Oct. 12, 2022

Code Switching: The Benefits & Drawbacks with Chris Montero

Code Switching: The Benefits & Drawbacks with Chris Montero

Have you heard of code switching? For some, it's a privilege they don't have to think about. For others, it's a notion all-too-conscious that informs and impacts their each and every day.

Join Bagel and Chris for this vibrant, provocative conversation where they unpack the benefits and drawbacks of code switching, explore values-informed decision making, and discuss Chris' journey to launching his party rental business in Wilmington, NC.

Arepas optional...

Have a comment or suggestion for the show? Leave us a voice message or email us at contact@liveyourvalues.co

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[00:00:00] Chris Montero: And then the second piece of code switching is in the now. Is in the present. Like it's in like the environment. It's like you being able to provide a customer experience that to them, or like you know l this person probably doesn't know a lot about my Jewish tradition. Like I could see that they embrace it and like this really hit home. I'm going to tell my friends that these guys actually care 

[00:00:20] Bagel: Hey, it's Bagel here. If you can't tell, I am pumped up today because I get to share one of the most thrilling, inspiring, and entertaining conversations I've had with you. Today's guest, Chris Montero, is a former colleague, fierce racketball competitor, and long time friend. In this episode, Chris joins me for a vibrant, provocative interview where we unpack the benefits and drawbacks of code switching, explore values informed decision making, and discuss Chris's journey to launching his party rental business in Wilmington, North Carolina.

You can really get the sense of Chris's passion and zest for life, his family, his culture, and ambition to do good while earning a living. 

Note that this episode was recorded in summer of 2021, so you may hear a few references to things from the past like the Tokyo Olympics.

I can't wait for you to hear it. So let's dive right into season two, episode two with Chris Montero.

[00:01:29] Bagel: I will just say that doing this is my first one, like I said, in a while. But doing the 15 plus interviews or whatever it was last year, the most fun is just being able to get to hang out with someone that I know really well that I probably haven't seen in a long time and just get to get caught up on their life and what's going on.

[00:01:48] Chris Montero: You know, it's, it's been a while, but. 

[00:01:51] Bagel: It has. 

[00:01:52] Chris Montero: I am happy to reconnect and to share a little bit of my story with the world. Born in another country, had to come to this country at 15, learn a language, learn really culturally. I thought I landed in Miami, right. So it's like, oh cool. It's like really close to the United States. 

That's a joke. You know, it ain't freaking close to the United States. If you don't speak the language in Miami, even your old, Latinx peers, people who speak Spanish a lot, like me, you're over there with the with fresh off the boat guys. Los Balseros. And I felt, you know, for the first time kind of like going from my place that I fit into to a place where I was an outcast. It was pretty wild.

So it's quite a journey and I'm happy. And I'm so happy that I get to tell a little bit of my story.

[00:02:42] Bagel: Yeah, I am so honored and excited that you get to share some of your story with us, Chris. It's been a while since we've like, actually I feel like really hung out. But I remember such good times hanging out in Wilmington. I'll just sort of give a little context here.

So, Chris and I were colleagues working in offices next door to each other. So we're not on the same team, but we worked really close by at a university in North Carolina. Where I was in the career center, C hris was in the Latin American student center. Is that what, what, what was

[00:03:16] Chris Montero: Yeah.

[00:03:17] Bagel: What would you call it?

[00:03:18] Chris Montero: It was "Centro Hisapno," so it was a cultural center. Oddly enough, we connected people through their immigrant experience. So a lot of them didn't speak Spanish, but all of them immigrated into the country or were interested in the immigration experience. So that was the connection. And I had the privilege of working there.

And then with you, I would knock on Mike's door and say, "Hey man, I got my kids need jobs over here. They're like tri lingual. They put it on the resume and I'm like, I don't think they have Capitalize that, it's talent, and you should get paid more for it." So it was, it was a great introduction really,

[00:03:56] Bagel: Yeah, it was fun. I remember. So just because we gottabring the listeners back to the time when we kind of first met and became friends. Yeah, exactly. I will never forget. I'm sure you remember. It was like we had an event we did in the career center and I think it was either about. Networking or kind of putting your best foot forward. It was something about like how to approach networking. It might've even been about like what to wear to an interview or to a job situation. And you had, I remember cause our two offices had some good collaboration. I remember you invited some of your students out to come to this event.

And we were talking and I remember feeling like, oh, this is really cool. Like, I'm getting to know Chris, I'm getting to know some of the students he works with. And I just remember like kind of putting, like putting this like switch together in my head that was like, hold on a second. students actually need to understand this information and they don't actually know it yet.

I was like such in my own world thinking like, oh, I know what I'm supposed to put on my resume. I know like how to approach a job interview. And then you realize, there are a lot of people who were never taught that. Or maybe not taught that in our society that we are we are in now, here in America or in here in a university setting when you're going for a more professional type position.

And I just remember, you starting to plant some of these seeds in my head being like, yeah, you don't understand how impactful these kids learning this thing is. And I don't know. I remember there was something we bonded over at that first event. I can't remember exactly what it was now.I think it was language and them seeing their value, because I think that one of the biggest things for not just students, but just people in general is that if they could only see what we see, right. Because we are a half-glass-full kind of kind of folks. Other folks are just, you know, in their own head and there's anxiety and there's depression and there's the imposter syndrome and all the things that we haven't had a chance to do and to prove ourselves. But for us, we're like, you can do that. 

[00:05:50] Chris Montero: So having you there in that space, I think it meant the world to them and it just reaffirmed them. Like, this is possible. It's scary out there, but you got this and sometimes that's all you need to hear.

[00:06:04] Bagel: Yeah, absolutely. Ifeel like we could go into a lot of the type of work you did there. And I know there's a lot we want to cover and a lot we want to talk about, so I'm going to reel us in, and we're going to like officially kick this off. And I'm going to ask you so to, to let our listeners get to know you just a little bit here, here's the question that comes to mind.

So are you watching any Olympics right now? Since we're right in the thick of 

the Olympics.

[00:06:28] Chris Montero: Yes. I am.

[00:06:29] Bagel What's either your favorite sport to watch in the Olympics, or what's been your favorite moment from this Olympics so far that that you've seen?

[00:06:35] Chris Montero: My girl Yulimar from Venezuela and full disclosure. I am from Caracas, Venezuela. She broke the world record in the long jump. So, I mean, that's been my jam and then Daniel Dhers he's a BMX champion. So he's also from Venezuela. I know, I know it's kinda lame because we don't get to win a lot of gold medals. We get like, two. We're a small country. So those two are like the ones that I'm always very passionate about watching.

[00:06:59] Bagel: Yeah, gotta have a little pride. That's awesome. I actually I didn't hear about those yet. I've been a little bit behind on my recaps. So I'm going to have to go and watch both of those if there's clips from from that. That's awesome.

[00:07:10] Chris Montero: Yeah. We're breaking world records out here. I mean, it's been fun to see for sure.

[00:07:14] Bagel: Yeah, that's great. That's great. I've definitely enjoyed seeing like BMX and skateboarding and stuff like that being added to the Olympics. And just kind of diversifying some of the sports that are some of what we grew up with. And actually seeing them on TV and seeing people compete at that level. that's really cool.

[00:07:31] Bagel: So you mentioned Venezuela, so why don't we start with just, we don't have to hear the whole life story necessarily. I know you've had a lot of experiences. A lot of like very unique experiences, just having gotten to know you over the years. But do you want to give us just a little bit of background about who you are and kind of what has brought you to today, Like where you are today and anything that you feel like is relevant for the context that we're going to talk about with this new position that we're going to explore that you've just started with this new company and some of the topics that we're going to go to.

[00:08:02] Chris Montero: Absolutely. So I'll make a short and sweet. I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. At 15 years old, political climate in my country was one of those where if you stay you're going to have to fight for freedom. Started throwing rocks and you know, your local officials, or you could just get out of the country and start a new life somewhere else.

So luckily for me I'm half Cuban and I ended up in Miami with my Cuban side. So at 15, learned a new language, became part of a different culture. And that kind of propelled meto the next stage of my life. But I'll tell you what - having to pack a suitcase, and fitting your life in a suitcase, that was probably the first time that I felt that there was a life-changing moment in my story. So packed my whole life in a suitcase. And that, that landed me to Miami. I ended up in Argentina doing broadcasting and that opened up a door in Wilmington, North Carolina to work in the radio industry.

I was lucky that I was able to play soccer at a collegiate level. That's actually how I ended up in Wilmington, playing soccer as an athlete for a long time. For those that are into geography, I thought it was Wilmington, Delaware. A lot more people in Wilmington, Delaware, but for those who know Wilmington, North Carolina is very small.

So I came from Caracas at 7 million people, from Miami Dade county and then a very small town. You know it, it was an experience that I had to get accustomed to, but I fell in love with the city for the love of broadcasting. And then Ihad an opportunity to work at a cultural center in a university and got my bachelor's, my master's, got a second master's. And after 13 years working at a public institution I started my own company. Which is a party rental company. So traditional tents, tables, chairs. We do a little bit of event planning. We have inflatables that's our logo, and it's been a ton of fun.

So I get to buyback a little bit of my time, and this is what brought me here.

[00:10:02] Bagel:It's so funny hearing you tell, I don't think I ever heard that part about the Wilmington Delaware thing. Cause you know, I went to school in Delaware, UD. So when I came down to North Carolina, I would always have to like specify "no, I mean the other Wilmington." And then when I'm up there, I always have to tell people, "no, I mean the other Wilmington. The one in North Carolina." Just a little side note Wilmington, North

[00:10:25] Chris Montero: I didn't know that.

[00:10:26] Bagel: more beautiful by the beach, a little more fun place to live. But that's, it's so funny.

So I know you kind of gave the condensed version there. I don't think I realized that you spent time in Argentina in doing radio there. Is that where you were at the radio station? I know you told me about some experiencesin radio is that where you did that primarily?

[00:10:46] Chris Montero: Yeah, primarily did that in A rgentina studied there,got you know, learned through some professional broadcasters in Argentina. A fun fact that Argentina is the first Latin American country to have radio fully incorporated into the country. So with that experience, I was able to work in Wilmington as a DJ host, you know, had a talk show. It was a bilingual radio station, so the concept at that time was unique. And you know, me, an immigrant into the country, a fresh person into Wilmington, North Carolina. Learning about everyone telling me their story, was something that became important to me. To do the work, to try to be a voice for mostly undocumented folks who have worked in rural areas. Who are here on a work visa.

And it's like, I got to see a different side of North Carolina. And that propelled me into higher education and to doing the cultural work. At Centro Hispáno and really to starting my own company that has a unique identity in how we represent other cultures. And that's really what inspired me is being able to have an experience for our customers. That's unique and true to them as well.

[00:11:59] Bagel: I wanna point out the trajectory that Chris shared. He seemingly took steps towards the next thing that made sense in his life at that time. For example, playing soccer growing up, landed him a spot on the team at UNCW. Getting experience on radio in Argentina later opened up opportunities as a bilingual DJ role in Wilmington.

His passion for connecting with folks in his and other cultures led to his decision to take a role at Centra Hispano. I admire his openness and curiosity, leveraging past experiences to find that next meaningful role.

For those who have had a few jobs or projects in their lifetime, can you reflect on and pinpoint how one step led to the next?

It can be helpful to hear others' experiences of how they set themselves up for opportunities and took advantage when they presented themselves. You may have heard this before. Little bit of planned happenstance.


[00:13:01] Bagel: Yeah, that's so awesome. And I'm really excited to hear a little bit more about your business and I know we're going to get to that really, really soon. Especially cause I know you were telling me when you were thinking about this business and now it's like fully operational. So before we dig into that, I think this is a great segue into talking a little bit about values and kind of what your values are as a person.

And you know, I've obviously I've had the privilege to know you for a little while now. And so I can kind of like, you know, sort of guess about certain things. But I'd much rather hear it from you. And I think our audience would love to hear, like, in your own words, what are some of the values that you feel like you live by that are core to you that are important to you? That maybe you've seen sort of as rocks throughout the different jobs and the different things that you've done in your life, through your childhood all the way up to this point.

[00:13:53] Chris Montero: Yeah. I'll probably just break them in three because they are umbrella terms. But it's love, culture, and joy. In family, love and empathy. And in being able to open your eyes and really experience the world from someone else's perspective, but joy in terms of really revolving your entire existence in making sure that you accomplish joy in how people relate to you.

There's a lot of trauma. You turn on the TV, there's a lot of negativity. There is just in every way that you look what sells is not joy. And I think that if we kind of reframe our focus in finding joy for people and for yourself it's a world that I want to be a part of. Which is why I started a company around events and having parties and celebrating and highlighting joy.

And then culture. I'm a nerd in identity. So I did my dissertation, my thesis, sorry not a doctor yet. In identities and the multiple layers of identities, and I could geek you out on that. But also culture through traveling. Through just embracing someone's differences and then ensuring that when they choose PTR and our company, to make sure that they see themselves represented in us as well.

So that's talks about code switching that talks about being aware of your environment and really embracing and celebrating all of that. Even if you don't know a lot about it, that's important to me. So love, culture, and joy.

[00:15:25] Bagel: Yeah, that's so great. And I can't wait to dig into some of these a little bit more and see how they sort of tie into the work that you're doing now. Just one more question to dig in on the values, and then we can kind of transition into PTR is the name of the company. Right. So I want to know a little more about it. With your values in love, culture and joy, have you seen examples of where sort of upholding those values in the past or in the current business that you have now have really like helped you succeed or have helped you kind of like live out your purpose in a sense? And on the other side of that too, have you seen when you haven't prioritized those things, things feel like they're not aligned or are not working out the way that you want to?

[00:16:12] Chris Montero: Yeah, no most definitely. I think having a 13 year background in higher education, culture in particular has been something that for a very long time was our responsibility. Was something that was taxed, I call it the cultural tax. So being, you know, a native Spanish speaker, I always was asked to do certain things.

And even though I enjoy them and they're important to me, it was more of a box that I think a lot of folks that work with me in the past were checking right. It's just institutional, it's something that you want to put on your brochure and your marketing or your pamphlet. And I'm very grateful for the UNC experience that I was able to have and they set me up for success, most definitely. And my colleagues are brilliant. But I think that now I choose to work in a cultural space that's meaningful to me. I get to work with the same people, like not a lot has changed, butnow on my terms, and like without the red tape and providing that fresh perspective and being able to like, listen, learn and evolve.

And then when you do that, to answer your question, you have like really an authentic experience. Then now you see someone else, like just having a blast, really enjoying that experience. And we're not the company that comes in and it's like, oh, you're getting married. By the way, we've had a bunch of divorce parties, like people getting divorced. Or, you're getting divorced and you're celebrating it? I can get behind that. You know, so long story short, it's like, you're there with a customer from the beginning to the end. And, and I think that experience is it's a little bit different for them. In their space and you get to share a lot where their grandma, where their drunk uncle with like everybody in between.

 So yeah, it just comes out of love. I mean, it's when you have that in the mix, I think you be more authentic. And at the end of the day the experience it's a two-way street for you and for them. So there's a that happens through that.

[00:18:14] Bagel: I wanna call out how Chris commented about how he still gets to work with a lot of the same people, but is doing more meaningful work, and on his terms. That's just incredible. How might this relate back to his values? Think about what you spend most of your time doing every day or every week. Is what you're doing with that time something that's aligned with your own values?

[00:18:41] Bagel: Yeah. Things are clicking so much now that you're talking about this, and I think this is now a great transition to hearing a little bit about the business that you've launched. Because when I hear things like joy and love and even the culture aspect of things, it sounds like quintessential Chris Montero right here saying how can we make sure that we're sort of honoring people for who they are, making things fun, bringing love, joy, passion, to what we're doing in terms of bringing people together for an event.

So let's dive in. Tell us a little bit about PTR. What does it stand for? How did you get it started? And what are your, what is your main focus for what you're trying to do with it right now?

[00:19:19] Chris Montero: Yeah, Perfect Touch Rental. That's what PTR stands for. So Perfect Touch Rental was an idea that I had through probably over a decade where in the radio industry and in diversity and inclusion at UNCW, every single time I was always like an event planner in my job. I was always even hosting Hispanic heritage month on stage on a mic in a radio station, hiring the tent guys, putting up tables, chairs, tents, and I'm like signing off on the bill after every event.

And I'm like, these guys make a load of money. So.

[00:19:54] Bagel: Yes, they do.

[00:19:55] Chris Montero: It's you know, $2,000 for a bam tent that fits 400 people. No! So after a while I started looking into it and I'm like, if it's just like a Lego for adults, like putting up a tent. It's really like a Lego it's tension, it's rope, it's angles. It's physics, it's hard, but not so difficult that you just can't buy a tent and start your own company. Right. So,

[00:20:20] Bagel: you can figure out. Yeah.

[00:20:22] Chris Montero: So long story short, man. I kind of went for it. During the pandemic, it was unfortunate that a lot of people went under. So as they were closing shop, I was opening up mine and say how much for that tent.

And they're like, I'd like $3,000 and I'm just looking at the numbers and then I'm researching how much the tent really is. And it's a $20,000 tent, a $18,000 tent. And I'm like, Would you take $2,000 and I barter, I know it's cultural. It's terrible. Anyway. So I basically went to LA all the way out there and bought out a significant portion of a company in Ontario.

And I came back with a box truck with inflatables, with about 10 tents, 50 tables, 300 chairs. And that was just one purchase. And then 

[00:21:13] Bagel: I didn't realize you went across the country for that. That's that's dedication.

[00:21:28] Chris Montero: It was a crazy experience because then you come back and you're like knocking on your mom's door and they're like, "Hey, can I borrow your garage for a little bit?" Every one's garage, I have a couple of storage units and we're looking at, you know, we own land, but we haven't developed that yet. So that's how Perfect Touch Rental started.

[00:21:37] Bagel: Yeah. Wow. So so finding good deals and clearly having like some sort of mission that, that you wanted to provide this type of service. Seeing that it financially made sense for a business. So tell us a little bit more about, how did the values kind of fit in here a little bit more? who are the audiences that you're trying to reach with your business right now? But how does it also feel like it makes an impact personally for you to do this kind of work?

[00:22:04] Chris Montero: I think from a value perspective what made a difference for me is being able to hire folks into our team. There were friends for a long time. And we've been just kind of underappreciated in a professional sense and underpaid and just kind of putting all that together, like realizing that it's still very systematic.

And at the end of the day, you're kind of trading your talent and your time and your life for someone else's benefit. So I think that, you know, for me, it was really important to be able to bring some people into my team that I knewvery quickly after we became friends is that man, you're really getting the short end of the stick where you are.

And if I could find a way to bring your talents into something else we could really capitalize and celebrate like all the things that you could do that a lot of people can't. Right. So that's really what inspired me. It's like seeing that shift and being able to build a network of people that can bring a solution to events.

And then as far as industries are concerned, we have like maybe five. So corporate are huge for us because they all have holidays and annual celebrations and milestones. Non-profits and community work and churches are really big for us. We provide really big discounts and that's kind of what makes us tick.

 We love being able to work with like even local entrepreneurs and say, "Hey Bagel, you're throwing a new product, but you don't have $5,000 to launch your business. We got it, don't worry about it. We'll take care of it. Just make sure that your services, we trade those. So give me $5,000 worth of your brilliance in like marketing and accounting and being able to balance that spreadsheet. And we'll launch our product in your company."

[00:23:55] Chris Montero: So we've been doing a lot of that. And then the last two would probably just be education K through 12 and college. We're doing a lot with UNCW in summer camps and all of that. And then of course like your private, you know, Quinceaneras, your weddings or private parties. And they're all over the place, you know, never know what you're going to get, but


[00:24:14] Bagel:I could see that. 

[00:24:14 ] Chris Montero: Fun.

[00:24:15] Bagel: So, I mean, it sounds like you're serving almost every type of micro market that needs party rentals in that sense. It sounds like you're covering all bases in a town like Wilmington. I feel like there's, it's big enough that there's different types of people to serve. But it's small enough that you feel like you can kind of hit them all in a circuit I would imagine. Do you see you guys going all in on any one of those? Or do you kind of feel like right now it's like, "Hey, if we can serve all of these people, we're going to keep doing that."

[00:24:46] Chris Montero: Yeah, we're just learning a lot about our market. Like one of the biggest clients that we have right now is in the film industry is Amazon. Would have never thought that we would be working in films and those tents have to be climate controlled. You have your actors that don't want to sweat with makeup.

It's not a good thing on camera. And it's like, how the hell did we climate control a tent for 400 people? We're figuring it out as we go. We walked into an event and there was a DJ and there was all this and we're setting up. It's like, whose party is it? And it's like, no, our grandmother died through COVID and we want to celebrate her life.

And we're like, wow, it's all the unexpected. And we're kind of learning how to cater to the needs of our market. But I'll tell you one thing about this industry. For those that are listening, you don't need a 400 person tent or a box truck. If you just start with tables and chairs. Literally you could create just stains out of just scrap wood out of pallets, you know, bars.

We made a bar out of pallets and it rents for 150 bucks. Like you could just, all you need is nails and you could probably get those for free too. So like, this is an industry that if you want to scale and you want to do something else and like running tables and chairs and creating things that are accustomed to the customer is one of the few industries that I'm aware of, that you could really start from nothing and scale it into a really profitable company.

Want to throw that out there is it's really cool for entrepreneurs.

[00:26:12] Bagel: Yeah,  I would advise anyone that needs a little shot in the arm to be an entrepreneur to talk to this guy right here, Chris Montero. Because before I even had the real itch to kind of go down that path, I just remember you just like planting ideas in my brain and be like, "dude, you could do this you could do that." You are never short of ideas. And, I'll just say, I know you've been in the education space for a long time, doing incredible work in all of the roles that you've been in. And I can say that firsthand and secondhand kind of hearing some of it, but also having worked with you. But to see you actually now launching a company where you're putting a mission that you care about into action and employing people that you want to help thrive and give important roles to, and things like that is really cool.

 What does it mean to you right now to be able to do this on a grand scale, just to be able to operate a company like this?

[00:27:06] Chris Montero: Yeah. And thank you for all of that. I always say that the blessing moves through me and I'm fortunate to be in this position. It means to me, I think it's buying back time to do things that matter. I think in the United States in particular, like I come from a country where , if it's 12 o'clock there's a sign on the door and we're out for lunch and we're not coming back in two hours. Sorry. Like we value going back to the family and having a sandwich. If that's all you can afford, like that's fine. And then here it's just like, go, go, go. You have nine hour workdays or sit an hour or two to go to work. And then an hour two to come back by the time you get home is late. And then for those who have children, I have a seven year old, like what was I doing? Like nighttime story, take a bath. And so to me, what it means is I get to connect to things that matter to things that are valuable to others. I get to embrace what they want to celebrate. And if that means I have to put you on a payment plan for a year, if that means I have to give 50% back to your cause, and you find your sponsor to buy your 10 and I'm able to donate half that money back to you.

Like that's like a responsibility that I think we all have, but not all of us have the opportunity to do it. So for our company, like we can do that and we can empower folks and uplift minority owned businesses and small businesses and all these like community projects you know, never get any love or attention because they may not have the capital.

They may not have the expertise, but like we're here. I'll help you. Right. Because I was doing it anyway at UNCW and through our cultural work and like that's kind of like what opened up my eyes. But then if you had someone who was undocumented and they didn't have the paper with their name on it, that said US citizen, then they had to pay $40,000 a year who has that kind of money.

Right. So there was a lot of people who I couldn't serve on there, my programs at my university. And now, like I get to go into those spaces and full Spanish and be like, you know, talk to us we could be culturally relevant. We could code switch right there in that same place. And we could also think about how we promote ourselves during like pride month, during black history month or Hispanic heritage month. And like made sure that people know that our company it's willing to uplift those voices.

And that doesn't mean that we're not working with other folks. It just means that everybody has a spot in our company. And that's what's been really meaningful. That's what's in it for me. It's being able to make those decisions without the red tape.

[00:29:39] Bagel:  So much to unpack here. Notice some of the values Chris alludes to in the Hispanic culture. Family is often at the forefront. It's common to shut down businesses for hours in the middle of the day to eat lunch with your family, and maybe a little time for a siesta. He also talks about the fact that everyone has a place in his company and emphasizes the populations and causes he advocates for.

 You don't need to start a business to do these things. How can you start to make your causes, informed by your values, more of a priority in your own life? 

[00:30:17] Bagel:Yeah, that's amazing. And I know it almost sounds like you have a little bit more creative control, right. And being able to actually make decisions and call the shots, but in a meaningful way. Not talking like a power grabbing way. Talking like who are the types of clients you want to actually help and serve, who are the types of people you want to actually help and employ and make a difference in your community.

[00:30:40] Bagel: So I think it's really cool, obviously, which is why I'm asking so many questions around it. You had mentioned the word code switching there. And I know that was the topic that we kind of wanted to explore a little bit today. And so if it feels right to you, we can kind of like go in that direction here a little bit.

And you also want to tie back in a little bit of what you talked about before. So in previous roles, in the university setting and even other things that you've done you've really had a focus on like understanding identities. You said you did it in your thesis. Right. Did I get that right? It was your master's thesis.

You talked about identities, maybe one day it'll be the doctorate. Maybe people have heard of this term, maybe they saw the podcast on NPR about it. but what is it from a high level, if you want to just sort of explain what does code switching mean in general context?

What does it mean in your context? And what do people sort of need to know about it?

[00:31:30] Chris Montero: So I think I'll start with like just an understanding that code switching is something that may not come natural to someone. And before you get to that stage, you've got to listen. You've got to learn and you've got to be okay with evolving. So listening, learning, and evolving. Those are the three things with code switching that no matter what stage you're in, like you're in the perfect place. You're in the perfect time. It's not something that you have to be an expert on. Is there something that you have to be open to. So in the context of what I do, or just like an overview of code switching there is acculturation and there's assimilation.

[00:32:04] Chris Montero: So the last two terms that I'll talk about. So assimlation is like dropping all of your identity in assimilating to someone to like mirroring them. But what happens is that your you lose your identity along the way. You don't want to have to, you don't have to assimilate unless you're in a very important job interview with like Google and it's $300,000 on the line.

Yes. Tell them everything they want to hear. That's a good time to assimilate, but acculturation happens in a way that you don't lose your values. And you don't lose part of your identity and who you are and you embrace the things that are outside of you. And that's kinda like part of code switching is, is being able to evolve in a way that you could put yourself in a different environment and you can show people that you're also willing to embrace your environment.

If that makes sense. So code switching comes in two ways where our company. It's still the front facing cold switching, which is like your marketing, your PR, like what does Perfect Touch Rental do to promote themselves during a particular event or a month where there's tradition behind it. Whether it's 4th of July or Native American day, whatever it is. There's some code switch that happens there that enables you to be in front of customers and for them to see themselves and say, "Wow, like this company cares about me." That's a form of code switching is more in a marketing realm. It's being able to be culturally relevant in front of someone. 

And then the second piece of code switching is in the now. Is in the present. Like it's in like the environment. It's like you being able to provide a customer experience that to them, or like you know l this person probably doesn't know a lot about my Jewish tradition. Like I could see that they embrace it and like this really hit home. I'm going to tell my friends that these guys actually care. Like, let's go with PTR. So those are

[00:33:56] Bagel: Yeah. 

[00:33:56] Chris Montero: kind of codes.

[00:33:57] Bagel: Yeah, so, okay. So now I have a couple of questions because this is so interesting and intriguing. And I appreciate the examples. So let's just recap those two terms you talked about again, so acculturation and assimilation.

So am I understanding it right, you feel like assimilation is more so,you're entering some sort of new culture and you're sort of having to adopt to the practices, customs, the ways of like how that culture and society is, is their norms are how they act, what the standards are and that sort of thing is, is that by getting that right?

[00:34:33] Chris Montero: Correct. But that's a version of code switching. Absolutely. Like that's, that's a way you code switch.

[00:34:38] Bagel: Okay.

[00:34:39] Chris Montero: Oh, you're understanding that they key component is that you're leaving your identity out to completely take on another one.

[00:34:45] Bagel: And then the contrast would be acculturation, which is where you feel like you're still bringing your authentic self to the table. And you're also adopting what you're, now what's part of your external environment where you're kind of adopting some of what you're, you're being a part of too, but you're holding onto your core identity in a sense.

Is that right?

[00:35:04] Chris Montero: Which is the most beautiful part of code switching. Right. Because you could still have representation for those who are different than you and embrace those values, but you don't lose yours. So you're connecting yours to theirs. And that's where the true unity and the bond and the love and everything that we've been talking about, really. That's where the magic happens.

It's usually a different perspective, right? Yeah,I think we all do it naturally. That's the thing, that we all do it. And you just don't know that you do. But the way you talk to your mom at the dinner table or your family, it ain't the same way you're like playing basketball with your friends at the gym after you that three point winning shot.

I guarantee you it's the word in language. Yeah. It's

[00:35:52] Bagel: I could see your brain starting to actually like put yourself in that position shooting that three or hitting that slam dunk. And be like, what would you actually be saying? 

[00:36:00] Chris Montero: I'm talking probably something about your mama and that's code switching. We all do and it's just like being more intentional about leveraging your business and how you do it. And people catch onto that. They really do and they gravitate to it, even if they don't know it subconsciously. They're like this guy, you know, he may not be in our culture, but he really gets it. And there was ways that he connected his culture to mine, or He was just willing to listen, learn and evolve because your truth may not be the same to mine, but as long as you're able to not downplay mine. Then maybe we can both find truth. Somewhere in the same street.

[00:36:42] Bagel: Yeah. So I'm gonna sort of play green here a little bit and like play a little bit naive and ask a question or two to try to help understand the concepts a little bit more. And really try to like help our listeners sort of figure out, is this something that I do? Is this something that I've seen my coworkers or people that I know do in my daily life? And maybe just haven't thought about. Soin your eyes, are there costs and benefits to code switching?

Is it always good to do? Is it not good to do? Like explore that a little bit more with me. What does it look like? Why is it necessary? Is it something we do naturally versus like where as a learned behavior? Yeah. Just kind of, you know, like a little bit more context of what this actually looks like in daily lives.

[00:37:25] Chris Montero: I think code switching is strategic and that's just the best way to look at code switching. It's not always the best strategy to code switch. Sometimes if you're running a busines, you do have to assimilate. That's another piece of code switching. Or you're socially driven to something but you're in a conservative environment, that if you toot that horn or you say you support this, then you're going to lose revenue over it. You have two options. You could become your most authentic self and be okay with losing revenue in that particular scenario. Or if you're a smaller company and you're like, man, I really kind of need to see those dollars come in. I'm going to code switch and assimilate and let them think that this is how I positioned myself.

But in reality, I mean, I know it sounds a little shady, but that's a decision that everyone has to make and strategically. And it's regional, it depends where you are. It depends on spaces that you're navigating. If you're around friends or a trusted circle or something that has a certain kind of tone, you have to be able to read the room. And then cold switching could be something that could really set you apart and make you different and earn youthat contract, but it could also be the polar opposite.

[00:38:37] Bagel: Have you ever been in a situation where you assimilated to meet a need that you had? Social, political, financial, or maybe even safety reasons? Have you ever felt like it was a necessary choice? Or have you seen, observed or thought about situations where someone different than you had to or maybe chose to assimilate?

If so, how did it affect you?

[00:39:03] Bagel: Yeah. 

[00:39:05] Chris Montero: Code switching is one of those things that are situational. And if you're in an environment, I think like that's what you have to be able to read. And you don't know where they stand, then try to mirror. Still code switching.

[00:39:18] Bagel: So that's is, I'm so glad you used that word because mirror, because that's exactly what I was thinking about. So let's kind of talk in a business perspective first. let's say you're in a situation where maybe you're trying to sell a service or you're having just a conversation trying to talk to a customer or prospect or whatever it is. Is there a difference between just mirroring behavior and code switching?

Are they the same thing? Is there a difference?

 I'm curious, because what I'm hearing when you're saying it is like, I'm just envisioning I've had a lot of these conversations with my clients recently about, when you're talking to a client, you want to sort of, in a sense, mirror them. Mirror what you see that they want and what they're asking for even their communication style, so that you kind of show that you're at that at their level. And it's not necessarily like you changing who you are and you're not necessarily like changing up what kind of service or product you're offering. But it's more, so I'm going to meet you where you're at and talk your language so that we can have a conversation and figure out if there's a good fit here. You know what I mean? that the 

[00:40:30] Chris Montero: What was your question? 

[00:40:32] Bagel: Yeah, so the question is what I just described. I've been talking about a lot calling it, mirroring like mirroring behavior, mirroring communication. Is that the same as code switching? I have a feeling code. Switching is probably a little bit more complex in some ways, but is there like some overlap there?

[00:40:51] Chris Montero: Yeah. I, you know, I don't know. I think there is a, there's a lot of overlap and I think like code switching from a cultural and thats what I could explain, perspective as someone who has to switch their code. Because like their code is not understood in different environments. So now you have to do more of the assimilating so that you can become either more American or have that benefit. But there's also the reverse code switching, which in which is what you're talking about. So I'm in front of this customer and I need to meet them where they are. That's still code switching. Yeah, I think personally is definitely mirroring the person to still accomplish your objective.

[00:41:30] Bagel: Yeah. 

[00:41:31] Chris Montero: In what you're talking about is really good. It's like a high level understanding of what it is and what I'm trying to do. Like I need to visualize, what does it actually look like? Is there something that comes to mind? Is there something that's either happened to you or that you've seen that you could share in terms of like an example around how someone has effectively used code switching to navigate a situation

[00:41:56] Bagel: Like, is there something specific you can think of?

[00:41:58] Chris Montero: Yeah, I think when you think about clients that maybe are, you know, you're in a yacht club. So part of your code switching in a yacht club is that you may be talking about, you know, Yamaha, and a Suzuki, and the two fifties and the three hundreds and the inboard engines and the outboard engines. So I think that code switching to you know, utilizing that in your advantage is being able to understand your surroundings and being able to kind of meet them where, to your point where they are in that particular scenario.

So for me, code switching could, you know, could it be going into a Latinex community and the Latin American business council? And in that particular scenario, like I'm speaking Spanglish. Like I know that these individuals like linguistically their language being spoken to in their native language is going to like strike a special cord in their heart.

So, that is, you know, in essence is code switching. And in particular, sometimes it could be more use. It could be used as a survival mechanism where, you know, you're going into a corporate culture where, you know, the way business operates, it's completely different and there's a lot more structure and there's only 30 minute lunches and you have to, you know, wear the tie and have the suit and the fitted pants.

And, you know, even though you're more comfortable in jeans, like that's part of code switching, it's like you have to kind of mirror that environment. And if that's what's going to reach your objective and that's the one thing that you have to do to get to your objective, then you have to do that.

But what you do have to know is that you don't have to sell yourself out. It just means that that's a one thing that you have to do to get to the next step.

[00:43:38] Bagel: So brilliant. that makes a lot of sense and where my head was going next. So I'm going to share just a really quick story and then sort of ask a question about maybe some of the pitfalls or cautions around code switching.

So when you're talking about, you're sort of doing this code switching, you're having this mirroring behavior where you're wanting to make sure that you're adapting to the needs of the other person or the other party, or kind of what it is that the job entails, right. Where you're able to sort of like adjust in a way where you're being present and you're sort of catering to the person that is in front of you. Right? I mean, am I interpreting that  somewhat?

[00:44:18] Chris Montero:  Correct. Yeah, absolutely.

[00:44:20] Bagel: Okay. 

And so what it makes me think of, So when I was in college at Delaware, I had an internship where I worked at a bank for actually a couple summers. And the first summer I was there, there was this big group of interns.

There were like 40 of us. And we had a lot of like program stuff specifically for all the interns that were working there that summer. And then of course we all like went and did our jobs and had our own managers that we worked with on a day-to-day basis. It was 40 hours a week for like the whole summer, you know, typical summer internship type of thing.

And I just remember. The job was fine. It was in IT. And I kind of realized it wasn't exactly what I wanted to do involved a lot of coding, all this kind of stuff. But I remember feeling like I was my most authentic self every Thursday night when I invited all my friends over to my house to drink and have a good time.

That was like a big, at the time, I kind of felt like what is going on? And it, later in life I realized like, that's the core of who I am is getting people together and facilitating connection. But I also remember a really specific experience that I never thought about in terms of code switching before until tonight.

So I'm so glad we're talking about this. And that was, we had our, our jobs and then sometimes we had after work events where we were expected to show up, we were still in our work attire and it was still kind of a workplace event, you know what I mean? But it was at a fun place here you're supposed to be able to let your guard down.

But the reality is your managers might still be there, the other interns are all there. And for all intents and purposes, it is a work function. And I remember going to Dave and Buster's in Philadelphia for this work event after work one day towards the end of the summer. And I was wearing my, you know, my button up and slacks.

And I remember getting to Dave and Busters and like, I just could not wait to just untuck my shirt. I was just like this stuffy corporate culture. I can't like I do it every day from eight to five. And like, now that it's six o'clock and I'm out. I don't want to have my shirt tucked in anymore. And I was like 19 years old.

Like, it doesn't seem like a big deal now, but then it was, for some reason it felt like a big deal. And now that we're talking about this, it's like, I wasn't willing to tolerate this sort of code switch that I had to do every single day, which was being this stuffy "uniform" and I could not wait to be my true self after work.

It's just like, I don't mind wearing the button up shirt. I just don't want to tuck it in. You know what I mean? 

[00:46:47] Bagel: So example aside, tell me, are there caveats, are there pitfalls, are there times where maybe doing this sort of code switching because our job requires it or doing the code switching because it's a defense mechanism. Are there times where it maybe hurts us?

[00:47:08] Chris Montero: It could definitely hurt you if you don't read the room well. The beauty about code switching is that it's all about strategy. So the example that you just provided is about like authenticity and understanding that your environment shifted. So now, you know, it's like, okay I'm done with this corporate culture.

Like this is the right time to untuck my shirt and to be me, but sometimes you can't untuck the shirt. Sometimes you have to keep it tucked in and like follow the rules. Because at the end of the day, I think code switching, it's a tool that gives you a pragmatic approach to your life. To be able to attain your objectives at a much faster rate, than if you were to do it on your own terms or the shirt untucked in the bank, you know, you would probably not have the second summer internship if you would have not code switch in that culture.

Right? So it's like, you know, building experiences and building your resume and utilizing your ability to assimilate in a culture rate and do the things in a way that again have strategy. So yes, there are instances that you have to code switch truly to survive truly. And it's unfortunate that, you know, we live in a world that sometimesif you have dreads, or you have a different sexual orientation, or you have an accent, like those things are not going to get you to the next step.

So. You know, often times, they do have to assimilate and lose a little bit or a lot of their own identity. But at the end of the day, you definitely don't want to lose your core. You want to be Bagel after five, to untuck your shirt. Because if that's the true nature of who you are, what happens a lot is that you completely lose your identity and you completely lose who you are. Where you come to a point in your life and in your professional career where you look in the mirror and you're like, am I even happy?

Like, does this make sense that I become this person to satisfy who? So think about your objectives, think about what you need to do to get there faster. And code switching is a solution for you to get there much faster than if you did your only way in your highway, because some highways have four lanes and you know, you don't want to go down your own path there all the time. Right. Does that make sense? 

[00:49:27] Bagel: It does.

[00:49:28] Chris Montero: Your compass is still morally sound and you know where you're going, but sometimes you just kind of have to take the highway and

[00:49:35] Bagel: Yeah,

[00:49:35] Chris Montero: pay the toll.

[00:49:36] Bagel: Right. You can get out on the state route and meander a little bit, or you can get on the highway and take the express lane. Yeah. No, that makes sense. And for the record I did untuck my shirt that night. So, but I still got the job next summer, ironically. 

So what I'm hearing a little bit there, and this is a really great way to sort of tie in the values conversation to all of this. Is what I heard you say is like there may be goals or objectives that you have personally, maybe in your career, maybe just in your life that might require you to sort of code switch. There may be you're an entrepreneur or a creator of some kind where, you know, there are certain sacrifices you do have to make to kind of get ahead meet the goals that you're trying to achieve either in bringing enough revenue in to sustain the business or to find the right clients.

And there's always sacrifices in life, right? We can't always live 100% by ideals, even though we want to, there's always sacrifices and things we have to sort of give on a little bit here and there. My question to you is and I don't want this to be too much of a leading question, so I will truly ask you.

Where is the line and how those sort of butt up against your values? Like are, is there a point maybe if there's anything personally you want to share about maybe times where you've sensed that the code switching or anything is kind of like actually butt up against your values and has that caused a problem?

Where might that line be for others that are listening in too.

[00:51:04] Chris Montero: Yeah, no. So I think there's two layers to that. I think like the pragmatic approach is one layer. Like what do you need to do today to advance your career at a much faster rate by playing the game, quote unquote. But once you play that game and you climb, there's a point in your life, you know. Where like I've been fortunate to start my own business and have a career in around culture and things that matter to me that actually strike a chord in my values at my core, where now you get to kind of choose who you want to work with.

Right. And I think that when, you know, when we talk about love and culture and joy, like those three intersect, right. In a place where the more experiences that you have, I think like now you're able to like pull from different folks in your circle that you could incorporate right.

Acculturate, those traits, if that makes sense. So now like you get to create, you know, you get to build on your identity, right? Because there's so many layers to your identity and we all evolve as humans, as people. Like the moment that you think, you know, everything. And the moment that you're like, I figured everything out.

Like that's a moment that you totally failed, crashed and burned.

Like the whole point of us being in this journey together is that we continue to evolve and learn from you. You learn from me, we learn from one another. And like maybe the truth that you thought you had a five years ago today, just checking yourself. 

You're like, Hmm, maybe I was wrong. So there is a point in your life where you get to code switch into environments and people and it's a circles that matter, right. That bring joy and that bring happiness. And like, that's a beautiful thing where you could go into like a Venezuelan household. You may not be Venezuelan, but like you're eating arepas, you're saying chamo or you're being loved by the Venezuelans because you know, all about ayacas and they're delicious.

So like, why not? Right. And like, even though you weren't born there, like that's the beauty around code switching and I'm not talking about cultural appropriation. It's like understanding like, okay, like I get it arepas are not part of my culture, but they are delicious. So yes, I will have another one.

[00:53:12] Bagel: And food food tends to do that more easily than most things, right? Like to bring us into each other's culture, which is always nice.

[00:53:21] Chris Montero: Yeah. So code switch to celebrate at the end, but at the beginning code switch to get to the top. Like most people would tell you like, oh, it's not ethical for you to quit your job without having one year. No, if three weeks, three months down the road, you get offered twice the money.

Like tell your boss, they have two weeks because you're going to the next spot, right? Like it, you have to put yourself in a position where you have the power to be happy, to find joy, to make the decisions. So that then you're impacting the net that you're casting is so much broader than now. The good that you could actually achieve is it's just magnified because you're able to code switch.

And elevate your career to that place. And I wish I would've understood this concept earlier because I felt like I was just like focused on pleasing my boss and focus on working as hard as I could under like so many confinements and parameters that it really, I think, took a little bit of my timeline.

So I just think that that's just an important message to share with those that have that option.

[00:54:34] Bagel: Yeah. So, what shifted for you? So you mentioned that it took you a little bit. What do you think in the last six months, maybe it's a little more, since you were really starting to get serious about this whole thing. What shifted your perspective and what actually pushed you to kind of like actually go for the thing that you felt like was going to make a bigger difference in your life.

[00:54:55] Chris Montero: Yeah, I think for a lot of folks who are listening, I think the pandemic gave us the opportunity to reevaluate how we were living our lives and to truly look from kind of like a different perspective. That we are creative people and that sometimes our ideas you know, are monetized and commercialized by other institutions and other systems.

So to me, it's just kind of like, you know, like I'm not trying to continue to be like that brown Latino box, you know, so I could be tokenized over and over and over and fundraising and making all these people money. And it's like, I took a step back and I think what shifted for me is like seeing a world where I wasn't confined by parameters, but that I could like actually push, parameters and expand the horizons in a way that I had, you know, I just had that opportunity.

So I was just on box checking and I was just like, I want to do this work by choice. And that was really my inspiration to take the leap, so to speak.

[00:56:01] Bagel: Yeah. I love it. That's that's just really, really cool to hear kind of the impetus. I think COVID has inspired a lot of people or forced in some cases, people to sort of rethink their priorities, their values, what actually matters to them and, and in a lot of ways for the better, I know some people of course, unfortunately have lost work and are now kind of in a position where they have to figure out their next step.

[00:56:26] Bagel: And a lot of people are sort of just like, what do I actually care about? You know? And we had this sort of downtime for once in our lives, like forced downtime to actually think about what matters to us the most. And a percentage of those people who had that thought have actually take some action to actually do something about it.

So I applaud you for actually taking this concept and taking your values and taking the things that actually matter to you in your life and actually saying, you know what, this is the time I'm going to pursue it. I'm going to see where this goes. I'm going to actually do what I feel is going to be important to me in terms of my own not just career.

Cause I sense for you, it's a lot more than just about a job. It's about actually making a difference, making an impact and like also kind of the creative aspect of things. I sense from you a lot. It's like being able to kind of explore and call the different shots and be able to like build these partnerships with different audiences in your community. And I think that's really cool. And one of the takeaways for me and just kind of hearing your story too, I hear your push almost to say, if you know what your goal is, you can kind of push through the muck and figure out like, how do I need to get there?

That's kind of how I interpreted what you said. It's like, whether it's code switching, whether it's like sacrifices you have to make, if you have a destiny in your mind of like, I need to get to this point, there are ways to accomplish that. I also heard you say though, that like, if you had something in mind and it's not aligning with what you actually want, it's time to get the hell out of there and do something that you actually care about.

 I don't want to put words in your mouth, am I capturing that right? Is that kind of what you were sharing. 

[00:58:07] Chris Montero: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think that's, a good summary of our thoughts and our conversations. Absolutely.

[00:58:14] Bagel: Yeah. Cool. 

[00:58:15] Bagel: we're going to round out the podcast episode here now, and just kind of round it out with some final thoughts.

So, Chris first of all, thank you so much for doing this. It's just been really helpful and inspiring just hear a little bit about your path and your story and kind of what matters. It's been enlightening to hear a little bit about code switching and what that means to you, and a little bit about what that looks like In different aspects of people's life and career and things like that. Let me wrap it up with just a couple of questions. if someone is like, Hey, this code switching thing is interesting. And I think it's happening around me, or maybe I'm doing it.

I don't really know much about it. Like, are there any either resources or just like anything you might want to share with people to kind of learn a little bit more about this in, in any way?

[00:58:58] Chris Montero: Absolutely. So NPR has on podcast called Code Switch. So I would highly recommend everyone to listen to that because it's truly about learning from someone else's perspectives and narratives. And I think that's a great start. So that would be my number one resource to answer your question, Code Switch NPR podcast, just phenomenal perspective and storytelling.

[00:59:22] Bagel: Yeah, that's awesome. I am an NPR listener myself and I think I've listened to at least one episode and I found it really, really good.is there anything else that we didn't talk about that you want to share with the audience? Either around values or just any inspirational words of advice at this point to sort of wrap things up?

[00:59:39] Chris Montero: Yeah. Well, thank you. I really appreciate the space to be able to talk about all these like big ideas. Oftentimes are either just ideas or theories or concepts that we don't get to apply. So I appreciate this pod and this production, because it's less often that we get to talk about how our values connect to money.

It's always about money and how he gets to screw the other person over next to us. Yeah. So and I think there's an alignment, right? Yeah. Or you could actually do both. You can make money and you can do good things. And I think that's what our new generations, that's what brings like, I think life into our world and solutions.

Right. So for me, I think the parting thought that I would like to leave the audience with is that we all have a different journey. We all have different stages of life and where we are. And it's very important for all of us to understand that the stage that we are in today is the right place. It's the right time. If you have an idea, just try to move it towards some more tangible space and create something, blog about it. Just try buying some tables and chairs, right? Like you could start just by renting those. Think about your incredible skillset and all your experiences and what those mean and like how you can monetize those.

Because the reality is that someone else already is. Whatever it is that you do,your talents are already being monetized to make someone's wallet fatter. Not yours. Right? So if you could buy back that time and utilize your skills in a way that you could capitalize on those, how would that look like?

Right. And a lot of these ideas don't take a major investment, they just, you know, take a little bit of branding, a little bit of storytelling. Like figuring out what is it that I could do that people would want to buy. Right. It may just start with like a social circle, a table sitting down with some friends and saying like, Hey, how does this look?

Right? Like, would you pay for this? You know, like, can I give you a historical tour of this alleyway that I actually know a lot of stuff about. Intrinsically a lot of things, I would give a lot of value to people. So try to identify those and just the three things I talked about. Be willing to listen, first and foremost. All of us want to talk, just listen and try to understand and build that empathy and love for someone else. And then learn like that's, that's the second stage where you actually contextualize. That's where that cultural piece comes in. And you're like absorbing someone else's culture.

Right. And like understanding other identities. And then the last piece is the most important one is the step that a lot of people don't take. It's like evolve, change, right? Like be willing to change into a place where like now you're finding joy. And I think that's the magic. It's like for those who have a little bit of an ego, we all have those friends.

[01:02:39] Bagel: We all have that uncle. We all have those people who know everything. Don't be one of those. That would be my thing. Just evolve. We all have to become better versions of who we are. Okay. I love it. I love it. Those are fantastic. And I feel we've had the privilege of some fantastic guests in the first sort of, I guess we'll call it the first season of LYV. And now we're sort of kicking off the second season and I love the summary right here of the things coming in threes for whatever reason just feels so neatly wrapped up and well presented.

And I love that you brought back the Listen, Learn and Evolve. And I think those are sort of like those are values in themselves. Or sort of standards that you can sort of live by. And I totally see that in you. And I'm almost like I kind of want to live by those standards now, myself. I want to do a little experiment and see if I just kind of stuck to those three, how life would look for the next year.

Right. I love that. So thank you for your perspective, it's been wonderful to chat with you and learn a little bit about what matters to you, Chris. Just to leave our listeners is there, what, what are the ways that the listeners can connect with you, your company? Any ways that, that you might want to yeah, allow for that.

[01:03:57] Chris Montero: Yeah. Well, thank you for this space it's been great. You can follow us at our company. Page is perfecttouchrental.com. Our Gmail it's perfecttouchrental@gmail.com. If you're having a celebration or, you know, some folks in Wilmington or the surrounding counties, we would love to earn some business.

But really I'm just grateful for this space and to be able to tell our story and, Bagel, I wish you nothing but more success with all of the guests that you're bringing in and I'll definitely be tuning in to the upcoming episode.

[01:04:28] Bagel: Love it. Thank you so much, Chris. It's been such an honor having you on the show and we hope to have you back again very soon, my friend.

[01:04:36] Chris Montero: Thank you so much. I'll talk to you soon.

[01:04:37] Bagel: All right. See you, man.

[01:04:39] Chris Montero: See you.

[01:04:39] Bagel: Thanks again for listening to this episode of the live your values podcast, we really value feedback. So please rate and review us on apple, Spotify, or your favorite podcast listening app. Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss all new episodes of LYV. Special thanks to Emma Peck and Joel Lindenfeld for branding design, Danielle Gelber for marketing strategy and Rebecca Kittel with fyt for operations support.

Until next time, get out there and LYV.