Mike Rowe joined Glenn on radio this morning to discuss his new book, Profoundly Disconnected: A True Confession from Mike Rowe, the infamous Walmart commercial, and the work he is doing to change the way Americans define a ‘good’ education and job.
Mike’s new book is essentially a fundraiser, with all proceeds benefitting the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, to be used for Work Ethic Scholarships and advocacy campaigns surrounding American manufacturing. From the outside, Profoundly Disconnected looks just like any other book, but, as Mike candidly described, it is really anything but.
“One of the last things Glenn said to me last time I saw him is, ‘Honestly you should write a book or something,’” Mike said. “So on the flight home I wrote this book.”
Yes, that’s right. On his plane ride from Dallas to San Francisco, Mike wrote this entire book. He offered the audience the following disclaimer:
“Take this for the disclaimer it is,” Mike said. “This is a one-page book, all right? My confession takes one paragraph. I wrote it on a Blackberry.”
The book, however, is not just a single page. In it’s final form it includes a foreword written by Mike’s mother, a preface written by Mike, a collection of some of his articles, and a bunch of blank pages in between… literally.
“But here's what I really like about this book… Right in the middle of the book is the chapter is called, ‘A bunch of blank pages’. And it appears to be just a bunch of blank pages there in the book,” Glenn said. “So I want you to know that he has put a lot of time and energy and thought into this book.”
All kidding aside, Glenn encouraged the audience to consider supporting the cause. Only 5,000 copies have been printed, and on his website, Mike is offering autographed and personalized copies of the book.
You can purchase Profoundly Disconnected HERE.
“But anyway… you can get it at MikeRoweWorks.com,” Glenn said. “You can get it today, for this audience, and all the money goes to charity. I'd love to sell all these out today for him.”
Mike made headlines last week for a voiceover he did for Walmart. The commercial coincided the launch of Walmart’s initiative to purchase $250 billion of American-made products over the next 10 years. Many criticized Mike for partnering with the retail giant because he is supposed to champion the little guy. Not standing by idly, however, Mike issued well-articulated Facebook response in which he explained there’s nothing inherently good about being small, and nothing inherently bad about being big.
Mike told Glenn that it was because of TheBlaze that his post went viral and mainstream media outlets picked up the story. It has sparked a much needed discussion about work in this country.
Glenn and Mike always have fascinating conversations about work and education, and this morning was no different. Following the CBO report that Obamacare will cause a reduction in full-time employment of about 2 million jobs in 2014, increasing to 2.5 million in 2024, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, and others have explained how wonderful this new development will be because people are no longer “locked” into working. Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MI) expressed a similar sentiment when he said Obamacare job losses will allow Americans more time to cook dinner. Similarly, the CBO is reporting upward of 500,000 jobs would be lost due to an increase in the minimum wage. Glenn asked Mike what he thinks of those figures.
“Let me try and respond to that… The first really fun lesson from Dirty Jobs that I made a whole special out of… [is] based on a platitude that I believe is fundamentally wicked. You've heard it a thousand times: Follow your passion, period,” Mike explained. “People on Dirty Jobs are passionate about what they do, but… you don't follow your passion into a sewer. You can go into a sewer, learn how to be very good at what you do, learn to love it and then prosper. So our alternative platitude regarding this topic was: Never follow your passion but always bring it with you.”
In Mike’s view, work and passion are not necessarily one in the same. For some people, it may be. But for most, work will be something you do to support yourself, while passion is something you nurture in your free time.
“You don't need to identify the source of your happiness when you're 18 and spend the rest of your life chasing it. We read books about people who have done that and prospered, and so we think that that's the way,” Mike said. “But the real life I've seen, the most passionate, engaging, successful, prosperous, happy, and balanced people never follow their passion. They brought it with them. And if they wanted to learn to paint or do something good for the soul, they did it in the cracks. I wrote a book on a plane… You can do good things, and you do them on your own time.”