What is Give Social? Episode #1

It’s time for us to introduce ourselves properly in our first episode of Give Social.

Over the half hour ahead, you will learn about why Rob and Jen decided to setup Give Social, what the podcast all about, what they have lined up in future episodes and more about their ‘work outside of work’.

In this podcast episode, we chat about what the term ‘Give Social’ means to us, and just a little on what to expect in future episodes.

Giving means so much to so many people. Rob and Jen try to bring this to life through their new podcast for 2020.

Join them, as they share with you the lessons they’ve learnt and the exciting future new episodes they have in store.

Stay in touch with Give Social and receive
from Rob and Jen

Episode Transcript

Welcome to Give Social, a show helping you improve through inspiration. Each week we discuss the things that make your heart sing through stories, interviews and debate.

Everyday normal people do amazing things in business, charity or through self improvement and we’re here to help celebrate that.

My name is rob and I’m Jen, so if you’re looking for authentic, down to earth and practical help to build a better life, then we welcome you to the show and just to make sure you never miss an episode, or one of our bonus podcasts that we might sneak in from time to time, don’t forget to subscribe through your preferred podcast provider – it’s easy and more importantly, it’s free.

Now let’s get on with today’s show.

Okay, well here we are. Our first ever podcast episode. I think the first question needs to be how you feeling? Rather odd. It feels very weird sat our dining room at either end with a microphone that isn’t normally here when we’re having dinner or breakfast or whatever else it is just talking with headsets on. I am very far away from you aren’t I? yeah – Big table.

This is the joy of trying to set up a podcast studio in your own home. We’re getting there. Yes, so welcome along. Let us introduce ourselves properly. My name’s Rob I am married to the beautiful Jenna and we are the Flanagan’s. Team Flanagan. as some people like to call us.

So we want to use this first episode to let you get to know us a little bit better find out some more about what we do, why we’re here doing this podcast in our home, but we’re also going to make sure that you know what’s in it for you.

So where do we start?

Well we both met when we were still quite young. You were younger than me. yeah I was only twenty and and so we’ve grown and come through loads since then and now we’re at the point where we have learned so much and we’ve met and worked with some amazing people.

We want to do something meaningful with all of that and of course this period of lockdown has helped us I think – You might disagree, but I think it’s helped us appreciate being at home together and that working together is something that we really enjoy enjoy. correct answer.

So I mean we’re gonna explore the covid nineteen pandemic in more detail in another episode coming soon, but essentially our experiences through all of this has been the final catalyst for us launching give social and finding new and innovative ways to engage people. The thing I love about this is that this is something that we’ve built together. We’ve built this thing for many years.

It’s not something we’ve just decided to do during Covid. It’s been coming for probably the last 10, 11 years I would say. yes. What I really like about the podcast if anybody who knows us will know I come up with loads of ideas. Many ideas. All the time and 90% of them you don’t agree with, but what I love about this is that this was kind of your idea.

You and I came up with this together.

We developed it through lockdown I suppose. We were listening to podcasts ourselves. But we ultimately were trying to find a way that would help us bring forward the work that we’re already doing with lots of people. I heard something over the last few weeks all about how you can’t build something special without a collective passion for a common purpose and that really stuck with me and we discussed that quite a bit. That was perfect for what we were trying to do with this podcast.

It really helps us focus on our mission to bring people together and to help them be more inspired, more confident and better equipped to move forward in their own lives and also with one simple goal and that goal is to “live a life where giving, sharing supporting of this defines our success” now that sounds like I’m reading it, because I am reading it.

I’m reading it because it’s something that we remind ourselves of and hopefully as we go through this episode as we go through all the other episodes that we’re doing, talk a little bit more about our work and the people that we’ve met and the people that inspire us, it will come through that that really is what we believe.

So what about our working background?

We both lead on national projects were both in full time jobs. We come together outside of those jobs to deliver give social. Work outside of work. Our work outside of work, yes and we use that to grow our – some people call it a “side hustle” don’t they? some people do. I don’t like that term. It’s not my favourite.

But yeah, so we we have a business outside of our every day nine to five job. What we found with that, was always that challenge between balancing two jobs, balancing being parents of a now six year old child, but also being there when people needed us, and what we’ve seen during Covid particularly, has been a huge increase in appetite for people to meet digitally and in different ways, and one of the ways in which we’ve been doing that is we’ve been meeting with charity trustees bringing them together and we’ve really seen the effectiveness of new technology and how we are using it in the modern world and this is what got us thinking about, as we go forward, how do we continue to help other people?

We felt that podcasting was one way with which we could try and do that. People can be turned off by research, by academic writing, by all of these things that really don’t make much sense to anybody unless you’re in the weeds of it and really understand what an academic means when they say something. So one of the things that I really want to bring out in this, is where we do find what the evidence says and we do find some great bits of research that we think is really interesting, but ultimately, we can hopefully tell people in a down to earth way what it means and you don’t have to be a PhD to understand it. Yeah, yeah.

I’m definitely not a PhD, so, if I understand it then hopefully we can translate that for people and it’ll make sense. Yeah, we’ve built give social on the side to allow us to grow the work that we’ve done because we love it. We have a real passion for working together and helping other people be successful in more than one way and this allows us to do that. Yeah, agreed.

So one of the things that we’ve had to do, is get really creative around how we’ve been engaging with charity trustees, individuals, who we would normally say let’s go grab a brew. Let’s go meet in that hotel reception on Saturday morning and have a conversation about where we go next, and we can’t do that, so what we’ve been doing is we have been turning to zoom, office 365, webex, phone calls, and one of the things that we’ve really found without is that, there are so many other things that we can do, whereby we don’t have to physically be there .

The reason that i chuckled then was because it occured to me the other week, can I actually had to dial in on the phone to a meeting, and even though it’s only been a few weeks where zoom and 365 have been the norm, actually dialing in on a phone, felt really old fashioned , and it had only been a few weeks and we’ve got so used to that the new way of doing stuff, dialling in a number and speaking somebody actually not being able to see their faces and not been able to get any of those cues it was really really odd and it just made me think about how quickly you can get used to a new way of working with people. I can’t remember the last time I rang somebody at work, no, I just don’t do it. I either send them with a message on Skype or just put a video call in and we’ll just have a chat, and I’ve been wearing some crazy things.

It’s handy when you’ve got a six year old’s dressing up box to get inspiration from during a Zoom call! yes, I was actually talking about wearing T. shirts but no, you’re right, I have.. you were Batman for a while weren’t you? I was batman, yes, I was a pirate but anyway, we’ll talk all about all of that in the next episode when we really focus on covid-19 and the lockdown , but this effectiveness in new technology really opened our eyes up to what else can we do to start engaging with the the people that we know that really inspire us and we think are brilliant and we also think other people should hear that story and more importantly is the main thing that we’re trying to get our full this and then ultimately how can we continue to build that network of people who do inspire us and this is about lots of different types of people.

We’re not just talking about those and there are those who do some fantastic work for charity.

We’re going to be speaking to at least one or two of them in the next few weeks that we’ve already got them lined up So you know so there are those people there are those people who do brilliant work for charity some of them absolutely amaze me every day on how they live their own lives that are often quite challenging.

They have their own things to deal with yeah yet they find the time just to go out and make other people’s lives even better and channel their energies into something that they feel is worthwhile and other the people might find different ways to channel their energies but this is just one way that is just something it just fits with our purpsose doesn’t it and we just find it really inspirational yeah and then there are the people who have been through horrible things and then they continue to be amazing people and use that energy and they turned it into something fantastic yeah.

So we’re gonna be speaking to some of those. There are those people that just have a passion for something so much that they dedicate their life to it. yeah And sometimes that isn’t about charities. It’s about wanting to be something. wanting to deliver and to help people or give people. Well it’s meaning and purpose isn’t it that so people some of the people that we will talk to have found a way to work or earn money whether it be a little bit or a lot money, just from something that gives them meaning in something that they really believe in that that passionate about and they found a way to make that that full time job, but then there’s lots of other things that we’re going to be chatted about just me and you so sessions like this where we might just pick a topic and start talking about it and sometimes will agree… And sometimes we won’t. That is very true.

You will probably highlight my many flaws along the way and that’s because we’ve been through a lot together we’ve been together for over fifteen years – yes sixteen years! That is indeed over fifty yes yes. Little tip – if you forget just pick the number you know exists. The nearest number and then say over or almost. So we’ve been together for sixteen years married for over nine and during that time we have learnt a hell of a lot about each other haven’t we have done so we felt it would be fun to have a bit of a feature that we call a couple of opinions where every now and again we’ll just come together and talk about a subject that maybe we don’t always agree on or maybe something that we do agree on yeah we’ll just maybe we don’t know and we’ll find out when we start talking about it whether we agree on it or not. Yes and it might be as we go forward, people on a Facebook group might choose what we talk about. Okay yeah. So that was news to Jenna. But I like it.

We’re not gonna sit here and talk about politics

If you’re expecting us to discuss the why’s and wherefores of decisions by government officials, I’m sorry to disappoint you but this podcast is not for you. However we are gonna have some fun along the way and we really hope that you are going to join us for the foreseeable future. We are going to bring out the show every week yeah. I think the next question Jenna has to be why the name give social? I think while we’ve both got faith this isn’t a religious intention. it’s just a personal choice about the way we live our lives.

Think about the word give. There’s loads of different definitions of the word give and you know I’ll do they the Oxford dictionary bit now “to freely transferred the possession of something to someone to commit or to entrust to freely set aside or devote for a purpose”. You are definitely reading that off your computer screen. Of course I am! excellent I would not remembered those words in that order if they weren’t written down, but the point is that we want to celebrate not only inspirational people, but how they’ve given that time whether it be and ideas, or charity work or whether it’s just you know ideas for the purpose of improving the lives of others or making something special for somebody else. yeah But we want to give to you too – our new listeners which sounds really weird, but and this is the thing though is that this is an opportunity for us to meet new people it is.

And this is a way of us engaging with a completely new audience that we would never have… I just need to make clear that we do have friends. Oh we do! yes we do have some real friends in real life. we’re not very lonely. We’re not doing this show to meet new people. I’m now waiting people sliding into my DM’s GSOH. Okay fine that’s not. We’re not lonely. No we’re not we’re fine, we got lots of friends you going to meet half of them anyway, because we are going to interview lots of them because they’re all wonderful people. But the point is is that Winston Churchill Oh here we it’s another quote everybody. I’m going to read it’s written down is written down and he said I’m not gonna do a voice this time. Go on – do your best Winston Churchill voice. “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give” Excellent, and the thing about that giving, is that actually we give in loads of different ways and this is not like you said about finances.

It can be time it can be lots of other things, but if you think about giving from a perspective of what it’s your birthday. In fact by the time the show goes out it will of been your birthday. we’re gonna have a party yey! Well – A socially distanced party! yes, of course. We’re gonna have six people in our garden and we’ll call it a party. But more importantly we will be giving you presents. This this is something is now recorded, so I have a record of the fact that you said. Someone will give you a present. A card. Well done yes. They’re going to they’re going to give that time to come and celebrate that with you and and that’s the thing is that actually giving is just whatever we can of ourselves to help somebody else or to be with somebody else or just to improve our own or somebody else lives.

Give social has been a name that we have… Are we allowed to say I own? we have aquired the name give social for few years and we’ve been looking for the right opportunity do something with it. There’s been a few trigger points along the way with the maybe this is it. Maybe this is the time and then we thought about it and does it feel right and hadn’t so far, but this one. This is where it did feel different. Every single crazy idea I have. Many many… that comes down to helping other people I think we could use give social for this. So right at the beginning of the global pandemic that we now know as Covid 19, we work to the friend around whether we could help other people come together to help others in communities and to give socially to those. It was a great idea but everybody was doing it. yeah. And so we thought okay we wait. We bring back our opportunity to use give social at the right time on now coming out of Covid feels like the right time to start celebrating while all of these people have done in life generally. yeah. But also what people do every single day.

I want to talk a little bit about success.

So as you know I am always striving for success I’m painfully trudging through life, thinking what is this thing they call success? have a seen it? have I not? am I it? And I’m sure many people feel the same way. I think more recently, one of the things that I’ve realized is that success is ultimately what you make of it yourself and so whether it be in your personal life or your professional life, success comes in lots and lots of different forms and sometimes you’ve just gonna stop and realize and reflect and understand that we’re all successful in what we do. We are not successful in how others judge us. Defining your own successes isn’t it?

So we’re here to help other people and help ourselves yeah because we’re on this journey as well. What was that quote I saw the other day? I think it said “We are a rough draft of the people we will become”. Don’t be afraid of the fact and don’t hide from the fact that you’re growing all the time. Nothing set in stone. You can change things, you can take control, you can divert your attention into other areas. You can learn something new. And while we’re on the subject of giving, there is a certain element of self satisfaction if we can call it tha?t I know what it’s called – it’s called the giver’s glow yeah. It’s called the giver’s glow. I can’t remember where it came from but somebody once talked about it and it’s something that happens in the brain and when people give something of themselves to other people, they have this reaction in the brain that the brain recognizes this stimuli to a particular feeling in the body and they call it the giver’s glow and so in a selfish way, I hope long term we’ll have it gives glow from doing the show and it rhymes as well. So, this is all about celebrating life, celebrating people and celebrating what we give to others.

There’s gonna be lots and lots of issues that we deal with. Some of them are going to be quite hard. It might be hard for me or for you it might be hard for the guests. It might be hard to come we understand fully that some of it might be hard for the listener yeah. But what we’re not here to do is to give advice on a one to one basis. We are not medical experts we all not neurological experts. We are on a journey ourselves to understand what makes us happy, what inspires us and how can we celebrate people who try and help other people. We want to help people become more successful in themselves, so if there’s any way in which we can do that through the show, we really look forward to doing that.

Doing the show for us is daunting isn’t it?

I have to kind of have to pinch myself a little bit and go “why why am I doing this”? If you had asked me few weeks ago I would never said oh yeah I’ll be sat at my dining room table recording a podcast – that wasn’t it. It just appeared as an idea didn’t it? If we’re completely honest I I’m probably sat here thinking oh what will such person think or what will my dad think? Oh god I don’t yeah. I don’t, I almost don’t. If my parents do listen to it – hi, but also don’t if you don’t have to. The thing about this is confidence. We’re both over coming different aspects of confidence as well I think. massively massively yeah I love the saying that it’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse. Because, if you spend too much time thinking about what you’re doing and how it might look to others, then you’re never going to do something and that’s why we’re just flying straight into this and we’re just going to get on with it yeah yeah.

I read something and it said “I was sick if walking into a room wondering what people were gonna think of me, so I started walking into a room wondering what I’m going to think of them. And the second part of this is social, so we’ve got the give. We’ve talked about give loads of will not talk about that nope but we’ve got the social aspect as well and that’s the most important part of the show for us. This is a place for us to meet and spend time with other people and it was Carl Rogers who said “what is most personal is most universal” and we are going to have times when we are talking about some really personal things to other people and things that are personal to us. There is an element of … I think it was Brene Brown yeah Brene Brown talks about vulnerability and being able to talk about these things and the power of vulnerability. But also there’s an aspect of just being yourself and so are you talking about personal experience, that doesn’t have to be something really deep and meaningful and something really heavy. That’s just you talking about your own experiences as a human being of a particular event or something that happened to you, so sometimes it will be more deep and meaningful but actually lots of the time it’s just personal experience. You’re talking about you being a human being and that’ll connect you with other people hpefefully. And you talk about connection.

We talk about connection with people that we work with all the time, because if you want to engage with somebody, want to communicate and interact with them you’ve got to have a connection with them and the only way you get connection with somebody is by being authentic. Being yourself. And that’s something I’ve struggled with over the years sometimes, because I walk into a room like your quote. But I walk into a room and think right, what am I going to be all these people? where as now, I’m sat behind a microphone, nobody can see me and I can be whoever I wants to be, but the hardest thing for me is I’m trying to be me and that’s a little bit more difficult. But it’s good because hopefully this social aspect of our show will bring that out in me, it will bring it in you.

You’re very used to being ‘Rob the performer” yes. And so that’s probably without second guessing where you’re coming from, that’s probably the change now in direction in that you are now you. You are qualified person, who is in a position with lots of experience to talk about lots of different things and you’ve got to kind of separate that from ‘Rob the singer’ for example, who was going to prove a point to be the best singer that that everybody in that room had ever heard. I think one of my very early 2004 Twitter handles was @Robthesinger. Yeah sounds sounds like if was true. I think it was. I could probably have one for every year of my life couldn’t I? Rob the Golfer. Yeah. Check me out rob the Golfer, Rob the singer , @ rob the policeman. So many we could do a whole show about that. We might do! but that’s always come easy to me hasn’t it. yeah the whole “be whoever I want to be” type stuff and what I really love about this is that your here with me and your just being a Jenna. I’m normally behind you going “yeah go on. Go and do it” but now you’re pulling me out background I’m the behind the scenes person normally this is totally not my comfort zone. I’m enjoying it, but it’s not my comfort zone but I think,

We will talk all about these various things is we go through but I think well I’ve learned over the past couple of years is that on the occasions where I have pushed myself into something that is something that I’ve not done before all or is something that frightens me a little bit or makes me nervous or whatever it might be, once I’ve done it that I feel so much better. It’s like when you’re on holiday in the pools cold and you don’t wanna get in But once you’re in, it’s fine. Good analogy Jen. Did it come round okay? you can see what I got my confidence from when I get such fantastic support for my loving husband! I get it. I completely got it – like getting in the cold pool on holiday. yes it’s nice place to be. Maybe we’ll change the name of the podcast.

I think we’re probably at the end of the first show.

I think we’ve covered what we intended to which was to give a little bit of explanation of who we are about why we’re here, about the name give social yeah and ultimately what people are going to expect from the show. Yes and hopefully given a bit more about those in our own way. I just want to us before we finish actually jen about… You said something before. You said, “in our own voice” . I know what you mean by that because we’ve had loads of conversations in the last few months about delivering something in our own voice. What does that mean to you? To me even though I’ve been the behind the scenes person, there have obviously been occasions in various aspects of my life where I have to be the face of something or giving a presentation or whatever it may be and I think we’re so used to representing other people and speaking other people’s missions and values and and all of those things, which we would really, we very strongly believe and align with, because we wouldn’t do the jobs if if we didn’t.

But it is having the time the space now to talk ask Jen as rob Not as Jen from wherever, Rob from wherever. I think that’s a really good point to kind of close on really. This is us talking in our own voice about things that we’re passionate about, which hopefully will benefit others. I like it. And so it’s time for us to finish for today, but we will see you again next week where we’ll be diving into the impact of Covid 19 and lockdown and the impact that it’s had on us.

We have got loads of guests lined up and we were really looking forward to bring them to you and as we’re coming out of lockdown were able to go and actually sit in a room with some of these people and chat to them and we want to make sure that they are the best conversation possible, so we’re gonna be doing that over the next few weeks. The next episode is gonna be another one with just me and Jen chatting through Covid19 itself and we’re gonna be looking at the good, the Bad and the ugly, so please join us for a fun look back on what has been a crazy few months behind us.

But before then, join us on our Facebook group give social or head on over to the website We’ve got some really special things lined up for subscribers and Facebook followers – giveaways guides and free tips so don’t miss out get over there and and check it out. So we’ll see you all next week for more give social but for now it’s bye bye.

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