Tony Hawk: The $1.4 Billion Dollar Legend | E233 | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Tony Hawk: The $1.4 Billion Dollar Legend | E233".
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I'm either gonna make this or get taken away on a stretch It changed my life completely Prepared for that how could you prepare for anything like that? Tilly hot began riding a skateboard when he was nine years old and when he turned 16 He was the best skateboarder in the whole wide world Being the outcast and the outcast activity I got picked on I got bullied even when I turned pro I would leave high school for a big skate event. I'm signing autographs And then I would come back and be a ghost in the hallways again I just wanted to see skateboarding get more popular, but I got famous by accident Suddenly I was chosen in basketball. I was making income I owned a house in my last year of high school So I was doing talk shows and I was doing big appearances my video game was a big hit How much revenue of billion dollars? Wow? The trajectory just seemed like it was never gonna end and then it dropped very quickly I was so hyper fixated on my skating. I didn't really work on my Humanity I was a machine and I'd go and do the event and when the trophy go home It didn't allow me to be myself very much. Did you lose people? Yeah? Made them feel like they weren't the priority and a lot of it was just being afraid of intimacy and I regret that I started getting burned down in competition The term burnout is used a lot these days. What did that experience teach you about what causes burnout? It taught me that Before we get into this episode just wanted to say thank you first and foremost for being part of this community The team here at the Diavicio is now almost 30 people and that's literally because you watch and you subscribe and you Leave comments and you like the videos that this show has been able to grow and it's the greatest honor of my life to sit here with these incredible people and just Selfishly ask them questions that I'm pondering over or worrying about in my life But this is just the beginning for the Diavicio We've got big big plans to scale this show and to every corner of the world and to to diversify our guest selection And that's enabled by you by a simple thing that you guys do which is to watch So if there's one thing you could do to help this show and to help us continues to do what we do It's just to hit the subscribe button if you like this show if you like what we do here if you watch these episodes Please just hit that subscribe button means the world Let's go with it Oh Tony Not sure if you've ever listened to this podcast before but I'm quite predictable with how I start these conversations and I'll be transparent in terms of my rationale When I read about a story like yours and I read about how much of a normally you were in many respects of your life I always ask the question why and how? Where did that begin? Where did that start and having you know read right back into your your parents history and your history?
Journey And Growth
Becoming the person I am today (02:28)
I saw signs of that but Seeing as you're here Best place to ask you can you give me the context that you believe was pivotal in shaping you to become the person that you are today? I think early on I Was obsessed when I first started skating I found something that spoke to me I found a community of people that we were just a bunch of misfits and outcasts that sort of fit together somehow and I loved what skateboarding brought to me in terms of my sense of identity my sense of self-confidence and The creative aspects around it. I just loved it and all I wanted to do was Was it as much as possible? and there was no There was no end goal there were no there was no fame or fortune in the cards because no one had ever had that from skating even the top skaters so What was it it was just an obsession and I wanted to Do it as best I could? always Even even when I reached the top of the ranks of competition. I still want to get better When you said obsessed and the way you describe it almost sounds like it was medicine Yeah, and in a lot of ways it was I mean I was a Smaller kid. I got we used to call it picked on I got I got picked on a lot bullied and I didn't excel that much in team sports I just kind of was middle ground if that and then when I found skating every time I'd go skate I got better at it and It was incremental sometimes almost immeasurable, but I knew that I was Getting I was each time I was improving and I couldn't say that about any of the other sports I was doing I could I mean baseball basketball like yeah, sure sometimes I'd score mostly I wouldn't but I never felt like oh, I'm really I'm really getting to a different level of this it was more like I did it because it was expected of me and Every time I skated I got better every time I would go to the park. I would learn some little new technique That would lead me to something else What was that progression doing for you on a psychological level? It gave me a sense of purpose It gave me an outlet for my energy and my frustrations and it gave my my parents some much needed reprieve from my from My determination That's my that's my mom put it in her best way is that I Was I was difficult. I was always very Thick-headed. I wanted to do my things my way. I wanted to do on my terms and she said when I found skateboarding I really found a Directive for that and When her friends would say he's such a nightmare. She'd say he's just very determined Nancy that is right. Yeah, Frank announced your parents. What was your home life like with them? Um, it was pretty Quiet, I don't know I um my parents were older when I was born So it kind of felt like I was raised by grandparents Because my dad was 45. My mom was 43 By the time I was At an age where I was being very active and doing things they were they were kind of in retirement mode So and and they I can't say they were I Don't know they weren't They weren't close It was almost like they were just roommates and so that I definitely rubbed off on me in a lot of ways, but but it just felt like oh, this is just a functional household It's not full of love necessarily I'm the youngest of four um, I sometimes ponder whether sometimes the youngest child of the bunch because you were the youngest of three, right? the parents almost Think that they've finished with parenting. Oh for sure in my case my my older siblings were all my my brother is closest He's 13 years older than me so absolutely they thought they were done raising children I was I was not planned and And I think that my parents were kind of reaching a winter of their of their marriage Even before that or just after I was born so it was a little icy and I think that because they were from that generation They you know those generations you just stay together no matter what and so they did and and It's not like it was it was terrible. Like I said, it just it just wasn't that warm I can also relate to not being necessarily planned was there ever a were you ever cognizant of that is in like were you ever aware that? Did that ever have an effect on your psyche that you weren't planned at all? No, I never thought about that I guess I never I was never that Deep in my introspection to Worry or concern myself with that fact. I just knew that I wanted to go skate. You were really really intelligent kid I read that your IQ was like 144 or something Yeah, maybe at one time Which is surprising typically I think of a child that has that void of independence and how which it sounds like you had of Not necessarily being the best academically or in terms of smarts, especially fair distracted or preoccupied with something like sports like skateboarding One would think that academia or intelligence might fall by the wayside No, I always relied on that. I I was in the in the gifted classes Growing up and so I was with other kids that were of that same ilk and So I always thought that that my path would be more Academia based, you know, I thought that I would be I Actually thought it was gonna be a math teacher because I excelled a math and and I liked helping my friends with it So I thought oh that that is the maybe that's my My trajectory and then when I found skating it wasn't that my Academics fell by the wayside, but it was more that oh, maybe I have something else here and It really wasn't until I was in high school that I realized more of the potential of that I feel like skating these days is still is really cool now, but having read back through your story It seems like it wasn't as it was not not at all in fact in my early high school days I had to hide my I had to I chose to hide my skateboard in the bushes behind the school Because I use this transportation and because I would get hassled carrying it around school You know, they would they would say not so nice things as I would walk stroll by with my skateboard Even though I was starting to find some sense of success with it. I was actually at that point Sponsored I had a company that was giving me boards that was sending me to events and Even when I turned pro which meant that I was had my own skateboard model. It was just not cool So it was cool in certain sex like I would I would leave high school. I would go to for instance Houston for a big skate event and There's all kinds of skaters there. I'm signing autographs taking photos And then I would come back from that weekend and maybe even have won some some money To go to high school and be a ghost in the hallways again. That's the kind of dichotomy. I was living You talked about how the progress was like a motivating a driving factor that you know getting Incrementally better every time you did it outside of the Technical aspect of skateboarding. What was the the value for you? Outside of like doing the tricks and stuff. What what was like filling you up? The culture the community of it. I loved everything about it. I love the attitude the DIY aspect the the renegade Attitude that you would you have to hop fences you know to go skate an empty swimming pool or to it to go skate of a school yard and and it was just so there was so much Art and creativity involved. It was like any skater It's more most likely that they're gonna play also play music or they're also gonna be artists or do other interesting things and so There was a soundtrack to it. It was it was embedded in punk music because that was the same sort of vibe and attitude that we had and It was just more like oh, this is this is my scene This is this is I have the sense of belonging here and I don't care if I don't fit in with my classmates or my peers And it's so you you started you got your first hand me down board eight years old Yeah, like nine or ten. Yeah from your brother from my brother. Yeah and by 12 your Your sponsors by sponsored. Yeah, which basically meant that I got free skateboards once in a while It wasn't some there was no contract. It wasn't like a million. Okay. No, and then at 14 I turned pro but all of that really meant was that I Moved up a category in competition so there was there was sponsored amateur and then there was professional and 2b professional just meant that you were competing for a $100 first place prize money. Well at what point did you realize that you were good? Comparatively um I Think it was It would have been later on in my pro career when I started to figure out how to do these what they called These are called circus tricks, but I like to think they were more avant-garde and I would do these these sort of Unique moves that I created but I started to learn how to do them more in the air like an impressive height And I think it was around probably more around 16 age 16 when I started realized like oh I can do these things At heights that is reserved for very few And I I can do them on other terrain besides just my familiar home park And I guess that's probably the point where I felt like I I have something that is more valid than just a niche style of skating that only happens in at my hometown park You know when you you think about why you were able to do that like why you were Incrementally better or you know significantly better than your peer group Have you ever figured out in terms of what they call talent? Why that is is it?
Where does your talent come from? (14:07)
Smart is it physical attributes? Um, I think it was that I I wasn't afraid to step out of my comfort zone and I also wasn't afraid to get hurt along the way and I accepted that as part of the process and I can't say that very many people did that I mean definitely definitely my peer group the ones that were skating at the time They knew what it took to get that far and they were willing to take the hits for it But also I like to explore other techniques that weren't Comfortable or maybe that I even thought were cool because I wanted to learn everything and So I would I would start I would go off on these tangents of trying certain tricks or a board Manipulation and then lean into that and do every single variation of that and then move on to something else And then all of that started to combine into this Trick repertoire that I that I had that was that was pretty deep You know they say when you if you want to master something you've got to do ten thousand hours Yeah sounds like you did a lot of hours at that at that very I mean at some point I was probably doing just one trick ten thousand times We say all of this you know you said later in my pro career and then you said you were 16 Yeah, well, I've had a pretty lengthy pro career but I would say that around age 16 is when I started to come into my own and and was able to shut down any of the of the pushback or the haters so to speak because They were all saying oh, he's only good at his home park or he's only you know he only does these these goofy little tricks and at some point it was like you can't really deny that I'm doing these tricks in the most difficult circumstances and consistently and so I Had this this run of success in my late teens that was I thought Unparallel I mean in terms of suddenly I was I was making income I owned a house when I was still in my last year of high school from my earnings and Everything's the trajectory just seemed like it was It was never gonna end and then it it dropped very quickly in the early 90s And then I had a good three or four years were very slow and and touching go in terms of Trying to make a living provide for a family And then things kind of came back around in the in the late 90s. So when I say early in my or you know late my career There's a few stages of that And that first stage is from 16 to 20 23 23. Yeah, and at that point I read that by 16 years old you were the best in the world you were widely I had why I was ranked number one for a while.
My skating career & the struggles along the way (17:00)
Yeah and It's tricky though. I mean I don't like I don't like saying that just because skating is subjective and it's apples to oranges. So Who's the best that's all in the guys the beholder? I did well in competition I got good scores and I had a good run I mean I think you're slightly underplaying that because I you know I was reading through some stats and I read that 16 You were widely regarded as a basketball in the world and by 25 you'd won 73 of the 103 professional contact Contests you'd entered finishing in second place a further 19 times Which is for me pretty freakish. Yeah, I mean I like I said I had a good run Also, it's a specific style. So I was skating pools and half pipes And then in the early 90s street skating Came into its own and what you see today with people jumping downstairs on handrails ledges and things like that that was just starting to blossom and I realized pretty early on that that was not my strength and that my Ratio of success to injury was much higher doing that So I I kind of I kind of gave it up I was in it for a while I was skating some of the competitions and I was doing a lot of tours and things and then at one point I drew was driving home from a tour I had sprained one ankle almost to the point of breaking it but somehow didn't and then In the process of nursing that one I was still skating because we were on tour I I rolled the other ankle trying to save this ankle and then I'm driving home with these with these with ice on both ankles with a car full of skaters and In that moment, I thought I can't keep doing it this way like this this is not sustainable I'm not gonna be able to be a pro skater much longer if I'm if I think I'm gonna Do this type of skating and so I'm gonna stick with more of the half pipe which is what I know even though That wasn't the popular way of skating. I just knew that if I wanted to keep skating Into my adult life. I was gonna have to stick with my expertise And I'm right in thinking from what you've said there that your skating career started to really take off, you know 15 16 kind of peaks at one point around that 23 or around I would say around 21 22 is when it started to peak. Yeah, and at what point in that journey Did you think I'm gonna skate professionally? Form the rest of my life was there a point where you go this job now? You never know in fact when I was 24 is when I started my company birdhouse and I honestly thought starting a company was my way of of sort of bowing out of the spotlight and not being a so-called professional skater because there was there were very there was very little opportunity for me as a Half pipe or vert skater to be doing anything and I was trying to nurture a group of skaters that were mostly street and Trying to give them new opportunities and trying to Have them promote our company as well So I thought that I was curating a team and then I was going to be sort of the ringleader of it But not be considered a pro myself. I never quit skating though. That was that was just in my blood and so at some point a Few years later Things started to pick up again the x games happened They had a they had a half pipe contest and I was still on top of my game so After that I started to compete a lot more because The interest grew and then I was I was winning a lot of events It's we don't often think it's possible for a sport to kind of experience a downturn Right commercial downturn like thinking about the big sports of today the NBA basketball Whatever it be the thought that it could kind of have an economic downturn and put the athletes out of business for a while It's kind of inconceivable for me. So most of most of my peers quit in the 1990s Yeah, I or quit or not I can't say quit most of them found jobs Because so what would happen to me skating industry the commercial side of the business? There was a few things I think that skating had gone through cycles in the past in the late 70s Skating was the new fad it was like the for especially in the US was like the yo-yo And it's the new toy and it's a transportation and you can do all these things and then and then that fair That fad kind of faded out and then in the 80s It became this thing because we were skating the empty pools and there was this attitude and the music and the hairdos and the graphics and then and back to the future and so that was another spike in popularity and A lot of skate parks were opening in those days And I think in the late 80s the liability became too much for these skate facilities And they just started closing very quickly. I mean there was just a toppling of skate parks through I would say 89 to 91 and then there was no place to do it because there were no public parks They all these facilities are private there were few but they were not good And so all these private parks were closing shop and then we had the skaters had nowhere to go So that's when skating took to the underground and became more street centric You know your dad was working in the industry as well around this he he was in the in the 80s Yeah, he helped to form the National Skateboard Association, which sanctioned most of the events through those years How did how did he get into skateboarding? Just he saw he saw me and and He saw how much I loved it and he saw a very a serious lack of organization And he was always very supportive of his kids. I mean my brother was a surfer. He would drive him to the beach Don to to get the good ways my my sister was in a band He would he would be the roadie for the band and drive all their gear to the gig So when I started skating he was all in on supporting it But he saw that it was just sort of chaos there was there was very little organization There were very few events and he saw a group of kids like me that loved it and had very little support It's been quite entrepreneurial about that like your dad founding. Yeah, I don't he never did it. He never really got paid so You know to think that it was entrepreneurial. It was it was more altruistic than anything Did that create a conflict of interest if all like it was hard? Yeah, it was absolutely difficult for me in those years because I was doing well And then there was there were Claims of nepotism There was a lot of animosity and it was uncomfortable for me because my dad was always there and I was doing well So it would be one thing if I wasn't skating that well if I was just sort of mid-range But I think that all of that Just drove me to get better improve everyone wrong. I mean I'd like to say that I Didn't I didn't enjoy it, but it definitely Lidifier It's interesting when when people Attack you in such a way or they try and discredit you especially when you're of course only when you're doing well It can evoke a series of responses in you Yeah, I I was under a lot of pressure and a lot of accusations like that and I Just kind of put my head down and just focused on my skating until I shut him up But even then it was It was always tricky, you know, it was like that then my dad he got out of it And not long after that he got sick and passed away at lung cancer, but then the X games came around and Like I said, I was still on top of my game and then I was the I was sort of the one they were focusing on because My name had resonated from the previous generation and then I was I was doing well in competition So then the other skaters were accusing me of hogging the spotlight. I'm not choosing the programming here And so that was tricky too but I I think I learned so much from my early days of Sort of being the outcast and the outcast activity that that it you weren't really gonna I I had sort of built up a resilience to all that But it's still difficult right like the outcast and the outcast activity. Oh, yeah, I felt very isolated. Yep in real that That's a word isolated, but in real terms What does that look like for a young man who's doing something that he loved has got really fucking good at it? So now there's there's pointing the camera at him. There's all this commercial pressure What impact does that have on on the love for it? well luckily I had been doing it for so long at that point and had seen it come and go that I Was excited in the sense that skateboarding was going to get a new a renewed interest and If I was the conduit to that then I'll accept it. I wasn't trying to get all the glory. I just wanted to see skateboarding Be more accessible and get more popular and so at some point I Don't want to say that anyone appointed me, but but it was definitely I was this chosen ambassador to skateboarding Because I could I could do interviews and I could speak on behalf of skating at its core but also to a mainstream audience to make them understand why skating could be valid or why would be a Positive influence on their kids the one of the reasons you gave for why you love skateboarding and why it filled you up Originally was because of that camaraderie though and isolation seems to be kind of the opposite of I was isolated in the sense that the the hard core skaters the older generation Didn't support me didn't want anything to do with me, but I did have my crew I mean it wasn't completely isolated it was I had a few friends that we all had the same sense of of values and the same sort of directives for skating so I Would bounce ideas off of them and we would come up with with tricks together sometimes sometimes it was just something that they were asking me to do but but that Sense some camaraderie is what I'm talking about but it was very it was a very limited crew and Yeah, I mean I was I chose to do this outcast activity as a kid Already separating me from my classmates and my peers kids my age. You're like Skateboarding so lame. Why are you doing that? Then I choose a skateboard my style of skateboarding is not cool. It's considered a circus like I'm just a circus freak doing this little baton twirls with my skateboard So then I'm cast aside from the skateboarding community and that that's what became that became isolating but That all that stuff just would fuel me to get better And I didn't it's not like I'm thankful for it, but I accepted it and I went out to prove myself I am I sat with a motivation psychologist called Daniel Pink and he was telling me one of the they did these studies on people in terms of Trying to figure out how their motivation fluctuates And he found that when people get paid for something that was once a hobby their love and motivation for it declines Which I thought was really paradoxical. I wouldn't expect When you get paid to do a hobby you'd expect motivation to increase I agree with that except that When I got into skateboarding no one was getting paid No, no one was getting accolades no one was getting attention And so I never aspire to that and what I see now is I see I do see kids to get into skateboarding With the notion that they will get rich or famous or and or famous and if they get any sense of Famer fortune they lose their motivation So I agree with you in that sense But if you're getting into a an activity a sport an art form or whatever that has not been established And it's not there's no clear path to success. I feel like your motivation is always just to get better at it and and the money and the fame and everything that's all incidental to just being able to keep doing it Did you did your love forever fluctuate? Only when I started getting burned down in competition Sometime around 1988 89 I was doing really well in the events and And it started to become repetitive for me I would go to an event. I'd have to I have to hide new tricks from my My competitors and from the judges because at some point the judges were Giving me scores based on what they thought I could do not compare it to everyone else in the event But just what they thought I was capable of so if I came to an event with some new tricks And they saw me doing those new tricks in practice and I didn't do them in my Competition runs I would get markdown based on what they you know based on judging me against myself and That was fine. I accepted all that but it was more that that It got repetitive. It started to get It started to suck the fun out of it because I was just this machine like this competitive machine and my competitors who I thought were my friends I still do were very much Under the impression that oh well Tony's just gonna win so we're hoping for a second and they would tell me that and They thought that that was a compliment to me to me It was just it was crushing because it just meant that that somehow they were separating me from the pack and the the crew that I loved like the I love the the camaraderie of the team and The camaraderie of all the skaters and it was like they're just pushing me out from that because they think that I'm on a different Level or playing or whatever it was and and I as much as you think that's a compliment it wasn't The term burnout is used a lot these days and to describe people use it in their jobs and works and hobbies and such What what um? What did that experience teach you about what causes burnout?
What did burnout teach you? (31:45)
um Well, it taught me that even if you're doing what you love it's not always gonna be enjoyable because of the pressure of success because of the self-imposed pressure that you put but what it did teach me was the value of letting go and When I let go of that even as hard as it was because my my sponsors were saying if you quit competing you're out There was no other path to success in skateboarding. You couldn't make a living on YouTube on social media You know your reality show whatever it was it was just your competition rankings. That was it That's what your that's what your success was and they they told me You know, what are you gonna do how you expect to make a living? And I was like, I don't know but I can't keep going this direction and what happened was when I was when I was removed from it I started to appreciate The process of learning new tricks more I started to appreciate the idea that I could be more creative and take more chances and At some point I missed competing but I had to sort of discover that within myself on my own terms and then when I came back to competing I Let go of the idea of perfection I let go of the idea that I had to do the best every single time and I took way more chances and sometimes it didn't work Sometimes I didn't make the finals, but when I did make the finals I was doing it on a level that I was proud of I wasn't I wasn't phoning it in so to speak. I wasn't being conservative with with my my approach and That became much more fun. It was more risky But when it would work It was something that I was much more proud of Is there is there a um, it's sound I said sounded a lot to me like you're you built this identity because you've been so successful And you almost had to kind of decouple from that identity which always feels like a big risk to people in their jobs Yeah, it was but but all it was either that or quit quit all together Because it was really weighing on me. It was real. It was very difficult When you say very difficult, what does that mean in in practical terms? You mean like sleepless nights or it? Yeah, and in Dredding events going going to an event and and dreading it I mean it's it's almost like pink Floyd the wall it's just I was building a wall around everyone around myself and and forming was just obligatory Because everyone expected me to do it Everyone expected me to do well to to win the event whatever it was and there was no Celebration and not there was no There was nothing that that made me feel elated it was just it was I was a machine and I'd go and do the event and when the trophy prize money go home and Then go skate and go try to learn new tricks That was the fun part But really what I was doing was just trying to prepare for the next event Which is probably another in a week or two away It's um It's quite surprising But it's a story that I've heard over and over again this idea that your success almost disconnected you from From something it disconnected you from others and probably from yourself in many respects And I think I think about this a lot how when you become successful you can you need to be careful that you don't get disconnected along the way There's lots of temptation With talent to disconnect yourself Pete whether you're a lawyer and you've just been good at being a lawyer and you end up 20 15 years down the line and you Get what the fuck am I doing here and who have I become or? You're a pro skateboarder and you kind of drift away from From the essence of what makes us feel connected oh For sure and I saw I saw plenty of my peers I think one thing that saved me is that I love the skating so much that I saw my peers get distracted with partying with the excess and They would start to lose their motivation and their and their skill sets And I recognize that very early on and thought I don't want to go down that road because the skating is too important to me this that I want to keep performing at a top level um and For sure I had my I had my distractions through my through my life and and through my adulthood my adult years but um, but skating was always such a high priority that that I never lost that Did you have to You talked about you've seen some of your friends at that time go down the wrong path because because of temptations Yeah, did you ever notice yourself drifting down that path? um Yeah, I think it was more the when I got caught up in the fame of it all in um More in the late 90s early 2000s when my video game was a big hit and suddenly I was Not just doing skate events. I was doing talk shows and I was doing big appearances and and Getting caught up in that level of fame is very disorienting And I could see myself I can see myself falling into that where it's like well, I'm now I'm a celebrity and now I Will go to the red carpet events and do the you know and and the clubs and all that and I definitely Indulged a bit in that but at some point recognize that this is just not what I want to be doing and this is not This is not not as fun as skating and and these are not the people I really identify with I mean a lot of the people that I saw through those years especially at the big events and stuff They all they really wanted was to be famous And at some point I got famous by accident And it's not necessarily what I wanted and at some point I took inventory of that And I realized that I don't really care You know what I mean? Like I don't I don't care if I don't get into this vip thing whatever it is Take it or leave it I um when I Got a little bit of money. I think I had my insecurities meant that I had to have certain beliefs fail me Before I learned them so I was the kid that went to like got a little bit of money started going to the nightclubs buying all the champagne Leaves you feeling fairly hollow after a while if you're paying attention. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean that's the thing is that I just felt Especially in through those years when I was going through the the fire of celebrity culture I never felt fulfilled and you'd wake up in the morning. It's like what what was that? What what good and also it was it was distracting me from my own kids and I think that that's really what What made me want to make a positive change in my life is that I felt like I was not I was not told I was there but I wasn't really available emotionally to my children um as much as I could be because I was so distracted with all this all this other noise and um, I pulled it around. I mean I I was able to Get back get be more connected um Just be part of what they were doing even on a more basic level And that to me is way more fulfilling it is. I mean that's just you know, I could I could wax poetic, but I do feel like I feel so much more Confident and fulfilled and Excited about all those things to see my kids um to see my kids thrive then to care about Getting invited to the Oscars Sometimes in my life, you know My partner's been the person to point that out before I've noticed it in myself So my girlfriend will notice that I may be losing my way a little bit in terms of priorities And it'll require her feedback to tell me That I'm losing my way a little bit for me to really notice it in myself Do you resonate with that at all? Um, I I would say yes if you were asking me Five ten years ago, but now I do see it I see it myself It's I'm much more cognizant of it in in my own choices and It is wild. I mean I never imagined that I'd be a pro skater at past 20 honestly because when you were When you were my when you were a kid skating in my era All the once you reached an age responsibility you had to quit because no one could make it It wasn't anyone's job, right? So to be skating in my 20s and then into my 30s was wild It was I mean I was an uncharted territory But I was still getting better at it and then when I reached my 40s It was like really still you guys still think this is okay for me to do and not that I was looking for that in that kind of approval But it was kind of a surprise and also I kept getting better at it in those years and then to be doing it in my 50s is just like a Lucid dream. It's crazy that Um, it's funny. I kind of went through the fire. It was like when I was a kid It was like, oh, you're pretty good for your age and then when I got into my 30s 40s like you still skate Like how would you grown out of it? And now when I'm in my 50s, it's like hey, you're pretty good for your age When was your um, when do you if you look back on your ears of in terms of technical ability When was your professional peak or is it now? Oh, uh, I think it was in my probably in my mid to late 30s and early 40s because that's when I was still doing All of my high impact high risk moves but combined with highly technical moves so I kind of had I had the the the gamut of of of the skating in terms of being able to do the big stuff um The dangerous stuff and also the very the very technical stuff and so as I've moved into My twilight years. I don't know what you call this But I've learned to to focus more on the technical because it's it's more low impact And it keeps me keeps me healthy for the most part. I mean, I am I am nursing I'm still recovering from a broken femur last year but even that has taught me that I still love doing this and I still love it even if i'm not going to be At the the top of the game or or if i'm even going to be On video or or or doing it in front of people. I still want to do it um and I still love it but like I said, I've I've I've sort of Focused my energy more into the technical moves and and I would say that the tricks that I was learning before I got hurt Were more appreciated by skaters themselves. They weren't going to move the needle on x-games or anything Well to get to your Level in any industry if you were advising a kid that's maybe an artist a dj whatever When you look back on what it takes to get there, what are the like core components of That level of mastery and success and like you know you must have sometimes think like like why me Because you know It's living such an anomalous life and becoming number one in anything I think I've seen it over and over again where people start to ask themselves the question like an existential question like Uh, sure.
What’s the secret to your success? (43:23)
Yeah, I every day, but um, I think to to answer your question The focus it takes is is pretty intense To get to do especially what I do um for so many years and also I think that the ability to To to listen and to take cues or inspiration from others around you In terms of inspiring or influencing what you do And I don't mean like I'm not saying like borrowing or stealing styles or anything. I'm talking about just Being open to oh, that's that's a new way to do it and even collaborating with people what if we tried this or maybe you did that and and um, not just living in your own In your own bubble Because some people tend to do that they they have their way they have they have they found what? How they succeed how they keep moving forward and they stay in that land they stay in that bubble And sometimes that works, but for the most part you can only go so far with it And you've got to start to sort of branch out and see what else is there in terms of your chosen Activity sport art whatever it is Um, and I I love that idea that I'm getting out of my comfort zone And trying something weird And it's probably not going to work right away and it's probably going to be super ugly when I finally do it But I'm going to get to a point where it's more natural What do you what's the balance between learning the rules of the trade? I how it's already been done and learning to do it your way I always think this into to become great. Do you need to like be the best at how it's done now? Or do you need to like add a little sprinkle of yourself? Well, I luckily skating is so subjective that Adding your own flair to it is always encouraged And so for instance there there is some tricks basic tricks that You know 80% of professional skaters can do this one trick But if you take a picture one of them and put it on silhouette, I can tell you who it is Because everyone has their own style of it And what makes for a good style subjectively It's it I'd say it's sort of the flow of the move from start to finish Including when you're before you even leave the ground Or the or the ramp or whatever it is the you know that you make it look like one one fluid motion and that you can Twist it torque it a little differently than someone else um, but stay in control That's what it's about. I it's it. It's really hard to convey And some of that has to be like, you know Talent i'm struggling with the word talent, but some of it nature over nurture. Yeah, sure Everyone has their own different body types and their own thing, but but you can see influences like for instance, um We have it we have this Girl in our team rees Nelson. She's very young, but she skates ver ramps and you can tell Who she skates with by her trick selection Because she's influenced by the the certain skaters that she's with and and some of them have very specific moves that that are associated with them and Like she just learned kiffle no slides All right, I'm just i'm gonna go down into the weeds for you She's our kiff no slides, which is a signature move of a skater named column mckay And I and I literally said have you been skating with column? She said yeah, he comes here in the morning sometimes and skates with me It's like there it is When I when you speak to surfers they talk about how surfing is like a metaphor for life And they like wax lyrical about you know what that metaphor is Is skating a metaphor for life? It can be sure I think the the value of not giving up the value of believing in yourself and the value of of Working through your own challenges I think that's probably the the biggest metaphor and and for me um What I learned from it is also the value of taking risks You know in the greater sense of becoming a businessman I wasn't afraid to take risk skating. I'm not afraid to take risks in business The value of not giving up and taking risks. I heard you spent 12 years trying to master one particular trick Yes called the 900 Which I think I did on the on the video game back in the day when I was when I was younger Which is like a two and a half two and a half spin yet two and a half spin trick and it took you you tried for 12 years Roughly off and on yes from the first time I tried it.
Twelve years to master your biggest trick (48:37)
Yeah, had anyone done it before you? No Um, yeah, that was a battle so I learned 720s in 1985 and the next stage of progression for that in terms of spinning and for skating would be 900 the the What makes it so much more difficult is that? You're blind to your landing zone twice when you do a 900 when you do a 540 or even a 720 you're only blind to your landing zone once and When you pass it twice It's very hard to spot where you should be or to even know especially where you are So It took me the first probably five years of attempts just to figure out where I was in the air And when I say five years, I'm not talking about like every day. It was more I would I would get fired up. I had a good session or I was skating a really good ramp And then I would try a couple and they always ended in Some sort of injury, you know, you were it was very hard to get out of it safely Um I broke my rib one time when I really thought I had it but once I figured out that spinning Then I started to explore. Okay. How do I get the landing? And that's when I started actually pursuing it. I would say more in like the years of 94 to 96 I was actively trying it regularly and when I finally thought that I had it I Put it down and then I I broke my rib because I was leaning too far forward and In that moment I kind of gave up on it That was in 96 because I thought I had all the pieces to it I I had Every element I I had in my head. I I had It was the it was the right takeoff. It was the right setup was the right spin And apparently I can't figure out how to land it properly So fast forward to 1999 Um, they're having a best trick event at the x games and halfway into the event I did my best trick Which I had planned that I had only done once before and it was a variation of a 720. It was it was a very old 720 So I did that trick and then I had 10 minutes left of this event I don't know where else to go from there except try what the next trick that I would like to do which is a 900 um and When I started trying it I'd say the first few attempts I just did for the crowd. It was more like this is This is my next stay or this is what's next Maybe it's not for me, but you know, this is what I would like to see done And then somewhere around my fourth or fifth try I realized that I'm always getting the right amount of speed my my snap is good The snap is the the take off when you actually leave the the top of the ramp and grab your board Because a lot of times the snap is if that's off it's tragic My snap was good. I'm can see the landing zone and I thought you know what? If I'm ever gonna try to land this again, it'll be tonight and If I break a rib so what Like I'm either gonna make this or get taken away on a stretcher. Those were the only two outcomes um and then When I did finally try to make it somewhere around the I don't know ninth or tenth attempt I fell forward again, but I didn't get hurt and something There was something clicked in my head that said Why not shift your way to your back foot during the spin And then try to land it and for some reason I never had I never had that clarity because when I would go to try to make it I'd get hurt and I'd have to go home So in this particular instance, I didn't get hurt. So I thought, okay What if I shift my weight towards the back and then I shift my way towards the back and I fell backwards and that was the epiphany because All I have to do is split the difference And then I made the next one All I have to do is split the difference. I mean to a mug like me make it sound easy. What was that moment like? It was just a big relief. I mean it was it was it was definitely a highlight of my skate career of my um competitive career, but for me it was just this weight lifted from me because it had always sort of Hung on me that oh 900 it's got to be possible and there were a few of us chasing it. There were other skaters that were getting pretty close to it too um But no one had figured out how to ride away Once you'd done it once was it easy to repeat easier to repeat Yeah, it took a while for me to do a second one And then after he did my second one then I could do it pretty regularly And at this time you've got this deal with activation bubbling bubbling away At that time we had been working on a video game for about a year and a half So there was definitely a Crazy synergy perfect storm in that moment because I did that trick that drew a lot of attention to obviously me But but not just me but skateboarding in general And the x games and then that was in june and then we released What became tony ox pro skater in september Wow And I was watching the video of you saying that you you called the guy activation to ask him to include the 900 trick Never soft. Yeah, I I emailed him Yeah, that's a good story I I emailed uh Never soft The next day and I said hey I did this thing um And I think that people are going to expect to see it in the game now And I know we didn't animate a 900 But I feel like if you guys have time to squeeze it in and we were already in beta with the game which meant that we were going to Submit it to the console manufacturers and once you do that you cannot edit it. You can't alter it um, and I remember Joel who was the Head of never soft he emailed me back right away and he said way ahead of you you fucking rule And then they got it in I mean in the rest is history, right? I get I hoped I like to think I'm still creating it You know that your father Frank he'd been such an avid huge supporter of you up until that point But he didn't he didn't get to live to see The real all of this stuff after you were sort of 27 28 years old, right? No, he he saw the first x games and to him that was his biggest things could ever get because He was a big sports fan not just you know, obviously he loves skateboarding, but he also loved team sports and um For him to see skateboarding on the sports network that was for him the coming of age Gosh, I bet he couldn't have imagined What would happen? No, I mean to and to think that it's gone on to be Such a Beloved sport internationally and in the olympics. I mean all that is is just beyond What he would have imagined? Do you has ever questioned have you ever wished that he could have seen the What would happen with your career professionally, but also in business? I think I'd rather wish for him to see The rise of skateboarding in general because he was so integral in Keeping it alive at a time when it was struggling um Through through sanctioning events So, I mean sure my own success. Yeah, but I but I do feel like on a on a bigger scale And more lofty terms just the success of skateboarding is something that that He would have been very proud of That that video game deal We all get emails And these emails often contain opportunities and sometimes we look at these emails We're trying to figure out if it's an opportunity or not sometimes it looks like an opportunity sometimes it's waste of time Sometimes it's just someone yeah wanting a meeting to pick your brain about something Um as you reflect on your decision now in hindsight to proceed with that video game. Was there any close calls There was another group doing a game that had contacted me and I um I went down the road with them a little bit And realized that what they were trying to do was so much more Um, how to how to explain it. It was more technically difficult to play because they were trying to truly emulate skating And I felt like I understood that approach, but at the same time Skating wasn't that big when we released this game or when we were going to release this game and I wanted something that would be more friendly to the non skater to play to understand to be able to just pick up and start doing tricks And when I saw what activation had they had a very They had a very early version of a skater doing tricks The way it moved and to me it was it was intuitive It was perfect.
Your video game made $1.4 billion (57:27)
It was like right away. I started playing it. I started doing tricks It was almost like it was it was an extension of of my body to start doing this on that screen with that skater and It's something innately felt right about it to me and so uh, was there a close call I would say if activation maybe had called me a month or two later. I might have already linked a deal so Um, but I felt very lucky. Oh on the commercial friend. I I read that you'd been offered a kind of a flat check And well, when they were close to launch of the game They started to Sense that there was buzz about it. It was already getting good reviews from from previews of the the game publishers I mean not the the magazine publishers. So They knew they had a good game overall And they felt this Surge of interest and so they offered me a buyout of future royalties right before the game launched um Which at the time it was they offered me a half million dollars And they said, you know, what exit what does that mean? They said well that that's you get that right now and then no one going forward and For me having lived through some really lean times When they say a half million dollars to me it sounds like a billion gazillion dollars I mean it would no one had ever spoken those types of numbers to me before Um, but I felt like I was in a pretty good place. I was I was doing well In other ways. I was I was still skating a lot. I was doing events. I was um I had good endorsements. I was I was doing we had birdhouse was starting to actually be profitable my skate company and I had just Bought a new house with it with I not you know, I I had a loan but my loan was manageable and I thought I'm gonna take a risk because I'm doing okay, and I don't need that money right now And even the timing of that like if it had been just a few months before that when I was looking at houses, maybe I would have Taken that um, but I didn't and that was definitely the best financial decision of my life Because that game was a success To say that one after it and one after it. Yeah, how how does one that might not understand the scale of that success? Quantify in a in a dollar amount. How many? How much revenue Tony Hawk Pro Skate are generated in its in its legacy? I I mean, I know that they they talk about a billion dollars for Activision. Um, you know, my take is I'm not that grandiose, but I am never going to complain it changed my life completely A billion dollars. They they generated in sales That that was that was always there. They're a big buzz. Yes So much. I mean so much happens. Obviously that that makes you financially free for you know But also you become like The Michael Jordan of skating you are, you know, I was playing you on my video game on the other side of the world when I was How old was I I'm gonna say eight Roughly eight You know, you become this global icon of a sport and it's funny because I didn't know skating before I knew the video game The video game was my way into Even understanding that the sport existed and I would play with my brothers. That's a that's going from zero to a thousand In terms of no for sure and and um That was never lost on me. I mean I I felt very lucky to have my name synonymous with a video game and with skateboarding Um because I had devoted my life to it. Were you prepared for that? No No, I could you prepare for anything like that There's no way. I mean it it's it To have that kind of success especially in video games is reserved for someone like madden or Call of duty or grand theft auto. I mean it's you know to to have be your name was wild and and Nowadays, I mean we've come a long way. We did a remaster a couple years ago There is a whole generation of of kids. I'm not kidding that have asked me if I was named after a video game Would you tell them? Sure You were named after a video game Wow As you might know the show's now sponsored by airbnb I can't count how many times airbnb have saved me when i'm traveling around the world Whether it's you know recently when I went to the jungle in barley or whether it's when i'm staying here in the uk Or going to business in america But I can also think of so many times where i've stayed in a host's place on airbnb And i've been sat there wondering Could my place be an airbnb as well? And if it could be how much could I earn?
It turns out you could be sitting on an airbnb goldmine without even knowing about it Maybe you have a spare room in your house that friends stay from time to time You could airbnb that space and make a significant amount of money instead of letting it stay empty That in-law that guest house that annex where your parents sometimes stay You could airbnb that and make some extra income for yourself Whether you could just use some extra money to cover some bills or for something a little bit more fun Your home might be worth a little bit more than you think and you can find out the answer to that question By going to airbnb.co.uk/host What would what advice would you have given yourself if you could have to prepare yourself If you could just whisper in your ear I think I would have I would have told my younger self to Work on Work on your state of mind and your priorities um With with equal effort as you do your skating I was so hyper fixated on my skating and Getting better and my success in skating that um, I didn't really work on my humanity.
What advice would you give your younger self? (01:04:11)
I mean in terms of my relationships and being present and and Maybe that's what it took to get that far, but I think I would just tell my younger self like to to figure out Figure out how to function more as a human than just a professional. Did you lose people? Yeah, um And also gained people through through my Changes and through my Through finding my priorities and I mean honestly like I'm in a Incredible place. I'm happy and I've ever been and I have Much better relationships with my kids even though most of them are adults and I'm just more reliable What is um, what is skating without the relationships? Like what is skating for you? So if you were to if I was to take a you can skate forever and Karen doing your skating But I'm gonna take away the family and the meaningful relationships. What does life become then? Um, that doesn't sound as fun It's uh, it's not the end all for me anymore I love it and I'm going to keep doing as long as I can and probably still push myself in a lot of ways but That is compartmentalized and it's when I do it. I'm all in on it and I'm doing it and then I leave it there I'm not just obsessing on it the rest of the day. I am I was speaking to a I think a neuroscientist on this podcast who told me that the brain actually changes as we as we age up until about 30 where I think for a male it roughly stops changing when we get to 30. I think he he said to me Um and with that our priorities change So in our early 20s, we're like trying to get laid and like trying to do the things that will whatever And then as we get into our 30s and and certain beyond our priorities and life shift Um, did you notice with age your priority shift or was it the children? Um, um I think I just noticed that I was stuck in a cycle of compulsive behaviors And something that that I didn't Enjoy and didn't feel like it was helping me to have good relationships with my family with my kids and I think I just took inventory and thought I got to make a Positive change and so it wasn't it wasn't like my brain was changing and I figured you know, it was it was more that I had to go get help um lean into therapy um figure out how to Process all these things and how to how to move forward and and a much more um concurrent way with my values and I was able to do it it took a while Um, but it was more into my 40s that that happened What did what did therapy help you to realize about about yourself and why you are exhibiting compulsive behaviors? Did you ever figure out why? Um, yeah, I think a lot of it was just being afraid of intimacy and a lot of that I'm not blaming my parents, but definitely I didn't have great examples of it growing up So, um, I had to figure that out and and and and how well how to be vulnerable.
Intimacy & fame (01:07:48)
I think I was always very guarded You and me both it was I mean and also in those days of having this sort of unwanted attention Made me more guarded because it was like oh, I can't Do any I can't say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing and and it didn't allow me to be myself very much And and I think I'm much more comfortable in my own skin now and able to Able to to hold more interesting conversations Do you you've got children now? So do you you know, I often think about like generational cycles I think about the like the intimacy or the emotional expression that I didn't learn from my parents and like an Fear that I have had hanging over me is that I might Replicate that for my children sure accidentally. Yeah, and and I Was definitely worried about that like my dad never Never said I love you never profess that kind of thing or or was warm in that sense and so that was more my Example to live by and and through the years and I was I was very much kind of the same and um at some point Let go of that I still struggle with it now Yeah, you know, it's it's funny again I've spoken to us lots of just sort of childhood therapist Gabal Marte and um They talk about like these different types of traumas that we have in one of them is called goblins and here there's gremlins And he talks about how goblins are usually before the the age of 10 years old and they're very very hard to shake so they always kind of Live there somewhere in our so even sometimes saying being intimate now or being vulnerable or saying I love you It's like it's difficult for me I get that it's uncomfortable. Yes. I'm starting to get much more at ease with it though with practice With practice. Yeah, I'm running the experiment. I guess Yeah, and also I see I see how it makes my kids feel It makes them feel seen and and loved and and important And it's particularly important I was I've come to learn if you want to have a good relationship with a woman or man, but My girlfriend is very much the opposite in terms of intimacy. So it's kind of It's an ongoing friction what role has um Your your wife played in the broader context of your professional success Just a feeling of Well, she's she's just so grounded and she gives me a sense of home And she is very supportive but also has her priorities intact. So when In in deciding what to get involved with she's my sounding board um and and she's the one who I trust the most with her opinion and um And she understands that that I am challenged in in terms of My sense of intimacy and and and how to navigate fatherhood and she has been so great in opening that up for me um and helping to show me the the best way to navigate it um and just the She's not swayed by Fanfare at all At all She could do away with it all together. Um, and I love that and and I cherish that I guess that's what makes it feel like home, right? That all the noises is coming outside. Yeah, absolutely I mean if you catch us on a saturday night where and a lot of times like our a couple of our boys are in college One of them is in college up here in la one We have many children. So Let's just say that sometimes they will come home for the weekend And as much as we like seeing them if you catch us on saturday night, they're downstairs Watching you have sea fights with their homies and we're upstairs hiding from everyone And we're asleep by nine p.m. That's pretty much our big raging weekend What what what you know after you become the the icon of a sport? Um, what does that do to your sense of identity? I'm asking that question because now everyone assumes they know you before they've met you They kind of see you as this character from a game I think uh what you see is what you get with me I'm not trying to present some other persona and like I said in the past. Maybe I was more guarded with Who I was or how I was trying to be and now I I think i'm just more Much more natural and much more real and um, this is it, you know, I'm I'm super thankful for what I get to do I do not take this for granted at all and I know it could all be gone tomorrow Um, but I'm going to seize opportunities And do the best I can with it and and in the meanwhile try to promote skateboarding on a bigger level um, but I know what you're saying and and sometimes that is weird, but at the same time I'm open to Hanging out and having a conversation. You know bear grills Yes, so bear grills was the one that said to me that when he he's almost become synonymous with like outdoor activities like if your friends like eating some mud your goal You think you bear grills. Yeah, whatever and he said something interesting to me, which has always stayed with me He said the the bigger my brand got the more self doubt I got and that did sure That's kind of the imposter syndrome, right? Where uh, you think like why me? Why is it all? Are you sure they got the right guy? um and I understand that but at the same time I think I've I've been through enough phases of success and failure to Know that whatever is coming my way or whatever it is that I'm putting out there um is real and is tangible and So the self doubt is not as is more of a whisper you Success and failure what you know you fail every day in terms of skating Some of the big big failures in your life post the video game coming out because I think we've highlighted your story to appear to be just success Success success success success big break success success What are some of those big failures that have occurred over the last decade that we might not have been cognizant of? Um, well, I definitely I've had businesses that failed just because they were either not the right time or they were They were a little beyond my expertise and I thought somehow because I had other success. I probably could do well in other in other stages or in other spaces, but I um I think that failure. Yeah, you know, I've had failed relationships and um learned a lot from those and and was able to to grow and and hopefully amend my mistakes and and and hurting people um and I think that uh It's just a it's just a path of of evolution um, and so I I mean, I've always learned to embrace my mistakes with skateboarding And in a sense I do that with my my regular life too But they embraced that the idea that I grew from them Yeah, yeah, yeah business There's a there's a business behind you even still today. You have a a big team Um, what is the the entrepreneurial side of your life currently?
What are your business ventures? We have um, hawk hawk apparel Um, which is Tony hot clothing? Um, we have birdhouse skateboards birdhouse apparel is actually its own subsidiary Um with a group That was a couple guys in Las Vegas that are doing it, which is super cool. Um, I have the skate park project Which is a foundation for public skate parks in low-income areas. Um I'm I'm part of a lot of different investments and ventures um things that I that I'm interested in and um It kind of it I can't say that it It ebbs and flows some of them ebbs and flows but for the most part, um Um There's been a crazy trajectory lately. I mean honestly it's it's even surprising to me that the um people are still interested in what I do uh personally and also all the All the ventures that I'm involved with We um we have this new tradition on this podcast Tony where We have these cards and these cards are based on previous guests Um questions that they've left in the book for the next guest So basically every guest writes the question for the next guest without knowing who it is And we've turned it into these conversation cards and I'm gonna be honest We know we've did this because listeners of this podcast listen because they like slightly deeper questions in context So it allows them to play at home. Um, I have I think eight here I'm gonna put them in front of you and all you've got to do is pick one card Okay, if you're willing to play and then I answer that question. Okay You got QR codes do I have to scan that?
The words you never said (01:17:24)
That's okay. The QR code just tells you who answered it. Oh, okay. Just answered it Let's see what are Some words you've never said to anybody why haven't you said them and who should you have send them to? Um I think that I would Have told my wife even though I thought that I was going to um Kind of turn my life around and and change my priorities. Uh, I think that I would have told her that I was I was really frightened of the of the path or of Trying to make those changes and I think she knew it, but it probably would have helped to confirm that with with words and um and I think maybe it would have given her a better perspective on my vulnerabilities early on Um because when we first started dating I was still kind of chaotic with with what I was doing and And my approach to my career and my life and everything and and I made uh I made a conscious choice to make a positive change and she knew I was doing that, but I don't think I let on how How? Scary that was for me Why didn't you tell her? Because I wanted her to think that I was so capable of it and So confident with it Um But you know what I mean she's too into it up. She knew Yeah, man women It's funny. You say that because recently I've Ran the experiment of telling my girlfriend what I'm struggling with something and I literally told like I it was it felt like an experiment Because I was always like tough guy. Mm-hmm like could never Yeah, you know, I think I think that was it. I was always I was always guarded and Also, I I managed to get this far With how I was functioning. Um, I can't say it was it was the smoothest, but you know, so I I had some sense of control but uh, I think it was more to give up that control Was probably the the more scary thing that I should have conveyed um, but I feel like Like I said, I we we've come so far, especially we know we have a blended family and Our kids have a blast. We have a blast. We we cherish our time with them. We cherish our time alone And um, I think we have a really good Uh I think we just have great communication and And intimacy so I you know, she doesn't like me talking about her. So As far as I'm gonna go with it. I am I wrote my diary the other day that I used to think vulnerability was um deep down inside me like tough guy who didn't really learn Vulnerability from my parents or anything. I used to think vulnerability was a repellent But I came to learn right is that it's a magnet. Yeah, and that's when I say around the experiment Deep in me. I thought people would like run away. Oh, he's weak. He's whatever and what happens is the total opposite It's like you draw them into right. I think I think what I learned one of the one of the things that I'm early on is that the bravery actually means sharing your feelings Which doesn't seem to make sense Because one would think bravery was the opposite, but right i'm on that journey now In the diary of a ceo, we have hundreds of questions that have been left by our guests and we've put them on these cards And on these cards you have the question that's been left in the diary of a ceo The name of the person who wrote the question and if you turn it over There's a QR code if you scan that code you can see which guest answered the question and watch the video of them answering it Every time i've done this podcast and every time we've asked the kind of questions we ask here I feel a tremendous sense of affinity to the guest and our aim with these cards is that you can create that sense of connection Through vulnerability at home with the people you love the most and I have some good news for you As of today You can add your name to the waiting list to be the first in line to get your own set of conversation cards at the conversation cards dot com The question that was actually left for you. Um, what have you done recently for someone else?
Last guest’s question (01:22:02)
um uh I can't say nintendo world. What's that? Yeah I uh, well, and I guess more materialistic. I bought my wife a new car as a surprise. Oh, wow um I think that uh, what what did I do for someone else probably on a bigger scale? um I bought a skateboard at an auction that was a used skateboard that was hand painted by kurt kobain um For a guy he knew and the guy paid him $20 in a bag of weed to paint a skateboard This guy had held onto the skateboard through the years because I think because more because he was a hoarder Um and dug it out of his storage not long ago and said, oh, this is that board that kurt painted I should put it up for an auction. So I got one of it. I bought it and um through the help of Francis kurt kobain's daughter I verified the authenticity of it and recreated it and so I recreated the skateboard exactly photorealistic same shape and everything and made 500 of them and the proceeds from those skateboard sales Go to half go to the jet foundation for suicide prevention and half go to the skateboard project for pelvic skate parks um so I feel like today what I do I'm hoping that I did something for people to either For those struggling with mental health Or for and also for those who want to place the skate And that's so cool At last check, uh, we've sold 300 of them 300 out of the 500. I'm going to buy one I would appreciate it. Yeah, I'm gonna buy one. I'll buy one today. Where do I buy it? And then to you for you to answer then that would be your answer But I need to help people shop a lot of kurt kobain reissue. How do I buy one or uh, tonghawk.com? In the in the store. Don't Amazing. Hey, listen. Thank you so much for um coming here today It's surreal to meet you because You were you know, you still are an icon in my eyes because you know, it's crazy that I'm I'm from a little countryside village on the other side of the world and I was born in Africa And I was playing you on a game your game when I was just a young kid and so cool You're the reason why as I said earlier, you're the reason why I thought skateboarding was cool And I had an interest in it. You were the reason why at 12 years old. I actually got a skateboard I was never able to skate. I fell off a couple of times. I quit I'm gonna be honest But I bought the board and I had an interest in the sport because if you and your legacy and you it's a legacy you continue to To create in many ways through business and through your philanthropic endeavors So thank you and thank you for your humility You know, it's very easy to see how someone like you might be off in the clouds But from everything I've seen all the research I've done you're it seems like you've been seemingly untouched And I guess maybe from what you said your wonderful partner and your family deserves some credit for that because they oh for sure You know, can you be a grounding force? Thank you so much. Yeah, thank you. Thanks for having me Quick word from one of our sponsors I have to say I've been on a bit of a journey with this brand because when I started my business in new territories when we first moved social chain to the New York City the first place we went to was we work we moved four of our team members out to New York City And we built the business from there. Um, I have to say there's something magical about we works I've spent the last two or three weeks in LA in a we work and as you walk in the front door every day It's almost like that sense of community that sense of magic excitement camaraderie Is tangible and you don't get that when you're working at home You don't get that often when you're sat in your bed on your laptop There's something about getting out and getting into a we work that makes me feel a sense of entrepreneurship and Creativity and building and the way that we work to design both both in the way that they offer subscriptions so that you can work You know on demand, but also the flexibility of the contracts means that it's just the perfect place for businesses To scale their companies and if you haven't checked out we work and you want to you can go to we dot co slash ceo And there you can get 50 off a trial day that we work close to you I've now been a he'll drink for about four years roughly So much so that I ended up investing in the company Um, and I play a role on the board of the company But they also very kindly sponsored this podcast and to be honest I've never said this before but he will believed in this podcast before anybody else the ceo julian Um Told me before we even launched the podcast how successful it would be and that he'll would back it and I absolutely have a huge amount of gratitude For them for that support, but an even greater sense of gratitude for the fact that they've helped me Stay nutritionally complete throughout the chaos and hecticness of my tremendously busy business schedule So if you haven't tried out here, which I hope most of you have at least given it a go by now Try it out. It's an unbelievable way to try and stay nutritionally on course If you have a hectic busy schedule and let me know what you think send me a tweet and a DM tag me Let me know what you think You You You You You You You You You You