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Paul Sutton on Digital Downloads and Mental Illness Advocacy
Episode 2718th March 2021 • Podcaster Stories • Danny Brown
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This week, I sit down with Paul Sutton, host of the Digital Download Podcast, a show about digital communications strategy, social media marketing, and the internet.

Each week, Paul discusses a specific area of digital media with an expert in their field.

Paul is also a vocal advocate of mental health awareness in the communications industry, and uses his own personal battle with mental illness to continue the discussion around this important topic.

I don't get people on; I address topics.

Paul talks about how he came to start his podcast, and why he didn't have any expectations of the show lasting beyond a season. He shares why some of his favourite episodes are the ones where his guests have a very contrary view of the communications industry.

Is Clubhouse a Replacement for Podcasting?

We also talk about why he wouldn't want to launch a podcast today. However, this isn't because he feels podcasting is being superseded by the likes of Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces - far from it.

Despite the millions of users making Clubhouse the latest darling of the tech world, Paul sees it as a short-term snack in the content ecosystem.

We are in an on-demand world. I can't imagine using that format once the novelty had worn off.

He cites the example of his friend in the UK who set an alarm for 3.00am in the morning, so she could hop on a Clubhouse chat in the US, and questions whether users will have that kind of dedication regularly.

Raising Awareness of Mental Health Issues in the Communications Industry

One thing Paul has been very vocal about in recent years is his own battles with mental health, and how much of a problem this is in the communications industry.

With so many communications professionals spending so much time on social media for their jobs, Paul discusses if that has an impact on mental wellness, including:

  • whether social media impacts our mental health, or our mental health dictates our use of social media
  • why he really left Facebook
  • how scared he was about raising the topic of his own mental health battles
  • what needs to be done to reduce mental health issues in high stress industries

Paul's own experience on this topic makes for some very open and personal insights into why there's still a problem, and what can be done to improve things.

That was a bad time, but I have grown as a person and in my life and I think that's a valuable thing to do.

Join us for a lively and insightful chat about the changing landscape of work, how it impacts our personal lives, and why even the darkest times can be a springboard for the lives we lead today.

Connect with Paul:

Contact me: danny@podcasterstories.com

My equipment:

Recommended resources:

Mentioned in this episode:

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Hey, this is Danny here from Podcaster Stories. Thanks so much for listening, and I'd love for you to get the latest episodes when they're released. So make sure to follow on your favourite podcast app, or hop on over to podcasterstories.com/listen. If you enjoy the show and want to leave a review, you can do that at podcasterstories.com/review to share your thoughts with listeners just like you. Thanks so much for being part of the Podcaster Stories community, and now here's this week's episode.



This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp

Transcripts

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I think everyone has to take some times, sometimes you

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just think, you know what? I think there were certain

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times in my life where it sucked. It really sucks,

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but look where I am now. So I think, I

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think you're right. And I'm sure you, you've got things

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in your life as well. Where do you look back

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and go, what do you know what that was a

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bad time, but I have grown as a person and

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in my life and everything else that's come on. I

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mean, you know, you, you've got kids in and a

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wife and things, and you must think the same thing

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at times. And I think that's a valuable thing to

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do.

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Hi and welcome to Podcaster Stories. Each episode, we will

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have a conversation with Podcast from across the globe and

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share their story. What motivates them by the start to

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the show are the crucial And More, we will also

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talk about their personal lives and some of the things

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that have happened at Midem, the person who we are

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today, and now here's your host, Danny Brown. Hi, and

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welcome to another episode of Podcast Stories where we get

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to meet the people behind the voices of the show

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is we will listen to this weak. We've got Paul

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Sutton, who's our fashion NISTA Xtrordinair. And we'll talk about

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this piece. The shirt's probably, I have to say Normal

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to give them a lot of grief about that. Paul

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was the host of the Digital Download Podcast, which is

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a show about digital communications strategy, social media marketing, and

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the internet.

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So a Paul, welcome to the show. How about you

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introduced yourself and your podcast?

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Yeah, thank you. So, yeah, I I've been running my

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podcast now for three years or so. And like you

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say, it's about digital communications and strategy and, and our

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cover a whole wide range of things really from, I

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don't know if the future of the internet to social

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media tactics, to, you know, the mental health and health

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impacts of the, into all sorts of stuff. I'm, I've

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been working in marketing communications for 20 odd years now.

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I'm really getting to a halt as my 50th birthday

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next year and a year younger than me. Not that

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I'm not sure. Anyway, so yeah, I I've been working

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on that for 20 years. The last six have, which

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have been as an independent consultant, which I love doing

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it's I have to say the last given what's happened

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in the last year, it's probably in my view, it

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is, it's probably the best sort of thing that you

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could have been doing.

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'cause, you know, I've always had control over my own

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destiny for the last six years anyway. So things like

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working from home and everything else that's been going on

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in a kind of second nature anyway, really.

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And you mentioned that obviously the Podcast had been gone,

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but I think since 2018, no, at the beginning of

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2018. And so how do we come up with a

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new idea or was it something that it just came

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naturally? Or is it something you saw and opportunity for

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it? Or

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I had been kind of badgered about starting a podcast

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for a year or two. I mean, I was aware

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at the time that Podcasts were kind of taken off

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of them and listen to ship, I had started to

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grow quite rapidly because of everything, you know, we're on

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four G and mobile devices and that sort of stuff,

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which we are, which would kind of know about, and

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people kept saying to me, I should start a podcast,

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but I didn't know anything about it. Like literally nothing.

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I didn't know what went into it. I didn't know

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the editing, the publishing process or nothing. And so I

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started it really as kind of an experiment to, to

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learn about Podcasting. And I started it with no expectation

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that it would last more than one season.

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I did a season of 10 shows. I think it

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was in the first, the first lot. And it really

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was a case of, well, let's do 10, see how

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it goes. And like I said, I had no expectations

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if I go any further, But three years later where

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we are now.

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And then you mentioned you had no expectations, you know,

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for it to maybe go beyond the initial 10 episodes.

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So knowing that you've made just have 10 episodes or

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what were the original goals for the show and how's

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that maybe changed over time

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And the original goals? I think, I think thinking back

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I wanted to cover 10, quite different areas of digital

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communications at that time. So if I remember rightly my

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first 10 episodes, including things like, I don't know how

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to, how to make the best use of photography for

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social media, for example. And I did one on the

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users on the internet and how they were changing. I

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did one where I interviewed the CIP or a prisoner

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at that time about what she was expecting to come

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through in the next year in the PR I did

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one with our friend, Jenny Dietrich.

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I basically pulled in a lot of favors in those

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first 10 to get me up and running an ad.

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And the way I saw it, if I was interviewing

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out of those 10 episodes, maybe if I, if, if

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maybe half or six or seven of those were with

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people I knew really well, then it felt like the

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risk of doing, if there is such a thing was

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made at least three years later, I think of it

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very differently. I come up with episode ideas just depending

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on what I'm thinking about that as much as anything,

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I don't have any goals in terms of what I

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start a season. I don't have any goals or if

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I want to cover XYZ, ed, you know, all of

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these different topics, I, I start off with four or

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five in mind and kind of let it evolve from

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there.

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So I probably would approach it in a very different

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way than the, you know, when I started out.

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Okay. And you mentioned Jenny Dietrich there and she's been

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on now about three or four times, I think at

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last count. How much is she paying you?

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Yeah, she has been on quite a lot. I have

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two roommates. The reason that I get her back around

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quite a lot of it is purely because those episodes

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seem to get a good response. So don't tell her

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that

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I'm going to get cut that from the edit of

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the show. Absolutely. She is not getting to know that.

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As you mentioned, You interview guests and they share the

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thoughts on how listeners can see improved or digital communications

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or you know, topics to do with that. So you

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mentioned photography and social media, etc. But you also have

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guests on a possibly truly that tale of the industry

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or a new one. Yeah. So do you have a

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preference for either, but what, how do you find your

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reaction to these kind of different episodes?

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No, I love having different opinions on it. I really

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do. And, and I think you were the first person

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to come on my podcast, who, who did that. And

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I loved the fact that that, that show went out.

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'cause if I think back back to my F my

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first season, and like I say, using the photography while

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it as an example, because that's what jumped to mind

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fine. It was a, it was an okay episode, but

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there was nothing particularly challenging about that. I don't think,

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and I like the shows to, or at least some

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of the shows to challenge people. And, you know, you

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were the first one that did that and, and I've

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had others on as well where I have just thought

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this, this is it.

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It's almost reflecting. What's going on in my head and,

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and having a third party to, to reinforce in opinions

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that I may be have. I think he is great.

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And I love the fact that it challenges people. I

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love the fact that you can do to get quite

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a good response from those sorts of things. Some of

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them are the most listened to episodes that I've done

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have been where people have expressed opinions or said things

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that are a bit more controversial. And to me, that's

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a great thing.

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Do you ever find that on that topic, do you

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ever find that some guests might not want to come

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on to offer her a C or a contract of

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view because they are fearful of the, the blow back

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that makes it either online or, or, or even from

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say clients or such as

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I'm trying to think if I have people ever, I,

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I suppose it, in three years, I've probably only had

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maybe three or four people turn down the opportunity to

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come on. When you get somewhat on who you think

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is going to be, I suppose, where we are not,

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if I think about it, the more controversial ones I

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am inviting people on hoo I know are, are going

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to be prepared to voice an opinion. So I'm not

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going to try and trap them into saying something. They

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know what they come in on this show for. And

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it's all, you know, we we've, we've discussed it previously.

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So, so if I'm, if I'm approaching those sort of

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subject, so I'm, I'm talking to people who I know

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have those opinions anyway, you know?

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No, it makes sense. Yeah, it was just good. I

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know sometimes at, at, at least depending on our podcast

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show topics, it can be harder to get guests to

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speak about a certain topic. And I'm just curious is

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special with the, you know, there are a social media

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and making it so easy to get your Ricoh it

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a career Pitchfork. Why do you get like a rig

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this, of what I have to take my God and

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rake to you for? So you had mentioned earlier about

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you'd started a podcast and I guess people were mentioning

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it to you, ah, back in 2018. Now I know,

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I like to do a lot of communicators are talking

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about the Podcast Boom today and how businesses can take

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advantage of it. But as I mentioned back in may

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18, you actually publish an episode about this very topic

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and how to take advantage of Podcasts and for a

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PR business, et cetera, what was it that you sold

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then that people like a fellow peers didn't and know,

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they're sort of seeing that if you'd like,

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I guess that, that was that first season that I

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did. So I did this season of 10 or 11

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episodes. Like I say, no expectations. I, I did it

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to learn about Podcasting, having done that, the response I

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had, two, those 10 or 11 episode was far beyond

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anything I have probably ever done in, in terms of

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personal marketing. It, it, it, you know, I mean, I've

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been blogging for 10 years before that. And I, and

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I think that the blogging side of things, I had

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become bored, I was running out of ideas or things

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talk about, and it was just this whole new format.

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And, and those that first season, just, just like a

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light bulb, it made me think, do you know what

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everyone should be getting involved in this?

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I think actually things are different. Now. This is three

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years on, were talking and there have been so many

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podcasts in, in my niche anyway. I mean, you know,

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across the board, but in my niche, there are so

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many podcasts launched nowadays that talk about, I don't know,

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PR and comms, and then what have you. And a

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lot of them are just, I think, a bit vanilla.

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And in that environment, I think it's more difficult to

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get cut through. So I, I am pleased that I

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started at three years ago because I wouldn't put anyone

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off starting a podcast now at all, because I think

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there's a great format, but I think it's more challenging

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now than it was three years ago.

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Yeah. And especially, I know that there's been a lot

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of talk online with the likes of Clubhouse and Twitter

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Spaces, et cetera, almost taking it away from like a

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traditional podcast. And if you like, it was new and

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medium. So I'd be interested in to see how that,

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that plays a long. Have you been married at a,

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the club house at all? Well, I'm an Android user,

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so now that'd be too. I don't get it.

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I don't get the privilege, but even though I haven't

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used it, I, I actually don't believe the hype around

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Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces. I just don't buy into it

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because maybe this comes from being a, a, a Podcaster.

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I think I don't see it as a, as a

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competitor to Podcasting a toll. I think they are entirely

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different things. I think, although it's quite brave, a novel

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to have sort of a, a, a real time media

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format, we are in an on demand. And I can't

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imagine ever not ever, I shouldn't tell us a bit

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strong, but I can't imagine really using that media format

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once the novelty had worn off.

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I really can't because I've, for example, I know someone

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who, who logged into a Clubhouse, a chap a couple

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of weeks ago, and she set an alarm at three

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o'clock in the morning in the UK. So she can

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join a chat that has happened in the States. And

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that, that, that kind of made me really think that,

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do you know what there is this whole real time

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thing? Yes, it's novel. But I, I just don't it,

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once that novelty is over, you're really going to bother

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be doing that stuff. And I know maybe people have

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a different opinion and that is absolutely fine. And I'm

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trying to get funny enough a podcast about this shortly,

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because I know people are loving Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces

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is come a long long, but I just don't buy

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into it.

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Yeah. That's definitely a different vibe that I like to

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shop. I am an Android guy, so haven't tried it.

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And a lot of my I-phone friends do use it,

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but at the feedback is, needs to be like this

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hole, you know, echo chamber. But again, it's like a

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lot of marketers are talking about marketing and all that,

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blah, blah, blah. So, and then I don't know if

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we're missing anything, but we would all go. So what

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do we, you know, absolutely. Now, obviously you've got to

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have a wide variety of guests talking about different topics

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that are in Europe, your space, your niche. And so

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is there anything that you've taken from your guests and

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implemented in your own life either personally or professionally?

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I'm sure there must. I can't think of anything, you

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know, off the cuff there, but I'm sure there must

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be 'cause, you know, I, I try and get my

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guests on who I respect. I come up with a

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topic idea and the, the, the way I run my

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podcast is to come up with a topic idea and

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then find a guest who has relevant to that someone

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knowledgable or someone I respect or, you know, has got

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an opinion. So I'm sure you get pitched. And I

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get pitched increasingly from outreach people saying, do you want

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to have such and such a go and your podcast?

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I don't think I've ever, ever accepted one of those

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pitches because that's not the way I run it. I

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don't, I don't get people on, I, I address topics.

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Does that make sense? I'd and if I can explain

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that,

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No, no, that, that makes perfect sense. And I like

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the fact that it's coming from a PR professionals, because

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as you mentioned that it's a lot of pitches that

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you can sometimes get 'em and clear to them, never

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listened to your show. It's just an excuse to come

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out and sell a book, sell, sell an online course

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or whatever. So, yeah. I like that approach that you're

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taking in there where it's really knuckling it down. Yeah.

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Yeah. I mean, it, it works for me and you

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know, it is not for everyone, but if it goes

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back too, you know, we were talking about blogging and

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I mean, it was the same thing for blogging and

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it still is. I still get pictures for my blog,

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even though I've written anything and three years, but you

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know, it is, it's, it's, it's the same, same thing

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where Pro people are just reaching out to get people

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featured. And I mean, I guess, I guess it must

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work otherwise, you know, if they wouldn't do it, but

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Oh, no, sorry.

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You know, one of the episodes that really, I mean,

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you've got a, a, a, a great back Kellogg, but

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one of the episodes that really spoke to me, if

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you like, was we have you in central and how

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social media has potentially broken us as humans, as human

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beings. And I think, especially if, you know, at the

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time the app sort of put a court date up

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to now, do you think much has changed in society

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since that episode? Do you think we were getting better?

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Or what's your feeling on that? Who knows?

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That's a good question. I mean, you and I see

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you in as someone who Gen I've had him on

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twice now, and he has such a bright guy, he

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he's, you could talk to them for hours, actually. He,

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he is in the episode, you are referring to what

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was it about that? Why is social media is broken

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or a people broken? It was, it was his kind

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of like the catch line that it intrigued me how

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things changed. I don't think they have, if I'm really

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honest. I mean, everything that's happened in the world in

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the last year has moved things on my opinion. My

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personal opinion is it hasn't all it's done is accelerate

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things that were happening already when it comes down to

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whether social media has changed.

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I mean, I hear more people taking a step back

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from it now, and I had funnily enough, talking about

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You and he's, he's, he's going back to blogging almost.

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And he is somebody, you, you, you said all of

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our people, I, I kind of take things from that's.

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One of the things that it's made me think, Oh,

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well maybe, or maybe things are coming and a bit

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in a bit of a circle there, maybe there's room

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for blogging again. Whereas, you know, like I said, I

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haven't written anything for three years, so I don't, I

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don't know the answer to your question really. How have

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things changed? I guess so, but I think it's too

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early to really know how that's going to watch it

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Now. And I'm that topic, social media, and especially with

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Facebook is a special, is being, you know, hammered recently

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for that amount of stuff that they leave up. And

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then there won't be people that take us down. And

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it's so weird by us that the stuff that should

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come down remains up in that people that are protesting,

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that are the ones that get paid back to Facebook

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or for some reason. And then, so because of that,

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I mean, social media is being blamed for the increase

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in mental health issues with depression, numbers spike, and since

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2095. And in 10, when social media really had its

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groove, how much do you have a party? You feel

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social media has to play in our mental well, being

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in general,

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This is a really interesting question, because again, going back

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to my podcast, by the time this comes out, I

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will have a show out, which is about, well, it

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covers this topic, actually, someone who has written a book

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about screen time. And, and part of what she's written

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about is, is the mental health aspects of being a

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line all the time. It was interesting talking to her

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in that it's, it's kind of an unproven actually, when

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he or she has done loads of research on this

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and its kind of unproven as to whether using social

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media or a lot of causes mental health problems, or

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whether people with mental health problems just use social media

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a lot. And it was it.

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I, I, when I think about my own habits, I,

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I know for example, if I am in not such

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good mental state eye will be, I will view things

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that I read on social media very negatively. So I

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will go onto Twitter and read my Twitter stream and

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think everyone's an idiot here, or I will post things

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that are negative. And I don't mean too. It's just,

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it's a, it's almost like a barometer. I can spot

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it in myself and think a lot in a minute

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you are, you've written two to three things recently that

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are just, just negative. So it's, it's, it's it, it's

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a diff I think it's a very complex area, actually

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extremely complex. I mean, what do you think, do you,

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do you, do you agree with it or

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No, I, I do. It's like you say, it's a

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weird one. My, my friend, Sam Fiorella, whose are a

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mental health speak of an advocate, he, he did a,

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a, a mass study. What about youth? Because that's a,

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that's a focus for Sam as like youth mental health.

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And it shows that those are massive spike in youth

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mental health issues as new platforms came out. So Instagram,

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Snapchat, WhatsApp, but once you start to come out and

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you'd see a, sort of a spike in the mental

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health, as you know, going back to your question, is

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that because the kids that had mental health issues were

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trying to these new apps and that the usual stuff

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happens when you get like a trawl or a Bulli

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or someone that on the app, in that cascades into

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more of a mental health issues, or is it because

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of the, the apps themselves.

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So I'd be interested to a listen to that episode

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and be reading that book because that's, I think to

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your point, there's a huge discussion to be hard around

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there. The legacy have social media on mental health.

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I agree with you. And, and, and, and then another

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thing that we talked about in this particular episode was

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how, again, she, she said it and I agreed with

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her that if you are in not such a good

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place, you'll find yourself just scrolling endlessly through whatever your

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chosen channel is without actually having any constructive conversation or

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any conversation whatsoever often. And that's, that doesn't seem like

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I could think to me, it's not, you know, I,

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I don't, I don't see how that can help anyone's

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mental state to be doing that sort of stuff.

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Now then you pulled it back from Facebook, your own,

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going to messenger. Now, I believe, unless you've gotten rid

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of that as well, but it was that one of

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the reasons you pulled it back from social media, or

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is it to spend the kind of family or

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No, I just, I got sick or Facebook is it's

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that simple. Now this is going back. I don't know

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the exact date. I think it's two or three years

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now, Facebook and Instagram. I just got so sick of

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them and say in about how I view things negatively,

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if I'm in a, not a great state mentally, it

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was almost like that, but it had been going on

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for months. And I just, I was finding what I

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was reading from people just totally vacuous of value to

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me whatsoever, which are used to love, you know, going

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back 10 years or whenever I used to love that

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stuff, but it just became increasingly vacuous in an empty.

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So I, I shut down fate. Well, like I kept

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my Facebook profile because I do need one for work

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for what I do, but I basically pulled back right

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from it two or three years ago. The same with

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Instagram and, and messenger. Yeah. I, I do have a

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messenger account, but that's basically to chat to a couple

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of mates of mine, about a football on that's in

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it, but I still use Twitter. I still use LinkedIn,

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but they are professional resources for me. I get professional

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value from those, which is why we use them. And

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this is coming from a, you know, a social media

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consultant. Why do more than that now, but as a

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social media consultant, who you would think would be one

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of the biggest advocates for Facebook and Instagram.

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So maybe that says something I don't know

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Now. And it was a lot more people. I know

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we mentioned Jenny earlier, she's on me on Facebook at

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the moment to post that daily update, all of her

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COVID situation, right? So we've locked down to a show

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and what her family is doing and what they are,

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what our kids to do and what that is doing,

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et cetera. Yep. And she's only doing it once a

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day. Never comes on either. So I spent a lot

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of people take that approach where they're moving back out

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of the, for personal reasons, you know, I have a

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wellness reasons, or just, like you said, a professional to

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really focus on the areas that makes sense for you

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or your business, for an example. So I think, you

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know, I can see that heart in a more and

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more.

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Yeah. Do you still use Facebook?

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I do. I'm, I'm trying to use it less like

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a self. I have to have a profile. They are

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for the work I do. But apart from that, I

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spent less time there and maybe it probably more time

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on Twitter and all right, I've got a good sort

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of, you know, I'm a craft beer lover, so I've

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got a good bunch of minutes on Twitter and the

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same sort of a niche. So we have a, a

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recommendation, blah, blah.

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But you gave up Twitter didn't you quite awhile ago

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now, or was that on the marketing side and you've

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switched your interest across?

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Yeah, I did delete my old account because I kept,

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I kept getting tweets from fans of Danny Brown at

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the rapper. And he actually treated me a couple of

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times just to apologize, which was what he did not

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need to do that. But, so I deleted that one.

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That was my old account. And then I start a

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new one maybe a year and a half ago. So

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I'm like two years, but that's solely towards like a

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fun craft beer stuff and just show you that. Yep.

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And that's fun again. I actually enjoy it. I heated

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it up in my market and why you hate it

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because it just like you, you mentioned Ella, Paul vacuous

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statement of fact yes. Tweets, vacuous and people. And so

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it's more fun now for sure.

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And it's because you are focused on an interest and

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I think I wouldn't, well, I was going to say

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that I wouldn't be surprised if that's the way social

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media it goes, but then I had talking very personally

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there and I know I'm always a bit wary of

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thinking, you know what I think everyone else thinks because

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it's clearly not the case.

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No, it was speaking of what you think. I know

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you've been very open about your own issues of mental

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health and your role and your own journey of, with

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mental health. Yeah. Both on your podcast and online. So

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either on your blog or, you know, Twitter was, how

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has that been hard to do? What are you ever

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concerned about what clients or potential clients may think or

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how what's that been like for you?

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I'm just trying to think the best way of answering

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that really. I guess the first time, I, I don't

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know how you say it came out as having mental

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health problems. I was sketching. It is, yes. I first

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wrote it within a blog post, which was, which was

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about, it was about, ah, you know, pink Floyd at,

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on the wall. It was about story telling of all

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things and about how that record tells a story from

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beginning to end. And it just happens to be about

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mental health of, of, of the, the protagonist in it

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as a part of that blog post.

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I sort of introduced the idea that I have problems

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and the response I had from that was just amazing.

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And shortly after that may, maybe, I don't know, two,

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three, maybe six months after that, I was invited to

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talk to the chartered Institute of public relations to work

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at one of their events about mental health issues. And

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now this is going back when I was still working

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in an agency at that time. So it's over six

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years ago. So this is for seven years ago. And

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at that time, no one was talking about this, no

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one. And so it was scary in a way, but

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at the same time I was employed at that time.

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So it wasn't like I thought I might lose clients.

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I didn't have, although he got a lot of attention.

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It wasn't like, I thought this is gonna do me

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any harm. And I guess even now, I mean, I

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don't talk about it so much now, but I do

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still address it and I'm very open about it. And

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even I I've now started to write a monthly sort

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of email newsletter, if you like, whatever you want to

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call it. And in last month's I was talking about

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part of what I was talking about with seasonal affective

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depression, which, which I get as, as you know, as

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a part of this thing that I have. And it

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was only after I had sent that and I was

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on a zoom call with a client who I've only

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had a couple of months and he, he mentioned it

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and said, Oh, well, I, I read your, your email

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in and how are you feeling about this and stuff?

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And, and it was literally, that was, Oh my God,

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I've got a client who knows this, but people from

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a client perspective, I'm not aware. I put it this

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way. I'm not aware of a single person who has

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ever stopped working with me or not wanted to work

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with me because of it. I could be wrong, but

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I don't think that's the case. If anything, people appreciate

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the fact that you are a bit vulnerable and a

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bit open and honest. And especially now, because let's face

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everyone around the world has had a shit time in

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the last year. And just being a bit vulnerable and

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open and honest and candid about this stuff.

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I don't think it's a bad thing personally,

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Do you guys to see and more people talk about

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it and the people that are, as you mentioned, that

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you might be surprised because I think we're social. Everybody

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tends to look at other peoples lives and think, Oh,

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that's perfect. You know, John's doing as opposed to a

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nurse Jenny's to a nurse, et cetera. I, and we

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don't get to you to see that. So it's, it's,

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it's, it's good to see that, that people are opening

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up a bow it for sure.

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Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

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And I think that the coms industry as well, when

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we think about it, like Pro in particular can be

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a very demanding industry. Do you think does may be

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more issues around mental health and, and burn out, especially,

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and, and the PR industry, and if so, what can

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be done? What, what have you seen that, but that

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you think can be done, right?

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Yeah. I mean, I, I get in, this is my

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personal opinion. I don't have any, anything specific to back

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this up, but I have long believed that that industry

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itself is, is rife with, with mental health problems. And

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I mean, you know, like I said, I started talking

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about it a six, seven years ago in the time

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in the last six or seven years, more and more

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and more people have talked about it. More studies have

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been done, you know, you, they used to say, well,

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it's sort of one in 10 people or one in

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six people. And it's now down to sort of one

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in three people or one in two people. So it's

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almost like people now who are prepared to, to talk

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about it more than they ever have been.

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So you had mentioned earlier, a you've been at home

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know for six, seven years. Ah, and you're a consultancy.

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So you were pretty much an old Pro are remote

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work in our old yes. Well, old and Pro, but

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cool. We'll see, we'll see where this goes out. I

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have it, I see a lot of people online too,

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that have really struggled to adapt to it a more

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remote work in during the COVID and they can't wait

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to get back to the office. Do you ever see

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yourself working in an office again? Or are you, you

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have a home body now?

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God, no. I even before all of this happened, the

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thought of going and working back in an office now

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fills me with Hora. And I know that this is

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partly a personality thing though, in that I am very

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happy working at home by myself. I don't, I don't

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feel the need to be around people all the time.

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Whereas people with different personality traits, you know, may have

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missed that. They missed the, the hub, the, the, the

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office, that everything that goes on, if they miss people.

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So again, like, like, as I said earlier, it its

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wrong for me to do it for me to assume

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what other people might think.

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But just the, if I had to get it, put

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it this way, if, if, if my consultancy went down

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the path and I had to get a job and

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going back to work in an office, I, I honestly

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cannot imagine doing that now. I just can't.

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Now I hear you. Yeah. I mean, I've been at

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home probably for four years now were thinking now it's

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just nice to wake up knowing that you can spend

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breakfast with our kids and ease the end of the

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day, as opposed to rushing, to get out the door

Speaker:

and stuff like that.

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And the NSA, it's not like it's all brilliant because

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you know, kids get home with our bus three, wherever

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it is. And I find it very difficult to work

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after half past three, but that that's part of adapting.

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I have, I think what, when you work at home,

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you have control over when you work and how you

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work. So I might get up, I don't know, six

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o'clock in the morning and start work. And if I've

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got loads on or I might quit at half past

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three, and then start working again at AARP off seven,

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when the kids go to bed, but more often than

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not, I adjust, I just shift my working day around

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the family. So I, you know, I am spending a

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bit more time with them and it, I'm not having

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to rush out the door like you said, or, or

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rush back it's it's it just suits me so much

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better to work like that.

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So you were Podcasts had been gone for three years

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now and you were, let's say an early adopter of

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the podcast space for, for your industry or at least

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not only from the, the, the, the PR leaders at,

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I know when you have any pieces of advice for

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new Podcasts coming out in this space, she had mentioned

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it earlier about, no, you wouldn't want to start one

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today, but if you watch that on, what did do,

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what advice would you give

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My advice would be to try and do something different

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to everyone else? I know that sounds obvious, but what

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I mean by that is, think about your format because

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in my space, a lot of the podcast that have

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started recently in the last year or so are straight

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interviews between one person in another, and they all ask

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similar questions and have similar production values. And it's almost

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like no one has, has, has really thought about, well,

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what I did going back a year.

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So I had been going to years and done pretty

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much hadn't mucked around with the format very much in

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that time. Although I, I did muck around with putting

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sound effects in and, and adding music here and there,

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and just, just to make things up really, and just

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to experiment. And then last year I'd been listening to

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Podcast, like reply. All I think is an amazing podcast

Speaker:

and science versus, and some of the Gimlet media podcasts.

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And what I love about them is that the formats

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in them that they are not, they don't stick to

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something formulaic, or I guess Each Podcasts. And I tried

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to listen to things and think, well, what do I

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like about each one?

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And Pro started producing some episodes, which are, which are

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a bit different. And now when I, when I put

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an episode out, I add a narrative to it. I

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try sometimes I have one guest and it's, I record

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it as an interview, but I will introduce narrative elements

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to it. So I'm trying to break the format up

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a little bit. Other times I will introduce three or

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four guests in a, in a show and I will

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write a narrative that joins all of their little bits

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of, of conversation together. And it's just, I think, anyway,

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I hope it's interesting and different to the other podcasts

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in my niche.

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And that would be my advice to anyone starting a

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podcast now is to look at the others in your

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niche because there will be there and try and do

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something. That's just a bit different to them.

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Nah, love that. If I could say to, to your

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point, I know I still get a new Podcasts or

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is it just want you to be the next door

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or him and you think, well, is that really your

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style and be a huge, you really want to be

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like your dog. And he got a huge Spotify deal,

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but he's also going to a lot of people that

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are coming out against them because of his style and

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his politics and his views on a bunch of stuff.

Speaker:

So, yeah, I think on, in your voice and your,

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like, I dunno if that is given the right description,

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but like the fact that you mentioned that you do

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have taken a turn narrative way, because I think, I

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think correct me if I'm wrong, but I, as at

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a PR pro you, our goal is to tell your

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client story in a way that really resonates with the

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audience, like how you love that approach.

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Yeah. And it worked well. I mean, whether it's, I

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mean, for example, I did an, an interview last year

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with, with Wendy James who you, you will remember because

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you were old enough, one of my first crushes. So

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as you go, exactly. And I came about purely because

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I was thinking, you know, where it talks about how

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I came up with episode ideas for topics. And I

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was thinking about this idea of, of people are publishing

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things during lockdown and had, had I had, they actually

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produce a piece of work or just published it, or,

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and I happened to, to spot that she, she, she

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released a new album. So I tweeted her and she

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tweeted me back and we get into a conversation and

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I got into, you know, eventually I got this interview

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and what I did that it would be so tempting

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with someone who is actually properly famous just to leave

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it as it is and not cut it up and

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not mess around with it.

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But I did the same thing. I added that narrative

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element, and I think it made the show better for

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doing that. And so, like you said, I would just

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encourage people to think differently and, and not just think

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a podcast has to be an interview or it can

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be all sorts of things.

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No. And, and that episode, I loved to listen to

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it when you share it. Because as I mentioned, when

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the James is one of my buddies as a teenager,

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beautiful, beautiful Parson, but very outspoken. Right. We saw, yes.

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The topic that we spoke about her sass, just her,

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her genuine. Yeah. The character came across as an app.

Speaker:

So, so that was a, I grew up. So it

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may be,

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And that was, that was an interesting one to record

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because I was, I had questions around how she was

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when she was a lot younger, obviously. And about her,

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like you say, her sass, her, her energy, her, or

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the way she, she rebelled almost against everything, but I

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didn't want to make assumptions about her, how she is

Speaker:

now, or, but, you know, once we started recording, I

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didn't have to, because you have heard it. She, she

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just, she was still outspoken, which was, which was great.

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You know?

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No, as I mentioned at the start of the show,

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your love for Paisley pattern. Right. But I will haunt

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you until the day I die. That's not right. I

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can tell that I will put, rang you in a

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day, but, but you were working on for your piece,

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the shirts. So is there something that people that know

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you might be surprised about to learn about you?

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If I were going to correct you on the Paisley

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shirts, because there are floral shirts, but okay. A, something

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that people may not be surprised about, why? Okay, so

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this is, this is quite serious, actually going back to

Speaker:

the mental health thing, this is something I have not

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told. I'm trying to think, who knows this? Not many

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people know this. My wife knows it. A few people

Speaker:

know it, but here's me being very open and honest

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here. I, I was first diagnosed with depression about, I

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don't know, about 15 years ago, maybe, maybe.

Speaker:

Yeah. About 15 years ago. The reason I actually went

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along to adopter in the first place was that I

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found myself thinking about how I might kill myself, which

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I told you this was dark. I'm not in the

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sense that I was going to do it, but I

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was in London one day. And I, it must have

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been around for a meeting a because I would have

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been at an agency at that time. And I was

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in London, standing on, on a tube platform and an,

Speaker:

a train was going past and I had done it

Speaker:

just popped in my head. And I thought quite casually,

Speaker:

Gen, wait, if I was to kill myself, I jumped

Speaker:

in front of a train because you're not getting out

Speaker:

of that.

Speaker:

This is not like drowning where someone might save you

Speaker:

or wherever you are going to die. And it was

Speaker:

that, that made me, it shocked me actually. And I

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went to the doctor and I know a couple of

Speaker:

days later and got diagnosed. So yeah, that's, that's something

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that people don't know about me and it is quite

Speaker:

dark.

Speaker:

And, and, and thankfully, if you are still here, obviously.

Speaker:

Yes, absolutely. And, but that, that's so important that you

Speaker:

went to the doctor because I feel like a lot

Speaker:

of people don't get the help by either through shame

Speaker:

or thinking that they are broken because of these thoughts

Speaker:

or, you know, a kudos we'd go on to the,

Speaker:

the doctrine in the first place. So obviously you have

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a foundation there was this before in your family where

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you married at the time or

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No, it was, I was, what was it? Well, I

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know that I have suffered from depression since I was

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in my mid sort of late teens. Looking back with

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hindsight at that time, about 15 years ago, I had,

Speaker:

I was going through, if not, I had just been

Speaker:

through a divorce. And I think that was kind of,

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even though it was a, it was, it was my

Speaker:

decision to get divorced. And I, I separated from my

Speaker:

then wife and, ah, you know, I think any time

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you do anything like that, it, it, it doesn't mean

Speaker:

it, it doesn't effect you. So I think there were

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certain things going on at that time.

Speaker:

That just, it just triggered something it's difficult to say

Speaker:

exactly, but triggered something. I don't know. I just having

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a different type of a difficult time at work as

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well, because the agency I was working with just weren't

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that supportive of what I was going through. And I

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think it was just one thing on top of another

Speaker:

and something happened, something just ticked over it. And I

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went and got ahead.

Speaker:

And then, and like I said, and he obviously, I'm

Speaker:

glad he did, but it it's, it's good to see

Speaker:

the, the growth visually, because you know, when you were

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out on Facebook, how are you still have some pictures

Speaker:

of your, you know, you have your, your wife as

Speaker:

Michelle, right? It is. Yes. Yeah, it is. So Michelle,

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when a kid said it was always like just a

Speaker:

really solid top of family. So it's good to see

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that study. And I'm promising in the wrong things here.

Speaker:

And I apologize that it's good to see growth from

Speaker:

this, that dark time, a lot of potential, dark times,

Speaker:

too, where, where you are today,

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They don't think it's the wrong thing to say. I

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think, I think you're right. I mean, you know, we

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we've been married now for, I've just got to say,

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I've got a tattoo on my arm with the day

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on. And every time we have to think of, when

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I got married, I have to look that we've been

Speaker:

married since 2009. We've got three kids. Like we, we

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were talking before we started recording, I'll just move on

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to this beautiful old house. And I think, I think

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everyone has to take some times, sometimes you just think,

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Oh, you know what? There were certain times in my

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life where it sucked. It really sucks, but look where

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I am now. So I think, I think you're right.

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And I'm sure you, you've got things in your life

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as well, where you look back and go, what do

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you know what?

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That was a bad time, but I have grown as

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a person and in my life and everything else that's

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come on. I mean, you, you, you know why you've

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got kids and, and a wife and things, and you

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must think the same thing at times. And I think

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that's a valuable thing to do that. Right?

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I hear you in that because I'm, I'm just glad

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that we no longer have to be in competition with

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Jenny for the will list the pressures of that

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time. It was just scary. I hear you, man. I

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can probably hear you. So this is a poll. This

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had been an absolute blast. I really enjoy chatting with

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you today. And I could quite easily, if this was

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a Joe Rogan show, I'd be quite easy to speak

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for another two hour and a beer and a joy

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that with you or for, for people that want to

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connect with you, listen to your podcast, check it what

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you do. Yeah. Or even to put you on Twitter

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about it, you know, Paisley, oops. A lot of shirts.

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Where's the best list to find you to connect with

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you online.

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Yeah. Well, other than the Podcast, which obviously you have

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to go and listen to a Twitter is probably the,

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the, the, the best place to find me when my

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Twitter handle is at the pool Sutton.

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Awesome. And I'll be sure to leave the link to

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the Podcast and Twitter and a good fashion designer in

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insurance. So if, if you're, if you listen to this

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on your favorite app is Normal would just check the

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shortest as usual with the link will be there for

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Paul. So again, Paul, I appreciate you coming on today.

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Thank you so much. Thank you. This has been Podcaster

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or Stories. If you enjoy this week's episode, hop on

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over to Podcaster Stories dot com and you can sign

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the next time take care and stay safe.