David speaks with Joe Ferraro, a teacher, podcast host and speaking coach.
Joe Ferraro is currently in his 22nd year as an educator, teaching English 12, Public Speaking, and Creative Writing. In addition to his work in the classroom, he is the host of One percent better podcast, and founder of DamnGoodConversations.com, a company whose mission is to teach you repeatable ways to have the best conversations in your life and work.
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📄 Show notes:
The spark that made Joe start his podcast [5:18]
Joe's relationship with baseball [10:51]
What Joe learned from his relationship with his Dad [11:57]
What led to Joe becoming a coach [14:09]
How to start asking great questions [16:24]
The importance of acting on new information [20:30]
Reading without action is useless [23:18]
How conversations can change your trajectory [26:14]
How asking better questions can transform you [32:02]
The best question Joe has ever asked [36:20]
How one question can change your life [45:01]
Why Joe Ferraro is still teaching after 23 years [48:30]
How Seth Godin creates magic in his talks [56:51]
🗣 Mentioned in the show:
👨🏾💻 About David Elikwu:
David Elikwu FRSA is a serial entrepreneur, strategist and writer. David is the founder of The Knowledge, a platform helping people learn more and live better.
- Twitter: @Delikwu / @itstheknowledge
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- Website: https://www.davidelikwu.com,
- Podcast: http://plnk.to/theknowledge
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David runs a course which will help you build a toolkit of mental models and bulletproof core skills that will drastically shorten the growth curve for your career, business or personal brand. Join the next cohort to take control of your path, build future-proof skills, and design a career you can be proud of.
🧭 The Knowledge
As a writer and serial entrepreneur, David Elikwu speaks with elite performers from a variety of backgrounds, unpacking everything there is to know about navigating the world around us.
This podcast is a catalogue of excellent data points. Join us each week for actionable insights to make sense of what matters most.
The Knowledge is an online publication designed to save you from information overload. It’s where you go to figure things out. A curated digest of the world's best ideas, drawing on insights from psychology, philosophy, business and culture. We explore tools, frameworks and stories that will help you navigate with clarity and cut through the noise.
📜 Full transcript:
Joe: If you're in an Uber going to a new city and you're looking for a great place to eat, and you can say, Hey, what's a good restaurant around here. And the cab driver will tell you probably something that every other tourist has been told, right? You'll get the exact same answer probably out of a grab bag of three things.
And you move on with your day and you don't even realize you're none the wiser. But the thing is, if you would have just asked the question a little differently, if you would have said, what's a great restaurant around here that no one knows about you're eating at the greatest place. What's one, that's not a tourist trap.
What's one that you never tell people, cause you don't want it to get too crowded? The person's not going to say, well, I can't tell you that. They're going to say, actually, it's Molly, Yolanda's down the street. And all of a sudden now you've transformed quite literally transformed your experience because your question was better.
If you ask a better question, you will have a better experience.
David: Hey, I'm David Elikwu and this is The Knowledge.[00:01:00] a podcast for anyone obsessed with learning more and living better. In every episode I speak with successful people from a variety of backgrounds to unpack everything they've learned about navigating the world around us.
This week, I'm speaking with Joe Ferraro, better known as America's podcasting coach. Joe has spent over 20 years as an educator, teaching English, creative writing and public speaking. He's also the host of the 1% better podcast, which I have personally been listening to for a very long time.
Joe's also the founder of Damn Good Conversations .com, and this was one of them. This is the podcast you should listen to, to learn more about how to have incredible life-changing conversations, how to ask better, clearer, more incisive questions, and [00:02:00] how to develop a curiosity that will open up worlds of new information.
You can get the full show notes, the transcript and my newsletter at theknowledge.io.
You can find Joe on twitter @ferraroonair, and you can check out damngoodconversations.com to learn more about the group coaching community that he's building there.
If you love this episode, please engage with it. Subscribe, share it with a friend. And most importantly, please don't forget to leave a review because it helps us tremendously to grow the show and reach other people. Just like you.
Joe: Clearly you have a very intentional design idea and aesthetic. I don't know how much of it you do and how much of it's a team, but just overall, consistently, just one of the best aesthetics I've seen
David: Oh, thank you. That's awesome. I'm trying, I think it's a, there's a lot of [00:03:00] pieces to cobble together. I'm interested to know how do you find running your podcast actually?
Joe: I'm a one man team. It's a, it's not, I don't say that as a badge of honor, right? Like I, I invested in headshots. Let's talk about aesthetics. I don't know, a year and a half ago, and I just never regretted it for a second, even though I could, I tend to be self-conscious about my appearance. When you asked for headshots, I was able to send you a few, right.
And I knew you were someone who values, uh, promo materials and in a certain aesthetic and a keen decision. So it just kind of took something off the table. A lot of running my podcast is about removing obstacles and excuses. So once upon a time, I almost didn't launch the podcast. Once I found out that there was a $7 a a month fee to host it, right.
I said, I thought it was free if it's seven a month, I'm out. And my friend looked at me like with absolute disgust. Um, so a series of pieces like that, where I'm like, well, okay, if I'm spending that much on coffee and if [00:04:00] I have the headshots and if I have the logo. And so now when I'm coaching clients and people who are launching podcasts, that's a lot of what we do try to remove, right?
Like the old Michelangelo, uh, he's got the block of clay and you just remove it to reveal the statue of David. And, you know, my podcast is far from the statue of David, but there is that part of it where I'm chopping away so that we can get to the good stuff.
David: That's a really interesting analogy. I actually love that. What was the spark that made you want to start the podcast?
Like I know you had the coaching part of your background, but I think there's also this jump between maybe analog and digital that a lot of people struggle with. And I know you touched on that slightly, but there's people that can do things physically, person to person, and they're great at kind of contact.
And they like to keep things in that format. And then there are some people that may be only gravitate towards doing things online and they wouldn't necessarily be comfortable doing things shared. And you have this balance of, [00:05:00] okay, on one hand, you're a, you're a teacher you're in classrooms full of people.
And then you do this coaching. One form of coaching, I guess, would be coaching teams. I know you did some baseball coaching. I'm not sure if you're still doing that, but then also coaching people and coaching people on how to, how to speak and how to do other things. So what made you decide to bring that world online?
Joe: I think the podcast genre was just about built for my sensibilities. I interviewed my parents with a fist. That was my microphone. And, uh, maybe there was, you know, if we deep dove into psychology, maybe there was a bit of attention gathering, right. I was the oldest of three, but so I didn't really feel like I was, you know, hurting for attention, but I, I mean, the minute you do this and someone's face how'd you feel about that coffee? And then we'd have a wiffle ball game at my, uh, my grandmother's house. And I would, and this is real. I mean, I would, I'd be in the game. I was pretty decent at wiffle ball but I would run up to my aunt and I would say you just drove in the winning run at the *Clumubage family party, talk about it. And then I would be [00:06:00] interviewed at a local little league game after a good game.
And I would find the questions good or interesting, or maybe even a little trite. And then I would do that. And then my, my younger brother or sister had a penguin, which I feel like would have been a hit. This toy could be re-released. It had a recording box inside its stomach. You could unzip the penguin and it would record up to 10 seconds.
So then you would... You had talked to the penguin and you would play it and the penguin would repeat back your voice to me, like when I trace it back, that's a part of a podcast. Like you're, you're recording your thoughts and you're playing them for an audience. So, you know, when I went, when it came time to go to high school, I would do some broadcasting on a table with my friend because to impress our friends on the basketball team college, we would do it with the women's basketball team on the radio station.
Um, and then when I found out about this idea of podcasting, the only thing I didn't like about it was the name. You know, I still don't know if it's a great name, a podcast confuses people. And I feel like it separates people from two different places. Like I don't know what it is and I don't want to get into it.
I just try to tell people it's [00:07:00] a radio show on demand. And, um, so, you know, those are some broad strokes that kind of give some color to, to how I've thought about it. And as we go on and talk, I'm happy to go into any of those nooks and crannies.
David: Yeah, sure. I'd love to pull on some of those threads. I know something you've talked about in the past is being that people have referred to you as someone who is aggressively curious. And I think that filtered through in some of the stories that you just shared. I guess I have two questions. One, is that something that you have always found to be something that was consistent and just innate to you?
And how do you think that was maybe cultivated in your upbringing? It sounds like were your parents and family quite supportive of that? Did they, was that something that was actively nurtured or was it something that you just kept putting your foot in throughout your life?
Joe: very interesting to think back on that. I definitely would say I'll plead guilty to aggressively curious, but to do that, you have to go to the other side, which can be a little bit annoying. Right? You can get the it's too much now too many questions. Tend to believe that. But as a parent, we've all been in that place [00:08:00] where it's like, okay, like we've, we've pulled on this thread enough.
Like you don't have to investigate everything. But I look back and I asked my dad a ton of sports questions. You know, almost every question from my dad was either sports or food and. To this day. Um, those are big threads in my life. Now it's funny. I would always ask unusual questions though. Um, I would ask my dad things like if the guy is sliding into second base and the tag gets applied, but then when he sweeps the tag, the ball goes flying into the outfield.
But before it hits the ground, the outfielder catches it. Shouldn't he still be out at second, just like a wide receiver when they catch a ball and it gets bottled and someone else catches it and he would just be like, no, he didn't have the ball, you know, he would go into it. He would indulge me.
And I think until he went away to work, you know, for the day he would indulge me. My mom was an expert. Storyteller still is, uh, sits at the kitchen table with a coffee and entertains people really generous of spirit and of, of deed. Um, so I think that that worked well. Um, I don't ever have any memories though.
Like I [00:09:00] can't sit here and tell you, like, I remember mom and dad being like, you are curious, keep that up. It's a good thing. Which sounds weird when you say it out loud. But the reality is like, I do say that explicitly to my kids now, like we talk about curiosity as a, as a vital tool and we encourage it.
So I guess everything's like one generation, right? Like Gladwell wrote about like how a lot of the Jewish immigrants, you know, they were tailors and then their, their kids became lawyers because they saw the fruits of the hard work. But you could do things with your mind, et cetera. I think that happens when we raise kids, my parents were passively encouraging the curiosity.
My wife and I now are actively, and I don't know which one works better, but we're definitely doing it.
David: Okay. I want to put a pin in the topic of the lessons that you teach to your kids, both your personal kids, and also the kids in your classroom. And I want to go down the line of something you mentioned just a moment ago, which is sports. And it seems like [00:10:00] you've always had this interest in sports. Sports has always been a part of your life, particularly baseball.
And I'm really interested in that part of your life and your career as well. Because from what I understand, you were, you must've been really good at baseball because you went to play D1 at, at college or university. And for those that are not from the US or people that are listening from anywhere else in the world, that is like the, the highest level of collegiate athletics or collegiate sports.
Um, we don't necessarily have the same system in the UK. I don't think we take sports as seriously, but you have like D1, D2, D3, I'm not sure what's below that. It's hard. It's hard to play
Joe: you're on it.
David: And I think you were
Joe: Yeah. I enjoyed it. I
David: oh, go on. Sorry.
Joe: please, nah, I enjoyed it. I put a lot of time into it. I wanted to hear where you're going to go next. Cause you may, you may make me sound better when you said I was even on team go for
David: Yeah. You on the, was it the [00:11:00] '96 national team?
Joe: impressed. Yeah. National champions, American Legion. Um, we were, we were the best team out of 5,000 or so amateur teams, um, footnote to that was my dad was the assistant coach. So we actually have the moment on VHS where we hugged at the pitcher's mound, uh, as the announcers circled up and talked about it.
So I spent a lot of time, David with baseball. There was no doubt about it. I watched a lot of college football, a lot of college basketball at the time, this recorded, um, you know, division one has some range, just like anything else. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I played it the best of the best division one.
But, um, yeah, it was, it was a big passion of mine. And I went on to coach it and spend a lot of time with it.
David: I didn't know that your dad was the coach. What did your dad teach you about coaching? Or what do you think you learned from maybe having that close relationship with your dad where you're both playing or both involved with the sport at the same time.
Joe: one of the things I didn't mention earlier when we were talking about, uh, actively or passively encouraging, the curiosity is my dad is not a big talker. [00:12:00] If you called on the phone, um, to reach me during my high school years, the conversation would be, my dad would pick up the phone like, hello? No. That was the entire conversation and you don't know, you were just left, like wondering what they asked.
Like, can Joe come to the phone? Is he available? Are you eating dinner? My mom was the gregarious one. So, um, I got to believe that there's a direct line between how do I get dad to talk? Well, I hit a baseball, you know, I, uh, I asked him questions about, you know, what his softball days were like. I can tell you stories about his playing days, which, you know, had much more adversity than me getting cut from teams and not having the opportunity and just playing nonstop and his parents not being in any way supportive of it.
You want to play baseball, go play baseball. We're we're going to be working. You can get there like so totally different, um, piece of that. So I think, you know, that part of it is interesting. The other part that I'd want to mention is on episode 150 of one percent better. I had my dad on [00:13:00] and, um, I think I even say it in the intro after I edited, I say, you know, what was it like coaching your son?
A lot of people say it's incredibly difficult and before I can get the word difficult out, he, he jumped in on the mic and said easiest thing I've ever done.
And it actually choked me up in the moment. I remember being choked up in the moment we're sitting in my own house and, uh, we had these two mics set up and easiest thing.
Everyone criticizes parents, coaching their kids and stay away from that. And the politics involved. And he went on to compliment and his relationship with me. And, you know, we butted heads at times, but, you know, cause he would, he would look at you and he would think I know what you're capable of. Cause I see you every day and you're not delivering in here.
So why aren't you getting those hits? And you'd be like, dad, I'm trying, like, you'd be like, oh, but it was never anything like you read in the, in the stories in the movies. We, I mean, it really
solidified our relationship, you know, that's the cleanest way I could put it. I mean, that was our bond. Everyone tries to find a bond over whatever it is and, and that with some [00:14:00] great family dinners was, was our bond.
David: That's amazing. And do you think that was maybe one of the sparks that led you to coaching for yourself?
Joe: oh yeah. Yeah. because you see, we would have, you know, and, and there's an interesting line that almost sounds like I'm making it up, but like there's an interesting line towards conversation, right? Like we would then have a discussion about the game and I would say, well, why do you. Coach did that. And he would say, well, what do you think if you would have done this?
Or a lot of times my dad was the assistant coach. Right. So he kind of was in an interesting role where we could kind of observe and and he would do all-star teams and then we'd have a little more insight. I was like that too, because I would know ahead of time, the starting lineup. And I was good enough to where it wasn't like one of those awkward, like Joe's playing because he's
Joe's son, you know, so it was like we had that safety net, but then it would be cool. Cause he'd be like, I'm going to probably start Jason tomorrow. Don't say anything. And I would have like that insight. Right. Which is like no confidentiality agreement signed, just kind of like, oh, okay. And then I could be like, well, it's interesting dad.
It's none of my [00:15:00] business, but are you thinking about playing him left field or right field? And a lot of the cyclical nature was really appealing to me. Play the game. Talk about the game. Game tomorrow. What about the travel? Oh, we're going there. There's a great deli on the way there. Like it all kind of wrapped together for us and it made a, it made a beautiful now right now, my son's not very into sports, but we still try to find those bonds through the food and he picked up rec basketball.
Um, and I think that that's been something really cool, even though he's not incredibly skilled at it, he's loving it. And it's just providing those same types of things. Like just this week out there dribbling the basketball with him it's a great, I mean, I, I guess I never realized this as a parent. It's just a great excuse to have a conversation at the end of the day.
David: Yeah, that's a super big point that you're touching on because that links to one of the main talking points that you have. And one of the things that you spend a lot of your creative time on, which is about one, having great conversations and also, two, asking great questions. And I'm really interested in the [00:16:00] connection between coaching and sports and also asking questions, because I think
they are incredibly interlinked. And maybe in some ways it's quite natural that you came to the position that you are, because maybe you can speak more to this, but what do you think is the importance of being able to ask good questions within the realm of sports and within the realm of coaching?
Joe: well, first it starts with asking bad questions. I think, I think, you know, if you're not comfortable, if someone's listening and is not comfortable asking good questions or that paralyzes them just like good writing starts with bad first drafts. I think it's very powerful to just free yourself up and say. I don't ask a lot of questions.
Let me ask two more questions a day and start really basic. Now, someone listening to your show might be a little bit more curious than the average person might be asking a lot of questions. Then I find that that improving the quality of the questions matters a great deal. If we think about that in two places, one is on a podcast and one is, um, in sports.
I think the difference between a good question and a bad question can be the difference [00:17:00] between the pupil or the listener, uh, learning something life changing. I really do. I mean, I think on the, on the pitch or on the field, it's these quick hitting questions, but they have to be clear. So there's no time for confusion, right?
You're in the middle of a live game. Think of basketball or soccer. Um, I think you get into a situation or I should say football in this case, but, um, you get to a situation where you don't have time. It's fluid, it's moving. So you can't, you can't ask a long and windy low velocity question. You got to ask something pointed and quick, you got to get information.
You hopefully want something that's more than yes or no. And I think that that can unlock something for an athlete really quickly on a podcast conversation. It's tricky. I've been studying it for a long time now. And you know, if I look at, uh, hosts, oftentimes they will ask, um, questions that begin with the word do D O they will give multiple choice questions, which I don't favor in general.
But I think a lot of us are getting false information, right? Because someone as seasoned as you. And hopefully as me, we [00:18:00] can run with any question, right? If you say to me, do you like coaching or playing better? You've given me two choices and you've really given me a close end, close answer, but listeners can already tell, I'm not going to just give you an, a one word answer.
We're we're seasoned enough in the media to know what you're getting at, but what I would argue for people that aren't on podcasts or that are just getting started on podcasts, just really workshopping questions like that, not to paralyze someone and say, Oh, my God, if I don't ask the right eight words, but just to open it up, like you do so beautifully.
What is it that you love about, or draw a line between, or connect the dots like these ways that you invite it's the best verb I could use. You invite your guests to speak and a do, and a multiple choice. Doesn't invite it. Now, there are times for that in sports, right? Hey, do you like it better left or right left go.
But for the most part, we're trying to invite and draw out and uncover some insight from people. And it's one of the reasons I've [00:19:00] really been loving your show.
David: Oh, thank you. And you've had, you've had a lot of experience with podcasting with speaking, with running one percent better, which is the podcast that you are a host of. And I think you also host a, a baseball podcast. I don't know if that's a constant thing or an
Joe: I did. Yeah, that's that's we, we paused that. but we did a 85 to 95 episodes with a co-host that was called KWB radio. So if people wanted to do a deep dive, it's still out there.
David: Yeah. But in total, that is a huge number of podcast episodes. Obviously, there's a lot that you've learned and you talk a lot about the things that you've learned and we can get into that, but I'm perhaps interested to know something that you may have learned that was unexpected or unconventional.
Is there something that you learned through the experience of just so many reps that was perhaps counter-intuitive or that was genuinely new to you at the time that you discovered it?
Joe: I think there's a bunch that, that, that start bubbling up. Some short strokes would be like, you think that because you have a quote unquote, famous [00:20:00] person on the show, the show's viral the next day. You know, you get James Clear you're on episode 62, now I'm famous. Nope. Um, you get invited to a speaking engagement, five episodes in I'm a public speaker for life here comes every recurring income ever.
Nope. Those types of things. They don't happen, but you realize you start it for a different reason. You didn't start it to be famous, to have 10 million downloads, things like that. So that's one like big meta thing. Um, I think it's probably been done before and shared before, but it's worth repeating.
You cannot wait for the perfect time. You know, Seth Godin will say ship it. Others will say build in public. Some will say start before you're ready. It just could not be more true. I mean, someone's listening to this right now and they're going, I know I want to start something, but I don't. I got to wait until no, no, no, you have to start because if you don't start, it's just harder and harder and harder and harder to do.
So I think that lesson is worth underlining and I think maybe a final one that I'll share. I don't know if I anticipated [00:21:00] the direct and quick implementation of the ideas I get. So if I learn something on a podcast, I'm putting it into my classroom tomorrow, if appropriate, I'm not waiting until next school year.
If I learn something on a podcast a little while ago, I shared with you an example of that do, and either, or question, I heard that last week while I was studying a podcast, interviewing people about interviewing, and I immediately share that with you. I don't wait. I don't put it into a journal that I go back to in 30 years.
So I think I underestimated the immediacy it would have at least from my learning style or my preferred way of learning, that I could just make it so much more practical. So as if, if only 10 people listened to the show, because of the way it's resonates with me, the audio medium, it just has an incredible exponential factor for me to do.
Um, so, so that, I think I maybe underestimated when I first started.
David: Sure that makes a lot of sense. And I think it touches on something. I think you've mentioned in the past and it's definitely [00:22:00] intuitive or not intuitive, but it definitely means something to me, which is, I think you shared some advice that you got, which is essentially that reading without action is useless.
And that resonates with me so much because, so for example, what you were just saying made me, made me think about, so I read a lot, but I think what makes my reading useful is the fact that I also write. And I write, I force myself to write every day, and also every week. I share writing every week and I write for myself every day.
And that is almost the crucible for thinking, and that helps me to think better and improves my thinking. And I'm sure for you in a similar way, having this podcast that you've been running for years and years now, where you're having these conversations every week, one, it's almost like a, there's a velocity from being on this treadmill where you're having these engaging conversations, conversation after conversation with really interesting people, you're picking up things, you're putting out things into the next conversation, and then you also have these other avenues that you can share.
So one is [00:23:00] within your podcast, but then also with your class and, and your kids at home. And there's all these other avenues that you can use to, um, put out some of what you're learning and maybe also get feedback, because I'm sure that you're going to get some interesting responses about how people respond and interact with the things that you're sharing
Joe: oh, Yeah. And it's reading without action is useless, is a, you did some beautiful digging there to get that one. That was, that was like the ultimate last line from a mentor, I kept asking him questions about launching the podcast. And I said, can you give me a book recommendation? And he said, sure, I'll give you one more, but then reading without action now for people who immediately hear that and go, ooh, I don't like that.
Reading is its own reward. I'll just offer this. We can define action a little differently, right? I mean, um in a recent episode, I had a, * I was discussing someone I found in my life that I'm calling a reverse mentor. Someone who's much younger than me, much less experienced than me, but teaching me incredible amounts about teaching. And I sought her out. Well, we had just this this like nerd chat the other day, where [00:24:00] we were talking about creation. It's supposed to be the highest form of like creativity or learning like kids are taking in content and then ultimately create their own is supposed to be the best. But she had posited that, potentially, uh, intentional and thoughtful consumption would be higher than mindless creation.
So if you're going to put out a podcast with no effort, no aesthetic, no whatever. It'd be interesting to know, like that might not be as valuable as really thoughtful reading with notes and then ability to put it into a conversation. The podcast is a bad example in the scenario, because I just think it has its own rewards, but potentially, you know, certain type of creative work would not be as valuable as consumption, but ultimately doing something with the reading, right.
Even in a basic lesson, in an English class, let's read it and let's do something with it. Like that's a good framework for a lesson. Like okay, give them something provocative to read and think about, and now let's do something that demonstrates our thinking. So I'm definitely tracking with what you're saying there
David: Yeah. [00:25:00] And I think part of the reason that the podcast is a bad example of that, um, you know, following from what you were saying is the fact that it's a conversation. And I think that is almost the perfect format by which you can practice ideas and digest ideas because you can share them. And I think there's something unique in that exchange with another person that develops your thinking that maybe it conflicts with what you're thinking that really challenges you to think in different ways
And you share so much about, you know, having damn good conversations, having great conversations and without narrowing you down too much. I'm I want to ask just on a very basic level. Cause I think some people can hear that and not understand the value there and not understand the promise of what it is that you are trying to get to.
So what in your mind is the destination of that? Like what do you actually get out of having great conversations? What changes there? What's the, the [00:26:00] transformation that happens when you go from just passively having the normal conversations that you have, day-to-day going about your life, speaking to people and maybe intentionally putting some of these tools that you talk about into practice and we can get into what those are.
Joe: Yeah, I feel like, I feel like when to use James clear again, as an example, when he talked about atomic habits, that word atomic comes to my mind now, like. be fundamentally changed after this very conversation because you and I will now have a friendship of sorts and certainly a professional respect, and I'll be tracking your work and you'll be tracking mine a little bit.
And inevitably someone will be so kind to email me that they heard on this podcast. And now just from a molecular level, things have changed, uh, as a major tool of great conversations. Um, I just think when you ask better questions, you have better conversations, which is simplistic and true, but it also gives you the ability to be about three inches taller.
I think you walk through life with almost like, you know, I joke with my students, you know, I'll [00:27:00] make up a name, uh, Mr. Adams, you know, you don't want, you don't want to fight Mr. Adams. And they're like, why would I want to fight Mr. Adams? Like I'm saying you don't want to fight him and you have an idea of why the like he's strong.
I'm like, no, he's strong, fine, but like he knows about four or five different martial arts. They're like really? I'm like, yeah, like you don't want to fight someone who has all of those tools in the bag. Like if you are just a puncher, great. If you're a kicker, great. But if you can do Krav Maga and other things I can't pronounce, it's probably not a great matchup.
And I think if you are versed in the skills of conversation and question asking you just kind of walk through life that way, you're just like, well, even if you take Larry King's perspective, he, he used to say, like I heard this morning, he said, I tried to ask dumb questions, questions that weren't from an intellectual standpoint, just why'd you do that?
Tell me about that. And even that, I think his, his style allowed him to be able to interact with Frank Sinatra and Jackie Gleason and Jackie Robinson and all these different people, because he was curious because he was able to ask questions because [00:28:00] he was versed in conversation. So those are two ways that it, that it really works well.
And then I think just connecting with another person being present, I've often said that a lot of people want to have podcasts that feel like everyday conversations. I believe in the inverse, I believe putting these on and using this quite literally lifts the conversation. And I want more everyday conversations to feel like podcasts, a slightly heightened, form of reality.
David: And in practice, what does that look like? Does that sound in my mind, maybe that sounding a bit
Joe: like this, it
David: Socratic debates.
Joe: it sounds like this, man. It sounds like a curious, um, you know, human being inviting me, um, showing super amounts of respect that I just feel really touched by and, just the ability to go anywhere. Right. So if I pause now and let you pick up, you pick up, right. It's not a ping pong match.
You just, you know, I kind of cut you off with a [00:29:00] compliment there. You know, that's what it sounds like. Right. There's give and take and, and, and what, you know, what I like to underline for people is if we do this conversation tomorrow, it may be better. It may be worse, but it will most certainly be different.
We will not be able to recalibrate this. You could send me a transcript of this conversation. We won't be able to recreate it. And I love that about conversations.
David: I agree. And I think you touched on something important, which is that I think not enough people spend enough time being curious about the people that they are around and the people they interact with. And it's so interesting, to be honest, it's not that I want to have a conversation all the time. I'm even thinking about sometimes you get into the back of an Uber and you're tired and it's 10 30 at night and you just want to get home.
Okay. That's okay. But simultaneously some of the best conversations I've had have been with people that I've never seen again, I'm thinking of, I was in Bosnia and actually okay. Two conversations. Um, last year I was traveling around [00:30:00] the Balkans for a little bit. And at one point I was in Bosnia. I spoke to the guy that was, uh, a taxi driver that was driving me to the airport.
And then another time I was in, um, north Macedonia and there was a guy that was driving me from, from the airport to my Airbnb. And both of those conversations were so interesting because in that alone, I learned more than all the research that I'd done before the trip about the politics of the country and what's going on and how people think, and you learn things that are so different and, and really counteract some of your preconceptions about.
What life, what life might be like and what different people think. And as an example, and I know I'm going on a bit here, but as an example, so the UK was previously part of the EU and we had this whole Brexit thing about wanting to leave the EU and sovereignty and this and that. And typically we think of the free movement within the EU as a good thing.
And I think it is, but usually we're thinking of that because we are the highly mobile people that get to travel and we are the ones that get to move. And we are the ones that get [00:31:00] to go around and go to all these different countries. And then we can come home and it's fun. And we can do that. Um, but hearing the perspective from some other people, for example.
So he was talking about. Uh, North Macedonia joining the EU North Macedonia used to be called Macedonia. And somehow by joining the EU, they had to change the name of the country and they had to change a bunch of things. And then all the smart people left because now they have free movement and they can go to any other country in the EU.
And if your country is not as well developed, you don't have all the resources. Why won't you go somewhere else? And so you have a bit of a brain drain, you have a new name, you have all of these things and you also have to pay to be part of the EU. So it was just really eye opening to, in the span of maybe like 10 minutes, a really short drive, just having this enlightening moment where I'm learning an entirely different perspective about something that I might have previously thought was just basic.
You know, why wouldn't it be good to just be able to move freely between countries.
Joe: it's perfect. I mean, first of all, the cab driver, the Uber driver [00:32:00] example works really well because one of the things I do when I work with a client right away is I have them do a little bit of a, self-examination a little reflection, maybe even an audit on how they ask questions. Like when you show up in the world, like, what is your question?
Like? The second part is the framework of what's your philosophy. But the first part is like, do you ask a lot of questions? Just basically, do you ask a lot of questions or do you prefer not to, once you start there, think about the cab driver, right? Like if you're not going to engage, then don't engage, you know, put your headphones on.
And don't engage, but if you are going to engage, ask the questions from a place of curiosity, really listen, which is the crucial part to any conversation. And then begin to slowly over time, ask better and better, more clear and more fresh, more unique questions. And then you see that you open up a world of information
like you just got. Now for someone who says, I want to be better at asking questions, a great place to start is to say, what do you do typically in the back of a cab? Well, I'm tired and I don't want to engage. [00:33:00] Okay. So when do you engage? Well, I don't really like not with strangers. And then all of a sudden we start to uncover some patterns, the person that we're painting here in this picture, doesn't like to ask a lot of questions to people that they don't know.
I understand. that But there's a direct link with curiosity there right now. You'd have to find the curiosity somewhere, I hope. But you're really demonstrating this mythical avatar that we're creating. They're demonstrating someone that doesn't ask a lot of questions and you know, one final point on that is I always like to give a practical example.
If you're in an Uber going to a new city and you're looking for a great place to eat, and you can say, Hey, what's a good restaurant around here. And the cab driver will tell you probably something that every other tourist has been told, right? You'll get the exact same answer probably out of a grab bag of three things.
And you move on with your day and you don't even realize you're none the wiser. But the thing is, if you would have just asked the question a little differently, if you would have said, what's a great restaurant around here that no one knows about you're eating at the greatest place. What's one, that's not a tourist trap.
What's one that you [00:34:00] never tell people, cause you don't want to, you don't want to get to*, you don't want it to get too crowded. The person's not going to say, well, I can't tell you that. They're going to say, actually, it's Molly, Yolanda's down the street. And all of a sudden now you've transformed quite literally transformed your experience because your question was better.
That's one of the main, like stakes in the ground that I put in. And I say, if you ask a better question, you will have a better experience. And it's just an incredible, it's an incredible way, David, to walk through life, knowing you can curate your own experience through words like it's, it's wild at times.
David: Absolutely. And it's one of those surprising things that. I think people take for granted. And it's a combination of it's one, it's the asking of the questions. And two is maybe just engaging in conversations. And three, I think is just genuinely being curious about people and being interested in people.
And one thing that I've found. So I remember, so I used to work in corporate law and in the there's a coffee place downstairs at the bottom of my building. And I almost never paid for a coffee there because there's this guy [00:35:00] that I would just ask about his life and his family. And not because I wanted free coffee, but because I was interested and it's so interesting how you can start to build some of these relationships, just very nonchalantly and other people will be like, whoa, how do you get this free stuff?
Or how does this happen or what's going on? And it's, it's almost nothing like in, in some ways it's, it's nothing that you're trying to do. It's just by being curious, it's just by asking questions. So one question that I did have for you is you've had lots of reps of asking questions. I think one thing that is really interesting and unique about having a podcast is that you have almost a special window into the life of someone else that you are able to.
There is a, a premise of vulnerability that you're hopefully expecting that, okay, we are both here. We're both gonna engage in this conversation. You're going to listen to me. I'm going to listen to you. And hopefully you will answer some of my questions to the best of your ability. And I know that you've had that opportunity with loads of amazing people and loads of people from different [00:36:00] walks of life and people that might be great coaches or great leaders or great thinkers in different ways.
And I'm interested to know, what would you say is the best question that you've asked?
Joe: Wait a minute, you threw in, you threw in three words at the end, which I think illustrates a really powerful concept. You said, what do you think is the best question? Because I've worked really diligently on my listening skills and it is a skill, it's not a gift. I learned a concept of listening through the period.
So I think that's Oscar Trimboli who says that. And if I would've just jumped in, what is the best question you asked? What is the best question I would have had a different answer for you, but then when you say what's the best question you've asked now, I'm starting to think about it, the question in a different way.
So let me pause for a second. And I know, you know what I'm saying? Which one are you more interested in I mean, usually people say both, but I'm curious of what you mean by that, because I will answer differently.
David: I think I'm interested in the latter
Joe: well, that's, that would be, will you marry [00:37:00]
Will you marry me to Dana? That's that's the one I'm going to go with, but go ahead and finish your, your color there. And I'll, I'll, I'll jump back in.
David: I think maybe that's a great answer. I can tell you what I was thinking when I was asking the question is because like I mentioned, I think when you're on a podcast, you're asking people questions. You don't want to ask boring questions. You don't want to ask the questions that people get asked all the time.
I think you want to learn something new, not just for yourself, but also for the listeners. And you're trying to draw something out and I think you ask good questions, obviously, you know how to ask good questions. Cause it's what you teach people. But I'm interested to know. Is, has there been a time that you asked a question that you drew something out that you don't think you would have got otherwise, if you hadn't asked such a good question, if you hadn't phrased it in a unique way or asked it at the right time or in the right place or whatever the circumstances were.
Joe: yeah. To, to come right to mind. Um, Roy Firestone used to host a show on ESPN. Uh, called up [00:38:00] close. He actually later got featured in the movie, Jerry Maguire. He was the one who Cuba Gooding Jr. Would say, you're not going to make me cry, Roy. And he was known as one of the greatest interviewers in the world.
And I interviewed him, um, from my childhood home where I used to watch the show with my dad. And, uh, at one point during the conversation, I said to him, I noticed you interviewed Ansell Adams and Ansell Adams is one of the, is best known for people my age for having those black and white photos that everyone would put in their college dorm room.
But I didn't realize until I could prepare for the show, Roy, that Ansell Adams had this, this and this going on. And he goes, whoa. I mean, I don't know where you found that, but I, I was actually the last person to interview Ansell Adams while he was alive. I was known for interviewing sports players, but.
You must have done your homework and like it immediately gave some kind of credibility. And I think that that was something that we've developed a bit of a relationship from. The other one is the first question I asked Laura Gassner Otting. She goes by, uh, Hey, LGO [00:39:00] on Twitter. Um, I went through her Instagram and found that she had a picture of a turkey heart.
Like it was her speaking. It was like her with her children, her in Fort Lauderdale, and then a Turkey heart just sitting there on her Instagram feed. So when I was preparing for this show and she, she was on the book tour, she just got out of good morning America. I opened up with, you know, LGO and preparing for our talk today.
I have a million different directions I want to go in, but first things first, why is your eighth picture on your Instagram? Uh, of a Turkey heart on a plate. The reason why that brings me such a delight, and I don't think I, I know I didn't plan it. She has brought up Turkey heart in hashtags. She has brought it up on clubhouse rooms. She has brought up in our personal conversations, she's going to speak to my coaching cohort because I asked her that question, David. She literally brings it up and says out of 150 interviews, she went on, I was one of the top five that she ever went on.
And I'm only saying the numbers because it's [00:40:00] such a high compliment. Like I'm not trying to brag about it, but to give color to your question, because I asked something weird that is going to reveal something about her. And actually Firestone said that to me, he goes a great question, reveals something from a person.
Um, I was able to in a non gimmicky way, you know, there's this thread that connects the two things, right? There's, there's credibility, curiosity, and just a touch of novelty in those two questions. And, uh, they, I hope if I'm doing it right. I do that often, but that's two examples of, I think what has separated my work to some degree.
David: sure. I'd love to take a step back and thinking about again, one your podcast. And you mentioned before, you know, you've had some incredible people you've spoken with Chris Voss and Daniel Pink and James Clear and Seth Godin, but I'm really interested that some of them you had very early on and I don't know the extent to which this ties in with asking good [00:41:00] questions, but what is it that you, what were you asking those people that you were able to get some of those great guests early on, and I guess maybe a precursor question to that, which, um, might be more important is at the time that they came on, was it, was that the right time for you?
Do you think that this was. How it should be, or was this something that you were intentionally going out and trying to get some great speakers early on?
Joe: let's let's introduce a little bit of serendipity here, like the, the, the, the jukebox effect. So I'll give you the Seth Godin story or the Daniel Pink story. Cause I want to respect your time and your listeners, you get one or the other, which one do you want? They're both dynamite. I promise
David: Okay. Let's go with the Daniel Pink story.
Joe: Daniel Pink said yes to me to be on a podcast because years before I had a podcast, when I found out about his, Um,
autonomy mastery and purpose [00:42:00] theory of motivation, I emailed him. I did not have a podcast. I didn't have any intentions of having a podcast, but I was very curious about what motivates students and particularly student athletes.
I had a particular player on my team who would not dive for the ball. He would not run hard through first base. And one day I went downstairs into the gymnasium and there was this, um, recreational volleyball tournament going on. He dove into the stands to, to try to save a ball. Like he literally risked wrist breaking, diving into the stands.
The way I remember it, I ran upstairs to my classroom and emailed Daniel Pink. And I was like, Daniel, I have a serious question about motivation. And I painted a picture of this volleyball tournament that our phys ed teachers run every year. And they're still running it 18 years later. And I said, Daniel, why is it that some people care more about a recreational volleyball [00:43:00] tournament than they do my JV baseball team or my class, or probably his girlfriend.
Like, why does he care that much? And his answer was. Actually, I have no idea, but if it's okay with you, I'll post it on my blog and I'll let my smart readers have at it. Now I know you're a writer and I'm sure you get a lot of comments on your blogs and your newsletters. But when I see two or three comments, I consider it a success in the blog world, Daniel, to this day, if listeners, Google, Daniel pink volleyball tournament, you could throw my name.
And if you want the first Google search that comes up is this blog that says Joe F as a high school teacher in New York and 52 people commented on this question. And when I say commented, I don't mean YouTube, like absurd little comment. I'm talking paragraphs citing like Viktor Frankl, like, like this is the theory that the Piaget said this in 1875, like insane.
I've [00:44:00] still never seen a blog post that has ever gotten this much traction. I'm sure it exists. So. That little anecdote is all to get to this point when it was time to launch a podcast, what did I do? I went back to the same email. I said, Daniel, I don't know if you'll remember me, but I was the lunatic from New York who asked you about the volleyball tournament.
And I linked to the blog and I said, I'm launching a podcast. And boy, would it be great if I could have a half hour of your time. And I, that immediately separated me from, I mean, is it unrealistic to say thousands and thousands of podcast hosts that probably do the same thing in email? And it was really, really powerful.
David: Wow. And do you think that you intentionally go out to create a lot of these serendipitous relationships or was
Joe: yes, absolutely. We must.
We must, we must, we must, we must in our second conversation someday, we'll talk about the Seth Godin story, which was similar, but we [00:45:00] don't have to have a podcast. 90% of the people listening to this show might never have a podcast, but boy, could, they have an amazing conversation at the deli afterwards?
And maybe, you know, they just like me they can be thinking about this conversation they had on a plane once upon a time 25 years ago, with a geneticist who talked about early efforts to select the gender or sex of our child. And still think about that. And the conversation I had at my favorite restaurant, the exclusive restaurant, the bartender who waited on everyone.
I mean, our lives can be completely altered by one question. Like I think that's actually something, someone smarter than me has to have researched that. But I believe that in my bones, if you don't want to believe it fine, at least believe that your day can be altered by a question. At least believe that your moment can be altered by a question.
It could be, as I tongue in cheek-ly said, you know, Hey, would you marry me to Dana? It was the best question I ever asked. But the reality is like, if I just don't ask that question, like, where am I? Like it's a whole different life. And that may be a big example, but I think on the [00:46:00] micro level, yes, you said it best create those serendipitous moments yourself, create your luck, put yourself who said it in these, um, in these places for like positive collisions.
I don't know. I wish I had the actual line. It was so beautiful, but where you can collide with creative people,
David: I absolutely agree with that. I think I heard another great quote, which is essentially about expanding the surface area of your luck. And the more you essentially, the more you spread yourself out there, the more that you create, these touch points, the more you have opportunities to interact with people, the more you have things that you may not have planned or thought of in advance, but I think the more you interact with people, which goes back to what we were saying about being curious about people and being interested, but the more that you interact, the more that you touch people's lives in various ways, without necessarily at the time expecting anything in return, the more.
You just leave room for serendipity to flourish, particularly because life is so [00:47:00] long. And I think that's one of the things that we frequently underestimate is the fact that there are people that you might encounter five years, 10 years, 15 years down the line that you've met before at someplace at some time, or you've encountered or you've interacted with in some way
Joe: Hmm. I mean, expand the surface area of your luck. I mean, that was worth the conversation right there. I mean, that is beautiful. I don't know if you don't tell me otherwise I'm giving you credit for that one.
David: I might take it. I can't remember
Joe: It's so gorgeous. I mean, that's, that is like visual and clear and visceral. I got this, just a beautiful line.
David: I'd love to know this is now going towards your career. A genuine question. Like, why are you still teaching? You have been an educator and let me, let me couch this question. You've been an educator for about 23 years, and I know that there are, you know, there's, there's people that go into a career and after three years, they know it's not for them.
And there's people that go into a career and after 10 years they loved it and they think, okay, [00:48:00] now it's time to move on. Now it's time for something different, but you have been doing this for over 20 years. And so either, you know, it's, I think when I think of people just in general, not towards you, but in general, people that have been doing something for decades and decades, it's like either they're, they're bored, they're stuck or they found something magical.
And so I want to know for you, like, what is it about teaching and about doing what you do that makes you continue.
Joe: I want to honor the first thought I had and then give it some context, which is, because I haven't solved yet. That that makes it sound oversimplification and, and more about me than I wanted to. But the reality is we can go on a quest to have good conversations, and then you see it happening. We can go on a quest to be good at poker and you see it happening. Education,
and the systematic version of it is so complex that it's not like a Rubik's cube. I mean, it's, it's probably 10 cubes moving at once while you're blindfolded. Right. So I think, um, [00:49:00] there's just more impact to make. I want to discover more efficient ways to change lives. I want to solve the conundrum of how do we get my students to read more?
Um, how can I get them to be as curious as our heroes? Um, that's what I mean by haven't solved it yet. There's just so much more to do. Um, and I do think that at the end of my career, I can't even imagine a scenario where I would look back And say I solved it. So that's a little bit of something I'm going to have to reckon with in, in a decade.
Um, but, but I, I think that there's just more to do. That might've been the more elegant way to say it, but there's just more to do.
David: And in all of that time, what have you learned? What's changed? What's different because again, you've probably taught hundreds of kids in that time, and I can imagine your approach and the way that you think, and the way that you teach has evolved over time. And you've learned from maybe because I think that the other part is you've probably had the [00:50:00] time to see the long-term effects and the results of your teaching, because you're with these people, for what seems to be a moment in time, over the course of their lives. And you probably get to see where some of your students go and you see what they go on to do. And I think, I, uh, remember at some point you mentioned not today, but in a previous podcast about how you had like one more English lesson and you got a bunch of people to come back and you had like 60 people in a room.
So yeah. I'd love to know what has changed in your mindset and your approach through your career.
Joe: the, uh, very generous question just recently. Um, um, uh, a former student reached out and messaged me and said, I'm graduating this week with a degree in creative writing and music production. And I just wanted to keep you updated and thank you. Um, without you, I wouldn't have gone into the creative field.
I was going to go in a different direction and I know people hearing that can, can [00:51:00] definitely take that as the teacher cliche, but I would ask you not to for a moment, maybe suspend that for a second and think about how much responsibility is buried in that line. I mean, I genuinely wrote back, like, congratulations, that's so touching. Are you happy with the choice you made? I asked her that because when I hear that from her, I mean, I literally, she's, she's claiming I literally changed the direction of her life with my words, with my behavior. So when I hear that it's heavy, you know, and it's like, you, you know, that's why I don't want people to think it's a cliche.
Like that's a heavy privilege to, to have right. To know that what I will say could potentially come back to me and, you know, you gotta be careful. And you know, you say 3000 words a day. I want to get the actual number to be a little less sloppy. How many words a day a teacher says, but if you say the wrong seven, you know, you, you have ruined someone's day and potentially their life to not be over grandiose.
[00:52:00] So that's something that I think sets the stage for, for your question. As far as what's changed. Tough question to answer, because part of me wants to say, kids are the same and that old Socrates quote, where it's like these kids today, they're spoiled. And you, you know, your reveal at the end it's Socrates, people think it's like a 1980s quote, but it's actually like 500 years before Jesus was born.
And, but I do think kids have changed. I really, the phone fundamentally changes them. I will argue that. I mean, it's just, this phone is so powerful. I mean, it's a, it's an extension of what we're doing here. If we have access to this, how could the kids not be different? Um, we just did a little mini unit on the content diet, what they're, what they consume and how mindful is it and how often are materials challenging to them.
And I can go on and on, but, um, I just think what's changed without oversimplifying. It is the distractions we have to Wade through can be total distractions or they can be tools to try to get them in. [00:53:00] And if we do not adapt, we are dead. I mean, there is no possible way. No teachers today, and probably ever, but certainly now no teacher can get by without adapting.
You know, you, you know, the old expression, like I think it's John wooden who said like, you know, if they're not learning the way you teach, you've got to teach the way they learn. And that, that it continues to be incredibly valuable and necessary in my profession in 2022. And I think the best teachers are doing that.
And I think the ones that get burned out aren't.
David: What would you say is the highest leverage? The you teach, and this can be across all the formats in which you teach, because you teach kids at school, you teach and coach people. And then you also, and I think you have a, uh, a program that you're now running like a, not a course, but you know, almost like a mastermind group with eight people that have.
And then you also, you teach your kids at home across all of those spheres. What's probably the highest leverage thing that you
Joe: well, I'm beginning to think. It's the, it's the, [00:54:00] it's the paid coaching cohort because we just launched the first one in March and it's exceeded my expectations in every single way. Like I thought I was going to be Joe, the trainer, and I'm a lot of me is Joe, the facilitator and Joe, the connector. Right. I thought like the power of the people in the room, I thought that was like a cliche.
Like I thought it was like, oh no, like you still have to have a dynamic leader. No, no. It really is like the eight people and who they know and the surface area of creativity bumping up on, on purpose. So there's no doubt I'm doing a second cohort in October. The reason I mentioned that is because that kind of shows all the skills, the public speaking, the creativity, the build in public to support the feedback loop on a very practical level.
Aside from that it's public speaking. You know, I, I, in, in the reverse mentor conversations, I have, I say, I need to get my English 12 class cranking, like I have my public speaking class and I don't know if it's ever possible and not for the reasons people think what people think. Well, public speaking is an elective.
They want to be there. Yeah. But like [00:55:00] a lot of times guidance just says like, Mr. Ferraro is a nice guy. Like you have a hole in period five, like just go to that. That's not, it's not, I don't buy the notion that they're like, I'm dying to do public speaking. But what it is, I've found David is this, right?
This is public speaking. And we can lie to people and say, we edit this heavily. The reality is you're going to do very little edits on this is going to be super organic. And you're going to hear the ums and the mic tips and all that stuff. But in public speaking, it's the feedback loop. There's nothing like it.
You give the speech while it's happening. You know, if you're landing, like I know I'll drive home today being like, I really liked that. David brought out the best in me. I like this public speaking is that way. Right. So if we can figure out a way to articulate, articulate our ideas. And to get that feedback from a group of enrolled people.
I mean, it's, it's just incredible.
David: Yeah. And I know what you said, just reminded me of Seth Godin, He also talks about when he does public speaking, he is [00:56:00] communicating emotion, even with his slides, whether, whether it's his slides, whether it's what he's saying, it's about communicating emotion and then feeding back off the emotion that's bouncing back from the audience.
So he doesn't like doing virtual talks. He doesn't like doing anything else or at least unless he can see the people and he can see the reactions and he can feel the emotion. And it's this tangible, almost living thing that is between the two sides, the two groups of people, the conversation becomes its own thing and it is its own organic living thing.
And you can feed it, you feed it with what you say, you feed it with your countenance, the way that you send the words, the way that you share things, the way that you listen. All of those are part of almost creating something in the moment.
Joe: I literally share the exact definition. You just said, Seth Godin defines communication as the transfer of emotion. Like you absolutely nailed it. I actually teach that to my students. And I'll give you not the original [00:57:00] Seth Godin, cause I don't wanna go back on my word, but a 30 seconds that Seth Godin story that you just brought out of me and it a little straight, this is for people that are afraid of perfection, perfectionism, I paid money to go see Seth talk once.
And he came out on stage, everyone clapped. He brought out a mug while he was walking out the stage and he tripped on a wire and tea went up his arm onto his sleeve as we're clapping. And he looked around and he's like, hold on a second. Let's try that again. He leaves stage. comes back with a different mug.
Now the fact that he had two mugs on the road trip is just absolutely remarkable.
He goes, I don't like a single thing about that other mug, this mug, I like, now let's get going. And in that moment I laughed, I felt more endeared to him. I said to myself, quick math, he made $30,000 for this talk. He's probably. Anyone in the audience is probably saying the worst thing that could happen to me is if I tripped and spilled my coffee, he [00:58:00] didn't even flinch.
He turned it into an endearing moment. He still getting the $30,000. I'm telling the story five years later to you,
Joe: It's incredible. It was worth it. Like it's better. It's better that he spilled the tea for the stories that now will live on forever.
David: Absolutely. Absolutely. I feel like I would have fumbled that moment. That probably, uh, the calmness I need to cultivate, so I, I don't want to take up too much of your time. I'll probably just ask you one more question. And it's one that I had knocking about in the back of my mind, and it might be a random question, but I'm really interested to know just cause I'm curious as we've mentioned, but I'm interested to know.
So you, like, like we talked about, you played the D1 baseball. That was your, from what I understand your original dream, that's what you wanted to do. And then at some point you realized maybe that that dream might not come to fruition and you went into teaching and you've had this great career since where you've done a [00:59:00] bunch of other things.
You have this coaching program, you do other forms of coaching. You do other forms of teaching. You have your podcasts, you have all of these other things. I'm really interested to know what is the, the road less traveled by to, to parse the, the quote from the poem by Robert Frost? What, like, if, if you could go back in a time machine and you already know the outcomes of the decisions that led you to this moment, and you could always find your way back to this moment, if you chose to, so you don't have to forgo this life, you can always find your way back here, but you could pick any of the other doors that you didn't take.
You could turn left at any point. Where would you turn left? What would you explore that you haven't. Well, haven't been able to.
Joe: well, first of all, you just unlocked in me a really good heuristic, which was when you said this is the last question I actually felt like, aw man, that was all right. It's over already. Like, so that's my new definition that you've given me today, which is like, [01:00:00] how do you know it's a damn good conversation?
It's when the host says. I only have one more question and it's kind of the same feeling I get when it's the last Cadbury mini egg in the bag. I just, oh my God, are you sure? There's not one more in there, like, okay.
Um, so let's just acknowledge that. Thank you so much for a beautiful conversation. Um, it's weird because I've never been asked this question before, and as you were talking, I'm thinking, well, the answer is going to be, go and be a major league baseball player because they get $150 a day meal money and they never pay for a meal anyway, they play in front of their fans. They travel, they make an impact. They produce entertainment and engagement. Um, so I want to say that, but there's something in me that doesn't feel that way right now. So it's hard to answer the question because I don't have any interest in playing baseball right now.
So I look back and I say that was all I wanted to do. So the best [01:01:00] blend of that would have been, I'll answer the question by saying probably a division one or division three with a really winning tradition baseball coach, which I did do for five years at a small division three school. But what they get to do is they get to set their core values.
They get to recruit the student athletes that are on their team. They get to set the culture, they get to continue lifelong learning by speaking, at clinics and attending clinics and taking notes, they get to impact people. So that will be my answer because the playing is out of me. I don't have any interest, but all of the other things that the head coach of the college team gets to do are things that directly align with what I'm doing now a sprinkle of competitiveness that I've, I'm not going to say lost, but it's a little bit dormant in me.
Right? I don't, I wouldn't, you'll never hear me say. I want to have more downloads than Tim Ferris. [01:02:00] You might hear me in an honest moment. Say some of us should have more downloads than other people, but you won't hear me say, I need to, I need that. I think the college coaching scratches, all those itches.
David: I think that's a fantastic answer. And it's, uh, I love that it's different from the two polar things that you could have said, and I love that it's genuine and unique in the moment. So thank you very much for coming and making the time and answering my questions and my pestering about all the different aspects of your life.
And I know that there's so much that we didn't cover and there's so many, I genuinely, I could've asked you so many more questions, even as you were answering that last question. I was really struggling with whether I wanted to push it and say, oh, but can I ask you one more question, but I guess I'll just have to have you come back if you're, if you're open to it.
Joe: That that's a yes. Uh, I know it's weird to say I'll be back when you haven't even published this one yet, but truly, truly a pleasure. Like [01:03:00] I just love it.
Let me ask you this question. As we close, what's something I can do to in my network. Like, I want to introduce people to your work. What would you want me to introduce of yours?
Like what's Hey, I had this amazing conversation with David. What could I turn key and say, he's really known for this besides the podcast. I'm which I'm definitely going to share. Is there anything that I could really say I'd love you to meet David. He does this.
David: I would probably say my writing. Just because it's the one thing that I've been doing since I was five and I've never gotten tired of, and I've always enjoyed, and it's amazing that I have a platform to be able to share it and I love doing it. And I write probably in some ways more than I should, because it increases the expectation that I continue to write.
And I need to like spend all this time finding new things to write, but it's the one thing I love and I think a lot of people find some value in it.
Joe: we'll make sure I'm signed up. I tried to sign up the other day and I remember I got like a, I something glitched with my internet. It said you're in, but [01:04:00] just make sure, cause I don't, I, I don't want a million newsletters, but I want yours and I want to make sure that I got that. All right.
David: Amazing. Thank you so much, Joe.
Joe: My pleasure.
David: Thank you so much for tuning in. Please do stay tuned for more. Don't forget to rate, review and subscribe. It really helps the podcast and follow me on Twitter feel free to shoot me any thoughts. See you next time.