Tanner Stewart

How To Let Go Of Old Behaviors: With Tanner Stewart

Do you feel guilty if you don’t put in a certain amount of hours at work? And do you also feel guilty if you don’t spend enough time with your family, because you’re way too exhausted from work? It can cause an infinite loop. Unless…

Welcome to another episode of The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast! Today I have the pleasure of coaching Tanner Stewart, Co-Founder & CEO at Stewart Farms, a technology company focused on indoor, sustainable Cannabis production and CPG development.

Tanner comes to me with a popular issue: exhaustion from work. So Tanner works himself to the bone, putting in the hours and then some. So it’s only logical that when he comes home to his family, he’s way too tired to actually spend quality time with them, and that frustrates him. But if he works fewer hours, Tanner feels like he’s not doing his part, and then he feels guilty and anxious.

I’ve seen this a million times. So I encourage Tanner to change his way of thinking. Because that’s all it is: a thinking problem. His beliefs say “I have to do this and nobody else can”, so right now his desires and beliefs are not lined up with his goals. His desire is to have more time with his family, but his belief is that no one else can do any part of what he does at work. But the minute he starts changing that is the minute Tanner will feel way more relaxed and energized to go play with his kids without having the anxiety of an out-of-control company.

Click here to listen!


Read the episode’s transcript here:


Do you suffer from these kinds of anxieties? Do you have another challenge you’d like to discuss? Let’s talk! If there's any issue you want to talk about here on the podcast or privately, please reach out to me:


Episode Transcript

[00:00:05] Kim Ades:
Hello, hello. This is Kim Ades, I am the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™ and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, where we invite leaders from all over the world to come onto the podcast and get coached live and in-person.  

Today I have a Canadian on the line. His name is Tanner Stewart and he is the founder and CEO of a company called Stewart Farms. Tanner, welcome. 

[00:00:29] Tanner Stewart:
Thanks for having me, Kim.  

[00:00:32] Kim Ades:
So, Stewart Farms, are you a farmer? What do you do?  

[00:00:35] Tanner Stewart:
Yeah, so we are a technology company at our core that is focused on indoor, sustainable agriculture practices. So we actually farm fish and our land-based fish farm acts as a partial nutrient source to our organic cannabis cultivation. So...  

[00:00:58] Kim Ades:
Okay, so say that so that the non expert, the person who knows nothing about all that stuff can understand.  

[00:01:09] Tanner Stewart:
Yeah. We basically farm weed and fish in the same building and we send the wastewater from the fish and we use it as fertilizer for our plants essentially. 

[00:01:20] Kim Ades:
Oh wow, okay. 

[00:01:21] Tanner Stewart:
So it's like a little-- it's basically two businesses side by side in the same building. You know, fish and... You don't normally buy a piece of fish with your bag of weed. But we utilize them together in a bit of an ecosystem. And in addition to that, we're also a manufacturer.  

So, Stewart Farms, currently manufactures cannabis infused bath bombs. We're working on topicals, pain creams, face creams. A lot of wellness products is what we are manufacturing our facility alongside our farm.  

[00:01:58] Kim Ades:
Okay. Interesting. One quick question. You are fishing indoors? So you have a pond inside? How does that work?  

[00:02:07] Tanner Stewart:
Yeah. So we have large industrial sized fish tanks, basically.  

[00:02:13] Kim Ades:
Okay, yeah.  

[00:02:13] Tanner Stewart:
So just great big blue fish tanks in there with filters and pipes. So it's basically land-based fish farming, so it's completely controlled indoors and that allows us to avoid using any antibiotics or any chemicals in our fish farming process. And I like to tell people that it also helps us grow a theoretically plastic-free fish, because, you know, the ocean has more plastic-- 

[00:02:44] Kim Ades:
It's polluted. 

[00:02:44] Tanner Stewart:
Yeah, the ocean has more plastic than fish in it, officially nowadays. 

[00:02:49] Kim Ades:
And are you farming any particular fish? Is it salmon or is it tuna? Like, what's in there? What's in the tank?  

[00:02:57] Tanner Stewart:
Yeah. So, we're actually currently farming the second most consumed fish in the world, which is tilapia. 

[00:03:04] Kim Ades:

[00:03:04] Tanner Stewart:
We originally got into tilapia with the intent to service, the live Asian markets in Boston and New York 'cause we're geographically close to both of those cities. But we're exploring moving over into a coho salmon here going forward. There's some... you know, as seems to be the case all around the world these days, there are trade issues and barriers, specifically with tilapia between the US and Canada right now, so we might have to switch gears to coho salmon, but that's okay.  

[00:03:36] Kim Ades:
Yeah, there's a tilapia issue. But okay, very, very interesting. So tell us a little bit about your company. How long have you been running it? Give us a sense of size, just give us a feeling for how many people work there.  

[00:03:50] Tanner Stewart:
Yeah. So, you know, I've been an entrepreneur for 16 years. I started in the construction industry originally, which I still own a construction company out in Alberta. But Stewart Farms, the genesis of Stewart Farms began really around 2016 when I got into indoor agriculture in general. So I was doing leafy greens, spinach, kale, Rugola, Swiss chard, in indoor farming before I transitioned over to cannabis. 

And you know, the stored farms that exist today really was founded in early 2018, began the process, did some capital raising, bought the building, we got our license. It was a long journey. We got our health Canada license, April 2020, roughly. So we're just over a year ago that we've actually been operating. 

[00:04:42] Kim Ades:
Wow, okay.  

[00:04:43] Tanner Stewart:
And since then we've grown from. Basically two or three of us, we're approaching 30 staff right now.  

[00:04:51] Kim Ades:

[00:04:52] Tanner Stewart:
And, you know, we're bringing on four research scientists actually between this month and next month to really hone in on our agriculture technology and wellness product side of our business to start advancing that side of what we're doing. 

[00:05:08] Kim Ades:
Incredible. And before we started our podcast, I mentioned to you that my daughter Ferne, which many of the listeners are starting to learn and know about, she's actually studying Plant Sciences and about to get her Master's degree in Plant Sciences at University of Toronto. So one day I'll connect the two of you together. 

So tell me, what is your greatest challenge? What's happening in your world and your life that you want to talk about today?  

[00:05:35] Tanner Stewart:
Well, my ongoing greatest challenge since I became an entrepreneur is then looking after myself, physically and mentally. And then being able to, especially now that I have two children, I've got a seven and a five-year-old, so I guess it's been awhile that I've had kids... But it's really unplugging from work and, you know, giving my family the best of who I am versus giving it all away, you know, in my hours at work every day, and then, you know, I'm going home...  

The pandemic's been... I've gone a little bit downhill in my eating habits during this pandemic and... But anyways, you know, going home exhausted and really not having the energy for my family or myself, physically or mentally, 'cause I feel like I...  

And this has been a 16 year problem. [Laughs] This isn't recent, this was, you know, giving it all to the business and the people that I'm working with as opposed to...  

[00:06:54] Kim Ades:
So, tell me a little bit more about how it's affecting you at home. So you go home at the end of the day, you're exhausted. What does exhausted sound like? You sit on the couch and you don't talk to anybody? You go in your room and you sleep? Or you kind of a slug it out? What do you do?  

[00:07:10] Tanner Stewart:
Yeah. I mean, I'm definitely not as useful, maintenance-wise around the house as a lot of wives would like a lot of husbands, that's for sure. But I've kind of established that within my family unit, that unless I have two days off in a row, I'm going to be useless day number one, and then in the evenings, I am useless, 'cause I'm exhausted, right? At the end of the day it's not like I'm running a marathon, but I do this all day. I talk to people all day and that drains you. 

And yeah, it really is... it's basically the resisting, just wanting to only lay on the couch and, you know, basically there's no mental energy left, right? At the end of the day.  

[00:07:56] Kim Ades:
So you resist it, but again, I just-- I'm pushing a little harder here. I just want to understand. You come home, and what happens? Is dinner ready? Like, what is actually taking place the minute you come home at night on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday night?  

[00:08:13] Tanner Stewart:
I mean, my wife is great, so most of the time dinner is ready. 

[00:08:18] Kim Ades:

[00:08:21] Tanner Stewart:
Recently because I've really doing my best to committing to taking the entire weekends off then that has elongated my Monday to Friday workdays, so the kids are close to going to bed. You know, I'm getting home at around 7, between 6:30 and 8, but more so seven and eight o'clock in the evening. And, you know, I come in and I'm just exhausted, right? I'm excited to see the kids and see them off to bed. But I don't have a lot of energy to do anything with them or play any games.  

[00:08:56] Kim Ades:
So you're not actually spending a whole lot of time with your kids.  

[00:09:00] Tanner Stewart:
Yeah, not Monday to Fridays, anyways. The weekends have been pretty great recently, and then, you know, not a lot left for my wife, for conversation or anything like that, right? 

[00:09:12] Kim Ades:
Is she complaining?  

[00:09:17] Tanner Stewart:
I mean, she's equally as exhausted [Laughs] So she works a job and then she's been looking after the kids and has already made supper. So it's kind of like two exhausted adults just fading into the evening. You know, we watched some Netflix and look at our phones for a bit and then kind of nod off. 

[00:09:36] Kim Ades:
Right. Okay. I get it. Okay, so normally in a coaching conversation, a coach might say "well, here are the things I want you to do differently". Right? But you're in a business and you figured out how to take fish feces and turn them into something useful, right?  

[00:09:57] Tanner Stewart:
Yup, yup.  

[00:09:58] Kim Ades:
So you're a smart guy. So, from my perspective, this is not a problem that requires, you know, strategy or intellect. It really doesn't. If you said to me, you know, "here's the priority, here's what I need to do and I know exactly how to get it done. Here's how I would fit it in". Right? But this is not actually a strategy problem, it's not an intellectual problem. It's a problem of beliefs.  

So let me explain what I mean by that. So for the past 16 years, you've been living a very specific routine or pattern where you go to work, you give it all you got, you come home and you're drained. First of all, there's a habit that's very well entrenched and very well-built, you're used to it. That's your way of life.  

The thing is that it's coming at a bit of a cost and the cost is connection. Right? Connection with your children, connection with your wife. But it's also coming at a physical, mental kind of drain cost. Correct?  

So we all have the same hours in the day and by the way, I get it, I talk to people all day, every day as well. I know what it's like at the end of the day. But for some reason, at the end of the day, for me, it's almost like I flip the switch and a new chapter in my day has begun and I get a renewed sense of energy. Like, "okay, I'm done with that. What's new?" you know, it's like an exciting part of the day when the day's over, for me.  

And so what is really the thing that needs to change? The thing that needs to change is that you have a set of beliefs that says "I have to do this this way. I have to be at the office till seven o'clock. I have to put in X number of hours. I have to completely dedicate and block off this time to work-related activities. And when I'm done, I'm done. I'm done". Right? Spent.  

And so, a lot of times people say "well, this isn't working. What should I do differently?" And they want to take new actions. And they say "okay, well, I'm just going to rearrange my schedule. I'll just do things differently".  

But if their beliefs aren't lined up with it, if they have a sense of guilt "well, I really should be working" or "this thing needs me, I can't live without it" or "these people at the office really need my time and attention", then what happens is you change your schedule for a short period of time, but eventually you revert back to old behaviors. Does that make sense?  

[00:12:29] Tanner Stewart:
Yeah, I've done that a few times over the last 16 years. I had, I call it my peak six months of professional and existence and kind of personal health and wellness. It was about two and a half years ago. And, you know, I was really able to downgrade the amount of work time and I wasn't drinking very much. I was working out almost every morning, I was hitting the steam room every morning, and I was meditating a lot. 

[00:13:07] Kim Ades:

[00:13:07] Tanner Stewart:
So I have this, like, I have this chunk of professional life where I refer back to that six months. And then, you know, and then by default, I had a bit more energy for the family as well, 'cause I felt better. And this is what's frustrating for me is that I have a working example of it and you're right. I roughly-- I understand what I need to do and I'm just back... "bitch, I'm back". I'm not doing that [laughs].  

[00:13:40] Kim Ades:
Yes. So, just go back for a second. I'm going to ask you a couple of questions. In those six months, was your work performance decreased or increased? Or the same?  

[00:13:53] Tanner Stewart:
I mean, it seemed fine, maybe it was better. And, you know, I believe my decisions were top-- I was making better decisions, I think. 

[00:14:07] Kim Ades:
Hundred percent. So what I want to kind of really look at is this whole idea of beliefs. We typically as entrepreneurs, we have a set of beliefs that kind of look like this: "the business can't live without us. I can't work fewer hours. If I do, I'm setting a poor example or I'm not as accessible or available to people as they need me, or there are problems I have to solve, I can't solve them when I'm away". And on and on and on. Right?  

And it's like a chatter in your brain that says "this is what I have to do. And if I don't do it this way in these hours during these work times, something terrible, horrible, awful is going to happen". And so for me, it's not about getting you to do something differently. It's really about looking at the thinking that has those beliefs. And we would examine really specifically all the things you do in the day, in the days and the weeks, and really look at well, do you have to do all that? 

In other words, can somebody else do some of those things? Do you have to do all of them? Are there some things that you're doing that don't need to be done? And then the other piece of it is do they all have to be done right now? Right?  

And so we would really kind of start to look at how you lead, what you're handing off, what you're holding on to, why you're holding onto these things. What would happen if you did give them up? Because as leaders, we're all holding on to something. Right? And we do that for a variety of reasons.  

Maybe we believe we're the best ones to do it. Maybe we don't completely a hundred percent trust the people on our team. Maybe we think we'll be faster at it. Maybe we feel like "man, if I don't do it, then I don't know what's going on and then I lose control and that doesn't feel good".  

There are a million reasons why we don't let go. And so the question for me is not very quickly "okay, let's create a new schedule for you. Go Tanner, do the new schedule". It's not that at all. It's really digging under the surface to say "why is this the pattern, the habitual life that I've wrapped my arms around so tightly?"  

The other piece of it is really saying "so what is your goal in life? What's the ideal life you want to live? And are you living it?" Because I worked so hard in my business so I can live my ideal life, and what happens is we tend to put that off, right? We say "well, when my business is at X level or this big, or this level of revenue, then I'll have more free time to do the things that I want to do".  

You know, your kids are growing up, meanwhile, you're missing the days. And what I want to do is say okay, let's create the ideal life right now, but we need to line up your thinking and your beliefs with the idea that this can happen now. In fact, if it does happen now, your business actually starts to grow at a much, much higher rate because you are making better decisions because you do feel more at peace and more aligned with what you want your life to look like. 

And so again, for you, it's not about creating a new schedule. It's about really looking at the thinking that has you holding on to this way of life, like with a fine grip too. And helping you release the grip a little.  

[00:17:34] Tanner Stewart:
Yeah. And I do need to find or decide what the catalyst for those changes are, 'cause, you know, Stewart Farms is a health and wellness focused company, I can give so much and I do all the time. You got to get your sleep, you got to work out, you got to eat healthy. You know what I mean, right? carbs... And I have-- I always... Like, I know what I'm doing, I understand... I don't know if "understand" is the right--  

[00:18:10] Kim Ades:
You intellectually completely endorsed the idea of all these things. 

[00:18:14] Tanner Stewart:

[00:18:15] Kim Ades:
But there's something inside that tears you, that keeps you doing what you're doing. 

[00:18:19] Tanner Stewart:
Yeah, exactly. And I've got a lot of, you know-- what do I want in life? Well, one of the main things I've always wanted was to be a great dad, you know, just be a great dad and be there as much as possible, right? Be present, be supportive. And then I want these, you know, the vision is having a great relationship with my kids when they're older, right? As well, and they're seven and five right now.  

And, you know, I want to put them in more things. I want them in soccer, basketball. I want them, you know, I want them in so many things that, you know, I barely have time to worry about work. I mean, if I could snap my finger right now and have a situation kind of occur, it would be fantastic, that I would have almost nothing within Stewart Farms that would be an absolute requirement for me to do so that I can just prioritize...  

You know, 'cause right now, if it's a consistent thing that needs to be supported with my kids, I mean, I have to put it-- like, I got to take Clark to baseball every Wednesday. It's in my calendar. It has to go in my calendar. [Laughs] so now that's the "dad takes his son on Wednesdays to baseball". But outside of that, the default is my wife. You know, unfortunately, and I guess the theme for 16 years in my personal life, in any relationship, whether it's my wife or whatever, it's been that my construction company or now my cannabis company, those urgencies come first. Right? 

[00:20:03] Kim Ades:

[00:20:03] Tanner Stewart:
You know, if the company needs something, I gotta be there.  

[00:20:06] Kim Ades:
Well, and it seems to me that that's not consistent with your view of the world.  

[00:20:14] Tanner Stewart:
No, 'cause I don't want that for any of my staff. [Laughs] 

[00:20:17] Kim Ades:
Well, you don't want that for any of your staff and you don't want that for your kids and you don't want that for yourself. So there's definitely an incongruency that we're seeing. But let me ask you another question, and I sometimes ask this to my clients too. Do you brush your teeth every day?  

[00:20:35] Tanner Stewart:
I do, twice at least. [Laughs]  

[00:20:37] Kim Ades:
Is it in your calendar?

[00:20:39] Tanner Stewart:
It is not in my calendar, no.  

[00:20:41] Kim Ades:

[00:20:42] Tanner Stewart:

[00:20:42] Kim Ades:
And so, why do I ask that? Because it's just hard wired, right? It's just the thing you do. It's just part of-- it's like, you're not going to not do that. You're not going to say "I don't have time to brush my teeth because my business comes first".  

[00:20:55] Tanner Stewart:

[00:20:56] Kim Ades:
Right? And so, because the way you think about the things you do in the morning include brushing your teeth, it's just in the system. 

[00:21:08] Tanner Stewart:

[00:21:09] Kim Ades:
And when you really examine the whole toothbrushing example... Toothbrushing and making sure it's in your routine is a thinking paradigm. It's not a doing paradigm. And so, for someone like you, right? Where you say "I run this health and wellness company. I need to be aligned with that health and wellness company to have integrity, on one side. But really the reason I want to have my own health and wellness is so that I can be who I want to be as I'm doing these things and have the kinds of relationships I want to have". 

And so, I don't have to convince you of that, but what I do have to look at is what is the microscopic thinking that you're engaging in, in the smaller areas of your life that says "I have to be here till seven" or "I have to be at work at eight" or whatever it is in the morning, right? Whatever it is. So I would go a little deeper to look at the individual instances where you're not brushing your teeth. Again, not literally.  

[00:22:20] Tanner Stewart:
I mean, I get anxiety about needing to get things done or things that aren't done yet. And, you know that in the mornings... So, the majority of the mornings, which has been a switch since we left Alberta and moved to New Brunswick...  

One of the coolest things about being on the East Coast is that we get out of bed before everyone else. Where I'm up four hours before BC, three hours before Alberta and an hour before Toronto. That has been a significant anxiety reliever for me because I'm actually not overly panicked in the morning, 'cause I know I'm up first, right? So that has helped, by moving here.  

And so, I drive my daughter to daycare most mornings, not every morning because there's a lot of evenings in the week where I look at my wife and say "can you please take her tomorrow? I've got a lot I got to get done in the morning, and, you know, I just have a lot I got to get done". I'm freaking out. And I'm trying to, in my mind...  

[00:23:46] Kim Ades:
Reduce the load.  

[00:23:47] Tanner Stewart:
Reduce the load and also I'm always trying to get in the zone. You know, I'm trying to get in the zone, to do something... I mean, it's really always about... I mean, whatever it is, sales related, administrative related, job offers. Right now I got a bunch of job offers I have to get out the door. But there's always something and it comes from a place of anxiety, is where it's coming from.  

[00:24:11] Kim Ades:
So, you see? I mean, for me, this is very interesting. The fact that you have said "I feel anxious when I'm not knocking things off. When the load becomes more than I can probably handle, my instinct is to just knock things off so that I have probably a little bit of like a clean playing field". Right? So, "only when it's clean, I can breathe". Yes?  

[00:24:38] Tanner Stewart:
Yeah, yeah.  

[00:24:39] Kim Ades:
Okay. So, what I want to say to you is that that's an important thing for us to look at with greater depth. Because when we have anxiety over getting things done, again, lots of reasons for that. I know lots of people like that, by the way. Where they need to have an empty inbox or, you know, they need to have nothing on their desk. I know lots of people like that. And there are a variety of reasons that those kind of anxieties exist.  

But what I want to do is really look at what are the beliefs around not getting things done. And really dig deeper to see if this is something that can be managed differently, or if this is something that can completely be irrigated and changed, right? But really at the end of the day, the truth is you're never going to get it done until your dying day.  

[00:25:35] Tanner Stewart:
[Laughs] That is the truth.  

[00:25:37] Kim Ades:
As long as you're human, as long as you have desires and energy, someone like you will always have something on their list. It's never going to be a clean slate for more than two and a half seconds. 

[00:25:49] Tanner Stewart:
No, in fact, I'm constantly looking for new things to do and bring on and, you know, it's a bit of a problem [laughs].  

[00:25:56] Kim Ades:
Right. So, what we want to do is really look at that anxiety a lot deeper and say, you know what? Let's look at how to manage this, how to create more space in your world. But also again, for someone like you, with space you're going to be filling up the space anyway. It's like the person with a closet who has space for shoes, right? What do they do? They buy new shoes. "Well, I have space in my closet".  

[00:26:22] Tanner Stewart:
They'll get a new closet.  

[00:26:23] Kim Ades:
Right, exactly. 

[00:26:24] Tanner Stewart:

[00:26:24] Kim Ades:
So, for me, the interesting piece would be, what are your beliefs around not getting things done? Who do you have to be as a leader? What do you think your role and responsibility is? What are the things that you're doing that you're not willing to let go of? But it's not about rearranging your life. It's about rearranging your brain. 

[00:26:45] Tanner Stewart:

[00:26:46] Kim Ades:
To look at things differently. 

[00:26:50] Tanner Stewart:

[00:26:50] Kim Ades:
And line up your thinking with your desires, because right now your thinking is not lining up with your goals. 

[00:26:57] Tanner Stewart:

[00:26:57] Kim Ades:
Right? Because your thinking is "I got to do this and I'm like, frenetic about it", and in that energy, in that state, you're letting go of some of the things that are probably the most important things to you.  

[00:27:13] Tanner Stewart:
And I have anxiety about that. I'm like "why am I not getting up at 4:00 AM in the morning and working out? Why am I not steaming every day?" [laughs]  

[00:27:19] Kim Ades:
Oh, that'll solve everything! 4:00 AM. 

[00:27:23] Tanner Stewart:

[00:27:24] Kim Ades:
You know, there's a belief out there, right? That the people who really succeed in life are really super early risers. You know, there's a whole school of thought that says "if you don't wake up early, you're behind the eight ball". And honestly, that's also just the belief. It works for some people, not for everybody.  

But I would love to talk to you more! Perhaps we can have a one-on-one conversation after the podcast, but I hope that I triggered some thoughts for you about the fact that this is not just about rearranging your schedule. It's really about examining the thinking that's driving you to create the life you're living, as opposed to just moving some things around. 

[00:28:07] Tanner Stewart:
No, it was very helpful. And you're right, it is a problem that will just continue if I don't deal with it.  

[00:28:20] Kim Ades:
Absolutely. For those of you who are listening, if you are like Tanner, if you're working so hard and you're coming home exhausted, and you're thinking to yourself "wait a minute, I want to put more into my relationships at home. I want to spend more time with my family. I want to be exercising and doing these other things", understand this is not a scheduling problem. This is a thinking problem.  

And what's really required is for you to stop for a minute and examine what's driving you to do what you're doing, what's driving you to put in those hours at work, what are the beliefs you have that say "I have to do this just this way in this timeframe".  

Tanner, thank you so much for being my guest on today's show. How do people find out more about your business if they're curious?  

[00:29:10] Tanner Stewart:
Well, in Ontario, they can go on the OCS website and order our triple pack of moisturizing bath bombs. And actually that's the case in a lot of provinces. Our products are carried in most provincial retailers across Canada, in the cannabis space. And other than that, Stewartfarms.life online, or Instagram, Facebook. And then if you want to connect with me Tanner Stewart on LinkedIn or Tannerstewart.life or Facebook or Instagram as well. 

[00:29:44] Kim Ades:
Amazing. For those of you who are listening, I hope that you got something out of this episode. If you have a challenge that you want to share with me on the podcast, please reach out to me.  

My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com.  

And if you have a challenge that you want some help with, but maybe not so much on the podcast, please reach out to me as well. 

My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com.  

For those of you who are listening, thank you. Keep listening, like, share, put in a review. We really appreciate your engagement. And until we see you again next time, have a great day.

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