Ep. 10 – Vulnerability + Authenticity = More Money

Cece Payne

Cece Payne

Content & Graphic Design Manager - Follow us on social media to stay in the flow!
Cece Payne

Cece Payne

Content & Graphic Design Manager - Follow us on social media to stay in the flow!
Ep 10 - Vulnerability Plus Authenticity Equals More Money with SpeakerFlow and James Robilotta
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In this week’s episode, we’re chatting with James T. Robilotta – author, professional speaker, and entrepreneur.

James’ background all starts with having to deal with unauthentic leadership.

His thought-provoking talks are infused with self-awareness and comedy stemming from his background as a trained stand-up and improv comedian.

In this episode, we’re chatting with James about the power of authenticity and vulnerability and how the combination of those two can sky rocket your business.

You don’t want to miss this one!

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Show Notes 📓

✅  Check out James’ Podcast, Diner Talks with James: https://jamestrobo.com/diner-talks-with-james

✅  Grab James’ book, Leading Imperfectly: https://jamestrobo.com/book

🎤  Thank you to our sponsor, Auxbus! Want the best podcasting solution out there? Get your free offer here: https://auxbus.com/speakerflow

🚀  And as always, don’t forget about all the mind-blowing free resources at https://speakerflow.com/resources/

Read the Transcription 🤓

Taylorr: Welcome to another episode of technically speaking. We are super excited about today’s guest, Mr. James Robilotta. James, welcome to the show man.

James: My guy, gentlemans, how are we doing? So good to see you and get to spend time with you. Thanks so much for having me.

Austin: Yea, totally.

Taylorr: So good. I wish we had a video…

Austin: Love to have another bearded fellow on the show too, so thank you for showing up with that prepared.

James: Yeah, go for it.

Max: For sure.

James: Connect four. 

Taylorr: Perfect. We are on a roll already. So, for those of you who haven’t heard of James haven’t met James in the past, James is an author, a professional speaker, a personal coach, host and entrepreneur. He speaks internationally to both willing and unwilling attendees about authentic leadership and promoting memorability. As a speaker, he is doing the two things he loves the most, which is making people think and making people laugh. His thought-provoking talks are infused with self-awareness and comedy stemming from his background as a trained standup and improv comedian. Of course, this episode is going to be really funny given that information. He has a brand-new podcast called diner talks with James, where he seeks to replicate the deep and often hysterical conversations that happen between friends over a plate of pancakes at a diner late at night. Super awesome podcast if you haven’t checked it out yet, James is an expert question asker and conversationalists.

So, you feel like you’re in the right diner booth with him and his guests who ranged from actors to CEOs to thought leaders to random fascinating people, if you’re interested in checking that out, check out iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts and that’s where you’ll find diner talks. But lastly, James is also a personal coach. He loves helping people get out of their own way to live the life they deserve and be the leaders they are capable of becoming. His clientele ranges from CEOs all the way down to college students. So, if you’d like to know more about James speaking events or coaching, you can visit his website, we’ll put that in the show notes, but James, you are a highly decorated man, it is so awesome to have you on the show today. Thanks again for being here.

James: Super excited to be here. I did decorate myself and so yeah, I’m excited.

Taylorr: You did a great job decorating my friend. Great job.

James: Thanks.

Austin: Yeah, I’ll take your interior designer. If you can pass me that number that will be great.

Taylorr: All right, James look, how did you end up in the world of speaking? We often find that like this is something that you stumble upon or you very diligently approach. What led you to a point where you knew you had a message to spread and why the vulnerability and the authenticity? What got you here?

James: Yeah, sure. So, this wasn’t the plan. I knew that I always wanted to be in front of audiences, I just didn’t, no idea what that looked like and originally, I thought I wanted to be a Marine Biologist. I went to college for Marine Biology, I now use that degree to impress the dates at aquariums, but the idea was that I wanted to be on TV, educating people about fish and sharks and things like that, kind of like Jacques Cousteau, who was a mentor of mine growing up. And then around my junior year in college, my teacher is like, this may not be for you, you’re putting too many jokes in your papers. And I was like, you know, I think you might be right. And so I found my way into higher education and fell in love with that work and then I started just working in colleges and universities and going to conferences and then wound up applying to do some breakout sessions just because why sit in the back of the room if I can try to be in the front of the room. 

And somebody came up to me after one of those sessions and asked me how much I charged and I politely said, I don’t know who the hell you’re talking to right now, because that wasn’t the plan, I was just there to pass on knowledge to my fellow educators but then I realized that maybe I got something. And so, that’s kind of what I guess what planted the seed. And that’s how I started getting in more into speaking, put it out there to my friends and then eventually to people I didn’t know, and was like hey, this is something I think I’m good at and something that I think is valuable for you as well. And, so that’s kind of how it all got started, where were authenticity and vulnerability came from, there’s such a thing in this world as reverse role models. And so, I had a supervisor who was not authentic with anybody, who was not vulnerable, nothing was ever, I mean, she never did anything wrong. It was always somebody else’s fault or somebody else could have done the other thing, a lot of like our president. And so, it’s very interesting…

Taylorr: Drop.

Austin: I like how casually you drop that in there too, just going to skip right past it. 

James: This isn’t a political podcast and I would hate to talk about politics. But yeah, so it’s interesting because of her, I had a lot of positive interactions with the individuals that I got to operate with and supervise or manage or whatever. And I was like, what makes me different? Why are they coming to talk to me? Why are they telling me their darkest secrets? Why aren’t they going to her or going to somebody else? And I realized it was just like the power of relate-ability the power of in order to be relatable, you have to be a little vulnerable, you have to be real and so, that’s kind of what got me thinking of like, Hey, this is a really powerful tool in the leadership belt. And so, that’s how I applied it to my speaking world.

Taylorr: Oh, that was awesome story. 

Austin: It’s an interesting topic to me too, because authenticity, and Taylorr, you were started talking about this earlier, but to me, I hear authenticity and it means like being yourself and not being afraid of being unique. And I find that it might be challenging to try to teach that, how do you teach people to be themselves when the definition of them being themselves means that they’re not being like anyone else?

James: Yes, it’s super complicated. I think ultimately a lot of it, and we’ll all probably talk about this a whole bunch today, but a lot of it comes back to, we write a lot of stories in our heads and the stories often sound like I’m not blank enough. I’m not cool enough. Funny enough, smart enough, hot enough, rich enough, trendy enough, successful enough, whatever enough and so since I am not enough, good enough, that must mean there’s somebody [inaudible 06:32] than me who is better than me and so let me try to be more like them. People are out here trying to fill molds instead of realizing that their mold is perfectly fine from where they’re at. And so, that’s a lot of what I try to do, is bring people back to like, how would you lead if you were enough? How would you love in a relationship if you knew you were enough? How would you whatever, put yourself out there and whatever way you want to, if you were an entrepreneur, if you knew your idea was good enough, how would you market it if you like that kind of stuff. And so, I try to bring people back to that moment.

Taylorr: It’s almost like having conviction for yourself, it sounds like. 

James: Yeah, absolutely. And please know that I teach what I need to hear. I think a lot of speakers do, but I definitely fall into that camp where I’m teaching the lessons that I am constantly practicing or trying to practice as well,

Austin: That’s incredible value to the work you do. You’re right there living it rather than talking down from a pedestal about it.

Taylorr: So, I feel like you may have answered this already, but you mentioned with authenticity, it’s really about being enough, right? Because I feel like this makes sense to me. If you’re enough, if I feel like I’m enough, I can then be my full self basically without any reservation. Is that why we naturally aren’t authentic? Because like to Austin’s point, it almost seems like we should naturally be authentic individuals. And I feel like with time as we continue to grow up and go through life and live experiences, we may end up reserving different elements of our personality that lend us to not being fully authentic and kind of more reserved and so on. Why is it something though that we struggle with? Is it because of those experiences that we go through life that make us more reserved so we don’t want to be authentic? Is it natural for us to not be authentic in our relationships? And I’m just kind of, as conscious beings with emotions, it’s almost interesting to me that we’re not all naturally authentic right out of the gates. Do you have any thoughts around that? 

James: Yeah, I think you’re right. I mean, the way you said it is brilliant. It is kind of crazy that we’re not just naturally authentic right out the gate, but I think there’s some things that hold us back. I think one of the easiest things that hold us back as comparison, the cliche quote you know, being the thief of joy and joy is being able to live as your best self in many ways, just allowing yourself to just show up and be like, I’m here and it’s good enough. And so, there’s a lot of power in that boat instead, we’re comparing ourselves and be like oh, well, you know, she works more hours than I do, he’s been to more events, Ricky’s got the craziest email response time I’ve ever seen in my life. So we just compare ourselves in all these ways, also, we also hold ourselves back in a lot of ways, for example, like in relationships, it is so much easier for me to love my wife than it is for me to let her love me because there’s this concept of deserving that sounds weird, it sounds selfish of what do I deserve? Do I deserve love? Do I deserve happiness? And in the case of relationships for me, I’m like, yo, I’ve hurt somebody in the past who didn’t deserve it, I kind of caught them off guard and I ended our relationship and so, because I’ve been a jerk in the past, do I deserve the love that I now am getting from this new person?

So, there’s that, and then the third thing I’ll say is, I think it’s safety. You have to look at the way some of the systems in this world work there are so many individuals that have to try to pass. Like for example, you talk about like women in the workplace. Women can’t be too funny, they can’t be too dramatic, they can’t be too this, you can’t be too that because men stay in the sound wave and that’s the acceptable place to be right. You can’t be too gay, you can’t be too black, you can’t be too this because we’ve been taught that the way to be successful is to fall in line and then just climb, let the ladder take you up but in order to fall in line, you have to give up pieces of yourself often. And so, there’s also a safety aspect of it, of like well, if I show up as the real me, are people ready for that? Or is it going to hurt me? And that’s a little sad piece of it as well but I think it would be remiss not to talk about.

Austin: It’s sort of another example of this counterintuitive thing that’s happening too, because we fall in line to feel more accepted and therefore more happy, but by doing so, we’re giving up things about ourselves that are true to ourselves, which makes us less happy. So, by trying to achieve happiness, we’re giving up things that make us happy. Am I hearing that right? It’s just seems weird to me that that’s a tendency of ours.

Austin: Sometimes, you start ranking things, like what is more important? And if I can get to X, then I can finally be this way so let me just hustle up and try to get it X real quick. Let me tuck my tail, let me tuck my pride, let me tuck my culture, let me tuck my beliefs, let me tuck my sexual orientation, let me tuck my whatever and it’s very interesting the way that society has told individuals to kind of get in line sometimes.

Max: As you’re talking, the one word that just keeps coming to mind is this idea of being invalidated. And we kind of pick that up and then lack of validation, in the culture, in the workplace, it becomes something that really does impinge on our ability to show up in any kind of a real way for fear. It sounds like what you’re talking about is being judged and so we kind of played the part of the chameleon really.

James: Yeah. And sometimes like that fear also it’s in our own heads too, where it’s again, like that idea of I’m not good enough, so let me act this way because then I’ll finally be accepted. Validation, it’s one of the best drugs on the market you all, it’s that good stuff. And so, if we get a sense of validation from being something else then yeah, oftentimes we’re kind of pushed and pulled internally. 

Austin: You said something interesting I think a few moments ago about how we’re kind of encouraged in life to just kind of go up the ladder, basically. It’s like the next step on the ladder. I think we’ve talked about this in previous episodes guys, but I feel like this force us to constantly just thinking outcomes. The next thing is going to get us the happiness that we’re after, when I get the house, when I have this in my business, when I buy the car, when I get that client that I’m after and we just kind of go throughout life and all we’re doing is thinking about outcomes, but we’re never really enjoying the moment and the funniest thing about that is none of those outcomes are actually guaranteed. The only outcome we have that’s guaranteed is death and we don’t talk about death that way. Like, yo, I’m very excited to get my casket tomorrow, or write my will with my lawyer this week and it’s going to be a grand old and we don’t talk about that so, I just find it fascinating that like authenticity plays into that because what happens over time is we’re going to chasing these carrots if you will, that are being dangled in front of us and we’re not, like you said, you have to tuck everything else away so, inherently you don’t enjoy the process. You get to the outcome or maybe you don’t and you’re still dissatisfied regardless of whether or not you achieve that outcome. It’s fascinating that we, we struggle with this.

James: Yeah, I completely agree. I think the way you put that was beautiful. Well done.

Austin: Thanks.

James: [Inaudible 14:19] Dude. 

Taylorr: I’m curious, so, authenticity and vulnerability as something you tie kind of closely together why the vulnerable component and can you have one without the other? And what about those two things combined allow us to build good relationships? Why are we attracted to that even though we’re reserved and maybe not authentic? Like for example, James, let’s say, I’m not my authentic self here right now. I’m not being vulnerable with you here, but I’m attracted to you because you are. I’m curious about how those two things combined and why we’re attracted to who are authentic and vulnerable.

James: Yeah, I think there’s a lot of power and relate-ability, and I think relate-ability stems from authenticity and vulnerability. I think it kind of comes from the beauty of both and there’s a lot of power in it because when we see ourselves in someone else, we believe that we can. And so, that a little bit of vulnerability of like that moment of, oh, wait, you don’t have it all together, oh wait, I don’t have it all together. Maybe that means I’m on the right path, maybe that means no one has it all together. There’s that moment where, if you still have a relationship with your parents when you’re older, there’s that moment where you realize that, like they’re just making it up too. If we’re all just making it up, then why don’t we do it authentically? Why don’t we just do it based on what we think is right and real and true and whatnot. 

And so, I think that’s a lot of what it comes back to for me is that, that relate-ability is critical. When I think about the supervisor that I’ve most connected with, when I think about the teachers that I’ve most connected with, you think about back to high school, the coolest teacher was the one that cursed because you are like oh, Mr. Thompson [inaudible 16:11], we’re talking about earth science, he’s over here dropping F bombs and so, like there there’s that moment of just realness. It is refreshing, it is it’s the York Peppermint Patty of interactions. I know your podcast is sponsored by York Peppermint Patty so I wanted to get that in there.

Taylorr: They need to be now.

Austin: Hey, York Peppermint Patties. If you’re listening to us, please get in touch because we would love, love to be sponsored by you. 

Taylorr: [email protected]

James: But yeah, I think that it’s just this moment of release. When you give someone permission to just show up, that’s a gift because the rest of the world, isn’t giving people permission to just show up social media isn’t giving people the permission to show up, employers aren’t giving people the permission to show up, our own self-esteem aren’t giving us permission to show up and so, that’s where I think that’s why vulnerability is so powerful because vulnerability begets vulnerability and it just allows people to lower their shoulders a little bit and be like okay, let me tell you about a time that I had my heart broken, let me tell you about when I lost the loved one, let me tell you about a time where I messed up and I impacted the rest of my team at the company that I normally wouldn’t share to anybody else but right now I’m going to share it with you because I see you going through something too, where you messed up. But when we share these mess ups, or slips those other struggles, it just lets individual’s kind of just like lower their shoulders and be like, I’ve messed up, but I’m allowed to keep moving. That’s a gift, so that’s why I think it’s important.

Austin: I’m curious about something you just said too, because I, and I’m a pessimist by nature, I’m sometimes referred to as the wet blanket of the team, hopefully that’s affectionately, but I’ll let you guys decide.

Taylorr: Affectionately. 

Max: Definitely affectionately.

Austin: Yeah, that’s my title, president and wet blanket. So, one of the things that you just mentioned was social media. And to me, this is like the epitome of not being authentic in a lot of ways. I mean, for a lot of people and maybe it’s who I follow, maybe this is a reflection of me, not the world, but it seems like a lot of people just post their highlight reels. In fact, I saw this tweet the other day of somebody that was like, man COVID is bad because now I can’t stand at the back of the club by myself and occasionally take pictures to let people know how much fun I’m having. And I think it happens, do you find that social media is something that is a major detriment to making progress in this department where people are constantly just chasing their highlight reels or other people’s highlight reels instead of facing the facts that most of the time, it doesn’t deserve to be on your highlight reels?

Most of your life isn’t that exciting, most of your life is the day to day stuff, the not super flashy or glamorous or exciting side of life. And when we’re constantly seeing other people living these flashy lives and doing these exciting things all the time and looking beautiful with their face tuned pictures, do you find that that’s, that makes it harder for people to be vulnerable and authentic?

James: Yeah, absolutely. It makes it harder for me. I know that you just speaking from a personal place of like, yeah, it’s tough for me looking like other speaker friends who are posting their calendars or they’re off at such and such or like oh wow, I thought I was in the running for that gig and now you’re there. Interesting. Some of those kinds of moments, but then also it’s like oh, the vacation, the cars, the this, the that, yeah, it’s really hard. The question of what version of yourself do you allow others to see is a really powerful one. And at the same time, it’s like, I don’t need to know every time you mess up, that you tried to cook a sunny side up egg and you broke the yolk, I don’t need the lesson there every time either.  I was making some eggs the other day and the egg broke and I just thought about how sometimes it’s like, come on bro, come on.

Taylorr: Yeah, right.

James: And so I think social media is definitely impacting us because it allows us to compare whereas, when you think about generations prior, you always hear the feuds of neighbors where the neighbor his lawn is better than mine, truck is shinier or those kinds of things, you just had less things to compare and there were just kind of local and it wasn’t as big of a deal. Comparison’s probably always been an issue, but you just had way less of it getting thrown in your face at a scrolls notice. And so, I think people probably lived a little bit easier and back in those days, versus right now, you’re constantly seeing and getting yelled at social media that you’re not living the coolest life and that’s hard.

Taylorr: On that note though, do you think there’s a contrast to that where there’s opportunity in, let’s say the cesspool for lack of a better term, is there opportunity for us to become more authentic humans, more relatable with one another as a result of having this technology? And I’m asking this James, because I know you’re really active on social media and I’m curious, and you have great responses and interaction rates and engagement from your following because you produce really authentic content that people want to engage with. Do you think there is opportunity to build those solid relationships through social media and what are the tips that you’ve taken just from your own teachings and your own practice to implement in social media to see the opportunity in it?

James: Yeah, as much, as much as we rag on social media, it’s also beautiful. The fact that we’re all connected, we wouldn’t be talking right now if it wasn’t for social media and so, it’s a beautiful place for connection. And if you use it as that, then that’s incredible. And so, a lot of it’s like how am I controlling my inner dialogue around what is happening and what I’m seeing? And I’m spending so much time beating myself up when I forget about the cool things that I’ve done, I’m sitting here looking up the mountain and be like I got so far to go, but you never turn around and see how far we’ve actually climbed and give ourselves a moment. And so, as far as ways to do it, this is something I’m self-conscious about because I don’t necessarily believe that I shared a true highlight reel, but I don’t post pictures of myself crying, I don’t do that. 

And Renee Brown talks a lot about how vulnerability for vulnerability sake is not healthy. You’re just not supposed to walk into our room and be like I got to tell you what’s on my heart. That’s not the healthy way to do vulnerability sharing for the sake of sharing, it’s about sharing with purpose. But at the same time, it’s an amazing tool to connect and just finding out that people have the same interests as me or thinking about something in a similar way, and also the individuals that I’ve met along the way, maybe we just had a quick interaction, but we wound up following each other on social media and they post something, I’m like, yo, your brain is so cool. I never thought you thought that way because I only met you for five minutes. I can tell you were cool, but I didn’t know the impact that I had, I didn’t know the impact that you could have on me and so there’s a lot of beauty in that. 

And so, I think it’s, for me, the way I try to social media is to let individuals know what’s going on in my world, and some of the fun things, but also using it as an opportunity to just learn about other people. And so, maybe asking questions in the DMS or in the comments or whatnot. Especially around like political stuff. Politics and social media is a hot mess but it’s been fascinating for me to intentionally click on people’s profiles that think differently than I do and just ask questions and not ask questions in some snarky tone or whatnot, but if we’ve had a relationship in the past and you know I’m not coming for you, but I just want to learn more about like what do you think about this? What do you think about this, how this was handled? What is your side’s viewpoint on how did you see that? Because here’s how I saw it. And so, I think there’s some interesting moments for us to learn from each other in those ways.

Austin: Like that. Yeah. That’s practical too. It sounds to me almost like it’s not about being overwhelmingly positive or negative or anything it’s, it’s about making it meaningful, make the interactions that you’re having with people on social media matter make, make them count. Don’t let it just be a passing, shouting from the rooftops type of situation. Would you say that’s fair?

James: Yeah, I agree. And I think for me, it’s weird, I think I put some of my friends in awkward positions because every once in a while, I do like a pulse check. I’m like yo, do I sound like a jerk on social media. Does it sound like I’m bragging? Is it too much? Did I ask too much of folks? One of my biggest fears in life is being a burden to other people and so, I heavily take that into consideration with my social media, where I’m not trying to beat people over the head with what I got going on and what’s going on and making people feel obligated or asking for help or all that kind of stuff. And so, I’ll get a pulse check every once in a while, from the people, as a follower of me, are you like a Jesus guy? Because I know I follow people and I’m like oh man, here we go again, or is this how we’re talking about that? Or really you made that a learning moment could have just been a funny thing or you that kind of stuff.

Taylorr: So, we’ve been on the topic of social media and I think that social media for most of us, well should be, I think a fraction of what we’re actually doing to drive business for the businesses that we have for speaking and so on. How does authenticity and vulnerability from your seat applied to the role of sales and building relationships and being able to develop your pipeline and get booked in places? How have you been able to leverage those two components to be as successful as you are today? Yeah,

James: I think it’s everything. My business been built almost a hundred percent on relationship, that is my business model. And so, it’s funny whenever I get around other speakers that have these incredible sales funnels and all that kind of stuff, it’s beautiful to watch, I see how it works, but that’s just not the way I’ve ever done business and it just feels completely different to me. And we’ve all reached a certain level of success doing what we’ve done and so that just proves that there’s multiple ways to get to the top or get to the middle wherever I am. But…

Austin: Somewhere there.

James: Yeah, it’s a huge piece where it’s taking a genuine interest in people’s lives. On a sales call, it’s first like How are you doing? How’s the dog? How’s the wife? Saw you posted a picture about that or my wife and I are expecting our first child. And so, it’s talking about that and not just throwing out the platitudes or whatever, but instead it’s like the I’m a little scared, I’m a little nervous, I have no idea what’s going to be, I’m selfish about my time and I know that all my time is about to change and I’m nervous about how that’s going to be for me. But taking some of those moments to just sprinkle in some humanity is big and to care about other people’s humanity. The difference between small talk and a meaningful conversation is a good question. And so, we can change a sales conversation from a sales conversation to an actual meaningful moment between two individuals by asking cool questions. And then, a lot of my sales conversations ends with oh, shoot, we’re supposed to talk about the thing that you want me to do and we bring it back. 

And so, I think that’s been the way that I’ve grown my business or at conferences that I go to. A significant chunk of the speeches that I get come from hey James, we saw you at this conference and we interacted with you and it’s fun to meet you at the booth or talking to you after your session or just catching up in the bathroom line, whatever. Those moments are the things that people remember and so, those are the things that I chase as far as, I guess in sales, is I chase trying to create moments like that. When I’m in town, there’s a lot of speakers and again, to each their own, I’m not knocking anybody, there’s a lot of speakers that are like I’m taking the last flight in, I’m taking the first flight out, I’m coming and doing the gig and I’m out. For me, I have an all-day rate. It’s like, I’m hanging out, how can I be helpful to you? 

And I also tell them, yeah, sure, I’ll do a breakout for your leadership team here and a big keynote for them over here or whatever over there. I’ll do all that, but I also hope that you and I can grab a bite to eat at some point in time because you know, I’ve never been to wherever and I’d love to have a local restaurant move with you. That kind of thing where I’m coming in, I’m a part of your team for day and I want you to feel like I’m a part of your team, I’m your lunch buddy, I’m your whatever. And so, I think that’s where it comes in for me. I don’t know if I completely answered your question, so [cross-talk 29:50]

Taylorr: No, you nailed it. At the end of the day, and this is what exactly what we were getting at, so being human, you said humanity, it’s like our core value. One of them at Speaker Flow is bring humanity to the hustle. You just have to be human with people, have those candid conversations and I think in the example where you provided like hey, I’m just having a kid and I’m nervous about it and so on, you open yourself up in a moment and gives them permission to also be vulnerable with you to keep the relationship building and you’re not oversharing or anything, but you’re letting them know that you’re emotionally available, you’re emotionally aware, you’re a real human being with real problems and real solutions, of course and you’re not afraid to unpack that. You’re not talking to the way for anybody and I think that that naturally makes them feel more at home when they get into conversations with you.

Austin: It’s good to be on the other side of that. I know for myself when somebody is willing to have that real conversation with me, it’s like you can just take a deep breath and relax, you don’t have to play this weird game where you’re trying to like be polite and make sure that everybody’s happy, you can just be yourself. Not that often that that happens too. I don’t [inaudible 30:58].

James: I think also for me, for the longest time, I’ve been I’ve been a speaker for 11 years. 11 years, nine of those have been on my own and so, I think for the longest time, I would tell you that I’m a terrible salesperson because I I don’t consider what I’m doing sales. And so, many of the conversations that I have will yield gigs, like two years down the road or three years down the road and that’s my whole model, again, is long term. It’s relationship building, especially like right now during COVID, it’s been really cool to see the way a lot of my clients have come back and been like, listen, we’re going through some things here and you resonated with the team before, and so can we bring you back in to do something right now? Like that kind of relationship leads to the, I guess that authentic and real relationship leads to trust. Trust leads to loyalty and as a speaker to have clients that are loyalty to you is pretty awesome and also pretty rare. And so, I wouldn’t say I get there with all my clients, but during COVID, it’s been really fascinating to see who is kind of almost coming out of the woodworks a little bit to be like oh, hell yeah, let’s go.

Taylorr: It’s funny, we were actually just recording an episode with Crystal Washington, listeners, if you haven’t listened to that episode, go back and listen to it. But we talk about this kind of same idea about relationships and Crystal experienced a very similar thing that you did, James, where her clients or previous clients were coming back to her right out of the gates when this all started going, like hey, how can we do thing? Like we trust you, we need your help and so on and it all is because she maintained those relationships with our clients and it wasn’t the in, out next gig type of mentality. And I don’t know guys, also Max, I’m thinking about this real time, but looking back on, even some of our clients, I think the most successful people that we’ve seen and interacted with are those who take the relationship focused approach to sales rather than the bulk kind of spray and pray sales funnel asked mentality…

Max: For sure.

Taylorr: That we’re all acquainted with. It’s been those people that focus the most on the relationships and generating the loyal customers and that, of course helping them navigate through the world we’re in right now. So, extremely validated, thanks for sharing all that. So, as you know we’re about providing a ton of value for the listeners. So, I know you’re working on some different things, James, what are some of the things you’re working on that they can benefit from?

James: Yeah, for sure. I obviously, available to speak for any of your needs, edit and customize a program to meet your needs anyway. [Inaudible 33:42] I go to my sales pitch real quick, [inaudible 33:44] bullshit.

Taylorr: Oh yes.

James: Sorry, if you need to edit that out.

Taylorr: I will not edit it out and it’s fine. 

James: But yeah, I’d love to connect for sure. As you mentioned up top, I just dropped a new podcast called Diner Talks with James. It’s about the conversations that you never want to leave with the friends that you just can’t part with over food that you probably shouldn’t be eating. And that’s trying to recreate those late-night diners or wherever you live Steak and Shake, Denny’s, iHops, Waffle House in and out conversations. And so that’s been really fun, it’s a brand-new project, the podcast just dropped a couple of weeks ago. And so, it’s been fun to release something and I’m really excited about that. And then, yeah, I wrote a book called Leading Imperfectly, and it’s about this idea that we as humans, can’t learn things from people who are perfect we can only learn things from people who are imperfect. And so, how are we sharing our stories while we lead? How are we sharing those slips, those struggles and whatnot to build teams that are closer? And so, yeah, those are the two big things I got. Other than that, I’m James T Robo all over the internet, Instagram, Facebook, jamestrobo.com or whatnot. So yeah, we out here my friends.

Taylorr: That’s right, you got that presence. Well, you heard it folks. I will drop the links to everything James just talked about in the show notes so feel free to go grab those. And as always, don’t forget to like subscribe and if you want more awesome resources like this, go to speakerflow.com/resources. Thank you so much for chiming in. I just wanted to take a second to thank our sponsor Auxbus. Ayxbus is the all in one suite of tools, you need to run your podcast and it’s actually what we run here at Speaker Flow for Technically Speaking. It makes planning, podcasts simple, it makes recording podcasts simple, it even makes publishing podcasts to the masses simple and quite honestly, Technically Speaking wouldn’t be up as soon as it is without Auxbus. Thank you so much Auxbus. And if you are interested in checking Auxbus out, whether you’re starting a podcast or you have one currently get our special offer auxbus.com/speaker flow, or click the link below in our show notes.

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