EP25: Right-Sized Living w/ John Weisbarth of Tiny House Nation
How to develop instant — but not manufactured — chemistry, the parallels between our all-time high levels of interconnectivity and heightened loneliness, bullshit meters, people-pleasing, rebels with bathtubs, flannel, course-correcting, and dumb laws. Plus, we talk about how “the real goal of the Tiny House Movement is not to get everyone into a ‘Tiny House’ but its power is in how it “encourages more efficient, right-sized living, so you have everything you need and nothing you don’t.” This episode is about the connection (and re-connection) to home and family.
We chat about all this and much more in our interview with the charming and warm, John Weisbarth, so be sure to tune in!
Links and Resources Mentioned in the Episode:
- About John Weisbarth, Co-Host of Tiny House Nation
- The Kali Institute Free Workshops
- Anna Newell Jones’ Family on Tiny House Nation: 200 Sq. Ft. Mobile Photo Studio (Season 4, Episode 4)
- Parenting styles: Quadrant of parenthood
- Book: Permission to Parent by Dr. Robin Berman
- Tumbleweed Tiny Homes
- Smash Room (AKA Rage Room) in Denver
- Tiny House Nation TV Show
- How to connect with the people in your life: ConnectionRoadmap.com
Intro and Outro Music Credit: Night Owl by Broke for Free from the Album Directionless EP (Creative Commons License)
P.S. Be sure to Rate, Review and Subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcast player!
[0:00:00.6] ERIN LINEHAN: The contents of this show are for educational, informational and entertainment purposes only. Any information on the show does not create a client-therapist relationship and should not be taken as professional advice. Before making any decisions regarding your healthcare, ask your personal physician, or mental healthcare professional, or call 911 for any emergencies.
[0:00:21.5] AMY MOORE: We are three friends exploring connection. From the coffee shop to the podcast studio. I’m Amy.
[0:00:26.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: I’m Anna.
[0:00:27.6] ERIN LINEHAN: I’m Erin.
[0:00:35.2] AMY MOORE: Today on the show, we’re excited to have John Weisbarth. With more than a decade of live television experience and seven regional Emmy awards to his name, John Weisbarth brings his high energy and award-winning style to every project he touches. Quick-witted and affable, he’s not afraid to laugh at himself. John’s ability to connect with people is one of his greatest assets.
As host of Tiny House Nation, John shows off his versatility by helping families prepare for the extreme downsizing it takes to live in less than 500 square feet. We’ve invited John to the show, because of his connection to home, or at least how he helps everyone make connections to their homes, and also what he lists as one of his greatest assets; connecting with people.
[0:01:29.2] AMY MOORE: Hey, Anna.
[0:01:29.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah?
[0:01:30.4] AMY MOORE: You know, Erin’s a pretty badass therapist, right?
[0:01:32.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, I totally know. I just take notes when she’s talking.
[0:01:36.3] AMY MOORE: Me too. Some of our audience does as well. Did you know that there’s also a place that you can get information directly from her?
[0:01:46.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: On her website, right?
[0:01:48.0] AMY MOORE: Yeah. Didn’t you do it?
[0:01:49.4] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah.
[0:01:50.0] AMY MOORE: Tell us about it.
[0:01:50.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, so there’s all these free workshops that they’re offering. At thekaliinstitute.com, you can sign up for those. K-A-L-I is how you spell Kali and then Institute. thekaliinstitute.com.
[0:02:03.6] AMY MOORE: Get it done.
[0:02:10.0] AMY MOORE: We’re back. We’re back in the studio, everybody, and excited to be here.
[0:02:14.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Amy starts every –
[0:02:15.5] ERIN LINEHAN: We’re excited every time.
[0:02:17.3] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Every episode starts that way.
[0:02:19.6] AMY MOORE: I know. Today we are super excited, because –
[0:02:24.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: We have John Weisbarth on the phone. He is the host of Tiny House Nation. He’s super awesome. He was the host with Zack Griffith, Griffin or Griffith?
[0:02:36.0] JOHN WEISBARTH: Oh, God. This is so embarrassing. Giffin. No R.
[0:02:38.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Giffin. Oh, no R.
[0:02:40.5] JOHN WEISBARTH: It’s OK. I have a funny story about that, that the whole the first year, our production company didn’t even know what his name was, because every time I went to the airport, his ticket was under Zack Griffin. He had to go through this whole thing. It’s like, “Oh, I’m sorry Mr. Giffin. This is for a Mr. Griffin.” He’s like, “Ah!”
[0:02:59.3] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, no. He’s no R. He hates Rs now. He’s like, “It’s the worst letter ever.” Yeah, so you were the host on the episode that we were on with Tiny House Nation, 200-square foot mobile photo studio. We recorded that October 2015, which is just crazy. That seems like –
[0:03:18.7] JOHN WEISBARTH: It doesn’t seem like that long now, does it?
[0:03:20.3] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, not at all. One of the things that really stood out about you to me is how you connected with us throughout that whole process. We’re just super, super thankful for that. I was just like, “He’s amazing.” Then we have this podcast and I’m like, “We got to talk to John. He’s so great.” Then –
[0:03:37.2] AMY MOORE: Here we are.
[0:03:38.3] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Here we are. Yeah. I tell you what, people ask me about the Tiny House all the time. Yeah, so I’m really excited to talk to you and about your whole experience with this.
[0:03:49.4] JOHN WEISBARTH: I’m excited too. It’s been a long time. I do want to say that when you said the one thing that stood out, I was really hoping you were going to say devastatingly handsome.
[0:03:58.7] AMY MOORE: Oh, man.
[0:03:59.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: That too.
[0:04:03.8] JOHN WEISBARTH: It doesn’t count now.
[0:04:07.5] AMY MOORE: John, how did you get started with Tiny House Nation?
[0:04:11.2] JOHN WEISBARTH: I know. It’s an interesting story. I’ve told it a couple times before, but I was not all that aware of the Tiny House movement before the show. People always want to know if Zack and I were friends before, or if we had a business of building houses. The answer is we didn’t.
I think people always ask that, because Zack and I as well, also have a real true and deep connection. It’s really interesting, my career before I was on Tiny House Nation, I was a sportscaster for 10 years.
[0:04:44.7] ERIN LINEHAN: Like color commentary? Sportscasting?
[0:04:46.9] JOHN WEISBARTH: Kind of. It was more like I was the host of the pre-game show and the post-game show for the San Diego Padres.
[0:04:53.0] AMY MOORE: Nice.
[0:04:54.2] ERIN LINEHAN: You do have a sportsy voice.
[0:04:57.4] JOHN WEISBARTH: What are you talking about? It was interesting, because that model is very analogous to the model that Zack and I had, in that I’m always sitting next to the expert. Where Zack is the man that really walked the walk. I don’t live in a tiny house. I never have lived in a tiny house. I don’t particularly want to live in 230 square feet.
Now I’m a big proponent of right-size living and we can get into that later. The point is Zack is the expert. I would sit next to the former ball player as well, and as we would go through a ballgame, a pre-game show, a post-game show. The thing that is interesting about the connection part is that it’s like an arranged marriage in a lot of ways, where you get that next to somebody and immediately, you’re expected to have this chemistry. My whole career has been about trying to develop true and deep, authentic chemistry with someone as quickly as possible. Then that really dovetails.
[0:06:02.1] AMY MOORE: You’re getting a round of applause here in the podcast studio. You’re speaking our language.
[0:06:06.9] ERIN LINEHAN: Keep going. Dovetails, that’s where you were.
[0:06:11.2] JOHN WEISBARTH: That skill is absolutely the number one thing that I brought to Tiny House Nation. I wasn’t building the house. I’m not the genius. Zack is an absolute genius when it comes to construction and the Tiny House stuff.
[0:06:27.2] ANNA NEWELL JONES: He’s good at everything, right?
[0:06:28.6] JOHN WEISBARTH: He is. He’s very, very interesting guy. I would describe him as not religious, but maybe the most spiritual person I’ve ever met. He is a deep thinker and has a lot of really deep, profound thoughts on a lot of different subjects, from hardwood to Tiny Houses, to just what we’re all doing on this planet. Yeah, he is good at everything. He’s also a professional skier.
[0:06:58.6] AMY MOORE: Oh still? I mean, currently?
[0:07:01.6] JOHN WEISBARTH: Oh, yeah. He’s still doing it. Yeah. He’s making ski movies and –
[0:07:05.6] AMY MOORE: No way.
[0:07:06.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: I don’t know if I realized he was still doing that. Wow.
[0:07:09.2] AMY MOORE: Where does Zack live?
[0:07:11.0] JOHN WEISBARTH: Zack lives up in Washington State. He lives in a place called Glacier now. I live down in San Diego, so if the wind blowed the right way, I can throw a rock into Mexico. The other way, Zack can throw a snowball into Canada. They’re –
[0:07:26.4] AMY MOORE: All right. Totally. When did you and Zack first meet? Did you develop deep connection, or – from the show? Or was that earlier?
[0:07:35.7] JOHN WEISBARTH: Well, no. It was pretty much on the show. What the origin story again of this is – and I don’t even know Anna if you know this, I was not the first host of Tiny House Nation.
[0:07:44.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, really?
[0:07:45.3] JOHN WEISBARTH: No.
[0:07:47.0] ANNA NEWELL JONES: I did not know that.
[0:07:48.2] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yes. They were starting up this new show for this new network, FYI, which was under the A&E umbrella. They cast Zack and they cast a different guy and they started episode one outside of Boston. There’s a lot of pressure on the show, because the show was one of the shows that was going to launch this new network and they really had to get it right and they didn’t have much time and blah, blah, blah, blah, which is always the case in these things.
For whatever reason, the connection was not there between Zack and this other host. I don’t think it has anything to do with who they were and just more about what these circumstances were. It’s a really, really hard thing to do to come in on a show when no one really knows what the show is either. Everyone’s trying to figure it out on the fly. You’re getting pulled in all these different directions and you’re just trying to keep your head above water. It’s hard to really lock in on some of that other stuff.
Anyway, they decided pretty early that this pairing isn’t going to work and we’re going to finish this first episode. We’re going to take a week down and then we are starting again and we have to have a host. That’s when it came across to my table. I got a call from my agent and he was like, “Hey, John. What do you know about Tiny Houses?” I was like, “You mean little people?” He’s like, “Nope, not at all.” I was like, “Okay, I don’t know anything.” He’s like, “Well, look it up. You’ve got a Skype interview tomorrow morning. Make sure you put a flannel on.”
[0:09:25.0] AMY MOORE: That’s hilarious.
[0:09:25.7] JOHN WEISBARTH: For the record, now I’ve been wearing a flannel. I don’t wear flannels in my real life.
[0:09:31.3] AMY MOORE: Yeah, and San Diego, that doesn’t seem like that would be the look.
[0:09:34.4] JOHN WEISBARTH: I’m in board short – literally right now, I’m wearing board shorts and a t-shirt, a t-shirt with no shoes on. That’s how I want to operate my life. On TV, I’ve always got a flannel on.
[0:09:47.2] ANNA NEWELL JONES: That’s hilarious.
[0:09:49.0] JOHN WEISBARTH: I do this quick – I’m hijacking your podcast here. Anyway –
[0:09:52.6] AMY MOORE: No, you’re good. This is great.
[0:09:54.6] JOHN WEISBARTH: I did this quick Skype interview on a Friday morning. Or maybe, not – there’s an hour or something. They go, “Okay, this is good. We’re going it to show to the network and we might know pretty quickly.” The next day, Saturday, I get a call and they said, “Okay, the network liked it. They’re flying you to New York to meet the contractor.” The contractor was Zack, but I have no idea. I’m thinking, “Oh, this is like a 50-something-year-old, big gut.” He’s like, going to know his stuff. I’m like, “Oh, my gosh.”
I grew up the son of a handyman. Yeah, so I worked for my dad starting in eighth grade over the summer, all the way through high school, all the way through college and then worked with him as I was trying to become a sportscaster. I work from full-time. I have a familiarity with tools, but we’re not construction. I’m like, “Oh, man.” I’m looking stuff up trying to – okay, well joists and okay, the rafters. I was trying to get all the stuff, because this big burly contractor is going to be quizzing me.
I flied in New York. I’d go to the production company’s offices. I walk into this little conference room and I sit down with the show runner, who is the head producer of the show. We talked for about 20 minutes and then in walks Zack. I almost ordered water from him, because I was like, “Well, this is clearly not the – this is isn’t the contractor.” I’m like, “Who is this guy? An intern or something?” He sits down in there and like, “Oh, yeah. This is Zack.” I was like, “Whoa.” We start talking. This is the first time that we have met each other.
We ended up talking for about an hour in there. He was talking a lot about skiing. I like to surf. I was like, “Okay. Yeah, that’s both water. Okay.” I’m immediately thinking like, “All right, connect, connect. What do we have in common? What’s our common ground?” I quickly realized, I was like, “I’ve been surfing my whole life and I would say that I’m an upper intermediate.” I’m like, “I’m a pretty good surfer.” Then Zack’s actually a professional skier. I was like, “Ooh, okay. We’re not going to go tit for tat here.” He’s jumping off of mountains. I’m like, “How big is that wave? 4 feet? Let’s sit this one out.” I was like, we’re not quite on the same level there. No problem.
Yeah, we spend about an hour talking and then they say, “Okay. Well, let’s go get something on tape.” I was like, “Okay. Great. What are we doing?” He’s like, “I don’t know. Let’s just see what happens.”
[0:12:14.7] ERIN LINEHAN: That was the first, second episode of the show?
[0:12:16.8] JOHN WEISBARTH: No. No, no. No, no. This is just a screen test. We just go to a hardware store in Manhattan and with no direction and a camera following us, we just walked through the store and something clicked.
[0:12:35.6] AMY MOORE: There’s so much about that that is so funny. I could imagine it being so awkward. It sounds like, no, it was a great connection?
[0:12:44.2] JOHN WEISBARTH: No, no. It was totally awkward. I wouldn’t say it was awkward. The connection wasn’t awkward. What was awkward was I really wanted this thing. This is a big deal for me. Zack was totally green when it came to television, right? In a way, that was good, because then he wasn’t performing, which made it that I didn’t have to perform, which meant we could actually just have a real connection and just – Also, he was really – well how can I say this? I mean, giving, I guess of his – he doesn’t have a big ego, so there was no posturing of who was going to be –
[0:13:23.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Neither of you come across that way at all. Neither of you have one at all, it seems like, which is so nice.
[0:13:30.7] JOHN WEISBARTH: I mean, and that’s truthfully, that’s how it went. We went through that and I just said – I’m going to wrap the story up. I promise. Then we’ll have four minutes for questions. We do the thing, it goes pretty well. It’s hard to tell. You don’t know exactly what they’re looking for. Wrapped that up. We go back to the thing and they say, “Okay. Well, we’re going to cut this up and show it to the network and we’ll let you know tomorrow, John.” I’m like, “Okay. Got it.”
Zack and I then went to – there’s a little pub around the corner. We said, “Hey, let’s have a beer.” The two of us sat down at this bar. We ordered a beer and it ended up two beers. About an hour and a half of us just sitting there talking and in a lot of ways, we hashed out what our relationship would be like on the show, how it was – it was really crazy.
He asked me, “What do you know about the Tiny House movement?” I was like, “I’m going to be honest with you, man. This is the third day I’ve known it’s a thing.” His reaction was like, “I think that’s great.” We can’t be some crazy, hippie guy ranting and raving about the Tiny House movement. It won’t get accepted. I’m just preaching to the choir. He’s like, “To have you who is new to this, a little bit of the everyman, that you can help package the message and spread the word more.” I was like, “Awesome.” That’s what my career has been. I’ve always been the everyman guy. I’m not an expert in anything, but I dabble in all things. Then I remember, he’s always – he also said, “You can make fun of me if you want.” I was like, “Oh, my God. You can make fun of me?” I was like, “Oh, great.” It was this arranged marriage –
[0:15:28.5] AMY MOORE: That is so interesting.
[0:15:29.4] JOHN WEISBARTH: – that they put two people together that worked. Then the rest is history. I mean, so much so that Zack got married last August, not this summer, but last August. He asked me to be the wedding officiant. If people asked, “Oh, are you guys really friends?” It’s like, “Well, yeah. We truly really are.” It is cool.
[0:15:50.4] AMY MOORE: I just have to ask you, it sounds like that initial beers after you first met, you were almost setting upfront intentional boundaries that – They’re like, “Oh, I’m okay if you make fun of me.” “Oh, yeah. I’m okay if you make fun.” Is that something that you have done in other relationships, or other male friendships? Or was that out of your norm?
[0:16:18.1] JOHN WEISBARTH: That’s a good question. I would say, that might be one of the first times I’ve ever done it that bluntly and intently. Where you actually just say, “Hey, this, that.” I’m a big self-deprecating person, so I think that that comes off, as I’m getting to be – one of the things is that I still live in the town that I grew up in. Most of my friends are people that I played under 10 soccer with. I mean, people that I have known for close to 40 years. I was very lucky in that when you’re little, you’re friends by proximity, kids in your class, who lives around your block, who’s on your team. You don’t really choose. Oftentimes, it’s not until you go to college that you really get to seek out who your real tribe is.
[0:17:09.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: That’s a good point.
[0:17:10.6] AMY MOORE: So true.
[0:17:11.4] JOHN WEISBARTH: Because that’s the first time that you’re exposed to a wider swathe of people and you get to decide. It’s not just who happened to be sitting next to you and Mrs. Landay’s third grade blast. I got very lucky in that the people that I was close to have turned out to be incredible people. I mean, just some of the best guys that I’ve ever met in my life. It’s stand-up people, smart and funny, but really just great husbands and fathers.
I only bring that up to say that a lot of the relationships I have, male relationships are founded over nearly four decades of experience. A lot of what our relationships are based on, it’s very subtle and it’s things that maybe no one else would even pick up on, but it’s people – I’m sure it’s like the three of you. I don’t know how long you guys have all been friends, but there’s that time where – I mean, even right now you’re in the studio and you can just non-verbally and I’m sure, communicate.
[0:18:15.9] AMY MOORE: Lots of non-verbals. It’s so true. It’s almost that familial, where you just – you’re so close, or if you’ve grown up with friends like that. It’s almost more like a cousin, I feel sometimes. Or I don’t know. If you’re close to your cousin, I don’t know. I’m just going to stop there.
[0:18:35.1] JOHN WEISBARTH: I get what you mean. It’s like family. Not like your brother, your sister, your mom and your dad, but you have a deep connection.
[0:18:43.4] AMY MOORE: Yeah. Yeah.
[0:18:43.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: John, do you have any tips for people about how to make connection, or to have that chemistry? I mean, I guess, I’ve always heard that chemistry isn’t something that you can force or manufacture, but is there –
[0:18:57.7] ERIN LINEHAN: Especially, because I feel a lot of males and adults have a hard time keeping connections with friends. You grew up in the same town, but you’re still friends with them. With Anna’s question, how have you done that? Because I feel that’s a struggle often for some men.
[0:19:11.9] JOHN WEISBARTH: I mean, it’s probably a struggle for everybody. Your point about guys is well-taken. I’m 43 of a seven-year-old. How old is Henry by the way, Anna?
[0:19:24.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: He is almost six, if you can believe it.
[0:19:27.3] JOHN WEISBARTH: Gosh. I remember they were about the same age.
[0:19:30.2] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, it’s crazy.
[0:19:32.0] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah. I digress. When you get into life, whether you’re male or female and then you start having a family – you’ve got your work, you’ve got your family, you’ve got all this stuff that’s going on. The thing that seems to take a back seat is the friendships. Or it can, you know what I mean? I said that I live in the same town, there’s guys that I really do count as these just deep, long-standing friendships that I feel I barely see. They’re a few blocks away.
I’ll see them driving by and we’ll give a wave, but I’m not giving that time. Just everyone is so busy. I had this conversation, it’s so funny. I guess in preparation for this. I live in the same town, but not everyone still lives here. One of my best friends lives in New York and he was out here for his 25-year high school reunion. He went to a private school out here. He’d said to me, he’s like, “I need to be a better friend.” He wasn’t even speaking of that towards me, but just in general. He’s like, yeah. He was talking about another buddy. He’s like, “I haven’t seen him in 10 years.” I’m like, “We’ll, talk a little bit.”
I know I’m not really answering your question here, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that maintaining those friendships is difficult. It’s not difficult, but it takes effort. That’s the same thing in terms of this trying to build chemistry very quickly. You can’t force or fake chemistry, right? I mean, you can try, but people’s bullshit meter is just ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. I mean, we’re all super intuitive about that. I do think that you can be open to it.
It’s almost like when I was – when Zack walked into that room, I’m like, “Okay, but what do we have a connection on? Oh, skiing, surfing. Okay, it’s water. Okay, great. We all drink water. Oh, my gosh. I’m thirsty now. Are you thirsty? Look how much we have in common.” Anna, I’d be curious from your standpoint, because you – I’ve never spoken with this about someone that was in your position. Your position being you’ve never really been on television and now you’re being asked to essentially star in an episode of television. You’ve got the pirate, the land pirates just swoop into town. They’re speaking a different language, there’s cameras, there are lights, they’re all up in your personal space and you’re managing a little one and you have all this stuff that’s going on. That can be really intimidating.
I really see my job, my sole job is to try and make that situation as comfortable as possible for someone like you and Erin and Amy, or whatever. You can be as authentic and real and forget about that stuff. What was your impression of all that?
[0:22:29.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, I was actually telling Amy and Erin about this before the episode. I was like, it was so great, because one of the first things that you did is you took Erin and I aside and you said, “Whatever the producers ask you about, or whatever they urge you to say perhaps, you’re going to be the one saying it, so you have to feel good about what you say.” Do you remember having that conversation with us?
[0:22:54.1] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah, I do. I’m still proud of myself for doing that.
[0:22:57.0] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, it was so great because it like, was you being the host of the show really gave us permission to show up in a way that was truthful and honest to ourselves, which – in a situation like that where you feel the pressure from the producers, that they want something in particular and you might know exactly what it is they want, having that clearance from you of, “Make sure you’re proud of what you’re saying and that you stand by what you’re saying and don’t be swayed by any pressure.” It really not only allowed us to do that, but it also made us trust you so much.
It was like, “Okay, this John guy, he’s great. He’s super nice obviously,” but to come out and directly for you to tell us that, it was just so – it just sealed the deal on us trusting you and it made the whole process like, “Okay, this guy’s got our back.”
[0:23:54.8] JOHN WEISBARTH: Awesome. Well, I appreciate you saying that. The truth is is that that’s a lesson that I had to learn myself.
[0:24:03.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: What made you learn that?
[0:24:05.6] JOHN WEISBARTH: 10 years of live television before Tiny House Nation even started, you have to – especially when you’re – I’m a people-pleaser by nature. You want to please these people. What I found out – if you’re a sportscaster, if you’re anchoring a show, it doesn’t matter what happens, or who caused that to happen. Yeah, you’re the one on the hook for it.
Nobody knows that this editor edited the wrong sequence. You’re like okay, do this shot, this shot, this shot. You’ve written to that, but you haven’t had time to look at it because you’re just going. You get on there and you’re reading a highlight or something and you’re describing the wrong highlight. Well, you’re an idiot. You know what I mean? That guy is terrible. It was a lot of things like that, where I realized nobody cares what caused this thing to happen. Whatever happened, you have to own. Then that translates into these things.
The one thing I hate about “reality TV” is when they ask people who are not actors to try and act and pretend. I’m such a bigger fan of lets just have an authentic moment. That’s what I was trying to communicate to you. It’s like, listen. These producers are under pressure to get this thing. They’re trying to tell this story. When you feel that happening, just don’t give in to it because A, it’s not going to be as good. The show is going to be better if you are authentic to yourself. Ultimately, I think that’s what happened.
[0:25:38.7] ERIN LINEHAN: Was that process gradual for you, or did you have a before and after incident that happened?
[0:25:44.1] JOHN WEISBARTH: No. I mean, it was gradual. It was incidents. I mean, I’m not that smart, so you have to hit me over head a couple of times. It’s fueled by your ego, right? Because you’re embarrassed and you’re like, “Gosh.” You want to be like, “It’s not my fault.” That doesn’t do anything. Would it taught me what is to – I have to own it. I mean, it’s like, you hear about this in the military, or whatever. It’s like whoever the leader is, or business, it’s like “Yeah, I don’t think that this general, or whatever caused this private to do whatever, had any knowledge that he was doing something.” It doesn’t matter. If you’re at the top of the pyramid or whatever, you are responsible. You have to do whatever it takes to be able to become proud of that, whatever that is.
Yeah, stop trying to, I don’t know, see what the blame is and just be more thorough in something and be able to think on your feet more when something like that does happen, or actually go in and double-check, or whatever. Or have the conversation with the person, not in a way that’s like, “You made me look like an idiot. I can’t believe it. What are you doing? Blah, blah, blah, blah.” More like, “You see what happened there?” They feel way worse than you do.
Yeah, I don’t know. I was taught by a high school soccer coach a long time ago, that people are going to work harder for someone that they don’t want to let down, rather than someone that they’re afraid that they’re going to get in trouble for.
[0:27:14.4] AMY MOORE: That’s like the whole parenting thing too, right? There’s all that quadrant of are you an authoritative parent? Or I don’t even remember all the options, but it’s that same concept, where the likelihood of developing more love and respect and a healthier relationship parent, child, is not to be the authoritative – No, I think authoritative is the good one. Do you know what I’m talking about?
[0:27:42.6] JOHN WEISBARTH: This confirms exactly what I think about parenting, and that’s that I have no idea what I’m doing. Every day I’m like, “Oh, let’s try and figure this out.”
[0:27:52.8] AMY MOORE: It is something – more military rule. Although that is seemingly beyond – decreasing. That type of parenting style is not working. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t work as well for the majority.
[0:28:07.2] JOHN WEISBARTH: You know what’s interesting, just to get on that. I mean, I talk a lot about parenting with my friends. That’s what we’re all in. I feel it’s really – it’s a head scratching time to be a parent.
[0:28:19.4] AMY MOORE: It really is.
[0:28:20.5] JOHN WEISBARTH: Just in terms of – which is – fits in line a little bit with what you guys talk about, this interconnectivity, but also more alone than ever. The role that social media plays and how to navigate that with yourself and then especially with your kids and how that all works out. One of the things about parenting that – I’m a people pleaser, right? I want to be loving. I wanted that, but you have to have boundaries.
[0:28:44.7] AMY MOORE: Have to.
[0:28:46.1] JOHN WEISBARTH: My wife read this book and I’d love to say I read it, but she basically gave me the cliff notes. I think it was by – oh, gosh. I hope I get the author. I think was Brené Brown, but the tile of the book was – oh, actually, I’m in our bedroom and it’s sitting right here. Yeah.
[0:29:03.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: That’s Andy.
[0:29:04.5] AMY MOORE: Perfect. Check that author.
[0:29:08.3] JOHN WEISBARTH: It’s oh, boy. Robin Berman. Okay, not at all Brene Brown, but it’s called –
[0:29:12.1] ERIN LINEHAN: Brene Brown is good stuff.
[0:29:13.9] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah, it is. It’s called Permission to Parent. It was like, “Oh, this is what I needed, because I’m not authoritarian by nature,” but I also – with our son especially, I feel – he responds better when there are known boundaries. It’s like, how to raise your child with love and limits.
[0:29:37.8] AMY MOORE: Yes, exactly.
[0:29:39.4] JOHN WEISBARTH: Just to have someone write it down and be like, “Yeah, it is okay for you to set a limit.” I know that sounds so simple. “Well, of course. You’re the parent. You should be doing that.” I agree. I was never a better parent in my whole life than before I had kids, but something happened. When you get worn down over time and you find yourself coalescing and you’re like, “God, this isn’t making it better. What’s going on?” I just – this thing, Permission to Parent was like, boom! It that like, “Oh, that was such a great thing to,” I don’t know. It’s just saying like, “Yeah, it’s okay. You’re allowed to be a parent.” I was like, “Oh, you’re right. You are.” I don’t know. That was a big one for the two of us.
[0:30:20.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: We’ll have to check that out. John, I have a question about the Tiny Houses.
[0:30:26.4] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah. Nice segue.
[0:30:29.3] ERIN LINEHAN: Bringing it back.
[0:30:30.3] AMY MOORE: Thank you, Anna.
[0:30:31.8] ERIN LINEHAN: Good segue.
[0:30:32.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Usually, it’s Amy who’s taking us back.
[0:30:36.3] AMY MOORE: No. I’m in Lala land this morning.
[0:30:38.3] ANNA NEWELL JONES: I’m usually going like, “What’s that shining light? Let’s look at that.”
[0:30:42.4] ERIN LINEHAN: Amy’s going to tell us about her dream next. Just kidding. Go.
[0:30:46.2] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Okay, what’s up with everybody wanting a bathtub in their Tiny House? I’ve noticed this is a thing.
[0:30:54.1] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah. That’s a good question. I mean, yeah. I don’t want to put this on a male-female thing, but I will say that – I don’t remember the last time I took a bath. Baths aren’t really a thing past the age of 10, I thought.
[0:31:12.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Some people love them though.
[0:31:14.1] AMY MOORE: Yeah, they do a fan.
[0:31:15.2] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah. Well, no apparently.
[0:31:18.0] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, I’m just like, what is up – it must be a demographic thing, or something with Tiny Houses and bathtubs, because I’m like, why does everybody –
[0:31:23.6] ERIN LINEHAN: That would take up the whole tiny house.
[0:31:25.5] AMY MOORE: John, how many people actually get a bathtub in their tiny house? Or like estimated –
[0:31:30.4] JOHN WEISBARTH: I don’t have access to that stat. What I would say is –
[0:31:35.0] AMY MOORE: Over half?
[0:31:36.5] JOHN WEISBARTH: I honestly don’t know. I think what it is –I think it’s almost this idea of – you tell someone you’re moving into a tiny house. You tell them you’re moving into something that’s under 300 square feet, 230 square feet or something and they’re just like, “Oh, you can’t have anything in there.” Almost as a reaction to that is like, “Oh, yeah? I can even have a bathtub.” I mean, subconsciously. It’s like, kitchens and bathrooms, right? That’s what sells houses. It’s the same thing that people like about Tiny Houses. We have done some really extravagant kitchens and really extravagant bathrooms for sure. I think that’s the part that people, I don’t know, gravitate to. The bath tub –
[0:32:26.6] AMY MOORE: It is interesting to think about the kitchen is often where people gather, right? You can see why. Then it’s like, maybe the bathtub, or bathroom is more of a sense of self-care. I don’t know.
[0:32:43.5] JOHN WEISBARTH: Sure. One of the few spaces in a tiny house where you can actually be by yourself.
[0:32:49.3] AMY MOORE: Yeah, totally.
[0:32:50.4] ERIN LINEHAN: Has working with the Tiny Houses, has it changed your perspective on home?
[0:32:55.6] JOHN WEISBARTH: A 100%.
[0:32:56.6] AMY MOORE: Ah, interesting.
[0:32:57.6] JOHN WEISBARTH: 1,000%.
[0:32:59.0] ANNA NEWELL JONES: How so?
[0:33:00.3] JOHN WEISBARTH: Well, first of all, just in the size of a home. I mean, I know that sounds obvious, but I don’t know. I was walking around. I’d be walking around my hometown. I’d be like, “Oh, look at that big, giant house. It looks so awesome.” I mean, I look at those now and I’m almost – I don’t want to say appalled. I’m not appalled, but definitely turned off by it. The house we live in is too big for us. There’s only three of us. I’m the pare down guy. I’m the guy that helps people get rid of all their stuff. We have too much stuff. It makes me uncomfortable. I don’t love all that we have.
My ideal house here in Southern California would be something that’s 800 to 1,000 square feet, so not tiny, but not giant, well-designed with some real outdoor space. Outdoor space – in my hometown all the lots are very small. The houses are right on top of each other, but you can still carve out some outdoor space. That’s what – you can be outside every day of the year in San Diego. It’s so useful.
What’s happening in our town is all the little houses that are here, people are buying them for 2 million dollars just so they can knock them down and then build a giant house on every square inch of lot that they’re legally allowed to. I just, I’m like, “Uh.” It just turns me off so much.
[0:34:31.3] ERIN LINEHAN: Was that what you were talking about right-size living at the beginning of the episode?
[0:34:35.2] JOHN WEISBARTH: Totally.
[0:34:36.1] ANNA NEWELL JONES: I love that phrase.
[0:34:38.2] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah. Because I don’t know that 300 square feet is right for a family of four. I don’t think that 5,000 square feet for a couple is the right size either. When I talk about a tiny house, truly I’m talking about an efficient house. I’m talking about a space that has everything you need, but nothing that you don’t. To me, that is what tiny living really is.
I think, Zack and I talk about this all the time. I think moving into a tiny house, and Anna, you can tell me what you think. That’s an extreme move. That is extreme as two people living in 5,000 square feet or more. I mean, it is at the other end of the spectrum. I don’t think it is for everybody and we certainly don’t encourage everybody to do that. I love that it’s happening. I love that we can show what it does. It’s a powerful tool for sure, but it’s not easy. It does come with sacrifice.
I think there’s a much higher volume of people that can watch a show like Tiny House Nation and go from 3,000 square feet to 1,500 square feet and be like, “Oh, yeah.” Can open your eyes and, “Wait, 1,500 square feet, not tiny at all.” It’s comfortable. I think that’s the real power of this movement is that you can have the size that you are – you’re currently living in. Go from 3,000 to 1,500 and you can just – That’s a huge move. That’s not a tiny house, but I still think it’s important.
[0:36:12.3] ERIN LINEHAN: Has anyone freaked out mid-episode and realized what was happening and then wanted to retract?
[0:36:16.4] ANNA NEWELL JONES: They’re like, “No.”
[0:36:18.3] JOHN WEISBARTH: Not really. Anna, you can speak to this. I mean, it’s not we showed up and said, “Hey, we’re going to try something new. What do you think?” You’re like, “Oh, I guess.” I mean, the process of doing it, especially when we first started the show, it was very new and it was hard to find people. By the time that we –
[0:36:35.5] AMY MOORE: When did you start the show? When was that?
[0:36:38.0] JOHN WEISBARTH: 2014.
[0:36:38.5] AMY MOORE: 2014. Okay.
[0:36:39.8] JOHN WEISBARTH: It was April, or March of 2014. By the time the show started airing and people started seeing it, they knew what to expect. Most people didn’t wake up one day and say, “Oh, let’s go tiny.” Then a week later were there. It’s a long process. They thought about it a long time. I would say probably, that realization comes with month two or three or four of living in it and you’re like, “Oh, no. Not quite what I expected.” I’m curious, Anna. What was the experience like for you?
[0:37:10.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah. Gosh, it was a big buildup, I guess. We first got introduced to Tiny Houses, gosh, we actually did have a pretty quick turnaround, actually. We saw my tiny house in Colorado Springs and I was like – it was a tumbleweed tiny house and I was like, “I love this thing. We got to do this.” Then I was looking into like, “Oh, if we wanted to do this, how could we get help with the cost of creating this? We could rent out our condo, or sell it and live in the tiny house.” It was a pretty quick process actually.
[0:37:45.3] AMY MOORE: It’s the way you roll.
[0:37:46.4] ANNA NEWELL JONES: It’s how I roll. I go big. It’s like, “Let’s do it.” Then we’re all in. Saw the tiny house, fell in love. Then we were cast on the show.
[0:37:58.0] JOHN WEISBARTH: How long was that process?
[0:37:59.2] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, maybe four or five months. It was pretty quick.
[0:38:03.8] JOHN WEISBARTH: Well, you were still pretty new. I mean, the show was still pretty new. They were like – and we were getting – for episodes they were like, “We need people. We need people.” Yeah, there goes that. A lot quicker back then.
[0:38:13.4] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah. Then we worked with a builder to come up with the design and it changed many, many times. It ended up being quite a bit more than we planned on spending. Then John, I don’t think you know about this, but my husband lost his job soon after we built the tiny house.
[0:38:28.0] JOHN WEISBARTH: Oh, no.
[0:38:29.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, so we had to sell it. Isn’t that crazy?
[0:38:32.3] AMY MOORE: Yeah, that was a hard time.
[0:38:33.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: It was such a bummer. It was like, “Oh, my gosh. We have to –”
[0:38:36.1] JOHN WEISBARTH: How quick? How quick did you have to sell? You lived in it for a week?
[0:38:40.1] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Two months after we got it. We had to sell it.
[0:38:42.5] JOHN WEISBARTH: Oh, man.
[0:38:43.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, so it’s out living its life. Oh, it was so gorgeous. It was like, “Man, we have to do this adult decision here. What do we do with this loan on this tiny house?” Then we’re like, “Okay, to actually move it, we have to buy a huge truck.” It just was like, “Crap, this isn’t working the way we wanted it to.”
[0:39:05.2] AMY MOORE: Totally out of your control.
[0:39:06.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, it was totally out of our control. It was like, “Oh, you’re losing your job right now? Bad timing. Dude, come on.”
[0:39:14.5] JOHN WEISBARTH: Oh, no.
[0:39:16.1] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, that was a bummer.
[0:39:17.1] AMY MOORE: How many of the people who build their tiny homes live in it as their primary residence, versus – I would imagine maybe second home type? Or does that even go against maybe the whole purpose?
[0:39:30.4] JOHN WEISBARTH: There’s two questions there. The first question, I have no idea. Basically, most people are not – at least the way it’s projected to us, is that this is their – they’re doing this as their primary home.
[0:39:42.4] AMY MOORE: Got it. Okay.
[0:39:46.4] JOHN WEISBARTH: Zack and I, we are pretty insulated from a lot of the nitty-gritty details of that stuff. I think it’s on purpose, so that we don’t get bogged down on that. Then also, you have to remember, when we’re in production, I mean, it is a absolute whirlwind. We are going –
[0:40:08.1] ANNA NEWELL JONES: It’s impressive.
[0:40:09.1] JOHN WEISBARTH: We are going from town to town. The thing is, once we – you get through this crazy week with us, and then we pack the circus up and go to the next town and start it all over again.
[0:40:19.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, because ours was built in five days, or seven days, which is insane.
[0:40:23.7] AMY MOORE: Oh, my gosh. That’s crazy.
[0:40:25.5] JOHN WEISBARTH: I mean, yeah. The whole thing wasn’t built that fast, but by the time we were there, it’s like the last part of it – it happens real quick.
[0:40:34.0] ANNA NEWELL JONES: I think it was. I don’t know.
[0:40:39.2] JOHN WEISBARTH: Well, what I would say is –
[0:40:40.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: It seems like it was seven days.
[0:40:43.7] AMY MOORE: One week.
[0:40:44.1] JOHN WEISBARTH: We were there for that time, but we didn’t show up to a blank frame.
[0:40:47.4] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, okay. They had it framed out?
[0:40:49.9] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah. Your builder had a lot of stuff done. What’s interesting is the show morphed. Your episodes for your episode, you guys just did one, right? I’m kidding.
[0:41:03.2] ERIN LINEHAN: You don’t remember, John?
[0:41:04.0] ANNA NEWELL JONES: We have five tiny houses.
[0:41:06.9] ERIN LINEHAN: That’s right.
[0:41:07.8] JOHN WEISBARTH: It morphed a lot. Yeah, we did come to some blank trailers in the beginning of the show and it was like, “It would take a long time.” I mean, a long time being 14 days, which is super, super fast. That’s a long time and you’re only supposed to be there for seven. A lot of over [inaudible 0:41:27] stuff. We started showing up to more and more complete tiny homes.
This last season we did, they tweaked the format a bit, which I actually liked. It was leaning into the reality of the situation. What had happened is we were showing up for the last week and then through TV magic, pretending like we’ve been there the whole time. I don’t know. Again, my whole thing is about authenticity on this. Then we shoot it out of order and we’re trying to remember like, “Well, do I know now? What don’t I know now?”
[0:42:00.9] AMY MOORE: Oh, that’s hard.
[0:42:01.6] JOHN WEISBARTH: They just get away with all of that and just owned what – the truth of the matter was, was that, “Okay, yeah, we’re showing up at the last part of this build. We’re going to do a special project and we’re like, for whatever reason, this build has stalled and we’re going to come in here and inject the energy into it and we’re going to push this thing across the finish line.” That was great.
Yeah. I mean, the show was never about watching Zack rough in the plumbing and electrical. Who cares if he’s there plaining. It’s more about the specialty builds and that connection to your story.
[0:42:39.1] ERIN LINEHAN: I’m curious about your traveling, because it sounds like with the Tiny Houses, obviously you have to go everywhere. Then for you, then in opposition is that you grew up in the same town that you still live in now. What is that like to travel all around and then be able to go back to your village for you?
[0:42:54.7] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah, that’s a great question. What I’ll say, it’s a two-part thing. One, it was really difficult in the beginning. The difficult part of it was being away from my family. The first year of the show, I spent 230 days on the road.
[0:43:15.3] AMY MOORE: Whoa.
[0:43:16.8] JOHN WEISBARTH: It went from zero to 60. It was just came out of nowhere. When I was a sportscaster, I never traveled. We did everything from the studio, so I was always around. My son at the time, when we started in March of 2014, he was 18-months-old, so he’s a year and a half. I’d been the primary caregiver. My wife was working. I was trying to get a job and I just remember being so conflicted in everything.
The two things I’ve wanted to do my whole life is one, to be an entertainer, to entertain people, to get out and do that and the other was to be a dad. They were pulling at each other. It was like, I couldn’t do both. I felt like a delinquent father and husband. I was just like, “Oh, I’m ruining this little kid’s life.” He’s not going to know who his dad is. I was being very dramatic, as you can see I have got a little bit of that.
[0:44:16.5] AMY MOORE: Hence, the entertainer.
[0:44:18.6] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. The truth of the matter is is that because we were in my hometown – my parents are here, my sister is here. He was surrounded – I’m speaking to my son, was surrounded by love. It was able to help my wife who was working full-time who’ve just gotten a new job like two weeks before I got mine. She’s just head-down working so hard. You know how it is when you start a new thing. You’re like, “Okay. I got to do all this catch up.”
It was really challenging on a personal level. It wasn’t like I was gone selling aluminum siding being like, “Oh, I hate this, I need to get home.” I loved what I was doing. Boy, I remember just being an absolute basket of emotions. I mean, no joke, weeping on plane rides. Just I was a wreck. I give my wife so much credit for not only managing all that, but we’ve always had a really – we’ve got a good relationship. We’re really good at communicating, which is honestly one of the things I noticed and recognized in her very early when we were just dating. I was like, “Oh, man. This is a person that I could raise a kid with. This is someone that’s a great communicator.”
[0:45:37.6] AMY MOORE: That’s awesome.
[0:45:38.5] JOHN WEISBARTH: Great boobs. Those two things. I was like –
[0:45:42.0] ERIN LINEHAN: All right. That’s a homerun.
[0:45:43.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Great boobs. Great communicator.
[0:45:46.2] JOHN WEISBARTH: The only two boxes I’ve got on the list.
[0:45:48.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: That’s amazing.
[0:45:49.4] AMY MOORE: Done and done.
[0:45:52.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: That’s hilarious.
[0:45:53.9] AMY MOORE: That is.
[0:45:54.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: What did that look like? What was she doing, or what were you seeing practically speaking?
[0:45:59.5] AMY MOORE: Besides the boobs.
[0:46:00.4] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Besides the boobs. Like on the communication side.
[0:46:04.6] JOHN WEISBARTH: We’ve always been big communicators. I always say like, “Oh, we’ve never even had a fight.” We had tons and tons and tons of disagreements, but she’s just not comfortable leaving something in a weird spot, which means that when we have a discussion, it’s about the thing that is bothering us. It’s not three weeks later and the cupboard is left open and there’s a big fight. It’s like, [inaudible 0:46:33.9].
[0:46:34.1] ANNA NEWELL JONES: You’re getting a fist pump.
[0:46:35.8] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah. Oh, good.
[0:46:37.2] ANNA NEWELL JONES: From Erin.
[0:46:38.0] AMY MOORE: Therapist Erin. Yeah.
[0:46:39.8] JOHN WEISBARTH: You know what I mean? That’s how we’ve always operated. Then I was in such a weird head space, because I was just, again, I was just feeling – I was missing my family and I was recognizing this opportunity in my career as like, “This is the biggest thing I’ve ever done and I have to really lean into this,” and there was all of this going on, where at one point I said to her, I was like, “I just can’t – I can’t hear about what’s going on at home. It makes me miss it too much.” That lasted for about 10 days. It was like, this is not how we operate. It felt terrible.
It’s so funny. I was talking to my wife, Megan, about this last night even. It’s actually one of the things I’m most proud of, because we didn’t do it right the first time. We didn’t intuitively know it. Even the thing that we’d always done, I was in such a weird spot that we went against it. What I’m most proud of is our ability to notice that and unwind it and be like, “Wait a second.” Have that tough conversation and figure it out. Then, “Oh, okay, this is better.” I mean, it’s a difference between like, “Oh, just stuff those emotions down.” It’s like, “When does that ever work?” Never.
[0:48:06.5] AMY MOORE: Right. Let’s not communicate.
[0:48:09.1] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah. I don’t know. I was just really – I just think – you know what it is, we went to a wedding this weekend. Whenever you go [inaudible 0:48:16.0] you’re talking about your relationships. I’m like, I don’t know. That was one of the things that I actually was really proud of is that I had the wrong thought on that and she recognized it as wrong, but it was like, well, this is what he needs and we went along with it and then realized, “No, no, no, no. This is bad for the family.”
[0:48:36.4] ANNA NEWELL JONES: That was a terrible idea.
[0:48:37.2] AMY MOORE: Well, but and then –
[0:48:38.7] JOHN WEISBARTH: We really blew that one.
[0:48:39.3] AMY MOORE: I feel both of you to be able to course-correct and have that willingness and openness to try something new, I think that’s a great sign of just a couple, or a relationship testing something not working, correcting, testing it. I don’t know, just growing together.
[0:49:01.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Like, we’re going to keep working at it until we figure it out.
[0:49:04.0] ERIN LINEHAN: I’m curious about what you did to work on that, to manage that for yourself personally. How did you get to a good spot with that? Or what did you for that?
[0:49:12.0] JOHN WEISBARTH: Well, I mean, it’s a little bit like anything, where the more you do something, it becomes your new normal a little bit. It became a little more routine, but that’s also – there’s also a danger in that, right? What I would hear all the time when I’m out on the road from people that have been in the business a lot longer, they’re like, “Oh, yeah.” Basically, the message was, “Oh, everyone gets divorced.” It always happens.
I remember just saying to myself, “That’s not going to happen to me. There’s no way. I want this career so bad, but not more than my family. That if I have to walk away from this thing and it’s basically ends my career, well then, I’ll just go be a handyman like my dad.” By the way, I would be a terrible handyman. We’d be in such trouble, but we’d be together. I was just like, “That is more important. I really truly felt that and believe that.”
We communicated better, that helped – The other thing that was actually a big part of it was when I realized that my son was flourishing, that he was surrounded by this love, that he was okay. It would have been such a different experience. I don’t know that I would – I would have even made it to see you, Anna, in Denver if he had been struggling, had been acting out. Where you’re just like, “Oh.” Even if it didn’t – it wasn’t tied to his father being away, which I would argue of course that’s what it would have been, but even if it hadn’t been, I would have thought it was. I would have just like, “Well, this is not more important than my son.”
Luckily, he did great and that’s a huge credit to my wife. That’s a huge credit to my family that was here. I mean, my sister has been a nanny and his aunt throughout his whole life. She has a little girl now, Abigail, who’s almost two. These two, Jake and Abigail, they are sibling cousins. They’re just so cute.
[0:51:15.9] AMY MOORE: It’s so great.
[0:51:17.7] JOHN WEISBARTH: I mean, because – and it’s so great, because we’re not going to have another kid. He gets to have this little sister. He doesn’t have to share his parents. He doesn’t have to share his toys. He doesn’t have to share his room. It’s all the benefit of it. He’s got this little person that adores him. I mean –
[0:51:34.5] AMY MOORE: That’s so sweet.
[0:51:35.0] JOHN WEISBARTH: – the sun rises and sets where Jake is. It’s really cool. It’s great to see.
[0:51:42.8] AMY MOORE: Did you say they’re across the street? You guys are across the street from each other?
[0:51:45.4] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah, we live across the street. Yeah.
[0:51:48.2] AMY MOORE: That really is the best set up.
[0:51:51.3] JOHN WEISBARTH: Totally. Totally. Yeah, so to answer your question, it got better because we got a little bit used to it, our communication improved. I realized that Jake wasn’t spiraling out of control. In fact, he was quite the opposite. I felt a little bit more confident like, “Okay, get over yourself, dad. Your absence isn’t bringing the whole family down. They’re doing pretty darn good.” That allowed me to lean into the career a little bit.
Then after that first year, I basically came back and said, “I can’t sustain this.” We want to – the show is going well. I want the show to be a success, but I can’t do 230 days. It ended up – we negotiated some stuff, where I ended up negotiating where I would come home between every episode.
[0:52:37.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Wow. That’s awesome.
[0:52:38.8] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah. I mean, sometimes there’s only three days down and you’re on the East Coast, so it didn’t make any sense at all, but I just said, I’m going to do that. It’s a lot of red eyes. It’s a lot of stuff. What I found with even coming home and getting one day, that let the pressure off the dam. That growing exponentially was like, okay, we’re at 90% capacity right now. If I stayed out for another week, dam breaking and we’re overflowing.
I come home, “All right, we got it down to 60%,” and that was manageable. Then it was like, okay, would climb back up. It was just a little bit of rescheduling. I’m stoked that the production company allowed me to do that as well. It ended up working out. Now just all the time.
[0:53:22.2] AMY MOORE: You’re the perfect host for Tiny House Nation, because it’s like, you’ve lived –
[0:53:27.1] JOHN WEISBARTH: Go on.
[0:53:28.8] AMY MOORE: – how – you have lived how important home is and you have totally did what you need to do to make it happen, so that you could reconnect when you need to to home. Now it’s so cool that that’s what you’re doing professionally. Helping other people, I guess really create that connection as well.
[0:53:50.3] JOHN WEISBARTH: I gotta say it was a rough thing, because to that point, a lot of people, the number one motivation for going tiny is an economic one, which I totally get. Second, right there, right underneath it for a lot of people was this connection to family. I’m going around the country and I’m encouraging this and talking about how wonderful this is and at the same time I’m away from my family.
I remember being like, “Oh, gosh. This is so weird and hard.” I’m not out there – it sounds –there’s nothing more annoying than someone that’s on television talking about how hard their job is. Let me just be super clear that it is an amazing job and I’m not out there digging ditches, but I just wasn’t prepared, or had never considered the aspect of being away from family and home and what that can mean to your personal life. That was just something that I was not aware of. It just was not on my radar. It took me a while to course-correct and to figure that out. Now that I did, it’s been great. It really has. Yeah, just want to be clear about that.
[0:55:01.0] AMY MOORE: Yeah. Well and as with everything, right? I mean, live and learn, right? You don’t know what you don’t know, until –
[0:55:08.3] JOHN WEISBARTH: Total.
[0:55:10.7] AMY MOORE: Okay. We are at the top of the hour here and we have to let –
[0:55:14.7] JOHN WEISBARTH: Oh, we’re just getting warmed up.
[0:55:16.1] AMY MOORE: Yeah. I know, right? We could keep going and going and going on this one, but what we usually do with our guests is we end the show –
[0:55:25.0] ERIN LINEHAN: Wait, you were going to ask us a question.
[0:55:29.3] JOHN WEISBARTH: Oh, I think I was going to ask about Henry. I think –
[0:55:32.1] ERIN LINEHAN: Okay. Cool. Okay.
[0:55:32.9] JOHN WEISBARTH: I was curious about – because I remember he was close to Jake’s age.
[0:55:35.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: You’re like, “What is the question?” Yeah. Yeah, they were close in age.
[0:55:40.2] JOHN WEISBARTH: Well, how long had you guys known each other?
[0:55:41.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Gosh, we’ve known each other how many years?
[0:55:45.3] ERIN LINEHAN: 2016. 2016.
[0:55:48.3] AMY MOORE: 2016. I’ve known you – Anna and I met, I don’t know, like 2015.
[0:55:55.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, when you moved to Denver, right?
[0:55:57.7] AMY MOORE: That was 2014, I moved to Denver. Yeah, and then you and I – well, gosh.
[0:56:06.2] ERIN LINEHAN: 16.
[0:56:07.1] AMY MOORE: 16.
[0:56:07.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: We always do this every time.
[0:56:08.5] JOHN WEISBARTH: I mean, I’m sorry. I thought it was going to be an easy question that’s in my call.
[0:56:11.3] ANNA NEWELL JONES: We’re always like, “Let’s figure this out real quick.”
[0:56:13.1] AMY MOORE: I know. We’ve been having this 6:00 a.m. coffee. That’s been our –
[0:56:19.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Every single week.
[0:56:20.6] AMY MOORE: Yeah. I feel like, you know how you had made the comment, John, about maintaining friendships takes effort. I guess, we got to a place where it’s very intentional like, “Okay, we want to maintain this, how are we going to do this?” And we found that with our busy schedules, 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday mornings was the way that we could do that.
[0:56:42.8] JOHN WEISBARTH: That was your window.
[0:56:43.7] AMY MOORE: Yeah, that was it. We’ve met for coffee.
[0:56:46.0] ERIN LINEHAN: Every single week. Yeah.
[0:56:48.1] AMY MOORE: Yeah, for three and a half years.
[0:56:49.9] JOHN WEISBARTH: That’s so great. I mean, essentially that’s what this podcast is born out of.
[0:56:53.7] AMY MOORE: Exactly. That’s exactly right. Yup. Yup.
[0:56:56.1] ANNA NEWELL JONES: John, we’d like to finish the episode with a completely random question. It has nothing to do with tiny houses. It has nothing to do with –
[0:57:05.6] ERIN LINEHAN: We don’t even know what these are, just as a heads up. Anna knows they’re –
[0:57:08.2] ANNA NEWELL JONES: It’s just a random question I have.
[0:57:10.3] AMY MOORE: Beware.
[0:57:11.0] JOHN WEISBARTH: I love it.
[0:57:11.4] ERIN LINEHAN: We’re surprised as you are.
[0:57:12.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Okay. The question is – okay, a crime is legal for one hour. What do you do?
[0:57:20.3] ERIN LINEHAN: Oh, cool.
[0:57:20.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, they like this one.
[0:57:23.0] JOHN WEISBARTH: I think just murder a bunch of people and just – Just any crime? It’s interesting.
[0:57:30.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Any crime.
[0:57:31.6] JOHN WEISBARTH: This is why this is a good question for me. I am such a by-the-book Brook. I am such a rule follower. With my son, that I’m like, I can’t even grapple this question. I’m like, “Do I J-walk? No, no, no, no. That would be a bad example.”
[0:57:45.1] AMY MOORE: You might get hit by a car. Yeah.
[0:57:47.9] JOHN WEISBARTH: Okay. Boy, I’m going to have to answer this, huh. Crime is legal. Well, okay.
[0:57:53.6] AMY MOORE: What would you do, Anna?
[0:57:55.8] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah, Anna?
[0:57:57.1] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, gosh.
[0:57:58.9] AMY MOORE: This is a hard one.
[0:57:59.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: It is a hard one.
[0:58:01.3] JOHN WEISBARTH: No, here’s my answer and it’s going to be such a cop-out. It would be –
[0:58:08.0] ERIN LINEHAN: You’re owning it, so it’s okay.
[0:58:09.5] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah, I’d have to do something that would be – that’s basically breaking what I think is a dumb law. I think – Oh, I don’t know if it’s not even – Let me think about this.
[0:58:25.0] ANNA NEWELL JONES: I can ask you a different one.
[0:58:26.4] JOHN WEISBARTH: No, no, no. I can’t do that. I have to answer the question.
[0:58:30.4] ERIN LINEHAN: The rule follower.
[0:58:31.3] JOHN WEISBARTH: Rule follower. It would be something like, “Oh, you’re not allowed to surf at this private beach. It’s a private property.” I’m like, “That’s dumb.” You’re going to get arrested for trespassing. It’s like, “Well guess what? For an hour, you can’t arrest me. Look at all these waves I’m getting.”
[0:58:49.8] ERIN LINEHAN: It’s good. Okay.
[0:58:50.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: That’s a good one.
[0:58:51.3] ERIN LINEHAN: Yeah, that’s good.
[0:58:52.1] ANNA NEWELL JONES: That’s a good one.
[0:58:52.9] AMY MOORE: That’s good.
[0:58:53.5] JOHN WEISBARTH: Back to Anna, now what would you do?
[0:58:55.4] ANNA NEWELL JONES: I might rob a bank.
[0:59:00.8] ERIN LINEHAN: There she is.
[0:59:02.7] JOHN WEISBARTH: Well, banks better be insured, right? All the people would actually end up getting their money back.
[0:59:07.4] ERIN LINEHAN: But be the dye on there.
[0:59:08.8] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah, but here’s the thing, so then –
[0:59:10.1] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Well, it’s legal.
[0:59:11.1] ERIN LINEHAN: Oh, it’s true.
[0:59:11.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: I just walk in and say I would like 5 million dollars. Thank you very much.
[0:59:14.6] AMY MOORE: Please give me all the cash in this establishment.
[0:59:17.0] ERIN LINEHAN: I only got an hour.
[0:59:19.2] JOHN WEISBARTH: Perfect. Then now it’s 90 minutes past that and it’s just cool. They don’t want their money back? That’s against the law what you did.
[0:59:28.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Well, see this is how I’m taking this question.
[0:59:30.3] AMY MOORE: We can’t overthink it too much.
[0:59:34.2] ANNA NEWELL JONES: It’s all good. For whatever you do during that hour and the consequences are like –
[0:59:39.0] ERIN LINEHAN: Done.
[0:59:39.4] AMY MOORE: You know what I would do?
[0:59:40.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: No consequences.
[0:59:41.7] AMY MOORE: I would vandalize. I would. I would do a huge spray painting. I would. I would love to do a massive mural somewhere on a building.
[0:59:52.1] ANNA NEWELL JONES: That’s so random.
[0:59:52.9] AMY MOORE: I know, but that’s where I went. I would. Not vandal – that’s the –
[0:59:58.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Graffiti.
[0:59:59.7] AMY MOORE: Graffiti. That’s what I would do. Yeah, you know how sometimes those huge –
[1:00:03.7] JOHN WEISBARTH: I would take a baseball bat smashing windows. Okay.
[1:00:07.5] AMY MOORE: Probably wrong word. Sorry.
[1:00:10.4] JOHN WEISBARTH: Actually, so it’s so funny. Our little bond here in town, it’s small, and so they don’t have enough room for all the supplies, so they put all the bottled water outside and it’s on an alley. I was walking by and I was like, “Boy, it would be fun to take a car and just ram into all this water and just have it explode it everywhere.”
[1:00:35.8] AMY MOORE: Oh, my gosh. Anna just –
[1:00:36.3] JOHN WEISBARTH: Then I was like, “What a waste of water and the plastic.” I’m like, “Oh, God.” I was immediately went back to rule-following.
[1:00:43.1] AMY MOORE: Because you have a strong conscience. There’s nothing wrong with that. Anna did find this place called Smash It, right? Isn’t that –
[1:00:50.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Something like that.
[1:00:51.9] AMY MOORE: It’s something like you can go to a place and you can –
[1:00:54.4] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Just destroy shit.
[1:00:56.3] AMY MOORE: Yeah, to get your anger out or something. Anyway. We got to look into that.
[1:01:00.4] JOHN WEISBARTH: That is fun.
[1:01:02.1] AMY MOORE: Well, John, we need the next tiny house.
[1:01:04.9] JOHN WEISBARTH: Oh, God. [Inaudible 1:01:05.4].
[1:01:06.2] AMY MOORE: A mobile –
[1:01:07.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Smash it? Yeah.
[1:01:09.6] AMY MOORE: Actually. Anyway, John it has been a pure pleasure to have you on the show.
[1:01:15.3] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, thank you.
[1:01:16.0] AMY MOORE: So much fun. Thank you for all your insights on connecting. We just really appreciate you and what you’re doing and also your time.
[1:01:26.4] JOHN WEISBARTH: Well, I appreciate that as well. Can I say that this has been the most favorite podcast I’ve ever been on.
[1:01:34.1] AMY MOORE: Really? Oh.
[1:01:36.0] ERIN LINEHAN: Oh, man.
[1:01:36.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: That’s so awesome.
[1:01:37.5] AMY MOORE: Thank you.
[1:01:39.3] JOHN WEISBARTH: It’s the first podcast I’ve ever done, so it still is the favorite.
[1:01:45.5] AMY MOORE: Hey, we’ll take it. We’ll take it.
[1:01:47.7] ERIN LINEHAN: We’ll take it.
[1:01:48.4] ANNA NEWELL JONES: We’re like, “Oh, that’s amazing.”
[1:01:49.9] ERIN LINEHAN: I can edit that part out.
[1:01:53.8] JOHN WEISBARTH: Beautiful.
[1:01:54.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, so you can find Tiny House Nation on Netflix and on A&E, right?
[1:01:58.3] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah.
[1:01:59.0] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Anywhere else? All over? Bravo.
[1:02:01.4] JOHN WEISBARTH: Yeah, Bravo has our old episodes. If you want to see what Anna looks like and you’re really into it, tune in to Bravo.
[1:02:07.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Amazon Prime too.
[1:02:09.0] JOHN WEISBARTH: Oh, Amazon Prime. You have to pay for it there I’m sure.
[1:02:10.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, this is true. This is true.
[1:02:12.2] JOHN WEISBARTH: I mean, I don’t get any of that money. Do you get any of it?
[1:02:14.4] ANNA NEWELL JONES: I don’t. Scratch that.
[1:02:16.6] JOHN WEISBARTH: Well then, just do the Bravo then.
[1:02:18.0] AMY MOORE: No problem, people.
[1:02:18.6] ERIN LINEHAN: Go to Bravo. There you go.
[1:02:21.1] JOHN WEISBARTH: Bravo.
[1:02:21.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Cool. All right, well thank you –
[1:02:22.6] JOHN WEISBARTH: All right, guys. Lots of fun. Thank you so much.
[1:02:23.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Thank you so much.
[1:02:24.6] AMY MOORE: Thank you. Have a great day.
[1:02:26.4] ERIN LINEHAN: Bye-bye.
[1:02:27.0] JOHN WEISBARTH: Take care. Bye.
[END OF EPISODE]
[1:02:28.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Okay. We talk about connection. That’s what our deal is here. We have a six-step roadmap for instant connection. You can get that at connectionroadmap.com. It will give you the hook-up on what to do to get instantly connected with people in this world.
[1:02:50.1] AMY MOORE: Thanks for listening. You can find more about this episode and a way to connect to the community at lessalonepodcast.com. If you like us, don’t forget to subscribe and be sure to leave a review. It helps other people find us and could be just what they need.