Is Mixergy ignoring the virus?

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I’m going to include conversations about the coronavirus in upcoming interviews, but I’m intentionally limiting it.

To explain why, I recorded this story about what happened to me as a podcast listener when I listened to a day’s worth of corona talk. I want Mixergy to be an island of relief and personal growth, in the middle of a very real crisis.


Full Interview Transcript

Hey, it’s Andrew Warner. And I think in some of the interviews that you’ve been hearing me publish on the podcast feed . . . Not some, in none. You’ve not been hearing me talk about corona in the podcast feed, and maybe it feels a little bit like I’m disconnected from the problem. And I thought I’d just address it. I’m not at all disconnected from the problem, beyond the worries about what’s going to happen to my family health-wise over the next few months, weeks, days, who knows when.

There’s also the day-to-day distraction and chaos of the whole thing, can’t go to work, kids can’t go to school, San Francisco is in a lockdown mode where we’re asked to stay home. So all of us are in the house together with my wife trying to get work done on the computer in our bedroom and the kids trying to . . . I’m trying to teach them. And then we alternate and she tries to teach them while I try to work. And it’s a kind of chaos that I don’t enjoy. But I’m also disconnecting a little bit and allowing myself to spend time with my kids and spend time working and accepting that it’s not going to work out the way that it did the even last week when I could do it.

Speaking of last week, last week, Friday, I think we’ll tell you why I’m intentionally not doing so much around corona in this podcast. I got up and knew that it was maybe my last chance to go shopping. So I went to Trader Joe’s and I personally got groceries. I hate going to Trader Joe’s, I hate lines. I like everything delivered. But there’s no delivery, nothing was working. So I went to Trader Joe’s, I picked up stuff. I was all anxious about the fact that there was nothing on the shelves. I was all anxious about the fact that we couldn’t talk to people really, because talking might lead to shaking hands and also maybe spit on each other somehow and you don’t know what’s what. And the whole thing just gave me a lot of anxiety.

And I was walking through the store, I was listening to “The Daily” podcast from “The New York Times,” and just so curious about what was going on with coronavirus and politics and international chaos. And I just kept listening to it. And at some point, before I got home with the groceries, I just knew I wasn’t going to work, which is fine, I don’t hardly ever take a day off. Even when I was sick, I would just go to work so I knew I could use a day.

And so I unloaded the groceries myself, I put them in the fridge myself, I . . . I know, that seems like it’s such a big deal, but, you know, it’s a work day and . . . Or a day to myself, and that’s not where I’d want to spend that time, but fine I did it. And I kept listening to podcasts about corona and it would be “The Washington Post” podcast, it was a politics podcast, Ben Shapiro had a podcast. And I listen to that. And I just kept listening to it. And without recognizing it, I just became sluggish, walk slowly, allowed myself to take my time, felt bad about stuff as I did little things that I can’t even remember. What did I do? Shave maybe and listen to a podcast and waste some time? I don’t know. My plan was to go for a run and eventually, maybe at 2:00, I forget, I went for a run and listened to more podcasts about corona. And it wasn’t one of my best runs, but I did it and took me forever to shower afterwards.

And then I finally said, “Well, since I’m home,” I never lay in bed in the middle of the day, “I’ll go lay in bed.” And I laid in bed and started reading “The New York Times” and just wanted to know what was going on in the world and . . .

At some point I just decided that I would shift away, I started of watching YouTube videos and migrating from the iPad that had a cracked screen to the iPad that Apple sent me as a replacement. And I was watching YouTube videos about bike riding, which I like, and something else that didn’t even matter enough for me to remember. And I felt like, “Wow, I’d wasted a day.” And I started a journal and I started to revive myself and be myself again.

And then on the weekend, I had one more chance to run before the lockdown. I don’t even know if lockdown means that I won’t be able to run, but they’re asking us to stay inside, so I’m assuming I can’t go running outside. And at that point, instead of listening to another corona this or politics that, I listen to The Verge podcast, where they talked about Samsung phones. I love Samsung phones, but I never bought one. And I don’t plan to buy one. So it wasn’t like I was doing research. It was just listening to a topic that I liked that didn’t connect to international politics at all. And they made a point on that podcast to not talk about corona, and I found myself enjoying the run.

And at times I would double tap my earbud, AirPod, and pause it and just let my mind wander for a little bit, and then I would double tap it again and I would listen to them talk about some . . . I don’t even know what, Apple something or other. And I started to feel great again. And I enjoyed the run, and it was one of the days that my family and I could leave, we still were doing social distancing like we’re supposed to when . . . I think Saturday Olivia found a beach for us to go to or some body of water that we were able to go hike around and not see a single person. And the following day we did go, Sunday, we went to sit on a beach somewhere and again, not talk to anyone, just be together as a family. And it was such a positive experience, all of us together without going into stores and buying coffee on the drive back because it was going to be an hour and a half and I’d like to have a cup of coffee and without going into supermarkets and buying one more thing, we stuck with whatever food we brought with us and we listened to a Dolly Parton podcast on the way back. What is that Dolly Parton podcast? I . . . Dolly’s America? Something like that.

And she and I had a bonding experience listening to that. And I know that this is a podcast episode about why I don’t talk about corona, so maybe you’re starting to see it. It’s because as a listener of podcasts and I listen to a podcast more than most anyone, I just like having noise around. I don’t mind when my kids scream. I don’t mind when . . . Or play, I’d hate for them to scream all the time, but if they play all the time and make noise, it’s not a distraction for me. I like having music on, I like having podcasts on. I’m an audio person, the way that my wife needs to have paintings up on the wall, I like to have audio in my . . . I was going to say in my ears, but it just doesn’t have to be in earbuds, it could just be in the environment.

Anyway, I found myself being impacted by what I heard, and my sense is that you probably are hearing a lot about corona and you don’t need me to be the next voice. Obviously, it’s going to be a part of some podcast episodes, but I’d like to also have a place for us to get lost from the world a little bit, a place for the subconscious mind to hear a story and to enjoy that story and use it as a break from everything else.

And I understand that you and I are going to have insatiable appetite for political news and economic news and health news, and we should be curious about the world around us. But I also think that it helps to have some refuge from those things, some place for the mind to just dream a little bit, to see what’s possible again, a place for the mind to remember what’s good, to hear people reach for something great and sometimes make it and sometimes fail, and sometimes make it and realize that making it just means more of what they were striving for for years. A place to hear two people kind of enjoy each other’s company on mic, keeping social distancing by not being in the same room, but at the same time having real closeness, because you don’t have to be in the room sometimes to feel close.

My goal for Mixergy has always been to tell startup stories. In fact, I know a Mixergy every fan when I get an email immediately because they address me as Andrew, and they say something related to Mixergy. I know a spammer when I get an email that says, “Hey there, Mixergy Startup Stories,” because they’re scraping the iTunes feed and they see that Mixergy has got startup stories in the title somehow because I was . . . I don’t know, keyword stuffing in iTunes.

And startup stories is what this is about, stories is what this is about, stories of people who are nothing often and have an aspiration to do something. And that thing is the thing that they were doing, even as kids sometimes, even in their dreams sometimes, before they knew that there was an opportunity to be big from this and before they knew that entrepreneurship was a thing. Startup stories is what it was.

And it’s in my iTunes feed and my podcast feed, because I want you to know that that’s what it’s about. And maybe a little bit of keyword stuffing from a long time ago. But that is what this is about, a place for you to have space. And hopefully, we’ll have some space together to let our subconscious dream, to connect with other people’s dreams, to plant seeds in our minds so that in happier times those seeds will be able to grow. And the person who we are that we may not be connected to right now, that other people are disconnecting us from, that the world rightly so is forcing us to disconnect ourselves for. That when it’s time for us to get back to who we are, that we’ll have that and maybe we’ll find islands of who we are right now. Or maybe we’ll just have a fun time listening while we’re isolating ourselves and the chaos of the world is taking a moment.

All right. So I do notice corona. I’m not not paying attention to it. I do notice the environment and the economic environment and the political environment and every aspect of the environment, except for running around on the Embarcadero and actually truly be in the environment. I do recognize what’s going on is what I’m trying to say. And I’m intentionally not shoving it into the podcast. I’m intentionally not shoving it into the work that I do here.

All right. I’m recording this now in QuickTime, and the indicator doesn’t seem like it’s super loud. I hope Arie can edit this to the point where you can actually hear what I’m saying into this microphone. And I appreciate you listening. Thanks.

Who should we feature on Mixergy? Let us know who you think would make a great interviewee.