Authentic Conversations with Entrepreneurs Episode 17: “Dive in the Depth” with Sebastian Cruze

In this episode of “Authentic Conversations with Entrepreneurs” I spoke with Sebastian Cruze, Founder & Uniter of TrueFreedom Partners. Sebastian shared his journey from the fetal position on the floor to now building his business with “true freedom” of passion, purpose & profit!


Katherine Morales: Hey everyone, thanks for being here. This is our 17th episode of Authentic Conversations with Entrepreneurs. I’m so thrilled to have Sebastian Cruze here. He is the Founder, and I love this word, Uniter of TrueFreedom Partners. But before we jump into Sebastian and his topic today, I always like to explain, what is an authentic conversation? What do I mean by that? And I describe the word authenticity as the Good & Growing that lives within all of us. We live in a society where we see the good very easily online. That’s what everyone wants to put out there. But this is a moment to really relate to the growing experience of another entrepreneur in this wonderful journey we get to experience. So let’s start today with the topic that we’re going to dive into and that is Dive in the Depth. So Sebastian, thank you for being here. And as we start out, just tell us, when did you first experience this? What does this topic mean to you?

Sebastian Cruze: Yeah, so for me, it’s all about passion. Passion. And I truly believe that your passion is your power. And so for me, my story began when I was not focused on passion at all. All I was focused on was three things, money, money and money. And that was it.

Katherine Morales: I love the honesty.

Sebastian Cruze: That’s what it was. So there I was, 19, starting my own business. And you know what? I was focused, I was determined, very braggadocious. But we started going. So we 11 x’ed our revenue in nine months. My team ballooned to 25 full-time team members. And pretty soon, this dream that I had built, and I’m doing quotes with the dream, became a prison, because I was working a hundred hours a week, stressed out of my mind. And long story short, it all ended up imploding for a number of reasons. And in that moment where I imploded, I found myself back and moved in with my mom, which before that, I had all the answers, especially for family. I had all the answers, I had all the this and all the that. All that was gone.

Katherine Morales: So you’re in your twenties at this point, moving back home.

Sebastian Cruze: 21 I think. 21 or 22. Yeah. So moved back in, and at the time, I went into a bunch of debt, because I had payroll, 25 full-time people, so you paid. And I couldn’t let them go. I couldn’t make that decision. So I sunk that back into a hole and it culminated in myself being literally in the fetal position, tears coming out of my eyes, and I’m like, I’m just trying to do a good thing and this is not working. And personally, at that time, I just wanted to yank the court. I started thinking of just, I don’t want to be done with this. And in that moment, after a while, with the snot and the tears, and everything, it was not good. It’s just where it was.

Katherine Morales: That’s so true. Everyone’s been there at some point.

Sebastian Cruze: And then I started feeling this energy rising up and I knew, I have a purpose on this planet and that purpose is to serve. And I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what that looks like right now, but I know it’s there and I’m going to follow that, or die trying. And so in that moment, my priorities flipped. I went from the money, money, money to service. And money’s still an important part of that, of course. But what’s leading? Service. And so that began my journey on this path of following my passion, where it just started with a feeling.

Katherine Morales: Wow. Okay. I mean, I just literally got goosebumps as you said that. So yeah, thank you for sharing. I mean, yeah, let’s just continue that path. So service, how did you get up off the floor, and what did you do once you connected with serve?

Sebastian Cruze: Yeah, so I went back to one of my key mentors, Nicholas David Ngan, who is the founder of the Sole Contract Community. And it’s a personality profile, basically looking at what are you here to do? What are unique gifts? What are the challenges along the way? And so I went back to him with humbled eyes, I said, hey, let’s take a look at that sole contract thing. And I started following that. And on version two, I created my SEO company and quickly grew that to multiple six figures. And where I found myself the next chapter was, I had freedom. I had highly passive income, had the time and freedom to really dive into now my passion. I knew my purpose was serving in a certain way. Now I was like, what do I really love to do? And I didn’t know, and I didn’t know for quite some time, but I explored with the time that I had and that culminated with me really discovering that, what I love.

Katherine Morales: Yeah. Wow. So it’s so interesting, because I think this is so true. We see it in our culture and our in business, that you can have… Obviously you know how to grow a company and have been successful, but you weren’t happy in it and you found yourself in these moments in the depth of it, saying, okay, there has to be something more for me and my purpose here. So I love that. Yeah. Thank you for sharing the snot on the floor too. But I think that, like I said, everybody’s been there. There’s a reason they talk about the fetal position, it’s not just when you’re in the womb. When we return to that, I think it’s only up from there. So I love that you… Yeah, we think when we get to the bottom of the depth, in the bottom of the barrel, if you will, of that depth, that that’s it, but it’s like the rainbow. Yeah. Beautiful. So you said this is true freedom. So your business now is true freedom. So what does that look like? How have you combined this passion and purpose, and building a successful business now?

Sebastian Cruze: So the next part of the story, something unexpected happened, but first, true freedom. What does that mean? For me, it personally means having the time and money to do what you love. True freedom, having the time and the money to do what you love.

Katherine Morales: I love that you repeated that. We need to hear that again.

Sebastian Cruze: Yes. And it’s like you noticed that I didn’t say what I love, it’s what you love. Because I believe you have a unique passion, you have unique insights. So it’s for you and it’s personal. It’s personal the mind to do what you love.

Katherine Morales: Right. So that’s what is beautiful, because you’ve built a business or that’s what you’re doing. I know we talked before this, so I don’t know, you’ve talked about head, and heart, and hands, and I just love the visual of that. Does that connect to the passion piece?

Sebastian Cruze: Yes. So this is what happened next in the story, which is, I had my business that was giving me freedom, and now I get to really dive into my passion and see how to make a business out of that, what that would even look like. And so I started getting clearer on my passion that I thought, okay, I’ve built companies before pretty quickly, and now it’s based on what I love to do, and now it’s connecting my purpose that every cell in my body is born to do. So why wouldn’t it be easy? And that was so wrong. The music scratch starts. It wasn’t clicking. It would click here, it wouldn’t click there, and it was very humbling to me, because I’m like, whoa, I’ve done this before. And what I learned through that process is that there’s a different playbook for following our passion. A different playbook. It’s completely different playbook than just launching a business that hey, it’s there to do good, obviously deliver value, but it’s not like that thing that you want to be doing for the rest of your life, like your forever business.

Katherine Morales: Like I can’t not do this.

Sebastian Cruze: Right. So I started testing so many different things out through trial and error. And as I would learn a little bit more, people would show up and say, hey, can you teach me about this certain thing? Can you coach me on this certain thing? And that’s what started putting together the pieces over a journey that was a lot longer than I expected, a lot longer than I wanted, and a lot more painful than I would’ve ever believed. To put together everything in this playbook for following your passion, and that’s what birthed TrueFreedom.

Katherine Morales: Nice. So what are the head, hand-

Sebastian Cruze: Oh, sorry. Thank you.

Katherine Morales: Don’t let me butcher it. You tell it.

Sebastian Cruze: So I focus on helping you follow your passion, launch your program and grow your community. So if you have a special expertise and experience that you love sharing with others, then what I’ve discovered through trial and error is that it needs to speak to their head, their heart, and their hands. And this is where I’ve had such tough lessons, and I know a lot of people have as well. So say you have your expertise, you have a method, you have an experience you want to share with others, in order to sell it, if we want purpose, profit, and passion to all come together, we need the profit piece. Otherwise, what happens, which I’ve had happen during that phase of my life too, where I was giving value, giving, giving, giving, giving, people are loving it, but I’m like, no dinero coming in, or very little. I feel depleted. I’m given from an empty cup and I don’t want that to happen to you.

So the key thing I found, one of the pieces is, speak to their head with what your expertise delivers. That’s the ROI. What’s the return on investment? What am I going to get? Speak to their heart. That’s why you? Why did they choose you? If there was a hundred different products that did the exact same, which they’re not going to be, but let’s just say they were, they’re going to choose who they resonate in their heart with, and that’s you. And that’s why I love this authentic-

Katherine Morales: The authentic you.

Sebastian Cruze: Exactly. And then the last part is the hands. So your expertise in a certain method, blueprint, process that they can follow. So head, heart, and hands. And when that happens, you give your love, and the more you give out, the more money comes back in.

Katherine Morales: Nice. So I love that you’ve experienced this yourself and that it’s built from a place of your journey. Obviously this has been a process for you to create with time, trial and error. So is this something that connecting with this truth of, let’s dive in the depths, that’s how you discover that, how you put it together? I mean, do you dive in the depths with your clients now? Where do you meet them? What’s that time when they come to you?

Sebastian Cruze: It’s the required ticket to enter the door.

Katherine Morales: Like they’re already in the depth or that they’re willing to go in?

Sebastian Cruze: Both actually, now that you say it, both. So they’ve got to be able to go there, have been there, deep, whether that’s spiritual type, exploration, therapy, shadow work. And then it’s like, okay, that’s prerequisite to get to the door. Then once we go in, we’re going to be swimming around there, baby. We’re going to be moving around.

But if we don’t go there, then the unique self doesn’t go there, as you absolutely know and share with your clients. And if that doesn’t go out in the marketplace, then no one’s going to show up.

Katherine Morales: I love that. I love that you have that pre-qualifier and know it so well. Because I think when you were explaining the head, heart, and hands, it’s interesting, because I feel that traditional business, as we know, it is this all head. ROI, ROI, the money, money, money thing. And I know you don’t operate from solely that place and I don’t operate from that place. And so maybe my perception is skewed a little bit, but I feel like this is the awakening that our society is having right now. I feel like if we studied Gen Z and the larger consumer market, because I nerd out on that stuff, so not just a feeling, but people, the new consumers, want the heart. Their heart is in it. So I don’t know. Do you see that too?

Sebastian Cruze: Absolutely. And I’m going to share something here.

Katherine Morales: Please do. That’s what we’re here for.

Sebastian Cruze: So for me, the passion really clicked. I think it’s around 10 or 11 years that I’ve been in this game, in one step or another. And so back then, passion was a dirty word in business. There was no respect with passion. Say, hey, I want to follow my passion. They’re like, what are you talking about? Shut up. Get out of here.

Katherine Morales: Get out the door.

Sebastian Cruze: Take this guy out, look at him.

That’s how it was. And then something switched with COVID. People had a lot of time to think, huh, do I want to be doing what I’m doing every day, 40 hours a week? Do I want to be doing this for the rest of my life? Or even 10 years or five, or even three? And a flip happened, where people were like, what do I love to do? My time is finite here. How do I want to serve and contribute? And so I saw a complete shift for people being drawn to this. And guess what? For the people who still haven’t clicked, sorry bud. If that’s not going to click for you, it’s not gonna click for you.

Katherine Morales: Yeah. If you didn’t deepen through the COVID experience, then who knows? Good luck.

Sebastian Cruze: Yeah. If you didn’t ask yourself those questions, okay, what do I truly want to do with my limited time here? How do I truly want to serve? If those questions did not click, then that’s a road that’s not for me to carry you on.

Katherine Morales: Well this is how I say you have your Right Someones™. This is how we’ve clicked for sure. Because it’s interesting, recently I said, I was like, my clients, my right someones, they’re the people that ask themselves, why am I alive now? What is their mind to do? I think there’s people that can go through their whole life and they don’t ask that question. But I love that you hit on the finite. And then even when they ask that, it’s also the understanding of, you can be in business for the finite, which you need to set goals and have revenue, but also, my prerequisite is like, you live for the infinite. You know that you’re planting seeds today, that will have an impact far beyond what you may see in your lifetime, but you’re going to do it anyways. Because even if a few minds change or even if… They’re change agents. And I think that’s what I see in you and that’s what I love, and I just have to have you on here because of that. So I love it. So I guess, what advice would you give for that person who is struggling? They have the passion, but somehow it’s just, they’re looking at their bank account and it’s not transferring over there. What should they do first, besides call you?

Sebastian Cruze: Well, three things. Number one, the world needs what you have to share. The world needs what you have to share, that’s what I truly believe. So no matter where you’re at right now, you have connected to your passion and the world needs it. There are so many people that are waiting for your expertise, waiting for your love, waiting for your own style of how you deliver it. So number one-

Katherine Morales: Amen.

Sebastian Cruze: The world needs what you have to share. Number two, purpose, passion, and profit.

Katherine Morales: That’s a loaded two. You’re like, I got to keep it to the three list now. So couldn’t become five real easy there.

Sebastian Cruze: We got subcategories, that’s my little work around.

Katherine Morales: I love it.

Sebastian Cruze: So those are always three things, because then that’ll make sure your cup is full. And the more your cup is full, the more you give and vice versa. So it’s going to serve the world. So keep in mind, the money needs to flow short term, medium term, and long term, and that’s the playbook. And that means that you get to serve more. So that’s number two.

And number three, boundaries. So when we’re following our passion, it requires a higher skill with boundaries, I believe, than other realms. And I also truly believe that if somebody’s not following their passion, they’re not going to understand what you’re going through. They’re not going to understand what we’re going through, because it’s a whole different ballgame. I’ve seen people that have conquered the world, but they start following their passion and it’s like a weak, timid mouse. But that’s okay, because it’s a new game. It’s like if you play basketball your whole life and you go to football, it’s a totally different game.

So the thing is boundaries. And what does that mean? It means boundaries with your time, boundaries with your insight, boundaries with your money, so that your cup is full. Because again, what happens when we’re following our passion, like clockwork for people, is they get depleted, because they’re giving with no boundaries and they get burnt out. And we don’t want the starving artists. The age of the starving artist is done. What we’re going into is the age of the abundant artist. The abundant creator.

Katherine Morales: I love it. I have to also just point out, this is what I love about you, Sebastian. I think a lot of times when people would say three things, they would already… I mean, maybe you did, but they would already know the three things. But I love how you… And it’s just a confidence. And this is why I want people to notice too and try to discover within themselves, this is why I’m pointing it out. That first point you made, the world needs you. You can be passionate, but if you don’t connect that to the authentic you, it’s not going to go very far, at least I think. And what I love is that you trusted yourself to feel into that moment, like there was a pause versus the, I’m just going to say this stuff. And it’s just beautiful, because you pause and you’re like, and you do that a lot and I think more people should do that in business.

We live in a society of go, go, go, but everybody’s dying just to take a breath. And I agree, it’s boundaries, but boundaries of time. One of the things that I talk about, and again, this is how I just love you and we align, which not all my guests have to, but I just really do, that’s why I’m mentioning it, is I talk about rhythm. I talk about rhythm in business. And I say, we are uniquely designed, and you have to listen and find what your pace is.

This is what success looks like, but what is that? We all have our own definition of success. So maybe the freedom is afternoons off or four-day work weeks, or two day, or working from wherever. But to get there, you have to be operating your business with your pace on the path and your rhythm. So I think that’s very similar and I just love it. I love it. Well, okay, I have to show them where to find you. We got to do that. So I love it. What can they discover when they visit there? Can they get a call with you?

Sebastian Cruze: So I recently made a shift, where I’m giving everything for free on my YouTube channel.

Katherine Morales: Oh, okay. Stick up that link. Here we go.

Sebastian Cruze: Cool. Thank you. Yeah. So no opt-in required, it’s on my YouTube channel. Recently I’ve uploaded 240 videos plus. Part of that was I used to have a program that was $2,500 and I put it for free on YouTube. It’s called Decode-

Katherine Morales: What’s that called?

Sebastian Cruze:  Decode Your Genius.

Katherine Morales: Decode Your Genius. Okay.

Sebastian Cruze: So it’s all about going into your passion. What do you love to do? What is your purpose? Walk you step by step, bite-size videos and all of the six modules. And so that’s my philosophy is, give everything for free, and then for the few that want to partner up on your purpose-driven sales funnel, then that’s where the website is at. But I’m really excited about this, because if you’re following your passion, you’re my people.

Katherine Morales: Amen.

Sebastian Cruze: I want to give everything and that’s what I’m going to do, and I’m going to continue to, is put everything for free on the YouTube channel.

Katherine Morales: I love it. And yeah, I will be sure to include this in the post-episode as a link too. And you are on LinkedIn as well as YouTube. We just shared that link, so be sure to connect.

Sebastian Cruze: I have a secret. So I don’t really post on any of the social platforms. So LinkedIn, TikTok, Facebook, whatever, Instagram, if you send a message there, it’s likely I’m not going to see it. So for me, I just keep it simple. Put everything, pour all my love in the YouTube channel. If you comment on one of the videos there, I’ll see it, I’ll comment back and that’s where I’m at.

Katherine Morales: So that’s your main one. Don’t even leave with LinkedIn. Well, you do have to tell me, because I’m just too curious. The LinkedIn picture, you’re on a horse.

Sebastian Cruze: Yeah.

Katherine Morales: Why and do you love horses? Tell more. It’s just not your normal LinkedIn profile picture, so I have to ask while we’re on here.

Sebastian Cruze: Right. So that was in Uruguay, I believe, Uruguay or Argentina. I was there with Maverick 1000 members, Johnny Silver founder, he’s a mentor of mine and a TrueFreedom partner. But yeah, we were out on this billionaire’s estate. It sounds so picturesque and it was. But it was a billionaires estate and we were horseback riding there, and it’s just up there, because-

Katherine Morales: Was like in your TrueFreedom moment.

Sebastian Cruze: It was and I just haven’t updated my LinkedIn picture, not even to try and put something.

Katherine Morales: We’re rolling with it though. No, to me.

Sebastian Cruze: I guess it worked.

Katherine Morales: Well this is what you talk about too, that when you can build that business, is there passion, and purpose, and brings in profit, and the boundaries thing, that you can then take the trips and do the things that aren’t all work-related. So I do think that’s an important message too though, because it can be a blurred line, when you are so passionate about what you do, it still is very important to disconnect yourself from the business and recognize that that is not your whole life. If you love it and it’s your purpose, it’s easy to make it that. But it is essential to fill this cup to feed that.

Sebastian Cruze: Right. I 100% agree. And yeah, it’s a tricky thing, because it’s easier for us to burn out, because it’s, I love what I do, boom, boom, boom. But again, like I said, it’s the boundaries, the higher skill and having space to recharge.

Katherine Morales: I love it. Yeah. So the horse works, it sends a message. And I always say too, pique curiosity. So it did that. So there you go.

Sebastian Cruze: I’m glad I’m following the method.

Katherine Morales: Yeah, you’re like, it was a happy accident. I don’t know. Well, so wonderful to have you here, Sebastian, truly, thank you for your time and all your knowledge, and expertise, and just sharing you. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think you normally get on podcast or shows and say, I was in the fetal position, snotting on the ground. But that’s what you come here for. So authentic conversations. So I appreciate you sharing the vulnerable you, the authentic you. And yeah, I know it was super valuable for our viewers. I will just share, our next episode is… Well I’ll say first, you can find the recording on the episode here on LinkedIn… Or excuse me, on my website afterwards, as well as here on LinkedIn. And yeah, I want your thoughts on this, but our next episode is June 15th, same time, 1:30 PM Eastern Time, with Holly Fisher. And our topic is “To Team or Not to Team.” And the theater girl in me can’t help go, that is the question. Did your mind go there too?

Sebastian Cruze: Yeah, I did. I didn’t know it was a theater thing, but yeah, I went there.

Katherine Morales: She does do some copywriting, so maybe that’s like the Shakespearean side. I’m sure we’ll dive into that. But wonderful to have you here and I will definitely be going to your YouTube channel. So yeah, thank you, Sebastian. It was truly a gift. You’re very talented and I love that you embody fully your brand and that freedom feeling in speaking to you, just the joy that we feel and your presence is powerful.

Sebastian Cruze: Well, thank you for having me on and creating the space for the authentic conversation. And yeah, last thing I’ll say, for everybody listening, is just remember that your passion is your power. The world needs what you have to share. Your passion isn’t weakness, the script has flipped, and your passion is your power.

Katherine Morales: I feel like I’m going to need a mug with that on it. So when you roll that out, let me know, because I feel like… Yeah, I like to have the mugs that say stuff. So a shirt, a mug, something. You let me know when it’s on the market and I’m buying one, okay? Thanks everyone. Good to be with you. See you next time.