Catch Mike Montague on the #PirateBroadcast™
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[00:00:00] Introduction: Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
[00:00:10] Russ Johns: Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™. And thank you so much for being here. We're going to have some fun today. We actually have a game show host on. Welcome Mike. How are you doing my friend?
[00:00:22] Mike Montague: Oh, I am doing great. It's great to talk to you this morning. I'm a big fan of pirate broadcasts and I consider myself a pirate too. So I'm really excited to have the conversation here and I love your taglines. My smiles are always free.
[00:00:37] Russ Johns: Yes. I think we can all share a few more and that's just my thoughts, my opinions, one of the things that I loved about some of your content was you've been broadcasting. You have a podcast, Playful Humans, talk a little bit about the Playful Humans podcast and what you share on that, because I think it's important for people to know it a little bit about Mike.
[00:00:58] Mike Montague: Sure the podcast was a little bit of a COVID baby. I'll be honest. I've been working on this project for quite a few years, but the podcast itself resulted from being bored and finally locking in on something that I thought was interesting for my own podcast and broadcast here because I've been doing ones for other people for awhile. I was on the radio. I did top 40 DJ. I was Romeo on mix 93.3 here in Kansas City. And I've been doing a how to succeed podcast for Sandler training, a big international sales training company, but I wanted something for my own. Something that was fun and playful and would really get me re-energized and engaged and talk to the people that I want to talk to where I get to be the only voice of who decides who comes on the show. So Playful Humans, I just interview people who play for a living. Think about Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe, but it's fun jobs. I interview jugglers from America's Got Talent, magicians that have fooled Penn and Teller, the founder of Comedy Central. I had Justin Guarini on last week. He lost to Kelly Clarkson and the first American Idol, but he's Little Sweet on the diet Dr. Pepper commercials now and he does Broadway and stuff like that great things. A guy that wrote a book, the power to speak naked is one of my favorite guests on there. He did a great job and just really cool people like you do on this show that are doing fun things and really enjoying what they do for a living really. Playing and having fun because I think there's so much advice out there for people to grind and work hard and you gotta keep hustling. And if you work hard, they give you a harder job, and I was like, that's terrible advice. I need to be the voice of somebody that is encouraging people to play more and just have fun with it and enjoy the success that comes from that.
[00:02:44] Russ Johns: That's fantastic. I love the idea and the concept of having fun and enjoying life, life is short and we don't know how long it's going to be around for us. So it's really important for us to really step back and say, what can we do to actually encourage others to have fun? And it sounds like that's one of the things that you're really impacting with this.
[00:03:07] Mike Montague: Yeah, I think there's a few things that are ironic about life, that if you try to go to sleep, you're less likely to fall asleep. If you're trying to make somebody fall in love with you or go to the bathroom or anything like that. When you try harder at it, you actually become less likely to do it and creativity and play is one of those things. And so we all need more creativity, innovation and great ideas for our business. But what happens is when we work at it, when we press too hard, when we try really hard to come up with an idea, It makes it less likely to happen because we start picking safe ideas and we start putting too much pressure on ourselves. And the example I always give is New Year's Eve, right? When you're young and you're like, it's New Year's Eve, we're going to go out and have the best night of our life or your wedding night. I was a wedding DJ for 12 years as well. If you put too much pressure on your wedding reception to be the best party you've ever had, and you're spending thousands of dollars on this and it has to be super cool, the likelihood of that is going to drop because there's just too much pressure. Play and spontaneity and fun is something that happens organically. It happens when you let go of all of that stress and pressure. And so that's really what I've been trying to encourage other people to do here.
[00:04:24] Russ Johns: Yeah. And I think now more than any other time in history it's important to think about how we can actually enjoy life and relaxing. With technology now, like you mentioned, you started a podcast this has been going on for me for before any of this started out and I had the idea that we all have a gift. We all have a message and something that we want to share. So it's really easy access. And with shows like yourself, having the Playful Humans, I'm curious, is there a specific show that struck a chord or really shocked you or surprised you in any way?
[00:05:02] Mike Montague: Ooh, that's a good question. I think I'm always surprised by the ones that are more successful than others. So when you think you have a big guest and it's going to be really great, they usually have some sort of watered down idea, something that you've heard before. And the reason that it's popular is because so many people like it and you've heard it before and they agree with it. But the ones on the edges I think are always more surprising and more interesting. And sometimes they even tend to go more viral. Last Thursday show was a lady who does laughter yoga and she literally does not stop laughing the entire interview and is just like giggling and laughing and you're like I'm not sure if I had picked any of them to be super popular, but she had the most downloads last week on the show. And I think it's really interesting, because how many times have you heard about somebody that does laughter yoga.
[00:05:58] Russ Johns: Actually I've had laughter yoga on the show.
[00:06:01] Mike Montague: On the show? Yeah. And so for me, it's always the edges that are more interesting. And I think that goes with my mission of playfulness and your mission of being a pirate, too, that it's like when you find your voice, that's special. That's what's meaningful to the world and that's what the world needs. We don't need somebody else doing the same thing as everybody else and saying the same thing as everybody else, we have with the internet, we have access to somebody who's already saying that, right? We need your voice. We need your special, unique take on things. And that's what I think is so cool about it.
[00:06:35] Russ Johns: And we're living in a time in humanity's history that we have the technology that allows storytelling to be shared globally and what you're doing with the playful humans and the shows, and some of the things, the activities you're doing with large groups of individuals and organizations. I think it's important for people to understand that this is available to all of us. We all have an opportunity to do something unique and crazy when we think about it. It's okay, that sounds crazy and you're doing it. So what got you started in this whole process of doing game shows or holding events like that?
[00:07:14] Mike Montague: I'd love to hear your take on this too, because I feel like I'm like you, I started out in this when I've grown up with the internet. When I was a child showing my age I was the remote control for my father. I had to get up and change the channel on the television.
[00:07:30] Russ Johns: They only had 4 channels.q
[00:07:32] Mike Montague: Right. Yeah. And give it a couple of clicks and we're watching the Golden Girls but as I grew up, I saw these other things happening and I don't know really that there was any other reason other than my family. I was really blessed to have a fun, playful family of people that encouraged me to do my own thing. And so I realized pretty quickly that when you could broadcast on the internet, that was a cool thing to do. So I did it maybe slightly after YouTube. So I didn't start a YouTube channel right away, but I did do live broadcasts cause I've always been a fan of doing it live. And so in 2003, I started an internet radio station when I was on the local top 40 station that I was at. Blew up to be like 30,000 listeners a month, which is about a third of that radio station that I was on. And I was like, oh, this is something cool here. And like you said, I can reach a lot of people. And I would probably do these shows for myself in my basement, even if nobody was watching, I love doing game shows and hosting things. And so sometimes I do a game show for six people and they're the only ones that get to see it and then enjoy it. And it was live. It wasn't recorded. Just in-person for fun. And those six people had a blast. For me. And other times, I do big podcast and there's 10,000 people that download that episode. And those are fun too. But for me, it's about the process of doing it. It's about enjoying what I'm doing, being present in this moment. And so I have no idea how many people are watching right now, but I just like talking to you and having this great conversation and being present because otherwise I get distracted or I get bored. And my big thing is I don't want to watch other people have fun, right? If I go watch a broadcast, if I go watch a Kansas City Chiefs game, or I go watch a Netflix show, I'm watching other people have fun. And there are some mirror neurons, and you can experience some good things and there's nothing wrong with that from time to time. But that's not how I wanted to spend my life. I wanted to spend my life being the person who was doing it, person who's playing the games, who's learning the music, who's trying some funny things, wearing a silly costume and that's who I wanted to be.
[00:09:46] Russ Johns: Yeah Elize jumped in from South Africa. Good morning, Russ and Mike. Thank you so much. Tracie, good morning. You probably know Tracie she's the producer of the show. So yeah, she's always being supportive and has been doing great work for a long time. I really think that because you have had a radio background, I remember my radio background and working in the radio industry is that to do a live broadcast from somewhere, took a lot of engineering talent and a lot of energy and coordination. And now we have the opportunity to, you're in Kansas, I'm in Arizona and it's we're doing this and it's going out globally. To me, that's just, that blows my mind. And it's not necessarily anything that anyone can't do. Anyone can do what we're doing right now. And that's the beauty of where we are in history right now.
[00:10:45] Mike Montague: Yeah, I see two sides of it. I know you specialize in the technological side and the software that it takes to set it up for me. I love talking about the other side because so many people see me now on stage and they'll go, oh, you're such a natural up there. And you're so relaxed and okay. You didn't see my first broadcast. I was a freaking disaster. And so yes, now 5,000 shows later, I'm pretty comfortable at it. But you didn't see the one where there was a fight that broke out and the police maced me in the face because I was trying to protect my equipment from drunk a-holes or you didn't see the one where I got fired live on stage by Billy idol in front of thousands of people and I had to carry my equipment off stage after just being fired, and so those are what I can try to encourage people to do. And yes, you're right. The technology is so easy. You don't have to be good at it at all. There's lots of options out there where you just hit the button and, you hit record and then whether you share that with anybody or not is up to you. I think it's fun to share with people and get feedback and to do it with other people. But for me, I love the emotional side of hitting record and hitting publish. Those I think are two of the hardest buttons to push in our society now that we have so many buttons to hit. But for me, those are the ones that have been most fun.
[00:12:02] Russ Johns: Yeah. Howard says great energy. What type of game shows do you host?
[00:12:09] Mike Montague: So the you've probably seen the usual ones. So I do knock offs of the TV game shows things like Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, Price is Right is one of my favorites, but Family Feud is one of my favorites. You want to play a game Russ?
[00:12:24] Russ Johns: Sure. We'll play a game.
[00:12:26] Mike Montague: All right. Name a place where you can keep pictures of your loved ones. You can chime in in the comments too.
[00:12:35] Russ Johns: In my house.
[00:12:36] Mike Montague: Place where you keep them. Good. Yeah. In the house is up there, that would be number three, 11 points for that. Number one answer was a wallet. I don't know if we'll still keep pictures in their wallet or not, but that works. Name a reason you might not recognize an old friend.
[00:12:52] Russ Johns: Haircuts.
[00:12:55] Mike Montague: A haircut is on there. Eight points for that one. Again, the number one answer is weight gain or loss, weight gain or loss. Now this one is my favorite one. During a power failure name something you can still turn on.
[00:13:10] Russ Johns: Your spouse.
[00:13:11] Mike Montague: Your spouse is on there. Again, you nailed it. You're with these number three answers, 11 points for that. Flashlight is the number one answer. So like that, I think just for fun, spouse is on there. That's a top five answer. That's good. Now my favorite we used to play are the ones we just make up.
[00:13:32] Russ Johns: Karen says greetings from Florida. Howard says your phone referring to the first answer.
[00:13:38] Mike Montague: Yes.
[00:13:38] Russ Johns: Jerry says your phone. Karen says phone. Tim says, hi Russ and Mike. You nailed it, Karen. Flashlight.
[00:13:49] Mike Montague: We just got back from Florida. Karen, I was hanging out in Fort Myers on vacation, having some fun with dolphins last week. So a good time down there in Florida,
[00:13:57] Russ Johns: It's amazing to me that you created something out of your imagination and seeing something fun that you wanted to participate in and you could actually just evolve from, so you just put it out there and all of a sudden you're doing it with a lot of people. Groups, organizations, everything else. How do people connect with you normally on doing a game show or do you have... being a musician, I used to have a booking agent that used to book. And is that the same thing where you're doing entertainment bookings?
[00:14:32] Mike Montague: I do some of that. I've done some really big shows for people like Uber or Facebook or Google and all the California icons and stuff that way. But typically people just reach out to me. You can go to playfulhumans.com and check out some of the things that we do. We can either do it per person. If it's going to be a big thing or just like a retainer for an hour or something like that and put together a custom game for you. One of my favorites that I did recently was this custom game we made up of different challenges. Make someone on your team look or sound like a celebrity and whichever team could do the best celebrity impression or parody won five points for their team and you rank them like 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. And then we do another challenge, throw a piece of paper into a trashcan from the furthest distance and the furthest distance wins. And then you have one minute challenges that way. Teams are really coming together now and playing and having fun with challenges like that. And I think those are the most fun when like the points are arbitrary and you're just doing things to have fun or look silly and make the best sound was one of the challenges too. And so whether they could make their toddler giggle or somebody could sing really well, I think is really fun to do with people. And it's just about enjoying life and engaging ourselves together as a community again, because I think we've lost so much.
[00:15:53] Russ Johns: Not taking yourself so seriously, I think is really important to think and consider how we can actually relax a little bit, unwind as you turn on the news and all of a sudden you're agitated and it's let's just not do that. Let's do something fun. Let's hang out with Mike on playful humans. So how often do you get to do these shows?
[00:16:17] Mike Montague: Oh, quite a bit. I have six game shows scheduled this week and three or four podcasts interviews either me being interviewed or me interviewing other people. So it's quite a bit of my job. And then I also, like you, make some courses and things that people take and do some writing of blogs and other things. So it's pretty much my full-time job now is playing and creating and writing, which is super fun. But yeah, I'm looking forward to six shows this week. Cause I was off last week on vacation and I'm ready to go out and play with people, have some fun.
[00:16:50] Russ Johns: It's funny because it's an interesting question, but what do you do to relax, unwind? You just turn it all off and go to Florida and hang out with the dolphins?
[00:17:00] Mike Montague: A little bit, yeah, I think it is important that you have different modes in your life. Are you playing, are you performing and taking things seriously? Are you pausing and resting and just relaxing? Or recovery, getting sleep and eating and doing what you need to do to be healthy. So I try to balance all of those in kind of equal parts. It doesn't always work that way, but usually if I do a lot of game shows, if I do four game shows in a day, I'm going to have to like really zone out and watch Netflix or read a book or something and really take my energy down a lot. But if I do a whole bunch of course creation and technology work or building websites or writing, it's really intensely intellectual. Then I have to just go out and be silly for a while. Let me burn off some of this energy and go exercise or meet with people and hang out and do that kind of thing. So I try to balance a little bit of everything, but my favorite thing is to go play with my nieces and nephews. I have seven nieces and two nephews now. And so we'll go on and play games and makeup and play pretend or do Legos and stuff that is a blast for me.
[00:18:13] Russ Johns: Were you the class clown in high school?
[00:18:16] Mike Montague: I wouldn't say that I was. Looking back on it, I don't know if we had a class clown, so maybe that was me. It's one of those you don't know, who's the jerk in this situation. Yeah. But I don't think so. In college, I was a little bit more cause I had started deejaying and getting into broadcasting and so I came out of my shell more and in college and I was more of the class clown, but in grade school, I really wasn't. I was a good student. A's and B's and honor clubs and playing sports and all that kind of stuff. So I saw myself more as like a jock than a class clown or anything. But I did have fun with it.
[00:18:53] Russ Johns: What prompted you to get into radio?
[00:18:58] Mike Montague: So there was a couple of things. I don't know why I wanted to do this. I blame my grandmother. Grandma Lynn is awesome. She is the one that introduced me to Monty Python and the far side cartoons and Dave Barry's comedy writing, and just all of the best funny stuff that I think exists in human culture. So we used to have a term. We called creative nerdery, where me and my cousins and brother and sister would go back and come up with something silly and then come out of the back room at your parents and try to make them laugh. And we would do shows or we'd have races across the swimming pool and I would interview them at the finish line, how's it feel to be the winner, oh, it feels great. Okay. Thanks. We're going to get up to our next race is going to be Laura and Megan. Yeah, here we go. And just fake broadcast are playing and stuff. Everybody in that group became very creative. They're all fun, playful people, but I think it stemmed from my grandma. Her mother was a piano teacher and she really instilled in us like a playful attitude of fun. And I remember Christmases where we're putting the ribbons on our heads and being goofy. After we unwrap a present, you had to hang the ribbon over your neck or on your head until it's just fallen and people, everybody looks silly and stuff and so I think it really stems from that. I had some disastrous speaking things in middle school, but by eighth grade I won a storytelling competition and won a handful of trophies for telling the true story of the three little pigs by John Scieszka. And that's really where I fell in love with performing. So I always wanted to do it, but that's when I realized that I had a talent for it. And then I could do that onstage better than other people. And then radio was just my thing. I always wanted to be cool and I thought it was fun and they were funny and entertaining and good storytellers. Then I did it and the job itself is not that fun. So I quit radio because I realized like you're sitting in a room by yourself and you tell a funny joke and nobody laughs. They're laughing in the car miles away. So I really love live performances a lot better, but I just, I fell in love with that moment of not knowing what's going to happen next and improv and like again, being fully present in performances. Really just turns me on. It makes me feel alive.
[00:21:16] Russ Johns: That's awesome. So I suspect there's probably a future when things open up a little bit more and you can go to , a live event and have networking take place again. You can probably put things out there and have game shows live, which is probably a different energy than online and virtual.
[00:21:38] Mike Montague: Oh yeah. Here in Kansas City, we're we're doing it live already and I'm willing to travel. I have three shots now, so I'm fully juiced. I feel like, go ahead, poke my arm. So that I can get out there and play with people and. I think it's you still have to be safe and everything, but it's so much fun to connect with people. And I feel like we've lost some of our ability to connect and communicate and be creative. And so some people are coming back to that naturally and they're like, oh my gosh, I've been waiting for this, but other people need a little bit of encouragement. I think that's why these structured events help people so much is they're like, okay, we have a task to do together. So we're going to draw a picture. And Mike told us to draw this picture in this way. So let me just do that. And in the process of that creating a piece of artwork together with a teammate, you are communicating, you are connecting with people. You realize that you're touching the same pens without using hand sanitizer and getting shoulder to shoulder with people. And that it's okay. And that it's safe and it's fun. And I feel like that's going to be very powerful as things continue to open up, but I'm super excited to encourage people to get back out there and play and have some fun.
[00:22:49] Russ Johns: So you mentioned courses. Before we get away any courses that you want to share, let people know about?
[00:22:54] Mike Montague: The latest one is not about being playful at all. It's a about sales and how do you combine technology and human sales skills and communication skills together in the best way possible. And I feel like that's what we've been talking about with broadcasting too. So a lot of what I do is merging these two worlds. How do we leverage technology so we can play these games online and we can have a virtual game too, if you're not ready to come back or if you have a distributed workforce, but we can also play with them live and we need a human element too. So that we're all, not just avatar robots of each other. And so this course is on hybrid selling and it was a partnership with HubSpot. So if you go to Sandler as in Adam Sandler, but not Adam Sandler was David Sandler, sandler.com/hybridselling. It's a free course that I built with HubSpot. And if you're familiar with marketing at all HubSpot is a big deal. I wrote it with a guy named Dan Tire over there and yeah, he was employee number six at HubSpot. So I got to work with him for the last six months or so building this course and it's been super fun to finally get it out in the world. It just released five days ago. So go check that out for free. If you're in sales or business development, or even just an entrepreneur and you need to grow your business for yourself. There's a ton of great tips in there, but I also have other fun things and podcasts out there as well. So the how to succeed podcast is where I'm interviewing people about how to be more successful with anything. So it might be active listening one week or public speaking one week, or a lot of sales things asking questions, how to time manage and you know how to figure out what's most important to you and find your passion and purpose. A lot of cool things there. And so I just love collecting cool, fun, playful people, and hanging out with them and then seeing what I can learn from them and how I can take it to the next level.
[00:24:49] Russ Johns: Fantastic. Jordan Michael says a great morning. Thank you, Jordan. Thank you for being here. Hi, in from Texas. Hello all. Let's get together back to normal. Amen to that.
[00:25:01] Mike Montague: Let's get back to weird.
[00:25:03] Russ Johns: Good morning from Dallas, Texas. Thank you so much for being here. How do you like people to connect with you? Where's the best place to track you down and connect with you, Mike?
[00:25:12] Mike Montague: I'm pretty easy to find. The website is MikeMontague.com or playfulhumans.com. I got both the domain names. You can find me at either, but I'd love to connect on LinkedIn. That's my primary platform of choice if you're in social media. But we'd love to have anybody check out the playful humans community and that podcast and broadcast as well. So we're on YouTube, all of the podcast channels. There's a private club. That's like Facebook without the Facebook part. You can just look on the club at playfu humans.com too and there's a playful personality quiz. So there's 10 ways that you can play. Maybe you're a creator and you love to broadcast and create things, or maybe you're an athlete and you love to kick a ball around and play and stuff. So if you go to playfulhumans.com/quiz, there's a quiz that you can takeand it gives you that Buzzfeed style, personality quiz, where you can find out what your playful personality is.
[00:26:09] Russ Johns: Fantastic. Thank you so much for being here. I love the conversation. I love your energy and I look forward to many more conversations and connections in the future.
[00:26:19] Mike Montague: Yeah, I love #PirateBroadcast. I can't wait to see what you do next in your community, so I'll check them out for sure. It's always fun.
[00:26:25] Russ Johns: It's always fun here. And I also have a a webinar that I got going on tomorrow on crowdcast.io/RussJohns. Go and sign up. It's about how to use video in your marketing efforts. So it's a course I've put together and I'd love to have everyone join and participate in that. And we'll see you when we, in fact, tomorrow night, we're going to be having Steve Sullivan and Lori Knudsen on #PirateBroadcast™ at night. So don't forget to sign up for that and join in on the party. It's a little different show. It's an hour long show, a little deeper conversation into a topic, but always welcome on the #PirateBroadcast because #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree, so you #enjoytheday. Thanks Mike. Take care.
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