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.



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



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!

Follow on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) for more podcasts, writing, etc.



Pittsburgh Kid Quits Job and Starts Podcast

A Podcast Based Out of Pittsburgh

Hey whats up, My name is Eric and host a podcast called Chillin with Deke based out of Pittsburgh. Back in February I quit my job working 9-5 and decided to start this thing. It’s tough to exactly explain “Why” other than it was on my heart and I thought I could be good at it. So I wrote about quitting/starting the podcast in my first blog post back in March which you can check out here.

So the podcast. What’s it about? I enjoy listening and learning and hope you enjoy the same. My goal was and is to hear stories and wisdom from successful/interesting/ inspirational people and see how I can apply to my life. And yes I’m from Pittsburgh and have guests from Pittsburgh but the podcast is not limited to just the city. Just as rappers like Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller are from Pittsburgh but they interact with people all over the  nation/world. I hope to do the same- have interesting guests from all over but also represent the city.

Honestly, there’s a bunch of podcasts like this out there. But what makes mine a little different is I have done nothing “noteworthy” like most people who host podcasts have. Whether it’s something entrepreneurial, in media, or radio- I have no experience in any of that. I didn’t have any connections other than my first 3 guests. I’m just an every man, chillin and chasing a dream which is to do podcasts with cool people.

With all that being said, I guess Chillin with Deke has layers. Almost a story within a story. So you can obviously listen to my podcast and hear some cool stuff from interesting people, but the other story is me and my journey to see where this podcast takes me. Where it will take me? I don’t know and that’s the fun part. However, I’ll write about my experiences/what I’m learning/ new stuff I’m on this website and also on the podcast. And hopefully by Chillin with Deke, you can be helped/ inspired on your journey in life too!

To listen to my first podcast and how Pete Rostosky went from a near death experience to become a Pittsburgh Steeler click  here.

For my most recent podcast where I share more of my story in detail about why I quit my job, lessons I’ve learned on this journey, and why I do it click here.

Stay Chillin with me on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Thanks, Peace and hope this helps.


Subscribe on iTunes below!




Coffee Challenge from Tools of Titans

Noah Kagan’s Coffee Challenge From Tools of Titans

So I took Noah Kagan’s Coffee Challenge from Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans book. The inspiration came from my latest podcast episode with entrepreneur and 2014 Miss Nevada- Lisa Song Sutton.

What is the Coffee Challenge?

Here is the coffee challenge as told by Noah to Business Insider.

“The Coffee Challenge is one of Kagan’s favorite Stranger Challenges. It encourages people to walk into a coffee shop and ask for 10% off their purchase and wait for a reaction.

‘We have a thing called the Coffee Challenge,” Kagan tells James Altucher in a recent podcast. “You have to ask for 10% off at a coffee store. Any coffee store. Get a muffin, ask for 10% off. Most people will make an excuse. ‘Oh, I’ve already done sales for five years.’ ‘Oh, I’m not afraid of doing that.’ ‘Oh, I don’t need a discount, I have money.’ But if you go ahead and ask for 10% off coffee, I guarantee  that you will learn something about yourself that will surprise you.'”

In my episode with Lisa Song Sutton we discuss the coffee challenge and how we would go about doing it. I wondered if one should play the “I’m a loyal customer and feel I deserve 10%” card but Lisa offered a better option. Lisa says she would add value for both parties where the employee/Starbucks store would benefit from the transaction as well.  If you want to hear us discuss the challenge more in-depth, check out our conversation below. It starts right as we are talking about the challenge.

Executing the Coffee Challenge

So I wanted to test out the coffee challenge for myself and here was the exchange that took place. A little cringeworthy but hey I’m pretty shameless lol. (For the most part I go with Lisa’s advice and put my own little twist to it.)

STARBUCKS EMPLOYEE : Hey how are you today?

ME: Whats up man how are you?

SE: Good, What can I get for you?

ME: Ahhh, I’ll go with an Iced Green Tea.

SE: With sweetener?

ME: Yeah sure

SE: What size?

ME: Small is good.

SE: Alright, your total is $2.09

ME: Ok cool, Can I get 10% off of that?

SE: Umm.. What do you mean?

ME: Like 10% off this order, so its $2.09. Can i get $.20 off?

SE: Ummm…. I don’t know what you mean.

ME: Ok I’ll be straight up with you. I host a podcast and am doing this thing called the coffee challenge for my newest episode coming out. Its a little lesson in negotiating and communication. We talk about the challenge on the podcast so I thought I’d give it a try. Do you have an Instagram?

SE: Yeah.

ME: So obviously I would help you out if you give me the $.20 off. My guest on the show has a strong social  media following and I’ll give your Instagram tag a shout out in the intro. What do you think?

SE: Man I’m just not sure. I’m a little confused I’m not sure what you mean?

ME: It’s just a little challenge I’m doing for the podcast. I’d love to help you out, maybe help each other out here.

(Co-worker walks by)

SE: (Talking to Co-worker) Hey man what do you think? (To Me) Go ahead tell him what’s going on?

So I basically explain to him the podcast, the challenge, 10% off, shouting out his instagram, lesson in communicating etc.

CO-WORKER: Give him the Employee Rewards code

SE: (To Me) Alright, you’re good dude!

ME: Whats up? What do you mean?

SE: It’s on the house, free.

ME: Ahh man, that’s awesome, appreciate you guys. What’s your Instagrams? I’ll give you the proper shout out. (We exchange info, chat a little)

SE: Sorry bro, wasn’t sure what it was all about at first

ME: Ya its cool, I’ll admit its kinda weird as hell to just go up asking for 10% off. You guys want to take a picture?

And that was it. First time asking and instead of the 10% off, I received the Tea for free.

Lessons I Learned From Coffee Challenge

I wanted to take this coffee challenge to prove to myself and others the things you can accomplish by just putting yourself out there. It’s a good lesson in asking for things you want or desire. So for this instance I did want the Tea for at least 10% off because it was part of the challenge and a story I wanted to add for my blog and podcast. A lot times we want more money, a promotion or various other things but we never really ask. Maybe we sit and think about doing it but then we make up excuses about all the things that can go wrong instead of actually just doing it. I felt the same way with this challenge. I’m sitting there thinking. “This is dumb.” “I’m gonna look stupid.” But then I was like “Just do it. What’s the worst that can happen.”

So the end result. Two new followers/friends (@jgardner3331 and @nathan_partsch), a free green tea, and a cool story that reminds me to put myself out there and hopefully inspires those reading this to do the same.

Questions to consider: What would you say to in attempt to get 10% off your order? What value could you bring to the other party?

To listen to the full episode with Lisa and hear me give a shout out to my two new Starbucks friends go to iTunes or click here. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review. Thanks and Peace.



Million Dollar Idea

How much would you sell your dream for?

What is an idea worth? A Million Dollars? A Billion?

Really what is the price?

As these thoughts came to my head, I started writing the following blog post at 3 am and thought I’d share. Hopefully it helps/inspires at least one person.

I rephrase the question to myself. “How valuable is an idea, really?”

I quit my job and started a podcast roughly 5 months ago. How much would someone have to give me to remove these last 5 months from my life?


I say this as I sit back and look up at the ceiling and think of the experiences I’ve had thus far since beginning this journey. And I realize it would be so hard to explain “why” in a short sitting or in a single blog post. And this is the reason I am going to be writing a lot more. I will discuss things I’ve learned from my guests on the podcast, the experiences I’ve had and the things/theories I will be testing out.

In addition, I will be Vlogging my journey on YouTube soon. This can help you see what’s going on behind the scenes and how things have been happening. I’ll be honest I’m not too too crazy about sharing myself on social platforms. Why should anyone care about what I’m doing or what I’m up to. So if you do. Thank you, I appreciate your support and curiosity. Vlogging will be a somewhat out of my comfort zone, but I think doing videos will be cool and add another dimension to Chillin with Deke. Here’s my channel if you’d like to check it out. Feel free to subscribe, comment, etc.

So what makes an idea invaluable or worth so much that one would never sell it? In my opinion is action. There’s tons of ideas/dreams I’ve had but never acted on them, and for whatever reason I pulled the trigger on this one. The last thing I want to do is come off as bragging or boastful because honestly I really don’t have much idea what I’m doing. A lot of time I’m filled with uncertainty and question what I’m doing, but there’s always hope and optimism that won’t let me stop. So I encourage you if there’s something you really want to do in your life. Just do it. Regret later. But I’m pretty sure if you go for it you won’t regret. : )

Stay Chillin





First Blog Post

Hey what’s up. My name is Eric aka Deke. I’m just a normal dude that grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh and am loving life. I am starting this blog as well as a podcast show because they are dreams of mine. I don’t have any experience in either, but am excited to see where this journey takes me. 

A Little Background- I’m just like you and you are me

I went to a local private high school and graduated from Pitt with a major in marketing. Like most recent graduates, I was looking for my first job out of school. Finding one didn’t take much effort which has been a theme for most of my life. My mom worked for the company and was a helpful connection for me.  I knew this job was not my dream job but was a great opport.. (you know the cliché) So yeah I learned a lot. One thing was specifically about the industry I worked in and the other was a lot about human interaction- which was actually my favorite part of the job.

What got me excited going to work was learning and talking with people.  I also love putting smiles on people’s faces just because.  In my opinion everyone is an expert at something. Everyone has something interesting about them that they are willing to share- you just got to be interested in them. So yeah my job was basically 9-5 ,sit at my cubicle, and then go home, but there was much more I got out of it. It was all about the relationships and conversations I had, not the work itself.

With all that said, around two months ago I would wake up for work and kept asking myself “what am I doing?” To me, working at my current position just didn’t make sense. I loved my coworkers and relationships but the job wasn’t my dream it was other people’s /society’s dream for me. So what was stopping me from just quitting? Fear.  It took me a week/ a week and a half before I finally put in my two weeks. The mind is powerful, and when I first started to think about quitting my mind went off in to thinking about the awesome possibilities that could happen. With time however, the negative started to creep in, what will my friends/ parents think of me, what if I don’t get another job, what if my parents kick me out, what will my coworkers think, etc. So these thoughts kept me stalled but after a while I just did it. I was nervous, scared, but at the same time alive.

So fast forward to now, its been about two weeks since I quit and I’ve been trying to accomplish everything I said I would during my time off. I’ve painted a couple pictures, been walking alot, playing drums, reading books, writing this blog, and am trying to figure out the podcast. So yeah its been a lot of fun so far. I’m going to always try to keep learning and I hope you can learn as well by following my content by- Chillin with me, Deke.

And  you may be asking why not just get another job or do all that stuff while your working- my response- what’s the fun in doing that? (more…)