More Than a Young Professional

A Podcast by Pensacola Young Professionals

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Episode #1
What is PYP and Why a Podcast?

Show Notes

Welcome to More than a Young Professional Podcast! We’re glad you’re here and you’re spending some time with us! We have some great things in the works, but today we’re talking about why we started a podcast and how (hint: thanks, COVID!), what qualifies us to be your hosts and guide you through this journey, and just a little bit more about us as people.

Books and resources mentioned on today’s episode:

Keep this conversation going with us @morethanayp on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

You can find your hosts:

Want to start your own Young Professional organization and don’t know where to start? We’d love to help – reach out to Pensacola Young Professionals at info@pensacolayp.com or visit www.pensacolayp.com

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Episode Transcript


Meg Rich: Well, welcome to episode one of More than a Young Professional podcast.

Justin Oswald: I am Justin Oswald. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram @JustinOswald_

Meg Rich: I am Meg Rich. You can find me at Instagram @MeganinFL.

Ruthie Christie: And I’m Ruthie Christie Executive Director of the Pensacola Young Professionals. You can find me on Twitter @RuthieChristie.

Justin Oswald: Heyo!

Meg Rich: Heyyy!

Ruthie Christie: Hi!

Justin Oswald: So this is our episode one

Meg Rich: Episode one.

Justin Oswald: Why do we have this podcast and what is it?

Meg Rich: A serendipitous series of events. So –

Justin Oswald: I like that word.

Meg Rich: It’s a good word.

That’s how I ended up in Florida. So that’s why I like to say it. But no we,  decided on a PYP virtual happy hour – because of COVID we couldn’t actually meet together.

Justin Oswald: So what’s PYP for those that don’t know?

Meg Rich: Pensacola Young Professionals. Pensacola Young Professionals has been around for a long time. We are in our 14th year. So we’ve been, we’ve been hanging out, doing lots of things. We have shifted over the last 10 or so years with what we’re doing, but it’s very exciting to continue on. I’ll let Ruthie kind of take away since she’s our Executive Director.

Ruthie Christie: Hey. Yeah. I love PYP. It has been really formative in shaping the community that is the Pensacola Bay area. I’ve been a member for five years and then served on the board before making it my day job, which is, I’m a little biased, but probably the coolest job in the world. And I know Meg, you’ve been a member for longer than I have.

You’ve been around. You’re like an OG at this point

Meg Rich: For an undisclosed number of years.

Justin Oswald: Haha, OG

Ruthie Christie: That’s fair. That’s fair. And Justin, you’re a member too.

Justin Oswald: I am, I am. I’m a, I’ve only been a member- I don’t know if it’s two or three years, couple of years. But I wasn’t an active until fairly recent. And I don’t know why I just wasn’t but.

I thought, I thought I wanted to do it. And then I signed up and paid my dues and all this, and then just didn’t do anything. Which is kind of stupid.

Meg Rich: We all have different seasons of life.

Justin Oswald: Yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s now you’re talking about now you’re preaching right now.

Meg Rich: I’m fully unqualified to do that.

Justin Oswald: No, seriously.

So for those of you who are joining us and listening, the PYP is Pensacola Young Professionals – is a young professional organization based in Pensacola, Florida. You know, what do we -Ruthie, you know, 130 members or so currently at time of recording.

And it’s cool so far. I love what they do. I say they, we, I guess I’ll say we. We’ll say we- how they’ve gotten involved. You know, I remember hearing PYP the first time, years ago, which I think was at the start, pushing the Maritime park through, or at least being advocates for what needs to happen to downtown Pensacola.

Most recently being involved in from a, I guess a legislation standpoint, the, the changing to an appointed superintendent in our County instead of elected and then everything that happens. In between those things. So it’s really great. It’s for people who are considered themselves, young professionals, what’s the ages, 18 to 40.

Meg Rich: 18 to 40.

Justin Oswald: I love that. I’m still in it.

Ruthie Christie: Yes.

Meg Rich: I mean, if you’re over 40, we have alumni. It’s fine.

Justin Oswald: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, yeah. Cause young, young can be a subjective term,

Ruthie Christie: So true

Justin Oswald: And so can professional.

Meg Rich: Oh yeah.

Ruthie Christie: It’s really true. We do. We hear that a lot. You know, people, I even have friends who said, Oh, well I’m 30. I’m not young anymore.

I’m like, okay, one

Justin Oswald: Listen, if someone said that to me, they’re gonna catch some hands.

Ruthie Christie: And then they’d say, Oh, well, you know, I’m a, I’m a creative or I’m a technician or something like that. I’m not a professional. And I think that does kind of evoke this image of suit and tie behind a desk. And that is not what we are looking for. We, if, if that is you, of course, like. Come on down, but it is much more than that.

Justin Oswald: It’s more than that.

Ruthie Christie: It’s more than a young professional.

Justin Oswald: It’s more than the 28 year old who works at a downtown law office or something. It’s more than that. And so that leads us into what do we all, do? You know, what qualifies all of us sitting here to be one young professionals and one to even talk about, so people want to listen. You know what that is? I think, I think it’s important people to understand who we are because we’re going to be coming out with some really great content. so for those of you that are listening to episode one, you know, you’re going to want to be here for episode two, three, and four. That’s coming up over the next few weeks because we get some good content that applies to not only your professional life, but we want to talk about things like mental health, family life, you know, work, life balance, which is

Meg Rich: It’s never a balance, it’s always a blend.

Justin Oswald: It was like, we’re only going to talk about that.

I was like one of the things I don’t believe in work, life balance.  I think it’s more about rhythm than balance, but that’s kind of what you’re saying. so we’ll have a whole episode on that. So it’s that, that got me excited for a second there, but we have some last stuff. So let’s start, like, we’ll start with a Ruthie first.

She’s the executive director. So like Ruthie. What’s your deal?

Ruthie Christie: So my deal, I love Pensacola. I’m not from here originally. And, I’ve been here  about seven years now at this point. And I think what qualifies me to speak to young professionalism is that I am one first and then also, as someone who, you know, we kind of, all of us in our generation grew up with this like extracurriculars and community service and be well rounded and like be the complete package for whether it was college or a job one day.

And, there are so many things that young people. Can do to get involved. And I think it can be overwhelming if you’re a go getter and it can also be overwhelming if, if you’re not sure where you can be the most effective. And so I think, as someone who tried to do a little bit of everything for a really long time, have learned some good strategies for helping people recognize where their strengths lie so that when they do get involved, it has the most impact.

Justin Oswald: And that’s good.

Ruthie Christie: And I’ve done that by making mistakes. So I think that is the first thing that will qualify me to come in is like you can’t do all of it all the time, so figure out the parts where, you know, parts and pieces that are most important to you so that when you do get an engaged and involved, it means something, it means something to you and you get something out of it.

And it’s not a burnout situation. Just, I guess educationally I, my background is in industrial organizational psychology, which deals with like the psychology of the workplace and the scientific study of human behaviors within organizations, whatever that means.

Justin Oswald: Take a breath. I’m sorry.

Ruthie Christie: Basically. It’s like how, how do people work?

Like how do teams work? What are team dynamics? How do people work at the individual level? What motivates them?

Justin Oswald: See, I like that

Meg Rich: Oh man,

Ruthie Christie: It’s really good stuff. So I feel like I learned all this stuff in a book, like, let’s go put it into action in the real world and nowhere, nowhere like home to get started. And so I think that is though how I can at least help contribute to this conversation of amazing people.

Justin Oswald: Yeah. Awesome. Yeah.

Meg Rich: Well, I’m Meg. Hi.  I,  first thing you’ll know about me is I am super awkward. My life is one awkward moment after another. I don’t know that I’d change it. I love every minute of that.

Justin Oswald: Like I’m like a female Michael Scott in that regard?

Meg Rich: Not, not so much a female.

Michael Scott, almost like a female Kevin sometimes.

Justin Oswald: Oh, that’s great.

Meg Rich: Yeah. I mean, it’s kind of next of a lot of office characters. but yeah, I’m just anybody who really knows me, knows that I am, I’m an awkward cat. So, but no, what qualifies me to be here? So I actually took a weird path to get here.

I am from Wichita, Kansas. I’m actually originally from Southwest Kansas, tiny town. There’s 800 people there, on a good day. And, I went to school at Oklahoma State for a while, realized that I didn’t want to be a music major actually. So I went into marketing and transferred to Wichita state and did that for a while.

And when I graduated, I became a fundraiser for March of Dimes and then for Habitat for Humanity, which a plug for Habitat for Humanity. If you’re looking for a place to give back, that is an amazing place to give back. I will talk to you at length about it. And then, you know, I met a boy and got married and moved to Florida.

And, that didn’t work so well, and I was kind of floundering around and couldn’t find a job. So I actually did get, find a job finally in marketing. and then I realized about four years into that job that I hate marketing. So I, yeah, that was, that was a fun day. I remember the day that I was sitting at my desk and I was like, I hate coming to work. And I like, I am so depressed and sad and I just can’t do this anymore. So I was actually volunteering with PYP at the time and I was like, alright, what am I doing? What are my strengths? And I’m like, I am good at organizing things. And I’m good at telling people what to do. So fun fact that’s project management.

And so I  decided to shift my entire career on basically a week’s notice and started studying for my certification and round out an amazing job that I absolutely love, but you know, a lot like Ruthie I’ve made those mistakes. I didn’t take care of my mental health. You know, I didn’t, resolve conflict in the workplace correctly.

I did not do go to my first conference and know what the heck I was doing. So, you know, I just, I wanted to, to be on here just to make sure that I’m a mentor without having to have lots of people come to me. You’re more than welcome to come to me. I’m happy to sit down and talk with anybody, but you know, I have all of these mistakes and lessons that I’ve learned and if I can help somebody else to maybe not make those as grandiose as I did, maybe then, we can, we can help more people.

So that’s kind of why I’m here.

Ruthie Christie: Heard that.

Justin Oswald: That’s good. I’m Justin. Hi, thank you. I currently am the executive pastor of a local church. I am from Pensacola. I’ve been here my whole life. The longer I get the older I get. The more, I like it for years I wanted to move away, especially when I was super young.

Like, you know, and I say, move, I almost moved to South Florida a couple of times. When I was about 21, I wanted to move to Vegas to be a professional poker player. You know, stuff like that. Just kind of stupid, but I love, I loved poker. I play a lot, but I was like, surely I can go make this. I’ll just move.

Meg Rich: Can we play crazy eights. That’s about my card playing knowledge.

Justin Oswald: So, I’m from here and, you know, Pensacola for a long time was just kind of lame. There was not much to do.  I started off right out of high school and, I started in sales and I was at UWF. I had a, my major was sales management, and I got about a year into college and I was killing it at work, but I was going to school and then coming in and I was like, man, you know how much more money I would make.

If I was just working and I was working in the field, I was getting my degree . And I said,  if I was going to hire a salesman, would I hire someone that has four years of experience selling or four years sitting in a classroom being taught what sales has been but never done it.

And I kind of went that route. I don’t know that was the best move at the time, but. It served me. Okay. but I did sales. I sold RVs for like five years. I sold. Yeah, I know. Right. And, it was great. And then like, you know, ’08 comes the crash and like people stopped buying luxury items, like, you know, a hundred thousand dollar motor homes.

So then I was like, you know, your boys still gotta get by, and so I did sales and I worked in construction.  I went from RVs to building materials, which was really weird. But I kind of, I liked to sales and I excelled at that. And so I didn’t manage management at times. And then, you know, I ended up going to church and getting more and more involved in my church.

And then. Fast forward. I’m using some of those same skills from the business world. And now as an executive pastor, I kind of run the day to day of the church, you know, which is very much scratches the entrepreneurial itch that I have, the business itch that I have, the managing finances and people and all that.

You know, I don’t have to, I’m not the preacher, so I don’t do the sermons and I don’t have to worry about that. And we’re all probably better off for it. So I liked it. I get to use my gifts there, but you know, being in Pensacola the last 10 years is been such a change and it’s been so cool that there’s like, even like you guys saying, you know, you’re not from here.

There’s I meet so many people in my age group that aren’t from here that are here now. It’s like, that’s cool to me, ’cause before it was, we were all leaving, you know, we were ending up in other place s, and I think that’s important. And, and so. I think that gives up an aspect at least to our current context of our young professional organization locally.

But just to see how when young people do get involved and when there’s things happening on a broader scale, like jobs and all these things, man, that how powerful it can be.  So that’s kinda my deal and I’m excited about. Where we’re headed as a city and, you know, I think there’s some progressive thinking and I don’t mean progressive, like politically, but  just thinking forward thinking maybe just a better, better word. So that’s exciting.

Meg Rich: Yeah, we’ve worked really hard. I think just as a young professional community, in and outside of PYP to just have a seat at the table and we’re not quiet about it and we don’t need to be quiet about it. And, that shift is happening and it’s really exciting to see because I’ve been here for 10 years and it’s night and day from when I was here when I first got here.

Justin Oswald: But here’s the cool part. And this, I think this is an episode we’re going to have and you’ll know better. There’s a shift happening in, in the corporate America, because the young people, even like the term millennial. Which I don’t love, but, but I am one, you know, I think that the millennials now are like pushing 40.

Meg Rich: Oh yeah.

Justin Oswald: You know, they’re no longer like the new kids that are down the hall in a cubicle or whatever. It’s like-

Meg Rich: We’re in bed by 9 with an ice pack.

Justin Oswald: This is happening. And it’s like, there’s this awesome shift, but you’re right.  I experienced it in the church world where there’s the, not that it’s always bad, this is not going to be a bash, the older generation podcasts, but sometimes cause we’re guilty of it too, because now there’s gen Z coming behind the millennials, right. Where it’s hard to release things. And that’s what I think some of us as young professionals run into is in our jobs and in our environments or running into leaders that are scared to release things.

Meg Rich: Correct.

Justin Oswald: And you have to figure out how to navigate that. Cause you can’t force it. You have to build trust and that’s an episode that will happen. But I say that to your point of  having a seat at the table and we fight for that. And I think that’s, I think that’s important, but yeah, so that’s what this podcast is going to be about.

I’m really excited. You know, the different background from the three of us, we’re going to rotate in other PYP board, we have our leadership and those types of things. And man, there’s such a diverse group of people within the organization. And then in our city that may not be PYP, but we’re going to talk to us, that’s coming, but you know, let’s get back to.

How we even started, why we even said, you know, the serendipitous events that led up to a podcast, you know, which was very interesting and why we felt it was necessary to even put this out to, to the world who may find it interesting, because it’s just three people, three knuckleheads talking. Hopefully,  people find it interesting, but I think they will.

Meg Rich: So we had, a virtual happy hour, which was really fun for me cause I live up  in the Nine Mile corridor, so I don’t typically get down, after work sometimes I work after 5:00 and so, it was really good to see everybody, and that’s actually where I met Justin.

Justin Oswald: And that was my first official PYP event.

My second, second, but from a social standpoint, like, so yeah, and I won the contest.

Meg Rich: You did win the contest. I was fighting for it though. Yeah. I was Minnie Mouse,

Justin Oswald: We had Zoom virtual background contest. Yes, but anyway, sorry.

Meg Rich: But we got on the subject of the Enneagram, which I tried to divert away from the podcast subject.

I had shared with one of my very good friends that I wanted to start a podcast, and talk about being a young professional and the mistakes that I have made, basically this podcast. But I just wasn’t in a position to do it by myself .  Podcasts are a lot of work y’all they’re, they’re a lot of work.

And, so we diverted the conversation back to podcasts and, Justin, you have a few others that you, you do. So you kind of been our guiding light with this, but you know, we all weren’t going anywhere. We were staying at home when we were working from home and we were, you know, going out for walks and that was about it.

And so we had this time to get together and talk about what this would actually look like and put forth a plan. And so that’s kind of how we came here, we weren’t being pulled in a million directions. We could give it our attention and do the legwork behind the scenes before we could even be here to record.

And I mean, that’s just kinda how it is.

Justin Oswald: Good old COVID.

Meg Rich: Good old COVID.

 There are tiny silver linings that came out of that. Not, not many, not many, but that’s some tiny ones. So, I mean, that’s kinda, you guys broke through my fear of doing a podcast.

Justin Oswald: It’s a, it’s fun when you get going. I do, I have two others that I, that I do, but, it is fun.

It, it is, it just started as a happy hour. And then it got on the conversations. They didn’t, anybody wants to talk about the idiot Graham, like, I’ll talk about that anytime you want. And we started that, which while the episode on the union, by the way, I’m a certified coach for FYI. So I enjoy that kind of stuff, but it led into a great conversation about why;  what you wanted to do, but then we want to talk about to start about why we should do it, you know? And I think that’s key. It’s like, why should we be doing something? So he spent a lot of time there. So,  which led us to explore even current PYP, like the current mission of our organization, you know?

Like why does even PYP exists? We all talked about why we like it, but it’s like, okay, why does it exist? And you could speak to that Ruthie and, and, and that’s the cool thing about this because we all, everybody that we’re meeting in these meetings that I’m meeting. Cause I’m newer than you guys.

It’s like we’re meeting people that all come from so many different industries and types of business and all these different backgrounds, like all that stuff you said about what you do, like all those big words and  you meet all these kinds of people.  we are uniting under one  common mission, you know?

And, and that’s the thing it’s like, it speaks to the human need to be part of something bigger than yourselves, right. Transcendent calls. And it’s like, sure, you can find that in churches and nonprofits and volunteer work  and it’s not an either, or I think it’s a both and you know, all that.

But the cool thing about this is we all have something that we’re uniting under in this regard. And I love that.

Meg Rich: I mean, I moved here. I didn’t know anyone. I mean, I came in kind of blind.  I couldn’t pick a Ruthie out of a crowd if I even tried. But I came to PYP events and I literally , like met my partner in life and my best friend from PYP.

And I will, if nothing else comes of us, which I can attest to PYP and, and everything that’s done for me. But you know, those two things alone have solidified my place in Pensacola and solidified myself. In  a mental health way that I just never knew could have existed.

Justin Oswald: No doubt. And I think that the mission, if we could pick, and we haven’t talked about this in our planning of the podcast, but I think if we boiled down the mission of the podcast with two things and add to feel free to add to this.

But in my head, it’s two things. It’s one it’s talking about the issues and things that young professionals deal with. No matter where you’re at.

Meg Rich: Oh yeah.

Justin Oswald: Second is. If you’re out there wherever you’re at and you live in a city that doesn’t have a young professional organization to maybe be a catalyst to go and start that.

And we can even help with that. If we have to, we’ll put info in the show notes and all that, where you know, where you can contact us. If someone wanted to get something started to see that when you come together, you can do far more than if somebody were to try do something on their own. So Ruthie  as the executive director,  what, what is PYP’s mission?

Ruthie Christie: So our mission, if you look at the website and hopefully check our hearts is to share our passion for and belief in the Pensacola Bay area and to act as a catalyst for positive change. So that really encompasses two things, right. It’s first, like Meg said coming together,  finding the people who are forward thinking and who are like minded in how they want to share their time and their talent, and then it’s catalyzing true change.

And so that’s a really cool thing, about PYP in the way that it is set up is that we have the capability to actually really influence what happens in our community and to shape it, whether it’s in local government or in economic development. if it’s personally and professionally developing ourselves from like the individual all the way up and that really does truly inform what we offer our members and what we bring back to the community. Like everything, we are very mission driven as an organization because, and I think I speak for most of us, is that we’re mission driven as individuals. And so we can all get under under that, umbrella and behind the cause of  , we have a voice and it is louder collectively. So if we can come together, organize our thoughts and then decide together, like what, what do we want to see happen? This is our home. And like you said, Justin, like millennials now, we are in middle management, we are moving up where people’s bosses all kinds of crazy

Meg Rich: stuff.


Ruthie Christie: So like, okay. So what we all know, we do better together. So what, what do we want to get done? And then let’s make it happen. And this, I think this podcast is just a really cool, example, like microcosm of how PYP works because here’s Meg has been part of this organization, not from here, but part of PYP for a long time with this dream and this vision of what a project like this could look like.

And then here’s Justin who grew up in Pensacola has been here all along, but more recently joined the organization has the technical skills to bring us together to make that happen. And then, you know, a lot of other people contributing to making this project  successful, but that’s been the story of every success PYP has ever had is, is bringing the right people to the table at the right time to have the conversation.

And it’s just magic when it happens.

Justin Oswald: And,  let’s talk about the real life example of that we’re seeing even from this morning. I mean, what was it not even two weeks ago? Not even two weeks ago. Sarah who’s one of our,  leaders and the incoming president posted in the private Members Only group.

 Hey,  I want to get coffee in the morning. If anyone wants to meet at Bodacious. Right. So like how many people showed up several seven, six, seven, eight. I was one of them. I was like, you know, I’m going to go down there.  I want to see some people , you know, so I went and , I don’t know, we were there for an hour and a half or whatever.

And we talked about several things and then in that this whole conversation came up, you know, there’s protests going on in our city right now because of the George Floyd stuff. And can’t speak for every city, but in Pensacola it’s been amazing. The protest been been nothing but peaceful, all in one little small incident that had nothing to do with the actual people that were organizing  the real protest.

These were another group, but, you know, that whole subject kind of came up. And one of the guys there as PYP members, CJ, let’s talk about his kids, you know, and, and how he wants to educate his kids and him and another guy had got to talking about how do we, what do we do? How do we get involved to do something .

And it started this whole conversation of, you know, protests are great, but what next, you know? And that was kind of their conversation of like what next until my kids and that’s, you know, educating them and that led to having another meeting. And then it’s turned into this thing that’s being planned and that’s kind of the, the mission of PYP, like the catalyst for positive change.

And it just, the forum existed for the conversation to happen. Yeah, definitely. You know what I’m saying? And then there’s open minds in it and then there’s a, there’s just a vehicle that we can make things happen, you know? And then other people come to the table, people that are involved at PYP were at a meeting this morning, you know, that are just trying to, that want to help.

Cause the, the one guy that I, that I met this morning, we were talking after and he was like, he’s been wanting to do something. Didn’t know the Avenue to do it and then talk to someone else that was at the original meeting, you know? And it’s like, it’s those kinds of things where, cause it’s, it’s not about us gaining members, like sure , that’s cool. But sometimes some of this is not about increasing our member role. I think that is a, that is a byproduct. It’s just like,  in my context with the church, there’s some things you do as a church that should not be about, are we going to grow as a church? Does it increase our giving as a nonprofit?

It’s not always about the bottom line. Those things are byproducts. Sometimes you just have to do what’s right cause it’s right. You know, like doing the right thing is always the right thing. Right? So  right now it’s not about us increasing our membership. In fact, it’s going to cost us money to do some of this. You know, but man it’s worth it.

And then , if someone comes and sees, it’s like, Oh, who’s this. And it’s a PYP, Oh, PYP, what is that? And then they learn and they meet a member and , then the membership grows that’s, that’s real growth on several levels. And that’s, I think the hope of this podcast is , cause not just local PYP Pensacola members that live in Pensacola, listen to this, you know, so if you’re out there, we’re going to bring content , every episode that is specific to certain issues, but we wanted to give an overview of who we are and why.

Meg Rich: Why you should tune in and listen to us.

Justin Oswald: It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Meg Rich: It is going to be a lot of, I mean, I’m going to have a lot of fun.

Ruthie Christie: Oh, I think it’s going to be really cool because like we said, you know, there’s some topics that are universal to young professionals. It doesn’t matter where you live or, you know, how. How long you have been a, like just a member of different organizations, right?

Because that’s kind of the cool thing too about PYP is most of the people in PYP are also in other stuff. Like it’s very rarely just like you’re in this, in a vacuum and PYP itself to your point, Justin, about like our current meetings and bringing in other voices, we would never exist if we just operated in a vacuum.

Our job really is almost that hub to the other places in the community and the other circles. And where do we overlap ? And like you said  sometimes people just need an avenue, they’ve got the idea and they just want to make it happen. So how do I get in touch with the right people?

And, and that’s what we exist here for.  And I love the idea that  nobody does everything perfectly, but we have been around next year will be 15 years. We’re getting old.

Meg Rich: I won’t, I won’t tell you how many of those years I’ve been around.

Ruthie Christie: But we have learned a ton, right. And we have really kind of fine tune what we know works well here in our community.

And I think that we can serve just like all of us, right? Like maybe the example is what not to do, but that’s just as powerful sometimes with an example of what you should do. And what we know is that the people who show up are the ones , who change the direction of things and who really get to stand by their personal missions and say, I participated, I showed up at a time when I didn’t have to. I think that goes so far. It’s like when people show up, when they don’t have to, you get remembered and you get invited back and your voice is important. And so I think it’s really exciting that we’ll be talking about stuff that’s universally relevant. And also here’s, what’s working for us. Maybe it could work for you too.

Meg Rich: And if you, if you show up for volunteer things in whatever organization you’re in, that carries over into your work life too. That that’s what gets you promoted. That’s what gets you seen? That’s what gets you out there is your work ethic, what you’re doing, and if you show up.

Ruthie Christie: That’s exactly it Meg. I know you shared  you came to PYP and found your best friend. I came to PYP and got my first job and it was an amazing job and such a perfect fit. And it’s exactly what you said. Like I showed up when I didn’t have to, and in a completely unrelated, indirect way. Got this job offer at my dream company.

And it was because of PYP and I like forever and always besides like all the awesome friends I’ve made through it, it was like this launched my career.

Meg Rich: Mine too.

Ruthie Christie: And it’s just so if we can help and I know that’s why you. were in leadership and taking on all this extra work, right? Like PYP does work and our board is put to work.

 it takes work to plan events and do programming and participate in the conversations and, and think about, you know, who are we not reaching? How do we get everyone involved?  But it has been so personally  meaningful that if we can share that, with just one other person member or not, like you said, Justin, we’re, we’re not going to stop.

Like we have to keep going.

Meg Rich: Exactly.

Justin Oswald: Can’t stop. Won’t stop.

Ruthie Christie: That’s it.

 Justin Oswald: All right. So Wheel of Questions.

Meg Rich: Yes. So I have the wheel of questions. I get to ask you who wants to go first?

Ruthie Christie: Rock, Paper Scissors, shoot, go. Just,

Justin Oswald: Don’t ask me what I don’t want.

Ruthie Christie: Yeah.

Meg Rich: So telepathically, tell me, how did you go about finding your first mentor?

Justin Oswald: I didn’t. They found me.

Meg Rich: Oh

Justin Oswald: Yeah. So now maybe that sounds really stupid. Oh, that sounds kinda kinda forgive me. No, I didn’t really, how do I say this? So my first job, I was 17. I walked into the RV dealership. So I can only answer the question by telling the story.

So indulge me a little bit. I’ve never, I never had a job in high school. Like, like I never worked fast food or anything. My dad got hurt when I was like 10 years old, hurt his back. So it was on like disability. and you know, like if your parents on disability, social security, you get a check too.

Right. So I got like $200 a month at 16. Like that’s how that was a lot of money. Like I charged my friends for gas and that gas, and then I had enough and then I used to sell fake Rolexes. True, true story. That’s all fake Rolex is high school.

Meg Rich: Wait, what’s the statute of limitations on that?

Justin Oswald: It’s it’s been passed.

There’s probably seven years. Replica. They were replica.

Anyways, so I didn’t ever have a job, but then I was like, you know, it was like two or three months till graduating high school. And I was like, you know, I’m going to need to like, get this. I should get a job or something this summer to do something. And I was dating this girl, her mom worked at the RV dealership and she was like, yeah, we might be hiring for someone to help answer phones and stuff.

And I was like, that’s simple. I’ll come up there. So, I, the whole suit. The whole deal. Like I’m, I’m gonna, I get jobs. If I go, I get a job, right? Like that’s how it’s going to work. I really believed in myself, so I go in there with a suit, the whole thing, and I’m being interviewed by the owner and he’s like, he says, the problem is you’re still in school.

So if I hire you, I gotta hire someone else to be here when you’re not here. And I was like, okay, that makes sense. And he was like, so what else can you do? And I was like, Oh, like, whatever, whatever you want, I can sell these things if you wanted me to, I can. Oh yeah. So yeah, out loud is I could sell them if you want, do whatever you want.

I can, you know, I’m a fast learner, you know, and he says, okay. And then. So at the time the RV dealership owned this little lot. On the other side of the street, they sold buy used stuff, you know, pop up campers. They sold popups on site. Some use travel trailers. Are there nothing big because if we’ve got a salesman that works over there, but he needs help, he needs like an assistant almost to kind of help and all this he’s like.

So I’m gonna just put you with him. I was like the little do boy. Right? I was not selling anything at first. I was just helping him around a lot, but I am a fast learner. I started watching everything he was doing. I would watch everything, how he was doing it. And they started selling and that’s after about three months, he got to where he could take a day off during the week ’cause I was there. Now. I wasn’t supposed to sell anything. If some, if a customer came on that day, I was supposed to go over to the other the main lot and get another salesman. Well, they told me that, but then I kind of like. I won’t say I forgot, but I, I really didn’t remember. Oh yeah. So we had, these customers came and I sold a popup and I didn’t really realize what I was doing.

So I wrote it up, you know, and y’all have bought, you’ve bought a car and stuff, right? No one pay sticker price. I didn’t know because I was 17. I had never bought nothing. I didn’t know how it worked . To me, the price on the window was the price.

Ruthie Christie: You don’t negotiate a price tag.

Justin Oswald: Right.

I wrote it up for that and I took it to the manager with the deposit check and I took it.

He opens a folder and he’s like, you know what, what’s this? I was like, yeah, sold you sold a unit. He was like, where’d you get the price from? I go it’s in it. He said, no, no, no, but where’d you get this price? I’m like, it’s in the, you know, they all have the stick, like there’s prices in it. And he’s like, laughing, you know?

Cause I was so naive. I didn’t know. He was like, you sold it for this. I was like, yeah, there’s the check. Like what’s next? I don’t know what to do. I’ve just, I’m just bringing it to you. Then, so at that point I kind of proved myself and they started really teaching me. And then there was those one salesman there, he was in his fifties at the time and he kinda just took me under his wing. And he was, he was an incredible guy and he had been in the car business, his whole life sold cars, managed a car lot, a car dealership here in town. And it was getting older and selling RVs. And he took me under his wing. And I remember him telling me specifically, he said, look.

Salesman already have to overcome this objection that you, that we’re not all used car salesman that rip people off. Yeah. We’re not in that industry. Number one, but that is the perception of salespeople, is you’re out to get the customer. You don’t have to get over on them. And he said, number one, we’re in a small town, smaller town and word of mouth means a lot.

And he’s he taught me. But number two, like integrity matters. I remember I would watch him with customers and there was no shady stuff at the dealership I worked at, you know, if the boss, if there was ever a salesman that was doing and telling fabrications to exaggeration, like they didn’t stand for that.

They’d been in business like 60 years, their reputation was everything, but this one guy just took me under his wing and just taught me about integrity and your word being your word and do what you say you’re going to do. And all these things right outside of my father, who I have an incredible dad that taught me those things to just, that was the first person out in the real world that was like, okay, you can still make this guy made a ton of money selling our vessels, that you can make a good living, the right way. And. He was, and I still know him today. And then he actually became a pastor and now pastors at church, small little church. And then when I got saved and started going in the church, going to church, I didn’t go to his, but, I actually let him baptize me and all these things. So I still really close with this guy.

And we’ve just had a relationship over the years, you know, him and his wife have treated me like another kid, you know? So he was probably the first one outside of my incredible dad that was like showed me things on the way, In the five years I worked with him, I mean, I just learned so much and how to treat people.

And I think that translates no matter what industry you’re in, treating people right, and integrity, it goes a long way.

Ruthie Christie: That is so cool.

Justin Oswald: That was a long answer. So I apologize, but

Meg Rich: That’s all right.

Ruthie Christie: That was a good story.

Meg Rich: Good story. It was a good ending and a good moral on it. I like, I like it when it all comes together.

All right, Ruthie. You ready?

Ruthie Christie: Okay, I’m ready.

Meg Rich: Which one do I want to ask you? What are you learning from right now?

Ruthie Christie: Oh my goodness. So wooo. So many sources of good education. So y’all probably picked up on the fact that I’m a little bit of a nerd. I love to learn and I love most mostly for me, learning comes through reading.

So, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on faith-based stuff I recently got saved also. Hey, back in February. And so my, my way of processing anything is like, I gotta read about it. And so I’ve been reading, different books. Like What on Earth am I Here For? That’s an awesome, awesome book. That’s so I’ve been learning about myself, right.

And how I now view the world through a different lens than I previously had. I also have been really invested in, on learning some things based on the current climate in our nation and, states of protest. And so I’ve been, I have been relying on some documentaries. I watched 13th on Netflix, which I highly recommend.

I thought it was super new. It’s been around since 2016. So I am sad and sorry that I didn’t see it sooner, but that has been a really good one. And so just. I think it also like learning starts, it’s such an internal process and you have to understand yourself first about how you can receive new information and then also, you know, like encode it and keep it around in your brain.

And so I know that for me, reading is the, is the first way to do that, but not. I also don’t want to limit, like I grew up without a TV. So for me to like, go like seek TV as a source of education is really kind of foreign territory. So I have to, like, it’s kind of weird, like pat yourself on the back for watching TV.

But I feel like for me, it is out it’s outside of my comfort zone and, and something that I’m trying to like synthesize more into like, in this day and age, sometimes you don’t have time. Right. Because if I had time to read everything I wanted to read, it would be a magical world that we live in, but it’s just, we’re not, you know, we’re not quite there yet.

Might retire in the next year or two, but probably not. So when that happens, I’ll read all day. But until then, and then one of the things I’m the most proud of, especially with PYP, like really immediately recently, like this week, is that, we have brought together some smaller groups. So often, like as an organization will host – pre-COVID – would host a networking night and we’d have like maybe 50 or 60 people at a local bar or restaurant, or I’m an, a meeting space.

And that’s fun for me. I’m an extrovert. So I love like connecting with people briefly and then moving on to the next conversation. And one of the things that like we haven’t been able to do is meet and large groups together in person. And so instead we are looking at this sort of, small meetup model where it’s less than 10 people and, no agenda, just real conversation and authentic connection with each other.

And I think that has been the most important source of education. It takes a lot for me who loves books and like boring stuff, like analytical, psychological research and things like that. It’s usually my go to, to just use human connection and let that be enough. Like it doesn’t have to be, peer reviewed, but it’s okay if it’s really just a conversation and let, like taking the time afterwards to let my brain synthesize it and let my heart like let it settle.

Because I also love being on the go. I love being busy. Thus let me like, you know, do, as I say, not as I do, when it comes to over-committing over-scheduling and doing all the things that we will talk more about that in a future episode. But I think right now, again, like silver lining of COVID is that we have the opportunity to, refocus on what fills our buckets and what is really important.

And then the opportunity after the fact to not just move to the next conversation, but to really take some time to like, let that sink in for a minute before we move on to the next, like the next thing

Justin Oswald: That’s good. Yeah.

Ruthie Christie: Also a long answer. Sorry.

Meg Rich: That’s all right.

Justin Oswald: Your turn.

Ruthie Christie: Are you going to do your own wheel Meg or do you want someone to pick?

If I don’t

Meg Rich: hand over the wheel?

Justin Oswald: A wheel, but I have the question.

Meg Rich: Ohokay. Okay.You’re ready

Justin Oswald: now. What is the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Meg Rich: Oh man.

Justin Oswald: How do you choose?

Meg Rich: The worst piece of advice I have ever received? I, I followed a lot of people, who were going in a certain direction that led against my values and my mission and what I was here to do and why I was placed on this earth to be valuable. And so I think the worst piece of advice, was that I just needed to stay in my lane.

And that I needed to be quiet and only speak up when I knew for sure what I had to say. And, that I basically just needed to sit in a corner and learn. That’s terrible.

Justin Oswald: You’re an eight, right?

Meg Rich: I’m an eight on the enneagram. The person who gave me this advice is no longer in my life. Which is a good thing.

But yeah,  I was basically told that  I wasn’t smart enough to have the conversations that I was wanting to have with other people. And  I wasn’t good enough to have these opinions. And so, that was the worst piece of advice. It came from somebody I really loved and respected, too, so that was really hard. It also was the catalyst for me to say, excuse me, no. Thank you, next. And move on from that person and realize that there are people who don’t think that about me and, that have given me the exact opposite feedback. So.

Justin Oswald: Yeah, it’s toxic.

Meg Rich: It is toxic. It is very toxic and yeah, toxic’s got to go.

So that was the worst piece of advice that I thought was good advice at the time. But looking back on it, realize that no, that was just really terrible.

Justin Oswald: Love it. Awesome.

Well, that’s about it for episode one. We’ll be coming back with some more stuff.  I’m going to drop  some titles for the next few episodes.

We are going to have an episode about leading without a title, managing overwhelm. And then we’re going to have one on mental health. So we’re excited about that.

So be sure to subscribe and check back with us and share this on social and all those things mean a lot to us.

 Meg Rich: That’s it for this episode.

You can find us  @ morethanaYP on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

 And if you want to learn more about PYP, which I highly recommend that you do if you’re not already involved, you can learn more on the website: PensacolaYP.com.

Justin Oswald: All right, guys, we’ll see you next time.

Ruthie Christie: See Ya!

Meg Rich: Bye.