Shop4aBiz interview with Ming Chen of “A Shared Universe” Studios and Podcast Network.
“…Basically my background was like I I just wanted to network and meet a lot of folks. And then I think if I started this website which is called shop for a business com that it’s basically a business directory that’s free. I can approach business owners and network with them, get them like have a listing on my website and promote it. And that way I’m meeting more folks from my travel agency. Um so that’s how this started and then podcasting to me, it’s like the next blog, you know everything that it was saying podcasting is the way to go. So I started Googling podcast in the area and your name popped up. You know, plenty of time means that means it’s working. I mean we’re doing our job which is good. Yeah so I said I got to meet this guy and then after I saw I bought the L. Eight zoom L. A. And you know I’m learning it and if you ever want to bring it in um if you have questions about it, let me know who um, you know, this place is always open to. You were 24 7 here. Uh That’s probably the closer location. We have one at home to. Over about which as well, which is cool closest to me. Yeah. And so I started watching these videos and then you’re there popping up in the videos like training video, example video. So you got a nice relationship with zoom, which is, I do, yeah. So anything we need gear or whatever. Yeah. And if you ever need gear going forward, we get pretty healthy discount that we passed under our clients. So Yeah. Yeah. So then, you know, I was like, let me reach out and I started looking at the the booking information and then I found out that I actually can get an interview with you. Absolutely. All right. Uh, You know, it’s part of part of the deal. So, And I don’t know if you know anything about my personal background with kevin smith, kevin smith, the comic movie and tv show. I don’t know if you watched it, but I’ve always heard of it and I passed by the store. Yeah. Yeah. We’re affiliate with the story. We you know the old movies? I remember that when it came out. Yeah. Clerks three uh start shooting soon in july I’m hearing. Yeah. So uh Yeah. So, I don’t know. I just figured it sounds like what you’re doing is you’re meeting a lot of business owners, like local people, right? Like or doing podcasts coming here when um when we started out, it was I I started doing this because we just want to argue about movies were geeks. So if if like a like a sci fi or superhero movie came out and it was good, of course we wanted to talk about it. Like why? I was like, wow, that was, you know, it was also, that’s what we would like to, we love to event about it. And uh yeah, if it was bad though, we wanted to do it even more, it’s, you know, we want to know why it went wrong and why we were so angry and became almost like free therapy where we felt better after we argued about uh, you know, the last, like Justice League was not good and we were, you know, all that, you know, we’re like all that time, all that money, how could they screwed up this bad, blah, blah, blah. So, you know, our original intent was to open this up. We knew there were a lot of geeks in the area that would maybe start podcasts and, and do the same things we were, but yeah, as we win and I was like, wow, why don’t we start catering to small businesses to? Um, and you know, there are a lot of example podcasts out there, like how I built this or things like that, you know, joe Rogan was, has been very good for our business, Everyone wants to be the next door Logan, you know, where they were like, hey, I can just, I can, you know, they’re like joe Rogan, I could do that, I can sit here an interview people. Um, and it really catered, it really spoke to the entrepreneurs in the area where was like, hey, I have a small business, this is a great way to network, there is a great way to find out other people’s stories where they succeeded, but definitely where they failed and then and then they succeeded very inspirational. So um yeah, that was a side effect. I was not banking on meeting so many cool people and definitely if you meet a small business owner like you don’t get into, you don’t start a small business just to casually run it. You don’t start a small business because you know because you kind of casually like something, you gotta have a lot of passion for it. So you pour yourself in that small business and then we find that a lot of those people they love talking about the process passing on their knowledge, inspiring other people so became really cool. Yeah, I love like you know learning more about the whole marketing of a business, you know like you do all the social media channels, you do the facebook ads, but then do you do a blog? You do, you can you do a podcast? You know like all that kind of stuff and so yeah, so to me it’s like it’s fun. It’s entertaining because I don’t know if I mentioned, I think I did it a minute ago that I did electronic music. I used to like produce music and I have a lot of songs like on Itunes and all that stuff. So I always knew the whole four track mixer environment, Home studio environment. So dealing with the mixer is not alien to Yeah, so learning to hold zoom away. It’s fun. It’s cool. Uh yeah, a little different but it’s yeah, the things minus I love, Oh yeah, it’s great. And the thing that sold me with well built in recorder, like I don’t have to hook it up to an external recorder, which I do anyways as a backup, hook it up to a computer record the sound through USB Yeah, it’s just for something like this has been great. So, but I am the other part where we started this was, you know, we’re out at a bar, so getting these interesting conversations like why are we recording this? Surely someone else would think this was either entertaining or funny or neither because you’re where at a bar and we, you know, we all think we’re comedians at that point. We think there are stories are awesome, but who cares, you know, to me it never made any sense. I have this great conversation and just goes out into the ether never to be heard from again. So um that was a lot of, yeah, there was a lot of motivation. It’s almost like a diary. Yeah, yeah, for sure. And so I took that to the next step. I um not that long ago I set my mom and dad down podcasting with them. Got their whole story, got their history learned a lot. And now I have an audio history of that where I can listen to it. You know, if they won’t be around forever. So you know, my ancestors, you know, it’s a pretty cool snapshot of, of, um, and then yeah, I remember my mom sat down. I was like, what were your podcast with? And she was like, Oh, I’m not dressed for it. I mean makeup on like mom, I’m not, you know, we can roll video as I’m not rolling video. We’re just talking. She’s a cold call. Okay. So maybe I feel a lot more comfortable. Yeah, I think that’s probably, it’s a different field because I’ve been approaching folks that I know from my directory of Business director. I said, look, it’s just a phone call. I could not record your phone call in the beginning and then when you’re ready, when you’re comfortable, you say when I’ll hit recording, I’ll just start recording a phone call. And you know, basically we go to so many business meetings that we do these elevator pitches, you stand up in front of the whole room and you give your 60 seconds said, think of this as you’ve given your elevators like you do in our meetings, but You have no time. You can just keep sometimes people like to ramble on and then they get cut off. Well here, you can ramble on. I love this longer format, there’s no rules. So if you wanna go 20 minutes, 20 minutes, you can go, you know, two hours can go two hours. But it’s interesting episodes that I’ve done so far because it’s new to me have been like five minutes, I’m really sure. And I’m like, oh, this is like really short compared to like most podcast. So I’m just doing it and I’m learning short, short is good. There are easily consumable, digestible. So, and then, uh yeah, even like a five minute one if you have enough. I mean those, you can literally put out every day if you wanted to or a more or once a week. Yeah, we always say that, you know the, yeah, when you come in here and just speak freely there, there are no rules. If, you know, if you put your foot in your mouth, you got to get it out yourself, you know? But yeah, well that’s the other thing, I’m like, hey, this is edited, you know, while we do stream live in here. Well, yeah, we’re like, you know, come in, speak freely vent. If you say something that might get you in trouble, just cut it out, like it never happened. But the important thing is to be free, you know, to be true to yourself that day and and speak your mind for sure. So yeah, to me that this is one of the what kind of like one last maybe only like truly free formats out there in terms of freedom of speech, you know? So yeah, so I say you guys do the Home Del Chamber of Commerce. Uh we do, yeah, they do a livestream once a month, they put together a panel. Uh they saw me doing it on the outdoor deck at Bell works one day and they’re like, hey can we can we can we get on this? Like how do we, how do you, will you come to our chamber meetings and live treatment as well? I guess they saw me hustling and running around I guess they’re like, hey, you look like you know what you’re doing? It looks like you’re very dedicated. I’m like, yeah, sure. Give me some, you know, let me know when, Let me know where and that’s when we started doing that facility about works. It’s the best. I had a meeting. I went there once for a meeting and I was like, yeah, this is amazing. Yeah. I went there kind of when they were getting things launched in 2017 was blown away with what with what it was, but more blown away by where it was going. It wasn’t quite what it was then, You know what it is now? And uh I’ve been trying to get in there for a couple of years and uh an opportunity to get in there. So we’ve been there a little over six months now. So you’re in the Yeah, yeah, yeah. We have a separate studio in there. You mentioned that, I didn’t realize that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So if you walk, when you look at the window and you see a stormtrooper helmet, baby Yoda and Iron Man helmet Yeah, that’s us and a picture of stan lead. Yeah. That’s uh that’s us. Cool, cool. You could have some serious social distancing in that place. Their ceilings are so damn tall and that, you know when you walk into there, it’s like the cavernous feeling of the whole facility itself is amazing. Yeah. It’s not even a ceiling if you look up, it’s technically a skylight, the whole ceilings of skylight. That’s amazing. Yeah, I’m cool. I gotta step by over there when you say, is that Oh yeah, anytime, anytime you’re welcome actually after having her there over now, and a whole night of podcasting over there as well. So what about 6 30 to 10 33 tonight? So should be fun, always fun. And they have pizza there, so Yeah, and a bar. Pizza and a bar. They have a bar in there. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so that’s uh we have a business such as this uh helps sell it for sure. Hey, stop, have a pizza, grab a drink beforehand and then come over and podcast or or go get pizza and a glass of wine after or even during, you know, they’ll they’ll bring it over, you can bring it over, so yeah, pretty great. It’s pretty great to have that available. Yeah, it’s like, yeah, I mean like I was just thinking, I just wanted to get to know you a little bit more and more about this operation here, just in a way, we’re kind of promoting each other, you know, like I could help, you know, tell people about you guys and you know, I just want to use this episode and boost it and get it out on facebook and instagram and all that stuff, just let people know about my podcast, but like, hey, you know, like the type of people I can interview. Yeah, and you know, that’s something you get from us as well. We love promoting, we love promoting fellow podcasters, definitely our clients first and foremost. But um or the reason I started this was we didn’t know any other podcasters in the area, I think we knew of one and I was like, surely there’s got to be other podcasters here and that’s part of why the business is called a shared universe. Uh, the meaning behind this is twofold, Number one, We love comic books. Uh and in the comics, sometimes Spider man will go fight crime in metropolis with with Superman, or sometimes the villains will will join forces or or even, you know, just get Captain America teaming up with Iron Man, like that’s a shared universe as well. And we always love that. We always thought that was cool when they were crossovers or shared universes in the comic books. But you know, second fold, you might get a podcast about um you know, real estate law and there might be a real estate lawyer and mortgage guy and you know, they will be in the lobby was like, hey, what do you do it? Like? They used to be on my podcast, okay, what I’ll do if you come on mine or you’ll get, you know, you get health and fitness people and crossing over the, you know, mental health and uh, yeah, that nothing makes me happier than that. So to us, this is like the gathering place, the headquarters of podcasting and anybody can come here and and share what they do. Yeah. Let me see if I didn’t write down the whole absolutely. You can, you can ask anything for sure. Yeah. I just wanted to become natural. Yeah, more of a conversation. Yeah, absolutely. And so yeah, we’ve been here for over three years, started on New Year’s day 2018. Were you guys on as we parked the boardwalk to, we were so summer or something? Yeah. Last, right before the pandemic, I noticed I was helping out massive marquette who is the real estate agent. They run the whole boardwalk. Uh they’ve been thinking about starting a podcast promoting the boardwalk, some of the live bands coming in, um, some of the charitable, they were doing a lot of things and um, took a meeting with them and we, we did a little tour of the facilities and they mentioned, they point over to a vacant storefront, they had their, their, okay, we ever needed a quick place to record, we could use this. I was like, oh, that’s interesting. Well, and, and when I went about the tour the next morning, I woke up and I was like, hey, if that place is vacant, I wonder if they would let us put up a pop up in there at the time. It was january december january. And they kind of mentioned like, nothing goes on here until May when the summer crowd moves in. So I was like, hey, you know, you could be a long shot, but I put together a little proposal was like, hey, any chance we could put up a pop up studio in there, You know, we could use it to for the podcast that you wanted. But we could also help promote, like the wooden walls project or anything else going on. And uh, almost immediately, uh, it wasn’t immediate. I didn’t hear from them for three weeks, so I was like, okay. I guess it’s no, but it was over christmas break. After that was over. I got an email back. They were like, that sounds like a great idea. Um, let’s talk about it. And uh, they were very open minded very immediately. It was almost like we had the meeting. They’re like, all right, well, here are the keys. I was like, whoa, what’s going on here? What’s going on? And they were like, you know, it’s yours for the next three months until the summer crowd moves in and you know, I’m on the boardwalk. Yeah, I do remember seeing you set up there. Yeah. And, and to me it was like, I was like, what, what’s, you know, what’s better than podcasting, podcasting by the Asbury Park? On the boardwalk by the, by the atlantic ocean. Yeah, it was cool. So we did some, a lot of things inside, but when it got warmer we moved outside. Set up a table. Yeah. It was a really ideal location. And uh, as much as I would have loved to have been there full time, um, you know, I was very grateful for the time we had there. So for us, the location wise, it was great because everyone like the boardwalk, I want I want to come to see that I want to podcast there for marketing. It was, it was priceless. It was prices yeah. I don’t think any anybody else in the world had a podcast studio on a boardwalk by the ocean. So to even though we knew we had it for a short time, it was a pop up technically. You know, I marketed the hell out of that for sure. So they’ve had some pop ups, you know, like those other shops. Yeah, like that, which is always cool. It’s like a like a new york thing. You see that Manhattan stuff pop ups. The people kind of like understand that, you know, it’s like, all right, so you take advantage of almost here. Yeah. And for us we listen, we were not a complicated operation. Table recorder, microphones, chairs at the very basic, like listen, we can be set up in one day, we can break down mp outta there one day. And so I think that really helped us, helped us out. But in the end, you know everything I do is for fun and you know that you can’t get more fun than having them podcasting by the ocean. Yeah, that’s awesome. So yeah, I mean like I really like what they’re doing like medicine market with the boardwalk, that’s really really interesting, exciting. And that’s that’s what I mentioned like in my my podcast is like you know, I was living as my part because like just the energy of being around so many like these restaurants, I just, you know, these young people opening up, this is everybody’s like a small startup, you know, everyone’s like this independent business owner and they’re all supporting each other uh interval which I love like oh yeah, big shoutout to Bianca Frida for sure. Big shadow. And then you know, I go into like uh uh lewis yeah, big shoutout to shanti and them over there. Yeah, chanting, steve another place, like in another town it’s an Aberdeen, it’s inside of the alternate ending brewing uh alternative beer company. And uh it’s cool to talk to steve over there actually, we’ve not a lot of live streams over there, interviewed them and I love that location as well, They’re like uh in the averaging location, we can do things there that you know, maybe when it is different than the one in Asbury park, so they do the thicker Detroit style pies over to Aberdeen anytime you want to go, I’ll meet you over there, their food is amazing. I don’t know if you drink beer, but the beer is fantastic and they’re really great people, they really are. Yeah, yeah, I love Asbury. I worked in Red Bank for years for kevin smith people like, where do you hang out in this town? I was like, well, I don’t hang on Asbury Park, I work in Red Bank, maybe have lunch there. But you know, when, when, when I’m, when I’m done, I go right to Asbury, hang up, my friends there for sure. Like Ray Lewis is really great. Yeah, yeah, yep, those guys are cool. Yeah, absolutely. Every morning I would wake up and you have my coffee cafe Roland, that was my first stop. Yeah, absolutely. And I wouldn’t go there every day. They didn’t live there. But the times I would go down, I run into my friends there, you know, you know, gen Hampton or my friend serena over there are, you know, just multiple people. Yeah, it’s really great down there. So yeah, I mean, I guess my, my next move would probably be like, I was gonna start reaching out to some of these people over there and just try to get them on my podcast as well. Like I said, it’s more just like cross promoting everybody. Yeah. And you know what I found is back in the back before podcast, if you wanted to meet business owner, somebody in your field as he was just called up, right, I’m like, hey, uh you know, can I’d love to meet you and talk to you, can we have lunch or whatever? And a lot of times I think they would get suspicious right there, like trying to approach my clients or who is this guy? I don’t know if you get, you know, I’m not lunch with this guy, I don’t even know him Now. A few calls like, Hey, I have a podcast, would love to have you on almost 100% of the time they say yes, yeah, they get to promote themselves. But you know, podcasting is cool too. And uh yeah, it’s uh, I, I love it as a former networking for sure. I didn’t even think about that when I started this place. Uh you know, I just want to talk to people. But um a lot of times I have people, they bring a guest that they haven’t met before by the end of the podcast. You have their friends, their collaborators there. Yeah, I see it all the time, which I love. Like I love the whole networking process personally. But to see, to help people facilitate that makes me even happier. Yeah, that goes really deep with like the travel agency because nowadays anyone can go on Expedia Travelocity kayak, why use you. And that’s why I started networking. I build relationships with folks. I actually get to learn their business, I bring them clients or I become a client of their business. And then the idea is that they hopefully would use me as well eventually. That’s awesome. I’m hoping to take advantage of your services. I I travel a lot um I was on a tv show based around the world of comic books called Comic Book Man. The best part the best thing that came out of that in my opinion was all these comic Cons in the hole, they’ll invite me as a guest. So the convention. So yeah they’ll they’ll fly me out, they put me up, I get to hang out at a Comic Con all weekend and almost every time I’ll stay an extra couple days explore whatever Thoma town. Um And and just uh you know my goal is to just get down find out what the locals do, find out where they eat, where they what diet parts they go to what you know what they do uh what they do after they’re not working. You know where the after hours places are, where the maybe locals only places are and and just become friends with them. And yeah and I feel it’s so i i it’s to me it’s fulfilling to me, to me this is what life and people are all about is just you get to see the rest of the country. I mean I haven’t seen a lot of this country. I think I’ve been out of the country more than I actually seen within this time. Wow you’re lucky. A lot of myself is just domestic which which I love because I I live in the US. So obviously I want to learn all the parts of the country that I know and love. But international is so different that a few times I get to go out it’s really eye opening and really fun and different. So it’s about meeting people. Yeah. In the end airport or I mean as soon as they find out you’re not from there people a lot more friendly. Yeah for sure. Less guarded and just start conversations and you learn. So I think my goal in life to become friends with every dive bar owner in the country starting to get, they’re starting to get there. Yeah for sure. Yeah. I’ve been to like new Mexico Albuquerque. Albuquerque is a great town. I’m going I haven’t been to I’m sorry I haven’t been to like a Grand Canyon for example like some of these national parks that I’ve stopped by on a road trip. I haven’t, I would love to spend maybe three days in the Grand Canyon. Um find out how, you know, of course to the Grand Canyon, you know, do the donkeys up and down or whatever. Yeah, but I’m sure there are people who work there who there’s probably a bar somewhere they’ll go hang out or or or hold them all restaurant, they will go eat at when they’re not uh you know, with tourists and stuff. That’s that’s what I would like to see, you know, and Albuquerque is one of my favorite towns. Um Yeah, I’m going there in five weeks for Comic Con. I’ve been there I think four times uh usually in january and uh yeah, I made some great friends. Um I think on the surface people see Albert is like, oh this is Breaking Bad. Uh Yeah, right. You know, so they’re going to bring him bad tour and I don’t really think they stop and explore Albuquerque that much. But um, yeah, some of my favorite places, there’s an old school steak restaurant, you have to walk through a liquor store to get their called called the Monte Carlo, one of my favorite places, uh, there’s a place called the frontier Restaurant that’s been there forever with, in my opinion, the best green chili stew covered breakfast burrito out there. And uh, yeah, there’s a lot of hidden bars. There is a private club that I somehow became a member of. Yeah, it’s a great place. That’s what, now that you mention it, that’s the whole idea of like the speakeasy didn’t have those Manhattan, like you walk in the front and it’s like a donut, your donuts. So yeah, Picks 11 years, had a show, but there was a donut shop and then when you walk in the back, yeah, who knew that? You know, you don’t know unless you’re looking probably, you know it I yeah, I look, I actively look for places like that and if I can’t find them, start asking around like they were hidden bar in New Jersey I think no, has actually won an aspirin. I don’t know if you’ve been. Yeah, the one lay low. Yeah, yeah. The problem lay low as they told everyone about it. So there’s a line, you know, you gotta wait in line to get in even before the pandemic. How many was like, all right, hold on. There’s a 30 minute wait. I’m like, what do you mean that speakeasy? Right. It was supposed to know. Yeah, yeah, they’re getting there. Uh there was another one run by the bartender of to lula’s maybe four or five years ago. And uh it was located in the building formerly known as the bank. There’s a restaurant. Yeah. Uh not in business anymore, but there’s a speakeasy underneath there. I think that’s an amazing building. I don’t understand why it’s always, I’m sure the rent is astronomical and I’m sure to run it is too big. It’s too big. I was living there for about five years and I think it went over like three times to different training in the pulp and then the bank and several things. So people just want a little space like, you know, like the Bond Street bar. You know just, that’s all you need stages around forever. Yeah, for sure. But yeah. Which, which is a great thing even in your own place, so many undiscovered things and I’m trying to get there. But a lot of things you got to start talking to people and that, yeah. Get out there more and stuff. Well, I mean now that things are clearing up to the endemic and stuff. Things that people feel a lot more comfortable. So there are going out meeting folks more and stuff. Yeah. That’s cool. What are you writing a whole travel journal? Because this is actually, it’s a, it’s an empty see how it is. It’s just how you go to like Barnes and noble. You have these journals. So I started doing, I actually published, I hope I have like about 50 different themes. This one for comic books that I’m going to send you. But wow, okay for sure, definitely thought about it. I did it for a friend of mine who’s a collective comics and now that I met you, send it to you. It’s basically um print on demand through amazon. Yeah, that’s cool. But it has all my information in the beginning, in the beginning and the end has my email, my website. That’s awesome. I never thought like, you know the way I journal I traveled as I check in on facebook and in post a photo on instagram and I had my own personal photo library on my phone. But I think this is better because I was like, man, where did I go in Albuquerque when I was there last year. What did I do on that saturday night and I’ll go back to my photo library. Remember the name of the Yeah, yeah, yeah. But if I didn’t take a photo of it, you know, I’ll forget about it. I think that actually write it down I think in your brain, you know, that’s more of an experience. So that’s cool man. It’s another marketing avenue for myself. Like I said before, I love like the idea of just trying to market my business and that’s how I got into the podcast. So I’m also doing like these travel journals and what I do is I send these two clients. It’s cool. Like anyone who has booked with me and I’m just keep on top of mind. Yeah, so don’t forget about me and most of the times are business owners, so we’re always business owners constantly writing down contacts appointments, this and that, that’s why it’s better if it’s empty, right? And might do a photo journal maybe. Oh yeah, that’d be cool if there’s some way to get some photos in there. Yeah, I wish, I wish you could hit a button on your phone and like a photo, like a tangible photo would pop out. That’s cool. You mentioned, you know, of course people if they want to book a trip, they just go on travelocity Expedia. So what is what is, what is running a travel agency and you’re 20, What is that like? What does that entail? It’s challenging because you assume that they’re doing your clients are doing the research as well, which is great. So I always say I’m like an extra pair of eyes and ears for you. Like especially if you’re busy, like I have a client, they’re both married, have a kid, you know, both working, they have like a nanny and it’s like they don’t have enough time like to actually start doing all this researching the planter. So there’s some reputation. So they’ll turn to me and I’ll do some research for them and then like if they get some time at work they go online and do some, you know, competitive research to see dan. How about to sell the place that they may be cheaper just like, so I’m basically a researcher. And then if there’s problems I could be on the phone with the cruise line or it could be on the phone with the hotel and and they put you on hold for like an hour and I’ll be that guy with to finally speak to the the business the entity. Um wow, my client doesn’t have to worry about that. They just go about their careers and their business and stuff like that. So it’s kind of like that concierge type services that I provide. Uh you know, I put it in that way. Uh And it’s also a gun again, going back to the networking, a lot of these people are business owners so I network with them and you know like they have to stand out in a way themselves, some of them joined networking groups. So Going back to that it’s networking is very key for me. But uh yeah going back to the whole travel industry though, it’s like I have a ton of partners that I could book with through its called cruise planners. Their business for 20 years as a franchise. And I have about 150 partners that I could book with and they have all these search engines. So if I can’t find what they’re looking for this certain search engine also try this other one and these are proprietary to just travel agent. And and that in that respect I could find these little like you know villas or like townhouses that they want to rent that that aren’t available because they don’t want to do a hotel for example, they just want to do a home, I can do that. Uh just discounts and stuff like that because we are part of a large group, just like 2000 cruise planners in the in the country are our whole uh we can do we can work with anyone nationwide but we really don’t look like outside like I can’t have like a French client. Okay so they have to have to be here. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah that’s cool. I think travel right now in 2020 was way more fun than say 20 years ago um uh with the advent of you know like Airbnb with the event of you know Uber and lived with you know. Yeah I think it’s made things a lot easier and the first time I traveled when I went away I went to your buddy of mine out of college we had this big book club, let’s go to europe ever seen that’s like go to Barnes and this body still salads was thick and it has all these pence jones and he’s like what he called hostels and stuff like that. It was all by on paper, it looks like that, which is cool, you know, and I’m always cool so I can get into that. But now everything is more like we are upset. Yeah, online, stuff like that all in all in your pocket. Yeah, but travel agent, someone could just call in that personal do last stuff for you to you know get text messages. But I love, you know if I can’t help it, I’m not staying at the hotel, I’d rather stay somebody’s house or or get a whole apartment somewhere for usually the same price. So that and then yeah, it’s great. You don’t have to worry about driving renting a car, you can literally have somebody drive you to wherever you want to go and find your way back. Then in Manhattan, a friend of mine had a birthday party and it was for her husband. So they Airbnb just like big apartment was like about eight of us and we all stated it was like, so it was like being in a home, you know, it’s like you’re not really dealing with the hotel environment. Yeah. That was very comfortable. It’s cool. Yeah. I mean I love my hotels especially great boutique hotel or in somewhere but yeah that but then they are on taxes and all that. It’s a pain in the butt. Yeah. Check out at certain our yeah or yeah it’s just as sure a lot of Airbnb is a little more relaxed I think. Just dropped the keys in the mailbox. Yeah. So if I would uh I guess as a travel age I’m sure a lot of people asked you like what’s your what’s your favorite city which I won’t have expanded to if I asked you say your top three cities in the world to visit to travel to? Uh could you pull them off the top of your head? Barcelona’s number one? Okay. Never been there. Amazing city. And then I would say like new york number two, even though we live right here. Yeah, I think we’re spoiled. We can we can theoretically go up there any time we want. And I don’t I don’t take it for granted when I’m in new york, I’m like this people around the entire world want to come here and I see why I understand why I feel it. So that’s top 23 boy. I know it’s tough, right? I’ve never been to Barcelona, so I may have to take care about your services. And uh it’s amazing. It’s like Barcelona to me, I can tell you it’s like the South street seaport of Manhattan. Uh It’s like gothic cathedrals and cobblestone, medieval feelings of I don’t know any medieval town that you can think of with uh with with you know that graphic architecture. And then also has like a modern city field to like there’s a whole section where the Gaudi is architecture. He does like these uh these houses and these cathedrals as well, but these buildings that have no straight lines, everything is like curved and like the over windows. Uh So he’s like in the early 1920s like that his work was uh just parts of the city that have a bunch of buildings designed by him. So you have that modern architecture. Then you have like a little tiny alleyways where you can feel like people are gonna come out and do jousting and sword fighting. And then you’re like in the South street seaport, like the beach and you have the w hotel waiting on the beach and it’s free. You gotta go I okay. And is there, I’m sure they have conventions there too man, I’m gonna look. Sometimes there’s a video would travel to, I’ll go find out if they have a comic con there. I’ll say a lot of music conventions. Yeah. And I’ll pitch. It was like, hey I was I was on the show, well I don’t throw out whatever I have to see if they’ll invite me out and A lot of times it works. You know, not 100% of the time. But you know, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know. So uh is there a city that you haven’t been to yet that I want to go to New Orleans? No man. I heard you could do in a few days. You don’t have to be there too long. You can I was literally I was there for 41 hours uh and I hit a lot. Not everything I wanted to, but you know, once I put together the list and what I checked off, I was like, wow, I actually got a lot done. Um I I think new Orleans, I would love to like three full days I think is I think I could I could get everything done and one of those is just kind of just going around and not even checking things off, nothing planned, cold, just go walk around and see where life takes you. That’s one of the days. That’s why I feel like that kind of that town is like. Yeah, definitely. That’s how we do it. Yeah. I wouldn’t plan too many tours, right? Yeah, maybe one or two. Just a right time allows. Yeah, but the food alone in the music, music. Yeah, it’s worth it. But I’m a foodie. I love I love food and uh yeah, I ate my face off there for sure. I think I’m still full. So yeah, gumbo occasion food. Uh Some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. Um You know, benches of course chick re coffee. And then yeah. And if you like alcohol, well they got they got a little bit of that to, you know, just a little bit. Yeah. That’s cool that uh new Orleans should be definitely on your list for sure. And you know, you can go alone, you can bring somebody either way you uh you can explore for sure. Yeah, for sure. And I’ve fortunately I’ve been there I think I want to say this is my fifth time, if my account is correct and uh even doesn’t fail, you know, Never, never, always, always magic. But even the first time I went there uh I got Airbnb and this was back in the day before instant book. So when you got there you have to call your host, had to come down and run keys down to you kind of, you know, give you the tour of the place, uh lay down the rules, you know, check in and check out all that. A lot of them would sit down and like hey, you know, um They give you a binder is like hey if you want to eat, these are the good places, if you want to have fun, these are the good places. I kind of miss those days because you don’t do, they really don’t do that anymore. Now they give you a code and you type in a lock box and you’re in. Um and I’m glad it was like that back then because the host I had for the place I stayed until then 14. I still keep in touch with her. I’ll even texture randomly. Or sometimes if I’m there uh you know. Well she’ll tell me where she said well go ahead and out sometimes. So um Yeah so it’s cool relationship. Yeah. Yeah for sure. Again you know it’s all about meeting people and um Yeah it was really cool. I got her story. She got my story. We uh Yeah it’s just really cool like hey I hope you’re doing okay over your surviving all of this. You know. How’s the family? You know what are you up to? Uh What are you doing tonight? Where where should I eat? You know? Is there any new places that opened up? Yeah, and it’s uh yeah, it’s great. So definitely uh just, yeah, definitely. Part of travels. Just meeting people where there would be at a bar at a restaurant or, or whatever. Um uh and I think it happens every time I’m in New Orleans. So this time I, we were at our Airbnb, I know what we pulled up unpacking. I noticed the building across the street says happy wrapped around it. I’m like, that’s very unique name, what’s going on in there? We found out there a rum distillery. So they were closed when we pulled up was about 5 30 in the afternoon, but I was like, all right, we definitely have to check this place out tomorrow morning and So we’re getting ready to go eat breakfast or some. Something wandered over about 10 30 and the moment I stepped in we could, we could smell the rum coming in coming out as they were going in. The bartender was like, hey, what’s going on? The owner was in the back dehydrating bananas and from that moment I was like, oh, that we’re not leaving like this, We’re in trouble. We haven’t eaten yet. We’re getting rum samples. Uh, 10 30 in the morning. Yeah. The owner, he was dehydrating bananas for the bananas. Foster rub like he was, you know, I was like, oh, this is serious. They’re not using like a syrup or a pre made thing. Like he’s dehydrating bananas to put in the rum rum, you know, tank rum vat or distiller or whatever. The tank two or the still, I think it’s a rum still, I think it’s called. And uh, yeah, right from there, we really didn’t leave. Eventually. We did go and eat lunch when we came back and kept going. That’s right across the street from your place, right across the street from the place. So we met april the bartender, we met Mark, the co owner, got the whole story. We actually actually had podcast here on me, we live stream from the distillery. I was like, I got my stuff here, I gotta go run and get it. But you know, we wanted to help promote their distillery, get their story, but you know, for me, you know, with what we do is like, why not? Why not live streaming from here? Get the word out and beauty of like the portability, like the battery operated. Yeah, yeah. And you know by the time we’re fast friends now when I go back, that’ll be one of my stops, you know, added to the list, but I’ll go back to see how they’re doing by some rum, maybe hang out all day maybe, you know, who knows? But yeah, almost every time I meet someone different and become friends so it’s great, it sounds really cool. Yeah, for sure. So uh it was a comic book convention that you went to then, so that Comic Con was in Pensacola florida. Wait, okay, so do you not go to that then? I didn’t know I went to the Con that was over the weekend and I was like well nor is only three hours away. I’ve been cooped up for 16 months at times wishing that I was in New Orleans, you gotta go. So luckily I had, I had a friend who loved lives in biloxi. Mississippi runs a comic book shop there. We became friends. Three years ago he was at the convent ng selling comic books and stuff. So he was like wait well you know can you stay a couple extra days we’ll unload the stuff in biloxi. We can hang out there you know get some crawfish or you know whatever. And then we can head over to new Orleans and I’m like that’s a great what a great plan. What a great plan. So spend about three days in Pensacola for the convention and Pensacola is a great time as well. Food dive bars friendly. Um A lot of people don’t know that after new Orleans they’re kind of the second biggest Mardi gras capital. Yeah in the world. They have the parade and the new Orleans architecture. Yeah. I don’t know for whatever reason they’re the kind of the second biggest Mardi gras there. The convention is amazing. You run every year is one of the best in the world and uh after that wrapped up in the Black Sea unloaded, um Hung out for a little bit and then moved down to New Orleans. Yeah. And then when I came home, so literally, yeah, I literally landed 24 hours ago. Yeah. So I think, you know, and I think, you know, I think we’re gonna be good friends because I really, this is what I love to do. And the only thing I haven’t done yet, which everyone’s been telling me to do is to write a book or a guidebook or because uh you know, once I find something cool, yeah, of course I want to spread it with other people as long as they don’t keep me waiting in line the next time I go there I was like, what’s this line for? Like, oh man, some idiot wrote a book, told everyone about this place. I was like, well I was that idiot. Yeah, that’s the only thing I’m afraid of. And nowadays with technology you could speak into a recorder and it could transcribe for you practically and do most of the work. Good point. So it’s easier these days. You know, honestly I just got to get off my button and write this kind of time. Somebody’s sure you got things up in here too because that’s like, you know, I did this and I did these journals because I had the time because I was home more because of like you know, everything that was going on and the idea of the podcast came up to, it’s like you do productive things because you still got to be in business. Like I’m still a travel agent even though people weren’t booking now. I’m actually getting a little busy right now. It was really good. I’m doing a lot of honeymoons and that’s just great trying to get more comfortable and traveling obviously, but uh at that time that they weren’t, I had to keep going. So I I I still attended my b and I’m meeting my network of meetings and I just tried to help the other business owners and I tried to figure out other avenues of promoting myself uh just keep moving and that’s what you gotta do and then, you know as things turn around, you know that infrastructure is there? Like I have these like I said like 50 odd journals can still sell or I’ve been I’ve been sending them to clients. So every every day I wake up I’m sorry, I’m going to send this guy one, I’m gonna send that guy every day, it would be a different person and it’s kind of just like a marketing program that’s ongoing program, you know, as opposed to just taking out ads. Yeah. Oh that’s boring to that. You don’t know if people are looking at them. So yeah, that’s what I tell small businesses like listen, You can take out an ad in the paper one. No 1 reads papers anymore To their expensive three. No 1 really sees those. So um you can, I guess put out take out a radio ad. Maybe No 1’s listening to radio anymore. It’s all podcast now. Or God forbid you could maybe put together a tv commercial which is very expensive. No one’s watching tv anymore. It’s all netflix and Hulu and Disney plus. So you know, start a podcast way cheaper, way more fun. You control every aspect and you can definitely use it to market you know, on multiple channels. Multiple avenue is like why aren’t you know, and if you, you know, and we worry about all the technology and you just sit down and and talk so that’s why we started this. Yeah. Mhm. To welcome thank you. Welcome to share yours my friend. Yeah. I appreciate your invitation. Oh absolutely. I thought we’re just gonna do it on the phone, you know, just get, grab a quick interview. Oh yeah. But you were so close. No, come down. I prefer face to face for sure. Especially after this year we were talking to each other in little boxes. No. Yeah. No. Cool man. Yeah. Awesome. Cools. Alright sir. Yeah. Thanks for coming down. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah. Absolutely. Thanks.
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