We’re here at the Art of Charm Headquarters in LA. Get to know Johnny from the Art of Charm. We have a Man Camp and it’s basically a content creation week of Men’s bloggers, Instagrammers & YouTubers.
Johnny Dzubak: There is all kinds of stuff going on. It’s a lot of fun.
Sven Raphael Schneider: Absolutely so thanks for being here, Johnny. It’s awesome and thanks for having us.
JD: Thank you guys for all coming and making this a special week. This is so interesting. I have all these so many creative people doing all these great things. We’re all up right now, the guys are out there are taking photos, the guys are downstairs plotting out whatever else is going on. Everyone’s on laptops, they’re firing away and I think it’s going to be a really fun week. I think we’re going back on this week of just how much we got done and all these new people who’ve met each other.
JD: Our adventures here and your adventures here in LA.
SRS: Absolutely and you know, Johnny’s not the typical Gentleman’s Gazette reader. He’s a rockstar, he’s a musician. He loves rock and roll. Yesterday, the conversation with him because we went to the improv show and learned that in what they do, they bring people to improv shows because it has a huge impact on your social skills. I found it super interesting and so I want to talk to you with that.
JD: Well not only that we’re going to go out and see some shows, we bring that into class and it’s really important for people to understand cause I think most importantly when people think about going in the conversations when they think about meeting new people, they always want to be, everyone wants to have good first impressions so they want to be funny. So to speak, maybe if you’re at bat you want to hit a home run. You want to be so funny and witty that everyone is going to remember you and so you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself in that interaction.
SRS: I mean, of course, you want to look good, right?
JD: We all do! And when we put that pressure on ourselves, then we tend to get in our heads because we want to say the right thing, we want to be funny. Then we cannot think. The other thing about it is if we are in our heads trying to think of a funny thing to say or to be witty, then how are we going to be able to settle down and listen to what the other person is saying? When it comes to improv, what people find out is when you play the game correctly, and you’re able to be in the moment and listen, you, everybody and even you out there, us here, we can be really witty. We can be really funny but when you put pressure on ourselves to come up with something or in our heads and we are not listening, it falls apart and then we end up leaving that interaction like “Oh no, I was so bad. That person probably thinks I’m the biggest moron and everything I said was late and I couldn’t be in the moment” and then we go home beating ourselves up about the whole situation. And this it the best thing about it, anyone can take an improv class anywhere and learn those skills. You know, from a lot of people that come to AOC, they’re engineers, they’re computer programmers, they’re in industries where they have to constantly look for broken things or being very analytical. Of course, you’ll use that lens for everything. If you’re a lawyer, you’re going to go into every interaction thinking of it and going into it as a lawyer. If you work at economics, you’re going to see things economically. If you work in an analytical profession, you will look at things analytically.
SRS: People are a little different right so what you do at the Art of Charm is you like help people overcome social anxiety and you know what we do at Gentleman’s Gazette is we show people to have an image and create a style because that’s the first impression you get right and then people see you and they judge you whether they want it or not and basically, you come in after that. Once that first impression has been made, it’s like that second impression that connection you have with people that you conform and they already judged you in the first place. Now you have a chance to hit that next home run or just be a big disappointment.
JD: And I don’t think anybody wants to be the big disappointment. The other thing, if you’re talking about being seen and being judged, there is no way you can get out of that. As being human beings, we have evolved to this degree, we have all these great texts now. We don’t like to think of ourselves as shitty judgmental people.The problem is we’re programmed to be judgmental. That’s the only reason we’ve gotten to this point. However, if you can understand that you’re a judgmental person and that you’re through human nature, you’re going to do that anyway. You can then correct that. It’s like, If I know that I’m judgmental, then I don’t have to be when I start doing those things. I can shut that off.
SRS: Or you can be self-aware or self-conscious?
SRS: If you don’t know that you’re doing something, you aren’t aware of it, it’s hard to control that. Once you’re aware of it, and you could also maybe talk others that you know and they can point it out and tell you when it’s happening.
JD: Sure, I’m sure you understand. The biggest blowhards, the people who beat their chest about everything they don’t know about. They’re the ones who don’t have control over those things because they don’t want to admit fault. But those people who are looking to challenge themselves, looking to be better, can admit fault, can admit “Yes, I’m judgmental that doesn’t mean that I have to be judgmental, that means I can understand my thought process and then correct it”
SRS: And what I find so interesting about you too is that you’re not the typical engineer guy.
JD: That’s certainly for sure!
SRS: So when they see you the first time, I’m sure they were skeptical right? But at the end of that week, when you had them go through this boot camp, they come out and they really learned a lot from you and they have a great deal of respect. How do break that ice? How do you achieve that?
JD: Well one of the things that has been working for me is that everyone has heard me on the podcast. So they’ve heard me talking and they know that I know my way around this and they also know that at this point that I’ve been doing this, with the Art of Charm, I started with AJ and Jordan for 10 years but I have also had a– I was doing it previously for other companies before that. This was my first venture into doing it for myself. So Jordan, AJ and I decided to join forces and put this whole thing together.
SRS: And you have an awesome voice. You know if I close my eyes and think about what would this guy be, it’s like this is rock and roll!
JD: Oh yeah. Well..
SRS: Like this is someone who knows how to party.
JD: You know it’s funny when people see me, oh now it makes sense. But before they see me and they just hear the voice they have this idea that I’m this big burly Vin Diesel scary-looking guy and that always makes me laugh. But as soon as I come to the room, and they hear me talk, “Oh no, this is Johnny!” Thankfully I have that going for me before I walk the room, so everyone’s excited so by the time I come though there are people that are a little bit shocked, for the most part, they’re just really excited to meet me. I’m really excited because what we’re doing here this week, creating more content is to put AJ and I’s face a little bit more on the website then some other things. So we’re really excited about that as well so that’s why we’re super happy to have you all here to show us how you do it.
SRS: Totally yeah. We can all learn from each other. I think the aspect is that no matter who you are or what you look like, it’s more about your qualities and your take on things is. I usually walk away from learning something from anyone and no matter how much revenue they make, or what channel they are. If you just listen closely enough, you can get away with some nuggets that can help you improve your life or your business.
JD: Absolutely. That’s what I’m very excited about this week. One of the things– you might even be thinking about this yourself, every time AJ and I go to business meetings together, there’s a moment in that meeting that we wait for every time and it’s called the question. And the question, it always goes like this. AJ and I will be sitting there, we put our best foot forward, we have the guy, whoever we’re meeting with, they’re eating at the palm of our hand and they’re like “Wow! “You guys are great, I love this, this is a great store, I really want to work with you guys and I just have one question. You two guys, I don’t… I don’t get it.” cause obviously when you see AJ and I sitting next to each other, we’re extremely different, and when everything… when everyone is finding here right now, why everyone has come together this week is because of core values and AJ and I share those core values, so no matter… though we may listen to different music or have different ideas about a lot of things, our core values are always aligned, and so we can do great things, we can travel, we can go out, we can meet new people, we can go into business meetings, and we have each other’s back always.
SRS: You work well together.
JD: Yeah, we work well together and so we have a lot of fun and I think it surprises people to see two people who they could, once again judgement comes into place, two people who may appear on totally opposite end of whatever spectrum you may want to put them on, and watch them work so well together.
SRS: So, what would you say are your core values?
JD: Truth, always, and one of the rules when it comes to belief restructure that we do on Fridays, I want everyone to understand the truth because we’ve all been lied to, right? I’m sure you can remember the first time you caught your parents lying to you.
SRS: Oh yeah.
JD: Your parents are liars, they told you about Santa Claus, right, they told you about these lies, and so there’s always little things in our life that we have grown up believing that our parents have given us, or our environment has given us, or our friends have given us, or media has given us, that may or may not be true.
SRS: Exactly, some of them are because people want to be polite, but then when you find out the truth, it hurts even more.
JD: There’s that or they’re trying to get you to buy into their narrative, their story, and we have our own that we have to get comfortable with, and so the truth is one of those things. The other is, always to do your best to be a high valued guy but without looking for transactional value. It’s never about that transaction.
SRS: It’s about providing a value in the first place and helping people.
SRS: And then they’re happy to pay you, right?
JD: And without that even being transactional, you are setting up places where just people want to be genuine and want to give value back, and it’s hard to even realize where it’s all coming from, just from your behavior of giving out that value, so I would definitely say the truth and value first, value upfront, or definitely core values of myself and AJ. And I especially enjoy, not only working with the Art of Charm, I have two main passions, self-development AOC, and then music. These are my things and whenever I’m able to go out and a younger musician here in Hollywood comes up to me and they ask me about playing and how to get started, and I’ll talk their ear off, and those sit there and listen and they’re so happy about it.
SRS: Soak it in like a sponge.
JD: But then I enjoy that, it makes me so happy, I was like, “What am I doing here if I can’t make other people happy?”, and which confuses me a lot about the world when you see so much other madness going on when we have it so good, we’re having so much fun.
JD: Like if ever else could take a page of giving out value and creating the world from themselves first and then outward, it’s amazing.
SRS: So, when you encounter someone who maybe suffers from social anxiety, what are kind of the first steps you help them take to maybe overcome that?
JD: You know, I’m a big Theodore Roosevelt fan, and one of my favorite quotes was, “If you want to live fearlessly, you have to practice being fearless.” So, what that does mean? Well, that means you have to eat shit, that means you have to walk into chaos, you have to walk into what you are afraid of.
JD: And while you walk into that, if you can understand that there’s a learning process put in place, and then it can be really fun if the right mindsets are in place, then everything is at your disposal, then you are able to live fearlessly when you understand that the other side of walking into fear is you gaining knowledge, gaining a new skill, gaining a new tool.
SRS: But as a human being, we are kind of pole, like when there’s fear, right? Like your pulse goes up, you get the adrenaline, and then your body tells you, “No, no, no.”. So, you say, you should put yourself in this uncomfortable situation.
JD: Well, there’s two ways you can use anxiety, and you just pointed one out, anxiety can be something that keeps you from something, and that’s when you put it in front of you. Or, you put anxiety behind you and have it drive you through whatever you’re scared of. Knowing that on the other side of us is going to be something good, so use the anxiety to push you through, rather than to hold you back, or to push you away.
SRS: But how do you do that, like?
JD: The right mindsets need to be put in place, and so at AOC, the first two days are just setting up how learning takes place, why it’s important to see it in this manner, and then of course, understanding that you’re gonna be putting yourself in a painful situation, but you’re gonna be in a safe environment, and you’re going to be encouraged and supported to do that, and once you do that, you get a few winds under your belt, you start to get fired up, and you start to look around, like, what else can I throw myself into, if I’m already learning this week, if I’ve already gotten this out of two days, what else can I throw myself into, what other fear can I look at, and the winds start to happen really fast, but you need somebody to show you what those winds are because as guys, and let’s just say that if I’m trying to lose a hundred pounds, and I lose 5, is that a victory to me? No, that’s no victory, it sucks, it’s not the main goal. So, if you can’t see it for that, then you can’t celebrate that you’re moving in the right direction, and anxiety, social anxiety, is no different. If you go out to the club, going, “I need to meet everybody and run the room,” and you met only 5 people, well then you’re all, “I didn’t do the job I wanted to do.”
SRS: But maybe you met the 5 right people. I mean, I met my wife at a Halloween party, we were both drunk, and it didn’t matter if I find this one person, you know I was in that party that time, and we’re very you know, 9 years later it, it’s wonderful.
JD: Absolutely, well listen, you went out, you met 3 people but last week you met 0. You got us a win, you’re moving forward, that needs to be celebrated, and when you’re in a room with other guys who’re appreciative of that and understand that, and they’re celebrating, you can’t help but to get wrapped up in their excitement, and move forward, and that’s when anxiety is pushing you through, rather than forcing you to go into.
SRS: Absolutely. Man, that’s really insightful and I find it very powerful.
JD: It’s very much so.
SRS: Because, you know, there are always fears wherein you start a business and take that plunge and you have so many people, friends, that are very dear to my heart and they come to me, and they say, “Man, you know, you travel a lot,” and they’re envious to a certain point, I mean they’re happy for me, but they would also like to do that, then when I’m like, “Hey, you know, we could do this, and I think you have those talents, and we could establish that.” There’s always this kind of fear of losing that network, losing that paycheck, and these are legitimate fears, but in that case, it’s just holding you back.
SRS: And it’s not helping you to push it and if you can reverse that, and use it to your advantage, and I think it’s just an extremely powerful thing.
JD: Well, you know a lot of people, see me and they’ll see me up front and they realize that I’ve been doing this for a while, then they’ll start to think, “Well, maybe you didn’t have any of these issues because you’d just been this rock star guy, you’ve been playing on stage.” I used to get on stage so terrified that my leg would shake so bad, that I didn’t think I’d be able to stand up through the performance, and the thing about this is, I knew….
SRS: Like physically shaking?
JD: Physically shaking, and I knew that I would have in order to enjoy, the one thing that I’ve always wanted to do, I would have to get over this. And I knew it’s going to suck, it’s gonna be bad. Do you know how many bad shows have to play in order to get to the other side, where I’m in the moment I’m enjoying being on stage, it takes a while.
SRS: And we always see the good sides, we see the Facebook company and Mark Zuckerberg starting things. We’re not gonna see the 99 shitty businesses, that had the same grand vision that didn’t work out, that were not Steve Jobs.
JD: Well, there’s that and there’s also mindsets that don’t help either. So, where I grew up, I grew up in a still town outside of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania called Greensburg, it was a very blue color, rough, and tumbled place, and my dad always told me that if you wanted anything in life, you either a. work hard and figure it out, or b. you’re a pussy. Those are your two options. Now, does that sound like the options that allow you to learn, and try, and mess things up.
SRS: Seems like it was like one way.
JD: Yeah, binary thinking, you either figure it out and you’re a hero, or you’re a loser and a pussy. That doesn’t allow you try new things, that doesn’t allow you to, as we say in AOC, function up to see where you are, to work through things. That puts you in a position to be terrified of trying new things.
SRS: And the reality is, without trying, you’re not gonna get better. I try to prepare myself for you know, YouTube and doing this, and it held me back for two years of actually starting, then when I started, looking back to that, my first video, it sucked, it was terrible, the white films. And you see all those things but I would have never been at the level where I am today without having started and having overcome that fear and anxiety of not being perfect enough.
JD: Absolutely. One of my favorite things about YouTube is when you find somebody that you enjoy listening to and who have great ideas that you get excited week after week to see their content. To go back through all their videos and watch their humble beginnings of where they’ve come from and the fact that a lot of these guys leave it up for everyone to see, like, “See, I wasn’t this amazing guy, we didn’t have all this production. We did this because we enjoyed talking to everyone because we had info to give.”
SRS: And sometimes, you know those guys are the most authentic ones, they don’t look for that high production value like a Hollywood movie.
SRS: They actually enjoy the authenticity and the rawness of that footage and the honesty in it.
JD: Absolutely, some of my favorite YouTubers are just, they have 1 camera there and it’s them doing a lecture in college and it’s just, you know, as the kids say, maybe it’s filmed through a potato. But the content’s there and I’m engaged and because the lecture, whoever’s giving that content is passionate about it and of course as you know, if you’re head is on it, then you give a lackluster interview or a lackluster content, you know, you’re views are not gonna be as much or you’re gonna get hammered in the comments. People tune in to see some of the excited passion in it.
SRS: And you can tell right away if it’s just like put on, and it’s for money it’s different than if someone really lives in it at once, you can really see that. So I mean, you went on some excellent points, I like the concept of vulnerability, concept of anxiety, so if people want to learn more about that, where should they go?
JD: I would go straight to the Art of Charm podcast. I don’t even know how many episodes we’re at.
SRS: So, where would they find that on at?
JD: At iTunes.
SRS: What if they’re not on Apple?
JD: Stitcher, and the other one, I’m not exactly sure.
SRS: I’m sure they just Art of Charm, hit the google, and then you’ll get to the right place.
JD: Yes, and if they want the specific content that AJ and I are on, are called the specific, there’s the toolbox episodes, and that is strictly AOC content, the rest of the podcast are gonna be great interviews of great people doing great things.
SRS: That’s amazing, and I mean you’ve been around for 10 years, put over a thousand alumni through the program.
JD: Don’t even know what the numbers are at this point.
SRS: Exactly, so I mean, you really know what you’re talking about, and the success and the reviews show that, and all the people come back to you, right? That was fascinating for me to see that. Even though you know, all of the theory, you really come back to experience it and push yourself further.
JD: But, there’s you know, everyone has their reasons for doing that but one of the most powerful things is to imagine as you’re a young man, you’re in a really dark place, and you know that change is needed to be made. So, terrifyingly put yourself through AOC and have this wonderful time, and then after you leave AOC, you have now met all these new friends, you have all these new skills, and now life is completely different. What happens is, you start to think, “Wow, if I can get all that from AOC when I was in a really dark, ugly, place, what happens if I go through it when I’m in a fantastic place, what am I gonna get out of it?” And those people will say, they will come back through, and it’s a completely different program to them because the lens that they have been going through is completely…
SRS: Their mindset has changed.
JD: Yeah, absolutely.
SRS: Awesome. Johnny, awesome talk with you.
JD: Thank you.
SRS: Thank you very much.
JD: Thank you for being here this week.
SRS: I’m really glad I met you!
JD: Yes, fantastic.