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  • Francisco Mahfuz

E38. On The Journey to Master Storytelling with Quentin Allums



Below is an AI-generated transcript and therefore it may contain errors.


Francisco Mahfuz 0:00

Hi everyone, Francisco here. Just before we get started, I wanted to share something I'm really excited about. I recently launched the story powers bootcamp, a course that teaches you everything you need to know about how to find craft and tell stories that work. But it's not just an online course, because you get personalised feedback from me for all the practical activities in three hours of life coaching to work through any challenges, or focus on specific projects. So it's like if you bought a cookbook, but the chef came along with it. So go to story powers.com and click on Course, all the information you need will be there. So please check it out. And if you love the show, and would like to support us, you can go to buy me a coffee.com forward slash story powers. I drink about five coffees a day, so any support would be much appreciated. All right on with the show.


Welcome to the story powers podcast, the show about the power of stories that people who tell them and why you should be doing it too. I'm your host, keynote speaker and storytelling coach Francisco mahfuz. My guest today is Quentin alums. When I booked someone in for the podcast, I asked them to send me a short description I can use to introduce them. But Quentin wrote, I'm just kill so many changes in my life right now. I don't even know how to answer this question. Haha. What I can tell you is that he was one of the first people to go all in as a video creator on LinkedIn. And his content has been seen more than 10 million times since he spoke at VidCon that acts and inbound and as one of the founders of urban misfit ventures, a startup will help individuals and companies build influence and leverage content through video storytelling. He's also recently started stupid deep, which he describes as a cinematic podcasts and what's possibly a never ending journey to becoming a master storyteller. Finally, he was on a mission to bring back the black fedora as an acceptable fashion statement. Ladies and gentlemen, Quentin Allums. Kill cool. Welcome to the show.


Quentin Allums 2:09

I'm excited. I dig that intro.


Francisco Mahfuz 2:13

Well, listen, I think I have good news for you today. Because I know that, you know, as you said, you your life is going through a lot of changes, and you running your own company and all of that. And I've read how you, you find refreshing at the moment your focus is on on the podcast and on the creation process. So what I don't want to talk about today is I don't want to talk about business, I want to talk about growth, leadership and training. And none of that. All I want to talk about is story. And in the creation process you use for story, happier that.


Quentin Allums 2:48

I dig that, man, I respect even Florida.


Francisco Mahfuz 2:53

Cool. So So I think the first thing I wanted to start with is, you know, I started listening to your podcast. And can you just describe people what it's like, because it's I don't know if I've heard anyone do what you're doing there? Yeah.


Quentin Allums 3:08

Just my entire life. Like, when I was a kid, I was thinking back like, randomly, I was like, I need inspiration. So I started watching like these old spider man cartoons. Like I'm a big nerd that went on Disney plus, just why


Francisco Mahfuz 3:20

not why, like you're a bit more.


Quentin Allums 3:23

But we're gonna be Fred. But I was watching these cartoons, and you had like these pop ups and bam. And I just started thinking in my childhood, you know, and I'd watch watch like Kobe Bryant do like his signature moves on nike.com. And then I would go to the court for hours and like, do the same thing. And like, take notes, like record myself. And I would do that for everything. When I became an entrepreneur, I became a speaker, like, same thing, like taking these notes on people. And I was like, How can I bring like, who I am as a person to like the audio world? Like, what is my brand sound like? And I've never been able to answer that question. So I really wanted to do something that sounded like me that felt like me like the random like, okay, hold on pause, I need to like, go deeper on this, like, let's talk on this. But I'm gonna


Francisco Mahfuz 4:08

I'm gonna pick you up on the pause thing in a bit. But but


Quentin Allums 4:12

something that like that felt like me, you know. So it's really just my audio journal. So I'm having conversations with top performers, people that I consider top performers. So then I have that full audio. It's typically like an hour and a half, doing a lot of research on these people. But then I go back. I pick like the major points of the major story points that I want to dig a little deeper on. And then I dissect those on the podcast. And then the back end of the podcast as well. We're actually dissect like my performance on it. But on the podcast, I think that you listened to I really just wanted to focus on creating an experience on creating a visual for the people that are listening, like how can I I tap into their imagination versus just having a conversation with someone. It's hard to explain, but it's just stories. Yeah,


Francisco Mahfuz 4:57

I guess. I guess the way I would explain it to people is It clearly sounds like you had a very long conversation with this people. And then you decided to choose what might add up to maybe 567 minutes of audio, or clips. And then you interfering that with your own narration about stuff from your personal life about your interpretation of what they're saying, in music and you know, sound effects. And the whole pause thing, which is you're pressing the pause button and then say, pause. So yeah, no, I just, I found it really interesting. I haven't come across anyone doing anything like that. And one of the questions that came to me was, so how do you? How do you pitch that to the guests? Because if the guest doesn't know that, you're going to do that? It must be very strange to listen back to that podcast.


Quentin Allums 5:45

Yeah, so they do know. They just didn't know like, exactly what it would sound like. And also, like, Lewis houses, my first guest, and I'm like, dude, okay, like, just tell me your story. I'm gonna edit it this way. But the way that I explained it was completely different than what I came up with. It just it changed when I was doing it. I was like, No, I like that. I'm going to do this. But they do know. And I've found that most people that hop on podcasts, unless you have a podcast, I don't think there's much ROI in hopping on podcast, it's like, what am I actually going to get? What's the point, other than, like, we'll have a good relationship. And I wanted to do something that was like, I can build a platform that people like legit want to listen to. And they'll discover new things that they didn't know about this person, you know, and I'll drive traffic to you. And it'll be fun. And it'll be something like you've never heard before, you know, and like that, to me, it was ROI. Like, I'll do something different. And I'm really good at different I'm not so good in the in the bands that I'm good at. I'm good at different, you know.


Francisco Mahfuz 6:41

So let me just understand how they work. So you have the conversation, I take it, this is a fairly open conversation. And then what do you do you sync of? What's the story that's gonna run alongside it? And then look for the clips? Or do you have clips, I was like, No, I have to use this clip, this clip has to go in. And the story comes from there,


Quentin Allums 7:00

it's really difficult. And I'm trying to like narrow down on what that process looks like. Because eventually I'll probably try to outsource parts of it. I I'm doing everything myself right now. And I'm actually enjoying it. So I'm gonna hold on to it. But essentially, I do a lot of research on this person. So I read their books, if they have multiple I read them all. I'm listening to the podcast episodes, I'm listening to other interviews they've done to see what questions they've been asked like everything I can find. And then I put together like a profile on this person, basically, like their entire life, what they've done, what that looked like, point by point, like what that looked like, point A to point B to point C. And then I come up with an outline for the episode, which is all the questions that I'm going to ask. So let's say it's, Louis, I want to talk about his initial like, football career, then let's dive into LinkedIn. Then let's dive into school greatness. So I have those major points, and then bullets underneath and follow up questions. And then I just kind of like riff in between there when I'm actually doing the episode. Then I have the full interview. And that goes on my timeline. I delete my my part. And I just focus on theirs. And I just flagged important things. Wow, he talked about being on a couch. Wow, he talked about career. Well, we talked about the fight. Well, we talked about this, and there's probably like 30 bullets where I'm like, That's interesting. Now I've got to pick like three of them. And I'll typically pick like four, and then I separate them. And then I'm like, Okay, I'll either look at my diary, or I'll think to something that happened. And I'm like, that's cool. That kind of connects. And typically, I'll end up deleting it because it makes no sense. And I'm like, That's too much of a stretch. But I like this middle thing that I talked about here, because that connects here. Something that I'm just dissecting what he did, then I'm like, I would love if the audience went on this journey. So let's like, let's try to like nudge them over here. And then I honestly don't know, I don't have a full process. It just kind of comes together. The more I listen to it, I know when it's wrong. But when it's right, it's like I can't hear it any other way. Like I can't hear it any other way. This is the way it's supposed to be. It's like creating music man. I It's hard to explain.


Francisco Mahfuz 9:01

You talked about podcasts that are why and I think a lot of what you described there is what I feel to be the greatest ROI of for us you know the people hosting it, because the way I see it and I just this image just came to me the other day is it's a puzzle. Right so so I have so you for example right now I've seen a lot of as I said to you when when I when I reached out I said I'm not saying I'm your greatest fan and I know everything you've done but I know you're very big here on the space and you in you recognise as a video storyteller, so that so I have a massive mystery ahead of me like who is this guy? What can I talk to him about that is interesting for both of us for the audience. In then you start you know listen to podcasts, you read books, you you research and then some things just start jumping out into me just starts falling into place. With the added complication. I think I have are imposed on myself is I don't want I don't usually want people stories like for our crew, which is crazy for a story podcast, I don't want you to tell your story because you've told your story so many times in every podcast in every speech, and it's a great story as most people's stories are, but I don't need to have you on to get that story. So there's also this element of, okay, how can we approach this subject, get all his expertise, get his experience, but not just have him do the same thing over and over.


Quentin Allums 10:31

And that's when it becomes fun for the guests, you know, which a lot of a lot of hosts don't realise. It's like, hey, well, you got Lewis house. That's so cool. I'd love to interview Lewis house. It doesn't matter like Lewis house is dope. But that's not what makes a podcast. Like it's a part of it. It's a big part of it. But if you're just asking them the same questions, it doesn't matter, like,


Francisco Mahfuz 10:48

and I think no, no guests will ever be able to complain about coming on to your show, that they, they might be asked the same things, but they will never complain that the final product is the same as everything else. Yeah, I can. I can imagine that. Just sharing that for someone who's like, listen, Mike Lewis, why you sent me one more podcast that you've been on. Like? I've heard. I've heard your thoughts. No, no, no, listen to this one. This one is actually different.


Quentin Allums 11:15

So no, I did. I did send it to him too. And it's like, if you listen to that episode, like he's like, he was a reason I studied him. Like when I was like, China, like make it big on LinkedIn really grow. In I did, and I sent it to him. He's like, Dude, this is incredible. Like his whole team, listen to it. That That means the world, you know, because I know most guests haven't listened to my show previously, like my previous shows, like, our 20 long interview, like, typically, there's no way unless it's like, yeah,


Francisco Mahfuz 11:43

alright, so that's, that's the audio and you're just working through your, your process. Now. What I wanted to try and understand this, I mean, a video you've been doing for a lot longer, right? So how is there a process that you take when you want to do video storytelling? So you know, does there's something you always try to do? Is there some particular framework you try to follow him? And how does that work? Yeah.


Quentin Allums 12:10

For me, as an individual, not so much, I'm very, very go with the flow when I had a team for sure. We always started with the ideation process. And typically, we would fall into groupthink. And it often came when I came up with an idea, or one of my business partners is he came up with an idea. Everyone's like, oh, yeah, that's great. Let's do it. So one of our, actually, our director of ops, made us write all of our ideas down beforehand, like three to four ideas, we all came into the room, like our war room, big whiteboard, you know, and we just pitched ideas to each other, it was like the most fun thing. Just pitched ideas, you can't You're not allowed to like go deeper on anything like just this is the idea, then we would pick a few. And then we would build on these. And we came up with some of our best ideas. Through through that process, like one of our mental health like event, we turned it into a film like that was the most fun I've had, you know, the most impact, probably, like, done through an event and through a film, just super, super dope and super quirky, super creative, just because we decided to ideate you know, and not not stick to one single idea. But for me as an individual, it's just like, what's what's idea? Like, I have a scientific notebook. Typically, I approach everything from audio to events to videos the same way like, what's the hypothesis, you know, like, like, what are what do I believe is going to happen? What am I trying to achieve? And then I, I test it, and I measure it. And this is what happened. Okay, let's do it again. That's That's my approach for most things. Ads, video, audio.


Francisco Mahfuz 13:47

Yeah, the reason I'm asking about the process is because to me, a lot of the stuff you do is completely alien. Right now I have no talent for for video. And I am. This was actually quite pretentious when I say it, but I'm like the purest, simplest, or storyteller, you can come across. Like if you ever watch anything I put out on social media. It's a it's a sort of a sort of a two minute to three minute when take story. That is a story. Like there's no wedding, there isn't just me saying five years ago, blah, blah, blah. And then I'm just telling a story. So there is nothing, there is nothing about it there is that perhaps would have sounded out of place when it comes to storytelling hundreds of years ago, right. I'm just telling stuff that happened and you know, having some sort of point to it. But but other than that, whereas I watched some of the stuff that you guys have on the urban misfits website. And none of that is sort of straightforward storytelling. So I watched for example, the one with the one of the school where you're talking about the work with the school that is famed for for having a lot of children that are supposedly difficult that failed and other in other in other schools. And then it's just a whole bunch of people from the school including students telling a bit about their their experience with the school. There's plenty of storytelling being done there. But that's not straightforward. There's not. This is what the story of the school is not about the story of one student. So I'm just trying to sort of wrap my head around how the creation process for that, yeah, goes?


Quentin Allums 15:24

Well, it depends, you know, because with business, you know, I think a lot of entrepreneurs, and I know, he said, we wouldn't talk about business with businesses, but a lot of entrepreneurs that go into


Francisco Mahfuz 15:34

as long as it's not our business, it's fine. Other people's business, always fun.


Quentin Allums 15:38

Oh, yes. A lot of you stay with it, I got it, I got it, I'm getting older. But you know, a lot of entrepreneurs like they go into, like, let's start a business because I want to work for myself, or I want freedom. But it often becomes honestly, it always becomes your boss becomes the client. The boss is the client. So the boss has an idea of what that final product should look like. They have their own hypothesis, they have their own, like, I need this to happen. So when that depending on the relationship, um, it's not always like that a lot of times, it's just like, Yo, like, I trust you guys. Like, what do you think let's come up with the storyboard pitch to us. Okay, let's go. But sometimes it's like, this is my idea for it. So that that often weighed into what we did, especially since we were only content. We barely did strategy on personal branding said we did, but it was only content. So we worked with a lot of like, whoever their agency of record was, we came in we partnered with them, we were rarely the agency of record sometimes. But that weighed in that played a huge part in like what that final product looked like, because they had their own idea, or the other agency had their own idea. We were really good on the content side. Really good on the story side, but a lot of people just wanted to treat us like cameras, we started to move our way out of that. As we got older, but we were only to your company. You know,


Francisco Mahfuz 17:00

I love how you say how you use the word older in a way that most people don't? Aren't you like 27? Dude?


Quentin Allums 17:08

26 going on? 27 There you go.


Francisco Mahfuz 17:12

excute more experienced is the word you should say about the other coffee that wrote yourself. Shake Oh. Okay, so So you when you started, and I know that wasn't particularly successful, but it you started doing vlogging, right? You're just recording yourself filming. But then I've, you know, to watch some of your stuff. And it's significantly more sophisticated than that. And so is the type of audio storytelling that you're doing. So just thinking about the latest project and the stuff you were doing before? How do you find audio to be different than the video when you're trying to tell a story? How are we finding but it's better or harder?


Quentin Allums 17:54

It's an incredible question. I found I love video, I made my name with video. But video to me is a crutch. Especially with the world, the worlds that I'm trying to create in the imagery that I want to create. If you think about video, even if you're listening to this podcast on video, you know, you'll see that I have a hat on it says strange on purpose. But if you're just listening to audio, and I say I have a hat on, and I'm wearing a sweater, and then I keep talking about something but then I come back and ask you what does that hat look like? And this isn't my idea. I think Alex I want to say Bloomberg, I'm blanking on whoever the Gimli guy is I did his course Onyx Momo said this and it was incredible. And he's like, you will have an image in your head of what that hat looks like. It might be blue, it might be white with fuzzies it might be striped, but there's an image in your head. So video like I'm it's a crutch. I'm creating this image but audio, you are kidding yourself. So it sticks with you so much longer, you know you have this image. It's why like books are so much better than movies, oftentimes, because you're creating this image, you know, in for what I wanted to do like that imagination piece in that sticking with someone. Like that's what I wanted to do. There's a bunch of different reasons but the main the main reason for me is like that, that power of imagination and tapping into that and creating worlds and experiences for people versus showing them what it should look like. But allowing them to craft that story themselves and including them in that story process. Like that's the most beautiful part, like audio like hands down to me like that's the future man. It's why you see so many companies being bought up. It's why you see so many audio platforms appearing now. You know, like I'm obsessed with clubhouse right now like they said, there's so many of them and they were like none back in the day, like


Francisco Mahfuz 19:35

for the record like to state that he's wearing a unicorn hat is not going to tell you that forever. I would. I would. Right? So I haven't heard of Alex Bloomberg say that. But I have heard Kyndra Hall who's a very well known storytelling keynote speaker and she works in Success Magazine now and what she described something very similar just said she calls this co creation now I don't think she invented it. But I heard from her. And what she says is, I think her example was, if you were describing, say, your dream, your dream home, right, the more so I can tell you about my dream home, in the moment I start telling about my dream home, you start imagining whatever your dream home is. But if I show you a picture of my dream home, then your brain is going, Oh, hold on. That's not how I was picturing it. And then you have a clash there a conflict, which is, you know, as you said, the books are better than the movie, because if you watch the movie second, then the movie is competing with your idea of, you know, what Harry Potter looked like, if you watch the movie first. I don't think you have that issue. But it's taken away a lot of the of the fun of reading a book where you can just imagine things by yourself. And I don't know if there's any scientific evidence on it. But I would probably guess that the more you co create, the more you you feel attached to the story, and probably the more you remember it, compared to to say movies, but be interesting to find out if that's actually the case, at least being a big book nerd. That is, that's how I always felt about that. So yeah,


Quentin Allums 21:15

it's weird when you like, you read, like, let's say two books, and then a movie comes out, then you watch a movie, and then you go back to read the next book. And it's like, what do you imagine that is it that those characters are the characters you knew a lot.


Francisco Mahfuz 21:27

And I also find interesting how, and I think this varies a lot from person to person. But I find that I'm not that visual, when it comes to what I'm imagining. It's, the way I've described it before is it's more of a feeling or a taste. So you know, I'm thinking of a character, and I just have this broad idea of what this person looks like. And that's it. I never tried to define the features of the face or anything like that. I just don't, and I don't need it.


Quentin Allums 21:56

But what's fascinating to me, that's just


Francisco Mahfuz 21:59

going to do you like when you're reading a book, are you genuinely trying to imagine the outfits in detail? Because,


Quentin Allums 22:06

like, imagine, it's like, for me, like, and this is just how I am in life. Like, I like transport. Like, I've always been, like, just obsessed with stories. I'm not saying like any more than anyone else. Like I just like, even in my life, like when I'm imagining something like I'm there, like I see everything. Like, I don't know why it's just, that's just how I am like, it's, it's not that I'm paying attention. Oh, well, he's got a flannel shirt on, like, like, he's got some Jordans on, that's incredible. But I see those things, you know, like, I don't know why it's just it's always been like that just super colourful, super vivid.


Francisco Mahfuz 22:36

I don't know, I guess that this is something that everyone who who considers themselves a nerd, probably probably feels the same as you know, if, if there were plenty of things in your childhood that you, you weren't that happy to live in the moment, then then whatever gave you narrative transportation where it could, you know, comic books or books or video games or whatever, then you had a great incentive to live fully into those were in those worlds. And not in you know, in the the one we were, we had to live in


Quentin Allums 23:09

trouble that you can escape by, like listening to tape, or I know people think it's bad, but escaped by listening. Like I saw a quote on Instagram, like, isn't it wild that we read a book and you're just staring at a piece of a tree and hallucinating? Like, that's incredible. It's so credible.


Francisco Mahfuz 23:26

I mean, you know, I don't we don't need to go into the, you know, the science of storytelling and all of that. But but we know that the science is very impressive. I think you said on your on your TED TEDx talk, that, you know, if you if we could watch the brain, as you're hearing a story, the brain, the whole brain lights up, I think your expression was lights up like the Fourth of July. And that's 100% True. I mean, there was actually so it was Spanish researchers. I'm live here in Spain in Barcelona, Spanish researchers that found that if you if you read someone saying, you know, I ate this steak, the part of your brain that deals with taste lights up at the back of the brain really struggles to differentiate what is what is sensory information from a story and what is real sensory information. You know, once you understand that, a lot of what happens when when you're experiencing a story makes a lot more sense it which is very different than most of our conversations and hope you forgive exchanging opinions and ideas. And that's all very interesting, but it doesn't do what story does, because we didn't evolve for it, whereas we evolved for story. Yeah,


Quentin Allums 24:34

I agree, man. And I I just want to go back to something you said earlier is like you You are like very traditional in the way that you just tell stories. And it's like there's no edits, there's no cuts like, I think people get married to this idea that stories need to be highly produced or they need to be not produced or they need to be acts like there's this one definition like it could be anything bro like, just sitting there and telling a story is actually one of the hardest things to do. One of the hardest things to do It's actually pretty easy to edit a story, it's pretty easy to mess it up. But like, sitting there, like just telling a story is like one of the hardest things to do to captivate someone like that. So kudos to you.


Francisco Mahfuz 25:11

Thank you very much. I mean, it's the only thing I know. So I'm gonna make a leap here, that's going to seem counterintuitive, but I think I heard you say this, that or we read somewhere. And we were talking about companies and the work you did with companies, you said that your employees are your greatest asset, and you should use their stories to drive traffic. Can you talk a little about that, and then I'll bring it back to the stuff we're talking about. Yeah.


Quentin Allums 25:42

So ever since we started, in my head, I was building out this programme, and then eventually on paper to turn all of our employees into influencers on every platform, not just LinkedIn. But LinkedIn was a big focus, because that's where the money is, and a lot of organic reach. And for the most part, we did it. We had millions of views, like every month, across all of our, all of our stuff. And we did like no paid advertisement, we had at least like 10 leads through the door every month, you know, like, not trying and let's just do me, you know, like, not trying, barely trying, like one time, like our business coaches, like you need to get a better website, like, what are you doing? No, not a business coach, someone else like, what are you doing? Like, this site is doing nothing. And I like started stressing over it. I'm like, damn, like, our site is ugly. Like, let's fix it. Then one night, I'm like, What am I doing? Like, we're not struggling? Like, who cares? Like, like, we're doing exactly what we're supposed to be doing. We're really good at this one thing, who cares about our website, if it's bad, it's bad. Just lean into our employees, it's lean into ourselves, really focus on that influencer side, and it worked. And then we had our best month ever, January 2020. And February 2020, again, but really leaning into that employee said, and I've done work in the past, too. It's not like on my LinkedIn or resume or anything, but I would go into companies and teach them about this, like, you should be leveraging your employees. There's a lot of pushback there. I understand it, like what if they leave, we're investing in our employees. But those people are always gonna be advocates, you know, they'll always be driving traffic if you do it. Right.


Francisco Mahfuz 27:15

Right. So so that is not what I was thinking. No, no, I get it. It's great. But I'll tell you what I was thinking of wide connected to the point we were talking about before, what I was thinking of is that so one of the things I do and I talk to companies about doing is advertise stories have tended to be more of an advertising tool than anything else, you know, at least in the in the recent business world. So when you're talking about companies being good at storytelling, most people tend to think of companies like Nike, and they are they're they're absolutely fantastic at storytelling. But what very few people know is that there are a lot of companies that use storytelling internally a lot that I don't know if you know this about Nike, but I think it's fascinating that they started in the 70s with this when they were really growing a lot. And then one of their sales managers, a guy called Nelson Farris said, there's just too many new people, and they don't know what we're about, like, they don't know where a store is. They don't know anything. And then the management said, Nelson, that sounds like a great idea. Why don't you go tell them then. And he started and he started doing that. And he started doing for like, an hour, and then two hours and a half a day, a full day and ended up being two full days. So it's been two full days, just telling new employees, where they've come from, where they're going, successes, failures, that sort of stuff. And then they named him chief storyteller. And that was his job for 40 years. And then you talk to companies now and you say, you keep looking for the sort of viral thing, right. But if your employees are doing the job, well, they're probably doing staff every day, there would be a great story to share. You just need to, you know, create an environment that they feel comfortable to share those stories, and then let everybody know about them. Because, you know, companies have mission statements and corporate values that no one could understand or be motivated by, just just find your employees who've been around for longer and ask them, What is the last time you did something a bit out of the ordinary for for a customer? What has happened in this job that has made you feel proud to work here, and you get plenty of stories and those stories are great advertisement, and they're great for pretty much everything. Right? And is that when I read that, that's what I was thinking about. And those stories will undoubtedly be two to three minute oral stories, they will just share an experience. And it's I think it's an untapped resource in most companies. But it's I'm trying to, I'm trying to convince them it is.


Quentin Allums 29:48

It is a there's a company, huge company in Milwaukee but they're global. Kohler. They like they have their own internal social media platform. You know, like it's it's definitely In untapped resources, like those stories, like, easily can drive traffic.


Francisco Mahfuz 30:07

It sounds so cold. I love stories, they drive traffic.


Quentin Allums 30:12

I mean, like, think about it, like, it's manipulation, like not to sound bad, like, because manipulation can be terrible. But it's also a good thing to you know, like, even like, true like narratives like Harry Potter, you know, like they achieve something, you know, like, it's driving traffic, whether emotion whatever, like it's doing something like all stories do that good stories do that.


Francisco Mahfuz 30:33

Right? It's it's communication at the end of the day, right? You know, you can you can communicate with the best intention in the world, but but if you're a better communicator than most, some could argue that you're being manipulative with the way you're communicating, I think it's going to come down to intention, not to, not to the tools you're using. Okay, so within the easy part. I'm gonna start creating this up a notch. So there is this quote, there was this quote, you said, I think was on the podcast, right? Or in a podcast, and then the call, quote was, we're not we think we are, we are not who they think we are. We are who we think they think we are going to talk about that for a second.


Quentin Allums 31:18

Yeah, yeah. So really, it's just saying that we could have this idea of who we are, you know, like, That's most people's perception of like, self image or whatever. But it really is like, I am who I think my girlfriend thinks I am, if that makes sense. So I'm really playing this role to what other people think I'm it's hard for me to explain. There's a proper term for it. I studied sociology, I'm just blanking right now. It might be looking glass mirror, if not, is something else like that, right? But really, you are who you think you are to the world is any theory of mind theory of mind, it might be I'm a bomb, and I got like a D minus at every single class. But you are playing the role to who you think you are, or who you think you are to the world. That's really what that is saying.


Francisco Mahfuz 32:04

Yeah. So So you, you talked a lot about how the way people see you or other people. So the story that the outside world sees is often very, very different than what's going on, on the inside. And you've I've seen you talk about this on your posts, as I think you had the one that was a video I actually commented on because you had some particular running gear on and and you said something like, I messed up? Because Because you had them been talking about what was going on on the on the inside? So I guess my question, my question is, is there a true story you believe, and that's the one that should be communicated to the world, or, or generally, there, these are just different stories. And sometimes we will just choose to believe on one and not the other?


Quentin Allums 32:53

Yeah, I think it just all comes back to authenticity. I think everything I've said is true. But there are parts that people just don't either internalise or they don't want to hold on to, in this stuff that I just don't share, because I just don't want to share, there was a big duality, you know, when you first start, and there's a lot, there's a big duality when a lot of people first start cuz you struggling, you know, and you don't, you're not going to attract clients, if you're like, Oh, I can't pay rent this month, like, because that's how attractive you know. But for me, I saw like, my personal brand skyrocketing, but my bank got like, diminishing, you know, and it's like, wow, like my powers off. But these people think I'm amazing. Like, in struggling with that not sharing that story. And then later on, I did, and I still talk a lot about that, you know, and I still talk about a lot of that, and struggling, you know, sleeping on my office floor, like being homeless, like all those things. Like, that is a true story, you know, but still people like some people only will ever know me as like, that's the LinkedIn video guy that had that one viral posts, like cool. That's a guy that was a big black hat cool. Some people know me, like, he really likes eSports other people, like he built a seven figure agency, like, that's cool. And he did this and this and this, like, people will see you however they want to see you. And I think that's cool. And that's important. But coming back to what that is, or to that quote, you know, like, it's how you view yourself. And that story that you tell yourself, I think that's the most important thing, because eventually people will more people at least will see whatever it is that you're trying to communicate, they'll never see it all. They'll never have all the context that you have for yourself, but they'll have more if you continue to share.


Francisco Mahfuz 34:23

Yeah, the story we tell ourselves is a very interesting part of the of the whole story conversation. And I so I don't know if I was just blast, hashtag blast with, with no self awareness, or not enough self awareness, because I have generally tended to believe the most positive sides of whatever story I was leaving, right. So I and to this day, I mean, there's there is you know, I told you right, just before we started that, you know, I'm suffering from kidney stones right. And I posted about this today. And if you read it, it's it's probably on the fence Nice things I've ever written right now. At some point in talking about my daughter is that like the paramedics came meetings I called an ambulance on Saturday in the paramedics came in and my daughter started crying. Not because she's concerned for me, but because I had to make her stop watching frozen. And then, and then I was in the hospital, and my and my mates were like, so So where are you are, you're right, we want someone to come over and stay there with you. And I'm like, Well, I'm gonna break from the children. And I'm high. Like, this is the best foot of head time. So that I think I've just, for whatever reason, maybe because I'm just constantly trying to be funny. I've found that angle to look in. And I'm reading my own story through that lens. But what I thought was, was very interesting is that the way you talked about it in some of your writing was as if there is the true story, and the story, everybody's choosing to believe. And I read that and I thought, they are not different to me. Like, I know, I didn't think because you're being successful in your business, that meant you were balling. And, you know, it's convertibles. And, and, and parties, and everything is great. And you're building a business, right takes time for you to move from one point to the other. So I think for you,


Quentin Allums 36:23

for you, and maybe people like you, yeah. But I would say the other is there is that, you know, like, and people come up to me, or before pre COVID, you know, would come up to me like, dude, like, I want to be exactly where you're at, like, all these things. Like, you have this many employees like, this is the most amazing thing. Like, can I shadow you, and they have like this vision of me, or I'm like, way up here and it often looks like that like, same like Lewis house for me. Like, I studied him, you know, like, it's not that he's not successful because he is, but I studied him. Like, I want to do this. I'm gonna do that too. Like, this is so cool, blah, blah, blah. And I had him up here. And it's not that he's not amazing or talented because he is but like, we're here. Not necessarily like I'm so amazing. And I made all this money cuz I haven't like whatever like but we are peers like same level you know?


Francisco Mahfuz 37:11

Man, your your name guys hold no sway with me.


Quentin Allums 37:15

i My, my apartment I'll show you after is so dope. My office is shit in my apartment. But my apartment is so dope. Like the views incredible. Just add me on Instagram. It's like my dream view. It is incredible. I just have never done anything to this office because I'm moving. But anyway.


Francisco Mahfuz 37:32

I can see the rehab behind you. I was a that's not what


Quentin Allums 37:38

I was a plague in virtual reality the other day, and I punched my closet doors. I broke my closet. But anyway, outside of that,


Francisco Mahfuz 37:47

I think, you know, not not trying to be like super psychologically deep about this stupid deep as some people might call it. But I think that a lot of times the people's view of someone else is just because they don't understand what goes into it. Right. So So for example, so thing I do a lot is speaking, right. And then I was talking to a friend the other day, we had this speaking thing on Saturday. And she's like, you know, are you ready for it? And I was like, Yeah, I'm ready. And she says, Oh, well, of course you ready? I was like, would you mean of course I'm ready. Well, you know, because because you're you I was like, what does that mean? Like, I have been writing down ideas for this thing for the last three or four months. And you know, I've just done some other stuff that was kind of related to us practising for it. So yeah, sure. When we came to the actual getting it done, it wasn't the hardest thing I've ever done. But it was six months that went into this All Things Considered to then deliver something that to you feel sort of like effortless, but it's never effortless. It's never, you know, a rock up. And you know, be fantastic. And I think unless you've done anything that some people consider to be high performance, they you just don't know that. Yeah, I agree. I agree. Lack of context, as any professional actor or, or athlete will probably tell you, I mean, it's not the amount of work that goes into being good. Anything is incredible. And that's that's perhaps the part that people don't, don't don't get right now, right. You said something else that that I wanted to pick you up on, because I don't want us to have any answers here. But I wanted your opinion. So you you described how you are one of the things that got you in story was gaming. And one of the examples you gave recently, we're playing a Spider Man game with Miles Morales, the new Spider Man and Miles Morales is a black hit. Or I was a Latin kid. It's black, black, black and white. Latin must be I mean,


Quentin Allums 39:46

you know he's Latino. Yeah, his mom is I'm not sure if she's Mexican or Puerto Rican. I think Mexican and then his dad's black.


Francisco Mahfuz 39:53

And he and you said that when you were growing up he we You didn't even think about that. Like you didn't even think that there was another desert people in the in the games you're playing or the comic books you're reading. They weren't, they didn't look like you. And I think it's probably fair because most people, I think Kenny kids will automatically think that when everyone in games of comic books always look the same. So it's not as if they look like everyone else except you. They just look like, you know, the ones like me. So the one I wanted to ask is, now times are very different. And I think it's amazing that we have Miles Morales, right, that's already an achievement that took way too long to happen. So my question to you is, when it comes to story, and particularly when it comes to visual types of story, do you think that is, is our obligation as storytellers to have that representation? The do we are the times now that we that, that what you experienced when you were growing up? And I experienced when I was growing up that, that it's sort of our responsibility to change that? Or is that sometimes, you know, trying to fix a real life problem with something that perhaps is not the biggest cause for the biggest factor for it? Yeah,


Quentin Allums 41:10

if you go back to that, quote, you know, you are not who you think you are, you're not who they think they are, you are who we think we are, who we think they think we are, whatever the actual code is, I always mess it up,


Francisco Mahfuz 41:21

saying that drunk must be terrible.


Quentin Allums 41:25

But if we go back to that, you know, in our image of what the world says, we are, you know, if you think about representation, like for me, it was like, I didn't see any black people in like mainstream media. And if I did, like even Ebony Magazine, it's a magazine about black beauty. Thinking back when I was a kid, I always thought about this. I was like, why does this black woman have straight hair? Why isn't it natural hair? You know, like, why are they only showing light skinned women? Why isn't it dark skinned women? Like just that image of what black people must be? me as a kid? I'm seeing that. It's like, wow, like, we're not we're not shit. Like, like, we're ugly. Like, we can't be superheroes, like all these different things like, that affects how we view the world. So as storytellers, I think storytellers have one, like, one of the strongest responsibilities in our society, you know, we've always had that, like, it's powerful, like, it's powerful, it's our obligation to tell stories, like how the world should look like, and what the world already does look like. And the world is not just white, you know, it's not just fair skin, it's a lot of other things. It's not just then it's not just, whatever the traditional, like, image of beauty is, like, it's so many more things, you know, that's not the world and all this beautiful, you know, like, it's all just perception anyways, I'll just opinion. Like, I think we have an obligation to show what the world should and what it does look like already. And for that, we need more voices to, you know, like more diverse voices in positions of power, telling these stories, giving other people the opportunity to tell stories, create these characters create these worlds, so that people can view themselves in a better light.


Francisco Mahfuz 42:58

And when you talk about beauty not being one thing, I mean, beauty is also wearing large glasses and a unicorn hat. Yep. It's part of it. No. And so one thing I immediately thought, okay, but audio, audio is not, you know, the representation audio is different than what it will be visually. But at the same time, one of the most powerful tools we have for generating MSA inclusion is the word but but to breaking down some of the barriers that that exist in most societies, is is letting people live through other people's experiences. And, and I remember I was very shocked when I found this out. But politically, because the term Uncle Tom has become a derogatory term in English in the last whatever, few decades. But that book, Uncle Tom's Cabin, was instrumental when it came to to demolition process, because most people had absolutely no idea what that experience was, like, you just you just did you couldn't relate to it, because you just had no idea. And then you read this book, and the book is like, but but this is horrible. I mean, this this is this reality is this how these people live every day. And that has a history goes was one of the things that again, there's plenty of other things that went into it. But there was one thing that started creating awareness of a reality that most people are just not, they just didn't know about. And this is something I constantly think about when when we live in such a complicated world as we are is how how storytelling can be such a dangerous thing, because you know, it's very money can be very manipulative, as I said earlier, but at the same time, it's so important to give people a chance to share those stories. Because the more of those different stories we hear, the more we relate to them, and the more relate to them, the harder it becomes to be an asshole to people


Quentin Allums 45:01

music is a good example. music music, especially talking about audio, like great example. Diverse, diverse voices, you know what music look like six years ago, it's completely different. Well, yeah, so


Francisco Mahfuz 45:13

music music is a bit of an odd example, because almost all good music from all time immemorial has been non white. Forever music Eli, who started the white people. Oh, but Elvis, dude. Yeah, so there's a lot of stuff that there is a lot of stuff that that by people would love to claim credit for. But with, you know, half a braid, you have to admit that music is not our area of expertise at all. Or dancing


Quentin Allums 45:51

tells a story it should come from around the world.


Francisco Mahfuz 45:55

Right. Okay, so, so I want to I want to wrap up, but I want to bring us back to the to the journey, sort of you're in now. So you're doing the podcast. And I know, there's some other stuff that you are, you're doing on the back of the podcast, like your channel purpose, and branding community and all of that stuff. But do you have any idea of the story arc of the podcast in what you're doing now what you expect to be doing? You know, 50 episodes down the line? Or you have not saw that through? Have you thought about different things.


Quentin Allums 46:28

I always think about these things when I was thinking about it before I even came up with the podcast, like it's just who I am. The reason why I really got into audio is because I was a musician. And I started thinking like, okay, album, one, album, two, and three, like they tell the stories, I don't want to just be a guy that has this long continuous podcast, it just goes on forever, stupid deep, I do plan on continuing on forever, because it's like my journey of becoming a better podcaster. But very soon here, probably within a few weeks, I'll be releasing a grief episode. But it's like totally different than the format I've already done. Completely experiential, completely. Like I just want to take people on a journey. And I'm going to use that as a launching pad to launch miniseries, which is technically my album one or album, two, whatever you want to say, just around grief. Each episode will be its own unique thing. And like I'm only gonna release like, let's say 10 and nothing else, then I want to do more in more. And I want to create like these albums and these stories and treat my creation process like art, where I'm telling stories on these many subjects versus just let's just interview people, you know, nothing wrong with that, because it's great. But I've already done it for so long, you know, and I want to I want to innovate, and I want to do something new. So that's, that's really where I want to go with the show. Just my again, it's my audio journal mine scientific notebook. I want to test new things and tell stories on top of the stories that I'm telling.


Francisco Mahfuz 47:48

Yeah. So I don't have the I mean, I completely see the music reference, because I remember being a kid in the, in the 90s. And that was, you know, albums were their own thing. There's a lot more than they are today. I think there's like the clear identity to that album in the Black Album wasn't the same as some, you know, the other stuff that Metallica came out with? But, but I was thinking of comic books, like you're describing. Yeah. going, Oh, this is Days of Future Past. And then it's a series and then it closes and then you have the Christmas Special, or at the end of the year special. However they called it and then you have something completely different sometimes with different artistic direction with a different voice. So yeah, I mean, I think that's pretty cool. And are you? Are you the person doing the sound stuff?


Quentin Allums 48:33

Yeah, I'm doing everything. I originally was going to get a partner, but I started editing and I fell in love. So I have no experience at all. Just


Francisco Mahfuz 48:41

he's very good. I mean, they did. Very, very, very good. Now, I don't know how many episodes you can do the pause thing where you pause, and then you say pause. I think you might get a bit too much you can let the Southie do the job by itself. But no, I mean, it's it's it's a sonic journey, for sure. And there's some podcasts like Radiolab which are absolutely amazing at that. But it but it's I think it's a very unexplored type of podcast. I think just people don't have the skill or the the sensibility for it. But when you when you pull it off, it's pretty cool.


Quentin Allums 49:17

Appreciate it, man. I appreciate you listening as well and having having me on. Well,


Francisco Mahfuz 49:21

thank you very much for your time Q we I didn't know your stuff before. I feel like a lot worn out. And I'm glad to have a chance to


Quentin Allums 49:29

talk about likewise. Man. I hope you feel better.


Francisco Mahfuz 49:32

Thank you very much. Oh, sorry. We talked about the podcast but other than the podcast, which is stupid deep and I know it's on Apple and Spotify now probably coming on to the other platforms at some point. Is there anywhere else you want to send people off to find your stuff?


Quentin Allums 49:47

I think that's it. If you have any questions, you can reach me anywhere on social at tag just Q but I've got nothing else I want to promote. I'm just kind of devoting everything into this creatively. Anyway,


Francisco Mahfuz 49:58

this is the first time you've said that in probably 10 years I think it's the podcast, nothing else


Quentin Allums 50:04

that was ever said that. It was great. It was great,


Francisco Mahfuz 50:07

but that's alright everyone. Thanks for tuning in. Take care of yourselves. And until next time


I hope you enjoy the show. And if you did, I'd love for you to subscribe and leave us a review or a rating on the Apple podcasts app. It's very easy. You open the app and find this show and scroll down a little and when you see the stars tap, I'd really appreciate it and it does help other people find this. And if you'd like to get in touch or find out more about what I do, reach out to me on LinkedIn or visit my website story powers.com



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