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Your Questions Answered on a Plane – Volume Four!
Welcome to Volume Four of Your Questions Answered on a Plane! This time, I’m flying from Hong Kong to NYC, (and continued two days later on a flight from EWR to LAX, because the power system on the HKG-EWR flight died during the flight, and my battery ran out. Until I mention it, we’re still on the HKG flight.) I’m in seat 3E,, with an aisle to my right, and a product manager from Reebok on my left. With that said, here are the latest answers to the questions you asked me via Twitter and Facebook. It’s my pleasure to answer them, so let’s go. And don’t forget – I’m on a plane more than most people are in their cars. It’s not glamorous, and now that I’m married, I definitely miss being home a lot more than I ever did before, but it’s what I do for a living for now. So if you have a question you’d like me to answer on a plane, feel free to submit it here: http://bit.ly/I6cJYu – I’ll get to it on an upcoming flight. And thanks for submitting and reading!
The first question we have in this chapter comes from @sassydianamarie, who used to hang out with me on a regular basis back in like, 1999, before she went and got married and moved out of New York City. She asks: “Do you plan on having kids one day traveling man??” Nothing like cutting to the chase, huh, Sassy? The answer is “yes.” I plan on having kids. Understand, my parents were awesome, and my dad was a master of humor and practical jokes. You think I’d miss out on torturing (in such a good way) one of my own with that same level of humor ? No way. So yes. I plan on it. I’m pretty sure Mrs. @petershankman shares my feelings on the subject. We’ve only been married four months though, so give us a bit of time.
@rbcarter asks a simple question – “What’s the meaning of life?” I say simple, because here’s my belief – All are different, but here’s mine: The meaning of life is to have fun, love someone, let someone love you, love an animal, and make the world a better place when you leave it then when you entered it. That’s what I believe the meaning of life to be. Your answer (and your mileage) may vary. But that’s mine.
So @gmault has balls, I’ll give him that: “Any tips for finding a job? Possibly get a retweet? LinkedIn profile link is on my twitter bio.” Problem is, he didn’t say WHAT HE DID. So if you’re so inclined, click on his Twitter handle, see his bio, and head over to his LinkedIn page – Perhaps you’ll hire him.
@Miss_Scarlett_B asks a good question – Who are my heroes, and why? Good question. Richard Branson, no doubt – He did his thing, despite what anyone said, and continues to do so. That’s so admirable to me. Sun Tzu. He knew when to back off and just watch. His whole thought process was to learn what the enemy was feeling, and work his plans from that. And it totally worked. Bill Clinton. Sure, he had haters, but he presided over like, 96 months of continued economic growth, and even though he had issues, and not everything he said or did was the smartest thing, he could never be accused of not doing his job. You’ve gotta love that and give that major props. Essentially, anyone who knew in their heart that they were doing the right thing, while understanding they weren’t perfect, but still stood up to their haters, well, they’re my heroes.
And we’re on the NYC–LAX flight.
@dannystarr asks what I do to draw people to social media sites – and the answer is simple – I don’t do anything to draw people to social media sites. What I DO, is post stuff that my audience likes to see. Remember – Having an audience is a privilege, not a right – I say that all the time, but it’s true. Post stuff that’s interesting to the audience that you currently HAVE, and they’ll do their homework and tell people how interesting you are, without even being asked, whether by traditional word of mouth, or through social sharing, and by doing that, they’ll encourage new people to come to you. In other words, they’ll do your PR for you. This is common sense. Do this.
@chrisbrowntv asks me an awesome question: He asks: So the Space Shuttle Discovery is going to buzz the National Mall on Tuesday. You gonna come watch it with us? OMG, do I wish I could. I’ll be flying back from a speech in LA, headed to Delaware to give another one. One of the greatest accomplishments in my life is being invited by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to join the NASA Advisory Council – I mean, come on – I’m not smart enough to be an astronaut – So this is the only other thing I could ever do to be involved in this amazing agency. I’m SO honored that I get to do it. NASA has a bright future in front of it… And I’m honored to be a part of it.
Great question comes from @neilcorman, who asks the following: How do you handle diet/exercise on long plane flights or travel in general? Ah: Something with which I have a TON of experience… Truth: It ain’t easy. I have a few hard rules, but the rest I make up depending on the situation. I try really hard to avoid any food served on any airline, whether at the front of the plane or the back. You’re hungry and trapped, I get it, but know this: More often than not, airline food is loaded with huge amounts of fat, calories, etc., designed to get you tired and sleepy, so you’ll be a good passenger. A lot more than if you had the same meal at a restaurant or cooked something similar at home. I try and avoid plane food at all costs – I might bring a bag of almonds and a bag of raisins to get me through shorter flights, on longer flights I bring a bag or two of some kind of jerky – turkey, beef, etc. It’s filled with protein, and if it’s the natural kind of jerky, good fats and no processed crap. I like a bunch of Jerky companies, but try Climax Jerky. Stupid name, but good healthy Jerky: http://climaxjerky.com/home/index.php – Also, water is your best friend on a flight, alcohol isn’t.
At the hotel: Almost every hotel has SOME kind of gym, no matter how crappy it is. If they have a treadmill and a few free weights, you don’t need anything more. On the off chance you’re actually in a hotel with no gym, ask the concierge for the name of the closest decent-sized or chain health club – Show up, and explain you’re on the road and need a workout – could they cut you a deal on a day-pass? I’ve never once been turned down, most I’ve ever paid was $20. Finally, if all else fails, chances are, the hotel has a parking lot. Start running it. I did 30 laps of a ¼ mile parking lot a few years ago when I had to get a long run in. Boring as hell, and I got a bunch of weird looks, but hey, running is running, no matter where you are.
What else – never travel, even if it’s just a day trip (could be weather delays or other problems, you never know) without your basic workout essentials, whatever they may be. For me, I keep a pair of goggles, a pair of swim earplugs, and a pair of Spandex tri-shorts in by suitcase at all times – They’re my on the road swim workout essentials, so even if I forget my sneakers, if I’m delayed and I can find a pool (even a local YMCA – more of them around the US than you think) I can get a workout in. More than a day trip, I bring a pair of sneakers, shorts, socks, a t-shirt and my iPod Shuffle. With just that, I know I can run or even do as many hours on a recumbent bike at the hotel gym as I need to. If you know you’re going someplace for a decent amount of time, pack two full workout sets, so you can rinse one out in the sink in your hotel bathroom and let it dry for 24 hours while you wear the second. Really fancy hotels will wash your gear, but it ain’t cheap. Some hotels, like specific Westins, will give you workout clothes if you need them. It’s a good last resort, but I’ve yet to meet a fitness enthusiast who’s cool with wearing something that’s unfamiliar. The goal is to make starting the workout as thought-free as possible, because it’s a lot easier to justify skipping a workout on the road than it is at home. Too many differentials – “I’m tired, I’m jetlagged, I don’t know where the gym is, it’s just for a few days…” The list goes on an on. The simpler it is to get dressed and start, the less likely you are to blow it off.
Finally, eat smart. If you’re taking a client to a steak place, ask the waiter what their smallest steak is. It’s usually a six-ounce filet, not on the menu. Pair that with a raw seafood appetizer (oysters or raw shrimp) and a side of steamed asparagus, and you’ve done a steakhouse dinner with clients for under 800 calories. Everyone drinking? If you want to, have one, nurse it, then switch to club soda. It’s fine. More people do that than you know, and it only increases your intake by at worst, another 200 calories.
That’s all I got on that. Well, no – I have more, but we have a ton more questions. Email me if you want specifics on what else I do.
@nutralove asks a direct question: “What kind of shampoo do you use?” Well, my hair is usually short because it’s easier to get up early to train if you don’t have to deal with longer hair, so for me, it’s the most basic of basics: Pert Plus. Been using it for years… Tried other brands, but in the end, I go back to Pert Plus because it’s easy. One squeeze, clean and conditioned hair. Simple.
@clayhebert uses this forum to call me on something: “Are we ever going to reschedule that dinner?” Several months ago, we were supposed to get together in a non-work type of way, and I had to back out at the last second to handle a crisis. So yes, Clay. We are, 100% guaranteed. Email me with some dates that work for you.
@accarino asks if it’s rude to get drunk on a flight… We already know alcohol in a pressurized plane cabin has more detrimental effects than if you were drinking in a bar on the ground… More than that, though, it’s just not worth doing. You could get angry at something stupid, and under the influence, cause a minor commotion. Problem is, there are no “minor commotions” on an airplane anymore. You WILL get detained, and you WILL get arrested. Say you drink and just pass out… Well, that’s however many hours in a sort of “fake sleep,” (passing out isn’t the same for the body as healthy deep sleep,) so you’ll wake up just as tired, but now, you’re dehydrated and have a hangover. Crappy combination. So is it rude to get drunk on a flight? Yup. But as important, if not more so, it’s just not worth it.
@neilcorman asks where’s someplace I’ve never been and would like to visit, not for work. I’d say Vietnam, Fiji, and Mt. Rushmore.
@davidermes from Germany asks me if I’ve ever thought of going into politics. I have, in fact. I’d probably have to slay a closet skeletons first, but it’s definitely on my list!
@helenabouchez wins for longest question: She asks: When I first discovered you (HARO was still on FB) you talked a lot about creating a dynamic, cool life. Now that you’re married, and your life has evolved, how have your thoughts about that evolved? What worked? What didn’t work? How do you prioritize now? How have you become wiser in this area? Good question – My life has evolved – I’ve sold a multi-million dollar company, I consult for major corporations and speak to thousands of people weekly. I have an audience of well over 500,000 people between HARO, Facebook, Twitter, and my blog, who listen to me on a daily basis. And as awesome as all of that is, that’s the easy part. The hard part is separating my work-self and becoming a better husband. It’s only four months in, but I can tell you – It’s not easy. It’s one thing to be blessed with an audience and try not to screw it up. It’s a lot harder to not screw up a marriage. What did P. Diddy say? “It’s easy being Puffy, it’s damn hard being Sean.” It’s a lot more work to be married than I ever thought it would be – But it’s definitely worth it.
@Simonjpaine asks me what I want to do next, and how can he help? As soon as I figure it out, I’ll let you know. If you have any ideas, I’m all ears!
@BetsyinPR asks: I’m reading a lot about choosing Google+ vs. Pinterest for marketing. Any advice on how to choose which way is best for a company? Yes. Use Facebook. No, seriously, you want to go where your audience is. I can’t tell you that, you have to find out on your own. Find out where your audience is and how they like to get their information, and be where they want you to be.
@commbysusan tells us that: Need to replace my aging Blackberry Curve. What smartphone should I replace it with — iPhone, Droid or ? And what do you use? I recommend Droid. I like the openness of it, and using Google Apps for Shankman.com makes it a seamless integration. I’m an Apple fan for everything else – Computer, iPad, iPod… But for my phone, I prefer my Droid. Check out the Motorola RAZR MAXX – Brand new, and awesome.
My friend Gab (@GabrielleNYC) wants to know which three thought leaders I’d want to sit next to at a table. I think I answered that above, but I’ll add to it: It’d be fun to have drinks with Moses – (Chances are, he had good wine…) I think Churchill would be quite the learning experience, and I’d also love to talk to a Shogun from the Japanese dynasty era. The original gangster. Oh, I’d also love to talk to D.B. Cooper and find out once and for all if he did it.
@michaelocc wants to know why birds suddenly appear. Obviously, Michael, because you’re near.
@annetteshade wants to know if it’s weird that her husband has a pet lobster: http://www.methodshop.com/2012/04/lobster-cover-photos.shtml – Annette, you should be thanking God each day that you have THE COOLEST HUSBAND EVER. HOW AWESOME IS A PET LOBSTER?!?
Look for Volume V soon! And if you want to ask me a question that I can answer from a plane, do it here! Just don’t ask me how a guy can be right in an argument with his wife. I don’t think he can. Ever.