Indoor biking has been making its way to homes, and virtual bike rides are making it more interesting. A Peloton bike has become a popular household necessity that allows you to have as many virtual rides as you can. In this episode, Crystal and Tom O’Keefe discuss a curious thing about the mystery of the missing rides. Moving forward, they then interview Peter Shankman, a renowned keynote speaker, Faster than Normal podcast host, and entrepreneur. Peter talks about ADHD and how Peloton has helped him in his journey with the disease. Join Crystal, Tom, and Peter as they immerse you with insights about staying fit against it all.
Listen to the podcast here:
The Curious Case Of The Missing Rides Plus An interview With Peter Shankman
We’ll get right into the shameless plugs. Perhaps you have already seen on the internet that HRI is around the corner. Last time, John Foley gave a big speech. This time, they’re going to do a Q&A and they apparently needed someone to host it and they picked us. We’re excited about that. It’s nice for our shameless plug to be an event that’s already been sold out. If you’re going to HRI, you should swing by and watch the Q&A. It’s going to be at the same location in a side room.
It’s not so much the swinging by though. They have to sign up. They have to go to the HRI website where they sign up for the classes. That’s on the HRI website and I believe it’s noon Eastern, 11:00 Central. Not that I have my calendars marked or anything, but where you sign up for your classes, you also have to sign up to go to the event.
This portion of the event does not cost money.
They’re already paid for it because you had to pay a ticket to get into HRI. You have to reserve your spot because seating is limited. It is not guaranteed for everyone who got a ticket to HRI to go to this.
If you want to watch the John Foley Q&A or a conversation with John Foley hosted by The Clip Out, you need to go and sign up there. You need a ticket to HRI. You have to sign up in advance to make sure you can get in. Please do that so it’s not the three of us standing in an empty ballroom wondering what happened. We’re excited and also, the Q&A portion, the cues will come from the audience. If you have a cue for John Foley, you go to The Clip Out Group, which is not the same as The Clip Out page. Go to Facebook.com/theclipout. While you’re there, you can join the group for The Clip Out. In there, there’s a thread that’s pinned to the top of the page where we’re soliciting for questions and then we will call all of those questions and perhaps yours will be read to Mr. Foley. It’s exciting news for us. We hope to see you all there. Even if you’re not going, you could still submit a question. If you can’t be there and you feel you’re missing out, this could be your way to still partake. Swing in by and participate. Also in shameless plugs, we’ve got a website, we’ve got a Facebook page and we’re on iTunes. You can go there, rate, review and subscribe. What do we have coming up on the show?
We have a new line of shirts. We have an update on our Chicago store visits. We have a little discussion about Synchrony Financing, rides that disappear and our amazing interview with Peter Shankman.
Let’s dig in.
There were some issues with financing.
Apparently, you might know that Peloton ended their agreement with Synchrony Financing. They moved it over to a new lender for the financing portion of their program. When they did that, it shows up on your credit report that Peloton paid it and moved over to the other one. A person posted on the OPP that when that happened, it had a negative effect on their credit report and panic ensued. I don’t believe that was their intention. I’m just saying that there are a lot of people that had that happened to them. They were using their financing and were then concerned it was going to affect their next credit.
Anybody who financed their Bike by virtue of definition, unless you put it on your credit card, you’re going through their financing companies.
They reached out to Peloton and according to the poster, Peloton said that they wouldn’t help. I don’t know the details, but that was what got the ball rolling about this.
My guess is they probably said it a little nicer than, “We’re not going to help.” There’s probably not a lot of control that Peloton has. I know they are a wonderful and powerful company, but I also don’t know that they have a lot of control over your credit report.
I think once the transaction is completed, there’s not much Peloton can do. They’re not a credit reporting company. The reason I wanted to talk about this was that there were people who posted after that. I wanted to make sure that anybody who’s read about this got all of the details and facets of the equation. People that posted on this original post commented that there are a couple of articles that talk about when you close a balance. It can affect your credit if the person reading the report doesn’t understand that’s a closed report. It can also affect your credit if you have a high ratio of debt to income.
It’s debt to balance like if the card got a $10,000 limit and you’re at $9,500, that’s damaging to your credit report.
The bottom line being there was going to be a small portion of people that might be affected negatively, but I saw post after post, comment after comment saying that they had not been negatively affected. They had called Synchrony and what happened is, Synchrony is not closing the account. You can’t make future purchases on it. Synchrony is going to keep whatever agreement they made with the owner of the Bike. If you had to pay $49 a month, then you would continue to pay $49 a month until the end of your agreement. You can’t purchase anything else with that credit line. I want to let everybody know that there are multiple ways to look at this. You should check your credit report. It’s free. If you are concerned about it, do check it. We will have some articles posted out there on Facebook.com/theclipout. I do not anticipate that a ton of people is going to have issues with this, but I did want to bring it up since it was raised as a question.
I would also like to point out that if you’ve got to get your free credit report, be careful that you’re on the right site. There are a lot of bogus sites that aren’t the free credit report site that will tell you they’re free credit report sites. Do some due diligence. Make sure you’re on the right site. I would like to end this segment by saying that we’re not attorneys or credit counselors. Please do your research. Don’t assume that we knew exactly what we’re talking about. We think we got a handle on this but as a little disclaimer, it’s not our gig. Do your research before you make any credit-based financial decision. I was going to grind and I was going to do the DJ John Michael ride, the one with him and Denis. I have heard many good things. I was all prepared to hop on the Bike and it was gone. I was like, “I don’t even want to do it now. I’m not going to do it.”
Yeah, that was some drama on the Facebook OPP. It’s not you not taking your ride. That’s always drama.
Am I being led to believe that Peloton is not going to preserve in amber every ride that’s ever been photographed?
They’re not going to do that. This is my feeling, I have no inside information. They probably are deleting rides all the time. We happened to notice this one because this was a super fun ride. It would have been a great ride for your first ride because it’s amazing. I don’t know why it got taken down. There was a post on the OPP about it and there might have been more than one. I saw one had tons of comments. I saw that JV responded to that comment on the Facebook page and said that they do purge the on-demand library from time to time. It can be for several reasons. It can be technical difficulties, due to licensing issues, people aren’t taking that class anymore. It can be for multiple reasons. That’s pretty much that. A lot of instructors were affected. It was not just poor Denis. I know that Matt Wilpers’ 75-minute ride that he did also was taken down.
It is noticeable because there aren’t a lot of 75-minute rides.Medication has a place for certain people. Click To Tweet
A lot of people were planning on taking that one because it is a special ride that was 75 minutes and everybody loves their Power Zone training. It happened to be two high-profile rides that get affected. There were tons of rides. We had a new stat fairy visit.
Did they calculate how many rides had been purged?
Yes, they did. This person looked at the on-demand ride count from 1/21 and then they looked at it again on 3/6.
Did they happen to go through and catalog it?
I don’t know. I’m not judging. I’m telling you that’s what they have here. These people like data. We are type-A people that ride the Bike. We like our data and our facts or stats.
To be clear, this data is not coming from Peloton.
Not only is it not coming from Peloton, but it’s also coming from one individual who may or may not have correct information here. This is what they calculated on a given day at a given moment. You could look at it and it would look totally different. They had notes showing from January 21st and then they compared on 3/6. There was a change for every instructor. It’s all negative with the exception of four.
When you say negative, meaning they all dropped.
They all dropped in the count. I only say that to tell everybody that this was not directed at one instructor.
Your favorite instructor wasn’t singled out.
If anything, you have to remember that some instructors teach more rides than other instructors do. Some focus more on the short rides, some focus more on the long rides. There’s also going to be a disparate number of that as well. I don’t want to get into specifics because I don’t want anyone to think I’m picking on any instructor or that I’m highlighting any instructor. I wanted to point out that almost everybody had to drop.
I know we were being silly at the opening of the segment, but I get that I have my favorite things and if they went away, I’ll be upset. All of a sudden, I couldn’t find the monkey song. That’s damaging to my psyche.
They can’t keep every single ride because when I first started, there were 7,000 rides and there are over 8,000 now. I think they have a number in mind they want to stick around. I don’t know what that number is. I don’t know why they have that number. I believe there’s a method to their madness and that there’s a good reason behind it that we aren’t privy to.
Let’s face it, there typically is a method to their madness. There’s also an economic theory called the Paradox of Choice, which is sometimes when you have many options, you end up choosing nothing.
That’s a good point. They talk about that at grocery stores all the time.
That’s why something like Costco or Sam’s where you walk in and they got one kind of ketchup, that’s your ketchup. That’s what they carry, buy it or go somewhere else. If you walk into some fancy pants store and it’s got 47 kinds of ketchup, you’re like, “What am I supposed to do? I don’t even know where to start.” That might be something that’s at play too. We’re spitballing, we don’t know.
I do empathize with anybody who did not get to take their ride, especially knowing that there were rides people were looking forward to. The rides affected were not old rides. They had occurred and people had them in their schedule for the week.
They didn’t have a chance and they were going to circle back around. It’s not like it was a ride from 2014. It was not one of those. Who fell off the Bike?
I don’t know.
Somebody must have fallen off the Bike.
Maybe they’re worried about who’s going to fall off the Tread.
They’re gearing up for somebody.
It also could be they’re getting larger as a company. We should probably tell people what we’re talking about in case they don’t know. When I hopped on the Bike to do my two on-demand rides back-to-back, I found there was a new screen. It was an overlay on top of my normal screen. It was a health warning that I had to acknowledge before it would let me take a ride. It was like, “Be safe. You accept there’s a risk when you click this button,” which absolutely I do. I’m cool with that. It’s cool that this is on there because I feel it signals growth. I feel it signals more structure and more things leading up to the big moment of going public. This is the thing they have to get in place before they can go public.
This is like when I was a kid and the school finally introduced permission slips for field trips. Before that, they would take us anywhere, “We’re taking them to the canning factory. They’re going to put in eight hours.” You do a couple of those. Suddenly, there’s a permission slip. There are some new shirts out there. What would that cost me?
It’s not in the boutique. It’s found through DJ John Michael and his new Society6 website. He put out a new line of shirts, things like House Music Will Save The World on a solid black shirt in white writing and I love them. We might be getting one in every design. DJ John Michael makes me happy. I love his outlook on life. I love the way he spreads love. He’s such a positive human being full of light that I want to have all of his shirts.
That’s what he’s banking on.
It worked. I am hooked. Get your shirts from DJ John Michael.
What’s that website again?
We should probably bring up the fact that we were in Chicago. We were visiting our first Peloton store for your first personal appearance.
It was in the Old Orchard store in Skokie, Illinois. It wasn’t old at all. It was brand new. It was a beautiful mall. It was a beautiful area. Big thanks to Katie. She did the nicest display of hospitality that I have ever seen.
She was nice and helpful. She got us entertained. We went to The Second City. I bought the wrong tickets. We went to the small stage instead of the main stage, but the show was amazing. If you’re a main-stage snob, which I would have been previously, you should totally head on over to the ETC Stage because it’s fun. You might pronounce that in Chicago as etc. We weren’t sure but either way, it was so much fun. They put on a hell of a show. It was good.
I like the drink package. Let’s say that. That was fun. We went out to dinner with some of the employees from the Old Orchard store and the Oakbrook store. It was Caroline from the Oakbrook store then we had Christine, Katie and Brittany from the Old Orchard store.
You took your 400th ride right there in the showroom. They had balloons that said 400 and for me, they had a balloon that said zero.
They gave me the easiest Bike in the store, which I’m okay with because it was nicer than it being the hardest Bike in the store. I PR on a 60-minute ride and broke 500 for the first time ever. Even on a 60-minute ride, that’s the first time I have ever had 500. I had a hard Bike or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. It was a wonderful time, not to mention that Katie collaborated with Tom and several people that have been on The Clip Out. They sent videos to say hi and to congratulate us.
They didn’t collaborate with me. I loaded them up to YouTube and she did all the work. Let’s give credit to where credit is due.
Katie was amazing. She was awesome.
People were excited to meet you. They were not excited to meet me. Here’s how it worked, “Can I get a picture?” I’m like, “Sure thing,” then they throw their arm around you and hand me their camera. That’s how it went. It was a great time. We had a blast. Thanks.
Joining us is Peter Shankman. Peter, how’s it going?
It’s awesome. How are you doing?Having an audience is a privilege. Click To Tweet
It’s great. Thank you for joining us.
This is a thrill. I love this. I run my podcast. It’s nice to be on the other end. I don’t have to worry about it if it’s recording. I don’t have to check the level. This is awesome.
I was like, “I think I needed to double-check that quick.”
It happened to me too. We get to 25 minutes and I’m like, “This is awesome. Let’s do this again. Let’s take another track.” My assistant who’s always on the call is texting me. She’s like, “You forgot to hit record, didn’t you?” I’m like, “Shut up.”
We had that so much with Dottie. She changed her name to goddamn Dottie. She gets a little spitfire. She gets mad. Before we jump into all the Peloton stuff, give us some background. I have a list of things and it says that you’re an author, an entrepreneur, a corporate keynote speaker, worldwide connector and you’re an expert in customer service, social media, PR, marketing, advertising, and the last one explains everything that came before it in a way, ADHD.
“Our next guy is ADHD. Okay, start talking,” that’s pretty much all you have to say. I found that at an early age that I didn’t play well with others. I had one job in my life. It was my first job ever out of college. I wasn’t supposed to be doing anything that I’m doing now. I was in graduate school studying fashion and portrait photography in the early ‘90s. With eighteen credits to go, I lost my financial aid. The government sent me an email and said, “Your parents make too much money. We’re taking all your financial aid.” I sent the government back a letter. I said, “My parents do make too much money but they keep it.”
This is the exact same problem Crystal had when she was in college.
They put me through undergrad at Boston University. I couldn’t, in my good conscience, ask them to put me through grad school. With eighteen credits or so left, I was in Santa Barbara, California studying photography. I moved back to New York. This was in 1995. A lot of your readers aren’t going to understand this next sentence. I was in my parents’ basement hanging out in something called the Melrose Place TV gossip chat room on America Online. For those of your readers under 30, imagine Twittering about Altered Carbon, but it’s not your phone, it’s a box that’s connected to another box on the floor and then there’s a TV screen. That’s connected to something called a modem. You type something into it to this chat room. You go out for a slice of pizza. You come back 0.5 hours later and someone’s typing something back to you. That’s what we did in the ‘90s.
Crystal and I were talking about remember when we used to say things like Be Right Back, BRB, ASL. Now I can text you while I’m peeing.
You could be like a bio break because you had to leave the room. Now it’s whatever.
The first time I got a laptop with a Wi-Fi stick, USB stick or whatever, I remember going to Starbucks not because I’d steal Wi-Fi. They didn’t know what that Wi-Fi was. I started by saying, “Wi-Fi with a latte.” I find a place to get online so I could tell all my friends I’m sending this from someplace.
We were watching Roller Boogie. Melrose Place got a lot cooler, but we were watching Roller Boogie and there’s a scene in the movie where he’s blowing this girl’s mind because he’s calling from outside of her apartment. She’s like, “There’s no payphone outside my apartment.” He’s like, “I know. I’ve got a car phone.”
Those were the days.
Long story short, I was hanging out in the chat room. I have no idea what I wanted to do with my life. A friend of mine in the chat room said, “My company is trying to build the newsroom. You have a journalism degree. Why don’t you send me your resume?” I said, “Sure, I have no experience, that would be great.” I learned that sarcasm doesn’t translate online. Two weeks later, I was being moved down to Virginia to become one of the three founding editors of the America Online Newsroom.
That was a big deal. That’s a huge thing. AOL is a punch line anymore.
It is the punchline, but back in the day, AOL was the internet. It would be essentially like a 23-year-old who’s in love with Peloton got asked to head up Peloton Tread or whatever the case may be. You go into the mothership and it was the greatest experience of my life. I had 2.5 years under Steve Case and Ted Leonsis. They taught me more than I’ll ever know. It was a godsend and it was the best job in the world. Two-and-a-half years in at 8:00 AM, I walked in. At 9:00 AM, they had their first-ever mass content layoff and at 10:00 AM, 300 of us were on the sidewalk going, “What happened?” It was great. The best thing in my life was getting a job in AOL.
The next best thing was getting laid off because I moved out of Virginia back to New York and I got a job. I had an AOL background, so everyone wanted to hire me. I got this job working for an offline magazine who wanted to start an online component. In my first week in the office, I’m like, “You want me to be in exactly at 8:45 or earlier?” In AOL, they let you do whatever you want, just get it done. I’m like, “I have 45 minutes for lunch. What is this, Russia?” That was the last full-time job I ever had. I went out on my own, much to my parents’ chagrin and dismay at that point in the summer of ‘98. I had no money but I had this idea. I had this feeling and when you’re ADHD, you basically do it. I literally said, “Mom, I’m going on my own and when I fail, I’ll get a full-time job.”
The first thing I had to do was figure out how to pay rent because I was living in a studio apartment in Manhattan, roughly the size of a laptop. The movie Titanic was coming out on video. That’s important for a reason. I live near Times Square and I still do but I’m in a much bigger place now. I remember walking through Times Square one night and everywhere you look, there were signs that said, “Buy the Titanic video. Buy it on video. It’s on video. Get it here. Get it at Amazon. Get it at Reel.com.” I said, “There’s got to be other people that hated that movie.” My rent was $1,600 and I had $1,900 in the bank. I took $1,800 and I had 500 shirts printed up. The shirts read, “It sank, get over it.”
I went into Times Square on a Friday night. I figured if I could sell 180 shirts over the course of a week, I would make my rent money back. I wouldn’t be homeless or have to move back in with my parents. I figured it would take at least a week to sell 180 shirts. I sold 500 shirts in six hours on a Friday night. I came home. I threw $5,000 up in the air. I rolled around it naked. I called the reporter the next day who I had met while working at AOL. She was in USA Today and I told her this story. She goes, “Are you selling the shirts online?” I went, “Yeah, that’s why I called you.” This is 1998. There was no WordPress. There was Peter and his craptastic HTML. It was, “Buy a shirt, click here.” You’d click to send me an email that you wanted the shirt. I would email you back my physical address and you would mail me a check.
That was the ‘90s.
I said, “Okay, we’ll see what we can do.” I forgot about it because ADHD or I call it ADOS, which is Attention Deficit Oh Shiny. The phone rings the next morning at 5:30. It’s the hosting provider of my website, “I called to see if you started advertising.” I’m like, “No, it’s 5:30 in the morning. What the crap?” “Sir, normally you get about 100 visitors a day to your website and most of them are you.” I’m like, “That’s great, thanks.” “You have got over 37,000 unique visitors to your website in the past two hours. You have taken down our first, second and third primary servers. You’re about to take down our fourth, fifth and sixth. We only have seven servers. I’d like to know what’s going on.”
This story ran on the front page of USA Today in the bottom little life section. I listed the website. I hung up the phone, it was People Magazine. I hung up the phone, it was the Today Show. I hung up the phone, it was Howard Stern. I sold 10,000 shirts on the web at $15 apiece over the next two months. My dad was a high school principal at the time at a public school. I had him send me his detention students every day after school. I’d give them $20 or $30 a day and buy them pizza. They would pack shirts and take them to the post office. It was like P. Diddy’s studio sweatshop after school stuff.
You went viral before there was a name for it and you reinvented the sweatshop.
I sold out $15,000. I cleared out $100,000. I started my first company, which was a PR firm. I’m like, “I know how to speak and I know how to talk to the media, I should do PR.” Long story short, I sold that agency because of ADHD. I talked to everyone. If you’re on a plane next to me, unless you fake your death, I would know everything about you by the time we land. I was building up this ridiculous Rolodex. While consulting for the next several years, reporters would call me, “Peter, I need a source for this or source for that,” and I’d find them.
It started taking more and more of my time. I’m like, “There’s got to be an easier way.” I built a Facebook group, which I outgrew in one week. I moved it to an email mailing list where the reporters would send me their queries. I would send them out to anyone who wanted to sign up for my friends or whatever. From late 2007 to mid-2010, that little mailing list became a company called Help A Reporter Out or HARO. Long story short, in 2010, it was acquired by a company called Vocus who’s now Cision. They’re now PR Newswire.
In three years, by the time I sold it, I was sending out 1.5 million double opt-in emails a day with a 79% open rate, which is obscene. I made a name for myself. I got ridiculously lucky, but the company was acquired. It was a game-changing moment for me. Now I consult and I run an entrepreneurial mastermind because as you probably know, entrepreneurship is lonely as hell. I had about 200 people who are part of my group. I called them ShankMinds and we were there for each other in that regard. I then launched this podcast because I took some time after I sold the company and I realized that every decision I made, it has either been yes or no.
There’s been no, “I’ll wait and see.” There’s been no, “It’s little research.” Some are spectacular failures and some are spectacular successes. I joke I have two speeds and only two speeds. My two speeds are Namaste and I’ll cut a bitch and it’s served me well. I launched this podcast. I realized a lot of other people who are successful are also ADHD entrepreneurs. We had Tony Robbins. We had Joe De Sena from countless fun races. We had John Michael Di Spirito from Peloton. I’m lucky and I’m having a blast. I’m hoping with the podcast that I do a little bit good to help kids and adults realize that ADHD isn’t a curse. It doesn’t mean you’re broken. It’s a gift.
That’s awesome. We’re on the HARO mailing list and have been for a year. It’s not because we’re interviewing you like, “We’re supportive.” I ended up in a couple of things. They quoted me in something on /Film because of my movie podcast background. They were writing an article about all these TV shows that are getting brought back. It’s a crazy new thing. I was like, “They were bringing back The Honeymooners in the ‘50s. What are you talking about? This is not new. In 1971, there was a show called Make Room For Granddaddy. There is nothing new about this at all.” I thought they would call me and interview me and then all of a sudden, I’m vain. I have a Google alert set up for my name. One day I got a Google alert that’s like, “Your name is on /Film.” I was like, “What?” They took my email. They didn’t even ask for a follow-up or anything. They took it and lifted it. We’ve been in a couple of different things.
It’s awesome. It’s a lot of fun. It’s great.
It’s a great feeling. I know I have helped a lot of people with it. I know that there are a lot of small businesses that couldn’t afford a PR firm who has gotten bigger, grown and has had success because of this. That makes me feel good.
For my edification, how is that monetized?
There’s a little text ad that I would write every morning or afternoon, evening, all three editions. With a 79% open rate, you can command people’s first children for that because no one gets a 79% open rate. I got to a point where I didn’t even do CPMs. I’m like, “Here’s the fee.” The open rate was high that there were many people on the list and I wrote every ad. If the ad was good and it was something that appealed to entrepreneurs, journalists or whatever, people would sell out. People would take out an ad and it would go out in the noon HARO and by 4:00 PM they’d be out of inventory. This happened a lot.
From my couch, we do the math. We had three emails a day and the ads were $1,500 apiece times 3 emails a day, times 5 days a week, times 4 weeks a year. I had two employees working for me who are editors. They worked from their homes. In fact, the legal name of the entity HARO, the DBA, the legal name of EMT was Two Cats and A Cup of Coffee, LLC because the only thing that was awake when I first started it at 5:30 were me and my two cats and my cup of coffee.
You mentioned that ADHD is something that you talk about on your podcast and you want to make sure that people know that it’s not something that’s crippling. What should people know about it? Now, a lot of people know that there are tons of medications they’re trying to give kids. I don’t know where you stand on that. A lot of people are being diagnosed with it. They know there’s a lot.
The first thing I want to say is I’m not anti-med. I have written several op-eds. However, I feel strongly that it should not be the first line of defense. I definitely believe that we are over-medicating our children. We are taking away the things that would prevent them from needing medication in the first place. The recesses have dropped in public schools from an hour 50 years ago to twenty minutes if we’re lucky. There have been countless studies. There was a study in Texas where they took an entire school district and they changed breakfast to a high level of protein as opposed to chocolate bars and sugar bombs. They increased recess from twenty minutes to an hour. The instances of acting out with ADHD dropped 54% in boys. Even cooler, girls raising their hands and getting involved in class and getting involved in the discussion have increased by 48%.
These are ridiculous numbers. I believe that medication has a place for certain people. The problem I have is that when a five-year-old starts acting out, maybe because he’s freaking five and because he is having those other pressures too where they were sitting in front of the TV for an hour. Maybe instead of saying, “Let’s put them on amphetamine salts,” maybe we say, “Let’s try changing up his diet to fewer processed carbs and more protein. Instead of having them sit in front of the TV before school, let’s have them run around.” These are not radical changes, but they’re changes that can be implemented at school. Parents have to look at it differently.
The problem is that you put these kids on meds and then you have a kid on meds. There’s a great line, “Pills don’t teach skills.” The kid stays on meds until he or she is out of college and eventually of their parents’ health plan. They can’t afford the meds and then they stop taking them. What happens is they have learned nothing. I am thankful that when I was growing up, it wasn’t ADHD. That didn’t exist. I’m 45 and it was, “Sit down, you’re disrupting the class.” What I learned about myself and I didn’t realize this stuff many years ago, is that everything I did over the course of my life from being an entrepreneur to being the class clown, to getting in trouble, to constantly going home with a note from the teachers, that was all self-medication. It’s no coincidence that I’m a licensed skydiver. I took a whole bunch of people sky diving as a publicity stunt. It was all our first time. All 149 people had a great experience. They chalked it up and they’re like, “That was cool.” No, I go back next week and go for my license.
It’s that kind of thing. Over the years, I have learned that it can be a great gift. I believe almost all my successes are because of it. The flip side is I had to learn how to manage it because ADHD is tied closely to an addictive personality. I did my first 5K at age 29. I have never run before in my life. Most people are like, “I got 5K, let’s go have a beer. That was awesome.” I signed up for a marathon and after a bunch of marathons, I signed up for the triathlon. Now I have two Ironman under my belt. You look at me and I don’t look an Ironman. You think, “You’re confused. You watch the movie Iron Man while sitting on your ass.” Ironman, and it’s no coincidence, has the most number of recovering addicts in the world. It’s about knowing myself.
We were talking about how we get to wear t-shirts and jeans. I have had to come up with what I call life rules. I wrote a book about this called Faster Than Normal, which is also the podcast name. I talk about my life rules. I have to exercise every day and the Peloton has literally saved my life in that regard. Because I’m a single dad half the week and my daughter, I couldn’t go out and run at 4:00 in the morning or whatever. If you Google me, you’ll find that I’m the guy who got arrested in Central Park for exercising “before the park opened.” It turns out the wrong thing to say to a cop at 4:00 AM is, “How do you close nature?” I grew up in Manhattan. I have never heard of Central Park closing but whatever.
With Peloton, I get up around 3:45, 4:00 AM. I’m a member of the Predawn Riders Tribe. I’ll do 2 or 3 either 45-minute classes or four 30-minute on-demands before the 6:00 AM live. I’m done at 6:45. I have a quick shower and my daughter wakes up around 7:00. If I don’t work out, I don’t get the dopamine, the serotonin and the adrenaline that normal or that neuro-typical people have, that people with ADHD are constantly seeking. If I don’t have that, I don’t have a good day. My closet is simple. I have two sides. The left side says, “Office/travel,” and t-shirts and jeans. The right side says, “Speaking/TV,” and it’s button-down shirts, jacket and jeans and that’s it. All my suits, ties, and all that crap are in another room in my daughter’s closet because if I had to go to the closet in the morning, “What should I wear? Look at that vest. I remember that vest. Laura gave me that vest. I wonder how she’s doing. I should look at her.” Three hours later, I’m naked in the living room on Facebook and I haven’t left the house.Peloton is letting their recruitment flow organically. Click To Tweet
Was there a story where Einstein had fourteen of the exact same suit because he’s like, “Why spend that much time thinking about it?”
Look at Zuckerberg and Obama. Why waste time thinking about things that don’t better your life? I know what works for me.
With the speeches and stuff that you give, is that ADHD specific? Do you have other topics?
No. After selling HARO, I spent a year trying to figure out why HARO was sold for as much as it did because I had no idea. I’m not an MBA. I’m not a business guy. I know people. I know how people think. I like talking to people. It was like one of those movies that they make me an offer. I’m like, “That’s interesting. I’ll have to think it over.” I hang up the phone and I’m like, “I can’t believe it.” I tried to figure out why a business would think that my company was valuable. What I discovered was that they had interviewed 200 or 300 random users of HARO. Every single one said, “I totally feel I’m invested in this company. If I ever have a problem, I email Peter.” I was sending 1.5 million emails a day from the email address [email protected] which is still mine. If you had a problem, you replied to me. It was simple.
I realized, “Why is this special?” because most companies don’t do it. Customer service in general in this country sucks. That’s something that I’m not joking or it’s not hyperbole. It is terrible. If it’s terrible, then it turns out I don’t need to be awesome. I wasn’t striving to be awesome. I was simply being one level above what everyone expected. I can’t tell you how many speaking gigs I have gotten, major corporations, massively huge speaking gigs for decent fees because they call the number on my website and it rings to my cell phone and I’d answer it. It’s hysterical when I go, “This is Peter Shankman,” then they go, “Is this the office of Peter Shankman?” I’m like, “Yeah, this is Peter.” They’re like, “Great, is it possible to speak to Peter?” “This is Peter.” They apparently called 25 other speakers and they either got voicemail or an assistant. I’m like, “What’s up? I’m walking to catch my flight. How are you doing? What do you want to talk about?” They’re shocked. They’re floored. To me, I was raised to be a decent person.
I’ll never forget and this is one of my favorite stories. I only remember this because my cat, I’m home and out of the two cats from the cup of coffee, one of them, NASA, has left. He’s right there. Karma was my first one. I found both of them on the street. I then sold HARO, they may be announcing it in DC and I was flying home the next morning. For the first time in my life, I started to believe my own press. When you’re ADHD, you might have the greatest ideas in the world, but you constantly feel you can’t accomplish a thing. Not a day goes by when I wake up and I’m sure this is the day the New York Times is going to run this huge expose on why I suck. When they don’t, it’s because I’m not an important New York Times.
My first thought was at least you made the Times.
I sold this company and I have some money in the bank. As I’m in the elevator to my apartment, for the first time, I remember it clearly. I’m like, “I’m the man. I did this thing. I got some money. This is what everyone wants and I did it.” I opened the door to my apartment and I had an entryway hallway, four-foot-long skinny rug. When I tell you that Karma and NASA puked on the rug, you think puke spot in the road. The night before, they’d gotten into a 25-pound bag of dried food, fresh, brand new and full. They’d eaten as much as they could, drank some water, walked over to the carpet, thrown up, and then apparently repeated the process about fifteen times over the night. Imagine a football stadium and how they make those crisscrosses when they mow. I spent the first three hours of my life as a millionaire on my knees cleaning up cat puke. I believe to this day that was supposed to happen. That was the universe saying, “Great job. Don’t get cocky.”
That’s when he started his company about cat bulimia, which is the real reason he came to talk to us.
It’s a serious issue.
It is. I’m frustrated with how people make fun of it. It’s the punchline.
That is hilarious. What a great story.
It’s random and I love that. It’s the concept that you can’t take anything seriously. If you spend your day and you have done nothing else but make someone laugh, tell a funny story or help someone in some capacity, in my book, that’s a huge win. I grew up in New York City as a public school kid. My parents were public school teachers. It was what they called the middle class back then. Every once in a while, I look around and I have no idea how I got here, but I’m having fun and I’m helping people. That’s literally it. At the end of the day, did I have fun? Cool, I’ll do this again.
That sounds great. You definitely game the system. Good for you.
I’m fortunate and lucky. If you chase it back to what happens if my friend at Boston University hadn’t given me an AOL disc in 1983 and I hadn’t joined him. All those little moments add up to something. I did some work for Tony Bennett many years ago. When I went to dinner with him one night, it was him, his gorgeous 29-year-old girlfriend, my mom, my dad and me. We walked into this gorgeous restaurant with no reservation because he’s Tony Bennett. We had this amazing dinner and at some point to the dinner, my mom got up to go to the bathroom. My dad and I were like, “Have you ever seen the Simpsons when they eat?”
My mom goes to the bathroom, we were eating and Tony Bennett stood up for my mom when she went to the bathroom. When she came back, he sits up again and the dinner ends. Tony and his girlfriend got to their car and the driver. My mom, my dad and I were walking to the cab. My dad’s like, “The food was amazing.” I’m like, “It was incredible.” My mom was like, “Tony Bennett stood up for me when I went to the bathroom,” and she didn’t talk to either of us for a week. I learned from that. Now I have the longest relationships I ever had.
There’s a woman who told me, one of my longest relationships, she goes, “I wasn’t going to have a second date with you, but you stood up when I went to the bathroom in the restaurant and you asked me about my day.” I don’t need you to be awesome. I don’t need anyone to be awesome. I need you to be a little bit better than what we expect. There’s a joke about two guys running in the woods in a trail and they see a bear. They’re freaking out like, “The bear is going to charge us.” The first guy leans down and tightens up his sneakers. The second guy says, “Don’t be crazy. You cannot outrun a bear.” The first guy says, “I just need to outrun you.”
Was that maybe a moment when your parents were like, “Our son made it,” because you’re like, “Let’s go to dinner with Tony Bennett?”
My parents are awesome. I love them to death. I’m fortunate they’re both still very much alive. They live three blocks from me, which in Manhattan is cool. If we lived in Iowa and they lived three blocks, we see them every day. In Manhattan, you still have to find time to see each other because I’m never going to run into them on the street three blocks away in Manhattan. They’re great and they understand what I do now. There was a time when I went on my own. You’re going on your own. You’re calling your PR firm The Geek Factory. Now they understand that I’m a speaker. I have written five books. Once you write a book, it’s just, “My son’s an author,” and it’s easy. They weren’t public people. They both worked at the New York City Board of Education. They retired at the top of their game in the public schools in New York. It’s still weird to them to turn on CNN every once in a while, and see me on it or get a Google alert on my name and it’s some major newspapers. It’s fun.
I don’t think my mom ever calmed down until I got a government job, then I got a government job booking concerts. She was like, “Tommy has a government job. I feel okay now. They don’t fire anybody.”
There were years though where I was making my rent, I was paying my bills and I had a few bucks in the bank and they didn’t understand that like, “You don’t seem like you’re doing much.” I love them and they did get it. If you’re not an entrepreneur, you don’t know. It is a lot of fun. It’s incredible highs. It’s incredible lows. It’s essentially waking up every morning and jumping off a cliff with the objective to build a parachute that functions before you hit the ground.
That is a good thing to do. That’s definitely important.
Peloton has helped. I discovered exercise many years ago as a way to reset my brain and get that ADHD reset that I need. I have an office but if I’m home from work and in the middle of the night, if my brain won’t shut off, I would go out for a run at 3:00 in the morning, but I prefer not to. That Bike, I become one of those people. It’s horrible. People used to make fun of vegan. They used to joke, “How do you know if you meet a vegan? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.” I’m the guy who, if I’m on a plane and the plane is going down, the flight attendant is saying, “The pilots are dead. Who can fly a plane?” I’ll stand up and I’d be like, “I can’t, but I own a Peloton. Here’s why you should get one.”
How did you find it then? Who did that for you?
A few years ago, I met their head of marketing through various people at some event. I’ve heard about it. I met this person and she used HARO. She’s like, “I know who you are, why don’t you come in and have a ride on me?” I’m like, “Sure.” I wanted to experience it. My goal at that point was, “They’re new. Maybe I could use my audience and get a free Bike.” I rode one Bike. It was a lot of fun. It was my first ride with Christine. I’ll never forget. It was funny because the woman didn’t know I exercise and I came fifth in the class. She’s like, “Wow.”
Long story short, I left and I reached out to the marketing person a couple of weeks later. I’m like, “Do you want to get coffee?” She’d been let go with half the team when they cleaned house. I’m like, “Whatever.” I didn’t think much of it. I was flying home from a speech in late April of ‘17. I was checking my email on a plane and I got an email from my sports doctor who said, “Peter, we got the results of the MRI for your foot.” I had surgery on my foot that didn’t work. He said, “We got the results from the MRI and nothing’s changed. We’ve got to figure out the root of the problem of why your left foot still hurts. We’re not sure what it is, but we’ll keep trying.” I was angry. This meant no running for at least another month or two. I shut down my email and the website that opened afterward was a new site. I don’t remember what it was. There was a story about connected tools and they mentioned Peloton. I’m like, “I remember that Bike,” and on the airplane flying to New York, I rage purchased.
I’m not the only one who makes the occasional rage purchase. I once rage purchased an exact replica of Tom Servo from Mystery Science Theater 3000.
I’ve got to be honest with you, most people would find that weird. You are literally high in my book. I remember purchasing it and thinking that it was freaking stupid because you live in a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. Good job giving up half your apartment space right there. You remember you were a Jewish kid who grew up in New York City. You remember that your parents had lots of workout equipment that essentially held clothing. They were over-glorified hangers. This is going to be the same thing. You’re an idiot. Why would you do this? Especially if you’re trying to minimize. It showed up and these two nice guys came in. Four minutes later, it was put together and they were out. I’m like, “Alright, whatever.” I went on that afternoon and because my thought was that if it was an on-demand ride, it would just be a ride and you compete against yourself and nothing else.
I started the ride and I figured the leaderboard was for decoration. The second I moved up one that was like if you’re a junkie, how’s that first time where they got addicted? I’m like, “Holy crap.” Even the on-demand rides are “live.” I remember the person who was ahead of me. She was the first person I ever followed. Her screen name I remember is PR or The ER. I was new then that I thought, “She must do public relations for the emergency section. Maybe she knows about HARO.” I’m fighting to beat her the entire time. I get off the Bike 45 minutes later and I’m like, “What happened?” In my bedroom, I’m sweating like I ran a marathon. I am high as a kite on dopamine. I looked at the Bike and it was like when Marty McFly saw the DeLorean reappear, “Are you telling me you built a time machine? I have a DeLorean.” That’s how I felt and I was shocked because I do marketing. I’m a marketing advertising PR guy. I don’t get caught up on brands, this thing.
I thought it was funny when you said, “I thought I’d use my podcast or use my audience to get a free Bike.” I was like, “We bought the Bike and then built an audience. That’s why he’s an entrepreneur.”
I’m a social influencer and I have to predicate that with, “I hate that term. It makes me feel like the biggest douche in the world,” because I don’t believe I am. I get offers every single day, “We have this new product. Do you want to share it with your audience?” 99% of the time, it’s, “No, go screw yourself,” because my belief is having an audience is a privilege. It’s not a right. I’m not going to subject my audience to some BS that they don’t care about and I don’t care about. That’s ridiculous. There are people who do that and some say, “They make good money, let them.” That’s not in my code of ethics. If I promote something that I’m getting paid for, I will tell you. More importantly, if I promote something, it’s because I truly do love it.
We have people come at us with stuff occasionally, I’m sure not nearly as frequently as you do, but so far we’re like, “I don’t know.”
We don’t do the show to sell. We’re not trying to push things on people. That’s not what the goal is. If there’s something that we feel people need to know about, we’ll tell them for free. It’s not what we want to ticket.
If that’s normal for podcasts, I never started that thing to make money. Occasionally now we have an advertiser because they hear it and they’ll be like, “I’m a fan of your podcast. I have something that I’m working with ADHD kids or schools or whatever.” I started working with specialized bikes because they have a nonprofit called Riding For Focus, where they put public middle school kids on bikes to counteract the negative effects of ADHD. It’s doing such a world of good. For these guys, I’ll go to the ends of the earth because they’re truly benefiting society.
I’m not looking to get paid for that or anything. They’re doing wonderful work. I wake up every day, I can’t believe I have an audience. I can’t believe these people want to hear from me and like what I’m doing. I literally giggle. I’m 45 years old and I giggle. I love what you have built here. I love it because it’s authentic. It’s real. You don’t have ulterior motives. It’s similar to what I have done on mine but it’s fun. Another thing about Peloton is they have built an audience that is unbelievably engaged. I haven’t seen engagement like the Peloton audience since I worked at AOL.
I always say I don’t think I have seen people this engaged since the Branch Davidians.
I’d go out for a smoke break at AOL. Everyone smoked in the ‘90s. I’d be standing out in front of the building. I’d see people pull up in 2 or 3 cars and twelve people would get out, run up to the AOL sign and take pictures in front of it. I’ve had people I’ve met in chat rooms and decided to have a road trip to meet up in person. They’d come up to me, they’d see my badge and they’d be like, “Do you work here?” I’m like, “Yeah, I pulled a 36-hour shift covering the Olympics. Why? Do you think this is awesome?” It was that level of adoration.
You’d take your pictures back then and it was not like taking pictures now. You had to put thought into it. Somebody brings a camera and make sure there’s a film. Nowadays you always have a camera. It’s not a big deal. That wasn’t like we’re passing this, “We should get a picture.” That was a mission.
You went to the outhouse, that was the photo mat. Kodak came out with the first digital camera called the Mavica, which the memory was a 3.5-inch floppy disk. It will hold four pictures and each one was about 970K which was the highest quality I have ever seen.
I remember the first time I saw a digital camera was when I was an intern for The Point morning show and they had a guy, and I don’t even know what his name was. I think he was the head of Yahoo at the time and this would have been ‘95, ‘96. He came in and he’s like, “Can I take some pictures?” We’re like, “Sure.” He pulls out this digital camera and we’re like, “Are you from the future.” We’re even like, “What would you do with a digital picture? Who gives a crap? Where are you going to put that? Can you print it out somewhere?”
That was the thing. I found this company that I found online called Mixtiles. I’m trying to grow up and put stuff on my walls that aren’t movie posters.
There’s nothing wrong with putting movie posters.
There’s nothing at all but at age 45, it’s time that I took the in and out poster for the Working Girls framed poster off my living room.
You need better-tasted movies.
I ordered these Mixtiles and all of a sudden, we have spent all this time making everything digital and now there’s an app that allows you to print and hang up your photos. I’m like, “Everything old is new again.”
It’s the photographic equivalent of vinyl. Since you live in Manhattan, do you tend to ride at the studio much or are you like, “I’ve got a Bike right here. Why would I do that?”
I do. I try to go at least once every couple of weeks on days. I don’t know, my daughter, it’s nice to go to a 6:00 AM class to meet some of the instructors. Jennifer Jacobs teaches a lot of the 6:00 AMs on Fridays. She’s cool. We follow each other on Instagram. It’s fun to be there in person and say hi to her. Christine is amazing. John Michael is incredible. He and I have become friends. Along with other people, we’re going to see a Broadway show.
What are you seeing?
In the ‘80s, there was a wonderful show that to this day is my number one favorite show called Chess.
One Night In Bangkok, Murray Head, I’ve seen it. I saw the touring production that lasted probably one tour because it was Chess. I saw it at the Fox when I was a kid.
It becomes a legend that is now in less than 68 days. Chess was the first time I ever wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Times because Frank Rich, who was the Broadway critic, killed the show. Had it had one more week of tails, that would have made its money enough to stay open instead of closing it at 68 shows. I thought I was Hemingway, I remember saying, “Much like doctors or surgeons have to go back to school every once in awhile, so don’t kill their patients. Your critics should go back to school. They don’t kill a perfectly viable show.”
Long story short, it’s being performed for four nights only at the Kennedy Center in DC featuring Raul Esparza. It’s going to be amazing. I found out about that and I jumped on that immediately. I’ve got to give a shout-out to my ex, Kira, my daughter’s mom, my closest friend in the world still. When I told her I was going on your show, she goes, “The male host, you and him are going to bond. Trust me, you and he are going to be besties.” I’m like, “Leave me alone.” Here I am publicly, Kira. You’re right. You know everything and I know nothing. Thank you.
My mom took me to all that theater and Broadway stuff when it would ever come to town. I have seen weird stuff that if you live in St. Louis, you don’t typically get to see professional productions of Starlight Express.
The first play I ever saw, I was five years old. It had to be ‘77, ‘78. It was Sweeney Todd with Angela Lansbury. I’m five years old and at intermission, a woman behind us in her fur coat turns to my mother and says, “Do you think this is appropriate for a child of his age?” My mother turns to me and goes, “Peter, what do you think of the show?” I’m like, “I love it.” She turns back to her and says, “Yeah, I think it’s fine.”
I remember my mom, I wanted to see the comedians. When they opened the Fox Theater in town, they would bring in comedians. She got season tickets and she’s like, “You’ve got to see everybody. Liberace and Sammy Davis Jr., I saw all that stuff too but I wanted to go to the comedians. One time we went and saw Joan Rivers and I was probably 12 or 13. When it’s over, she was dying. She’s like, “What do you think?” I was like, “I thought it was funny but there was some stuff that I don’t know that I fully understood.” She’s like, “What would that be?” I was a fairly precocious child. I was like, “What’s a gynecologist?” She delicately explained that. I’m like, “Okay, I get the other 35% of the act.”
My not so well-kept secret is that I went to High School Performing Arts in Manhattan, the “Fame School.”
The Fame School, you dance in the streets.
I never did any of that. My graduating class of 1990 had Marlon Wayans and Omar Epps. Two years before me was Jennifer Aniston and Adrien Brody was after me. This used to be a badge of honor. We tell everyone. In 2006, Nicki Minaj graduated from there and it screwed it up for everyone. Having access to that school, to those kinds of teachers and to Broadway ten blocks away. That’s why when people say, “You’re raising your 4.5-year-old in New York City?” I look at them and go, “Like that’s even a question.”
When we’re in LA, I’m like, “I love LA.” It’s a lot of fun, but I don’t think I could live there. New York, I could totally live here. The best part about going to the Fame School is that you’re going to live forever. You are checking boxes left and right. When you do go in for your rides, do you have a specific instructor you seek out? I know you listed some or are you like dealer’s choice? You walk in and get who you get.
I love them all. They’re all wonderful in their own way. I know that some people are unbelievable in so-and-so’s camper faction. It’s like an episode of Altered Carbon. You’re either pro or con. I love them. They’re all great in their way. When I go to class, I’m looking for that chemistry in the brains that hit where I had a great workout and it rebooted me. I have been doing a lot more high-intensity interval training classes because no one told me, apparently six months after you turned 45, your ability to lose weight stops forever. I do two hit classes a day. My breakfast is I look at an egg. For lunch, I have one piece of lettuce and I lick an olive for dinner, but I love the high-intensity stuff. I’m an ‘80s kid. At the end of the day, if it’s not hit, I’m not in any of this class.The only winning move is not to play. Click To Tweet
Are you looking forward to the Tread?
Yeah, I put the deposit down.
Were you rageful when you did it?
No, I drank the Kool-Aid. I’m having foot issues. I’m hopeful I’ll be able to run. I’m signed up for Ironman, so I better be able to run.
Even your exercise choice isn’t focused on one thing. You have got to do the Ironman.
Why stick to one sport when you can stick to three? My favorite story about that is I had my first Ironman in 2010. I was still running HARO and I had mentioned in one edition of HARO about how much I love Sport Beans. They’re made by Jelly Belly. I guess the Sport Beans’ PR person was on the list and they reached out. They sent me a Sport Beans jersey, which was essentially the team Sport Beans on the back and it was covered in huge colorful jelly beans. It’s a great jersey if you want to get noticed. I wore it for my first Ironman in Cozumel in 2010. I was scared to death. I was at the pier on the ocean at 5:00 AM. No one else was there yet. I’m praying, “Don’t let me die.” I remembered this guy comes up to me and he has this German accent. He goes, “I see your shirt. You too are a sponsored athlete.”
I come out of my haze and I look at him and he’s thin. He’s 1/8 my weight, same height, and he’s wearing a jersey that says Cervélo, which is arguably one of the world’s fastest triathlon bikes. He’s obviously a pro athlete and he’s German. I’m like, “Yeah, they gave me a shirt.” He goes, “Are you hoping to place?” I stand up and I look over at him and I’m like, “Am I hoping to place? I could tell by your jersey since you’re sponsored by arguably one of the fastest triathlon bikes in the world, I can tell you’re a pro athlete and sponsored by Cervélo. If you look at my jersey, you’ll see my sponsor is candy. No, I’m not hoping to place.” He goes, “What is your time goal?” I go, “It’s the same day. I would like you to just go over there.”
The time goal involves a calendar.
It’s literally not dying. I’d love the Tread for no other reason than to get a little faster on the Bike and lose a little more weight. It’s basic physics. The more weight I lose, the less I have to carry. The logic would suggest the faster I can get.
It does make sense.
Are you in any of the groups out there? Do you have enough to do in a day?
I’m on Facebook a lot for work in the respect that I do ads. My mastermind group, the digital version is based on Facebook. We have video calls off of it. I’m a member of some of the groups like the Predawn Riders. They’re wonderful because they’re people as crazy as me. By 4:00 AM, they are posting their end pace line results. I’m like, “Me and my people.” I feel loved. I go to the official page a lot to look around, but I don’t get notifications. It’s busy. There’s a Peloton group on Facebook for everything. I have been invited to the Jewish Peloton Riders.
I have been invited to the Entrepreneur Peleton Riders. There’s an After-hours Peloton Group. I haven’t seen anything like this and since AOL and good for Peloton. If they will keep this up like that, their audience that is engaged and vibrant without expecting anything in return, that is what’s going to make them the billion-dollar unicorn. They have great tech and the Bike is amazing. I love it. It’s free technology. I’m sure the Tread too, but let’s face it, you’ve got 100,000 buzzers every day doing nothing but spreading the word. That’s what turns a company into a golden God.
That is absolutely true. I think you’re watching it unfold.
It’s cool to watch.
It’s funny, I don’t see and I don’t know that they would come on and tell the story if it did but you don’t see a lot of people talking about like, “I never use it anymore.” Every once in a while, you see somebody that’s like, “I fell out of the habit.” Nobody’s going to bet $1,000 but for the most part, I haven’t seen rageful people that are like, “I bought this $2,000 thing and I’m still shelling out money.”
The only time I have seen anything even approaching that is on the buy-sell-trade group and it’s not angry people.
They are sad. They’re like, “I had a life-changing event and I can’t afford this.”
It’s like we’re moving to a place that doesn’t accept dogs. What’s incredible about it is this is all organic. I could be wrong and naive, but I don’t believe that Peloton corporate is going out and recruiting. They’re letting it flow organically, which is the smartest conceivable thing they could ever do.
Do you have any advice for people that entered the world of Peloton?
What I do and I’m sure everyone does this, I’m not special, when you’re working hard on a ride, click on the person a point above you and the person a point below you and follow them. Use the people. Follow the metric when you’re on your next ride. Those are your rabbits. Those are the people that will get you faster. It’s the same as when you’re running a 10K relay marathon. You look for the person slightly ahead of you and you try to catch them the entire race.
I’m like that at a hometown buffet.
The beauty of ADHD is I don’t have, remember the movie War Games? “The only winning move is not to play,” it’s the last line. I have learned that about myself. I don’t use a hometown buffet. I live in New York City. It’s the pizza capital of the world. I’m sure you guys go home, you had a long day or whatever and you’re like, “I don’t want to cook. I’m going to order a pizza.” You have a couple of slices then you put the rest in the fridge. I have never had leftover pizza in my life. I have learned to stop doing certain things and put that energy elsewhere. I don’t drink anymore. It’s not because I have a problem or I was going out and getting drunk, but because I don’t have one drink.
I can totally understand that.
I go to free internet events or whatever, the corporate events, and it’s an open bar.
I’m the same way. I rarely drink and I always joke that I have two settings, Billy Graham and Billy Carter.
I love that. That might replace Namaste and I’ll cut a bitch.
It’s either I’m not drinking at all or it’s on bitch. It’s going to be crazy.
That’s the key. The funny thing is moderation isn’t a thing. I had a girlfriend once. The first time I ever realized I might have a problem with drinking. It was at a promo drink. I get to do everything fast. She goes, “If you have a problem drinking, don’t drink so much.” I’m like that. It’s that simple, screw me.
Start running to AA meetings, “I figured it out. Don’t do it so much.”
I wasn’t gaining weight from drinking per se. I was getting weight because I’d wake up the next morning, I wouldn’t be hung-over or anything like that. I’d wake up at 1:00 in the morning as opposed to going to bed, now I’m asleep by 8:00. If I put my daughter down at 8:00 PM, I’m out by 8:15. I wouldn’t wake up at 5:00 and go for a run, so screw it. I might as well order three grilled cheese and tomato and bacon sandwiches from the diner so I can get rid of this alcohol. If I did that for breakfast, I might as well order Mexican for lunch. If I did that, let’s have dinner for pizza. I had a trainer once and he said, “Peter, an FYI, a cheap day isn’t supposed to last four weeks.” I can’t moderate and most people usually can. I have learned it’s all or nothing.
It’s hard to do that though because if you say all or nothing, you have to be disciplined all the time. It’s also hard to relax ever in that way.
I’m far from perfect. I am as disciplined as I can be and 99% of the time, it’s great. What I have learned is not to beat myself up for the 1% of the time that it’s not, but get back on it. If I don’t work out one morning, sleep in or whatever, or the alarm doesn’t work, not to say, “You’re losing it.” One mistake doesn’t undo everything you have been doing for the past year or two years, whatever, or even the past week. It simply means, “Look at all the awesome things you did for the past week, month, year, whatever. Now, let’s keep going. This one day, you did this. You didn’t do the awesome thing this one day, but you have all this background of sixteen months or two years or whatever. Let’s keep going. When you realized it’s not about, “I blew everything I did.” I had lost close to 45 pounds over the past few years. If I have a night where I eat all the pizza in Manhattan, I don’t wake up the next morning 45 pounds heavier. I have to make sure it doesn’t become the same thing I do the next day and the day after that. As long as you do that, I’m okay.
There is a little window into what it looks like in our studio. I have a self-satisfied smug look on my face and Crystal is refusing to make eye contact with me.
Tom may have said those exact words to me before.
The extent that the three of us need to have dinner is unbelievable.
We’ll be there.
Mental note, stand up when Crystal goes to the bathroom.
I sleep in my gym clothes, which is another great tip. I sleep in my shorts and my shirt. I wake up in the morning and my shoes are right at the end of the bed. It’s hard to go back to sleep when you’re in your gym clothes already. It’s also hard to say, “I want to go back to bed.” None of these matters when you have a digital lighting system or an internet lighting system that turns on automatically as you wake up. You wake up and it’s like, “It’s light. I’m in my gym clothes, let’s make it happen.”
There’s no point in going back to sleep with that.One mistake doesn't undo everything you've been doing for the past year or two years. Click To Tweet
For me, that’s the wake-up call. It’s like, “I’m up.” There’s a guy I knew, Hal Elrod, who wrote a book called The Miracle Morning and he said this great thing. He says, “If you hit your snooze button, you’re already late to your day. I hate being late as you know. For me, it’s like, “I’m up.” I know that if I don’t do this, how am I going to feel in twelve hours when I get home? My day wasn’t as productive as it could have been. I’m not happy. I’m angry at myself, “Get your ass out of bed.”
It’s not worth it. You’re going to be too mad later. What is your leaderboard name? How did you come up with it?
It’s this ridiculously complex story. It’s Peter Shankman. All the socials like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, everything I have is Peter Shankman. Once you get verified, it’s the blue checkmark network. If you change your name, they un-verify you and you have to apply again. I’m like, “Yes, stuck with this.” Everything is @PeterShankman and the joke is when I worked at AOL, [email protected] was my email early. I can never use it because everyone was getting on the internet. Everyone said, “Peter is on the internet. He must be [email protected].”
There were 500, which was the maximum emails you could have, 500 misdirected emails in my inbox every single day. Every Friday, we would open up a six-pack in the newsroom and project my inbox under the wall and read some of them. I’ll leave it at this. There are some Peters in this country doing some freaky crap. It’s @PeterShankman on all the socials and everything. I’ve made a few smart moves. I’ve considered my daughter one of them and another one was buying Shankman.com in ‘95 for $75 and having to endure my father going, “$75 for what? You don’t even physically own a thing. What’s wrong with you?”
Did you use the name as star?
He has his first name @Shankman.com, my mom’s first name @Shankman.com, my daughter’s first name @Shankman.com. Yeah, he’s apologized for that. The email is [email protected] and as I said, I answer all my own.
Where can people find you in various social media outlets that you would like them to find you?
My other show got featured there once. It’s a big help.
It is certainly a big help. That is Faster Than Normal on all the podcasts and then FasterThanNormal.com We have new episodes every Wednesday that is twenty-minutes long only because of ADHD. It’s anything Shankman pretty much. I encourage people to follow. I follow back. I use the photography skills that I earned in school on Instagram. I’ll put this out there. I bet none of you guys has done that. If anyone not from New York comes in to go to the mothership and reaches out to me, I will join them for a ride and treat them for a ride in the mothership.
Thank you for taking the time out of what I’m sure is a busy day for you.
I have been on hundreds if not thousands and I’m not bragging, I do a lot of interviews. They’re fun and I like to help podcasts. This is hands down one of my top five of the ones that I’m psyched to have done.
Thank you. That’s nice of you. Maybe we’ll see you at HRI.
I hope so.
There’s no recipe for this episode. Peter Shankman is busy. He said he’s allowed you to all order takeout.
That’s your gift from Peter Shankman.
Thank you. It’s what I’m going to do, Peter. I appreciate that. It’s quite a treat. That’s it for this episode. I know this is a bit of a long one. We were chatty but we had a lot to talk about. The next episode will be shorter, we promise. We have an exciting guest next episode. Not that this one wasn’t exciting, but perhaps you saw this guy on the Olympics.
You know how we all rode from home with Robin because she was in Korea, this dude was up on the stage with her. You might know him as the Queasy Rider from The Wall Street Journal, Jason Gay, who almost gave Peloton and NBC a Technicolor yawn. He’s going to tell us all about his story. Is there going to be a room for this guy? He was the guy that almost everybody was like, “What’s wrong with that guy?” They were posting about it on the OPP. He wrote a big article in The Wall Street Journal. He’s going to come and tell us the story. I’m excited. That’s it for this episode. Until the next episode. Where can people find you?
You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Facebook.com/tomokeefe. If you want to find the show, you can do it at TheClipOut.com or at Facebook.com/theclipout. Don’t forget, while you’re there, join The Clip Out Group and leave a question for John Foley that we will ask him personally at HRI. That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in and until next time, keep pedaling.
- The Clip Out Group – Facebook group
- Facebook.com/theclipout – The Clip Out Podcast
- iTunes – The Clip Out Podcast
- Peter Shankman
- Podcast – Faster Than Normal Podcast
- Faster Than Normal
- [email protected]
- Riding For Focus
- The Miracle Morning
- Twitter – Peter Shankman
- Facebook – Peter Shankman
- Instagram – Peter Shankman
- [email protected]
- iTunes – The Faster Than Normal Podcast
- Jason Gay – next episode
- Facebook.com/crystaldokeefe – Crystal’s Facebook page
- Instagram – Crystal O’Keefe
- @ClipOutCrystal – Crystal O’Keefe’s Twitter
- @RogerQBert – Tom O’Keefe’s Twitter
- Facebook.com/tomokeefe – Tom’s Facebook page