5 Fun Questions That Spark Conversations

Thinking Out Loud – Episode 9

This is the ninth episode in a series called Thinking Out Loud. In these videos, Armando Lanuti, the President of Creative Works, shares some of his thoughts on business, leadership, growth, operations, and anything else on his mind. Below is a transcript of some of the points he discusses in the video.

Hey everybody, I just want to talk to you guys a little bit today about myself.

So, we’ve mentioned a couple times in our videos about Tim Ferriss and Tribe of Mentors and using some of the questions that he asked in that book for things like your own staff, for interviewing and those kinds of things, and I figured it would be a fun exercise to answer a couple of those questions today myself and if you guys like it, maybe will do some more other questions in the future.

So, I got my cheat sheet here with me, so if you see me looking down, I’m just making sure I’m reading the question appropriately and I’m going to start with what I think is a fun one and that is: What is an unusual habit or absurd thing that you absolutely love?

And I probably chalk this up to 2 different items, the first one would be I’m just in love with video games, specifically Destiny, a lot of people think when you get older, you got to stop playing games but I find that it’s a great way for me to relax, to blow off some steam, I have a lot of friends dating back decades that also play online, so it allows us have a more regular communication and it’s just a great way for me to shoot the breeze, and unwind especially after a busy day or a busy week or some travel or whatever that’s going on.

The second thing that maybe is a little more weird or quirky, at least according to my wife is that I like – when I eat leftovers, I typically like to eat them cold, I don’t normally reheat leftovers very often and I know obviously, everybody is like, “Oh, well, you know, cold pizza that’s a thing,” but it’s not just pizza, I’ll eat like a casserole cold, I’ll eat for my lunch or pieces of chicken without reheating them, leftovers from dinner the night before, a couple of nights ago, something like that and my wife thinks I’m just batshit crazy, I mean she just thinks it’s hilarious but it’s just for whatever reason I always do it, so I don’t know why I love it but that’s something that’s absurd that I love.

Maybe a more serious one, let’s do: In the last 5 years, what have you become better at saying no to and what realization has helped?

I think it’s – the best thing I’ve started to get better at saying no to is new endeavors, new projects.

I am somebody that loves to stay on the cutting edge, I love to try new things but I found that at times I would stretch myself too thin and so by doing so, I would never be able to give my all for something and because I’m not able to give my all, then I wouldn’t get the results that I wanted or I will not get the results for a partner, a friend or my family, whatever the case, depending on what the endeavor was.

So, I’ve been a lot more conscious of my time, my available bandwidth and being able to say no to certain things because even if it’s a good idea or something I want to do, I may not be able to do it at the time.

So sometimes it’s also not just saying no but not right now is another option for you to consider as I sometimes do as well.

What purchase of a 100$ or less has most positively impacted your life?

As somebody who travels a lot, I’d say the things that I purchased rather recently was a little plug adapter that takes multiple USB ports in so that I can charge multiple devices all at the same time especially when I’m out at the airport or whatever the case may be, I potentially need to charge my tablet as well as my phone or my headphones or whatever the case may be at that time.

It was like 12 bucks, I like Anchor brand, you can get them on Amazon and along those same lines, I also, I’m a big fan of having the external battery packs that you can recharge your phone with, several times because when you are travelling a lot and you’re on the phone or doing video conferencing, it’s really easy for your battery to get drained especially if you’re travelling to different time zones, so you all of the sudden had a date that got extended by 3 hours and then you still have a long day ahead of you.

So having that ability to keep your phone topped off in the moment is definitely a big piece for me as somebody that travels a lot.

If you could have a billboard with any message, what would it say?

You can get a message out there to millions if not billions of people, what would you want that message to be?

I think that I probably have two different billboards, the first one would be “Never Stop Playing” and playing can mean a lot of different things to different people, to me it might be video games, it might be golf, it might be with my kids, whatever the case may be, stay young at heart, make sure you have fun, go out there, play laser tag, go bowling, whatever the case may be that suits your fancy but don’t stop playing because that’s where we – that’s a big outlet, that’s where we can grow personally, especially if you’re able to do team sports or group activities at all.

So I’m a big fan of making sure that you never stop playing.

The other one that I would say is, “Don’t forget to take care of yourself.”

There is that old adage when you get on an airplane and you have the flight attendant and they go, “Make sure that you put on your facemask for oxygen before you put it on your kid.”
And everybody is always like, “No, I’m going to put it on my kid first, right? I got to make sure the kid lives.”

But at the end of the day, what you got to think about is, if you don’t take care of yourself, if you don’t do the things that make you happy that make you a better person that make you a better version of yourself then you’re not doing right by your kids, you’re not doing right by your family and your friends and you’re not able to give them the best version of you if you’re not giving the best version to yourself.

So, make sure that you take care of yourself and don’t forget that even if you have a tendency like myself to want to take care of others, got to make sure that you invest in yourself, take care of the things that are important to you to make sure that you’re happy and you’re productive in your life.

The last one I’ll do here, when you feel overwhelmed or lose focus temporarily, what do you do?

Besides video games, one of the things that I’m a big proponent of when I’m just trying to hammer out through a bunch of emails or a task or a contract, whatever the case may be, I will play music and I’m kind of all over the place from a genre standpoint, so it might be techno, it might be rap, it might be country, it might be Jam band style, who knows?

But just playing music and playing it loud, it’s not uncommon for my wife to ask me why I have my headphones on and she sees me typing and doing a bunch of stuff and that’s because I’m playing the music so loud I don’t want to disturb other people or same thing in the office, it’s not uncommon for people to come in, have a question and I’d be knocking stuff out, I’ve got the music jamming either in my headphones or even on my computer in the office, so that’s typically what I do.

So what I want to ask you, take these 5 questions, think of them yourself, integrate them in a conversation that you have with your friends, it’s always a good topic, a good conversation starter.

We’ll take to you soon.