Welcome to the Join Up Dots Business Coaching Podcast Interview with Michael O’Neal.
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Introducing Michael O’Neal
Michael O’Neal is today’s guests joining us on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview.
He is a man who quite simply without him, then I wouldn’t be on the mic today….Mr Michael O’Neal.
So you know where to send all your complaints too.
He is a man with a fascinating story, of successes, setbacks, leaps of faith, and finding his unique path.
Growing up in Philadelphia, Michael was a normal type of kid, obsessed with sport, finding trouble at school, and generally being a kid.
But unfortunately that freedom of thought and energy changed when he was moved from his beloved Philly, and taken down to Florida, and it seems to me this was the start of him looking for his path in life.
He didn’t fit in down in the Sunshine State, so as soon as he could, he got himself back up North, and discovered one of the first dots in his life that links him to where he is today…the internet.
Michael O’Neal was fascinated by the worldwide web, so developed skills to be a web designer.
And that was his life for fifteen years, until unfortunately his parents both passed away in a very short time, and he found himself sitting with just $14 dollars in his pocket.
He was over 30, with a decision forced upon him.
Would he accept the punches that life had dealt him, or would he start fighting back?
When The Dots Joined Up For Michael
And that decision was made and Michael O’Neal took the steps that made him “Know too much” and not want to work for anyone else again?
He was going to become a solopreneur and own his own future.
But how did he know he had the skills to be a success in the online arena?
How did he know where his true passions lie?
And does he regret inspiring guys like me to jump into the pool too?
Well let’s bring onto the show to start joining up dots, as we discuss the words of Steve Jobs with the one and only, host of the “Solopreneur Hour podcast” Mr Michael O’Neal!
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Michael O’Neal such as:
How unlike many entrepreneurs he is a notorious non-planner, and clings to his calendar to survive!
Hear the fascinating watch story that wrapped a whole five years of his life in a bow of success!
Why Michael O’Neal considers Alec Baldwin as the bar to hit in regards to podcasting (and his intros are even better than mine!)
Why finding your own voice is absolutely key to creating your success!
How success builds confidence in you that is attractive to all people, and will surround you with success!
How if you want to have a great podcast don’t listen to other podcasts, but listen to old media such as the BBC, Howard Stern and established companies!
How To Connect With Michael O’Neal
You can also of course dive head first into thousands of podcast episodes at the JUD’s archives
Audio Transcription Of Michael O’Neal Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello, bear world. How are we all? Can you believe it? Episode 100. I’ve been building up to this for it seems like 100 episodes and we’re finally here. And we have got an absolute belter. today. We have got a man who, who quite simply rose to the top and was going to be the only person who would fit the mantle of being my hundredth guests. And I’ve had people banging down the doors. I had Paul McCartney found out the other day and say, I want to be on the show. 201 I’ve heard it’s a big thing. And I said to him, Paul, unless you can get the other three Beatles is not going to happen. David Bowie crying, it’s it’s been prophetic, really. So today’s man, he’s been nailed on this. And I’m absolutely delighted that he’s on the show, because quite simply without him, when I wouldn’t be on the mic today, so you know where to send all your complaints to. He’s a man with a fascinating storey of successes, setbacks and leaps of faith and finding his unique path growing up in Philadelphia. It was a normal type of kid obsessive spoke finding trouble at school and generally being a kid. But unfortunately, that freedom of thought and energy changed when he was moved from his beloved Philly and taken down to Florida. And it seemed to me this was the start of him looking for his path in life. He didn’t fit in down in the sunshine state. So as soon as he could, he got himself back up north and discovered one of the first dots in his life that links him to where he is today, the internet. He was fascinated by the World Wide Web, so develop skills to be a web designer. And that was his life for 15 years until unfortunately, his parents both passed away in a very short time. And he found himself sitting with just $14 in his pocket. It was over 30 with a decision forced upon him, would you accept the punches that life had dealt him? Or would he start fighting back? And that decision was made and he took the steps that made him know too much and not want to work for anyone else? Again, he was going to become a solo printer and own his own future. But how did he know he had the skills to be a success in the online arena? And how did he know where his true passions lie? And does he regret inspiring guys like me to jump into the pool too? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the hundredth show to start Join Up Dots. The man on the mic, the host of the solo printer, our podcast, but one the only Mr. Michael O’Neill How are you Michael?
Michael O’Neal [2:38]
Oh, David, what I can’t even what is happening. I am so flabbergasted by that intro. Okay, two things. Number one, that was the best intro I’ve ever had. And formerly Chris Sironi had that. That title of the best intro to a show I’ve ever had. But it was one of the best interviews I’ve ever heard for anybody. Would you why you are so the right person for this job. We’re all thankful you have a microphone in front of you, David. Trust me on that. The second thing is I would pay to hear zombie john lennon. If you could figure out a way to get all four Beatles on the show. That would be cool.
David Ralph [3:15]
Well, I can do Steve Jobs every day. So I might be able to do them as well.
Michael O’Neal [3:19]
Ah, so Dude, that was incredible. I am I am I’m as I Sam flummoxed? David Ralph, I’m so excited to be on David Ralph show.
David Ralph [3:28]
Yeah, don’t go and do that. Because I know you have been doing an accent of me on a few shows. Not all your show. I do.
Michael O’Neal [3:33]
Yeah, you have a little bumper for me on my show. I have these little things that when people excuse me, I have a guest on the show that I have them do a little like, Hi, this is David Ralph. And then Amy go the universe in this opener with Michael O’Neill. And your voice is so what’s the first thing I ever said to you? I said you have the ultimate voice for radio. Didn’t I say that?
David Ralph [3:54]
You did? Absolutely. I haven’t got the face for TV. But I’ve got the voice for radio, as well.
Michael O’Neal [3:59]
As long as you got the radio part worked out. And you have taken this thing and you’ve run with it my friend. So I’m I’m honoured. I’m honoured to be at the 100 100 episode, Mark. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you know, absolutely. It’s a It’s an
David Ralph [4:11]
honour to have you here because it is amazing when you start this because you started your show. What was the August 2013 1111 months ago?
Unknown Speaker [4:17]
Yeah, yeah, 11 months ago,
David Ralph [4:19]
and now you are rocking and rolling with the best of them you’ve surrounded yourself with with the internet movers and shakers, the zigs and zags. And you are, you know, you’re going to be humbled by this. Or maybe you won’t. You are an online celebrity of note. When I was saying to people, it’s my hundredth show, a lot of the people that sort of touch on the shows have said to me, I know who you’re going to have? And I said, No, you don’t. And I go, Yeah, I know who you’re going to have. And I go go on and go on till no one and I went, Michael O’Neill, I went, Damn Damn, how did I know? Really? I know. She’s Yeah, I did. Because I had been, you know, I don’t want to suck up to your Michael. But at the early days, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. So I just kept on saying you’re not I’m over and over again, as some kind of benchmark of what I was trying to achieve. Because you like that you’ve come out of the gates, really, as I say, like it like a rocket ship. It’s unbelievable. But you’ve only been around so long, because it seems like you’ve been here forever in a day. Does it feel like that to you?
Michael O’Neal [5:16]
it It’s weird. It does feel like it was yesterday that I launched the show. It feels really, really recent to me that it happened. So but then at the same time, I look at the memories that I’ve had over the last 11 months, and all the cool benchmarks and you know, different things that have happened. And it but it’s packed full of stuff, right? So I think if there’s any celebrity and sort of Z lyst celebrity, and only at certain conferences, but yeah, it’s been, it’s been an incredible journey. I couldn’t be happier with with how it’s gone. And I can’t wait to see what happens in the next 365. You know, I’m really excited about that.
David Ralph [5:56]
Is there a plan to the next 365 because you seemed to me somebody that is very much stimulated by the now and then I use somebody that knows what you’re aiming to achieve.
Michael O’Neal [6:08]
Know, I’m a notorious non planner, much to the chagrin of my girlfriend who’s a total planner. And if I didn’t have the, you know, calendar app on my phone, I would be I would be completely floating out there now because I, I wake up and I look at it like okay, what do I have to do today? And then I see what’s going on for the day. And sometimes that doesn’t work out for me, like in a social situation, because people actually make plans to go out and do things. But and I’m not one of them. And all of a sudden it’s Friday. I’m like, I probably should have plan to do something. Yes, I’ll watch movies tonight. But yeah, I I’m in an interesting spot right now, because I have had this kind of five year run of, as you mentioned in the intro, bringing myself in this very circuitous path from $14. And not having a clear direction to now, when someone says what do you do? I say I’m a podcast host. And that’s a thing like I that’s what I do. So I, I sort of a couple weeks ago, had an occasion to kind of put the cap on that five year journey. And now I’m going to be looking ahead, but I haven’t quite formulated what that ahead looks like yet.
David Ralph [7:20]
And how did you do that? How did you put a cap on that? How did you say that? Is that five year finished boxed up?
Michael O’Neal [7:27]
Well, it was it was a I’m a notorious non celebrated. I’m a guy that usually gets to an achievement and then continues to go without acknowledging it. And I have a so this is probably a weird storey than you’re asking for. But here comes. So I’ve been a Porsche fan for my whole life. And you may already know we’re heading with this, but I was a Porsche fan my whole life. And I don’t know why. Particularly I was I had a Volkswagen in high school and I think that may be planted the seed a little bit. And I was actually guy and so you know, those Porsche ads from the 80s with like the big fender flares and the big wing. I think I was attracted to that. And I I eventually, in 2003, I bought my first vintage Porsche, so I bought a 1972 911. And it was a piece of crap. I bought it in New York. I didn’t know better. I drove it across country. Midway across USA, and midway across the country, the engine blew up. So that’s how badly I don’t know where
David Ralph [8:31]
will you when it says
Michael O’Neal [8:32]
happened. I was in the dead heart middle of Nebraska when it happened. And Nebraska so those of you it’s nothing It is hundreds and millions of acres of wide open like corn fields and nothing else. I mean, we are I was I have a picture of my car sitting looking like it’s a panther waiting in the grass, waiting to you know, to prowl. It’s just sitting there in the with, with like 100 miles in each direction of grass, there was Middle of Nowhere when it happened. And I ended up finding a Volkswagen play 60 miles away that towed me in and the guy dropped to the oil pan in the car and just giant chunks of metal came out. And I’m like, I’m pretty sure that’s not how it’s supposed to be. So I ended up getting a tow truck driving in from Denver where I was living at the time and picking it up. Neither here nor there. So I eventually traded that piece of crap one and got a nicer one, not when I bought it. But in 2005. And I restored this car, it took me four years in 2000 hours to restore this car back to better than factory condition when I still have it now. And as part of the dynamic, it’s a This one’s at 1969 911. And the 69 through 73 911 are very, very sought after they are the the iconic 911. So when you would see Steve McQueen and a picture of him in the 60s, you know, you know in a ma or something driving in 911. He was driving one of the sort of 69 to 73 versions. And one of the sponsors of Porsche in the 60s was a company called Hoyer, which was tag Hoyer before tag was involved in the mid 80s. So just Hoyer. It’s a guy named jack Hoyer. And he made these beautiful timepieces chronographs, based on race timers. So you’d have a co driver with you as a racecar. And there was a race in Mexico called the career up pan Americana. And the first Porsche Carrera was named after this particular race. So Hoyer, as a sponsor of Porsche, created a watch, based on the chronographs that they used for the race cars. And they called it the Hoyer Carrera. So this was a very utilitarian type watch, you could use it as a race timer, you could just click one of the buttons, and it had this chronograph on it. It was beautiful, automatic, beautiful timepiece. And as I’ve been going through this journey, for five years, this has been on my vision board, because these are about three grand and above to get one of these watches. But that was so superfluous for me, because I had no like zero money. And for me to spend three grand on something as excessive as a watch wasn’t even on my radar. So about a month and a half ago, now. I was in this position where I was like, this could be the time and I scoured the world, I ended up buying a 1972 whole your career from a guy in France. And it came to my house and it was more beautiful in person than I I’d never seen one in person is more beautiful than I even thought it could be. And I remember at the the mid mid day, I gone to this little swimming pool by my house, I belong to this little pool Club, which is where I work out and I was swimming in the middle of the day, two o’clock in the afternoon, like Tony Soprano, in the middle of a work day. And thinking, I just did this, like this just happened, this five year journey. Come stops right now like this is where my new journey begins. I’ve gone through this trial by fire, I’ve come out, hopefully like a phoenix. I’m in a position where I can buy this watch now, which is insane to think about. And I’m peaceful and grateful for the life that I’ve built. And so that for me was the cap of a five year struggle. I mean, a real struggle to get to where I am today
David Ralph [12:39]
that Mr. O’Neill is a perfect storey. It started. And it made me think that if I’m ever in a pop quiz, and a question about Porsche comes up, you’re my man.
Unknown Speaker [12:49]
That does it does. Absolutely.
David Ralph [12:51]
You obsessed by that? carlon Oh, yeah, the amount that you were quoting then
Michael O’Neal [12:56]
a minute, I think there’s, I think it’s kind of a lifetime obsession for people that that become afflicted by it. In fact, there’s a great ad, I will send it to you on YouTube. And there’s an ad for the new Porsche at the time, the new Porsche Carrera ad, and it was there, it’s a little boy and he’s, he’s a little kid in his classroom, and he’s daydreaming and a 911 drives by him. And you just see him like looking out the window. And his pencil drops and, you know, then he he gets in trouble. And then he runs to the you know, as on as BMX bike to the Porsche dealer after school. And he, you know, he ends up sitting in this car and the steering wheel is bigger than he is and you seem like raises head he’s, you know, 12 or something, and that, he goes to the dealer that the guy goes, you have a card, and the guy goes, Yeah, here you go. And he goes, All right, I’ll see in 20 years. And then this is great voice over that says something like there’s a there’s a there’s a particular moment that happened with you know, a Porsche fan, there’s that time you want one, then there’s the time you get one and for the truly affected, there’s afflicted there’s the 20 years in between. and it just like it gives you the chills and my buddy sent it I sent to my buddy and goes man pass the Kleenex. So I guess there is a real passion there for this. It’s a very visceral feeling that is so different because of the way they build their cars and because the engines in the rear and it’s a totally different experience than you have with with any other vehicle. That Yeah, there becomes a real passion a real obsession with them.
David Ralph [14:33]
Did you remember because this shows about joining up dots, but do you remember as a young kid having the same kind of obsessive composing for certain things? when when when you was that little kid running around the streets of Philly, pretending you’re Rocky? They did was Rocky a big part of your life? vaping in Philly, no, no,
Michael O’Neal [14:50]
no, I was a BMX kid. No, no, I was I was in a suburb. I was the only Gentile I lived in a super Jewish town, north of Philadelphia, and I was about mixer. I wrote my BMX bike. I mean, I was from 1984. Until, I mean, I was racing bikes from 84 until 2000. So no, not at all. Tony Hawk and and Dave, you know, Dave Volker and Matt Hoffman and you know BMX guys, Bob Haro, they were all on my radar. I’ll tell you here’s a here’s a little here’s a Join Up Dots. That is current is that I wrote an entire day with
real Wow, I just blanked on his name.
Unknown Speaker [15:38]
What’s really? Uh
Michael O’Neal [15:43]
I’m killing myself right now. This is bad radio.
David Ralph [15:45]
Well, was he looked like
Michael O’Neal [15:46]
a he’s a big famous director now. And he
David Ralph [15:52]
will films john Markovich
Michael O’Neal [15:53]
being john malkovich.
wanna wanna? friggin Oscar.
David Ralph [16:00]
We’re ready. We’re ready. And it makes you seem seamless by
Michael O’Neal [16:03]
Jones for crying out loud by Jones. Yeah, Spike Jones, the the director was a dude I rode with at a place called rockville BMX. And we were just being extra dudes riding around. And then he, he became a photographer for one of the BMX magazines, and then started doing filming. Because he did Beastie Boys first video, I forget which one, and then started doing independent films then did being john malkovich. And now he is like an international, you know, massive director, like one of the best, most well reputed directors in the world. And it was kind of cool. I mean, so he did adaptation. He did, being john malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are, you know, just just done amazing stuff. So, Academy Awards, and so pretty, pretty badass. He did her, you know, the movie her most recent Yeah, that’s by Jobs.
David Ralph [16:51]
So so it’s so of a similarity between the young kid in Philly and now because I sit across the pond, and I listen into the content that you have with your internet guys. And it does seem from this side of the pond, but you’ve got a little gang of friends and followers and whatever, that basically control the internet. And I was saying to Rick more ready I had him on the show. And I said, Do you ever feel like slipping something in like Pat Flynn’s drink or john Lee Dumas is during just so that the next morning, you turn on your screen and see if there’s a black corner on the internet? Because it’s not functioning, but that’s fine. Because it kind of seems like that and he wouldn’t be pushing that slipping a Mickey into his drink in any shape or form. But you seem a little bit edgier. Ben bows up again. Yeah. Is that because you’re from Philly is because it is a very sort of industrial con is a real city in a It feels like a working class city when you’re there.
Michael O’Neal [17:45]
Yeah, I think the the edginess is something that I’m kind of a no, I don’t know if you curse on your show. But I’m kind of a no BS kind of guy. And I’ve never been one to straddle the fence very, very much. And I think the what happened with Erwin, what happens with a lot of these sort of internet type celebrities, is that they’re so concerned about getting the broadest audience that they sometimes come off as being a little bit milk toast or a little bit vanilla. And I come from a totally different perspective, where when you think about media, you think about New York, Philadelphia, Boston, these are like, the media centres of the world. It’s where, you know, you go to Boston College, that’s one of the broadcasting school. That’s where howard stern went, that’s where many very famous broadcasters come from those places, I went to Temple University, which has an incredible media department. And when you look at the people that are iconic, in history, they’re not people that are vanilla, they’re people that have strong opinions one way or the other. And people either love them, or they hate them, but they’re definitely them. So they definitely have a presence, they definitely have a voice that’s unique to them. And I think I always, I think it took me a little while to settle into that on my show. But it is ultimately, as you as I developed the show, and I developed my own voice, I realised, hey, I’m not in the interest of pleasing everybody. Like, that’s not my job. My job is to talk from my perspective on certain issues and try to extract really good business advice from people without them or my audience, really seeing what I’m doing. And one of my favourite quotes to that is, there’s a new you probably heard me say before, but we just never let him see your work. I you know, that’s from Bill Cosby, also from my alma mater, Temple University in Philly. And in that basically means that, go through your process, ask your questions, you know, have questions written down. But you don’t have to be so blatant about it. You can, you can ease through, you know, great stand up comedians do this, like Louie ck talks, you know, he’ll be sputtering and an angry and going through all this process on stage. And you think that that’s just how he is you laugh at his angry energy. But he knows all the beats within that he knows exactly what he’s doing within that realm. And that is that is him not letting you see him work.
David Ralph [20:25]
So when when you on the mic, man, how much is you now being absolutely authentic? And how much? Is it? Creating a mood creating an atmosphere on the show?
Michael O’Neal [20:37]
What can’t can’t you have both?
David Ralph [20:39]
Oh, don’t know, can you?
Michael O’Neal [20:40]
What do you ask? Are you asking how much is sort of pre written and how much is off the cuff?
David Ralph [20:45]
Well, no, I’m this show, for example, some of the things I say I only need to say to get a reaction from the guest. You know, do I really mean it? Kind of? Do I think that they are going to go against it? Yes. So I will say it, how much do you actually say you but you believe 100%?
Michael O’Neal [21:03]
Well, first of all, you do that? Because you understand this and you’re a pro. I mean, you’re This is a very natural place for you to end up. So I think that, that I do very similar things to you as you do, just because Yeah, sometimes you want to extract some stuff from a guest that is being difficult. But yeah, I mean, I’m pretty authentic. Dude, I don’t, there’s not a lot. There’s people that have met me in real life and go You’re exactly like you are in the show. I’m like, Yeah, exactly. Like I’m on the show. There’s no I turn it on, and I talk so I don’t have this. I’m not affected in any way. I just
David Ralph [21:42]
go so so you’re not like you haven’t got a human graphic equaliser. When you press record, you just kind of increase certain parts of your personality.
Michael O’Neal [21:52]
Not really, no, this is pretty much how I am. Yeah, I, I speak like I speak. I’m probably slightly dirtier in real life.
David Ralph [22:01]
Well, you know whether words mean to you,
Michael O’Neal [22:04]
I probably curse a little more, which is fun. I’ve done a few podcasts now where I was allowed to do that. And it did make it really nice.
David Ralph [22:12]
You in the same situation as me because I used to listen to your show all the time. And it was a staple diet of my my kind of transition at that time. And now I’m doing this. One of the failures of me is that I don’t get time to listen to other people’s shows. I listened to your one the other day because I just suddenly realised I had a gap. But you almost become an island of your own success. Where before I used to listen to shows and I used to think oh, I’ll take a bit of that. And I’ll take a bit of it and become like a mature. And now I don’t know what the tastes are out there. And I don’t know whether I’m being covered, edgy or whatever it just seems to be but I’m speaking to the mic. And I throw it out to the world. And hopefully it falls well. It seems to be a fading of me. And so do you have the same thing?
Michael O’Neal [22:52]
I know I’m exactly the same way I don’t I partially by choice and partially by by time. So when I when I do have time to consume podcasts, I don’t tend to go business. I tend to go comedy and lately I tend to go NFL football. I listen to podcasts related to that, because I want to be able to clock out a little bit when I do want real inspiration I’ve been listening to here’s the thing with Alec Baldwin w NYC I’ve not heard a better intro or production or interview style than that show. It’s his in his intros are nothing short of brilliant. I mean, they’re amazing how he brings a guest on and and then how he interviews and his questions are very in depth and he’s such a pro that it makes it really easy for me to like look at that bar and go Okay, that’s where the solo printer hours going. That’s what I do. I actually honestly, David I find now the more that I get into this show, the more I almost can’t stand other people shows. Like there’s so few that can capture my attention and that I feel like are being done well. Even with really good friends of mine that do shows. I just go man that is almost unlistenable. You know, it’s so. So I just don’t I definitely look far above the kind of Internet Marketing slash business world for inspiration on how I want to run mine.
David Ralph [24:22]
Because the only two that I listened to now is yours. And I when I started I wanted to listen to every single one. And but yeah, the nerdiest and they’re the only two but
Michael O’Neal [24:33]
yeah, great. And nervous is good for a number of reasons.
David Ralph [24:36]
Yeah, I just like the way that it kind of flows. And you don’t even know it started. And it just kind of easy. That’s
Michael O’Neal [24:42]
right. That’s right. Yeah, they just start. We kind of did that today, didn’t we? Yeah, absolutely.
David Ralph [24:46]
And I should I shouldn’t.
Michael O’Neal [24:48]
That was the good stuff. Yeah, we talked for a while before we started recording. Your limited I should just like yeah, hit it go for it will start like an artist. But yeah, no, I think that there’s a since there’s such a glutton of new show was out there. And I don’t, if I’m being opinionated, I don’t there’s a lot of places where people are learning quote, unquote, how to podcast. And I think they’re feeding them crap information. I so I think the big problem,
David Ralph [25:13]
and I know he’s a mate of yours, and I want all the success in the world is but so many people are trying to duplicate john Lee Dumas. And that’s right, he came first. And he created the structure and whether you like that rigid format, or whatever that is, he’s and he’s made it in his own by being him. And I hear the shows. And after about three minutes, I think, Oh my god, it’s the same thing again. So turn it off. Now I will listen to the shows, and I will go all the way through. But people miss a trick don’t know, I think what we’re coming back to Michael all the time is finding your authentic self playing to your strengths. And and if you do that, you create a bigger loyalty. You know, if you are totally yourself, people will either hate you or like you, but the ones that like you will love you. And that’s where these people are missing out. Because they’re not even being authentic to the themselves that just a kind of a middle ground.
Michael O’Neal [26:02]
Yeah. And john would tell you, and I’ve said this a million times in front of him, I said, Dude, you’re the success of your show, or his show has nothing to do with his format. And it has nothing to do with him as a podcaster. At all. It has everything to do with the fact that he has a financial background, writes great marketing copy, and has a schedule and a rigidity to he’s a military rigidity, because he was in the military, to his to his business. And unless you come with that exact kind of background, you will not have success in that way. People think that because of the way he does his show, because it’s structured, and because he has the set questions, and does it seven days a week, that that’s why he’s successful and is completely irrelevant to that. So the problem is, is like you said, so many people listen to that, or they go to podcasters paradise, and they learn a certain way to do things. And I’m almost diametrically opposed to every single thing that they’re learning. So it’s like, it’s like, man, I, it’s, it’s frustrating for me in that way. And I shouldn’t say that, like, let me rephrase that i’m not i’m actually opposed to everything they’re learning. What I’m what I’m worried about is that the things that I think make podcasting successful, aren’t emphasised in a lot of training courses. And like you just said, finding your own voice is a number one, you have to be successful, you have to find your own voice. And you have to have a great brand. And it’s not something that people speak about a lot like I took a lot of Cliff ravens craft stuff, I’ve taken all the john stuff. I’ve seen a number of courses out there, a lot of them don’t pay a lot of attention to that piece. And I worry that with this next phase of podcasting, and what’s you know, since everyone’s starting a show, they’re going to find it a lot harder to say staying it unless they found their own voice on their voice. And, and it’s within this brand that they’ve really created. So we’ll see. But that’s the jury’s out on that.
David Ralph [28:11]
Did you think you really have to love doing this, because I’m going to play a speech in a moment, but Jim Carrey, and actually, I’m going to play it now then we’re going to talk afterwards this Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [28:20]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could you survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [28:47]
Is that the true message that we should be getting across?
Michael O’Neal [28:51]
Yes, it is, unfortunately, the connecting of the dots joining of those two dots, which is I found this thing that I love. Now I have to figure out how to get paid for it is difficult. That’s a difficult journey. And that’s my that was my five year journey. Right? First, not even knowing what it was that I loved. I had no idea I was going to podcast five years ago. But I had an initial foray into public speaking, I started teaching social media on stage. And I ended up travelling and going to 17 cities, teaching people how to use social media to grow their business. And I found it very, like, Oh, this is something I could be good at. And then that morphed into doing back end production on a podcast for a year and a half. And just starting to understand the podcasting industry. That finally morphed into me starting my own show, and here we are. But it was a five year journey to find that, you know, like I had indicators of it. And if someone in 2009, it said, Hey, do you want to get you want to make six figures and be a public speaker? I’d be like, totally, that’d be great. But at the time, I had nothing to speak about. Now I do. So it’s kind of a, I do feel like you have to find something that will and you probably seen this in your life with your show, something that will make you walk into that studio and record an episode even if you’re exhausted, or not in the mood or whatever. Because you truly love it. And you’re excited about it. Oh, absolutely. I that’s why I love it.
David Ralph [30:22]
Yeah, I’ve had times when I’ve recorded 12 shows back to back. And wow, I blew I just because I knew I was going to do a seven days a week show. And there was a time that I had. I had no internet for two weeks, he just crashed on me. And I suddenly panic, but I didn’t have enough to cover. And I was going away as well. So yeah, seven days a week, it goes out. And I needed the bulk. And so I did it. And I started off at six o’clock in the morning. And I just went through, through through through, and I edited and I did everything in the gap between and then I recorded the next one. And it just went seamlessly. And when I press record, yes, I was on I was on once I was off, it was just like I was you know on drugs or something I was just slumped in my chair. But it wasn’t until the very last ones. But I realised actually that that passion that you’re talking about that ability to actually do it when you’re tired. I’ve gone past that. And I was actually feeling ill. And I remember this doing this show, and the sweat was pulling off me. And I’ve listened back to it. It doesn’t sound like it. But I’ve realised vain, but actually, no, you’ve got to look after yourself as much as you do actually doing something.
Michael O’Neal [31:32]
Yeah, I’m very committed to that. David, it’s I have, I have three sort of pillars, if you will, that I that I think make a good solo printer, or a successful solo printer. And there’s there’s time freedom, there’s financial freedom, and there’s location freedom. And so the first one is really easy time freedom simple, you walk into your boss’s office, tell him to go screw himself, and then you have time freedom, there you go. Location freedom, you can pretty much just get in a car and go somewhere that we have that kind of freedom in the in the UK, and in the United States. Yeah, there’s some complications in between. But technically, you can just go do that. It’s the financial freedom part, that’s the tricky part of the three they that is a little harder, uh, but I find that I’m so unwilling to compromise my time freedom, I’ve turned down so many more, so much more money, because it would compromise my time freedom. Like I could have a lot more coaching clients and a lot more people in my my group coaching, it’s called solo lab. But with that, I would have to commit another couple of days to, to taking care of them. And I, I’m unwilling to do that at all, like I will I love my life the way it is right now. And I can be comfortable financially, I can go do fun things. And I don’t have to compromise that. And, you know, hopefully I can continue to grow and continue to, you know, make more money, maybe have more speaking gigs, things like that. But I don’t intend on working any harder. I just want to, you know, work smarter, maybe try to over deliver a little more to my audience. And that’s what I’m looking for.
David Ralph [33:14]
Well, that’s sensible. And that’s exactly what I want to do as well, because I hear these people, and it’s almost like a badge of honour. But I’ve quit a nine to five job. And then I go, yes, I’m an online marketing guru. I do this. And I do that. And I clock my time, and I’m doing 80 hours a week. And I think what boy, right? Why the hell do you do that? Why don’t you just do two days hard work and have the rest of the time off? It seems stupid that they say that.
Michael O’Neal [33:38]
That’s right. And it’s It does. It is counterintuitive. The thing is when my parents passed away, you mentioned this in the intro, when they did that my perspective on time completely shifted. And I just, I life’s too short. So I am very much a person that says both. When someone says would you like this or this? I say both. When I get an opportunity to something I say yes. When you know, and I just do it, like I it’s a thing that I have committed to and not mentally like I don’t just go Yeah, this is what I’m going to do from now on. I just do it now. I just say Yeah, let’s do that. That sounds fun. Let’s just go for that. I’m going to go on a hike. Yeah, great. Let me book a ticket, you know, and we just do it. And I found that that has served me really well. Because when I do that, and I put that as a priority in my life, then the stuff that I’m not so thrilled about, I still end up having to do it. It still fills in the blanks. But my priority is to really extract the most that I can out of my life. And I’ll tell you another person that does that. Well, I think is john john Lee Dumas, he works probably a little more like the person you were just mentioning, he works a lot. But he’s also great at saying yes. When when something comes across his desk, he goes, Yeah, let’s do that. And it’s like on the schedule. And I think that’s a that’s part of I think what that’s part of success. To me, that’s part of what success feels like it’s been be able to do that.
David Ralph [35:01]
I remember hearing an interview with Billy Joe. And the interviewer said to him, Billy, you’ve sold x William built albums and singles, and you’ve done these tours, and you play Madison Square Garden 15 nights, what has success given you? And he just said time, and that was it. He can wake up each morning. And if he doesn’t want to do something he doesn’t. And that single word resonated with me hugely, especially when I was in my nine to five job. And I realised Ben but things were not right. And why should I be doing a nine to five job when there are options? I suppose. I began to know too much. And then once you know too much bang, you realise you can’t ever go back.
Michael O’Neal [35:42]
Yeah, it really is a one way street. It also but that carries over as well into, into my personal life as well. I think when the there’s I have such a different confidence now, just in my life in general. And I think Billy Joel would sort anybody that’s reached a level of success has this, this, this underlying confidence about them. That is very attractive, not only to you know, the opposite sex, but it’s but attracts other successful people to you. There’s just a, there’s a subtlety in actions, and just how really how you go through life in when you’re confident, that is very attractive to you know, both both people, both sexes. And that is something that that people pick up on pretty easily.
David Ralph [36:35]
You become a success vacuum, don’t you? You know, the old Jim Rome thing about you’re the average of, you know, five people that surround Sure. A lot of people that I talked to go, Yeah, but I’m in a crappy job. And I’m with these miserable people all the time, how can I surround myself, and one of the things I say to them is, you know, focus on success, because the more success you get, and the more competence as you say, then other successful people get sucked into your world. And suddenly, you you created what he was saying, is not easy to do. But it certainly is a mindset that starts you moving in that direction.
Michael O’Neal [37:09]
That’s right. And you It’s funny, you just asked that question of me is how do you now you’re on it, you’re on an island. So you’re, you’re in the UK, you’re not? I’m in San Diego, so I get to have a bunch of people around me at all times. I will say though, we don’t get together. I mean, you know, we get together as friends. But I’m not in a mastermind with any of these people around me. We don’t sit there and meet out. So, you know, to answer your question, I’m going to answer it on my show tomorrow. But you’ve got to join a group, you’ve got to join a group mastermind of some sort. And there’s really no other way if you if you’re not surrounded by those five people that, that you feel are motivating you in a way that that is bettering your life and hopefully their lives, you’ve got to separate from those people and find the people that are doing that. And pretty much everyone I know that in this, you know, business, internet marketing, podcasting world has some sort of coaching programme. And my best advice is to get people that you really enjoy, like how they speak and like how they deliver and join their group. And that’s it. And you know, once you’re a part of that community, you’ll be a lot more apt to to be motivated, you know, learn the things you want to learn. It’s part of the reason why I don’t need to listen to podcasts anymore, because I have so many people in my group that are doing cool things that I get to learn about all the cool new stuff without having to go listen, it sort of comes to me.
David Ralph [38:36]
So So do you now feel that you’re ahead of the curve? Because when when you started the show, I remember you saying it’s the Wild West. And now it seems like every man, a dog and whatever has been a podcast. So do you feel now that you it’s not a wild west? But you are actually ahead of the curve?
Michael O’Neal [38:55]
Good? That’s a good question. Yes, and no, I think it’s still the Wild West. I think that people in this environment, aren’t necessarily looking in the right direction to advance their business where they should be. Let me clarify that. I think inspiration for how someone’s podcast get better, it gets better doesn’t happen within the new podcasting community. I think it happens with old media, thank you go look at if you will learn how to interview you go study, Howard Stern, if you want to learn how to produce an excellent show, you go, you know, look at an NPR show or something like that, like a or a BBC show something that, you know, pays close attention to how people are introducing guests and what their how they do their ads and how they integrate, you know, clips from this person’s body of work into their intro or into the show itself. So I think there’s really professional side to this, that will ultimately come out. For me personally, what I’ve realised over the last couple of months, and this is something that I think you can you can sort of strap on as a badge of honour as well, is that I’m a better interviewer than most just in general, I’m more intuitive. And I have more range of knowledge. So I can connect those dots, you know, I can join those dots. And, and that’s what makes for a compelling and entertaining interview. No matter who you are. It’s the people that have the pre scripted questions that I think are really going to struggle because that’s, that’s very exhausting to an audience. So on one side, I think I’m still really ahead of the curve in that I come from this, as do you come from this background, this history of paying attention to interviewers and then sort of bringing this natural ability to the microphone that 99% of people don’t have. And that’s the ability not only to interview someone in a business sense and extract what they do for a living, but actually make an entertaining hour of programming for someone. And in my opinion, they can get the business data from 80,000 podcasts that are on iTunes. But it’s really hard to get entertainment out of it. And that’s what I’m trying to bring to the table. And I think that’s what you do a really great job bringing to the table as well.
David Ralph [41:30]
Because Because when I realised, you know, I was complete novice basically the very first interview I did was
Michael O’Neal [41:35]
no, you weren’t
David Ralph [41:36]
Yes, I was it. Tom Marcus was episode. One
Michael O’Neal [41:41]
line to me right now, David.
David Ralph [41:43]
And he was a huge inspiration to me. So I wanted him as guest number one. And he was talking to a gentleman called john Lee Dumas. And so I thought, who’s this chap never heard of him. And I went over to his show, and the very first show that I listened to was Episode 322, which was yourself.
Michael O’Neal [42:00]
Kidding. That was, I didn’t know that.
David Ralph [42:01]
Yeah, that was the very first episode. And the fascinating thing about it, which got me on the show, and this is my sort of like, little Join Up Dots, was the fact that everything you see in life is normally about benchmarking against success. You see people already there and you go, I’d like to do that. But it’s all right for him. He’s had this skill, he’s got that, you know, he’s a natural, whatever. But sure, on that show on eo fire, three to two you hadn’t even launched. And he was saying to you, you know, when you’re going to go and you went, I’m going to go on Wednesday, whatever it was, and I tuned in and I listened or whatever you do, you click on it, you don’t tune into you. But um, I heard you speak for the very first time. And I found it fascinating, because I was seeing the nuts and bolts of somebody finding their way. And you were saying, Yeah, I had 17 downloads. And it wasn’t that you were looking at success. You were looking at somebody finding their flow, finding their feet moving on. And that’s right. But that’s what we flavoured my show, was the fact that you were doing something that seemed natural, and you were holding your hands up and you going, really, I don’t know if this is gonna work. But hey, if it doesn’t work, change, we’ll move on later on. And I remember you did a show and it was it was some chapter don’t remember who was and you were down on the on the beach somewhere. And cars were whizzing past and your battery ran out halfway through? Yes. And yes, you still put it out. And I thought that’s interesting. Because what he’s saying bear is not that this show has got to be polished and perfect. What he’s saying is, it is a journey, and I’m going to improve from that. And that will be the last time that my battery runs out halfway through.
Michael O’Neal [43:44]
That’s right. And it was definitely the last time that happened. Yeah, uh, yeah, it’s a good it’s a good insight. I, I
if I were doing it again, yeah, I would probably do the same thing again. I was I’ve been always sort of a fan of Yeah, let’s just put it out at that. At that time. I was leaning more on my hopeful interview skills than I was, like, ultimate show quality. And since I’d already put out a couple of episodes, it wasn’t that bad. But I really loved the guy storey. So I was like, yeah, there was Harry Harry Smith was the guy’s name and I know and, and I thought, yeah, let me let me throw that on. And why not what happened, you know, and somewhere and this is what’s so cool about this, right? You heard one single episode I did from john Lee Dumas which was like a random occurrence. And look how much it’s affected both of us. Yeah, just that one thing. So if one little episode you put out catches the right person, it can literally be life changing. I will say something I want your listeners to go to solo our solo our COMM And I want you to go back to like, pre I don’t know, let’s say pre 70s anything from episode? Like, I don’t know, one until Episode 70. And I want you to click on those posts and read how great David’s comments are for the episodes. They’re so insightful and brilliant. And you do such a great job summarising, I think I even wrote to you once and said, Do you want to write my show
David Ralph [45:20]
summaries? You remember that? You did. And it was at the crux of me doing this and I knew I
Michael O’Neal [45:24]
was gonna start so cool. So I am and you still you just did it the other day when you that episode you listened to you do such a great job summarising, you’re going to be such a smash successful podcaster. David, I have no doubt whatsoever you’re going to, I hope you will let us be on your show someday. When you do these live broadcasts in front of you know, 100,000 people at the Wembley Stadium,
David Ralph [45:51]
DJ know when you start this, and I’m really going to open up here. So I don’t really ever share this. But when you start this, you want it to be so good. You want it to be brilliant. And you kind of do a passable job, you look back on them, and you go Okay, yeah, that that wasn’t quite where I wanted to be. But it was all right. And then you hit sort of little milestones and you listen back to somebody shows, I don’t know if you listen to yours. And I thought that was a bit closer to what I had in my head, my original vision. And I got to show at. And that’s when I suddenly realised, Michael, that I was a host of a show and it was my responsibility to be the host up to Vin, I think I was too grateful for people giving up their time to be on my show. It was complete mindset. Now, I want this to be the biggest show out there. Absolutely do. And it’s all I can focus in on. And it’s in many ways, it’s killing me and my life is totally out of whack. But all I want is that it’s the number one and I don’t think I’ve said that on any show. Because it sounds a bit arrogant. Really. I’m I’ve said it once we’ve stopped recording and when somebody asks me, but that is that is where I want to be and I want to be Join Up Dots as a brand. It is you say big, right? Because it’s one of those things that you kind of go Join Up Dots. What does it mean? And I’m very aware that if you provide quality and content as quality, the brand, in many ways take care of itself. It’s like we always talk in the early episode, the name that was always mentioned was Pat Flynn. And you know, he’s got that classic smart, passive income. And you think, yeah, that’s a brilliant brand. But actually, it’s only three words put together. And it’s because he’s provided that great content and that quality and that value, but it becomes the kind of the trust word, but what he’s trying to achieve.
Unknown Speaker [47:32]
Michael O’Neal [47:34]
In he that he can live that now. But I actually want you I want to focus on something you said just before that, you will be bigger than him. And so ally and I don’t mean that like in a I don’t he doesn’t have the same aspirations as you do. Right. His I’m saying in terms of podcast in terms of like, Pat wants to speak, I’m not speaking for him here. But just knowing what I know about him. He He is sort of the crash test test dummy of internet marketers. So he does all these really cool things on the web. I want my show to become about like, I want to I want to be interviewing, complete legitimate a listers, you know, and finding out about their kind of business and soul journeys. That’s where I will see this show going. And because of that, if winning if I get to that point, the show the podcast itself will be bigger than all of the internet marketing type podcasts. Does that make sense? Yeah, no, it’ll be way bigger than that. It’ll be more like noticed. You know, Chris Hardwick gets killer guests on his show. And that’s why his podcast is, you know, number one, number two, number three on iTunes overall. And so it’s it’s one of those things that that I, it’s what I aspire to do as well is to get working within this, like real a list category, people because I think that they’ll appreciate talking about their journey. And so that’s where I want to head with it.
David Ralph [49:08]
So I was very strategic. And I changed direction. I realised that when I started, I was just throwing out the net to anyone and anyone would jump on the show, I would have them. But roundabout sort of at once again, I thought to myself, no, I can’t do this. Because when I was looking at other people’s shows, I was thinking, Oh, by being on my show by being on my show, and it was just a sort of hybrid of people doing the rounds. So I went off in a different direction. So if you listen to Episode 88, I had Kathy O’Dowd, who was the first woman to hit on the summit of Everest from both sides. I’ve got the first civilian astronaut coming on the show. I’ve got the chat over a few years ago was worldwide news, because he sold his life on eBay. And he’s just sold his life to Disney and all that kind of stuff. So I realised that I had to change direction to become more unique to me, more interested by the storeys a more Yes, extract out of them what I wanted to show to the world. And that’s was my original vision. But I couldn’t see that until later on in the journey.
Michael O’Neal [50:10]
Yeah. And that’s really what you’ve done. That’s the whole point. That’s why you will be
successful. Because you’ve, you’ve done this in a sort of a different way.
David Ralph [50:22]
Well, in your life, when when you look back to sort of the Philadelphia kid, and you’re riding around on your BMX, and all that kind of stuff. Were you just sort of wanting to be the classic sports kid was about it. If you look back now, and we are going to send you back in time soon to on the Sermon on the mic.
Michael O’Neal [50:38]
No, I was a show off, though. I think. I think I was, you know, a performer of some sort.
David Ralph [50:46]
And he’s, is that a key part of what makes Michael O’Neill who he is?
Michael O’Neal [50:52]
Do I play better racquetball with an audience? Yes, every single time? Yeah, I think so. I think there’s, that’s there that’s in there. It’s in the DNA. For sure. I don’t use that a lot. But it’s in the DNA, I work better in a performance environment, which is presumably why I kind of screw myself on the show intentionally. I don’t I, I prepare, in a way where I’ve researched my guest, as you have, you know, you know, and certainly listened to the show a bunch of times, so you know, a little bit about me, and, and you’re able to, then, naturally structure questions that, that dovetail into my history. And that’s what a good interviewer does. I don’t write a lot of questions out, sometimes intentionally. And that’s because I, there’s something about the performance side, I realised now that I’m, I’m doing this the shows this this month, I’ve got over 300,000 downloads for the first time. And this is a I realised that there’s people listening, and I have to perform, you know what I mean? Like it, it makes me it ups my game, live on the show. And I think I do that to myself on purpose. Because I because it I work better in that environment alone, maybe under pressure a little bit.
David Ralph [52:16]
We’re very similar. It’s fascinating. I feel like I’m finding out the real Michael O’Neill here. Where is the person behind the the presenter, because I am somebody that has spent my life doing training courses and presentations. And that’s what my job is, I’ve never done this thing it was totally about. And I’m somebody that very much likes to be on their own, likes, no one near them. And then when I suddenly go being That’s it, it’s performance time. And I don’t know if it’s showing off or trying to create a different persona for myself, because that’s kind of not naturally me. But I do have that ability to raise my game and present a different side of myself. If you know me, deep down, you would say to me, different people, but the people who know me from seeing where I allow them to see me, they would say yeah, you’re exactly the same on the mic as you are when you normally doing those things, because I’m letting them see what they want to see.
Michael O’Neal [53:12]
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think there’s a there’s an element of that. And,
again, I want people to understand this is why when we talked earlier about sort of what john brought to the table, and I’m, you know, people look at my show, and they it’s it’s been it’s, it’s been pretty successful in the first 11 months, just overall. That is not, that’s not a fluke, because I didn’t just start in August of 2013. With kind of media, you know, I’ve been a professional drummer my whole life. I’ve performed I’ve been on I’ve been a racer, I’ve been, you know, a competitive racquetball player for for many, many tournaments for many, many years now. And before that it was tennis. So I’ve always been performing in somewhere the other. I coached for five years on teaching people social media, in front of a huge audiences. I’ve played red rocks in front of 10,000 people like me being on a microphone and being natural at it is not something that happened overnight. It’s a, it’s, this is something that you walked in with. You’ve been training for years, before you turn the mic on yourself. So it’s kind of like Yeah, right. Yeah, you were new to podcasting, but not new to trying to translate a concept from one person to an audience. Like, that’s something you’ve been doing for a long time. Hmm. So. So that’s, I think that it’s a bit of a misnomer within our industry. That Yeah, anybody can you know, podcaster, anybody can start, blah, blah, blah. Right? That’s kind of cool. I get it. Yes, technically, you can turn on an app, you can go to boss chalk on your iPhone and uploaded a thing to Lipson, you’ve got a podcast. But can you do it? Well, can you do it so that when someone switches from morning radio, or howard stern or the BBC, to your podcast, that they don’t notice a huge drop off in quality, or, you know, sound quality, interview quality, production quality? That’s, that’s what I try to bring to the table. And I think you do the same thing.
David Ralph [55:16]
So So what you’re saying, really, and I’m going to play the words of Steve Jobs, because he says it very well, as well, is that no experience is wasted. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in your life, you will pull elements and you will extract what you need to create your new path.
Michael O’Neal [55:31]
100% Absolutely, yes, everything you’ve done up until this point is training for you. For this next phase, when I have people on their show, and we have these episodes called find your swing, I want to find out everything that person has done because it find your swing is like what do I do? Like what am I naturally gifted at? How can I make money off of something that I really enjoy that I’m passionate about? That’s what finding your swing is? And it’s I want to find out like what you did when you were a kid to where you are now athlete Did you are you are your professional knitter you like to knit hats, you know, like, What is it? What do you do. And when people can start accessing those things that they’ve done their whole lives that they’re really gifted at, I like to find ways that we can use those talents in whatever their next business endeavours,
David Ralph [56:19]
we call that connecting our past to build our future on here. And one of the themes that has come out is if you really want to know your passion, really want to know what you’re naturally good at, don’t think about what you were doing in adult life, because very much you would have been taking a responsibility for a wage or whatever. Look at what you were doing as a kid when you weren’t being paid for it. And if you was a drama, when you was a kid and you love doing it, then try and look at something that would do that. And it’s exactly the same way as you do it, and you’ll find your swing episodes.
Michael O’Neal [56:49]
That’s right. And I and I love those again, that’s another instance, where we totally put ourselves on the spot I have a co host or name is Don Mars for those episodes. And we never read the questions first, like I only, you know, sometimes I glance at them to just to copy and paste them into my Evernote for when we’re doing the show. But we were reading them and answering them live, and which again, as another element of pressure that we’ve got to come up with is an answer. And these people are literally like I’ve had people that have taken what we’ve said on the show, and they’ve made a business from it, like the next day they’ve gone and done it. So it’s, it can be a little daunting. And I was going to ask you earlier, you know, your shows growing now. And this, this will be big, your show will have a huge audience at some point. And I’ve asked this with other people that are in the space. Have you yet felt the sense of responsibility that comes with that the fact that you’re speaking into a microphone, and someone’s actually listening to what you’re saying?
David Ralph [57:52]
Yeah, we were power comes great responsibility. And it’s funny, the very first show I released, I got two emails, and they were people that I’d never met. And they were saying, thank you so much for putting the show out there. And I thought, Oh, my God. And from that moment, I’ve been very aware of what I’m saying. I’ve been very aware that I don’t know where my words are landing. And I’ve also having a conversation with my wife this afternoon saying, if this really takes on, just as I want it to really take on, I’m a little bit scared, but I haven’t got the value to provide the audience that they want. And I don’t know why that is because you know, success is everything you want. But I suddenly felt a pressure because I can see the downloads, increasing increasing, I can see the work coming towards me. And I’m doing this seven days old on my own. There’s not one person that helps me. And I’m also balancing other responsibilities as well. So this isn’t my only sort of time restraint. But I suddenly freaked this afternoon for that exact reason that you said, Oh my god, this is power. This is responsibility. I’ve got to be careful with it.
Michael O’Neal [58:58]
Yeah, have you also found, and I agree, and I felt that in some respects, I haven’t had anybody come back to me and go like You ruined my life. But although that’s going to have to happen, right? It’s someone will listen to something you’ve said, or I’ve said, and they’re going to do it. And it’s not going to work for them. And we won’t have the details. But they’re going to say I listened to you and you ruin my life. That’s going to happen. There’s no way that doesn’t happen when you’re when you grow this thing to where it can go. There’s no way that doesn’t happen.
David Ralph [59:26]
Well, I think I chose a slightly different note because you you teach nuts and bolts. I think with my show, I talk about hope. And I told you I leap of faith.
Michael O’Neal [59:35]
Yeah, I do. I really think I teach nuts and bolts because that’s that’s, I feel like there’s a lot of shows that do that specifically. And I, I feel like I teach more of the journey. And then the nuts and bolts sort of fall from there.
David Ralph [59:49]
Well, I think that’s the same thing. I think what you do you you talk about the journey, you then get the cogs working in your own brain. And then when you throw out the nuts and bolts, which you probably I think have got value as such, you’re already using those codes. And you’re thinking, yeah, I can use that. Yeah, I can take that. That’s exactly what happened with me. You know, I couldn’t see how to do this at all, because I’d never done this. But just by you having conversations with people, you take that element, and you take that element and you take that element and what you do, it’s been up to you as an individual to put it together.
Michael O’Neal [1:00:21]
Yeah, I actually find myself pretty.
I can be very socially awkward at the beginning. And I sometimes I’ve actually accessed my I’ve switched into interview mode. When I’m meeting someone in real life. I just switched on my like my mentally switch on a podcast microphone in front of me. And I found it so much easier to have conversations with people that way.
David Ralph [1:00:44]
So that’s kind of interesting to me is bizarre, I’m gonna I’m really gonna play Steve Jobs now, because I’m fascinated to see your spin on this. And this is the aim of the whole show. So this is Steve Jobs Don’t be 3ds did.
Steve Jobs [1:00:56]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards, 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [1:01:30]
But I’m going to ask a different question, because I think you’ve answered it already. But you will say yes, you believe in but but why do you think so many people don’t believe in that.
Michael O’Neal [1:01:41]
I think that’s a lot of most people get hung up on the how of something. For example, I think that we, we pick a point B, right, we pick a point B that’s there’s the dots. So I’ve got this, I want to I want to do I want to have this show. To get this show together, I need this, this, this, this, this, this, this. And we get stuck in the details of the this, this, this this this, instead of All right, I’m going to sort of flow through this, all I want to do is get to that thing, I’m not sure how I’m going to get there yet. But I’m gonna, I don’t really know. And by the time you get there, and you look back and go, Wow, that is not the path that all that I was going to take my favourite metaphor, or maybe it’s an analogy I forget. But for this is if you and I were sitting at a cafe and I there was, you know, a three storey building across the street. And I said, David, there’s 100,000 pounds sitting in a bag on the roof of that building across the street, you have 15 minutes to get it? How fast would you be out the door to go get that money?
David Ralph [1:02:49]
I’d be lying, right? Run a window,
Michael O’Neal [1:02:51]
right? But you wouldn’t know how you were going to get it, you had no idea how to get to the roof of that building, you just knew you were getting to the roof. You don’t know if you’re gonna, you know, helicopter down, you know, if you’re going to call the fire department to take you up there or, you know, scale like Spider Man, but you’re getting to the roof of that building somehow. And I think what successful entrepreneurs do is they just keep their eye on that, that, you know, that bag, the bag that’s on the roof. They’re not quite as concerned about the how part and we very much get concerned about the how part. And the second piece of that is when someone gives you an opportunity. I just said this a little earlier, when someone gives you an opportunity. Our instinctive reaction is to say no, because of this, this and this, versus this instinctive to say yes. And I’m going to figure out how to work out this, this and this. And that is a huge mental shift, even though it’s very subtle. It’s just yes and no. But if you’ll find that people in your world that are really successful, or really look like they’re just having a great time, they’re the ones that say yes, first and then figure out how it’s going to work after. And most of the people that are stuck, and they don’t get from that one.to the next dot, those are the ones that say no, because, you know, I can’t live in San Diego because I have kids in school or because I can’t afford the move or because whatever, we can come up with 15 different ways. But in reality, all that stuff can be worked out. So I think that’s how I would respond to that. And I hope that helps someone.
David Ralph [1:04:31]
So what’s get a schedule? This is probably my final question before I send you on the mic. And you can have a one on one with your younger self. But as you are now and you’ve got this rocking and rolling show, everything’s going well, you’ve just bought this lovely watch, you’ve finished off the last five years and everything’s good. And you’ve got a lovely new girlfriend. What What scares you when when you look at what you need to achieve?
Michael O’Neal [1:04:55]
What’s scares me, I’m, I have to say I look at
Unknown Speaker [1:05:02]
Michael O’Neal [1:05:04]
being being intimidated or being excited, I sort of treated the same way. So I don’t get super excited about everything. And I don’t get scared about everything. I Gosh, I mean, I don’t I I can honestly say I don’t have that. For the same reason when someone said, you know, when I was literally I was scraping up change. So I could take in an airport shuttle for a ticket that was paid for by somebody else to go speak in front of 3000 people and that one which I was going to make $5,000 or whatever that weekend the few years ago, I I literally had to scrape $8 up so I could take the shuttle like in change. So I could take the shuttle to get to the airport that I had, I had $18 in my bank account at the time. And so it wasn’t enough to get the cash out of the ATM machine. So I I wasn’t worried about it. I’ve never been more about stuff like that. And I didn’t even know what success was going to look like for me. But I had a feeling that I was destined for it. That’s and that’s the only way I can say is that it was it was very innate, and I didn’t know where it was going to come from. But I was very patient about it. And I was also very patient about about, you know, I knew I was going to meet a great woman at some point. And I was able to read you know, like you said read about a year ago. But But recently. So I think that I have that, that vibe that that it’s the same reason I don’t plan a lot. I just don’t. I’m living very much in the moment as I go day by day. And for better for worse. I don’t plan as much as I probably could or should. But right now, I’m not really, you know, scared about anything. I mean, I could say, you know, the show doesn’t grow at all. But even if it doesn’t, I’m living a great life right now. So I guess I’m not even that scared of that.
David Ralph [1:06:59]
Okay, last question. Before we send you back our time. Is it easier to move forward when you’ve hit rock bottom? And you really did hit rock?
Michael O’Neal [1:07:06]
Yes. Yes, it is. It’s easier for me to keep perspective on it for sure. I just last weekend went to I went to Napa Valley with my girlfriend’s family. And it was a very first class trip, like from private, private jet from San Diego to Napa Valley, which I’ve never done before my life. And everything was super exclusive, super like Michelin star first class. And I was like, man, I don’t want to be here like this is no, I don’t mean like I didn’t want to be at the weekend, I just I don’t want to live in that universe of that sort of high end world. And that’s it. I I remember looking longingly at the they have a train that goes through Napa Valley, and it stops at all these different wineries. And I’m kind of like, Man, I wish I would have just taken the train and gotten kind of drunk at the third winery and kept going. And that would have been a really fun day. Instead, it was like this, you know, 12 people serving our our table kind of thing. And it just wasn’t me. But my, my Philly boy, sort of like, pragmatic, pragmatist personality carried me through that whole weekend, thinking yeah, I would be fine with stopping at a fast food place now and going to another winery, we don’t have to go to $100 play dinner, you know. And so I think if anything, it’s given me perspective. And there’s one more piece of perspective that in my very, very lowest time I it was very low. And I thank you for not like making me go through that, again, like 40,000 other shows have, but um, I had a, I remember the current Hurricane Katrina had hit Southern southern United States. And it just decimated New Orleans. And this was literally at my lowest time. And I remember looking on the news and seeing like a little nine year old little black kid who everybody Nina’s family died, right. And he lost everything, like lost every piece of memory he’d ever had, including all of his family members. And he’s this kid who doesn’t have much of an education. He’s He’s a minority, he doesn’t have a lot of opportunity that are coming coming to him. And I remember thinking, all right, no matter what happens, I’m a white male with a skill set and United States. And that’s not and that’s not to be racially insensitive. I’m looking that was a practical like, okay, so no matter what my situation is, I can’t complain. Like, I’m starting with these four advantages that a lot of people all over the world don’t have, I will be given opportunities that a lot of people don’t have. And that really kept me grounded. Like that there was a, you know that some people had to struggle to get to what I had innately by birth, that I had nothing to do with. So that really kept me grounded. And it still keeps me grounded to this day is that I always realise that there’s people out there that do not have the same opportunities that I do.
David Ralph [1:10:02]
love to answer, Michael, we’re going to put you on the Sermon on the mic now. And this is when we send you back in time, like a young Marty McFly to have a one on one with yourself. And if you could go back in time, what age would you choose? And what advice would you say so I’m going to play the music. And when it fades out, you’re up, this is a sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [1:10:28]
With the best of the show the Sermon on the Mount.
Michael O’Neal [1:10:43]
I think that first of all, very handsome, very, very talented man congratulate now, if you could work on harnessing that Philly attitude, a little bit, just over the next few years, if you could take the edge off of that not everybody is is out to get you. And focus on building some relationships that you will sustain forever. And without having that kind of, you know, screw Eugene. Not Eugene, I don’t know anybody named Eugene. I’m not trying to screw
that that will serve you in the future.
Yeah, so to summarise to bring that and I know that was very short. But to bring that in, I feel like over the last few years, I’ve been able to take this, there was a bit of Philly attitude, like where if someone slighted me in any way, that was it, they were erased, like, done. And there was no real going back. It was partially like, there was a Scorpio in me that, that that sort of like had that stinger. And I you know, it’s it’s the, it’s the patience I have now, which is maybe a little bit of it. I wouldn’t say less judgement because I think judgement makes for good comedy. But I’m but it’s just maybe being a little more empathetic to people’s situations and realising that, that people aren’t always in control of their actions. Sometimes they’re going through a learning process as well. And to just instantly give them the guillotine, and out of one’s life is not the most productive way to go through things. I don’t do that anymore. But I did it for a number of years. And I think it was just a reaction to losing my parents and it being so so much. Okay, well, if I’m going to lose this anyway, I might as well just cut it right off. And and I think that didn’t that didn’t serve me for a long time. But yeah, so I’d fix that.
David Ralph [1:12:51]
Michael, how can our listeners connect with you, sir? Well, you know, this. I know. You say you say in an American accent is better.
Michael O’Neal [1:12:58]
I would say the same thing. If you were in a British accent,
David Ralph [1:13:00]
by the way, you’re gonna come on my show sometime. I would love to come on your show it been?
Michael O’Neal [1:13:05]
Great. And Howard Jones. I want him to Yeah. Has he been on your show?
David Ralph [1:13:09]
You know, he keeps on knocking me back. He said he would. And but he keeps on knocking me but I’ve got a few of them that sign up for it. And then you just can’t nail down.
Michael O’Neal [1:13:17]
That’s drag. Anyways, the show is called the solo printer hour. The website because no one can spell printer is solo hour.com. And if you’d like some coaching give a coaching programme yet.
David Ralph [1:13:31]
I’ve only been focused on building the audience.
Michael O’Neal [1:13:34]
That’s good. Well, so if anybody needs coaching, including you, my friend, I can’t believe you’re not in solo lab. It’s I want solo lab calm. And we’d love to have you in our really cool community.
David Ralph [1:13:45]
Marco, thank you so much for spending time with us today joining those dots on the hundredth episode. And it’s quite, it’s the world’s longest episode of ever done as well. Please come to this. And it is yeah, we were about seven minutes past what we normally do. Come back again, when you have more thoughts to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Mr. Michael O’Neill Thank you so much.
Michael O’Neal [1:14:09]
And thank you.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.