Episode 451 – Dave Skuodas

Dave is an Engineer & Visual Storyteller

Dave Skuodas, Watershed Manager at Mile High Flood District, talks about how he discovered his passion for photography & videography, applying these skills to his presentations in the office, and what he feels is needed for a good work culture!

Episode Highlights

• Getting into photography and videography
• TV commercial parody in a work presentation
• His favorite videography projects
• Applying his visual storytelling skills in the office
• Having a good culture at work

 

 

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Dave’s Pictures

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A construction inspector at the Albert Frei rock quarry in Idaho Springs, Colorado

Image of Dave’s book cover (audible version)

Panorama drone photo of the South Platte River at sunrise in Littleton, Colorado

An Egret at sunrise near Little Dry Creek in Westminster, Colorado

A pedestrian bridge across Clear Cree at sunrise in Wheat Ridge, Colorado

 

Dave’s Links

Transcript

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    Welcome to Episode 451 of What’s Your “And”? This is John Garrett, and each Wednesday, I interview a professional who, just like me, is known for a hobby or a passion or an interest outside of work. To put it in another way, it’s encouraging people to find their “and”, those things above and beyond your technical skills, the things that actually differentiate you when you’re at work.

    If you like what the show is about, be sure to check out the book. It’s on Amazon, Indigo, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop, a few other websites. All the links are at whatsyourand.com. The book goes more in depth with the research behind why these outside-of-work passions are so crucial to your corporate culture. I can’t say how much it means that everyone’s reading it and writing such nice reviews on Amazon and more importantly, changing the workplace cultures where they work because of it. If you want me to read it to you, that’s right, this voice reading the book, look for What’s Your “And?” on Audible or wherever you get your audio books.

    Please don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast, so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week, and this week is no different with my guest, Dave Skuodas. He’s a watershed manager at Mile High Flood District, and now he’s with me here today. Dave, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Dave: Thank you for having me, John. It’s wonderful to be here. I enjoyed your keynote at our conference a couple of weeks ago, and I just, I’m like, I’ve got to talk to this guy a little more. He seems like a lot of fun.

    John: Well, thank you, man. Ditto. Yeah, CASFM, that was so much fun. Engineers, I wanted to grow up and be you guys, and then I got a D in Physics, and it was over.

    Dave: Wa-wa-wa. Well, it turns out we are more fun than people give us credit for. I know you started as an accountant, so I’m sure that was just like —

    John: Oh, yeah.

    Dave: Yes, we are more awesome than people give us credit for.

    John: Well, and that’s the thing, is that’s what the whole what’s your “and” is. It’s this whole other side that you unlock from people, and it’s like, man, this is freaking cool. That’s why I’m excited, and yours is going to be no different. I do have some rapid-fire questions, get to know Dave out of the gate here. I’ll start you out with, how about a favorite day of the week?

    Dave: Oh, I’ve got to go with Saturday which is, that’s sort of cheating a little bit, but I have an eight-year-old daughter, and I have a ten-month-old puppy. They just kind of pile on my wife and I on Saturday mornings, and it’s just glorious. We don’t have the stress of trying to get everybody out the door, so I love Saturday morning.

    John: Just chill and have a slow morning, and that’s perfect.

    Dave: Yeah.

    John: So nice. So nice. How about when it comes to puzzles, Sudoku, crossword or jigsaw puzzle?

    Dave: Hmm, I would say Sudoku because it sounds and is spelled really close to my last name, but I’ve never gotten into those.

    John: It’s all the letters, just jumbled.

    Dave: Yeah. Right, right, right. You just mix up those letters, and it’s pretty much my last name. No. I’ve got to go with the crossword because I like the mental challenge. It’s almost like Trivial Pursuit in a way, so I enjoy that.

    John: Definitely, because there’s a next level to it of, what’s the answer, and then how do I spell it?

    Dave: Right. Right. You’ve got to think with different parts of your brain and then you end up asking somebody for help. You have a group thing which is hard to do with Sudoku.

    John: Flip to the back of the airline magazine. Oh, that’s how you spell it. Okay.

    Dave: That’s right. That’s right.

    John: That’s awesome. How about a favorite color?

    Dave: Well, I grew up right outside of Lincoln, Nebraska, so I’ve got to go with Husker red. That just stuck with me. It’s tough to be a Husker fan these days, but I’m still going to go with red.

    John: Yeah, and everything there is red. Casual Fridays are wear your Husker, especially in the fall. It might as well be a fan day.

    Dave: Exactly. I’ve got to tell you, I was a teenager in the ‘90s.

    John: Oh, wow. Yes.

    Dave: The Huskers were just dominant through my teenage years. Then in ‘96, I went to school at University of Florida. They won a championship.

    John: It’s you. You’re the good luck charm.

    Dave: Well, apparently, I was. I don’t know what I was doing back then. I need to re-find the magic because it is gone, baby.

    John: Right. It’s gone. That’s funny. How about least favorite color?

    Dave: Well, I don’t want to be gross, but I had a really rough night last night. It’s because my ten-month-old puppy had, I don’t know what she ate yesterday, but it didn’t go well last night. We had little digestive reckonings that we had to deal with, so I’ve got to say my least favorite color right now is brown. I will stop with that.

    John: Brown is by far, the least popular color that I’m getting on here. It’s pretty universal on that, for sure. Oh, this is a fun one. How about socks or shoes?

    Dave: Oh, I have to choose? Well, I have to go with socks because, oddly, when I work from home, there’s a vent right near where my desk sits, and it blows cold air on my feet. I just find that I’ll try to go barefoot, and I’ve got to go with the socks. I love the socks. Shoes just squish your feet in there anyway, so, socks.

    John: Yeah, socks are comfortable. You don’t even know you’re wearing them, half the time. Yeah, exactly. There you go. How about a favorite actor or actress?

    Dave: I’ve got to go with Oscar Isaac. Maybe it’s because he’s got the dark features like I do, but I think it’s probably more so that he is really multi-talented. He can sing, and he can play guitar. Then he got to be the hotshot X-wing pilot in Star Wars. I mean, sign me up. Yeah, definitely Oscar Isaac.

    John: There you go. How about chocolate or vanilla?

    Dave: Chocolate all the way. Chocolate all the way but mix in a little coffee flavor or peanut butter, and we are set.

    John: Okay, a little extra zing. There you go. I think I know this one, Star Wars or Star Trek.

    Dave: Got to go with Star Wars. I was five years old when Return of the Jedi came out, and I think my mom was obsessed with it. She took me to see it in the theater, about ten or 15 times, so it’s kind of imprinted into my DNA.

    John: Right, the full script. How about your computer, more of a PC or a Mac?

    Dave: PC, just out of necessity, so I can actually interact with my coworkers. Yeah, that’s just a default. I could go rogue and try to say, no, I’m going to do a Mac. I don’t care what you guys say. Then something wouldn’t work, and it would be my fault.

    John: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. How about favorite ice cream flavor?

    Dave: Yeah, going back to the chocolate, chocolate with — actually, no, I’ve got to go coffee chocolate chip.

    John: Oh, chocolate chip. Okay.

    Dave: Got to inverse the proportions there.

    John: Yeah, coffee is the first word there. That’s good. Yeah, yeah. How about a favorite Disney character? There’s a billion now, I think.

    Dave: Yeah, I could go with Marvel or Star Wars, but I’m going to say Dory just because the way they wrote her character with how forgetful she was and then Ellen DeGeneres’ voice, it was just so incredibly clever. I’ve got to go with Dory. She just cracks me up.

    John: No, that totally works. How about are you more talk or text?

    Dave: It’s got to be text. Talking on the phone, for some reason, it’s just exhausting. I don’t know why. Text, it makes people be concise because you can only go so fast with your thumb, so it makes people be to the point.

    John: To the point. Yeah, yeah. Okay. How about your first concert?

    Dave: It was Stone Temple Pilots.

    John: Nice.

    Dave: Teenager in the ‘90s, yeah, I think it was their Vaseline or their Purple album with the song Vaseline. Oh, yeah.

    John: No, they were so good, man. That’s awesome. I wasn’t sure. Maybe that or 311, being a Nebraska guy.

    Dave: They were in there pretty early but, yeah, totally the Pilots.

    John: They probably opened for them.

    Dave: Yeah.

    John: How about — we’ve got four more — how about a favorite number?

    Dave: I’m going to go with 32. It is because, two things. Magic Johnson was my childhood idol, and that was his number. It also was my wife’s basketball number. We play roulette, we always play 32. That’s the one.

    John: There you go. There you go. How about when it comes to books, audio version, e-book or real book?

    Dave: These days, I’ve got to go e-book because I like to highlight things and then cut and paste and make my own sort of CliffsNotes, which is harder to do with the physical book. I’m driving less now, so it’s harder to find time to listen to the audio books.

    John: Right, right. Yeah, it is hard to cut and paste from a real book. You’re like, just cut it out. What is going on?

    Dave: It’s more literal. Yeah.

    John: That’s funny. All right, since you’ve got the engineer, and I played one for a semester in college, bridges or skyscrapers, going sideways or vertical. I don’t know.

    Dave: Well, I’ve got to go with bridges because you need those to pass the water, and that’s my line of work. I’m going to have to go with bridges.

    John: I figured so, but you never know. You never know. The last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own.

    Dave: I’ve got to go with my drone. That thing brings me joy. It brings me joy.

    John: Right, which leads perfectly right into your “and”, photography, videography. How did you get started with that? Is it something you were doing as a kid, or did you get into it later?

    Dave: No, it happened organically, and it’s because the kind of work I do. It really overlapped with my work in a happy way, but it developed organically. Because when I first started my job that I’m in right now, it was 2010, and I started with this crappy old Blackberry. Eventually, when I migrated to an iPhone, I found that these stream restoration and flood control projects that I find myself on, they happened to be pretty photogenic because I’m out in nature. When we do our job really well, we get to build infrastructure that looks like nature, and it’s fun to photograph.

    I started developing this library of really great iPhone photos, and I started using them in presentations. I created a really good library, and then other people started using them. They really liked my stuff, and it grew from there. Eventually, when we had our daughter, the first few years, we would pay photographers to do her yearly portraits. That’s not cheap, right? By the time she was five, I asked my wife, I was like, you know, honey, I think I can do this. Instead of paying a photographer, could we instead use the money that I could buy like a decent DSLR? She’s like, sure.

    John: There you go.

    Dave: Then the photography started getting a little more sophisticated and all of that, and it just grew from there. I really just enjoyed photographing the work that we do, and it’s been neat to see people really start to relate me as being a good photographer and having a great library of stuff. People just —

    John: That’s awesome.

    Dave: — started using it. Yeah.

    John: It’s so encouraging too, that it’s like, oh, it’s good. People enjoy it. It doesn’t have to be hanging in a museum, but it’s like, yeah, alright. You did it because you enjoyed it. The accidental byproduct is, oh, wow, people like it. Cool. That encourages me more.

    Dave: Right, and it turns out, we need to show off our work sometimes, whether it’s an annual report or presentations or talking to our Board, and so people just started mining my library for stuff. That’s been really cool.

    John: Yeah. Then you took it to a next level because I’ve seen on LinkedIn, some of your videos of some of the watershed projects that you’ve done. The drone is just like, this is awesome. This is so great.

    Dave: Yeah. Well, the videography, that, I will say it started, I was at a conference several years back. There was another guy who works at the City of Denver, and they had bought a drone. They were flying it for different purposes, work-related purposes, and then the guy was giving a presentation about the ways they were finding this really useful. The videography part was, when he gave his presentation, he did this send up of combining footage of their drone and interspersing it with the helicopter raid scene from Apocalypse Now where it’s like the Ride of the Valkyries. It was hilarious.

    I was in the audience, and it was almost like I was given permission. I was like, I didn’t know we could do videos with our presentations. That was amazing. I want to do that. How do I do that? I present very regularly. I had this talk where I was going to talk about this thing called roughness value which is how much stuff is in the way of the water that wants to flow along a river, and there’s this coefficient called roughness. I was going to talk about that. I decided to, at the end of it, do a spoof of my own talk but in the style of those direct TV commercials. When your cable company keeps you on hold, you get angry. Eventually, it just gets worse and worse. There’s this one where the guy ends up in a roadside ditch, and it’s like, don’t end up in a roadside ditch.

    John: Yeah. Oh, totally. Yeah, for something so simple and mundane, and all of a sudden, you’re going to be in a ditch. You did a spoof of that.

    Dave: Yeah. Well, I was doing a spoof of it, but it was just with still photos on my PowerPoint. I showed my boss, and it stopped just short of the roadside ditch thing. She thought it was really funny. At the end, she goes, I thought you were going to end up in the roadside ditch.

    John: Yes.

    Dave: I looked at her. I was like, I should end up in the roadside ditch.

    John: Right?

    Dave: Yeah. Then I got some coworkers to basically recreate that TV commercial, which basically means they had to chase me like a group of bandits, and I had to end up in a roadside ditch.

    John: That’s so good. It’s so engaging, and it’s fun to do. People want to watch that stuff.

    Dave: Right. Then I did this at the conference, and people just found it hilarious. The downside was, in subsequent years of that same conference, they were expecting me to do this again. I had to do sequels.

    John: That’d be great. One year, you actually start in the ditch, and then it’s like, let’s pick up where we left off, type of thing.

    Dave: That’s great. I should do that. I should do that. Whatever happened to Dave in the ditch? Where did he end up?

    John: He’s still there from four years ago? You’ve got this giant Santa beard.

    Dave: Yeah, that’s great.

    John: Thanks for coming, everybody.

    Dave: There’s a pandemic? What happened?

    John: Right. I’ve been in this ditch. It’s cool to see that you’re using the photography for other things as well, not just the work, which is cool, too.

    Dave: Yeah, yeah. Some of those things, once I think of something funny like that, I have a hard time resisting bringing it into the world. Maybe becoming known for the video, the funny video guy, I don’t want to be the clown of the industry, but it’s given me some recognition, that’s for sure.

    John: Yeah. It’s not a bad thing. At least you’re known as something. You do know what you’re doing, and you’re good at what you do, so why not spruce it up a little bit. Do you have something that you’ve shot, whether it’s photography or videography, whether it’s work-related or not, that’s been some of your more favorite things, besides the ditch video?

    Dave: Yeah, the ditch video.

    John: Awesome. I love it. Well, I’d have to say my piece de resistance with the videography at least, was there was this one year when we were renovating the office. We were going to have to get out, half at a time, and go to this temporary office down the hall. They were going to renovate half and then move that half back and then move the other half into the temporary space and did this sort of thing. In the first half of people they moved out, they found asbestos, and so they decided all of a sudden, everybody has to get out.

    John: Oh, my goodness, yeah.

    Dave: This is like a 50-person office, and we all just have to, within a week, move out. Well, they didn’t have space in the temporary office down the hall, so the other half of us had to go in the basement next to a loading dock and next to the men’s restroom. I had to document this experience. You’d end up with this big disparity in experience with the people upstairs who had windows, and the rest of us are downstairs.

    John: The Help type of thing or like a Downton Abbey sort of thing.

    Dave: Yeah, there are eight of us in a room together. It’s just weird. I just went around and filmed everybody, asking them how this was. Eventually, I had such great material that I added a little bit of scripted material that I got some people, even the head dude, the executive director, he was on board.

    John: That’s great.

    Dave: I scripted a little bit to turn it into a five-minute episode of The Office.

    John: Yes, yes.

    Dave: That was my piece de resistance, and I just haven’t been able to top it since.

    John: Yeah, that’s super awesome. It’s fun, and it’s bringing your passion for this, to work, so then that makes work more enjoyable. Work’s fine, but sometimes work’s not. To bring this enthusiasm that I have for photography and videography, to work, then, man, work is awesome now. This is so much fun. That sounds great.

    Dave: Yeah. I made a little time capsule too. We can look back at it and like, remember when we were down by the loading dock? Then we can play the video.

    John: We all thought we were getting fired. They were just stepping us out, one step at a time. Just, well, since you’re here, might as well just go. We’re just keeping this top office.

    Dave: One of the funniest things with that is when we have new staff that didn’t go through that experience and doesn’t know about that video, and then they may come across it at some point, they’re like, what is this?

    John: That’s great.

    Dave: Yeah, we had this funny experience. Yeah. Anyway.

    John: There was a time when things were weird. Things are weird now, but they were less weird then. No, that’s really cool. Was there ever a time when you thought, should I share this, or are people going to care? I guess it was veiled in the work-related pictures and videos, so you were able to easily bring it in. Was there ever a part where you’re like, are people going to care?

    Dave: I think it’s more so, are people going to be bothered that I’m commingling work and fun a little bit? Because you’ll get some people who are fuddy-duddies about stuff, and maybe it’s that they just don’t want to be on camera. That’s okay. Some people are just like that. I did have a person, one time, say, “Oh, are you spending taxpayer dollars on that stuff?” I’m like, well, I don’t sit at my desk during work and edit or anything, but occasionally I might film something during the day. I was just like, man, that’s a buzzkill type of thought.

    John: Right. Because now you’re doing it. Yeah. We’re getting the work done.

    Dave: Yeah. We’re human beings, and we’re allowed to bring some joy and fun into the day. It’s not like we’re robots sitting there, chained to our desks.

    John: Right. I love that you said that it’s like commingling work and fun, as if work should be completely separate from fun. It’s like, no, no, they should totally, why not? You’re at work, more waking hours than your family.

    Dave: Exactly.

    John: Why would I not enjoy it? It doesn’t have to be punishment. Why shouldn’t you enjoy it? Be productive, be good at what you do, but some joy goes a long way. Kudos to you, I’m just saying. Those grumpy Muppet old guys in the balcony. I had a guy once told me, and it’s probably because I called him out for being wrong on something pretty severe, but his clap back to me was, well, why don’t you just go do comedy? That’s all you want to do anyway. Whoa, whoa. What I do after I leave, that doesn’t make me bad at my, like, wait, what? I was like, you’re just angry right now that I totally called you out.

    Dave: That says more about you than me, buddy, that you would go there.

    John: No, it totally does. It totally does. It’s cool to hear that your manager’s like, let’s kick this up a notch, have you in the ditch. People are embracing this. How much do you feel like it’s on the organization to create that space for people to share their “ands” and shine a light on it? Or how much is it on the individual, maybe like you, to just not ask permission, but just go do it and start a little small circle amongst themselves?

    Dave: Yeah, I think there’s a balance. If you want to have a good culture, you have to allow for the sources of joy and fun to come from different places, as long as there’s balance with people getting their work done. For me, what this has evolved to, I didn’t just start there. It grew into this tree that’s there now. Now, people actually come to me to help. When we need to do videos for work, official things that aren’t just like me doing funny stuff, they loop me in, and I help do that. That’s definitely not my job description. I didn’t start there. I had to feel my way through and then show my wares, if you will, and build my skills in this “and” because I was building that in a way that really overlapped with work quite a bit. It’s been fun. It’s been fun.

    John: Outside of work, too. Yeah, that’s the hard part, is you see the Steven Spielberg ET. You don’t see his student films. You were growing in that and, and I love that, how there’s expertise beyond your Engineering degree that you’re able to now bring to the office that other people might have the same degree you have, and certifications, but they don’t have this expertise. They have expertise that you don’t have. It’s like, we should be able to share that. It makes you better at your job. That’s super cool to hear that I’m not just like a crazy person living in a bubble. It’s like, no, no, for real, people have expertise from these “ands”.

    Dave: You’re not crazy, John. I hope that makes you feel better.

    John: Right, right. Says the other crazy guy. No, I’m just teasing. That’s so perfect, and I love it. Do you have any words of encouragement to anyone listening that maybe feels like, I’ve got this outside-of-work passion, but no one’s going to care, it has nothing to do with my job?

    Dave: Well, I think I learned a lot along these lines from my daughter who’s in elementary school. You walk through any elementary school, and everybody is an artist, right? I think somewhere, as we become adults, we lose that. For some people, their art as cooking. My art when I was, I’m in my 40s now, but when I was younger, my artistic expression was more about athletics. I was a big basketball player. That was before I got into these other things. I think it’s healthy for everybody to have some form of expression that they find. I think it’s a healthy, well-rounded thing to access different parts of your brain, and I encourage everybody to find what that is for them. Whether that bleeds into their workplace in a really direct way, like me, or not is irrelevant. I think it’s just the healthy thing, to have a creative outlet.

    John: Exactly. It doesn’t have to be direct, like you said. You could just talk about it indirectly.

    Dave: Yeah.

    John: Yeah. I’m not up, telling jokes in front of everybody. Here, here’s my new bit. No. It’s just people ask about what you do, and that’s a cool thing. That’s awesome, man. It’s baby steps for a lot of people and then see where it goes. Well, this has been so much fun, Dave. I feel like, since I rudely peppered you with questions at the beginning, that I should turn the tables and make this the Dave Skuodas podcast. I’m all yours. Whatever you got, man, fire away. I’m all yours.

    Dave: Yeah, it’s just what I’ve always wanted. This is great. I have done some keynote-speaking, and I’ve done some emceeing. I know that you get to do that. You get paid to do that, and I admire that so much. How did you get to where people will give you money to do that?

    John: Well, it started with, and even crazier, people gave me money to do comedy, to make them laugh. Yeah, that’s really how I got started. That was my “and” when I worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Even in industry and the corporate jobs that I had, I was doing stand-up at night, similar to you, building that skill set. Then in May of 2005, that was my best deal day, my, I’m out. Who’s with me? No one. No one. Just me. Okay, cool. It was kind of a perfect storm but, yeah, gave it a go. I just learned the stage presence and all that from doing stand-up over 2,000 times, onstage. That’s definitely just a lot of reps.

    I think, for regular people that aren’t as sick and twisted as I am and want to make life hard, a good way would be just to practice getting up in front of a small team meeting. Toastmasters is okay for if you’re nervous in front of people. I don’t personally like the toastmasters’ structure of things. I like it to be a little more organic and fluid as opposed to, it was a dark and stormy night. It’s like, whoa, hold on. I need to hear words from your face for a minute, so I can calibrate what’s happening before the train takes off.

    The National Speakers Association is a great way, if you’re good at speaking, to make it a business. That’s a great way to meet some others that are doing the same thing. Then you start small with breakout sessions at conferences in your industry. What do I have to offer? What do I have to say that’s unique? That’s the difference between the breakout session speaker. That’s something that maybe people can Google, or it’s a little bit, oh, okay. It’s not really mind-changing. It’s more of like, okay, cool, I learned something.

    The keynote is something that you can’t really Google. That’s when it becomes, setting the tone for the whole day or for the whole conference, and something that’s a little more unique, a little more of your own IP, a little more of your own flavor. You take that experience, but then you take this to another level. Where the audience also wants to go, is also a big thing because it’s, how does it apply to them, and you can do it too, type of thing.

    Dave: You have to have a shtick, but then it has to be broad enough to apply to different types of audiences?

    John: Or specific enough to apply really deeply within the engineering community. It’s like, in this day and age, you don’t need to be famous. You just need 100 raving fans and then you’re famous. There are tons of people that have never heard of Brian Regan, and he’s an amazing stand-up comedian. Then there are people that will travel to go see him do shows. It’s really just, what can I offer from my experience that will help other people shorten their route? Here’s a shortcut to make your life better, type of a thing. I don’t know if that helped you at all or if that — in a typical keynote fashion, I took as much time as possible to answer.

    Dave: Well, I’ve seen Brian Regan in person, and he’s amazing. His Me Monster bit is just one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

    John: Oh, yeah. Oh, so many, so many. He’s also a really, really nice guy, which is awesome.

    Dave: Well, that’s great. That’s great. What, with having a career like you’ve developed for yourself where you get to be paid to do keynotes and doing emceeing, I don’t know if you still do comedy or not, but what’s the downside to it that people might be surprised? Because I’m sure it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. There’s got to be something that isn’t awesome about it.

    John: Well, yeah, I don’t do the comedy clubs anymore. What’s not awesome about it is when 2020 happens, and then we have to go virtual. You’re doing a virtual keynote or something, and then it’s over. The screen just goes black. You’re like, I don’t know, was that good? I don’t know. How was that? I’m not sure. The chat was blowing up, so I think so. In-person is so much better because then you can deviate a little bit because you can feel off the crowd, because you’ve done it enough to know what’s going well, what’s not. Afterwards, you can talk to people, and you can see their reactions. You can know how it landed or what have you. That’s probably the hardest part.

    Also too, it’s having to get 30 jobs. Imagine trying to get a new job and how not easy that is. You have to get one every two weeks or whatever. It’s just a lot of rejection. It’s just a lot of rejection. It’s a lot of people don’t email you back. It’s a lot of no. It’s like, all right. You really have to separate you as a person from you as a keynote speaker. They’re saying no to the keynote speaker or no to the message this year, but maybe it’ll play next year or the year after or the year after that. That’s the hard part is not taking it personally, but having done stand-up so long, I don’t care anymore.

    Dave: Your skin is like inches thick. Oh, whatever.

    John: Yeah. It’s hollow on the inside. It’s like, oh, okay.

    Dave: I have experienced far worse than —

    John: Exactly.

    Dave: Email version of no. Yeah. I can relate to the virtual world is much less satisfying as a speaker because one of the benefits of doing something funny in a presentation is you get to hear people laugh. Otherwise, you can have great stuff, and people are nodding. It’s really connecting, but you don’t get any of that energy back as the speaker. I definitely miss that because you almost feel like a radio DJ sometimes, just talking into the blackness.

    John: I don’t even know if anyone’s listening. Or when you watch a Netflix special or an Amazon comedy special, you don’t laugh out loud as much as you would if you were in the audience, in person, because you’re removed. We’ve got the screen, and it’s like, oh. It’s not a shared experience, and that’s really what I thrive off of and what I help create for groups. Virtually, I think I do a pretty good job at creating that, like I did for CASFM, but it’s just different. Yeah, so that’s definitely not fun, but sometimes you’ve got to do stuff that.

    Dave: You’ve got to pay the bills.

    John: Right, exactly. That’s the other part, when it’s fun to do but then when it becomes your job, then it becomes not maybe as — you’d still have to have another “and” then to fill that.

    Dave: Yeah. Some work is work.

    John: Yeah, exactly. Well, thanks so much, Dave, for being a part of What’s Your “And”? This has been so much fun. I can’t wait to see more of your videos that you put out there.

    Dave: Appreciate it, John. It’s been fun. Thanks for having me.

    John: Everybody, if you want to see some of those pictures or videos that Dave puts out, or maybe connect with him on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. Everything’s there. While you’re on the page, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture, and don’t forget to read the book.

    Thanks again for subscribing on iTunes or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread, that who you are is so much more than what you do.


		

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