Mon, 29 December 2014
Introducing Andrew Tidby
Andrew Tidby is a filmmaker, explorer, space worshiper, and our host Greg’s BFF. Through the course of events, Andrew has many amazing experiences and stories to tell. For example, he and Greg produced a show called “Planet Luxury” which showcased the world’s most expensive luxury items and the people who own them. Andrew has had over a decade of experiences while traveling the world and telling stories, but some of his greatest life lessons come from the past year or so working and learning with astronauts.
A little over a year ago, Andrew was thinking up new shows he could pitch to networks around the world. He decided to try and pitch a show for kids on one of his greatest passions, space. So, at 2 am one morning, he started to film a pilot episode of his new show. He brought the idea to Canada’s National Film Board, who loved the idea and wanted to produce a series called NFB’s Space School. Space School would lead to schools ditching boring textbooks on space and give students to learn from an interactive online experience. The government paired Andrew with one of Canada’s most famous astronauts, Chris Hadfield, as he trained to become the commander of the International Space Station. Andrew followed Chris and a number of other astronauts around for a year and what he learned from these “rocket men” was how humble, happy they were and that they had a passion for continuous learning.
Andrew was astounded by their lack of “showiness” for all they have accomplished and have seen. Andrew remembers them asking him about his life and experiences, but often they were quite quiet about themselves. One example of this was astronaut Jeremy Hansen. Though Andrew has spoken with Jeremy a number of times, he didn’t know about some of his most harrowing experiences until Jeremy’s mother told him. Jeremy works as a test pilot for the Canadian Forces when not preparing for space, and one of his jobs is to figure out how to stabilize planes that go into uncontrollable spins while in flight. Jeremy would put himself into an uncontrollable spin and calmly communicate with the tower, “code 13”. Though Jeremy was seconds from death, he would always calmly pull out of his situation. Andrew was struck by how so an amazing man with such an amazing story could be so humble.
After Andrew spent a year shadowing Chris Hadfield, the commander went into space for his mission. Then Andrew gets a call from the International Space Station, one of the most memorable calls of his life. It was Chris Hadfield and conference called with David Bowie, and they want Andrew to produce the world’s first music video filmed in space, “Space Oddity”. Within weeks the video that was produced had millions of hits and became a viral sensation.
In this episode
Andrew tells such how his NASA experience changed the way he thinks about life. He also reflects on the steps he took throughout his life to get to the point of producing the world’s highest music video and what he thinks about those who think they deserve instant gratification in their career paths. Greg and Dave are reminded of the importance of listening for the stories of others and the difference of having humble pride and “showiness”.
Links and References
Mon, 22 December 2014
Introducing DJ Waldow
It is coming upon that time of year again where many assess changes that need to be made in their lives. A course of action is taken where we vow to make these changes and we call them New Year’s resolutions. Many will choose to lose some weight; others will choose to quit smoking. Perhaps for your next New Year’s resolution, you might consider a plan to follow your passions. Our guest this week is just the guy to get the ball rolling for you.
DJ Waldow was formerly an email marketer and a product evangelist for Marketo. A little over six months ago, DJ came to a crossroads in his life. He just didn’t have the passion for what he was doing anymore. This is particularly difficult when one of the most important parts of his job was to show a passion for the company’s products and services. So in June 2014, DJ quit his job and focused all of his energy into finding work that he was passionate about. In this process, DJ decided to write a blog post about what he was doing and why, which received a lot of attention and reaction online. 80% of those who got in touch with DJ commended him on his choice and commiserated to him about how much they hated their own job. Another 20% congratulated him and shared with him how they decided to follow their own passions.
DJ had always had a passion for helping others, and due to the response from his blog post, he decided to pursue a career as a career transition coach. DJ also wanted to tell the stories of people working their passion and started the Living Your Passion Podcast. DJ now helps people that were in a very similar position he was in only months ago.
In this episode
DJ tells us how and why he made the leap from a well-paying job and tells us the common threads he sees with people who live their passion. He explains his coaching process and tells us what he has learned from people who have already found their passion. Greg is reminded of a documentary he made with Dave on coaching titled, Airplane Journals. Dave is reminded of the many people that are wasting their time by being in a job they hate or have lost a passion for. Greg is inspired by DJ’s ability to quickly jump careers and find success. Both Dave and Greg are thankful to be in positions to be able to follow their own passions.
Mon, 15 December 2014
Introducing Lauchlan Ough
Sometimes the most effective form of leadership involves empowering the people who work for you to be leaders themselves. A lot can be said enabling leaders, as well as getting them to jump right into unfamiliar tasks. This is exactly the approach Greg Hemmings takes with the people who work for him. One of the greatest examples of this is Greg’s employee, Lauchlan Ough. Lauchlan was one of the original employees at Hemmings House, and the youngest at the time. Lauchlan was around for the humble beginnings, where the production company was working out of the basement of Greg’s home. Fast forward to 2014; Lauchlan is now an experienced director, cinematographer, photographer, and editor, running shoots with a number of people under him.
Coming out of high school, Lauchlan had a passion for the process of filmmaking. He knew that he wanted to work with morally good people, he wanted to learn on the job, and he enjoyed the process of filmmaking more so then its end goal. Upon joining Hemmings House, he could feel that every step the small company made was a step toward building something much larger and greater. The company and its employees had help along the way, such as executive coaching from Dave Veale, but Lauchlan and the other HHP employees were actively in a constant state of evolution, aiming to achieve the vision Greg and they all set for the company.
One of the mental hurdles that Lauchlan needed to overcome was a belief that he could only achieve to a level his age would allow him. For a while, he didn’t question the barrier he set up in his own mind that he couldn’t do certain things because of his age. During a coaching session with Dave, he had an epiphany when considering how far he had already came at his age, and that he was just limiting what he could achieve. He credits coaching and it’s outsider perspective with its ability to unlock mental blocks and just make everything click.
Lauchlan now uses the approach Greg had with him when working on film sets. Instead of trying to be on top of everything and micromanaging, he empowers others to do their work. This allows creativity to flourish amongst the group, and allows him to focus on his process. He now has an enhanced confidence when working with other filmmakers from bigger centers such as California or Toronto. Lauchlan knows that Hemmings House can create at high level, and he now learns as much from what others are doing wrong as what they are doing right.
In this episode
Lauchlan speaks to his experience of working in a creative industry with creative people. We hear about the evolution of Greg, Dave, Lauchlan, and Hemmings House. Lauchlan also tells us how jumping right into work has helped him evolve. Greg is inspired by how far Lauchlan has come over the years and his ability to throw himself into uncomfortable places. Dave is wowed by Lauchlan’s wisdom beyond his years.
Mon, 8 December 2014
Introducing Jeff Roach
These days most businesses try to get with the times and engage people through social media with mixed results. Many take the route of duplicating the ads they use in traditional marketing and posting them to social media. Jeff Roach would tell these people they are going about social media marketing all wrong.
Jeff is the founder of Sociallogical, a company that works with other businesses to embed social media tools and practices into their operations. His company helps those having trouble understanding how social media can be an asset to them by initiating a strategy, training their people, and developing and managing content. Jeff’s main beef with how many companies use social media is that they are using it for advertising and not sharing the stories that the company has to tell. Jeff tells us that social media is NOT another advertising channel. In fact, using social media this way many companies turn their customers off. Consider what a customer might be likely to do if they become annoyed by ads. They are likely to block the company from their social media feed. People don’t go to social media to be bombarded with ads; they use social media to connect, interact, and to be engaged.
So what is the correct approach? You need to make people feel like they are connected to you. Jeff uses the analogy of a Christmas parties. Every December countless businesses pull in clients, employees, contractors, associates, etc. to have a few drinks or a meal and to connect on a personal level. Everyone finds out what each other have been up to and many see others they haven’t seen in quite some time. Generally, big deals or sales are not struck during the Christmas party, just general conversations. Using social media marketing should be just like having a Christmas party all-year-long. You want your clients to know what you have been up to, and what is new, but without the sales. The sales will come as you engage with your customers, by telling them the great stories of success you have made for others, and by becoming a trust agent.
In this episode
Jeff tells us his story of how he fell in love with online marketing and his experiences with entrepreneurship. Greg tells us about the three different types of people every business needs. Jeff gives his impressions of how marketing has changed drastically in even the last 10 years. Greg concludes that you can never feel like you know everything you need to know about social media and Dave warns us to beware of the coach that doesn’t have a coach.
Mon, 1 December 2014
Introducing Peter Stoddart
It is the dream of many to open their own restaurant, café, or pub. However, the food and beverage industry is not an easy business to succeed within. Most restaurants fail within a few years of opening, so what can you do to stand out and atop the rest? Peter Stoddart is an entrepreneur that did just this. Peter is the owner of The Saint John Ale House in beautiful uptown Saint John, New Brunswick. Peter opened the Ale House in 2004, but had the inspiration to open such a business for much longer.
Peter was amongst the first in his local market to focus on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients for a pub environment. Even his chef, Jesse, runs his own farm to help grow the ingredients they need on a daily basis. Beyond taste, there are other reasons to consider sourcing locally and seasonally. First off, you get to know the people and places that your ingredients come from. You also have the opportunity to spend your money so that it stays within the local economy. Not to mention, your vendors become your evangelists and customers.
Beyond great food, the Saint John Ale House focuses on personal service and a fun, social atmosphere. They seek to build and support a community atmosphere that lets their patrons feel like they are apart of something special. Connecting with his customers is Peter’s greatest joy in the business, as well as offering a product that he can be proud of. This is especially true, when Peter sees visitors from other parts of the world return wearing a SJAH t-shirt. By creating and showing loyalty and developing a connection to his customers and community, he has created an institution. It isn’t easy to do what Peter has done, but with passion and persistence Peter believes you can achieve like he has.
In this episode
Peter tells us about the Saint John Ale House and the steps he has taken to make it the success it currently is. We hear how he generates buzz through social media by creating great content. We hear how Dave went to the Ale House prior to his wedding and almost got married with chicken wing sauce on his face. Greg loves Peter’s approach to local business and how buying from local vendors turns them into your customers and quasi-marketers.
Peter throwing pumpkins from the roof of the SJAH