Transcript for "Fellowship - with Howard M"

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00:00.00
Craig
Hello I’m Craig Constantine welcome this is the podcaster community show short conversations that are not just about podcasting because I like to take the scenic route as I’ve said many times now. My guest today is Howard M welcome Howard how are you this morning.

00:15.21
Howard
Thanks Craig. Ah, it’s good to see you. It’s good to to hear from you again doing doing okay this morning.

00:23.20
Craig
Terrific. Yeah I was just thinking last time you are one of the few podcasters that I know who I have actually seen in real life. You um, went to I guess it wasn’t a lot of trouble but you went to the trouble of driving from where you live to where I live. On a beautiful day when I guess it was a nice day for a ride and we had lunch at my favorite little cafe I was like this is awesome more of this please? um today and it was a delightful surprise to see you appear in my calendar I think the thing that I want to ask about or start with today has to do with a great phrase from.

00:39.50
Howard
Um, this is.

00:58.70
Craig
I heard from your most recent episode about like None at a time so one day at a time if you’re moving move one box at a time unpack one box at a time like so simple, you know one start with a step. Um, there’s a great I think it’s a chinese proverb or from Lao Tzu about if there’s some place you need to be. You need to start walking is a great proverb and I I want to ask. It’s been November December January February March but may June July like six months between episodes if I remember correctly if I’m getting it right? What made you feel like you know now.

01:18.85
Howard
Yeah.

01:36.85
Craig
Is the time to put out this most recent episode like what made you feel like the work that you knew you would have to get through what made you feel like that work was yeah no I’m I’m actually going to do this. This is worth that I want to put this episode out now.

01:48.79
Howard
Ah, well I should probably provide a little background in the sense. You know when I’m looking for a guest. Um, you know my my curation is pretty specific. You know of who i. You know the people I want on my show and the and the audience. what what I want them. They want to provide to them and so ah as you know and I’ll mention the show is called seasons of sobriety and so the the main crux of it is to talk to people who have you know. Long-term sobriety probably you know 10 years or more and and kind of tease out like how how how are things you know, still progressing along because drinking has stopped and well you know we actually have a living problem so to find someone you know with 30 or 40 years it’s not quite like. Like ah, a unicorn but it’s not easy. They’re not everywhere you know and so I wanted to find somebody with a lot of time so it takes takes a little time to find that especially with meetings being a little still a little restricted um people not not getting there in person and so. Ah, because the interview was a little while back I want to say maybe in April um, and then shortly after I was looking at it to do the editing I realized that I had recorded ah I have a little device ah records both channels. Ah, both the guest and the and then the host and I realized I wasn’t recorded I had muted myself somehow and and I realized oh this is going to be awful to post produce. Okay, um so I just I yeah. I teach high school so I was like okay, just wait till the summer and and so that that kind of what happens like when I have time because I just when I do the editing um you know and there’s there’s people listening to that have done this you I’m I am an a 100% amateur at this. Okay, um.

03:53.90
Craig
Are.

03:57.53
Howard
And I have some friends in the sound business know some are professional musicians. Ah, None guy started his own company called sound designs which people probably have used their high-end equipment and so he helps he he has lent me some equipment and helped me with sound and and the reason I’m bringing them up is because the guy from sound designs who you know has worked with. Sure microphones senheiser I mean all these people right? that wheel all like what microphone should I get and of course he’s like you’re an amateur what difference does it make you know don’t spend a lot of money but don’t get the cheapest thing out there. He said when he listened to my podcast. He loved the content and which wasn’t for him. He wasn’t my audience. He said oh this doesn’t necessarily to just.

04:17.52
Craig
Right. Um, right.

04:36.65
Howard
People who quit drinking thislies to everybody. Oh thank you and I said well how about the audio. How about the product he said he said you this is a fantastic audio presentation for an amateur as a God he says if if you did this professionally I would say yeah you got to work on some things but you don’t so.

04:48.31
Craig
Um, ah.

04:55.57
Howard
When he said and from a guy who I really you know, respect Them. He’s in the industry like so anyway, kind of getting back to the production piece and and I did agonize over this episode as I was producing it ah and then you know it it just just put it out there because. You know the point of my podcast is somebody should get some help somebody should get you know identify with a story in some way that helps them to say Wow that that happened to me too or Wow. I I didn’t know you could recover from this I Thought you just had to live with this level of misery for the rest of your life and just not drink over it. So um, it It really is just one of those things where someone’s going to get some help just put it out. There.

05:39.90
Craig
Um I think your present like presentation or the way that you think about an express who your podcast is for um I Want to say that it’s like beautiful I don’t want to say that’s rare because there are people myself excluded. People have really clear ideas of who their show is for and what they’re trying to Accomplish. Um and I from conversations that I’ve had with you and from what I hear in your episodes.

05:58.11
Howard
Are.

06:06.65
Craig
That is like I know it’s not literally nailed to your wall because I can see the wall but it feels like you have it like nailed to the wall or it’s tattooed on the inside of your eyelids that you have this clear guide to what you’re doing um and that seems like a really intelligent thing to do I’m. What I’m wondering is if there’s ah, do you remember? um, not having that or was that you had that idea of like oh I need to create you know this something this audio thing for these people and that led you to start podcasting or did you. Get interested in podcasting and then somebody or somehow got you know, like which which of those is None the guide star or the urge to make the thing.

06:52.30
Howard
Um, so the reason I started this is well when I so in 2019 um I I reached a goal of 30 years of continuous sobriety right? And as as thank you and as you if you talk to people in recovery as it get.

07:07.71
Craig
Congratulations.

07:11.98
Howard
Number of years. We all have this idea is like I should I should write a book about it. You know I should you know because and and yeah, if if if I had a dollar if every person recovers that oh we should write a book. We yeah, that somebody’s doing that though, right? So somebody’s you know now not that I couldn’t have written a book but as I was thinking I was like maybe you know for. 30 years you know yeah I think I’m due for something to put something out there. Ah and then because of the following the um, the blog Seth Godin’s blog. Yeah know one of the things you know the podcasters workshop or summit that or fellowship. Yes, actually it’s important that we use our word fellowship. Not workshop.

07:50.39
Craig
Um I do agree I like the old name Sorry don’t mean to interrupt.

07:51.31
Howard
For me. Um.

07:56.90
Howard
All right I got a story about that. We should tease back to but um, so ah as we were as that came up I said you know what I could just do a podcast but I have no idea what I’m doing I mean I I looked at it a couple years ago and on Apple and like oh boy, this looks complicated so I was like well. Let me take the class and in in the class. Um, while it did teach us about recording and stuff like that it went right to this? Okay now who’s your podcast for and and the exercise of doing that I was like all right? So if I were to write a book who would it be for right? So what might would the podcast be different.

08:30.36
Craig
Um.

08:35.18
Howard
Um, and for some reason the interview format was more trackive than the onmic format which still is I mean’ve man I’ve teetered with that a thousand times. So anyway, that’s that’s another. Um yeah, ah because every day I got thoughts and some some of them should not be out loud and some of them.

08:44.64
Craig
I Agree host on mic is difficult.

08:53.00
Craig
Um, so.

08:55.18
Howard
People would really get ah the benefit from right? So ah so then the ah when when we because part of our exercises were writing about you know because it was like a daily thing right? Do you remember that like we were We were on top of each other every day like so you know So what’s your podcast about who’s it for what’s it for.

09:06.95
Craig
Um.

09:15.11
Howard
And so then that’s when I decided um I wanted to interview people with long-term sobriety like myself who it is more than about quitting drinking while quitting drinking is a fantastic foundation obviously ah if that were all then everyone would get better after that. And since that’s not all you know, maybe some people who are struggling or feel stuck after 1020 years you know like they’ve quit the drinking but they still you know they’re still terse with their boss or they’re still obnoxious to their wife or they’re still mean to their kid like but they’re but they’re not drinking so they’re a winner and it’s like. Well I think I think you’ve you’ve maybe gone through one finish line but there might be another one a little a little little more progress to make you have you feel a little bit better about how you’re living and and what kind of person you are so with that in mind I just yeah then I started to.

09:59.71
Craig
Um.

10:12.39
Howard
As we were going to meetings as I was going to meetings find people and that’s like and then 2020 hit when meetings were now on on Zoom and everything. So that’s why in 2019 that first year I was you know a nice clip. A nice pace and everything and then it just just started to to fall off. But. Um, I still wanted to keep it of that that format. Um, because ah I don’t think there’s a lot I don’t I don’t think my podcast is unique but I don’t think there’s enough of them flooded you know in in the listening space.

10:46.74
Craig
Um, yeah, underserved space right.

10:50.89
Howard
Oh another long term sobriety podcast you know? So so I thought it could kind of you know, get away with still some uniqueness you know right? I mean if if you if you go online like oh another podcast about business and investing. You know that right.

11:03.65
Craig
Um, we have a few of those ah I’m wondering I’m always torn I have None questions I want to ask and the clock is ticking I’m wondering if you discovered after you started that. Maybe you’re actually working through another layer. So as you were describing um people going through recovery. Maybe there are these different finish lines and maybe there are these different layers to the work that they need to do to change and grow and I’m wondering has there been like ah this ah 2019 is what 3 years

11:34.78
Howard
Um, really.

11:36.61
Craig
Um, wondering if there’s been anything that you’ve discovered that podcasting may have actually helped you work through another layer or work through another issue that you now can see when you look back.

11:42.77
Howard
No yes oh yeah, so um, one is ah that um if you try to have the perfect podcast you go perfectly insane.

11:53.68
Craig
Um, feel like we’re commiserating which we are but that’s great. Yes, ah.

11:59.90
Howard
Yeah, um, the the other. So ah I’ll tell you a little story to about a long line of perfectionism. So I saw penn and Teller in the 80 s when they first came out, they were doing college. Ah you know.

12:08.16
Craig
Sure sure sure.

12:17.92
Howard
Small college venues and I saw one of them and I got when I got their program and of course I was way into them and I’d done my own little magic crap and everything So I’m paging through their program and at the end it says. Um there are 4 mistakes in this program I’m like oh really huh. Start going to whatever and and I’m like boy everything nothing looks like so ah, at this point time they were accessible. So after the show they would come out know talk to people they were just having coffee they it wasn’t you know they weren’t who they are now it was I went up to um, ah Teller no pen. Sorry yeah.

12:45.61
Craig
Um.

12:56.50
Howard
Tall guy and I said oh I said I noticed in the program. You said there’s 4 mistakes in in the program but I couldn’t find it. He says. Yeah, we just put that in there. So if people find stuff they feel better about themselves and I was like and again, that’s that’s magic. You know I’m saying if if you’ve ever done. Magic you’re you’ve made a mistake and you know it but the audience doesn’t because they’ve never seen the trick before so they don’t know how it’s supposed to go so they don’t know how it’s supposed to go wrong same idea with the podcast since most people haven’t heard me do a podcast before or they don’t know that there’s like that. Not here.

13:18.90
Craig
Who.

13:23.43
Craig
Ah.

13:34.70
Howard
Watching me do it and mix it up and so there there is some value in putting something out with a mistake with a flaw right? Um, even as we were in the podcast fellowship I was listening to one of a kimbo podcasts early on and there was a mistake in there. Like the production like and it was clear. It was not. It was like there was supposed to be a breaker and just wasn’t in there and and like so even Seth Godin who has a professional that he he publishes it and like he’s not could take it down or redo it. No, it’s.

14:02.68
Craig
Um, even the course material right.

14:12.61
Howard
Content is fine right? If there’s a mistake. Okay, you know so I guess that’s that’s one of the other things I’ve learned about myself is ah you know there’s there’s going to be a mistake. So um, when it shows up? Oh okay I Guess that’s the mistake right? So that’s the perfectionism. Ah, the other piece is.

14:15.10
Craig
Right.

14:31.94
Howard
Um I have no ah ambitions of making a dime at doing this I pay for the website myself I pay for the hosting mess I pay for everything myself I do my own thing. Whatever so um. I look at as ah, yeah, as a a charitable contribution to the podcast community like this is whatever you know, fifty bucks a month. Whatever you know Okay and I don’t because I used to you know should put ads up. Ah well but it’s not to make money right? so.

14:54.71
Craig
Um, to the world.

15:07.80
Craig
Right.

15:09.76
Howard
Ah, then then you just keep putting on there. It’s funny at the end of my show I now say you know it’s this is I used to try to ask for donations I said now I’m not doing it anymore. I decided you know if if this is added value give give a little extra to your home group which is like a group you go to regularly in a a. Or perhaps another ah charity close to your heart because I I’d rather you don’t pay me pace somebody who could really use it and ah and as a result of that now on my podcast for whatever reason reached like top None something somewhere. Whatever according to some algorithm so I started to get a lot of.

15:34.66
Craig
Ray.

15:48.81
Howard
Um, people asking me to be on my show asking me to be sponsor and you know and and i’ like well when when you don’t take any sponsorship you can have you do your show. However, you want to do it right? You don’t you’t ever have to like do what they want you to do um and then with the guests.

15:51.65
Craig
The.

16:07.62
Howard
Because I wasn’t um I wasn’t focused on having the best guests that I could or the most popular because like I don’t I didn’t I never looked at the likes I never looked at the good one day I open up simple cast I’m like I have 12000 downloads. How did that happen like I don’t use Facebook I don’t use anything and I got None downloads now I got None downloads I still don’t do it. You know with None episodes. So for anybody in the community who is listening to this It’s like so I’ve done no social media. What’s a just word of mouth and that’s what I got um anyway, so the oh and then when people want to be a guest.

16:42.19
Craig
Amen.

16:46.98
Howard
Usually it was like their publicist asking me and you can tell by the way they’re asking and so I would I would I would be open to it but I would say can I you know just have the guest contact me. Oh it’s better if you go through me? No, it’s not never you know? oh maybe this isn’t you know? yeah as you get paid with.

16:50.50
Craig
Yes.

16:57.54
Craig
Um, no, it’s not. It’s better for you right? It’s not better for me in my show.

17:05.47
Howard
I I don’t look I don’t know their motives or I don’t know their intentions but it’s like well but this is a personal podcast. This is not really to promote anybody’s stuff I I can I have um, you know and and and then I when I do finally get to the person I have questions that I ask them to see if they’ve ever listened.

17:10.46
Craig
Are.

17:24.72
Howard
To the podcast. It’s like so you want to be you know because they often want to be on something. It’s like well this isn’t for you like you got 2 years in recovery. This isn’t I’m sure you know some stuff but this isn’t who my audience is looking to hear from I can hear from somebody who has 2 years of

17:25.44
Craig
Um.

17:34.43
Craig
Yes, not your tests.

17:41.58
Craig
Um, so many things. Um you said like 7 things and I was like oh yes, um, was a lot I could say about Penn Teller but I I think you make a great point about just because it doesn’t feel like I’m still doing magic that I might actually be.

17:41.71
Howard
Any any day of the week so yeah yeah,

18:01.13
Craig
Very important that I do the thing that I know everybody else thinks looks like magic and I should just be comfortable with there’s no magic in it for me in the sense that there’s magic in it for the audience. That’s just one thread I Want to pull out of what you said another thread I Want to pull on in our fading moments. Yeah. You mentioned fellowship you and I had a have a little b in our bond and about the name change. Apparently um, and you said you wanted to say some more about fellowship and I think that’s a topic that’s very um Apropos of what your show is about So What was your train of thought there.

18:19.33
Howard
Um, yes, um.

18:30.65
Howard
Ah, so ah, the following fall at school. Um I volunteer I noticed there’s some retention issues at school. Okay, you know keeping the teachers and. I don’t I thought the onboarding process could always always use a little bit of work because we look we have hr we haveist administration like nobody really was doing it as the thing. So I so I said look I like to help onboard people. They’re like you would okay you you know said oh it was like that easy and so I called it. Um. I call it the onboarding fellowship as as it’s just like oh the onboarding fellowship is going to meet on Thursday just because it’s like we’re all here together. Um, and we’re all you know new at something right? So everyone was new to the school. They weren’t necessarily new to teaching but let’s let’s bring.

19:18.24
Craig
Um.

19:24.10
Craig
Um, right.

19:27.12
Howard
Let’s let’s understand that we’re all here to help each other be a little bit more familiar. Yeah together and so um because they kept calling it. You know the mentoring program I said it’s not a mentoring program. It’s an onboarding fellowship and I would just say it like that and like oh okay.

19:41.35
Craig
Um.

19:43.20
Howard
Yeah, and they they never they. It hasn’t caught on. They still don’t call it that but I so I continue to call it that. So yeah, that’s it because um, as as we’ve discovered you know through this conversation and what we talked about prior to to you hitting the record button is when a guy like me with all the. You know we call it the Itty Bitty Shitty committee in your head. Um, when I feel like I’m alone and nobody understands me that’s like the worst moment I could have you know so when we have something like this to to tell each other I’m exactly like you.

20:14.26
Craig
Um.

20:21.98
Howard
I have that too or I have that too and this is how I got through it or you know and and when you have that fellowship amongst you know whether it’s you know, sadness or or freedom or whatever it is. It’s like there’s there’s nothing.

20:26.50
Craig
Yes, yeah.

20:38.77
Howard
I Think more spiritual than than having a connection with another person much less a group of people right? have even more connection. So um, that’s why that that idea is very important in in but you know both my work and the podcast my work at my job. You know everywhere that? yeah.

20:42.77
Craig
Yeah.

20:58.51
Howard
People might disagree. But yes I don’t think well for me for me Spirituality cannot happen by myself I need a connection.

21:06.28
Craig
Um, terrific I hate that I have to say anything after that. Um I’m yes, please more of that awesome well Howard ah, as much as I hate to say at our time has gone so I will just say thank you so much for um. Randomly popping into my calendar that was awesome I’ve been hounding you for like 3 years or something. Thank you for popping into my calendar and saying hey let’s do a podcast that was terrific and my distinct pleasure. Thank you.

21:38.18
Howard
Yup, mine too.