, but they’re scattered all over the Philippines. We’ve been working two years now with the team. We just had a meetup in the Philippines with a couple of days of everybody meeting everybody else for the first time. Everybody is working remotely. And that was absolutely brilliant. It was really, really, really delightful. 

[00:25:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And what we’ve managed to do, I think, the last year and a half especially, but definitely the last six to eight months, is become a real team as opposed to a bunch of people working together. That idea where, if we come back to mindfulness, is everybody being mindful of everybody else’s role, where they fit into the entire picture and what they bring to the edifice, let’s say, that is Kalicube. 

[00:25:53] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I’ve seen, for me at least, it’s become hugely more enjoyable as people take on more responsibility and also work as a whole team. I can feel the whole team moving together towards the goals that we’ve set ourselves. And it really is everybody paying attention to everybody else, caring about the other people, thinking about their needs, thinking about how each person can help the others, whilst also obviously completing and maintaining their responsibilities. I’m super happy with that. And it does make the whole process of Kalicube much, much, much more fun to have a team of people, like-minded people working together properly.

The Story of Why Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Wears a Red Shirt All the Time 

[00:26:45] Bruce Langford: Right. Yeah. And it sounds like it’s a great opportunity for people who really want to have their business have a better profile on Google. I know that your website is Kalicube.com. And I also know that when you traveled, you traveled with a red backpack and you’re wearing a red shirt. What does the colour red mean to you, Jason? 

[00:27:15] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’d love to say it had an incredibly deep meaning, but it doesn’t. It’s actually a very silly story where I was playing on stage and I was wearing a red shirt that somebody had lent me. Underneath the red shirt, I had a blue T-shirt, which is what I generally wear. And it was a joke, and I took the red shirt off and threw it to the person in the crowd. And somebody videoed the entire concert. And I was watching the video and I thought, I look really fun and exciting in the red shirt. And as soon as I take it off, I disappear and I’m suddenly not as interesting on stage. And from that day on, I thought every time I’m on stage, I will always wear a red shirt. 

[00:27:59] Bruce Langford: That’s a great story, and you do seem to have that personality that just fits with the colour red. I will say that. 

[00:28:07] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Yeah. Somebody told me, isn’t red a bit scary for people? Because you are already quite extroverted and overexcited and I go like this a lot and get terribly overexcited, and red just adds to it. And I can’t say. I don’t know really. Once again, I can’t speak for other people. 

[00:28:22] Bruce Langford: Well, for me, it just fits together. It fits. 

[00:28:24] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Brilliant.

The Unfortunate Experience of Being Bullied and How Mindfulness Could Help With That 

[00:28:25] Bruce Langford: Yeah, that’s what I think. Well, I want to ask you about bullying. Do you have a story about bullying where mindfulness would’ve made a difference, either childhood or could be an adult situation, any kind of story that resonates? 

[00:28:41] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Sometimes in personal life but in business as well, I feel that I’ve been bullied by somebody. And it’s more along the lines of manipulation, but manipulation is a kind of bullying. 

[00:28:58] Bruce Langford: Yes, it is. 

[00:28:59] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s psychologically very violent. And it doesn’t seem violent. It seems absolutely fine. It seems like normal behaviour or a normal relationship, but I feel bullied. And if I am mindful of the fact that I don’t want to do what they’re pushing me to do and can just say, well, actually no, this is what I need, this is what I want, I would be much better off. So, it’s something I’m trying to learn to do. But I think for all of us, once you’re at my age at least, you’re not going to change fundamentally.

Confucius From The Heart by Yu Dan: A Book That Greatly Helped Jason Barnard’s Mindfulness

[00:29:38] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And also, I read this book. You’ve had in your notes, recommend a book.

[00:29:45] Bruce Langford: Yeah, for sure. 

[00:29:47] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And Confucius From The Heart is a book that I read that helped me a great deal with that, the Confucius in this book at least. So, the way they’re talking about it is you let people into your existence, and it’s up to you whether you let them in or not. And that kind of person who I would say is bullying through manipulation, I can have the choice of just closing the door and saying, well, you’re not coming into my life. And that’s something hugely important of being mindful of the fact that they’re trying to invade a space that you don’t want them in and that you have the right to say no. 

[00:30:28] Bruce Langford: Yeah. Jason, who’s the author of that book? 

[00:30:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yu Dan. 

[00:30:35] Bruce Langford: Okay. And is it called Confucius From The Heart? Yeah, it is. Confucius From The Heart, Yu Dan. I’ve not read this book. It looks really interesting.

Look at the things that you can change and do your utmost to change them to what you want them to be, and look at the things that you can’t change and accept them.

Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)

[00:30:47] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. It was hugely helpful to me. Several things, that story about letting people in and you have the choice of whether you let them in or not. And also, look at the things that you can change and do your utmost to change them to what you want them to be, and look at the things that you can’t change and accept them. And that helped me in my most difficult time, towards the end at Mauritius, to learn to identify things that I can’t control and accept them and work with them in my life, even though I don’t necessarily want them. 

[00:31:32] Bruce Langford: Yeah. Good advice. This sounds like a very interesting book. I’ll look it up myself, and I’d like to read it because I haven’t had anybody recommend that book before.

[00:31:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Yeah. It’s a bit hyperbolic, but it saved my life.

[00:31:49] Bruce Langford: Wow. Well, that’s quite a statement. It saved your life. Wow. That’s a very powerful book. 

[00:31:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I don’t know if it’s powerful for everybody, but it was exactly the book I needed at exactly the time I needed it. And it gave me that patience and acceptance to get through a very difficult time for myself. So, I’m not saying to anybody this is going to change your life, but I am saying it saved mine.

Who Is the One Person That Has Been a Powerful Mindfulness Influence on Jason Barnard’s Life? 

[00:32:19] Bruce Langford: Yes, for sure. Jason, as we move forward in the interview, I want to ask you five quick answer questions. So, just 30-second answers are perfect. The first one is this, who is one person who has been a powerful mindfulness influence in your life?

[00:32:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’ve got no idea. That’s probably would be Boowa, but that’s maybe cheating because it’s me. But actually, Boowa is a creation of both me and my wife, or my ex-wife. So, Boowa’s personality was an incredible calming influence on me, and Boowa’s personality rubbed off on me. And Boowa is a deeply, deeply kind, generous, thoughtful, and mindful character. And I think I came out of the Boowa and Kwala experience more mindful, more thoughtful, and more caring. 

[00:33:11] Bruce Langford: Well, that makes sense. It really does.

[00:33:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It does, doesn’t it? I also went a bit mad because I thought I was Boowa the blue dog, and that was a bit strange, but yeah. 

[00:33:20] Bruce Langford: Right. Sure. Well, I can imagine after doing that many episodes that you would start to feel like that.

[00:33:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah.

How Did Mindfulness Help Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Deal With His Emotions? 

[00:33:27] Bruce Langford: Yeah. My second question is about emotions and how mindfulness has helped you to deal with your emotions. 

[00:33:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Being aware that you can’t change something and learning to accept it reduces massively frustration for me. So, one thing that I got out of my experience in Mauritius and my depression was that frustration in my life reduced significantly afterwards because I could accept that things move at the speed they move at. If I can’t change that speed, then I need to accept that speed. If something I don’t appreciate or don’t want in my life are happening, if I can’t change it, I need to accept it. And it reduces stress and reduces frustration. And it’s been life changing.

Jason Barnard’s Thoughts on Breathing and Its Effect on the Level of Mindfulness in His Life

[00:34:26] Bruce Langford: Right. Yeah. Let’s talk about breathing. Is there a thought that you can share with us about breathing and how maybe that’s had an effect on the level of mindfulness in your life? 

[00:34:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No. The only time I ever focus on my own breathing is when I’m singing. And what I’ve learned from singing is that I got quite powerful lungs, so I can actually get a lot of air in and sing quite a lot of time without taking another breath. So, one of the things that I do when I’m singing, I’m playing the double bass, which is a very energetic instrument, is learn to breathe incredibly deeply. And that maybe adds to the pleasure of playing the music because I would imagine I’m getting huge hits of oxygen every time I do that.

[00:35:16] Bruce Langford: I’m sure you are. Yeah. Well, my next two questions were going to be about a book, which you’ve already talked about. 

[00:35:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’m sorry.

What App Can Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Recommend That’s Related to Mindfulness? 

[00:35:24] Bruce Langford: No, no, no, don’t be sorry at all. It’s perfectly fine. And an app, is there any app that you want to mention that’s related to mindfulness? 

[00:35:35] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No, I don’t actually use much in the way of apps. I spend an awful lot of time listening to music, as you would expect. So, I’m not particularly recommending Spotify over anybody else. I just happen to have Spotify. And one of the things I love about the new world where you access streaming music is that I can explore. And somebody mentions an artist, and you can listen to it.

[00:36:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I remember as a kid having to save up to buy music albums, and if you got it wrong, you were hugely frustrated and disappointed. Unfortunately, at that time, I hadn’t read Confucius, so I was still frustrated and annoyed at this kind of thing. And yeah, I love the aspect of exploring. So, it’s not necessarily mindful, but it’s opening my mind to things that I perhaps wouldn’t otherwise be hearing.

[00:36:30] Bruce Langford: Yeah. Well, it’s pretty incredible that we live in a world where you can just, in a moment, search for any music, any musician, and hear what they sound like right away. Yeah, that’s amazing. 

[00:36:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It is, yeah.

Final Words of Advice From Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) 

[00:36:44] Bruce Langford: Yeah. Well, as we wrap up the interview, Jason, I just want to ask you if you have any final words of advice. Because boy, you’ve had a lot of fascinating experiences and you’re a real amazing person to talk to. Do you have any final words of advice for our Mindful Tribe listeners? 

[00:37:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I think within the Kalicube team, we talk a lot about moving forward step by step and not getting overwhelmed. I tend to want to do everything immediately. That’s my nature, and that can stress other people out. And what we now talk about a great deal is let’s move forward step by step with our own projects, make sure our projects all fit into the overall puzzle of what we’re trying to achieve at Kalicube. 

[00:37:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Everybody pulls their way. Everyone moves forwards. And there is no point in getting annoyed with somebody because they’re not moving as fast as you would like. You need to better encourage them to move forward and help them to move forward. 

[00:37:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, yeah, I’m enjoying team life. And it’s really, really delightful because it’s the first time in my life that I feel the team in this way. And yet, when I’m in a music group, I’m in a team. When I was doing Boowa and Kwala, it was a team with my ex-wife, my daughter, and the people we were working on the animations for. And this is the first time where I’ve really explicitly thought I’m going to build a team, as opposed to a team coming together naturally.

Where Did the Name Kalicube Come From and What Does It Mean?

[00:38:24] Bruce Langford: Well, it’s really fascinating to talk to you, and I want to ask you one final question before we say goodbye. And that is, where did you get the name Kalicube? Where did you get that name? 

[00:38:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): There was a lot of thought that went into that, a lot of ideas and thinking. And the idea at the end of the day is Kali, quality, cube, solid. And the other thing is I’m in France, and qualite and cube are quality and cube. So, it’s a name that works in both languages. It’s also unique, which makes it easier for branding. And then we created this falcon logo with lots of colour. And the idea is the quality is solid with the cube, and the falcon soars and flies free as a bird with your data and our ideas to educate this child that is Google, or something along those lines. I’m not quite sure where I was going with that. 

[00:39:33] Bruce Langford: It’s been really awesome to talk to you, Jason. Thank you so much for being on Mindfulness Mode. 

[00:39:39] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That was absolutely brilliant, Bruce. Thank you so much. 

[00:39:41] Bruce Langford: You’re welcome. Bye now. 

[00:39:42] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Bye bye.

For More Information About Mindfulness Mode and What Can It Help You With, You Can Contact Bruce Langford 

[00:39:44] Bruce Langford: Hey, Mindful Tribe, are you experiencing anxiety? Are you experiencing stress and tension and feeling as though it’s just difficult to move on? That describes the clients I work with, clients who have had an awful lot of problem with anxiety and stress and maybe some habits that are holding them back. And through hypnosis, we get to the bottom of it. We get right in there, and we talk about it. But with hypnosis, we get right into what is causing some of this in your subconscious mind.

[00:40:26] Bruce Langford: Because your subconscious mind represents about 90 to 95% of your thoughts, and you don’t even realise what those thoughts are much of the time. And through hypnosis, we can get in there and we can work at this. It doesn’t mean we’re going to change what’s going on in your subconscious mind. It means we’re going to become more aware of it and then deal with it and think of it differently in the conscious mind. 

[00:40:56] Bruce Langford: And I am so happy to have helped so many people with their anxiety through hypnosis and coaching, and you could be the next person. If you’re listening to this episode and you would like to let go of some of this anxiety, send me an email, [email protected], put coaching session in the subject line, coaching session, send it to [email protected]

[00:41:31] Bruce Langford: And I would love to have you on a Zoom call for a free session, where we can talk about what’s going on and what’s happening and how can I help you. Because that’s one thing I truly know about myself is that I really love helping other people, and I would love to help you. So, thanks for listening. Take what we’ve learned today to reach new heights of calm, focus, and happiness. Stay in the mode.

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