Semi-Random Walks #33: Paul Gilmartin, host of the Mental Illness Happy Hour

Paul GilmartinPaul Gilmartin is host of the Mental Illness Happy Hour, a terrific podcast about mental health that you should go listen to right now.

Follow him on Twitter @MentalPod.

The show opens with Slow Magic’s Corvette Cassette and closes with Charles Mingus’ Folk Forms. Check out his hilarious memoir Beneath the Underdog.


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Semi-Random Walks #32: Kristin Wong

Kristin WongI discovered Kristin Wong while googling something or other, and I ended up on this story she did about breaking out of a career rut. I had just finished What Should I Do With My Life, so I was curious to hear more stories about midlife career changes.

In addition to doing stories like the above, Kristin also runs BrokePedia, which offers tips on frugal living.

Follow Kristin on Twitter @TheWildWong

The show opened with a loop from Digable Planets’ Black Ego and closed with Video Killed the Radio Star as covered by The Presidents of the United States.

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Semi-Random Walks #31: Darren Pillsbury, incognito romance novelist

Darren PillsburyThis was a fascinating interview. Darren Pillsbury struggled as a writer for many years, and even gave up on it for a period, but in the past few years he’s been crushing it through self-publishing. Here’s his Amazon page.

That’s only part of the story, however. What you don’t see there is the bread and butter stuff that makes him a lot of money. That’s because Darren also writes women’s erotica under a (female) pseudonym, and it’s important that he maintain his secret identity. So unfortunately I can’t link you to any of those works, but he was kind enough to tell us how he discovered the market and has created a living from it.

Note: In the show I incorrectly mentioned Patricia Highsmith as being featured in the New Yorker. I misremembered the name. The article is actually about Nora Roberts.

The show opens with Sacred Love by the Bad Brains and closes with Lucius’ Turn it Around(I love this song!)


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Semi-Random Walks # 29: Lawrence Lanoff

Lawrence LanoffLawrence Lanoff is, as he describes it, “a sex positive, streetwise, business savvy life coach,” also known as Catholic rehab. Follow him on Twitter @soullight

Links to more info about some of the things we covered:

  • Christoper Hitchens’ takedown of the Dalai Lama
  • Lawrence’s early interest in Pyramid Power
  • Transcendental Meditation, which Lawrence calls a “full-on complete waste of money.” (I looked into it a couple years ago but was turned off by the price, then I found an alternative called Natural Stress Relief. I tried it out but I’ve found that I get the same benefits from yoga. I still would like to try a Vipassana retreat, however.)
  • At about 36:50 we talk about ayahuasca, which I did in a ceremony shortly after this interview. (You can hear the results at the end of the episode starting at 48:00.)
  • Lawrence says there are four major belief systems that you can trace all spiritual systems back to:
    • “It’s all good, even the bad” e.g. Buddhism
    • “Life is a struggle between good and evil” – Christianity, Islam etc
    • “My way or the highway” – many cults follow this line of thought
    • Objectivity – a scientific-ish attempt to find objective reality (many atheists follow this)

The show opens with James Brown’s Sex Machine we wrap it up with Steve Reich’s Six Marimbas.

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Semi-Random Walks #28: Amy Baglan, founder of MeetMindful

Amy Baglan is the founder of MeetMindful, an online dating site geared toward people who value healthy living, personal development, sustainability, spirituality, yoga, meditation, self-awareness and authentic connections. Follow her on Twitter @amybaglan and MeetMindful @MeetMindful.

Some of the things we discussed in the episode:

The show opened with Funkadelic’s Hit it and Quit It  and closed with George Clinton’s Atomic Dog.

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Semi-Random Walks #27: Mike Vogel

mikevogel-selfie-square-300x300Mike Vogel is the future of movies, or at least one of the futures. To get an idea of what I mean, check out Phrenic. It’s a kinda sorta TV miniseries for the iPhone. I stumbled it across it a couple years ago and loved both the content and the business model. Listen in to find out how Mike came up with the idea and the broader concept of transmedia.

Some of the things we covered:

The show closed with St. Germain’s So Flute.

Oh and make sure you check out Scott Adams’ How to Fail at Everything and Still Win Big.

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Semi-Random Walks #26: Futurist Thomas Frey

Thomas Frey is a the founder of the DaVinci Institute, and his job is to think about the future. How cool is that? Here are just a few of the many things we touched on in the interview:

The show opened with Kraftwerk’s It’s More Fun to Compute. Check out this great New Yorker article about their influence.

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Semi-Random Walks #25: The Depression Episode with Rand Fishkin

Warning: this is the depression episode. Not only do we talk about depression, but I was literally in the midst of a pretty bad clinical depression myself when I produced it.

Rand Fishkin is co-founder (with his mom!) of Moz. Which is really cool, but the real reason I reached out to Rand is because of this epic post he wrote about depression. It’s amazingly transparent, but nothing new for Rand. He touched on the subject previously in late 2013. As he describes in the interview, he’d rather the skeletons in his closet just be out in the open than feeling like he has something to hide. And not just with his personal life. Check out this exhaustive post about how Moz raised $18 million. Follow him on Twitter @RandFish.

Other stuff we talked about:

The show opens with the Zoloft by Ween and closed with Be So Happy by the Heartless Bastards.

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Semi-Random Walks #24: John Corcoran

John Corcoran is an attorney and the founder of Smart Business Revolution. He’s also the consummate networker. Listen to the episode to here how you can grow your network and in turn use it to grow your business.

Some of the things we discussed:

I also open the show with a discussion of the difference between vulnerability and pathos.

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Semi-Random Walks # 23: Michael Amon teaches you how to “Kill the Interview”

Kill_the_Interview_pdf__page_1_of_22_This episode is a little different. Michael Amon is the national practice manager of a major consulting firm, the name of which will remain secret. (Trust me, you’ve heard of them.) He self-published an e-book called Kill the Interview that has been circulating among some successful people that I know, but which has never been released to the general public.

Until now. You can download the e-book here.

I invited Michael on the show to walk us through the key points of the e-book. If you’re looking for a job, this stuff is gold. Especially if you’re just getting out of school and trying to differentiate yourself from the thousands of other grads.

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