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ForCollegeForLife Podcast Ep. 21: TJ Sullivan

TRANSCRIPT

Casey J. Cornelius (00:07):

Hey everyone. And welcome to the latest episode of the ForCollegeForLife podcast. My name is Casey Cornelius. I am the founder and president of, for college for life, and I have the distinct pleasure of getting to interview people who I admire so much. Our speakers are consultants. The, the people who make our team, uh, and today, although a bit divergent from the way that these podcasts have gone. Um, I, I do get the opportunity to date, to interview someone that I admire in respect. Um, so, so much, so this is gonna be a lot of fun for me personally. Uh, I think for those of you who, who know him, this is gonna be fun, cuz we’re gonna get into some areas in which he doesn’t normally talk about. Um, and then for those of you who, for some reason do not awesome, you, you get to hear, um, from, from someone who truly has been not only influential in our field of, of public speaking, college speaking, uh, but also someone who’s inspirational to a lot of people who do this work.

            So before I bring him to the mic, let me tell you a little bit about who I’m talking about. Uh, TJ Sullivan started speaking professionally in 19 92, 19 92. And in 1993, he launched friendship in the age of aids with his friend and speaking partner, Joel Goldman, you know, it was one of those rare like perfect program at the perfect time moments for those of you who maybe weren’t alive or weren’t aware of it at the time, uh, aids was something that was obviously at the top of people’s minds in the, the early nineties and, and produced a lot of fear. Their program really struck, really struck a nerve and it quickly became one of the two or three most in demand programs on college campuses. And it stayed there for years fast forward in 1999, TJ founded campus speak, which for 15 years, let’s just say, was the undisputed number one agency in the college space?

            It, it had the biggest names in the college speaking area. Um, innovative programs, all that other kind of stuff. A little bit more about him in 2011, he published motivating the middle fighting apathy in college. Student organizations look also became one of the most influential leadership books, leadership programs. Uh, even to this day, you hear people referencing thirds and motivating the middle, even if they don’t exactly know where the origin is. A few years later, 2016, TJ actually became a partner in for college for life and helped. I, I think move us forward in so many big, meaningful ways. We’re gonna talk about that here in just a little bit. In 2020, he stepped away, uh, for being a partner, uh, for college for life. And also I’m using air quotes. You can’t see me, but using air quotes retired from college speaking, although he, he still does. We’ll get into that as well. Today is the president and CEO of the Parker chamber of commerce in the Denver, Colorado area and is doing so many incredible things in that space as well. And winning awards, not surprisingly, right. You know, while TJ might not be quote unquote, formally a member of the four college for life team, TJ has always a member of the four college for life team and it is my distinct pleasure and honor to bring him to the mic.

T.J. Sullivan (03:19):

Hi Casey, how are you?

Casey J. Cornelius (03:20):

<laugh> I’m doing good. DJ was that intro sufficient to all

T.J. Sullivan (03:24):

The things oh, good Lord. Accomplished

Casey J. Cornelius (03:25):

Over the

T.J. Sullivan (03:25):

Good Lord. Some poor person is listening to this going, why am I listening to this has been, you know, the, has the podcast jumped the shark now you’re going to the greatest hits vault, you know, and bringing out the old, the old people. So yeah, no, it’s really great to be here. Thanks for having me,

Casey J. Cornelius (03:40):

You know, I, I, I was thinking to myself as, as I was preparing for this interview, you and I have probably talked for thousands of hours.

T.J. Sullivan (03:48):

Oh yeah.

Casey J. Cornelius (03:49):

And this is the first time we’ve ever recorded it.

T.J. Sullivan (03:51):

Yeah. And we’ve gotta keep it to what, 45 minutes or something. So this will be a challenge.

Casey J. Cornelius (03:56):

<laugh> and, and the challenge is also the fact that you and I, I think know each other so well and can complete each other’s sentences to the point where this might devolve into something else. But I, I, I wanna,

T.J. Sullivan (04:07):

We won’t let it, we

Casey J. Cornelius (04:08):

Won’t let it. Okay, good. I wanna, I wanna try to keep it as clean as possible. So I’m gonna start in the most recent and, and kind of work my way around. Sure. Whatever

T.J. Sullivan (04:17):

Mm-hmm

Casey J. Cornelius (04:17):

<affirmative> I’m gonna ask you the question that everybody knows. He’s gonna ask you

T.J. Sullivan (04:21):

Ready? Uhoh uhoh

Casey J. Cornelius (04:23):

Why’d you retire?

T.J. Sullivan (04:25):

<laugh> why did I retire? Oh, so many there’s there’s so many reasons it’s like, uh, it it’s like, uh, kinda like a culmination of a lot of things. It wasn’t any one thing. Um, I think part of it was my youngest son had turned 18 and was kind of in that post high school zone. And I, I, I was realizing that maybe I just didn’t understand 18 year olds anymore. Uh mm-hmm <affirmative> nothing like parenting one to make you realize that maybe you’re you’re you’re the generation gap is getting bigger. I don’t know. I think I was, I was struggling a little bit to, uh, to communicate with the average college age student. Uh, it fi it happens to most speakers and of course, everybody on your roster’s too young to know this. Uh, except I think Mindy is probably the exception of, of somebody who, you know, can still do it.

            But at a certain point you just reach a point where you can’t think like they do anymore. They’re the way they think their priorities, the influences in their life are really foreign to you. I can still go and do a program for, uh, officers of an organization or like the emerging leaders, people who really kind of are like me, but the average, the average college student is now a bit of a mystery to me. So, you know, I realized that my worst nightmare was getting up in front of a, a Greek week crowd, right. Which I had done for decades. And, uh, now I had no desire to get up in front of those crowds. So I was, I, my, my focus was narrowing. Like the people I enjoyed speaking to was getting more and more narrow. Um, I could go do a professional fraternity or sorority convention and love that.

            But if you ask me to come in and do new fraternity members, I was just not into it. So that, that was part of it. And then of course, COVID, you know, COVID turned, every, took everything online to zoom, and I just love the live performance. I’m a live performance guy. And, um, and so, um, that was, that was, um, that was hard for me to, to try to speak to a bunch of boxes on a screen. It just wasn’t my thing. And, um, and also I was just kind of tired of it. I’ve been doing it for a long time, you know, so I don’t know. So those are kind of my answers.

Casey J. Cornelius (06:27):

You pulled back the curtain there a little bit. So I’m, I want, I want to explore it a little bit more. So I, I think, you know, as, as we sit here today, 2020 as a, you know, in hindsight sort of, uh, thing, but 2020 in this industry was <laugh> awful scary. Like, you know, people, people ask me what it was like, and it’s like, I remember being in the fetal position. I, I, I remember being like, I don’t know if this industry is done and I remember the conversations that you and I had that, that led to the, the ultimate moment. Um, and, and you saying I don’t enjoy virtual programming.

T.J. Sullivan (07:04):

Nope. Don’t I still don’t.

Casey J. Cornelius (07:06):

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And, and I think, I think the reality of that is informed by, listen, let’s talk about your credentials here for just a second, since 1992, how many states, how many countries, how, how many, like, how many millions of students do you think that you’ve spoken to? Like not exaggerating

T.J. Sullivan (07:22):

How many, you know, it’s always a, it’s always a bit of a BS number, but I mean, it’s gotta be around 2 million. I, I think, yeah. So by all been all 50 states and, um, and, uh, you know, a few, a few foreign countries, of course, Canada and The Bahamas and some different places, but, you know, I, I mean, I had a pretty F I had a very, very fantastic career, but when things shifted, um, when things shifted and I wasn’t as into it anymore, and I couldn’t go live all the things, I really, that would’ve kept me in. It were, were a little bit out of the picture. And, and I’ll Casey, let’s be honest. I mean, I’ve, you know, me and some people who are listening to this podcast know me. I really, I have a huge respect for the industry of speaking to college students.

            This is something, this was my, this was my career for almost three decades. And I always gave it my all, I was all in, you know, I never tried to do corporate stuff. Um, until I wrote a book, I was not interested in writing books or selling, you know, swag or any of that other stuff I got, I thought there was a purity in getting up on a stage with just a microphone. I mean, I used to speak with no PowerPoint or anything. I mean, it was, it was me and a microphone. Um, and I felt like that was just pure bliss. And I felt like, and you’ve heard me say a million times, if a speaker can’t get up and just speak with no PowerPoint, you know, no AV, then they’re not really a college speaker. Like you have to be right. It’s a talent.

            It’s a, it’s a, it’s something you, it’s a skill you get good at. And I was just at the point where I wasn’t able to give it a hundred percent. And so I just didn’t want to do it half ass, you know? Yeah. Um, being, I I’ve always my whole career, I’ve railed against people who halfassed the college speaking thing, you know, who, it was just one thing on their resume and they did it every now and then, but they, those people were not my people. My people were the people who were out there 25 times a semester, sleeping in the Hampton ins and, and, uh, you know, doing the sound checks and, and never knowing if the lights were gonna work or if the AV was gonna work, or if four students were gonna show up or 4,000, you know, you, um, that’s, that’s the real college speaking to me. And when I realized that wasn’t what I was doing anymore, it was time to step back.

Casey J. Cornelius (09:31):

We’re, we’re gonna get into your evolution of, of, um, molding the college speaking space here in just a second. But, but I, I wanna ask the question that I, I think people might be wondering if they’ve heard this, are you retired? Are you retired, retired? <laugh> like, are you, I mean, I know the answer, but I, I I’m, I’m this soft toss. Here we go.

T.J. Sullivan (09:49):

Well, I, I did a, I did a career change, you know, I, yeah. I realized after almost 30 years of being on the road and, you know, having lifetime, you know, flight benefits on United airlines and, and, uh, you know, sitting on a half million Southwest frequent flyer miles, that it was time. I was just, I, I, it was taking a toll on my body. And, um, I just, Casey, I have to tell you, like, when each year it came time for us to pack up and go to Indianapolis for the AFL V conference, <laugh> my soul just died a little bit. Like, I just didn’t want to be there, you know, um, no offense to the conference and all the people who, you know, love that conference. But like, that was such, just a drain. It was my kryptonite going to some it’s

Casey J. Cornelius (10:30):

Exhausting. Like, let’s, let’s be, it’s exhausting.

T.J. Sullivan (10:32):

God. It was. And I would enjoy seeing people, but like trying to beg college students to listen to you for one minute or come to your breakout. I, I was just over it. So, um, no, I I’m, I’m still going, people still call me and I still go when they call me. Um, I think I’ve got two, two bookings this fall, you know, I mean, I do a, a handful here and there when they seek me out. Um, I’m not hard to find. Um, but, but I’m not out there pursuing it. And if you’re gonna be really good in the college space, you gotta be going to those conferences and you gotta have enthusiasm for it. And you, you’ve gotta be coming up with new material all the time and you gotta incorporate social media and all this stuff that I just didn’t wanna do anymore. So, um, yeah, I’m, I’m definitely in the, has been space and I’m fine with that because I really like my life right now,

Casey J. Cornelius (11:16):

Which makes me the happiest as, as a friend. Um, it, it makes me the happiest. I still,

T.J. Sullivan (11:23):

I still work my ass off, by the way. I’m not, I’m not sitting eating Bondos and playing golf. You know, I, I work my ass off, but I, but I started a new career, you know, at age 50 and I, and I’m kind of rocking it and I’m loving it and I’m having a good time and, you know, putting points on the board and that’s, that’s just the way I’ve always been. So,

Casey J. Cornelius (11:39):

And for anybody who, who knows you TJ, like, I, I think that’s an important thing to say all, all the energy and enthusiasm and creativity that you brought to this space, you have now applied to a completely new career. Yeah. So it’s not surprising that you’re winning awards and all that, you know, recognition and all that other kind of stuff in this space as well. Like, that’s, that’s a surprising day, but,

T.J. Sullivan (11:58):

Well, it’s fun. And, and I think anybody who does the same thing for 25 years or something needs a breath of fresh air and, and doing this, this work, which I get to work with people who are launching small businesses, like you Casey, by the way, you know? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, when I, when you and I, um, I’ve known you before you even started for college for life. And I am so energized by people who make the sacrifices and, and, and put everything on the line to start small businesses. And now I get to coach those people every day. And, uh, I get to see that, that, you know, woman, woman, business owner, who, um, you know, got out of a bad marriage and now has put, you know, found, scraped some money together and is starting a new business. I mean, I met a woman the other day, who’s, you know, selling real estate and she’s about four weeks into it and she’s scared to death.

            And I got a chance to sit and talk to her and tell her, Hey, relax. Like you don’t have to do it all the first year. And just I’m coaching these people. And I, I love it, man. It’s great. I, I think it’s a lot of the energy I brought when you and I were doing for college for life together is that, you know, my role there was to tell you where to spend your energy and, and what to not spend your energy on and, and, and how to, uh, how to direct the, the long term vision of your company. And, and that’s what I’m doing today. That’s just, I’m doing it outside the college space. So

Casey J. Cornelius (13:13):

I’ve used this phrase before, and I know you’ve heard me, and I know it embarrasses you every time, but, but I felt so fortunate at the time to have you there. Um, it was like, the analogy that I used was it was like starting a clothing company, but working with Ralph Lauren, <laugh> like, you, like, you don’t have to figure out the things that might take you six months to figure out. I could just ask you, Hey, what would you do? And the answer was immediately available and, and you still,

T.J. Sullivan (13:39):

You still do it though. Course you still start, you still do things. And I’m like, oh, why are you doing that? You

Casey J. Cornelius (13:43):

Know, <laugh> right, right. Or you’ll say, you’ll, you’ll figure this out. Yeah, yeah.

T.J. Sullivan (13:47):

You’ll figure this out. You’ll do, you’ll go and spend money on, uh, on this particular, uh, conference and I’ll and two years from now, I’ll be, I’ll be telling you, I told you so, and how much money you spent on it, you know? But, uh, yeah, no, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s funny. People just keep people, keep repeating the same efforts, you know, and it’s just, it’s okay. That’s the way, that’s the way it goes, you know? So, yeah. It’s good. Yeah.

Casey J. Cornelius (14:09):

Now I, I, I wanna go back in time because you referenced first meeting. I remember the first time we met, we met, oh God, 1999. Was

T.J. Sullivan (14:17):

It in a bar?

Casey J. Cornelius (14:19):

It wasn’t. It was in a bar in

T.J. Sullivan (14:20):

Pittsburgh, not a gay bar, not a gay bar, by the way.

Casey J. Cornelius (14:23):

I don’t think it was, no,

T.J. Sullivan (14:25):

It was definitely, it was a hotel bar. Think

Casey J. Cornelius (14:26):

It was a hotel bar, for sure. It was, um, a, a PI CAPA five midyear college leadership, uh, experience. I, I was a, I was a undergraduate leader. Oh, geez. You were. Geez. Well, I mean, you know, um, the thing, and this is not hyperbole, I often say is that TJ was a person, maybe the person who taught me the most about fraternity. Oh, well, it’s, it’s true. And I think that, you know, for, for those who aren’t aware, TJ and I are both PI members of pike, UPI, and TJ wrote the new member education book that I read as a new member. So when I say, TJ taught me about fraternity like that, that, that is an actually like factual statement.

T.J. Sullivan (15:09):

I’m a, has been in the fraternity too, by the way.

Casey J. Cornelius (15:13):

So self deprecating stop. But in 1999, you were also doing something else. And you were, you were starting a college speaking agency.

T.J. Sullivan (15:22):

Yeah. Yeah. That was crazy. There was no such thing. I mean, there was no, there was no college speakers agency out there. I mean, there were agencies that had comedians and bands and one or two speakers, usually people who had written a book or who had been on television or something, but there was never, there never was a place you could go and find, you could consistently go and find the speakers you need on critical issues. You know, like, oh, we need a leadership speaker. We need a sexual assault prevention speaker. We need a diversity speaker, whatever. And that’s what we used to call it just diversity. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, and, uh, and so, yeah, we kind of, we were like this one stop shop and nobody had ever done that before. And it was, uh, it was, it was a heady time. I gotta say 99 to, oh gosh. About, uh, about 2010 was just, I mean, full steam ahead, man. We were trying to create a market and we, we dominated man. We had the, we had all the best speakers and, um, we were setting the standards. It was really, really cool. It was, I mean, now there’s like a, you know, bunch of agencies, but then there was one and we were the, we were the elephant in the room. It was great.

Casey J. Cornelius (16:29):

Can we talk about some of those standards real quick? Yeah. I mean, there are things that I think not only for college for life, but, but in, in many agencies and in many solo speakers as well, like, let’s be honest that your, your vision and your DNA is like, is spread throughout these things. Right. So I’m gonna give some examples and you can pick anyone that you might want, like, right. So we might call these like best practices. Sure. All, all inclusive pricing. Yeah.

T.J. Sullivan (16:55):

Yeah.

Casey J. Cornelius (16:55):

No diva policies, simple contracts, straightforward, ongoing professional development training. Um, I mean, you had some other ones too, like 24 hour rule and stuff like that, but that’s, that’s up to you. Whether or

T.J. Sullivan (17:06):

Not you want the, we can’t just drop the 24 hour rule and not explain what the 24 hour rule was.

Casey J. Cornelius (17:11):

Uh, it’s up to you.

T.J. Sullivan (17:13):

You’re like, not sure you want that on the podcast,

Casey J. Cornelius (17:16):

Which, which, whichever one of those, you, you want to attach yourself to in this question. So all of those things now, as we sit here today are, are essentially taken for granted. Sure. People expect all inclusive. People expect a simple contract. They, they expect these things, but that wasn’t always the case. So do you wanna talk about those contributions a little bit?

T.J. Sullivan (17:36):

Well, you know, when Joel and I were speaking in the, in the nineties, the, the all inclusive pricing just made my life easier, you know, because that was back in the day when you had to buy airline tickets and it was really different than it is today because we might buy an airline. Like let’s say we had to be at Syracuse university on Tuesday, we would buy paper tickets. This is back in the PA, before everything was electronic, we would buy paper tickets. But if we were speaking on a Tuesday night, we couldn’t fly to Syracuse on Tuesday and then fly back on Wednesday because a airline ticket without a Saturday night day cost of fortune, and you couldn’t buy one way tickets, one way tickets were more expensive than round trips. So we would buy a ticket that took us two Syracuse for that Tuesday gig.

            And then we would buy the return portion of that paper ticket, like a month later from a nearby town in New York, where we were speaking a month later to bring us home. I mean, it was like this complex puzzle. And I realized really fast that we couldn’t possibly explain this to a school that was reimbursing us an airline ticket. It was too confusing. And there was also, we were traveling four or five days a week, and at least one day a week, we just needed to be somewhere with like a Marriott or something that had like a restaurant or, or that, you know, had a decent bed. Um, some nights we’d stay at the, at the super eight and some nights we’d just really need that Marriott near the airport. Um, and we didn’t wanna explain to a school why we needed to be reimbursed for this particular hotel or whatever.

            So honestly, I just, the, in 1993, I just said, we’re just doing inclusive pricing, boom, it’s 4,000 all inclusive. You don’t need to worry about the rental car. You don’t need to worry about our flights where we’re coming from, where we’re going to. And so it was very much a practical concern for us, but it was so popular. People were booking us because we were so easy. Right. And, uh, and, and then it just became like, when I started, uh, the agency in 99, you know, we just brought that over with us BEC and, and I had to convince people that this was the right way to go. And, and still to this day, I’m sure you have to talk to speakers and explain why the all inclusive pricing, you know, I’m sure sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bad. Yeah. Sometimes it sucks. You know, like, you know, you go to Montana on a Wednesday, it’s gonna kind of suck.

            But if you’re going to, you know, Atlanta on a Monday, it’s nothing. Right. So, right. You have to explain that to people that, you know, other rules like the no diva policy, that was just an ethic of mine. Like I was con I was always aware that some student organization might be spending their entire budget for the year to bring us in for that one night. And I always felt like, you know, if you come in and act like you’re the big shot, you’re doing it wrong. They’re the big shot. You know, they’re, they’re spending all their resources on you for one night in some cases. And like, you need to be grateful for that opportunity. I always had a rule that no speaker could ever ask for anything other than the audio visual, they needed to do the program and a bottle of water, that’s it?

            And there were so many other speakers and there’s still some out there that do it, that request like, oh, I want a t-shirt from your school. Or I want a shot glass. Or, and I was like, no, I, I would, I would tell people right off the top, like you go to the damn bookstore and get your own shot glass. We’re not doing that. These students are, are trying to lead their organizations. These professionals are working these, you know, very, very demanding 80 hour week jobs. They don’t need to be chasing down to the bookstore to get you a t-shirt. So, you know, I just told people, like, I have no tolerance for any college speaker that doesn’t go in and arrive with gratitude and a willingness to do whatever it takes to give the, those people the best experience possible. And, um, yeah, I mean, it, it seems so common sense, but honestly, it just didn’t exist before we started insisting on it. And, and because we were the only agency in town, and for a long time, we were the, we were the dominant agency. We could demand that. We could tell speakers either you do it this way, or you’re not gonna be in the agency. Right. And you’re not gonna make the money you wanna make. So, uh, you know, we had, we had that power.

Casey J. Cornelius (21:30):

Can we let’s get a little meta here for just a second, cuz my guess is that there are gonna be a lot of speakers who are listening to this as well. Yeah. You know, there’s, there’s a certain amount of ego attached to what we do a lot. Right? Like there’s, it’s, it’s almost a prerequisite because what you’re saying is give me a mic and, and I can, I can do something with this

T.J. Sullivan (21:50):

Crowd. I always say, how many people get a round of applause at the end of their work day, every day.

Casey J. Cornelius (21:54):

<laugh> right, right. Almost none. Right. Right. Um, but to limit the, maybe you call it natural desire to, to have some diva slip in like some diva tendencies slip in to really taking on a service ethic. Don’t you think really? That’s that’s what frames whether or not someone’s gonna be successful long term or not.

T.J. Sullivan (22:17):

It, I think the people who have humility, but are really good at what they do and are proud of their skill are the ones that do best in this space, you know? Um, because you have to be humble enough to know that you’re not such a hot shot. Um, you, you gotta constantly be making your program better. You’ve gotta be grateful for that 19 year old. Who’s hearing you for the very first time and is blown away by the simplest part of your program. You know, um, you know, the minute you start thinking, you’re, you’re the expert on something, someone comes up behind you and takes over your topic and kicks your ass, you know? So, um, it’s hard. This, this space is hard being a speaker’s hard, but it’s just a much it’s as much about platform skills and content and, and, and customer service. I mean, yeah. I had a 25, you know, year career as one of the best known college speakers because I treated people. Right. You know, and, and I, I was grateful every day that I was doing it. So,

Casey J. Cornelius (23:14):

You know, the other, the other thing is content, you know, you’ve referenced it a couple of times. Yeah. And you know, it occurs to me you’d reference like the, the students who are, um, enthralled by what you consider to be the simplest thing, right. There used to be a line in your program that essentially said, all organizations have thirds, uh, you know, stop focusing all your attention on the top and the bottom instead. And that became something because kept asking question you little bit about why motivating the middle was successful is successful is successful.

T.J. Sullivan (23:48):

<laugh> oh yeah. It still sells like crazy. I mean, it’s amazing. I get a, I get a nice fat royalty check every quarter and I’m like, wow, I can’t believe this thing is still selling. Um, yeah, no. I mean, the book is doing has done great. Um, and there’s a couple, there’s a couple things I think are the reason why it’s been successful. Number one, it was a simple concept. People read the book and they’re like, yeah, this makes sense. It’s not complex. It’s not, it’s not a 47 step plan to whatever. It’s just a shift your thinking. And so it was simple to grasp and I’m not a complicated guy. I mean, you know, me, I’m not I’m, I don’t think in complex sentences, I think in simple sentences. And so, um, so the book reflects that also. It’s not about me. I, I, if you, anybody who’s ever picked up a copy of the motivating in the middle, you don’t even know who wrote it. I mean, I’m not talking about myself in there at all. I never use, I, I never used first person at all. Cuz the book wasn’t about

Casey J. Cornelius (24:41):

The book. I’ve never thought about that.

T.J. Sullivan (24:43):

Yeah. The book wasn’t about me, it was about them. I wanted, if some college student was gonna pick up another book and you know, college students don’t wanna read more books, you know <laugh> so, so if, if a college student was gonna read was gonna pick up that book, I wanted to, I wanted it to be quick and down and dirty and about them, not about me, you know, I, it makes me crazy. So many speakers write books and it ends up being a memoir and it’s like, okay, I’m, I’m glad you think you’re so damn interesting. But um, I have not written a memoir nor do I ever plan to. So, um, you know, cause I don’t think my life is that interesting, but um, but then there were, there were practical considerations. I made it really short. You know, I remember when I, when I, when I submitted it to the publisher, they sent it back to me and they said not long enough.

            And I sent it back and I said, it’s exactly the right length. I know my audience. And they said, it’s so small. We can’t even put, we can’t even write the title on the spine. And I’m like, I don’t care. Just do this book. And they told me it was gonna be a, they told me it was gonna be a failure, but I knew, I knew a couple things. I knew that students, students would appreciate a short book. And I also priced it at 9 95 because I know <laugh> that higher ed people want to do quick math. Oh, I have a hundred students come to the conference a hundred times, $10,000, boom. I’ll take the books, pricing a book at $10 is like the best way to sell it. So I did a couple things like that and it’s still $10 by the way. Um, so you know, it just a couple little things like that, that I just knew from marketing. And I, I just knew, I knew what would work with the audience, you know? So, um, yeah, it still sounds like crazy. And I have written two the second edition, by the way, I did add a chapter which made the spine big enough to put the title on. So that’s good.

Casey J. Cornelius (26:19):

<laugh> they

T.J. Sullivan (26:20):

Were very happy with me about that.

Casey J. Cornelius (26:21):

So we can now put the title on the spine. Barely,

T.J. Sullivan (26:24):

Barely.

Casey J. Cornelius (26:25):

So I was, um, I was an original reader as you were, as you were writing the book. Yeah. And I remember saying like, this is gonna work. I remember in my mind thinking this is gonna work. And, and some of that is because the, the universal applicability of it, right? Like whether it’s small organization, big organization, fraternal organization, team, what, what, whatever it might be, you can look around and go, wow, we got 60, 60 people in this room, 20 really care, 20 really don’t but we should focus our energy and attention on, on that sliver in the middle. And what’s incredible to me, TJ is all these years later, people still apply this concept. You hear people, even if they don’t reference motivating the mill, applying that concept and that’s gotta feel good. Like that’s gotta feel

T.J. Sullivan (27:08):

Incredible. People are always telling me, they interviewed, you know, they had a, they interviewed a young person coming outta college for a job. And they started referring to the, the motivating, the middle concept. And they laughed because they know me like the person doing the interview, like knows me. Right, right. And maybe saw me speak when they were in school or whatever. And so I’ll get a LinkedIn message from somebody and they’ll be like, guess what? We just had someone interview who referenced, motivating the middle. And, and they they’ll say like, do you know who wrote that? And of course they never remember who wrote it. So it’s hilarious, but no, it’s great. I mean, I, um, it’s, it’s it worked, the book worked, it pervaded, it Perva the college leadership sphere. Now you see people, you know, you see students doing motivating the middle breakouts at their right. At their leadership conference and you know, it’s, it’s, it’s awesome. It did exactly what it was supposed to do. So I love it.

Casey J. Cornelius (27:56):

Okay. Hot shot. So I got a question for you

T.J. Sullivan (27:58):

Though. Okay. Hot shot.

Casey J. Cornelius (28:00):

<laugh> inside joke. Um, what’s next? It seems like I, I mean, I, I don’t know how else to say this. It has become ubiquitous, right? Motivating the middle leadership philosophy. Yeah. Those other kind of things. Is there another book in you?

T.J. Sullivan (28:17):

I think there might be, um, I’m concerned that I don’t have the platform in the college world that I had when I wrote motivating the middle. I mean, the beauty of motivating the middle is I was out there speaking all the time. Right. So people would bring me to speak and, you know, they’d buy a thousand books or something. So, you know, I, I moved a lot of books just because people were booking me to speak. Um, and I’m not doing that anymore. So clearly if I wrote another college book, it might be, you know, it might do fine. Um, fans of the first book would probably buy the second one, but it, it wouldn’t have the ability to get into the hands of the college leaders the same way motivating the middle did in 2012. So, um, yeah. So I have an idea I’m, I’m toying with, and, but it’s, it’s also mixed in now with my experience of leading a chamber of commerce.

            And so, um, I, I, I’m playing with some ideas about how we need to stop trying to change people as part of our leadership, you know, leadership doesn’t mean changing the people. And, and, and so I’m, I’m playing with some ideas about that, but it’s, it’s a little bit more complex. I haven’t been able to boil it down to the simple idea. That is my style. So it’s marinating, it’s marinating. But I think, I think when I write a book, it’ll probably be not specifically for the college audience, it’ll be more for associations or colleges or whatever, you know, like anybody who’s leading people. I think it’ll be a general leadership book and, and no one will buy it and it’ll join the huge pile of, you know, leadership books. Nobody reads

Casey J. Cornelius (29:41):

You. Yeah. There we go.

T.J. Sullivan (29:42):

Leadership books, there’s, there’s about 4 billion of them and they all are essentially the same. So yeah. <laugh>, I wanna write something different if I’m gonna do it again. I wanna write something that like motivating the middle feels unique, you know, so,

Casey J. Cornelius (29:54):

Right, right. And, and, and speaking of writing, I, I, I do want to touch on, on one other topic before. Yeah. You know, we, we get outta here, you know, as, as much as people see you as a, as a speaker. Yeah. Even before motivating the middle, um, you, you were doing something that, um, now people maybe don’t, don’t see it as, as being as prevalent, but it was huge for you. You had a blog. Oh. Used to blog a lot. And I

T.J. Sullivan (30:20):

Was, I, I was the OG of blogging in the college space. Yeah.

Casey J. Cornelius (30:24):

Right. So, so talk like, take us back in time, just a little bit. Was it just stream of consciousness? I need to get this out. Was it processing ideas? Was it things that you ruminated over for hours and hours? Or was it just I’m I’m gonna sit down and type this? Like what, what was that process like for you?

T.J. Sullivan (30:42):

Well, I have to say my brand, my, my, my professional brand from the early nineties until I kind of hung it up in the late 2010s was always just to be kind of provocative in a thoughtful way. Like I wasn’t afraid to piss people off. Um, it, it’s funny, even today in higher ed, you’ll see the people who really think highly of me are the people who love to shake it up and love, love to be provocative and to push people outta their comfort zones. The people who are always uncomfortable with me were the people who wanted to everything to be nice all the time. And, you know, everybody get along and nobody feel uncomfortable, you know, which is another reason why this generation’s hard for me cuz nobody likes being uncomfortable. Um, so, so my brand was always provocative and I mean, I wrote some blogs that people were like, holy crap, what did you just do?

            And when the social media came online in the mid two thousands, I mean, it just translated into the social media. My, my Twitter, I mean, I’ve gotten rid of my old Twitter, thank God. But um, my old Twitter, my old Twitter was like, I was not afraid to like, you know, scare the crap outta people. And, and that was, and that was just my brand. I like that. I’m older now. And so I have less need to like, you know, uh, my ego was very based on being provocative. I liked it when people would retweet me and call me and message me on Facebook. Like, oh my God, we laugh so hard in our staff meeting about your, about your message. And I’d be like, well, yeah, but you would never say it outside of staff meeting, right? Oh no, we’d get in trouble. You know, that kind of thing.

            Right. Right. So, so I don’t know, that was my thing. And that was my arrogance. You know, when I got, when I got on, when I got on stage, I was, you know, I was, my whole approach to speaking was very humble, but I, but my social media and my blog, that was where I let my freak flag fly big time. And I just, you know, I, wasn’t afraid of being gay as hell and provocative as hell and you know, the whole thing. So I, I think that that version of TJ Sullivan served its purpose. I, I don’t think I’m that anymore. Uh, as much I’m much more, I’m much more subtle now, which is hard people who’ve known me a long time will be like TJ Sullivan and subtle in the same sentence. Um <laugh> but you know, blogs, social, I mean, Facebook, I mean, that was, do you, do you know that, like, do you remember AOL?

            I mean, are you remember some of your listeners were like what the hell’s AOL? Um, but you know, all the, it was, that was the internet for the first five years of the internet was AOL and they had this thing called keywords and you could go, this is early AOL. You could go, they would have a little space, kinda like the search bar on Facebook now. And you could type in a keyword like crackers or <laugh>, or, uh, you know, serial or whatever. And some brand would come up. Like, I’m sure if you typed in serial Kelloggs would come up and it was like the Kellogg’s page on AOL. Right. It was just grabbing these keywords were, was the, was the internet marketing of, I don’t know, 2001. Right. Whatever it was. Right, right. Um, and, uh, Joel and I had the keyword friendship <laugh> if you went on AOL back then and you typed in the word friendship, friendship in the age of aids came up, which now I look back on I’m like, how the hell did we pull that off? I have no idea. I have no idea how we pulled that off, but that’s the kind of mojo we had back then, you know? So yeah. I, I mean, I’m a has been, but you know, we did some, we were on the forefront of some cool stuff for 20 years. So it was, it was pretty cool.

Casey J. Cornelius (33:54):

There’s a blog post that you made that people still reference yeah. That people have made videos for. Oh yeah. That still gets you. And I’m gonna shout it out cuz, cuz I believe in the concept too, you’re always wearing your letters. Yeah. Go online, search TJ Sullivan. You’re always wearing your letters. If you really want to like be wowed, go to YouTube and search that and see how many institutions and organizations have, have done videos with your words. That’s gotta be kind of cool. Like in retrospect that’s gotta be,

T.J. Sullivan (34:22):

I mean you, you know how that came about, right? I mean it was every, I always say people who are members of fraternities, especially beyond the college years, about every three to four years, your fraternity does something horrible, you know? Yeah, yeah. You, you, you kill a new member somewhere or you have a haze, another hazy incident or you know, you, people are injecting boxed wine up their butts. I mean, God knows, you know, all kinds of crazy stuff happens and it gets in the press and you just feel ashamed. I mean, this is a fair, anybody who’s been in fraternities for a long time, knows what I’m talking about. You know, there’s there’s weeks where you’re like, what the hell am I doing? Working with a fraternity? This is, this is a toxic thing. I shouldn’t be doing it. And our fraternity, you know, had a, had a new member, you know, die in a new member activity.

            Um, yeah, some years ago I don’t even remember the year. And um, and I remember sitting at my dining room table and I was so pissed off cuz this is like the fourth or fifth time. This had happened in my time as a fraternity member. And I was just sick of it. And I was like, what is wrong with these young men? You know, that are doing this? Like what, why am I investing? So I just sat down at my dining room table and I wrote this message, cuz I thought to myself, what would I say if I could, if I could just, just sit all these fraternity men down and just, just give ’em one message and like just knock it off, knock the bullshit off and just start behaving like men, you know? And I wrote this, you’re always wearing your letters and it came out of a place of grief and frustration and anger and I, but I mean, you don’t get that when you read it.

            It’s very, it’s very positive, but, but that’s where it came from. It was born out of frustration and um, and I just sat down and wrote it and boom posted on my blog and it’s just, you know, if you’re I, if you’re a writer and I, and, and even more than a speaker, I think of myself as a writer. Like when I think of myself in my head, I think of myself as a writer, um, every now and then you write something just hits, it just hits. Right. You know? And that, that, that blog went viral I guess. And, and, um, it still resonates with people and I there’s people who still publish it all the time. There’s national fraternities and sororities that publish it every year to their members. And it’s just, you know, I didn’t, I didn’t set out to write some great piece.

            It just, it just was that day at that at my dining room table, it came out of me in the right way. And yeah, I’m really, uh, I’m proud of it, but I’m proud of it because it resonated with people. Right. And, um, unfortunately it didn’t stop hazing <laugh>, you know, I mean, but, but maybe it got somebody, maybe it gave the words to some fraternity or sorority member in some chapter, somewhere that just needed to confront the bullshit in their chapter and they got up and they read it at a chapter meeting or something and maybe it changed one mind in the room and that’s a powerful thing, you know,

Casey J. Cornelius (36:58):

And fun fact that people might not know. Um, TJ, you never like for an engagement, you never delivered, you’re always wearing your letters as a program.

T.J. Sullivan (37:06):

Nope. Never wanted to do it. I gotta, I’ve been asked a hundred times to do it as a yeah. But I, but again, you know, it’s, it goes back to that. I don’t want to halfass things. Um, I left it, I left all the, I left it all on the field. So to speak with that blog, I mean, I said what I wanted to say that blog, that piece you’re always wearing your letters is, is, is, is complete. It’s complete. It’s it’s, there’s nothing else to say. See, I don’t need, I could sit there and read it for somebody and that would take 10 minutes, but I can’t make an hour out of it. It’s like, you know, Simon Sinek and like the whole like start with

Casey J. Cornelius (37:39):

Your why. Yeah. Start why

T.J. Sullivan (37:41):

I love the, I love the five minute YouTube video. I thought the book was garbage. I hated the book because they took something that was perfect and tried to stretch it out into something that was commercially viable. And I just never wanted to do that with, uh, with you’re always wearing a letter. So I thought it was fine just the way it was, you know? So

Casey J. Cornelius (37:58):

There funner fun, fun nerdy fact, his next book leaders eat last was significantly better,

T.J. Sullivan (38:04):

You know? So just, yeah. Yeah. I need to, I guess I should read that. I was just so pissed off at the, at his finding your why book. I thought it was so bad that I just was like, I just, I just couldn’t pick up another thing from him. And I still, sometimes when I see quotes, I have a planner that has like quotes in it and there’s Simon Sinek quotes in it and I’m like,

Casey J. Cornelius (38:21):

Uh,

T.J. Sullivan (38:22):

Great. You know, this guy one good video. And he, you know, anyway, maybe some professional jealousy there, that guy made a hell of a lot more money than I ever made. So yeah.

Casey J. Cornelius (38:30):

You know, listen, if, if the, the, uh, professional, uh, epitaph of, of TJ Sullivan says anything, I think we, we hit on it today, thoughtfully pro excuse me, thoughtfully provocative, thoughtfully provocative. I

T.J. Sullivan (38:46):

I’m just provocative in hoping that like about 10% of what you, of the crap you throw out actually lands, you know? Yeah. You know,

Casey J. Cornelius (38:53):

But, but, but there’s, there’s a certain amount of bravery in that too. Um, TJ, can, can I get you out of here on the, the rapid questions that, that we ask everybody on this?

T.J. Sullivan (39:02):

Sure. I, and I should have prepared for this, but I didn’t, which is stupid, but go ahead.

Casey J. Cornelius (39:06):

See, which is, um, actually kind of fun for me because I know that you over prepare for things, which people might not know either. TJ’s a classic over preparer. Sure. So here we,

T.J. Sullivan (39:14):

You don’t, people don’t think I, they think I’m spontaneous, but I’m, I am actually no,

Casey J. Cornelius (39:18):

Very deliberate. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Intentional TJ, here we go.

T.J. Sullivan (39:21):

Intentional. Yeah. Okay. There

Casey J. Cornelius (39:23):

You go. TJ, you have an entire day to binge watch anything. What do you choose?

T.J. Sullivan (39:29):

Hmm <laugh> I did this recently cuz I, I was, I was not feeling well. I sat and watched like an entire season of willing grace because it kind of takes me back, you know, like as a gay guy who, you know, kind of came out in the eighties and lived through the nineties and whatever, um, survived all that, um, I can watch will and grace and just really laugh my ass off. Um, it it’s so dumb, but like, I, I just, I love it. So yeah, I I guess will and grace <laugh>, which is like good the most, most completely predictable gay answer of all time, but yeah.

Casey J. Cornelius (40:01):

Are you sure you didn’t prepare for this? I’m

T.J. Sullivan (40:02):

Just teasing. No, I didn’t.

Casey J. Cornelius (40:04):

<laugh> TJ, what is the most used app on your phone?

T.J. Sullivan (40:08):

The most used app on my phone, other than the usual ones like texting and mail and stuff like that. Sure. Hmm. Um, Stitcher. I listen to a lot of podcasts. I’m a big podcast consumer,

Casey J. Cornelius (40:23):

Including plug plug before college for life

T.J. Sullivan (40:25):

Podcast. Yeah. I subscribe to it, you know, mostly for, so I could listen to Evan, Austin, you know, cuz you know, you know, I have a huge crush on Evan, Austin, so, um,

Casey J. Cornelius (40:33):

And he made, he made me cry during that interview too. Oh. He

T.J. Sullivan (40:35):

Made me cry during, you know, cause I, when I did my podcast, that’s how you heard about him is cuz I did, I did my podcast with Evan, Austin, you know, many, many years ago when I was doing a podcast. Uh, which I still miss, but no, I mean I, Evan made me cry. Yeah. And I was like, oh my God. I was like, uh, if I was a heterosexual female of his age, I would snap that up man. He is, he’s a doll, you know, I love him. So yeah, I think I actually subscribed to for college for life podcast when you had Evan on I’m like, oh, I need to listen to that. So yeah.

Casey J. Cornelius (41:03):

Who would you most like to have dinner with?

T.J. Sullivan (41:06):

Who would I most like to have dinner with? Um, Hmm. That’s a good question. God. Um, probably Barack Obama, which I know is a really stupid answer, but I, I, you know, I just, I, and I would just ask him like how he kept his spirits up when the whole world was just shitting on him all the time, you know? Mm. I, I think I, I wouldn’t ask him historical stuff and um, I, I mean the whole Barack Obama period of my life was just, was just, I, I, I was so inspired by him just being the first black president, just the first of that generation and just everything. And he just took so much garbage and, and, and he and his family were so dignified through the whole process and just no scandals. And I can’t point to one thing that Barack Obama ever did that I didn’t like think was ethical.

            You know? So I think, I just, I think I’d want to just talk to him, but not about being present or because he’s famous, but I just wouldn’t want to know, like, what’s his compass, you know, I’ve read his books and stuff and, and he’s very, he writes very appropriately, but I, I wish I could just get him like three bourbons in him and just get him to answer like, where the hell does this come from? And, and he is a product of a single mom and I am too. So like, I think we would have some of those things in common. And I bet a lot of the answers would be about his mother and, uh, and my mom has had a huge influence on my life too. So I think there we’d have that in common. So anyway, there’s a really long answer. Sorry.

Casey J. Cornelius (42:31):

Uh, shout out TJ’s mom, cuz I bet she’s listening to this, uh, Michelle at this point too. Yeah. She’s

T.J. Sullivan (42:36):

Shout take away her Facebook. Oh my God.

Casey J. Cornelius (42:39):

<laugh> by the way, uh, there actually is a really good podcast that uh, that Obama did with Bruce Springsteen really. Uh there’s it’s like a series and they get into some really deep topics that you might not necessarily expect Springsteen to jump in on. Yeah, really, really, really good. It’s called renegades. I believe it’s really

T.J. Sullivan (42:55):

Good. Okay. I, I really, I always identify with anybody who comes from humble beginnings cuz you know, I mean I was a free lunch kid and a, and a, you know, food stamps kid and whatever. So anybody who comes from like a challenging childhood and sort of overcame those challenges, um, I, I always relate to, and I think Springsteen and Obama and lots of other people have that care. I I’m always drawn to those life stories, so

Casey J. Cornelius (43:18):

Sure, sure. TJ, what do you do to wind down? Do you have any particular habits or rituals or things that you do at the end of the day that you go now is the time to wind down?

T.J. Sullivan (43:28):

I play with my chihuahuas and I know that’s like hilarious. I have two chihuahuas that I love so much. And like I just find playing with my dogs to be like the most calming thing, cuz they’re so goofy and like they’re just hilarious and I can talk to them and they react in weird ways. And you know, I have a, I have a little, my, my, my favorite of the two pickle who I’ve had, I’ve had this Chihuahua for what? 12, 13 years. Yeah. She has one toy. She’ll play with one toy and it’s a stuffed animal and she chew the shit outta that. She, she will chase it and growl at it and stomp on it. She hates that damn thing. And it’s so I can throw the boo, we call the, we call this stuffed animal, the boo. And I can say where’s the boo and Chi and the Traba loses her mind and goes, finds, goes, finds this thing and we can play for an hour with the boo. And she, it, it just makes me, I laugh the whole hour. And so that’s, that’s so dumb. It’s such a dumb answer, but people probably don’t imagine me for hours playing with my Chihuahua. But yeah, that’s what I do play

Casey J. Cornelius (44:32):

With my Chihuahua. And, and you actually have a different voice with your, uh, Chihuahua too. We’re not, we’re gonna, I’ve seen it. I’ve heard it. I’m I’m I’m I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna try to re

T.J. Sullivan (44:41):

Are you seriously not gonna make me explain the 24 hour rule now that we brought it up?

Casey J. Cornelius (44:46):

Okay. So we’re gonna divert from, uh, from the rapid fire questions here. Real I’ll do

T.J. Sullivan (44:51):

I’ll do

Casey J. Cornelius (44:51):

I’ll cause there’s there’s only one left. Okay. TJ, could you explain the origin and Genesis and principles of the 24-hour rule?

T.J. Sullivan (44:59):

Yes. So the 24-hour rule came because we had a young speaker with my former agency. God bless him, who was very cute and was very, uh, he would go speak and all the young women would throw themselves at him. And early on in his speaking career, he, you know, met a cute girl immediately after the program. And they, you know, went and had a drink and then retired to her room and you know, they had a, a banging weekend and I, and I, and then the, then the, the person who had booked the speaker called me and said, you know, I, this is so inappropriate. I can’t believe your speaker, you know, slept with my panel and secretary or whatever the hell it was. And I was like, oh my God. Like I had never thought about that as being like a professional risk. And so I instituted, I instituted the 24 hour rule, which was that none of our speakers could ever like sleep with anybody. They met on a gig for at least 24 hours. And it became kind of this joke like, oh my God, who could like, that is so ridiculous. How do you have this rule? That is, so that is so hilarious. And I was like, and I will tell you, there were many, many times where that rule saved us. <laugh>

            So, so I mean, it’s, that’s not, that’s the kind of thing like people would never think about, but in our business, which was college speaking, when we were putting 25 year old speakers out on the road, speaking to 21 year old students. It was

Casey J. Cornelius (46:17):

A real thing. It

T.J. Sullivan (46:18):

Was a real thing, you know? And so I, I get harassed all the time. I was just speaking to, to one of our former speakers and, um, and I, and the 24 hour rule came up cuz it frequently does. And he said, you know, I have to say that 24 hour rule, I had difficulty with it at least four or five times when I was on the road. I’m like, yes sir. I understand cuz I, yes, I get that. So anyway, for the listeners, that is the 24 hour rule in college speaking and I hope every agency has it because it’s very important.

Casey J. Cornelius (46:44):

<laugh> and if you, if you don’t have it <laugh>

T.J. Sullivan (46:47):

Yeah. You heard it here first. You

Casey J. Cornelius (46:49):

Heard it here first. <laugh> all right, TJ, how can the listeners best connect with you?

T.J. Sullivan (46:54):

I don’t, I don’t want them to connect with me. I’m retired. No, I’m

Casey J. Cornelius (46:57):

Stop.

T.J. Sullivan (46:58):

You know, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but LinkedIn is the best place now. Um, because most of my, my Facebook I’ve really pulled myself off of Twitter and Facebook and, and, and those kind of things. So I’m not a social media guy. Um, and now that my life, my, my professional life is in the chamber world. I, I don’t really, it, it, I don’t present, you know, for the college audience the way I used to, but I would say LinkedIn, um, if you search TJ Sullivan, be sure you put the periods in and just look for Parker chamber of commerce and people can find me that way. Um, I still have my website, TJ sullivan.com, but I haven’t, I haven’t really refreshed it in a while. So I need to go on and, and, uh, and spend a little time sort of making that reflect my life now, but TJ sullivan.com or, uh, or find me on LinkedIn,

Casey J. Cornelius (47:42):

Our creative director, Kristin would be upset if I didn’t do this, cuz it’s so consistent. Whatever anyone mentions LinkedIn, I have to say this. Okay. For as prevalent as it is for as important as it is as a, as a social media platform, is there a worst app in the world? Like

T.J. Sullivan (47:58):

It is LinkedIn is gross. I hate LinkedIn. Well, it is

            Horrible, but for the non-college world, it’s the, it’s the, it’s the way you communicate professionally. I mean, it used to be Facebook. Everybody was friends with everybody on Facebook. Now I don’t wanna be friends with most of my friends on Facebook. Um, so, so LinkedIn is nice cause I never post anything there, but it’s a great way to like, there’s my resume. There’s what I’ve done in my life. And click the message and send me a message. It’s it’s functional, but God, I never do you ever go on LinkedIn and try to read the feed on LinkedIn?

Casey J. Cornelius (48:26):

It’s impossible. It’s impossible. Ugh.

T.J. Sullivan (48:28):

It’s a bunch of people like, you know, trying to score brownie points with their employer and stuff. I’m so humbled to receive this award from a, a salesman of the quarter and you’re like, oh

Casey J. Cornelius (48:39):

God, I earned, I earned a badge in, in Microsoft word. It’s like, that’s awesome. Like it’s funny it’s I just, I don’t know what to do with that. Like I don’t, I don’t know.

T.J. Sullivan (48:48):

And it’s so funny when someone’s bragging about how great their company is and how grateful they are to work there. And then they have a new job a month later and it’s the same thing with the new, I am so humbled to work for my new employer. <laugh>, you know, it’s like, oh God, LinkedIn is just, is, is so artificial. But you know, it does have a functional value, I guess.

Casey J. Cornelius (49:04):

So find TJ Sullivan on LinkedIn. There you go. There you go. Um, you know, TJ, I, I, I wanna say this while we’re recording. Um, you’ve said it privately, but I, I wanna, I wanna make sure I say it publicly as well. Um, I respect you and I admire you and I appreciate everything that you’ve done for me and for our industry and for, for important people in our life. Um, thank you for teaching me about fraternity and I, I love you, man. I, I really, really do. And um, thank you for doing this today

T.J. Sullivan (49:33):

And you know, I’m 54. I’m not dead yet. So no, I still have a few chapters ahead of me. So, you know, hopefully I’ll keep your respect. That’s that, that, that would be a nice goal.

Casey J. Cornelius (49:41):

<laugh>, it’s, it’s, it’s never ending, uh, for, for sure. Uh, folks, if, if you’ve enjoyed this, uh, this conversation with TJ, please do the things you’re supposed to do with podcasts, like, and share and subscribe and, and maybe even leave a review or something like that. It really, really does help us

T.J. Sullivan (49:56):

On LinkedIn, right on LinkedIn

Casey J. Cornelius (49:59):

Or on those platforms, right? Like on Stitcher or any of the other places that you might find this podcast. It, it it’s helpful. It just is. Um, and, and hope you enjoyed the, the conversation today, getting to learn more about, uh, one of our, our heroes in this industry. Uh, but also someone who’s really, really awesome. And that’s TJ. So I appreciate you,

T.J. Sullivan (50:17):

Casey.

Casey J. Cornelius (50:18):

Thank you, man. I appreciate you. Um, until next time folks, we’ll talk, then be well, be safe and we look forward to the next time.

 

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