Introducing the You're A Tool Podcast

Introducing the You’re A Tool Podcast

This is it! The podcast is going live, and we are launching with a simple overview of what it will include, what you can expect, what categories I’ve created to organize episodes, and some other odds and ends.

Episode 1 is now out, and you can watch it in full right here. Below is a transcript, edited for clarity and flow.

Let’s do a quick rundown on what this episode will include:

  1. Choosing the Name: A Play on Words
  2. Building the Brand
  3. Visual & Downloadable Tools
  4. The Episode Categories
  5. Conclusion: It’s a Wrap!

A Play on Words

I like a good play on words, and when I had the idea for this podcast, calling it “You’re A Tool” fit right in with that.

Let’s start with a definition courtesy Urban Dictionary.

You’re A Tool (insult) – “An insult used to call someone worthless and dysfunctional. Comparing them to a tool means that they aren’t smart, are easily manipulatable, are an asshole and don’t act like a proper human being.”

Now let’s toggle over to Dictionary.com to dig into a definition of Tool:

Tool (Noun) – 5. Anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose. 

We’ll skip over their (ahem phallic) slang definition.

Thus, the tools we will feature in this podcast could be anything to help accomplish a task or purpose. They could be mental models and theories. They could be worksheets or surveys or forms. They could even be programs or apps. Anything that can be used to do something better, understand ourselves or others better, or be someone better.

Building The Brand

I feel a little guilty here. I asked a handful of friends what they thought about two logo designs I came up with, explaining my thought process behind both. The two people I sent it to both picked the same one. Yet here I am using the one they didn’t choose.

Why? 

In the process of piecing things together, I had an expanded idea of creating the categories mentioned above, and giving each their own look that tied directly to the detailed illustration of the logo I ultimately went with. Each category, then, has a graphic that calls to the overarching topic and will provide recognizable cohesiveness within that category. 

Or, maybe it’s just because I wanted to use an illustration of three dudes who look like they are from the 1920s in the graphic on Teamwork.

VISUAL & Downloadable Tools

The idea behind this episode was to have regular downloads you, the listener, could access on the You’re A Tool Podcast website. By passing us your email, you’d get access to these downloads and notifications on new episodes when they drop.

By the time you listen to this episode, some things may have changed, or I may have incorporated even more items available to supporters through Patreon. We’re talking a broader vision here, so if you’re an early listener… stay tuned!

Not every episode will have downloadable resources. Some will have these concepts laid out visually on the corresponding episode page on the You’re A Tool website. What you can expect is detail. Let’s walk through a very non-comprehensive list of tools:

Resources & WORKSHEETS

Each episode page will have a resource section that points to more information about the ideas discussed, guests features, and references name dropped during the episodes. As we don’t really cover a specific topic in this episode, it is likely to be the only one of the few without this section.

Other resources will be downloadable. Worksheets, when modeled by the Podcast, will typically be “gated” meaning you’ll need to subscribe to get them. I’m building a brand here, and I want you to come back, stay tuned, keep listening, and engage with me. Sorry, not sorry.

The first worksheet will be a tool to help you visualize a path toward achieving an ambitious goal, and I’m excited to present it in Episode 3. In Episode 4, I’ll actually continue by sharing how I actually used the worksheet to create this podcast!

Diagrams & MODELS

Alright, if you know me, you know I’m a sucker for a visual representation of an idea or construct. This includes triangles, charts, workflows, and, yes, Venn Diagrams! (I do love me a good Venn…)

Theories & Conceptual Aids

Another love of mine is a good theory. Research and analysis is core to who I am, and pulling from multiple sources to piece together data or ideas in a way that is easily understood is something I geek out on quite often. 

Understanding how things work together, or how we can improve specific areas in our lives is why I am starting this podcast. Conceptual aids could include a list of interrelated items that do not necessarily fit into a diagram. For example, this list of resources here! 

Questionnaires & ASSESSMENTS

Questionnaires? Yes. A good example of this would be the Myers Briggs Personality Assessment. Certain psychological models have questionnaires where you input the data and they spit out your results. The end goal is for you to better understand yourself right now. What do I mean by that? If you read the about section, you’ll note that my Myers Briggs results were INFJ, but they weren’t always that way. Prior to fall 2019, results were consistently INFP.

Why? That’s a question I hope to answer in this podcast at some point in time.

The Episode Categories

I’ve put together eleven categories to help organize the episodes, the tools, and the topics at hand. The idea behind this is to give you, the listener, a clear pathway to finding the content and episodes that matter most to you.

Some of y’all will only want content related to self improvement and relationships whereas others will be more interested in leadership and teamwork tools. The thing is, most episodes will have at least some overlap with other categories. But all will fit into at least one of these buckets (that is, unless I add a twelfth).

Here are the categories: 

  1. Communication
  2. Education
  3. Goals
  4. Habits
  5. Leadership
  6. Personality
  7. Problem Solving
  8. Productivity
  9. Relationships
  10. Self Improvement
  11. Teamwork

Next, I’ll touch on each of them briefly:

Communication

Communication tools will have a lot of overlap with the Leadership, Relationships, and Teamwork categories. These will include ways we can show up better when others are involved or present.

Education

How do we learn? How can we be better at retaining information? These are two of many questions I’ll address in time in Education-related episodes. As this is an area where my knowledge is somewhat lacking, I hope to bring in guests with experience, education (lolz), and their own unique takes on constructs and methodologies to speak on the topic.

Goals

We will start here, as in the next episode, I’ll be outlining my goals for 2022. I’ll talk a little in that episode about accountability and hint at the first true Tool that will be featured on the podcast in Episodes 3 and 4. As this is an area I focus on frequently in my personal and professional life, it’ll likely be a focal point in the beginning at least.

Habits

Habits will tie into goals a lot, and it’s another area I’m hyper focused on right now. We’ll hear about how to form a good habit and how to break a bad one. I’ll pull in research and literature from experts on the subject, sharing tips on what you can do to help make a desired habit stick, and more.

Leadership

I’m in the middle of outlining my first episode on Leadership right now, and it’s a tool based on something a former employer of mine passed down to his management staff. In fact, I’m even naming it after him. In this section, I’ll cover ways to be a better boss and how to empower your employees. I may even cover how to pick the right people for the task or job at hand.

Personality

Personality tools are kind of what started me down this path in the first place. We’ll eventually cover Myers Briggs, Enneagram, and more. If you read the About section of this, you’ll know that I got INFJ in the Myers Briggs Personality Assessment, and that I’m an Enneagram 9 with a 1 wing. If you’re not familiar with these, it’ll be gibberish for now, but I’ll bring you up to speed.

Problem Solving

How to we get through mental road blocks? How to we clear bottlenecks in our day-to-day lives? How do you approach a problem when it’s in front of you? And what steps do you take when confronted with a difficult decision? These are things we may ultimately address in the Problem Solving episodes.

Productivity

I recently finished reading Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhigg. It’s a book all about productivity and it has some great concepts in there that I’ll likely touch on at some point. The concept of Productivity fascinates me, as I’ve found myself wildly successful at a company where I managed a staff of 6, yet I could barely manage a single employee at another. Why? I have some thoughts I hope to share with you someday soon.

Relationships

Relationships is another category that a lot of us could spend some time focusing on and improving, and I have some questions I’d like answered. How can we communicate better with our partners? What can we do to move beyond the negative patterns we embody during conflict? What are the 4 Horsemen of the Relationship Apocalypse? That said, how do you define attraction? What’s the difference between platonic and romantic attraction? And what the hell is the true definition of romance anyway?

Self Improvement

There will be plenty of overlap between Personality and Self Improvement, as a key step toward improving yourself is knowing yourself. Where Personality focuses on the Why I am the way I am, Self Improvement focuses on What do I do now? As I’m not a licensed therapist or doctor, I hope to have some guests with specialized knowledge to touch on this subject.

Teamwork

Team dynamics is such a fascinating subject. What makes some teams good and others bad? What is psychological safety, and why is it important? Better yet, how do you create it? What are some skills and exercises you can do as a team to grow and improve? We’ll have fun with this one!

Conclusion: It’s A Wrap!

So, there you have it. This project is up and running, and I’m pretty damn excited. 

I hope you’ll stick around a bit and join me on this journey of growth. Let’s be the best damn awkward nerds we can be.

Until next time, let’s keep getting more and more awkward while elevating our nerdiness to new heights.

This podcast was recorded, edited, and produced by me, your host, Andy Fenstermaker. 

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