(highlight) If one is efficacious, one is able to take your ideas and make them exist in the world. So if you’re a really-
Yeah. If you’re a really good school teacher, not only do you have efficacy, but you have efficacy in an area that’s really important. I’m not saying you have to be changing the world in order to have efficacy, but that for me is like what I’m experimenting with now. (/highlight)
Process and the 'right' way [0:28]
(chapter) Hello, I’m Craig Constantine.
And I’m Melissa Way.
… and this is Movers Mindset, which is a little flashback to how the original… I think the first 10 episode maybe into the teens started that way. 100, yay.
There was much rejoicing.
Six seconds to the first movie reference. I think in podcasting circles, that’s obviously what everybody asks is, “Whoa, do episode 100 as a giant retrospective of all of the things you’ve learned, like you’re on…” Not that that’s not interesting, but it’s not interesting to people who normally listen to the podcast. So the point here today is going to be to talk about things that we’re interested in, that Melissa and I are interested in, but also things that we hope that people who haven’t already pressed stop are interested in hearing about related to Movers Mindset, the project.
And I have some ideas about things I want to talk about, about how we create space with the guests and like maybe a little bit of what it’s like to get Mover Mindsetted. I’ve been on this thing lately of turning all of the things I love into verbs, like my way through traffic. So that’s kind of the… Well, it’s going to be lack of roadmap for the episode. So my thoughts on 100 is… and on one end I feel like I’m cheating because there are a couple of episodes that I put in, like season three where it’s just a few minutes of me talking about something. I’m like, “Well, does that count?” I mean, it’s episode 50, but I could-
I mean, there’s also like all of the stuff that you’ve recorded that isn’t technically for Movers Mindset, so-
That’s true, we had something you should-
… it’s a variable number.
… mentioned. Yes, there’s stuff for Art of Retreat and other things that got recorded and some other podcasts that I’ve been on, so yeah that’s a giant tangent. But, yeah, a hundred’s just an arbitrary milestone. I think the thing that I’m looking forward to is the leading zero. When I started, I was like, “Okay, episode number one.” And I’m like, "I got to write the number in the title. Should I put a zero in front of it so when I get to the 10, because I’m going to make it to 10, I’m totally going to make it to 10.
Podfade, as it’s known, is at seven. The average number of episodes in a podcast is seven. People don’t make it to eight on average, so I thought, "I’m going to make it to 10. I’m totally going to be able to do 10, so I’ll make it 01 and then I’m going to go from 9 to 10, to be this giant milestone. And then I thought, well, if you’re going to put a zero on the front, you really should just go all in and put two zeros on the front, I’m not putting three zeros on the front.
So I put two zeros in the front. So forever, we were writing 001, 007, 009. And then it was like 010. I made it to episode two. Could be a joke. So it is nice to like… It’s going to be strange to see three digit numbers.
Yeah. It’s going to be like when you… The new year and you’re trying to put the correct numbers. I mean, it’d be like zero, one zero zero, wait.
Wait. Yeah. Where it’s like, you automatically put the zero on the front. I was going to tell a story about distinctly remembering when 1984 was a thing. And the first time I had to write the year, 1984 on high school paperwork, and I was like, “That’s the year of the book.” And yeah, so there’s definitely something about the number. It’s important that if you… Unless, you were going to set absolutely no goals and just like free for all your whole life, which there’s something to be said for that.
But if you’re going to set goals, then you got to celebrate a little bit when you get to the goal. So in that sense 100 is a goal and all right, I’ll turn around and look back, okay, that’s a lot of really cool work I did back here. That’s nice, what’s next?
That was one thing that I had in mind for this episode was I didn’t… I mean, if you really want to sit around and talk shop, track me down, but I didn’t want to record a three hour monster podcast of me talking about, “No, I remember this, and I remember that.” I wanted to talk more about, what do I want to see for season five, theoretically, we’re going to roll the season number at episode 101. Is that a five? Yeah. Number five. Roll the season at 101, and what do we want to be different and the same. So that’s something I wanted to talk about. Anything else jumped the line for you?
Yeah. Well, there’s what we’re going to do, what we’re going to change, what we think we’re going to change that may not change.
They never change. Since we be talking about it, it never changes.
Never, never. Oh, it’s funny to think about minor retrospective, but all of the things that have changed from I came on in the twenties. So from 20 to 100, and I know how much has changed there, so I’m like, “Okay, for the next hundred,” we’re like, “Okay. We feel like we have more of a direction here and a plan here.” And I’m like, “Yeah, it’s all going to change anyway.”
Yeah. No, it’s not going to change. We’re totally going to do the next 400 episodes exactly the same.
No room for growth there, Craig?
Well, on one hand, what’s the thing about if you continue to try and sharpen a knife forever, eventually it gets dull again and eventually there’s no knife left. And that’s certainly true about… If you think about what we’re doing, the conversations as like a tool that we’re trying to accomplish something, there is something to be said for you’re staring at your navel too much. Like, “Okay, I’ve got the microphone figured out and I’ve gotten the recorder figured out and I can do the mix well enough,” and it’s like, that’s no longer challenging.
Yeah. Rule of 80-20.
Yeah. Or in my case, 99.999 or two. So I do think that I need to stop messing with the process and what happens is, I’ll record something, and then invariably, I think of ways that it could’ve gone better. You know, I could have done this better. I could have prepped the guests that way better, or I could have made the space better. Like there’s a million things I think of. So that is this constant drive to fiddle with the process to fiddle with the gear, and that’s a giant rabbit hole that I… I mean, I-
Well, so then the question is after 100 episodes and trying a whole bunch of different things, what do you think is the right way? Is there a right way to do things?
Yes. There’s a right way to do things.
And well, and how is too much?
Yeah. So when I say there’s a right way to do things, let’s just narrow it on podcasting, on having recorded encounters with people. There are so many different ways that you can do that as a podcaster, and for what I have… First thing to decide was what was I trying to do? So I had… And especially in the beginning when you’re not sure, you’re like, “Well, I’ll just make it a structure and they’re going to ask questions in spacing interview.” I was like, “Oh, when did you first decide to run for office?” “And when did you just want to say, blah, blah, blah.”
And so I started doing that and then that didn’t quite fit. So there was a lot of thinking and experimenting that went into just deciding that I didn’t want to do interviews. And there’s a long funny story about, we spend a lot of time working with the guests and, Melissa, emailing them and then they’d show up so that we can see, then I had to like steer them, and they were like, “Well, why are the guests showing up with this?” And they were like, “All right, the word interview has a ton of baggage with it,” and if we were doing journalistic interviewing, then that would be something that we’d want them to show up prepared for that, but that’s not… I’m not trying to do journalistic…
But we’re not. You’re not trying say, “All right, you need to have all your dates in order, and this amount of preparations.”
So that’s what led to the change to calling it conversations, and if you’re a Movers Mindset maniac, you’ll notice the description of the podcast and the introductions changed. It’s a little over a year ago now, I think, and I started saying where I talk with movement enthusiast, I used to say, where I interview movement enthusiast, I changed it to, “I talk with movement enthusiasts to find out who they are? What they do? And why they do it?” And to show you how nuts I am, I try to say why they do it differently in every episode, which I admit, I did it for a reason it’s to remind me of like, “Why am I recording a conversation with someone?”
So in the sense that I’m trying to have an experience with the person with whom I am conversing, there is a right way to do it, or there’s definitely a wrong way to do it. So there’s a lot that we do when we show up, like in the physical space, and sometimes we talk about the home field advantage. It almost invariably works better. If I can go to the guests space, especially if it’s their home or their office or a place where they literally have home field advantage, like with their coffee and their pet and their spouse or whatever, then, it’s not they… Not so much that they relax, but it’s that they feel like, if things started to go somewhere they didn’t like, they’d be in control to say no or [inaudible 00:09:00] or whatever.
And there’s a certain amount of vulnerability that you need to have upfront to invite someone into your own space. And I think we’ve seen that changes the way that they approach the interview as well. Well, not interview conversations. As I immediately messed it up.
And then we have trouble, yeah, because the word is so stapled in them. Most people, if you ask them to come up with a name for what I’m doing, they’d probably use the word interview first. I think it’s just because the word is more common when thinking about an artifact.
Like if you go to a sculpture museum, there’s going to be sculptures. You’re not going to be thinking like marble carvings, like the word that fits with the thing you’re thinking of is interview. Except there are other kinds of things that happen between people who are communicating and being recorded. And so, I think it’s why I’m stuck on the word, I say it, but I really mean [crosstalk 00:09:53].
Yeah. Fighting against that pool towards it, both within ourselves and the guests, because that’s not what we want this to feel like.
There’s also, if I tell you that we’re going to do an interview, then you’re legitimate next question to me is what is this interview about? Is it about my film career? Is it about the debacle that I… Like, what’s the topic? And if I say we’re going to have a conversation, well then maybe you’d like to know, but I find people are way more open to, “Oh yeah, conversations is the thing I’m down for that, let’s have a conversation.” And they feel what’s going to be, or they know that would be an organic thing.
Creating space [10:28]
(chapter) Yeah. I think that’s one of the things that you’ve worked really hard. At least I’ve seen behind the scenes, you’ve worked really hard to kind of cultivate and I’ve seen the way your approach to coming into that space has changed, and just what you do to prepare for that, because we’ve always talked to guests about, “Oh, we’re not.” There’s not an agenda you can bring what you want to. So you want to talk about and kind of explain how you approach each interview and guest.
It suddenly occurred to me, maybe we should explain who you are. I’m like, “I think most people would know that, but actually, maybe we should unpack that quick. So who are you? And why are you here?”
So I think most people who listen may have heard my name mentioned like one or two, but I’m the person who is behind the scenes. Craig is the person who does the heavy lifting of talking to people, and I am the person who does the heavy lifting of making sure we get to people to talk to them and then can turn what we’ve captured into a podcast.
I’m purposely torturing you because-
Yes. I know.
… what’s the first rule of how to do this correctly, always introduce the guest.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Now luckily I’m not the guest.
But that’s why… I’m like, “Just for fun, I’m going to do this wrong.” So if that felt a little awkward… I wasn’t trying to make Melissa feel awkward, but if that felt a little awkward, that’s one of the things that’s like a drop in the bucket. And if that’s the first thing that I record when I’m talking to someone, and we’re off on the wrong foot, or there’s a sign in our shoe from the get-go.
So in the very beginning, I used to introduce the guests on the spot. I would talk… And then they actually get a little embarrassed because, of course, I’m going to say, “Well, you’re the fastest person in the world in the mountain.” I’m going to have all these awesome things to say, and then people get a little like, “Oh, I don’t know if that’s who I really am.” So now we do the introductions. We record them and post so that they’re meant to listen to them. We do work with them to write them, but anyway, so Melissa is officially the guest advocate. Her job is to make sure that I don’t do something stupid, that we remember to mail people and talk to them and get me and the guests and us all in the same room at the same time, at the same place. So what did you ask me before I interrupted? And say, were you…
Tangentially, I was asking about the approach to the interview and how you create a space and-
You said the I word, how I’ll approach to the conversations. So my approach is I’ve listened to a few podcasts of people doing interviews and conversations. So I’ve heard it done many different ways and I’m not going to say this person’s awesome, that person sucks. But what works for me is to get… I call it, loading the guest into my head and about a half hour before the interview, I’m literally doing that, and I’m literally like, “Don’t anybody talk to me or interact with me, it’s all guest.”
So that can take anywhere from hours to days to weeks, or sometimes it takes years until we’ve gotten a chance to talk with… I almost said the I word, to talk with people and that’s awesome. Like you want to have a great conversation with someone spend three years with the two of you like, “Oh, I can’t make it to that event.” And then all of a sudden you’re like, “It’s the day we’re going to sit down with the mics.”
Well, and I think that gives you… We’ve kind of discussed, it gives you time to, A, warm people up to the idea, because that’s always part of the process, but also now you’ve interacted with them a whole lot more than you might’ve if you’re like, “We’re going to sit down and talk on this day and then you just sit down and talk.” You’ve had much more interactions.
If you think about how… This is actually really hard to do, I think. If you think I am going to go over to my friend’s house at three o’clock on Tuesday, and I’m going to have a good conversation, with that, I mean, that’s basically what we’re trying to do. We ask people, “Can we have three hours of your time?” And they kind of like, “Three hours?” And I’m thinking, “Oh boy, I hope I can get it done in three hours.”
So it’s tough when you set a bar for yourself to say, “We’re going to have a good conversation because if it sucks, it doesn’t matter why, if it sucks, then we really shouldn’t release that.” So the time that I spend in advance, I’m not just thinking about who is this person? How do they think? What have they done? What might they be interested in? Do I have anything at all to talk about that would be in any way related to anything they would talk about? Not just that, but also how does everything I can figure out about them connect to everything else?
Not just the things I’m into, but I’m thinking like, “Oh, I wonder if they’re also interested in dot, dot dot or these other things?” So that when… A lot of times I say the conversations are like strolling down a big street in a major city, walk down Broadway in New York, if you’ve been there and we’re walking side by side. So it’s not an antagonistic, we are usually sitting across the table with microphones, but the metaphor is walking side by side and each of us can say, “Oh look, you know whenever pretzel vendor…” that’s my nemesis in New York. Pretzel vendor, you know where someone’s like, “Oh, look what side street,” or, “Let’s stop for lunch,” or, “Let’s walk down to Battery Park.”
And those are opportunities for us to follow threads. So one thing you can do is show up and be excellent at empathy and compassion and emotional intelligence but not bring anything to the conversation. So I can walk down the street and be the most awesome listener. And I mean that is I’m honestly listening. I’m honestly a good listener, but I didn’t bring anything to the lunch picnic. And then the guests is like, then it’s all on them and you can actually make somebody tired. Like I’ve been inadvertently done it, make guests tired because I’m not carrying my side of the conversation conceptually, I’m not bringing… And it’s not… And you’ve got the other side of this, is don’t show up and be the class clown, my job is not to entertain the guest and we recorded it, so it’s funny.
So we’re not making comedy hour if only they were only an hour, right? We’re not trying to make a comedy show. So there’s that combination of, yeah, get everything you can to be prepared so that when they say, “Oh, that reminds me of mail on a wire.” When they see a really tall building and then I go, “Oh, that was a really good film, you know?” And then they’re like, “Oh, you saw that?” I’m like, “Yes I did.” But what really impressed me was that he had also done, and then all of a sudden it really becomes that cool conversation that you have that each of you listening have with somebody that you know really well. And doing that at two o’clock on Tuesday with gear it’s… I mean, aside from getting over all the awkwardness of gear and that space constrictions, but to be able to do that with a new mind that you haven’t met before.
So any amount of setup that I can do works out well. So that’s like two things.
What do you think is the key ingredient to creating a conversation that feels organic?
Curiosity. You know the reason like we’re both laughing, because I did a podcast interview with somebody else and she just kept hammering of the other person, kept hammering on curiosity in a good way. I mean, yeah, the best part is she picked the cover art for her episode, is a little kid. It doesn’t quite look like me as a little kid, but how would you know, it’s a little kid with a stick and I swear those, it’s like he’s poking an anthill. Like, oh, God that’s so me. I’m just like it’s going to end badly broken to still [crosstalk 00:17:37].
But it’s like totally me. And look what happens if you… And I didn’t… In hindsight my bonkers level, ridiculous curiosity, which if you’ve ever met me, you’ll spot me do things, like, “Well, what’s going on over there?” “I don’t know, let’s go ask him.” And I crossed the street and people were like, “Oh.” I guess we’re going that way. Like, who bought the two year old?
It’s curiosity and fearlessness a little bit.
No, no, no. It’s not fearlessness, my bones are quite aged, so yeah. No, there’s definitely fear involved, but I’m not afraid of looking like an ass hat. A little bit, I’m not afraid if you like me. Who are you? What do you… I’m not afraid of being two kilometers into QM, across a bridge and people going like, “Who is that? Who are these whack jobs doing on their hand?” I’m not afraid of that kind of stuff. But that’s just my natural pretty much, I think, in a born with curiosity.
So that’s the secret sauce. And honestly, that’s how I wound up in podcasting. I didn’t start podcasting-
… I’m curious. I should figure out how to scratch that edge. I know I’ll make a podcast. It was like, “I don’t know. I wonder what happens if I try to record one of these cool conversations that I seem to be having.”
I mean, I literally had conversations with people where somebody walking behind me and the other person we’re literally side by side, we’re walking to a training spot and people behind us go, “You should’ve recorded that, that’s a podcast I would have listened to.” And me and the person, we’re like, “Okay, that’s weird.” I didn’t know at first, all right, oh shit, there’re people behind us.
Oh, hi. Person I didn’t realize was behind me.
Okay, then. And so it became something that I was… I don’t know. I’m just curious what happens if you… And then I started, “Oh, how do you do that? Or you buy one of the recorders? You buy these little microphones and get cables.” And I had a friend who was, still is, he runs his own little sound studio. Little, like it’s a one man shop, not little like he isn’t insanely busy or insanely good. And I was like, “Hey, how much it goes?” Just buy two SM58 and an H4, an H4, and I’m like, “Oh, what’s that?”
We went on eBay, so I realize now, yeah, the key ingredient is curiosity and that’s not only why it works for me to do them as episode 106, 107, but that’s actually how I got into it in the first place.
Yeah. I think it’s an equal amount. You got to… I give you credit definitely for the curiosity, but I equally give you credit for the follow through. Because there’s a lot of people who probably have a certain amount of curiosity, and you’re like, I wonder how, but then you also have the drive to go be like, “Well, I’m going to go find out. What if Google this? What if I go here? Oh, this person said this and this.”
You misspelled mental problem. You misspelled that drive.
Well, you know, drive, neutral, negative, positive, you decide.
Massively negative problem. I think it doesn’t happen at 12. Okay, it happens a lot. I talk to people about podcasting and they say like, “I want to start a podcast.” And before they finish the sentence I interject with don’t do it. And they’re like, “No wait.” Don’t do it. Because if me saying don’t, at you twice is enough to get you off the horse, yeah, you’re going to fail. But if I say, "Don’t do it and you come back next week and you’re like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” But I got this microphone and I’m like, "Or it’s the wrong mic, you want that?’ And I’m like, “Oh, let me come back next week with the right mic.” And then there I’m like, “Yep, you’re in.”
You wouldn’t have been able to stop no matter what I did.
Yeah. Exactly. Like if somebody… Because people did.
If somebody had told me don’t do that, I would have been like, “Don’t do what? Watch me.” You want to get me to not do something, tell me don’t dive in the pool. Yeah. So that’s a key, yeah, that drive is key. But that drive is obviously not unique to podcasting, I have deployed that in everything.
Well, that’s just having… That’s why you have so many projects, right? You have that [crosstalk 00:21:08].
I only have two projects.
Life, and then… I’m constantly trying to reduce. Oh, here comes the pruning topic.
Oh, here we go.
I’m constantly trying to prune down on what I’m doing.
So you want to go into that a little bit then? So where you could go into your…
So we were at my house. At Craig’s house, I have a photo frame, which has, I don’t know, it’s like 700 photos in there, they change every half an hour. And the one that just came up, which he’s alluding to is rock climbing. The one that just came up is a thing called Deer Ridge Buttress in Colorado, in Rocky Mountain National Park, which I tried to climb with a friend of mine and we bailed and walked off and went away. And that’s actually, I think a photo of it from the one side reminding me to go back and climb it. I’m sorry. I derailed our train of thought by saying, I only have two projects.
(chapter) Well, yeah. We’re talking about pruning and the idea of selectively cutting things out. So the question is how do you decide what to keep? What goes and make that process intentional? I guess you can talk about what happens if you don’t and maybe what projects?
Chaos, disorder, stress, meltdown, depression. And I wind up laying on the floor in a puddle. So many things pruning. Okay, well…
Not even just what we mean by…
Okay. So first of all, I love how you’re turning us into question and answer, so I don’t have to do all the work. I would say there are two different ways that I try to keep my dysfunction under control. And one is to decide, is this thing… like whatever it is, like podcasting. Is this a hell, yes, which I always like… To me that’s a Will Smith, or no, like it switches it. And I have a little meme of, I think it’s a yak with his ears back from some Disney cartoon. And he’s just like, “No.” Because that’s an important thing.
(highlight) I was going to say the people who tell you that you should say yes to everything, like the whole, yes, I laugh. I’m just like, you people are so cute. Because you will eventually discover that is not absolutely unequivocably. That is not a recipe for success, that is a recipe for insanity and failure. But the asterisk is some people say yes to nothing, so they have to learn. Okay, if your problem is, and this boggles my mind, but if your problem is that you never seem to really start anything, you’re always too afraid to take that leap, then, okay, you need to go do the yes and improv life lesson, go do that. I do not have that problem. No, do not have that problem.
My mom literally tells stories of when the cops would call her, me and the other neighbor kid, and then the other kid’s parents would be like, “We don’t know what happened, the kid’s always so well behaved.” My mom would be like, “Craig happened.” It’s like, Craig is great until you mix them with other people, and then everything goes bad. Like everybody always got in trouble as soon Craig showed up. So I have no problems like tackling new projects, taking on ideas, challenges, go, go, go, yes, yes, yes. For me, I had an… I usually have a touch phrase for every year. I had an entire year, might’ve been, now this my real, it was a whole year where my touch phrase was no, N-O with a period behind it. I had a giant hand drawn poster over my desk.
And it was… I just literally practiced saying no to everything. Somebody post a comment and I would have an answer and I’d hit reply and I’d start typing and I’d see the word, no, and I delete my answer. I would just… All I did all year was say no to everything I possibly could, and in that year I only did like 50 new things. My problem is I’m like, “Oh yes.” Okay. So now I can see why some people need to practice saying yes, because I need to practice saying no. So in that sense, that’s one part of the pruning, is me going, “Do I really want to do this project dot, dot, dot, that’s going to take up all this time?” I probably. I really do want to do it, but I probably should say, “No, thank you.” Or a lot of times. It doesn’t happen often, but people try to hand me things like, “Hey, could you?” Because they know I can do it.
And I had to learn to say, I prefer not to, or I don’t have time to give that appropriate… I had to learn how to say no, in addition to learning to say no. So that’s one whole part of the pruning.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, and there’s the kind of question there, a little bit of how you decide what to say no to, because it’s… The idea of saying no allows you to create space for the things you want to do. So then how do you decide this is a project-
Well, the first thing you got to decide is that you don’t like the way things are.
Yeah. How many socialists does it take to change a light bulb and then marks? I think it’s marks, his answer is none. The light bulb contains the seeds of its own revolution. The first thing you have to do is decide that you don’t like, not that you want to change, that’s easy. I definitely want to change. I’d like to weigh 20 pounds less for realsies. Okay, that’s nice.
So you have to decide in my opinion, that you’re uncomfortable. I don’t like who I am, and this is really close to the chasm of the bad internal negative voice.
I don’t know about anybody else in the world, but I’m told that other people have the same voice in their head that I do.
Oh, we do.
I don’t know, mine’s pretty mean. The ability to decide that you’re uncomfortable or that you don’t like something. And then, “Okay, now I’m going to take action.” So I’ve heard people talk about quitting smoking and saying, I tried to quit, I tried to quit, I tried to quit. But then when I realized if I stopped smoking I’ll live longer and I’ll be around with my kids more, then that was like that, okay, I have a bigger why.
So I think that’s… Part of high prune is to go, “I really, really, really want to do this other thing, but I really, really, really want to do these…” The three reallys’ on this one and I have four reallys on the other one, so let’s stick with… You can’t be a master of everything. You can only be-
Yeah. And it’s just not enough time.
So that’s part of it, so I think that just takes experience. You have to just, yes yourself to failure a few times. Preferably, don’t do that with marriages and mortgages and…
Yeah. There’s appropriate things to say yes to and get overwhelmed.
Like sign out to that podcasting project then make 15 episodes and fade out at 16 and go, yeah, I learned a lesson.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well and yeah. There’s always a lesson to be learned whether or not it’s a failure. Even if the lesson is, don’t say yes to everything or the lesson is, I grew from that and now I’ve got what I needed and move on. (/highlight)
Yeah. And then there’s also the nuts and bolts. Melissa and I have spent a few minutes talking to each other over the years.
A few. Tend to the sixth. So one of the things that we’ve talked about in the past is how do I actually prune within Movers Mindset, which is kind of interesting because we have limited resources. It’s not like we have a printer that produces Benjamin Franklin’s.
So there’s… Oh my God, you guys will never hear from me again if I could print money, where was I? All right. So we have a project management system and then at different times there’re different people working on the team and things get complicated, and because I tend to say yes, it’s actually worse when you have people working with you, because I can say, “Hey, let’s change the cover art for the podcast.” Hey, you know and then it’s like all we have to do is get a good photo. And then we’ll just wave some artistic wand that at the end it’ll turn into the colors and the things, and we’ll put a logo. Oh, shit, we don’t have a logo. Make it look like… It’s pretty easy for me to visualize…
Well, here’s what I think the goal would look like. So that’s one thing, if you can’t actually articulate what you want as the goal, you’d probably shouldn’t say yes at the thing. Like that’s open-ended.
That’s a good point. Yeah.
Needs to be an end, so that yes.
I’m so mad, at what’s the end of the podcast, right? What are the episode? How far does this go? But I’m ignoring that for now. That’s several seasons out. So one thing is just to like, “Can you actually articulate?” I know it when I see it, is not articulating the goal.
And there’s the designer’s worst nightmare.
Well, oh, yeah, now we’re back in the [inaudible 00:29:06]. Don’t say that the designer. But in general-
But it’s good advise in general.
Yeah. In general, don’t say I want to explore the world. No, no, no, that’s not going to work. You need a more specific thing. So that’s one part of pruning. Is if I realized when I stepped back that I can’t actually explain what I’m doing, why I’m doing, then you probably need to back off of that. That’s one thing… So sometimes I will make up stuff, and everybody who works with me has kind of learned everything is a half-life. Just like don’t, don’t move on that for at least 48 hours.
He’s probably going to circle back and say, “You know what? I’m going to walk that back a little bit, so that’s part of run ideas up the flag pole.” If nobody salutes, if after the next day you think maybe it’s not a good idea then be realistic and, “Yeah, I changed my mind.” Then there are different… Like I could go off on a tangent about like you can, whether or not you’re working on a literal whiteboard, but if the metaphor is you’re working on a whiteboard after you’ve done a bunch of brainstorming at work, you’re going to have a vision, like a thing, here’s how it’s going to work. Here are all the pieces.
Here’s the technology circled in orange is I don’t know how to do this part. So I think we’ll figure that out. Like, okay, there it is. Just erase it. So erase all of it. Maybe take a picture if you’re nervous, but you don’t have to just erase it all. Because there’s nothing on that whiteboard that isn’t in your brain or it didn’t come out of your brain.
And if you can’t think of it again, it wasn’t that great. Like I personally have ideas or yeah, I’m solidly me on ideas. I mean, people say I’ve got an awesome idea. I’m like, “No, you don’t.” Because if you had an awesome idea, yeah, no, that’s easy. I have 12 awesome ideas. Before I get out of bed in the morning, literally, that’s not what makes them awesome, what’s awesome is when you get one that you can actually visualize how you would do it and then you do it.
Right. Because ideas by themselves are a dime, a dozen they’re meaningless until you make them a reality.
And that’s something that I… Melissa, let’s stick with pruning.
So you erase the board, then do it again. Like if you want to decide how to simplify something, just draw it again, like draw the whole project all over. It’ll all come out of your head again. And maybe now the thing you had on the left it’s on the right. And then less lines and this whole part that was this giant diatribe. Because somebody said we needed red like that didn’t get put back on the board and then you’re like, “See anything that’s missing?” No, I mean, if there’s something missing it isn’t very important now is that, and if it’s important, we’ll find it. The second-
Yeah. It’ll come up again.
The first 90% of a project is massively easier than the second 90% of the project. It’s a software tool. So that’s part of the whole, how to prune it. One thing that I use is just like start over and redo it all. There’s other things. Sometimes I managed to be able to take the internal critic. So the inner critic, my internal critic will say things which I’m not repeating. And sometimes I can, if it doesn’t beat me down and when, sometimes I can go, “You know what, you’re full of crap.” But you are actually pointing at something that I could change or I bet I could shut you up. If I got rid of that whole project or you keep beaching at me because I didn’t do the thing I said I was going to do.
Well, maybe I should decide. I’m not going to do that. So not that you… I don’t recommend listening to the internal critic, but sometimes you can kind of figure out how to shut it up by removing the thing that it’s using as ammunition against you.
Well and rooting out what’s… Whether or not it’s actually saying something that has-
It’s a kind of truth. Yeah.
Right. What the root of where that’s coming from is so-
Hey you should also try and squish the internal critic. Like the internal critic is not a healthy thing to have.
I mean maybe if the internal critic is like, “Don’t do the 12 foot jump over the sharks.” Like, okay then, maybe you want to listen to that.
Seems like a critical conscience.
Right. Oh, that’s the sanity you know. Before you hit the F button on the jump don’t necessarily ignore that critic. But the one that might keep you from getting out of bed in the morning because, “Ah, I’m a failure and I got nothing done. Yesterday sucked and all I do is go backwards.” That critic would probably just shut up. Maybe if I can drown in a coffee, that’s what we’re going to try. Can you see? Yell at me if you see the coffee.
Oh, you have no idea. The podcast is often brought to you by coffee. It’s full of water though. I don’t have any coffee because it’s in the afternoon.
Don’t look so sad.
Pruning is super important. If anybody thinks that there aren’t 12 things that I think suck or that I failed at, you’re diluting yourself. My internal critic is there and I make as I admit. And that’s one of the things I had to learn to combat, to avoid taking on too much. Like I think I don’t like the way my voice sounds on the mic, that may sound crazy. I’m not a big fan of it. I’m thinking okay. It sounds a little vocal fry and I can… Oh, I should do diaphragm actually. I’m like, “No, I’m not an opera singer. You do not need to.” It’s a great song. Is it by Cake. I’m an opera. I think it’s Opera Singer by Cake. Great song. Sorry by…
We’ll link in the show notes.
Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know if it’s G rated. Anyway, so that’s not… Really make my living by vocal performance. I’m not working on NPR ever, it’s not my dream. So yes, I can just let go of the fact that there are things I hear that you probably don’t know. Even not Melissa, unless is the-
The average listener doesn’t notice right now as I’m talking, but I’m thinking about, and it’s just like, “Yeah, get over that.” I once heard somebody, I didn’t want to drop his name because I don’t want to get it wrong. Somebody’s pretty famous and well-known who refuses to schedule anything more than, I think it’s like four weeks, maybe six weeks out.
Yeah, four or six.
Just like wrap your brain around this for a second. Ask this person for something seven weeks from now, like a dentist appointment or, “Hey, we’re getting married. Can you come to our wedding?”
Right, that’s what I don’t get.
He’s like, “I don’t do more than six weeks.” He’s like, “You know what happens? I get to do all the things I want to do.” There’s nothing on my calendar that I’m not immediately excited about because you can pretty much be excited about something for four or five weeks.
How do you plan vacations?
Well, part of the problem is the person is rich. The person is just like, “And I’m going to Tehidy.” But that’s, and so I don’t do that. My founder does not work like that, but I do keep that in mind. Like if I say no for everything you say yes to, you have said no to an unlimited unknown collection of things that are going to come up and now you have resource contingent. So I have been recently trying to imagine, what would it be like to get up and just do whatever I wanted for like a whole day?
And of course, people who know me, will all be like, “Oh, shut up. That’s exactly what you do every day, all day.” I’m like, “Oh no, it’s actually not.” Because I signed up in my head for episode 100 has to be recorded. So I had this… No insult intended. I had this hole in my day on the list, this is going to be my life. I went in the house and we have to vacuum it. The queen and the thing is with me, I’m like, “Indeed there are these things, even if you think you have freedom, you’re still assigning yourself things to do.”
So that’s a big part of pruning, is like noticing when the stone in the shoe how…
Yeah. Death by a thousand paper cuts.
What’s parts? Pardon Melissa, I’ll quit it, I’ll quit it, I’ll quit it. You know, like, “Yeah, quit it.” So that’s another part of the pruning is to pay attention to stuff that annoys you. Like I keep thinking about doing X, just go do it. Yeah.
(chapter) Yeah. All of these different kind of ideas around how you think about pruning are all based on reflective practices. I just want to take a moment to-
We’ll do those ad to reflect on that.
… point that out. Yeah.
But, no. I do want to specifically highlight that because that is… If you go back and listen to episode… Oh shoot.
You’re the one who knows all the numbers.
This is a running gag.
I don’t know anything.
Just because there’s not a guest.
I know it is. It is… I want to say 70, maybe, it’s in the 70s, about the three words for the project. Which are?
I don’t know, what are they? Discovery… You’re supposed to know this.
Discovery, reflection and efficacy. Actually I’m on a case of achievement.
Yeah, yeah. We have the wristband.
Yeah. There are movers mindset wristbands, by the way, you have to find me to get. We have to actually… If you find me, I’ll give you the one off my wrist because I keep a spare in my bag. Anyway, yeah. Discovery, reflection, and efficacy without diving into it. Yeah, go read about that. It’s on the forum. It’s on my personal blog. My personal website wound up which is just Constantine, my last name, constantine.name and N-A-M-E. My personal blog wound up being like a vehicle for the reflection part of it. So it’s like, “I have an idea.” And then I sort of started forcing myself a decade ago, forcing myself to like, “Okay, put that out.” Like, “I have an idea.” Remember I was saying, ideas are worthless?
Right? Okay. Get the idea out of your head and type it up. Oh, it gets real. When you hit the publish button, even though nobody’s looking, people are looking now but in the beginning nobody’s looking. So that was… Part of it was like putting ideas out there and then the blog posts get longer. Some of them get weirder. It gives me the opportunity to have fun, do something as I write crazy. Stream of consciousness, experiments, and writing.
Sometimes I do, it’s in the middle of running through a sequence of posts, talking about learning to be self-reflective. So yeah, I think it’s important that everybody… If you haven’t already realized this it’s important that you soon rather than later figure out that you need to spend time discovering and I mean that go explore your world. Though you know the world within reach and the world physically the whole thing, but explore so that you can get some discovery in but then most people do that.
You then need to become reflective. And I recommend journaling not mandatory obviously, but I recommend journaling as that’s how I started doing it. And then kind of my blog, it didn’t grow out of what I was journaling that the content is different. But it is that same idea of like taking what’s in your head and writing in a journal or take it in your head and put it on a website.
Yeah. Well, the act of taking it out of your head and putting it somewhere, whether or not that will be read by you or anyone else, but the physical act.
Yeah. So that’s kind of like my journey of discovery and reflection. Then of course my personal physical journey fits in there with that discovery inflection. In fact, I went on the physical journey and then as the physical journey started to be relatively successful from my definition of successful, then I looked back and went, “Wait, how did that work?” Oh, look, discovery followed by some reflection, followed by efficacy, which is the idea of if one is efficacious one is able to take your ideas and make them exist in the world.
So if you’re a really-
You follow through.
Yeah. If you’re a really good school teacher, not only do you have efficacy, but you have efficacy on an area that’s really important. And I’m not saying you have to have… You have to be changed in the world in order to have efficacy. But that for me is like what I’m experimenting with now. And you might notice that I go to great lengths to create these podcasts, to share with people. And one thing people asking, maybe we do this, maybe we not is why do we make the podcast? What do I get out of it? What do I hope the world gets out of it?
So this is part of me practicing efficacy, but Holy philosophical, hello, anybody there? Everybody still listening?
Wow, I see-
Here comes the internal critic, “Who would listen to this shit?” I’m sorry.
Stop that. Stop that internal critic up.
Personal and interpersonal benefits [40:18]
(chapter) I kind of I’m torn now. I’m going to do a Craigism and I’m torn between two pathways that I see.
I love watching. I always feel like Hannibal Lecter, like, “Oh, yes, Clarisse, yes go ahead ask me a question?” You just passed me a staple for crying out loud. You’re not supposed to pass things to any guy.
Well, so I kind of see there’s talking about the reflection of all of the pruning and how you’re thinking through that going in the direction of, okay, let’s talk a little bit about the guiding stars that help with the decisions for that kind of thing. Larger scale than you know the like, “Aw, paper cut out, paper cut.” But so having a guide other than just noticing we’re kind of going the route of, yeah, why do we do this? And what’s the goal and what’s the future you pick?
I was going to say, I acknowledge your statement.
You haven’t been to hell til the guests, literally say to you, “Was there a question in there?” You’re going to ask me if, I know shit, no, was supposed to be a conversation. Okay. Being mindful of the time, how about… So what do I… Well, let’s start this. What do I get out of it? What do I want to get? But forget what I got out of it, what do I want to get out of it going forward?
(highlight) So the whole thing started because I was having really cool, what I thought, a really cool conversations with people and the people I was talking with they seem to agree, the conversations were pretty cool. And some of the branding, new friends that I got who had glommed onto the conversation, they also seem to agree. So that’s where it started. It was having cool conversations with people and yes more of that please. Please say that, so I can have some more, maybe references out the wazoo today.
And I thought, “All right, well, why don’t I try and capture that?” So in one sense, the podcast has become like a crutch or a cheating way to have cool conversations.
Yeah. There are people that I have talked to now and not that they would like not talk to somebody who said, “Hey, let’s have a conversation,” but it’d be a little hard. You’d have to like-
Yeah it’s easier to be official to ask someone to carve out three hours of their day, to just talk to you.
Just grab somebody that you trained with that you consider like a little bit of a mentor or an example. You know they’re a human being, they put their shoes on one at a time probably. And you’re like, “I want to go have a cool conversation probably.” Just walk up and say, “Hey, I want a cool conversation with you.”
They’re probably going to go, "Well, yeah, that’d be cool, but I’m busy. Like, “I’m teaching or I got a thing at two o’clock or call me on…” And it gets hard to make the connection, but if we reach out to them and say, “Hey, we do this podcast, we have this thing, and we’d like to have a conversation with you.” And they’re like, “Oh, this is like a thing.”
It’s real. Yeah.
Yeah. Well, okay. And then they get their calendar out and they go, “How about two o’clock on Tuesday?” And I’m like, “Aha, I have a three hour window to get a chance to talk with this person.” So in one sense, it’s just me cheating to get access to people who I could get access to, and it will be a lot easier.
You’re like, it is cheaper to just get on a plane and go talk to them than do everything else. But anyway so that’s part of what I get out of it. It scratches my curiosity edge, big time.
I’ve had so many… Well, I’ve had over a hundred converse… Well, like North of 250, 300 conversations, not just in this podcast. Hundreds of conversations, just because I have a podcasting hat, I’m a podcaster.
And that wouldn’t have happened. It also is an extremely fertile playground for me to work on my problems. And I don’t mean I turn the guests into therapists and make them all awkward and creepy, you know, creeped out, but it forces me to go, who do I want to be like on the bigger picture. And like, yeah, I want to have this really cool conversation, but I don’t really want to make people cry, but sometimes things get emotional or everybody really, really awkward.
Well, if I was a good person, I would be able to engage with that person who was having an emotional moment or I’d be able to like, “Yeah, it’s awkward, but nobody’s going to die.” I feel like this is like an opportunity for growth. I mean, at the moment I’m squirming like, “Oh, this horrible.” But after the fact or before the fact that I’m thinking about, “Oh, this one could be challenging.” That’s an opportunity for me to practice being a human being, being a member of society. (/highlight) And it’s almost like a cage match, really because the headphones have cords.
And it’s like you’re still like, “Alright, you ready?”
Yeah, yeah. You’re stuck here now.
Stuck here with a chess timer. So I also see that it is a playground on opportunities to work on that.
Yeah. Well, there’s the reflective practices in kind of the transformation and chance and chance to practice, in a sense, it is a practice for you, especially since you’re the host so you do a whole lot of them. But even for the guests, I’ve seen plenty of times that it’s become a reflective opportunity for them as well. And we kind of touched on how you create a space and invite them into it, and…
Which is a little awkward when it’s your space. And we have arrived with backpacks like, “Oh, when you’re…”
And there’s a lot about room acoustics and it’s all like diminishing returns. Every little thing that we can do to tweak making this all go better, we try to do it.
So it might be as simple as, which of me and the guest is on which side of the table? Can we get rid of the cat because I’ll be sneezing or whatever. That all goes in there. But to me, that’s all easy now.
Well, yeah, that’s all part of the process. But I think that reflective personal process that you gained from it is also something that the guests gain. Because having now sat in on some large-
12, whatever, 10, a few interviews. You kind of get to see people blossom from, “Oh, well, what do you want to talk to me about? I don’t know what I have to say.”
(highlight) Oh, that’s my favorite. My two favorite moments in every podcast… it doesn’t happen in every podcast. But my two favorite moments are when they realize that they actually have something to say.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). And you watch it happen.
And I almost hate to have that moment happen because hello, I can only do 52 of these published weekly a year. So if I asked you to do an interview… Here’s another tip. Almost everybody says, “What do you want to talk to me for?” You all say that. I’m like,-
Everyone feels that way. Everyone has impostor syndrome.
… “Well, because you’re freaking awesome and I want to talk to you and I really think more people need to hear your story or whatever I want to talk to you about.” So that is always a fun moment in like, “Oh, I wish you had discovered that 20 years ago,” kind of way. But yeah. Okay. So that’s one moment. The other moment that is my… I love it and it’s all I can do to sit still and try to have a neutral expression is when the guests look at me and go, “No one’s ever asked me that before.” And they don’t mean it like, “Whoa, that’s inappropriate.” They mean it like, “Yeah, that is something that I think about all the time. And I’ve always wanted to find another mind to talk about it.” Oh, my God, and at that point, I’m just like,-
You can’t stop them.
… “I hope I can keep up.”
Like, “Don’t knock the mic over.” And just try and keep them, keep them, like stay here, that’s always awesome when I see people do that. Sometimes people do that more than once on different topics. And some of us are just like, “Oh, my God, we need more.” Fortunately, I can record 24 hours before I have to change memory cards. So it is wonderful.
(quote) And I normally, like I don’t think I have a superpower, but that is a wonderful thing to be able to do. If you can do that… Just not as a podcaster, or if you can just do that with random people, go somewhere to a cafe, have a cup of coffee with somebody, and I don’t mean if I can do it, I mean if you, the listener can do that, go do that. That makes the world a better place. Because sometimes you hear people talk about, because it’s true. It’s important that people be seen. And sometimes someone may need many things, but one thing they need right now, RFN, that’s a TV show reference, is to be seen. They don’t want an answer to their problem, they don’t want you to try and help, they want you to just acknowledge that they exist as a human being. (/quote)
So part of what we were just saying, that’s part of what is happening there. So you don’t need microphones in a podcasting kit to do that because putting people in a chair with a microphone adds a whole other layer of like, they tend to lock up, or they grab their defensive pillow or sweat. Everybody has different reactions. (/highlight)
Yeah. There’s also the aspect of it’s a bit of an explorative space because we’ve talked about your preparation. You don’t necessarily go in with an agenda. You try to learn as much as you can, and then go in with an open mind and allow it to be whatever. It’s an opportunity for the guests to explore what it is they want to say or have to say. And watching that process is really interesting as a sideline observer.
Says Melissa, the one with a magnifying glass, “Oh, like you’re burning it, just look at them, wow, they’re working so hard.” No judgment. What you were just saying reminds me of something we’ve talked about. You and I have talked about previously. It’s hard for me to remember, have I ever said that on the microphone or that’s just been in a train somewhere? The idea of… Oh, did I just lose the thought? We’ve also had conversations about it, I have too much setup, just say it. I think I set it up so much I forgot what I was going to say.
Oh, I remember. The idea that my ability to prepare for the conversation and have a good conversation may not be this… No I don’t know the idea, I’m sorry. Oh, yeah, but I know. The perfect argument… Okay. I promise I have it this time.
Remember when I mentioned early on, imagine you have scheduled going to your friend’s house to have a cool conversation that seems kind of weird. So the person… I think I’ve lost the idea again. The person that I need to be to have a great conversation… Yes, I have it. That person is not the same person they need to be, to be a good host for the people listening. So the people listening need certain things. They may need context. They may need whatever. And that is not what two people having a conversation… That’s not what that’s about.
So there are many, basically, every moment of every podcast that I’m recording, I’m torn between, usually, literally I have to choose right now, the thing that I think is right for the people who are listening, like what should I say? What should I ask? Should I interrupt them? Should I reel them in? Should I let them keep talking? Should I get them to like… All that, and what’s the thing that’s right for the conversation that I’m having with the guest?
I’m laughing because sometimes I talk too much. And I didn’t know that in the beginning, that it may have taken like 100 episodes to figure that out. And that’s something that I’m looking forward to being aware of going forward. So that’s one thing that I would like to continue to create. I think sometimes I have done a better job of creating the good conversation and less of a job at serving the imaginary people. I imagine there’s people like all of you listening, you’re behind soundproof glass. So if I look over my shoulder, you could be making gestures like “Ask him about the doc.” But you can’t interact. So I think I could do a better job of serving the people who are listening without totally wrecking the conversation.
Right. Well, and that’s the difficult balance to find, because in some cases it’s, oh, well, how much setup do I give this question for the guest who’s never heard this question before, but I ask this question every episode. So my listeners have heard this setup 100 times now and I can quote it along with you, so that’s…
There’s a bunch of fun stuff that people don’t normally hear. I’ve pretty much got like a shtick that we say to the guests beforehand. And I’ve learned just how I unpack the three-words question before we start recording. And another, I guess that’s 2.1 favorite second, third thing I love about the podcast is I warn them upfront. I’m going to ask you at the end, the three words to describe your practice.
And every time…
And I say to them, “I’m going to ask you the three words and you’re going to forget. Your going to have forgotten that I warned you. And leave almost every time I go.” And of course the [inaudible 00:52:35]. And they get the little look of like… They go, “Ah.” And I go, “Ah.” And then that’s a lot of what’s going on with the pause.
I’ve talked about… And there is actually a case where you just went, “Wait, tell me more about the three words question.” There’s a whole episode about that, where I talk about where exactly it comes from and why I ask it. So I’m not going to go into that here. I know you just went, “Thank you.”
We’ll, link it in the show notes.
That’s a whole episode about that. And one of the things, I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned is having that on the end… If you ever… Having a cool conversation is easy. The conversation goes until it ends. Like somebody to go to the bathroom, your mom coming to pick you up, whatever. There’s an ending. But when you’re recording a podcast and it can be between 45 minutes to an hour and a half or two hours, I’m like, “Whoa, we got lots of tape.” How do you stop?
Where do you stop?
Where do we stop?
So that question, I still have to decide, but it’s at least when I decide, it’s like a turn signal. It just… Turn signal comes on and we’re done, kind of thing. So that is another advantage to having a fixed ending point. So cool, what else? We are about 50 some minutes in. It going to be nice if we could stick to like an hour and a half. What do you want to do in the last half an hour?
Well, we haven’t gone too too much into-
What do you want out of the podcast in season five?
Ooh, return my question back at me.
I don’t know much, but I know a couple of tricks.
What I want out of the podcast is… Well, that’s question we’ve discussed off-mic a whole lot that’s been kind of an-
And also pointing out.
… ongoing discussion.
Okay. If you’re going to bring up off-mic and you have not yet answered that question.
Way to pin me down, Craig.
You did it. Not me. I just asked.
I think what I want out of season five… I mean, there’s on a personal level, I would love to be able to travel again. And I know we’ve kind of discussed that.
Oh, we’re totally traveling?
Oh, we should talk about why video sucks, but keep going.
Yes. We’re going into that next. Put a pin in that. But for me in the professional sense, if you will, I don’t know if that’s the right word. But in the context of the podcast, I think one of my specific goals for season five is as the officially guest advocate being a little bit more, or having the ability and intention to be more discerning about who we choose, because there has been points in time that we’ve been very specific and discerning. But the way in which we choose the guests is sometimes dictated by, “Oh, we’re going to this city for X amount of time. And how many people can we get while we’re here?” And it’s just based on geography.
So trying to be a little bit more intentional about who and how we choose guests, and one of my original goals when I first came on back in the 20s was most of the guests had been men. And I was like, “I specifically want to interview more women.”
Change sound of the voice, right?
Yeah. And I feel like we’ve been doing a better job balancing that now. I’m like, “Okay, I want to be more intentional for season five about specifically seeking out more marginalized and diverse voices.” Because I feel like we don’t necessarily have that quite as much. So I think that’s my specific, what I want to do on the professional side of things.
Okay. I mean, that legit mad props. Yes, please, where do I sign that cheque? But what do you get out of it? Or what do you want to get out of it?
What do I want to get out of it? Well, part of the wanting to travel again is if you are kind of unaware of where I fit into all of this, a little context. So I do the setup behind the scenes to talk with the guests. And I also go along in many cases on the actual interview. So I’m sitting there, I’m the person you don’t hear off-mic sitting there taking notes. I’m looking things up as we’re discussing things and making sure that everything’s working, making sure everything’s going smoothly.
There’s a bit of tech that it’s nice to have a second pair of eyes like, “Yo, bro, it’s not working right.” The things like that. That’s super useful.
The one I missed.
Shut up. I’ll get it. I’ll get back to him.
So for me, that’s the ability to access and be the fly on the wall. And I also get to listen to them multiple times and get paid to do that, which hello, living the dream over here. So not only am I-
Oh, you don’t work for free? Please stop working for free people. If you’re doing something for free, please stop that. You need to make people pay you what you are worth. My soapbox. How did this soapbox get under my feet again? Damn it.
Sweep that soapbox, my turn.
[crosstalk 00:57:26]. So you’re looking forward to traveling again?
Yeah. Traveling and being able to actually meet the guests and spend time with them. And that loops back to the guest experience of setting up that space and being able to actually be there. For me on a personal level is really cool because it’s people that I also probably wouldn’t necessarily have access to. And if you were going around just trying to have conversations with people-
Can I bring a friend?
You don’t really need somebody to bring notes, right? So I get free access to kind of be the person glomming onto the conversation and fly on the wall. And I get the personal benefit of literally sitting down and listening to it and reflecting on it a lot and getting paid to do so. So like how awesome is that?
It will be for you to say, but sounds like you think it’s pretty awesome.
Video vs audio [58:18]
(chapter) Cool. What else? So we going to talk about video?
Yeah, let’s hop into the video.
And I don’t just mean Zoom exhaustion video is lousy, it’s not as good as in-person. It’s bringing video into the party, wrecks it. So I was going to say if we’re being video taped, if Melissa realized she was being videotaped, it wrecks everything.
Like, “Oh no, I’ve been picking my nose the whole time,” or, “I didn’t put socks on or whatever.” So the guests, that’s actually one of their first questions usually.
Yeah. We say that upfront.
(highlight) From the very beginning we say, “No, we don’t do any video. We don’t record them.” And maybe we should talk a little about what we’ve been doing in the pandemic. But generally we tell the guests upfront, “Audio only.” And how many times have we had the guest open the door and they usually offer us a cup of tea or something and I start setting down a 40 pound bag of stuff. And they’re like, “Is there video?” And I’m like, “No, there’s no video.” And they’re like, “Oh, good.” Because almost everybody is self-conscious and it’s one thing when I give you a set of headphones and you go like, “Is this… Whoa.” They all get startled unless they’ve done it before by the audio. That’s one thing.
But it’s another to know that if you shed a tear, people can hear that you’re crying, but if you shed a tear and now, oh, they saw it. It’s like the video it’s not actually as… My opinion, it’s not as personal as audio is, but it suddenly changes the kind of conversation I’m able to create. Remember I said I’m supposed to be here both as a conversation partner and as the interviewer, the person driving the conversation-
… the guide. The person serving the 150 or thousands of people. In some cases people who are listening. When you bring a video camera to this, it gets even harder. So we tried, we actually… There is one single podcast that was videoed in person. I’m not going to say who, obviously the guest knows who it is and the video is not even worth. It’s like, “No, no one is going to… No.” And video is also really hard. To do video, I absolutely would need another body and now we’re a three-person team, at least. And the gear isn’t so much bigger, but then there’s lighting and there’s power and-
But there’s a lot more production that involved.
Yeah. And the post production is both… Running a video server and stuff on Vimeo or whatever is easy, but now you got post-production editing and all that stuff. So I love that we can capture the conversation and I can do with what fits in our carry-on bag.
Yeah. I also think it’s the level of vulnerability changes because as someone on-mic right now, I’m not thinking about what I look like. I could look like a complete idiot and it wouldn’t matter. I could be waving my arms around and I am. But that’s one less thing I need to think about. So all of my brain is now on not sounding like an idiot and making sure I know what I’m saying and you decide whether it’s working, but…
It’s actually pretty surprising how good people are at sounding natural and comfortable. But if you ask them to do something like have a conversation or teach a class, the visual part of it is really hard. People actually discover they really are spastic.
It’s a separate learned skill. And it is learned.
But their audio is more natural, I think. So it is easier for somebody who hasn’t been interviewed or been in a recorded situation before. It’s easier to just plop them down and give them headphones on a microphone. It’s easier for them to do well.
I think it goes back to also the amount of organicness that we can create. We talked about organically having a conversation that is set up and the video just makes it nearly impossible. (/highlight)
Yes. There’s also something to be said for, like we’re using mic stands here for this recording. And I use them with the guests just because if you touch the mic, like… What episode had the beatboxing in it? 78?
Yes. Good job.
It was the beginning of this season. Well, that’s because it was the beginning of the season it has actual beatboxing in it. Go listen to 78. But we’re using mic stands because giving somebody who hasn’t learned to use a microphone, now we’re back into the, “Oh, no, you can do this wrong and you can make my job a nightmare afterwards.” So we do need to give them mic stands.
Right. And I admit, I was surprised as well the first time, whenever that was that I got recorded. It really does improve your posture, which is like the unconscious and how it sounds. There’s a lot of reasons that mic stands are better.
Yeah. Cool. Yeah. So we started recording in, what year is it? '21. In the beginning of 2020, we had a bunch of episodes that were recorded. So our plan was like, “All right, let’s just see what’s going to happen with COVID-19 and how travel and everything’s going to play out.” So we had the luxury, like Movers Mindset had the luxury. I’d be just like, “Okay, we’re going to just wait.”
So that’s what we did for most of the year. But while we were waiting, remember the discussion about Craig can learn to say no? So I said, “Hey, I feel bored. Let’s start.” So we started recording video conversations, and I had already been doing a zillion Zoom calls for podcasting courses, people learning to podcast. And I started, “Well, all right.” So then I actually was doing them cold. I would know the person’s name and I would actually put it on a post-it note so that I could remember who I was talking to. But I would literally do them completely cold and just to practice.
So the more recent episodes in this season, in season four have been the audio pulled out of the video conversations. And the video conversations are awesome. There you can go on the forum. We should talk about that too. You can go on the forum and watch the video conversations. But I think that they’re different and I don’t just don’t mean different like I didn’t do a great job, or different like I didn’t ask them the three-words question where they were limited to 45 minutes artificially because I was setting up a constraint.
The audio is different because the guests know that we can see them. Like they know… And we told them upfront we’re going to record the video. They know it’s a visually recorded conversation. So as a challenge, see if you can figure out, you could just cheat and go to the forum and look for the ones that have video.
But that’s lame don’t do that.
But see if you can figure out which of the more recent episodes in this season were recorded. I probably say it at the front now that I think about, which were recorded and the audio was pulled off the video. I think they sound different. I think the guests don’t sound as comfortable. I think they sound a little more nervous. Part of that has got to be had very little… We do spend time with them on the call beforehand, but you have limited setup.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). I think the other thing with that is we have the ability with the video and it’s tough. Because I really like the fact that we can do virtual things because now we’re getting people a lot less limited.
Yes. I can [crosstalk 01:05:01] with somebody in New Zealand.
Right. So there’s one person in Singapore. We can get that person and not have to… It’s really hard when there’s only one person in one place. Not that there’s ever only one, but it’s much easier to access people, but at the same time, because it’s hard to access them, there’s less contact ahead of time. Whereas it’s like we talked about when it takes you years to actually sit down with a person. You’ve had a lot of interactions and discussions unrelated to that conversation that have happened over the years.
Like you’ve built some kind of relationship and rapport and when you’re doing the virtuals, you don’t have the ability to do that. And even trying to artificially create it is really difficult. It’s just one of the limitations. So there’s the access that it opens up, but there’s limitations to the quality.
Yeah. My personal thing for season five is let’s not do any of those. I would like-
I still have people I want to get the…
I know we had to figure how to get enough people and enough funding to get to Australia or Singapore or work out. Because some of the people that I’ve been thinking about that we took a long time and worked really hard to interview, we didn’t interview in their home court. We caught up with them at a third place where we managed to be there at the same time. So I just think it’s worth doing that part of it in part, like doing the in-person visit, putting their words into sentences. But doing them in person is such a critical part of the Movers Mindset, the experience, the thing that we do when we record them. That’s so critical that recording them virtually is a completely different thing. Maybe we should spin up… No, maybe we should… I just did it. I was like, “Maybe we should spin up,” because this would be easy.
We spin up a whole different podcast, which is a video only, a vlog, vodcasting. And we will just… No, it’s actually a word I did not coin that. And do it. No, no. Say with me no? No.
No, no, no.
So I mentioned the forum a couple of times. If you don’t know what the forum is seriously, so everything that we create for Movers Mindset is available for free. There isn’t anything that we keep back, all the way back to episode one, they’re all available on the forum, just go to moversmindset.com/forum, will get you to where you need to go. And you don’t even need to make an account. You can just lurk all over the place, all of the audio players.
So sometimes I think it’s easier to go listen to one episode rather than have to find it in your podcast player and add episode seven. So you can go to the forum, search by name of guest, find their episode, “Oh, it’s in video,” hit play. And the show notes are all there. We started doing show notes in the 50s and-
57, I think.
There’s a lot of it. You can do archeology, just go backwards through like, “Oh, look, here’s when they started doing this. Oh, look, they started making quotes.” You can go backwards all the way to the beginning and there’s other stuff in the forum too. We’re on like 20 of them or something. It’s like half a year, we’ve been doing the campfires. So we get together on-
At the moment it’s Thursday mornings. We get together once a week for half an hour. We do like this… We like co, not like, we co-edit a Google doc. And it’s a combination of chat and interesting things that have caught our eyes. Sometimes it’s previous guests, like we see guests do something, we’ll share a link to it. And then usually we try every week to find one previous guest and I grab their forum topic and I pin it to the top of the site. So people are like, “What? Episode 12?”
So I think this would be pinned, I won’t name drop. We would pin somebody for each one. So that’s a chance to get a little bit more behind the scenes, see what we’re talking about, and of course it’s on the forum as a thing. So that would definitely be something to look at. We don’t really have… We’re on Instagram and Facebook so that you can find us to realize that we’re not on Instagram and Facebook.
You can tag us, but-
Well, you have a problem-
… that’s about it.
Yeah. Where they are, I do see it occasionally, but it comes back to, it’s like you walk into McDonald’s… Not that I ever go to McDonald’s. You walk into McDonald’s, you’ve got $3. What do you want? Well, I’m not going to buy the apple pie because I really need to eat real food. I only have so much time, I only have so many resources, so I have a lot of conversations with myself and other people, like, what do we want to create? And I would rather fly to San Diego, because six people in San Diego are like, “Hey, come on out, bro. We got interviews to do.” I’m like, “Okay.” So all I need is plane tickets and I’d rather do that than have spent six months making Instagram videos or whatever.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well we’ve-
Is Instagram great? Yes, you can do great things with it, but is that what I want to happen after I have the cool conversation? It’s not high enough on my list.
Yeah. There’s the personal value too. And that’s the pruning, there’s not enough value for us in what we’re trying to do. I’ve realized Instagram is such a visual medium and we-
Wasn’t I just saying we don’t record video regularly.
Right. We’re a very audio-centric medium. When somebody creates the podcast version of Instagram, we still won’t be on it because we’ll be on the forum. But-
It’s Clubhouse. Yes, they invented that thing. And I was just like, “Yeah, whatever.”
And like I said, we’re still not on it. So check out the Movers Mindset forum, that’s where everything is.
Potential changes [1:10:17]
(chapter) You know. I think we talked about video. We talked about trimming, we talked about what we want to do for season five.
I guess the other question I had about season five, not necessarily what we want to do, but also this is just like a fun off the cuff question. So if you could project changes, right, so everything is constantly changing. What is one thing you expect to change and one thing you don’t expect to change?
I’m laughing. I’m laughing because you said everything is constantly changing and people listening went, “Yes, one can never step in the same river twice because the river…” No, she means I’m constantly changing things, not the [crosstalk 01:10:59].
Yeah. So just for fun, when we get to episode 200, we’ll look back at this and go, “Ha ha, we were so wrong.”
Okay. I think I need to get over, I’m not quite sure what to call this. I need to get over the fear which causes me to publish weekly. I might sound wacky. So I have this fear that if I don’t publish on Wednesday morning at 10:00 AM that I’ve missed one, let me got to the next one. And then all of a sudden seven weeks go by and I’m like, “Hey, I want to be doing these-”
Losing the momentum.
I think I need to figure out how to get over that fear. Because the other side of that means if I’m publishing every week, I have to be recording something every week. Which means, I don’t want to say I go for low-hanging fruit because I’m telling you, none of the guests are low-hanging fruit. They’re all awesome people with awesome things to say. In fact, that’s a fun challenge that sometimes I want to go to an event, set up a tent and challenge people to send somebody in that I can…
Now if you’re going to be malicious, no you’re disqualified. But send somebody in that I can have a good conversation with because everybody has interesting things to say. That’s what it means to be human. Backing up, the fear of not, of failing to publish every week. I think I need to get over that because that puts pressure on us to find people. And then it’s like, “Oh, shoot. Who’s going to be in May?” And then we wind up kind of going for maybe an easier guest when what we really should do, is not published for two weeks. So we have time to go to San Diego and get those six and then come back. And then here’s six episodes.
Like what would happen if we just put them out whenever we were ready? Because once they’re out, the date on them is irrelevant. Which I’m sure the majority of the listeners are people who are interested in the, not me, but the guest. And they find episode whatever and they search it and they find it wherever, they find it, then they play it. So that’s what they call evergreen content.
So it doesn’t matter that I put that out on a Wednesday at 10:00 AM on a particular… It doesn’t matter. So I think a big thing for me is to get over the fear. I know how to do it. The way to get over the fear is to basically look at it and go, “Okay, when it comes down to brass tacks, what do I have to have? I have to have another human being opposite me for the conversation. It has to be in person. I have to have this equipment. It doesn’t have to be Wednesday at 10:00 AM.” That’s one thing for me is I need to get over that.
It scares me because I know what happens when I’m not on a schedule. And then it just becomes a great scene in the remake Battlestar Galactica series where they defeat the Cylons at one point. And there’s like this multi-year thing, and one of the my main characters who was always in super ripped shape, he winds up just out of shape. And he’s been drinking beer and it was because he had nothing to work on. It’s a terrible story, Craig. It actually really is part of the series. BSG is awesome by the way, but anyway, he just had nothing to focus his energies on so he’s like…
When there’s not a specific goal and a specific…
Yeah. So I have to get over that fear. I believe it would really be better for the whole project if I got over that, because then it would literally be, what do we want to create? And there’d be no factoring in, yeah, but it has to be done by Tuesday so we can publish it on Wednesday. So that’s one fear that I need to get over. I don’t know if I can do that, but I’ll try. And the other one is the fear of the project ending before I’m ready. So I’ve just checked my feet, there’s no soapbox. Let’s see if we can keep it that way. The project is nowhere near free to operate. I’m not going to mention numbers, but it is absolutely nowhere near being anywhere, laughably close to being self-supported by the people who support us on Patreon. We’re on Patreon, people could support us on Patreon.
Shout out to those who do.
Yes, shout out to the people, the really cool people who do actually support us. Anyway, I don’t want to get on a soapbox about that because I don’t want to hold the money over Movers Mindset’s head like, “Oh, it’s not making money so I got to turn off.” But I do recognize that I’m not going to live forever. And we just had a good example of not being able to travel for a year so far. Now we can travel and vaccines and okay, but we’ve learned a really good lesson about travel.
I mean, I was already thankful for travel, but we all got a big reminder about that. So I’m really cognizant of this is a privilege, to be able to do this, to have the resources, to have people who can spend time doing it. So that’s the other thing is I need to sit with that. What if there’s no episode 101?
That was off.
To be completely honest, we haven’t yet recorded 101, so there isn’t at this instant, there is not yet a 101.
So at some point it has to end. So those are probably the two big things for Craig’s personal growth is get over the fear of that publishing. And start to sit with what would the end look like? How about you? Big goals for season five? And we kind of talked about that a little bit. What do you want to see for it? But what’s scary about season five? What should you redo for season five that scares the expletive out of you?
Well, I guess the idea of only in-person interviews stresses me out. Not because… And it’s not like COVID scared necessarily, it’s so much harder and unfathomably, like I cannot express.
You had a vacation for whole of 2020. Like get back to work.
Well, and it’s tough because it’s hard enough, even when there’s not a global pandemic to create that space, find the time, schedule people in, make it happen, getting all those moving pieces together. And just having a global pandemic is so many extra layers to that. And it’s like, “Okay. So even if we’re able to travel, are people going to be willing to come meet up with us?” And a lot of our episodes most… And pretty much all of the ones I believe in 2020 that were in-person, most of them were recorded outdoors and with masks, all of that stuff, because we’re still operating by the same set of rules that everybody else is.
So the idea, especially as the person having to set that up is like, “Oh, that’s kind of stressful because it’s like that takes so much longer.”
But if it didn’t you have to be one for every week, then it becomes, how do we create the thing that we should be creating as opposed to get it done on time?
Right. But also lets us kind of have more time with the guests as we’ve talked about having that experience and value.
And there is also how excited will the guests be to have a great conversation-
After all those time.
… after being locked up? So I’m also like, “Oh, this is going to be good.” The people who are really into Parkour who listen, you haven’t been to your favorite Parkour event because they didn’t even have it last year.
We may not this year, depending on what time of year.
How cool is it going to be the next time you get to go to the East Coast or the next time you get to go for every… There’s something to be said for absence makes the heart grow fonder.
It’s true. You don’t appreciate-
But even if you did appreciate it, I pretty much think I appreciate it but not like, “This is going to be awesome.” And then of course the other side is there will be a last jump that you do or there will be the last time you pick up your grandkids. I don’t want to get all mopey and depressed, but that’s another thing to reflect about, it’s like I reflect about that all the time. There are countless times… Well, it’s some number less than 100. Countless times where we’ve come out of a location where we recorded with a guest and I wait around the corner and I’m like, “Oh, my God, that was completely amazing.” Try to do that onsite because people they know I’m weird, but like that guy’s a whack job. So I try to be there onsite, but there is… I try to remind myself of that like, “Okay, that was awesome. Yes, please.” Looking forward to getting back to that.
Yeah. Well, the other thing is nothing is promised and the fact I think it is really important what we do in the sense of we’re creating artifacts and we’re immortalizing.
Oh, we didn’t talk about the thing about… We didn’t talk about part of the way… We don’t have time for this, but part of the way… Sorry, here’s the best part, over. Part of the way that we decide, it’s not that we like, “Oh, we don’t want to talk to you.” But part of what we look at is not just as the person has something interesting to say, but have they been heard. And you had mentioned trying to get an even wider array of conceptual voices on the show and I think that’s really important. So that’s something, we need to get back to work.
Well, and one of my favorite episodes, and I mentioned this in episode 50 as well is episode 39 with Teresa Vazquez-Dodero because she was someone who trained, just a random person. And she’s not famous.
I have no awesome, story. Yes.
Yeah. And it was a great, great conversation. And I think really valuable and having that platform and kind of talking to people who don’t already have a platform is a big part of what we do. And being able to allow others to hear that and give them a space to express.
Was that the first episode that you started on? I think that was.
That may have been actually.
We got up at the place where we were crashing, where we were prep for flooring and then trudged through the cold. Because I was just thinking that was a great conversation. But you may also be colored by the fact that that was the first time you’ve ever seen how it works. And I don’t mean like, I’m awesome. I mean it’s kind of amazing when you see how quickly two people like Teresa and I, how quickly you can just have a conversation if both people are open-hearted about it and honest and interested and curious.
Yeah. And authentic.
I’ve often thought… No. I’ve often thought that we should try to figure out how to do like an intern thing where we bring… Now, I’m not going to bring the intern with me, but wherever I’m going, we could totally find a local community member. If there’s somebody who wants to be in radio or a college student or a Parkway student or something. And we scoop them up first, show up with three people instead of two, it wouldn’t wreck everything. And bring somebody along in front of it, it’s like, “Oh, yeah.” No. I don’t need another project.
Wrapping up [1:21:18]
(chapter) Okay. As much as we could ramble for days, we had a conversation, you and I, before we started, how do we stop? How do we stop this recording?
We don’t have the three words for this one.
So we’re not going to do three words. We both have said, “I don’t know if we’d ever be able to find Melissa’s three words.” That was a written thing from 2015.
I may not be accessible anymore.
Well, I’m actually the way, Wayback Machine, but definitely they have, I think, that’s internet.org.
Oh, that’s true.
You could look it up. Anyway, my few words are well-known, I hope. So I found what we were trying to stop on would be to ask you the listener. We’ve spent a lot of time today talking about what Craig wants for season five and what Melissa wants for season five. And I’m going to say what do you want for season five? But I want you to be specific. I want you to be like, “You need to go interview this person.” See, because I don’t know everybody and Melissa doesn’t know everybody and you know somebody. And I want somebody that you know what they have to say so that you’re like, “Oh, this person, this voice, this story, this whatever, this needs to be heard by more people.”
Because I need to know where that person is so there’s probably three or four people listening. So if one or two of you would send me a suggestion, that’d be awesome. The easy way to do it is to just go to the forum and post it as a topic. Or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Either of those would be great. And if you just say, “Go interview John Smith.” I’d be like, “No.” But tell me you need to talk to this person because, and basically convince me why I have to interview them.
It’s an elevator pitch.
Yeah. Or you can write a wall of text. We have microphones, we’ll travel, kind of thing. So I think that’s a good place to end. We’ll leave it out there as like a, hey, it’s open. If you’re listening to this episode and we’re on episode 499, the offer stands. That’s the best way that we find people to talk to is we ask the guests, who? Not who do you think we should talk to, but who do you want to hear go through the experience that you just went through?
And that is infinitely awesome. So that would be my ask for the audience to be like, “Tell me who you want to hear so I know who to go talk to.” Cool [inaudible 01:23:26].
100. No wonder it’s a giant lecture. I feel like there should be cake or something like that. I need cake. I need whole of they have.
Oh, you should have said something. I brought some over.
I do not need cake, that goes against my other project. All right, I think we’ll just leave it at that and say thanks for a ton of effort, Melissa, over season four, season three, season two.
Yeah. Thanks everybody.