3 Clips Archive: How to Make an Interview Show Extraordinary (ft. Neil Pasricha)

3 Clips Archive: How to Make an Interview Show Extraordinary (ft. Neil Pasricha)
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3 Clips Archive: How to Make an Interview Show Extraordinary (ft. Neil Pasricha)
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Episode June 10, 2021 00:51:51

Hosted By

Matt Medeiros Stuart Barefoot

Show Notes

Today's episode is a must-listen re-run from our other show, 3 Clips . It's presented by Andrea, one of our producers for 3 Clips, in place of Jay while he's out on parental leave. 

We hope you enjoy today's episode and give 3 Clips a follow in your favorite podcasting apps. 

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:06 Today's episode is a rerun of a rerun presented by Andrea. One of the producers of our other podcast, three clips, podcast.com. She's presenting the episode while Jay, the main host of the show is out on parental leave. It's a fantastic episode. It's one that I think all of you in the audience podcast can learn something from, okay, I'm going to kick it off to Andrea. Enjoy today's episode. Hey, Speaker 1 00:00:29 It's Andrea. One of the producers of three clips Jay's on parental leave. So this week's show is a rerun, but it's a fun one. The guest in this episode is an author, a Ted talker, and in demand public speaker. And he was pretty successful with five books on the New York times bestseller list before he launched his podcast. Now, if you have achieved success in another field and you want to launch a podcast, the temptation is to start an interview show talking to other successful influential people, important. Well-known inspiring smart expert folks. We see this all the time with actors, TV, personalities, and aging politicians, but with plenty of non-famous hosts too, if you're a regular listener, you may have heard Jay make the joke that most interview shows could be renamed with the same title talking topics with experts. It's like we get stuck on that one concept. Speaker 1 00:01:32 Whenever we think about doing something more, our brains start pushing back, we think, Oh, well I don't have the budget or the staff to do a big NPR style, highly produced narrative show, or maybe we think we just don't want to do something kitsch or gimmicky to make it more entertaining or, Hey, I am not running the show. Full-time at my business. I only have so much time. So we have to do interviews. Let's put aside for a moment, the fact that doing interviews, isn't a shortcut and still requires lots of work to do well. You can still have a great show concept and a great episode format while doing an interview show. You don't need more budget or time to do lots and lots of rigorous editing. When your show has a great concept, that affects what you'll ask your guests. You want to extract certain types of moments or certain content because you have an angle or a conceit about what you explore. Speaker 1 00:02:34 And if the show concept informs what you ask the episode format informs, when you ask it. In other words, when you have a format in mind, it affects your flow, your conversation, the order in which things appear. The show we profile in this episode is a perfect example of what could have been yet another interview pod with yet another parade of the same guests you've heard. So how do we differentiate Jay and his guests talk about building rapport, especially when your interviewee seems to be a bigger name than you are. And maybe you're nervous. They discuss the subtle art of interrupting. And at one point, our guest actually goes into his inbox and pulls out the cold outreach email that he used to book Judy frickin bloom. This is three clips. Speaker 2 00:03:27 Hi, do the things due to <inaudible> Speaker 1 00:03:45 Some to three clips. Uh, Casto so original podcast. I'm Andrew <inaudible> filling in for <inaudible> to be clear. I'm just filling in for the intro and credits last week. I promise you Jay's dulcet tones. And I'm a woman of my word today. We're talking to Neil PEs, recheck hosts of three bucks. A show that by the way, helps inspire Jay to launch this show. Three books is a simple but brilliant twist on the average interview show with an influential person, every guest talks about three most transformative books in their life. Neil is really on a quest to find the 1000 most transformative books in the world. And as you'll hear, he's kind of a character. So let's get into it. Here's bestselling author, Neil Rita with J a console. Speaker 3 00:04:39 No one knows how to pick a book. Like it's the, it's the hardest, hardest thing to do in the world. There's 200 million books on Amazon. A new million books comes out every year. And so everyone just picks what's in a pile at the airport, you know? And so I'm on a quest to uncover and discuss the 1000 most formative books in the world. Three books at a time to do that. I'm flying around the world, literally to sit down with 333 of the world's most inspiring people and ask each of them, which three books most shaped their lives. I think it's easy to describe what your show is, but what I'm curious about is before your show exists in the classic show, running style, you used to have to pitch it to a Hollywood executive, and many people still do to Netflix or Hulu or Amazon. Speaker 3 00:05:25 So the show is called three books, pitch it to me, Hollywood style, it's that classic like it's like X meets Y or it's like show one meets show to meet show three. Like if you had to pitch it that way, how would you actually pitch it? And what were those? Why, why those things to the show has the vulnerability of a Howard stern interview combined with the nugget like insights and tools of a Tim Ferriss show podcast sprinkled with, you know, some, some nerd sprinkles on top where people who organize their books and the Dewey decimal system, or can geek out about a book, no one else has ever heard of, you know, get to get their jollies out, kind of through that conversation. I love that. That was so great. And I do remember listening to your show every time I hear it. I always smile, even though I don't quite understand it. Speaker 3 00:06:22 You tell people after you describe their first book, for example, of the three, you're like, all right, here's the book. Here's what it's about. File this away under this in the Dewey decimal system. I always, I always smiled at that. Well, the Dewey decimal system is like the most underappreciated thing. And like the books, you know, Jay, you walk into a library and the whole library is organized for you under the, the, the, like the guidance of this guy who died a long time ago named Melvin Dewey. He was like, he was like men delay of, for the periodic table. He was like, this is where everything's going to go. You know, we're going to have, like, you know, 300 is going to be about psychology. 400 is going to include sports, like 500 included. And it was, it was every single book just goes into smaller and smaller and smaller files. Speaker 3 00:07:05 So I I've organized my own personal home books out that way. And I like to give the Dewey decimal eviction out is that there a little shadow on where the books should be filed by the way that also serves that librarian listing population while. Right. Right. And you do mention that it's for, in part librarians and other book lovers and creators writers, sellers, I love the way you understand who the audience is and what the show is for. The other thing I love that you do is you're really good at packaging it as yes, it's now a serialized thing, right? So obviously there's a series to it, but there's now like there's number over the top, which is you're on the hunt for the 1000 most formative books in the world. It's okay if you can't share this yet, because you have something planned, I not great at math. Speaker 3 00:07:45 I was an English major, but if you count out the number of guests you plan on having, and then you multiply those guests by three, you actually fall one book shy of the 1000. So are we getting some kind of special final book? Or what, how do you, how are you gonna, well, this is so fun that you asked this question, because first of all, I want to just point out to all your listeners, like we are alive for a thousand months. People don't realize that the average person is literally alive for 1000 months. That's the average lifespan. And if you want to talk about how that number can kind of feel important on a daily basis, the average person is also awake for a thousand minutes. That's how much you're awake everyday. So I think this number a thousand has a lot of frequency through our lives that we don't really see. Speaker 3 00:08:28 My first blog was called a thousand awesome things. Dot com partly why I organized this blog, this podcast as a thousand is because I love the idea that it's finite. You know, I don't want, I don't like podcasts or blogs or newspapers, magazines, everything is infinite. Nothing has an end date or an end point, you know, no TV, TV shows just go till they're canceled generally. You know, so I want to, I think by keeping something fine, you force yourself to be more quality conscious and quality oriented, because you're always like I have less and less space to put this in. And that's for the number one that sticks out. Um, I am actually gestating on a couple of different ways to make that pop, that final book. But, um, one of them I'll just share one idea. I don't know if I'm going to do this is okay, so we'll have 999 bucks. Speaker 3 00:09:19 Right. And this, by the way, it doesn't the show doesn't end until September 1st, 5:52 AM 2031. Right. So it's going to take a long time to get there, but by the end, we will have, so many books have been, will have been repeated. Um, because I already have, I don't let people repeat books, but if they choose, like, I want the fountain like literally chip chip, Wilson's like, I want the Fountainhead C you know, founder of Lou lemon. I was like, sorry, chip, you know, Tim urban of Weipa, y.com picked the Fountainhead. He's like, ah, darn. You know, but then I thought it was, I thought I was done with it. Then Mark. Manson's like, how about the Fountainhead? I'm like, well, I just, I just gave that to Tim urban. And then Adam Grant, no joke was like, how about the Fountainhead? Like literally everyone I'm like, what is up with all these like white dudes picking the Fountainhead? Speaker 3 00:10:02 Um, so now it wasn't to say that they are all like hardcore, you know, Objectivists, you know, they, they just more that the book was formative to them at one point. Anyway, I was thinking about by the end, maybe I have everyone who's listening to the show at the time vote, or somehow input onto the single most formative book in the world, whether that is done through some sort of crowdsource, some algorithms, some new like chip we'll have in our next, by the year 2031. I don't know. Oh God. You know, but like there's some sort of, you know, some amazing contest or way to sort of ultimately declare a book to be the ultimate, most formative book of all time. And I thought that that could also serve as an incredible media hook to get attention and PR on the concept that we just tape by the way guys, like did we spent 13 years counting these down until right now. Speaker 3 00:10:50 Right? So you, you and I, you and I talked excitedly like we are right now, uh, before you launched the show, you called me up, we talked about podcasting because I've just been immersed in it. And I, you know, I so appreciated you coming on my show early, before I had much proof. And we, we talked about, I don't know if you remember, but we talked about this concept of an open loop, which is basically, you know, you start a story, a very crude open loop is a clickbait headline. That's an abusive and open loop, but an open loop is just a tease. It's something that raises your anticipation to finish what was going on to get the answer to a question or whatever. And it's left open-ended until a later point. And so, you know, a good example is how a lot of dramatic TV shows open with cold opens. Speaker 3 00:11:31 They sh breaking bad, did this probably better than any show ever. They would show like a charred stuffed animals smoking and floating in a pool with sirens, blaring and smoke in the air. And then they would show you the opening credits. That's an open loop. And your having this March towards a thousand creates many open loops because you want to know what the next three will be. And the next three, and it has this one open loop, which is, if you figure it out as a listener, wait a sec, this isn't going to add up to a thousand. What are we going to do for 1000? So I love that because it's, it's very whether intentionally or not it created this irresistible open loop. Well, you are being humble because not only did I remember you telling me that I try to do that. And like literally chapter 30, seven of three bucks with knocking lateral, I say at the beginning of the intro, and maybe this is an abuse of the old bloop. Speaker 3 00:12:17 And I say, I was super anxious and nervous when I interviewed him, which has trailed. But as soon as I pushed stop on the recorder, he said three simple words that calm me down at the end of the show, I'll tell you what those three words are. Like. I literally, I do that stuff because I just want people to listen to the end. And then I tell them at the end, he said, and I'll tell you, he said that was fun. Like, that was literally what he said, like was a Trump, the recorder. I was nervous. The whole thing that I was like, why didn't you tell me that at the beginning it would have chilled out, but I'm so stressed. As soon as I turned it off, he was like, well, that was fun. And I was like, Oh, he smiled at the beginning. Speaker 3 00:12:49 He like, wouldn't crack a face at all. Like it's not going anywhere. Yeah. I think it's only an abuse if the payoff isn't there. Like, if, if you truly won't believe what number seven in the list is, you won't believe right. It'll blow you if it actually blows your mind and you're fine with it. But it usually what happens is people are great at the opening of the loop and not great at the closing of it, but you're, you're very audience conscious and earnest in your attempt to make something great here that I have no doubt that when you use an open loop, I'm sure I'm sure it comes off. Great. And while we're on the subject of open loops, I do want to create one right now for listeners, because this is a show about shows. So we'll get meta, I'll admit that I'm doing it. Speaker 3 00:13:27 Um, what we're going to do when we play your three clips is we're going to talk about one theme that I see coming through not only in your life, Neil, but now in your show is your ability to build rapport and ensure that it's a flee, a free flowing. Like you said, that kind of Howard stern ish effect where people kind of forget a mic is there and they just talk. And so many interviews end up like an interview, like a job interview. You know, it's almost like the subject is interviewing for the role of smart person or charming person for the listener, like hire me into your lives for the next 45 minutes. Because every answer look how smart I am. And that's not what I get from your show at all. I get this very organic conversation. So we're going to talk in this episode about how that happens. Speaker 3 00:14:09 There's an open loop for you. What do you think? I love it. I'm curious to find out well, yeah, we're going to play some clips by the way. Not just from people that I know, you know, prior to interviewing them. So I did find some clips where I think you were nervous heading in, like we mentioned that Malcolm Gladwell and you have to build rapport, meeting them for the first time under the auspices of we're interviewing you, which I think is more difficult sometimes than a friend. Um, you and I have rapport already. So I find this rather easy. So anyways, there's an open loop for you. Um, it's audio, but you and or the guest often describe where you're sitting and it really provides a nice sense of place and in a medium that is visual because you have to plant an image in someone's mind to understand happening. Speaker 3 00:14:51 And you do such a nice job of that. Neil of like describing we're sitting here to my left is this, I traveled down here from my home in Toronto. We're in key West Florida, but you don't want to do that, Jay. Yeah. Cause I, and the first few episodes of the Tim Ferriss show, which I loved, um, you'd hear like a siren going by or like a dog barking. And Tim would almost say apologetically like, Oh, sorry, I'm at a park in San Francisco. And then I think he started using the real studio and love him, love the show. But I was like, I missed it. I was like, damn, that was better. When, when you could kind of picture the guy sitting in a park in San Francisco. So I've chosen to try to not just retain, but create unique oral experiences as best as possible through visualization. Speaker 3 00:15:33 So when I met Tim urban down in New York city, it was a bizarre tightly cramped coffee shop with people talking beside us. And I applied, I said, we're at a bizarre cramped coffee shop with people besides the technical, just so you can picture that too. And maybe it comes out in the voice and maybe it comes out of what we're saying a little bit. You know, it's funny, you mentioned Tim urban and interviewing him in a New York coffee shop because that's the first clip I have for us. So let's get into the clips. And first, before we do, I have a very, I always play a transition sound to let people know we're going into and out of a clip compared to our voices. So I have, I picked a strategic sound. I think I want to change it at all at all times. And maybe I'll fit the theme of the guest, but here's the sound I picked for you flipping paper in a book. Speaker 3 00:16:21 Yup. How about that little customized clip for you? I love it. So clip number one comes from your episode with Tim urban. Tim is the creator of the unbelievable blog. I'm such a fan of it. I read it all the time, wait, but why? And it takes these deep fundamental philosophical looks at really big and complex topics. And he does it best of all in a really delicious way. It's very entertaining. He uses metaphors and stick figures, brilliant deconstructions, and he really helps anybody feel like they can understand these complex topics about human nature and science and society. And he has millions of subscribers and readers. He's got this Ted talk about procrastination, which is both hysterical and widely viewed. It's something like 30 million at the time that you spoke to him, Neil and the guy is just one of the most creative and philosophical minds out there. And in fact, that's how you introduced him as a sort of modern philosopher at the top of your episode. And so just for people listening in this clip, you're talking about this childlike curiosity that gets trained out of us as we get older. And we're going to cut right into you speaking partway into you saying to Tim, well, Tim you've retained that curiosity. So let me play that clip for you. And then we'll chat after Speaker 4 00:17:34 You've retained that in a sense that your, your work is full of curiosity, you've called yourself many times a very curious person. And, and it's clear in your writing that you are very curious. Um, what do we do? I have little kids. Uh, how do I keep them curious? Uh, what can and was anything done to you as you grew up that kept you curious that way? Or do you see other people doing that well as parents? Um, I think, um, the parrots are very hands-off, which is some, and I was also an only child till I was five. So I think that gives you a lot of time to just kinda, you're just trying to phrase, Oh, which till is five, let's start using it. I was an only child til I was two. My fiance is an actual, only child. And she says it's like cultural appropriation to pretend to be an only child. Speaker 4 00:18:17 She gets very mad at me and she says, I'm like she says, it's not at all fair that I get to call myself that because it's not because it's not true. Anyway, it depends a on your lips, it says in the middle of that sentence, five years is a lot, you're very formed by five. Um, and I think that like the key today, I think is first of all, just awareness of this concept, just thinking about this concept, reasoning from first principles versus reasoning by analogy. Um, and just, just getting that in your head and realizing that, um, that the world is, this is a Steve jobs kind of quote, he said something like the world, you know, you, you, this, this apifany you're going to have, and you realize the world is only that you see around you was built by people no smarter than you. Speaker 3 00:19:05 So before I reveal why I pulled out this clip, uh, which is I guess, in and of itself yet another open loop. But before I reveal that this episode was from February, 2019, and we recording this in September, 2019. So Neil, just give me your general first impressions of hearing your former, former self as a host there. Uh, well, first of all, I should say that I love how you call them episodes because of course they are, but on my podcast, three books, I always call them chapters chapter 22 with Tim urban, just to try to use some of what you taught me to like brand it, as in when the theme you're using the, the page turning sound I'm using, like I'm re I'm renaming episodes completely into chapters. Love it. I love, um, yeah, just a small thing when I hear it. Um, I'm, I'm delighted you pick that because I did think that was just so funny that he said the phrase, I was an only child until I was five. Speaker 3 00:19:57 You just never hear anyone describe them selves as an only child, if they have, if they indeed have siblings, which he does. Um, but I love that he was like really paying attention to that. And when I listened to that, the thing I remember of course is honestly, man, we were in, we were in Soho, in Manhattan, in a coffee shop in the middle of the day, it was a tight coffee shop full of people. There was a woman speaking like Spanish on her cell phone beside me the entire time blaring, like full in my ear and the guy beside him urban recognized him and knew him and was like, kind of not eavesdropping, but like, he was kind of like a Tim urban fan boy. And like was like kinda like watching the podcasts, like in real time, like a fan, like an audience. Speaker 3 00:20:40 And so it was like a really weird atmosphere. And I, when, when I listened to that part of the benefit for me as the host of doing them is I get to relive the actual physical experience, which is, which was just beautiful to do that. So thank you for the opportunity that sure. And that's one of the reasons I did want to pull it is it's in a coffee shop, which goes back to why I told the story of you with the apples is, you know, you can't get embarrassed and be self-conscious when you're doing these things live and not choosing an office or a studio, because you got to waltz into a coffee shop and have the gumption to just plop down, set up your microphones, do an interview while people were watching and doing their thing, and maybe they're not watching. And so they're being a little ignorant that they should be quiet and they don't care, right? Speaker 3 00:21:18 It's their coffee shop their day. And so, you know, that takes some gumption. It takes this ability to just say, I'm going to roll with this. And I always, I always admired that about you, Neil, but the, you know, the second thing I wanted to bring up about this clip was such a delightful thing. Other interviewers can learn from, which is when you, when Tim says I was an only child until I was five. And you said, I like how you phrase that. And then you repeated the phrase. That's such a great hosting technique because whether you did it as a technique, or it just came naturally either way. I think it's a skill that you learn. You essentially played the role there as a guide. You were like allowing your listeners not to miss something that you, the guide wanted them to clearly see, which is that phrase is so interesting. Speaker 3 00:22:03 It's, it's something called signposting, which is when, when you make a show, you put up a verbal sign where it either says, okay, something is coming, don't miss this pay attention to this detail, or you reflect back and be like, did you get that? That was super important. So you put up a sign that you plant in someone's mind as like, it was interesting or important. So I love that you did that. You just kind of jumped in and planted a little, little signpost and yeah, I don't know if that was intentional or not, but I did want to call that out. I, I, I don't re I don't think it was conscious at all, but, but I did want to reflect back to you that like, I'm, I'm just trying to focus on him. So if he says something that, that I resonate with the rather than think, what would the listener want to focus on? Speaker 3 00:22:44 I was sort of thinking like, I want to focus, you know, it's sort of selfish. Like I wanted to focus on that. So I just called it out for that reason. The other thing I wanted to just say about having the gumption to be in a live environment that could go any, which way, like a coffee shop in New York is I used to think at the beginning of three books that I should, I should call the coffee shop. I should ask them for permission. I should see if they could carve a corner up, maybe save me a seat. Like, and I literally, I think back in February of 2019, like I may have actually done that. I don't think if I did that, I can't, I don't, I can't recall if I did that or not, but nowadays I've decided that it's better radio or it's a better podcast experience. Speaker 3 00:23:21 Really. If I get kicked out, like I almost want there to be some, some tension or friction. Like if a manager walks over in the middle of us recording and says to us, excuse me, you guys can't do that in here. Well, we will hear that on the recording. Won't we? And, and then if he's like go outside, like get out of here. So we'll hear that. So then I say, okay. And then I, we walked out of the side, I press record again or keep it recording. And then I'm on the street. I did that in the David Sedaris episode, uh, sorry, the downstairs chapter where we went, like, I paused it, we went to the green room. I came back. I asked if we could have more time, you can hear the public to say, you can have a few more minutes. I go with him. Speaker 3 00:23:56 But further. And when I, when I did the editing for that chapter, I then interject and said, okay, this is where I asked David Sarah's. If I could go with them and see the green room, he said, yeah. So let's go there now. And like another way of signposting, I guess, is that I'm letting the setting dictate itself based on what happens. And then I can use signposting and editing to then guide the listener to what actually happened at the time later. Absolutely. Bill, the last thing to tease out there is, like you said, you're so focused on Tim and also what lights you up authentically. And you're just focused on that. And that creates this like really nice rich experience. It also builds rapport. You know, Tim is somebody who, you know, I interviewed him for my show. Um, somebody who I'm long-winded Tim has certainly long-winded. Speaker 3 00:24:43 You can meander. He has that kind of that brain. It's almost like if you tried to picture it, it's like a detective board full of string and different photos and total nodes. Right? Cause he jumps around a lot, but it's all connected to him. It's all connected to him. But to you, especially hearing him speak it, instead of reading it, it can be tough to track sometimes. And as a host, you know, sometimes that's good. Sometimes that's tough. Cause you want to jump in and his answers are dense and they jump around. So it could be, I think it could be hard to get somebody like that just to, just to be and chat and sort of slow down. But you jumped in and you created this really warm moment that helped further relax. Both him and the listener and makes him more mindful. Helps you focus on something that lights you up. Speaker 3 00:25:25 So you're more mindful. And, and then, you know, then he proceeded with the answer. So I just love that because I think we're too hesitant to jump in sometimes and say, Hey, I actually authentically really like that. Let me, let me talk about that a little bit with you. Or, you know, it's not, I'm interrupting. Whoa, stop Neil. I want to ask you this question or, Hey, you're not answering my question. It's just what a person would do. You're like, Oh, I really liked that. And then they're like, yeah, really? Yeah, me too. And then you start to be friends a little bit. Totally. And we have become deeper friends since that conversation, I think because of the conversation. But the other thing that personally I wanted to mention here is Pete Holmes. You know, he hosts a really popular podcast called you, made it weird. Speaker 3 00:25:58 He's a really famous comedian and his pockets is incredible. And one thing you'll notice if you listen to that show, is he interrupts and interjects incessantly. Okay. I never planned to use I three times in a row there, but that he interrupts and interjects incessantly. And so hold on, hold on. Let me, let me interrupt there. Neil, you use alliteration in every one of your titles for your chapters, by the way. So don't say you don't intend to be alliterative every one of your chapter titles, people listening should go check out three books. Every one of the episodes is so awesome. Just to read the title because you are so great at alliteration. It's amazing. So don't, I always laugh. Speaker 3 00:26:36 So, so here's what you gonna say is, um, and you don't want to know how long it takes me to come up with these chapter titles. I spend way too much time on my phone play with the words many way I M O P homes. So what I was going to say is you also, if you want it, like, as you said, be human, just interrupt naturally. You know, all that stuff. Just be okay with the haters. Like if you're in the river and the here's the proof in the pudding, Pete Holmes, you know, like 3000, 4,000 reviews on iTunes, like a very, very popular podcast, you know, a huge listenership, et cetera. If you read the reviews, four out of five reviews, if part of every five loves the show. One out of every five, which is a very, very high percentage. One out of every five high is like one star saying cannot listen, the guy interrupts too much. So I'm saying he's got a very high percentage of people all hating on the one exact thing over and over again. Does it make him change? No, but, and just saying, when you are yourself, you just gotta be okay with the fact that it's just, you're not going to be everyone's taste rather than go for the lowest common denominator. Just find your tribe. I love that. Speaker 3 00:27:43 Uh, let's go to the next clip. So this next clip is from your episode with, and I was so excited when you said you were doing this because it's with the legendary Judy bloom. So she's won over 90 awards for her writing, which I learned from your show 90 awards on surprisingly she's sold actually almost as many millions of her books, 85 million, uh, she's written things like, are you there? God, it's me Margaret, which is from 1970 tales of a fourth grade, nothing from 72 in 73. She followed that up with Deenie blubber was 74. It goes on and on amazing legendary author. So a lot we can talk about here, but first let's go to your clip with the one and only Judith Sussman, AKA Judy bloom. Speaker 4 00:28:31 Well, I, I really appreciate welcoming me down here. And I've brought with me a thank you. And this thank you is my old tattered copy of tales of a fourth grade, nothing. I was in a group chat last night, uh, with my mom, my dad and my sister telling them how excited I was to chat with you. And it spawned. I can show you this. After the chat, I spawned a huge conversation in the text of my mom, my dad, my sister, telling all of their memories of me walking around the kitchen, reading this, but pretending to be fudge saying pizza pizza. No, no, all the lines. And my mom says, she says, this is where you found your voice nail. And today I'm 38. I'm interviewing you with my voice on this. The only show in the world by and for book lovers, writers, makers, sellers, and librarians, three books. And so I want to thank you because I wouldn't be doing this. If it wasn't for this book, when I was a child, very glad that it was special for you. Thank you. Thank you. Speaker 3 00:29:32 This was at, uh, four 20. So it's pretty early in the episode. Tell me why you did that. Why did you create that moment? Well, it was really interesting, Jay. So this is chapter, as you said, like is one of the very first chapters. I did have three books and um, her body language, as I launched into that drops completely. She actually was not interested in hearing praise about herself. I think that she gets a lot of that all day, every day. And it was like, I saw her body language interface default into like I'm supposed to smile mode. And then even her answer, which you heard was like, um, I'm so glad it was special for you. And then if you, I think kept playing it sometime in the next minute or two, she says, I thought we were here to talk about my books. Speaker 3 00:30:14 It was actually a little bit sassy. She's 80. She can be definitely sassing me around, but she's like, no, don't wait, wait a minute. Aren't we here to talk about my books, not your rat, reading on your books. So I was like, actually I did it. I don't know if it works, but I did it because I wanted to all my guests on my show, aren't people on PR tour doing the publicity circuit pitching their, but zero a hundred percent of my guests are people and even say on my website, I do not accept pitches. My show does not accept you asking to be on it. Bravo. It's only people that I have reached out to period. That's it? That's the only thing. Right? So therefore I have an opportunity in the beginning of the show, before we record a right, we start, start recording to tell them why I've re I've been re Tim. Speaker 3 00:30:58 I've been reading your blog for years. I love wait, but why thanks so much for coming on Judy. I loved your book when I was a kid. That's why I reached out to you. Thanks for coming on. All I'm trying to do is just make sure they know that this is like, I'm not, I'm not like a CNN interviewer getting paid to interview. Um, I'm like actually a genuine fan of their work or their, or them somehow. And I just want to make sure they know that because what I'm trying to do is like constantly increase trust between us so that the conversation can be more vulnerable, deeper, more authentic. And part of the way I do that is to tell them authentically why I'm there. And that begins with me authentically having them on the show for an authentic reason. That's all, I've talked to some hosts that they talk about guests that are not, that they're not on their level and sort of like they feel intimidated and they've tried to find ways to get on their level. Speaker 3 00:31:48 For example, I talked to somebody who interviewed an NBA player and he's like, let's this guy's super famous. He's in the media all the time. I am not. I'm a podcast host. It's great. Actually, I think, you know, this guy's name is Ryan Hawke. Yeah. He's a great, he's a great, he's a great podcast, great podcast. Or he's got the learning leader show. And so he talked to me about how he tries to find ways to sort of just humanize it a little bit where it's not your, this celebrity, I'm the interviewer, it's where two people chatting. And so I really respected the fact that you did that because it's what you authentically wanted to do. So you should, I stole another idea from Ryan off, by the way, after I went on the learning leader podcast or learning leader show, like a week later in the mail, I got like a thank you card handwritten by him. Speaker 3 00:32:30 And I believe a t-shirt like the learning leader t-shirt and I was like, wow, that's the first pockets where I, as a guest received a present for on. So now I mail all my guests presence after, after they come on my show. So like I mailed Judy bloom, like my favorite chocolate chip cookies. For example, I feel so bad that I don't do that. I'll be expecting some really fun. I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. But I just stole that idea from Ryan Hawk and the purpose of it was not to do anything other than say like, you know what, like they're giving me their time, their IP, their, you know, all that stuff. I don't put ads on it. I could, but I don't. And it's like, it just, it's a gracious thing for someone to give you an hour, you know what I mean? Speaker 3 00:33:13 And record it. So I just, I stole that idea from Ryan straight up, Judy probably bombarded with interview requests. Certainly you said she gets bombarded with praise. So how did you get to interview her? Especially because this was so early in your run. I believe you actually recorded this before you launched the show. So you didn't even have that. You know, I'm sure you had some great guests, you could cite to her, but you couldn't share with her an episode or maybe you did behind the scenes that says, look, this is how it sounds. It's different. It's awesome. It's a prestige vehicle. Also. We have all these downloads and people like you have no proof yet. So how did this actually come together? Do you want to read my cold pitch email? Yes. Okay. Speaker 3 00:33:53 Okay. Here it is. And I have not read this, uh, since I sent it. So I have no idea how embarrassing this is going to be. So the first question you're probably wondering is how did I get her email? And I think what I usually do is I go to their website and I guess it, so her website is Judy bloom.com. So I like guests, what the iteration might be before that, you know what I mean? Like her domain. So I said, Hey, Judy, my mom says imitating fudge and tales of a fourth grade. Nothing was my first artistic performance as a child. I would read it to my sister in the bathtub and still have my torn. And I still have my torn and tattered copy today on the New York times, bestselling author of five books, including the book of awesome, which has sold over a million copies and my artistic performances, all inspired by fudge include a couple of Ted talks and over 50 speeches a year. Speaker 3 00:34:33 The reason I'm writing you and now is because I host a new podcast called three bucks, where in each episode I hadn't called them chapters yet I uncover and discuss the three most formative books of an inspiring individual. It's the only podcast in the world by and for book writers, makers, sellers, lovers, and librarians. Would you be willing to be a guest? I am happy to come to you and do it entirely around your schedule. It would honestly be a huge dream to meet you and talk about which books shaped you. Sample gas include Seth Goden, Gretchen Rubin, Tim urban.dot dot. And hopefully you exclamation Mark. Thanks for considering it. Neil PS, are you there? God, it's me. Margaret was the most formative book on my last guest.dot dot who owns five copies, including a framed and signed original dust jacket. Exclamation Mark. I heard back from her team, not her specifically, but her assistant within six days, um, saying, hi, Neil, thanks so much for your warm email to Judy. Speaker 3 00:35:25 I'm so sorry to disappoint you, but I must send Judy's regrets. She's the driving force behind this and she can't do it. Okay. So I got a rejection actually, Jay, to answer you. And then I, um, you know, she's opening her new bookstore in key West Florida, and she works there 24 seven due to her new career. She hasn't been making any future commitments. The bookshop takes every minute in the day. Thanks again for thinking of Judy. Okay. Then I reply. So this is, I think, where most people would stop. Right? You just asked and then you got rejected. You're done. You're out. Like they just said, no, they didn't just give you a no reply, which by the way, is the most common. Now the most common nail I get is no reply. Right? Gretchen Rubin has a famous phrase. That's um, a yes comes right away. Speaker 3 00:36:10 No, never comes. You know, I love that phrase. It's so true. But this case, I actually got a response and it's no. So then I wrote back, Hey, I completely and totally understand. And I have a crazy idea that may help her book, her bookstore in QS as well. On April 3rd, I am doing two interviews, um, with Dave Barry and other inspiration as a grown up. And then your fellow book owner, they may say Mitchell Kaplan. So like Mitch Mitchell, Kaplan, I, I did the research and know he owns the bookstore chain that she owns a bookstore in. So it's like I'm interviewing him at coral Gables, which is outside of Miami on this date on April 4th, I'm giving a speech in the morning to Volvo and I put in brackets, they're paying for my trip. I'm trying to tell her that, like, I'm not going out of my way here to like, I'm getting paid for travel. Speaker 3 00:36:54 And I don't fly home to Toronto until late that night, I looked at flights and I can actually get to key West around 1:00 PM. I do not need to leave key West until 7:00 PM. So are you ready for my crazy idea? May I interview Judy in the books and bookstore herb store on April 4th, anytime between two and 5:00 PM, as you know, it would be a huge dream for me that, uh, um, if any, if my excitement has caused me to overstep or impose, I will humbly apologize and take a step back. It would not be the first time I get excited a lot. Please know this all come from a very earnest, honest place. Thank you so much for considering us. And by the way, Judy's assistant responded four days later, four days where I heard nothing and figured it was over and she said, hi Neil. Speaker 3 00:37:33 Sometimes the crazy ideas will work out. Judy can do your interview with you next Wednesday, April 4th, depending your flying arrangements, but she must leave the store by 3:30 PM due to previous commitments, please confirm, boom, boom. So heck yeah, I booked a flight from Miami to key West and back within hours of each other, flew down there, you know, went from there to the store. I knew I had 20 minutes with her. I think she let me go half an hour and took off. And then, then it's always easier to get more guests. When you have a guest to tell you to tell her that you had on, right, let's go to the third and final clip. Quick story. The first time we met in the real world, I was speaking in Toronto and we'd had that, uh, interaction on my show. And I reached out and said, Hey, I'll be in town. Speaker 3 00:38:16 And in our time spent together, which I remember fondly. I learned something about you that I think maybe is serving you well on your show. We went to brunch at this awesome place in Toronto where you live and Barbara, Val. Yup. And, and we walked around the city and talked for a while and talked about our craft of speaking and talk about writing and your career in mind, et cetera. You're very helpful giving advice. And then we saw a grocery store. I have no memory. I have no memory of this. Interesting. These are both. These are both open loops by the way. And how much, how mundane can a great open loop be. Then we saw a grocery store. That's a good way right now. Listeners are like, what the hell? Who cares? Why, why is this interesting? Tell me more. So anyways, we saw grocery store. Speaker 3 00:39:00 You went in, you're like, I'm going to buy some apples, Jay, you ever had this type of Apple. I had no idea what you're talking about. You walk, you walk in, you buy this bag of apples and we walk out and we're just chatting. And like, you, you there's some people on the street and you're like offering one here and they're apples. You just like, Hey, you want an Apple? And I was like, wow. Like this is a guy who doesn't seem to get embarrassed when he interacts with other people. Like you just put yourself out there. It seems, and, and happily, and in a friendly fashion in a way that doesn't put people off, you just put yourself out there. You don't seem very embarrassed. And I think like, I feel like that's so useful when you create the kind of show that you have, which is you're doing it in person. So you don't know what they're going to be like face to face. You don't know what environment you're going to find yourself in. You just kind of have to go with it and stay true to your friendly self. And I remember the last moment where we parted ways in Toronto, you called, I think your book publisher, maybe. And you're like, Hey, I'm outside your office. I just bought some apples. You want some, let me come up and chat. Speaker 3 00:39:58 It totally sounds like me. I can totally believe I would do it. Cause I do that kind of stuff a lot. But I have no memory of doing that with you, but you're right. I do that all the time. If I buy, when I buy chocolate, I always, my goal is always to get rid of the whole bar because otherwise I'll eat it all. So I'm like, well, I want chocolate. I want a piece of chocolate. I always ask people that want stuff. So for the final clip, I was looking for an episode where you had to remix the format where you either had to, or you try to just to change things up, keep it refreshing for you and for your listener. And one really easy way to do that is I just looked at the title of the episodes as a starting point, because usually you start with the name of the person and then you say something alliterative, which is awesome. Speaker 3 00:40:33 And we talked about that briefly. And then I found this one episode that just said a number one ranked bartender on fiddling with frankincense and fighting for freedom. And then I realized, this is the bartender behind the place that you and I first met bar Ravel, which, you know, I didn't realize until this episode, but I didn't know it was run by somebody so prestigious and known and successful. The number one rated bar in Canada in 2018. I wouldn't take you anywhere. Worse red carpet treatment. I love it. Describe the interior of that place because you are so good at describing things on your show. And it's also just stunning with all that wood. It's really different. So can you just describe it to people that have never been well, although I'm not a big name, restaurant tour or chef, as I understand when you become one, you get a lot of rich people coming over and saying, I can give you a bunch of money and I'll open you a nice restaurant. Speaker 3 00:41:23 And so people do that. And so they put like they sunk either either half a million or a million. I think that's gotten inflated with the word on the street, into this, into this interior of this. So they paid a lot of money. It had to be mahogany. It was all only mahogany wood. And they got a special machine to carve it, I think around to look like Gowdy, you know? So Gowdy, this sort of famous Spanish architect, Goudy ask curved wood, heavily achey interior. That feels like you're in something like the walk village cross with, you know, one of those like old IMAX movies where you're like flying into someone's body and like zoom into all their blood cells in their muscles. So you're like in like an <inaudible> village built out of wooden muscles, right? It's like sweeping arches with like a kind of pillar once in a while. Speaker 3 00:42:09 Like that's the muscly feel to it? It's like sinewy, no chairs, no chairs on the whole thing. You have to stand up, it's tap as it's meant to be interactive. Right. So, okay. So the owner of the bartender, his name is Robin Goodfellow and he partly owns a bunch of places in Toronto. He's been a bartender for 16 years and perhaps somewhat atypically for the show actually want to play, not your interaction with him, but the story that you open the episode with about him, because it kind of contradicts a lot of the rapport building stuff that we're usually going to try in the working world or on a show. So it kind of runs counter to the convention, which is why I want to bring it up. So just to tee up the story, you and a friend had walked into the bar and it was your first time there. And the bartender turns out it was him said, what do you want? And you said, I don't know, what do you have? Do you have a drink menu? And he said, no, what do you want? And you said, well, what do you have? Speaker 0 00:43:01 He's like, no, what do you want? And I'm a kind of, I bed stunned, you know, I'm with him, I'm with my friend and, and uh, I'm like, I'm doping. I'm trying to order a drink. And he's just like, not letting me. And so I'm just like, I don't know. I don't want something sweet. You know, I don't want something sweet. And he kind of does this like slow three 60 degree kind of swivel where he slowly turns behind them stairs at this gigantic wall, full of glass bottles, tinctures, potions, all these colorful liquids. Then swivels back to me, stares me right in the eye. And with like this slower sort of tongue and cheek, but like this ferocious intensity, he's like, does it look like a fucking sweet place to you? And I'm taking a back. I mean, this guy is swearing at me. Speaker 0 00:43:48 I mean, I'm just, I'm trying to get a drink. You know what I mean? I'm like, I don't, I don't know how to, what are you, what are you telling me, sir? I'm like, tell me what. I just want to drink. How do I get a drink? He's like, you tell me what you want. And I was like, well, I don't know what you have. He's like, tell me what you want. There's no such thing as a sweet drink. Every single drink in this whole menu is, is balanced. It's this way is that way, you know, it's it's, it's not just like, you can't just say not sweet. You have to tell me what you want, what you feel like, what you want, what kind of night you want to have, Speaker 3 00:44:14 How did that story? And cause clearly you're not necessarily loving that experience. And then you tell him, all right, I'm thinking about these traits. So how did this story? Yeah, he likes, swore at me. He was like, he was like, you know, I, I finally like, you know, gave in to this idea that this guy like, wanted to force me to like order by, I guess, adjective. Like he wanted me to order by mood. Like I didn't, I don't know how to use your menu, sir. Like, I don't know how to order here. And he's like, tell me what you want. So I was like, okay, man, I just like threw it down. I was like, okay. Um, I want something that makes me feel optimistic. I want it to be refreshed. I want to have energy. I want to have that little pet. And I like went on this little rant about how I want to feel. Speaker 3 00:44:51 And he said, that's what no one fucking does and what everyone should do. And he like swore at me and I was like, Whoa. But he then proceeded to create a drink that I am not joking. And people don't believe me when I say this actually literally tasted like every adjective I had just articulated. Yeah. Again, the reason I wanted to play this was, it sounds so off-putting like, we talked about, make them feel welcome and warm and human. And we have all these like uplifting things we've talked about today. And, and this guy did the opposite of all that. And you loved him so much that you invited me to that place immediately. When I said I was going to be, there you go there a lot. I'm assuming you invited him onto your show. So now you're publicly associated with the guy. So clearly there's not just one way to build rapport. Speaker 3 00:45:37 Like what is it about that challenger style that you kind of respect it? Well, first of all, him and I have talked about this a number of times since he insists that he wasn't as strong as I make it out to be. But when I tell to other people, they're like, yeah, that, that kind of thing, that could be him. Um, and he says to me, a couple of things, one he's, I would not have challenged you if it didn't seem to me that you wanted to be challenged part of what they're doing, a bar Val and why this bar is so successful is that they are curating an experience for you. If you come in with a bunch of people and you want to have a loud night with no interruption, the waiter will be, or the server will be extremely like demure. And like, you know, you really won't see them if you're like coming solo instead of the bar. Speaker 3 00:46:12 And you're like, see them all ants, and you're trying to work something through, they'll chat you up and like, get it out of you. Like they, they curate and experience. And so he was curating for me, an experience I wanted, which was he could sense in me that I wanted to go. I wanted to be challenged. And I like being mentally punched in the face. Like I say that a lot, but I like, I like when someone says to me, Neil, you're thinking about this all the wrong way. Here's exactly how you should be thinking about, and they lay it out there in a thoughtful and intelligent way. I love that Jay, because unfortunately, and you know, this one thing that happens is you have even like a motor come if I'm saying that word correctly. And I don't know if I'm right. I am even a tiny amount of success is suddenly your living. Speaker 3 00:46:49 You are living in an echo chamber where such a vastly, like I went through elementary school where 50% of the feedback I got was positive. 50% was negative. I lived at home were 50% positive versus negative. And suddenly after my blog got popular, my bucket up, I'm like living in a world where 99.9% of the feedback is positive. And so if I don't source out and create and try to find challenging people to challenge me strongly, then I won't get that. And I won't grow and improve like from feedback. So whenever someone really steps to me and like, really like, as I call it intellectually punches me in the face, like really really says, you're doing this all wrong. I love that you had this initial stab. This is your first and it's come along so nicely and you have such joy when you do it. Speaker 3 00:47:32 I can tell, I certainly love listening to it. I hope it continues to help you with your creative endeavors, your fulfillment, moving books and speeches, whatever goals you have for it. But I'm along the idea of improvement. What's one thing that you wish you could go back in time and tell yourself when you started. And what's one thing that looking forward you want to try to get better at well, you know, you and I both have all talked a lot that it's important to pitch your, or attach yourself to one word. So like my website's called 1000 on some things. My book, my first book is called the book of awesome. My new book is called. You are awesome. Right? It's all about resilience, but here I have a podcast that has no mention of that word. And so I just think it's harder for people to know that it's me or associated with me and that's fine, but I think it would have been easier to gain footing and to gain fans. Speaker 3 00:48:19 If people were like, when they're scrolling through whatever it is, Stitcher or whatever, they're looking through to be like, Oh, it's that guy. So the world is just too busy and too loud and too frenetic to not be anything. But, you know, you're simple and most two dimensional and brand itself, unfortunately. And the opposite of that is that that flattens you as a person and it not to humanize you, but it makes you overly simple. So I wanted to be something different at the same time I wrestled with that because I just know if I called it like awesome podcast or the awesome books, like I would have had way better. I had the logo and it just, I didn't know, I could have launched a way easier. I've put myself through a lot of hard work and maybe it would be way bigger if I had just used like the brand that I'm already known for. Speaker 3 00:48:59 If you look at your performance as a host, what's something that if you just made one simple thing, you'd be a little bit happier with your performance over the next 20 plus episodes. Almost everything J comes down for me to preparation. Um, so, uh, instead of putting 40 hours in to prepare for a conversation, I wish I put 50, or I wish I put 60 because I'll stumble upon something and I'll be like, I wonder if they're thinking this or they already know this and I won't know the answer. And so I just read Howard Stern's book. Um, Howard stern comes again, which I highly recommend. It's essentially just a summary of his two dozen best interview transcripts in the last 40 years. That's all the book is. And it's fascinating to read because you also hear how you prepare us for it when he puts like 40 hours at work and, and keeps things on his bedside table. Speaker 3 00:49:42 And I do the same thing. So before every podcast I do, I spend an essentially an entire day wandering around on untethered, thinking about the person, having read all their stuff, their three books. I think about what I could ask them or where the conversation could go. I try to vision where I could take it. So I'm putting a lot of time in, but if I could do more, that'd be a lot better. If I had a research team, if I had a research assistant, if I had like, you know, I have, I had a Howard stern, like industrial complex, where like people could be feeding me, like I'm, I'm putting myself through the meat grinder of preparation for myself, but I, I wish I was way better prepared before the interviews. Neil, I think you're, you're driven. You're generous. You're creative. You think differently about this stuff. Speaker 3 00:50:21 And it's, it's a pleasure to not only understand your show better, but to also know that you're out there in this small, but community of people running, these shows that, uh, it's good to know that you're, you're trying to pave new paths. So thanks for doing this. You created this, uh, this show. Wouldn't be what it is without you. You have consulted on it with me. You have, I've run it by you for like the years leading up to it. And you are the master when it comes to creating beautiful art. So thank you for all your wisdom and for helping me Speaker 2 00:50:47 Create this, this podcast. I so appreciate it. And I'm happy that my $20 Speaker 5 00:50:51 Bribe for you to say at the very end work. So thanks for <inaudible> Speaker 1 00:51:00 That's Neil pest rechat author of the book of awesome, the happiness equation. And you are awesome. This episode was produced by Jay Canzo himself. Our theme music is by cardboard Rocketship. Three clips is a cast dose original production Castillo's provides tools for podcasters to grow your audience and connect with your community. Learn more@castos.com. And if you're thirsting for some fresh Jay content, you can find him on Twitter, new baby, not withstanding@jaconsoleorgotojlkenzo.com and sign up for the newsletter. Thanks for sticking with three clips.

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