Transcript for "Vulnerability - with Rien MacDonald"

(Interactive content will replace this message when viewed in the Forum.)

00:00.00
podcomm
Hello I’m Craig Konine hey Ri I believe we’ve talked a number of times but we’ve never actually you know I always say the hollywood do you know the hollywood square singer was that an American Only Tv show he instead this tv show. Yeah Zoom call right? The least of a Tv show looked like that this is how.

00:01.76
Rien MacDonald
Good a I’m Rin Mcdonald

00:12.64
Rien MacDonald
Ah, yeah, medical.

00:18.77
podcomm
Ridiculous americans are we had a 3 by 3 grid and you basically they played Tic Tac Toe the contestants did played Tic Tac toe and you would like ask the guy in the top left corner and they had to answer a question right? and then you get your x oro so it was like an interactive tic tac toe but where am I going with this.

00:31.89
Rien MacDonald
Last.

00:33.88
podcomm
Hollywood squares. It was called so every time I get in a Zoom call I have flashbacks to when I was a little kid and my family watching hollywood squares anyway, I’m wasting Rin’s time we were talking and I have been watching? No, we’re not I’ve been watching. Ah, there’s a tv show from Melbourne that ran like.

00:40.72
Rien MacDonald
No, not love trivia brilliant trivia of American Tv

00:53.65
podcomm
7 seasons and it’s not siblings terrible soapy drama I love that kind of tv anyway I think it’s actually filmed I think that was filmed in Melbourne anyway, we were talking before I pressed record and started wasting everybody’s lives and I asked people like podcasting.

00:56.35
Rien MacDonald
Yeah, ah.

01:10.44
podcomm
And you launched into a lovely discussion and then I went stop Lovely discussion about invitation and you started talking about how having conversations with people is an invitation to them and about how you had to change and grow to maybe get better at it. That’s me putting words in your mouth there. So I’m just wondering. When you started talking to people and then as you’ve gone further along and particularly having seen other people pick up the Baton and learn to podcast like how have you seen yourself change as you’ve tried to intentionally create an invitation and maybe how do you see people. Discover Oh This is an opportunity for an invitation.

01:50.28
Rien MacDonald
Yeah, nice way of framing that question and putting me on the hook there. Thank you and thank you first and as well for for inviting me on on the podcast I’ve enjoyed listening to to you and even just now yeah your voice is so soothing I think why you started on that American Television a trivia there was because yeah, we’ve been on quite a few Zoom calls but this is sort of the first one on one that we’ve ever had. So thank you to address the question. Yeah I started I started podcasting a few years ago and I would always consider myself a good listener.

02:11.77
podcomm
Um, yeah.

02:26.70
Rien MacDonald
And ah and a good communicator. But until you’re I mean there’s many ways I think to get better at it but podcasting for me has changed the way that I’ve been able to to communicate and to listen and listening is a massive part of of communicating effectively with someone right? You can’t. Sit there and and think about what you’re going to say next because you don’t know what’s coming if you ask you know the question and you know there’s many ways to ask questions. But I I like to keep things off in my podcast with an open-ended question which is like very similar to what you’ve just done now. Um. And see where it leads us and you know my first few episodes my first ever episode that I recorded was was with my mom and the second was with one of my sisters my younger sister who was 11 at the time she’s 14 now and you know I had quite a few questions but the things that came from. Just the first couple in those you know conversations in those interviews if we if we call it that really showed me that you know if I just ask a ah good question to begin the answer from that person if I’m actively listening can then lead the conversation from there and.

03:26.20
podcomm
Are.

03:42.91
Rien MacDonald
You know we have conversations every day as humans. Um I’d like to think you know everyone is is actively listening but everyone has things going on in their lives and I’m so aware of that now with these crazy Covid Times. There’s so many things. Us as humans are ah juggling with on a day-to-day basis. But if you ask the right question and and actively Listen. You know you don’t have to come prepared with you know, maybe I can say this like a random thought now that I’m I’m going off on when I first started dating when I was younger right? You get nervous when you go on a date.

04:18.45
podcomm
Right? How how am I being? How is this landing. How am I coming across what are they thinking.

04:20.32
Rien MacDonald
And maybe some people like yeah but and then like do I need to prepare like questions or topics that I should talk about like these stories that I should tell to like sound cooler or or something like that and you know.

04:27.70
podcomm
Is.

04:37.43
Rien MacDonald
Sounds ridiculous like now I’m 28 I’ve had a lot more experience dating but it sounds ridiculous like that but I can also understand why you might do that because you get nervous and you do these things but as of as I’ve grown through podcasting as of I’ve had more you know incredible conversations with people. Those are some of the things I’ve learned.

04:58.60
podcomm
There’s a big piece. One of the things I Love about this particular project. This show is I’m talking to other crazy people who love podcasting So It’s like oh we can meta all the way and and they don’t like look at me like I have one and ah sometimes. Yeah, so you know you and I know each other from podcasting from the podcasting workshop from the podcasting fellowship and we always eventually you see students go. What’s a good question and then I go like yoho, you are you know, like that’s a rabbit hole and so sometimes I think it helps to tell people who are trying to have a good conversation whether or not they’re recording it. To tell people ask ah an open-ended question give them something I like the ice skating Metaphor I don’t know where I got it from give them ice. You know they brought the skate just give them something to push off of and then that gives them like amign where they want with your question. But if you give them an open and question. It’s It’s good for them. But I’m also finding I’ve done.

05:43.50
Rien MacDonald
Yeah.

05:52.65
podcomm
Done a few I’m also finding that sometimes it works really well to give them a really concise question one that should be a yes or no answer. Um, so I’ve found myself asking. So. In the beginning I would be like ramble ramble rable ramble. We ramble to oh crap how I’m supposed to end with a question then I would just like stick a question Mark on the end. So what do you think about that you know and and people would just be like um there are too many things there for me to pick at so sometimes I feel like.

06:16.65
Rien MacDonald
With.

06:20.23
podcomm
If you ask the wrong person an open into question. They still kind of freeze a little bit because in their mind they have so you know they have a whole imagine this. They have a whole life in there like there’s a whole eye. There’s a whole id right? And so like I’m I’m kind of doing it to you now sort of on purpose like you’re just like watching Craig you know see Craig think.

06:31.62
Rien MacDonald
Yeah, yeah.

06:39.45
podcomm
And then so I found now that when I find that I’ve rambled off or wandered into the weeds instead of feeling like oh look what I’ve done instead I go you know like hey do you have that same experience.

06:52.78
Rien MacDonald
Yeah, yeah I do I mean there’s.

06:55.30
podcomm
Seen it I’m like Meta it works right? like if I ask you a very simple question. You could just say yes or no, but nobody ever does I Want you to go with that train of thought but I want to point off people listening like exposing What one is thinking and then going is happening to you you know or like a really simple question.

07:05.90
Rien MacDonald
Kelly ran.

07:14.11
podcomm
People can go to big spaces which I’m hoping you have a lot Karina thought people can go to big spaces off a simple question if you’re if you’ve been vulnerable before you ask a simple question so does that happen to you.

07:24.70
Rien MacDonald
Yeah, and I think what’s at the crux of what you’re saying there is like it is a simple question that you end with but you’re sharing your experience and when you share when you are vulnerable right? That’s you know we can call. That’s what podcasting is but that’s what that’s what. Being a human is that’s what yeah, what what? the point of life is is what I’ve you know come to realize in the past few years it’s so important to to share and I wouldn’t I don’t know if I’d go as far as asserting that. It’s what you have to do in order to receive but it almost is right? You have to give in order to in order to receive and yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly like you know first interview was with my mom in.

08:03.32
podcomm
Um, yeah, um, certainly certainly the shortcut right? The shortcut is doing the work right? and that’s doing the work.

08:17.69
Rien MacDonald
2018 November 2018 so or almost three years since then I’ve had quite a few conversations with my mother as you might you know? and yeah, but and I mentioned this before we started recording I put a microphone in front of her face. We sat down in a living room.

08:24.25
podcomm
Imagine.

08:36.65
Rien MacDonald
And family home and I hit record and what came was something and that she’d never told me and it came toward the end of the conversation and I wouldn’t say it changed my life because the impact that it sort of. Her sharing it. It. It had already. It had happened years years before it happened something that happened prior to me being born and it hasn’t really changed my outlook but it was interesting to see the impact that it had on her in sharing it with me and something that you know. Possibly had been burdening her for for many years not that it impacted me directly but it was it was something that clearly she didn’t feel like prior to that she could communicate. Yeah, so.

09:21.64
podcomm
Could you or maybe that you maybe that you she felt that you weren’t yet ready. You know there may have been some like what had never occurred to her that you might be the kind of person who would want to hear that or could hear that just thinking aloud.

09:34.77
Rien MacDonald
Yeah, yeah, no, you’re you’re totally right and not to keep people in a mission I’ll I’ll share. But if you wanted to check out the podcast. It’s the hope initiative and you know episode one with my mom and the open-ended question that I kick things off was something that she always said to me and she was like you know. Life didn’t begin when you were born and it was you know a rhetorical question I’m aware of that but you know it’s her way of saying like hey I was 28 when you were born I had this whole life. Um, but now she’s had like multiple lives within these in this one life and I’m obviously.

10:00.26
podcomm
Ah.

10:12.99
Rien MacDonald
1 part of that for her. Um you know? ah I don’t have kids when my parents were my age they had me so like it’s that’s quite meta in ah in a sense where I’m just like sitting here talking to my mom about this thing but what ultimately came out was that um her dad.

10:19.34
podcomm
Um, yeah.

10:31.91
Rien MacDonald
Ah, they were dutch my my alpa he had had an affair with my orma. Um on he had an affair um with another woman and my mom found this out I think a few days before a twenty first birthday and sort of had to. Keep the family together in some sense. She had 2 older brothers and you know that’s something that she’d carried with her and she’d never felt like maybe that there was the right time to tell me or just like it would probably be a random thing to sitting me down one day and going hey.

11:02.75
podcomm
Um, yeah, where does this fit in right.

11:06.51
Rien MacDonald
Yeah, it and it doesn’t so it makes sense but you know I don’t think any of my cousins knew none of my brother’s sisters knew you know? So um I was the eldest from that side of the family in terms of of grandchildren. So um. Sort of came out to the cousins then but um, it’s just it’s just crazy what happens when you put a microphone in front of someone’s face like I said it’s it’s like magic and people will share some really incredible things with you I could go on about this and I could share a similar story with. Every podcast guest that I’ve had on the hope initiative in the in the past you know a couple of years so it’s it’s magic.

11:50.85
podcomm
I would agree one hundred and ten percent there’s and we probably both could put out some pretty good theories about what it is and if the listeners or the listeners are going if you don’t follow that thread. We’re because I’m not going to follow that thread I’m going to go other places I’m watching the clock 12 minutes in I think that.

12:02.40
Rien MacDonald
And hopeity if forever.

12:09.73
podcomm
There’s um, there’s an enormous disparity between the there’s a power dichotomy right? So the the person running the show I mean yeah, we’re both sitting in front of you know, not necessarily this one but in general there’s 2 mics or 3 or 4 mics and there’s a bunch of people sitting around and you can make a case for. Probably the host is leading but I’ve been in conversations on my show where I’m not leading I’m just trying to keep up but we all know everybody in the room everybody in the world knows that when we press stop I have the audio file right? I’m the guy that decides does it get edited doesn’t get put out and that’s like some sort of bedrock that sits underneath everything. And I’ve I’ve often thought that the power that one has so like you’re in the host’s conceptual role. So you have all this power and then when you show up and you’re a nice decent you know vulnerable. Co-creator of space. So. It’s not just me always talking all these things that you do. There’s like a multiplier effect. It’s like like the other people go oh and you’re nice and like you know you have all the power I’m afraid of a microphone. And oh you’re gonna be decent. Oh you’re going to let me talk oh you’re gonna let me have this space that I think there’s something about that combination that like multiplies the magic. That’s my personal wildass guest combined on top of some what I’ve seen and I just think that that’s that’s somehow part of the magic that the guests. Even if they’re showing up in a Zoom call 2 minutes beforehand they get some glimpse of how hard you work. You know they they do have an idea when they hear it they’re like wow somebody worked on this I don’t know it was but somebody did a good job because I don’t think that’s what I sounded like so it’s some combination of all the work that they know where. The podcast host is putting in and that power and how kind the good pod cap. Good podcasters choose to be with that power but just me riffing off what you were.

14:09.77
Rien MacDonald
Oh yeah, no for sure I think you know you do it very well in that you share a lot of what is real for you and it’s something I probably struggled with in the beginning was you know, just asking questions and I’m still proud of you know. Starting. You’ll start somewhere. Um and what I’ve been able to do is get better at sharing What’s real to me along the way. So if a good question prompts an incredible answer from a guest and it sparks something in me, you know? Ultimately I’m there to learn I would probably keep doing the podcast Even if no one was listening because.

14:34.29
podcomm
Um, yeah.

14:49.14
podcomm
Yeah, yeah.

14:48.28
Rien MacDonald
Invites me into the lives of other people. It’s it’s crazy so you know to your point you know, not necessarily trying to you know, just create this space for someone to. Solely come on and share their story and then the the conversation ends there like the relationships that I’ve been able to build since you know having old old school friends or complete strangers on my podcast It’s been incredible and I think the magic is initially I used to think it was very. Ah, like a 1 ne-way flow like you’ve got your guest which in this case would be me, you know coming on and sharing my thoughts my wisdom in you know air quote. Um as I you know I don’t know if this is all wisdom. This might seem like complete ramblings of a madman. Um.

15:33.18
podcomm
Um, right right? yeah.

15:42.20
podcomm
Um, then I agree with you. It’s the ramblings of 2 mad men but keep going.

15:43.24
Rien MacDonald
But ah through bad men. But when you yeah when you go back and do that editing process. You know that’s that’s the reverse flow and that’s you providing that platform and what balances that out. Which is something I’ve come to realize is you the host is me the host when I am the host sharing the things. So It’s like we’re 2 Collaborators. We’re just jumping on and we’re having a conversation. It doesn’t have to be this formal Thing. We’re not throwing to an ad break and then debriefing what what you thought you know during that process. It’s like.

16:14.28
podcomm
Ray.

16:20.77
Rien MacDonald
Hey we’re live but we can edit anything out short but just go yeah just riff. You know if you lose your train of thought just say okay, well fuck it I lost my train of thought if you if you swear like I just did well it can be addeded out but it’s like or not exactly and it’s That’s the beauty of podcasting like it’s so real.

16:27.42
podcomm
Um, I lost my train of thought or not.

16:40.50
Rien MacDonald
And you know those first few episodes I used to stay up because you know I worked I worked a real job again in air quotes I worked a job that wasn’t wasn’t podcasting wasn’t something that I I loved when I first started my podcast and the opportunities that have come from it. Been immense and I won’t go down that path because that’s a huge like rabbit hole but I used to edit from like nine P M at night when I got home from soccer training through to like six zero am in the morning I would just do the edit but it would take me that long right? and I wasn’t sitting there constantly going I’d get up and go for breaks every time and.

17:04.60
podcomm
Um, yeah.

17:14.30
Rien MacDonald
It would be an overnight thing but I remember probably for the first 15 to 20 episodes. It would take me 10 to 12 hours to edit something and I was taking out every little arm and and all these stupid. Yeah which you know I don’t think he’s necessary. It’s not you know if if you have something that.

17:22.19
podcomm
Um, yeah, polishing.

17:33.40
Rien MacDonald
Be editsed out. That’s maybe a couple of minutes or you know 20 to 30 seconds take that out. But I’ve just found that the creative process of podcasting for me is like you have the conversation you you ask questions that are going to unlock something not only for yourself, but hopefully for others but primarily.

17:35.70
podcomm
Um, yeah.

17:51.56
Rien MacDonald
But yourself if you’re communicating something that’s real to you. It will probably spark something in others. Um I’ve gone down. Yeah multiple little rabbit holes there. But I think it’s It’s the point of yeah when you as the host go back and share that and create it and do whatever you do? The other person is like Wow Yeah, this person does Care. It’s like. Here’s this thing is this piece of art that’s now out in the world Here’s this communication that I can share with others or even if I don’t It’s out there. It’s gonna be shared. It’s gonna spread.

18:17.51
podcomm
Right. How much in the time take away um anything that was on your mind on your like this is like sometimes I just go like easy throwaway question or or easy go to question anything on your mind that you were like oh I Hope we get to talk about that. We haven’t gotten to yet.

18:39.20
Rien MacDonald
Well I wanted to ask you how you came across like the podcasting fellowship and Seth I mean I thought about the story that led me there and maybe I’ve been on the way there. But yeah, it’s it’s something that we’ve never had of that.

18:49.12
podcomm
Um, Ah, it’s a good… It’s a good story. Um I don’t know that it’s a good story but it’s better. Be a good story I started and part of the problem is I think I started podcasting in 2017 and I have to go look. So I started a podcast which grew out of a project that originally grew out of me rediscovering movement when I was Forty. So I started I fell into parkor no pun intended and I started hanging out with people who were half my age just running and jumping and playing and I wound up trying to become a nicer person just because I was like. Come back I’m like God I didn’t like that joke I made or I don’t like that I always have to be the you know the big loud kit because that’s why I was growing up so I started changing who I was I’m like Okay, next time I’m gonna like not curse you know, like if I curse it all I have to just without saying what I’m doing just do bunch of put like it just started this self-improment program and then the more I traveled and went. To park core events all over the place I started having cool conversations with people just regular people who were training and then I traveled more and I started the conversation with people who are well-known and then people started sitting down next to us and listening and then somebody one day said you should record that it’d be a podcast so I wound up with this these great conversations that I was just having. Were doing all the things you were describing this magic unlock and it never occurred to me to record them and then one day it occurred to me to record them and then it then it got out of hand So The podcast grew out of I already had the content I already had the access I was already having the conversations I’m not saying I was very good at it. But I was already doing that and just.

20:13.89
Rien MacDonald
Um, for.

20:17.33
podcomm
Listening and going I don’t know tell me more about that. So when I started recording I kind of had like the what should I record was already like yeah that stuff. Um and the podcast was out for like a year and a half hour and I was like 20 or 30 episodes in and then I took the third cohort of the podcasting fellowship at the time as it was called. So I showed up with a completely existing project with like 20000 downloads and and I went I’m going to tear it all apart and I like redid the intro and I redid like how I was like I just like went and found all these unknown unknowns so I didn’t have to figure out cover art I was already out there. It was already in Apple like all these things were already done but I had. Just as much fun as I see the students do these days tearing it all up for me tearing it all apart and going I don’t know how are you doing it and people were like why are you doing it that way I’m like well I don’t know I’ve always done it that way. So I I kind of like realized that.

20:58.50
Rien MacDonald
Um, yeah.

21:09.83
podcomm
Part of the piece that I was missing was a cohort in crime like an out brain of people that I could hang out with you know people like you and the other coaches and all this stuff. So I jumped on it when I saw Seth you know, advertise it I didn’t see the the mentions of the first 2 The third one was the first one I saw so it was it was kind of like a.

21:24.97
Rien MacDonald
Yeah, nice.

21:29.61
podcomm
To me the the short the tldr too long. Didn’t read the the tldr is I kind of like was podcasting and then realized that I was in a lane that merged with a highway you know and like when you do that you’re like oh you know when I looked at the left. There’s like 9000 cars I’m like oh this is a thing you know like and I just.

21:41.14
Rien MacDonald
Ah, ah oh that’s where everyone is oh I’ll Gojo door. Ah, um, that’s such a good analogy I think cohort that you touched on there is something. That’s so underrated in what.

21:46.56
podcomm
I Just put my turn signal on and went over one lane I Likem a podcast That’s what happened to me. So.

21:58.88
podcomm
Um, yeah.

21:59.52
Rien MacDonald
Like in the community that we’re a part of but and and thank you for showing that how did you come across Seth though. That’s something that I love asking people in this community like yeah, nice and.

22:06.60
podcomm
oh oh I’ve been reading Seth’s blog like front and over whatever 1015 years that I I’m ah I’m an old Rss hat guy. So I’m um i’m.

22:17.42
Rien MacDonald
And even any recollection of how you like came across like did someone introduce you with a book. Did they recommend it.

22:21.80
podcomm
Um, probably somebody referred to so I’ve been working on the internet since nineteen ninety four so somebody probably wrote a blog post and mentioned his work that’d be my guess but it’s. Way back like it certainly wasn’t one of his books wasn’t the first thing that I found it was definitely um and I’m I’m just like trying to think like who are the old the longest running bloggers like it might have yeah I’m hesitant the name names because it might not have even been like during fireball or somebody like that I have no idea but it’s way back. There.

22:55.79
Rien MacDonald
Sure Yeah, right? That’s cool.

22:59.86
podcomm
But not not through the books. It was definitely probably some blog post that I found. But yeah, it’s that’s my story all right? Well Rin Turns the tables and makes us end at 23 minutes with me talking all right? So it was a blast. Um, it’s always hard to stop these things but.

23:05.54
Rien MacDonald
Nice, but.

23:15.50
Rien MacDonald
I.

23:19.11
podcomm
Ah, try to keep them short for other people’s time. So thanks for taking the time. Thanks for know getting up early and I’m need to go have my dinner now. So it’s a pleasure.

23:19.72
Rien MacDonald
When I said.

23:27.33
Rien MacDonald
Thanks man, thanks for having me Craig choose.