In a wide-ranging discussion, an old boss of mine, Tom Goslowski, talks to me about my dreams growing up and how they didn't pan out. Then, I talk about some internship stories (which may or may not include a famous naked man), my relationships with famous journalists like Jeremy Schaap and Ariel Helwani, my current job status, career advice for young people, and so much more.
If you enjoyed today's show, please consider leaving a review for The Troy Farkas Show on Apple Podcasts or on our web site.
Curious to know how my time in Denver is going? Check out this new blog post.
In my latest YouTube video, I explain why I'm very grateful today.
"People are a lot nicer than we think. The way the world is now, we give people a bad rap. But people are truly good at heart and we don't give them enough credit for that."
"As a minimalist, it is a disgrace if I ever pay for extra luggage."
"When I studied abroad in Scotland in the fall of 2016 was when I broke away from my home, from my upbringing, from what my family and what my town and what my coaches and what my school wanted me to be." - Troy on his personal evolution
"Someone is listening to this as an escape, to get some value from it, to get away from their own heads, to stop just running the hamster wheel in their heads all day." - Troy on why he loves podcasts
"Give way more than you receive and just be nice." - Troy gives career advice
peace and love.
Good morning, everyone. And welcome in to another episode ofThe Troy Farkas Show a podcast that is not about me. It's about all of us. The twenties are a crucial time in our lives. And on this show, we navigate the highs and lows of early adulthood together. I hope you all are having a tremendous week that you've gotten outside.
I don't know what the weather is like for most of these listeners who are. Based in the Northeast, but I hope it's great. I hope you're getting outside. I hope you're hanging with your friends and that you're not working too hard, not working too much that you're not beating yourself up over all these little things that we beat ourselves up over all the time.
So I sincerely appreciate you all joining me today. Gonna do a little something different on today's episode. So I was on a podcast about a month ago, called getting there with gods. My guy, Thomas Goslowski. I used to work with him back in Albany. In fact, I was his intern at ESPN radio one Oh four five, the team, which is the Albany New York ESPN radio affiliate.
I interned there my junior year of college, which was my last year of college. And I learned a lot from gods and the guys and girls at that radio station before I headed off to ESPN. So he does a podcast. Where it's, um, where he basically just interviews people in the sports media industry and asked them about their careers, how they got to, where they were, where they want to go from where they are now.
And so I was on, um, not too long ago. And so I thought it would be a great idea to play it for you guys. Now it was about a 55 60 minute podcast. I've cut it down here for you guys to. You know, just get down to the nuts and bolts of my story and what I think matters. And I just cut out some of the stories that really won't apply to you or to inside, uh, you know, inside ESPN or to inside sports.
So, uh, just going to talk a lot about how I've gotten to where I am today, I haven't really talked too much about my career on this show. I talked about the end of ESPN. And why I ultimately left, but I didn't really talk much about how I got there, what I'm doing now. So you guys are going to hear all about that.
And I do go into more depth as to why I did choose to leave ESPN at the beginning of 2021. So I hope you guys do enjoy it and let me know what you think. So here I am on the, getting there with Goz podcasts. And just so you know, you will hear. Some noises and transition noises that come out of the blue.
It is just because that's where I cut stuff out. So I'm going to talk about a lot of things here, again, like career path minimalism. My love of Halsey and Goz also asked me a question toward the end where he asked me is anybody like you? And I thought it was a really good question and I am excited for all of you to hear my answer to it.
So without further ado, here's me. On the getting there with Goz podcast and joining,
we are joined by the host of the Troy Farkas show. Troy Farkas. You may remember him from his time in Albany. He's got a very interesting story to say the least, and I can't wait to get to it, but before we get all the way to the end of the journey of Troy Fargus and where he stands now, let's start at the beginning.
Troy, take us back to a young Troy Farkas. Where'd you grow up? What'd you want to be when you were five, six years old and it was the same thing you wanted to be when you're 18. I love how you said that the journey, uh, is you made it sound like the journey is over I'm 25 and the journey is the journey is as much begun here.
Uh, thanks for having me on, by the way. So the, the journey five, six years old, I wanted to be three things. When I was that age, I remember distinctly telling my parents why I wanted to be all simultaneously, by the way. I want it to be a waiter, a police officer, and a member of the New York Yankees all at one time.
Uh, none of those came to fruition nor did I really pursue any of them. I realized very early on that the waiter industry, isn't maybe a, you know, a career that you want to hang your hat on. Shout out to the great waiters out there, but it's not something that, you know, you want to go to college, whatever a police officer.
No. Ray for Halloween and then a Yankees player. I quickly realized that a baseball wasn't my favorite sport and B that I probably wouldn't make it to the, uh, the press. Yeah. And like, you bounced around a lot as a kid too, because we've had your older brother Brady on the show, who is he? Host out in Vermont, you guys lived in Seattle, New York.
I feel like I'm missing two cities. Yeah. So I was born in Seattle. Brady was born in California, so I never lived in California. I was born in Seattle, lived there for only a couple months. So that's why I'm not a Seattle fan of any kind, just because, you know, I wasn't conscious really while I was there, moved to North Carolina, lived there for a couple of years, moved up to Albany.
I was four or five years old. Then my dad. Turbulent newspaper industry at this time when things are just starting to change and he kind of bounces around from place to place Syracuse, somewhere in Pennsylvania, I continued to stay in Albany and then I ended up going to college there as well. So take us through that decision.
When you are getting ready to graduate high school, you decided to go to UAlbany. What are you pursuing? Sadly, it's not the waiter route. Like we may have been rooting for what, why and what are you hoping to accomplish at U Albany? Yeah. So I grew up with no dreams of any kind, really. Once I got past the waiter, Police officer Yankees thing.
I really, there was nothing I really wanted to do. And so I think it's the most ridiculous thing in the world that we ask a 17, 18 year old kid, Hey, figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. Figure out where do you want to go to school? Meanwhile, you have no idea what you're looking for in a school.
You can only go based on what other people tell you. And you have no idea, really what to look for in a career. It's, it's such a hard question to ask, and I had no answers to any of these questions. And when I was a senior at Shenandoah, I was having a great senior year. I had a really good friend group, had a great girlfriend at the time, basketball career music career.
Like all this stuff was going on. I was paying no attention to the next step of my life. Because I didn't want to get there. I was having such a fun time in the moment, so I don't really give much thought to it. So it kind of ended up being a last second decision to go to U Albany because I couldn't really justify going to a Syracuse or whatever expensive school.
If I wasn't going to go there for a specific. Educational purpose. So I landed on U Albany and I went there. Undeclared had no idea what I wanted to do. I'd always loved history. I'd always kind of had in the back of my mind that I wanted to be a history teacher. I had this amazing male seventh and eighth grade social studies teacher that kind of made me fall in love with history.
And I thought maybe I want to be a history teacher, but I wasn't sure. So I went undeclared. Year, it goes by and I say, you know what? I want to study history. I love history. I love it in the classroom. I'm a history buff. I love jeopardy. This is just quite frankly what I like to do in the classroom. I don't know if it's going to translate into career, but it's just what I want to study.
And then you're not a history buff all of a sudden, because when you and I, our careers cross paths, you interned with us at one to four, five to team. I feel like at that point, there's also a connection to the baseball hall of fame. When do you make the turn from history to more of a sports studying at UAlbany?
Yeah. So I'd always told myself that I wouldn't get into the family business, the media business. I am a contrarian by nature. At least I like to think so. And so I wanted to be different. Uh, but then the end of my freshman year, I wasn't liking you all many too much. I didn't fit into well. And so I was just kind of looking for some things to do so that I wasn't lonely or sad and whatever my brother Brady had just started working at one of four or five, the team and Albany, he had said, Hey, you should try to find the, you all need radio station.
This radio stuff is kind of cool. You should look into it. So I said, all right, whatever, I'll do it. And, uh, You know, not a big media school. So opportunities were, were pretty plentiful just for me to just plug and play, go right away. I love sports had always loved sports. And so I was able to start talking about sports on you, all of these airwaves, you know, you all, when sports, local national sports, like whatever it was my canvas that I could paint.
And, uh, they started doing it and I just started doing. More and more and more. I had maybe decided, okay, maybe I want to be on TV. So I'd hit up the gray. I don't know if you've had her on yet, but Liana Bonavita the, the news 10 Albany anchor. She's amazing. I, um, I remember I wanted an internship the summer after my freshman year going into sophomore year of college and was 10.
It wasn't offering anything. There was no internship posted anywhere. I just kind of cold emailed Liana. I never met her in my life and said, Hey. Do you guys have an internship program? Can I intern for you? And she didn't answer me. And then I think I followed up and, uh, then we started going back and forth a little bit and kind of playing tag eventually.
She said, you know what? We don't have any program, but I can tell you really want to do something. Let's figure something out. And she ended up saying that, uh, you know, you are being pleasantly persistent, which is a good skill to have in this business. So, uh, that's why she wants to, to take me in. So then I kind of realized by, from working with Leanna, by working with Josh Rultenberg, great guy who was there at the time as well, that I liked this media thing that I wanted to keep doing it.
And so then that led to me at U Albany, um, kind of just being like the U Albany sports media guy, where I was doing radio TV. Newspaper writing. The written word is my first love that kind of runs in my blood. So I was doing that for the Albany student press. So I was doing everything. And then that led to the next summer and internship summer in Cooperstown, best summer of my life, working at the baseball hall of fame.
This was the year that Ken Griffey Jr. And my Piazza got inducted summer of my life. I was actually just watching a highlight video from it the other day. I was babysitting my Piazza's kids. I'm interviewing Ken Griffey Jr. I'm seeing, uh, Tommy Lasorda running around naked on the floor. I'm watching Wade Boggs, drinking, singing while my Piazza's on the drums, like wild times.
Wait a second. No, no, you're not allowed to continue. Pause right there. We'll sort as naked. And Wade box is drinking beer. Give me a little bit of that story as much as you can legally. Yeah, so I'm, uh, we're on the bottom floor, the Otesaga hotel. So the Otago hotel is this amazing hotel. In Cooperstown. It is the hotel where everyone for induction weekend in, at the end of July, all the living hall of Famers and the guys that are going into that year's class descend on Cooperstown for the induction for the weekend.
They play golf. It's this whole thing. And of course they, they hang out at the hotel. It is a, no one is allowed in, no one is allowed out. I was the only media member allowed inside the hotel at all times. And so I kinda got to, uh, and I was just like the CU the hall of fame media. And so I just got to observe all of these guys all the time.
Here's Randy Johnson, six 11, Randy Johnson, the guy who was breaking my heart as a young Yankees fan in the nine Oh one world series, just sitting there casually on the deck, reading a book, I'm like, this is Randy Johnson. And, you know, Pedro, Pedro Martinez is coming in and, and all these guys are coming and Joe Tory is coming in, Rob Manfred is coming in and anyway, so I'm there.
Uh, we had kind of. Had the bottom floor of the Otesaga for it, a little media center. And just after we had interviewed John Smoltz, um, Tommy Lasorda is running around naked, waving a towel around on the bottom floor, just kind of yelling. And, and I looked over to my boss at the time and I'm like, What has got he's like that's normal.
That's just Tommy. This is expected. Is this an annual tradition? So that was Tommy and then yeah, Piazza is a big, a big music guy. And so they're in the hotel bar one night, Mike, uh, you know, gets on the drums and, uh, starts playing the drums. He's very good. And you know, he, he does this and, uh, Wade Boggs who is known.
Apparently as the life of the party, he is a legend for his drinking prowess. And so he was several beers deep, and Mike's on the drums and Wade bow. I forgot what song they were doing, but whey bogs just pops on the mic. And here I am just watching Wade and Mike Piazza having a little band at the oldest saga hotel.
And I'm just like, what? This is my life right now. One of many times that has happened in my career where I'm just like, What is going on? How did I get here? And you would think for most sports fans hearing those stories enough, you're going to retire. All right. I'm good. Like, that's it. That's my life. Uh, we have not even close to scratch the surface of the things you've seen.
So I don't want to skip ahead too far, but you do the baseball hall of fame thing. And at some point here, this is like you said, your sophomore year, then the possibility of. Becoming a real life employee getting paid to do these things starts popping up because I believe it's a connection you make at the baseball hall of fame that leads you to an entry level job at ESPN, correct?
Yeah. So I graduated U Albany in three years, so I had. Known that there was a guy at the hall of fame that what was great about this internship program at the hall of fame was that it was super strict, structured and had been going on for a decade plus. And, um, there were people from all around the country that were a part of this prestigious program who worked in all different departments.
And so the, the, the steel internship program. And so it was kind of, you know, the alumni kind of help each other out. And so I asked for this master list of every single. In turn that, that there once was at the hall of fame and it said, Hey, here's contact info. Here's where they are now. Here's where they're working.
Here's where they're living. So I just kind of went down the list of people who were at places that I thought maybe would be cool to work at. And I stumbled upon this guy, Jeffrey Aronson never met him, but I just kind of cold emailed him and said, Hey, I'm a I'm Troy, I'm a steel intern. You work at ESPN in LA.
That's pretty cool. Um, I'd love to work there one day. Like let's hop on the phone one day and just chat, looking for nothing. There was nothing too to be had at that time, but just to get my name in people's minds. And then as I'm applying, just as I'm about to graduate you all me, my junior year. I'm applying, applying, applying to places around the country, small outlets, big outlets.
And ESPN is one that actually gets back to me. And this has made probably, you know, the one that's casting the widest net and getting the most applicants. And it was because I think my theory is. That I had said to Jeff, Hey, Jeff, I've just applied for this job at ESPN. Is there any way that you can get my name?
My resume in front of an actual parent eyes? No, not a robot, not an algorithm. And he said, sure, we have this program where I can give you an employee referral and we can I'll do that. And let me know how it works out for you. And then not soon after I heard from ESPN and go back and forth through a couple of interviews and boom.
I want to say that's incredibly rare, but the more and more I've done this podcast, the cold calling and the going out and just being a little bit of aggressive towards that has worked out for a lot of people. But that is unique in itself that you never met the guy in person. You've never talked to him on the phone.
It's not like you have a friend of a friend, just an internship list, cold call, cold email gets you in front of somebody and sure enough. Boom. You're hired in Bristol. Yeah. It's the way to go. I mean, people, people are a lot nicer than we think. We give people and strangers and you know, the way the world is now we give people a bad rap, but truly our people are truly good at heart and we don't give them enough credit for that.
And people want to help you out. And especially people like Jeff and that situation, remember when they were like, you. Right. They remember when they were the kid who didn't know what they were doing, who was just freaking out, trying to figure out what to do with their lives, especially in the early stages.
And they remember that kid and there's a part of me that thinks that they all just kind of go back to that time in their lives and feel some sort of empathy for me in that situation. And so people are a lot nicer than you think. So that would be my advice to any, any young person out there is just like, just take a shot.
Get out of your comfort zone, cold email, find any connection that you can, whether it's an alumni of an internship program of a college of a high school, you guys worked at the same restaurant in New York city at some point 30 years apart, whatever connection you can find, try to make it. So there you are fresh out of college.
You are in the elite air, the rare company where you're someone who's going to graduate college and you're going to the worldwide leader. This is your first job, your entry-level job. You're going to Bristol. So when people look at it, it's the Holy grail, the Mecca, whatever you want to call it, you are going into the spot.
It's not a nine to five is you find out very fast. Take us through your first responsibilities as employed at ESPN and what a day in a week look like for you. Yeah, so I wanted to, at the end of college, I kind of finally landed on what I wanted to do. I decided that I wanted to be on documentaries that.
I like sports, but I'm not a die hard. Rob Ross, sports fans, stats, final scores, gambling, all that stuff. I like the stories. I like how sports are a less serious, um, cause politics too serious news is too serious and depressing sports is a mirror in which to see the world triumph tragedy, winning, losing hard work teamwork, all of these universal themes.
Right. And so I kind of stumbled on that. And sports documentaries 30 for 30 is really. Well, you highlighted those things. And so when I got to ESPN, I kind of realized that. All right. I gotta figure this out. I gotta figure out this docs thing. Problem was I was bringing out ESPN radio and I wanted to do a visual medium.
Uh, but I learned very quickly. I had never listened to a podcast and I'd never listened to a radio documentary before, but I kind of realized very quickly that I could, uh, make a dent there. And so what I did was my idol was Jeremy Schaap loved Jeremy. Schaap loved E:60. He loved his reporting work, great guy, and I'd found out.
Two weeks there. I just see an email from this guy named Dan Z, who sends out a show note, which is just a summary of a radio show. The sporting life with Jeremy Schaap Saturdays and Sunday, 6:00 AM Eastern time. And, uh, I was like, Oh my God, Jeremy Schaap has a radio show. I want to work on that. So I just cold emailed Dan Z say, Hey, can I shadow you?
Like, can I, I love it. See how, what your process is. You said yes, no one has ever volunteered to work on this show before. No one cares about it. Yes. I could love to use some help and use you essentially. And, uh, So then that was kind of like my side gig. I undertook the sporting life thing made it, my baby was producing a show, booking guests, recording interviews, all of this stuff for my idol, a dream come true.
Now this was my side gig. This wasn't what I was actually brought there to do, but I took way more pride in it to answer your question. Uh, what I was doing was, so I was a production assistant ESPN radio on a contract and 18 month contracts. I'm not technically an employee of Disney. I was hired by an outside agency.
And so I started out in the screening room. Which is where, you know, we record, we bring in the feeds of all the games, MLB NBA, NFL, you cut highlights. You identified the notable plays and notable storylines. Cut highlights, cut sound from press conferences for use on our radio shows for use on sports center for all the PAs and screening.
It's always a moment of triumph. When one of your highlights that you cut makes it on SportsCenter, some crazy Kansas city chiefs, radio call or whatever it is. So I was doing that. And then you transition to running the board. Which is just, you know, pressing the buttons for all the shows, hitting brakes, making sure everything, uh, you know, I kind of equate it to like the offensive line.
No one gives you praise when you do a good job, but everyone will just shit on you when you do a bad job, because people will notice because your quarterback gets sacked or your host, something happens to your host. And, uh, I was terrible at it. Absolutely terrible at it. Uh, so terrible at it that there there's some famous mistakes that I made, uh, that will live in the ESPN archives forever.
One of them is called Terry Rozier. We're on sports center all night, 3:00 AM, right recorded radio it's prerecorded. I'm the only one in the studio. I'm editing stuff. Something was messed up on the board. I'm editing stuff over the air. I'm editing a Terry Rozier, highlight against the Cavaliers in the playoffs.
And it's so it's just over the air. I'm unaware. This is over there, but 20 times it's Terry Rozier, Ted rosier, Terry Rozier. Over to the host talking. And, uh, there was maybe like 10 different instances of things like that happening. So I actually got, almost got kicked off the board and had to like, prove that I could do it.
That's right. That's Erin across the country, not locally. That's across the United States of America. That's edit that mistake you're making. Yeah. I quickly realized that, you know, this board out thing isn't for me. And, uh, then that was, you know, AP Ang shows was eventually producing sports center all night.
Oh, that good stuff. Not glamorous, obviously radios 24, seven weekends overnights off day, Monday, Tuesdays in rural Connecticut, hard to have a life. It was hard. It was depressing hard to make friends. And, um, you know, especially when that first year all of my friends were still in college. And so I'm seeing their IgE stories and their snap stories.
They're having the time with their lives, having a year that I never got to have. And, uh, it was tough. It was tough. Like tough. I think some people listening to this podcast may know you from, if Ariel Helwani podcasts, let's go through this, take us through how you and area humble wanting meat. I feel like that is really when your career took off.
Maybe you got more notoriety from your relationship with Ariel Helwani, although you love Jeremy Schaap. There's something different with you and Ariel? Yeah, for sure. So I had some, my radio contract was up, um, and they had told me at the beginning of that contract that, Hey, no matter what you do, you know, we're, short-staffed short budget, whatever.
Probably not gonna be able to hire you. Full-time that's just the way it is. You could be the best PA we've ever had. Probably not gonna able to hire you. Full-time that's just the way it is. So I said, okay. I took that as a personal challenge, 18 months go by then 21 months, go by. I had weaseled my way into a full-time job over in podcasting at, at ESPN.
So out of radio, still an audio, but over in podcasting. And so Ariel Helwani was pretty new to ESPN at that time. People didn't really understand his show. People didn't really understand UFC and how big a deal he was. And so his setup at ESPN wasn't, wasn't great. Like didn't have any resources on it. And so basically my job it's kind of threw me on Ariel Helwani show.
When I first moved over to podcasting young guy on the totem pole. Hey. Go sit in this dark room for four hours while he does his show, press a couple buttons, edit out the swear words that all these fighters stole around and then call it a day essentially. And I could have just done that. Uh, I could have just left it at that and let it be that, but I wanted to throw myself fully into it and I saw how passionate Ariel was about everything.
And he's more passionate about, he takes more pride in having his name on a show than anyone I've ever met. He wants everything to be perfect and he takes great pride in it. And so I noticed that. And tried to do every little thing for his podcast to make it sound good. There were some problems with the lights that there was some weird noise that was happening in his studio.
So I put in requests for new lights that this can happen. I said, Hey, move these wires around that. A bunch of little, little things to try to make his show a little, little better. And he noticed it and he loved it. And so, you know, um, we just started working together more and more and more one podcast week became two podcasts a week.
And then as I was now kind of like the UFC guy. As I was starting to get more into the sport and actually understand the sport while no one else in the department did. Okay. Now Ariel was doing pre-fight radio shows. Post-fight radio shows, post-flight podcasts, whatever it is, he's the best at it. He does in terms of covering the sport, he couldn't be a nicer guy.
He couldn't be an easier guy to work with. He has no ego. He feels like he's a man of the people has always felt that way. With some talent, you feel like you're you're with a celebrity or you feel like they look down upon you. We have always been equals and he's, he's absolutely great. I can't say enough good things about him to Ariel, because what he could have easily done as this, he could have looked at you and said, Hey, you're not an MMA guy and you're not a UFC guy.
I don't want him on my show. Like if you don't know the sport and you don't have the passion, like I do, I'll just find somebody else. From what you said, he didn't do that because he saw that work in the stuff in the respect and the things you went out of your way to help him with. That's an incredible compliments, Ariel that he said, I want someone who makes me better, even if his background may not be my background.
So that's incredible. Second part of that. You become a character on the show, but it seems as if you two are so different, if for those who aren't familiar with this, take us through who you are as the character. Yeah. So this is so funny because in the combat sports world, Ariel grew up a WWE fan and, and all this stuff.
So characters are big in the combat sports world and he's kind of always had characters on his show, whether it's NewYorkRic or corporate Jake, or then me. TST tight ship, Troy. Uh, cause I, you know, I run a tight ship. I'm very detail oriented. We and him butt heads on all the tiniest of details that the audience does not care about.
So he called me tight ship Troy affectionately, but the, uh, the whole personality thing starts UFC two 44. New York city Masvidal versus Nate Diaz for the BMF bell. And, uh, we're doing a live radio show with Peter Rosenberg as well at the fail, a F E I L E. This Irish pub, a couple of blocks down from MSG.
It's the Washington football. Sports bar. Uh, so there was a Washington football game going on. People are going nuts. We're in this little side or I'm doing a live show leading up to two 44 Ariel and Peter. And just before that Ariel and I are walking the streets and this is, this is the first time where that we're really spending quality time together.
With a little time to breathe and let her, let her hair down, actually get to know each other. So we walked the streets, we both love coffee. We walked to a coffee shop. He buys me a coffee, and somehow it just comes up in conversation that I'm a minimalist. Uh, I forget how, and he says a minimalist. I I've never met him in minimalist before.
And then the next week he says, Hey. Do you want to do like a minimalist tip of the week on the show where you just talk about minimalism and, and try to give people some wisdom about how they can live a better life with, with fewer things and fewer obligations, et cetera. And I say, Sure that hadn't been popped in my mind, but I'd love to do that.
It makes no sense. It's so funny on a sport that is just a violent blood sport where you fight to the death that we're now going to talk about this self-help strategy. And, uh, so that was, that was how I kind of became a character where I'm tied to Detroit and also the minimalist and everywhere that he and I went after that every single new person that we met, whether it's a fighter.
And ESPN exec, uh, shale sun, and, uh, Michael Bisping. These fighters turn broadcasters. Hey, this is Troy. He's not a producer. He's a minimalist. Have you ever met a minimalist before? And I'm like, do you have to say that every time? I'm not sure if it's a compliment still or an insult, by the way, if you're watching on our YouTube side.
I just assume what you're seeing is Troy's background is this entire apartment, like, that's it right there. There's nothing else. Those are his trees, his lamps. If he turns the camera around, just assume it's just blank walls. All right. We'll just do that for the sake of this. Okay. Yeah. That's pretty, that's pretty accurate.
I'm in Colorado right now and I travel very lightly. So I've been in Colorado for a couple of months. Anytime I travel internationally or wherever backpack, just a backpack now for Colorado. It's a three month stay. I've got backpack. And a suitcase of clothes and a suitcase of like tech equipment for work.
But that's, that's my life, you know, I will never, ever pay extra for baggage, never Southwest to check bags and one carry on item as a minimalist. It is a disgrace. If I ever pay for extra luggage.
The next part of this, you can answer as much as you want as little as you want, because you've watched the Troy Farka show in a lot of the topics we're going to touch on next. You have carbon on your show. So I fully respect. If you want the clicks, the downloads, the subscriptions, please do it. Anyways.
The Troy Farkas show a lot of the stuff you cover in length on your podcast, but again, it's as much, or as little as you want. I'll respect all these answers coming up. Kind of take us through why after all these great stories in these relationships, in this career progression you're having what led to your decision to leave ESPN.
Yeah. So it was a couple of things. Thank you. So obviously, you know, we were in the pandemic for a year, so obviously that, that had changed a bunch of things and kind of realized, okay. You know, Do we have to be in the same place. Do we have to be where our job is? All of these things that just made us all, we think, uh, you know, about how we work and how we live.
And, uh, obviously the, the pandemic had made us all kind of realize a bunch of things. So I'd kind of had it in my head that I should leave soon. I should leave Connecticut soon. I love Connecticut. Great place. Great three and a half years there, but it's a small state. I kind of done everything that there is do in Connecticut.
I'm a very adventurous person exploring I'd explored Connecticut. So I was kind of ready to leave Connecticut. Wasn't ready to leave ESPN, but I kind of had in my mind already that I was going to make a change at some point. Now the pandemic accelerated a lot of changes for everyone that probably needed to come to fruition, but might not have happened so quickly.
And that, that happened with me here. So at the end of November, Um, there were a lot of layoffs at ESPN, you know, and, um, a lot of those layoffs were in radio. And so I'm in podcasting at the time in November, I am on top of the world. I'm working with Eric and Daniel Cormier. The show that it blossomed during the pandemic, Daniel Cormier is a former light heavyweight heavyweight UFC champions.
The man I'm working with him and I'm doing a podcast with Brian Windhorst, who is also the man. I love working with him. And, um, then I was also just doing, I was finally to get back to that Jeremy Schaap thing. Just realizing the dream. The one dream that I had set out on, which was being a part of a documentary team.
And so the opportunity had come across in the summer that wolves was doing this three-part podcast series about Giannis Antetokounmpo about everything before him getting drafted in, uh, in 2013 by the Milwaukee bucks. And so it was a three-part podcast series, small team, me and three other people, including Woj just grinding on this thing for months.
And that was my dream come true. It was the only thing I ever wanted to do. And in November that came out the very same week. As I am putting out the finishing touches on my dream project. I'm on top of the world and loving life. Uh, I get a call. And the call is basically from someone that says, uh, Hey, cuts made things are changing.
Radio laid off a bunch of people. The bosses, the highest up of bosses says that radio needs to take you because you know, you're the young guy and there's only, and you have radio experience. There's only maybe two other people in podcasting who have radio experience. And you're the youngest one. So you're going to go over to radio.
Now I didn't want to lose any of my podcasting responsibilities cause I genuinely loved it. I loved podcasting. Didn't love radio. As I had said bad life. Not for me, not good at it either. So I was then doing podcasting and radio simultaneously. So I was basically podcasting during the week nine, 10:00 AM to four or 5:00 PM.
Hour break radio 7:00 PM to three, 4:00 AM. Repeat, repeat, repeat, wake up at eight, 9:00 AM. Now I struggle sleeping when the sun is up. So sometimes I wake up at like seven after going to bed at three and then long day ahead and long night ahead, miserable. And I, and I knew the second that these changes were going to happen that.
This was going to be a terrible decision for my career, for my health. I didn't want any part of it. I levied complaints to several people. Some of whom were completely on board, some of whom were not. So I basically said, and I kind of received, uh, from a very high, a person basically said, Hey, this is the situation.
This is what it is. You either do it. Or, you know, you gotta gotta figure something else out for yourself. Do what's best for you. So. I took that latter option and, uh, knew from that moment on that I needed to leave that I needed to figure out an escape route. And, uh, that's what I did. So what are you doing now?
What is, where's the path taking you at this point? Yeah, so I'd kind of landed on around January that I want to do my own thing, you know? ESPN is an amazing company and amazing culture. Uh, but I didn't realize there was always something uneasy about working for a massive company, as someone who loves supporting local and loves small business and loves freedom and flexibility.
Like it didn't really mesh well with my, with my brand, I guess. And, uh, I was always kind of uneasy with that. So I said, you know what? I don't want to go work for another big, massive corporation. I kinda just want to do my own thing or work for a much smaller place. And, uh, so as I was leaving ESPN and still trying to figure things out, I'd kind of said, okay, you know, I want to do, I have a lot of connections in the space right now.
Maybe I can just, maybe I can just be an independent podcast producer for. An athlete for an analyst for whoever wants to podcast, whatever, whatever I can find. And, uh, so through some conversations I had, I had found out that that Chael Sonnen, you know, a former, uh, light heavyweight championship contender in the UFC, like.
A big voice in MMA media now, um, that there was an opening for who was producing his podcast. He had separated with the place that was doing it. I get hooked up with shale and his team and a couple of conversations back and forth. And then shale hires me to do his podcast twice a week. And, uh, it's a lot of fun.
And so I, I had that, I was working on that in February as I was also leaving ESPN. So I knew I had that to go to. Of it, man. It's exciting where it's gone. Plus you have launched your own show. So the Troy Farkas show for those who haven't had an opportunity yet to listen to some of your episodes, what is the hope of listeners for the show and have you enjoyed doing it?
Cause you know, you've had this mix of in front of the mic behind the mic you've had, are you enjoying the show as a host now getting to basically run the radio term? The one mic? Yeah. Yeah, of course. So I, I started in September, I think in the pandemic. I know me and a lot of other people my age, and probably everyone else just kind of felt stuck.
Right? We've been at this for so long. No end in sight. I just felt creatively stuck. I wanted to do something about it and I've always been fascinated by it, essentially, just because I've been living at the past few years of just young people, people just out of college or in college, or a couple of years removed from college.
And about just all the things that we think about. There's a lot of things that we think about that, you know, where should we live? Who should we surround ourselves with? What should our values be? Like, how do we find fulfillment in life, social media, comparison, mental health, things, anxiety, all of these things that I could bitch about to my mom.
She's gonna be like, all right, suck it up, deal with it. This is kind of the place where all of us collectively can just kind of like. Have a therapeutic session for one another and get through it together. And so I was doing the podcast from September on, but not dedicating as much time to it because of all this ESPN stuff that's going on because I was then working two jobs at ESPN.
Um, I was just kind of doing it when I could every week. Um, and it just kind of an escape, creative Val for me. But then when I left ESPN, I also knew that I wanted to put more time and energy into it. I'm now at two episodes a week, Monday, Thursday, Monday is just, I love writing. And, uh, so Monday I write a little essay.
That's kind of some advice or something. Some, some of my own thoughts that someone that's 22 would, would get value out of it. Then Thursdays, I welcome on sometimes a friend or sometimes a stranger, someone I don't know. Uh, that is usually again in that 18 to 30 age range. And we just talk, we talk about our lives, our careers, and, and the things that, that we care about that we, our generation cares about.
And, uh, it's very therapeutic and I love it. And it's, uh, it's so much fun doing it. And I plan on continuing to do it for a while. I love it too, man. It's so unique. It's so different and so authentic, and it leads to some of the final questions I'll close with you on. And. One of them is this is anybody like you.
And I hope you take that as a compliment. And what I mean by that is true. I think if I interviewed you, if you were 18, and then I interviewed you as my intern, when you were in your early twenties and now you're in your mid twenties. I truly don't know if someone has developed both emotionally psychology wise, you have really evolved.
I feel like you have an awareness level that is so rare for people your age. And I hope, you know what I mean by that? It's funny because someone also said that someone who is 43 said that to me last week, when, when I was talking to her, I don't know who I was before I was 18. Honestly, I don't know who I was before I was 20, because when I was 20.
Was when I really started to have kind of a transformation. It was when I, and I know it sounds cliche, but when I studied abroad in Scotland, in the, in the fall of 2016 was when I kind of broken away from my home, from my upbringing, from what my family and what my town and what my coaches and what my school wanted me to be.
Right. When you're young, you're just kind of told what you want to be. You don't really develop that. Identity that sense of identity yourself. It isn't until after that, that you come to that. And so when I was in Scotland, that was where I kind of started to actually realize who I am and where I want to go in life and the kind of person I want to be.
I never thought about those things before. And, uh, I take recommendations very seriously. And so a two close friends had recommended this film on Netflix called minimalism live a meaningful life. And so it was that documentary that kind of changed my life. It led me to books. It led me to podcast led me to other documentaries about, about self-improvement, about not taking things for granted, about being grateful about focusing on what's really important about focusing on your health, about not making work so much.
Of your life. It's important. You need to make, you know, you need to make money. You need to have a roof over your head food on the table, but it's not everything. We are so much more than that. And that's over the last few years, I just spend every waking thought, thinking about how can I be a better person today?
And yeah, I'm not sure if anyone else, my age is really like that. Maybe you get to that at a later stage in life. But I think right now, a lot of people are just kind of focused on, you know, on, on grinding away at jobs and partying and what they're doing on the weekend at my age. But I've been for a very long time now thinking about how can I be the best me and yeah, I'm not sure if everyone else does that.
You have a unique take on mental health and the awareness of life and where you stay at in your overall life. But you also have a unique take on just podcasts in general. And I bring that up because. Look, what I've entered this field in this genre, you and I both had traditional media backgrounds where we studied at schools to learn about radio or television or newspapers writing, whatever it might be.
But at this point when we were taping in April, 2021, and I don't want to speak for you, I think it's probably likely there's no professor out there teaching how you should host a podcast or how to make money or what to do with sponsors or how to book guests. You have a unique perspective in which you've worked with professional people doing this.
For those people who are looking to launch their first podcast, what is the best advice you've learned in your professional career in doing it and to have success with it? Definitely. So I think the number one biggest thing is consistency. You need to have consistency in terms of what day of the week that you're doing, what time of the week that you're releasing your episodes.
Because I know, and I knew that when I was at ESPN and I had learned, because when I first discovered podcasts was, um, again, that first year at ESPN, just that more so as a fan. I discovered shows that, that I liked that that brought me value and it was, you know, the ones hosted by the minimalist and more self-help and sports, you know, a bill Simmons, a Barstool, whatever, because I was so for lack of a better word, miserable in my life, uh, podcasts were an escape for me.
They were selling for me to listen, to, to drown out my own thoughts and to go have some laughs and whatnot. So that has always stayed the back of my mind when it comes to podcasts. Someone is listening to this as an escape to get some value from it, to get away from their own heads to stop just running the hamster wheel in their heads all day.
And so I know that. That person was expecting Ariel Helwani's MMA show, Wednesdays 4:00 PM every day for their train ride home for their walk, home, their bike ride home, whatever, before they went into their overnight graveyard shift at the job that they hated, that was their highlight of the week. And so I know that consistency as a producer, as a host is so important.
And so you just need to think of that at all times when you're trying to build a show because people can rely on you. Why are they going to come to your show? And that's our girl. Halsey you are now Chelsea fan. I'm a huge Halsey fan. Very, probably not as big as you, but why do you love Halsey so much because I know there's some of your times you've talked about the difficult hours of the difficult social life you've leaned on her to be almost.
Hey, you know what, when stuff's going horrible right now, I'm gonna, we're throwing some holes. Amen. And that's what I love about art and artists is that, you know, their art creates things and it makes people feel things and, and, uh, it helps you get through stuff. So I was on the overnight board the night before Thanksgiving.
2018. I'm sad. I'm depressed. I'm going to see my family the next day, but I get out of work at 6:00 AM on Thanksgiving day. I've got to go to the MGM Springfield to meet them up halfway between Hartford and Albany for a dinner at noon. Right? So like, I'm already just thinking about my drive. There's going to suck on me.
So tired to keep myself awake at work and active while I'm pressing buttons. I'm just blasting you yeah. To try to stay awake. And this was right around when is without me. Her greatest song was, was coming out. And so that was kind of the, I known her from closer and chain smokers. And that was when she made her first big splash, but, uh, that song and that video and how emotional and how powerful it was, kept me up at night.
And then I was just doing Halsey deep dive for the rest of my overnights, going to the deep tracks, uh, for Halsye. And so I've loved her. I'd love for ever since, because she got me through some tough times and I actually just before the pandemic, Started my last great adventure was me solo Trek to Norway to see her in Oslo to see her perform.
I went there solo small place, but she was there. She was rocking it. It was just when she had released her, her newest album manic and a time of my life. There are certain moments where you say, okay, who the hell is that? Where they catch you off guard? Whether it's a fighter, an athlete, an artist, something you're like, I don't know who that person is, but I'm hooked Americana and chain smokers, everything else.
When she went through, I'm like, I don't know who the hell that is, but she's a star. And same with you. Like, do you just continue as a product? Great. GM's awesome stuff. People probably look at it. You and I are like what those two are. Halsey fans, guests. I think she's great. Just like you are so love halls that you hope to continue to do some great stuff for her.
And we'll close with this man. It's getting there with gauze. People want to find out you've had some incredible background stories, moments. How do young people, especially in April, 2021, where the sports industry is so much different than it looked 14 months ago and 24 months ago. What's the best advice for young broadcast pursuing this career to get where you are?
Yeah. I mean, I think what, uh, what a lot of. Broadcasters probably said that, you know, that maybe you've had on or I've heard in other interviews say, you know, I got started by sending, by sending physically sending 300 letters and I heard back to whatever. So whatever the modern version of that is, I do think you need to do that.
I think networking is critically important. And when you hear it in college, and when you hear, when you're younger, you roll your eyes. It sounds like work. You have to shake the hands of people. You don't know it's uncomfortable, but honestly it is the best thing to do. Go into conversations with people, set up a zoom, get, get coffee, whatever it is, and just, uh, just wrap people's brains, ask them their story, you know, be curious and don't expect anything out of it.
Just showing genuine curiosity and care for that person. And then just keep that relationship going. I used to keep it and I still do keep a list. I was actually just updating it today where I kind of, okay. Here's my list of 30 people that I think this could be a beneficial relationship for this person or for me.
Maybe not right now, but some point down the lines could be here's a column. Okay. Last time I talked to this person via email texts, calls, zoom, in-person whatever. Here's the next time I should reach out to this person again, to do the same thing. So doing things like that, I think really helps. And then also, and also in that vein, like, don't be afraid shoot for the stars.
You you'll be surprised at who responds to you. And so at ESPN, the great thing about ESPN was it was such a good culture in terms of people just giving you their time. And so I talked with Jimmy Pitaro, who's the president of the company several times now I'm just in his office, just shoot, shooting around with Jimmy and, and, uh, it was great.
And so my last piece of advice would be what he said to me when I had kind of asked him for advice about things and he just. Pointed to something on his wall, just a little painting. That's, uh, work hard and be nice. And honestly like that's, that's the key work hard. Do your job do, what's asked of you do, what's not asked if you go above and beyond and be nice, have a gracious attitude the whole time.
Give way more than you receive and just be nice. That's the best advice. Try. This has been awesome experience. It's been fantastic. Uh, you're my former intern and I'm not just proud of what you've done professionally as a person. I feel like I'm talking to someone completely different. And again, that is a compliment because I'm so happy of where everything has gone for you.
And I'm so pumped to see where the future takes you, man. Thank you so much for doing this and best of luck with the podcast and everything else going on for your future. Gosh. Thank you. I appreciate that. You will always be above me. I will always run whenever you say to get coffee or get some Hooters winks.
Goodbye. I catch you later, man. Again, if any of you out there. Want to be in sports media or do you are in sports media right now? I do suggest you go check out, getting there with God's. He has welcomed on a bunch of different people in the field. If you need inspiration, motivation tips about how to get into the field.
That is a great place to go. So God's thank you for having me on hope. You guys all enjoyed it and that you learned about some of my story. I haven't really told you about what I'm doing much of right now. I'm doing a freelance podcast producer. Thai deal for my day job. And it's a lot of fun. I feel free.
I like working on projects that I want to work on. As I've said before, I'm really getting into mixed martial arts. And when I left ESPN, I knew I wanted to stay attached to it, attach to that sport. Cause I had fallen in love with it and the characters within it. So that's what I'm doing and I'm really happy about it.
And I've got even more things coming down the pipeline this summer, which I am also very excited about. And when those things are official, can't talk about it right now. But when those things are official, You guys will certainly be the first to know. Cause I know you guys are supportive of me and again, I'm so appreciative of that.
I've got a new video out today over on the Troy Farkas YouTube channel. Um, just me talking about the vaccine and just really giving a huge shout out to. The medical community for what they have accomplished in the past year and changed. It's been absolutely amazing. I got the second round of the Pfizer vaccine.
Wasn't feeling too good afterwards, not going to lie, uh, but it did not last that long. So we get super grateful. Thankful impressed by everyone involved. So if you want to go check out a video where I go a little deeper, that is over on my YouTube channel, new blog up on TheTroyFarkasShow.com five of my favorite things to do in Denver.
I've been in Denver since the beginning of March, such a great place to be in terms of doing things. I'm a man who likes to do things and there's lots of things to do here. So if you're interested, you can just go read their blogs, scan through it. It will not take you long. If you liked the show, please consider leaving a review on Apple podcasts.
I don't just say that to say that it's really important. I want my goal for this podcast is to just inspire as many 20 somethings out there as many young people out there. Like I told gauze in our conversation, there were podcasts that I listened to in my dark times. And even, even in some recent dark times that I've had, um, when sometimes I just need to tune out my own thoughts and just listen to someone else's thoughts or listen to some banter or learn something.
And it gets me through my days. And when I'm producing podcasts, when I'm hosting podcasts, I keep that at the forefront of my mind that someone is listening to this. Not, not everyone who's listening to. It is listening to it for this reason, but someone who's listening to this is trying to just escape.
Whatever is going on in their lives, whatever shitty thing happened to them at work, whatever shitty thing happens in their relationship. That's why I love podcasts. That's why I'm going to continue doing this podcast again, two episodes a week, every week to try to inspire you guys and help you guys out.
And, you know, like Oz kinda recognize with me that I. Do kind of come at things from a different perspective in terms of people our age. I do think about growth and development, maybe more so than a lot of people our age do. And I think everyone should be thinking more that way. So that's why I do this show.
That's why I love talking to you guys and other people multiple times a week. So I hope you've enjoyed this and I hope you can again, leave a review on Apple podcasts. This is how we get. The messages, the inspiration, the hope, the positivity, the realness of all of this going on. That's how we get the message out to more people.
When new people are looking for podcasts on Apple, they just, you know, Oh, the Troy Farkas show shows, shows up in their feed. They go, Oh, how many reviews does it have? Oh, how legit is it? That kind of determines it. So we'd really love your guys' help in terms of getting more visibility for the show, because we want to take this thing to the moon.
Right. And I can't wait for all of you guys to join me. So I hope you all have a wonderful weekend that you're with your loved ones that you get outside. Get out of your comfort zone, learn something new, perhaps that is a favorite of mine. I've been learning a ton of new things right now. I've just been getting big in a tick tock.
I long resisted it, but I could only hold out for so long and get getting big into it, trying to understand it, how to take advantage of it. So super excited about that. Hope you guys can find something that excites you this weekend. Spend time with loved ones. Good food. Good drinks, good exercise. Get some coffee, take things slow.
Don't freak out and just rest, rest, relax. Recuperate. It's really important. You don't need to be so go, go, go all the time. That's it for me? I'll have a great weekend.