In 2008 my wife sent me an urgent text message telling me I needed to come home. I asked why and she just said, Come home. I did immediately of course, and when I got there, I asked her what the problem was. I also told her I needed to tell her something important. I had decided that very day that I was going to quit my job.
I had been reading 48 Days To The Work You Love by Dan Miller, and the book helped me see that I wasn’t using my strengths in my work. I was ready to quit my job. When I got upstairs, my wife pointed to a brown lunch sack on the nightstand and told me to open it. I thought there was something dead inside. I was totally confused. Inside the bag was a pregnancy test. It was positive. We had been struggling to get pregnant, and it was amazing news. We cried for a bit and then she said, What did you want to tell me? My oldest son is eight years old now, and I’ve been really taking permission since that memorable day. I’m a huge admirer of Seth Godin’s work. You can find him at SethGodin.com or just google the name, Seth. A few years after working for myself, in August of 2010 I read Seth Godin’s book Linchpin. Three chapters in I put down the book and emailed Seth. Here’s what I wrote.
Seth, I’d like to ask your permission to create a podcast where I discuss the contents of Linchpin. I have a few other podcasts you can check out to see if I’m legit. http://www.BeABetterHusbandPodcast.com /http://www.BusinessTechWeekly.com Thank you for teaching me how to ship.
He wrote back four minutes later. Here’s what he said.
it’s a neat idea, Andy thanks for asking I’m fine as long as you make it clear that you’re not endorsed by me. So as long as it’s clearly unofficial… go for it.
Taking Permission had WORKED From there I started other podcasts and at some point later that year I asked my friend Dan Miller if he could get me in touch with someone inside Thomas Nelson publishing. I had experienced success with the Linchpin podcast and wanted to see if Thomas Nelson had any authors that they wanted to start podcasts. I would host them, and the author would just show up and shine as my friend Kent Julian says. Dan got me in the door and at the meeting they said, “No”, but we do have an author that might want to work with you. But we won’t pay for it. That author was Andy Andrews. He has multiple NYT bestsellers. I emailed Dan and thanked him for getting me in the door with Thomas Nelson and start to pursue the opportunity with Andy Andrew’s team. When we had our initial call I pitched my idea of hosting the podcast, and they said, that’s amazing Andy. We’ve been waiting to start a podcast but didn’t know where to start. This is an answer to prayer. How much are you going to charge? I said, Zero. I don’t want you to pay me. I knew they got pitched all the time because Andy Andrews has a massive following. I wanted it to be an easy yes. And they said Yes. Taking Permission had worked. After some success with that show, I asked Robert D Smith, Andy’s manager, to see if he could get a meeting with Michael Hyatt. He had just left Thomas Nelson where he was the CEO, and he was starting to grow his platform, which would be the name of his NYT best-selling book a short time later. I got the meeting with Mike and pitched him the idea of hosting a podcast for him. I asked Dan Miller for advice on the meeting, and he said two things. Be yourself and tell Mike it’s the single best thing I’ve ever done for my business. I did both of those things in the meeting. David Loy, another member of Andy’s team, felt like the meeting went great. I waited to hear back from Mike and finally, I did. He was going to start a podcast. But I wasn’t going to be the host. He was going to do it himself. Now Mike has one of the most successful business podcasts in existence, all without my help. So did Taking Permission work? Well, kinda. Mike’s got a podcast. I’ve got a great relationship with everyone in the story, and as my work has continued to develop into creating digital courses, coaching businesses and helping other entrepreneurs grow, it has afforded me the opportunity to live in the same area as all of those people. Two years ago I moved our family from South Dakota to Spring Hill, a suburb of Nashville. Best of all I get to call all of those people my friends. Now I’m starting this show. That’s my story so now let me tell you what you can expect from the Take Permission podcast. Help you get the most out of life by taking permission. So what is Taking Permission? You’ve probably seen the movie Shawshank redemption, but you might not remember a small scene where Red, played by Morgan Freeman, has been freed from prison and works at a grocery store. He bags groceries for a living. Red misses prison because that is what he is used to. He’s conditioned. He’s trained. He can’t go to the bathroom without asking for permission first so when he has to go he keeps asking his manager for permission, and his manager is pissed and says, You don’t have to keep asking me, but Red’s voice plays over the scene and he says, “Forty years I’ve been asking permission to piss. I can’t squeeze a drop without say-so.” That sounds silly, or sad, but do you remember raising your hand to go pee when you were a student? This stupid requirement to ask for permission to pee started in preschool and likely continued through high school. You had to ask permission to pee. Would the entire educational system break down if students suddenly took upon themselves to go to the bathroom without asking for permission? No. But we have a system; you live in a system that would prefer we ask for permission to do the most basic things, even pee. The premise of taking permission and this show is that you have more control than you know if you take it. And if you want to achieve the life you’re capable of, the life you want to have, then you have to take permission. I’m here to help.
1. Build your own education
I’m grateful for my education but let’s be honest, the system of education that you were raised in, stuck you at a desk for 12-16 years of your life and told you what it thought you should know. It didn’t help you experience life; it removed you from it. It didn’t tell you to become more of who you are; it told you to get in line, what you were allowed to be interested in, and what the world would measure you by. It told you when you should know how to read and how you were supposed to learn. It gave you few choices. Those days are over. The system of education you were raised in was exposed for the fraud that it was. We are people that know there is more to learning than one hour of art a week or reading only the books approved by the school board. We know the information is unlocked. We know we don’t need to go to college to have a successful business, family, or faith. This show will empower you to take responsibility for your education. I’ll talk about books I’m reading, art that fascinates and challenges my thinking, courses that I’m taking and conversations that I’ve engaged in. You’ll be empowered to build your education because if you want your best life, then you need to become your best self, and the system of education you were raised in isn’t interested in you becoming your best self, they’re interested in you learning what they think is important. Learning what they want to teach you and you becoming your best self-don’t align.
2. Grow significant relationships
Every area of life overlaps. I hear about politicians who say they separate their personal beliefs from their work. To them, I say, on what basis do you make decisions? If you hold no personal beliefs then how do you decide what is right or wrong? The point is this; our relationships are more valuable than any part of our life. Relationships give us emotional energy. They give us ideas. They give us acceptance. They give us meaning. They bring us joy and sorrow and perspective and purpose. Relationships are too important to leave out of any conversation, so I’m making it part of our education. I’ll talk about marriage, parenting, and friendships on this show because you want help navigating those things. If you removed relationships from your life, you’d be miserable. If you’re miserable and in relationships, then you need help improving your existing relationships or building new ones. We’ll deal with that. Relationships matter, a lot. The take permission podcast will help you grow significant relationships.
3. Develop a healthy mindset
The most important conversation you have is the one you have with yourself. Your mindset matters more than any influence in your life. If you have an unhealthy mindset, then nothing from the outside will penetrate it. Your mindset is the filter for every experience. A mindset is not installed; it’s developed. It’s not like a sign you install on the highway that directs traffic, not there one day but there the next. It’s a plant you nurture. Your mindset needs to be maintained and nurtured because it is under the constant influence of the world you live in. The choices you make will enforce or destroy your mindset. If you have a negative mindset and find things to reinforce that mindset, you’ll dive deeper into self-hate, judgment, and cynicism. If you have a negative mindset but invest in positive relationships and self-care, then you can change your mindset. Mindsets aren’t fixed, and that’s why you have to nurture them.
4. Construct a career you’re proud of
Your work matters because you have been given unique talents to give to the world through your work. If you take the StrengthFinders, test you’ll find a fascinating result no matter who you are. You’ll get your top 5 strengths. No one takes that test and fails. Everyone has strengths. The question is not whether or not you have strengths, the question is whether or not you’re using them in your life, in your work, in your relationships, in your place of worship, in your community. My career is constantly under construction. Every year I reinvent myself and do something different. It’s not as hard as you think as long as you know what your strengths are. On this show, I’m going to teach you how to do work that matters, whether you’re an employee, employer, solopreneur or someone who’s trying to leave one career to start another.
Who am I?
I’m a sojourner. That’s a person who’s on the journey with you. I’m an expert in some things and in other things I’m right beside you, trying to find my way. Who I am today is a married father of three who lives in a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee. I’ve written a few books, made a living as a creator for the last eight years, a Christian, a big fan of wiffleball and cul de sacs. I’m a fan of trying new things, especially technology. I’m a connector. I thrive on making sure the right people know each other. I try a lot of things. I fail fast. I create work. I’m willing to say I’m wrong when I’m wrong, and I’m willing to argue with you if I think I’m right. I’m a registered Independent because politics is an embarrassing institution. I’m an encourager. I thrive on speaking truth to those who need to hear it. So are you in? Can we hang out? I’m here to help. I’m not perfect but frankly if I said I was then you should turn me off. No one’s perfect but I’m on a journey to get better, and I believe I can help you improve as well by sharing my journey. This show will have at least one episode a week, sometimes more, never less. I’ll keep them under 30 minutes, even if that means breaking the episodes into two parts. This isn’t an interview show where you’ll hear from a different expert or author every week. That might happen sometimes, but it won’t be the standard protocol. This show will be a conversation, and you’re part of the conversation if you want to be. You can send me feedback through Twitter @AndyTraub, Facebook at Facebook.com/AndyTraubPublic Emailing me [email protected] By calling me at (608) 515-8253. So thanks for taking some time to hear about me and the show. I hope you’ll stick around for future episodes. I’m here to help you learn how to take permission. It’s the key to a better life, for you, for those closest to you, and for the greater world we live in. Click Here to Subscribe