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Andrew Warner 5:00

Like me now. Thank you. I’ve got a book out I reached out to you said, Yeah, let me help you.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 5:04

Of course.

I mean, it’s a no brainer. But we will talk about Stop Asking Questions where you can check it out

Andrew Warner 5:13

.com when it cost me an arm and a leg I cheaped out. Now I couldn’t get the dog to approach was, you know what? Truthfully, it was listed on a service. I thought about getting in. I said, That’s not what matters. I don’t really ultimately need people to go to the website, they’re gonna go to the bookstore and then buy, buy, if they need me, they can go to my website, And my company have a Baba Baba. That’s it. The OIC? It should be in the bookstore.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 5:38

Yes. So you will check out I’ll mention in a second. But if you have questions about podcasting, and you actually want to start one, I think you should hands down. And this book actually will help you with that with many other things, but you can go to and learn more. And Andrew Warner I consider him a close friend, a colleague, a mentor, or one he is a Founder of Mixergy where he has interviewed over 2000 entrepreneurs, he’s the author of Stop Asking Questions, you can go to It’s a guide for interviewers, and anyone who wants to learn more from the people they admire. He’s a marathon runner who did a marathon every continent in his 20s. You know, you can go to Mixergy on his about page, but he used credit cards to create a 30 million plus a year business with his younger brother. So Andrew, thanks for joining me.

Andrew Warner 6:18

Yeah, thanks for having here.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 6:28

There’s one thing I wanted to start with with his book. And I was telling you before we hit record that I haven’t read a book in in years, because I listened on Audible, but I did read this, because there was no audible but, um, one thing I disagreed with, okay. And I was like, trying to think of, yes, what I disagreed with was almost the positioning of the book. There’s so many other ways to use this book in the positioning in the book slightly bothers me. Okay, so it is Stop Asking Questions, how to lead high impact interviews and learn anything from anyone sounds like, it’s so much broader that there’s so many more use cases and uses for it. And that when I was reading this, that’s what I kept thinking. Okay, and, and maybe that’s not maybe that’s the smart thing to do you niche down. But so I want to start with that is the other situations people can actually use this for because I don’t want them to check out and be like, Oh, I’m not doing a podcast, or I’m not doing interviews. This isn’t. This is worthless to me. I’m not going to get it. Yeah. Did you think about creating a broader? First of all I want to hear, tell me about some of the uses. But did you think about creating a broader scope, it was a tie. It’s true. I’ve

Andrew Warner 7:42

been told from the beginning that all these interview techniques are actually applicable in all conversations, and especially good with online conversations, which tend to be ball doll, and then Director of Business and there’s no connection. And so I did for a while think I’ve been doing all my interviews remote, I’m getting into personal and business remote. Maybe that’s what the book should be. But I decided to I wanted to focus on one thing. And then if we expand from there, and other people appreciate it. Great. So yeah, I I’ve done so many interviews and tons of credibility in the space. But absolutely, the first set of books that were bought were bought by a company called People AI, it’s software for sales people, they bought it for their sales department, they bought dozens of them, because they said, Well, our salespeople need to have good conversations and good relationships with their clients. And you know, if they have good conversations with non clients that could lead the clients, let’s buy them this book and help them use interview techniques to get that depth in conversations. And I think it absolutely be used beyond interviews.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 8:42

Yeah. So what other use cases have you seen or heard? So sales?

Andrew Warner 8:46

sales? For sure. I think what we’re doing on zoom a lot of times is is getting right down to business instead of saying how do I get to know the other person, so they want to do business with me, I definitely abuse this stuff. When I’ve sold ads for my podcast. I’ll give you an example. Generally, when people want to buy ads for the podcast, I started making the calls myself to them. And they immediately get into the numbers. Now if they get immediately into the numbers, all I’m doing is putting myself into their spreadsheet. And then they say, all right, Andrew has this many readers this this price, let’s compare to everything else. And then we’ll pick the ones that have the cheapest price. I don’t want to be the cheapest price. Frankly, I’m always the most expensive. And so how do I get them to get out of that mind frame? And so I thought the first thing I’m going to do is kind of what I do in my interviews. I make sure my interviews I say something personal about myself. It’s not just about the guest. So before the conversation starts, I think what happened in my life right now that I can bring up might be like, one time, I pick up the phone and I say, hey, Kathy can look good to talk to you. But by the way, my kid has strutted out of the house like he is on the Packers. You know like he’s, I don’t know what he is because he’s now four and a half and this is a milestone I can’t believe it. I we should all be that confident. Anyway, what’s going on with your life? And now I said something personal about myself. It’s weird for her to go. Not much. So what are the numbers? So she tells me something about herself. And now we know a little bit of something about each other, we have a little something to check in with. And then that allows us to transition to a sale. So in one case, I heard someone say, Oh, yeah, my kid is so proud because he was out on the beach the other day, I said, You know what? kites for my kid, I gotta send you a kite. gives me the address, I send him pack of two kites from Amazon, these things fly up in the sky. Now we have a relationship that goes beyond beyond business. So all of this stuff is natural. When you think about the way we should be interacting, but it doesn’t exist online, because we’ve got the screen, we’ve got the agenda. And over 2000 interviews, I thought, How do I break through what the expected agenda is, and now use it everywhere else.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 10:52

I wanted to rename the book, something like, go deeper. How to use conversations in interviews, sales or something like that, because I go

Andrew Warner 11:01

deeper was was my my title. Oh, somebody said there’s like some kind of romance novel that’s go deeper. It’s got a double entendre. I said, Okay, I can’t get it. But essentially, that’s what I was trying to do that actually was at the top of the guide for a long time. Yeah.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 11:16

Yeah, that’s, that’s what I thought one of my favorite parts of the book actually was. And I make this mistake all the time, by the way, and I did it for many, you actually just laid it out there. I never really knew exactly what I was doing. But the biggest mistake I make, and it came where you had this conversation, and the person who left the left that conversation saying, oh, there’s Andrew just drilling us again, do you know what I’m talking about? I do.

Andrew Warner 11:45

It was this woman who is in Toastmasters, I signed up because I want to learn how to give public presentations. This thing is a group that’s been going on for for decades. I get in there, it’s helpful. And then they invite us all out for something social afterwards. And I’m sitting there with this woman. And she, she says something like, after my sister passed away, where psi commerce was, yeah, she decided to drive to California where we met. And everyone’s like, wow, it’s a long drive. And they just moving into, like, that’s really tough. And driving over here is is difficult. And I said, she committed suicide, she starts telling me about her sister committing suicide. And I tell her about someone in my family who had had an attempt followed by a lot of therapy and what that was like to our whole family, and she told them, actually, I didn’t tell her that that’s what I would do today. That’s, that’s what I did. Afterwards, I just let her keep talking about the person who committed suicide. And then I saw that she was happy. I saw that she got the release that comes from talking. But she felt upset, because I milked her for her story about about her, her family. And she, and I get it, I didn’t share anything about myself. What I did afterwards was then start talking about like my family member who had had an attempt and that softened things up, I do find that it’s really helpful to when somebody has what I call that is a dropped fact, or shoved back where they’re shoving in a fact that it’s like this, they’re telling you how they got here, but they’re shoving in the fact about suicide, they’re dying to talk about it, I think it’s helpful to notice that and then bring it up and then ask follow up questions and really let them talk about the thing they’re dying to talk about. But what I discovered from that Toastmasters conversation was, if I don’t talk about myself, they’re going to feel vulnerable, they’re going to feel like I’ve just sucked all their information from them. And it feels very one sided. And so I’ve learned you got to put a little bit of yourself in there, too.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 13:42

Yeah, I love this. And like we’ve had many conversations over the years. So you know, I feel like I’ve heard bits and pieces of this and this is put together but that shafaq you’ve you’ve talked to me about that before in the past. And I always think about that because it’s something personal, someone throw in there and even talk about the book, you know, someone may mention a divorce or someone dying, and they’re mentioning it, because part of them wants to talk about I remember you saying that, and now I pick up on that. Yeah, but it’s an uncomfortable thing. Yeah, it is.

Andrew Warner 14:15

It is if somebody if you’re asking somebody, so how how was your drive over here? And they say, you know what, because my sister committed suicide, I just decided I needed some space. And so I just drove and listen to music. It’s really weird to go committed suicide, but you’ve got to you have to otherwise the conversation will lack meaning it’ll be about the superficial drive, and they’re begging for it. And once you do it once or twice, you don’t even have to go deeper with it. You just say committed suicide or you feel. So here’s another technique. I use what I call the what’s called the double barreled question. I say do you feel comfortable talking about your sister? Do you feel comfortable talking about her suicide? Is it inappropriate to talk about that now the suicide that you just brought up? Two questions in one is it inappropriate to talk about and then number one, the Your sister’s suicide. Now what we found with double barreled questions is people will pick the question that they want to answer and avoid the one that they don’t. And so I’ve gone through my transcripts, and I will see that people will say, I’d rather not talk about it, it isn’t appropriate to talk about it does make me feel uncomfortable, and then we shift the conversation to something else. But almost always, by and large, they will then jump into the thing that that they brought up the thing that I’m checking in with them, and saying is inappropriate talk about is the thing they really want to talk about. Yeah,

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 15:32

because they can easily leave that out. I mean, in the hole, they leave it out, lol conversation,

Andrew Warner 15:37

easily er, now sometimes people slip because they’re stressed about something that they shouldn’t talk about in public, they bring it up. At that point, you say, is it appropriate to talk about you and your wife? Or what happened with you and your wife this morning and say, I can’t talk about it. Right? They will absolutely say if you give them space to do it, they won’t even realize that they’ve picked up on the you’re offering of saying no.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 15:59

I mean, I feel maybe even if they don’t mean to there’s a subconscious I mean, they’re thinking about as top of mind, they may want to release it. Um, is there a time I know, Andrew, it’s happened to me where you leave. We’ve been in social situations together, and you really dig deep with people and you’ll ask questions that are uncomfortable even and, and sometimes I know it’s coming, I’m like, Oh, here we go. Like this is gonna be this is gonna be a good conversation. And people actually appreciate it, because it’s not the surface level stuff. Do you remember a time where you were in a social situation with Olivia specifically, and maybe I’m not gonna say she yelled at you afterwards. But she was like, why did you? Why didn’t you go there. Even though maybe people in the room were actually enjoying the conversation. But it is uncomfortable thing when you’re bringing up real stuff, as opposed to just Rhino surface stuff was there a time we

Andrew Warner 16:54

just want to have a cocktail, we don’t want to find out how somebody is having marital problems and deal with it there. I’m very lucky that Olivia is and always has been open to this approach that I have in conversations, she appreciated it from our very first date where I was prying into her life. Having said that, I watched the room, you can tell when someone’s uncomfortable. My point is not to go to a place where I’m giving one person a free therapy session, and everyone else is in agony. My point is to watch everybody and get an environment that makes makes us all get to know each other. And so if I’m looking at Olivia, and I could see that she’s uncomfortable. If the person is going into that personal spot, I can very quickly, easily drive myself out of that conversation and move us somewhere else. By and large, though people want to have more meaningful conversations, we enjoy that stuff we definitely do.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 17:53

So there’s another favorite chapter. So we talked about the inappropriate questions a little bit. And join the resistance is also one of my favorites. And you use this many times in many different interviews. I don’t know what would be the best example. I know which one you talked about in the book.

Andrew Warner 18:17

One I talked about in the book is the one that led me to understand it. It was I did an interview with Jason freed the founder of Basecamp massively successful project management software. You asked him what your revenue is, it goes, I don’t care about revenue, I care about profit to go, okay, what’s the profits 10s of millions of dollars a year in profits, right? killer? author, I asked him, did you do you have any failures? Because all I’m seeing is he is writing a book and the book becomes a super phenomenal success. He creates Basecamp phenomenal success. He writes a blog, it becomes an industry guiding set of understandings that come out of the blog, right? He’s the one who, who championed software as a service before most people would accept it, even in the tech space, because they used to be angry. What happens if you create software and people can’t use it on an airplane and goes well, eventually airplanes will get Wi Fi which they did? And also how many times are we on airplanes? Let’s write software for them. Anyway, so is that successful? I want to know a little bit of a setback to see how does he overcome adversity or to get a sense of he’s a human being? And he says, Andrew, I don’t think I don’t think we’ve had any any failures here I go Come on everyone has you know interest sometimes things just work out. What did anything not work out fully? Maybe it worked out but not fully. You know, I don’t think it’s helpful to look back that way on our lives. And I go, Ah, I feel now like such a, like there’s something wrong with me for wanting to know that that failure and not being as confident as him and can ignore all failure in every aspect of my life. But there’s also a part of me that felt like I was robbing both of us have a conversation that mattered. That was not, that was not about just the successes, but was about how he overcame the adversities to get where he was. Anyway, I hired the producer from inside the Actor’s Studio. I said, four months, let’s go over every single one of my transcripts after one of my interviews is done, and let’s find the spots that are weak and what I could do to improve them. And then one of them, I said, Look what’s going on here with Jason, it happens with other guests, too. What do we do? He immediately said, Andrew, this is this thing that my therapist faced. What do you mean, he goes, as the solution is join the resistance. I said, what he says, therapist said to me, my therapist used to have men show up, and it was always men show up at her office, she would say, Okay, let’s go over what’s going on in your life, that it’s challenging, let’s bring you here. And the men would say, no challenges. And she said, but you’re here for a reason you sign yourself up. That’s my wife. She wanted me to see a therapist, but I think everything’s good. But we’re here now, can we talk about a challenge? I don’t know of anything. And they just keep getting more and more close. And so instead of fighting the resistance, and prodding and asking different questions, you decided to join the resistance, which meant if somebody said, I don’t have any problems, instead of saying, we all do, she said, Wow, so good to have somebody in here for whom everything is just working out perfectly. I, I obviously have people here all the time, or coming through and working their problems. But for you to be living the perfect life, it’s got to feel great. And personal, perfect life. You know, my wife keeps complaining about how I, I am not doing enough, you know, that the two of us just argued last night. Now, when you join the resistance, instead of like, fight it, they will open up. We all have that instinct, the more you push back on me, the more I push back on you, the more you let go, the easier it is for me to stop fighting. You join the resistance, it helps in interviews, I went back to Jason free did another interview with him. This time, instead of saying, Come on. We all have setbacks, I said. I said, you know, Jason, it’s great that everything’s worked out for you at Basecamp. And your companies throughout, said Actually no, we had things that didn’t work out. I said, like what he said, Well, we created this chat app called campfire, it didn’t work out. And we all know that slack who just blew up billion multi billion dollar company, he had a version of slack before slack came out. It was called campfire. So that didn’t work out. But he said, you know, we don’t invest every dollar of our of our business in every new product, we give ourselves room to experiment. And no, it didn’t grow great. We did have to sunset our chat app, but we didn’t lose a lot of money either. And we were able to keep coming up with other ideas. And eventually what we did there we we learned from and we added to the chat app in Basecamp. I thought that’s such a healthy way of looking at things everyone else that I interview says you have to burn the boats behind you if you’re investing you have to go all in he’s saying don’t go all in so you can take a few shots. Anyway, I thought it was helpful. All because I joined the resistance we were able to get to that.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 22:49

But I have a new title Andrew so forget about go deeper. But um, because you know, there’s some whatever novel racing novel with it, but so my next pitch is open up, open up. Um, I like that too. But um,

Andrew Warner 23:02

is there another romance book called? Oh, God, that bird? There’s no exaggeration. I see now three books here. One of them is about Managua. Todd, is this we

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 23:11

don’t want to get confused with that one. But all right, the the part of the the what you do when you help people open up is, in addition to joining the resistance, you also say the why and that helps people to open up as well.

Andrew Warner 23:29

Yeah, I think it came to me in the early days when I would ask somebody to do an interview. And I couldn’t tell them that I had a big audience and say, Well, why am I going to do this, and I had to have a reason for them to do it. And my reason for them to do it would be you don’t have an audience of entrepreneurs, they’re trying to figure out how to build their businesses. It’s not huge, but it’s a tight knit group of people, I see them at my live events all the time, if we could just tell them what you did. They would be able to go and improve their businesses. And then they’ll know you because I’m interviewing you here, you’re in south in Southern California, they’re in Southern California, they’re going to get to know you better. And you’re also going to have this story put on the internet for anyone who wants to come work at your company. Now they know the why what the benefit is, and they’re more likely to say yes, I think we just don’t give a big enough reason and so we allow the guest we allow the other person to come up with their purpose and with and if we can’t deliver on their purpose, they can walk away but we should bring them into our purpose what our mission is, and have them then see how what they’re going to do for us will get them further towards this mission that matters to us and to other people.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 24:42

Yeah, I like that too. Because you can come at it from the why even have an audience member sometimes where you can be like, Well, you know, someone who pretend like like in this situation like someone, pretend like you’re talking to someone who has no idea Audience they have no audience. They’ve never done an interview. What would you do? As far as that goes? It’s that why have that audience member to?

Andrew Warner 25:08

Yep. You’re saying, if, if somebody didn’t have an audience, how could they get a guest to come and do an interview with them?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 25:14

Yeah, it’s just yeah. I mean, it’s like putting the perspective of that person. And like, Andrew, someone’s listening. I mean, could be for any question. But someone listening right now even the mistake for Jason freed, right? It could be joining the resistance, but it’s also the why of Jason right now someone is starting a sass company, and they are struggling, and what would you know, what was the point? So bring it back to the why of someone else? You do that as well? Yeah. I’m someone else’s mouth. Okay, I remember we had this conversation. And this is, this is such a good one. And this is good, I think in relationships is good in in a lot of different scenarios.

Andrew Warner 25:59

Yeah, there was wanting to understand how people ask tough questions, without turning the other person off. Because if you ask a tough question, sometimes people get angry. And even if they’re still sitting there, they’re not in the conversation with you, sir, as really tough questions. Well, one says this reporter mike wallace from 60 minutes does. As I said, you know, the thing that he’s really known for asking is the ayatollah, how he is insane. And I said, huh, how did he ask the ayatollah, if he’s insane? Let’s go back and find it. And the thing about the internet today is, somebody’s got a bootleg copy of everything out on the internet, there’s a bootleg copy of Mike Wallace interviewing Ayatollah Khomeini on YouTube, he was available for like a day or so thankfully, I downloaded it. And then I uploaded it to, to a transcript service. And I just read the transcript. And what I saw was, he didn’t say, hey, Ayatollah Khomeini, I came to your country after you kidnapped Americans and kept them hostage, and the whole world is angry with you. And now asked you, are you insane? Instead, he said, I told her, President Sadat said, his words, not mine, forgive me. Since you’re insane, essentially, he’s asking him, what do you think about this other person calling you as I say, not me calling you insane? And so I realize that’s the way to ask a tough question. to not say, I think you’re insane. Are you saying, Are you fully there? And then it becomes this confrontational thing, but instead say, I told her, this guy says, You’re insane. What would you say about that? So in interviews, I’ve used that too. I wanted to ask Ryan Holiday, for example, why there weren’t a lot of women on his app and product discovery platform called Product Hunt. If I asked him that, I know what it’s like, when people ask me, why don’t you have enough women, I feel like they’re accusing me of being racist, or sexist or something. When in reality, I’m doing my best. And I could explain to you why it’s not working out and what we’ve done and what help I could use. But once you start putting it in, like you don’t have enough women, I get frustrated, you could see it on Twitter, and I start to start to get angry instead of get getting productive. So instead of asking him, why don’t you have enough women on product contour? We’re creating products and getting featured. How do I put in someone else’s mouth? And I went back, and I saw that at some point early on in his site launch, he was asking feedback, and this woman said, Why aren’t there enough women on the platform? And then he responded. I said, in my interview, Ryan, this woman in a comment said to you when you launched, why aren’t there enough women? What would you say to her today, if she was looking at the platform and seeing that it’s still not balanced? Now he had a thoughtful response about how he’s working on it, what he’s doing, and it’s probably not enough, but at least we see what he’s doing. At least we see his perspective. And we don’t get this this nothing but anger conversation. So whenever there’s something you want to say that you’re trying to get an answer to genuinely not just piss off the other person, but generally get an answer. If you can’t say it yourself, and know that the other person is going to react calmly and let you talk about it. Put in someone else’s mouth. That is incredibly helpful.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 29:11

I’m wondering, Andrew, you know, one thing you taught me and good advice on with interviewing or any conversation for that matter is just be curious. You know, be selfish and be curious, because if you’re curious about it, then people will know and experience your genuine interest. And just be curious. So in this, when we are doing this, I was joking, a few people it’s like, Okay, I’m interviewing someone who’s in 1000s of interviews, about how to do interviews. Okay, so no pressure there, which I don’t feel because we’re friends, but, um, what are some criticisms? You know, one of my things I’m curious about are some criticisms that you get with Mixergy either Or, you know, recently.

Andrew Warner 30:04

One of the criticisms that I get is that we don’t have enough women on the platform. And I think that makes sense. I’m trying and it’s, it’s something that’s important to me there. Clearly, if I’m interviewing entrepreneurs, they’re clearly lots of successful female entrepreneurs. I don’t know why we’re not getting enough, but we need to put more effort into it. The other one is not enough people outside of the country. And so when I did a marathon on every continent, I also bought the zoom recorder, which is this device that all the audio people I know, say is the best quality device, I bought one of those I bought some mics, I bought some earphones, I bought a whole setup. And I took it to every continent, and I interviewed entrepreneurs all over the world about how they, how they build successful companies outside of Silicon Valley. Another one is that I’m a little too rough with the guests that I’m not creating a warm friendly environment instead, just what is rough Michigan? First question could be what’s your revenues? Second question could be very easily What happened to your wife, we started this company with it when the early websites, you said that everything came from her. But when I that’s what I see when I go to internet archives. But now when I look at the about page, it’s all about how you got the idea. And you’re the one who launched it. And I don’t even see any reference to her when I do a Google search on your site for her name. So yeah, that’s where that’s where they feel a little bit rough.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 31:28

What any other rough question examples? Because you prep them for that, right? I mean, you even talk about that in the book a little bit about, I forgot what the chapter was called, but it was something about how you can shock.

Andrew Warner 31:43

What’s a tip? Um, yeah, I do. I do tip them sometimes to what’s coming up. I’m not looking to sandbag someone. But if I could say something like, it seems like your last four businesses just closed. And the one before those four actually had some kind of FTC investigation? How if we don’t address all that, and then we let you talk about how your site is all about teaching people how to build a successful company, the audience is going to see through it and they’re going to anyone who knows you, or does a Google search is going to think that we’re trying to snow them and they’re too smart to fall for it. We should just address the elephant in the room. If I put it like that. People almost always say yes, absolutely, you should address it. I want to talk about what happened with FTC investigation, and those last four companies, and I’ll be super open and you can link it right, whatever to some people will say, No, I don’t want to talk about it. They’re just not good guests. But if I say the audience is going to see it, it’s weird. If we don’t bring it up, they’re not gonna trust a word we say if we pretend it doesn’t exist, when it’s the biggest thing they’re gonna see when they Google your name. I think most people will be okay with that, and tipping them off. Like that allows me then to come in and go, dude, before we get into this new business, congratulations on how it’s doing. You had an FTC investigation, they said that what you did was potentially a crime. What happened there? Now the audience just sees the fireworks, they don’t know that. It’s not just coming from a place of, you know, gotcha journalism. It’s coming from a place of wanting to talk about the facts. So you

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 33:15

would say to those people, I’m prepping them for those tough questions.

Andrew Warner 33:21

Yeah, I I’d say I’m tipping them off. I’m letting them know, here’s the big thing that’s coming up. I don’t always have to do that. I think sometimes people don’t want me to write if you were to go to Gary Vaynerchuk. I had some harsh questions with him. I think before the interview I said Gary, do you want to know some of the tougher questions I’ve got for you? He doesn’t want to know it. He wants to react in real time. So Fine, those people they love it and I’m with them. Other people want to know where are you going? What’s coming up?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 33:51

Do you what interview sticks out or two interviews about that people should check out on Mixergy that they can watch some of the tough questions whether personally or professionally as soon

Andrew Warner 34:04

as they join the email list they’re gonna see there’s a there’s this company I wanted to find out how they were doing really well with cutting boards in the shape of different states. So if you love Texas, you could get a cutting board in the shape of Texas the land the state. I asked the one of the founders to come on she said sure. I asked her to book she books she didn’t show up that this I don’t remember the details of it. But it was like flake flake flake flake flake usually committing and then not showing up. Finally, instead of her her husband comes on, so we get ready to record it. Okay, fine. I’m a big boy right there. co founders co creators or whatever she wants him to do it. I want him to do a fine let’s do it. He gets on. All he gives me Are these generic answers. I forget what they were but along the lines of you gotta want it. You got to work hard. And oh, can you tell me a time when you worked hard? Can you tell me how you worked hard? What do you mean by wanted? Why do you want it Now you gotta want it because otherwise you can’t make it work. Do you understand you’re giving me nothing but cliches. Instead of thinking, do you understand your give me nothing but cliches. I brought that up. I said, I can’t have you just give me nothing but cliches. And I left it in. And I said, you and your wife told us that you were coming in, you didn’t show up, she doesn’t show up. So I called it out and I left it in the interview. I think a lot of people are trying to use interviews for nothing but self promotion. And if that’s what you’re looking for, go look somewhere else. This is this is not a self promotion vehicle. I’m not here to be your PR puppet. But if you want to have a real conversation, I’m a great place to come. And yeah, lift it up. And it’s one of the first things that you get as soon as you join my email list, you get to see that interview.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 35:47

That’s the tagline of Mixergy I’m not your PR puppet. I’m so blunders, you know, after doing 1000s of this, people are probably like we you know, Andrew, you never make you know, any mistakes anymore. You don’t get nervous anymore. What some blunders you’ve made, maybe made and even knowing this stuff, right? We get caught up in a conversation. In the past year or two that you can remember, at an interview.

Andrew Warner 36:16

I had a situation with nervousness when I was in Estonia about to interview these entrepreneurs at an accelerator called lift 99. I don’t know what it was about it, maybe it’s different country, maybe it’s that I was setting up in their office, maybe it’s how generous they were. Maybe it’s the fact that their robot, they had a frickin robot in there that brings food to your house from the restaurant or the grocery store, that that’s what they’re building over there. In addition to that, they created this like Uber for Africa and Eastern Europe. It’s called bolt, I got to meet the founder of that the Kree, one of the creators of Skype was way before they all came in. I found myself feeling really nervous. I couldn’t believe it. I done over 1000 interviews by that and I was nervous. I don’t know what it is. What I decided was I had to remember what got me over my nerves in the beginning, will guide me over my nerves in the beginning was the mission. Why am I there? I’m not there to look good. I’m not there. I mean, look at my hair. Look at the way I look, I’m not there to look good anywhere, right? I’m definitely not there to like be an Instagram star posing with all their robots. I’m there to understand how these businesses are built, why why them and not anyone else. And I just focused on that. And I was focused on the fact that I wanted to understand how businesses outside of San Francisco were built so that maybe my wife and I could leave San Francisco and both get to build a great company and get to have a great lifestyle people do some of these people are going back to living on farms after starting these great companies. So by focusing on why I’m there, I’m able to get rid of the nerves. Always, always, why am I there?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 37:55

So if you have advice for someone, you know, they’re just starting out or maybe they just been doing for a little while. People. I’ve talked to people and you have to their their amazing background, yet they still have a self esteem thing. Like they feel like they’re not worthy of having some of these maybe bigger guests. So you’re telling them think of your mission?

Andrew Warner 38:19

Yeah, yeah. Think of your mission is a really helpful one. What’s the thing that matters so much that you’ll look like a fool. The other one is think of someone else. I interviewed early on before I knew that I needed to focus on tech startup entrepreneurs. I interviewed this guy, you’ll see ginsburg is like a motivational speaker because of this experience that he had in the rain forest. In South America, where he just got lost. He went out there by himself, he got lost and then get all these horrible things happen to him. A stick got, like jammed in his body. He started to like, see visions, and he didn’t know how to get out. And one of the things that stood out for me was the thing that allowed him to finally get his senses back was he imagined, he saw a girl. And I said real girl. There he goes, No, no, I thought it was a real girl at the time it was last. But she wasn’t real. It was in my mind, I was starting to hallucinate because of my lack of food and a lack of sense of where I was. He said, I started helping this little girl get out of this rain forest and I started showing her how she could get out. And by showing her this made up person I was able to get out. And I realized that a lot of people when they get lost themselves, it’s really hard to step out of their bodies and find the solution. But when when they’re helping someone else they could do that. And so a good example of that is Emmett shear who created Twitch. He instead of focusing on the previous version of Twitch, which was just an anybody can go live stream with anything at a time when people didn’t even have the resources and tools go live stream said let me just talk to a few people who are struggling to live stream And he discovered the gamers had a real problem live streaming, they needed more than a webcam they needed to show their screen, they need to be able to talk over it, and so on. They needed to find sponsors. And so we just talked to them and said, What are you looking for? What are your problems? How can I help you? And they had problems like, they needed to know exactly who is listening at any moment of their live stream. He said, Why does that matter? Where are we showing you how many people are watching your live stream? said, yeah, that’s in the aggregate. But if I talk about my sponsor, 20 minutes in my sponsor doesn’t want to know, in the aggregate, how many people listen, they want to know, 20 minutes in how many people heard their ad read. And so I said, Oh, yeah, I could build that. And he started building on by getting away from his own problem and focusing on how to help others with their problems, they were able to create this billion dollar business more than that now.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 40:46

Andrew, one of the things for me, I love those. There’s a story a time when I go back to, and yeah, I love the mission, thinking of other people. And it I was doing a production call for Mixergy. Okay, I forgot who the person it was someone very big. I don’t remember who it was. And we are planning out the episode. And, um, you know, maybe we’re talking for 2030 minutes. And then he’s like, Jeremy, I’m sorry to rob, why don’t we get to get the interview started? And I’m like, No, this is this is not the interview. This is just the production you’re going to be doing with Andrew and I realized in that moment, and a lot of people know Mixergy. He didn’t know Mixergy. He’s No, he didn’t know who you were. You were the

Andrew Warner 41:40

you were the first real producer that we had on Mixergy guiding what the process would be like, and so yeah, before then we didn’t even know that people wouldn’t know what I looked like, or

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 41:50

so he’s like, I realize I’m like, No, I explained, you’re not doing with me, you’re gonna be doing as you realize in that moment. He has no idea who is doing the interview. Like, he didn’t know me from Adam. He didn’t know who was doing it. I’m like, people don’t know there’s a cool like, I’ll come on, I’ll be able to tell my story. And I think back to that, because, you know, you are really well known in certain circles, or certain niches. And I think back to that story, I’m like, he didn’t know who anyone was. But he thought I was doing the interview

Andrew Warner 42:25

is mine. What do you take away from that? Do you think that it’s what do you What’s your big takeaway from that? We build

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 42:31

it up in our mind that someone else is bigger, better, more well known. And, and ultimately, the person that never heard of the site, it did not know who you were. And so sometimes we think, oh, they built it up. They would do an interview with Andrew, they do never so and so

Andrew Warner 42:51

I had a similar experience. I asked Seth Godin to do an interview with me, but I didn’t really have much of a reputation, nothing really outside of STEM outside of Los Angeles. And so I went to Mashable. And I said, Can I interview Seth Godin about these topics for your site, and then of course, I’ll pick the recording and put it on my own podcast feed. And they said we’d love it. Seth Godin is hot. He’s got a big following the, they’ll come over to the side. So I said to him, said can I interview you for Mashable about all these topics and also, I’ll put the recording on my site. And then the interview, I thought he wanted to do the interview just for Mashable. And, as we were doing it, he he, I forget how it came out that this was going to also be on Mashable. And it goes both it’s going to be on Mashable. I know Pete cashmore. heIp, didn’t even process that my request was to be on Mashable. And by the way, on mine, he just thought it was going to be on Andrews podcast, Andrew is trying this new thing. Let’s say yes to Him. Let’s give it a shot. And so you’re right. We think people are gonna say yes to the bigger people. And it turns out that’s just not true. And it’s really hard to, to not get that in your head, that other people are bigger other people have more opportunities. But that’s a poisonous thought.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 44:09

That is a smart way to do it, though, is borrowing credibility from other sites. And that’s a smart I love it. They

Andrew Warner 44:16

will do that today. They should do that back today, they should absolutely do it. Anyone who wants to do a podcast, what they should do is if they can’t get a big enough audience on their own, they should team up with someone else, and do the podcast for them, but also get permission to keep it in their own feed. So for example, if I were going to do a podcast about software as a service SaaS, I would go to someone who’s selling to salt to sass companies and say, Can I do a podcast for you? Maybe baremetrics. All they do is keep track of data for sass companies have like churn and revenue and customer growth. Take your own podcast, I’ll interview people, I can interview your own clients, and it’ll just be done beautifully for your feet all I want us to be able to run it on my feet and then at some point You can break away and I’ll run in your feet first and then eventually do it on my feet to me, that’s fine. Now you go to a gas, and he said, it’s going to be on the baremetrics podcast, they’re doing it new, I’m recording for them, and also to be on my feet, now you’re going to be able to get yeses so much more. Now you’ll get people to promote it more, you’ll get an audience. And then once you build up a little bit of your own archive, you could say baremetrics, this thing is going well, you can take it and you can run with it. And I’ll just do it on my on my site. And frankly, for some people, they could just keep it on the on the partner site. They don’t even need it on their own site, what do they need that for?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 45:33

and mentally that helped you reach out to Seth Godin and rubber, but ultimately, it didn’t matter. Like he didn’t even hear that part. You know? So who are stretch guests for you right now?

Andrew Warner 45:46

So there’s this assumption that for me, a stretch guest would be someone like Mark Cuban, but I don’t find that they tell me anything that I can’t read anywhere else, I just don’t find that there’s any great insight in them. For me, the big stretch guest is to say, What am I in wrestling with right now? And how do I get somebody who’s who’s done that? For me? It’s a real sense of

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 46:07

right now, who’s bought a house in Austin? Man, that’s a you need to have a

Andrew Warner 46:12

big one who’s actually who’s bought any house anywhere, and then turn it into more than a house. Like, there’s one guest that I’ve interviewed in the past. I don’t know if he’s willing for me to talk about it publicly, but 50 acres, he’s going to turn it into a house and a compound where other people can, you know, rent space and have this whole community. So yeah, whatever it is, it’s more about what is my personal need. And I urge every interviewer to stop trying to be the next larry king, king will be long forgotten. It’s the people he highlighted that will be remembered. He’s the guy who used to interview on CNN, for anyone who doesn’t know, I think he’s just trying to say, what am I trying to achieve? What am I trying to understand myself? What do I what am I trying to get done in the world? Now I’m going to do interviews that will help me do that thing better. And by the way, now, the research makes sense. Because you’re trying to get to that anyway, to that topic, the interview will be more meaningful for you because you’re trying to get there. And frankly, the audience wants to see somebody who’s on a path trying to do something, follow along. And if they’re trying to do it, too, now they’ve got somebody who’s an advocate who’s asking the same questions they’d ask, because that advocate is going through the same issue they are. So for me, it’s what what am I going through? What

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 47:22

are you wrestling with? So on that, who is a stretch guest for you with whatever you’re wrestling with? Do you have a list of or things you’re wrestling with, or people you’re reaching out to?

Andrew Warner 47:32

one topic that is on my mind is I’ve been feeling a little burned out, not on interviews, I love doing the interviews. Everyone keeps thinking at some point, I’ll get burned out on talking to people publishing interviews, I love it. I love having conversations that matter to me. But it’s frankly, the business side of the business. It’s been rolling. I want to just take a break from it, let it just keep rolling. I don’t know how to how to recover from burnout of that. Without wasting time. You know, where it’s just self indulgent, nothing happens and I need somebody to me in the ass. How do you recover from burnout in a productive way? And I know that burnout is a topic people have been talking about. So I’m gonna find some people who actually have gone through it and can talk about it.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 48:17

Are there any experts that you found on this topic?

Andrew Warner 48:21

I don’t who’ve gone through that I would want experts as one person who I think has gone there is Goggin biani. He, he raised 10s of millions of dollars for sprig after creating you to me. sprig just closed up. failure. And he just disappeared. He went and traveled the world. And as he was traveling the world, I had a sense that he was learning something and so he and I were chatting with each other on text for that period. And that kind of informed my travels of running a marathon on every continent. I wanted to see what he got from that experience. I think he was someone who’s good another person who’s good for who’s gone through it is Sahil Lavinia. I feel like Sahil and I’m going to interview him soon. He wanted to be the next Bill Gates when he was a kid, he used to email me from school, tell me what his latest projects were. He was on Skype with me back when we were all using Skype, and he would chat with me and tell me what’s going on. And then he disappeared. And it’s because gumroad has software to enable anyone to sell digital products easily wasn’t setting the world on fire couldn’t raise the next round of funding. It wasn’t going to be a billion dollar anything. And so he disappeared, and then I think he nearly became a Mormon. Maybe he did become a Mormon to give you a sense of like where he was going on that spiritual journey. He was painting and posting his paintings on Instagram. He just like completely checked out. Meanwhile, his business was still rolling, right? It’s interesting once you get some of these businesses, they they roll and so for him, revenue is still growing even though it wasn’t jumping as much as he needed to I’m a venture capitalist to be interested VCs gave him back the equity that they had in his company. They said here, we don’t want to just give us a buck, we’ll take it. But for me, what’s interesting is what did he do in that period that allowed him to come back refreshed and not just, you know, go away and come back? reinforced? discouraged. Yeah. So that’s, that’s something I plan to ask him about when I interview him about his book.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 50:25

So last question, Andrew, I want to, again, point people to And you tell people this in the book, you don’t want to end on a low point, because then like, Jeremy, this is such a downer, like, the interview could have been flawless could be amazing. And if you end on this low point, that’s what they take away from the entire experience. Right?

Andrew Warner 50:47

So I should have asked, there’s a woman who’s really well known in Silicon Valley that yelled at me after an interview and I didn’t know why it’s because of that the whole interview was such a gimme everything was I was just tossing softball, softball, softball. She called me up as I will leave the office angry at me, Andrew, I’m disappointed in you. I’ve known you for years, I’ve been a premium member, I’d respect to your work. I just don’t know how you could ask me. types of things you asked me. I looked at I don’t remember what the question was. Because it was such a wussy question. There was no teeth on it. But I do remember saying to her, now that you’ve built up all this rapport with me, and I and you trust me, because you see that I’m a good person coming from a good place. I’m gonna ask you the toughest question that I have. And I fired away. And that’s all she remembered. And that’s why she was angry. I mean, I learned my lesson. I know that at the end of the interview, people have the most rapport with me. But I also learned it at the end of the interview. At the end of any conversation, whatever you ask is what sticks with people and colors, their experience to the whole end, you could have a great conversation with someone, give them just the toughest question at the end. And they think you’re a tough guy. But no pressure. Yeah. So

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 51:47

what’s another high

Andrew Warner 51:49

point you can ask me? You can ask me anything you can even go on? Yeah, go ahead.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 51:52

No, I want to just as far as this goes, you just the reason why. I mean, you don’t have to write a book, you could have just done your thing. Right? So why did you decide to actually take the time to do this, which is a tremendous amount of time energy for you.

Andrew Warner 52:12

You know what this? When COVID hit, I saw it. I said, I can’t do scotchlite anymore. We’re just being asked by San Francisco to stay at home, I’ll do my runs. I’ll do my work, but I’m just gonna take it easy. And then this and I’ll also say yes to more things, just to take on some side things to keep me busy. And this guy, Robbie, Abed emailed me and said, Would you just write a chapter for my book? And usually I go write chapter for your book, what am I here? I said, I said, Okay, Robbie, I’ll do it. What’s the book about he said, it’s about how introverts can relate to the world. And so I wrote a great chapter based on my experience as an interviewer, and I sent it to him so proud that it was a lot of work, but I wanted to try new things. So I wrote a chapter. And then he sends it back to me, he goes, Nah, that’s not good. That’s not what I’m looking for. I go Robbie, I just wrote the whole thing. And I think it’s good. But then these interviews, I know how to open people up and have great deep conversations. And they said, here’s what I think you should do instead, said, All right, you know what, I’m gonna listen to Robbie Robbie’s a great writer. So I rewrote the whole wrote a whole new chapter based on what he asked me for. And then I went back to him, and he liked it. And I said, Robbie, I want to do more of this writing. It’s been challenging, but I want to do more. And I said, I’m not someone who’s worked well on his own, I need some help. I said, Who do I talk to? And he introduced me, essentially, to someone who, who introduced me to the editor at Penguin Publishing. And I said to her, can you write with me every week, we’ll just get together, we’ll do screen share right together. And she said, No, I’m not doing that. I’m not babysitting as you write. But we could do something. And what we decided to do was once a week, she would check in on my writing and give me feedback. And initially, we’re talking about turning this into a book for anyone who wants to talk and build relationships via zoom, kind of like how to win friends and influence people via zoom. And then we realize the expertise that I have is through interviews, let’s focus on interviews. And it became this really challenging, but very satisfying process of saying what’s worked for me over the years, let’s make sure to put that down in a way that’s repeatable.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 54:12

You know, Andrew, one of the things is you’re you’re always looking to improve, improve the process. And early on? I think, I don’t know I don’t remember you pushing back that much. But thank you for the acknowledgement in the book. About apparently you did push back, but I thought it was important that we meet regularly to go over the process of improvement.

Andrew Warner 54:36

Yeah, I hated that. You would say that you I’d say the week one great, the interviews were good. You say? Yeah, but let’s go see what else we could improve. And I remember going I don’t have time for that. I can’t do that. And and you said yeah, but it’s not gonna take that long. And you’re so persistent and so nice about it that like at some point, you realize, I just said yes to Jeremy to doing this. Okay. And then we start to go over the things that could have been better and it became this framework for me of do analyze, improve, do analyze, improve, and it’s become a real process of for anything that matters, saying I’ve done it now what could I? What did I do that could have been better? What did I do that sucked? And how do I improve? And that would go for anything, including scotch tonight, and people back over my office for scotch night, I would do it. And then the next day analyzing what could have been better, and I realized, you know what, had somebody who came who’s not into scotch doesn’t even drink alcohol and I made them drink water. That doesn’t seem like a good experience. It bothered me at the time. I want them to feel included. What could I do next time? Oh, yeah, the same place where I have my my scotch delivered. They have non alcoholic drinks that actually taste good and make you feel like an adult, not like a kid drinking soda. Great. I’ll add that to my list next time I buy that now. Now I have something that works for them. Oh, what happened after that? Oh, yeah, at the end, people felt like we were sticking around for too long, great. If it goes for too long, people feel stale. I’m going to set an alarm so that I could end it and also go and have some time with Olivia at night. I set an alarm on my phone so that everyone could hear it on my watch. And then after three hours, their alarm goes off and I say Oh, you know what? I promised my wife which I did that I’m going to go and hang out with her tonight. Why don’t we just go for a little bit longer and then we’ll move on so now there’s a hard stop and the thing doesn’t peter out and people don’t have this you know, bad impression because the last few minutes were petered out. What do we do ho hum, all improve, do analyze, improve, do analyze improve. That’s the that’s the meaning of life.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 56:24

Do analyze improve everyone check out stop asking questions. co it’s not just about interviewing. It’s about having deeper conversations about opening up and getting in a deeper level with people. So Andrew, thank you so much.

Andrew Warner 56:39

Thanks for being on for having me on. Thanks for helping with the promotion of this thing.