Helping listeners of my podcast to grow

Ahead of his upcoming podcast workshop, Rob O’Donohue (aka RobofTheGreen) tells us about his life
Helping listeners of my podcast to grow
Rob O'Donohue of RobofTheGreen

Tell us about yourself;

I’m a Longfordian living in Cork for the last ten and a half years. Longford people don’t tend to get as far as Cork but we don’t have enemies when it comes to hurling or football so I was accepted in with open arms.

It’s funny though, I did have to regularly correct people for the first while that I’m not from Louth or Leitrim and also reassure them that Longford is a real county and place in Ireland. I’m now well assimilated to Cork.

By day, I’m a Director for Project Management & Leadership Coach with Dell. I’m intensely interested in human behaviour, personal and professional development. I love learning and helping others to improve.

In early mornings, late evenings, and whenever I can get a spare minute, I feed this learning passion and eagerness to help others.

I’m working on a podcast called ‘1% Better’ and other content I host on a platform called RoboftheGreen. I’ve been doing this for the last two years, and it is a real passion.

Each podcast episode is aimed at helping the listener grow. More than 110 episodes out so far and I feel like it’s gaining momentum. It’s a lot of fun.

Where were you born?

I was born in Dublin (Hollow Street Hospital). Back in the day (circa 1977), I don’t think there was a hospital in Longford at the time. Long way to go to be born.

Where do you live?

In Ballinlough. I’d have been living around this part of Cork more or less since I came here in 2008 and just felt really at home in the area. Finally bought in the area two years ago when the right place came up.

Family?

My partner (fiancée) Paula and an amazing little five-month-old boy called Jake.

Best friend?

Does it have to be a human? My bed is a great companion. I have some great lifelong friends from home in Longford and also have made some really good friendships since moving to Cork too.

Earliest childhood memory?

I always ask this question on my podcast too so it’s one I’ve thought about a lot.

I have a clear memory (but sometimes I think it’s a dream) where I was choking on a hard-sweet, like one of those eyeball thingys. My grandmother saw me turning blue and stuck her fingers down my throat and managed to pull out the sweet.

I know, sounds unreal, but it happened. I was in my late teens at the time! Joking, I think I was around four, so I’m told.

Person you most admire?

I’ve been lucky with the podcast interviews, I’ve been able to talk with many people I admire from a variety of fields. People that work hard, follow their passion, and find success (their own version).

I’m an Arsenal fan so will always hold Arsene Wenger in high regard. No luck getting him on the podcast yet though.

Person who most irritates you?

I’ve come to believe we have great control over how we feel. In the past, I would have said this person or that person annoys me. But, if you can develop better self-awareness and notice when someone might start irritating you, you can resist the temptation. Easier said than done, but through practice you can limit it. It’s something I use a lot when coaching others too.

All that said, Ivan Yates really does test my ability to be non-judgemental.

Who would you like to see as Minister for Finance, and why?

Ok, so I’m not very political. But maybe looking at someone that has been a Chief Financial Officer for a global organisation for many years and then moves into the political world.

Bringing real business experience could be useful. Is this a ground- breaking idea? Hardly. Does it happen? I don’t know.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

A few jump into mind but on a two week drive around California about 15 years ago, I spent three days in San Diego. Not sure what it was that made me feel so at home or enjoy being there so much. It was mid-November and over 20 degrees so that might have had something to do with it.

Favourite TV programme?

Breaking Bad was amazing. Never before did I look forward to a new episode as much.

I’ve always liked the The Cube too. The idea of challenging myself on a variety of skills, especially under the pressure of TV. I’ve regularly tweeted Phillp Schoefiled to see if they’d bend the rules by allowing an Irish application. He never replied.

Favourite radio show?

Can I plug my own podcast here and say ‘1% Better’ by RoboftheGreen?

Don’t really listen to radio that much these days. Normally just podcasts and am more drawn to shows that would be different to my own. So Freakonomics is great. The Guardian Football Show. Sam Harris Making Sense.

Your signature dish if cooking?

Ok. I’ve a limited selection to choose from here. I’m going with a Turkey Pasta dish with green (or red) pesto and peppers. As you can probably tell, I definitely didn’t get this one from a recipe book.

Favourite restaurant?

I’ve been lucky enough to eat at a fair few great restaurants. Yet, when I think of a stand-out eat, it always comes back to one word, Fergburger. It’s effectively a fast food joint in Queenstown but it’s iconic. I can’t understand how it’s not been franchised. There’s an idea!!!

Last book you read?

The Power Of Habits by Charles Duhigg. Amazingly good with great research. It’s helped me understand so much about the habits I have and how to build better ones.

Best book you read?

I read a lot and find this almost impossible to answer. Same with movies. But the book Quiet by Susan Cain is one that stands out for me over the last few years. It’s all about introverts (which I am) and felt like in parts the words on the page were my own. Great read for introverts, and for extroverts to understand us a bit better. It’s one I’ve recommended a lot on the podcast and through some of the blog posts.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

I promised I would be honest in all these answers. So, it’s probably a Take That album from about five years ago. Yes.

Favourite song?

Like the ‘Best Friend’ question, it’s very difficult to name just one. Can I say three:

1. Rule The World — Take That.

2. Your Song — Elton John

3. Staying Alive — The Bee Gees

One person you would like to see in concert?

Dead or Alive? Never been to a Springsteen concert so would like to see him at some point. Elton John too.

Do you have a pet?

Not at the minute. Had a dog called Bonner when I was about 11. Jake, even though he’s only five months, has asked me a few times about getting a dog soon. I’m in agreement. He just needs to convince his Mum.

Morning person or night owl?

Big time morning person. Typically, I get up between 5am and 5:30am and try to achieve two to three personal development things before my work day starts.

I’ve found by doing this, I feel I’ve already achievement something for the day and, if other things gets in the way, that’s OK.

Your proudest moment?

When Jake was born healthy. Never had such an outburst before.

Spendthrift or saver?

I’ve always been a saver and always feel like it’s important to have emergency funds available if ever needed. I do like to find bargains! My grandmother was very much of a bargain-hunter and I think I’ve inherited that trait.

From time to time, I might splurge but it’s nothing too excessive. Maybe a new microphone or mixer for the podcast production. I do believe in spending on your own development, taking training, upskilling, and learning new things. That’s a great investment in yourself.

Name one thing you would improve in your area in which you live?

Living in Ballinlough is great. A really lovely place to be. Traffic can be heavy around it though. So maybe something to improve that.

But overall, we’re lucky to be in a nice place with everything nearly on our doorstep.

What makes you happy?

Getting a smile from Jake, losing myself in a book, being in a flow state during an interview with a person I admire, learning something new, having a breakthrough when I’m coaching someone, and playing (and losing) in a game of tennis with Paula.

How would you like to be remembered?

I’m committed to spending the rest of my professional career focusing more and more on helping individuals, teams and organisations improve.

People can get so stressed out and down with the amount of information coming at them and the challenges they face. I’d like to be known for helping people deal with this better and as someone that’s been able to do that while staying 100% true to myself and my values. Authenticity is really important to me.

What else are you up to at the moment?

I’m a believer in pushing outside the comfort zone, learning from the mistakes, and improving. I’m always looking at ways I can do this and be of value to others too. So, I’m hoping to do more with the RoboftheGreen site and podcasts.

One of these is to hold my first podcast workshop to help others get started with their own podcasts. I’ve learned so much about this process and want to share that back.

It’s happening on June 6 at 6.30pm in Cork International Hotel (check out the link on www.robofthegreen.ie/home). If this goes well, hopefully I can do more.

I’d also love to record some podcast interviews with a live audience in Cork over the coming months too.

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