Ep. 188 Writing the universe with Ron Voller


In this week’s podcast, Anna is speaking to Ron Voller in the latest in her Escaping the 9 to 5 series.

Ron Voller started his career in the theatre and event business, initially working behind the scenes, literally, as a scenic artist and installation expert, before progressing to the client side of the business. His passion has always been music (he was also a paid rock musician) and literature, and today he combines writing with his other passion, astronomy and physics. His first two books are the result of 15 years of research, including his latest work: Hubble, Humason and the Big Bang.

Escaping the 9 to 5 with Ron Voller

Ron VollerRon Voller is a writer-producer-creator based in New York City. He has produced and created events for New York Fashion Week, Yahoo!, and Bloomberg, among others, Emmy Award-winning choreographers and producers, and Tony Award-winning set designers and directors.

He is a longtime researcher at the Huntington Library’s Munger Research Center and is currently enrolled in the Advanced Academic Programs at John’s Hopkins University where he is pursuing his Master of Liberal Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies. In addition to these activities, he works as a contributing writer, a consultant for writers and producers and as a field producer for documentary film. He enjoys speaking with various groups on a broad range of subjects, including astronomy and physics as they relate to his work. His latest book, “Hubble, Humason and the Big Bang: The Race to Uncover the Expanding Universe,” is now available on Springer Praxis.

You can connect with Ron on his website, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

*Resources mentioned during the episode*

Join the Outsiders Business Incubator A year-long business incubator for experienced corporate professionals who want to translate their skills and passions into a profitable and fulfilling business. onestepoutside.com/9to5

Ron Voller

Anna Lundberg: Okay, welcome everybody back for another Escaping the 9 to 5 interview. And I’m here with Ron Voller who comes to us all the way from New York and just ran a half marathon last weekend in Brooklyn, which sounds incredible, but is apparently just one small part of the exercise challenges he set for himself.

But we are here today to talk about his career evolution. And so why don’t we dive straight in Ron, if you could tell us what you were doing in your previous life, I suppose, how you started your career, and then what you’re doing today.

Ron Voller: Sure. Thanks Anna. After I moved to New York very shortly after I moved here. I got a job in the theatreron-voller-family and event business. I was working as a high steel rigger and a scenic artist, scenic installation expert, et cetera. And I did that for several years, but all the while was working on these other things that I wanted to do.

Around 2005, I started my own scenic business. And so I was working the whole time in the background, either hanging motor points, 12 stories in the air, or on the ground fitting New York Fashion Week with their sets and things of that nature. But I dovetailed that into this scenic business. And we did that for a while and we started in doing more theatre and more television set pieces, dance and things of that nature.

And then I later 2008 or 2009 started into the front office of the production event world, and I started working with the client facing side of the business. So I really kind of progressed from the background into the foreground of the production event business.

And that really started around 2011. 2010, 2011 I started really getting into that. And I did that for five years or so at which point my first book came out. I finished it finally. And then I started to progress on my way out of that business and into the writing world.

Anna Lundberg: And it sounds like there were already some twists and turns along the way, as you said, from behind the scenes to the front, and then you teased just a little bit there with, as you said, you wrote your first book and you said that you were working on a number of different projects alongside that works.

If we go back to the beginning again, was your passion always on the event side and the scenery and so on? And what was going on there, as you said behind the scenes for you, what were those side businesses side ideas projects that you were working on?

Ron Voller: Yeah, no my passion has always been music and literature. I went to school at the University of Denver. I studied both music and literature, double majored in those two. Out of college I was a paid musician for 10 years and I had been really involved in that side of things and playing with the Denver based rock musician in several different… The way the rock world goes, where you’re constantly re-envoloping yourself and with different musicians and calling yourself the new blah, blah, blah.

And by the time I got to New York, I had decided to get out of that. I had had enough of that little merry-go-round and I decided, well, let me try the writing because I don’t want to let that pass. It was kind of an equal passion of mine. So I started in and got into the process of that.

And that’s what I was doing. Getting into the theatre business, allowed me to take jobs that were short focused so I could get in, make some money, and then have a period of time when I had money and time where I could really focus on the writing. And so that’s what I started doing and trying to figure out what I was about as a writer, because I was really kind of starting from scratch again, the way I had as a musician.

I mean, wasn’t any more arduous than any other kind of… It’s not really a reinvention, but an evolution. You work at it and work at it and try to figure out where your voice is and slowly but surely you figure out, okay, I’m not any good at that. And so let’s try this genre. And I eventually landed on children’s fiction. I was going to start writing that.

And that’s what I published my first book and a children’s book that I wrote and illustrated in 2005. So yeah, that’s kind of the background information there. The other thing was supporting what I was doing and I had grown up in the theatre world, but at least in part in the theatre world, all through high school and college, I was connected to it.

I worked at The Denver Centre for the Performing Arts for a number of years. And so it was always attached to that. So never really kind of left the environment that I felt most comfortable in. So it was natural for me to fit into that in New York. It just, again, evolved in a different way.

Anna Lundberg: Yeah. It certainly sounds very glamorous with Fashion Week and theatre and Broadway and everything. Again, we’ve talked a little bit before we went online that we have a few common interests, musicals and theatres, one of mine as well. So it sounds amazing. And you mentioned there of course, money and time being pretty important pieces of the puzzle as well.

Looking back over these different choices you’ve made, do you think you value different things at different times? Obviously coming out of college, did you have different priorities? And then more recently now, has your perspective shifted on what’s important to you?

Ron Voller: I think that would get into some territory that we don’t have time for, but I’ll just say that I learned through the people that I met in the collegiate world, for sure. And then post-collegiate the friends that I maintained and the new friends that I made along my journey. I started to learn very slowly what my actual values were and pay attention to them.

I wasn’t connected to that coming out of my childhood. And so they were there, they were always there right in front of my nose. It’s a funny thing but I wasn’t connected to them in a way that propelled me to them. And so I was kind of more or less following my bliss and which is a nice natural state, but knowing who you are and what is super important to you is vital for making the moves that you need to make to get you moving in a certain direction.

So by the time I had moved to New York, I was well on my way to that finally, but not… My trajectory’s a little bit longer than I think a lot of people who discover that kind of in high school or certainly in the collegiate world. That’s not all.

Anna Lundberg: It’s interesting that you say that. No, because that really lands with me. And I’m so glad you talk about your values because it’s something I’ve come late to. Definitely, I think in the past, maybe if someone had said values, I would’ve thought sort of religious principles and so on.

And through my coaching work and personal development and understanding what’s important to me, that’s one of the key things as I left my own corporate job discovering, and maybe it’s obvious, but that I really valued autonomy, and freedom, and these kinds of things, having bees in the school system and the 9:00 to 5:00 that was really nice thing for me.

And I think sometimes we’re so obsessed with, and in fact, even for me, I was looking at what’s the company I want to work in and what’s the exact job title of description. And we forget the bigger picture, the guiding framework in a way that’s so much more important. There are so many jobs I could have that could fit into that.

So far more powerful to look at those values. And I don’t know if you are being hard on yourself, because I think that’s very hard to work that out in high school at such a young age. I admire kids who now are much younger than me who are more clear on those things than I ever was, but certainly I think it takes a lot of us a lot of time to realise what’s important and to get clear on those values and how those values can then guide our decisions.

Ron Voller: Yeah, I suppose that’s correct. I didn’t mean to put it all in to one focus. I know a lot of people who say to me, “I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be you when I grow up.”

Anna Lundberg: And you grow up exactly.

Ron Voller: Constant thing. So there is a lot of that for sure. I did know what I wanted. I knew what I loved. I knew what I was curious about. Those things have always, like I said, they’ve always been kind of with me, but the things that I specifically kind of value as an artist, I mean, we all have similar things. I think a lot of us have a similar things that we tend to value, whether it’s travel, family, friends, that kind of stuff.

But as an artist, as in my world, what am I? And kind of understanding that sooner than later is a good way to kind of keep yourself focused. And you’re right, I think that probably in terms of your evolution through life, you’re probably getting to those things a little bit later on ,you’re maybe not quite as in touch with that 10 years so.

Anna Lundberg: And in terms of, obviously you initially started a business and another business, and now you’ve become a writer as well. You mentioned the difficulty of find or difficulty, at least the process of discovering what you’re not so good at what you are good at. What have been some of the other challenges or difficulties in making the transition for you? What’s been difficult to lean into this new direction.

Ron Voller: You know what? Well New York City is not a cheap place to live. So roof over the head is obviously a thing which has been the hardest part of the transition is as you’re gaining momentum, what things are you maintaining? A hold on. And that’s part of the reason why I’m still in production because I haven’t done any for, I don’t know, three years, but… And everything’s fine, but you maintain your grip on those things so that you’re attached to the world enough that if something goes wrong or whatever you do what you need to do.

And I love the environment, especially in the field production world, maintaining storylines during filming productions and things kind of really interesting work. I have a lot of ideas. So trying to figure out what the pipeline looks like in terms of priorities is a thing. Obviously some of the work I’m in is fiction based, especially with the children’s world.

Those tend to be, well, depends if you’re writing a novel, then you buy anyway, I spend some time developing what that environment looks like in my mind, what it looks like and get that down, what the characters are like, who they are, at least at a beginning of that, try to develop some of that. But generally speaking, even that approach doesn’t take quite as long as a long research project.

I mean, I spent 15 years developing the research that I needed to write these first two books. And so it can take a very long time depending on how marginalised or subject matter is. So there’s these countervailing kind of wins that you just sort of have to navigate. That’s probably the hardest part is just figuring out what kind of makes most sense in terms of, okay, here’s where we are, what does this look like a year down the road?

What do I want to be doing? How far do I want to take this before I’m moving onto the next project? And what can I be doing about that next project or the next project in the interim? So that’s kind of probably the hardest part of it, adding new environments to podcasting environment is something I’ve been taking on lately. And I’m planning to launch my own podcast next month, as a matter of fact so.

Anna Lundberg: Congratulations, and what’s the podcast about?

Ron Voller: It’s going to centre around these two books. It’s going to centre around Big Bang cosmology, it’s origins. And the plan is what I want to do, and a lot of people have tried to do this, but what I really want to do, my goal is to really unpack the physics in a way that the lay person, myself, the lay person can walk away and go, okay, I understand how we got here.

And if you really kind of work through the entire history, it’s fairly obvious how we came to the realisations we’ve come to. And not everybody agrees with it, but most of physics does so at least for now.

Anna Lundberg: You’ve got a listener in me already. I’ll definitely look out for that. I was listening to Steven Hawking, obvious of course, no podcast in those days. But when I was [crosstalk 00:14:27], I had it on VHS cassette, he was explaining the Big Bang and everything. So it’s a lifelong passion for me. So that’s an amazing sort of passion project, but also then connected to your writing.

It’s interesting as you say, because it’s such creative endeavour, but it sounds like you’re bringing a lot of discipline to really extensive research. Obviously it’s a complicated topic area that you’ve chosen for yourself as well, but also the discipline, road mapping, planning ahead working backwards.

So it’s not just, ah, I’m going to write in this beautiful desk and that view of the sea and it sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?

Ron Voller: Yeah.

Anna Lundberg: And I just had the money too. Have you found that the pressure to earn money with it has kind of ruined the creativity and artistry of it? Because obviously you said you have your production and it’s going well for you, do you feel that you can just relax and enjoy it and do your thing?

Ron Voller: I’ve mostly been enjoying it, but you pay attention. I’m not Doris Kern’s Goodwin, I’m not Walter Isaacson. So I need to pay it a little attention to how it’s going. The ball is rolling and things are moving well.

So you keep, like I said, just trying to add the layers to those early successes, but I’m not super concerned about it either. I think things are going [inaudible 00:15:45] rather well.

Anna Lundberg: And, and what are you most enjoying about it? What is going well? What’s the best part of life at the moment?

Ron Voller: Oh writing is such a bizarre mix of isolation. Just the cratering of that isolation presents to you after a while and the glory of new discovery of being curious and having that curiosity rewarded from time to time with just stunning realisations, getting the book done and getting out there and actually talking to people about it is super exciting.

It just makes the whole experience worth doing. I joke with my friends that writing is kind of, especially research writing, but writing is a kind of this beautiful, open, glorious, shining prison.

And your goal is there’s a way out, you can… There’s a way out, but you have you’re all by yourself. Then you have to find your own way to navigate the experiences there in and get out. And once you do though, just looking back, it’s just, it’s really phenomenal. And the conversations you have with people and the people you meet along the way.

I mean, the people that I know in the cosmology world are just brilliant, and the things you learn from them, and try to apply to what you’re doing and the lessons you learn, every profession has that. That idea of being the teacher and being a learner. That’s easily the greatest part though, getting the thing done and seeing it published. That’s a pretty bulletproof experience. It’s hard to be.

Anna Lundberg: That’s a very evocative imagery, which I would expect from a writer, but it’s interesting that you describe as that prison and it’s sort of the seasons almost of the project, I guess, as you say, there’s the isolation period, but then there is the coming out and talking to you and I’m sure you’ll find the podcast as well.

Although it’s in a way isolating too, if you’re sitting sort of in a booth recording, obviously people are listening to you and you’ll maybe bring on people that you’re talking to and so on. So hopefully that will open up. But I think also a lot of us and I say us because I attempt to write as well, we want to, certain historically you wanted to, we wanted to, I wanted to be a best selling author with a pile of books.

And as I said, I want to sit here with the ocean view writing, and yet we don’t actually want to do the work and write. I find that’s that kind of, I guess, writers block is the label we use, but you just fill your time. Those of us who aren’t prolific writers, at least who haven’t reached that kind of discipline, we can fill our weeks with no writing, in fact, and we long for this amazing moment that you’ve just described beautifully.

And it sounds bulletproof, yes. But you actually have to write to get there. Right? So I suppose my question is selfishly again, do you have any tips for, do you literally block your calendar? How do you set yourself for success to make sure that you’re actually doing the stuff that’s going to get you the opportunity to present your book to the world?

Ron Voller: Yeah. It’s such an interesting question, isn’t it? Because I mean, the books you read, the things you read very often tell you, you need to write every day and all this stuff, and you need to write what you know, and… Okay. I tend not to agree with either of those things, although to an extent, I would say if you’re just starting out writing every day is a good thing, and you don’t need to be super disciplined about what you’re writing.

I mean, other than if you think you want to write in fiction, for instance, and you’re a crime mystery lover or whatever, and you think you want to get into that, then look around your environment. People ask me this, “Where do you get your story ideas?” They’re everywhere. I mean if you’re attuned to the discovery part of idea generation, then just everywhere you look you might find a seed of something that gets planted for an idea, and you start illustrating it.

Curiosity is to my mind anyway, more important than what… If you’re curious about a topic or a theme for a book, that’s going to propel you far better than just simply writing what you know. Very often we’re bored [inaudible 00:20:43]. I mean, if it’s not something really [inaudible 00:20:47].

So I think being curious about the world and being curious about the subjects that are important to you is the way forward. So writing a lot does one thing overall, I mentioned at the top of this, and that is it kind of if you’re writing and you’re presenting the stuff that you’re writing to people you know and whose idea… Who are going to be level with you and be honest and not just tell you everything is lovely and rosy, if you have that kind of audience, you’re going to figure out.

You see when the lights go on, when somebody reads something and goes, “What? Wow, you can’t do that.” Or, “That was really good. Okay. I didn’t like that last thing you did, the theatre thing is not you, but this is pretty good.” So you start to get a sense of what you’re good at and what you feel good in, and that sort of thing, the rest is just persistence.

That is the killer, isn’t it? Be passionate about what you want to write about and be persistent because you do it, it can be really [inaudible 00:22:03] and some writers really suffered during the writing process so yeah.

Anna Lundberg: And that’s sort of the starving and struggling artist image that we have in mind, I suppose, which is not necessarily a reality, but it’s inherited.

Ron Voller: Yeah. I think Sorkin talks about writing in ways that if you listen to him talk, you would go, you’re just not grateful but I think he has trouble. The process is the laborious, at least at times. I mean, I’m sure that he has, like, I do moments where you just go, oh my God, that was the coolest thing.

And then you have days where you… I’ve had days where I’ve written, I don’t know, 5 or 6,000 words and thought, you know what? This is going to be the greatest book ever created on science and go back to the next day and read what I wrote and just go what? So.

Anna Lundberg: I don’t know if you’re familiar with them, is it Steven Pressfield, The War of Art? He writes a lot about that. I believe I’ve read it some years ago and I often recommend it to clients, but it’s, I think the comparison he gave was if you’re a lorry driver, you’re driving a big truck, you’re not like one day wake up like, oh, I just have driving block. I can’t drive today.

So that persistence of, look, you just need to sit down and write. And the other thing, if you’re familiar with Angela Duckworth, she’s written the book Grit. She did a lot of research at UPenn on Grit, which she calls. And it’s those two things you said in fact, is the passion-

Ron Voller: Absolutely.

Anna Lundberg: … and the clarity of the big purpose. And then it is the persistence of doing the work and being resilient and so on. So I think those are so cool, aren’t mate? Today, why you’re doing it and what you’re curious about, what you’re excited about, but then also you do need to do the work unfortunately.

Fortunately, that’s part of the joy though, isn’t it as well? Because you enjoy it and then you get to reap the benefits once you’ve finished.

Ron Voller: Absolutely. I love that there’s The War of Art and The Art of War.

Anna Lundberg: Yes.

Ron Voller: Yeah, all have bad days at the office. I mean, it really, no one should be looking at writers or musicians, or just look at the [inaudible 00:24:17] of celebrities filing through psychiatric wards to know that it’s not all that roses.

And I mean, even my experience in the theatre, that was a very dirty fingernail kind of experience. It’s not as glamorous.

Anna Lundberg: Well, that’s it? [crosstalk 00:24:44] I think everything that’s unfamiliar it sounds so we romanticise it, we idolise it. But actually once you work in the kitchen, you see how they make the food and some things not so-

Ron Voller: Yeah. Exactly.

Anna Lundberg: … mysterious and attractive anymore. Yeah. But it’s a good reminder in a way it kind of breaks the-

Ron Voller: For sure.

Anna Lundberg: … the dream, but also makes it more achievable in a way, I guess.

Ron Voller: It’s solid, it’s part of life [crosstalk 00:25:03] we’ve… Yeah. I’m not going back. I love what I do at the end of the day, but it’s you have to work at it. You really have to work at it. It doesn’t come so naturally to most of us, there are a few people who I think tend to have maybe a little bit easier time, but in a genre that really they can just push stuff out.

And marvel at how prolific some writers are. Just really, really good storytellers, really, really get it probably as good at telling the story as they are writing it, which is, they’re not the same thing, they’re mutually exclusive for most of us. But yeah, I think for most writers, probably all writers, to one extent or another, it’s a job.

And you do have bad days and certainly have bad days at the office and other days where you just think it’s the greatest thing I could have ever chosen. How did I get so lucky?

Anna Lundberg: And speaking of job I talk about Escaping the 9:00 to 5:00. And initially I did, I guess, mean the job itself, but more and more, I think of escaping the structure of working obviously Monday to Friday and office and so on. So I’m curious, what does that look like for you?

Are you quite flexible where you work? Is it your energy? I know you do a lot of things other than working as well. So what does that kind of more flexible routine look like for you?

Ron Voller: Yeah. Right. You did mention that earlier. Sorry. Yeah. No, I regiment my time for sure. During the writing process and during the research process, but now research is a little bit different. Because some of the research you’re doing online, some of the research is interviewing people. Some of the research is going and spending time at libraries or institutions and having more hands on approach.

So in that case, the scenery is changing, and you’re dealing with other people’s schedule. There’s just in terms of the writing are very, definitely have a regimented schedule. I get up, I do a certain number of things. I’m athletic by nature I schedule my time so that I know that I have… It just depends on what end of the process I’m at, but two to six hours of proper writing time.

And that just, that can change based on what I’m working on. The longer time periods, you’re usually the research end of it. So you’re jotting things down, it just takes more time. But yeah, you definitely need to be regimented. That’s the persistence part of it. That’s when you get up and you’re like, oh man, I just don’t feel like it today. And then you go.

Anna Lundberg: Just a little bit.

Ron Voller: Yeah. Just sneak something in because it’s a long process. And once you start talking yourself out of a daily routine, you can really fall off.

Anna Lundberg: Well, speaking of athleticism, I think a rule within sort of fitness that I always see on Instagram is never skip a Monday kind of thing. So it’s at least… But you need to start the week. If you Monday morning go, oh, I’m too tired, then easy that becomes Tuesday, Wednesday, and suddenly the week’s gone. So there’s another book.

Oh, I think is a Brian Tracy resident Eat That Frog. He says, you need to do the most disgusting, horrible, challenging thing first thing in the morning. And I think first thing in the week too, because then if you do nothing else, at least you’ve eaten the frog. Right?

So I think if it is something important to you, like writing whatever that needs to come first, and then everything else kind of fits in around it, doesn’t it? So it’s that kind of do it first, if it really is a priority for you, then prioritise it, make it a priority.

Ron Voller: I would say. So if it fits into your natural process, but sounds like you read a lot and that’s another thing. I think some people get into the writing world or whatever world it’s they want to get into and they read about it and they take courses and they… I did study literature in college, but I’ve never been, I don’t really read the books about how to be a writer.

I’m not wired that way. And if you are, then you should then by all means partake. But the bottom line is persistence, it’s about routine, it’s about discipline, all those things that we as adults… I don’t want to grow up either, but I force myself into it because these projects they take a while to get where you really need them so.

And you should… In the writing business, I know that this show isn’t necessarily about writing, but if you are thinking about getting into writing, make sure you have a good community around you, a network around the people that you trust, because that editing process, especially early on in the game is vital, really can help propel you.

Anna Lundberg: The reading books is funny because I am wired that way. And that’s always, my go-to is to read these are not necessarily books about writing, it’s also about business and time management, whatever.

But I agree with you and even for me, or especially for me maybe, and my kind of type, it’s really important that we don’t use that as an excuse, because I think as you mentioned, being comfortable in that world, and if we allow ourselves just to, oh, I’m going to do a course on writing, I’m going to read a book on writing. That’s great. But at some point you do actually need to write as well.

And sometimes we can use that almost like procrastination. So there are, another book, it reminds me now, because it’s been some time, but Steven King wrote a book on writing, which is also really about the discipline of how he wrote to and so on. But again it’s all very well that I read the book. If I don’t then just sit down and write something myself, I’m never going to actually get anywhere.

So it’s a good little prod to remind me and other people, whether it’s writing or something else, right? Doing another course, reading another book is not actually going to get you to where you want to be. It’s interesting. It can be useful, but ultimately you have to sit down and do the work yourself.

Ron Voller: Agree. Agree. Yeah, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other useful tidbits in those books. And I remember reading a book by Paul McCartney on songwriting and you were learning about the experiences that he had in the world, in that world also, and how different people were wired differently and better, worse prepared for moments, opportunities and that sort of thing.

So you can really glean other things from these books that aren’t just about the 10 steps to becoming a great writer kind of stuff, really just get involved with something you’re passionate about. If you want to be a writer and stick to it. And you’ll probably [inaudible 00:32:26] pretty well.

Anna Lundberg: Yeah. And I guess wrapping up, but also you mentioned athleticism, we mentioned you’re half marathon. I know you said you’re working on something else. You’ve got the beautiful backdrop there, which is in Uganda. You said you’re fundraising. It sounds like you’re doing a lot things.

You’re writing, you’ve done the production. Tell us a little bit more, I guess, colour in, what are some of the other things you’re working on and in your time? Because it sounds like you’re not just sitting there writing and running a business. Right? You’re making time for things perhaps that you value as well in other areas of your life.

Ron Voller: Yeah, for sure. Like a lot of us, I’m still trying to improve my knowledge and things. I’m studying at Johns Hopkins for my master’s degree. Now in interdisciplinary studies for a book, probably a more philosophical book.

I work with an organisation called The Paper Fig Foundation. Thank you for mentioning it. @paperfiig.org is the website. If you’d like to go there and donate.

Anna Lundberg: So we’ll put it in the nice-

Ron Voller: Yeah, sure. I’m embarking, September 1st I will be leaving Battery Park in Lower Manhattan on a 560 mile bike ride to Niagara Falls.

Anna Lundberg: Oh my goodness. Wow.

Ron Voller: Raise funds for the organisation. We’re basically in women’s empowerment since its inception, we’ve helped thousands of people with medical care, life saving medical care and trained hundreds of young women in skills training, fashion in the arts. And just to help them raise their level of opportunity for making money to help support themselves and their families.

And it’s a project that’s near and dear to me, I feel like the more a society improves, the more we educate and empower women. And in that part of the world, as far as that is concerned, that particular element, they lag behind by a century or more. And so to me it feels vital for the future. So I really love it.

I love working with it. I love the challenge that I’m able to compel myself to finish a bike ride of this length, I think would be really neat. I’ve run marathons before and that sort of thing. And that’s its own kind of challenge, but this is days and days of long rides. So I’m really loving it.

I think that we have a good team there and it’s really a worthy cause. So that’s kind of outside of the podcast coming up and some of the things I want to do in terms of getting out into the world now that seems like the pandemic hopefully it’s going to start to subside. Yeah. It’s [inaudible 00:35:24]-

Anna Lundberg: Amazing. And where can we find you online then? So if we want to read more about what you’re doing, do you have a name for the podcast yet, by the way?

Ron Voller: Yeah.

Anna Lundberg: I’d love to hear it and obviously link to the charity to your books, to anything else that you have to offer for us.

Ron Voller: Sure. The name of the podcast is going to be Bang! Goes The Universe.

Anna Lundberg: Nice.

Ron Voller: One of the chapters in my latest book, Hubble, Humason and the Big Bang: The race to uncover the expanding universe. It’s out on Springer. You can buy it on Amazon as you can my previous book, The Muleskinner and the Stars, which is about one of the stars of the second book, Milton Humason.

You can find me online  at ronvoller.com, R-O-N V-O-L-L-E-R.com. It’ll be in the bio I know. And all of links to my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter accounts are all there, including blurbs on the book and some of the people that I work with around the world.

Anna Lundberg: Amazing. Well, thank you so much. I’m so glad I came across to you somewhat, well, very fortuitously in the online space. We share a lot of passions and you’ve become my new inspiration. So thank you. And I’m sure you’ll be inspiring to our listeners as well. So thanks so much, Ron.

Ron Voller: Thank you.

Anna Lundberg: Best of luck with the podcast launch and with your research, with your book, with your bike ride. And I look forward to staying connected and hearing more. Thanks so much.

Ron Voller: Thank you Anna, I appreciate it.

Anna Lundberg: Amazing-

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A mentoring programme focused on implementation support and accountability to help you grow your expert business faster – without sacrificing your personal life to do so.


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Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out how One Step Outside uses and protects any information that you give One Step Outside when you use this website (https://onestepoutside.com/).

One Step Outside is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.

One Step Outside may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes.

What information we collect and why

We only ever collect the information that we need in order to serve you.

Generally, this just means collecting your first name and email address that you enter, for example, when you request a resource, register for a webinar, or submit a message via a contact form.

If you are a paying customer, we also collect your billing information including your last name and your postal address.


When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

An anonymised string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: https://automattic.com/privacy/. After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.

Contact forms

We use Gravity Forms to allow you to contact us via the website. We will use the information you submit for the sole purpose of that specific form and will explicitly ask you to provide your consent to allow us to do so.

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Advertising and Analytics


We use Google Analytics to track and optimise performance on this site as well as embedding video content from YouTube, and this means that your web browser automatically sends certain information to Google. This includes the URL of the page that you’re visiting and your IP address. Google may also set cookies on your browser or read cookies that are already there. Apps that use Google advertising services also share information with Google, such as the name of the app and a unique identifier for advertising.

Google uses the information shared by sites and apps to deliver our services, maintain and improve them, develop new services, measure the effectiveness of advertising, protect against fraud and abuse and personalise content and ads that you see on Google and on our partners’ sites and apps. See their Privacy Policy to learn more about how they process data for each of these purposes, and their Advertising page for more about Google ads, how your information is used in the context of advertising and how long Google stores this information.


We use the conversion tracking and custom audiences via the Facebook pixel on our website. This allows user behaviour to be tracked after they have been redirected to our website by clicking on a Facebook ad and enables us to measure the effectiveness of our Facebook ads. The data collected in this way is anonymous to us, i.e. we do not see the personal data of individual users. However, this data is stored and processed by Facebook, who may link this information to your Facebook account and also use it for its own promotional purposes, in accordance with Facebook’s Data Usage Policy https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy/.

You can allow Facebook and its partners to place ads on and off Facebook. A cookie may also be stored on your computer for these purposes. You can revoke your permission directly on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/ads/preferences/?entry_product=ad_settings_screen. For more guidance on opting out you can also consult http://www.aboutads.info/choices.

Who we share your data with

We use a number of third parties to provide us with services which are necessary to run our business or to assist us with running our business and who process your information for us on our behalf. These include a hosting and email provider (Siteground), mailing list provider (GetResponse), and a payment provider (Stripe).

Your information will be shared with these service providers only where necessary to enable us to run our business.

How long we maintain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognise and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website, we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

The main reason for collecting this information is to be able to send you resources, updates and, sometimes, information and products and services, as well as for internal record keeping.

The rights you have over your data

If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

How we protect your data

We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure.

Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password that lets you access certain parts of our site, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential and we ask you not to share a password with anyone.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

Links to other websites

Our website contains links to other websites. This privacy policy only applies to this website so once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.

Changes to our privacy policy

We keep our privacy policy under regular review. Initially created on 18th November 2016, it was last updated on 23rd May 2018 to be compliant with GDPR.

Contact information

If you have any questions or concerns related to your privacy, you can get in touch here >>