White House, President Clinton, Intern discussed on How'd It Happen Podcast
One of my pass with a simple question and that is how that happened for you. Yeah great that's a good question so You Know I. I have a strange background as a kid. My family moved around the country. Multiple Times usually three thousand miles away from family and friends and what that taught Hamis especially moving in the middle of the school. Years that I it taught me the challenge of developing relationships and also the importance of developing relationships and and Each time the reason we moved because my father got laid off he was in an industry where he would lose a job and then unfortunately he didn't really have. It wasn't the type of industry where he could just get a job immediately afterwards in a call someone up and say can you give me a job and so the what what I learned from that is that it's incredibly important to cultivate those relationships Proactively in advance and I've done that throughout my career and that's why even though I went to basically Party School for college that's amazing opportunities as writer in the Clinton White House speechwriter. For a governor California's early the employees of DreamWorks Ran Mon Boutiques San Francisco in Silicon Valley. A legal practice as a lawyer And then also launched and run my own on Online business for a number of years and now helping. BB businesses to create profitable podcasts into use them for business development purposes. And and so that's been critically important to me so for me is about release when you ask how it happened. It happened from putting a priority on relationships and building relationships ship strategically and I try and inspire. Tell everyone else that they should be doing the same. Because we've been blessed with a great economy for less for years but we all know what it was like when we had add crappy economies and people are really looking for any opportunity they can get and so you got to build those relationships early so you have them at times of challenge in struggle. And you're you're in Marin California now outside of San Francisco is that did you land there with one of these moves with your family Not With my family was after college I had worked at the White House. Then went to Sacramento. California governor's office and then came down to the bay area because my wife went to Grad school at North of San Francisco and it was a convenient spot. Not Too far from San Francisco where I could work and and it's you know it's an amazing place to be and so we've been here ever since and was becoming a lawyer something that you had wanted to do As as a teenager growing up or was it something that sort of developed later or what what was going through your mind. Yeah it had gone answer. My my I've thought about it in in college I really when I was in the White House in the California Governor's office. I was surrounded by other lawyers. who were we're working with me and often times we'd be meetings and they were the people that I would lose arguments to and so I was like okay? Well maybe I should go to law school because then I wouldn't lose arguments. These guys and I didn't necessarily go to law school thinking that I would be a practicing lawyer for the rest of my life. I just knew it was a really practical degree. They would teach me how the world works and more importantly teach me that. I don't need to have all the answers but I can figure out the answers as I go along. That was probably the biggest revelation I had from being being in law school and so I- practice for a few years but then it wasn't everything for me. You Know I. I eventually developed a business that was generating revenue revenue exceeded my legal income. And I also enjoy doing that more than what I was doing as a lawyer which often involves helping people to fight because you you know when litigation you're helping people to fight one another and and I didn't really enjoy doing that. So that's how I ended up gravitating away from it. I just Coincidentally earlier today. I had another podcast with a with a lawyer and he said something so similarities. When I first got into it I was a trial lawyer because my partner didn't like trial trial law so I try to case after it I was like I don't like win lose arrangements and which sounds kind of like what you said I like I? I like to create win-win sort of things and I thought that was just a very interesting perspective and then you sort of set the same thing. Yeah Yeah I mean. We could talk for an hour about the pros and cons. John's of the legal practice is challenging challenging industry these days. I think it's being disrupted and going to be disrupted by technology. Ai and things like that that are coming in so If you are practicing long WanNa continue doing it. You've really got to keep your finger on the pulse of those changes that are happening so so could you walk us through how you got your job in the Clinton White House. 'cause I don't know that I've met anyone who's had had. I don't know that I've met anyone who's had a job in a White House administration before so I'm going to take advantage of that. And then how the how. How did you make that happen sure? It's actually a great story because I think it's got some good lessons so I had been in college and I the the White House US really has a lot of interns that were terrorists. We all know Inside apply to the internship program. And I've worked in the speechwriting office for UH UH semester and it was an amazing experience and I just worked my butt off. I was there all the time. You're not paid. You get academic credit. But I was working really hard to just make a really good impression amongst the speech writers and so I worked really hard. It was always there and I was you know providing research notes than I even wrote a speech that President Clinton mm delivered in the East Room of the White House and I was standing there in the back watching him read my words and it was just amazing. Twenty two years old to see that happen and then afterwards afterwards so I hadn't graduated from college so I went back to college I still had a couple of semesters left and I kept in touch with speechwriters so I continued to deliver value you to them in the form of sending them poems and speeches and clips and things like that either in the snail mail or via email would send it to them and eventually intially when an opportunity came along About a writing job I was still top of mind because I had continued to do that. And I think that's why I got. The job was because I didn't just go dark when I left. I kept in touch with them. I continue to deliver value to them. And that's you know why they told me about the job. It wasn't like White House. Jobs are not advertised on craigslist or indeed indeed or anything like that you know I mean maybe there are listed on the website. Now I don't know but at least back then it was like yeah Kinda had to hear about. It is the only way really way to to know about these things. So that's how I heard about it and then the other important lesson from that experience was So I've been told about this and I get a call about a week later from from who eventually became my boss. The woman who hired me and she calls me up and she she says. Hey Lowell Weiss was the person who told me about the speechwriter who told me about the job and so she said Lowell. All told me about you. I wanted to give you call to get your resume. WanNa get some writing samples just telling me about the logistics of it and everything and I said great. I'm happy to send all the things to you but you. Oh by the way. If you want to open up. Today's New York Times you open up to the opinion page. Go to the letters. I've actually got a letter to the editor in today's New York Times and it was a little bit of a coincidence that that hadn't happened but I had no one had been given a tip by low that he was giving my passing along my name and I sent in a letter to the to the New York Times which happened to be published on the very day that I got that phone call so of course it was impressive right. You know to say that it was a little bit little bit random but the reason that I tell stories because if you have a big opportunity that may becoming your way we don't often think about what else can I be doing to stand out. What else can be doing to make a really great first impression and position yourself for that kind of opportunity and so that's you know? I think that's a great lesson for anyone that you should be looking for those ways in which you can stand out it'd be different and you first of all. How did you think about that too? It sounds like you did that deliberately. In in anticipation that you would call and you can reference. I did yeah absolutely. Yeah Yeah I mean I I sent it out. It was a little bit of a coincidence that she called them the very day that it was published. I like to joke that. If she called like the very next day it probably would have been a letter to the editor in like the Akron World Herald or something or whatever name the Akron newspaper is you know like I made. I just happened. I'd send out other letters to other newspapers which I I recall were printed around the same time it just so happened that the New York Times one one was published on the very same day that she gave me a call. Okay so you so you. It was sort of like a shock on approach. If you could get one or the more that you could get something something to point to yes yeah absolutely. Yeah Yeah so so. You're an intern. And President. Clinton reads a speech that you wrote. Okay so what happens before that. And what happens after that does anybody. Yes so one good one point I would like like to make is that. I've been waiting for a while to get that opportunity to write a speech because they didn't give the interns those types of opportunities all that often. I'd been answering phones doing research going up to the library. You know Editing speeches you know running out off errands things like that that interns do and then when I finally got out this opportunity I had about three days notice and I worked through the weekend on it and it wasn't a big speech or anything. It was one of these whenever a team A collegiate team wins a national championship. That come down to the White House and the President meets greets them in the east wing. Have a big ceremony that kind of thing and so is the National National Championship. Men's and women's basketball teams. That were coming down but I worked my butt often. I worked on it all weekend long. Came in both days To the the executive office building which is where we worked out of right next to the west wing and I worked really hard on it and I was really prepared. Even though I didn't know a lot about college basketball going into that experience I learned as much as I could going into it and so that's just you know. I think that's an important lesson is when you have an opportunity like that you really need to show up. You really need to follow through And Yeah and then after it you know I mean I just continue to try and do my best. You know throughout the rest of the internship and then as I mentioned you know remain in touch with the speechwriters after I went back to college. And when you got the actual job what was what was different than than than the responsibilities. You had as an intern. That's another great question so actually one thing I would like to point out out. Is that when they applied for the job. I was actually working at the time in the entertainment industry in La. WHO's working for dreamworks at the time And I had come from. La Might my family is it.