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Mohan Embar is a polyglot and software engineer who’s out to destroy the myths that are holding us back from one of the most low-effort, high-impact things we can do as an entrepreneur: learn a foreign language.
He not only speaks eight languages himself, which puts him in the top less than 1% of all polyglots, but he’s also cofounded a company called PolyTripper which connects language teachers to language students. What started as an a-ha experience while reading the back of a can of cocoa during his first trip to India when he was six years old turned into a lifelong obsession for learning languages and showing others how easy it is. Mohan has lived, worked and studied in several European countries and is out to share his discovery and passion for what he calls Linguistic Narnia to anyone who’ll listen.
SUCCESS STORY PODCAST
Stories worth telling.
On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.
He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.
Machine Generated Transcript
people, language, speak, teachers, learning, French, English, feedback loop, poly, teach, Swedish, learn, lesson, question, business, life, understand, person, online, Spanish
Mohan Embar, Scott, Scott D Clary
Scott D Clary 00:06
Welcome to the success story podcast. I’m your host, Scott Clary. On this podcast I have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, politicians and other notable figures, all who have achieved success through both wins and losses. To learn more about their life, their ideas and their insights, I sit down with leaders and mentors and unpack their story to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between. Without further ado, another episode of the success story podcast. Thanks again for joining me today I’m sitting down with Mohan Embar, who is a polyglot and software engineer who’s out to the store the myths that are holding us back from one of the most low effort high impact things we can do as an entrepreneur or as an individual learn a foreign language. So he speaks eight languages himself, but that puts him in the top 1% of all polyglots. And just to clarify, polyglots is somebody who can speak many languages. He’s co founded the company called the poly tripper, which connects language teachers to language students. Now think Airbnb for languages. Now what started as an aha experience while reading the back of a Canna Coco during his first trip to India, when he was six years old, turned into a lifelong obsession for learning languages and showing others how easy it is. Mohan has lived, worked and studied in several European countries and is out to share his discovery and passion for what he calls linguistic gnarnia. To anyone who listens. So thank you very much for joining me. I appreciate you sitting down. I’m excited to hear your story.
Mohan Embar 01:39
Scott D Clary 01:41
So So let’s first first let’s just discuss what a pot what is a polyglot? Because I don’t know if everybody who knows listening knows what a polyglot is.
Mohan Embar 01:49
Sure, a polyglot. So you’ve got monolingual which is most people in English speaking countries, that means you only speak one language. Then there’s bilingual where you can speak two languages. And then polyglot is basically anyone who speaks three languages or more. So of course, I mean, within polyglots is 3456 some people 217 1820 languages. So once you speak, once you speak a certain number of languages. The western speak more than three languages are more than your polyglot. I’m sorry, go
Scott D Clary 02:18
ahead. No, no, no, that’s that’s very good. And, and when you say you’re in the top one top 1% of all polyglots um, I was actually pronouncing it incorrectly. I was pronouncing polyglot, but it’s polyglot. So I apologize for that. So the top 1% of a polyglot. So what? How many languages do you speak?
Mohan Embar 02:38
I speak eight languages. I think it’s I think it’s the top 1% of all language speakers. I have to relook at that stat. But it’s it’s the top 1% of all language speakers. Definitely. And I know that the once you go beyond three languages, the number of people in the world that can speak for five, six languages actually goes down dramatically. So I mean, I need to double check that but I speak I speak eight languages I speak and with varying degrees of fluency. I don’t speak Swedish as well as I do French, for example, but I can have unbounded conversations of any length in all of these languages that I speak which is English. In order of how well I speak. I’m English, French, Dutch. My wife is Dutch, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese and Swedish. I think this is I don’t know
Scott D Clary 03:24
if I left one out. I have a hard time that English English, English, Dutch, French, Dutch,
Mohan Embar 03:29
English, French, Dutch. Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Swedish to say yes, yes.
Scott D Clary 03:37
Yeah, very good. Very good. Um, so how do you how do you become a polyglot? What? Okay, so what’s this? Okay, I mentioned the story in India. I didn’t give any context. So what’s the story in India and walk? Let’s let’s back it up to your life. How did you start? How did you learn your second language for example, and go from there and, and also like career like, like, bring bring out, you know, who you are as an individual for sure.
Mohan Embar 04:04
So it started out where and I’ll touch on this briefly because I want to, I don’t want to dwell on myself so much is like, talk about the benefits that language learning can have for other people. But just just from my perspective, what happened was I was born to Indian parents, they emigrated from India to the United States in 19, in the 60s or so. And so, my, they’re actually 17 As far as I know, I’m not I’m not that good with Indian culture, because I was born here. But I think there’s 17 different distinct languages in India, each with their own script, and each with like their own alphabet and stuff like that. So it’s like a, it’s pretty linguistically diverse there. And they had two different mother tongue so they always spoke to each other in English. So the only time I hear a different language is when my dad would talk to his parents or his sister when my mom would talk to her brothers and sisters or to her parents. But already there was like this fascinating thing and as you grow up, as you’re a kid, you always hear about these things like secret rings are a secret, you know, you know, secret ciphers and secret codes and stuff like that. So for me, as a six year old, it was like this is like, I’d really love to have like a secret language that I could talk that my sister couldn’t understand and stuff like that. So that was that was the start of like, how do I learn the secret code where I can talk about things that other people can’t understand. And then I would always beg my mom to teach me but I think she was concerned about me having an Indian accent and being a part of in school, which is complete nonsense. People who are bilingual don’t have an accent typically. And so that would have those fears were unfounded. But she never taught me an Indian language. And I was always frustrated that I didn’t know what really, and I wanted to I wanted to and I think one time when I was eight, I begged her to teach me to say something in Telugu, which is her mother tongue. And she said, Okay, I’m gonna say it. And then she said it, and I repeated it. And she said, Ah, hi, you have an American accent. When you when you say that, that was like the last time I ever asked her for any kind of help or guidance.
Scott D Clary 05:54
We’re very demotivating.
Mohan Embar 05:56
Yes, it was very motivating. But that’s it. When I went to India, for the first time, when I was six years old, I remember being my grandparents house, and there was a cat of Coco. And on the back of that kind of cocoa, there was the description of the cocoa written in Hindi, and also in English. And I looked at my uncle. And I said, this is this is a cipher where basically this word in Hindi is this word in English. And I thought it was like a one to one correspondence between the words in Hindi and the word of the words in English. And he’s like, No, it doesn’t work that way. And I was like, Oh, and, and that was basically the unpacking of why that wasn’t the case that led to everything else, I would say, just just basically that initial spark of why doesn’t it work that way? You know, what, if it doesn’t work that way? How does it work? You know, that kind of that kind of thing.
Scott D Clary 06:49
And then I guess as you as you understand and unpack more languages, you understand that like, you start to go into like the history of languages and where and the and the cultures and parts of the world where they come from, and like walk walk us through, I guess, you know, let’s do let’s do a masterclass in languages very briefly, before we get into like the practical application today. Why? Why are they not one to one?
Mohan Embar 07:12
Why are they not one to one? Well, it’s, I guess, I’m not a linguist. But I guess just basically, when different groups of people I don’t, I don’t want to say grow up. But when we have different groups of people that just just actually developed language, there are different ways of of that they find for expressing sounds is really interesting. And I’m not a linguist by any stretch of the imagination. But I think like there’s certain words like mama and papa, which are unique, like almost universal, like they’re like in far flung places language like Chinese and Swedish, which aren’t any even remotely related. They’re pretty much the same words, I think it’s true of Chinese because, because those are the first sounds that babies make. Mom, mama, mama, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah. So I think that’s those words kind of came from that. But aside from that, there, I mean, when you think about the grammatical structure of Chinese, or Russian, or German or English, they’re, they’re just so different. And that’s, that’s one of the things that I think can give people people this is like a really low hanging fruit way for people to do something for personal development that checks off so many different boxes. When I read one of your Facebook posts, which talked about things that that you should put on your resume, if you don’t have any, like hard skills, you were mentioning things like resilience, coping with pressure, punctuality over overcoming obstacles, all those things. I can’t think of any one thing that checks off so many personal development, checkboxes as learning a foreign language. And that’s I think, the gospel that I want to spread. I know that your your audience is primarily like, people who are interested in business growth and business development, I think unless I’m mistaken.
Scott D Clary 09:01
Oh, no, you’re right. But I can get you No, I don’t think that you speaking about the development of different languages is so out of line. Oh, yeah. Because I just, I’m gonna double down on what you just said. And just to re emphasize, I grew up in Ottawa, where, where, you know, you cannot you’re in the States I’m Canadian. I grew up in Ottawa. I’m in Toronto. Now Toronto is not so much the case. But it was very bilingual city. So Ottawa, Ottawa, so much so that if you don’t speak, if you don’t speak French, it’s very hard to get a job to interact with people anywhere. And if you want to so my father worked for the federal government for his entire Multis he was he was actually in he’s actually ex police and then turned into federal government and in the federal government, you have to get your levels of language. So again, sort of like, you know, it’s mandatory. It’s mandatory levels, and you have to pass tests to show that you have a certain proficiency in French. We can’t hide in Canada second language. So you have a certain amount and if you don’t have that proficiency, you can’t get it. job you can’t have, you can’t have direct reports, if you are a manager in the Federal Government of Canada, and somebody is reporting to you, somebody is one of you, you know, people on your team, if you don’t have a proficiency in French, you won’t get that job because they have the right to be able to communicate with you both written and and, you know, orally, through whatever type of language they deem fit as long as it was long as French or English. So if you can’t speak French, you can’t communicate with your employees, if one of your employees wants to speak French to you. So
Mohan Embar 10:31
they’re really gung ho about that. Yeah, very recently.
Scott D Clary 10:35
So I, you know, that’s one of the reasons I grew up speaking French. And I moved, I moved to Toronto for career for, for career opportunities when I was younger, because I didn’t want to deal with the language aspect, it was just, it was too much, it was too stressful. It was it was like, it’s something that I you know, I didn’t know how to accomplish like, I spoke French, but not at the level they required. So I just I’m like, You know what, it’s gonna change cities, because you know, bigger city, less less hurdles with different languages, I can just speak English and just be fine. So that’s a real issue in Ottawa. And, you know, auto is not by any means, like, the center of commerce in the world. But it still is, if you grew up in that city, you better if you want to, if you want to get into most opportunities, or most most careers, you better be prepared to learn French, especially in the government.
Mohan Embar 11:20
Isn’t that true? Like isn’t isn’t in Quebec, there’s a rule that’s that businesses over a certain size have to speak French, every day, like on a day to day basis, when they’re conducting their business I heard like, yeah
Scott D Clary 11:33
like the language laws are a little bit nuts. There’s a few different ones. So I don’t I don’t know the laws inside and out. But I do know that just through, you know, casually perusing different newspapers and media stories. There’s some there’s some there was at one point laws where you had to have French signage, you had to have like, if you had your storefront, you couldn’t have like an English only sign, you had to have french french like it. And I think that there is something to be said, if you’re over a certain size, like you have to have so many employees that can communicate in French. And, and that was that was predominantly in Quebec, to be quite honest, I think that outside of Quebec, they don’t have as such strict language laws, especially for private businesses. But I do know that one of the main concerns was not so much in Quebec, there are obviously English parts of Quebec, but Quebec is predominantly French. But in Montreal, Montreal is a very diverse city. And there are parts of Montreal that are more English than Ottawa. So, you know, we’re going through all this, all these Canadian cities and whatnot, and people are listening and not from Canada, they may not know like, where Ottawa is, or Montreal is, but if, you know, the second so the second you go to Montreal, you will have parts of Montreal that are completely English neighborhoods, completely French neighborhoods and imagine telling an English business owner in an English neighborhood that serves predominantly English clients, because, you know, they’re in their, in their in Quebec, they have to abide by French language laws. And that was like a huge point of contention in a lot of, you know, political arenas and whatnot. But yeah, so just I didn’t mean to take you off track there. Apologies. But yeah, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve lived through the benefits. And and to me, it was it was an inhibitor, but I can understand the benefits of understanding, you know, more than one language for sure, obviously,
Mohan Embar 13:19
I feel I feel bad, because it sounds like that was a source of trauma for you. And I think that I think that for a lot of people who have taken language classes, or have been forced to that kind of situation, we’re also taking language classes in school, for example, like one of my one of my pet peeves is the quality of foreign language instruction in the United States. Because when I love languages, and for me, they’re a tool for, for human connection. And also, I find myself kind of boring. Sometimes I love learning about different cultures and different people and different things. And so languages are a tool for that, because they allow me to, to just see these other universes, these parallel universes, I mean, we don’t have parallel universes in real life that we know about. But I think going to another country, actually speaking that language and seeing things from their point of view and able to being able to communicate them is the closest thing to a parallel universe that will get in this lifetime. And so it pains me whenever I hear stories for me who loves this so much to hear that you went through that experience of that being imposed on you. Where people were forced to learn language for whatever reason, where people have had these really dry university classes. I remember when I came back from Switzerland I did my year abroad in Switzerland, junior year abroad and the French speaking part of Switzerland, and that I missed that so much when I came back, that I took a university language class with a person who wasn’t a native French speaker he spoke okay, but he wasn’t he wasn’t a native. And I remember just being so disappointed in that class. We were we were learning about this really boring a sin French literature these philosophers like Voltaire and Rousseau, which is probably interesting. For some people, but I just I just like talking to people, you as a podcast, you I mean, you like connecting with people here we were just like reading these things in like these French grammatical tenses that people didn’t even use anymore because it was written in the 16th or 17th, or whatever century that would that stuff was written in. And my God, it’s AB people have such for something that can give people so many positive things and so many positive benefits. People have such a skewed notion of what this thing is. And you probably see that a lot, as someone who advises people on business development, it’s really easy. Anyone can say, I can coach you and your business development, you know, and they’re probably like about, I don’t know how many percentage of 90 like 90% Quack coaches there are for like, 10% gems, you know, and you have this in any profession, you have this in the medical profession, you have this in the computer profession. And the two common characteristics are A, it’s really easy for people in that field, to, to, to speak in terms to lay people outside of that field, that they’re an expert, and to convince them they’re an expert, when they’re really not. And B, there’s so many wildly different theories and ways of growing a business or, or learning a language or writing a good computer program, that it’s really difficult for a lay person to listen to these different approaches and say, Oh, this is this guy knows what he’s talking about. This guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. And typically, you know, you hire the consultant, the computer programming consultant, he screws your project up. And then like, you know, God only knows how much money out the window later, you realize that you’ve made a mistake, but it’s, I really feel for people who don’t have the clarity on knowing the right way to approach this. And the benefits it can bring, and also the joy that it can bring. When you’re not forced to do it. We’re not taught things the wrong way, dude, I mean,
Scott D Clary 16:52
I think well, that I think that’s I think that’s genuine passion. I think that’s what genuine passion is, is when it’s when you really want to help people irregardless of like monetary compensation, right, that that’s, that’s, that’s when you know, you’re doing something that you truly love. And I don’t know if it was traumatic. I think that’s, I don’t know, it’s, I think I probably could have just tried a little bit harder. But and, you know, just made myself learn a language if I really wanted to get a job. And I’m sure that moving to a bigger city where there’s more opportunities, for me at least wasn’t wasn’t, wasn’t traumatic was probably a little bit strategic as well. And if I wanted to say an auto could have figured it out, but I know that everything you’re speaking about in terms of like these dry language classes, I felt that I think everybody who’s learned language in a formal educational setting, I think is felt that to some extent. And let’s like, let’s understand, like, how do you learn languages? And what’s the best way to learn a language? Why do you find that the way that universities teach it is just dry and mundane? What framework are they following? I’m curious to get your opinion on that.
Mohan Embar 17:57
Sure. So let’s so before I go into like, How to Learn a Language properly, let’s let’s go into why people who think that they might not necessarily want to learn language would want to learn a language. It’s my thesis that I mean, for me, I get personal joy out of it, I get the connection, to share my experience when I went to Montreal I was I hadn’t been there since I was a kid. And so I wasn’t sure to what extent I won’t be able to speak my French there with the people there. I thought it was going to be like this fake French or like, you know that but but it was there were places where I was just totally immersed in. Like I went to some French speaking neighbors. He was like total immersion. And I love that I love being able to communicate with the people there. I love being able to see like when they spoke there, sometimes their English wasn’t even that great either. I mean, they could speak well, but it was clear that French was their foreign language and they weren’t just putting on they weren’t just speaking French for this big of speaking French where they could have easily gone into English. Sometimes their their French was markedly better than their English and so it was like a total immersion experience and I absolutely loved it. But aside from the joy that people who actually love languages can get by learning a language I feel like this is like a really under stated like underappreciated vehicle for personal development that anyone who’s an entrepreneur who’s that anyone’s who’s a business person, the qualities that that you need to be a successful business person that you mentioned in your Facebook posts about like coping with pressure, overcoming art, obstacles, communication skills, problem solving, learning a foreign language, even if you don’t learn it for anything other than that personal development aspect is totally worthwhile because it’s a really, it’s a really low hanging fruit way of of acquiring a skill that allows you to check off all those personal development check boxes. So I would encourage any entrepreneur even if they think that they don’t want to do that, to actually use that as a vehicle for those other things because it’s a really non threatening way of doing it. And it checks off so many boxes at once. Not to mention the fact that like you you touched on where it opens up more job opportunities. In certain places, and even if you’re not working in a place where they require the language there, I’m sure that if you put on your resume, I’m bilingual in French and Spanish and English and French are bilingual in English and Spanish, it’s gonna, it’s going to jump out at an employer that wow, okay, this person has this edge that that other people don’t necessarily have. And also, when you look at language from the point of view of increasing memory skills, they they’re they’ve done studies where they show that people among people who get dementia, learning, knowing a foreign language can actually stave off the onset of dementia by another four and a half years, when I look at people who were to understand that brain development is is something that’s unnecessary, and you’re not you have these companies where you can go online and, and make turtles jump over other turtles, in order to increase your brain power, I just want to go through the screen and shake them and say that there’s so much better, more satisfying way of doing this, instead of like making turtles jump over other turtles, you could be going online and talking to someone in Italy, or you could be going online and talking to someone in Chile or Peru or Spain, and actually having like human interaction that’s developing your brain. That’s, that’s, you know, giving you all of these soft skills that you mentioned in that in that Facebook posts that you need as an entrepreneur, and having so much more fun than than jumping over turtles. So that’s, that’s really why I think that people should look at this really often ignored way of doing personal development. And then to touch on your point is to how to learn a language. Definitely not the way that you learned in high school in most high schools and, and universities. And like I said, I don’t know if I’m being unfair to these teachers, because they’re hamstrung by the curriculum, curriculum requirements, I don’t have the clarity on that, to know what they’re actually going through as far as satisfying their curriculum requirements. But I actually look at the way this thing is, is is taught, it’s really taught is really like this dry, sterile thing, where you have to memorize a bunch of grammatical rules that you’re going to forget the second you walk up through, under be able to read these boring works of literature that are irrelevant, I don’t want to say relevant, I don’t want to just throw literature obviously, a bunch of people have decided that literature is important, but but I’m but
it’s not, it’s not accomplishing the goal of learning a language. It’s a cultural, so I’ve actually just highlight that cuz I don’t want to mince your words, and I understand exactly you’re saying, but I want to, I want to clarify. So when they teach in school, I think they, they they teach the the verbal like the oral, like the speaking, then they teach the proper grammatical structure, so you can write it, and then they teach ancillary works that just like compliment from like, like a cultural or, or, or point of view, that sort of have helped to reinforce and bring like the whole culture and language forward over over history. So all the all these all these buckets are important. But I think that it’s the it’s the the 360 approach that dissuades people from learning something that is that is a little bit more applicable in most people’s lives. Most people are not going to quote Voltaire, most people don’t need to write a thesis paper, improve skip Alfei, like French, right, like they don’t, you know, like, there’s all these different things that you learn in school that are not a put, unless it is a much larger conversation, I would love to have a conversation, but the things you learn in school that are not applicable in your day to day, but I think that language, if it was a focus on speaking, as opposed to, because if I go to if I go to Germany, if I go to, if I go to France, if I go to, if I go to like Beijing, I want to be able to speak with people, I would also love to be able to write, but I’m probably only there for like, a week, two weeks, and I probably want to be able to, you know, converse casually, you know, order food, like go get directions, like these are things that as as a tourist as somebody who is just trying to sort of break in, I would love to do but instead, I’m you know, I’m just either being obnoxious and just speaking English to people that obviously can’t understand me, or I’m relying on like a, like an app that translates in real time. And that’s that those are like my kind of my options as as, as me and I try and be sensitive, and I love to learn stuff, but it’s like it, I wish there was an easier way to do it. So that’s kind of where you’re saying like schools do a 360. It’s, it’s great if you want to understand everything about it. But for a lot of people, that’s not the end goal. Realistically,
Mohan Embar 24:30
I don’t even I think I think schools touch on a number of important things. But I’m not I’m not even convinced about the 365 because I know people that you know, study their Spanish as their major. They can’t really speak Spanish. I think some of the focus is on the oral stuff. And I think here for example, in Santa Barbara, there are a lot. It’s a lot better than it was in Wisconsin because in Santa Barbara, there are a lot of native Mexican speakers who are teaching in the schools versus I think those people are harder to come by in places like Wisconsin. That said, it’s really easy to what extent you can hide behind literature and term papers and, and final exams and stuff like that as like a crutch for actually not being obliged to speak. And, and that’s, that’s one thing I really find missing, when I went through all my university classes through all my high school classes, there was never one moment, I think if I, if there had been like an actual German person there, that I had to talk to, and I was just putting the room in that German person is like, if you don’t find a way to communicate, then then you’re not gonna be able to say anything interesting, that would be much more meaningful than trying to like go through the German irregular verbs, and then in order to be able to take a final exam on that, and I think that’s the part that’s really missing from a lot of schools, the the notion of like, this could be a vehicle, to, to, to understand a different culture to understand for people and to make yourself be able to be to be able to express yourself in those languages, and really just have like this, this window into like, a fascinating alternate reality that, that, I don’t know, I just, I just find that just so fascinating that that language can be a tool for that. If you approach it with that mindset, and if you learn it properly.
Scott D Clary 26:18
So how do you Okay, so how do you learn it properly, then? So let’s so I appreciate that? Yeah. How do you learn it?
Mohan Embar 26:25
Sure,That’s a very good question. So first of all, you have to start with your personal goals, because every have what everyone has different reasons for learning a language. And that’s one thing somebody I got, we did a Facebook live yesterday. And then I got the question from one of our listeners. There’s a school in Denver that says you can learn Spanish in 15 days, is that true? And I was like, I can teach you Spanish in in five seconds. If your goal is to say, Hola, and I just get you all on there. I probably Spanish so what do you mean? Like what do you mean teacher Spanish, like what it all has to start with your personal goals, which are going to vary differently from person to person. And then once and this is true of anything, you know, you’ll know this too. You start with your specific goals. And then you reverse engineer that to find out the how from that. So if we look at the desire of a person, okay, so someone, someone just who just wants to for personal development? And I would say, Okay, let’s let’s, let’s use the common case, let’s use the common case of I want to go and I want to travel to a country, and I want to be able to speak a language to the person. Okay. The first question is, to what degree do you want to be able to speak? Do you want to be able to speak when you go to the restaurant order food? Or do you want to be able to actually, like, live with a host family and be able to do well? Or do you want to go work in the country for six months, you have to look at your specific goal. And then that leads to a goal of proficiency, how proficiency do I want to become and I reason when I recent proficiency, I reasoned according to the Common European Framework for language proficiency, which starts with a one being like a total complete beginner who knows nothing. And then it’s a one a two, B, one, B, two, C, one, c two, or C two is like, basically, near native is basically as close as you can get to being a native without being a native. And so once you figure out what level of proficiency you want, there’s also like speaking with writing, you know, I want to be able to speak it. And I don’t care about writing, or I want to be able to write it, I don’t care about speaking, I want to be able to read medical texts, because it’s really important for my field, but I don’t actually care if I speak it. Once you figure that out, then you then you reverse engineer that. And I would say reverse engineering that always involves some combination of self study, and online language instruction and the online languages structure that people who don’t. And this is this is my, this is my gospel that I want to preach to everyone who does know about this stuff. For people who don’t know about this stuff, our common friend, the one who actually referred me to you, at one point in time, he asked me this question like, why wouldn’t I be able to use Duolingo? And and just be okay with that everyone, I think basically everyone knows to with your language is free app that you can use for drilling practice in order to learn in order to get some proficiency in a language. And Duolingo is great drill and practice stuff is good. But if you divorce that from online language instruction, and I’m assuming basically that people here won’t have the luxury of just going and upping and living in Italy for a year or two years, you know, because because the best way to get proficiency in the language is actually go live in the country itself. That’s undisputed. But if we assume that people don’t have that luxury, then the best way to get proficiency is to get a feedback loop. People know this with piano like people, people who learn while learn how to play a musical instrument. It would be unthinkable for them to just get a bunch of books and then just try to learn how to play the piano without a teacher saying hey, you know what, you’re not arching your hands properly or you’re not you need to do your scales or, you know what, let’s focus on these exercises for your left hand because in order to be able to play this piece, you’re going to be able to like increase your left hand muscles. This really obvious for people who have taken music lessons who have like forced their kids take music lessons, they know that this, this feedback loop is necessary. And yet people will go for months or years if they actually stick with it for that long. And that’s this. That’s another thesis of mine. Because the, as you know, with any learning any new skill, the most important thing isn’t this technique or this technique, the most important skill for something that you are not forced to learn is to not lose interest. That’s the most important thing. If you lose interest, you’re going to stop, and then it’s game over. So that should be the overarching thing of anything that you’re forced to do anything that you want to learn that you’re not forced to learn. How do I find a way to not lose interest, that’s number one, okay. And then with a number one is reverse engineering your goals. And then with that, it’s, I need the feedback. I need I need, it’s actually absolutely insane to think that you can do this on your own without a feedback loop. Because if you’re just imagine if with a with piano, and this is something that I did, I used to I used to get to, I didn’t have the patience to when I was taking lessons to do my scales or to do the simple pieces. I wanted to skip straight to stop chop Scott Joplin and entertainer and stuff like that. And once I managed to just, it’s like freaking, I’m just going to do this. I spent several weeks on it. And I learned how to play Scott Joplin, I learned how to play the entertainer. And I went to my piano teacher with that, because she had basically given up on me because because she I’d never, I never used to practice I would never, she’d give me these assignments. And I would never practice it. And I just come there, and we just be doing the same pieces over and over again, cuz I would never practice them. And then one day, I said, I can do Scott Joplin and I played the entertainer for her. And she was both impressed and horrified because because she was impressed that I actually like was able to like muscle my way through it, but horrified because my technique was just so god awful horrible. I was just really just using my putting my fingers in the wrong place and and doing things that were instead of doing other things. And you could just see the look on her face, like how am I going to get him to unlearn this stuff now, so he can actually play this thing properly, because he’s just he’s just reinforced his bad mistakes over and over and over again, without actually learning just having the little tiny interventions, point interventions along the way in order for me to be doing that properly. And so that’s why that’s why people who think that they can do this alone, without any kind of feedback loop or just a missing the missing the fundamental truth that this is the kind of stuff that you can’t do without feedback loops. And be there also foregoing a very big opportunity to have like an additional degree of human contact and also accountability. There’s some when you look at like, it’s not became a languages and and there’s weeks that I neglect some more than others. And when I look at, for example, Swedish Swedish is like one of my most probably unloved languages, I can, I guess that I can speak it enough to have like a unbounded conversation, but I don’t focus on it and as nearly as much as I could, because like, in some ways, it’s more thankless than the other languages, like all Swedish people think they have the God given right to speak English, with with other people. And, and, and the few wonderful exceptions, there’s an actually wonderful expression of exceptions that I hope if they’re listening to this, that they know that they don’t fall into this category. That was Swedish people. But, but unlike Spanish people and Italian people, where if you just made a little bit of effort to speak their language, they’re like, Oh, my God, that’s so amazing. Good job, go get them, you know, Swedish people, and Dutch people are like, Why? Why are you doing this? You know, we all we all speak English. Like, why would you ever want to do this and that gets back can be extremely demotivating. That’s it. I’ve found a couple of wonderful exceptions. And like with the Swedish person that I do, my bi weekly conversations with, he’s basically the only reason that I’m making forward progress. Because there there’s there, I will say, most weeks, I do absolutely nothing except talk to him. And that’s the only that’s the only forward progress I’m making. And I know for a fact that if you were not in my life, I know for a fact that if I Italian teacher who I meet religiously, every Sunday at nine o’clock in the morning, regardless of how stupid I was the previous night and watching YouTube video too, so three in the morning, and it’s like, oh my God, I want to cancel this because I’m not going to get enough sleep. No, I It’s like a gym buddy. It’s like an accountability partner, you have to show up. And if you if you have to show up, then it’s it’s it’s an accountability partner. It’s a reason to actually to make forward progress, even though you would have probably been inclined to like, drop that or give up on your own. So that’s that’s what I would say a combination of to answer to go back to answering your question, which is like a roundabout way of doing it. I would say reverse engineer your goals, and then find some combination of self study and an online language partner unless you’re able to live in the country which is highly unlikely that will that will allow you to achieve your goals. does.
Scott D Clary 34:55
It does it does it definitely entered my grasp and why my question and no How does Polly tripper accomplish this? Because that’s I’m assuming what your software what your company is, is achieving. So you’re trying to create all those points, or you’re trying to touch on all those points that help reinforce the right behaviors help bring accountability. And you bundled that up into something that is not just a type of software that, like you mentioned, I can remember the exact verbiage you said, but you said where it prompts then you respond. And that’s the only interaction you have with the software. So how does how does poly tripper because I referenced it as like the Airbnb of language teaching. I don’t know if that’s accurate or not.
Mohan Embar 35:40
Oh, it’s totally accurate.
Scott D Clary 35:41
Yeah. So yeah. So how does that how does the software actually accomplish that? So what what lay lay out how it actually works? If I was gonna, like, sign up for it? What does it do?
Mohan Embar 35:48
Sure, sure. So the term you were looking for with apps like Duolingo is Drilon practice, which really practices place, but that those are actually a sterile thing. So with with poly tripper, what you do is like an Airbnb for language teachers and language learners. And so say you’re learning Spanish, you would go online, and you could basically basically, all the teachers, people who want to teach and we have two types of teachers, we have professional teachers and informal teachers. Anyone can sign up to, to teach a language on Poly tripper, if they have if they speak a language natively, and are also non native li people can like their Italian teachers who teach English to other Italian so they can sign up for for our site, too. But they basically, anyone can sign up that we accept, and they indicate whether they teach professionally or formally, informal teachers have no other obligation other than to be able to engage their students and carry on conversation in their native language. So so anyone off the street, could say, I want to sign up to be an English teacher. And we would accept them probably, if they, I mean, obviously, we’ll accept them if they you know what I mean, please, yeah, except most people, professional teachers have an additional requirement that they be able to create more structured lessons for their students. And also we require some professionals to handle total beginners. So if you were a complete beginner with Spanish, I’m not saying that you couldn’t use an informal teacher, but chances are, you know, you see, I’ve seen informal teachers who sign up and say, I don’t do grammar. I don’t actually know grammar. I mean, how how well are most English people have like to explain the grammatical rules of their language. So that’s,
Scott D Clary 37:31
I know, I can’t, you know, maybe some, but like, really, if you’re going to drill me, I’d probably I probably wouldn’t do so Well,
Mohan Embar 37:37
Exactly. So if I were to if I were to ask you grammatical question, you would be Lancer. But that wouldn’t mean that you wouldn’t be able to be a valuable conversational partner, for me as an informal teacher. So we have those two mix of teachers and the teachers can sign up at the professional. Unlike competitor sites, we interview all of our professional teachers. And this goes back to the point of us being passionate about this, this isn’t just like, this isn’t just a business. For us, people are not just numbers for us, we really want people to have a nice experience on our platform, because we want people to experience some of the joy that we felt when we’ve learned a language. And so with a lot of sites, it’s funny because one of our one of the competitors sites that we’re dealing with all the time, people are coming from that site. And they have to report that they have you remember, I was talking about the different levels that you have the a one to two c two, they’re not allowed to teach on that site unless they have a C two level. And so it’s basically the very easy you’ve heard of the TEFL, maybe or the TOEFL, they’re these Test of English as a foreign language test that people can take in order to certify. So you’ve got all these diamond doesn’t rinky dink online places where you can just basically buy a TEFL diploma, you have to maybe just check a few multiple choice boxes, and then suddenly get your apple diploma and they can actually take this diploma to that site and say, Look, I have a C two level English and that sounds like okay, yeah, sure. Come on in, you know, and so,
Scott D Clary 39:04
and they don’t actually get the people they don’t they don’t Oh, no, no, no, no, it’s
Mohan Embar 39:07
actually they vet the people by asking for certificates. But they don’t actually have an interview with these people. They don’t actually, I’ve heard the interview process of that company is basically the Zoom call, where you have like, you know, tiny little squares of a whole bunch of people showing up that Zoom call where it’s just basically it’s like an orientation session, versus actually vetting the people. So we vet anyone, first of all, that says that they want to be a professional teacher, and anyone that says that they have a secret level English because I’m very protective of my language and people misrepresenting my language, especially because of the ubiquity of those fake not fake, but those rinky dink technical diplomas that you can get online, we’ve actually had to like, break the news to several teachers who are signed up as a C two on that other side. That dude, you’re a teacher for our site, but you’re not you’re not a C two. So So either you either you bump that down level or you say you don’t teach English but we won’t accept you if you say you’re a C too in English, and other languages, too. So we vet our teachers very carefully, we select the professional teachers with the great care. And we really want our students to have a nice experience. So basically a teacher signs up, they go online, they set their schedule, just like with Airbnb, you can say, what days, what days you’re available, they say what dates and times that they’re available, they set their calendar, and then you as a student can go and select the language, and browse teachers who are teaching the languages that you want to teach, see what their prices are, see what their availability is. And then once you see that, you can say I want to book a lesson for Saturday at nine o’clock in the morning with this teacher, and then you submit your lesson request and then just like Airbnb, they either accept you or they deny you and and you go on Skype, or zoom or Hangouts, or whatever, and you do the lesson with them. And, and that’s, I can’t stress enough how wonderful that feedback loop is. And also, I feel like I can’t stress enough the the additional advantages that we bring to the table over our competitors, because A, we are passionate about this and there are two actual polyglots where the head of this and every decision we make is informed by wanting people to have this wonderful experience and and benefit from this. And be we also the the if there’s a vetting our teachers, but also we take less commission than than our competitors from the teachers, we take 33% Less commissions from our teachers than than our competitors. Because we because we want to take care of our teachers we care for them. We they’re they’re an integral part of this experience. And so why wouldn’t you want to take care of them? There’s there’s one competitor site, which makes teachers give their first lesson for free every student so every new student that they get as, as the student they have to give that they don’t get paid for it. Like what the hell is that? Who does that? They’re, they’re just so many different ways that we feel that we we are better we do these weekly Facebook Lives. I’m in the trenches with my students I’ve got I’ve actually started learning Russian, which is one of the most difficult languages that you can learn because I want to go people who go on these Facebook Lives every week and say, Hey, I’m I’m in here with you. And Russian is like, down hard to learn. It’s very, very difficult. They’ve got a completely different alphabet. Their grammar is insanely different. They’ve got these weird of sounds that you don’t have an English
Scott D Clary 42:25
if you want to if you want a language partner, you can speak to my girlfriend. She’s really Yeah, yeah,
Mohan Embar 42:30
she really is she she from?
Scott D Clary 42:33
She’s I use Becca, Stan, and it was really Russian. Yeah.
Mohan Embar 42:36
Wow. Yeah, man, hats off to those people. Like I feel like if Russians have this massive edge as far as people who speak Russian have this massive edge because I think if you can learn Russian, you can learn any language I Madras Mandarin, like all those Asian languages are also a different story. That’s like, that’s a completely different universe. That’s my, yeah, Mandarin Chinese is my next and final language in this lifetime. And then and then I’m done with learning languages. But, but yeah, I’m in the trenches with these people. I’m doing these weekly motivational videos for people just just to fire them up for the upcoming week. And we treat our teachers better. And also we listen to our students and teachers, the there’s this one competing platform that had this one really amazing feature called instant tutoring lessons where instead of booking a lesson in advance, you could just go on and see which teacher is turned on their instant lesson switch and just instantly book a lesson with them and half an hour an hour lesson with them on the spot. And then one day, they don’t this feature and people were up in arms and like, why didn’t you do that? And they’re like, Yeah, well, we’ll replace it with something better at some unspecified point in the future. They’re just like over a year ago, people are still in that conversation that are like, what is that thing that you said you were going to replace that with weather like where can I go to find his lessons, everyone is listening, we do instant lessons we come to us because we do have instant lessons. And so and so I think with a combination of like being polyglots, who, who love this stuff, with me being in the trenches with, with us, screening our teachers very easily with us paying them with taking 33% Less commissions for them. And then us actually listening to the feedback of our students and teachers as far as like what their platform would want. We just recently rolled out two features yesterday, which allowed people to book teachers to actually configure the time before which they are they want to accept the lesson. You’re used to be 24 hours in advance. But we made that 1224 and 48 hours configurable by the teacher because teachers wanted that and we actually listened to them versus saying, oh, we’ll send this to our Deaf deaf team and they’ll prioritize it or something like that. We We really hope that a combination of all these things are the reason that people would want to choose us over someone else. And also the understanding that you guys really, really really need this feedback loop in order to make you not lose interest, be in order to have like an accountability buddy. And and be in order to You know, yeah, the feedback loop Yeah. All integral parts of, of, of this process.
Scott D Clary 45:05
And why why is Why is now? Like the golden age of language learning why like, you know, it makes sense. So you there’s a couple things we touched on you know we we spoke about how to learn a language we spoke about your like your business practices like the passion and what differentiates. But like why do why is now the best possible time for somebody to pick up a language and actually roll with it and learn it.
Mohan Embar 45:30
This this very basic, I totally forgot I wrote that. And this, this this a good point, because because I’ve been doing this for a long, long time. I mean, I know I have these youthful good looks and everything like that, but, but I’ve been through this for a long time. And so when I was learning languages, like in the early 90s, for example, it was such a different I remember, I remember when I came back from France, in 1994, we bought this video camera in France one day and I we came back and I bought a car in North Carolina because I was I didn’t want to buy a car in the Midwest, we should have corroded salt, everything just messed up and everything like that. So
Scott D Clary 46:06
but smart, very smart.
Mohan Embar 46:09
It was really cheap used car that I drove it to Pittsburgh to visit my dad and we were filming the whole process. I met his girlfriend for the first time. And we were filming it at one point in time I was getting into a fight with my dad, because because he thought a raccoon was a rodent. And I didn’t think a raccoon was a rodent. And so we were like we were bickering about that. And then we were like, so how would we go about finding out whether a raccoon is a rodent or not? This is 1995. And we all paused. And then his girlfriend was like, well, there’s a bookstore down the corner, I guess we could go there and try to find I mean, so just think about what that universe was like. And that’s that’s the universe that I was that I was doing my language learning in, I would buy these methods, cassette tapes, and I would just read the cassette tapes. And that feedback wasn’t there. And when I actually wrote I actually wrote this guy for people to how to learn a foreign language in 1994. And my tips and tricks were get a get a method with books and cassettes, try to find a video in the foreign language section of your video rental store, by shortwave radio, because you could definitely pick up maybe a foreign language broadcast with the shortwave radio, this was this is my universe back then. And just I mean, just the plethora of videos on YouTube, the ability to actually go online with the ability to do what you and I are doing right now just just talk to each other. And I can hear you I can hear your Canadian accent actually, you know, and oh no, and I love the Canadian x by the way. But just just the ability to do this. I when I went to Italy, my original plan, because when I went when I did my exchange program in Switzerland, what I did was I took a university language class the year before in French. And then I met up with a bunch of french french people, a Swiss people who had done the exchange program in the other direction, I just held around with them, and I made friends with them. And then I went to Switzerland. And I took three three week language courses at the University there. And they were with a bunch of foreigners. And we were all just kind of muddling through this together and learning this together, and so on, so forth. And that was my dream for Italian, I thought with Italian, I’m going to do the same thing. I’m going to go to this group language class of two former Italian and that was my lifelong dream. I just didn’t have the time. And I didn’t find the spot in my life that I was going to do that. But that was the plan for years and years and years. And then I discovered online language learning. And in two years, just with self study, and with the online language teachers, I was able to get such a good level of Italian that it no longer made sense for me to as my goal to go poorly treated myself, I rewarded myself with having achieved a certain level of proficiency by going and doing like a week long language class in Genoa, Italy at a language school. But I have to get a private teacher for that because it wouldn’t have been satisfying. And they agreed with me that the level I’d achieved even before I’d ever gone to Italy to take the language class was just so great that I achieved over with the online language learning that that a private teacher was the next logical step in that progression. And the fact that you can get that level of proficiency, the fact that you can get that feedback loop was the feedback loop was the thing that was missing 25 years ago, the fact that you can get that nowadays with video conferencing is amazing. If I had known that this was the way things were going to shake up back then I would have just been so excited. And a lot of people when you’re actually in the midst of like existing technology, you don’t realize how amazing it is and how many doors that opens up to what was previously possible. But that’s that’s why we’re in the golden age of language learning now because of video conferencing because the internet because the ability to get that feedback loop with people living in the country speaking that language that you can talk to right now.
Scott D Clary 49:54
You know you’re so you’re so onpoint and you’re so right with that and I think that we also forget given, you know, our current or current landscape with pandemic and no one traveling anywhere.
Imagine if imagine this Coronavirus or COVID 19 pandemic happened 30 years ago, how cut off we would be. And and I think that we’re understanding and people are being forced to understand it, and use new technologies. And there is I say this with a you know, a lot of disclaimer as to there’s no benefit to obviously COVID-19. But saying that the benefit to COVID-19 is people being forced to adopt new technology being learning how to, you know, transact internationally, learning how to conduct business remotely learning all these new skills that are quite literally going to like change business forever. So that is, that is the end result of COVID-19. And I guess, you know, the ability to connect and feedback loop and learning and access to information, and, and everything. This is what we’re living through now. And this obviously, you know, the ability to learn new things, language, being one of them, is just emphasized by our ability to connect it with a click of a button, quite literally. So it’s very, very, very easy to go and learn new things now. So make sure that you know, if you if I speak about this as well, and I appreciate you pulling on my Facebook posts, but you didn’t have to do that. It’s very kind of you. But I speak about, like using opportunity now and understanding that we’re so connected, and we have the ability to go learn. And if you are sitting at home and you have extra time, if you don’t, that’s fine. But if you have extra time to go take the opportunity to go learn something, language could be one of those things, but there’s a million just now, like the ability to do and the ability to learn is, is there it’s right in front of us. And if you aren’t upskilling in one aspect of your life, or variety of aspects in your life, you’re really missing out and you’re missing that opportunity you’re missing that you’re missing the boat on that. So I think that now’s a great time, you know, with with services like like poly tripper and whatnot to and even like you mentioned, like the having that feedback loop poly trip aligns you with teachers, but you still if there’s there’s if you’re just not even going on YouTube and watching videos and learning new things, that’s already an issue. But the poly polytropic just reinforces reinforce to a greater extent, like the ability to go learn online. So very, yeah, it makes a lot of sense to me.
Mohan Embar 52:19
And one thing, one thing I would add to that is that is that, for a lot of people, the feedback loop can be scary, because they don’t want to look dumb because they’re afraid of looking stupid. Not only is okay, there are two kinds of people, even the people who are not afraid of looking stupid, and they’re like, they just don’t care, they’ll get up and do public speaking or whatever, you know, more power to them, those people are going to make the best progress in a language because they realize part of the language involves being vulnerable, making mistakes, not being afraid to look stupid, and so on, so forth. For the people on the other hand, who kind of get hung up out hung up about this stuff. This is a beautiful, beautiful art teachers are so patient understanding I’ve experienced working with beginners, and so on so forth. And so there’s no better group of people to guide them through this process, which is scary for some and, and overcome those fears. You know, what a better way to overcome a fear than just being afraid of looking stupid, and then relax, not that bad, realizing that there’s a patient person that’s guiding you through this. And, and that’s, that’s, I think the value of being able to do these online language lessons versus just watching a YouTube video, the YouTube videos are great. And they’re definitely a plus in our day and age compared to 25 years ago. But this opportunity to actually have that feedback loop and overcome one’s inhibitions. I can’t think that’ll make people a better person in so many different aspects of their life, other than just their language learning.
Scott D Clary 53:48
I agree. I agree. Um, I think that even if you watch a YouTube video and you and you do pick up on some things, you’re still going to have that apprehension when you go and speak to somebody if it’s the first time right. That’s very good. I want to I want to I want to tee this up with a couple just like life lesson questions that you’ve sort of picked up over your career in your life. Before I moved back to you know, focusing on you Was there anything else about language learning current native language learning or poly trip for that you wanted to touch on our did we do a pretty good review?
Mohan Embar 54:18
No, you did a great job. Thank you. You’re all welcome. And I’d love to I’d love to have you and guide you through this journey because I absolutely love this stuff.
No, thank you. Um, okay, so so a couple life life lesson questions that I’d like to add sort of a rapid fire question at the end. Sure. Sure. One question is a life lesson that you’ve learned over your career, both working with individuals as a teacher, and as an entrepreneur that you would impart on someone else that you would tell your younger self?
Mohan Embar 54:45
Sure, definitely. I think one of the most important life lessons that I would, that I would teach to people is if you’re not an expert in something, then you’re Hi, I’m just going to be difficult, we talked about this at the beginning of the of the conversation. But when you’re not an expert in something, and you’re seeking guidance from people who are supposedly experts, it’s very, very, very difficult to actually figure out the BS people from the real deal. And so basically do anything you can to figure that out before you actually hop on the train with an expert, and then start taking that ride with them. Because you could be so many years of your life going down the wrong path, or being led by the wrong mentor or, or doing the wrong things. That’s, that’s what I would tell the younger version of myself, I know if I, if I’ve completely articulated that.
Scott D Clary 55:39
No, I think that was very, that was that was very well put. I think that that’s great advice. Because, you know, I always, I also always speak about getting a mentor and mentors in different aspects of your life, which is a great thing to have. But it’s a lot of people that are foolish, you know, like, they’re, they’re full of it. So you have to make sure that you align with the right people. It’s and it is difficult, it’s very difficult, because another side effect of internet and online and, and being able to go online is people have the lowest, the lowest barrier to entry to to putting themselves out there. So it’s you have to be very careful when you’re paying somebody. Anything for any advice ever. I think that that’s probably I find so for me, you know, it’s funny, you mention, I just want to touch on one thing, I don’t mean to take away from that. Sorry, good point all the time. But, like for myself, I’ve even found it hard to like, you know, I’ve done consulting work for companies in the past. And I even find it hard, like when I build out like my brand online to monetize it. Like, you know what I put out podcasts, I put out YouTube videos, I put out social. Even after I’ve worked in so many different companies, I’ve worked in so many different environments. And I’m sure that a lot of the stuff that I do could be monetized. But I feel like there’s this like there’s like a negative energy that comes with people that put out paid monetize online information that I just don’t want to be a part of. And I don’t know how I you know, it’s a shame. But I think there’s a lot of bad actors out there. That’s really my main point. So I think that if if you are paying somebody for some advice, could be online or offline, I think I think that both of them have their, you know, have their bad actors, unfortunately. And I think you mentioned a really good thing. And I don’t even know if it was recorded, but you said it was like 10% of experts actually know whether something like that. I can’t remember the quote, but it was a good point. But that’s just just due diligence on everyone who you you know, you subscribe to, including anything that you know, you listen to hear, like any of the people that come on the podcast, anything that I say like just like, I don’t know what I don’t know, I don’t know everything, I hope I hope I have some advice, but I don’t know everything. So like everyone who you take advice from just make sure that you do enough due diligence that you get some like sound, grounded advice, and you can find other people that can hopefully speak to their efficacy.
Mohan Embar 57:57
I think philosophically speaking, I think cracking that code of trying to figure out the BSB for the real people, if we were to be able to crack that code, somehow that would be the most disruptive thing I could possibly imagine. I know other things like Yelp and stuff like that are just taking a swing of that like, like, I’m really kind of small baby swing of that. But what if they’re away, were a way of looking at all these business development people and saying, oh, you know what this is, this is the right person. And it’s actually proven like, I don’t know, like, I don’t know, any other way of doing due diligence right now. It’s just doing a whole bunch of reading and research and stuff like that. And the end is like a coin toss anyway, because yeah, and you you do your best. And you don’t know what you don’t know this problem. So you just pick someone, but what if what if somehow that code were crackable? I don’t know. I’m just I’m just
Scott D Clary 58:39
I think a lot of people would lose a lot of money.
Mohan Embar 58:42
Can you imagine how many like investment advisors would lose their job when people realize? Yeah, I mean, Warren Buffett says, just just, there’s this one, I’m going off on a tangent here, but Tim Ferriss, you know, yeah. So he there’s this one thing that he talked about where basically he got, he got into the meeting of the Berkshire Hathaway. And he was, he had it all planned out where he was going to figure out the most strategic microphone. And when people asked Warren Buffett this one question, and he did it, he got the one, he calculated this, and he and he actually got the question. And he probably went up to the microphone. And he said, If you were an investment advisor, if I had $100,000, what are the actual asset classes specific asset classes I would invest in for blah, blah, blah, blah, you know, if I, if I just got this inheritance, I didn’t have to go back to work. And Warren Buffett looked at me said, just buy an index fund and invest in the s&p 500 and go back to work, you know, and if most people knew that, just investing in the s&p, s&p 500 were like the best investment strategy and said, like listening to all these investment, just imagine how many people would go out of business. You know, the s&p
Scott D Clary 59:47
500 has traditionally outperformed almost every investment advisor ever historically. Right. Right. So right and,
Mohan Embar 59:56
and yet, and yet you have all and yet these investment visor is just still in business now. Yeah, just boggles my mind with with
Scott D Clary 1:00:01
with the billions, trillions of under Yes. of assets under management, you know, so yeah, it’s interesting. Anyway, that’s a whole other conversation. All right. And last last question I like to ask is one resource could be book podcast, audible person that you have read consumed listen to in your in your life that you would recommend people people check out
Mohan Embar 1:00:28
who asked a good question one resource book, podcast everything like that, I would say, I would say for me it’s like a it’s like a my two my two biggest idols are Warren Buffett and Dave Brubeck. And Dave, Rebecca is a jazz pianist. And he has nothing to do with business development or anything like that. But, but the takeaway that I get from both of those people who are letting go to different lines of work is I saw a concert with Dave Brubeck, and he was 86 years old. He didn’t need to do this. He didn’t need the money. Warren Buffett doesn’t need the money. He just like he says, he says if it’s like this tap dancing to work every day, people that have actually, because there are a million different ways to make money in this lifetime, there are a million different ways to to earn a living. The people I truly, truly, truly admire and aspire to be like, are the people that say that they wake up every day, and they just absolutely love what they’re doing. And they don’t believe that they’re actually getting paid for it. Anyone like that. And Warren Buffett or Dave are the two examples that I think of man, what a what a place to be in, in life, where you’re just doing this till you’re in your late 80s. You could have stopped long time ago, but you don’t because you’re actually loving it. And money isn’t an issue for you. Because you found the sweet spot where your passion aligns with what people are other willing to pay for. I think that’s the the highest degree of fulfillment that anyone can get in this lifetime. And I would love that to be the case for me too.
Scott D Clary 1:02:05
Yeah, that’s, that’s incredible advice. And it’s not so much. It’s not so much like a resource, but it’s just like a person to emulate and aspire to to live your life similar to the way that they’ve been able to set up theirs. And it’s difficult for a lot of people, of course, to be able to just pursue your passion. That’s Yes, you can’t be naive about that. But you still have to say like that, that is something to definitely aspire to whatever that looks like in your specific circumstance. And it’s very good advice. Very good advice. And last last question would be where did they where do they go? People that are listening, where do they go to go find out more about poly poly tripper yourself? Is there a website? I think I pulled it up over speaking but where are all the resources to go find out more?
Mohan Embar 1:02:48
Sure, sure. So our main website is poly tripper.com. Now poly tripping is spelled with one l not two L’s whenever is a really badly chosen name, I think because when ever California people you’re calling tripper, they think polyamory and acid trips. We’re fighting that uphill, but I think I’m hoping that the fact that the name is searchable enough or maybe raises eyebrows compensate and I also found out later on that Trooper means a venereal disease in German so the name has got a lot of big stack that gets it but we love the name. We personally love the name and we already designed a logo. So that ship, but yeah, the website is Polly tripper.com pol y t ri PP er comm one L two piece poly tripper.com. And also I’ve got a free mini course, which is free for us that four part tiny video course which talks about the mental game that you need for language learning, it doesn’t focus on one specific language, but it focus on how like what made polyglots like me, hyper polyglot, so I should say there’s I got just recently on privacy, I got recently accepted to the International Association of high polyglots.
Scott D Clary 1:03:54
Congratulations, I only accept
Mohan Embar 1:03:56
people who speak six languages fluently, or eight languages, conversationally, so I don’t know which of those they chose as the criteria for accepting me. But I’m part of this elite. I don’t I don’t like brag about myself. But I mean, I guess for getting eyeballs. It’s a good thing that
Scott D Clary 1:04:10
I think I think if you if you run a firm or a company focused on language learning, it’s not the worst accolade to have.
Mohan Embar 1:04:17
Exactly. So anyway, I teach a course where I unpack the mental game about why you want to learn language and also the mental game of how we deliver language. And that can be found at https colon slash slash poly tripper.com with one URL slash secret dot HTML s c r e t dot HTML, and it’s like a free mini course becomes really nice PDFs. And you can use that as it’s just my gift to the world. There are no strings attached to kind of learn about how to learn a foreign language. And finally, I think yeah, I think that Bali Bali trip or poly trick or call Yes, finally, you can always email me at support at Poly tripper.com One of the things that that I’m really happy about Right now with this stage of business development that we’re in is that we’re very small. And I have the luxury of doing individual outreach. And I absolutely love doing individual outreach, there’s going to be a time two, three years from now that I’m not going to be able to do that practically with everyone anymore. And then it’s going to be a very sad transition. For me, it’s going to be good, but it’s going to be sad, because I absolutely love doing the individual outreach. So if you have any questions at all, even if there’s not a financial transaction, at the end of it, write me at Ali tuber at support at Poly tripper.com. You can also go to our Facebook page facebook.com/poly Tuber post a question there be part of our Saturday Facebook Lives we do this weekly Facebook Lives like I said, I’m out in the trenches everyone else doing my doing my Russian struggling through that. And so we really want to make this a really like supportive, amazing community where people can find out how amazing this this this this language learning thing is, for their personal development for the doors that opens as far as being able to understand especially in this environment, also the sad environment with with racial discrimination and everything like that. I can’t help thinking that if people actually learned the reasoning they need in need in order to understand other people’s viewpoints, understand other people’s ways of speaking, understand other people’s communication styles that a lot of the insanity we’re having in the world today wouldn’t be there because people have actually like strengthened their empathy muscle and under the wonderful non threatening way of doing that.
Scott D Clary 1:06:30
That’s all for today. Thanks again for joining me on another episode of the success story podcast. You can download or stream this podcast wherever podcasts are available, including iTunes, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, I heart, radio, and many others. You can also watch his podcasts on YouTube. If you haven’t already. Please subscribe and share this podcast with your friends, family, coworkers and peers. Please leave us a rating on iTunes takes about 30 seconds as it allows other people to find our podcast and lets our amazing guests reach even more people with their message. And remember any rating is fine as long as it contains five stars. I’m Scott Clary from the success story podcast signing off