Oct. 17, 2022

Reflections on Graduate Theory

Reflections on Graduate Theory

This episode is a conversation between James Fricker and Joe Wehbe, celebrating the end of season one of Graduate Theory.

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Content
00:00 Intro
02:03 Joey Intro
04:05 Reflecting on One Year
06:11 Expectations when Starting
08:43 Standout People or Episodes
12:58 Personal Development Through the Podcast
16:22 Advice for People When Creating a Podcast
19:17 Changes in Life Approach
24:42 Things I Would Do Differently
30:35 The Plan 
37:55 Advice for Graduates
47:12 Conclusion
49:20 Outro

Transcript

Hello and welcome to Graduate Theory. Today's episode is episode 52 of Graduate Theory, which means it's been about a year of graduate theory episodes. We've had an episode come out every Tuesday for pretty much a year now. Uh, it's been a wild journey. There's been so many guests on the show, so much knowledge that's been shared and so many learnings and things that I've learned myself. I don't know what the next steps look like. Perhaps we'll do a season two, but what I am sure is I'm gonna try and find a way to summarize a lot of the content that we've had, um, and, and the ideas that have been shared on the show. If you wanna keep up to date with that and you wanna find out, um, what exactly we're working on. Please go to the description, subscribe to the Graduate Theory Newsletter, and you'll hear all about what is coming up soon. Um, but without further ado, I want to introduce this last episode. This is a really, um, a really personal episode. I flipped the tables a little bit and got interviewed by a friend of mine, Joe Weby, who you may remember, or, um, I interviewed him for the first episode of the podcast. So it was great to have him back on the show interviewing me and asking me what are the things that I learned, what are my favorite moments of the podcast? And just some general reflections around starting podcasts, generally, things that I learned and how the podcast has affected my life. So, without further redo, we'll pass it over to the episode, but I just wanna thank you everyone that's, that Listens to graduate theory. It has been an amazing journey so far. And yeah, just from the bottom of my heart, I just wanna say a big thank. For, for listening to this show, it does mean a lot to me. Um, you know, that I'm able to, to share this with you and that you'll take the time and listen to, to the kinds of things I have to say, um, you know, I, I feel really grateful. So, um, I just wanna say a massive thank you. Um, but that's enough for me. Let's get, uh, let's get down to the episode. Uh, and yeah, please enjoy.

James Fricker:

I guess I wanted to do like a bit of a reflection of on the previous, almost one year, well, it's probably over a year, including the

Joe Wehbe:

would be, yep.

James Fricker:

first episodes, but. Yeah, I think it would be nice to recap, given that is, uh, you know, 52 is a reasonable milestone. Uh, it's been an interesting year, a lot of learnings both in and out of the podcast. Lot of growth, uh, a lot of lessons.

Joe Wehbe:

Yep.

James Fricker:

maybe we can, uh, introduce you, um, for those who haven't, those who have missed you on your previous appearances on the pod, maybe do you wanna share your, uh, quick bio.

Joe Wehbe:

Thanks. Thanks Jane. Having me back. Obviously I am. For those who haven't seen me in the podcast before, I'm Joe Weby and, uh, I am a, a writer, a podcast, and myself done a bunch of other things. I save everyone the long story, but I've done studied psychology, done nonprofit stuff in Nepal, done a bit of real estate and also stuff. Education. But yeah, I kind of, uh, I guess love anything about creativity and a lot of stuff about, you know, a lot of the same topics that you talk about on the podcast, like career and meaningful, career and impactful and all that sort of things hover around the same conversations and often the books are right. Probably relevant to that. And that's probably,

James Fricker:

Very good

Joe Wehbe:

it's about, Thanks. Yeah.

James Fricker:

Well, you sound like the

Joe Wehbe:

We have a lot overlap.

James Fricker:

Yeah, absolutely, mate. No, it sounds like, um, it'll be, Yeah. I'm keen to do a bit of a reverse interview. Is that what they call it? First interview, uh, That's what professional podcasters would call it.

Joe Wehbe:

I dunno.

James Fricker:

I don't know, something like that.

Joe Wehbe:

Is that. what they call it?

James Fricker:

Yeah. There must be a

Joe Wehbe:

Yeah. Yeah. There must be. You can invent it. You can coin that. That's good.

James Fricker:

Yeah. That's right. You heard it here first.

Joe Wehbe:

Yep.

James Fricker:

Very good. Well, yeah, I'd love to sort of dive into some of the, um, history of the pod. Um, and we can kick.

Joe Wehbe:

Yeah. Well, congratulations on. A year for year, but I'm sure it's been a bit longer than that. Preparing. How does it, how does it feel? Cause you're missed a consistency in our little community of podcasters. James Franco's missed and so you, you don't miss a week unless I'm mistaken. So 52

James Fricker:

Mm.

Joe Wehbe:

episodes on the dot and, uh, I dunno, how does it feel?

James Fricker:

I think it feels good. Like, I think when I, when I first started, I, I'm not sure what I expected but, um, I, I feel, I feel good that I've managed to come this far. I think a lot of people, when I, when I say like, Oh, I have a podcast, and then, then I say, I've done 50 episodes. They go like, Oh, podcast share. 50. Oh,

Joe Wehbe:

Uh,

James Fricker:

That's really good. Yeah. Uh, Yeah, so I'm proud of that. I think that's like, obviously I've had a lot of help and support along the way, but I think the, um, you know, consistency is quite a hard nut to crack. Uh, like it's quite easy to start, but doing it for a long time is, um, it's quite hard to do. So yeah, I'm, I'm very proud of that. I think that's something that probably I've, in other projects I've done in the past, Like it's been the one thing that you sort of struggle with is like, um, it's easy to think of an idea and start it, but the consistency, the, the one thing that, you know, sort of lets you down. So yeah, I'm, I'm proud that it's been a year and very consistent. Um, and yeah, I'm happy with how it's gone. I think it's been pretty good learning experience, uh, for me and, and for the people listening as well. I think a pair would've provide a platform for some. Very interesting people that perhaps don't have a big platform themselves. Um, not that graduate theory is a big platform, but you know, it just allows 'em to get

Joe Wehbe:

Very big for someone who has no platform.

James Fricker:

Yeah, True, true. Um, but you know, these people like, have great messages and they often don't get shown to, um, like a certain demographic of people. And so it's been cool to sort of highlight that.

Joe Wehbe:

That's a very mature and selfless reflection, I think. But, um, did you have an expectation at all about when you started? Like did you,

James Fricker:

Mm

Joe Wehbe:

I I never even knew, to be honest. I was talking to you when you started, of course. But did you, uh, expect. You just trialing it or were you, did you think you would go xFi or you had, I wanna at least get to this point, or, Uh, I'm very curious.

James Fricker:

Yeah, I don't really know. I think I like, I think this question for me probably changed a lot and that like continues to fluctuate like at certain, certain points. I think, Oh, it'd be cool to have this as like a side business where I'm like, you know, have all this stuff and like. It's all like this whole massive operation, like that would be really cool. Or is it like, um, you know, is it just more of a side thing where it's, I just interview someone every week and it's a bit more chilled? Um, and I think I've fluctuated between those quite a bit during the process. Um, cuz yeah, I'm thinking back, I was thinking before this episode about like what led up to even starting the pod. And I remember, and I think you would remember this too, I had an Instagram page, um, which was. Maybe, What's that like 18 months ago now? Um, for probably four months ish, I had that and, and that's a similar thing where I was kind of like, what, what is the expectation here? And I probably didn't, didn't really have one. It was just like, I wanna share and like, um, you know, contribute and, and I guess potentially turn it into something more substantial. Um, but perhaps that's to my own undoing is that there's not a sort of a clear thing there. But I think regardless it's been.

Joe Wehbe:

Mm. Yeah, no, I re I remember that very. Well, I guess it's never, never the end, the end of the world. It's, it's funny when you say the, the fluctuation, I think it's such a relatable, um, thing for podcasters cuz it could be the most casual thing in the world. But also there's, there's, there's a lot of things that come through it. I mean, you must have enjoyed, I'm sure, and one thing you enjoyed is the people you kind of, I think reached out to, connected with probably a lot of podcasters say it's, uh, not necessarily like you get to meet the same people. Without a podcast, that easy excuse is a very digestible ask. You know, kind of like a squashes, some objections that people might normally have to just have in a conversation with someone. So I don't know, whoever, Who are those people you think you found, found along this journey that were like part, You don't have to say me. I'm here, James, so it's

James Fricker:

you're, you're already on the list

Joe Wehbe:

You have to take that. Everyone knows, audience knows, but apart from me, Who are the, Who are those? Who do you think? Anyone stand out particular?

James Fricker:

Yeah. Well, I think just on, on the general point about sort of having access to interesting people and, and I would extend that to interesting things. I feel like there's certain, like, cause when I started, like that was like probably when I started was when early work started to gain a lot of traction in the Australian startup space. Um, You know, so that was quite cool. And then, um, next chapter as well, kind of started around the similar time, I think. And so access to these communities would be an example of like, I probably wouldn't have the access and, and know certain people inside those places, um, if I didn't have the pod. So I think that's been, that's been cool. Um, and I think just interesting people, I think like Adam Ghar is a great example. He's very well connected and I've like, You introduced me to him and then I've introduced him subsequently to other people So, uh, yeah, that's been cool to sort of be able to have access to him. And then for, it's, it's not even like a, my benefit almost. It's like people who know me also kind of can, can have access to some of these people as well. Um, so yeah, I. It's probably hard to narrow it down to like a soft list of people. But I think generally it's been quite interesting to like, hear from different people and see what they're doing, um, and, and kind of sit like just see the kinds of places and what interesting people are doing. Um, I think as just almost like broadened my horizons perhaps. Um, I probably couldn't narrow it to. Like knowing a specific person, like led to

Joe Wehbe:

That makes sense. A lot of, I think a lot of the value. What you get from our conversations. It, it can be very intangible. You get a lot, you get a lot of value from just talking to anyone, like any of the people you mentioned, or a lot of the other guests you had on. But it's, it can be very hard to actually pinpoint specific things. and it, it soaks into people on the layer much deeper. Naval says this, it's like listening to podcasts, all that sort of thing. It's kind of like there's not, it's not totally conscious learning. It's, it's kind of like a soaking in. So it's very hard to pinpoint, but you kind of, uh, I don't wanna project onto my experience, but you generally just feel, you feel like, you feel like, Wow, I'm learning so much. This is very stimulating. I kind of think it, I think it makes you think a bit differently at times. It's a natural, very natural. It's the same way you would be talking to anyone and just soft, softly learning from them. So, but you had, you've had some bumper episodes, that's for sure.

James Fricker:

Yeah, no, there, there's been some good ones.

Joe Wehbe:

For me, even like the GHA one was very, very good episode. Um, obviously Luke and I love the Gilly one. That's just ask a lot, listen to that a couple of times and um, I know I haven't even talked to, you know, like that way, but you hear, you hear them on an episode. It's a very, I think you, it was very true that you gave. You gave a lot of people like that, an interesting chance to tell their story and share some of their insights, and I think that's something you should be very proud of and the beauty of, I think you did it. So they're up there forever.

James Fricker:

Yeah. That's right. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah. Yeah. No, you're spot on. I think that, yeah, there are many episodes that I, I enjoyed doing. I think tho those two, definitely the Gilly one had an, an impact on, on lots of people and probably more than I expected.

Joe Wehbe:

Mm.

James Fricker:

which is, which is, um, you know, it's pretty cool to, I guess facilitate that. Um, yeah, I think that there's many episodes that I think even that are sort of underrated, um, that I personally had a great. Um, and learn a lot. Um, like the, the Michael Dixon one was like, was really good.

Joe Wehbe:

Also a very good one. That's right. A very recent, Yeah. Sorry. Neglecting that. Cause it's recent was a very good one. It was. It was heaps. Good one. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. How do you think you, how do you think you personally developed as the podcast went well, the key areas that are different about you now? This is when you started.

James Fricker:

yeah, I think. I think, yeah, I think a few things. I think like on a, on a sort of interviewing level, I think I learned quite a bit. I think from, from the first one that we did, that was, that was with you, I think the very first interview that I did. Uh, you know, that was like, it was a good, in a good interview. But I think I've progressed a lot for, since I think I've kind of experimented different approaches, uh, you know, and kind of landed on a good way of doing things. Cause I. When we, when we was first starting, it was like, got no idea how this works. Have the crack, see what happens.

Joe Wehbe:

And I would've made you, I would've made you very nervous

James Fricker:

yeah.

Joe Wehbe:

Um, I can be very

James Fricker:

a high profile individual

Joe Wehbe:

strong character. It's not easy, mate.

James Fricker:

Yeah. Even I've, I've got many points here, but yeah. There's, there's like the actual interviewing, which I think I, there were periods where I was very like q and a and I think that sort of, uh, come back to more conversational probably in the last certain amount of time. I think, you know, I've kind of weaved around different, um, approaches of the actual interview and I think I've landed somewhere that's quite good. Um, Which is like a more relaxed way of doing things, like no intro to start chatting. I think that's generally has worked the best. Um, I think as well, I remember the, so I had Darren Fleming on like episode

Joe Wehbe:

three Yeah, I

James Fricker:

can, he, and at the end of the interview I was like, Hey man, I, I know Darren like fairly well, so I was like, could do, you know anyone else? Like, can I chat to them? Like whatever. Uh, and he gave me like these two guys friend numbers. It was, um, Oscar Volley and Ishan. I've interviewed both, but when he gave me their phone numbers, I was like, Shit, Like I, to actually call this guy like I was like scared outta my mind. Maybe scared's the wrong way. But I think everyone's had at least some level of that experience where you're like, I really don't want to call this number. Um, you know, uh, and so, and things like that. So I think like from a sort of guest reach out is, um, You know, many people have said no to coming on the show. So I think dealing with that has been interesting and I think it's helped me with like, reaching out to people not for the pod. Like it's, it's seeing like the access that I can have to, to people for like graduate theory, uh, you know, which is relatively unknown, you know, It, it really showed me just how. Reaching out to people. You can, you can speak to a lot of different people. Um, you don't necessarily even need a podcast or something to chat to them on. Like, I think people are just generally quite receptive and often, like people that, you know, people who have big profiles. Obviously we can't, It's, it's hard to reach out to them, but like there's certain people that don't have big profiles. Maybe it's like the CEO of your company or. You know, these kinds of people, you can, you actually get reasonably far. Um, if you do wanna speak to them and ask them interesting things,

Joe Wehbe:

So do you have any. Advice or reflections for people who are, maybe they don't have a podcast, but if they feel like they wanna reach out to someone internally is a big one. Like leadership at the company you're at is one I hear about a lot or just someone whose work you find interesting. I might be fishing in the wrong spot here, but are there any lessons or takeaways you, you'd have for like someone

James Fricker:

think I did like I did a reasonable amount of like research. Cold emails. so I have like my template that I use you know, because I guess like I'm reaching out to enough people at like, if you want to have somewhat templated, but

Joe Wehbe:

you fall into

James Fricker:

do wanna have a specific, like ask and a specific reason why you're reaching out to this particular person. Uh, like if you just emailed everyone the exact same thing, obviously that's not gonna be very effective. Um, so yeah, I think I, I think you wanna tailor. To the person in that like mine or I start with like, try and mention something recent that they did. So usually it's on their LinkedIn. I'll try to see if they've post or done anything recently. Comment on that and say, Cool, how you doing this? Introduce yourself and then say why you're reaching out. So like you for, in my case, it'd be podcast I found you through this avenue. Um, And perhaps like some social proof, like I've previously interviewed some of your friends and like insert the friends' names Um, so that they know it's not just like some, I'm not some very strange person. Like I do have some credibility. And then I would then go, here's like three things I wanna speak to you about. Uh, and so this would be, I would've already gone and looked at their profile, things they've done, uh, and see what is, what about this person do I wanna actually ask about? And like, how would I frame this? I. then I would put that in and then I would, um, probably put like some kind of link at the end and say, if you're interested, here's like the ly or here's the whatever like link you want to go to, you could probably put it there or wait for them to respond and say, Yes, I'm keen, then send them the link. But um, yeah, that's how, that's generally how I would do it. I think you want like some sort of social proof and fairly specific about why you're reaching out to them as well. I think that's very, I.

Joe Wehbe:

Yeah. the, uh, I agree. The, um, so that's, that's very interesting on like the podcast side. And what about, uh, cuz you. The theme of the podcast was the graduate level kind of experience or thereabouts. So did it. Are there any big changes on that side of things for you? Like how you thought about your own career or things to do kind of differently, but like, I know it's not just work in a, like a little container impacts the rest of like to around the theme of your career and work, but there any, any. If you're at the same company and all that's like you change roles or anything that I'm aware of, maybe internally changed, but were there any, any real, any real noticeable changes in some of the, like the ways you approach the working part of life, if that makes sense?

James Fricker:

Yeah, I think, I think like before I started interviewing people, I, one of the biggest things I've learned is probably about startups like I'd say, like before I started the pod, I've like never, I don't think I'd really sort of delved into this world before. Um, and never really heard anything about. So I think through interviewing people, I like, I've interviewed a number of like, CEOs of startups, like, um, you know, like Andrew and um, you know, some of these kinds of people. Um, so I would say that has been interesting and even in terms of like how someone would. Like craft their career in like a 10 year time. You know, people talk about like, what's the optimal way to like structure things like when's it a good, when's a good time to do this, When's it a good time to do this? Like, things like that. Um, and you know, one of the, of the ways I've seen people do it is like corporate for like, like get into a good grad program, whatever for like two years-ish, maybe more. Then go join a startup that's like, you know, sort of try and pick a good one that's, um, going places and if it goes places, that's great. If not, you've had corporate experience. So it's not too like damaging for your career capital. Um, you know, that's one thing that I've, a story that I've heard a lot of times and I think

Joe Wehbe:

So the, the logic is that you've got enough experience and, um, like experience in terms of skills and experience in terms of, uh, like track record working in certain type of role that it's easier for you to get another new job. Is that

James Fricker:

that's right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It'd be like going straight from you to a startup is like kind of hard cuz there's a lot.

Joe Wehbe:

Yeah.

James Fricker:

At least from what I've heard, because it's, there's just like so much to learn. It's like, it's kind of like you got thrown in the deep end of the pool. It's like you sort of need to be able to swim a little bit so you don't drown. Uh, you know, And so, and that's how I've heard it describe. And so I think like, so for probably that'd be one reason why you'd want to have some experience first. And then the second reason would be if the startup fails for whatever reason. Yeah. That you have some proof that you. Sensible. And, um, you've worked at like a good place before, you know, so it's like, it's less risky if you and like went back there, went to a similar, um, did a similar thing. Um, yeah. Yeah. I, I think that's definitely one. I think what else? I think like, I can't like point to any specifics, but I think there's been. like, and I'll go and find these, but there's been a few times where someone has said like, questions they'll ask of a company before they join, or like, how to know if the company's gonna be a good fit for you or like what questions to ask, um, during the interview process, things like that. There's been quite a few, um, episodes where people would just go, Bang, bang, bang, like, you know, here's like four and so, um, four and five or whatever. So I think like compiling a list of that would be interesting to see, uh, you know, and get some good ideas for things to ask at these different stages. Um, yeah, cuz I think things like that, it's kind of hard to think about, like, how do you know if a company's gonna be a good fit for you? Like when you're looking for your next role, what does that, um, what does that process look like? Um, things like that. I think I've learned a a lot about, How different people have navigated this. Uh, and that's been quite interesting to me. And useful.

Joe Wehbe:

Yeah. I also remember it was the episode there, was it McKinsey,

James Fricker:

Yeah. Sharon, I

Joe Wehbe:

Chiron? That one had a lot of very. Practical, like, uh,

James Fricker:

Yeah.

Joe Wehbe:

for that world. Like, uh, what was, is it, would you call it summit? Just internships in general. So that kind of

James Fricker:

Yeah. Like for

Joe Wehbe:

what, you know, the language, but Yeah. When you're at university age, you look to get roles in that sort neck of the woods, that was very, um, that was a hell of a process. You very, very proactive about it, that guy. And,

James Fricker:

Yeah. Well, I think like when I was at uni, that's the kind of thing that I just had no idea, like how it even worked. Um, cause I, I wasn't friends with anyone that was doing that process, or like, that was just no one around me that I could see doing that. Um, and so it's really, it was very interesting to hear. The level of detail and thought that goes into preparing for those things and like the interviews and whatever, like there's this whole culture almost around like getting jobs at these places. Um, and so, and a lot of it, to me it was unknown, so it was, Yeah. Very interesting to hear how to work.

Joe Wehbe:

Yeah, it's, it's a fascinating, fascinating thing. So the other thing I was, um, curious about, cause we were talking a bit about this before in this episode, but it is interesting, I give guess given it's been a a year, if you were to, if you were to start over, is there anything you would've done differently? Looking back on this, on this journey, is there anything that you think.

James Fricker:

Hmm. I think, I think one of the things that I've haven't been as good at as I would've liked is like pro. of marketing the pod, um, you know, through social media and other places. I think there's been periods where I've done that well, and the pod has grown like a decent amount during those periods. But I think the con, the consistency of episodes has been there, but the consistency of like the marketing and the social media posts and whatever hasn't really been there for the entire time. So I think if I could rewind, I would try and be more consistent in those areas. So I think that would've brought more eyeballs onto the pod. Um, yeah,

Joe Wehbe:

it down to? What's a

James Fricker:

probably like one

Joe Wehbe:

It's hard to do.

James Fricker:

Yeah. I mean, it, it, it is hard. Yeah. No, I think it is hard to do. I think probably one would be the, the clarity that I, uh, we were talking about earlier. I think it would've helped if I had a clear idea of what exactly I, it was aiming to. If that would've made a lot of these things easier to like justify in my head perhaps. Um, whereas like, you know, if you're going from like enterprise pod to like casual pod on the weekend that there's, Yeah. So it's like, you know, for one month I'm like, Let's post every day, twice a day. Like, whatever, let's go really hard. And then the next weekend it's like, yeah, this is just like a chill thing. Like, no problem, like, we don't even need to do it. Uh, or like, or like, or whatever. I've forgot to do it. No. Kind of thing. Um, so yeah, I think the consistency on that side probably wasn't there. Um, but I think like, and maybe in hindsight too, I could have like DMed some, like, like maybe I didn't push the, the guests. Like, I feel like I could have reached out to maybe some more high profile people and got some nos. Um, yeah, I felt like, yeah, I think reflecting now I feel like I could have, you know, tried some long shots, a bit more, like I think I got some pretty good guests on, but I think there, there's levels of the game and I think I could have, yeah, I, I could have chucked a few more, like ambitious

Joe Wehbe:

Yeah, you want a name drop? Are there, any big names on the dream in the, in the theoretical dream, guess?

James Fricker:

Well, someone that's gone around a little bit is like Malcolm Turnbull gets, like, he's been on quite a

Joe Wehbe:

does?

James Fricker:

ones. Um, I'm not

Joe Wehbe:

He have some things to say.

James Fricker:

yeah, I'm not sure if I did end up emailing someone that like, yeah, I can't remember. I maybe did e email someone that was like, I think, see I got his so like his LinkedIn page. Someone sent me like an email that's like associated with it, but it's not his email. It's like someone else, like it's a different. Doesn't have like Malcolm or anything in the, in the email. Um, and I think I maybe emailed that, but I didn't hear back. So whatever that, you know, But he'd be an example and like, let's say like, um, you know, like the CEOs of Atlassian or whatever and the thing, it's one guy, maybe that's the ceo, whatever the co-founders about Atlassian, um, you know, these kinds of people that are like, sort of internationally famous, um, would've been quite interesting just to. Because that's like a macro point, is that like they say no, whatever. Like it doesn't really matter. Um, but you know, you don't really know kind of how far you can go until you're getting nos. So, uh, I think thats, I didn't go, go, I could've gone harder there and got more nos and then I would've known a really sort of pushing the limits.

Joe Wehbe:

Sounds like you need a bit more, um, David Goggins in your

James Fricker:

Yeah.

Joe Wehbe:

area while you were doing outreach. Maybe

James Fricker:

Yeah, I think

Joe Wehbe:

play up a bit. Although you, you're a man who has hold yourself to very high standards, think you're done a good job. But yeah, it's, uh, no on paper. I just always makes sense. Oh, well, if someone says no, what's, what's the problem with that? It's not in the world, but I guess it's another thing to. And perceived rejection or whatever. It's still another thing entirely. so.

James Fricker:

Yeah, I think it's almost worse. Like, you know when people, when people say yes and then they just don't follow through

Joe Wehbe:

Oh yeah.

James Fricker:

me is more, that's just like more frustrating. It's like you said, Yes. Like why are we

Joe Wehbe:

you feel Like, you've gotten, you feel like you've gotten something and uh, and you've made plans and you scheduled episodes.

James Fricker:

Yeah. Like you've already kind of celebrated the Yes. They're like, Yes. They said yes, and then like that is, it just never It just never arrives. Or at least if they say no, it's like fair enough. Like at least they, at least they responded like, you know.

Joe Wehbe:

Uh, it can be heartbreaking. I I think of my real estate days when you felt like you had someone who was buying a home, so. that that meant a lot of, you know, money or, you know, there's a real, not just like someone's going on the podcast and then it falls through. It's like the biggest roller. Experience. It makes everything else seem very small in, in comparison. So I guess that's why it's a bit, it's a bit antifragile in that way if you, if you can get used to that sort of thing. But it's a bloody, it's a bloody role. Yeah. That's why you have to become pretty bloody um, stoic

James Fricker:

Yeah. I think

Joe Wehbe:

at the end of the day. It's not a, it's not always a fun ride

James Fricker:

Yeah. Yeah. I think obviously a pod is. Not like running a company but like there are like some parallels I think, where maybe getting like a little teeny

Joe Wehbe:

We think of any project like

James Fricker:

stuff.

Joe Wehbe:

any project like this is like a business like in a way. So it does have the similar dynamics, even if the complexity is different, um, different type of thing. But Yeah. you got, you got all those moving parts,

James Fricker:

Yeah,

Joe Wehbe:

you can't get away from it. So what's the plan from here 52. Where, So you've done the year, what's your.

James Fricker:

Yeah,

Joe Wehbe:

the plan? What's

James Fricker:

the plan from here is, we'll see, I, I think season two is, um, a potential at this stage. Um,

Joe Wehbe:

Can you put a percentage on it?

James Fricker:

I dunno. I'd say like 50 50. It maybe depends on like, um, I think at this point, like it's near it's October, we'll leave it to the, the end of the year and, and see how I feel next year. Um, I would say it's likely that if I did come back to the pod that it would be like season two would be a slightly different themed cuz I think things like this maybe have to follow my own interests on some level. And I think the interest of like a starting university or sorry, starting work after university and like the university experience. These are like not as interesting to me as they were last year. So I think I would, you know, it would, I think, I think if I was gonna go and do more podcasting, it might be, maybe it wouldn't be called graduate theory, maybe it would, I don't know. But you know what I mean? I think I'd be more focused on the kind of like, Fairly to mid career stuff. Like how do you become, and maybe even more focused on like my career path even, um, you know, so like how do you go from, so for example, I do engineer at work, so like how do, how do you go from like mid to senior level engineer? Like how do you become like CTO or something like that? Um, you know, at those questions would be more interesting to me, I think, than, um, like how do you get your first job after.

Joe Wehbe:

Yeah,

James Fricker:

So, yeah, I think that's,

Joe Wehbe:

so long you can talk about that

James Fricker:

Yeah, Yeah. And I think like, probably part of the reason why, um, yeah, I, I'm keen to sort of stop things now is cuz yeah. I feel like we've covered that topic to a deep, like a decent degree and I think a lot of the guests I've had on with, we kind of speak about more general things than, than just that anyway. Um, like even most of the uss aren't even really aimed at. Like uni early, like it's definitely more just general life advice, maybe aimed at a younger audience. Mm. So I think there's that. Yeah.

Joe Wehbe:

Yep. Well, something I think Gil, I think said to me once, talking about a similar theme and he said that, uh, being alive in the eighties and things like that, you noticed when the concept of career coaches and stuff came into become mainstream or started popping up and he hasn't quickly, the main flavor of them turned from career coaching to sweat. whatever you think that life coaching and stuff like that came from. Cause essentially it's connected to, It's connected to everything else. Like it's said, life. That was a big theme in Gil's. I mean, heaps of people's episodes. But it was definitely a theme in Gil's episode too. So naturally it always jumps around, you know, some interrelated things. So, and Muni is the same, like uni's connected to normally career, um, in most cases. When you're at uni, you can see uni and there's only so much you can optimize uni when really it's trying to serve something else, you know? So you can't just, not over optimizing the uni experience maybe, but you're thinking about where does it go? So it's quite natural. And then naturally, I always think that the, the more like, it's very, it's, it's almost like they're a good sign when you feel like you're outgrowing something. And if it's language you'd use.

James Fricker:

Mm.

Joe Wehbe:

If you're not outgrowing something, it's almost maybe opposite. Maybe it's limiting.

James Fricker:

Yeah.

Joe Wehbe:

It just depends. Like naturally, you should evolve. You shouldn't get stuck in the one thing, like in in theory, like a business evolves. You know, if they say that about Berkshire Hathaway, like a Charlie Monger, Warren Buffet, like one thing that worked for Berkshire Hathaway this decade didn't work for them. In the next decade. They keep reinventing themselves and, you know, sporting teams like that. Right. And I think that's, um, you know, someone who's kind of watched you along this, this journey, I think it's been really great to watch and I hopefully, I speak for a lot of the other people who've listened and enjoyed watching alongside as well because it's very, it's very rewarding and easy to underappreciate just watching someone who's very honestly and open-mindedly going on the. Like, I don't, and I, again, this is just my reflection of you, but it's not like I have all the answers or you know, I have, I have everything. It's just very open. Like, uh, it's cool people, um, I, regular kind of relatable thing. I'm interested in making the most of my career and my time. Wanna be intentional about it or can I learn from these people around me? What is, what is out there? And I think it's just so, I would say it's just so relatable. I think it's just so. Relatable. And I think it's interesting people still watching at this point that it can, maybe they feel themselves evolving too. Who knows? So I don't know. It's, they're complex things, right? It's, you can't really pin put one pin in it, and if you could, it's probably not the best thing. And, and lack of, uh, when you talk about like clarity and stuff, I just think about that too sometimes. It's really good. I always think of clarity, like I said, of circles like a ripple. Like it's like continual journey.

James Fricker:

Mm. Yeah.

Joe Wehbe:

It's just ring by ring, layer by lay. And I don't think it ever ends as someone who's a little bit older. I don't know if I can pull the age card here, but, um, Yeah. I dunno. Sorry that's my rambling,

James Fricker:

No, no. I, I agree. I

Joe Wehbe:

journey, you know, for that reason.

James Fricker:

Yeah. I think, you know, Yeah, I, I, I agree with a lot of your, what you were saying, like, you know, there's the idea of like seasons, you know, some

Joe Wehbe:

Mm.

James Fricker:

around for a season and then you go do something else and it's all, it's not, uh, not necessarily bad, you know, to do something for a bit and then do something else. Like, it's all in the pursuit of, um, enjoying the experience of life.

Joe Wehbe:

Yeah,

James Fricker:

know, things

Joe Wehbe:

it's handy. It's handy to do that every now and. then.

James Fricker:

True. You know? And I think it's been cool. I mean, yeah, I'm not like some super fortunate person, really like, I think most people, I mean there is some element of fortune perhaps, but I think like I'm not that really special in any way. So I think a lot of the things that I've done in the sort of journey that I've had, I think many people could, um, do something similar and hopefully it. Um, hopefully my experience shows that it's not, that things like this are within reach perhaps of, um, you know, of like, people can, can actually do this now. There's no, um, beauty of the internet is, there's no real barriers to this kind of thing. Um, you, you not, like, there's no barrier to asking your company's boss like for coffee.

Joe Wehbe:

Yeah.

James Fricker:

Um, you know, anyone can do that. Um, so I think it's. Yeah, I think it's been cool. It's been a, yeah, it's been very cool. I feel very fortunate I've been able to speak to so many interesting people who have like, yeah, given me their time and their lessons. Um,

Joe Wehbe:

Mm, Well the, the la the one of the last things I just wanted to make sure I threw in there, cuz you're probably too modest to say it yourself and, uh, you know, The word unspecial is, is a tricky one cuz there's something yeah. I get you. Like relatable and all that. And not too different circumstances wise, a lot of people out there, but there's something very special I think about what you've done. But I told you this story and to bring it back to Gilley, sorry, but once again it was, uh, he was, it was explaining to me how, cuz he's what, 75 and he had these people from his e group and for whatever reason one of his schoolmates was Googling his. And found this long interview that he was in and he um, this guy, his school mate, you know, 75. So about school what, 50 something years before together, Um, watched, watched the whole interview, couldn't he said to Michael, I couldn't put it down. I couldn't stop watching. He was so engaging, just learning about his story and he insisted to all the people in their year. I dunno, they probably use email or. people at that age. He said, Everyone has to watch this interview. You know, just look at what everything Michael achieved and whatever. And um, I remember that episode again, you know, Luke and I talked about, and I know people were going through very difficult times in their career who found episodes like that, very useful for them. And uh, I just wanted to mention that cause I think it's, there's, might not look it from the outside sometimes, but there's been a lot of things like. There might be more that you're not aware of, that are very special things to have done for people while you are humbly just looking to, I guess, enhance your own wisdom. So I hope that you and other people who've been along for the journey appreciate things like that cuz that's very special.

James Fricker:

Mm. Yeah, absolutely. And that, that's what it's all about is, uh, you know, stories like that. And yeah, definitely. I've had, like that particular episode, there was a lot of like friends of ours, like you said. Watched it and it had, it had impacted them. Uh, you know, people have come and said certain things about other episodes to me and said, you know, this one was really helpful during this period, lack of my life, and really helped me do this thing or whatever. Um, you know, so that's quite cool. It's, it's cool. You know, that sort of, I'm able to have fun speaking to people who are hopefully having fun speaking to me, and we're able to share the conversation that's able to, you know, help other people. I think it's just a, a win win win

Joe Wehbe:

It

James Fricker:

know. Yeah.

Joe Wehbe:

It really, is

James Fricker:

Mm.

Joe Wehbe:

it really? Wow. Do you have any other, I mean, I feel like turning your, your own question back on you at this point around the advice you would give to young graduates, um, un unless I've butchered it, I believe that's the question or early version of yourself. But is there, you know, not to put pressure on you mate, that you've done 52 episodes, you've talked to some incredible people, including. Episode one with Joe Weave Network. So like really high caliber people. A lot of wisdom, more than, probably more than 52 hours of insight and everything like that and stuff in between. So no pressure. But

James Fricker:

Mm.

Joe Wehbe:

out of all that, distilling it in a single question to assess your worth. Um,

James Fricker:

Yeah.

Joe Wehbe:

Seriously, what is, what is top of mind right, right now for you in terms of your, your distilled

James Fricker:

But yeah, I think.

Joe Wehbe:

answer that question?

James Fricker:

Yeah, I, I think firstly it's hard to sum up all the episodes, right? So I think there's many like little pieces of advice that just wouldn't fit that I think are valuable. But I guess like some, some main points I would say is like, even for myself, starting things like the pod or like, uh, the, the Instagram page we spoke about that I had before the pod, you know, things like that. I really, I had the desire to do things like that for some time before I did them, and I. Part of the reason why I didn't do them earlier is upon reflection that I was in some way sort of weighed down by, um, social expectations and like what other people were gonna think of me and things like that. And I think, um, probably wasn't even that I, I recognized that it was probably just like, I just. Didn't care anymore and that I was just gonna do it. Um, regardless, I think that that is a big thing. Um, and I think so much of like how we live and the things we do are defined by our social group. And who, and this is like typically cliche, like you know, the five people you spend the most time with, whatever. Cause I think even. For me, that whole process, probably the Instagram page leading to the pod was around the same time that I was connecting a lot with you and like constant student was kind of around a similar time. And so for me it became like seeing all these people do stuff like that, it was like, okay, this is now like the, just the normal behavior of people is to do these. So that made it almost created space for me to then go and do those things. Um, whereas before, before then, it was a lot, um, you know, I kind of wanted these things, but I didn't really feel comfortable owning them in, in, in a way like, if that makes sense. Like, it would be a part of me where I'd be like chatting to someone and we just wouldn't talk about this, this whole side of me, the things that I was interested in. Um, and so I think that has been, Pro. Yeah. Like a, a really great experience for me was, was that I think cuz now there's, I think, a, a, one of the biggest learnings for me through all of this has been, um, like. Things like that where I'm interested in things, but I used to sort of not share with everyone. So like there were like so many things, like I used to read lots, like no one knew that I read any books, really. Like I maybe told a couple of people, but no, my closest friends, um, You know, things like, I would do like weird things, like read my news on like an RSS reader, um, which is like very nerdy, but like I wouldn't, I just

Joe Wehbe:

Yeah. that, job

James Fricker:

I wouldn't wanna be seen as like Yeah. Like I wouldn't wanna be seen as like the weird guy that does this stuff. Um, and, and there's a whole. List of things. Um, you know, I even when I was at university early on, I was like, tried to start like a Shopify drop shipping thing, you know, where you like get the

Joe Wehbe:

We're rolled on

James Fricker:

and like Yeah. Anyway, so, but like, so I did that and like, I didn't tell anyone because like, I wouldn't want like other people to know that I was into this kind of thing. Um, and so that was a part of my life for a long time. And I think the pod was like the first time that I, like, I posted, you know, on linked. To everyone that like, this is what I'm gonna do. Um, and just maybe like bit nerve-wracking at the time. But, um, now it's, I feel a lot more, I know integrated probably the wrong word, but I feel like now that I'm chatting to people, I don't have to hide this whole part of me that's like interested in all this different stuff. Um, and I think that has been one of the biggest learnings for me in something I'm grateful for and something that I think, um, If someone was like facing a similar challenge, then I think they should, um, find ways to sort of, um, overcome that feeling. Whether it's by doing something in public or, um, you know, if you are sort of hiding yourself in that way, then I think, um, Maybe it's vague, but you should try and find ways to not do that. Because I think it's, it's a, it's a big shame if you're gonna, when you're hiding, um, passing yourself in your interests. Um, so yeah, I would even say like go out and try and find people that, where it's okay to speak about things like that too. Cause that'll make it a lot easier.

Joe Wehbe:

Beautiful answer. Beautiful answer. I think more I could add to that.

James Fricker:

Yeah. No, that, that's my story. It's been, it's been, um, It's been a very good Yeah. No, but I'm, I'm seriously grateful for like this whole, the whole journey and perhaps that's the, the journey of life is sort of peeling back the layers, um, of the onion in, in like that in some way, maybe. Um, but yeah, I'm grateful that I have this experience early in my life so that I can now go and like, um, bring my whole self to, to work and wherever it is. Like to work at home and wherever it might be. Yeah. That it's not something that I have to have to hide or, um, yeah. I'm very grateful. I think it's, it's been a very transformative experience for me, so, um, yeah.

Joe Wehbe:

Well, thank thanks for sharing it with us all. Thanks for letting. People like me be part of it and be on the podcast and all that on behalf of all your, your, your lovely and wires and intelligent and caring guests and uh, yeah, thank you. And I think that was just a beautiful message to it on, I think it's so valuable and important and yeah, I really don't have anything to add to that. It's just very well, incredibly well said. An incredibly well intentioned, you can tell you. really feel. It's not more, much more than words and something you really mean and have learn on a deep level,

James Fricker:

Yeah. No, thank you, man. Yeah, I appreciate, uh, your support through this whole journey and, and there are many others, uh, you know,

Joe Wehbe:

maning many

James Fricker:

to name, uh, that, that have been really instrumental in this as well. Um, so I want to thank all, uh, everyone that's been involved in the journey. It's been. Yeah, it's been a wild ride. And, um, we'll see if perhaps season two will come back, and if it does, I'll be, I'll be stoked to share it with.

Joe Wehbe:

I hope there's some form of something from you that

James Fricker:

Well, yeah, that's the, the current plan is to, Yeah, we're, we're working on a, a small product to uh, kind of summarize a lot of the content. Um, at least partially, it's hard to do it justice, but I'll try my best and, um, yeah, we'll see. Keep an eye out for that.

Joe Wehbe:

Is there anything in case, just in case, is there anything you need to communicate about where people do or don't find you or reach out to you or follow along, anything like that?

James Fricker:

Yeah, I think the first link of the description should be the newsletter and that'll be the best place to keep up to date with the goings on. Um, otherwise you can look at the graduate theory website or graduate theory. LinkedIn's probably the best place to catch it on social media, YouTube, as well. Um, and those would be the best places to go and keep up to date.

Joe Wehbe:

Awesome.

James Fricker:

Thanks again for listening to Graduate theory. We've reached the end of the episode now, so if you haven't already, please go and subscribe to the Graduate Theory Newsletter. That's where you're gonna find out everything that's going on after this episode. I really, uh, looking forward to seeing you there and letting you know what's coming next. But yeah, I wanna just thank you again for listening, uh, to this show. It means a lot to me that you've listened this far into the episode. Um, yeah, thanks so much and hopefully, uh, this has been valuable for you. It's certainly been valuable for me. So until next time, we'll see you around.