What are we getting wrong about masculinity?

My guest on the podcast this week is Jake from Rattlesnake TV.

He analyzes interviews and debates with well-known political figures and celebrities like Jordan Peterson, Russell Brand, and Ben Shapiro, just to name a few. His channel breaks down their charisma, debate tactics, and conversational skills so we can learn from them, have better disagreements, and build better arguments.

In just five months, Jake’s channel is rapidly approaching 100k subscribers. We dive into how he blew up so quickly in the episode as well.

Toward the end of the conversation, we discuss masculinity—a topic I’ve been fascinated by this past year. How far does it have to go before it’s considered “toxic?” And what are we getting wrong about masculinity in the west?

I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation. Jake and I have become buds and have been WhatsApping back and forth about content creation and martial arts.

If you’d like to listen to the episode, you can find it here!

2023 feedback review: my results (part 2)

Connor Russo's bachelor party in the mountains with the bros
Connor’s bachelor party in the mountains, April 2022.

Earlier this week I shared the biggest criticisms I took away from my annual feedback review with my buddy. I’ve already been utilizing the changes I wanted to make and it’s been cathartic.

I didn’t want to do this but I feel it’s only natural I share the more tender and positive stuff. One of my biggest insecurities is coming off as arrogant or self-important…but here goes.

Biggest positives:

1) I practice a growth mindset.

Growth mindset: understanding that skill and talent come from consistent time, effort, and repetition.

Fixed mindset: the false belief that skill and talent are innate and unmovable—you either have it, or you don’t.

It’s the difference between, “I’m just not a musical person,” and “If I sit down and practice piano for 10 minutes a day, I could get pretty good.”

Connor, the guy I do this feedback exercise with, has commented on my lack of perfectionism before. I love to just dive into new projects or crafts, know I’ll be garbage at them, then break through that initial brick wall until I’m actually kind of good.

Theatre, chess, jiujitsu, rock climbing, coaching, content creation…

All these things were pretty painful at the start. I was either cringing at my lack of ability or getting humiliated in one way or another.

In those moments, our 100,000-year-old survival systems kick in. We feel anxious and want to give up. But that’s just a wall to get over.

And once we crawl up and over to the other side (after a few weeks or a few months), that awkwardness and clunkiness turns to fluidity. The problem is that a lot of people simply give up before getting over the wall.

2) I’ve built a life around only doing the things I want to do.

This one really hit when he said it. It’s my central operating system: creating the life I want by helping others do the same.

Joe Rogan is undoubtedly my biggest inspiration in how to live. Let me explain.

Love him or hate him, he lives an incredible life. He was pivotal in me taking control of my life back in 2017. For two reasons…

  1. He was the first real masculine male figure who made being disciplined look really cool to me. Listening to his podcasts and YouTube clips gave an energy of, “Hey man. I love you, but you have got to get your shit together! You could be so much better than you are, and you owe it to yourself to start moving in that direction.”
  2. His career was the first crystal clear example I’d seen of only doing the things you love and making great money from that. He’s a podcaster, comedian, and UFC commentator…and he has worked at these for decades and figured out a way to become rich from each passion.

In short, Joe’s work ethic and results made me think I could get good enough at the stuff I enjoy to make a decent living. I particularly loved his career trio: three different pursuits which offer tons of overlap and variety at the same time.

I’m actively trying to model that myself. My trio is:

  1. life coaching
  2. writing
  3. podcasting

If I just do these things for the next 30+ years, that would be my dream career.

Anyway, it sounds almost childish. I just want to do the things I want to do, get better at those things, and repeat that process until I die.

I don’t really set goals. I don’t care about getting a certain amount of money or subscribers or clients. I just want to keep podcasting, writing, and coaching.

If something changes, I’ll pivot. But until then, the train keeps moving.

3) I’m an active listener.

Connor said, “When you listen to people, you make them feel seen and understood, never judged…which is sadly super rare in people today.”

I make a lot of eye contact and often reflect people’s words back to them. What’s funny is I don’t really notice any of that in myself. It must be programmed into me from 1300+ coaching sessions and hundreds of hours of interviewing people.

The biggest gift we can give people is curiosity. Asking people questions and follow-up questions is one of the best ways to make them feel good when they speak with you. It’s a heart-warming way to connect with other human beings.

Connor had a lot of other insanely kind things to say. But these were the three that meant the most to me.

We do this kind of feedback review each year. I’d highly recommend you do something similar with your friends. It can be as simple as two questions:

  1. What’s something I can improve?
  2. What impresses you about me?

What do you want feedback on? What answers are you scared to hear?

Let me know your thoughts.

Here Be Barr | The Ultimate Guide to New York City

Jon Barr on The YouTuber's Guide to the Galaxy podcast

On this week’s episode of The YouTuber’s Guide to the Galaxy, I interviewed Jon Barr.

He’s a NYC vlogger and travel creator. I discovered his channel when I was considering moving to Brooklyn. To anyone looking to learn more about the culture and variety of New York, Jon’s your guy.

His channel currently has 340k subscribers. We dove into how he went from a burnt-out sportscaster to a full-time traveling filmmaker.

We cover: what it’s like to be a full-time content creator with a newborn baby, how Jon started his channel, how Casey Neistat changed the YouTube space, Jon’s protocol for when homeless people approach him, what stereotypes of New Yorkers are untrue, how long it can take for a video to go viral, and much more.

Side note: The more I do these interviews, the more I realize how insignificant superficial metrics like subscriber count are.

What I mean is…I keep reaching out to people who have tens or hundreds of thousands of subscribers and thinking they’re higher-quality human beings than me. Then, we hop on a call and have a conversation and I realize they’re all just kind, humble, and humorous people.

When they treat me respectfully, I think, Wait, but I only have 134 subscribers. I’m scum compared to you. Why are you treating me like your equal?

Even though that’s exactly how I’ll treat newer creators when I have hundreds of thousands of subs.

More and more YouTubers are agreeing to be on the podcast, which I think will make it easier for more and more YouTubers to agree to be on the podcast. I’m having so much fun.

If you want to listen to my conversation with Jon, here’s the link.

Email me any and all feedback you have. 🫶

Interviewing a “canceled” person

Meghan Murphy on The YouTuber's Guide to the Galaxy

On the latest episode of The YouTuber’s Guide to the Galaxy, I interviewed Meghan Murphy.

Meghan is a writer, journalist, and podcaster. She’s the editor-in-chief at Feminist Current, a website and podcast dedicated to protecting female spaces. She’s also the host of The Same Drugs, where she and her guests tackle sociopolitical topics like gender identity, race, censorship, and modern feminism. She’s also been on the Joe Rogan Experience a couple times to tell her story.

This is the first time I spoke with a “canceled” person. Meghan was banned from Twitter back in 2018, starting with this tweet:

She has since been let back on Twitter after Elon Musk bought the company. I should note that the Taliban has never been kicked off the platform.

Meghan was so fun to talk to. She has a bubbly sense of humor and is incredibly resilient when it comes to speaking her mind and maintaining her authenticity.

We dove into her criticisms of gender ideology, cancel culture, porn, hookup culture, and third-wave feminism. I’ve never really recorded myself talking about these things and must admit I was a little nervous. But it’s people like Meghan who inspire me to talk openly and honestly about potentially radioactive topics.

In our conversation, we discuss: the 3 tweets that got her originally banned from Twitter, what feminism really is, the overprescription of anti-depressants and ADHD medication, the pros and cons of being an independent creator, what it’s like to be “canceled” and lose friends because of that, and finally, Meghan tells me what a woman is.

Check out the episode here! It was a fun one.