772 - Entertainer Performer Media Provocateur: Tom interviews Gregory Wilker - Screw The Commute

772 – Entertainer Performer Media Provocateur: Tom interviews Gregory Wilker

I'm here with Greg Wilker and he is described as a media provocateur and us country bumpkins don't really know what that means, so we'll ask him. He's also a website counselor and therapist. He's been making websites almost as long as I have, and he's the co-host of Moped Outlaws podcast and also the host of Live with Greg and also worked at a radio station called The Bone.

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Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 772

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[01:35] Tom's introduction to Gregory Wilker

[06:35] Memorial videos sharing an individual's story

[08:23] Live with Greg

[13:06] Website counselor and therapist

[16:52] The film business and being an entrepreneur

[22:24] Being a bookkeeper at Safeway

[25:22] The biggest mistakes people make

[28:13] “If you take quitting off the table, there IS a solution”

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Greg's websitehttps://gregorywilker.com/

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Episode 772 – Greg Wilker
[00:00:08] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.

[00:00:24] Hey everybody, it's Tom here with episode 772 of Screw the Commute podcast. I'm here with Greg Wilker and he is described as a media provocateur and us country bumpkins don't really know what that means, so we'll ask him what that means. He's also a website counselor and therapist. He's been making websites almost as long as I have, and he's the co-host of Moped Outlaws podcast and also I think the main host of Live with Greg. But also he worked at a radio station called The Bone, I think I don't know. I'll have to ask him about that, too. So so okay. So make sure you grab a copy of our automation book. We'll bring him on the minute. But automation e-book at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. Follow me at tiktok.com/@digitalmultimillionaire on TikTok and our podcast app is in the app store. It's for right now it's for iPhone only but we're working on the the Android one so keep an eye out for that you can go to screwthecommute.com/app.

[00:01:36] All right, let's get to the main event. Greg Wilker lives in Marin County, California, where he does his best to remain present for his three children. He is producer, host of two podcasts and is working on launching two more. And he's renewing his efforts to create a career as an entertainer performer. And then this is a lofty goal, this last part here. And one day he plans on dying. So, Greg, are you ready to screw? The commute?

[00:02:07] Absolutely, Tom. Thank you.

[00:02:10] What the hell is a media provocateur? What is that?

[00:02:14] Well, I think it's one who disturbs the norm of media. Oh, I think.

[00:02:21] I disturbed the norm. Not necessarily immediate, but I know my neighbors think I'm eccentric, so.

[00:02:28] Well, if I may say, um, you were a guest on our podcast, Moped Outlaws, and you openly have a handgun that you have a certification for, etcetera. Um, and that experience, along with another experience my youngest daughter had, I was like, yeah, handguns. I get it. They're okay. And I used a visual to promote our episode that went live and people close to me blew up.

[00:03:01] In a bad way and probably in.

[00:03:04] A bad way. Yeah. And I, um, I just, I made a little joke of it. I took it off at their request. After a conversation. We had a very clear conversation, but I came up with I learned today guns trigger people.

[00:03:20] I know. I saw that. That was so funny. I didn't know if you're trying to be serious or just kind of backhanded slap on that one. But I actually loved the graphic of my appearance on your podcast, but I think I saw the other one briefly, but can't remember. But but well, you know that I don't want to jump on your friends, but you know, my next book is called Highly Educated Idiots. And and and I have this I mean, it's covered with people like this one lady was asked on I think it was CNN. Well, what would you do if somebody broke into your house at two in the morning and started raping you? And her answer was, well, that question is kind of like coming from privilege. And I'm thinking, oh, man, you're sitting duck, you dumb ass.

[00:04:08] Oh, dear, I. I know it's it always is interesting to me when a person. You know, is angry about something and don't see that their own anger is actually recreating it.

[00:04:26] And also a lot of them just have no idea what they're talking about. Like this dumb ass Congress lady said, Oh, yeah, those are 15 with their 50 caliber bullets. And like, you may not know what that means either, but. But the thing is, a 50 caliber bullet is about 6 or 8in long and take out a tank almost, you know? Yeah, that's what I.

[00:04:47] Was just gonna say. That sounds like armor piercing.

[00:04:49] She's an idiot, you know, I. You know, and even the ATF people had the same problem calling automatic weapons, and that's semi-automatic, you know? So anyway, I prefer to follow the donkey. I don't know what that means. Thank you. What does that mean? I saw on your website, Follow the donkey. Does that mean follow the assholes of the world?

[00:05:13] Well, so my moniker online is donkeys 11. I use it when I'm gaming. And it kind of came about as an inside joke with friends. The word donkey and. Yeah. And I guess I took it on as sort of a joke. And then after years of use, I thought, well, this is the brand. And as you well know, there's power in a brand. And I do also like the fact that another word for donkey is ass. And, well, sometimes I'm the ass.

[00:05:49] Well, I get that. I mean, I've had various monikers over the years, but my first one was I'm the baby of six boys and I always had to play with my older brothers. And I remember this vividly the day it happened where we're playing baseball and I'm running to first base and I was always a fat little kid. And so one of my brother's friends said to my brother, Man, he looks like a heap of shit. And the nickname Heap caught on and I was heap for the next 20 years. So there you go. Yeah. So it's okay with me. They say psychologically it's better to have a nickname than to not have a nickname because at least somebody noticed you. You know, if you're just so I don't know if that's true or not, but hey, I saw on your website you, you know, you've been a producer of films and videos and stuff for many years, but the memorial videos tell us about that.

[00:06:47] Well, it's something I love doing and it's usually a labor of love with someone I'm close to or family. Um. And the ones that come to mind are My mom passed away last year and I did one for her to celebrate her life. A nephew of mine passed away right around the age of 22, and then I did one for actually the gentleman that I attempted to launch a film company with when his father passed away. Um, and the goal with it is to really share the individual's story, um, the bruises, the lumps and also the joys and the heights, and to have an emotional connection for anyone who views it.

[00:07:39] Yeah, I saw. And it certainly did that right off the bat. I mean, yeah. So the couple examples you have up there for sure are very, very touching and be a great, great thing to people to, to, to do and to do it themselves would be very difficult, you know, to put something together that somebody that knows how to do an arc of a story and and really make it beautiful. It's it's a great, great thing you're doing. So tell us about Live with Greg.

[00:08:07] Well, it's actually live with Greg. I'm sorry. We're live with Greg, depending on the semantics. Well, since you.

[00:08:13] Said one day you're going to die, it could be, you know this. It's not die with Greg, at least.

[00:08:18] Right. Well, it could be if I just lose it one day. Um. That started with a close friend of mine has Huntington's disease. Are you familiar with that disease?

[00:08:31] Nope.

[00:08:32] It is a genetic disease that has been described as a combination of Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and epilepsy all rolled into one. Yikes. And if I'm remembering properly, they have scans of the brain that actually show the brain deteriorating as a part of the disease. So a close friend of mine has it, and he was being interviewed by a doctor who also has chronic illnesses and has worked hard to find meaning in life with chronic illness. Why does one person have a great life and another with the exact same symptoms suffering? And at one point in the interview they both spaced out. The doctor asked my friend a question, and my part of Huntington's is, you know, he just lost his train of thought and they both were just sitting there and thought, that was so funny.

[00:09:30] It's called Dead Air, right? Yeah, exactly. It was.

[00:09:33] Brilliant. And so after the initial interview, I asked them if they'd be willing to do it as kind of a gimmick, you know, to for the doctor asked a question and just see how long they'd sit there in silence. And the doctor decided that really wasn't for him.

[00:09:52] Right.

[00:09:53] But my friend and I left. And I had been, as you said in the intro, I'd been messing with websites since like 98. And podcasting was kind of new and I was interested in the technology. And what does it take to launch a podcast? Technically, I was also interested in learning the discipline of the show must go on and having a set schedule in regardless of life's bumps and challenges. Getting an episode out regularly. So my friend and I left and I said, Hey, would you be willing to do this with me and just see what happens? And he said, Sure. That ended up being the first episode of Live With Greg, and we made it about six minutes of silence, I think, just sitting there looking at each other. And what I loved is some of the people's reactions when it went out into the world, reading all these things into it. That had never occurred to me. And I thought, Well, maybe there's something there. And now after doing it for ten years, I kind of use it as an excuse to hang out with someone that I'm interested in learning from.

[00:11:07] That's very interesting, especially in this atmosphere of scrolling with your thumb, like, you know, three different videos per second, you know? Yeah, you got six minutes of dead air. Yeah.

[00:11:19] It was.

[00:11:20] Yeah. Well, yeah, you're striking. You know, you said you can get buried doing what everybody's doing in the fad. If you go the opposite direction, you can get a lot of attention, so that's awesome. So tell us about your boner experience.

[00:11:38] Oh, 107.7. The bone.

[00:11:40] Oh, the bone.

[00:11:42] The bone. Yes, they. So in San Francisco, I was working for a radio company that was family owned, so. Oh, darn it, I just forgot the name instead of a 401 K. When it's a private company and you're getting ownership, a Roth IRA or. No, no, no. It was, um. Anyway, the name of the company was Susquehanna. I don't know if you heard of them from Pennsylvania.

[00:12:11] Well, I know Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. I'm from Pennsylvania. Yeah.

[00:12:14] Oh, okay. Well, there's a very famous plateware, um, dinnerware manufacturer. And what happened? It was family owned. And the son of the, um. I believe I'm getting this right. The son wanted to go into radio and had the family's blessing. So part of the fortune that was created went into radio and they became one of the leading radio companies. There were three stations that were top stations in San Francisco. And when the bubble burst in 2001, about 2000 and the.com bubble, um, I was working for a company that had the radio stations as a client, and they pulled me into and hired me as their media guy.

[00:13:07] Yeah, you go way back on this because you say 98. Yeah, I made my first website in 97 only when Microsoft front page came out because prior to that it was all HTML. I mean, it took me a year to get my book cover on my web. Say because all the propellerheads and geeks took took forever to do anything but. But what cracks me up is when you call yourself a website counselor and therapist.

[00:13:35] Well, so that comes about because so many people I meet are just afraid of technology and computers.

[00:13:44] I get it totally. And I get them all the time. And. But I refuse to let them just go by websites. I make them learn how to do it.

[00:13:53] So that's the ultimately my goal with them too, is I think a person, if they have a business or a brand or whatever they have online, if it's theirs, it should be theirs and they should at least have an understanding of it so they can communicate with people that are helping them. So often I've come across stories where like a domain name or a web hosting or something is purchased and it's not purchased in their name, right?

[00:14:24] Yeah, they're not even the registrant or anything. And then they're the guy or girl disappears, which they always do. And then they're stuck. They're screwed. Totally. Yeah, exactly. I see it all the time. It just drives me crazy. I'm okay if you learn how to do it and then farm it out because then you can make sure you're not getting ripped off. But I actually own the domain name. Kill your web designer.com. Oh, that's because all the store I mean, I got so many stories, I just I didn't even develop it because I hear them all the time. But. But yeah, so having that skill is, is really, you know, enormously helpful to any business because you can keep your costs extremely low because I mean, I keep people coming in and showing me a website that they paid five and 10,000 bucks for and it's a WordPress site for free with $100 theme on it. That's it. And they're paid $10,000 for it. Yeah. So and it's.

[00:15:26] And the other thing too is I have, you know, sometimes talk with people who have a small business or they're doing something and they either don't have a website or they feel their website is outdated. And one of the first things I ask you is, is your business working? And they say, Yeah. And I go, Well, maybe you don't need a website.

[00:15:48] Well, I, I take a little bit different bet on that when I get a call that says, Hey, I want to update my website. That's what they say, right? Greg Right. What I hear is, okay, you're going to take a crappy non-performing website with no visitors and no sales and turn it into another crappy non-performing website with no visitors and no sales. That just looks different, right?

[00:16:14] That is true too. Yes. And the other thing that I've experienced is someone who has a website and they are dealing with it daily. They get tired of it and they start thinking that they need a new website which is coming from their own personal experience. Instead of thinking of the world, you know, the world is ultimately the customer, right? And so why spend money on something that's working just because you're tired of it?

[00:16:45] The customer will tell you what you should be doing, not not just because you get some hair up your butt, but you've had such a career, man. I mean, you've got feature films to your credit and so forth. Tell us about the the film business and you've had ups and downs, too, in your career. Tell us some of the things that have worked and didn't work for you as an entrepreneur.

[00:17:08] Well. And we only have.

[00:17:11] Two days here, too, by the way.

[00:17:12] Yeah, exactly. In regards to film, I could summon up with an infamous joke that goes, Do you want to know how to make $1 million in the film industry? Start with 2 million.

[00:17:27] There you go.

[00:17:27] And yeah, so there's Prankster Entertainment is a film company that a friend of mine started, and he also lives here in Marin. And our daughters went to kindergarten together. So my is now 25 and his daughters got to be 25 as well. That tells you how long we've been kind of pushing at things. Um. And. Wait. God, I can't remember the, um. Oh, my gosh. And I could even go back before that. But let's stick with Prankster Entertainment. We have three features. The first one was called The Prankster, and they're family friendly. His intent is to uplift the human spirit. So to have positive messaging and the prankster, it's a high school comedy. And even the high school bully at the end is a friendly character. So everyone kind of lands in a positive place. Um, and that got picked up by, I think that was Strand releasing and put out into the world. And what we noticed is that the distributors. They made all their money, but the filmmakers and people involved didn't make any money. Money was lost as far as investing in the making of the film. So what was done.

[00:19:00] For a film like that back in the day?

[00:19:02] What was what?

[00:19:03] What was the budget for a film like that? Back in the day?

[00:19:06] The budget for that was around 1.2 million and Tony Vidal attended San Rafael High School and we actually shot on the high school premise. That was when school was in session.

[00:19:23] That was the principal in the movie.

[00:19:26] That was he? No, he was the filmmaker. Okay.

[00:19:30] Who's that guy? That you recognize? His face? That was the principal. Oh.

[00:19:35] Yes, yes, yes. Uh, Kirk. Um. Oh, and I forget his last name.

[00:19:40] See, that's the kind of actor he is. Yeah. Yeah, well, you see him all the time.

[00:19:45] Yeah. And he was also in our second film, Baja. Um, as the parent. He's. He was, um, a demon, I think, in Supernatural. He's. He's been in a Woody Allen film. The guy's like, Yeah, he's character actor.

[00:20:04] Actor for years and years.

[00:20:06] Yeah, Yeah. And he's brilliant. He was really professional, very good to work with. Um, with low budget films, there's a lot of times where everyone's giving a little bit than they normally do. And he gave, you know, and um, so our second film, we got into theaters, we got a theatrical release believing that was the wisest way to at least break even and maybe hopefully make money. And that bombed terrifically in theaters. Reviews were okay. That came out. Just no one showed up. Um, and the experience with all three films has been we invest in marketing kind of believing the best bang for the buck was social media marketing. But again, my personal experience is there's so much smoke and mirrors in that, um, they come back and say, Look, we just gained you 10,000 followers and you increase this much and you're like, Yeah, nothing sold.

[00:21:10] Yeah. And then there's a new one today with that Facebook meta came out with that threads thing today. So there's a new one we got to mess with.

[00:21:20] Oh dear. I don't even I'm not even aware of that.

[00:21:23] 5 million people signed up in the first four minutes and they said that's not really that good when you got 3 billion people on Instagram. So so it's just another thing you got to mess with, that's for sure. Dilutes, dilutes where you can put your promotion, you know? Well.

[00:21:42] There's so much noise in the world that a part of success is rising through that noise, which so far to date I have not been able to do.

[00:21:54] Well, I love the prankster thing because I had a practical joke company for six years where we actually custom designed practical jokes in and around Washington, D.C. And so I love Frank Frank stuff. This is long before Punked was around and all that stuff. But but yeah but so it's it's a risky business to be in the in the movie business is what you're saying.

[00:22:16] It's yes. But I think as you are well aware, any choice in life that's a personal choice has risk with it if there's any value to it.

[00:22:25] I don't know. I don't think it was that risky for you to be a bookkeeper for Safeway. Well, no, that's what I wanted to figure out. How does a guy like you this massively creative and doing videos and feature films, be it a bookkeeper at Safeway? I don't get that.

[00:22:45] Well, okay, so when I got divorced, which is about eight years ago, I was an emotional mess and wasn't getting billable hours in as an independent contractor. And I thought, I need something that is regular and kind of help kick me out of this funk I'm in. And I got a job at Safeway and they immediately put me in charge of the safe and be a bookkeeper. And I thought, okay, um, and it was what I learned from that experience is one, there are a whole lot of people in our society that are struggling to make a living with no money at all. Um, I quit after six months because I wasn't making enough money to pay the bills and it was taking time away from self-employment where I could make four times as much money. Right?

[00:23:46] Exactly. Yeah. So, yeah, sometimes you have to. Now. Now it was Safeway bought out by Harris Teeter. Is Safeway still in on its own? Do you know?

[00:23:57] Um, at the time I was there, it was part of the parent company and Vons was the main. Yeah, we.

[00:24:04] Don't have that here. Yeah. Yeah, but. So I've been noticing. Did you ever hear of a grocery store called Aldi's?

[00:24:12] No.

[00:24:13] Oh, my God. They should have an Olympics for cashiers, and they would wipe everybody out. The. The best cashier on the face of the earth at Harris Teeter, Safeway or Kroger's would lose to the worst cashier at Aldi's. They're like the Tasmanian devil let loose. I started going there just because to watch them how fast they are.

[00:24:36] Well, now I'm betting that behind the scenes there is a whole lot of incentive for their employees to work hard.

[00:24:42] I would say, yeah, that's because they are just lightning fast. You can't believe it. You can hardly get your credit card in before your basket's already packed up and ready to go. That's amazing. Yeah.

[00:24:54] And I think that's part of what's missing in common business these days, is the knowledge that if you serve the people working for you, they're going to serve your clients.

[00:25:06] Yeah. And. And a lot of stuff is disincentive because. Yeah. Hey, do a rotten job. If we yell at you about it, we're going to sue you. You know, the employee will sue you. Yeah, that's true too. It's a disincentive. So. So if you had to boil it down, what are in your entrepreneurial life? What would you say are some of the biggest mistakes that you make that people should be very careful of?

[00:25:37] Well. I think one big mistake was. Um, in my marriage partnership. I. Personally was not. Believing the support was there for me to really dig into the time and energy required for. I can't say this word. I'm sorry. Tom. But entrepreneur.

[00:26:10] Entrepreneurial.

[00:26:13] Entrepreneurialship.

[00:26:14] Perfect. Yeah, but you, no matter what you did, you couldn't be doing worse than Kevin Costner lately because his wife wants $250,000 a month in child support. You know, they got the kids got to eat, you know? Yeah.

[00:26:31] You know, sometimes. Yeah. Oh, God, that's just a Pandora's box. But I can tell you some of the positives I've learned from my experience and the one that lives with me the most is when we were making Baja, we production all took place in Mexico.

[00:26:49] And what was your role there?

[00:26:51] And I was a producer on that, um, right from beginning to end pre-production, production and then distribution. And we were in Loreto, which is a small town right about midway on the east coast of Baja. We had just landed. I lost one of the principal actresses who was going to play the mother of these four characters that the story centers around. I didn't know where I was going to sleep. Um, and there's an important scene that involves a boat that an outlaw owns and the boat had lined up. I had just gotten a call that it wasn't available anymore. The engine had gone out. Oh, geez. And I'm on the stairs and I'd been dealing with SAG and the Directors Guild nonstop, jumping through all their hoops. And I'm sitting on the stairs of this cafe that's closed, but it has Wi-Fi, and I, like I want to quit. I can't do this. I'm in way over my head. I've been drowning for two weeks solid. I want to quit. And I sat there with that and there was nowhere to go. There's no flights out of Loreto. There was nowhere for me to go. So that choice was off the table. Quitting was off the table. So I gathered up and I thought, All right, what am I going to do? And it came together. I worked it out. So the most important lesson is if you take quitting off the table, there is a solution.

[00:28:27] Beautiful, beautiful thought. Absolutely. Kind of reminds me of, you know, Robert Rodriguez. Yes. Rebel without a crew. Yeah. How he got started. And he was in Mexico getting the police to give him, you know, their Uzis to use during the film and stuff. Yeah.

[00:28:47] Yeah. He's someone I absolutely admire. Yeah, he is.

[00:28:50] Yeah, he went after that. That deal, I think it was. What was that movie Desperado or something? Where the guy with the guitar.

[00:29:00] Yes. Yeah. And Antonio Banderas.

[00:29:04] And. Yeah.

[00:29:05] So was it Salma Hayek?

[00:29:06] And that was like and Antonio Banderas. And so he went from that one crazy thing. In fact, they were calling him a liar because they said, You can't possibly have developed all this film for as cheap as, you know, you did the whole movie. And he said, Yeah, I did. I figured it out. So that's a that's a really great thing. When the quitting is off the table, you got to go do it. You got to figure it out. So, so. Well, great. Hey, we got live with Greg and we got moped outlaws. So how do they how do they get find those things and get signed up?

[00:29:47] Well, the easiest way is if you go to Gregory wilker.com Gregory Willkomm that pretty much will bring all the pieces together.

[00:29:59] Beautiful. Well very interesting, Greg. Glad you could come on. And it just like I said, a guy that's just had an up and down career and just making it and got a beautiful family and you know your kids How many kids you got?

[00:30:18] I have three children and they are definitely a light in my life.

[00:30:22] Yeah, I saw something that you movie. What was that movie you did with them when they were little?

[00:30:28] Oh, the shoe.

[00:30:29] The shoe? Yeah. That was the cutest thing.

[00:30:32] Well, if I may, if we have time, I could share a quick. Yeah. So, of course, as a father, I want to teach my children something. And we made that quick little film, and they were around, like, 11, eight, and the youngest one was around 2 or 3. Um, we shot out a sequence and things happened that weren't planned. And then I put it together and put it out in the world and my children saw it. And I remember having conversations with them where they realized what they were seeing on TV and on movie screens was not reality, that it was a manufactured reality.

[00:31:09] Explain to everybody what shooting out of sequence means.

[00:31:13] So the beginning of the story may be the very last thing shot. So the sequence of the way the story's presented is not the way it's shot. Yeah.

[00:31:25] And if you have a bunch of scenes in the same location, you're not going to leave that location and then come back every time you need it. You shoot them all at that one place. So it's all out of whack. Out of out of sequence.

[00:31:39] Exactly. Yes. Yes. So I was really happy that they learned at an early age that these are made up stories and.

[00:31:51] Yeah. And the.

[00:31:52] Realities differ.

[00:31:53] Just like the government. Yeah.

[00:31:57] Oh, my gosh. That's a Pandora's.

[00:31:59] Box. See, I don't live where you live. I can get away with more stuff over here, and.

[00:32:05] I'm okay with us slamming the government.

[00:32:08] So. Well, thanks so much for coming on, Greg.

[00:32:12] Well, Tom, thank you. And I just want to say, you have been an inspiration for me. I always appreciate running elbows with someone who has made it. It gives me hope for myself.

[00:32:24] Well, there's like you said, there's no option. There's no quitting. So I've had my share of downs to that, I'll tell you. So anyway, thanks for coming on, folks. Check out live with Greg and Moped Outlaws and you can find them at Gregory wilker.com and check out my episode on Moped outlaws I think it was July 3rd it was released and and and leave feedback that they wish there was a gun in the graphics.

[00:32:56] Yes perfect.

[00:32:58] All right everybody. We'll catch you on the next episode. See you later.