Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Mr Rick Calvert
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Introducing Rick Calvert
Our guest today ready to be interviewed on the Join Up Dots podcast, is the CEO and Co-founder of New Media Expo, so quite frankly I could have called him the Godfather of Podcasting and blogging….Mr Rick Calvert.
So I better be good on this episode…..no pressure there then!
He has been involved in the trade show industry since 1996 serving as sales manager and director of sales for three of Tradeshow Week’s top 200 events.
But his interest in blogging and online content really hit home during the explosion of the political blogosphere around the 2000 election season.
Seeing content come online day after day, minute by minute, feeding comment and discussion worldwide, he knew that the future was all around us and it was time to get going himself.
However every guest on “Join Up Dots” have found there path in life after a period of transition, and quite often it will be a lot longer coming than they probably would have considered was necessary looking back, and it seems to be the case here too.
As even though he saw the positives, and excitement that new media could offer in 2000, he was finally inspired to launch his own blog in October of 2005.
And it was a great success, even though he claims it was “unexpected success” and with his political blog gaining more and more ground online, he began searching for the blogging tradeshow to link it with.
How The Dots Joined Up For Rick
Amazingly he realized no such event existed, so he and his business partner Dave launched BlogWorld & New Media Expo in Las Vegas in November of 2007, and it went onto attract 1,600 attendees straight away.
He had found his path and had started joining up those dots.
So how did he do it?
How did he manage to create something that was literally an overnight success?
And more importantly, why did it take him so long to get started on the path to success that he was so obviously made for?
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 Rick Calvert.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics such as:
How he dislikes everything to do with Apple!
How he dreamt of being a rock star, baseball player, and even the President of America!
How it took five years to start moving on with his future life because he didn’t realize “How easy it was to start!”
How once you start looking around you, you’ll see a new world you never knew existed..and crave to be a part of!
How it doesn’t matter if your creation is ugly when it begins…just get it out into the world!
How To Connect With Rick Calvert
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Rick Calvert 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]
Good morning, everybody, and welcome to Episode 20 of Join Up Dots. And I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been a little bit nervous about this one because today’s guest is somebody I’ve got to impress. He is the CEO and co founder of New Media Expo. So quite frankly, I could have called him the godfather of podcasting and blogging. So I really better be good on his episode no pressure bourbon. He’s been involved in a trade show industry since 1996, serving as a sales manager and Director of Sales but three of tradeshow weeks top 200 events. These interesting blogging and online content really hit home during the explosion of the political blogosphere around the 2000 election season. Seeing content come online, day after day, minute by minute reading, comment and discussion worldwide. He knew that the future was all around us, and it was time to get going himself. However, every guest on Join Up Dots have found their path in life after a period of transition. And quite often, it’d be a lot longer coming then I probably would have considered it was necessary. Looking back. And certainly To me, it seems to be the case here too, as even though he sort of positives and excitement that new media could offer in 2000. He was finally inspired to launch his own blog in October of 2005. Five years later, and it was a great success. Even though he claims it was an unexpected success. And with his political blog gaining more and more ground online, he began searching for the blogging trade show to link it with. Amazingly he realised no such event existed. So he and his business partner Dave is always a good idea day launch blog world and New Media Expo in Las Vegas in November 2007. And it went on to attract 1600 attendees straight away. He had found his path, and it started joining those dots. So how did he do it? How did he manage to create something that was literally an overnight success? And more importantly, why did it take him so long to get started on the path to success that he was so obviously made for? Well, let’s find out as I introduced to you the one that I bow before the one and only Rick Calvert, how are you today? Sir?
Rick Calvert [2:36]
I’m doing well David and blushing from the introduction.
David Ralph [2:41]
You have no reason to blush you aren’t you are powerful and influential. You must have those comments from your wife, your docs, your your your garbage man, every single day.
Rick Calvert [2:54]
Surprisingly, no, no.
David Ralph [2:57]
When you’re standing in your boxer shorts in the kitchen, your wife does come down and give you an intro introduction like that,
Rick Calvert [3:04]
I’ll have to play this back for her. So she’ll know how I need to be treated in the future.
David Ralph [3:10]
I will speak to herself warm you up for her. So it has been it’s been a hell of a journey for you as an A, we were obviously going to sort of get into the connecting the dots of joining up the dots. But um, when I look at your background, I kind of think, why the hell didn’t you do it earlier?
Rick Calvert [3:30]
Well, I guess I would have
done it earlier if I had been aware that it needed to be done.
You know, that’s, that’s something that you don’t always realise in life, the thing that that you need to do, I always felt like I was going to do something important. I remember when I was a little kid, I said I want to be President of the United States. But as I got older, you know those things change, you know, wanting to be a baseball player. And then I wanted to be a rock star. And that’s what I wanted to be for a long, long time. And then life interrupts and you get a job and takes you an entirely different direction. But when this came about when I had this idea to do New Media Expo, I knew it was something that I could do, and something that needed to be done. And, you know, I had a dream job now for almost eight years.
David Ralph [4:31]
So if I took you back in time, and I said to you, Mr. calibre, your dreams of being a baseball player could be a rock star, or the president of America. But you didn’t get to do what you’re doing now. would you do it?
Rick Calvert [4:46]
Oh, yeah, I would do all of those other things.
And by the way, I’ve enjoyed it. Almost every job I’ve ever had happy. Yeah, absolutely. There’s there is a there’s a, a joy in in work and doing a job well. And and I always learned, you know, I heard somebody say once and I never forgot it. That entrepreneurism is a lifelong commitment to learning and a lifelong commitment to being curious. And that certainly describes me I I’m always curious about how things work, how an industry works, how people are able to succeed in what they do. And social media, obviously, is this gigantic media revolution happening and just being some small part of that is unbelievable.
David Ralph [5:43]
Well, I think you’re being very humble in the small part. But I was keen, you said, you’ve loved nearly every job you’ve done. So what jobs Haven’t you liked?
Rick Calvert [5:54]
What job did I not? Like?
That’s a tough question. I didn’t like a job working in a call centre, where I just had to two related jobs. So I’ve had a lot of a lot of sales related jobs. One was calling people to try to sell them toner for the copy machine, which I found out, you know, after I’d taken the job, that was not an honourable thing to do. So quit that job and enjoy that. That’s a tough and the other one. Yeah, and you dialling like 500 calls a day and six hours. And another one I didn’t like was working in a call centre where people were calling in and we were doing customer service. I think it was for AOL, although I don’t want to dishonour them in some way. But it was somebody like that a big big internet service provider, and people calling up wanting to cancel their service and just happen to try to convince them not to cancel their service. I had that job for about two months. I didn’t I didn’t like that job.
David Ralph [6:58]
I’ve done that job for about four years. Really, yeah. And I actually quite like to,
Rick Calvert [7:05]
but I can tell you even doing that job. I did learn some things that I thought were in even the toner job, I learned some things there about the discipline of making all of those calls and the discipline of sticking to a script when you’re talking about the same thing over and over again, to get the result that you want. And so even in those jobs, I learned some things and the software that they use that the the the call centre, just understanding how that worked, was interesting to me.
David Ralph [7:41]
It’s kind of like tiny public speaking, isn’t it, but when when you have got a script, but you don’t want it to sound like a script, and you’re having to put your own kind of spin on it. But if it’s like the company that I worked at, you couldn’t put too much of a spin on it, it had to remain on track because of compliance and different things that they would analyse them, make sure that you’re doing the right way. But you could put your own flavour on it, because I used to do that. And I used to absolutely, I used to do accents. And I used to, I used to pretend I was at like an Indian Call Centre for a month or like, you know, I would do voices all the time, it was great laugh,
Rick Calvert [8:16]
I did not do that. But you can almost instantly tell someone who’s going to last and be successful and someone who might not be back the next day. Because they just can’t maybe they’re not a good reader or they just feel so uncomfortable reading it and hearing themselves, you know that they’re just not meant for this type of work. And then you can hear other people who sound unbelievably comfortable and, and take to it quite quickly. Which which I did. I just didn’t enjoy the work people you know, being unhappy constantly.
David Ralph [8:54]
Can you see that now in your, you know, in blogging and podcasting? Do you hear people and obviously give no names? Unless you want to tell us names? That you kind of go? band? Not really very good. They shouldn’t be doing this? Can you hear it instantly?
Rick Calvert [9:14]
So yes, I can’t think of anybody off the top of my head. That I think is horrible, because I don’t listen to people who are horrible on a regular basis. So it might hear them once but amongst the bad ones that I have a bad Lindsay. I call it American Idol syndrome. I mean, this is the in over there. What do you guys call it in the UK? It’s not American Idol. But it’s something I expect. X Factor. Yeah. So, um, and obviously that that programme originated there. And I love that import here in the US I love American Idol as a as a type of TV to watch because it’s a meritocracy, the people that are good move on, I really liked that we
David Ralph [9:52]
got you, Simon cow, and you’ve now sent him back, he’s come back over here.
Rick Calvert [9:57]
You know, he does wear on your little bit. So, so we enjoyed him for a while, then we thought it was time for him to go home. Anyway, um, you were asking about people who are horrible. And I was saying that, you know, with social media in general and new media is I prefer to call it it is this democratisation of media so anybody can do it, you know, you’re starting this podcast now. That doesn’t mean that your success that you’re going to be good at it just because you can. And I and I, you know, we talked a little bit before we started about music, I I was a musician I I guess I’m still a musician, but I don’t aspire to be a professional musician any longer. But anyone can play an instrument instrument. And most people are not good. Most people pick it up because either their parents made them take music lessons or because you know, like me, they wanted to be a rock star. But they didn’t have the the talent, the God given talent to start or the discipline to practice and get better, or the desire to want to put in the work you need to put in to be successful at it. And so, or their life interrupts and they give up so almost everybody can relate to creating music. And there are a lot of people you know, you see it on American Idol going back to my American Idol syndrome. You hear them singing, and you’re thinking, this person is tone deaf. No one in their life has ever told them. You can’t sing? How can they? And some of them even when they tell them you can’t sing? They can’t believe it. They cannot comprehend.
David Ralph [11:32]
It’s almost like it’s the mothers though, isn’t it? It’s the mothers.
Rick Calvert [11:36]
It’s like, yeah, the mothers think their children are amazing. Yes. Like, is your mother tone deaf to it’s, it’s like, I saw this great programme on traumatic brain injury, industry injury, about how you develop this blind spot in your brain. And you cannot see the accident that you had. It’s like these people cannot see that they’re horrible. And, you know, that’s the that’s the negative part of new media is that people can put out their junk, even when they’re not good. But I can also argue that if it’s cathartic for them, if it makes them feel good, we don’t have to listen to it. We don’t have to read it. We don’t have to watch it. And good for them.
David Ralph [12:21]
Yeah, I agree with that. I do agree with that. But just don’t get it to out fair, you know, that there’s got to be a quality control somewhere along the line, which isn’t evident on the line, you know, because you can just put it out in a way it goes.
Rick Calvert [12:35]
And that’s one of the biggest challenges with the internet today, which I absolutely am blown away by how amazingly powerful The internet is as a as a device to learn or to find information about anything that you want, or to connect with individuals that you may have something in common with, or have something that you need, where people can find you and get something they need from you. But we have to sort through all that junk out there. Yeah, that’s one of the biggest challenges the internet,
David Ralph [13:04]
well, I’m having these conversations every single day, Rick, and sometimes I do four or five in a day. And I would say 90 to 99% of the people that have been on, say to me, I couldn’t do what I’m doing now, without the internet, my life would have been different. Could you perceive? You know, would you have gone into being an offer or something before blogging? was writing in your blood? Or was it just the online, the instant reaction, the discussion that really stimulated you to go into that field?
Rick Calvert [13:40]
I could have done some form of writing. But I absolutely did not want to pay the price, it would have taken me without the internet. So for example, I’m, I’m very interested in politics, I think it’s interesting. I like that argue about politics. For me, that’s personally enjoyable. I don’t do it in polite company. So we won’t get into any of that here. But I didn’t want to go to journalism school to learn how to be a journalist and then go take a job at, you know, whatever small newspaper was willing to hire me that would make me you know, write storeys about something I wouldn’t have enjoyed, just to maybe one day get the opportunity to do what I really wanted to do. And that’s that unbelievable freedom that the internet gives you is that I wanted to be a political blogger. I went on to Google I searched you know how to blog. And up came the website blogger, which Google owns. I didn’t know that at the time. And in five minutes, I had a blog, and I was I was a political blogger. That’s unbelievable. how easy that is.
David Ralph [14:49]
And how cheap well, free? Well, yeah, we philosophy, history. Yeah, you can create something with nothing.
Rick Calvert [14:58]
Now, it wasn’t free forever. mean. Within a couple of weeks, I was looking at other blogs that I really liked. And I thought, well, I want my blog to look like those blogs. But in order to do that, I had to pay somebody to design, you know, a theme for me. And I did cost me a couple hundred dollars. But when it was done, I thought, oh my god, I’m a professional blogger. Now look at my blog, how amazing.
It Again, compared to a college degree, a $200 was pretty, pretty cheap.
David Ralph [15:29]
And it’s a key thing. But because you went ugly, you you threw your content out, before it became what you wanted it to be. Because so many people that I speak to say, Oh, no, I need it to look like that before I take action. I need it to have this happening. But you don’t do you, you just need to start you need to get it out there. And then if success leads to success, you’re going to make it into the most gorgeous thing you’ve ever seen in your life. But until you get to that point, just get it out. Now. You don’t
Rick Calvert [16:01]
have to wait and you absolutely should not wait. Ozzy Osbourne said you should play every gig you possibly can. And if another musician Steve I said, if you want to be a musician, then be that do the things those people do go the places those people go, were what they were, do the things that they do emulate them in every every way. And part of that is performing. And whether that’s doing your podcast or writing your blog or creating your videos. That’s part of it and getting it out there. Have you
David Ralph [16:35]
got an ego? When you’re walking around New Media Expo, do you think to yourself, oh my God, I’ve created this I am the man or I Are you somebody that actually likes that moment of focus at the at the big shows, but then quite happily sort of withdraws for the next three or four months or whatever it takes to do the next one.
Rick Calvert [16:58]
I absolutely feel a sense of accomplishment.
When we get to the show.
I don’t. I’m consistently humbled by the people that I get to meet both the beginners who are grateful that we do it. And the people that I get to meet that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, who are really smart and the people that I want to learn from and the people that again, I wouldn’t have met otherwise like Dana White, the president of the UFC, or Mark Cuban or Mike Shinoda from Lincoln Park or you know the summit or or even somebody like Pat Flynn or Cliff ravens craft or Tom Webster or john Lee Dumas or, I mean, there’s so many people a broken baby Ralph, David, Ralph Yeah, we wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for that. That’s absolutely true, David and I do enjoy meeting new people kind of hearing their storeys I like I’ve been a salesman most of my life. And there is this negative perception of what a good salesperson is, I’m, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, you know, that guy could sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo or something similar to that are born with the gift of gab. And that is not what makes someone a good salesperson. A good salesperson is somebody who likes to help people. And, and you see those that person become happy when you fix their problem, or you’ve helped them. And that feels good. And that that feels good to me. So doing this events, like I said, it’s, it’s humbling to be a part of it. I did believe when I started that I had a certain skill set that allowed me to be able to do this may put me in a very unique position to be able to do this in a way that I don’t think other people before, understood how to do and I honestly, I think still don’t understand what our big mission is. I don’t think there are a lot of people out there who could do exactly what I do, how I do it with the mission that I have. So I have a long, long, long, long way to go before I would consider my mission to be accomplished.
David Ralph [19:18]
When I was thinking that this afternoon I was I was I remembered when I had to arrange a kid’s birthday party in the afternoon, I was frazzled. He absolutely murdered me. So to be able to get something going that is, you know, a global magnet sucking people in, you know, worldwide to one place in how many days is it in January, about four or five days in it?
Rick Calvert [19:41]
The conference is three days the exhibits are two days. And and yes, we get people come from 40 different countries to come to the show. And it’s a decent size 3000 people. But compared to the events that I’ve been involved with, not events that I started events that I worked for, I brought 30,000 hundred thousand hundred and 50,000 people to an event. And and those are truly, you know, the gigantic events out there. As far as any trade show or conference goes. And that’s what we aspire to do with New Media Expo when we get to 50,000 people, then I’ll say, I’ve done what I thought we could do?
David Ralph [20:26]
Well, I’m a total believer that you’re going to do that. And you’re going to do that rather quickly. And I’d like to be a part of that. I’ll be honest, I’m going to be a part of that somewhere along along the line. But going back on to it because the show is Join Up Dots. And the theme is around Steve Jobs speech. To me looking at your life, there has been two key questions I’m going to ask you after I get Steve to give a speech as I normally do. Because I just want to know what you your feeling of his words were whether they’re accurate, whether still relevant to today, whether you remember the first time you heard fees, because most people sort of seem to do it’s almost like where were you at 911? Or where were you when a man walked on the moon? It seems to have you know, cut through so many things, these these simple words, I’m just gonna play back, then I’m going to ask you these few questions.
Steve Jobs [21:18]
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 [21:53]
So what do you think Rick? still accurate and relevant?
Rick Calvert [21:58]
Absolutely 100%. accurate, written, relevant. And, David, I don’t know if you you may or may not believe this. But the first time I heard this was when you played it for me right before we came on the air Really? And and I don’t know if you remember what I said to you before I heard that. But I said something very similar.
David Ralph [22:17]
Yeah, you did. And that’s why I played it.
Rick Calvert [22:20]
And because I hate Apple, and all things apple.
And the Steve Jobs is a person.
I don’t know that much about him. I know very little about him to be honest. And again, I’ve never heard that talk I, I I’ve heard that he’s got good qualities and bad qualities. I admire his drive. And the fact that he was adopted, I was adopted, and he was successful. But I just don’t know that much about Steve Jobs a person and I’ve never heard that talk before. I’m astonished by
David Ralph [22:57]
that. Because I’ve I’ve only met two people in my life I haven’t never heard before. And, you know, it was a 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University. And even though I’m in the United Kingdom, most of us have heard it. And I think it is because it’s the simplicity of those words. It’s the truth. It’s the realism of that. We don’t know what we’re doing. Nobody really knows what they’re doing. And this is one of the things I want to get over on the shows on a daily basis. But all the guys are sitting out there listening today, thinking is there more to life, there is but you don’t know what there is to life until you start taking action and you start fighting and when you have a few successes, and you just Bumble around, and then hopefully, you’ll find your path, you will go on to fulfilment and a great life. And then you’ll look back and go, Oh, I can see where that happened. So I am astonished that you you you haven’t heard that. And yeah, I think that’s quite invigorating and exciting in a way.
Rick Calvert [23:55]
So many people in technology.
admire him, or even, you know, you use the word fanboys. And, and I’ve been to Macworld before, when I worked for another event that quite large here in the US called Comic Con. So we I left it was about 85,000 people, it’s hundred and 50,000 people, I think now, and my boss, I’ve always used PCs my whole life, because when I was in the first class in high school, or actually in junior high school in the state of California to actually have computers in the classroom, we got to use our trs 80s for one hour, one day a week. And so we all had to share time on the computer in our math class. And then I was in the first computer class, in high school, where it was an actual computer class, and I went to high school a year early because of that. It was a special programme, you know, to bring people there. And, and by the time I went to work, we have one apple computer, the rest of the again, we play around with once in a while was like a toy, it wasn’t like the computer we did our work on, which was a time sharing system. And then when I went to work, we just use PCs, because that’s the way it was when you work to use PCs. And if you were artistic in some way, then you used apples. And I didn’t really use a computer at home when I started working. And, and, and so I just thought I like PCs, I don’t use I don’t need to use an apple and Mac became more and more popular. Throughout the years. And in the technology space. You see everybody using Max and they even kind of look down on people use a PC and I’m I like being a rebel. And so I’ve been a PC guy. And and now the more when you look at Apple, they’re very closed company, social media is about being open. They’re not very friendly to anyone. They’re not very cooperative with anyone. They don’t really share stuff via social media. They’re that they’re actually the antithesis of what social media and new media is all about. But you insert these things that they’ve created, like the iPod and the iPhone, and and the Mac computer, they’ve created these amazing products that people use. So that’s why I’ve always had this. You know, it’s really kind of a joke that I don’t like Apple so much. But
David Ralph [26:26]
since I still don’t you think they’ve created such loyalty? Because I’ll be honest, I haven’t got one apple thing in my life. I’ve got an apple tree. And that’s about it. Oh,
Rick Calvert [26:35]
well, I was going to tell you and this is the other thing that’s put me off about Apple. So I went to work for Comic Con and I’m using PCs, you know, all my working life and my boss goes, Well, we all use Macs here, you have to use a Mac. I said I can’t use a Mac. First of all, I don’t know how to use a Mac. And second of all, they don’t have the software I need to use it. She said Oh, they definitely Haven’t you can find it. So I’m looking on the internet and I can’t find it. She was well, you’re going to go to Macworld, and we’ll find the software at Macworld. Okay, we go to Macworld, we walk the whole building, and finally find somebody at the Genius Bar or whatever it was called when we go there. And we asked them, you know, official Apple guy, and he goes, Oh, no, they don’t make that stuff. No, that would that was called a CRM, customer relationship management software, which you couldn’t really get for Apple before now that we’re on the web, and we can all use Salesforce or any other thing. And again, this is the most maddening thing to me, Apple’s been one of the single biggest beneficiaries of the open web and the internet. And they just don’t give back to it. But to answer your question, the thing that I was struck the most by at Macworld, it was like a cult. People love that company the way I can only love my daughter, my family. And it’s weird. It’s creepy. I don’t get it. The product their products,
David Ralph [27:51]
into Scooby Doo. I don’t know what happened to
Rick Calvert [27:53]
you did. Yeah, their products are good. But the love of that company is not normal. And I don’t think healthy.
Unknown Speaker [28:03]
is it’s taped. How’s that for a little controversy?
David Ralph [28:05]
It’s good. I feel like I should put a wet flag on your forehead and lay you down on the couch. Just take it come as my daughter says to me, come down, come down sick. So yeah, so the key thing to that is, yes, there’s a loyalty Yes, as a brand. There’s a cult and stuff. Is that an integral part? Because we’ve social media is all about building relationships, isn’t it? So it is with the job you’re doing on a daily basis is that about building that brand loyalty because certainly, when I speak to anyone in the online world, and be honest, if I talked to anyone outside the online world, they’ve never heard of your, your, your stuff at all, in any shape, or form. But actually, in the online world, it is like everything is geared up to being in Vegas in January, they won’t miss it. They they’re going a beaver. And that’s got to be sort of a lot because in a way, that’s kind of cultish as well, isn’t it? Because, you know, I’m trying to be a podcaster. I don’t know any other podcasters never met one in my life. I speak to them now, all online. So and I’m focused on that I want to be in that call, I want to shake my head and walk around in my dressing gown at New Media Expo next year, and meet yourself and all the other people.
Rick Calvert [29:28]
First of all, I can assure you, I mean, that’s every brand wants to have brand loyalty. And you earn that by making good products, treating people right, you know, delivering what you say you’re going to deliver. And and again to apples credit. That’s what they do very, very well. And I get that. We certainly, but again, Harley Davidson would be another company, I think that has that type of following. I happen to be somebody rides, motorcycles. I’ve never owned Harley Davidson. I do really admire Harley Davidson motorcycles. But I don’t think I’m very familiar with that culture. I don’t think their culture is even to the level that Apple’s is. And there are very few other products. I can’t think of one off the top of my head. I’d like for my been a Ford guy, they’ve been a sponsor of our show, that was a great thing for me. But again, I’m not so loyal to them that I wouldn’t consider something else. And I think that goes back to my, my, my interest in politics and, and always having a sceptical eye for everything. And yes, if someone’s earned some trust you believe them, but you can’t believe every single word they say. Always just because they said it. And I mean, that’s where you enter that kind of cult area, which is again, I think dangerous, and, and wrong. And I think that’s, that’s the storey weird, weird space that Apple enjoys. Again, I’ve made fun of Apple when when the iPad first came out, they had some problems. I don’t know if you remember that people wait, wait in line overnight to get the iPad. I mean, it’s just not that important. I don’t understand. I used to wait in line to get concert tickets. That that I understand waiting in line to get a electronic device makes no sense to me. So. And I love technology. But the iPad had some problems. And I sent out a tweet that said, you know, haha, you guys waited in line all night, and it doesn’t even work suck or something like that. And people quit following me. And these were podcasters and said they’re not going to come to the show anymore. Because you know, I be little to Apple. That’s weird.
David Ralph [31:48]
Yeah, I think that is weird. Because Yeah, yeah, I told
Rick Calvert [31:51]
them. I said, Look, this isn’t Macworld, it’s blog world at the time.
Unknown Speaker [31:55]
Rick Calvert [31:56]
it has nothing to do with ADD, sorry, you’re offended that I don’t like apple. Cuz I do agree with you. I used to work
David Ralph [32:03]
about 20 minutes away from where I am now. And on certain days, I had to walk through a town centre where there was, you know, quite a few shops and stuff. And on certain days, there will be a queue going down the road before I got to work, and you knew that some new device had come out. And I could never understand that either. You know, as you say, we’re concert tickets. If you don’t get those tickets, you’re not going in. But with an electronic device or electronic device. You just wait in line and get it three days later. I never understood what the kind of the mentality was of getting the first one What does it make it more valuable? Is it sort of a code word? I don’t know. I don’t know. But I never got that. I just pulled over mental cases.
Rick Calvert [32:44]
By the way, my wife is one of those people. We argue about Apple and vs PC all the time, just for fun, but she loves her computers. Anyway. I know. I don’t want to I don’t want the programme to be a whole Apple rant. But yes, brands want to have brand loyalty. Um, but I don’t think our atmosphere is anything like a cult. Yes, there are people who Scott Stratton gave a gave a keynote talk this year, which was fantastic, was a standing room. Standing ovation. Somebody tweeted, you know, it was only a standing ovation because people couldn’t hover. They loved it so much. So he was preaching to the choir, as they said, Yeah. But but some people took issue with some of the things he said. But the overwhelming majority, you know, did agree with him there is even though we’ve all got this one thing in common new media, our passion for it, and our desire to be better at it to improve the way we operate our craft. There still are differing opinions on how to going about doing that what’s right and what’s wrong. We definitely have that at the show. So it’s, there’s there’s definitely dissenting opinions there.
David Ralph [34:05]
Well, I’m going to take you back in time, Rick, because as I said before, before we got on the apple roadshow was not really a road show was it because we didn’t say anything positive at all in any shape or form. God rest his bones. Nine 2000 2000. In the introduction, I was saying that you really got excited about the blogging and online content ran about the political blogosphere. But I was fascinated. Why did it take you five years of being get going on your own blog? If you saw the excitement, the interest was starting to realise inside you. Why Why did it take so long at that time?
Rick Calvert [34:44]
You know, it is a good question. And the simple answer is I didn’t know it was that easy.
I was playing video games, particularly. Back then there was a game called ever quest. So I was working for this really big trade show at the time. And I’m playing this video game called ever quest, which now is replaced by World of Warcraft for people who play video games. So they would know what that is,
David Ralph [35:11]
how old were you at this time?
Rick Calvert [35:13]
I’m will be back to 2001. So about 3735 maybe look so you know, little old to be playing video. Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. But that was my, but that was my hobby when I wasn’t working. And, you know, after work and evenings and that sort of stuff. That’s what I did. And we had this event over here, obviously, it affected the entire world, which was 911. And that day, instantly, there was this message board where we all talked about the video game that we played, it changed from a message board about the game to a message board about 911. instantly. And, you know, there were younger people, older people there. You know, from all different walks of life, we were all just really super geeky about this stupid video game. But we all now have this common experience. Most of them American but but other people from all over the world, all talking about 911 on this message board. And as time went on, everybody had the same opinion at first, right? Let’s go Let’s go kill them all type thing. But as we, as we moved away from the event, people started arguing about what was the right thing to do, what was wrong thing to do. And, again, being a news junkie, which coincides with my interest in politics is really an interest in in world events and things that are important that affect all of us that most people don’t think about global warming or, you know, the environment or obviously wars and those kind of things. Those are interesting to me, I want to be up be aware of that ahead of time, if somebody’s going to drop a nuclear bomb on my head or invade our country or something like that. I want to be one of those guys who, you know, is prepared. I’m not not, I don’t have a bunker in my house sick thing to that extent,
David Ralph [37:15]
I was thinking the same thing in
Unknown Speaker [37:17]
Yeah, I know,
David Ralph [37:19]
where stop buying the tins,
Rick Calvert [37:21]
I just want to be aware. So anyway, I don’t want to be taken by surprise. And I think there is a business benefit to that awareness, right, you know that the stock market might crash or the housing like Mike might go up or go down or the job market might be good or bad. By being aware of those greater geopolitical things that are happening, you’re, you’re preparing yourself for life in general. But anyway, I was really watching the news, constantly reading the newspaper, and then obviously going on the internet to get information that you couldn’t get on on the on the regular news channels. And I was found myself reading blogs and linking to blogs, to bolster whatever my arguments were. And then I just opened my eyes to this whole world of political blogs. And then we had an election the year before that, you know, George Bush was very controversial and people talking about, you know, whether he stole the election in Florida or not. And you could get so much information on both sides about that you just wouldn’t get on the nightly news where you know, two minutes of time, or 60 seconds of time just can’t cover it that deep. So I kept reading them, and I was commenting on them. And then one day, I’m driving home from work. And I’m listening to this talk radio show, something I don’t think you guys have in the UK the way that we do where, you know, people talk about politics on the radio. And this guy said something and I called in, that’s how geeky I am about the politics thing. I called in to say something. And the guy said something to me, I said something back to him. And he said you should start a blog. And I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. But I just thought it was hard. I thought you needed to have technical ability, we had to pay someone money to to start a blog, it just seemed too hard. And you know, again, this is a lesson in not finding excuses to not do something. And I’ve been thinking I started a blog, that’d be a better way to spend my time than playing the stupid video game. So I went home and I googled it. And there was it. blogger popped up. And like I said, five minutes later, I had a blog. And I never looked back since there was just one moment after another was so fast after that, where I emailed the guy, his name’s Hugh Hewitt over here in the States. And I said, Hey, you told me to start a blog. And I did take a look. And he linked to me on his blog. He’s actually got a really big blog. So I got a bunch of traffic. And then I wrote a storey one day that that was moving about about a soldier had been killed in Iraq. And then a whole bunch of people came to linked to my blog. And then I got some link from the New York Times one day in the Columbia Journalism Review one day and and then somebody emailed me and said, What’s it cost to advertise on your blog, and that was like, wait a minute, somebody wants to advertise on my blog, I could make money doing this. This could be my job, this would be amazing. I liked my job at the time. But this would be a lot more fun. And I thought, I need to go look into this, I need to go to the blogging trade show to figure out if I can turn this into my job. So I wasn’t looking to start New Media Expo, I was looking for New Media Expo for me. And I realised pretty quickly it didn’t exist. There was some other little things their blog, her just started something called the mill blog conference just started a thing called God blog. com, which religious thing it just started. And I realised those aren’t industry events. I run trade shows and conferences for a living. So I know how to do that. And I, I have this perspective of what an industry event is. So I could do this. But am I the only one who wants to go? Hmm, and I thought for a while and probably just weird. And I’m the only guy in the world who would want to go to this. So I asked my friends, the bloggers that I had looked up to. And I said, Would you go to this if there was an event like this? And they all said yes. And I told my trade show friends about this. I said, I’ve got this idea for a show. What do you think they all wanted to give me money and they wanted to be in business with me. I mean, instantly, there was no discussion. There was no, oh, yeah, I gotta give me more details. Every single person I mentioned this idea to wanted to give me money and be a partner in the business.
Yeah, yeah. It was like, Okay, this is a good idea. We’re doing it.
David Ralph [41:56]
And I bet you laid in bed night after night, we saw the excitement going through your mind. Because when the idea suddenly comes to you, and this, you know, this is the thing about Join Up Dots. As long as you go and try things and you do things, as I was saying earlier, sometimes something will occur to you that you’ve never thought of before. And when it does, you think, why have I never thought about this before? And when you you start thinking and you start playing around in your mind? And it just kind of seems so simple, doesn’t it? It just seems like well, this is almost too easy. Where you were you said at the beginning, the reason it took you so long to start blogging was you didn’t realise it was that easy. When you started doing the show? Did you actually think this is easy?
Rick Calvert [42:43]
The show part was easy, because I know how to run a show. The hard part was convincing as many people as possible. who were in new media to come to the first one. That was the hot because we hadn’t had yet. So the reason it didn’t exist yet is because nobody had the vision that I had yet. And and so I had to convince people that this was a good thing. And you should come now I said I you know, I went to my friends. I said would you go they said yes. But they were all political bloggers. And I didn’t want this to be a political show. And I didn’t want it to all be bloggers. To me, the industry is blogging, podcasting, web, TV, and all things social media, Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus Instagram, Pinterest, Vine. Well, most of those things I just mentioned, didn’t even exist yet. YouTube was barely working. Twitter didn’t exist. myspace was the big social network. Facebook had not overcome my space yet. So convincing, and most people and this is still the case. Now for people who come to New Media Expo. The world of new media for them is so small, so narrow, I had these blinders on. I thought new media was only political blogging, I’d never heard of Robert Scoble. Or some of the people you mentioned Pat Flynn or Cliff ravens craft or john Lee Dumas obviously hadn’t even started yet. I didn’t know that Mark Cuban had a blog. I didn’t know. I never heard of TechCrunch, which is gigantic. You know, technology blogs now been sold to AOL. I didn’t know any of those people. I didn’t know who Dave Winer was, I don’t know if you know who that is. But he’s the guy who invented arguably RSS. So I, again, I’m doing the research, like you said, laying in bed at night more like sitting at my computer all night, just searching, googling, looking for everything I could, connecting all of those dots, all of those pieces that should be a part of this 363 hundred 60 degree event. And so I remember a guy from a company called blog ads here in the US.
Unknown Speaker [45:01]
Rick Calvert [45:03]
he’s the guy who sold all the ads on all the political blogs. And he did a few other things as well. Paris Hilton, big gossip blogger, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Perez Hilton, but, and a few other folks. And I got him to come to the show. And he came up to me the second day, this was the first year. And he said, I didn’t realise it was this big. And I said, Henry, you’re one of the biggest guys in the industry. And you don’t even know how big the industry really is. And so we’re still doing that today, opening people’s eyes to how big the new media industry is. I don’t I don’t think and I don’t mean social media, right? Facebook’s gigantic businesses use that. But our events not for those people, our event is for people like you who want to be a full time professional podcaster, or full time professional blogger, or full time professional, for lack of a better word, we call it Web TV creator. Now, somebody who creates video on the internet. That’s what our event is for. And there are at the very, very minimum, hundreds of thousands of us who do that for a living around the world today. And there are more and more every single day. And, um, but they’re unaware of each other. They’re only aware of a very small sliver of the universe that’s out there.
David Ralph [46:28]
It is weird, isn’t it, the more you become aware, it’s not you put new glasses on, isn’t it, and you suddenly look around, I call it the pregnant woman syndrome. You’ve got a daughter, how old is your daughter, five months old, congratulations. So you still shiny new deal, sleepless nights and all that kind of stuff. Yeah, my, my daughter, my youngest daughter is eight and she’s at brownie camp at the moment. So um, it’s very quiet in our house, it’s nice, all the other kids are all sort of live on their own. But um, when when your wife is pregnant, you suddenly you see pregnant women all the time. And wherever you go, there’s a pregnant woman in front of you. And you’re basically weaving around pregnant women. And then as soon as the your wife gives birth, you suddenly don’t see pregnant women, you just see women with babies. And then it goes through that faith theme all the time. And then the child gets older, and you just see that age. And I think that’s when you get into this world or you get into any world and you start taking an active interest. It is like you You put new glasses on and you suddenly see the world in a different way. And you kind of think how was this all existing? Without my without my knowledge, and it just, it wasn’t interesting. So you just didn’t spot it?
Rick Calvert [47:39]
That’s right. And, again, it goes back to that curiosity factor. I think as a musician, you always look for people who are in your genre for inspiration. But smart musicians look for people who are not in their genre for inspiration. Because you you can borrow to put it kindly or steal to put it more truthfully from those people who are not in your genre and get away with it. because nobody’s paying attention to them. And so when you do that, in your genre, people think, wow, that’s the most original thing ever, when really, somebody else has been doing that for years. And it’s the same way in New Media. There are so many of us that are so successful in these tiny little niches. Like there’s one called the Mughals. podcast, people are been started off with these young kids. podcasting about Harry Potter, gigantically successful. One of those people have to do with john Lee Dumas.
Well, you might say nothing, but I’d say they’re both podcasters.
David Ralph [48:52]
I would love to see that combined show, wouldn’t you?
Rick Calvert [48:55]
Yeah, but just imagine the conversation, right? When john says, how you guys do that? How did you deal with your sponsors? How did you get advertisers and they had that conversation with each other. Now, they can both learn things from each other that they would have never learned from somebody, again, arguably might be a competitor or in the exact same niches them.
David Ralph [49:16]
Are you ready to ignite? Am I getting that one down and roof? I would love to say that I would love to see that occur? Well, just before we take you back in time, Rick and and bring you on to the Sermon on the mic, which is the sort of the powerhouse of the the sort of the episode Really? Why is there no sort of blog world and New Media Expo in the United Kingdom and stuff? Or if there is, once again, maybe I’m just looking in the wrong direction? Because everything that I see seems to link about coming to America? Is there any plans from your side of things to really make block? Well, the New Media Expo global?
Rick Calvert [49:55]
We were really close to doing it
over there a couple of years years ago. But the deal fell through with the people we were working on Part Part of the challenge for us to do something there is is we don’t have feet on the ground. And and you really do need to be there networking, meeting people locally. But the short answer is yes, we absolutely are interested in doing a New Media Expo event in Europe. And I know that it will happen someday.
David Ralph [50:30]
Well, I look forward to that time because it’s going to be a lot cheaper than getting on a plane and flying over to Las Vegas. And when you add into the bobby Manilow tickets and all those kind of things, it’s going to be an expensive gig.
Rick Calvert [50:44]
David Ralph [50:45]
But you can’t have too much Barry, can you really
Rick Calvert [50:47]
and Elvis impersonators and Michael Jackson shows and Cirque du Soleil and Blue Man Group and all that other stuff,
David Ralph [50:55]
long live them Oh, and put them all in Vegas, I can see them all in one go. Well, just before we go on break, I’m gonna I’m gonna hand over the presenting duties to you because this is part of the show where we call it the Sermon on the mic and you become like a time travel and go back to have a one on one with your younger self and share some wisdom that you’ve picked up in your last 1015 2030 years, whatever up doing, and living the life that you’re living now. So I’m going to play the music and when it fades out, I’m going to leave it up to you to have a one on one with young Rick, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [51:38]
Here we go with the best beer of the show.
Rick Calvert [51:58]
Well, young Rick, this is middle aged Rick, you might think of me as old Rick, but you’ll realise as you get older old seems much farther off into the future. You will never imagine where life will take you based on where you are today. And you’re absolutely right to follow your dreams and to enter and to follow your goals. But don’t be disappointed when those goals take you into unexpected places. And don’t be afraid to ask for the things that you want. Because you’d be surprised how often that you’ll get them.
And I think that would be my my message to young Rick show. emphasise short
David Ralph [52:51]
Yeah, a man a few words, Mr. Rick Calvert. It’s been an absolute delight. To bring you on the show today. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I’d like to bring you on to my new Apple podcast that I decided to create, where we talk all things Apple for the next hour. So if you would be a guest on that that’d be delightful to be very interesting. No, not really. I won’t do it.
Rick Calvert [53:17]
David, I thought you were gonna ask me for a quote that I that I
David Ralph [53:24]
Yeah, go in and have to quote before we go.
Rick Calvert [53:27]
Because I do have one. Go for it. So I heard this from Mike Ditka, who’s football coach over here in the US. But supposedly it originally came from Eleanor Roosevelt. So yesterday’s history. Tomorrow’s a mystery. Today as a gift. That’s why they call it the present.
David Ralph [53:47]
Perfect. I couldn’t have said it better myself, Rick Calvert. It’s been an absolute delight to have you on Join Up Dots today. You’ve been open, generous, and of course talkative, and slightly Randy in places which I particularly enjoyed. And the beauty about Join Up Dots is that our history keeps on moving forward. So next time you’ve got anything to say or you want to share with us, please come on, because I believe that looking back and joining up the dots is the only way to build our futures. Rick Calvert, thank you so much.
Rick Calvert [54:16]
Thank you, David.
David done 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.