Cal Fussman – How I Learned to Ask the Big Questions [Part 2] (416)

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In part 2 of this captivating conversation with Cal Fussman, Cal uncovers the power of curiosity and how our culture can both encourage and stifle it. Cal shares his insights on the ways in which curiosity gets buried as we grow older, often due to fear of asking the wrong question. Cal and Mike discuss how this natural inquisitiveness can be unearthed and reignited, and how the internet has influenced the way we approach questioning.

Tune in Cal and Mike dissect the art of the job interview, emphasizing the importance of asking the right questions. From understanding the significance of an interviewer’s attitude to discussing the role of listening in eliciting deeper responses, they get down to the nitty-gritty of conducting an effective job interview. Listen as they share strategies for companies to ensure their job postings accurately represent the positions they’re trying to fill and how an atmosphere of authenticity and connection can be cultivated during the interview process.

Cal’s life experiences, from his globetrotting adventures to his bouts with boxing legends like Julio Cesar Chavez and Muhammad Ali, have all contributed to shaping his outlook on curiosity, creativity, and coaching. Join in as he reflects on how his admiration for mixed martial arts and insights from an expert led him to understand the transformative power of coaching. Tune in to part 1 if you haven’t already, and then come back to part 2 of this thought-provoking episode with Cal Fussman.


Key highlights:

  • The Decrease of Curiosity
  • The Power of Thoughtful Questions
  • The Art of Interviewing
  • The Challenges of Hiring and Authenticity
  • Coaching’s Power in Personal Development

Connect with Cal Fussman:

Check out the video version of this episode below:

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Episode transcript below:

0:00:00 – Mike Malatesta

Hi everyone. Mike Malatesta here and welcome back to the how it Happened podcast. On this podcast, I dig in deep with every guest to explore the roots of their success, to discover not just how it happened but why it matters. My mission is to find and share stories that inspire, activate and maximize the greatness in you. 


Today’s episode is part two of my conversation with the amazing Cal Fussman, one of the most influential writers, interviewers and podcasters in the world. That’s not an overstatement. If you missed part one, do yourself a favor and check it out to hear Cal talk about a value of a great question and nobody knows a great question better than Cal Fussman knows. In this episode you’ll hear Cal’s thoughts on how curiosity gets buried, the right way to shovel for gold, and so much more From four years old and 300 questions a day to you. 


0:00:51 – Cal Fussman

Go to kindergarten the next year and you can no longer blurt out your questions. Yeah, so raise your hand and then a process starts where it’s the teacher’s job to ask the question and the student’s job to provide the answer. By middle school there’s a high level of embarrassment for asking the wrong question. It’s almost like a shovel of dirt. Every time you want to ask a question but you hold yourself back and a shovel of dirt covers up your childhood curiosity. The curiosity never goes away, it’s just covered by shovels of dirt. 


0:01:34 – Mike Malatesta

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And now here’s Cal you mentioned. You know you learned the power of a great question in second grade, right? You told that story, and you’ve talked about curiosity as well. And first off, I believe that all humans are born with abundant curiosity. Do you believe that as well? 


0:03:09 – Cal Fussman

When you are four years old, you’re quite likely asking up to 300 questions a day and making your parents go crazy. It’s there. 


0:03:21 – Mike Malatesta

Okay, I believe that too. I believe that over time for a lot of people, their curiosity starts to wane For all kinds of reasons. Maybe it’s being told no for that. The one time that trips you over where you’re like I’m not going to ask questions anymore because people say no to me all the time. 


0:03:38 – Cal Fussman

I can help you out there. I can really define it there from four years old and 300 questions a day to you. Go to kindergarten the next year and you can no longer blurt out your questions. You’re told, raise your hand and then a process starts where it’s the teacher’s job to ask the question and the student’s job to provide the answer. And then what kicks in is exactly what you’re talking about, where people by middle school, there’s a high level of embarrassment for asking the wrong question. 


And look, this was the case when I was in middle school and you can imagine it now, where somebody can just turn on a cell phone and catch you in the act of asking a stupid question and blessing it out to the world. 


And so you see this. It’s almost like a shovel of dirt Every time you want to ask a question, but you hold yourself back and a shovel of dirt covers up your childhood curiosity. And then you get a job, your first job, and you don’t fully understand what’s going on. And there’s a group of people around you. Do you admit that you don’t know what’s going on or do you just hold it back and say I’m not going to expose the fact that I don’t know this. Figure out a way to understand it later on, but for now I’m just going to go on nodding my head and acting like I do. And another shovel of dirt, and the shovels of dirt. Just curiosity never goes away. It’s just covered by shovels of dirt and after a while it can’t pop up through the dirt and it literally takes somebody to go in with a shovel and say let’s get this out of here. 


Yeah right, Excavate you and throw it away and say look, what you got here. We should never lose your childhood curiosity. You’re human. 


0:06:15 – Mike Malatesta

What about, as it relates to questions, cal, because we’ve been talking a lot about how the internet can do a lot of things for you and you can outsource all kinds of things. And I’m wondering if you think people, as a result of being raised in that environment and having things fed to you, you don’t even have to ask for them. They’re fed to you If people are becoming less equipped to ask good, curious questions of one another. 


0:06:45 – Cal Fussman

That’s a great question. Only thing I can tell you, there’s a little story. After I spoke at UCLA Business School, a student came up to me and said Cal Cal, wait till you hear about this app I’ve just created, wait. And I said all right, tell me. And she said you know how you go to conferences and there are tables outside the meeting rooms and people are sitting at the tables. They may have their computers out or they’re looking in their phones and said I have figured out a way to connect them. And I said what do you mean? Well, if you have this app, they’ll see who they’re sitting with at the table and then they can text them and say, hey, like how you doing. And I said well, why couldn’t you just say hey, how you doing? Yeah, she said because they wouldn’t. And therein lies a problem. If you’re not connecting, then it becomes curiosity, just becomes harder, and I think people who are closer to the computer have a harder time. That’s a generalization, but I’ll give you an example. 


0:08:23 – Mike Malatesta

By closer you mean more attached to, or they’ve grown up with it. Yeah, okay. 


0:08:28 – Cal Fussman

So the reason that I made this conclusion and it may be a generalization, but I would speak I spoke at a cybersecurity conference and people started to I’m like in the front, not exactly on stage yet, but I’m behind stage looking out as people are filing in and they started to come in the room and they went to the last row and filled it out and then, as soon as everybody was seated, computer screens came up and then the next group of people came in and went to the second left row and then their computer screen. Oh, okay, yeah, and it was explained to me later on, like you don’t understand, cal, like these people are protecting their company from being hacked, hurt. It’s like watching over their kids. This is how they have to think and I completely get it. 


But my point is, when you’re thinking that way, it’s very hard to take a step back and just put down the screen, go to the front row and just be curious. And in fact it was pointed out to me that you can, in the same day, you can be very curious and you can get a lot of stuff done, but it’s very it’s. It may well be impossible to at the same time, get something done with a real focused approach and take a step back and be curious about something You’re either going to be in one frame of reference or the other. 


0:10:32 – Mike Malatesta

Right Sure, that makes total sense. 


0:10:35 – Cal Fussman

And the more we’re all getting something done, the less time we’re going to be devoting to taking a step back. To be curious, Right. 


0:10:47 – Mike Malatesta

How daunting is that as a speaker when you’re watching people come in, fill the room that way and then up with their screens? And then you’re supposed to come out there and you know that was the first. 


0:11:00 – Cal Fussman

That was the first, and anybody who’s got to speak to a bunch of cyber security experts, good thing to come armed with humor right off the top. 


0:11:11 – Mike Malatesta

Yeah, yeah, and get them laughing right away, because otherwise it’s yeah, there’s too much of a gravitational force probably to what they’re used to. 


0:11:21 – Cal Fussman

Yeah, I found that in just about like all the interviews that I did. You know, if you’re sitting down with presidents, if you’re sitting down with CEOs, you better, in the first minute, make a connection. Right. 


Because oftentimes their minds are in a lot of different places and if you cannot grip them in some way and let them know that this is different, no different from your, why handwritten notes matter advice? It’s a differentiator. It’s in the first minute. You make somebody curious where is this all going? That’s why I always recommend thinking about that first minute. It’s no different from the first sentence of a book. Writing a mediocre sentence might give the impression that this is going to be a mediocre book. Right, but writing a sentence that makes you lean in is what I want to do in that first minute. And make the person I’m interviewing lean in to wonder where’s this going to go, or even just to stop, and you see their eyes go to the right and they’re looking at the ceiling because you’re making them go inside themselves deep. That’s when you know okay, we’re going to have a great interview. 


0:13:00 – Mike Malatesta

I was thinking as you were talking about that, especially with people who are used to being interviewed, they’re often used to telling the same story over and over and or controlling the narrative of the interview, and so, like you said, with the first question and then what you said earlier about somewhere in there, it has to converge from being an interview to being a conversation, where neither one of us are thinking about the product here, which is the output of this. 


We’re thinking about each other in this unique moment together. That may never happen again and I know there’s experience that goes into making that transition. I’m always trying to figure out how I can get there, because those are the kind of conversations that I want to have. I want to have with people is like I forget that we’re on a Zoom, I forget that we’re recording this and I forget all of this stuff because I’m just so You’ve just piqued my interest or I’ve piqued your interest, and it’s like when you get that, it’s like nirvana, right, but there’s not a script for that, or maybe there is a script for you. How have you learned? 


0:14:19 – Cal Fussman

Well, it’s interesting because this is what I am thinking about now in helping companies do exactly that. I can tell you that the best questions make the person asked just as curious about the answer as you are, and so it is making sure that you throw out your canned questions and you come in with questions that are really going to make the person you’re asking stop and look up to the right at the ceiling and wonder about something deep inside themselves, which, when you hear, as I mentioned before, that people are becoming archeologists and digging into themselves to find out what’s going to bring them meaning, you may actually be helping them do what they want to do. You may be asking the question that they haven’t asked themselves. They may be appreciative for that question and if you ask that question, it’s going to say, wow, they’re trying to get to my core of meaning, like oh yeah, right, Right. 


0:15:47 – Mike Malatesta

How did they know? How did they know that that’s what? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. 


0:15:56 – Cal Fussman

And so that’s the way to go about it, and it’s not like these are the same questions that you carry around in your pocket and can just put out like change. You have to go into the interview thinking about the job, thinking about the person and thinking what’s the question? I really want to ask here, instead of hearing my 20 questions and the worst part, the worst way to go especially in these times, but it was probably always like this is just asking one, two, three, four, next, next, next, because you’re only going to either get a very polished response, because they were expecting the question. Right. 


Or if they weren’t well, maybe they were able to improvise well and that tells you something about them. Maybe they didn’t do very well, but maybe they were a great candidate. They just didn’t have a moment to really explore where that question could go. Right. 


And what I found in interviews again and again and again and again. It’s not the first question that gets the best answer. It may be the third or the fourth follow-up question. So if you’re asking a question and then listening to the response and then moving on, you have done yourself a disservice because you didn’t look deep enough to get into that person. I don’t know if you want to use the word soul or authentic being. You basically may have asked a can question and you might have gotten a can answer and then you moved on, which means that you really didn’t learn very much other than how they wanted to be perceived. 


0:18:20 – Mike Malatesta

And you may have given the person doing that interview a bit too much credit there too, when you said that you asked the question and you listened, but you don’t follow up. I feel like sometimes at least I’ve been on some podcast where they asked the question and they actually don’t care about the answer. What they care about is getting to the next question, so then they hear your answer. I don’t know that they always listen to your answer. 


0:18:44 – Cal Fussman

Well, that’s a whole nother topic to go into, because it seems to me that listening is something that’s imperative to get the best answers. People will notice how you’re listening and just the expression on your face coupled with the right question will bring out something different. And I remember I had breakfast every day for 12 years most of the time. Sometimes we were traveling with Larry King, the broadcaster for CNN, and he drove him crazy when he would see somebody interviewing him and going through that their list of questions and not being interesting. And one time I remember him telling the story of being interviewed on TV by a woman who was asking question number one and then was like looking at making sure her nails were polished, Wasn’t listening at all. 


Oh my gosh, and so he started to give completely different answers to the quite like total non sequiturs. Right. And then she would just go into the next one without she didn’t even realize, had no idea. 


0:20:12 – Mike Malatesta

That’s embarrassing. 


0:20:13 – Cal Fussman

Yeah, and well, he was somebody who and it’s interesting because I just thought of the line in this conversation which just gets to the point when you connect with somebody, you have new thoughts but he had a note from Frank Sinatra and the note was explaining why he and he did not often like to do interviews Sinatra, but he loved to be interviewed by Larry and he said in this note that you make the cameras disappear from the room, which is the same way of saying you throw the interview out of the interview. We’re just two people talking here. Right. 


So it seems to me that if this quality can just be inserted into the job interview process, it would lift a lot of batting averages. And so this is where one of the places that I’m going to go next, to help both the companies and the people applying for the job be their most authentic selves, to find the right connection. 


0:21:35 – Mike Malatesta

I think that’s a beautiful approach too, to not just choose to work with one side or the other. But how do we make both sides come together to make this? Because I need someone who will do the job. I’m an employer. I need somebody who gets a lot of meaning like, who really digs what I need them to do as the employee, you really need that from. If you get that from each other which is what you’re saying it’s like a multiplier. If you don’t get it from one another, it’s whatever the opposite of a multiplier, it’s a divisor. 


0:22:11 – Cal Fussman

It actually could be subtraction. 


0:22:14 – Mike Malatesta

Yeah, yeah, it’s subtraction. 


0:22:15 – Cal Fussman

When the thing about hiring the wrong person, which I’ve been talking to a lot of CEOs and managers about this number one and I saw it on your face when you’re describing the feeling of how did I do this If you ask somebody who’s the worst hire you ever made or what was the worst hire you ever made, you will see two things this tortured expression on the face who did the hiring because it all comes back. And two, it’s mixed with this sense of bemusement and amazement of how did I not see that? How did that get by me? Over and over? I’m just being told, no matter how many times I talk to the person, I never know who they really are until they show up on the job. 


0:23:21 – Mike Malatesta

Right, it’s so true. Well, I think I mentioned this to you when we talked. It’s like what you really want as an interviewer is you and both sides maybe. So what you really want as an interviewer is you want to be inside that person’s home when the door closes and all of the. They don’t have to be anybody except who they are authentically and 99 times out of 100, I’m guessing that’s what they will be and as the interviewee, you want to be in the interviewers. You want to see what they’re like when they close the door on their home, who they really are. Because we can both play. We can both play who we want to play for a short period of time, very doable. 


0:24:10 – Cal Fussman

You are a million percent right, and it’s another thing that I recommend to companies when they go into the hiring process, and number one is interview the job first, because the job may have changed over the last year or the last two years and even just sending out the same notice to get candidates may be putting you in the wrong place because, you’re advertising something that no longer exists. 


It just seems to me, if you take what makes an interview great, I guarantee you, when Oprah Winfrey is going into an important interview, she’s looking into herself and thinking what do I really want to know? The same way that the company should look back at this job and say what do we really want to know about how this job is going to connect with the candidate? How has it changed? What is it asking of people? And it’s not that long a process, it can be done in a little time and it’s no different from the process I go to before an interview where I’m sitting and just thinking of my questions. And when I go into the interview, I don’t have the questions on a piece of paper. A lot of people do. And when you do go into an interview with the questions written on a piece of paper, you will often see the subject like leaning over, trying to read, trying to read yeah. 


And the worst part of that is it’s just reinforcing the fact that this is an interview. It’s not an authentic conversation. You are being asked questions for a reason. The world may be seeing this and that’s going to make somebody put up a wall. 


0:26:28 – Mike Malatesta

Right, or you have producers or someone who are telling you these are the questions that you have to ask, as opposed to really exploring the questions that come as a result of having the conversation. 


0:26:40 – Cal Fussman

And again that comes back to follow up questions. Yeah, Because once the conversation’s underway and where the real great material, it’s like digging for gold. If you ask your first question and you put your shovel in the ground and you lift it up and you see, maybe it’s a tiny sparkle of gold, you have a choice. You could say, ah, there’s not much gold here. Let me move over three feet to the right and then you can put your shovel down, look at it and maybe see another sparkle of gold. No, no, no, no big gold, not here. And you can keep doing that all day long and go for a mile. Or you can say, well, there was this little sparkle here. Let me see what’s underneath and put your shovel in right under that where you put your shovel the first time. Right. 


And you just wow, there’s a few more sparkles here. Let me shovel deeper, and then by the third or the fourth time the shovel goes down. There it is, there’s the nugget. 


0:27:54 – Mike Malatesta

You’re the first person I’ve ever talked to who has used the shovel and dirt reference on two different things. If we did it on Curiosity and now on this. It’s really cool. Actually, they’re related, I suppose. 


0:28:06 – Cal Fussman

Yeah it’s. I’m gonna have to look into myself and wonder why. Yeah. 


0:28:13 – Mike Malatesta

Cal, I have two more questions, if that’s okay with you. Do you have time for that? 


0:28:17 – Cal Fussman

Oh yeah, no, I’m thoroughly enjoying this. Thank you so much. 


0:28:21 – Mike Malatesta

Sure. The first question is I know that at one point you had six pack abs and I know that you’ve done Spartan races and some other things like that, and I’m wondering how physical activity and really focusing on yourself has, has or hasn’t helped you with your questions. 


0:28:40 – Cal Fussman

I don’t think my weight influences the questions. I think what my general shape indicates is am I going after something with real sense of focus? Remember how we were talking about how you can step back and be curious, yes. Or you can be fixated on accomplishing something. Usually, I find when I’m fixated on accomplishing something, it is accompanied by exercise, often pushing myself to my physical limits, but I separate that from my curiosity. I don’t ever find myself less curious than I was the day before. 


0:29:34 – Mike Malatesta

Okay, I guess I was wondering is going through those very challenging process or activities or challenges. Challenging challenges, yeah, whether sort of like the singing in the shower type thing, with like, do you start to be like, oh you know if, yeah, I don’t know, just like for me. I know, when I’m doing those things I’m really focused on trying to do what I’m trying to do really well, but something’s going on in my mind. That’s where you can’t help but think right, because your subconscious is always just working. Right, because your subconscious is always working. You can’t help but think like, oh, I can apply that to this or that or something. And I was just curious, because everybody has a different experience doing those kinds of things. 


0:30:17 – Cal Fussman

I would say that they get divided from when I’m actually pushing myself to the limit. I am like focused on getting to that place. And then I get into the shower, like either the hot water or the cold water will come over me and questions. Questions to me arise out of hot water, when I’m really relaxed and the steam is all around me. I find it the best place to think about questions, and so many people have told me that, like great ideas have come to them in the shower, so I know it’s a place of great creativity. So I really would think about that question in terms of achieving something with curiosity, like being in two different places, because if I’m in a boxing ring with Julio Cesar Chavez, which I was, there wasn’t much time. 


0:31:30 – Mike Malatesta

You can’t be thinking, yeah, good point, yeah, yeah. 


0:31:34 – Cal Fussman

It’s like this guy just hit me to the body. It felt like one of those Hoover vacuum cleaner tubes was just stuck down my mouth and into my throat and he hit the on switch. There’s no time to be curious Like what’s? It gonna feel like my whole stomach is coming out of me. So that’s why I gave you that answer to that. 


0:31:58 – Mike Malatesta

Okay, fair enough. And last question, I’m curious about this With your podcast Big Questions, you’ve been doing that for six years or something like that, I don’t know a long time and I noticed that you’ve changed the way you title things from you know, cal Fussman, you know, greatest question to ask her ever to say Cal Fussman, the question coach, and you call everybody a coach now in your titles and I’m wondering why. 


0:32:28 – Cal Fussman

Okay, that is a great question. What I realized and it really comes back to the word authenticity, where we started is I have lived a life where I it’s kind of a self-made life. I went from working in newspapers to working in magazines, which would send me to go fight with who the Leo says are Chavez, or interview these people, and I always I learned how to keep the dirt off my child or curiosity. When I was, say, 23 years old, at a time where curiosity really starts to receive a lot of dirt over it, I started to travel around the world and I did like 10 years without a home and I had very little money, and so the way I traveled was I would get on trains or buses, I would buy a ticket to the next destination it didn’t matter what was going and I’d start to walk down the aisle of that bus or that train and look for an empty seat next to somebody, somebody I thought I could trust, somebody I thought would trust me and would sit down and we would engage. As soon as the train started rolling, we’d get into a conversation and my hope was by the end of that ride, by the end of the conversation, they were gonna invite me home because otherwise I had no roof over my head. But and quite often they did and a party started and they invited all their friends and relatives, who asked me to come stay at their houses and told me about their distant relatives that I could stay with, and they literally passed me around the world, and so my curiosity was constantly being reinforced, day after day after day. 


Every person I met was new. Every day I woke up. I didn’t know where I was going, what I was gonna encounter, and it was like being the closest you could be to a child, seeing a new world every day. And so that is what formed me, and it worked great. When I stepped into a room with Mikhail Gorbachev and was told you’ve only got 10 minutes after I was originally told I had an hour and a half, and I could make him feel like he was on the train with me in the next seat in a way that, in that first minute, have him curious about where this was all going, again and again telling the publicist leave the room. I want to talk to this guy. So, to answer the question, I did this without coaching. I have come to realize that you know what If you would have combined this natural gift for authenticity and spontaneity with great coaching, you would have been at an elevated level. And look, I’m looking at a picture of me and Nelson Mandela, and I went to all the places that I wanted to go. 


I’ve got people that I wanted to meet, but what I realized is I could have lifted myself if I had found the right coaches. And now I’m trying to find coaching wherever I can get it, because I’m realizing that it’s not going to reframe who I am. It’s just going to allow what I’ve mastered to get to a higher level. So that’s the reason that that happened. 


0:36:39 – Mike Malatesta

OK, that’s a great answer. That’s a very thoughtful answer. I wasn’t sure where it was. I had no idea, obviously, where it was going to go, and I didn’t expect that. So, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. 


0:36:54 – Cal Fussman

I can. I can really even distill it further. I, as I mentioned, I got into a ring with Julio Cesar Chavez. I spent a week with Muhammad Ali and I’ve been a big boxing fan ever since I was a kid and as time passed and mixed martial arts became prominent, I started watching that. Yeah. 


I always felt like, because of all the fights, the boxing matches, I’d seen that I had a sense of what the mixed martial artists were doing. Just over the weekend I was at a UFC fight and I was sitting next to somebody who was a mixed martial arts expert and as the fights are going, he’s telling me what’s going to happen in in two seconds. He just knew it so well and I realized, man, I’ve been watching these fights for years, these mixed martial arts fights, and I had no idea of the level of depth and it just made me realize, like the power of coaching. The same way, I know I could sit down with somebody who’s done job interviews For 20 years and we could start talking and I can make them see an interview in a much different and maybe a deeper way, just because of all the experiences I’ve had. So that’s why I’m in this place, of getting the coaching and actually becoming a coach Nice. 


0:38:32 – Mike Malatesta

Now, we talked about Tom Cruise earlier. Are you interviewing him today as well? Did I see something on your website about a live? 


0:38:40 – Cal Fussman

What I did is, after I saw Mission Impossible, I thought and I know he’s done this before and I know other actors and directors are doing it but before Dead Reckoning, mission Impossible, dead Reckoning came on the screen, tom and the writer director came on and just thanked everybody in the theater for coming to see the film the way they believe is the best possible way to see it. And I know during the pandemic there was, there was worry that people wouldn’t come back to the theater. Yeah, never come back, right? 


And I just thought it made me recall the interview that I had done with him, where he was telling me about his childhood and the lack of control that he had. And here he was, after all these years, basically doing the things that were his passion when he was a kid climbing the highest tree, jumping off the roof. Now he’s like hanging Off of trains that are hanging off bridges that have been exploded and he’s doing his own stunts, right. 


And basically put himself in a position where he’s he’s a producer, so he gets to call the shots and gets to do his own stunts. He’s getting to do everything that he loved and he’s like you know, he’s like I love, and he’s also getting to be in control of it, which he never had as a child. And so it just resonated with me and we had done a snippet from that interview and put it out in an animated form. So I just told the story of what I felt like watching the episode and then just replayed the snippet to just let everybody know that you can actually think like what did I really love to do when I was a kid and can I in some way get that back? Could if not for a lifetime, could I make my weekend better just by doing something I loved when I was the kid and having an appreciation and a control over it and delight in it, just the way. 


Tom was, I’m sure, so happy to film that movie, which is why he was filming himself, saying thank you, and I just it’s a very short snippet from the interview, which the actual interview was more than once and it went over hours and hours, so I wasn’t gonna do the whole thing. I just wanted people to get a taste of who he was and what he was able to accomplish and somehow use that to make their weekend better. I was thinking when I first saw it. 


0:42:01 – Mike Malatesta

I thought, oh, cal’s doing a live interview with Tom Cruise today. It’s afternoon. I’m like how can a guy who’s doing that have time for me in the morning to be on this podcast? I thought, wow, this guy really is good. If he’s not, cause I would be, you know, prepping it all worked out great, man. I enjoyed this conversation. 


0:42:24 – Cal Fussman

Yeah, thank you, You’re really I’m very grateful that you gave me a chance to talk out like something that I’ve never done before, and so if there are people who are interested, who are doing hiring and interested in hearing more of what I have to say, like please send them the calfussmancom. I’m happy to hear and very curious to hear what their thoughts are, and happy to help out and to help out in any way that they can, and happy to help out in any way I can. 


0:43:05 – Mike Malatesta

Awesome, Cal. Is there anything that I should have asked you or you want to say that you haven’t said? 


0:43:13 – Cal Fussman

because I haven’t asked you before we go Actually, when I look back on where we started and your first question is a great way to start because I would venture to guess look, if you had asked that question to Tom Cruise, he might have hearken back to himself jumping off the roof of his house and doing these flips into the snow banks. He might have told you how his dad didn’t show up and he was constantly forced to move, which meant he had to confront the school yard terror every time he had to move. And think of it. What’s he doing in Mission Impossible? But he’s beating up the school yard terror. He figured it out. 


So your first question enables you to take this in just the right direction and it basically took me into my future. So I’m very grateful for that. And, as Larry King used to tell me, I can remember the first time I interviewed him and wanted to know is there a way I could have improved? You know this better than anybody. And he said Cal, you are great, Just be yourself. And I would pass that message on from Larry to you, because this is a wonderful conversation and just being your authentic self with the beer cans behind you, it brought out the best in me. So thank you. 


0:45:02 – Mike Malatesta

My pleasure, and now I’ll get some handwritten notes out today too, to make sure I keep up with it as well. Cal, thank you so much. It’s been a blast getting to know you. I really appreciate you doing this. 


0:45:13 – Cal Fussman

Yeah, I hope it’s not the last time. 


0:45:15 – Mike Malatesta

Hey everybody, thanks for listening to this show and before you go, I just have three requests for you. If you like what I’m doing, please consider subscribing or following the podcast on whatever podcast platform you prefer. If you’re really into it, leave me a review, write something nice about me, give me five stars or whatever you feel is most appropriate. Number two I’ve got a book. It’s called Owner Shift how Getting Selfish Got Me Unstuck. It’s an Amazon bestseller and I’d love for you to read it or listen to it on Audible or wherever else Barnes, noble, amazon you can get it everywhere If you’re looking for inspiration that will help you unlock your greatness and potential. Order or download it today so that you can have your very own copy and if you get it, please let me know what you think. 


Number three my newsletter. I do a newsletter every Thursday and I talk about things that are interesting to me and or I give more information about the podcast and the podcast Guess that I’ve had and the experiences that I’ve had with them. You can sign up for the podcast today at my website, which is my name, mikemalatestacom. You do that right now. Put in your email address and you’ll get the very next issue. The newsletter is short, thoughtful and designed to inspire, activate and maximize the greatness in you. 

Alexi Cortopassi

Alexi Cortopassi

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I help entrepreneurs get unstuck, take back their power, achieve their life objectives, and create the futures they want.

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