In today's episode of #TheAmberStittShow, with speak with Rob Ferre, Keynote Speaker, Host, DJ, MC, and/or otherwise knowns as an Engagement Expert.
He takes on you a journey through his life of entertainment, how he got there, and how he has continued to evolve his career. He speaks with us, giving an honest conversation about his ever-evolving world of entertaining and speaking and how he isn't done learning yet!
Have you Focused on "Your Talents" yet? Once you do, you can find your SuperPowers!
We focused on Talents and Community and how we can "Make the Pie Bigger!" Let's have an Abundance mentality. This episode will make you laugh and motivate!
Talk about training with Phil Jones and leading with curiosity. He talks about the "NSA" and what that has done for him and his career. You can find more about this here: https://nsaspeaker.org/csp/
Highlights within this episode:
-Rob talks about those who have impacted him and his career
-What and how to use Nose flutes :)
-Bringing others to the Dance Floor
We discuss some of the greats in our lives:
To find out more about Rob, please follow him on social @robferre and you can visit his website here: https://robferre.com/.
Thank you for listening!
Opening Introduction with Music 00:11
Hello, and welcome to The Amber Stitt Show. I am your host, Amber Stitt, and I am obsessed with helping people get their financial and personal lives in order. Every week, my guests and I explore the fundamentals and practices that will help you stay on top of your game in business, but also at home. I believe we all have different pathways that we have to take to reach our peak performance so that we can live up to our peak potential and this podcast is dedicated to helping you get there. I'm excited to share the insights and habits that my guests and I have cultivated throughout our lives, so we can help you on your journey towards a happy, successful, and fulfilling life. Let's jump right into today's show.
Amber Stitt 01:00
Hello, and welcome to The Amber Stitt Show. I am your host Amber Stitt. And today we have Rob Ferre joining us today. Welcome Rob. Thank you for being on the show.
Rob Ferre 01:09
Thank you so much Amber, I appreciate it. And thank you for pronouncing the last name correct. We found a mnemonic device to help people remember how to say my name: it rhymes with Hurray.
Amber Stitt 01:19
Okay, so what does that tie to?
Rob Ferre 01:21
It's really silly. One of my speaker friends said, "Well, since you're also a DJ, you should rhyme it with 'Hip-Hop Ferre'!" Remember that song from the 90s?
Amber Stitt 01:33
Well, even if you're not an 80s or 90s graduate from high school, I think it's played at weddings. So, they should know, right?
Rob Ferre 01:41
Yes, and I'm like, the least hip-hop person, you know, but I play hip-hop music when I am DJ'ing.
Amber Stitt 01:45
Interesting. So, well, let's let the audience know a little bit about you because you're all over the place from what I can see. And you have kind of this multiple lines of your business model. Can you share with us a little bit because I think what's inspiring and why I wanted you on the show is that sometimes you hear people say, "find the niche, stay in your lane," but I think when you know what you're talented in, you can really build out anything. So, let's talk about how you kind of figured this out for yourself, because I think that would be great for the listeners.
Rob Ferre 02:18
Niches are great for people to be able to dive into and own that niche. For me, I'm ever-evolving, but I think the thing that has been consistent throughout my life is my affinity for the stage, and my affinity to be in front of audiences. And it all started in third grade. When I performed in my first professional theater in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. This is where I still am, in Utah. But it evolved over the years -- I performed in school plays, I was in student government, I went to college at Southern Utah University where I wanted to become a broadcast journalism major. I wanted to be a sports broadcaster. My dream job was to go work for ESPN. So, what did I do? I went to go work for Disney. You know, Disney owns ESPN. So I went down to Orlando, Florida. And I had a college degree in hand and I was like, "Well, I'm going to do this college program thing. Let's see what that's about." Well, little did I realize that they would put me in the parking lot at MGM Studios, which is now Hollywood Studios. So I was not on the path that I thought I was going to be on, but I met my mentor Elliot Hanson, after I performed my world-famous magic show, which is completely fake and silly.
Amber Stitt 03:39
OK, wait, because I didn't know you did magic at all.
Rob Ferre 03:42
Yeah, so if people are watching this, this is what it is. It's, I have a finger here. I'm gonna grab the finger, and I'm going to toss it up into the air, and then I'm going to catch it again. It's stuff like that. It's just silly and fun. I was at a mini high school reunion the other day and one of my fellow high school mates, he's like, "You have parlayed that magic show into a career." I'm like, "You know, I never thought of it that way." Because I've been doing it, but the thing about this magic show, it's kind of like a door that opens up to my crazy type of entertainment. So, I got recruited by Elliot to be able to go work in theme parks as a DJ as an interactive host DJ, getting people involved. I would play music while people waited in line for the "Men In Black" ride at Universal Studios. That was my first job as a DJ like I didn't work in the club.
Amber Stitt 04:31
Well, that actually makes sense to get people to have something to do because the lines are long. Yeah, that's awesome.
Rob Ferre 04:36
And the great thing about it, it was a new audience every 20 to 30 minutes, so I could repeat some of the same jokes, or try out new material, right, and it was just a lot of fun and so it was a great way to cut my teeth as an entertainer. And so DJing is just a part of what I did and I don't want that to define me because I am an overall kind-of I would say, "sucker for the stage". So, I moved from Orlando and I also worked as a game show host at the Nickelodeon Hotel and that was a lot of fun.
Amber Stitt 05:07
Okay so that all ties together because your original connections going from Utah to Florida and going, "I don't love this first job", but you stuck with it, made friends, and then those are little monuments in our lives that we don't realize why, but if we can kind of persevere, I mean, this is just the beginning, right, of where you saw this take traction.
Rob Ferre 05:26
Yeah. And I'm a speaker, as well. And one of the things that I've learned from that experience is, I'm the kind of person who does not like to be obscure, I like to be known. I like to be able to prove my worth to people. And I think a lot of people within any industry, want my people, my clients, and my community to know my superpowers and my skill set. And so that's something I've always been fighting, I would walk into a new high school, "Okay, they don't know me, yet, but they're going to." Go to university, "They don't know me yet, but they're going to." So that's kind of something that I've always had as a challenge to overcome in my life. I will always love winning over people and being able to show them what I can bring to the table. So, I moved from Orlando, and I came back to Utah, and I started my DJ business. And that started in 2007. So do the math. What, how many years we've been doing this? Right? So 2007...16 years!
Amber Stitt 06:29
I saw you on your last birthday. We got to celebrate that, I think.
Rob Ferre 06:32
That was October of 2022. So, if we are dating me, born in 1978: 44 years old. So, it's been...there we go. Yeah, we're kids of the 90's. Child of the 80's. So, teens of the 90s we'll say that. So, I moved back to Utah. I started my business: "Life of the Party". And I scaled it in the sense I started hiring other DJs and performers to start working for me under my brand of entertainment. That's where we moved into more emcee'ing where I started emcee'ing weddings, emceeing nonprofits, Galas, and then in 2016, no 2015, I joined the National Speakers Association, which really changed my trajectory as to what I'm doing as a speaker, as an emcee. I was also part of the National Disc Jockey Association, and I started speaking kind of by accident, my sister-in-law said, "Hey, do an assembly at my school" and like, okay, I guess I'm a speaker now. But the thing about it, sometimes, and this can be with any profession, we have set parameters, or definitions of what we do, right? Well, you're a financial adviser, "But I'm more than that," right? Or, you're an accountant, "But I'm more than that." But we have to define these things so that people have context. And so sometimes I have to provide the problems and the solutions that I bring to those problems. And so, I'm saying, DJ is one of my skill sets, speaking is one of my skill sets, MC is one of my skill sets. But I always tell people, I'm a sucker for stage, but what I bring to the table is creating engagement, right? I like to say I'm an engagement expert.
Amber Stitt 08:15
There you go. Well, so I follow a curriculum of Gallup Strength Finders, but then I've done other things like Enneagram and just different personality tests. And so, it's almost like when you're talking about third grade going into high school and then moving on, it's almost like you have this, what they call, "Woo", I haven't had your assessment done with me, but they say that "Woo" is loving to win people over. What I liked about what you're saying is you're not being apologetic. I mean, there's no apologies for like, "Hey, I want to win you over!"
Rob Ferre 08:43
So, you said it's called "Woo"? What is this?
Amber Stitt 08:45
Woo. So, Woo is a theme in the Gallup Strength Finder set. So, there are 34 themes. Okay, so there's "Communication", and then some people have "Woo" and "Communication", "Woo" can be very quick to win people over, the icebreaker, and you're trying, I'm feeling like your path...You've always known this about yourself. And there are no apologies, like, it's almost like a competition with yourself, like, I gotta get in this place, and I gotta let people know, and have some fun with them. There's some joy in that. And then you're ever evolving that. So, I think it's important for me with the audience with the steps we talked about Focusing on Talents first, however, you figured that out for yourself, run with that, if you're in your flow, and there's something that makes you happy -- that's probably where you need to stay because life's too short to not be doing what you love. So, you are patient with it, and you just kept going and working through what you know you're good at and there's this foundation of the Woo, I will say, or the engagement, you could translate into the DJ, MC. It's really working with people and allowing people to have some fun. And then Hosting might be a different platform then podcasting, but I've met you on stage. I'm fortunate enough to focus on working with different organizations. I've been able to build a network of friends all over the place, working from home, and through social media, but then also going to conferences. And that's where I was lucky enough to bump into you a few times, and I'm like, "Okay, I need to talk to you." And I kind of pulled you aside. Luckily, last October, I could meet your wife, too, because she traveled with you. So, I kind of cut you off here, let's go kind of back into...as you're intertwining...but then you started traveling...
Rob Ferre 10:28
Yes, but I want to build upon this really quickly, what you said, and then we'll get into the traveling and the other things...how I built my career. What you have done really well is identify some of my core strengths. And you've said this is how I have applied those things and I've never really thought about it that way, as far as the "Woo" winning people over and one of the things that I try and do about winning people over, it's a lot about empathy. It's a really core strength that I have. Also, curiosity. I also took a certification course with Phil Jones, which is exactly what to say. And he says, lead with curiosity, when you lead with curiosity, it opens up conversations. And I don't think a lot of people do that. My wife says I'm like a human puppy dog. I meet people and I say, "I am your friend, let's be friends. What are we going to do now, what are we going to talk about", right? And so, when I do events, I actually show up to the cocktail parties, I show up at the after parties, and I go to those events, and I am all about the human connection. I'm not a person who just shows up to events and goes like, "Okay, I'm gonna do my job and leave." But that being said, we'll go back into the evolution. So, NSA, like with any community, I think we met at NAIFA, which is an association for financial advisors. Whatever you do, I think if you're looking to expand what you do, and showcase what you do, join an association, join a community where you can be of service. And that's what I've always done. I've always been of service, I did it in high school, when I was part of student government and I did it in college as a part of student government. Also, I had a TV show where I involved other students at SUU Southern Utah University, it's always my goal to get more people involved. And, and it's fun when people approach me and they say, "I want to do what you do." And then I trained others to be a part of my DJ company. I've trained other DJs. And I don't hold on to my secrets, but nobody can replicate my brand and what I do. So, I've had people in my life, who say, "Well, I can't believe you're teaching others, your competition to do what you do." And I was like, "They're not my competition." Right? So, people are gonna be like, "Well, you know, we can't get Rob, I'm gonna look for his competition, I'm gonna look for the off brand," or whatever, right? But here's the thing is that there's plenty of work for everybody. If I can't do the work, who am I going to refer? Somebody that I trust, and that trusted professional, my hope is that it'll come back...
Amber Stitt 12:59
I have to interrupt. That's one of those things that I know with, I have high communication, and I like to talk a lot. But we have to touch on this because there's a lot that you don't know about what I'd call the fifth step of my Pathways of Peak Performance and that's Focusing on Community. So, you're saying, if you have this trusted network, there are people to refer to. When I originally was thinking about this I was like, "Okay, if we have obstacles in our life, what do we do to bounce back and have resilience?" And so, if there's something going on in our life, can we refer out? So, I was initially thinking about clients and having a trusted network for clients. But if you have a trusted network of people and colleagues that you're sharing ideas with and you're collaborating with, a business can get a lot more fun. And there's something that you said...and just last night, I was in a nonprofit panel with some people that are getting their securities licenses. So just some of those tests that are really rigorous and so I was on a panel talking about that, and how traditionally the financial services, so again, NAIFA is where we met, we can see all types of business models, but some of the old school business models were to be the biggest firm. And we see that in tech and all these other places. But I have learned to work together with people. And I have so much fun sharing clients with people that have different expertise, we stay within our specialty, but then it's just so much fun. So, I think you're living that, too, from what I'm hearing. There's just so much there. And it can be certainly helpful when times are tough to have that community of people, even if you're mentoring, there's some mentorship that can kind of come back and kind of reciprocate to at times when we need it. So, I feel like it's so important to have a community even through social media there could be trusted colleagues that you can meet that way. I mean, we don't even live in the same state and we see each other out and we have some fun talking on the side when we can. So, it's just so fun. We can do so much now.
Rob Ferre 14:56
And to build upon that. There was a financial advisor that approached me at that event, always selling, always working, and I let him know that I already have a person. But he said, "Think about it this way, I have a policy, I have something that might be of benefit to you" and I was like, "Well, I don't want to leave my guy." And he said, "Well, let's approach it this way. How can we collaborate together? Let me have a conversation with him. And maybe we can work together. We can refer business." I'm like, oh, that's fascinating. Instead of poaching, he's like, "Why don't we create a conversation and make this a win/win for all of us?" And I thought that was a great approach because that was my...I'm very loyal, right? Somebody approaches me and...
Amber Stitt 15:37
You're a puppy dog. So yeah, there's that.
Rob Ferre 15:39
And it's hard for me to say like, "Sorry, I'm going with somebody else," like if there's no face to it, right? Verizon from AT&T, right? If there's like a big conglomerate like AT&T it's like, "Oh, sorry, we're going to Verizon." They don't care. Now, when I'm going from a financial advisor that I know and trust to a new one, that's hard for me, right? And so, his approach was quite different. Instead of like, "Oh, I want to poach your business." Now it's, "Let's collaborate with your current advisor." And I was like, "Oh, that's fascinating." So, rewind back to 2015, I joined NSA and I started getting...and this is another part of my journey is, where I went to school at SUU, their mantra, their logo, their motto, whatever it may be, it is this, "Learning lives forever." And so, I am constantly learning to evolve. And I took a while to kind of figure out where I really wanted to go with my career. I dabbled in different things but I always knew I wanted to be an entertainer and I liked being my own boss. I don't like being a business. There's a distinction there. So business is just the part that I don't really like doing is the minutia behind it. But I like being able to have the flexibility to not have to do a nine to fiver, I love the variety of events, and people that I get to meet. So, once I discovered NSA, I found other speakers, and my world was opened up to me, and I felt this kinship immediately, and I said, "I found my tribe," right? And I went to the National Conference, and I walked through those doors, and I see all these amazing speakers. And the National Speakers Association, their mantra, which was established by their founder, Cavett Robert, was "make the pie bigger." And what did he mean by that? When he first started the association back in the 70s, people were like, "If we're gonna make an association of speakers, there's not enough work for us, it's gonna be harder, because we're all getting together and we're all fighting for the same piece of the pie," right? He said, "Well, let's just make the pie bigger," right? Just making it bigger. How do we make the pie bigger by creating more abundance? Through professional work, we are now creating more demand for what we do with our abundance mentality, we create more demand for what we do. My hope is that makes sense. I have seen other speakers, or I've worked with other advisors and what they do is amazing. I need what you can offer. So, when we see other great speakers, when meeting planners see great speakers, see great MCs, "I need more of that!" And so, I see the same trends on a micro level in weddings. So, I'll tell you this, like weddings, New Jersey is like the proving ground for doing good stuff because, in New Jersey, they put on great weddings, and they have the highest budgets for weddings. Utah is at the low end, which is weird. But the trends start happening in New Jersey. So, there's these things called sparklers. So, the cold sparks flying into the air, and they do their first dance and they dip in for the kiss in the sparks go up into the air! The proving ground was in New Jersey. It wasn't popular here in Utah. We're trying to sell these things, right? And couples don't know but then they see it on Instagram and it's, "I want that! Yes, I want that experience." So, sometimes it's hard to be like, "Take a chance on this." and then if those trends start happening...So, that's just an example of how we can become bigger. And we're creating more abundance. It's just a small example. But the idea is if you do your job really well, you're going to create more demand for what you do. And you can't do it all. So why not have a trusted community that you share with?
Amber Stitt 19:36
Yeah, do you remember at the MDRT conference in October, did you listen to Jason speak about the generations and he walked through...When you're talking about abundance, I'm super excited about the younger generation because of what I've learned from their data, the abundance mindset, and the ability of younger people to find solutions. They don't have to wait to go to school, or learn if something works, just go find a mentor. I mean, there's a whole other side of maybe too much tech, or social media, or watching videos, but the younger generation from what I've heard from the data is that they act a lot like baby boomers with their savings and their money. Yet, think about what they're learning from such a young age now. So, when you're talking about this abundance mindset, I'm really excited for what's to come. Because I feel like there's going to be a lot of creativity in business, entrepreneurship, and whatever needs to be, there will be, because there's people creating constantly now. So, I really feel that could be really good for us. And I don't know if you have anything to speak to on that, I'm throwing you a curveball, but I really loved appreciating the older generation, we all had a laugh about how the X’ers don't want to be the millennials, and then the millennials, there's eye rolls between the generations. But, you know, if we just respect every place that people have come from, and learn from every face. There's wisdom in what has been done, but I feel like there's some mad respect coming from the younger generation. I think they're going to do even more than we ever had because they have the resources. What do you think about that?
Rob Ferre 21:08
Multiple thoughts on that. I am on the cusp of two generations, I'm on the saddle of Gen X and Millennial. Like, I can identify with both and I get both. And I think what we're even maybe talking about is the Xennials, the young generation where they are, I think it's 25 and under, right? And every generation does like, "Well, back in my day, or we didn't do things like this," right? And they're always looking at the next generation thing. They have it easy, they have a good, whatever they did. And we're trying to place blame, or we're trying to identify, but what I think you have found, as weird as it may seem, is TikTok culture. Now, TikTok, it has good and it also has some terrible aspects to it. So, this is what I found from TikTok that I love is the collaboration culture. My favorite TikToks start with one person and this is something I speak on. I speak on how can we create a movement “taking it from me to we” -- this is my core message. Where its, "How can I bring others to the dance floor?" The dance floor is the metaphor for whatever we do. The dance floor is your meeting space, your community, whatever. TikTok is a platform is a dance floor. You see this all the time and one of my favorite examples was over the pandemic. I don't know if you remember the sea shanty trend, where people were singing sea shanties, and you're like, "What is this?" So, there's this kid out of Scotland, who took these old 100 year-old sea shanties, and he would sing them on TikTok. And what you can do on TikTok is called a duet. So, you'd sing the song acapella and another person would bring in the rhythm, another person would bring in an accordion, somebody would bring in a flute, or whatever. And so, they created this whole orchestration, where it just turns into something beautiful with people all over the world. And they're saying, "How can I add to that?" One of my favorite TikToks, it's the silliest thing. It's a cat licking milk going, "yum, yum, yum." And then somebody starts to play a rag on a piano, and then another person has a beat on a drum. And that is the spirit of collaboration where you have this, I have this. And that is also part of my mantra. I am a student of improv and improv is how can I build upon that instead of saying, "I don't like that idea? Stop it." Somebody introduces an idea. On the stage of improv, "It's raining cats." You are not going to say, "Oh, it's never raining cats." You say, "Of course, it's raining cats. Get out your dog umbrella," right? You're building upon that. It may be absurd, that's an absurd thing but in the real world, we can "Yes and...." all the time. So, somebody brings something to the table... "Yes and" How can we...
Amber Stitt 24:07
I love that idea. Even with grammar, there are words that we can use in a comma, "but something" that I've learned from even writing coaches that you don't say, but you just use the "And" or something else, to then replace it, it moves it from a negative connotation, which can sound very woke, but you know, it's still there's...words are powerful, and our brains are very powerful. So, if we're always introducing some of this positivity there, and the "Yes and" collaborating, and then back to the global part of it, though, I mean, that's what...there's really no excuses anymore. There are so many opportunities, to find out what you love to do. Don't do things that are taxing, and then apply it. So back to the teamwork, or the themes when we talked about your "Woo" but just as I've worked with others, some other things outside of insurance planning that has happened for me is I've been able to coach financial firms with their teams because I've been on the support role. I've been an employee and I've also been a business owner. So, I've seen different sides. I have had different licenses, and taken different tests. We don't want to change people, we want to learn, "What are you great at?" And then how do we plug in the team and put everyone in the right position? I mean, there are always going to be parts of our job that we don't love. Like you said, "I don't love the minutiae of the business, some of the administration, I want to just go out and have some fun and perform and engage and bring people to the dance floor." So, we obviously have to do some of the work we don't love, but really learn more about people and put them where they belong. And that's the "Yes And" essentially, when you think about team engagement, or even appreciating your partner in your home being different from you, there's a lot of fighting that can happen when people don't see the same goals the same way, receive information the same way, maybe they don't read, maybe they need to listen to the audio podcast or watch a video, there are so many ways that we can learn more about each other and appreciate the differences. And so, we don't want everyone to be the same, we wouldn't get anything done.
Rob Ferre 25:56
We got to rely on each other's strengths and acknowledge those strengths. So, we're still on the journey here, I haven't lost the train of thought. So back in 2016, I took some coaching workshops, I've had people that I've always leaned on as mentors, people that are steps ahead of me, and I want to learn from them. And that's something that's always been important to me. And the reason I also do these coachings and paid coaching. And I think it's really important to pay somebody because you don't invest in it if you're just picking somebody's brain, or you want to be able to say, "Hey, I just want to learn from you." But if you pay them, there's investment in there and there's accountability. So, a great speaker friend of mine, his name is Jason Hewlett, we're actually the same age, but he's years ahead of me in the career of speaking, he's been doing it for years. And I took his coaching program and he introduced me to multiple people and gave me opportunities. And when he had an opportunity that he couldn't do, or if it was not aligned with where he wanted to be, he would refer. So, the reason we're meeting today is because of Jason Hewlett. Jason referred me to NAIFA. I did their virtual event. Once I did their virtual event that spun into their live event, which also spun into another event, which was the Million Dollar Round Table. Jason had done that event four years in a row. The next year, the next two years was my friend, Jeff Civillico, who I met through Jason Hewlett. But I was following two of my favorite people, my heroes, my friends, and my mentors, and these are people that I also see as equals, right? But we learned so much from each other. And those stages are because of my relationships. But I think they also recognized what I wanted to do and I let them know. And I'm constantly asking questions, but when they ask questions, and they need help with gamification, which is one of my specialties, I'm always happy to offer help. And so, I think when it comes to collaboration, it can't be a one-sided approach. And I always tell people, if you want to learn from somebody, don't use the term, "I want to pick your brain." If I wanted to learn from you, Amber, I'd say, "I'm fascinated by what you do. Would it make sense for us to set up a Zoom call," and, "I want to learn more about what you do and maybe how we can collaborate" or things like that. And there's always when you end those conversations with, "How can I help you," right? And sometimes when I helped somebody, and they asked me that, they said, "Well, how can I help? You've helped me so much. How can I help?" I say, "You might just let people know what I do." And for me, I live by top-of-mind awareness. So, I do these podcasts, I do Zoom calls with friends... We just recently celebrated International Speaker Day, which was on March 14, which is also known as Pi Day. Friday, right? 3.14. But we made the pie bigger, which is the mantra, right? It all comes together, right? But I had multiple people giving me shout-outs on online, I was like, "Wow, that's amazing. I didn't realize the impact I had on these people. I was not looking for a return." That's the wonderful thing about the spirit of collaboration. It's not that I'm not looking to gain anything. But if you are a coach, and this is something you do, then get paid for it. But when I'm offering free advice, or just helping somebody level up, all I ask for in return is "top-of-mind awareness". "If you know that you have a friend that's like looking for what I do, let's have a conversation,"...
Amber Stitt 29:33
I think it's the mutually beneficial relationships, and then, that can even trickle down to personal relationships if it's really valuing you if it's one-sided, sometimes that might be the relationship you might have to shed because there's so much that we can do together to make the world a better place that if it's one-sided, and you're always helping...like, I like that dedicated Zoom time and not just picking the brain. I saw a woman who had a course, a book, a following, and she had said once, "If someone keeps asking for a few minutes, but they've never followed me, they've never read an article, they've never purchased my book, they never just even invested some time into what I've already put out there that I've spent time and sweat equity in, they probably don't want just five minutes of my time, you might need to go buy my book first." You know, and I know that's not what you're saying. But really respecting the value of the time of the people that you're spending with and making sure that the relationships are there, that they're valuable ones, and paying attention to being around the right people. And always learning. And I like that it's almost...coaching can be very vulnerable. And improv is definitely hard. I've taken a speaking course with Vinh Giang, he did a virtual one. He's a magician and he's so funny. But improv was so hard for me, I'm almost a little too rigid and responsible to be so crazy, and so for like podcasting and conversation that works for me, but public speaking can, too. But it's not the same way for me as it is for you. And that's okay, too. You know, you find your platform and you do what works for you. But I do push myself on stage to challenge myself. But there are also things that I know I need to share with people from a journey that can be helpful. So anyway, I love everything that you're saying because you're showing that even though you've had the experience, of doing what you love, you're still learning and perfecting it. And you're asking for help and learning from others I think we can continue doing that we should always be learning as you said.
Rob Ferre 31:25
Yeah, and I love Vinh I've seen him present. He is just amazing. But you started talking about improv. Like anything, it's a muscle. Sometimes our whole life is improv. But when you're thinking about, okay, how can I be authentic and use the skill set of improv, on stage, or in a sales consultation? Or in front of an audience of clients? What is that? One thing I'm going to give to you Amber is to start flexing that muscle in your daily life. How do you do that? Maybe just be a caricature of yourself. And that might sound weird, but pretend you have given yourself this different backstory, you're checking out at the grocery store, they don't know you, and you can just live a different reality. And I'm not saying the lie and be some weird person, but why not interact in a different way, and use your skills of improv. So, somebody gives you a phone call, a solicitor, this is something that I've done, you know, we get those people and they're like, "Hey, you know, your extended warranties." And there have been times where I just like, "Okay, I'm gonna go into a character." And I just answered the phone and like, "Oh, I'm so glad you called!" And then we see how the conversation goes. But the idea is, that's just a skill set. That's just a muscle that you're just not using every day, because you are reacting as yourself, but why not react as a different character, or take different decisions? Because I think a lot of the time, we already have our preconceived ideas of how we are going to react at that moment. With improv, you react in different ways, you take it in different directions and different ways.
Amber Stitt 33:08
Is the point to see things in different ways, from different perspectives? Can flexing that muscle help you be more understanding and pull more empathy into life? Potentially?
Rob Ferre 33:17
Of course, all the time. I think it's also being open to new ideas. Let's say...You have kids, I imagine, right?
Amber Stitt 33:24
I have a stepdaughter, and then a four year-old, yep.
Rob Ferre 33:26
So, maybe your four year-old has like weird ideas like, "I want to go have pizza in the park," or something like that. Like, "We don't have pizza in the park. We don't ever do that," like that.
Amber Stitt 33:38
Something with My Little Pony usually.
Rob Ferre 33:40
Yeah. So hey, "We're gonna have a My Little Pony pizza party." "That's not a thing." "No, it is a thing now." And so just being able and playing with kids and there's so much imagination there. And we do it with kids all the time. And one of the stories when it comes to "Yes And" and improv, you were there for -- this was at the Million Dollar RoundTable in October, and we were doing an engagement activity coming back from a break, we had set down playing cards at everybody's chair I gave everybody the task was to create different poker hands. And so, I draw on the board. Go ahead and make a flush, a flush is five numbers of the same suit, make a straight, right? And everybody's running around the room trying to create this and
Amber Stitt 34:28
Grown adults are excited, and are running around...
Rob Ferre 34:31
...and they love competition, right? And so, the final one was a royal flush. And this gentleman comes up to the stage he says we have a royal flush. I'm like, "Bring everybody up." And then this other gal named Angela comes up to the stage and is like, "I have a royal flush, as well" and I'm like, "But he got here first." Then she says to me, "He has hearts, I have spades. Spades trump hearts." Hmm. I said, "That's great, but you weren't first." She would not relent. She would not leave that stage. She wanted to win. And I let her know. I'm like "The prize is you get to stand on stage." She thought there was a bigger prize at hand. And she's like, "I want to bring up my whole entire team. I want to recognize them." So, she brings up her team. I don't know how everybody who was on her team happened to get a royal flush. Like that's weird to me because the other gentleman was with four other random people. So, Angela brings up her team. And I'm going to "Yes And" because she will not relent. And so at that moment, I said, "How can we create a bigger stage? How can we create a bigger pie, let's have a little bit of fun." And so, I said, "Angela, your prize is, you get to stand on stage with us and take a photo." And then she wanted more and she was so disappointed that that was the prize. I also gave away nose flutes to the winners, as well. And so, when I gave her the nose flute...
Amber Stitt 35:51
Say that, again. A what?
Rob Ferre 35:52
Let me show you. This right here is a nose flute. It's a piece of plastic that goes underneath your nose. You blow the wind through your nose. It directs the wind into your mouth where the music is made. (Odd Music Making) Wait, wait, let's try it one more time. Happy birthday with nose flute.
Amber Stitt 36:18
Those were new, they have not used nose flutes, right?
Rob Ferre 36:21
These were not used nose flutes, no, I usually get those away. But it was such a silly competition. But she felt like she needed to win. So, I said, "Yep, join us on stage." And it could have been very awkward. She could have complained, she could have done this... But I was like, "This is gonna happen. We're gonna move forward with this." And it's...
Amber Stitt 36:41
Kind of like in life, Rob. I mean, you have to manage all these people. They're staring at you. There are bright lights, and your job is to keep everything really seamless and transition. So, it's like any of us have to be prepared for that. And so maybe we weren't going to touch on risk management. But really, Rob, you are mentally the "Yes And" is helping you prepare for things that might not go according to the perfect agenda, or course. And so, you're always looking for that transition point to pivot. And that's a gift I think you've been talking about with us part of your journey has been perfecting that and always having fun and adapting that. And so, that's certainly something every one of us could take away today. I know, we're not done with the journey, because we haven't gone to Dubai.
Rob Ferre 37:27
Oh, well, I can track Dubai to my relationships, again. That was from another emcee who I admire his name is John Petsu. And he recognized my skill set and he had an opportunity to go speak in Italy for a special event conference called planners extraordinaire, which was luxury events. And he just said, this is not the right fit for me, they can only pay my airfare, but this might be a good opportunity for you to showcase. And I said, "Great." So, he sent me that lead. I went there that spun off my first event in Dubai, which spun off my second event and my third event. And so, I'm currently in negotiations to maybe go back there in a couple of weeks. And the one event that I went to a couple of weeks ago, I didn't make money on that one again. And I'm like, "Well, why do you keep doing this? Does that make sense?" And I think sometimes with this group of people, the luxury wedding planners and event planners in Dubai, I had to give them a couple of shots at me, they had to see my skill set, I had to not be a one-and-done. And sometimes it takes a couple of impressions, we'll say, for it to actually turn into a business. And I think if you keep showing up, you're not just the person who's looking for that silver bullet, the quick track, right? The thing for me, it's about showing up and serving.
Amber Stitt 38:49
Absolutely. And we were talking with that panel that I mentioned earlier, just last night, and sometimes you're in these positions, and you're not really sure. There's not a metric you can track of as this converts to a sale, some monetary value. But if you are doing what you love, and you keep showing up, and even if you're really early in the business, and you're just starting out in some rules, like that Disney in the parking lot, you're not really sure. If you do a good job, people will see you. And it's not always instant. I've had people vet me out behind my back not knowing they talk about me with other people within an insurance company: underwriters, my business partner knew about me, met me, liked me, but still inquired about me before he did business with me. And just...I think everyone could benefit from thinking if you keep showing up and sometimes there's no direct monetary value, but you got to like it enough. Stay the course. But I mean, look how this could translate. I mean, this is even new for you, Rob, you're saying in the last couple years?
Rob Ferre 39:45
Yeah. And that's fine with me. I don't have a vision board. I have a vision head. I always picture myself...
Amber Stitt 39:50
Haha, it just keeps following you around, right?
Rob Ferre 39:54
I think vision boards are good because you can look back and it's a constant reminder. But there are bucket list stages, things that I've listed, or things that I want to do. And it was always a vision in my head to do certain places go. I've always like I've always wanted to go Dubai. And my next goal is to go to all the Disney parks in the world and that's more for fun if anything, but I have been able to, for lack of a better term, manifest some of these things that I've done. And one of the greatest honors of my life I did this last summer, I was the emcee for the National Speakers Association conference.
Amber Stitt 40:29
That was like, the original place you started. One of them...
Rob Ferre 40:33
Yes, yes. Back in 2016. When I first went there, I was like, “This is amazing,” and seven, six years later, I was on that stage. But I always thought this would be amazing. And so, one of my favorite stories from that is I went there with my friend, Clint Pulver probably one of the best speakers you'll ever see. If you don't know him, look him up. And we were there, we were just rookies, we were just these young bucks who are looking at this opportunity, and at the end of day one, we jumped on the stage, and we took a selfie on the NSA stage. "Here we are and one day, we'll be on this stage, again!" And so, to open the conference on day one of influence for the National Speakers Association, Nashville, I remember when I got that call, I was just over the moon. And so, I knew this was my moment to tell my story. And it was a love story to NSA to the people that had gotten me where I am. So, we had just received what is called our certified speaking professional designation. Within NSA, imagine, within any association, or any competency, there are certifications, and the "Certified Speaking Professional" is a lot of paperwork, a lot of time. You have to have yet 250 paid speeches tracked, and then over a 10-year span, so you have to show them that. You have to show the video. And then you also have to have a certain dollar amount that you have made over a five-year span. So, all these things apply. And so, only 17 to 15% of the people within NSA have gotten this, it's a hard thing to get. So, we made the goal to walk across that stage together to get our CSPs. So, I get my CSP and I tell this love story about Clint and I looking to be on that stage, the opportunity for us to perform together. And then he comes out. And I introduce him and he does his act. And then we take our selfie, and like here we are six years later, and people there were...some people who are new, first timers, and they come up to me like, "Six years, how did you do that?" I was like, "It was tough. It was a lot of services, it was a lot of hustle. But it was something that I put on my radar." And luckily, through my relationships, my friends, and the people that believed in me, I was able to do that in one of the greatest proudest moments of my life.
Amber Stitt 43:02
Instead of the vision board, you had to have the mental game on in your head every day tracking some of this and having that consistency. And that's how you could achieve that. So that's amazing, because a lot of us do these tests and exams, and we complain about a three to six months study while we're working, having to pass this exam, but that's six years! That's a long time. That's pretty amazing. And when you told me about the speaking part, I think the last time I saw you, it didn't realize the complexity of that. So, that's really motivating. That's pretty cool. Congratulations.
Rob Ferre 43:33
Thank you. And it's the...I believe it's this next phase of my career, this is that I'm leaning into. And I'm still telling people I'm in the growing phase of this, we're still trying to figure out this speaking business, I haven't got it figured out, but I have a lot of momentum. I've done a lot of what I've wanted to do.
Amber Stitt 43:48
So, I would say really, if we were to start to close this out and talk about the takeaways, and then there are so many juicy pieces in the middle of all of this and people to give kudos to, in addition to yourself for doing the work. I think that we can continue no matter what age we are to keep crafting and growing and learning. And so, if you were to kind of close this up with a pretty little bow, I mean, is there anything else in addition to that? You're having some grace with yourself, you're having some fun, and you're always appreciating the relationships that you're putting in front of yourself. You're hanging around the right people and you keep adding to your tribe, right?
Rob Ferre 44:24
Right. There's one takeaway, figure out what your superpower is, and learn to serve your community. For me, that's been what's been helpful for me is serving showing up. Then, I'll use the word showcase, serve, show up, and showcase. What is showcase? Well, sometimes we're asked to do something for free. Sometimes we're asked to do something that may not have a monetary reward, right?
Amber Stitt 44:50
It's the analytical folks, but sometimes you just gotta be okay with no direct metric, haha.
Rob Ferre 44:57
Right? And that's why I say showcase because you're not doing it for free, you're showing everybody what your skill set is and what your superpower is, so if you can serve and showcase and then be top of mind, you're going to be that person that people will want to refer. And whatever that is, do it with enthusiasm and do it the best you can. Sometimes you will get worn out because they don't know when to say no. So, there are opportunities...I was asked to be a part of the wedding Association here in Utah, to be on the board. I believe in it, but I just had to say no, because it's not my direction at this point. Plus, I knew I couldn't do it to the best of my abilities. I don't want to disappoint people either.
Amber Stitt 45:38
So yes, the boundaries can also be a reputation saver, too, because if you can't do it right...and it's okay to say no and let them know that my season is right now. That doesn't mean it can't be there for you in the future. Yeah, well, you've been top of mind for me. And I'm so glad that you made the time to talk with me today, and the audience. So, I really appreciate it, Rob.
Rob Ferre 45:58
And I appreciate your patience. This has been months in the making, but we follow each other's journeys and I think we're champions of each other. I applaud what you do here with the podcast and the community you have built, as well.
Amber Stitt 46:08
I will see you at the next conference, probably.
Rob Ferre 46:10
Yeah, and I'll see you on the dance floor!
Amber Stitt 46:12
All right, exactly. Thanks so much, Rob. Thanks for the listeners listening in. Have a great day.
Closing Outro 46:20
Thank you for joining us on today's episode of The Amber Stitt Show. For more information about the podcast, books, articles, and more, please visit me at AmberStitt.com. Until next week, enjoy your journey at home, and at work. Thank you for listening!