Awesome People I Know | Joe Whisney

In this series, I'm going to spread my networking wings and get some insights from some awesome people I know.  

When I texted my brother telling him, "I want to interview you for my website", he responded sarcastically with "get in line."  Hilarious.  But him being the supportive and awesome person he is, he later enthusiastically obliged.  So here is an interview I did with my best friend, my brother - Joe Whisney.

How long have we known each other? 

Roughly 27 years and 22 days, as of this writing. 

Am I your favorite sibling?  (We're the only sibling each other has)

Sadly no, you are a close second to my other siblings.  Hey, you asked man.*

Choose one – Mom or Dad.  Kidding!  Tell us what you like about both – you of course don’t have to choose.  I’ll just tell each one you chose them…or will I?

I will not fall for your tricks Brother.  The obvious answer is I love both of my parents equally, and it’s also true.

Mom: She doesn’t take any shit from anyone and is super supportive of what we do with our lives.  She will call me out if I’m doing something dumb.  Also, she’s always right about people and knows how to have a great time.  Super social, and hilarious.

Dad: The toughest guy I’ve ever met in my life.  He did an amazing job of keeping his badass-ness at bay when raising us and allowing us to make mistakes without dropping the hammer all the time.  The principles he instilled in us are priceless, and he always makes sure that we stand up for ourselves, believe in our abilities, and to march to the beat of our own drum.  Dad is also an incredible judge of character.  When I look back over the years of people he felt I should avoid, and people he thought I should spend more time with, his accuracy was 100%. 

I wish I would have listened more to both of them starting at an earlier age.

What is your most vivid memory as a child?  Favorite?

Most vivid memory as a child is really hard question to answer.  So many come to mind as life changed over the years changing schools several times, moving, being the new kid.  All of those experiences are really vivid to me. 

Favorite moment form childhood is tough as well, but I’d say it was when I asked mom and dad for a brother and they hooked it up.  The flip-side is they couldn’t control what type of brother so I guess there is a pro and con to that one.  Kidding BROTHER!!

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Why?

I wanted to be a professional baseball player when I grew up, mostly because who doesn’t want to just play and have fun all their lives.  Plus the chicks and money, which I obviously understood were awesome when I was a kid.

What do you do now?

I work in health and fitness as a sales & marketing director, as well as a own a business involved in energy deregulation. 

Looking back, talk about your life choices and how you feel about them now?

Looking back, I wouldn’t trade any of my life choices nor do I regret them.  Something mom and dad always told me is if you learn from your experience then there is no need to regret them.  I’ve made some moves in my life that have not gone with the conventional path and don’t get me wrong it’s been challenging to go that route.  However, I’ve never really wanted to be like everyone else nor have what everyone else has.  The cool thing is some amazing people have come in to my life who are proof that going against the norm is the path to true success.  Do I wish that would have happened sooner?  Of course, but some people never learn or break out of their comfort zone so I’ll take my life choices every time.

If not too personal – tell us about the scariest moment of your life?

That’s a great question.  I’d say the scariest moment of my life was the day before I left for boot camp.  I cried my eyes out, questioning what I was thinking.  I’m not sure what I was really scared of though.  Most likely it was being thrown head first out of my comfort zone, with no real idea of what I was in for.  Funny thing is, joining the military was one of the best decisions of my life.  So it makes me think that doing more of what scares me is going to help with my own personal growth.

Typical Minnesotan question - You live in California, have you met, seen, or “ran into” anyone famous?

I’ve literally run in to one, Zach Gali…the guy from The Hangover.  There have been other eyewitness accounts of famous people.  Chris Paul, McGruber, The bald guy from Californication, Joe Rogan, Brian Redban, Colby Smulders, Gary Payton, Donovan McNabb, the host of Fox NFL countdown.  Kind of cool, but then you just realize they are normal people getting coffee, groceries, grabbing a drink, leaving their credit card behind, etc.

What are some quotes you live by?  Why those?

There are so many, and really my true number 1 is the Teddy Roosevelt quote regarding critics.  It’s super long though so here are some runner-ups. 

"In order to have something you’ve never had, you’ll have to do something you’ve never done, by becoming someone you’ve never been."

- This is a tried and true success principle that speaks to the importance of getting out of your comfort zone to live a larger life.

"You can make excuses, or you can make money, but you can’t do both."

- I love this one, because everyone makes excuses all the time and 99% of the time it’s total bullshit.  We all make excuses, but no matter what those very excuses impede our progress towards any worthwhile goal. You could replace money with progress or any other word and the quotes still holds up.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

- In my opinion, this quote is misunderstood, and it’s so powerful once you understand and apply the meaning.  People expect external circumstances change, without addressing the internal circumstances first. 

"Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change."

- Speaking in generalities, if you look at everything through negative lenses you’ll see negative, if you change the way you look at things by using a positive lens you’ll start to see positive.

"Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better."        

- Everyone thinks that what makes people great is this amazing gift from above.  In reality what makes people great at anything is they realize nothing worth having comes easy so they make a decision to work obsessively hard at becoming better.  You know what happens as a result?  They become great.  They grind, the sacrifice, and they get better and better and better. 

"People get praised in public for what they do in private."

- Society has us believe that celebrities, or athletes, or the president, just wake up go to the game/studio/platform, perform, and go home.  That it’s easy, but only if you are the chosen one.  What they don’t show is the hundreds of shots Kobe Bryant takes starting at 3:30 in the morning while playing for the US Olympic team.  The thousands of golf balls Tiger Woods hits, one after another after another.  The grinding, tedious, monotonous, and probably lonely hours they spend working on their craft. 

Top 5 books – and why?

1)   Living an Inspired Life by Jim Rohn.  He is the absolute master of conveying amazing success principles in a way that makes so much sense it will forever change your life. 

2)   Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  This one book has lead to more multi-millionaires then other book in history, guaranteed.  It sounds like a goofy title. Once you read the book and understand the message the author is conveying after interviewing 500 of the then most successful people on the planet it will all make sense.

3)   Delivering Happiness by Tony Hseih.  He’s a genius and completely redefining what customer service is about.  More importantly how to create an amazing company culture. 

4)   Failing Forward by John C Maxwell.  Really everything by him is a favorite of mine.  He is all about leadership and how to first lead yourself, then lead others.  The point of this book is that most people deemed successful failed many more times than they succeeded.  Kind of like the famous Michael Jordan commercial. 

5)   Enders Game by Orson Scott Card.  An amazing story line and the author is incredible. Although I am not a fiction person at all, this book had me cover to cover when on deployment.

Leave the readers with some advice.

The advice I would give is the sooner you can drown out the opinion of other people in your life the closer you will be to living the life you’ve always wanted.  When people criticize, critique, or voice their opinion they are showing you who they are by trying to project on to you.  Also, when faced with a decision, look at what the majority of people are doing and do the opposite.  Allow yourself to stand-out, be seen, and make an impact.


If you're awesome - which you are - and I know you, I'd love to include you in this ongoing series!