Scott Schimmel 0:20
Hey, everyone, thanks for being here to another episode of the uscho podcast. And I'm here with a friend Greg Bledsoe. And what we're trying to do in this episode is one have Greg share about his life, but to give kids an alternative way of doing life, because Greg has done something that you're not supposed to do, and he's broken the rules. And yet, I think it's actually pretty clever and pretty engaging. So Greg, welcome to the show. And please share a little bit about who you are and your background.
Greg Bledsoe 0:48
Yeah. Okay. So I'm a journalist, by trade, I guess you could say, I spent the first almost 20 years in my career in TV news, working for the NBC station in San Diego. And I started out doing pretty much any job they would let me do and kind of work my way up along the way. So that would, that's always my advice to kids. I was like, it may not be your end goal, but just say yes to everything, right. Because one, that I mean, that's, that's great for your bosses, and everyone, too, you're learning a lot in three, whenever you get to where you want to go. It's nice to have an appreciation for all the jobs along the way. And it gives you empathy for the people who are working alongside you or under you or whatever. But it's never a bad thing to know what the people around you are doing. So that's what I did for almost two decades is sort of worked in TV news, starting out running the teleprompter and writing and eventually ended up as the Monday through Friday morning anchor for the for the news. And so if you've got up at the crack of dawn, you would have seen me and so yeah, I spent I spent a lot of time and then and then decided to just throw it all away.
Scott Schimmel 1:50
Can I break into that before we talk about that? Yeah, I'm just curious. Were you like five years old pretending to be on the news in your house? Or is this like a later thing that you stumbled on?
Unknown Speaker 2:00
Yeah, good question. Later thing for sure. I went off to college, and entered the business school because not for any passion in business, just because I thought that was... That's the path there. That's, I don't know what to do. But you know, business is pretty broad, and seems like what a lot of people around me are doing. And I spent about a year in the business school at the University of Colorado. And it wasn't, it wasn't for me. But then I was like, Well, what, what am I going to do? And I started thinking about, Okay, well, what do I like to do? And when I was in high school, I loved photography, I loved shooting, I loved editing, I love video. And, and I saw Well, the journalism school, you get to do some of that. So it was never a lifelong thing. It was just sort of like, okay, what am I interested in what's enjoyable to me. And then I started studying that and, and ended up making a career out of it, which my dad used to always tell me when you go to college, you're just learning how to learn. You don't necessarily have to take what you're studying and make it into a career. I happen to go to my majors and broadcast news. And that's what I ended up doing. But I was just trying to learn more about things that I enjoyed. And this is the path that it eventually led to.
Scott Schimmel 3:07
That's that was pre I'm not trying to date you. But that was pre YouTube. So for you to be into film and photography that's like real film and imagined and that's not digital. We're Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 3:18
we're cutting. I mean, we were shooting on tapes. And then and then there was no we were just venturing into digital editing when I was in college, but I did learn how to cut and my first couple jobs tape to tape. You know, you put one tape in one deck, one tape and the other deck and we weren't literally cutting pieces of film and taping them together like like in the old old days. But I did predate digital by a smidge.
Scott Schimmel 3:41
Was there? Was there a part of those early years? Because I don't know how, how feasible it seemed to you at 23 that you'd be an anchor on the anchor desk. I'm just curious in this first few years, and you're doing a lot of grunt work and the hours aren't probably normal compared to some maybe some of your peers or friends or what your parents did. Did you did you have moments where you thought about doing something else? Were there moments of kind of give up or explore other things? Or this isn't going to work.
Unknown Speaker 4:09
Totally. Yeah, all the time. And not, never because I didn't like it? But yeah, that's a tough business to get into when you're young because one I mean one it doesn't pay a lot. But it's it's the newsroom was open 365 days a year right? So it's it's holidays. It's weekends, it's nights. It's 24 hours a day. I mean, there's always somebody there. And so when you're young and new and saying yes to anything, they're there say oh great that because we haven't found anyone to say yes to this job or this time of day so so you end up those parts of it are not ideal in the younger you are and the less experienced you are the more you find yourself in those situations. So yeah, I had those moments where I was like, Is this really what I want to do? Or you know, those holidays where my first my first year doing this. I was here in San Diego, and I remember being home alone on Christmas Day. And I had to go to when I was a year out of college, I had been home with my family for every holiday for my entire life. And all of a sudden, I was like, woke up and no one was around. My roommates were all off with their family, my family was home in Colorado. And I was like, Well, I guess I'll just hang out, and then go to work later today. And it was there were moments like that where I thought, is this really what I want to do. But you know, you spend your time and eventually you, you get a little bit more seniority. And you get to do a little more what you want to do. So it paid off in the long term, but I had those moments. Yeah.
Scott Schimmel 5:30
Was there? Is there a thread that you can pull on when you get to those moments of be a little disillusionment? or confusion? Is there something that you that you kind of like, No, I know this to be true? Or I'm so passionate about this? Like, how do you? What's your north star in that?
Unknown Speaker 5:45
Yeah, it's a combination of one, I don't know what else I would do. Lack of options, I'm like, well, here I am. And two, at the end of the day, I still really enjoy it. And you know, they're, they're tough days in that business. But I really enjoy the visual part of it. I love telling stories. I love talking to strangers. And so that sort of trumped everything else is that I still really like it. And I can't imagine doing anything else.
Scott Schimmel 6:13
It's something about the anchor desk. I'm just curious what that... Is there a shift from what you're doing before, the anchor desk? Like what's what is that? How do you make sense of that job? What is that? Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 6:23
that's you doing it's so I spent a lot of years as the guy out in the field, you know, wherever something's happening standing there, microphone, talking about what's around the so going from a field reporter to the anchor desk is different. Other they're totally different jobs. And I enjoyed it. It but it was it was different. It was I was up early in the morning, and I was a lot of it. For me, I felt like I had lost some of the creativity part of it, because I liked being out and telling stories and talking to people. And there's a lot less of that on the actual anchor desk, because, you know, everyone else is out in the field, and you're sort of back anchoring, everything else going on around you. But so I just found different ways to enjoy it. I loved the live aspect of it. I love the people around me and just sort of getting to know a little bit about a lot of different things and sort of feeling like you had your hand and everything. But I didn't miss the creativity part of it and actually being out and having my own story everyday and talking to people and being right in the middle of things. But yeah, so they're different. But both were enjoyable.
Scott Schimmel 7:26
Do you have any gnarly stories, any news stories? Like, either on air? Or right off the air?
Unknown Speaker 7:34
Like, like gnarly or funny? I mean, you see a lot. So we won't get... Yeah. Yeah, I would say I mean, fun, you get you get access in that job that that you don't get in other parts of life. Because your job is to show other people what's happening. And so you sort of get a front row seat to a lot of a lot of different things. And then you get to talk and you talk to celebrities every once a while, which is, which is cool, I guess. But you get to do things. I spent a couple of nights out on an aircraft carrier. Before Christmas time doing some stories on you know what sailors how they're ramping up for the holidays, but we got to take off from San Diego, land on the carrier, you know, hang out on the deck during night operations and watch these fighter jets taking off and talk to the sailors and so stuff that in in another job, you would never be able to just sit there and do that. We, one time I was out covering the the air show and I showed up and everybody else that we signed up for whatever planes they were allowed to go up in, and the only thing left was a helicopter. So I said, Okay, I'll go up in the helicopter and show people it's like not realizing it was the Red Bull helicopter that flies upside down and rolls. And it was I mean, I think I was I was nauseous for the next eight hours. But it was one of the coolest experiences ever. And again, things like that, that you just don't get to do that that job gives you some access to and just talking to ordinary people with extraordinary things to say, or really inspiring stories that you may not have met otherwise, that you walk past every day in the grocery store. But in this job, you know, somebody says, Hey, you should talk to this person over here because they did this amazing thing. And so yeah, I don't know if those are all like funny or gnarly stories. But just I mean, I can talk for hours about individual people that are just incredible that I had a chance to sit down to talk to one on one or just cool things you get to do.
Scott Schimmel 9:29
You mentioned that word of ordinary in it and it reminds me of this broader and maybe you did this in back in school, the hero's journey, this idea of being a character in a story and and in any good movie and a good story and a good film book. There's a character that is in their ordinary world at the setting beginning you think of Luke Skywalker in tattooing and just he's a farmer and you get a glimpse of insight to that. And then there's this call to adventure. There's this moment where things change and You mentioned earlier that you blew up your career. And I'm just curious, your ordinary world as anchor guy Anchorman in San Diego, ironically, it was normal. And then what happened? What was the the call to adventure for you that made you shift things? And what did you end up doing?
Unknown Speaker 10:18
Yeah, I threw it all the way for one and not for any lack of enjoying it or, or, you know, there was nothing really wrong other than I just was was feeling less passionate about it. And, and feeling called to do something that my wife and I had talked to or talked about for years, and that is I above a journalist or an anchor or anything, I've always considered myself a storyteller. And that's what I love to do is tell people's stories and meet people. And I think that that's where I thrive. And we had talked even before we had kids, we talked about well, what if we just, you know, move into our car, drive around the country, and tell stories about the things we see in the people we meet, which is, you know, very romantic and very, not practical. But as I went through some changes in my career, and I was in I was had that anchor job that I wasn't feeling I was as creative or as passionate. It sort of brought a lot of those feelings back and we started talking about a little more seriously. And then we decided to just do it. And at this point, we had two young kids. And so giving up your career and moving your children into a car seems like an unorthodox idea to a lot of people, but But it made sense to us. And it was something we wanted to do. And we didn't want to wait it 20 years from now and wonder why we never did it. And so we did it. So we we took our kids and we moved into the car, and we traveled the entire country, we went to every state and minus Alaska and Hawaii. So we went to the the reachable, the drivable states. And we spent 408 days on the road and drove 30,000 plus miles and hit dozens of national parks and met amazing people. And then we would tell stories along the way. And I was fortunate enough to keep a relationship with NBC. So those stories had a home. And we had some income along the way. But we basically just went on the ultimate family adventure for over a year and just got back earlier this spring, late spring, early summer. And so it's still sort of fresh in our minds. But it was the most it was the most amazing experience. And we met some incredible people and we checked this thing off of our list are what if you will, so that, you know, you know, what if we did this thing, and we did it, and now we don't have to wonder, but it was amazing.
Scott Schimmel 12:33
Your your kids or their little right? Four and six?
Unknown Speaker 12:37
So they're their four and eight now, but freshly four and eight, they were two and six when we left on the trip. So I mean, it's asking a lot of them as well to to live out of a car and camp, you know, 100 nights a year and move every day. But they did great. And I think they're, they're better for it. And the more adaptable for it. Yeah, I don't know how much our younger one is going to remember it in the long run, other than being, you know, constantly reminded by us in the photos and videos. But our older one did first grade on the road and probably had the best first grade experience he could have possibly had because he was in a living classroom. And I know it's not an opportunity to have something that everybody would get to do. But I highly recommend it because you know, he everything he was learning he was seeing in person. You know, when we're learning about the Civil War, he's standing on the battlefield when we're learning about presidents. He's he's at the base of Mount Rushmore and and so it was just this in mind blowing experience, to see through the eyes of a first grader and for us to I mean, we, we were learning a lot of that stuff along the way, as well. So it was just a really amazing experience beyond just telling stories. I mean, just I think what our kids got to experience was incredible.
Scott Schimmel 13:51
I don't know if you and your wife have made sense of this yet or put this in a real clear way. But I'm just curious, what do you hope your kids what's the I don't know the title of that chapter of your family? What's What's the message that you hope that they carry with them? When they become adults, when they have families? Or what? You know, we're the kind of people who are, you know, I don't know whether there's a line or a phrase that you use?
Unknown Speaker 14:15
Yeah, totally. Yeah. And we talked about this from the beginning. Because they'll get to a, they'll get to a point in their life in their career or something, where they're going to, they're going to wonder, you know, do I do I do this? Or do I do that? And I hope that they I hope that they follow their heart and follow their passion and whatever it is that they do. And I think now we've we've got some street cred with them later on to be able to say, that's what we did. And it didn't make sense, but we, you know, had the courage to, to follow this thing that that had been on our heart for a long time. And so I hope that when they find themselves in that situation, we have some good advice for them. And we can say, you know, hey, we lived it. And we know it's not an easy decision and it's not easy to give up comforts in there. decision may be different than ours their situation. But but at least we can say, you know, we we've been in a place in our life before where we were sort of at a crossroads. And we, and we followed our heart. And so I hope you do the same.
Scott Schimmel 15:10
What's what's next? Do you think? As I asked that, I'm curious what's changed about your perspective about yourself and your career and family? What? What do you think is next? And there might be a practical answer that, but I'm just curious, kind of how do you see yourself now post that adventure? Well,
Unknown Speaker 15:29
I think our perspective on a lot of things has changed. We only really need what fits in our car, I guess you could say, we lived for an entire year with a minimal amount of things. And since we've been home, you know, we're accumulating stuff again. But we're a little bit more mindful about it. And so I think that's a big one is we just, we, before we left, we gave away almost everything we owned, we kept a couch and the rocking chair I'm sitting in right now. And, and other than that, we gave everything away. And so we started from scratch, and we got home and our life is cleaner, now. You know, it's not cluttered with stuff, we have cabinets that are empty. And so I think that's a big one. And it sounds very, I mean, it's it has to do with the material part of life, but it's important that you don't need as much as you think you need. So there was that. And then I think we just got a perspective about this country that you can only get by going and seeing it because there are a lot of parts of the country that we had never seen and had had whatever assumption about what they were in parts of the country, they I was really looking forward to seeing other parts that I was like, I mean, I guess we got to, we're gonna see everything, and and some of the places that I didn't really think I would care about or care for. And that could be really great surprises. And everywhere we went, we met really kind people and people who were proud of where they lived and wanted to show us what was special about their place. You know, living in San Diego, everybody here thinks they live in the best place in the world. And it's amazing, right? But But believe me, there are people everywhere else around the country that are not jealous that we're here. And they they love where they are. And they're pretty. I mean, you know, they love where they are, and they're proud of it, and they want to show it off. And so even there's not one best place to live in this country, there are hundreds of best places to live, it just depends on who you ask. And so that was a perspective, I think that we got by spending time with people not going on vacation and staying in a hotel. But we stayed on people's land, we camped at people's houses, we met a lot of strangers. And so I think we just we got a really great perspective and broad perspective of the people in the places in this country.
Scott Schimmel 17:33
Wrapping up, I'm gonna give you two different sort of sentence starters, you can choose with one or the other, or do neither just hang up. So one would be Happiness is... or, A meaningful life is... And whatever kind of sticks out to you, what would you say you've seen a lot, you've heard a lot of people's stories you've experienced a lot. You know, what's, what's clear to you, on either side of that right now.
Unknown Speaker 18:00
Happiness is being content with what you have, and what's around you, I would say, and this goes back to that last, that last topic of there are a lot of people in this country that are really happy with where they are, and they don't need to live in what a lot of other people consider, you know, what a lot of people strive for, you know, they don't need big houses or money or, or whatever that would that a lot of us put value on. And so I think happiness is appreciating what you have. And and I think we have a little bit more of that appreciation now that we've that we've seen a lot of different people and seen a lot of different happy people in different situations. There's no one, there's no one way to be happy. But I think it's just appreciating what's around you and what you already have. And not wanting more. And then what was the other one? What's the next adventure
Scott Schimmel 18:54
A meaningful life is... Or What's the next adventure...
Unknown Speaker 18:57
Okay, meaningful life. For us, following your passion and spending time with your family. And so we were able to kill two birds with one stone this past year, we have, you know, all the family time you can imagine and more. So, yeah, and then the next adventure. I don't know, we've talked about this, I think all of us miss it a little bit. And we've talked about if we were to do this, again, how we would do it. And I think if we did this again, we would go for a year, but instead of being in fast forward mode and moving every two or three days, where do you sort of get like the the abbreviated version of everywhere and in depth nowhere. We would pick 12 places and spend a month in each place. So you really get to live somewhere because you know, it's one thing to go and check off the Okay, what do we do? We're here, we saw, saw it, saw it. But it's something else to just take time and sort of enjoy the people and find your favorite coffee shop and get to know how people actually live in those places. So if we did it again, that's how we would do it. I think and we've talked about that. I don't know if we're going to do it again. But
Scott Schimmel 20:00
Well, I like I like what you shared about happiness and meaningful life. Because there's, there's actually a tension there. First you shared, like, be content with what you have and where you are. But then also, meaningful life is following your passions. And I like how your reason I want you to be honest is for people to get to know you in that you're doing both. And it seems like sometimes there's only you pick one or the other, you kind of take the path of least resistance, try to be content with where you are, and, you know, just kind of put your head down, or you live this life. That's crazy adventurous. And you're, you're trying to find the intersection of both, which is life, that's normal life, and and continue to reflect and step back and think about where you are. Is this the path I want to be on? Is this doing it for me? What would what could we change? And that question, what if we is such a beautiful start of an adventure? What if we try that? And to try that emphasize and you try to emphasize enough to say, Let's go do it? And I think it's a really, your story gives people like me the courage to pursue something that probably wouldn't normally on my own. So thank you for that.
Unknown Speaker 21:04
Thanks. Thanks. Yeah, I hope I hope that's the point of it is that people aren't afraid to take that chance. And that's a really good observation. I hadn't really thought about the way those two things intersect. And and, yeah, I think we're lucky to have found a way to sort of do both.
Scott Schimmel 21:18
Yeah. Thanks, Greg. I missed you on the desk. But I'm glad you got another guy. That's a friend that's on the desk. And
Unknown Speaker 21:25
we have a mutual friend doing the job now. And he's doing a great job and he couldn't be a better guy. So yeah.
Scott Schimmel 21:31
Thanks. Great. Talk to you soon.
Greg Bledsoe 21:32
Yeah. Thanks, Scott.
Scott Schimmel 21:34
Hey, thanks for joining in on The YouSchool podcast, we'd love to share with you the resources available on our website at the uscho.com not just articles, ebooks, worksheets and other podcast episodes. But specifically, you should know about a free course we have a variable called The Real Me course. It's digital, it's interactive, and it will guide you to get clear about who you are in a great store you could tell with your life. So go register for a free account and get started on The Real Me course today at theyouschool.com That's the you school of.com