This almost didn’t happen.
Yes, even after after 15 years of fast-paced client-facing advisory, delivery and public speaking in the corporate world, I was still almost so nervous that I considered pulling the pin on Dancing With Doubt.
It’s a different beast, these creative projects.
I’ve always thought of myself as pretty confident and ‘able’, but nothing shouts ‘vulnerability’ as sticking your head out in public with a new venture straight from the heart and soul.
What will people think? What will they say? Will this add value? Will I ‘perform’? What about social media trolls? ‘I’m not creative — this isnt my jam’ — imagine these in loop, over and over again — that was the lead up to, and the morning of the first recording.
Dont get me wrong — you can be pretty prepared with tasks, timelines and milestones — that stuff is my jam — but when it’s time to create creative goodness, boy did I struggle getting out of bed for Episode 1!
Luckily (and deliberately), I was honoured the share space with my good friend, Russ Macumber.
I’ve known Russ for many years, albeit in a more personal setting. He’s someone i’ve always respected and looked up to — after all, 4 kids, multiple successful businesses, and a vibrant, warm personality to go with it…what’s not to like! I remember even getting some mentorship advice from him, once sunny day in Melbourne a few years back.
I neglected to tell Russ that he was my first guest, so he actually got a nice surprise when we were doing our soundcheck before the recording.
Looking back and reflecting, I am so glad that we shared Episode 1 together.
From sharing a giggle, to talking about biz, to then going super-deep on some very personal struggles, to talk about the very foundations of our being — our identities and higher purpose, to bringing it back to biz. A person of Russ’ calibre opening up like that is something we needed to hear.
Russ opened up on some deeply personal matters, such as his experience with alcoholism and the resulting impacts on his personal and professional life. I want to first and foremost honour Russ’ courage in sharing this publicly — it’s not easy, but on the flip side I think we know how much these sorts of conversations can help others in similar situations.
Alcoholism can be an insidious beast, and Western society is only recently starting to acknowledge the negative impacts at macro and micro level. After all, it doesnt need to go to extremes such as liver cirrhosis — it can eat away at our potential, our relationships, our very zest for life (much less our health) in hidden ways we are only just starting to talk about as a society.
Weaving into Russ’ experience with alcohol was the importance of positive role models or mentors, and the fact that it’s so important to surround yourself with people that can tell you ‘like it is’, and help keep you on the path to the best version of yourself. Whether it’s having a work mentor, or even a wife that can give you an ‘push’ (ultimatum) — yes my awesome wife has given me some of those as well — you don’t always have the answers. You can’t always objectively see what’s going on in your life. But we’re social creatures, and if we can bring our ego down just a little to take in this advice, we’ll all be more rounded and grounded said social creatures.
On the topic of higher purpose, the subliminal messages from society continuously amplify the need for ‘impact’. Are you hustling enough? Are you filling your time enough? Will you be the next best thing, the next Elon Musk, the next Jeff Bezos? In my circles, sometimes these are the sorts of conversations happening. And whilst they can be motivating to an extent, they can also be devastating for one’s sense of self and psyche.
Because ultimately, there will always be someone ‘bigger’, ‘better’, ‘richer’, more ‘impactful’ than you — and in our prison of comparison (thanks social media and clickbait news), this can lead to a feeling of inadequacy. So to hear Russ talk about simplifying this notion, and focusing on the basics such as relationships, kids, connection, then following with business and those impacts — now that is something we can all take away.
I’ve always said I don’t know where this podcast road will lead…but now more than ever i’m incredibly, incredibly keen to find out!
Also, note to self for next time — clean the camera lens! :’)
Let me know your thoughts on all this, I promise i’ll read.
May success be with you!