Beyond The Beers – Episode One: Mike Campbell (Me)

*This is the transcript of the first episode of Beyond The Beers in which I’m interviewed. This being the short version. A fuller interview is available on the site. To watch the show, click here.

“Conversations With Men, Me & Mum”

Welcome to beyond the beers. Men breaking stereotype through conversation.

We men love a good yarn, some banter. Even been over a beer, or ten. Sadly, for many men that never goes deeper than that.

This show is a place for men to go beyond the surface level conversation. A chance to learn, listen, laugh and grow. Let’s break stereotypes through conversations, let’s go Beyond the Beers.

 

Mike:  Today I have with me Mr. Scott Tweedie. Scott is a TV host and professional prankster basically.

You are going to learn a lot more about Scott in a later episode when I interview him. Today, we are going to turn the tables and Scott is going to interview me for our first episode.

So, Scott. Let’s get into the show. Over to you man.

 

Scott: You are a brave man Mike Campbell.

 

Mike Campbell and I, we met on a 12-day charity cycle for Project Futures, which is all about raising awareness to end human trafficking and human slavery both in Cambodia and here in Australia, and it was an amazing experience for me to actually have 12-days of meeting people like you as well, and I wonder if you are nervous today that I am actually running this interview, are you?

Mike and Scott cycling through Cambodia

Mike: I am probably more nervous than getting on that bike actually, yeah.

 

Scott: You should be. You should be. I have got some ripper questions lined up. Well, Mike let’s have a sip of beer and get into it.

What made you become a man coach? And why did you want to, and why do you think it is so important for men to have more conversations?

 

Mike: So, for me I suppose the journey to being a man coach was quite a long one. It was basically 30-years or so of my life, right? I started as a personal trainer about 12 or 13 years ago, and by nature I am really curious, I am very observant. So, when I started working with people, and mostly it was men. And I soon realised it was so much more than the physical stuff. I soon realised really that a lot of it was mental.

And so being curious, I kind of got into that and started educating myself and up-skilling and diving into the things that helped my clients. Then, I started to look at it and then I figured- why the same things coming up all the time? The same issues, the same problems, and for me it kind of boiled down to a couple of things – 1) Physically we weren’t really where wanted to be and that kind of spread to any different guy regardless of where he was.

It was always something there we weren’t happy about, and then mentally we weren’t kind of where wanted to be either, and I was seeing it in myself, in my friends, in my clients – this general kind of just “Meh”, like you know, life’s hard, works hard and this acceptance of mediocrity basically, and it really spurned me to question it and dive into it, so I did.

 

I started… I was working on myself a lot, and I started looking into what is it about men, and that’s when I started researching, talking to psychiatrists and psychologist and all that stuff, I kind of went down the rabbit hole, and I found that… yeah, I think we have kind of forgotten how to be men or we just don’t quite know and this journey into manhood from a boy is quite grey, we get told to “Man up, to harden up, to be a man” and that’s such a narrow picture. We basically told to push our emotional side away and keep things in. So it really lit a passion in me that I wanted to address.

We basically told to push our emotional side away and keep things in. So it really led a passion in me that I wanted to address.

 

Scott: Mike, you obviously enjoy talking about conversations like this, so what topics don’t you enjoy talking about? What makes you little bit uncomfortable?

 

Mike: I think loads of things do, right? One of the things that I have I suppose worked on is leaning into and embracing those things, so I still do them whatever they may be. So probably more frequently, there used to be more emotional ones in relationships say, but I am more willing to have a crack at it even though I might feel uncomfortable.

And one of the things for me that I suppose really helped with it was realising that when we feel uncomfortable and we worry about having that conversation, we build it up in our minds and it’s never really that bad, and we kind of thinking about worst case scenario but we actually don’t think about the worst case scenario because if we did, it’s usually not that bad.

So that helped me to lean into those conversations a bit more, even though I still feel uncomfortable.

Conversations with and about men

What do I struggle to talk about though? For me, it’s more around maybe things with my business. So for me, integrity and transparency is really really important and you know sometimes business certainly when you are an entrepreneur is not easy, it’s tough, it’s hard, it’s a grind; sometimes it feels like you are in the bottom of a massive hole. And so

And so trying to be honest with my audience and my clients and my customers and so on without looking like, you know I can’t service them. So maybe, honestly in conversations in and around that.

 

Scott: Mike, is there one thing you never talk about normally, but you are willing to talk about with us today?

 

Mike: It’s kind of a hard one because one of the big things with me is I suppose living my message, so I always want to be an example of what I am talking about. Therefore, I do try and talk about most things, but I suppose one thing perhaps that would be more deep within me would be… and I think it’s probably common for a lot of guys is especially getting into space, right? Of talking about masculinity and all that kind of stuff, is that feeling of is someone going to tap me on the shoulder and say, “dude who the fuck are you?”

And you know, to be caught out as a fraud kind of thing, like what do you know, who are you to talk about this kind of stuff.

I suppose it’s the element of self-doubt which absolutely comes up time and time, but more so specifically about that.

And then I suppose in alignment with that is more is more just that deep inner voice sometimes that’s like, because I don’t think for a second that I have almost shit sorted, not at all, but the voice is like – is there going to be a point where all of a sudden there is just going to be just like big like a meltdown or something because seem to be doing okay and coaching people around the staff, and I know I am working through shit on the way kind of stuff, but is that coming? And it’s like this weird irrational conversation that I have with myself, but yeah I really don’t talk about that.

 

Scott: So then today is all about conversations, what is the bigger conversation that we are not just dealing with at the moment that we should be dealing with?

 

Mike: For me, it’s got to be the conversation of what is masculinity? So, I can have my own definition of that and I can coach a few people on it and that kind of stuff, but on a big scale every day there is a new generation of males coming through and I think on a big scale we are responsible for fucking up a load of shit that goes on in the world.

I think if we can start to reframe the path from boyhood into manhood and what it means to be a well-rounded, healthy, compassionate, strong, empathetic, resilient man; we can have a huge impact on the day to day lives of many people around the world.

 

Scott: What do you think like this day and age as well, social media, online presence, obviously so many more conversations are happening digitally, so do you reckon this is changing the shape of man as well?

Men and men culture, I suppose, being created online, as opposed to in a pub and in the workplaces and stuff like that, do you find that it’s changing the culture of it, of what means to be a man?

 

Mike: Yeah, I think the culture is definitely changing, right? So you know on one hand I kind of talk about there is all this kind of shit that we need to work on, but at the same time there’s a heap of work happening and its great. There is a heap more diversity, there is so many more options for men and to be themselves, which is amazing. And we see that in social media and stuff, absolutely.

 

One of the things I want to be aware of myself and perhaps encourage, certainly the people I work with about around social media is, 1) that we are not seeking external validation from there, and 2) then just putting our highlights out there and the link there may be of external validation, and of course realising that other people are doing that and not to compare.

So I think that’s a dangerous space if that’s the trap to fall into. Checking phone, “oh how many likes did I get” and all that kind of stuff, right? Like you validate you, not some people through the internet, but I think there is so much power in social media in our kind of day and age to be yourself and to express it and that’s amazing.

 

Scott: So you are in the space of obviously having conversations all the time, but is there one person in particular that you just love to sit down with and have a conversation with apart from Scott Tweedie?

[Laughter]

 

Mike: Tick!

There is. Well, absolutely hundreds. I mean I could talk all day about the people I’d like to have conversations with, current and through history? But at the end of the day for me, it would come down to one person and that’s my Mum. So my mum passed away about five years ago and that was a period where I was really starting to work on myself and start this journey I suppose.

Mum had been diagnosed with lung cancer four years prior, so she had been fighting through that and that time for me really enforced, I suppose, my value of health and how we must, you know, try to look after ourselves, but also live our best lives and actually enjoy the time we have here. That’s where mum kicked ass in that four years, kind of thing.

I'd love to have a conversation with my mum

But I was just starting on that journey, I really was. I am engaged to partner Nadia now, mum never got to meet her. So mum hasn’t had that, she never saw the stuff that I had done since that time which is heaps of things in a scale of perhaps, you know, old Uni Mike.

So, I would just love to sit down and just 1) catch up, have a conversation, talk to her about all that stuff and yeah, have a nice connection.

 

Scott: Well, Mike Campbell. It’s been an absolute pleasure to share conversation Beyond The Beers with you, as we have a beer. So thank you for opening up and sharing the insight with me as well, even though I spent 12 whole days riding on the bike in Cambodia with you, there is some stuff that I’d never heard of, so that was fantastic.

 

Mike: Cool. Mate, thank you for coming and putting me under the pump and listening and connecting, absolutely.

That was awesome and thanks everyone for tuning in, that’s our show for today, and if there is one thing I want to leave you guys with, it’s to make sure you share this with someone perhaps that can use it, and then actually go out into the world and start breaking the stereotype, having these kind of more meaningful conversations and allowing yourself to ask for help if you need it. Also ask someone else if they need help, talk to a mate and ask how he is really going, and have those more meaningful conversations and go beyond the beers.

 

Like this interview? Be sure to check out the actual show on the site here.

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