Catch Reena Watts on the #PirateBroadcast
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Russ Johns 0:03
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.
It's another beautiful day for the #piratebroadcasts and we got a new pirate in the room today. I caught this individual on Gabriel show made from scratch. The made from scratch broadcasts. Thank you Gabriel for entered introductions in and sharing this wonderful gift. Reena is an amazing individual that is doing some things to help entrepreneurs push the boundaries, get out there and do some, some bigger, better and more grander things. Reena, thank you for being here.
Reena Watts 1:02
Thank you for having me.
Russ Johns 1:04
it's amazing because I love interviewing #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. You're doing a couple of things. You've had some interesting backgrounds, and you've really assisted a lot of people in kind of highlighting their skill sets. And building it up. Also you had this experience with Jerry Springer. It's like, some funny stories that you were sharing on Gabriel's thing. Also you have a podcast coming up or has it launched already.
Reena Watts 1:35
I haven't launched it yet. With all that's been happening in the news, I was like, maybe I should wait a little bit longer.
Russ Johns 1:43
It's crazy. It's crazy. Mother for so you're very busy, very active. Also you're passionate about helping entrepreneurs. Talk a little bit about how you evolved into this. This whole arena of entrepreneur and mother and and in helping people out and what your passion is today.
Reena Watts 2:07
It's been an interesting path I wrote down on the notebook right before I started. I've gone from producer of television to producer of insurance to produce events to producer of the home. It's been an interesting path.
Russ Johns 2:26
you're just the producer,
Reena Watts 2:28
I'm producer, I'm thinking I should just go with producer. producing a lot of thing. Now I'm producing a podcast do.
Russ Johns 2:36
Oh, that's fantastic. Tell us the backstory on on the podcast. Also, what's the direction you're going to be taking this podcast and how can we help you grow your audience on that?
Reena Watts 2:50
Thank you. So really, the idea behind the podcast was my dad is who I call for all my advice. He and his parents ran a company for 45 years. that's where I got my entrepreneurial spirit is my dad, from the time I was a child running a company and what that was like. For me entrepreneurship kind of evolved where all of the projects that I was doing for other people. Then others saw that I shared my journey I shared the things that I was up to, and people started coming to me in my DMS and asking me to do things.
They're like, Can you help me with my profile? Hey, can you help me with a blog post? Hey, do you do events? Hey, can you help me market an event? Hey, can you help me sponsor for an event? Hey, can you and honestly I was just like, sure, sure. Then I figured out what I liked doing what I didn't like doing. I even had a customer asked me to go full time with them. Then I was like, Ooh, that worked better as You being my client versus me reporting you, I've learned so many things along the way, you know?
Russ Johns 4:05
I love this concept of and I have a son and he kind of sparks an interest because I tell people if you don't know what you want to do, or you don't know, what you're interested in, really because that's like almost like asking the high school student, what are you going to, when you grow up? What are you going to be when you grow up? You haven't thought about something? Until you've actually done it, you really don't know if that's what you want to do. Right? Having the experience as an entrepreneur and being able to say yes to a lot of different things, allows you to kind of cultivate and nurture some of these ideas and these feelings and emotions around. What is it that I really wants to do with my time day after day? Is it a creative space? Is it a some people like finance and working in spreadsheets and very detail oriented. What is your superpower? What do you what do you love to do? If you were just given free rein and an open day to do anything? What do you what do you feel like you want to bring to the world?
Reena Watts 5:18
My first reaction to that is I love bringing people to the party. I'm the one that gets people through the door. That applies to a lot of industries.
Russ Johns 5:31
It's universal. It's universal. How does that show up in today's current environment, because that's a superpower in itself, bringing people together and making that connection bring those connections together. However, it's kind of a unique adjustment that we're going through right now. How can we do that in a virtual way? Have you seen
Reena Watts 6:00
Right there before COVID I was helping, you know, plan events and summits and literally bringing people to the party. Now I'm working with an author and helping her get blurbs for her book. I am reaching out behind the scenes and talking to publicists and best selling authors and podcasters. who I might have been meeting with in person prior.
Russ Johns 6:31
It's a unique proposition, because now we have to do things virtually. I think a lot more people are being coming comfortable with that process. Have you seen that?
Reena Watts 6:41
Yeah. I'm glad because I have worked for companies where they wanted to give me eight work from home day and I'm like, I have the time three kids, when get sick, and all my work from home day is they're gonna be gone for the year.
Russ Johns 6:57
Yeah, no kidding. No kidding. Well, I've been a remote worker for well over a decade. I've worked in corporate environments and all kinds of different circumstances. For myself, it's this hasn't been a big transition. However, it's been a big transition for a lot of other people that I'm working with. That kind of has an impact on on way we think about how we're going to schedule things. How are we going to have communications, how are we going to plan our our activities and our events
I just had recently yesterday with the oil and gas industry, we had like a three hour long podcasting summit, that was that was held live and Deloitte, it was people from all over the world and connecting on this on this summit and the logistics and the organization still has to take place the connection still have to take place. As a connector, it's still a viable process. It's still a viable opportunity. It's still needed unnecessary.
Reena Watts 8:09
I think some of these big organizations are going to rethink things. I think some of these big podcasters, who were flying out to interview guests are now going to want to do zoom.
Russ Johns 8:23
Reena Watts 8:23
Save them on their budget. It's going to allow them to connect with more people. I talked to a guy who I interviewed with the week before lockdown. He produced a huge event here in Chicago. I'm talking 30,000 people, right, and they're now doing these things on a smaller scale online. Right before COVID I was even talking to him about virtual summits and about podcasts and they pulled it together because they have the technology and team to do it. I think Some people that didn't have those things in place, it may have taken them a little longer. I think everyone, every company, every organization is going to have to consider this option.
Russ Johns 9:18
It's almost I won't say ironic. However, I was live streaming five years ago. I was live streaming, high school varsity games, sports events. I was live streaming them to a radio station and then we were broadcasting on am radio. I was attempting to go out to business owners and say, Hey, you can have your own internal radio station. The CEO could talk to the audience or HR could talk to the teams out in the fields, or you could talk to you could broadcast these events. To build culture in your organization these large organizations, and everybody was gone.
Like, we don't need to do that we'll send out a newsletter or something like that. Now I just little ahead of my time, I think, because now companies are starting to see how they can fit that into their arena of communications. Video is more prevalent. We're doing this you're in Chicago, I'm here in Arizona, it doesn't matter as much about where we are as about what we can do together and what kind of what kind of things we can create along the way.
Reena Watts 10:38
People are already starting to expect it to they're like, if I can't attend your event, is there a live stream? They're starting to Ask for that. If they can't make the live stream, then can I watch the recording? I'll even be for it.
Russ Johns 10:51
Yeah, yeah. Live streaming events in summit's are. I've seen a lot of them. Zoom happy hours. In some days, I actually have to say that I almost have burnt out from zoom activities. It's like, I got too many zoom activities today. I've been using zoom for years on masterminds because I have masterminds a couple of times a week and hosting these events is is normal for me. There's a lot of people coming on board that don't necessarily, they're not comfortable with the concept. They're not comfortable with working at home. They're not comfortable with all these activities, and it does take a shift. Are you thinking about exploring that and expanding your business around that then?
Reena Watts 11:46
You know what's interesting? since I've started doing the podcasting, I have realized that if I have a new client that wants to have a discovery call with me, and I see potential with the company actions and with their work history, I'll ask them on the call. Is it cool if I just record this because some good material might come out of it, but I can use and I'll send you after. I have had now a couple conversations that now I can use for my podcast because the conversations went so well. Now I want to work with those people.
Russ Johns 12:22
Reena Watts 12:22
I was glad that I recorded them.
Russ Johns 12:24
I think a lot more people, especially broadcasters, podcasters, and people in the in this space are identifying that building a community and having connections in improving your engagement is really the secret sauce of why we do this it's not necessarily millions of downloads, and that's nice. However, it's not necessarily the thing that's going to provide you joy, or bring you revenue in in really allow you to help more People it's the opportunity to actually engage in build relationships. I think that's really important for us to understand.
I want to just hop over here and so there's some people here saying good morning, Russ and Reena. There's all over. Suki. Angie, good morning, everyone. Don't wait just do it. Adam positives in the room, my people awesome. The pascast recording the pas master pad forums in the room. Jill Sullivan. Thank you so much for being here. Wendy's here. Thank you for the shout out. Love it. Carolyn gray from Houston. How are you Carolyn? SB Hola, Gabriel. There he is. Hello, folks. Gabriel, our cuts here. Now it's imperative that we got here.
Reena Watts 14:09
I love that you were live streaming sporting events. That's another thing for me. I have a baby. I've had to stay home with the baby while my husband goes to some of the sporting events where I wish I could be there cheering on my 12 year old.
Russ Johns 14:27
Reena Watts 14:28
I would love nice. Somebody said they want to do a discovery call. I would love to be able to watch that moment where my son might make the one basket of the game.
Russ Johns 14:43
Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. The things that we're doing in our lives now is, it's we have to this whole COVID thing is I think caused us to think about and reflect on what is it we really want to spend our time doing And spending time with the kids and the family and everything else is is really important and key to our, and then companies are going to have to think about, Okay, I got, all this real estate that is empty right now. And my business is still working, and it's still functioning. How is that gonna play out in the future?I don't know. I mean, have you had any experiences or conversations around businesses that are making changes or planning on evolving and making a
Reena Watts 15:39
My husband has been startup that he's working for? People have left Chicago and gone other places, and they're like, I'm not sure I want to come back to Chicago now, but this is a option to work from home indefinitely.
Russ Johns 15:57
Yeah. Yeah. Like ReThink what it needs to what work needs to look like.
Reena Watts 16:05
The commute time, truthfully of getting on the train and hour each way. is so unnecessary and paying for a shared workspace, which is 10,000 a month.
Russ Johns 16:18
Reena Watts 16:19
Do you really need to schmooze the investors?
Russ Johns 16:25
Reena Watts 16:25
For that price tag?
Russ Johns 16:28
I don't know, you could buy a lot of technology talent for the price that you're paying for real estate. I think it does, though, like yourself you're talking about your stay at home. Being a mother, and kids around I think a lot more people are, I think a little more empathetic about the chaos that could go on in the video background and the idea that Hey, we're still having life here. Life is going on. Things are taking place. I've been on some zoom sessions, I'm here caring for my parents and my dad has dementia. On occasion, he would walk in and ask me questions, zoom session, and everybody. Everybody knows me is like, oh, dad, sorry, I don't know.
Reena Watts 17:27
I commend you for doing that. Actually, my dad is helping take care of my grandmother and my grandfather had dementia. I've watched my dad take care of my parents. I've watched him have to manage their estates and close down their business that they ran for 45 years and sell off all that equipment and learn how to reinvent himself and that also really plays into my story a better call daddy because the amount that I have seen my dad manage and how he is so good with people and So positive with reinventing himself and the way that he takes care of his parents and his children. He's actually watching my three oldest kids, he drove from Kentucky to Chicago and picked up my kids for two weeks. I mean, he just gives so much to others.
Russ Johns 18:15
That is so awesome
Reena Watts 18:16
that I want to share my curiosity with him about the people that I want to interview and get his take on things.
Russ Johns 18:24
Yeah. That's a very heartwarming story. I love that idea. Because I know that there are a lot of people that have gone through a lot of challenging moments a lot of times. When you have somebody like that in your life that you can call at any moment and say, What do you think about this? How am I going to get through this? It's not necessarily the answer that you want to hear, or it's the wisdom behind the answer. Right? I mean, is that how you think about it? Or how do you
Reena Watts 19:07
My dad tells it to me straight I can literally call him screaming, crying any state of mind and he can handle it.
Russ Johns 19:15
He'll listen to you. He'll just
Reena Watts 19:17
There has been very few times that he is actually hung up on me. Yeah, he's loved me through Jerry Springer and Los Angeles and difficult clients and not getting into a youth performing arts school and getting me a second audition. He's had to chase money. He's hired people out of prison. He's dealt with people that weren't really citizens of the comfort of the country and how to navigate investigations. I mean, my dad has dealt with so many real life issues.
Russ Johns 19:56
Reena Watts 19:57
I feel like he has perspective To offer,
Russ Johns 20:02
It's a broad perspective. How do you anticipate? I mean, what's the format of the show? First of all is it your Are you talking to your dad? Are you just talking about the questions you would ask your dad?
Reena Watts 20:17
So the first episode, I mean, right? The first episode, I was like, Oh, let me just catch up with a girlfriend that I haven't talked to you in 20 years. She has three kids by three different dads. There's a story there.
Russ Johns 20:31
Reena Watts 20:31
Then I'll tell my dad about it, right? Well, when you tell someone a story, it's your interpretation of how that story went, right? I did that with the first four and then I'm like, Dad, you really got to listen to the whole interview because I'm not giving you the details. You're gonna have a better reaction if you actually listen to their whole story. Then I was like, maybe I should just to have my dad Be quiet on the call, put him on mute. Then you're gonna have a more genuine reaction and it's happening in real time. I tried that.
Russ Johns 21:03
Reena Watts 21:03
Then I was like, Maybe I should just have them listen to the like the edited version. Like I've cut down an hour of footage into 15 minutes that's more digestible. I'll give him that and then we'll rip like, I'll ask him some stories that have recently happened in his life and maybe I can edit that to the end of it. That's where I'm at now. It's like promo edited version dad reaction, a little bit of commentary.
Russ Johns 21:28
I love the fact that you're doing it with your dad though. That's a fascinating story in itself and I know that you know it. I mean, you have to have some stories from Jerry Springer that kind of can illuminate how life evolves for some people and and how crazy it can actually become. Any big takeaways from your experience in that episode, and Ellen
Reena Watts 21:53
Jerry Springer was my training ground for life! It was My first job out of college. I started off as an intern.
Russ Johns 22:06
Reena Watts 22:06
I went from intern to producer in one season, I learned all of the different roles. I learned how to book a guest how to take them around town, how to babysit them when they get kicked out of hotels, how to talk them back into doing the show when they find each other in the street. How thousand dollar budgets. I was saying Jerry Springer during 911
Russ Johns 22:32
Reena Watts 22:34
We had guests in town that had to be babysat for an extra week or two.
Russ Johns 22:43
Adult daycare so to speak.
Reena Watts 22:45
Right? I mean, it's funny because I'm still in touch with producers that I worked with. My old intern is now the senior producer of the court TV show that Jerry is now doing.
Russ Johns 22:54
Reena Watts 22:56
I worked on the Steve wilkos pilot. He was the security guard with a bald head that everybody robbed.
Russ Johns 23:02
Reena Watts 23:03
He ended up getting his own show.
Russ Johns 23:05
Nice. There's a lot of a lot more I think Jerry Springer was probably one of the first and the reality TV genres that kind of launched a lot of these other productions along the way, because I mean, there's so many that have evolved as a result of that time. Probably because the production isn't as massive is some of the daytime TVs and some of the bigger shows, and I had to imagine thatpersonalities are out there.
Reena Watts 23:44
Truthfully with my show, I mean, I was kind of inspired by that idea. I mean, my podcast isn't going to be cheating stories, but I have interviewed sex workers and phone sex operators and I want to interview transsexuals and people who have lost babies term and I want to talk about some controversial things. So it might not be for everyone.
Russ Johns 24:05
Sure. That's what adds the spice of life is being able to look at those dimensions and identify. That's the whole point of the pirate broadcast is interesting people doing interesting things in it's mostly around what they're doing and why they're doing it and how they got there. Because it's always fascinating to because you don't always see the story behind the story. All of the experiences that your dad's had in his experience in his business and growing up and observing it
You see it from a different perspective that some of that doesn't have any experience around that it's like, okay we worked in construction, my dad was in construction and I grew up in construction and my Saturdays were spent going laying out buildings for new construction, and it's like, okay, yeah, Saturday. Cartoons not didn't happen. I was pulling a tape measure across a open plot of land somewhere. It's all of these experiences that we have just fascinate me and how you evolve and how you arrive at these at these destinations. It's always it's always crazy.
Reena Watts 25:23
On Saturday morning, well my mom got pregnant with me at 18. My grandparents, all four of them, I'm very lucky to have grown up with them all, very short distance from my house. I spent pretty much every weekend at my grandparents house. They had a little mattress on the floor in their bedroom for me and I would wake up to my grandmother on one of those old typewriters, typing out time cards she would every Saturday morning, I would hear the news on on the television, my grandfather would watch the news and he'd be reading the paper and My grandmother would by hand be doing all of the time cards of the employees. That's when she caught up with her office work on the weekends.
Russ Johns 26:08
Yeah. That's amazing. That's amazing. All these little dimensions. I was talking to somebody the other day, and they were talking about how some of these industries where you have to kind of know, from experience what's taking place. There's a lot of there's probably a lot of kids that don't even know what a typewriter is and you think about that. It's like, really, you don't? I mean, and it's true it's like they've never seen a typewriter. I mean, that kind of blows my mind won't even think about it. It's crazy.
Gabriel is going She's such a risk taker asked her about Steve. Steve from the Jerry Springer show. That's the caper. arrows teller light lighting is wonderful. Then Wendy says yeah me too picking up scrap yeah straightening nails Hello their friend. it's amazing that we have all of these opportunities and all of the amazing stories that we can tell and and I applaud your adventures and your activities with your dad especially i think i think it's gonna be hard heartwarming. How do people get ahold of you? Reena
Reena Watts 27:32
I am a LinkedIn Holic I've been building my presence on LinkedIn for a while he used it with my last three a LinkedIn of good Reena Friedman Watts also I've been working on a little bit of an Instagram presence. So same name there. Rena Friedman watts, okay, and I started a Facebook community which has been a blast. I'm calling it right now business laughs and LinkedIn.
Russ Johns 28:00
Fantastic, I'll have to go over and join up on the Facebook group. Thank you so much for being here. Reena, I really appreciate you and all the work that you're doing. It's gonna be a wonderful adventure and I'm looking forward to catching up with your podcast and after you get it launched, let's come back and talk about stories that you've had on there and discover a few more dimensions about what you're doing and kind of serve
Reena Watts 28:33
I'll have to have you on and share some of your kindness.
Russ Johns 28:36
Oh, always anytime, just invite me on and I'll be more than happy to join you and Gabriel and I were talking about doing some more things together and having conversation and actually Wendy has been a guest host on Gabriel's show so it's just the pirate community is such a wonderful place to be and so many amazing people here that I've met and connected with and stay in conversation with it's always amazing and for yourself doing events and things like this I'm sure that's a skill set that a lot of these people would love to have an opportunity to have a conversation with you keep going out doing great things and amazing stuff and we look forward to the next adventure for arena. So what enlightening, inspiring, thought would you love to leave with the community today?
Reena Watts 29:39
Hmm, my favorite quote is, I was once beautiful and now I am myself.
Russ Johns 29:49
I love that. Rena, thank you so much for being here. I have a fantastic weekend and wonderful week and everything. You're doing all the success in the world.
Reena Watts 30:04
Thank you so much back to ya.
Russ Johns 30:06
Appreciate that. Always, thank you so much for being here in the community. If you like and share and comment, I would really appreciate it. It means a lot to me. Also, if you're in the community, ask questions. Just reach out, I always do my best to respond and react in and provide some answers and some value. Thank you so much #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree, and you #enjoytheday.
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