An interview with Daniel Allison the Average Dude
By Anthony T. Eaton
Although Daniel Allison posts videos on LinkedIn and has a Podcast as The Average Dude, he is anything but average. His experience, thoughts, and conversations with the guest of his Podcast are thoughtful and insightful without being pre-planned, stuffy, or overly formal.
After watching his videos and Podcasts I wanted to sit down and talk to this not so Average Dude to see what he had to say.
You started your podcast in 2020; what was the inspiration for that.
I’ve always thought about podcasting. I’m in sales and always having conversations with people. I’m genuinely curious and interested in people, I love to hear their stories, so I found myself doing a podcast every day without a podcast.
Someone reached out to me after a little zone meeting we had, and she said, I think you would be doing a podcast. And I said, well, I’ve always thought about it.
So, she had something that she was attending about starting your own podcast, and she’s like, hey, will you sit in, and I said and sure. I think let’s help each other get started on this. So that’s what we did. You know, I went, and I listened, and these were some guys that had a business to help start a podcast. And after it was over, I was like, man, it’s just so overwhelming. I’ve committed to doing a podcast now.
So, what I ended up doing is getting on anchor and just hit record and doing it by myself is my point.
And how’s it been going?
I’ve enjoyed it; I got a lot out of it. I’ve done about 20 episodes. I thought of the average dude, which was kind of the way I think of myself. I introduce myself as the average dude.
I’ve got a lot of different ideas of the types of interviews I want to do, how long they should be, and different twist on the traditional idea. So, I’m just having fun with it. I don’t really have an endgame; I’m just doing what I enjoy doing.
Well, that’s pretty cool. I listened to at least a little bit of each of your podcasts to get a feel for what you were doing and the kind of guests you have. How do you choose your guests?
Some folks were just were in my circle at that time. I’m not a planner, but I would think I want to talk to this person, so if I had that thought, I’d reach out to them. And pretty much everybody on my list was people that I was around. It was, hey, would you want to be on my podcast? So, it was not a very calculated or methodical process.
That’s very similar to how I operate. I see somebody like yourself, and I go, hey, you know, I’m interested in what this person is doing or what they’ve said or what their story is. The exciting thing is the technology that we have has enabled me to talk to people that otherwise, I may never have had the opportunity to come into contact with.
Absolutely, that that just blows my mind. You know, we have everybody. Each human is kind of in sales, and we’re looking out of a window into this infinite universe. But all it is is our little perspective. But if we can talk to the other guys in the cellblock next to us, we can get a little different perspective. For me, I guess that being able to absorb this information and be open to different perspectives.
And that’s very much how I feel; I do my interviews because I think we learn from other people’s stories. We may believe we are very different and, in some respect, we may be very different from each other, but I feel like if there’s something that resonates with somebody, then the goal has been achieved. So for you, what makes a great guest?
I would say more relaxed, more into the topic. I don’t know what I am going to ask. And that’s what I am really fascinated with. I almost don’t want to think about or know too much about the guest, just a very basic direction in which I’m going to go. And that way, I must really listen to determine what my next question is going to be.
I had a lot of guests where I had these questions and ideas and paths that I could go, and I found myself being too unnaturally tied to a specific path, and that’s not my personality. The average dude does not have a specific path on anything. He likes to be in the moment; just talk it out, and we can go and go down that path. I think that’s cool because it always leads to something.
It’s interesting to hear your approach.
I would argue that there’s no right or wrong approach. And I wish that I was more like you sometimes, you know what I mean?
We share a similar passion for helping people. When I was reading about you and listening to your podcast, I wondered if somebody inspired you in a way that you want to inspire others?
I guess there’s no specific person, but I have been around many different personality types, listen to a lot of self-improvement and motivational sales. So I’ve got a lot of information that I’ve taken in. And I take bits and pieces from each methodology and each perspective. And that’s the way that I like to do it.
I like Grant Cardone from a sales standpoint. I resonated with his story, with his energy, with the way that his approach was. I saw myself in him to a certain degree. I did enjoy his approach to certain things.
What I have found is I have talked to people, and no one has it all figure out. It’s just so much fun for me; like you say that if you want growth, just being open to a new perspective, pull that information back out. Amazing what the mind can do.
You also post some great things on LinkedIn videos. What made you decide to start doing that as well? It was an outgrowth of the podcast.
I actually started doing those before the podcast, and again after my podcast, I started doing the videos as the average dude; before that, it was just Daniel Alisson. After I did the podcast, I decided to start doing those videos as the average dude I like.
Where they came from is Toastmasters. I’m part of Toastmasters, and you get to do these little five minute speeches. What I realized is I’ve got a lot of ideas. I could give a speech every day. Now my videos are a little longer. But it’s how my mind thinks that I would come up with my speech ideas are just like I’ll be sitting there thinking, oh yeah, I can talk about that. And here’s a little analogy or metaphor, or whatever you want to say.
Do you get nervous?
I get nervous about how it’s going to be received; I want everybody “like me,” and I am kind of a people pleaser in that regard. I’m not saying things that are open for debate. They’re more just kind of generic thoughts and perspectives on life.
I’m not a confrontational person, so I will tend to be a little safe with what I say. But from the standpoint of getting nervous, I can’t say that I get nervous doing that, but I get nervous somehow be received. Does that make sense?
That makes total sense. I can relate to that. I try not to be intentionally controversial in any way. I always want to make sure that I’m showing others in a positive light. You know, we get enough of that other stuff in the world. And that’s not anything I need to add too. It might get viewers, but I would instead put out something positive and forgo likes or followers.
I’m totally with you. If you’re being yourself and talking about what your feelings are, well, that’s easily repeatable. The reason I don’t get nervous is I’m myself completely. How can you screw that up? If you screw up being yourself, boy, you have really messed up.
This morning, to give you an example, I recorded a video. I liked the video. I was going to post it, and then I made a mistake, accidentally deleted it. But I thought to myself, well, you know, no one video is going to change any damn thing. Do you know what I mean? And the other thing is what was I doing? I was talking about a topic that I know, maybe a few words would change, but the thought was there, and I’m going to deliver it as me. I can re-record it.
One of the things that struck me about you is that you are very authentic in what you’re doing. Many people try to be something or someone they’re not, and he comes across disingenuous. I think authenticity is very important.
And I just f just always want to keep reminding myself of that because it can be easy to fall into not being authentic. Because of everything we just talked about, to keep reminding yourself and keep being humbled by the fact that you are a tiny fragment in an infinite universe. You know what I’m saying?
I do absolutely. It goes without stating that this last year has been something I think no one in the world ever imagined that we would see. Amid all the social unrest, the politics, how has that affected you personally and your outlook?
I would say that I always like to keep an objective opinion on things I’ve always been interested in and enjoy debates, so this is like the perfect storm of controversial topics that are overlapping with politics and COVID. People are just really very rigid and not open to their being another way.
But I have to be careful because I think it’s one thing to watch a debate where people are challenging. You got two smart people debating on a topic. I will get on YouTube, and I’ll find those. But there is a difference between that kind of debate and something else on social media. You get these folks that are like the reason I’m right is I can’t be wrong. You know what I mean? But there’s more sense of identity wrapped up in it. And there’s a certain emotion that comes with that type of stronghold on a belief. There’s no objective truth on these things. These are subjective perspectives. This person believes a certain way because they were raised like that and have consumed information in their life that brought them to this point.
So that’s why I think it’s kind of important that instead of playing chess, watch the chess match being played, right?
Yes, I agree, you don’t have to be part of the game or even be a commentator. I have always tried to stay open to different ideas, different viewpoints, whether I agree with them or not, because I don’t believe in its absolute value, seeing things only one way. You can’t have any constructive conversation or dialogue that way.
Right. So, I think we feed the ego and this idea of self-importance and entitlement and things of this nature, and then everybody’s out to prove their intelligence. It just gets really ugly really quick—my solution to all that has been to completely cut it out of your life.
I don’t listen to any news. I don’t; I don’t participate. I just choose not to participate in any of it.
I participate, but I try very, very hard not to be. Jaded or disillusioned by what I see, you know, for me, I always try to stay rooted in that the thought good in people and the good in the world outweighs all of that. And we’re just going through this cycle. I know we will come out better on the other side.
Yeah absolutely, I like the optimistic approach, and I’ll go with that, too.
So, what don’t people know about you, Daniel? What would people be surprised to know?
I would say that just the level of personal change that I went through, you know, in other words, the kind of person that I am today is so different from who I was in my 20’s. Not just from getting older, but also from reflecting, doing a lot of journaling, making better decisions, gaining perspective, and handling my psychology.
People would have had a different, completely different opinion of who Daniel, the average dude, was. I know that change is a blessing in and of itself. I lived long enough to kind of figure myself out. I think that I’ll probably start to talk more about that at some point. Some of my experiences, because I think there can be some benefit. I think I will know the right time; you know what I mean?
That’s not so uncommon and is part of growth and evolution. Suppose you could look down the road and look back at what you’ve been doing with the podcasts and the videos. What would hope the benefit of that is for people or even yourself?
I have no endgame; I’m just enjoying the journey. It’s almost like this average dude character’s evolution, like what’s going to happen? I have no idea, you know, and who knows? It might be that he hits a roadblock, and he decides he doesn’t want to be the average, and I become something else. But I like the flexibility, and I like the unknown. I like just moving forward,
What do you like about talking with people?
I love to listen to people who can make very complex things simple, explain them in a very good way. I love those kinds of people. I can learn from those kinds of people. And that’s how I like to teach things, too. One of the things that I have thought about is, if you want to show what’s special to you, it’s not your strengths; it is your own way of viewing the world.
The only thing that we have is the way that we see the world. And so that needs to be why we’re here. The way that we can really leave our heart is, again, being exactly who we are and showing that.
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”~A. Einstein
You said it before, the whole ego thing, it’s the ability to move away from ego, right? It’s hard because that’s kind of the world we live in. We’re living in a Kardashian reality television kind of world these days. And what people don’t realize is that’s not real; I don’t care if it’s unscripted or not; it’s not real. I notice that in you because you’re a little self-effacing, in that you don’t have any problem poking fun at yourself. Your dialect and your Southern accent and stuff. I think that’s important. Right, we can’t take ourselves too seriously all the time.
I’m so glad you said that. I did a post here recently about I need to find my haters. Of course, I was joking because I don’t really deserve haters, but I said I need to find some haters. And as I went through that, I thought, what are the things that people could say about me? I know myself, and I’m pretty hard on myself, you know, but I also can kind of laugh at the things I can’t change it.
I would love to have a job for someone famous that gets a lot of haters where they want me to handle the hate. I would love that job.
It’s about the person who is hating. Right. Yes. It’s about what’s going on with you. It’s about what’s going on with the person hating.
So I appreciate you. Appreciate you talking to me. And I enjoyed this; I like conversations like this; it really helps me to kind of self-reflect. You had some good questions that got me thinking about some of these things that were on my mind.
I appreciate you, too.
You can connect with Daniel on LinkedIn and you can find his podcast on Anchor