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Episode 454 | Overcoming Fear (Throwback Episode)


Welcome to this week's episode of the rest of us. I'm your host rob. Walling on the show we talk about building startups in an organic sustainable fashion in a way that focuses more on your life your personal life in your lifestyle rather than focusing on building a billion dollar business this we like to value freedom purpose and relationships on the show and you'll notice that while my co host Mike Taper is on hiatus. I've been experimenting dabbling in a few different show formats if you've enjoyed the change up and the focus on improving improving the podcast quality including the recent interviews with Law Rotor and Jeff Epstein as well as the Q._N._A.. Sessions I've had with Tracy Osborne Jordan goal as well as hot see with Matt wincing. Let me know reach out questions it starts with the rest of US dot com or you can tweet it out. I appreciate any feedback you can provide and of course if you're able to give a five star rating in any of the PODCAST APPS us. It's much appreciated today on the show. I'm doing a different intro because I'm trying something. I don't know that we've ever done before. It's too throwback episode and what I did is I went back through the archive and I picked out one of the all-time most popular episodes of this podcast. It's episode fourteen eighteen. It was published July thirteenth twenty ten so almost to the day it was nine years ago and what's also interesting is that when this episode went live my second son was five days old that's Sta interesting coincidence now and again and go back and listen to old shows typically. Don't go back prior to where the feed is just because it's so hard to do but this episode sparked a lot of conversation when it happened and it's one of those where the content itself I think holds up pretty well even nine years later. Some funny things I noticed relating to this episode is we just sound so young and so naive and so impressionable the intro slightly different. I'm going to play the whole episode Q._N._A.. Section in at the end we did a whole episode of content and then two questions that I find or not that interesting so many cup those out but the intro and the outer slightly different which I think is is funny. The audio quality is is not great but it's also you know for fourteen th episode and for it being twenty ten and for us just figuring this out. It's not not so bad but it's definitely a lot a lot fuzzier than than it is today as well as the editing you can hear. The editing is really choppy because we didn't didn't really know what we were doing back. Then we have a professional editor and it's Hilarious Chris my book launch. I talk about my book about to come out. I think I throw at a U._R._l.. But this is pre start small stay small so again I wouldn't go back to an episode if they didn't think really the content is still so applicable. This is one of those evergreen timeless episodes episodes that I listen to instill get something out of and I think that you will too because this is something it's about overcoming fear and it's about overcoming fear in your own head whether it's to launch that I blog post launch that first podcast episode launch an APP take a risk and it just always applies and I find that the conversation is as applicable today as it was then and the even the examples were us. You know I think are still strong even here in twenty nineteen so I hope you you enjoy revisiting this topic especially. If you weren't a listener back nine years ago this is startups for the rest of US episode fourteen startups for the rest of positive launch software products whether you've built your first product or just thinking about it. I'm rob and I'm Mike and we're here to share our experience to help you avoid the same mistakes we've made. What's new this week? Mike I am having tons of fun. Getting a development box set up for a website for those of you. Don't know Robin. I run the Microphone Academy. It's it's more or less to help. Developers learn how to do sales and marketing for their products and we've got tons and tons of content out there but the problem that we have is that whenever we're doing changes to the site because it's all built and wordpress it's very difficult one of the problems that we have is being able to do development work on that box without bringing it down or crash in it because we're making some changes and trying to see if they work and what I've been doing lately is using this product called jump box to essentially bring up a development server very very quickly so that I can dump all the content onto that jump box and essentially what it is. If you go to jump box DOT COM. They've got a couple of different pricing plans but the one that I'm using is basically a lamp stack and it allows you to download a virtual machine and it's pre configured with an O._S. and everything you need to just run a lamp stack and all you do you fired up grabs an I._p.. Address and you specify password for it and you can just log in your up and running and literally like three minutes after you've downloaded this jump box. It's really really cool. That's awesome. How much time did you spend getting that going probably took me more time to download it than anything else and the download really wasn't very large? It was like one hundred hundred fifty meg is something like that for the jump box itself that dominated and like I said they got a couple of different price and plans first one's free but then I've got a pro version and a business version and you know you can get a fifteen day trial for free so that's pretty cool well. It's it's nice to have an environment. I know that's something we've talked about for a long time. <hes> good anything else. No that's about it. What about you to hell have been doing kit grief? Nothing is slager yeah. I've been amazed at how how much extra time this book has taken the books done. The final proof arrived at ordered copies going to the printer. You know that whole thing but like starting a company you think that that writing the actual code is going to be the bulk of work but it's like fifty sixty percent tops ops and same thing with the book like I thought that putting together all the material and writing everything would be the bulk but man. I'm just had such a number of tasks to take care of building the sales website and getting emails out to the list and a number of other things getting is bien number her and working with formatting and of course. I'm not a designer so it takes me a long time to do that. Stuff and it's not as easy to outsource as H._t._M._l.. Work or maybe it is but I just don't have the right contacts. I'm kind of out of my element with it so I've chewed up a lot of time over the past week and actually made a what I consider in retrospect an error in judgment. I basically had a four hour estimate to create the sales website which is just one page thing. Click here too by the P._D._F.. Click here too by the paperback and it wound up by the time I integrated with payment. Processors took me sixteen hours which was just painful and the integration is not an integration. It's just a click and Amazon button and click a google pay button. It's not even like some fancy form that does it all. I mean it's <music>. I was amazed at how long it took US appointed with it. I wasn't going to outsource it just because I literally thought it would take me to and I had estimated four just to be on the high side and by the time I got everything the way I wanted it was way high so in retrospect definitely should have outsourced that I can think of two other mistakes off the top of my head that you've made well the first is. I don't think we've actually talked about the fact that you were writing a book on this podcast episode eleven. We are today my bad all right so we'll we'll score that appoint for you today then the other one though is that if you just ask me my wife used to do print lay out for a magazine right I you've told me that like ten times well. How did I not do that yeah? It's not gonNA look nearly as if she gave it like thirty thirty seconds of luck. I'm sure well that's been my week so if you're interested in the book if you're listening to this startup book Dot Net. It'll definitely be out in available in P._D._F.. In paperback format by the time this podcast goes life. You know the other thing. I wanted to mention this week. Week is I was talking to someone about a week ago and they listen to the podcast and I was like yeah. Well you know you can stay in tune with Mike and I do on our blogs and he was like Oh you guys blog and I was like man. That's like we've been doing this podcast for months and we've been blogging for five years each and I was like Oh. I thought the blog was kind of our anyways. I realized we've never mentioned our blog. U._R._L.'s or maybe in passing we have but if people are interested in hearing more about this type of micro poor stuff my blog is software software by Rob Dot Com and Mike blog is single founder dot com and this is where we actually right original articles in new posts on starting software company launching products and being a microbrewery and such. What are we discussing today? We actually had a listener comment from somebody on the <hes> startups for the rest of US dot com website right. That's right so at startups for the rest of DOT com. That's where you can download and listen to all these episodes and a an episode one. A guy named Scott Herbert made a text comment at the bottom and he said I thanks for podcasts. That doesn't think I have ten million dollars a V._C.. Funding and WanNa tell me how to spend it secondly. I love to hear a cast on fear. Someone has offered to review my application application for their blog and I'm scared by this. I said yes of course but does it get any easier so that's we're GONNA be talking about today. Goal so the short answer to that is you did the right thing and yes. It does get easier than key to making it. Easier faster has to do it more often but we'll talk about that a little bit more. I think when it comes to fear there's a couple of different options that you have and I think I boil it down to four basic options that when you're faced with fear these are your choices you can either cave which which basically you give up you can struggle with it and challenge it had on number. Three's you could accept it and kind of do nothing about it but you kind of except that you're fearful of that and there's just nothing you can do and then the fourth one is you can try and work around that fear or try to avoid it so if you're afraid of heights she just never go into tall buildings or something like that and some of those work better than others but obviously challenging your fears head on is going to help you get over. Those fears a lot quicker rob. Why don't you talk a little bit about what sort of things people are typically afraid of? I think this pertains per specifically to business we could talk about Arachnophobia in fear of all sorts of weird other things like short people but I think this question relates more specifically to building your own business. Yeah the things that I most commonly see software developers and people starting startups dealing with our thoughts like what if nobody likes my software would if nobody buys my software what if I fail and I invest all this time and it's just wasted time would what if I can't get any traffic to my site. What if I don't get this right the first time and what will other people think of me? Even if this does or doesn't work out what will people think of me. Wow this is going on. I think that's a big part of fear is dealing with how other people view you. I mean almost takes me back to junior high and high school. It takes all of us back that someone's GonNa Laugh at US or make fun of us or point something out publicly that is just going to really embarrass us so those are the most common fears I think everything stems from the fear failure and the fear of other are people seeing you fail. I think that's kind of the biggest thing as the people seem to think that whatever they do or say people think of that as a reflection of themselves especially when the writing software and they WANNA put it out there I see people pushing pushing off their software releases because they're afraid of what people are going to think of their software. They always say I want to get it right. I wanted to be perfect and you know what it's not going to be perfect. So you kind of have to get over that. Honestly some people probably have a fear of launch product. What do I do when those support calls come in? What do I do WanNa customers irritated that this bug crashed and they lost all this data? You know what those things can happen. I mean nobody's perfect. That stuff is going to happen sooner or later and the only only thing you can do is deal with head on except that you made a mistake and move on if you sit there and try and live in the past or in the future you're not gonNA get anywhere. You can't sit there and just worry all the time about what happens if this as well you know what why are you thinking about that now. Why don't you continue living your life moving on doing your development get pasture launch and then if that happens then you worry about it and I think maybe there's a difference between doing that versus? If you have critical bugs in your software that you know is going to cause somebody's machine to crash and burn yeah you have to fix those before launch but you can't just let the fear of having bugs in your code or the fear of people running into problems with your code. Take that as a reflection upon on you because it's not a reflection on you. Everybody's human everybody makes mistakes and when you create bugs in your software does our mistakes and they've got to be fixed and getting over those fears is just a matter of accepting that that's going to happen and you can fix those bugs you can move on and version two is going. It'd be better than version one. I think the two things that I think about when encountering fear like this. Is that a the first time you do anything you're going to be scared like the first time you publish a single blog post. You're going to be scared. I was the first time I did it. First Time I've published an essay and a bunch of people read it and people started ragging on it. I had anxiety about this. I mean this is just naturally the first time you record a podcast. You're going to have anxiety the first time you speak at a user group. The first time you speak at a conference any time you do something publicly. You are going to have some type of fear. There's some natural inclination and all of us that we feel like we're going to be judged by everyone and whether it's realistic or not knowing that the first time you do something you are GonNa feel this anxiety and this fear is I think really helpful because then you can identify very quickly and say Oh this. Is that feeling again it's that same old thing that comes very naturally and you know I shouldn't be scared of it and I shouldn't let it talk me out of doing this thing. I've actually started following thing that fear and this is a little bit like Seth Godin with Lynch pin where it kept saying the Lizard Brain that's negative talk and if you go towards the Lizard brand when the Lizard brain talks to you and says don't do this thing you're typically stretching yourself when you're actually doing something good. You're actually moving in a direction that will grow who you are and the second thing is that I think software developers most of us have this natural anxiety of wanting to be perfectionists. I was talking to a developer today and he said Yeah I just I want my software to be perfect. I know it's not going to be but what if I launched it and there's a bunch of bugs in it. There's kind of two different types of people right there. The people who don't care enough and those people don't tend to be really good software developers they don't tend to while on a software product the ones who are doing this tend to be more of the perfectionist actionist tend to be more of the people who are stressing out about it and that's us we have this anxiety that actually provides productivity. If you've ever heard of your keys Dodson curve it's psychology theory that anxiety helps you to appoint helps you be productive off and if you're not anxious at all about a deadline it's very likely you're gonNA miss that deadline and that you're not going to be productive and so anxiety and which translates into fear is actually a good thing to a certain extent and it actually will make you perform better and do more work quicker be more productive. I know what you're saying about being able to have a healthy dose of anxiety because I remember back in college. I used to feed off of deadlines like it was my job. I guess kind of it was but the fact is like if I had a deadline for a paper coming up or a project or something like that as that deadline got closer and closer I would just use it to energize myself and kind of really focus in on what it was that I had to do and what I had to get done and somehow it just helped me to meet a lot of the deadlines and don't get me wrong. I mean there were certain amount of procrastination in there but I've also seen studies where that you take three groups of people and you give one a deadline at the end of the quarter semester and then you give another group of people regular. Our deadlines throughout that time period and you've tell third people they can create any deadlines they want people will tend to procrastinate until the end I would just feed off that natural energy for those deadlines so for me the anxiety I think helped a little bit but you also have to be a a little bit realistic about keeping in your head. Am I actually going to meet this deadline or is it just a completely lost. 'cause that's the thing with fear and I'm kind of equating fear with anxiety because I think when you say fear you think a Lion Diana attacking us and anxiety is more of a realistic explanation or realistic description of of what we really feel when you're going to go up and speak in front of people or we're going to release a software product and maybe have someone say something bad about it or something. I think it's anxiety might be better word for it but there was a study and of course I wish I could quote it but it was a study done at U._C.. Berkeley and it compared the anxiety levels the stress levels of cops who are working in East Oakland versus students during finals this week and the anxiety levels were actually higher in the students during Finals Week and what that shows is that anxiety a lot of it if not all of it is in your head some of it can be chemical as well. It'd be prone to be an anxious person but a lot of it is in your head had ever since then I've really learned to focus in on my anxiety and realized when it's coming and identify it and do something more productive with it and allow it to motivate me rather than caused me to cave. I think you bring up an interesting point about all the different fear and anxiety though because I think personally I have my own fears and my fears tend to be more long-term things that I'm afraid of happening and then there are certain anxieties that I'll go through. I'm a pretty good public public speaker but I think everybody gets at least a little bit nervous when they're bought to go up and do some sort of big presentation but in terms of fierce and stuff one of my own fears as the sole breadwinner of my family. My wife stays home with the kids so that I can go out I and work but one of my fears what my income streams come crash into a hall. I'm not able to swap my family. What if I'm on the road? Something happens to me. We'll my family. Be Taken Care of how will that happen. How are they going to deal with that and honestly I generally don't worry about myself in terms hours of my health but it doesn't mean that I didn't go out and by life insurance policy just to make sure that that sort of thing is taken care of in terms of my income streams? I know that if it came down to it I would do whatever needed to be done in order to make ends meet I mean if I had to go to Barnes and noble and get a job Bob stacking books or something like that what so be it. I'll do what it takes to take care of my family but that's one of the long-term fears that I have. I don't really get anxious about those. I mean I think about them but I also think about how to deal with them and how to alleviate those things as concerns. What about you? I think the long-term fear I have is the same thing I mean being that we're both self employed. It's a reality that our income could be majorly impacted very quickly and in fact these last few months I've talked about it. Due to the recession. There's several different income streams that I have that have substantially decreased fifty percent or more and so I've kind of been staring in the face realizing wow if it continues like this. There's going to be some issues down the line over the next few months and so this is all happening right as I'm about to have my second child so it's absolutely I think any entrepreneur the fear of just making ends meet and continuing to have a solvent business is a valid fear and it is for me as well. That's one of the things that I've heard from people as well and I get asked that question. Aren't you afraid of going out of business with this that and the way I see it being self employed actually gives me a certain amount of control over it because I am in control of my own destiny. I get to make the decisions that ultimately affect how I do in life if we're working for some corporate employer some place they could decide to let everybody go on any given day and there's literally nothing you can do about it you think about in terms of job security most people think of it that way but you can also think of it in terms of financial security you you go to work for somebody. You're completely their mercy in terms of your income and sure they can let you go and then you can go find another job but right now. It's hard to find jobs for most people there's tons of people out of work and the unemployment rates really high. I look at that and say well well. You know what I could either work for somebody else where I'm completely at their mercy or I can work for myself where I'm at the mercy of my own bad decisions so to speak and honestly to make the choice between those two. I'd rather work for myself. Any Day of the week now granted. You have to be making money in order to be able to do that sort of thing but it's certainly an interesting to look at it yeah. I think you make a good point there no matter which avenue you choose whether you work for an employer or start your own company. You're going to have fear about something right. You should would have some fear that maybe you'll get laid off. Maybe the company will go to business. You should have fear if you're an entrepreneur that maybe you won't make ends meet so it's not like you can escape it by choosing one route over the other. I think people can talk themselves into not having fear if they work for an employer. I think you're kidding herself but by saying oh I'm not going to get laid off. You know these companies ever GONNA go out of business those kinds of things but I think that there are fears in really in any choice that you make. There's no way to escape the realities of what might happen right one of the quotes that I keep and it's actually sort of related to fear this quote. I keep actually on a posted note right next to my monitor it reads it is possible to commit no mistakes. Instill lose was actually in a star Trek. The next generation episode from Patrick Stewart. I think it was in reference to data was playing this game against somebody else and he ended up losing to this other person and he couldn't figure out how it was that he lost in. That's what Captain Picard told him he's like. It's possible commit no mistakes and still lose and that's true in life as well. I mean you can do all the right things and still come out with the end of the pack. There's times when there's absolutely nothing you can do and you're GONNA lose. I mean that's just a fact. I don't want people to think that you'RE GONNA lose every time but there's always a chance that you could lose and there's always a chance that you could fail at whatever whatever it is you're doing but if you're in control if you're making those decisions most people generally think they're smart people. They're gonNA make reasonably decent decisions and you have to keep that in mind when you're going through those motions. You'RE GONNA make the right decision with the information that you have at the time and if the end of the day you came out at the end of the pack you have to kind of except that move on and say okay well that was a learning experience and take that forward and go on with the next task when you can't let those things bother you I mean I know people who Kinda let things bother them. I'm for years I can think of one person particular who's let things bother him for years and years and years and you know what he's never going to get past. It hasn't happened yet. You can either let get in your way of life or you can put behind you and keep going. The other thing I like about that quote is I think it's a good reminder that you have to take risks in order to do something worthwhile. You have to take risks in order to start a company or even to have a child or buy a house any of these things that I personally hold ear and that other people may as well you can't just stay in your safe zone all the time and that's really what I take away from. That quote is it's like you can make no mistakes and never do anything and still fail. If you decide oh well. I'm never going to get married. 'cause I might get hurt. Never we're GONNA have child because it's too hard never going to buy a house. 'cause I don't want to take on the risk and never going to start a company in my life and my goals I would consider myself that I would not have succeeded. If I hadn't done these things. Would I take away from that. Quote is that taking risks is a necessity cassidy. If you are an ambitious person and if you have goals you're going to have to risk something to achieve those goals and if you sit back and don't do it that I would consider that failure not taking the risks and taking the risks doesn't mean you're guaranteed failure or success. It just means that you're taking those risks. You're kind of gambling either way but honestly it's not like the odds in Vegas. I mean your odds a lot better when you're putting that faith in yourself and your own decision making powers as opposed to the dice or or the Roulette Table Vegas it's completely. Different type of gambling. I'll say calculated risks as what I'll call it so that why don't we talk about six steps to dealing with that fear or anxiety step number one is to take small steps. He tried to leap out too far bar. If you try to start a huge company try to start to companies at once it can just be too much and it can overwhelm you pretty easily so if you are the type of person that fear tends to hold you back. Take a small step. Maybe instead of putting up a bunch of money or putting in a bunch of time in order to start a company tried to other start a smaller version of that or just do a little baby step of trying to get that minimum viable product out and do some traffic testing and see what's going to happen. It's a much smaller step but still help. Nope move you in the direction of say starting a company. The other thing you can do is if you're trying to get into for example product marketing. You don't necessarily have a product yet. You could sign up for any number of affiliate programs like Amazon Dot Com got one on where you can become an affiliate to sell their books and by referring traffic back to them. If those people buy things from Amazon you get credits for those well. That's very small thing and I'll be perfectly honest and say I don't think that you're GonNa make a lot of money from it but but she will probably learn quite a bit from it and you can use that to help yourself as a baby step to become a better market for example. The step number two is to get some concrete motivation in the right direction. What this really means is then? If you're trying to do something finds somebody else who's done at and kind of pick their brain get some help from them. Ask them how they did. It asks them how they dealt with their fear or their anxiety about it. So if it's for example public speaking you can go talk to somebody else who does public speaking for a living or join toastmasters or something along those lines. I mean you really need to find somebody else who can talk to you about it or you can talk to them about it and ask them questions and and really get down to the bottom of what is your afraid of and have them help motivate you. In the right direction. Step three is to look at failure rejection in a new light and what we mean by that is instead of taking failure and rejection as has a negative thing realized that it does tend to be valuable learning experience. Mike and I've already talked in a previous episode about whether failure is a learning experience or not or you should only have successes or the whole discussion of that both of us bleep pretty firmly that you will learn from your failures and that rejections will ultimately teach you to overcome that he's hurdles that you're facing. I know that every time I've faced rejection it's impacted me but the more that I faced the less each of them impact me. I think becoming aware that failure and rejection are going to be inevitable as you do anything that has risk in it becoming aware of that as a big part because then once it comes you're much less surprised by it and there's obviously different levels of that failure and rejection Robben Island also talked before about when we first started getting into ad words and we blew in excess of a thousand dollars a piece in the first month of doing our Edwards campaigns. Don't get me wrong. A thousand dollars is not pocket money or anything to be blowing Edwards but you know what I've made some much much greater financial mistakes than that in the past and you know you just Kinda. Take them with a grain of salt and say look. You know what I understand. What happened in? It's not something something I would repeat but you'll learn from those things number four is to not get to caught up in the past or in the future. You really need to keep your mind working in the here now and what I mean by that is if you've made mistakes in the past. Don't dwell on them because because it's certainly not going to help you. It's just GonNa drag you down. It's GonNa drag your morale down and you're going to be constantly thinking about them and what that will do is a byproduct is basically distract you from the things that you have going on today so while you're doing that you're basically divide in your mind while half of it saying Oh my God. I can't believe that thing that I did last Thursday or three years ago and it still haunts me to this day. It's like well you know what everybody makes mistakes and how you deal with them is just as important as the things that you take ache from them and similarly. You can't worry too much about what's going on in the future. If you've got some problem that you think is going to come up in the future and I'll go back to the one I mentioned before about. I travel a fair amount for my job and what happens if I'm on a flight and the plane goes down now granted the chances of that happened in a pretty slim to none but you know what it could happen so what I do I went out and I got a hefty life insurance policy and if something does happen to me at least I know that my family is going to be taken care of. It's all about mitigating those risks so that you can take your mind off of those fears and put them together and focus on what it is that you're doing today. Step five is things don't happen overnight. An aim to keep working at bottom bottom line is that fear goes away the more times you do something. If you ever fear public speaking the more times you do it. It's GonNa get better and if you have fear of publishing blog post if it takes you ten hours and twenty edits to get five hundred post is out you need to do it more. You'll get a little better at it but you'll get over the fear that it has to be perfect and if it takes you twenty hours to build a website so the bottom line is it's not very complex. You're going to be scared the first time you do something and you need to do it over and over if it's worth to you to actually get good at something and the six step to dealing with fear is to get a sanity check from someone else whenever you're working on something whether it's your software blog post or piece of marketing collateral federal or press release anything along those lines anything related to your business or even in your personal life just get a sanity check from someone else and like can be a close friend. It could be someone who barely knows you and I had somebody contact me who said Hey I'd like to get your input on something because I don't talk to you very much and you don't know anybody that I know so it'd be great to hear from you about what you think of this and that's a perfect scenario where you can get that sanity check from someone else with virtually no fear of anyone else being informed about what your fears are one of the things that Robin I actually used to do probably five six years ago something like that. When we were first getting our blog started we we actually started sending some of our blog post back and forth just to get a kind of a sanity check on it into say hey what do you think of this article? What do you think of the wording of this? Does this strike a cord. Is it just too bland etcetera and we did that for Roy was like six months or something like that and then we just kind of you know went off our separate ways but and by that time we kinda gotten over our fears about doing in any sort of blog posts in publicly voice in what our thoughts and opinions were. I think we did for closer to a year. Actually I think it was certainly was helpful for me. I think it improved the work that both of us produced as well as at least from my perspective it reduced the anxiety I I had when I went to publish something because I knew that someone had already looked at it pretty critically and so if I send it over and you Kinda said now this is not very good or there's a big flaw in this logic than I would reread that piece and then when I posted it I knew that no it essentially had sanity check onto it and it really reduced the fear that I was going to get slammed online so to recap the six steps at dealing with fear our number one take small steps number to get some concrete motivation in the right direction number three failure and rejection in a new light number four. Don't get caught up in the pastor the future work in the here now number five keep working at it. Things don't happen overnight and number six get a sanity check from someone else so thanks to both John and troy. If you have a question of comment please call it into our voicemail number at one eight eight eight eight zero one nine six nine zero or you can email an m._p.. Three or text format to questions startups for the rest of dot com if you enjoyed.

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