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We all have things in our lives that we can’t wait to share with everyone we know. There are other things we’d just as soon keep to ourselves, yet we want to make a connection with other people. We want to feel heard and understood.

On top of all that, we have a business to build, and a brand that we want to present to the world.

So when is it okay to share, and when is it not? How do we talk about those things that aren’t easy wins, that aren’t sunny days on the beach, that aren’t sipping champagne in front of our private jet? How do we share the real stuff, the hard stuff… or do we share it at all?

It’s hard to know how personal to get when we’re putting ourselves out there, especially on social media. How do we balance a desire to be real, to be authentic, with the responsibility we have to our audience, and to ourselves?

Those are the questions we’re going to answer today.

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Episode Transcript

Note: This transcript of the episode was machine-generated and has not been edited for correctness. It’s provided for your convenience when searching. Please excuse any errors.

Dan: [00:00:00] Are you lying right now? Was that all lie?

Ben: [00:00:03] Every word of it.

Good morning, Dan.

Dan: [00:00:24] Good morning, Ben. Our topic today is about how much, how much of yourself do you share online and how does that relate to being a professional, having a professional brand? How much of yourself do you share with the world like, and how do you do it in a responsible way?

Ben: [00:00:42] That’s a great question because I F I feel like they’re has been a lot of pressure, and this. So might be changing to some degree, but I feel like there has been lot of pressure to present yourself a certain way online, especially if you are building a personal brand or you’re building a brand that you as a person are very closely associated with.

It’s like, I can’t, I can’t do or say anything that. Might have unintended consequences for the way people perceive my brand feel like. I feel like that’s kind of the, the underlying fear. And so, and so we sense our censor ourselves in some ways. I think we’re, you know, we’re very, whether we are aware of it or not, I think we’re, we’re very picky about the things that we share and say and what parts of ourselves.

If any, we allow too, be a part of what we share publicly with others. You know? That’s sir. That’s certainly true with, with personal social media. A lot of, I think most of us are, anytime we post something, we’re making some kind of calculation, mental calculation about, Hey, what is this? What is this going to do?

To the way people perceive me. What is this going to do to my social currency?

Dan: [00:02:23] Have you ever made a post and then kind of that, have you asked yourself, should I share this? Have you, have you ever made a post and then regretted sharing it?

Ben: [00:02:30] Never.

Dan: [00:02:32] Never. Okay. You’re an open book or, or do you just never share anything about yourself?

Ben: [00:02:38] No. I, I, when I, when I type stuff out, I never delete it and then re type it or. Save it to the drafts folder and let it sit and worry for several hours over whether or not it’s something appropriate. I never, I mean, I, I never revise something and I never, if I post something and then immediately feel a sense of regret, I, I definitely don’t go back and delete it as if it never existed.

Those are things that I don’t do.

Dan: [00:03:10] Okay. Are you lying right now? Was that all lie?

Ben: [00:03:15] Every word of it.

Dan: [00:03:16] Every word of it. Okay. I had a feeling something about it just didn’t ring true to me.

Ben: [00:03:22] yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s tough and I’m going to be honest. So, so recently I, I went through a situation with my, my oldest who has been diagnosed with high functioning autism. And I honestly, I can’t remember how much I’ve talked about this, either on the podcast or, or online, but what I was, what we were going through as a family, it was definitely affecting my ability to keep up with certain things with my work.

And so there was, there was a part of me that’s like, I need to, I need talk about this because I want, I want people to know what’s going on. Not as an excuse, but just to say, Hey, if I’m, if I’m less available or if I’m not producing as much, like there’s, there’s something really big going on here. There was a part of me that wanted people to know because I, I needed to feel like people understood what I was going through and struggling with.

I needed that feeling of support from people. Who I connect with, not just, you know, on a transactional level, but, but who I consider friends. And at the same time I couldn’t help but thinking, you know, this, this in some ways could be seen as, because these are, these are things that I felt personally, this could be seen as well.

I wasn’t, I wasn’t fulfilling. Certain responsibilities. And that resulted in this situation happening where, and I, and I, I beat myself up and to be more specific, and I’ll, I’ll go ahead and talk about it. My S my son needed to go to a treatment facility

for a few days over a suicide scare. Based on some things that he was experiencing and some underlying depression.

And so as the person who’s responsible to take care of him, it was really difficult for me not to feel like I had failed to take care of things to keep that from happening. And what are the implications of that in other areas of my life? What is that. What does that communicate to other people about the level of care and responsibility I take with other aspects of, of my business.

You know? So like those kinds of thoughts crept in.

So much of that is, is just garbage, you know? Like, but it’s, it’s hard not to think about all of those things.

And so like, I’ve got. I’ve got this thing, like some reasons I feel like it’s, it’d be a good thing to share some reasons I feel like it’d be bad thing to share and then how do I talk about this in a way that’s not triggering or harmful to other people

and how do I talk about this in a way that doesn’t arm my family in some way?

You know, like these are, these are all big questions that I had. Around talking about this one specific thing.

Dan: [00:06:55] That is a, that is really big. Well, thank you for sharing that example, because I mean, I think there’s little else that, that could be more of a, that could bring up more of those questions about what you would, what you would share, whether you can share. So how did you, how did you answer some of those.

Ben: [00:07:15] What I’ve come to understand about.  and this is, Oh, I’m sorry. I do, I do this thing where I like start and then I preface, but I’m gonna S I’m gonna say that that was a, a really big example. There are a lot of other smaller ways that same question comes in. Maybe you’re experiencing a setback, but it’s not like a major crisis.

Do you talk about those things? Maybe you just like didn’t sleep very well and. You feel exhausted and you don’t feel motivated to do anything like, do you talk about that? And I think there is, and increasing acceptance and tolerance and even kind of an embrace of merging the personal experiences with the professional perception of the brand.

Like people are attracted to. And are drawn to the authenticity and the realness. Did they experience, when you share things that are going on in your life, having seen other examples of other people sharing their stories and their struggles and not being, not being judged or thrown under the bus or. All of those things that I was afraid of are things that I hadn’t seen real examples of like these are, these are things that happen to people.

The things that I was looking for from them, like the support and wanting to communicate expectations for people. Those things I had, I had seen be successful. Like those were, those were the real outcomes. And so. I guess for me, because of those examples, I felt safe. Two, talk about those things and I, and I continue to feel safe being real about, different aspects of my daily experience.

I don’t feel an obligation and, and I, I don’t feel like it’s. Necessarily good storytelling to share everything. Like for me to interrupt this topic and say, you know, right before we started the show today, I inhaled a pancake that I made for myself for breakfast and aided in front of Dan and like, you know, was chewing on it on the microphone while he was trying to talk to me.

Like, that’s, that’s real stuff. But does that add anything. Does that add any value to the story? And I don’t know. I don’t want to, I don’t want to always be thinking about these things as like value calculations, like does this add to the story? But I think where we can get support, where sharing our story can help other people not feel quite as alone and where it gives us an opportunity to set expectations for people.

I think it can be really good. To let those things out, and then the responsibility side of it really has to deal with,

you know, there’s, there’s a way for me to tell the story about my son and his experience without going into some details that would undermine the confidence that he has in me and the feeling that he can share things with me and trust me with.

The things that he’s thinking and feeling like, I’m not going to open up all of those things. and I also am not, I’m going to try to be as careful as possible, not to share it in a way that makes it really difficult for someone who’s going through some of the same experiences, to not feel like there’s hope or that.

They’re alone. Like I, I was, I was just talking with Rachel about this because she is, her kind of, her way of telling these stories is to write them into characters.

tell them as fictional stories that are kind of based on her personal experiences. We talked about how I think, I think we do have a responsibility to.

If we, if we are going to tell these stories to portray them  a way that is grounded in reality.

Dan: [00:11:58] So there’s a, we’re starting from a pretty broad place, right? Because there’s, there’s all kinds of stories that we can, we can talk about sharing. Like you, you brought up the idea of. You know, just sharing the fact that like you were in a bit of a rush when we were getting started this morning and eating breakfast, you know, on the call, which in, which is sort of like that, that’s more of like, that’s kind of a funny story.

It’s a little bit behind the scenes, but that’s very different from like, the reason that. Hypothetically, like the reason I took the week off was that one of my children was having serious, you know, mental health issues that needed to be, that needed to be dealt with, treated in terms of, so, so we can come at this a couple of different ways, right?

We can talk about deciding what to share and we can talk about deciding how to share it.

Ben: [00:12:45] You know, I guess, I guess if I’m thinking about the difference between those two things, also, it is a relief. Two be able to talk about, I think this is true about both of these things. It’s a relief to be able to talk about what’s really going on with you without fear of alienating people and maybe in some ways feeling like, if I am real about what’s going on, people are going to feel more connected to me and I’m going to.

I’m going to feel more connected to them and I’m going to have more support and they’re going to know who I am and accept me for who I am. Like I think. I think those are kind of all of the, those are all of the things that we want and a lot of the reasons around why we don’t share those parts of ourselves come from a fear of rejection.

Like if I, I show people who I really am.  and they reject me, then that hurts more then heavily curating myself and only showing them the parts that I know they will accept.

Dan: [00:14:06] There’s no way to have one without the other though, right? I mean, the fact of the matter is. You will alienate some people in return for creating a deeper connection with other people. The only way to get the deep connection is to withstand the, not just the risk of rejection, the certainty of rejection.

You will not be accepted by everyone in the world, and that’s, that’s okay. But we have, we have such a strong. Reflexive fear and loathing for rejection that it can hold us back from ever doing the, being vulnerable and open enough to make really deep connections with people.

Ben: [00:14:52] Yeah. So I, and I totally agree with that. So I think there is, there’s a certain amount of kind of bravery and courage. What I see is in some ways it’s becoming easier. and I, and I will say that as a relatively small creator, I can’t speak to the experience of, because I, I hear much different things from creators who have, you know, 10 or 100,000 or more followers.

You reach a certain level of notoriety. And it, it, it becomes a very different conversation. But, but I feel like for smaller creators, for the most part, I feel like it’s getting easier and more acceptable and more normalized too. Share your  to allow your personality yourself to come through in the way that you present your brand.

And so, and I guess the point that I was trying to make is the behind the scenes stuff. And the sharing of like the S the struggles and the, the crisis are coming from the same place. This place of wanting to be known and accepted for who we are and not feeling like every time we say or share something, we have to make that mental calculation.

But you know, like there, there is some responsibility that comes with the, the way that we do that. And so it’s important. It’s important to be aware of that responsibility and to understand, you know, like the way that we tell our story and the way that we share ourselves is important. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t ever, you know, like we, we have permission to be ourselves, to share who we are, to let those authentic parts of us be a parent in.

The way that we share a brand or you know, like whether that’s our personal brand or a business that we’re connected to, whatever.

Dan: [00:17:00] Yeah, we can. Yeah. We have permission to share you. You’d put this in your notes so we have permission to share, but we’re not obligated to, which I re I really like, but, and talking about responsibility, there’s two sides to it. There’s sort of the response when when we’re going to share this, the responsibility we have to ourselves and there’s the responsibility we have to the people we’re sharing with both of those things shape how you’re going to, whether you’re going to and how you’re going to share any given.

Event in your life, right? Like you only want to share it. You don’t necessarily want to share things that might be very painful for you if you don’t think they’ll be well received. Right? Like you shouldn’t feel obligated to share painful details about your life with people by default because you know, it’s not necessarily any of their business, right?

Like if you’re going to share, you should have a reason and you should do it in a way that you feel comfortable with.

Ben: [00:17:53] Well, I’ll go ahead and bring this up too, because we, I, I wasn’t necessarily thinking about . Making this as a point, but I like the way you put it where you said you’ve heard mixed things about the association between social media and depression.

Dan: [00:18:10] Hmm.

Ben: [00:18:11] I’ve, I’ve also, I’ve also heard mix things that it’s not, why does conclusive, as you know, like, I think I would like it to be because I, in some ways, there’s a part of me that wants to villainize.

Social media. I mean, we just R R a previous episode, it was all about needing to like for your mental health, needing to disconnect and, and find solitude. and, and you went on to say, it does seem like it’s becoming common knowledge. In other words, people think that people think that social media makes you depressed.

Again, like, I’m. I’m not gonna. I’m not gonna judge whether or not that is actually the case. setting that aside, you’ve definitely heard things about how like, you know, people, people curate their lives so much and when they, when they share what’s going on, like it’s only the good stuff and that’s why people are depressed because.

You know, like if you go online and it looks like everybody’s lives are so great compared to yours, yeah. That’s going to make you depressed and, and from that can come this sense of obligation two. Well, I, if, if I’m going to share stuff online, like I have to share the good stuff and the bad stuff, otherwise people are going to look at my newsfeed and they’re going to feel depressed because compared to their lives, it looks like mine is all.

Fun and joyous, and I’d like, I never had any struggles and, and I, I don’t think, I don’t think any of us should feel an obligation to balance out what we share publicly that’s like, you know, positive and good with the things that we’re struggling with. I think that the responsibility really. Is not purposefully putting forth a version of your reality

that is false and, and I think that’s, that’s something that’s, that we need to look out for as a part of our responsibility.

What I do want for people is to think, okay, so hi, let’s see. This week I posted. About a birthday party, and I posted it about this award that I won and I posted about some product that I launched that did really well. So I need to think of three bad things that happen so I can balance that out. So it doesn’t appear that my life is really great when like, it’s just as I’ve, I’ve got just as much struggle and pain as most other people.

Dan: [00:21:15] Who feel obliged to share difficult things and to to balance out positive things that they’re sharing. I wonder how, I wonder how common it is for us to feel obliged to share, to share the negative.

Ben: [00:21:30] I guess, I guess maybe not so like this. This may just be wasted breath, but. I can see. I can see the possibility of there being that kind of reaction to this idea of like, I, I can, I can see, I can see people taking it and running with it in that direction. Like, Oh, I need to be, I need to be super transparent, otherwise I’m not being a responsible social media citizen.

Dan: [00:22:05] Mm, I see. Well, so I asked in the chat, do you feel obliged to share your struggles and difficulties as part of your brand? And one person started yes. And nobody started now. So at least somebody does feel that way. which is interesting. And I, I think it’s, it’s then it’s definitely worth us. Talking about the, let’s go back to responsibility, right?

And that the fact that you have both, you have a responsibility to your audience, but you have a responsibility to yourself first. You know, the, the old, the old adage about how the old adage and truth of air travel, that you have to put your own oxygen mask on before you can help someone put their oxygen mask on.

Right? And that’s both literally true and it’s also figuratively true. You got to take care of yourself if you’re going to be able to take care of anybody else. So if sharing difficult things is harmful to you or, or, yeah, I’ll go with harmful. If sharing difficult things is harmful to you, you should not feel obliged to do them because ultimately you are damaging yourself for the perceived helping of others.

Ben: [00:23:13] Yeah. And I, I think anything that.

Anything that comes out of, a sense of obligation. So, and I’m trying to think back to these like different examples with, with my personal story, I didn’t feel a sense of obligation to share. I felt compelled to, for the reasons I mentioned. And I had belt, I guess I was, I was looking for permission to talk about it.

When, when I talked about the food that I was eating before the show, I really, you know, part of me like just digging into the mentality behind that, like this is, it’s an example. It’s kind of silly,  and stupid and doesn’t really mean anything and it’s on some level, maybe a little bit funny. It’s just a, I’m, I’m a human being and I need people to know that and I need people to, I, this is, I need it.

It’s not just like, it’s not just, Oh, this is fun. And like I can throw it in there. Like there, there are other value judgements I’m making, but, but I don’t, F I don’t feel obligated to talk about. The fact that I ate my breakfast right next to the microphone while you were listening and you were trying to chat about the show beforehand, like I don’t feel obligated to do that.

I actually feel compelled to,

Dan: [00:24:55] Well, you said you want people to know that you’re a human.

Ben: [00:24:59] all right, I need, I need people to know that I’m human.

Dan: [00:25:03] Yeah, you’re right. I’m sorry. I, you need people to know that you’re human. So we, we. We have that need, right? We didn’t have that need to connect with others and other people want to slash need to know that those connecting with them are human. So we want to bring this back to professional and and your brand and things like that.

It is so much more meaningful to connect with a human being than with what we sometimes perceive as Lee, you know, say the corporate face of a brand, which can feel very inhuman when it. Doesn’t have a personal voice or when it has a personal voice that doesn’t share anything. And then, you know, we touched on this earlier, but the scale can slide all the way to the other side and you can get a, a personal voice that is disingenuous.

And, you know, the, a classic example is the, the person with their photo taken in front of like a private jet holding stacks of hundred dollar bills or something like that, where. That is a, that’s a fabrication and they’re trying to present themselves as something that they’re not. Right. Like that’s the far other end of the spectrum.

Ben: [00:26:15] But I really do own a private jet and just have stacks of hundreds sitting

Dan: [00:26:20] No, I know. Ben, I wasn’t talking about you. When you post those photos, it’s totally legit.

Ben: [00:26:25] Okay. Yeah. Now just making sure, you know.

Dan: [00:26:30] I know. I know how you roll.

Ben: [00:26:32] It’s all right. That is how I roll.

Dan: [00:26:35] Yes.

Ben: [00:26:36] So going back to the responsibility thing, cause I think, I think permission is the F the first stop. Jordan in the chat says thanks for the explicit permission. So just just in case anybody missed it, you have permission to be human.

You have permission to share things. Not an obligation, but you have permission. And I think kind of part of what you were saying, Dan, is there is not that. Not that this is the reason you do it. Like you’re not, you’re not trying to fabricate something, but you can feel comforted by the fact that there is some kind of value added to brand perception when people can see when it’s apparent that.

There’s a human being there. There’s, you know, there’s a real person. I think this is why, this is why we enjoy being able to connect with people on Twitter and like having access to celebrities, social media accounts. Because this is, this is why we like those sections in the magazines or those buzz feed articles that come out that, that show celebrities like doing normal people things.

It’s because it’s like, Oh,  that’s a human being.

And so like that’s T to me, I think just that idea of there’s value added, so I don’t have to worry about that. It’s not, it’s not a, Oh, there’s value added. I need to find a way to be more real so that I can increase my brand value. I don’t think that’s the question people are asking.

I think the question they’re asking is, is this going to take away from my brand? If I talk about this. And so I think, I think you can, in your, in your mind, I think you can kind of feel a little bit more at ease and err on the side of this, is this really added value? And then the question becomes, okay, if I’m going to talk about something, how do I, how do I do it in a way that’s responsible?

And the simple answers to that question are you protect confidential information. So somebody. If, if you’re a part of a situation where there are other people involved and they’ve confided in you or have not expressly given you permission to share, they’re part of your story, you, you need to honor that and then you need to.

Think about the experience of the people who are listening, not, not in the sense that, Oh, would they, would they feel uncomfortable if I talked about my own personal experiences, but more, more in terms of, is this going to, is this going to be triggering? And I, I don’t like using that word because I think for some people.

They feel a negative like, Oh, they’re, they’re triggered. Like it really is a legitimate thing. Like there are certain topics that if you, you talk about them and you bring them up and you, and you just dive into them without giving some kind of preface. There are people who have personal experiences where just you bringing those things up and talking about your experiences.

Brings back not just memories, but physical experiences. It, it is literally triggering a physiological response in another human being. Okay. And that’s, that’s not something to take lightly. If you have past trauma associated with a specific experience, you could very well like those same feelings and emotions.

Could be triggered by somebody else talking about their experience in a way that’s not responsible. So that’s just something, especially with the heavier topics, that’s something to take into consideration.

Dan: [00:30:42] Yeah. And, and it really can be as simple as a prefacing statement, which is, you know, along the lines of, I have something to share and, but it touches on, you know, topic X. And so if that’s going to be difficult, if you’re having a real time conversation, you know, you can say, let me know and we won’t talk about it.

Or it’s not, it’s not difficult to do and it is worth. it is worth considering the impact of what you are about to share.

Ben: [00:31:10] And it’s, it’s offering the warning and it’s kind of following your instincts about how explicit,

you know, like, I’m, I’m not going to go into the specifics of some of the actions my son took or some of the things that he said or was thinking that he shared with me. Like, I’m not going to go into those things.

one because that would be a betrayal of. Things that he confided in me but it, but it would also potentially be triggering for someone who is experiencing those same thoughts. That’s just something to keep in mind and really, I think, I think the responsibility piece  is not, it doesn’t, it doesn’t feel like a barrier.

In the same way that the, the fear of rejection, the fear that like talking about yourself might cost you sales or whatever. I think those are real barriers. And so I just, the, the thing I want you to get the most out of this episode is that you absolutely have permission to be human  to share your stories and you know, to, to bring your personality into your brand.

Dan: [00:32:34] Yeah. I, I hope we’ve, I hope we’ve helped give people permission. I think that’s one of the most important things. We can do, you know, like you said, Jordan was saying, thank you for giving her permission to share, you know, to feel, to feel comfortable sharing what she was sharing in the community chat.

And we’ve done other episodes where I think, you know, the big takeaway is you have permission to do this. You have permission to be bad at it. You have permission to be good at it. You have, in this case, permission to be human. That’s huge, right? Like, it’s easy to feel like you need to be. the cardboard cutout of Ben Tolson on the internet so that everyone can engage with your brand.

But there’s, there’s a real person behind there and it turns out that’s what’s valuable. It’s valuable to you, and it’s valuable to the people who are going to interact with you.

Ben: [00:33:26] Yeah, absolutely. I like, I really like what, Jordan shared just now in the chat. And I think it speaks to another aspect of the responsibility that we haven’t really touched on. Mmm. But there is, I think there’s a, a responsibility to share

in the right places. Or depending on where you’re sharing, shared in the right way.

Like there’s, there’s a way to, there’s a, there’s a way that you can be real about your experiences on Twitter that’s different from the way that you can be real about your experiences on the podcast. and also considering the audiences who might be exposed to those things. So if you are writing a blog article.

and that is going to be published on a platform where people are already expecting to hear those kinds of stories. Or you know, like I th I think those are some good things to consider too, as a part of the responsibility of how we share.

Dan: [00:34:33] I agree, especially in terms of, in terms of putting the right thing in front of the right people. Right? Because again, when you’re talking about the, the inevitability of rejection, the when, when you. When you open yourself to some others will also be turned away and that and that. That’s okay. But you know, in order to protect yourself and to protect others, yeah, it makes sense to share things in, in, in the right contexts.

Right. So, I mean, you know, Twitter, Twitter, for example, is relatively infamous for the ease with which people can reply. people’s replies to things receive like the same sort of presentation that the things themselves do. And so you’ve got this thing where like a person with an informed opinion will say something briefly on Twitter because you have to say it briefly.

And then a bunch of people that do not have informed opinions will provide replies of, let’s say, low quality. And. As the person, you know, looking at Twitter, you, you get all of that in your face. You know, it’s, it’s like what people, I remember people been saying this for years about YouTube. Comments like the, the quality of YouTube comments tends to be relatively low, but the, but the problem is traditionally the comments have been, positioned right below the video.

So you’re consuming this piece of content you find valuable, but it is adjacent to a bunch of content that you may not find valuable. So taking, taking that into account, like there are things that make more sense to share in, for example, a dedicated publication about mental health. If you’re going to share something about mental health, because a, the people who come across it will be B, a for example, my are, are better prepared for what they’re about to read about.

But also, you’re more likely to get better. I would say better feedback, but let’s just say better interaction with people. Right. Because you’re, you’re more likely to connect what you’re saying with the people who are there to hear it as opposed to the, the differ undifferentiated mass of people who might not want to hear it or might just have nothing good to say about it.

Ben: [00:36:35] Yes. Yeah, the and that, that kind of speaks to the responsibility that you have to yourself

in some ways as well. Like if you, you do need to ask yourself, and is this something that I’m ready to share and talking about something on a podcast. Is a lot different from making a video that you post on YouTube about it in the sense that the amount of access people have to respond to you or to react to you.

It’s a very different, so you might not, you might be ready to share your story or you might be ready to talk about something personal. But you may not be ready to open yourself up. Two, the insensitivity of internet trolls, you know, like, so this is, this is an important thing to consider as a part of the responsibility that you have to yourself is where can I share this?

Where it’s not going to be harmful to me in some way based on how people respond.

Dan: [00:37:52] Have we done this one? Justice Ben? I feel like we’ve, I feel like we’ve brought the value to the people.

Ben: [00:37:59] I really, I really appreciate this show and I, I feel like, I feel like it’s one of, it’s one of those where as we continued talking about it, we kept on discovering, you know, like it’s, we, we just kind of kept on digging and discovering the little nuggets. There is a. Are there, there are a couple of guys who, run this show you may have heard of called good mythical morning.

You heard, have you heard of this show?

Dan: [00:38:26] Okay. I haven’t, no.

Ben: [00:38:27] Oh, it’s, it’s really interesting. Good mythical morning. I think it is, you know, still running. It’s a daily kind of variety YouTube show, you know, they do, they do. They do a segment called will it. Hot dog or will it, you know, some other food item where they take these unconventional, that’s just an example.

They do all kinds of different things. They absolutely have done, you know, the like the pepper challenge. He’s testing different things. Their brand is all about this kind of silly, funny stuff.

And so what’s, what’s kind of interesting about that is you’d think, Oh, they’re already being silly and ridiculous.

It’s probably super easy for them to just like completely be themselves without worrying about, how people are going to receive them. But then what if they have something really serious that they need to talk about. So, so I happened to catch, they’ve got a podcast, but I happened to catch two recent episodes of the first time I’d ever listened to their podcast, actually, because I was really interested.

I was intrigued by what they were sharing as something very personal that each of them had struggled through and been wrestling with for years. And, both admitted the, the, these two gentlemen who are the hosts admitted it took them a long time to feel like they were ready two to share their story.

And no, they didn’t. They didn’t do it on one of their episodes. Of the, of the YouTube daily variety show. And they didn’t tell the whole story through like a Twitter thread or something like that. Like they choose, they chose this one place to do that and, and it took them a long time. And so like, I think that just kind of illustrates the reality that like, it doesn’t.

Doesn’t matter what kind of brand you have either, like I think, I think there’s always going to be this, this sense of like, I don’t know, can I share this? Like if this, if this is an on-brand with who I’ve been presenting myself to be like, this is who I am, but are people ready for this? And so, you know, like, like we’ve been saying for this episode, you have permission.

Honestly, like so, so my experience with these two guys, I had actually kind of like lost interest a little bit in what they were doing and, and tune them out. And now like I’ve been, I’ve actually been obsessed with their catalog and trying to see, Oh gosh, wha how, how does this story that they told through these podcasts episodes connect to like other things that they’ve done?

And. You know, where might I see little pieces of that? And suddenly I’m like re-energized to dive into

what, what these guys are doing and you know, where they’re, where they’re going with their brand. And, so I mean, it’s, it’s been a really positive experience and sure. Like they are, they’re big enough, they’ve got enough influence that.

I think they’re also seeing some of the backlash, but most of what I’ve seen has been really supportive and encouraging and a lot of people expressing gratitude. And I, and I think what happens when we, one of, one of the best things that happens when we share our personal experiences and we allow our personality to come through is that we.

By demonstrating that we give other people permission to do that as well.

Dan: [00:42:54] You just demonstrated that when you saw their humanity, it made you more interested in everything else that they did.

Ben: [00:43:02] Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, so I mean, if, if there, if there are no other benefits, just you giving other people permission to be human, I think is, is pretty huge.

Dan: [00:43:19] Definitely. Let’s all give each other permission to be human.

Ben: [00:43:25] Even Sean. I mean, you know, Sean has permission to be human.

Dan: [00:43:28] It’s true, Sean, we give you permission. You can, you can pretend to be Hume. I mean, you can be human. Be human. Activate human programming is what I’m trying to say.

Ben: [00:43:39] That’s right.

Dan: [00:43:40] Sean’s a robot. That’s the joke. Ben, you want to wrap this up?

Ben: [00:43:46] Dan, I, I, I appreciate that we did this show. Thanks for like, we had something else planned and this actually I think wasn’t even this show. It was, it was some other type of thing and it turned into this conversation, but I really appreciate it. So thanks for, thanks for kind of driving it in this direction.

Where can people go to find us online?

Dan: [00:44:13] Well first I have to say. you’re welcome and thank you for participating in the show. And then I can answer your question about where you can go to find us online. I’m going to say, go to Shawn and check out the membership. Pretty soon we’re going to be, having an announcement about the membership.

It’s going to be interesting and. I want everybody to go check it out. You get access to the community, and as you may have picked up during this show, there’s amazing conversations that happen. We do these shows live, so before they go out on the podcast feed, the shows are recorded live and members have a chance to show up, ask questions, and participate in great conversations.

But it’s not just during the shows because that community is running 24 seven. Ben and I are in there. Sean is in there sometimes, although, you know, he’s on sabbatical right now, so sometimes he’s busy running around San Francisco, but, there are just great conversations happening in there. When you’re a member, you get access to all our courses, including our latest one, presale profits, which is really exciting.

You know, we just, of course is on sale now for four 99, but you just get access to it as a member. It’s awesome. And anything, anything else we make, it just goes in the vault and the members have access to it. So you get those courses and once you’re doing the courses, since you also have the community, you can get.

direct help with things you’re struggling with. And you know what? I, I can’t say enough about that because there’s a big difference between taking a course and learning a lesson and thinking, okay, I guess I better figure out how this applies. And actually being able to go into a community and ask both the people who created the course and people who have taken the course and people who are at all different levels, how do I do this?

And get realtime feedback. It’s amazing. So go to  dot com and check out the membership. There’s never been a better time to join up, Ben, where can people find you online?

Ben: [00:46:04] You can find and I’m also at . Wilson on all of the things, and Dan, where can they find you online?

Dan: [00:46:14] You can find me a DJ, and I am DJ Jacobson, author on Instagram.

Ben: [00:46:21] Again, definitely check out the community. If, if for nothing else, free access to the course on how to be human.

Dan: [00:47:10] Ben, did you just invent a new product that we now have to make.

Ben: [00:47:14] So there’s not actually a course on how to be human  did that land out? You just take that out. I never know how to tie the things up.

Dan: [00:47:24] No, I’m tempted to leave it in, but I’m just worried we’re going to be getting support tickets now that say, Hey, I signed up for Shawn West membership and I don’t see the course about how to be human. And then, and then I’m going, Oh, I’m going to wonder who are these people sending us these tickets?

Ben: [00:47:38] Do you think, do you think people would sign up for that course?  and if so, like what? What are they trying to w what is, what problem are we solving for them?

Dan: [00:47:49] Well, that’s just it, right? Because of the way you, the way you sell products is you don’t advertise the thing. You advertise the problem that the thing solves. So if we have a course about how to be human, I think we would, you know, we’d advertise it and we’d say, are, are your plans for the invasion of earth?

stalled because you don’t know how to walk among us. And then we would, you know, this, here’s the solution. We’ll show you how to be human.

Ben: [00:48:14] Yeah, see, and I think, I feel like that’s one of the. One of the biggest gripes I have with how invasion stories are portrayed. It’s like, it’s kind of lazy. It’s like you either, you either have far a superior technology that’s boring, and then are we supposed to believe that somehow us humans with our, you know, relatively primitive technology, we’re able to.

You know, figure out a way that that was one of the things independence day. You’ve seen this movie, right?

Dan: [00:48:50] I have, yes.

Ben: [00:48:52] They uploaded a virus to an alien computer. What that’s.

Dan: [00:49:00] computers, band. You just, all you have to do is you type some keys and then you say, I’m in, and then you can do anything. That’s how computers work.

Ben: [00:49:07] I guess it’s just, I’m so unrealistic. I’ve, I feel like, I feel like the blending in thing, the infiltration, that’s, that’s where the good storytelling is, you know? And, and people are just missing it, so, yeah. Yeah. If you’re for, for a lot of different reasons, maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re not planning a hostile takeover of the human species.

Maybe you really just want to study us, study our ways, kind of kind of the way that like humans sometimes go into other environments and try to study animals and blend in with the surroundings. You know.

Dan: [00:49:51] Yeah, Ben, I, I would, I feel it necessary to point out the, you and I started making all these jokes about selling a course on how to be human. And meanwhile Jordan said the course on how to be human is the community.

Ben: [00:50:04] Wait a religion AMAIZING this.

Dan: [00:50:07] Yeah. It turns out, Jordan, we appreciate you very much.

Ben: [00:50:11] So yeah, I come, come take the course on how to be him, learn our ways.