Episode #143 — Podcasts & Tarps with Michael Stein

As our long-time (or even recent) listeners know, there aren’t many topics that are off limits to us. If someone has a hobby, passion project, life-long goal, or inclination leaning to the unusual, we’ll have questions for them. (Of course, there are a few non-starters. We aim to be a positive, supportive place for all people, and we’ll never give a platform to hate speech.) Do you belong to a haunted synchronized swimming team? Heidi wants to know whether the ghosts on the team can change bathing suits, or if they can only ever have one look. Have you started an all-nude community garden? Luke wants to know what bug spray you use to keep your kibbles and bits protected. Do you have your own podcast, where you talk with people who have overcome major obstacles? Then you might want to find a different angle because we just had someone who does that on this week’s episode, and he’s got it covered!

This week, we spoke with podcaster, actor, filmmaker, and entrepreneur Michael Stein. He has a podcast called “Long Shot Leaders,” which is designed to encourage all of his listeners through his talks with underdogs who have beat the odds. And after talking with Michael, it’s very clear why he chose this angle — he’s a prime example of a long shot leader.

Michael comes from a long line of people working to beat the odds. He gave us a bit of his background story and how he ended up in L.A. promoting nightclubs in the 80s. Truthfully, if that was his entire story, we’d still need to talk with him. While our true love is still NYC clubs in the 70s, L.A. clubs in the 80s aren’t far behind. Micheal talked with us about his unwillingness to be pushy and ask for favors from his famous connections, which is pretty refreshing. He preferred to work hard and try and earn his shot at creative fame.

Michael’s forays into acting and filmmaking are doozies. (We’re pretty sure that’s the technical term.) We’re not going to give away how he’s connected to Paul Thomas Anderson and “Boogie Nights” — you have to hear his stories straight from the source. As for his filmmaking, all we’re going to say is: Faye Dunaway and Coolio. After all, the focus of Michael’s podcast is on working hard, putting in a lot of effort, and seeing result despite the obstacles. Listening to a half-hour-long podcast for a great payoff doesn’t fall into the same category.

You’d think everything we already touched on would be enough, but there’s more. Micheal also started an extremely successful tarp company. Yep, a tarp company. (He’s also a comedian, but we’re trying to keep this blog a reasonable length.) We talked about whether following your passion and making money have to be mutually exclusive, why people will always need tarps, why he was surprised we even asked about his tarp business, and which kinds of tarps are best used for unique situations.

If you need some inspiration and motivation, check out Michael’s podcast, “Long Shot Leaders” wherever you usually get your podcasts. You can also find Michael on Twitter. And if you find yourself in need of a tarp, be sure to visit Abadak Tarps. (We won’t ask what you need those tarps for — it’s none of our business…) After this week’s show, we’re feeling very ready to conquer some obstacles and stay motivated. So after we watch “Rocky,” we’re going to make an overcoming obstacles/motivation music playlist. Is it the law that we include “Hero” by Mariah Carey? Also, can we go straight from Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be” to Spoon’s “The Underdog”? We’re going to go for it! This blog is a testament to the fact that we don’t fear abrupt transitions. The End.

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