Artwork for podcast Speaking From The Heart
Episode #63 - Being Discovered & Paving The Road For Others: An Interview With Joe Smith
Episode 6629th November 2023 • Speaking From The Heart • Joshua D. Smith
00:00:00 00:45:55

Share Episode

Shownotes

Learning how to overcome some of the fears that we have in our lives, even if it is a lot of hard work, means not only accepting the different tasks that are associated with it, but willing to have an honest, fulfilling conversation alongside of it as well. To wrap up our month of November honoring Toastmasters, Past District 38 Director Joe Smith, a close friend for many years, shares his experiences going through the program that has helped him with his communication and leadership skills all because of someone recognizing his ability to help others. By paving the way forward, Joe led a District of over 150 clubs and thousands of Toastmasters through difficult times, and learned a little bit about himself along the way that has enabled to pursue what is ahead. Learn how this story can be like yours in this personal story of success.

Guest Bio

Since joining Toastmasters in 2013, Joe Smith has developed a passion for motivating others to improve their communication and leadership skills. He joined Toastmasters as part of his self-discovery journey and has gone from almost passing out during his first speech to being able to speak comfortably in front of large audiences. In the decade since becoming a Toastmaster, Joe has held numerous leadership positions at the club and district level, in which recently, Joe completed his term as District Director for District 38. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing 150 clubs in Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey. In addition to his work with Toastmasters International, Joe is employed as General Administrator for a distributor of industrial instrumentation in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, where he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company. Joe has been married to Susan for 29 years and live in Havertown, Pennsylvania and enjoys NASCAR and traveling.

  • Toastmasters International -Home (https://www.toastmasters.org) - Toastmasters is an international organization that has allowed many of my guests to be on the show through personal and professional connection, combining all kinds of different types of communication and leadership development. Learn more about this organization at the link provided, plus check out the "Find A Club" option where you can locate an in-person or virtual club closest to you and your likings!

Visit Our Website: https://speaking-from-the-heart.captivate.fm/

Visit Our Business Website: https://www.yourspeakingvoice.biz

Support The Mission Of The Business! Donate Here: https://speaking-from-the-heart.captivate.fm/support

Intro/Outro By: Michael Dugan, Podcast Host: Voice4Chefs

Transcripts

Intro:

Welcome to the podcast where relationships, confidence, and

Intro:

determination, all converge into an amazing, heartfelt experience.

Intro:

This is Speaking From The Heart.

Joshua:

Welcome back to episode number 63 of Speaking From the Heart, and this

Joshua:

is the final episode in which we're wrapping up a month of celebrating

Joshua:

Toastmasters that have made a positive contribution to society as a whole,

Joshua:

and again, if you are interested in ever checking out a Toastmasters club,

Joshua:

or even experiencing what some of my guests have even been through, feel

Joshua:

free to check out toastmasters.org.

Joshua:

I will leave a link in the episode notes in which you can go and visit a local

Joshua:

club close to you or even online for that matter, but this episode in itself is

Joshua:

very special to me as it's somebody that I have gone through many years of leadership

Joshua:

within District 38 Toastmasters, which covers Eastern Pennsylvania,

Joshua:

Central/Southern New Jersey, and today I have the privilege to interview Joe Smith.

Joshua:

Now I must disclose that Joe is no relation to me whatsoever, although

Joshua:

we both have the same last names.

Joshua:

We are definitely brothers though when it comes to Toastmasters and have been

Joshua:

associated with that for many years.

Joshua:

Since joining Toastmasters in 2013, Joe Smith has developed a passion for

Joshua:

motivating others to improve their communication and leadership skills.

Joshua:

He joined Toastmasters as part of his self-discovery journey and has gone

Joshua:

from almost passing out during his first speech to being able to speak comfortably

Joshua:

in front of a large audience, and in a decade since becoming a Toastmaster, Joe

Joshua:

has held numerous leadership positions at the club and district level, in

Joshua:

which recently, Joe completed his term as District Director for District 38.

Joshua:

In this role, he was responsible for overseeing 150 Toastmaster

Joshua:

clubs in that same vicinity area.

Joshua:

In addition to his work with Toastmasters International, Joe's employed as a

Joshua:

general administrator for a distributor of industrial instrumentation in Upper Darby,

Joshua:

Pennsylvania, where he's responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company.

Joshua:

Joe has been married to Susan for 29 years and lives in Havertown, Pennsylvania and

Joshua:

also enjoys NASCAR and traveling, which in this episode, is definitely a much

Joshua:

different format than some of my other formats that I've had for my interviews,

Joshua:

so if you have been a fan of my interview formats, you might be surprised of how

Joshua:

we switch it up in this, because it was a lot more of a conversation between Joe

Joshua:

and I about how Toastmasters has created so many different opportunities for not

Joshua:

only himself, but for me as well, but through that, we definitely understand and

Joshua:

learn a lot more about the ways in which we can communicate and really have the

Joshua:

undertone of just stop caring about what other people might think when it comes

Joshua:

to the fears and concerns when stepping inside the realm of public speaking, let

Joshua:

alone the ways in which we can create some of that greater change in our lives.

Joshua:

But with that, let's go to the episode.

Joshua:

All right.

Joshua:

We're here with Joe Smith.

Joshua:

Joe, thanks for sharing your heart with us today.

Joe:

Thanks for the invite.

Joshua:

Yeah, absolutely, and for my listeners, Joe and I

Joshua:

have gone way back many years.

Joshua:

We have worked together in Toastmasters quite intimately, and I am really

Joshua:

excited that you have been able to get some time to be part of the show.

Joshua:

I really appreciate it.

Joshua:

It means a lot to me personally, so Joe, what I wanted to start off with

Joshua:

is why did you join Toastmasters?

Joshua:

What was it that really got you in the first place to say, "I need this.

Joshua:

I need help with either public speaking with leadership", what really drove

Joshua:

you in the first place to do that?

Joe:

Well, back to my story is that in 2013, I was turning 45 and I had been

Joe:

at the same job for about 20 years, and I asked myself, "Do I want to

Joe:

be doing this for another 20 years?"

Joe:

I wasn't miserable, but I just didn't see myself doing it for another 20 years

Joe:

till I was 65 and ready to retire, so I took six months or so, and I took a

Joe:

journey and came up with a couple things.

Joe:

One, get my real estate license.

Joe:

I had already taken some courses on it.

Joe:

Two, become a life coach, which at the time, I didn't really know what it

Joe:

meant, but it sound cool, and then three, become a motivational speaker, so in

Joe:

exploring all this, I was looking for a public speaking course at the local

Joe:

community college, and what pops up?

Joe:

"Toastmasters.

Joe:

First first meeting for free."

Joe:

I'm like, "Oh, let me check it out."

Joe:

It was about a 20 minute drive from my house, not too far, and I

Joe:

fell in love with it right away.

Joe:

It was just such a welcoming group of people and over the last 10 years, they've

Joe:

become my family where I feel comfortable around them, so why I joined Toastmasters?

Joe:

I was looking to become a better public speaker.

Joe:

In the long run, I've become a better leader, and I've really explored the

Joe:

leadership aspect of Toastmasters more so than the public speaking aspect.

Joshua:

Being that I've been able to see you rise in that journey personally, I

Joshua:

definitely can attest to the fact that you have done quite a lot for yourself being

Joshua:

able to go from that point where you were just checking out a Toastmasters club to

Joshua:

literally leading thousands of different Toastmasters across the different areas,

Joshua:

which for my listeners, Joe was District 38 Director a couple years ago, which

Joshua:

covers Eastern Pennsylvania all the way towards Harrisburg area mostly, all the

Joshua:

way to central and southern New Jersey.

Joshua:

Joe, when you were leading even the district that year that you did, or

Joshua:

even the few years that you have done, I should say, because there were multiple

Joshua:

years in which you progressed through.

Joshua:

Was there something that helped you along the way to help you to grow

Joshua:

into getting some of that leadership experience that you just talked about?

Joshua:

In other words, was there somebody that was an influence for you?

Joe:

I'm not going to say there was one in particular person.

Joe:

I know Josh, you want me to say you, but-

Joshua:

Yes, absolutely.

Joshua:

I'm just going for the dollars here.

Joe:

But it was, it was the whole culture that is created.

Joe:

You're nurtured.

Joe:

Whenever I needed help, all I had to do was ask and it's a great feeling

Joe:

when you ask for help and you have to turn away quality people because you've

Joe:

already had more than you could handle and this district and many Toastmasters

Joe:

from around the world, we have some top-notch leaders and they're leaders

Joe:

there because they want to help others.

Joe:

Toastmasters has helped them grow both in the Toastmasters world, their

Joe:

personal life, and their business world, and they want to give back.

Joe:

It's a way of giving back, so while there's not one person I can credit,

Joe:

and I know if I named a few names, I would leave somebody out, but it is

Joe:

just the culture of people helping other people go through, and that's

Joe:

something I'm trying to do now that I've gone from being District Director

Joe:

to Immediate Past District Director.

Joe:

Now I'm referring to myself as an elder statesman, so I want to be

Joe:

available for the people coming up because as leaders, one of our prime

Joe:

responsibilities is make sure we have quality leadership to follow so all

Joe:

the hard work we've done doesn't go for naught, and all the things that we wish

Joe:

we would've done can get accomplished.

Joe:

It's nice to see when you do something and people improve upon it.

Joshua:

First off, yes, absolutely.

Joshua:

It is a great feeling to see that, especially when people are taking

Joshua:

your advice, it's almost like, "Oh, look at what I'm providing.

Joshua:

It's really a great opportunity to see that reciprocated", and I've had that

Joshua:

opportunity even through the business that I've opened earlier this year with many

Joshua:

of my clients too, because of Toastmasters and that actually leads into my next

Joshua:

question because I think for some people, which this is the fifth conversation I've

Joshua:

had with a Toastmaster, and I saved the best for last, I think personally because

Joshua:

of our relationship that we've had.

Joshua:

Do you think that these skills that you've learned and even the people

Joshua:

that you have transformed, do you think it has rolled into your work,

Joshua:

because I read for the audience that you're a general administrator

Joshua:

for industrial instrumentation, so I was wondering if that has

Joshua:

had a positive effect for you too?

Joe:

Oh definitely, because when I was in sales, just to finish my story from before

Joe:

to go back is, I wound up getting my real estate license and going into real estate.

Joe:

Well, transitioning from my day job, which I'm currently going into that,

Joe:

and I reached a point where I had to decide: Do I go forward in real

Joe:

estate or do I go back to my day job?

Joe:

I decided to go back to my day job for various reasons, and at the

Joe:

time the company was struggling.

Joe:

I don't think it's a secret that the company was struggling financially,

Joe:

so I moved into the accounting role from the sales role, and that

Joe:

taught me people just want answers.

Joe:

If you talk to your vendors, if you're honest with them, If you fulfill your

Joe:

promises, they're going to work with you.

Joe:

People want other people to succeed, especially if you're

Joe:

selling somebody's product.

Joe:

As long as they're going to get paid, they want you to succeed because the stronger

Joe:

you are as a company, the stronger sales organization, the more of your

Joe:

product they're going to sell, so that has helped to turn the company around.

Joe:

I'm not saying I did it alone by any stretch.

Joe:

It was a team, but having that structure in place and making commitments, and then

Joe:

more important than making commitments is living up to them, helped the company

Joe:

regain credibility, which is huge.

Joshua:

With that said, you have really indicated the heart of it all,

Joshua:

which is really the team dynamic, being able to have other people, and

Joshua:

I think we both know, and I think many of my listeners would know this

Joshua:

too from hearing some of the other conversations, that being a Toastmaster

Joshua:

means that you don't do it alone.

Joshua:

You do it with a group of people, which is why we have clubs in the first place.

Joshua:

Would you say that your team is better, and if so, has there been maybe two

Joshua:

or three people, you don't have to mention their names or anything of

Joshua:

that nature, but have you seen two or three people that have really changed

Joshua:

fundamentally for the better because of those impacts that you have done?

Joe:

Well, the thing is with my company, a lot of the people who are with the

Joe:

organization at the time, they have left the organization, they've been replaced.

Joe:

I can't compare to people before and after, but we do have an

Joe:

excellent team here who has helped to regrow this company.

Joshua:

I would say in a way maybe that team, those people that have

Joshua:

moved on too, could potentially have been able to garner some of that

Joshua:

experience from you to be able to move on, which is a reward in itself.

Joe:

Yeah, exactly.

Joshua:

But even with that said, what would you say to someone, especially

Joshua:

going through some of the things that you have gone through in Toastmasters, has

Joshua:

there been any lessons learned for you?

Joshua:

In other words, if there was something that you could pass along to somebody

Joshua:

that's just starting out and maybe thinking about it in a professional

Joshua:

sense, sort of what you had done, even figuring out what that career path is.

Joshua:

Is there something of a piece of advice that you would give to someone and why

Joshua:

would you give them that piece of advice?

Joe:

Well, the best advice I can give people is just do it and somebody gave

Joe:

me that advice and it was actually a newer Toastmaster who gave me their

Joe:

advice, and he told me for speeches and other things, "Stop caring", because

Joe:

just by doing something, you're making headway, and you will never be perfect

Joe:

that there's no such thing as perfect.

Joe:

Everybody makes mistakes.

Joe:

Everybody wants to be perfect, but the more you do, the better

Joe:

you're going to get at it.

Joe:

It's going to be those repetitions.

Joe:

As long as you learn and grow from that, you are much better than you were at

Joe:

beginning, so just jump in with both feet, acknowledge that you're going

Joe:

to make mistakes, but just commit to learning from those mistakes.

Joshua:

What would you say is one of those things that when you came in, you

Joshua:

said, "Man, I really need to work on this", but at the end, or even looking

Joshua:

at it now in the present, because obviously you're still involved with

Joshua:

Toastmasters, it's something that you can say, "Yeah, I did really good with that.

Joshua:

I have really improved."

Joshua:

Has there been a set of goals that you had set out with before you started that you

Joshua:

wanted to achieve, in other words, and you got to achieve them, and can you describe

Joshua:

them a little bit of how you did that?

Joe:

Well, I don't know if there was a set of goals, because when

Joe:

I started there really wasn't.

Joe:

I didn't have a big mindset in what I wanted to accomplish.

Joe:

I was doing it day by day, but the one commitment I did make to myself is that

Joe:

I was going to jump in with both feet.

Joe:

If there was an opportunity to present itself, I was going to take it, and that

Joe:

led me to becoming District Director and other leadership things is because

Joe:

when something scared me, that was more of a reason to do it than not, and when

Joe:

somebody asked me to do something, as long as I was able to do it, and I mean

Joe:

able to do it from a time commitment and other thing, that I would do it, and one

Joe:

of my favorite stories started my road to District Director was that they had an

Joe:

annual conference, or actually at the time they did it every six months, so there was

Joe:

a conference, and I said, "I am going to sit in the front row.", and here I am, at

Joe:

the table and who sits down next to me?

Joe:

It is the District Director, the Lieutenant Governor of Marketing.

Joe:

Ryan Avery, who is a recent champion of public speaking.

Joe:

Randy Harvey, who is a former World Champion of Public Speaking, so I am there

Joe:

with like top echelon people and we're having great conversations, and because

Joe:

of that, Cynthia Brown, when she was elected District Governor at the time,

Joe:

she asked me to be Sergeant At Arms.

Joe:

I had no idea what the job was, but I said, " I'll give it a shot.", and I

Joe:

did it with my all and that was what got me starting the district leadership

Joe:

because I was involved with the Area Directors at the time, and I'm like,

Joe:

"No disrespect, but I can do that job.", so that's what got me started.

Joe:

I was very involved with it, but I made that commitment to jump in with

Joe:

both feet and I haven't looked back.

Joshua:

Cynthia Brown, unfortunately, had passed away many years ago now,

Joshua:

God rest her soul and I have to say, looking back, we have lost a lot of

Joshua:

different leaders, especially in our own district that have been really good.

Joshua:

Actually, just in the other episode, when I was talking to Rich Hopkins, I

Joshua:

was talking about Charlie Wilson, and you might remember him being a past

Joshua:

District Governor himself, and also been involved with different aspects of the

Joshua:

contest too, but Joe, how did it feel that someone, especially of that stature,

Joshua:

singled you out and said, "I believe in you wanting to be able to do this.

Joshua:

I think you have the capability of doing it."

Joshua:

How did that make you feel?

Joe:

It made me feel very special because having been District Director, it loses

Joe:

some of the luster because you realize that I have the same fears, concerns as

Joe:

everybody else, but at the time being especially a newer member, I'm in awe

Joe:

that the District Director wants me.

Joe:

The District Director knows who I am.

Joe:

It gave me a vote of confidence of, "Wow.

Joe:

Somebody notices me.

Joe:

Somebody important notices me."

Joshua:

Even with feeling like you're being noticed and being that you had

Joshua:

that spotlight shined on you, do you feel like you paved that moment forward,

Joshua:

meaning that, as you were building upon being Area Director, Division Director,

Joshua:

being Club Growth, Program Quality; do you feel like you were able to have that

Joshua:

same opportunity that Cynthia gave you?

Joe:

I tried and I encouraged people to get out of their comfort zone to

Joe:

try new things, and like anything in leadership, I wish I could have done more.

Joe:

I think there's some other people I could have developed and reached

Joe:

out to, but there are a handful of people, and I don't want to name any

Joe:

specific name, that I feel I help nurture along and encourage them to get

Joe:

outside their comfort; try new things.

Joe:

It's one thing to try something and not like it.

Joe:

It's another thing to not try it at all, and then one of the things that annoys

Joe:

me the most is the people who don't try things because they don't know exist.

Joshua:

Hmm.

Joe:

That's something I really tried to make sure people were aware of the

Joe:

existence of it, like if somebody doesn't want to be an Area Director, fine.

Joe:

If they have the reasons of they're familiar with the job,

Joe:

but if they don't know the role doesn't exist, it's like, "Wow.

Joe:

That would've been a great opportunity."

Joe:

That's where I think we fall short sometimes.

Joshua:

Yeah, and I think it's always about a knowledge gap, especially not

Joshua:

knowing, maybe putting yourself into that unknown, kind of like how Cynthia

Joshua:

put you in that unknown about, "Oh, what did I do as a Sergeant At Arms?

Joshua:

What's the responsibilities?

Joshua:

What is it that I'm actually supposed to be doing during the meetings?",

Joshua:

and things of that nature, so I think we all have that sort of

Joshua:

uncomfortableness, especially with doing something that is in the unknown.

Joshua:

You mentioned something earlier about maybe some of the things that you couldn't

Joshua:

have done, you weren't able to do.

Joshua:

When you were going through these five, six years of leadership, especially

Joshua:

in Toastmasters and being able to represent thousands of people, go to

Joshua:

the different places that you have been able to go, whether that was on a

Joshua:

virtual computer, which obviously we were mostly bound to during many years and

Joshua:

even maybe even some of the in-person locations that we were able to go to.

Joshua:

With all those things in mind, is there something that you feel you

Joshua:

wish you could turn the hands of time back and say, "I wish I would've

Joshua:

worked on this a little bit better", and is there any regret with that?

Joe:

I don't have regrets.

Joe:

That's one of the things.

Joe:

I have very few regrets because I like where I'm at, so I don't look at that;

Joe:

maybe some missed opportunities, and one of the things is, I wish we could've

Joe:

got people to embrace Pathways more, but this is something that Toastmasters,

Joe:

as an organization, has struggled with.

Joe:

Change is bad.

Joe:

Nobody likes change.

Joe:

Just because it's different; it's not the way it was before, so if we

Joe:

could've encouraged people, but part of the problem is with the knowledge

Joe:

gap is, how do you reach people?

Joe:

It's like without waking them up, breaking into their house at two

Joe:

o'clock in the morning, waking them up, how do you reach them?

Joe:

We have social media; emails.

Joe:

If people want the information, they're going to find it, but, learning how better

Joe:

to reach people and get people involved.

Joe:

Let them know the opportunities that are out there.

Joe:

I wish we would've chartered more clubs and that is always a hard thing because

Joe:

by chartering a club, you're giving people the opportunity to change the

Joe:

life of 20, 30, 40 people with the ripple effects going on, so I wish we could've

Joe:

done more of that, to show people the benefits of Toastmasters, but because we

Joe:

have a finite amount of time, and people are hesitant, it's very hard to do.

Joshua:

It is, and for my listeners that might not be familiar with Toastmasters,

Joshua:

Pathways is the educational program that Toastmasters rolled out about six years

Joshua:

ago now, which has had a lot of different reactions across the globe of whether

Joshua:

it's effective, not effective, but it combines the leadership and communication

Joshua:

styles, which I know personally for myself, I have been through both programs,

Joshua:

have gotten one DTM, the Distinguished Toastmaster Award, in each of them.

Joshua:

I can definitely say that Pathways does add some value if you really

Joshua:

believe in the value that it provides, and I had believed in that.

Joshua:

Do you believe in what you have done, Joe, in terms of not just what you have

Joshua:

accomplished educationally, which you have definitely worked to get your DTM

Joshua:

as well, but do you feel that maybe other people, because like you said earlier,

Joshua:

like some people are just kind of feel jipped, or maybe they didn't realize

Joshua:

that they could have these opportunities.

Joshua:

Do you feel that maybe it's time for people like you and I to hit the road

Joshua:

and be like, "Hey, look what we can do.

Joshua:

We've done it.

Joshua:

How about you?"

Joshua:

Do you think that maybe more that in person, in your face

Joshua:

sort of approach is necessary?

Joe:

I think to some extent that may be beneficial is to show what

Joe:

we can do, but we have to get over and learn how to get people, because

Joe:

people say they want to learn.

Joe:

People say they want to develop, they want to get out their comfort zone until

Joe:

they realize they have to do work to get it, so we can encourage people, we can

Joe:

show people what we can do, but until people really want to be helped, there's

Joe:

nothing we can do while throwing on deaf ears, and one of the things I'm going

Joe:

to use one of my examples with is I was close to 400 pounds a couple years ago

Joe:

and I had bariatric surgery, which is, for the layman, it's the stomach stapling,

Joe:

and I have lost almost 200 pounds.

Joshua:

Yeah

Joe:

I gained a little bit back because of COVID.

Joe:

I'm working to get it off, but I'm willing to talk to anybody about

Joe:

it, but, until somebody wants to do it, until somebody is serious about

Joe:

it, I won't discuss it with them.

Joe:

They have to come to me.

Joe:

I can't go to somebody who is obviously overweight and said,

Joe:

"This is what worked for me.

Joe:

You should try it."

Joe:

No, but if somebody reaches out to me and who's willing to discuss it, I am

Joe:

happy to talk about it in detail and I know several people who have had it,

Joe:

and some of them I discuss publicly.

Joe:

Others I don't because they've kept it a secret.

Joe:

I keep their secret, so again, if somebody's not ready to be

Joe:

helped, you can't help them.

Joshua:

I've had great admiration for you, Joe, because I remember you being

Joshua:

the bigger version of yourself and you've been able to keep this slimmer

Joshua:

version of yourself and I have been, and I don't think I ever really told

Joshua:

you this, and I put this on the record of this podcast episode, that I've been

Joshua:

really proud of you for what you've been continue to do because it's not easy.

Joshua:

None of this is easy, and really I think my next line of questioning,

Joshua:

which we have talked a lot about your Toastmaster's journey.

Joshua:

I've kind of want to get your thoughts on the bigger scope of things, the bigger

Joshua:

world picture, when it comes to the place where communication and leadership sort

Joshua:

of collide, and I guess really I want to start off by asking you: Do you feel that

Joshua:

we are, in a United States perspective more especially, do you feel that we are

Joshua:

in a communications crisis right now?

Joe:

Yes, but if you look through history, anytime there's been a great

Joe:

revolution in formats, this has happened.

Joe:

Right now, we are able to share anything we won across the world in nanoseconds.

Joe:

Doesn't matter if it's true.

Joe:

Doesn't matter if it's made up.

Joe:

Doesn't matter if it's gibberish.

Joe:

It spreads like wildfire.

Joe:

Same thing happened in the printing press, where all of a sudden people

Joe:

were afraid because the masses could start to read things before books were

Joe:

reserved for the privileged, so when the masses got; same thing with newspapers,

Joe:

"Oh my God, the, we can get daily news updates?", so again, this has happened.

Joe:

I'm sure it happened with cavemen and the cave paintings and

Joe:

hieroglyphics, it's like, "Oh wow.

Joe:

We can", so who knows how many of those hieroglyphics were made up gossip stories.

Joshua:

Yeah.

Joshua:

Don't worry-

Joe:

So this happened and I think it's going to take a few years to work out and

Joe:

figure out, okay, this is a system and people to learn not to believe everything

Joe:

that they read, and that's tough because if you saw something in print

Joe:

50 years ago from the New York Times.

Joe:

That story was vetted.

Joe:

They had clear sources before it was gone.

Joe:

That over time has changed because over time things changed because now

Joe:

everybody wants to be the first to print; put the facts to the side,

Joe:

but same thing with text and emails.

Joe:

If you wanted to talk to somebody, you'd have to pick up the phone.

Joe:

You'd actually have to get to a physical phone, even a payphone, hope

Joe:

that they were there and answer the phone, and by that, maybe that time.

Joe:

Yeah, maybe I'm mad at you, Josh.

Joe:

I want to call and curse you out.

Joe:

Well, it rings and it rings.

Joe:

Well, I have time to calm down.

Joe:

Now, I'm upset with you.

Joe:

I can send you a text and say where I don't even have to talk to you.

Joe:

I can let all my hostility out and maybe it's something that I misinterpreted

Joe:

and you know the other thing with the communication is sending a text.

Joe:

You can't read the tone of the text.

Joe:

The same word said different ways can mean something, like I texted

Joe:

my daughter, we're going down to visit her this weekend, and I'm like,

Joe:

"You're looking forward to coming to see us?", and she's like, "Sure."

Joe:

Something along those lines; so those four letters could mean

Joe:

one of a dozen different things depending on how she meant it.

Joshua:

And, don't worry, I have my hammer and chisel in the car so that

Joshua:

when we get back to having hieroglyphics and stone tablets and all kinds of

Joshua:

different things, I'm ready for it, Joe.

Joshua:

I'm ready for it, but you make a good point in that I think sometimes we take

Joshua:

for granted that matter of convenience, especially with a handheld device, because

Joshua:

literally as you were talking, the phone rings here next to me and it's vibrating.

Joshua:

It's like we can't get away from it sometimes too, especially when we're

Joshua:

trying to do things really important, which is talk to our guests on podcasts,

Joshua:

you know, so it does create some of those bigger distractions and I think that is

Joshua:

a big part of it too, when we're trying to have this back and forth, but I often

Joshua:

wonder, and Joe, I've known you for many years and I've considered you a friend.

Joshua:

I still do after all these years because I have just seen tremendous opportunity

Joshua:

in you that you have exercised.

Joshua:

Is there something yet for you to do when it comes to your

Joshua:

communication leadership journey?

Joshua:

Are you looking forward to something yet that you have not yet tapped into?

Joe:

Oh many, many, many, many, many things, and that's one of where I've

Joe:

struggled with my commitments to my work and actually trying to have a personal

Joe:

life and travel and do all these things I wanted to do, is I really want to branch

Joe:

out because I feel I have a lot to offer other people, and I don't want to sound

Joe:

egotistical, but I really feel that I can work as a coach and help people bring out

Joe:

their leadership and challenge them, so that is something that over the next year

Joe:

I really want to work at and figuring out how I can make this my ultimate goal

Joe:

in life is to be able to live anywhere.

Joe:

Not so much nomadic, but I've always lived in the Philadelphia area my entire life.

Joe:

I'm going to be 55 later this year, and I've always lived

Joe:

in the Philadelphia area.

Joe:

I would like to move out to the west coast for a year or two.

Joe:

I don't want to be saddle to a location.

Joe:

With the technology we have, I want to be able to work anywhere in the world,

Joe:

and I think by coaching, I can do that and fulfill my dreams while helping

Joe:

other people fulfill their dreams.

Joshua:

I know somebody that is doing their own coaching business, if you're

Joshua:

interested in talking to them, and for my listeners, I was pointing to myself.

Joe:

Oh, I got the reference before you even pointed to yourself.

Joshua:

Oh, yeah, definitely, definitely, but I think that's really what this is

Joshua:

about, is that we know that we have this message that we want to share, and I've

Joshua:

had featured so many different people so far that have allowed them, and their

Joshua:

own best versions of themselves, be able to express something that they really

Joshua:

want to do, and I think that for us, being that we both have been through

Joshua:

Toastmasters, I don't think we would've ever gotten that great opportunity.

Joshua:

We probably would've figured it out, but it would've took us a lot longer

Joshua:

to get there if it wasn't for some of the inspirations that we've had.

Joshua:

Many different people that have been really the backbone of what has made

Joshua:

this great, and speaking of backbones, I would be remiss if I didn't mention

Joshua:

about your wife, Susan, which I know she has been a tremendous support for

Joshua:

you, even throughout Toastmasters, throughout your whole entire life.

Joshua:

I was wondering, to close this out, Joe, if there's anything that you

Joshua:

want to say to your wife that has been really impactful for you that maybe

Joshua:

you haven't been able to share, but maybe the audience would benefit from

Joshua:

hearing, so I want to give you a couple moments if you want to share that.

Joe:

Well, she has enabled me.

Joe:

She's been very supportive no matter what I've wanted to do, and there's been times

Joe:

where I'm like, this is a perfect example.

Joe:

I'm not going to be home this week, or she asked me, "What nights you're

Joe:

going to be home?", and I looked at the calendar, it's like, "Well, I have a

Joe:

Toastmasters here, I have this, this, this.", so she is very supportive.

Joe:

She's held the home together during that time.

Joe:

What I really am happy about is she's been a Toastmaster herself for about

Joe:

four years now, and it's taken her a while, but she's starting to embrace

Joe:

the program, and one of the things that I encouraged her to do is to get a club

Joe:

that I'm not involved with, because if you know me, and you can probably tell

Joe:

from this, I carry a large shadow, and the problem was the club we were in together,

Joe:

she was getting lost in my shadow.

Joe:

I like to talk; where letting her get out by herself is really helped

Joe:

her develop, and I have seen a wonder in her, but we're about to celebrate

Joe:

our 29th wedding anniversary.

Joe:

She's been supportive and we've grown together, and I joke that

Joe:

she's not the woman I married.

Joe:

I'm not the man that she married, but we've been able to change and

Joe:

grow together and it's built our relationship to become much stronger,

Joe:

and I like to joke that I'm out after 50 years, so we got about 21 years

Joe:

left and then, then I'm out so I'll be in my early seventies and available.

Joshua:

Mic drop.

Joshua:

Peace.

Joshua:

That's how I'll summarize that, but no I'll summarize it this way.

Joe:

No, no, I love her with all my heart and if it wasn't for her and her

Joe:

support, and her understanding, I wouldn't be able to achieve what I've achieved.

Joshua:

I think to close this out, I have to say that there's been many

Joshua:

things, Joe, that you have supported me in, not only forward facing, but

Joshua:

backward facing through some of the things that I've been very open about

Joshua:

on this podcast, which I've been very open about my suicide, my depression, my

Joshua:

anxiety, the struggles, the ups and downs.

Joshua:

I know that a lot of those things can be very full of turmoil, let's put it that

Joshua:

way, but I think through the thick and thin, you summarized it right there at

Joshua:

the end is about really the change the that we go through, and yeah, it doesn't

Joshua:

mean that we're the same person when we start out, but it can be whatever we

Joshua:

control it to be, whether we want to be the good or we want to be the bad: the Dr.

Joshua:

Jekyll, Mr.

Joshua:

Hyde sort of scenario, but I think that you're definitely not one of

Joshua:

those people that has been ill warded or ill fated or anything like that.

Joshua:

I think for me, just listening to you and the countless others, you have so much

Joshua:

potential yet to share on this world, and I have to say thank you for that.

Joshua:

Thank you for being there for me, especially even now doing this with me,

Joshua:

and Joe, I want to say thank you for being on Speaking From the Heart, it has been a

Joshua:

true privilege to have you on the show, on a personal level, but also professionally.

Joe:

Well, thank you for having me.

Joe:

It was wonderful conversation and you're doing a wonderful

Joe:

job here at sharing your story.

Joshua:

I want to thank Joe again for being part of the show and really

Joshua:

showing us what it takes to not just move from one place to another, but

Joshua:

sometimes even with those challenges that we have gone through, whether

Joshua:

that is weight loss, especially massive weight loss, it can help us to open

Joshua:

a whole new realm of possibilities, whether that is real estate, whether

Joshua:

that is being a life coach, or rather being a motivational speaker.

Joshua:

Oh, the choices.

Joshua:

Oh my.

Joshua:

There are so many to choose from.

Joshua:

Oh, yes.

Joshua:

I'm sure you have heard a variation of those play of words because of the many

Joshua:

different things that we have in our life.

Joshua:

I feel that in this interview we talked a lot about not only the things that

Joshua:

we can do to succeed, but sometimes the things that we have as fears and concerns

Joshua:

that are involved that we might be held back from being able to do some of those

Joshua:

things that are necessary, and although we have talked about this as a theme in

Joshua:

quite a number of our episodes, what we haven't talked about yet is the fact that

Joshua:

sometimes those fears are so inherently buried, that they often consume us,

Joshua:

and we have to realize that we lived with that existence and moved past it.

Joshua:

We have to evolve for that matter, and I know that we've had a number of guests

Joshua:

that haven't talked about that journey, but I haven't really specifically focused

Joshua:

on what we've talked about here in this episode, and I think it's a great time

Joshua:

to do it now as we wrap up this month of Toastmasters and honoring all these

Joshua:

people that have been on the show on these Wednesdays in this past month of November

Joshua:

to get to where we're at, because I think it's more of a question about how can

Joshua:

we communicate in a more effective way.

Joshua:

Can we be able to create that opportunity that is needed in our lives by simply

Joshua:

waving a magic wand or even doing just some of the hard work that's necessary

Joshua:

in order to become a confident speaker; to become a confident leader; to be able

Joshua:

to step out of the shadow of what we once was and then being able to create

Joshua:

that change that is truly necessary, and I think that for Joe and for the, some

Joshua:

of the things that I have been through personally with Joe, which I have been

Joshua:

both on the opposite side of the spectrum to being his close friend, I realized

Joshua:

that we can have disagreements, but it's about also getting to the center

Joshua:

and refocusing ourselves to what we can ultimately become, and in a way, become an

Joshua:

elder statesman, of helping others achieve that focus; to achieve that success.

Joshua:

Joe is in that pivotal moment of Toastmasters, in which now he's been

Joshua:

able to help so many people throughout the years and has even helped me for

Joshua:

that matter, to become a better person, and I think that for many of us,

Joshua:

when we have those individuals, even Toastmasters for that matter, or even some

Joshua:

organization that you can fill the blank in on, it has helped us to realize the

Joshua:

opportunities that present themselves.

Joshua:

One of those opportunities that I could have had was also what Joe

has gone through:

being District Director, and unfortunately, I was not

has gone through:

able to do that because of that same situation that happened over three

and a half years ago:

my own fear.

and a half years ago:

You see, we covered that in quite a number of these episodes since this podcast

and a half years ago:

has launched about the struggles that it takes to not only overcome some of those

and a half years ago:

battles that we have in our life, but also those different things in our own life

and a half years ago:

that always seem to just come up out of nowhere and knock you down, and I know

and a half years ago:

that for one day, at one moment, at one time, I'll be able to have something that

and a half years ago:

will say to me that I am truly successful, that I'm truly capable of doing some of

and a half years ago:

the same things that Joe has achieved, but my time has not come yet or has it?

and a half years ago:

As I reflect on even the interview that we had with Joe, but I reflect

and a half years ago:

on all the interviews that we've had this past month with a variety of

and a half years ago:

different Toastmasters, I think about those personal struggles that have

and a half years ago:

gotten them to where they are at.

and a half years ago:

Whether we are talking about the people that have been lost at sea, maybe they

and a half years ago:

have had a birth defect that might have held them back, maybe they had individuals

and a half years ago:

in their own lives that have been pushing them to do something completely

and a half years ago:

different; maybe they were trying to get to some sort of different type of

and a half years ago:

zing in their life that would allow them to be a force to be reckoned with.

and a half years ago:

All those are different themes that in our lives we can decide whether we want to

and a half years ago:

embrace them or not, but the true question becomes of whether we want to embrace

and a half years ago:

them, whether we want that to be our best version of ourself, and I think that for

and a half years ago:

many of us, we have that ultimate choice of deciding what is really important.

and a half years ago:

Whether we decide to move forward with it or not is totally in the hands of us,

and a half years ago:

and nobody else could ever dictate that.

and a half years ago:

Nobody, as part of this experience, should be dictating that, but the question of

and a half years ago:

should, would or could, always seems to permeate throughout existence.

and a half years ago:

I think that for many of us, we often want to reflect on what could have

and a half years ago:

happened if we made another choice.

and a half years ago:

If we could have made another turn at the fork in the road, so that we were

and a half years ago:

able to see some of that success that we had in our lives; or was that success?

and a half years ago:

You see, even as I'm speaking right now, I'm leading you down different paths,

and a half years ago:

different versions of what this context could be as we wrap up this month, of

and a half years ago:

speeches of insight, of inspiration, of triumph, of courage, but I think

and a half years ago:

that the question becomes, what do we ultimately want to do with all this

and a half years ago:

information in which we want to become some of these best people that we've had

and a half years ago:

in our lives, whether that is Charles Gates; whether that is Len Tran; whether

and a half years ago:

that is Rich Hopkins; whether that is Alexandre Matte; or even Joe Smith.

and a half years ago:

It doesn't matter what you want to be.

The real question is:

Do you want to mirror what these people are or do you

The real question is:

wanna step forth into a possibility, a realm, if you will, of endless options?

The real question is:

Sometimes we're afraid of having those options presented in front of us because

The real question is:

we don't know where that's going to take us, and sometimes that can be

The real question is:

our biggest detractor from being able to see what we ultimately can become.

The real question is:

I think for the longest time in my life I wanted to be something

The real question is:

that everybody would be admiring.

The real question is:

I didn't want to have the same courage or the same triumphs of maybe some of

The real question is:

our guests, but I wanted to have a carve out where I was just accepted for who

The real question is:

I was; to be able to be valued for the opinions and even the opportunities

The real question is:

and even the advice that I could give, because I know I have a good story and

The real question is:

it's darn tootin' and exciting to tell it to so many different people, but I

The real question is:

think that it isn't just about me, and that's what I've learned, especially as

The real question is:

I've gone through even being a podcast host and even being a business owner.

The real question is:

It is not about me.

The real question is:

It's not about what I can ultimately achieve.

The real question is:

It's not about what anybody else has achieved.

The real question is:

It's about what the path can be in order for us to move forward into a direction

The real question is:

that is not only courageous in its own right, but allows us to define what that

The real question is:

success is, which allows us to set the goals in which we want to set forth; to

The real question is:

allow us to build the relationships with others that maybe other people can't have.

The real question is:

Maybe getting the confidence to stand in front of a room or even stand in

The real question is:

front of a somebody else that we truly like and say that I want to be with

The real question is:

you, but deep down inside of it all is this one word that still permeates

The real question is:

in my mind even after this interview: determination, the final value in which

The real question is:

Your Speaking Voice is founded on.

The real question is:

I think that for Toastmasters, it's allowed me to find my determination

The real question is:

to just keep driving forward, to keep learning from some of these people that

The real question is:

have driven their success through the many different opportunities that they've had.

The real question is:

It isn't just because other people wanted to see them succeed, but it's about

The real question is:

to stop caring about what those fears, those insecurities, those concerns are

The real question is:

to not just overcome imposter syndrome, to not just overcome the animosity

The real question is:

that we might have with someone else, even if they're thousands of miles

The real question is:

away or even our next door neighbor.

The real question is:

We have to learn to evolve, and by evolving and learning the different

The real question is:

languages that we have to do that, whether that is through speaking or

The real question is:

a little foreign language, can we communicate in a more effective way

The real question is:

that will help others to understand what they can do in their lives?

The real question is:

I think that's what I've learned through this month of November with

The real question is:

Toastmasters, and I think it's learned through not just the things that I

The real question is:

have learned from these guests, but what I have discovered through the many

The real question is:

speeches and the many opportunities that have been presented in front of me.

The real question is:

Each of us have those opportunities if we're willing to step forward and look

The real question is:

at them and stare at them in the eye and say that this is what I'm going

The real question is:

to do and I won't be afraid of the consequences that come alongside with

The real question is:

it, because if we're able to do that, we are a Toastmaster in its own right.

The real question is:

We can be just as successful as some of these guests have been, and I can

The real question is:

be just as successful as I continue to strive forward learning and growing

The real question is:

and being inspired by not just the guests, but also the topics that we have

The real question is:

covered, and I think for that, it is worth getting evaluated on over and over

The real question is:

again, because we need to step outside of our shadow, because if we're half of

The real question is:

our former self, that might be for the best, especially if that past version

The real question is:

was not good enough to begin with.

The real question is:

I want to thank again all the Toastmasters that have been part of this episode,

The real question is:

and even the episodes of past, for being part of this experience that I

The real question is:

am living and I want to thank you, the listeners for entertaining this month

The real question is:

of Toastmasters being on Speaking From The Heart, but for now, this concludes

The real question is:

episode number 63 of Speaking From The Heart, and I look forward to hearing from

The real question is:

your heart, and your voice, very soon.

Outro:

Thanks for listening.

Outro:

For more information about our podcast and future shows, search for Speaking From

Outro:

The Heart to subscribe and be notified wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Outro:

Visit us at www.yourspeakingvoice.biz for more information about potential

Outro:

services that can help you create the best version of yourself.

Chapters