Mike Rowe | The Way I Heard It (Episode 597)

Mike Rowe (@mikeroweworks) of Dirty Jobs fame joins us to talk about the skills gap, authenticity, and life experiences possible outside the comfort zone. Just don’t tell him he’s following his passion.

“I’m not liking any of the numbers, but I’ve got to get off the bridge. Because, you know, a B-list celebrity who soils himself on a national monument, that’s the kind of press you don’t need.” -Mike Rowe

The Cheat Sheet:

  • Did you know Mike Rowe started his show business career in opera — to get women?
  • What are Anagnorisis and Peripeteia?
  • Discover how Mike broke a pattern of commodity hosting by approaching the profession as a tradesman.
  • Bromide busting and the problems with conventional wisdom.
  • Why finding and filling a niche may ultimately be better than chasing what you think is your dream job.
  • And so much more…


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“It was exploding toilets, and misadventures, and animal husbandry, but we were always able to find a peripatetic moment.”

Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe joins the show to share stories, bust bromides, talk about unemployment, take a stand for authenticity, and lots more. Listen, learn, and enjoy!

Please Scroll down for Full Show Notes and Featured Resources!

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More About This Show

Mike Rowe has seen some stuff. Most recognized from Dirty Jobs, the Discovery Channel show he conceived and hosted for seven years, he’s waded waist-deep in human sewage, replaced hardware on bridges at dizzying heights, castrated lambs with his teeth, and everything in between.

Unlike traditional documentary hosts who might narrate what you’re seeing on the screen from the safety of the sidelines or a cozy studio in Burbank, Mike’s style is far closer and more personal than many of us might care to get. He immerses himself in the thick of it for the full experience, comfort zones be damned.

He’s a guy who’s pretty much ready for anything. Case in point: adopting the mantle of PR manager, Mike pretty accurately breaks down what The Art of Charm is within the first five minutes of the interview.

“So you’ve redefined charm to include elements of challenge, inspiration (obviously), rooted in a broad-based level of overarching practicality,” Mike says.

When Jordan regrets not being the first to dream up such a wisely succinct description and jokes that we can fix it in editing to make him look brilliant, Mike cautions against it.

“It’ll sound good, but it won’t be charming!” says Mike. “See, what we just did was charming. What you just described would be polished. In many ways, I believe the enemies of charm are deliberateness in much the same way I would argue that the enemies of authenticity are production.”

The guy’s here for less than ten minutes and already pulling his weight as a full member of the team. He’s been hopping jobs for years and knows how to make himself useful. It’s what he’s good at — but authenticity is at the core of it. He doesn’t believe in second takes, and says of Dirty Jobs: “I wanted the show to be a love letter to Take One.”

Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm in its entirety to learn more about what word Mike hopes this interview will help reintroduce into popular lexicon, how Mike may have once violated the Prime Directive with a Sony Walkman and a Soundgarden album, the power of euphemism, how sewer workers once saved Mike’s dignity, what the mikeroweWORKS Foundation is doing to educate and eliminate unemployment, and lots more.


If you enjoyed this session with Mike Rowe, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:

Click here to thank Mike Rowe at Twitter!

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Jordan Harbinger - author of 952 posts on The Art of Charm

Jordan Harbinger has spent several years abroad in Europe and the developing world, including South America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, and speaks several languages. He has also worked for various governments and NGOs overseas, traveled through war zones, and been kidnapped -- twice. He’ll tell you the only reason he’s still alive and kicking is because of his ability to talk his way into (and out of) just about any type of situation. Here at The Art of Charm, Jordan shares that experience, and the system borne as a result, with students and clients.


in Best Of, Lifestyle, Podcast