Shaving Eyebrows and Taking Chances

Shaving Eyebrows and Taking Chances

I wrote this post in November, but was not comfortable with releasing it then for whatever reason. Not sure exactly why. Maybe it felt personal and I wanted to save it just for me, but now it feels right to put out. Hope you enjoy!

Shaving Eyebrows and Taking Chances

These last couple weeks/ days I’ve been thinking about life, things I’m doing, what I’m trying to accomplish and it’s been a good reflective time. I keep asking myself “What is Chillin with Deke?” And as you can see, there’s been a lot of different ideas I’ve tried out in terms of marketing, content, etc. over the past 6 months. So this post is just a little inside scoop as to why I’ve made some of those decisions and what might be expected in the future.

My original idea for Chillin with Deke was to host a podcast and have 1 on 1 sit downs with people and hear their stories, experiences, wisdom and hopefully learn something and apply it to my life. I figured if I do that I can also have a blog and write about my thoughts throughout the journey. That was kind of it. But at the beginning, I started to think ” How am I going to get the word out about the podcast and let people know who I am?” So ideas started to come to mind- Live podcasts from big events, Poster Boards, Bets, Random Sounds of the Week, then eventually Vlogging. These all made sense to me at the time because I figured worst case scenario for everything is… “Hey at least I’m getting the word out.”

The Live event podcasts were fun and a one of kind experience. They helped me get out of my comfort zone and take risks. I didn’t know how they’d turn out but thought I need to at least try. So I did and I’m proud of what me along with all the guests  created. Through these type of podcasts I got to meet Michael Rapaport, Trey Wingo, Herm Edwards, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Kelli Quin, Antonio Brown, and the list goes on and on. So if I never would’ve tried these live podcasts I never would’ve had these unbelievable experiences. But as I try and try to see how these can be incorporated into the larger theme, I struggle to find it.

These shows definitely consist of some cool stories and wisdom, but also had some fans ranting, and just randomness. Which is all fine and how these type of shows needed to be to mix things up. And for those that know me, I’m always willing to shake up the pot. That’s why I thought these live episodes could work because part of them is showing my goofy personality but, like I said, I’ve been struggling to see how they fit with the larger goal.

The bets too, I figured give it a try. Why not? The most epic one was with my brother on episode 4. I was just starting out and wanted to do a bet to force myself to get out and spread the word about the podcast. So, I did. The bet happened at the end of the episode and these were the stipulations- If I got 500 followers on Instagram by the end of the week, my brother would shave his eyebrows. If I didn’t reach 500 then I would shave my head. The rest is history.

My Brother is Man of His Word

I wagered with a few more guests throughout the episodes (I think my man Matt Conway owes on a bet)… And still like the idea of making bets but they will be less prevalent.

Then the vlog. I did a Penguins video back in April talking to fans about the game and other funny stuff. A lot of people liked it. I did too. But I didn’t know how often I would want to do videos like that so they were put on the back burner. Recently, however, some friends suggested I start a vlog to go alongside the podcast. The vlog would be a way to let people see whats going on behind the scenes and get to know me a little better. I agreed and, like my other ideas, I figured I’d give it a chance.  So I got the equipment, camera etc. and went up to Penn State vs Pitt to shoot the first one. Unbelieveable time and was very proud with how the video turned out. I quickly realized the effort it takes to create vlogs like this and then thought more – “What do I really want to be doing with all this?” What’s the goal?

I paused. thought. reflected.

And the more I thought, I realized don’t want to be known as the vlog guy. I want to be known for my podcasts… and what do I want the podcasts to be? Interesting stories and wisdom from dope/interesting people that bring value to our lives. Basically what I envisioned from the start haha. But I think this time I’m more confident in it because I tried a bunch of things I thought would work/like etc but just haven’t meshed with the overall vision. I don’t consider it failure, just weeding things out and figuring things out.

So going forward, what you can expect? I don’t want to give definite answers because things can always change, but the podcast along the lines of the original intention, more reflective writing- lessons learned, food for thought, experiments, etc. and probably no more vlogs (at least how I did the Penn State one) but still video related to the podcast.

Thanks for reading and putting up with my nonsense. Let’s keep growing and learning together.



Jim Shorkey- Think and Grow Rich

Think and Grow Rich

“If you are the smartest guy in the room, you’re in the wrong room”- Jim Shorkey

Think and Grow Rich with Jim Shorkey

Jim Shorkey Chillin with Deke Podcast

This episode was a lot of fun.

How it happened.

I have a good friend and mentor named Steve Gardiner who I meet with pretty consistently for coffee to discuss life/tactics etc. (I actually had him on the podcast for episode 6 but the audio quality was poor and we pulled it, Still gotta record a new one with him!) He mentioned in passing one day that he knew Jim Shorkey and said he would be a great guy for the podcast. I knew the name from car commercials and was instantly interested.

So a few months passed and Steve and I met up for coffee again and he asked how he could help with the podcast. I said, “Could you link me up with Jim Shorkey?” Steve texted him that next minute and Jim was in. We later talked on the phone and scheduled it for the next week.

Before our coffee meeting was over, Steve gave me a little background info and told me Jim read “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill over 130 times! I was thinking “Damn, that’s awesome.” And like I said, I knew the name “Jim Shorkey” by seeing/hearing car commercials but when I found out that nugget of info I thought “Man, this podcast will be interesting and I’m going to learn a lot.”


I did and the conversation exceeded my expectations. So hear you go- episode 29 with, Jim Shorkey, former owner of the Jim Shorkey Family Auto Group. Hope you guys enjoy!

The music mentioned in the intro and played towards the end of the episode – Brain Power by Kelly Howell

Listen above or subscribe on iTunes or Google Play.

Chillin with Deke iTunes

Google Play

To hear a podcast with another successful business owner click here or listen below

To read about my story behind this podcast and how it started click here.

Click here for show notes and time stamps: (more…)

Justin Roach- Creating Opportunity and Working with Snoop Dogg and Joe Cool

Justin Roach (@imjust) is a graphic designer who works with global artists such as Snoop Dogg and The Game. He started drawing sketches for himself in his teens, influenced heavily by both graffiti and artwork such as Snoop Dogg’s “Doggystyle” cover- created by the legendary Joe Cool. Fast forward to now and Justin is working with both of these guys. He and Joe Cool teamed up to create a couple of Snoop Dogg album covers, the most recent being “CoolAid”. They also created The Game’s “1992” cover. In this episode, we talk about how Justin was able to make connections and get his name known enough to end up working with his idols.

Outside of his freelancing, Justin works as the graphic designer and social media marketer for Wayne Bank in Scranton, Pa and recently won The Happening’s 2017 Best Artist Award.

A Little Backstory for this Episode

I connected with Justin through Facebook. I’m pretty sure we linked through Randyland. (who I previously did a podcast with). I saw Justin’s work and figured he would be a great guest for the podcast, but also reached out to see if he’d be up for working on a new podcast logo for Chillin with Deke. The new logo is in progress and I’m really looking forward to seeing it. As for now, you can listen to the podcast below. I hope you guys enjoy the conversation as much as I did. Subscribe to Chillin with Deke on iTunes here.

Some of Justin’s work.



Time Stamps for the episode:

1:15- Why Justin likes 90’s music and the Gin Blossoms

5:06- The reason Justin gravitated to art/ design + early influences

7:09- How Justin stumbled upon Graphic Design by accident

12:20- Making early connections in Philadelphia

16:00- Being in the right place at the right time- How a deer head facilitated Justin’s career

21:45- Being broke and experimenting with different jobs

24:48- Who Justin was most nervous to meet when first starting out.

28:11- How he started working with childhood idols Joe Cool and Snoop Dogg

34:23- Story behind The Game’s 1992 album cover

38:22- Completing the Coolaid album the Day it appeared on Jimmy Kimmel

41:58- How the collab process between Justin and Joe Cool works

44:35- How Justin struggles with comparing to others and how he tries to prevent it

46:52- What ideals would Justin instill to upcoming students or those just starting out in art

48:18- Passing out my podcast episode and getting in front of people

49:50- Why does design matter when it comes to products and brands

52:47- Effect of design/art/graffiti in Justin’s person life

57:29- Definition of success

1:02:09- When I met Michael Rapaport/ Making an impact on someone

1:04:39- Why Justin doesn’t really have a book to recommend

1:07:33- A Ted Talk on a topic outside of graphic design

To hear more stories and insight from another artist that came on Chillin with Deke click here or listen below.

To read my story behind the podcast and why I started it click here or here.

Stay Chillin, My Friends.

Jon Kolb- Living and Moving with Purpose

“The process is the purpose.” – Jon Kolb

Jon Kolb is the President of Adventures in Training with a Purpose which is an organization focused on helping those most in need improve their quality of life through purposeful physical training. He was formerly the Steelers Left Tackle from 1969-1981 and won 4 Super Bowl Championships with the team. After football, Jon became the Steelers strength and conditioning coach and received his Master’s in Exercise Science from Slippery Rock University. He also currently teaches kinesiology at Penn State and Youngstown State.

To find out more about Adventures in Training with a Purpose please check out the website here.

This interview was really meaningful to me and I think comes at a good time as we kick of 2018.  As the New Year comes, we often are seeking to improve ourselves (usually as it relates to fitness). In this episode, Jon gives a unique outlook on how we should look at training and movement and it definitely gave me new perspective. Timestamps/ topics discussed are below:

2:59- What does being Left Handed Mean?

8:50- Is strength the most important aspect of training?

12:40- Defining your purpose. Different types of workouts for different goals.

15:58- Connection of homones, brain and muscle

19:14- Unethical workouts?

23:39- Moving and Living with chronic diseases- Current therapy vs. How it should be

29:23- Life Expectancy vs. Healthy Life expectancy

33:00- Rethinking the Aging Process

36:47- Minimum effective dose of working out- is the glass half full/empty?

46:12- How did Adventures in Training with a Purpose start?

49:56- Who is ATP for? Who does it help?

55:00- Importance of Environment when training? Surrounding yourself with positivity.

58:40- Why you should walk backwards everyday

1:00:48- The Krebs Cycle and the benefits of learning while moving

1:04:11- Inter-workings of the brain, spinal cord and our body parts. Science behind paralysis/walking and regenerating neuro networks.

1:21:06- Most meaningful Super Bowl Ring?

1:24:29- Making the process the purpose.

1:27:59- Dealing with fear and never wanting to take a step back.

1:33:43- Being the best vs. being the best you can be.

1:42:04- Jon’s favorite Chuck Noll stories and Memories.

1:47:51- Favorite/ most impactful Bible verse.

1:50:28- Jon’s definition for success.

To hear another episode with an inspiring former Steeler and a crazy near death experience click here or listen below.

How to Gain Real Followers on Instagram. 100% Legit

Gain Real Instagram Followers in 2018

When I started my podcast back in March, I did not have any social media to my name. I had a Facebook for maybe 2 years during college but other than that I had no online presence. When I began social media for the podcast back in March, there were a few things that just seemed off to me and one of them was how people try to build followings. For instance, people spamming for follows, paying for followers or following 1000’s of accounts only to unfollow them later. It just seemed like a big ploy to get numbers up and feed the ego. I mean honestly, do people realize there are real humans behind these screens?

Obviously, I wanted to generate some marketing/get the word out about Chillin with Deke, but wanted to do it a different way. Instead of sitting on my phone for hours trying to do all this fake nonsense why not use social media as a talking point to communicate with real people in my city/community. So that’s what I did.

I set out with the goal to gain 100 followers in a day strictly by going up to people and talking to them. I asked if they would like to help me out with something and that I was trying to shoot a video promoting in-person communication as a spoof to the current social media scene. That is how it went down. It was a lot of fun. And here’s the video. Hope you enjoy!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the video. I really appreciate it.

To read about another challenge I did where I received a free coffee just by simply asking, click here.

To hear a podcast with a guy that has gained over 100K Followers on Instagram click here.

Deke’s Top 5 Books From 2017

Back in school, I didn’t too read much (unless it was sparknotes) mainly because I was too focused on video games or watching sports. However, now I find reading to be one of my favorite things to do. This blog is about the five books I enjoyed/impacted me the most from 2017. These aren’t book that were published in 2017, just ones I read.

1. “The Four Agreements”- Don Miguel Ruiz

The first chapter is very powerful and sets you up on an incredible thought provoking journey throughout the rest of the book. The Four Agreements helped me realize society’s impact on our mind/thoughts and why we make decisions.

Ruiz used a dream analogy saying that everyone looks at the world through their own dream. These dreams are constructed early in life by our parents and involve the concepts of right and wrong. The trouble is, what is “truly right and wrong?” Do our parent’s/ teachers/ leaders even teach us what they think is right and wrong or is it the ideals that have been naturally passed down to them?

The author then goes into detail on the importance of feeling accepted vs rejected and the impact that has on a young child’s behavior. Very interesting stuff, but I’ll leave the rest to you to read for yourself.

If you need a little extra convincing, Tom Brady reads The Four Agreements every year.

2. “The Power of Now”- Eckhart Tolle

Enabled me to realize the Power of the present moment. We are not our minds. Everything in the past and future is not real. Not to say the past didn’t happen but whatever happened does not exist anymore. Usually we worry about the future- “What is this person going to think about me?” “What if this happens in the meeting?”- We spend all this time worrying about something that never actually happens instead of cherishing what is real- now.

This book also helped me dig deeper into my faith/ beliefs. A good question my friend, Jeff Winters, asked me and also ties into this book. “When do you experience God? The past? The future? or Now?” Highly recommend this book.

3. “The Alchemist”- Paulo Coelho

Man, this one was awesome. I read The Alchemist down at Siesta Key on the beach during my vacation with my friends and family. (S/O to the Nortons, Naths and Renders.) I’m honestly getting chills writing this because of how this book made me feel. To put it simply, Paulo Coehlo tells the story of boy taking a chance, following a dream and figuring out what’s most important in life.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”- Quote from the book.

4. “The Compound Effect”- Darren Hardy

Recommended to me by Steve Gardiner, the Compound Effect is profound in it’s simplicity. Literally, just so simple but I need the reminder. Our daily habits/ routines etc. add up to the person we are/ want to become. Right now I don’t have the best of habits but I’m trying to build good ones and will try to keep you updated on the process.

5. “Open” an autobiography by Andre Agassi

This guy went through a lot. He explained throughout the book that he loathed tennis, but it was literally the thing he was greatest at and couldn’t stop. Agassi was forced to play at a young age because his dad loved the game and wanted one of him to be number 1 in the world. Andre talks about the rigorous practices he endured, getting sent to tennis boarding school by himself, becoming a national name, pressures of choking, hitting rock bottom,  and then reinventing himself and playing with purpose.

So, yep those are the 5 books. Hope to read more in 2018 and excited for the New Year. Thanks to everyone who reads my stuff/ listens to the podcast. Really appreciate it.

Oh yeah can’t forget, The Apparition Saga by Dominic Bianco and Inward by Yung Pueblo. Had these dudes on my podcast and you know I gotta give their books a shout out.

Stay Chillin



Interview with Santa: A Chillin with Deke Christmas

Holiday Special: An Interview with Santa

Merry Christmas to everyone. For this edition, Santa dropped by the house and was gracious enough with his time to let me interview him for Chillin with Deke. I hope everyone has a great holiday and spend quality time with your families. Watch below and Stay Chilling My Friends!

To subscribe to the podcast on iTunes click here. To read my story and my first blog post click here.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!


Xavier Thomas (ArtLikeUs)- The Art of Hustle

Xavier Thomas started his photography journey by shooting pictures from his iPhone and shooting music videos for his friends. Fast forward to now, he is the the winner of Pittsburgh’s City Paper 2017 best photographer and shoots for guys like Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller and Fabolous. In this wide ranging episode, Xavier and I discuss: What a picture can do that a video can’t, How he got connected with Wiz, Why he won the best photographer in the city, Who/what makes someone an artist, Gary Vaynerchuk and the art of hustling + much more.

Check out Xavier’s website here.

Follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see what he’s up to next.

To listen to this episode subscribe on iTunes or listen below on the streamer.

Stay Connected with me for more podcasts, videos and writings by following my social media: (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)

Subscribe to Chillin with Deke on YouTube.

For another episode of Chillin with Deke click here.

Eileah Ohning- Taking a Chance and Living in Her Car

Episode #25- Eileah Ohning

In this episode, I speak with Eileah Ohning who is known online for her YouTube videos that revolve around her experience living in a car for a year. The videos are in a casual, down to earth, journal format and receive views in the 100k’s.  In 2015, she started looking into minimalism decided to live in her 2004 Acura Sedan and is now in the process of creating a Tiny Home on Wheels for herself in a sprinter van. Eileah can also be seen on YouTube speaking for Tedx Yearling Road touching on the topic of Rebellion and what it means going against the grain.

This conversation we talk about a lot of topics. Obviously why Eileah decided to live in her car, what she liked about it, what she missed about conventional living, reaction from friends/ co-workers, taking a chance, being curious about the world, asking why, minimalism and much more! Listen below on the streamer player or subscribe on iTunes or Google Play.

I hope you guys enjoy this conversation as much as I did. You can follow Eileah on YouTube or Instagram. Check out her Tiny Home on Wheels account on Instagram as well. To see her Ted Talk on rebellion here.

To stay connected with me. Follow on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Subscribe on YouTube.

To listen to another interesting episode featuring another person living outside of societal norms, click here.

5 Reasons Why Every Guy Should Have a Man Bun Once in Their Life

I grew my hair for 1 year and 9 months and achieved man bun status after about a year. Recently, I decided to cut it. I just thought it was time partly because long hair can be somewhat of a hassle and also I was just ready for short hair again. I enjoyed having the long hair and there were a few things I learned from growing it out which is why I’m writing this piece- 5 reasons why every man should grow out their hair to a man bun or at least man bun length in their lifetime.

So here are some reasons I thought up.

1.Persistence- setting a goal and sticking to it

One of the things that growing out your hair teaches you is persistence. Obviously, there are the so called awkward stages and during this time there are points when you’ll want to cut it all off. (This happened multiple times for me) But if you have the goal of a man bun, you overlook the awkward stages and strive for the ultimate prize. Just as we should in life. Just remember to keep on going.

2.Focus on important things in life

In those awkward stages there might be times you think you look like a fool or your friends tell you your hair is terrible. But that doesn’t matter. Who cares what you look like. What matters is how you treat people. If you feel looked down upon due to your awkward stage hair. Who cares. It’s probably because they don’t even know you anyway or it’s just your friends ragging on you. Focus on what’s important, not the hair but how you treat people, relationships you have and who you surround yourself with.

3.Empathy for Females

Growing your hair out will give you a newfound respect for women in your life with long hair. You will now understand why they make take a little longer to get ready and the effort it takes to get their hair looking good. Seeing the world from someone’s else’s perspective is always a good thing.

4.You don’t know unless you try

If you bring up long hair with your friends or acquaintances you may get the reactions like it will look dumb on me or my hair is too curly etc. etc. But at the end of the day. You will never know unless you try. So if you would like to see what you look like in a man bun or long hair, just try it out. Don’t make assumptions. You may really like it but maybe you won’t. There’s some old saying nothing ventured nothing gained.

5.Use it or lose it

Straight up. We may not have our hair forever. There are those of us that are blessed with good genes and what not but some of us aren’t. Our long hair/ man bun chances may be limited so why not grow it out before you don’t have the chance to anymore.

So that’s it. The 5 reasons why every man should grow out hair to a man bun. Thanks for reading! Stay Chillin my friends!

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