Peter Santenello (@petersantenello) is a videomaker, traveler, and entrepreneur whose videos shine a light on the world the media fails to capture — without political polarization.
What We Discuss with Peter Santenello:
- Why Ukraine was an ideal base of operations for Peter’s immersive, culture-hopping videos — and what made him move to the US just before Russia decided to invade.
- For all the problems the US faces on the home front, what do Americans take for granted that people from other countries notice and appreciate right away?
- What video equipment does Peter use to stay as mobile (and non-threatening) as possible while maintaining fairly professional quality?
- As an American, how does Peter navigate travel in countries with governments that have a less-than-friendly relationship with the United States?
- What does Peter do to ensure he doesn’t cross any boundaries when interviewing people whose cultures and experiences differ radically from his own — while keeping his videos interesting for fellow outsiders?
- And much more…
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
As an American videomaker abroad, Peter Santenello discovered that living in exotic locales and traveling the world has its upsides and downsides. You can be doing something fairly mundane like selling sweet corn on a beach in Ukraine only to discover that you’ve unintentionally encroached on the turf of a local food service mafia and may have to face dire consequences. Or you’ll spend way too much time preparing for an icy reception by locals in Iran and find out almost everyone there is awesome — except for the guy who stole your camera as he rode by on his motorcycle. But it’s hardly surprising that American perceptions of what the world is like might be slightly askew when you consider only about a third of the population has a valid passport at any given time (though the number seems to be increasing in recent years).
On this episode, Peter joins us to share what his years of international travel have taught him, as well as the surprising realizations that greeted him when he decided to move back to the United States and explore the diversity to be found within our own borders. He’ll tell us what we’re probably taking for granted, what the left-leaning and right-leaning get wrong about the discourse that leads to understanding and solutions to the problems we all face, and why — in the face of current political polarization — he aims to inspect perspectives the media too often neglects and open our minds to countless worlds and experiences existing in the peripheral. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support!
Sign up for Six-Minute Networking — our free networking and relationship development mini course — at jordanharbinger.com/course!
This Episode Is Sponsored By:
- IPVanish: Save 73% off a yearly subscription at ipvanish.com/jordan
- BiOptimizers Masszymes: Go to masszymes.com/jordanfree for your free bottle (while supplies last)
- European Wax Center: Book your free wax today at waxcenter.com
- Peloton: Learn more at onepeloton.com
- Progressive: Get a free online quote at progressive.com
Miss our conversation with tech entrepreneur Rob Reid about the potential for synthetic biology to be leveraged for very good — and very bad — outcomes in the not-too-distant future? Catch up with episode 244: Rob Reid | Synthetic Biology for Medicine and Murder here!
Your Barely Famous host Kail Lowry is bringing you the most real, raw, and uncomfortable conversations with guests you’d never expect! Listen on PodcastOne or wherever you find fine podcasts!
Thanks, Peter Santenello!
If you enjoyed this session with Peter Santenello, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
Click here to thank Peter Santenello at Twitter!
Click here to let Jordan know about your number one takeaway from this episode!
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from This Episode:
- Peter Santenello | Website
- Peter Santenello | Twitter
- Peter Santenello | Instagram
- Peter Santenello | Facebook
- Peter Santenello | YouTube
- A Fish Out of Water in Ukraine | Peter Santenello
- Support for the People of Ukraine | Jordan Harbinger
- Yuriy Matsarsky | Fighting for Ukraine | Jordan Harbinger
- Peter Zeihan | Why the World Should Care About Ukraine | Jordan Harbinger
- Chris Miller & Brandon Wheeler | News from Ukraine’s War Front | Jordan Harbinger
- Only One-Third of Americans Have a Valid US Passport | YouGov
- Forest Fires Are Setting Chernobyl’s Radiation Free | The Atlantic
- Inside Detroit Hood: First Impressions | Peter Santenello
- Why San Francisco Is So Bad Now | Peter Santenello
- First Impressions: Inside Hasidic Jewish Community In NYC (Pt. 1) | Peter Santenello
- GoPro Lineup | Amazon
- Kobe Bryant | Dissecting the Mamba Mentality | Jordan Harbinger
- An American In Iran | Peter Santenello
- Eritrea Through American Eyes | Peter Santenello
- Iran and America: A Forgotten Friendship | The Conversation
- Going to North Korea: Part One | Stereo Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
- Going to North Korea: Part Two | Stereo Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
- What Hasidic Women Have to Say | Peter Santenello
- East NY Projects: First Impressions | Peter Santenello
- Inside L.A.’s Most Dangerous Hoods: Meeting Bloods & Crips | Peter Santenello
- Black Lives Matter in the Whitest State in America: Vermont | Peter Santenello
- Inside Cowboy/Ranching Culture: West Texas | Peter Santenello
- BK Cashmere | YouTube
- Exploring Rich Atlanta | Peter Santenello
- What I Learned Spending the Day in a Maximum-Security Prison | Jordan Harbinger
- Coss Marte | Staying Out of Prison with Muscle and Conviction | Jordan Harbinger
- Compton: Inside Legendary Hood | Peter Santenello
- Meeting The Amish: First Impressions | Peter Santenello
- Inside Most Conservative Amish Home (Swartzentruber) | Peter Santenello
- Inside Chicano Culture: East L.A. | Peter Santenello
- Jason Sanderson | Podcast Tech
- Inside America’s Only Muslim-Majority City: Hamtramck, MI | Peter Santenello
- At US/Mexico Border with Texas Sheriff | Peter Santenello
697: Peter Santenello | Inspecting Perspectives the Media Neglects
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Coming up next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:03] Peter Santenello: I mean, for example, in Compton, I mean, there's a real order to things too. For example, in one Project, they have black mat. Okay. Black mat is behind one of the buildings. So if there's beef between two people, they say, "Black mat," and they go back there and they fight it out, with their hands, not with guns or knives. And everyone crowds around. And that order is established after that.
[00:00:31] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. We have in-depth conversations with scientists and entrepreneurs, spies and psychologists, even the occasional Russian chess grandmaster, war correspondent, arms dealer, or astronaut. And each episode turns our guests' wisdom into practical advice that you can use to build a deeper understanding of how the world works and become a better thinker.
[00:00:56] If you're new to the show, or you want to tell your friends about it, I highly suggest our episode starter packs is a place to begin. These are collections of some of our favorite episodes. More importantly, they're organized by topic. That'll help new listeners get a taste of everything that we do here on the show — topics such as negotiation and communication, China and North Korea, scams and conspiracy debunks, investing in financial crimes, persuasion and influence, and more. Just visit jordanharbinger.com/start or search for us in your Spotify app to get started.
[00:01:25] Today on the show, my friend, Peter Santenello, very popular YouTuber. Our stories parallel quite a bit, traveling around a lot as a younger guy, the more wild and corrupt and crazy the country the better. I certainly did that. He used to live in Ukraine as well. And then, of course, he gets more interested in the people than the place. And it's probably one reason why he is one of my favorite YouTubers, because we're actually quite similar people with a similar history. Today, we'll discuss some of his more popular videos, such as life in the hood, Chicano culture, Detroit, as well as the economics of YouTube, trying to remain neutral in a world where divisive sellouts get paid. And even if you've never heard of Peter Santenello you'll definitely enjoy this conversation with a guy who loves to deep dive into subcultures and explore them in a similar style as we do right here on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:02:09] Now, here we go with Peter Santenello.
[00:02:15] Alright, so you were living in Ukraine. And you moved back to the states — when? Before the war, I take it.
[00:02:21] Peter Santenello: Yeah, that was August 2020.
[00:02:24] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. That was pretty good timing, I suppose, to move back.
[00:02:27] Peter Santenello: Great timing. After the pandemic, when the pandemic really kick off in March. So making content in the world and then all the flights stopping pretty much, I had to iterate. So we decided to move back to the states.
[00:02:41] Jordan Harbinger: So you decided to move back early in the pandemic. Why like you were still, I mean, you were making YouTube videos, I've seen videos from you from probably even 2017, right?
[00:02:50] Peter Santenello: Well, a lot of the videos were taking place in the world. So Ukraine was the home base, living in Kyiv and I had 30, 40, maybe 50 Ukrainian videos. I pretty much tapped out of all the content I wanted to do there, but what was great there? What still is great. Not now because of the flights, but where it is in the world is two hours to Istanbul, two hours to Helsinki, two hours to Germany—
[00:03:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:03:12] Peter Santenello: The Middle East is close. So when you're trying to start a channel, you're not making any money really. You want to spend the least amount and you want your flight times to be two hours. It's great. So it was a great home base for that moment.
[00:03:26] Jordan Harbinger: Plus Ukraine has great food and the people can be really warm if you're not on the outs.
[00:03:31] Peter Santenello: Oh yeah. I love the culture. I went to Ukraine the first time, right around 2001. Those former Soviet countries are fascinating.
[00:03:40] Jordan Harbinger: I went to Ukraine in 2001 or 2002. Yeah, I lived in Odesa during that summer there. So that was like, you know, that's a different kind of a wildly different place now.
[00:03:49] Peter Santenello: Sure.
[00:03:49] Jordan Harbinger: I feel your fascination with Ukraine. I really enjoyed it. I thought, wow, this is a different world. And I remember like, you know, in the United States, when you're in high school or college, there's like tough guys that are they're smack talkers. And they like throw their weight around. That exists in Ukraine, but it's not like, "Oh, that's just a rich kid who has a fancy car. That's going to like back off as soon as stuff gets real." That's like, "No, that's a mafia guy's son. And you just walk out of this club and never come back here. And if you see that guy again, just go the other way, because this is a real problem for you now."
[00:04:21] Peter Santenello: Know your lane. Things are pretty clear there. People either love you or they don't.
[00:04:24] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:04:25] Peter Santenello: You're never guessing which one either.
[00:04:27] Jordan Harbinger: That's a good point. It was an interesting place. And I've told this story on the show before, because I remember one of the first bits of advice I got in Ukraine was don't ever talk to the police and never get into a police car. Coming from the United States, I was like, that makes no sense. because if a cop talks to me, I'm not going to be like, I'm not getting in your car and I'm not talking to you either. That's not an option over here. They were harassing me, the cops. And I remember these mafia guys and the kids that I met, who were like mafia kids who wanted to be friends with an American because I was the only American in the freaking city of Odesa, that was under age 50, probably at the time. You know, there were guys importing construction equipment. There were no like kids hanging out there by themselves. So they were fascinated and I was equally fascinated with them. They were like, "Never talk to the cops. And if you have a problem with the cops, you call us right away on the cell phone and we'll figure it out."
[00:05:13] And I remember being like, "Oh, that feels good. That's a good thing. But probably will get me in trouble." And another tourist came out there. I forget where he was from Germany or something like that. And I told him, "Hey, never get in a police car." And he's like, "Yeah. Right." And of course, day five or six, whatever, the cops like, "Get in the car." And he is like, "Okay, but I didn't do anything." And then, sure enough, they'll like, "Give me a hundred dollars and I'll let you out of the car." And he is like, "Wait, what?" And they're like, "Yeah, you just can't leave the car until you pay me all the money that's in your wallet. I want a hundred dollars." And he was just blown away by the level of, it was just shocking level of corruption.
[00:05:44] And then that same thing will exist. In the same country with people who invite you over to their house for dinner, make you a really good meal, want to hear all about your life, take you around to a park all weekend or to parks and whatever all weekend and show you their city because they just want to spend time with you. So it's very bizarre to have the mafia protecting you from the police, have weird corruption where like I got robbed at the airport by the customs guys, but at the same time, be sleeping over at someone's house for free, and then have them treat me like actual family and have me stay over on holidays and join their feast and just like enjoy my company as somebody who was, you know, from the evil empire or the other evil empire. And it's just amazing that those things exist in the same location, both psychologically and geographically.
[00:06:31] Peter Santenello: Yeah, 100 percent. And I will say things cleaned up quite a bit since 2001. So I moved there in 2016. Kyiv was having this Renaissance period. It was after the revolution in 2014, new restaurants, new art installations, music on the streets. The police cleaned up quite a bit in the cities.
[00:06:49] Jordan Harbinger: That's great.
[00:06:49] Peter Santenello: There are areas, obviously provincial areas, you get into and you're paying the guy off or whatever, but—
[00:06:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:06:54] Peter Santenello: —it cleaned up from what I heard and from what I experienced. I lived there in this very one of the best times, I think 2016 to 2020.
[00:07:03] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Lucky you.
[00:07:04] Peter Santenello: It was very interesting when I got there in 2016, hardly anyone spoke English, in four years, the majority of young people spoke English.
[00:07:12] Jordan Harbinger: That's incredible. That's unbelievable. Nobody spoke English when I was there. I mean, it was like—
[00:07:17] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[00:07:18] Jordan Harbinger: Not, I don't remember meeting one person who tried. I'm sure it happened.
[00:07:22] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[00:07:22] Jordan Harbinger: But I barely remember one person who tried to speak English with me, even if they were somebody I met through their English teacher. They were like, "I'm not going to even try." And I don't speak Russian. At that point, I barely, I could be like, "Hi, you know, I like vareniki. Can I have a beer please?" I mean, that's where I was at.
[00:07:39] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[00:07:40] Jordan Harbinger: That's interesting. It shows you the effect of the dominant culture or the culture for which they have an affinity and the effect that, that has on the younger generations. It's so interesting.
[00:07:49] Peter Santenello: Well, also Petro Poroshenko, the former president, he opened up, well pushed hard to get visa-free, travel to Europe. So young Ukrainians could go to Italy now for the first time, really. They could go before, but they needed a certain amount of money in their bank account. They needed to go to the embassy. It was a huge process. So there's just this crazy opening and everyone was just going west as much as they could. And they'd have these trips to Italy or Spain or wherever. I would say Ukrainians were traveling at that time more than definitely more than Americans or most Europeans, even just because it was new for them.
[00:08:22] Jordan Harbinger: More than Americans if you're not counting inside the United States, the bar is pretty low, right? Isn't it like some low-digit number of Americans even have a passport? I should probably look this up. In fact, I'm going to look it up right now because I remember hearing it's only been like 10 percent, but it says this has not been true for more than 20 years. The figure is now more than 40 percent and it grows every year. Okay. But still, like half or less than half, which I bet you if you took Europeans, it's more like 98 percent, half passports.
[00:08:49] Peter Santenello: Yeah. To be fair, we have geography that's far removed from places.
[00:08:53] Jordan Harbinger: For sure.
[00:08:54] Peter Santenello: If you're working the average job, what are you getting? Two weeks off a year. You're not going to be going overseas.
[00:09:00] Jordan Harbinger: No, you're not going to Sardinia on vacation. You're going to Vegas or you're just happy to be at home so you can organize your garage. That's what my parents were like.
[00:09:08] Peter Santenello: Yeah. And my wife, who's Ukrainian, we've been married a couple of years together, about five or six now. She was not really into the states. Reason being is she worked for Norwegian airlines in Kyiv in customer service. She was dealing with people all the time.
[00:09:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:09:24] Peter Santenello: You know, my grandma flew last year. She had a terrible experience. "Can I get some money off my—?" Stuff like that, right? So she thought all Americans were like that. Now, we live in the states. She absolutely loves it. She thinks it's such a cool country. We're just in Montana. She's like, "How is it that Florida and Montana are in the same country?" They're totally different cultures, different climates, different experiences. And so I would say that I'm going to defend the American that hasn't traveled. I suggest everyone travel that can, but it's pretty amazing. Now, that I'm discovering with my content, all that's in this country. I really had no idea before, honestly. I always wanted to go abroad. Now, I'm really happy with touring around the US at this point in time.
[00:10:03] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. You mentioned that you're really fascinated with the American subcultures. And I'll talk about that in a second. I am curious that you came back from Ukraine.
[00:10:10] Peter Santenello: Yep.
[00:10:11] Jordan Harbinger: And what big differences stood out in the beginning? Like where in it? I'm the frog in the boiling water but you, you're just coming back into the kitchen.
[00:10:18] Peter Santenello: Right.
[00:10:18] Jordan Harbinger: You're sticking your hand in the same water — this is a weird metaphor. Are you feeling the heat? You know, what are you seeing that's different in the United States from when you left until you came back?
[00:10:28] Peter Santenello: Okay. So I ignored the states for four years. I didn't see any media from the US. I was out of it completely. When I came back, the first impression was, "Oh my god, this air is so good. This air is amazing."
[00:10:41] Jordan Harbinger: The actual air that you breathe.
[00:10:43] Peter Santenello: The oxygen.
[00:10:43] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:10:44] Peter Santenello: I'm like, "Wow," because in Kyiv there are no restrictions on catalytic converters. So it's the graveyard for poor emission cars in Europe. They go to Ukraine. Or the Kamaz, the big trucks, I'm sure you remember those.
[00:10:57] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah.
[00:10:57] Peter Santenello: No catalytic converters. The inside of our balcony had soot. So you rub your finger down and it's black.
[00:11:03] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:11:03] Peter Santenello: Okay. That got to me after a while.
[00:11:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:11:06] Peter Santenello: What was the snapping point was the Chernobyl fires, I don't know if you remember those, right before we left. So there are fires in this radioactive forest.
[00:11:16] Jordan Harbinger: Like a forest fire, right?
[00:11:17] Peter Santenello: Yeah, forest fire. The winds are blowing all that air into Kyiv, big guy decides, "Oh, it's a great time to burn because we got a bunch of smoke in the sky, anyways." I have friends that are telling me this. I can't fact-check it, but they're like, "Yeah, they're paying off the environmental agencies just to burn right now." In my apartment with the mask on.
[00:11:35] Jordan Harbinger: That's horrible.
[00:11:36] Peter Santenello: It's pre-COVID. Okay. I'm wearing it because of the air is so bad. And it wasn't all the time. And I don't want to complain because there's so many components and aspects of that country that are amazing. But those are the simple things you notice when you come back to the US. I'm hearing people complain about infrastructure and I'm like, "Ah, I mean, compared to where, I mean, maybe Switzerland is better off, but you're not even — it's not apples to apples here. That's a small country." I'm like, "How good are these roads?" Oh my God, we drove across country. I didn't hit one pothole. I'm like, in this place, you can get anything you want. I want an avocado. Okay. Easy, not an issue.
[00:12:12] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I don't believe you on the pothole thing. I saw your Detroit video. That's a lot of potholes in my hometown, man.
[00:12:17] Peter Santenello: That's true. Yeah. Detroit roads are terrible.
[00:12:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:12:19] Peter Santenello: The first thing was just, I guess the political landscape, like just the division. I came back to Vermont where my mother lives. That's where I grew up. The first 17 years of my life were there BLM signs everywhere. I'm like, okay, interesting whitest state in the country. I start looking into this organization, agree or disagree with what they do. Everyone has the right for whatever. But a lot of these people supporting didn't even really know what they're supporting, the actual fundamentals, the nuts and bolts of what the group was pushing, right?
[00:12:48] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:12:49] Peter Santenello: So I'm asking people these questions and nobody really wants to talk about it. They just wanted to sort of support. So this actually prompted me to be like, okay, what is it like in the hoods right now in New York City? Like, let me just go into the blackest neighborhood I can find and make a video.
[00:13:03] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:13:04] Peter Santenello: I did. I've been to a lot of US inner cities now because I'm fascinated with them. And I want to hear what the people there have to say about issues in the country and what their lives are like. Thankfully, other people find that interesting, so they watch the videos. Those would be the first impressions. And then we went back to San Francisco where I left. I know you're in the Bay, so I don't want to thrash you too hard, but the first—
[00:13:24] Jordan Harbinger: No, it's okay. Trash away, buddy.
[00:13:26] Peter Santenello: The first impression was all the San Francisco snow. Do you know what that is?
[00:13:31] Jordan Harbinger: No, I have not heard about this, but it's definitely not actual snow and it's going to be disgusting, isn't it?
[00:13:36] Peter Santenello: It's not disgusting. It's the broken glass in parking lots from so many smash-and-grabs, right? It's that—
[00:13:42] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:13:42] Peter Santenello: —Small glass particle.
[00:13:43] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, auto glass. Yeah.
[00:13:45] Peter Santenello: Everywhere where you park.
[00:13:46] Jordan Harbinger: I finally bought like a $500 a month parking spot when I lived in the city, I moved out a while ago because I was just like, "So I get to pay 200 bucks or whatever my window costs, every time some junkie wants a three-dollar iPhone cable, like this is bullsh*t. I'm out." I paid for that. And then I went, "This is extortion because the cops won't do anything." It wasn't even the cops. Like I remember calling the cops and they're like, "Look, man, I know, but I can't, the DA's not going to do anything." So I was like, one of the first people on them, "Who is this DA and how do we get rid of them?"
[00:14:15] Peter Santenello: Yeah. So we came back probably at the worst time for SF, right? Height of COVID. The new DA, who's losing a lot of the law, crimes up, smash-and-grabs. It just didn't feel safe, you know? And my wife is like, at that time, "Like I would rather live in Snizhne. I'd rather live in Ukraine than San Francisco."
[00:14:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:14:32] Peter Santenello: I know that's pre-war. I'm sure she would say something different now. And she had been before and she loved the city and she loved California, just like myself, but we were on this high, fresh food, clean air, clean water. I mean, all these things that we take for granted here, you don't really notice until you don't have them, I guess.
[00:14:50] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:14:51] Peter Santenello: And then these sort of the political friction and the San Francisco snow and whatever, and we sort of picked up our heads and like, "Do we want to be here right now?" You know, a starter home is, what? 1.5 million for a fixer-upper.
[00:15:04] Jordan Harbinger: If you're lucky, man.
[00:15:05] Peter Santenello: If you're lucky and now my wife doesn't feel safe going to the store when I'm gone, making videos. So that's probably not a good thing. And you feel a responsibility bringing someone to a new country that—
[00:15:15] Jordan Harbinger: Absolutely.
[00:15:15] Peter Santenello: —you got to like set them up in a good way. Those were the first impressions. I don't want to be negative. I mean, I am loving being back in the states. I am more pumped on the states than ever in my life, despite all the craziness right now. I'm like, "Thank God. I'm so pumped to be here." We're going to move to Italy actually out of Ukraine.
[00:15:34] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh, nice.
[00:15:35] Peter Santenello: Because I have an Italian passport also and, you know, I would've run out of content quick with the pandemic, the restrictions—
[00:15:42] Jordan Harbinger: With the Amalfi coast, bro, looks pretty nice to me. I've daydreamed about that. I day and night dream about that.
[00:15:49] Peter Santenello: It is beautiful, but I would personally take a trip down Big Sur over that these days.
[00:15:54] Jordan Harbinger: Well, you're close enough. You can do it. It looks like you're just using a little GoPro on a stick when you do your videos. Like you just have almost like a selfie stick with a GoPro at the end of it. Look, it's not like you can't afford a big DSLR camera or a camera guy, but so there's a choice here. Did you find that you get better and more authentic reactions maybe when you have this less invasive camera?
[00:16:17] Peter Santenello: Yeah, 100 percent. My channel is really about getting authentic interactions. I want to get people's voices in their most natural state. The bigger the camera, you put a big DSLR in someone's face, they think this is serious.
[00:16:31] Jordan Harbinger: It's performance time.
[00:16:32] Peter Santenello: Performance time and, Oh, I don't want to mess that up. The GoPro I run with the GoPro 8, I don't even have the 9 or the 10, because the 8 is a little bit smaller. It doesn't overheat as easily. Doesn't look like anything. Yeah, there's no way I'm going to get into a Hasidic Jewish person's home with a DSLR.
[00:16:49] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:16:49] Peter Santenello: But if I go and I'm like, "Oh, I'm making a video." I'm with these guys. And I ask them, of course. I don't want to do like some covert video. They'd look at me and they're like, "Ah, that's nothing. It doesn't really mean anything." So it's the psychology really that comes with a camera like that in the content I can get. So you lose some things, you lose audio quality at times. I have to work with that a lot. GoPro does a pretty good job for YouTube.
[00:17:12] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:17:12] Peter Santenello: I mean, it's not a nice DSLR, but the access I can get, the quality content I can get, it's worth it. There's pros and cons to it, but it works for me.
[00:17:23] Jordan Harbinger: You must hear no a lot because I've seen you ask, "Hey, can I film in here? Can I film in here?" And you leave that in sometimes. I assume you ask a hundred times more than you actually end up leaving that in your video, but people must be like, "No, not in here. That must happen all the time.
[00:17:37] Peter Santenello: Not as much as you would think, actually.
[00:17:39] Jordan Harbinger: Really?
[00:17:39] Peter Santenello: Yeah. It's not even that common.
[00:17:41] Jordan Harbinger: That's got to be part of the deal with the GoPro because when I used to do like man on the street stuff, there are so many people that didn't want to be filmed even in public, but literally, you're like, "Oh, only a few million people are going to see this," but you've got that little camera and it's almost like, "Oh, this is just for his vlog." It doesn't occur to people — you're right. It doesn't go over that line where people go, "Oh, this is a production." I'd be worried that when I hold it out, I'm just not even filming me or the person I'm talking to. And it's like aimed at the sky and I can't tell. You must have, that's like an extension of you at this point though, right?
[00:18:13] Peter Santenello: Yeah. I have to know. I feel on the stick exactly where I'm at. I feel up on the screws here. I know if I'm pointing the camera at me because you know, I don't want to keep looking at it because it—
[00:18:22] Jordan Harbinger: No, yeah.
[00:18:22] Peter Santenello: —looks artificial. Sometimes I have to because I've done that I'm like filming and the thing is going to the sky.
[00:18:28] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:18:28] Peter Santenello: And I've gotten better at that. I mean, the number one thing is make sure the power buttons on. I mean, you're trying to factor in many things.
[00:18:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:18:35] Peter Santenello: You got to get someone in an interesting moment. You have to ask an interesting question. They're saying something, the light, the cars are coming, the audio and then you get everything and the power buttons off. So there's a lot of little components to it.
[00:18:48] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, man, when I'm recording, I'm always like, "Is the audio on, is the audio on?" And I have backups of my backups because I'm like, I can't get this person to say that thing again because I might not even be able to talk to this person ever again. You know, like in the case of Kobe Bryant, I was like, I might not get this chance again. Little did I know how true that was.
[00:19:06] Peter Santenello: Right.
[00:19:06] Jordan Harbinger: But you also can't say, "Oh, can you say that again in that exact same way where you sounded surprised?" It just won't ever happen.
[00:19:13] Peter Santenello: Exactly.
[00:19:14] Jordan Harbinger: I know you traveled through Iran, Eritrea which is kind of like the North Korea of Africa. Countries like that, where the people are friendly, but the government is incredibly authoritarian, almost totalitarian in terms of monitoring the populous, secret police control over the population with security services. What does that do to your psychology when you're there?
[00:19:34] Peter Santenello: You have to be a bit naive. Like if you're a traveler or making videos of two different realities, so in Iran, the last trip I went in on my Italian passport because Americans have to be on a guided tour because of political relations, right? So Italians can go anywhere but they see you with some wires and some cameras, albeit a small wire—
[00:19:55] Jordan Harbinger: Even worse, because then it's a spy gear instead of an actual tourist camera, right?
[00:19:58] Peter Santenello: Yeah. So I don't want to talk about all the stories, not to try to be dramatic, but there's just some things, look, it's a heavily—
[00:20:06] Jordan Harbinger: Well you might go back, right?
[00:20:07] Peter Santenello: Yeah. I might, I don't know if it would be smart at this point, to be honest.
[00:20:10] Jordan Harbinger: Oh really?
[00:20:11] Peter Santenello: Look, I show in Iran — I'm there for the people. I'm not there to rip apart the politics. There are plenty of other avenues for that. I really want to give the people some voice because the reason I started this was as you know in traveling people in politics get connected sometimes like, "Oh, that's Iran and they're like this." And it's like, yeah, the government is like that. The majority of people are like something different, so trying to break the two apart. The Middle Easterners really understand that well. They might say, "We hate US foreign policy."
[00:20:41] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:20:42] Peter Santenello: "But we don't hate American people." And that's one of the most pro-American countries on the planet — Iran. Crazy, right?
[00:20:49] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:20:49] Peter Santenello: They're very open, very hospitable, easy to connect with people, that was a bit tough with the shoot. I had a camera stolen. I think by a government official.
[00:21:00] Jordan Harbinger: I was going to say it was probably the cops. Yeah.
[00:21:01] Peter Santenello: Yeah. And I'm definitely monitored, definitely closely followed. I didn't step out of line. I didn't do anything. I shouldn't have done, but you know, you've been in North Korea, right? Like you don't cross the line, whatever that might be. In Eritrea, I just went as a tourist. I did make a video there actually, but that's when I first started, just went as a tourist. It felt fine to travel as a tourist. And you're right. North Korea of Africa, four flights a day in and out of that country.
[00:21:26] Jordan Harbinger: Which is actually kind of a lot if you think about it.
[00:21:28] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[00:21:28] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, this is a place with like one TV channel. I think one radio station that's legal, one newspaper. That's legal.
[00:21:35] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[00:21:35] Jordan Harbinger: They don't allow outside information. When I was in New York — this is like a decade ago or longer — I had a cab driver and I was like, "Oh, where are you from? Are you from Ethiopia?" And she's like, "Close, Eritrea." And I was like, "Oh, what made you move here?" And she goes, "I'm one of the leaders of a resistance movement. That's exiled Eritreans." And I was like, "What?" So then I was like, "I need to hear this story," because it was an airport ride, luckily, not a short ride. And she got to telling me that she basically had to flee the country. She snuck through the desert to do it. She ended up in New York. She got asylum. She became a cab driver to pay the bills, but she still runs this like exiled Eritrean resistance movement where they sneak footage out of the country. They sneak money into the country. They train people. Like it's crazy. And she said that Eritrea has intelligence agents following her in New York, in the Bronx. So I think it's where she was living and they harass her sort of like on the low. And so she has to like deal with the FBI because they're like, "Hey, we know that there's people following—" And she's like, "Yeah, they're following me. And they bug me and they try and disrupt my meetings and stuff with weird stunts." It's a whole thing. And that to me was, I'd never heard that. And I thought, wait, an African intelligence service running ops in New York, like this is a very seriously authoritarian state. Like way more than you would get from the video up from a tourist, right?
[00:22:56] Peter Santenello: Oh, 100 percent. And that's another thing, coming back to the states. You really say what you want. I mean, if you're worried about getting canceled or whatever, it's really, it's nothing compared to a government operative coming after you.
[00:23:06] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Or ending up in prison—
[00:23:08] Peter Santenello: Exactly. Yeah, no, 100 percent. I respect our constitution. I never really thought about it before. Then you travel enough in the world and you come back and you see what we're allowed to do.
[00:23:19] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:23:20] Peter Santenello: It's an amazing thing.
[00:23:21] Jordan Harbinger: When you were in Iran — I know you said you didn't want to tell all the stories. Can I ask why you don't want to tell the stories if you're not necessarily going to go back? Are you just worried it's going to reflect poorly on the people?
[00:23:29] Peter Santenello: You don't want to put any people at risk and you don't want to stir up anything that doesn't need to be stirred up. For example, saying I'm staying at a certain hotel and they said, there are people here following, and this it's nothing crazy, to be honest.
[00:23:43] Jordan Harbinger: Gotcha.
[00:23:43] Peter Santenello: An example would be like, I was leaving one hotel and I could hear them talking. I heard an American on the phone. I talked to a receptionist and he is like, "Yeah, they're just tracking you. They know exactly where you're going and what you're doing. And they're just following your footsteps basically around the country."
[00:23:58] Jordan Harbinger: Interesting.
[00:23:59] Peter Santenello: So there was some paranoia, there was definitely some paranoia because at that time I was doing more narrative foreign videos, less vlog-y. So I was sitting in my room talking about all these experiences.
[00:24:09] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:24:09] Peter Santenello: I would hear footsteps coming down the hall. I got paranoid. That's the thing in these countries, not as a traveler, I wouldn't say for anyone not to go to Iran, but when you live in a state where you might be pushing the edges, I think this paranoia sets in your mind. So you don't know what's in your mind or what's actually happening. The footsteps were probably someone going to the room, right?
[00:24:30] Jordan Harbinger: Well — or they were trying to freaking intimidate you? I mean, that type of thing happens in North Korea as well. Like they'll be like, "No more of this." And you're like, "Talking to people?" And they're like, "Yeah, don't talk to the kids." And then, you know, kids will come and play with you and the guy will stand right behind you and be like—
[00:24:45] Peter Santenello: Right.
[00:24:45] Jordan Harbinger: And you're like, "Okay, I get it. Don't talk to the kids. They're literally chasing me. What do you want me to do, you know?" And he'll like yell at the kids to go away.
[00:24:52] Peter Santenello: Right.
[00:24:53] Jordan Harbinger: They just want you to know that they're there watching you. And it really is like you think, "Oh man, that sucks. It's kind of putting a damper on my trip." Imagine how these residents feel when those that's an everyday part of their life. And the guy who is like the dumb kid at school is now literally in charge of whether they go to prison or not. Because whenever you talk to citizens, like in those places, maybe you put a couple of whiskeys in them, maybe not Iran, they are the first people to be like, "Our secret police are the dumb people. They're the idiots that couldn't get a job anywhere else. And they become the most authoritarian sort of like religious police officers. Like these are the guys with two brain cells and now they're empowered and it's super dangerous."
[00:25:30] Peter Santenello: They're the narcs. So Iran has the Basij. It's a huge group of these guys. And so yeah, you have to be careful of what you say, where you say it.
[00:25:41] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Peter Santenello. We'll be right back.
[00:25:46] This episode is sponsored in part by IPVanish. Think you're being clever by browsing in incognito mode? If you think you're protected from hackers and prying eyes, well think again. You're definitely not, especially if you're only using incognito mode. If you want to stay truly private and secure on the Internet, you really need to get a VPN. People in countries with autocratic or authoritarian regimes know this. IPVanish is a VPN service that helps you safely browse the Internet by encrypting a hundred percent of your data. So any private details, passwords, communications, browsing history, and more, it's all going to be completely shielded from falling into the wrong hands. IPVanish makes you virtually invisible online. And it's simple to use. At coffee shops, airports, even at home, I always use IPVanish. You just tap a button and you're instantly protected. You won't even know it's on.
[00:26:30] Jen Harbinger: Stop sharing with the world everything you stream, everything you search for, and everything you buy. Take your privacy back today with the brand rated 4.6 at a five on Trustpilot. Get 70 percent off their yearly plan, which is basically nine months free, 30-day money-back guarantee. Go to ipvanish.com/jordan and use promo code JORDAN and claim your 70 percent savings. That's I-P-V-A-N-I-S-H.com/jordan.
[00:26:55] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by BiOptimizers. Our friends at BiOptimizers have put together an irresistible offer that is only good while stock lasts. Get a free bottle of their best-selling enzyme supplement called MassZymes. MassZymes is an enzyme supplement that helps with digestion, which can reduce gas and bloating. If that's you, then go ahead and sign up for this. Plus three free books From Sick to Superhuman, Ultimate Carnivore Cookbook, and Plant-Based Superfood Delights. They'll send the bundle to you for free. Just cover the shipping, which should be about seven bucks and fill out a short form. No strings attached to the offer. There are no automatic subscriptions or renewals, and there is nothing to cancel.
[00:27:31] Jen Harbinger: Go to masszymes.com/jordanfree. That's M-A-S-S-Z-Y-M-E-S.com/jordanfree to get this free product bundle.
[00:27:40] Jordan Harbinger: Hey, if you're wondering how I managed to book all these amazing folks for the show, it's because of my network. I've got strategies and software and tiny habits that I use every single day. I'm teaching you how to do all those things for free. Again, I don't need your credit card or any payment stuff. There's no upsells. It's just a free course. jordanharbinger.com/course is where you can find it. The course is about improving your networking and connection skills and inspiring others to develop personal and professional relationships with you. It will make you a better networker and a better connector, but most importantly, it'll make you a better thinker. That's all at jordanharbinger.com/course. And most of the guests that you hear on this show subscribe and contribute to that same course. So come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong.
[00:28:22] Now back to Peter Santenello.
[00:28:27] I was blown away by the English, from the people you met in Iran.
[00:28:30] Peter Santenello: Oh yeah.
[00:28:30] Jordan Harbinger: If I didn't know any better, I'd be like that kid is from Ohio and just has a weird mustache or something. I mean, it's unbelievable.
[00:28:36] Peter Santenello: There's something about Farsi where it's not a huge jump to go to English. Arabic speakers are going to have more of a challenge, but something about Farsi, that's my theory because they speak so well. Their accents are nice to listen to.
[00:28:50] Jordan Harbinger: I was supposed to go to Iran in 2010. I missed my chance. It's one of my biggest regrets because again, I think now is probably not the best time to go just because of the tension, but also, I don't even know what I've said on this show that's going to piss off that government or a government they're aligned with and they're just going to hand me over to China or something like, I don't know.
[00:29:07] Peter Santenello: Yeah, probably something.
[00:29:09] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, but it's one of those — I've got a list of "as soon as the regime falls, I'm going there," and Iran's probably at the top of that list.
[00:29:15] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[00:29:15] Jordan Harbinger: North Korea, Iran. Do people recognize you in the street? I mean, they must. People recognize me in the street and my audience is like one-half of one percent video and the rest is audio. You've got a huge visual audience.
[00:29:28] Peter Santenello: Yeah. Sometimes. In those days, no because I just didn't have many videos under me, but nowadays, yeah. It's a nice level, to be honest. You get the occasional high. It's not like "some big movie star can't go anywhere," that type of thing.
[00:29:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I wouldn't worry about that.
[00:29:43] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[00:29:44] Jordan Harbinger: I'm never going to have to deal with that particular type of pressure.
[00:29:47] Peter Santenello: Yeah. I think YouTube makes it way more casual with that. People feel like, "Hey, how's it going?" You know, it's not like some star, it's not like a movie star walking down the street. It happens sometimes. It comes in waves depending on the series. For a while, I was really popular with young Hasidic Jewish women. I found that very funny.
[00:30:06] Jordan Harbinger: Of course, of course.
[00:30:07] Peter Santenello: I never thought that was coming.
[00:30:08] Jordan Harbinger: No, totally, that makes complete sense. That community is so insular. So when I was in college, I also hung out with the Hasidic Jews and went to those like Shabbat dinners, because they kind of—
[00:30:17] Peter Santenello: Oh yeah.
[00:30:18] Jordan Harbinger: If you're Jewish, they're like, "Come here." They like use their tractor beam to get you involved in as much as possible. And I didn't really know the difference between Hasidic and Orthodox Jews and regular like reform Jews because I'm like one, you know, fourth, one, whatever Jewish. So they were like, "Come to Israel with us. It's free." And I was like, "Sure." So I went to Israel with Hasidic Jews and — oh my goodness. Is that a whole thing?
[00:30:39] Peter Santenello: Oh yeah.
[00:30:40] Jordan Harbinger: I was like, "What planet am I on with these people?" And I remember being in a neighborhood in Israel, dressed up, and a girl who was probably as an American tourist or something rode through this neighborhood on a bicycle with shorts on and the little girls and the women who were 20 something, they went outside and they threw rocks at her. And I was like, "Guys, you're going to hurt her. Let her go." And they're like, "No, we don't want them in our neighborhood. Look at that horror."
[00:31:04] Peter Santenello: Wow.
[00:31:05] Jordan Harbinger: And I was just blown away, but here's the thing, nicest people ever, other than that crazy judgmental, the person with shorts on, super nice, treat you like family, let you sleep over at their house. Like just absolutely loving, and then you have to sort of square it with this stereotype that they have of everybody who has their sleeves undone. And it's like, "Guys, that's the rest of the world. Calm down."
[00:31:28] Peter Santenello: Yeah. I was lucky. I met a great guy. He's a friend of mine, his name is Shlomi. He's actually a YouTuber. He goes in all sorts of countries. He goes into a lot of Middle Eastern countries as a Hasidic Jew. He did videos in Saudi Arabia.
[00:31:39] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:31:40] Peter Santenello: So he brought me into the community. I was in with the right guy. People were awesome to me. I didn't have any bad experiences.
[00:31:47] Jordan Harbinger: I think that video's phenomenal. Just looking at you, interacting with those folks. They are usually not that open as Shlomi probably explained to you. It's not something where you can just walk in and be like, "Hey, I just want to check you guys out." I mean, that is immediately like, no, thanks.
[00:32:00] Peter Santenello: Yeah. 100 percent, not an easy one.
[00:32:03] Jordan Harbinger: Tell me about the hood man. I started off when I was watching your videos with you going to east New York and hitting the housing projects stuff. Nobody sees, that's kind of your bag, your jam. You make this joke in the beginning. This place has no Starbucks anywhere. That's how you know, it's not gentrified yet, but it really does actually indicate that it's not gentrified, like at all. It's almost just forgotten in many ways, right? You've got like the local bodegas and the pizza shop and not much else. And a lot of stuff was closed. What struck you at first, when you walked in there and into these complexes?
[00:32:34] Peter Santenello: There's all sorts of things happening. But one positive I'd say is I like the community. Nobody's lonely in those places. Everybody sort of knows everybody. That's nice, I thought. Especially during COVID times, they brought me in. You know doing those hood videos, I know nothing about inner city America, but I'm really interested. I think a lot of people are. And unless you really dig into it and like, get in deep, it's just going to be someone giving a narration and some visuals of what it is, which isn't real.
[00:33:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:33:06] Peter Santenello: I've enjoyed doing — those are exciting videos to make because you know there's a lot of moving parts. You have to ask questions that are interesting enough and maybe provocative to some degree, but you can't cross a line. I mean, with a lot of different groups, right? As the outsider, you're going in, so you have to really feel that balance. There's always something happening. There's always something you haven't seen. I've learned a lot in these videos.
[00:33:28] Jordan Harbinger: That video blew me away in a lot of ways. The first building, I think you went into, she said, "Oh, there's 1,542 apartments in it."
[00:33:36] Peter Santenello: Yeah, sure.
[00:33:36] Jordan Harbinger: And it was one of many buildings in one housing project, I guess you would call it, like a group of four or five buildings and it just gives us, and that's in one city, right? One borough actually of New York, so that gives us a scale of just the poverty in that one part of Brooklyn. One borough of New York City has, I guess if there's four buildings there, I mean, you're talking like 6,000-ish apartments. I mean, it's just—
[00:34:01] Peter Santenello: Huge scale.
[00:34:01] Jordan Harbinger: And that's whole families living in there. It's unbelievable.
[00:34:05] Peter Santenello: Yeah. And so in observation, those places are nicer than where I lived in Ukraine. So I'm coming in with a different perspective. I'm like the infrastructure is amazing in these hoods. How is that? Look at these parks, look at these curbs, these sidewalks. And you go into the actual Projects and it's up to somebody how clean they want to keep their house, or if they want to keep it messed up. But the conditions of the ones I went into were fine. Is it luxurious living? Of course not. So that was a big eye-opener, honestly. Even in south central LA, now the problems might not be on the surface. That's what I've also learned. You're in a place that doesn't look so terrible and people say it's really dangerous here. And I'm like, "Yeah, it doesn't. It feels pretty fine," but you don't know as an outsider and there's a whole dynamic going on and there's all that inner beef. I've learned a whole new lexicon too. I never said beef before.
[00:34:56] Jordan Harbinger: No, I was going to say beef sounds like one of the words you learn when you hang out in those areas. You said in the video you just got invited to go check it out. How do you get the ideas for the videos that you create? I mean, if you don't even know a subculture exists, how do you get the idea to go visit and document that subculture?
[00:35:12] Peter Santenello: Okay. So coming back from Ukraine, I mean, it was sort of easier to like, I'm going to go to Iran and document this never, never really easy—
[00:35:20] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:35:20] Peter Santenello: —but I sort of had an idea. Then coming back to the US, it's like, what am I going to do? Go to someone's office and watch him smash a spreadsheet, obviously not. So, you know, I have to think of like, what's different. And when I was in Vermont, that first month back in the states, okay, New York is a dynamic place. We all know Manhattan. We all know like the big sites, but what it beneath the surface there that's when the BLM was going on.
[00:35:45] I made a video, BLM in the whitest state in America, in Vermont. That was the toughest video I made but very interesting. And it's sort of like, okay, now I want to go to this black — because Vermont is pretty much all white, now I want to go to these black neighborhoods and hear what people have to say. And my goal wasn't to get political with this. It's just that I was curious. I'm like—
[00:36:06] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:36:06] Peter Santenello: —what's going on? I've been out of the states for four years. There's a lot of tension right now. Let me go talk to people. Like I don't want a filter. That's the thing. You know this in traveling, whatever information you get, it's always coming through a filter. Even my viewers are seeing it through my filter, right? And I try to be as honest and open as possible, but it's just the way I'm seeing the world. So the only way to really get the truth is get out there on your own and ask a lot of people a lot of questions. And so going to the hoods, I could ask a lot of questions. A lot of the same questions to different people, that's how you find a consensus or where things are at to some degree.
[00:36:44] Jordan Harbinger: How do you make your plan? You know you got to have some logistics in place for this versus just showing up with the GoPro, right? You've got to have a person, a contact. Are these people usually fans at some level of your channel and they DM you and you're like, "That's a good idea," or do you hire a fixer when you get to where you're going?
[00:37:01] Peter Santenello: Mostly, I put something on my social medias, "Anyone know of anyone in the hood?" For example, Shlomi, the Hasidic Jew reached out to me. So a lot of it comes organically through my fan base, but I've hired an assistant. And for example, we're posting these cowboys in ranchers series right now, just shot it all the way from west Texas up to Montana. And there was a lot of groundwork that she did, finding the right ranches, finding the right people. I'm putting more into that. It's really like if you're a chef, the best food you're going to make is going to, you're going to have skill, but you really need good ingredients. And so the people in my video are the ingredients. And it's really important I find the right people. I get lucky a lot. I had very few people that just fell short on the camera, but overall, I'm putting a lot more effort into that.
[00:37:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. This makes a lot of sense. I feel like for me, I definitely record shows where I go, "Oh god, that could have gone better," but mostly at this point, I think I'm able to see, who's going to be able to give a good interview or drag a good interview out of them, kicking and freaking screaming, you know, somehow, but on camera, you don't necessarily get that same option, right? Because if they can't perform, they can't perform. Or if they freeze up, they freeze up and that's it.
[00:38:14] Peter Santenello: My number one job is to make someone relaxed in front of the camera. So step one, GoPro.
[00:38:20] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, step one, GoPro. Step two, do you preface it with anything? Like, do you have any sort of, "Eh, let's sit down and talk for a while about growing up in here"?
[00:38:29] Peter Santenello: No.
[00:38:29] Jordan Harbinger: No tactics like that.
[00:38:30] Peter Santenello: Just have a casual conversation. I realize too is not to like put any pressure or say like, "Oh, we're going to start recording now."
[00:38:38] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:38:38] Peter Santenello: I just go with it. I'll start recording when I feel it's right. Like maybe it's right from the beginning or maybe we talk for a while and we're hanging out and then I just start recording down at the sky and bring the camera down. And I'm like, "So James, where are we exactly right now?" and we've already talked for a while.
[00:38:56] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:38:56] Peter Santenello: It just sort of goes. And beauty of editing is if anything gets off, you can just cut it out in the edit.
[00:39:03] Jordan Harbinger: That's funny. I mean, it's the same thing with our interview that started 16 minutes into our conversation or something like that.
[00:39:08] Peter Santenello: Yeah. Same thing, really similar.
[00:39:10] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I think the worst thing you can do as an interviewer or as probably a creator is to go, "Okay, we're starting — hey, it's Peter Santenello here, everybody. All right," and then the person is like, "Oh crap. It's starting."
[00:39:19] Peter Santenello: Exactly.
[00:39:20] Jordan Harbinger: And that's it. That the rest of it's terrible from there out, unless they're a rock star.
[00:39:23] Peter Santenello: Exactly.
[00:39:24] Jordan Harbinger: In the hood video, in the New York one that we were just discussing, the guys you met in the morning, your host Cashmere, the first thing he did — I mean, he is a funny character, actually — the first thing he did was buy a vape pen, a small bottle of liquor, and a juice. And then he went to a dice game and I was like, "Oh, he's playing it up for you," but one of the guys said, "Oh yeah, we do this every day." But really I hoped that was not true because it made me a little bit sad that the guys are like in their 20s, maybe 30s.
[00:39:50] Peter Santenello: Right.
[00:39:50] Jordan Harbinger: And I'm like, "Please tell me all you do every day is not just drink outside, smoke weed, roll dice, and gamble, please." It made me feel empty inside just hearing that.
[00:39:59] Peter Santenello: Some do.
[00:40:00] Jordan Harbinger: To lack purpose, like that is profoundly hollow somehow, right? It just gets sad.
[00:40:04] Peter Santenello: Oh, yeah. And if your environment is like that, everyone around is like that, it's — look, Cash is a rapper. Cash makes some great music. I don't know what Cash, what else he's doing for work these days. He works hard, at least set music. So I don't think he's just sitting around playing dice all day, but a lot of guys are. If your dad did that and your friends do that, what's going to make you step out from that?
[00:40:28] Some will. I just did a video in Atlanta. It was titled Rich Atlanta. And this guy grew up in the hood. Now, he's crushing in real estate.
[00:40:36] Jordan Harbinger: I saw that one.
[00:40:37] Peter Santenello: He's very well dressed, well spoken. His emotional — that's what people get in the hood, too, emotional intelligence. They can read anything. They can read you up and down right through you in one second, immediately, because it's a survival skill in those areas where, you know, things aren't always stable. You have to read your surroundings really well. So actually, a guy that can break through and gets in sales, like real estate, can do really well.
[00:41:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Yeah. I suppose it's a survival skill that can serve you well if you are also intelligent and you figure out how to capitalize on an opportunity and you are able to put yourself around those opportunities. So I want to clarify and look, I don't let me put words in your mouth, but I, I want to make sure that people aren't like, "Oh, well you have this advantage with you." You have every disadvantage that you at least are building one skill that maybe you can leverage.
[00:41:29] Peter Santenello: No, I think it's an issue that needs to be addressed. It really bothers me that there aren't some, maybe they are, there are, I just, haven't seen it, some very wealthy people or people with clout. Why doesn't say Obama and Oprah Winfrey in Chicago get together? And say, "We have a really bad problem at South Chicago, south side. We're going to make this a test for the rest of the country. And we're going to put all the resources in here. We're going to do the summer camps for the kids. We're going to do as much as we can to turn this around."
[00:41:58] Because, you know, if a guy has eight kids with eight different mothers and eight locations, your odds are stacked against you and that's happening a lot. It happens to a lot of kids, you know, their father's not there. So how do you change these cycles? And from my understanding, all the people I've talked to, you have to go in at the kids, the kids level, and you go in hard with all of the resources. It's not just money, either. People need good role models, they need inspiration. They need to see that there's a way out, right? Until that happens at a large scale, I don't see any of this changing and it's just getting worse.
[00:42:32] So yeah, I'm not saying it's an advantage to grow up in the hood because your emotional intelligence is great and you'll go crush it in sales. I'm just giving an example thereof.
[00:42:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, of course.
[00:42:41] Peter Santenello: Here's a guy that figured it out. But if your father threw trash on the side of the road, you're going to throw trash on the side of the road, most likely. It's just how it works. And so we need to go out as a country — again, you can have these areas live in their own ecosystem and you look the other way and ignore, but it's just, it's like a salad. A country is like a salad. You can have all great ingredients, but if you put bad dressing in at the top, it's going to ruin the whole salad, maybe a bad metaphor. But the point is you want to make all areas of society healthy and doing well, right? And then everyone's going to benefit from that, right? I'm oversimplifying big time.
[00:43:20] Jordan Harbinger: Of course. Yeah. No, of course. I'm the king of terrible metaphors. So, I appreciate that you threw that one out there.
[00:43:25] Peter Santenello: Yeah, it's a bad one, but the point is, it really bothers me that more attention isn't put into these neighborhoods. You need to hold people accountable for things too. It's not just throwing a bunch of money that will not fix a damn thing. It's just going to buy, for many people, more booze and more food to eat, playing dice. For many of them, it will. They need to see a way out. And there needs to be like rewards and carrots and sticks of some sort.
[00:43:52] I mean, that's the only way I got. You know, I had a father that made me do things and if I didn't, there was a punishment. And thank God for that because I have to post a video every week right now and have to grind through it at times. And I might do away with a night of sleep because I'm grinding but it's because I had that in my childhood. Like that internal battle that was like, he fostered that in my head. Like you do your work. If you say you're going to do something, you follow through. If you don't follow through, you have no credibility in life. And so if I'm going to do a video every week, no matter what, I have to post that video and especially on a platform like YouTube or what you're doing, that's a necessity. I can't be like, "Ah, I'm just really tired. I'm just going to not do it this week." And it doesn't work that way.
[00:44:37] Jordan Harbinger: It reminded me of when I took a trip to prison for my 40th birthday. I was not incarcerated.
[00:44:42] Peter Santenello: Okay.
[00:44:43] Jordan Harbinger: I took show fans to volunteer in a maximum security prison. I should probably clarify that. But, yeah, 72 of us went, something like that. And I was struck by how much of a warehouse of talent that place was. You know, a lot of the guys, a lot, a lot of the guys locked up in there were really smart. They had great business ideas. They had, let's just say, natural entrepreneurial spirit, which is probably one of the reasons that some of them were in there. Not probably, definitely one of the reasons that some of them were in there. They chose crime, but they had brilliant setups.
[00:45:11] I mean, in fact, a buddy of mine, Cass Marte, who's been on this show. He went to prison for drug trafficking. He runs a fitness business now. He's out. But his drug trafficking business in New York in the '90s, he basically invented Uber with operators and cars and delivery and on demand. And he invented Uber, but for like crack and cocaine.
[00:45:33] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[00:45:34] Jordan Harbinger: And it was ridiculous how successful it was. And I think he was like 17 or 18 years old at the time doing this.
[00:45:39] Peter Santenello: Yep.
[00:45:40] Jordan Harbinger: This is a guy who, if he had grown up in the Bay would just be running some startup that is worth two billion dollars.
[00:45:45] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[00:45:45] Jordan Harbinger: But instead he grew up in the terrible part of New York, like lower east side and was like, "Oh, everybody wants drugs. I'm going to fill that demand with a better system." And, you know, he gets popped doing that, but it seems like the Projects, you know, had a similar vibe. You see these — as you hear in Cashmere's story, it's generational, right? He takes you to Cypress Hill — not just a hip hop group from the '90s, I guess — and he says, "Yeah, my grandma used to live here. So I was here all the time and my parents, they met and they lived here and I used to play in here and over there." Now, he lives down the way, which is also a housing project. So that's three generations of people, just many of them wasting their days away in public housing and going pretty much nowhere. I mean, he's good with his music, but a lot of those guys, they didn't seem to have any ambition at all. They were just wasting — they're just killing time.
[00:46:29] Peter Santenello: Yeah. A lot can get by just doing that. So you need good examples and as a country, again — that's why I do these videos. I mean, they are fun to make.
[00:46:38] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:46:38] Peter Santenello: And I like these guys, all the guys I meet up with, they're cool. To me, it's real big education. For me, it's interesting stuff. I mean, for example, in Compton, there's a real order to things too. It might look like chaos, but for example, in one Project, they have black mat. Okay. Black mat is behind one of the buildings. So if there's beef, if there's some serious beef between two people, they say, "Black mat," and they go back there and they fight it out, with their hands, not with guns or knives. And everyone crowds around. And that order is established after that. Love that or hate that. It is what it is. It's very primal in that sense. Like there is a hierarchy, there is a lot of respect towards people in specific positions. And in that, there's a lot of love too.
[00:47:25] There's a lot of people getting together, lending money to others, and helping them through the day. I'd say they're way less lonely than where I live. In the neighborhood I live, people are more to themselves, and pros and cons for each. It's a complicated place, the hoods. And a lot of these guys don't want to leave. What are they going to go to one-bed apartment and do what? Like a lot of them want to be around their friends every day.
[00:47:50] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I can understand that, actually. Every building on that tour had a shrine to — and I'm paraphrasing here — he said, "Yeah, this is a young, talented kid. Everybody liked him. He just recently passed away." It was just depressing to see the odds stacked against you.
[00:48:03] Peter Santenello: Oh yeah.
[00:48:03] Jordan Harbinger: And it's like every kid who had talent, it was like, "Oh yeah, you know, he just recently passed away," and it's like, I know what you mean. And sometimes, he was more specific and he said gun violence but young kids don't die of diseases at that rate. I mean, he's obviously referring to violence. And the folks you met on the bench, they say, "Hey, in the '70s, we were having picnics outside in the lawn, then crack in the '80s and '90s." It destroyed everything and everyone around it, destroyed the community, destroyed everybody here. Everybody got sucked into it. Good people got sucked into it. Kids got sucked into it. You couldn't even go outside. It was too dangerous, just like a war zone. It's just a stain on America that, that type of thing exists even here. And that the fallout is just like, "Well, pick yourself up by your bootstraps, because it's kind of over now and, you know, deal with it."
[00:48:47] You know, on, on the one hand, what stood out was how welcoming everyone was. And then you'd see these gangster dudes. Like walking up to you fast, shirt off, chains out, almost aggressive energy. And then, he's like, "I just want to tell the kids, don't try and make a bunch of money, stay in school, figure out who you are in life. And then you can move forward and make something of yourself." And I was like, did not expect that guy to say that.
[00:49:09] Peter Santenello: Yeah. Mitchell Ames, Mitchell Ames. Yeah, he was all flex.
[00:49:12] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:49:13] Peter Santenello: He came in hot. You have to navigate that too. How I react to that is going to determine a lot. Like they're testing you, always testing you non-verbally. Not like Cassius testing, I mean he's bringing me in. It's super friendly, but people you come into randomly, "What's the white bald dude doing with a camera?"
[00:49:31] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:49:31] Peter Santenello: "What are his intentions here?"
[00:49:33] Jordan Harbinger: You've got access to some really interesting subcultures, rights? Chicano, Amish people, or as my family in Michigan says ā-mish. Not sure why we can't say it, right? But they're a-mish. I will let people check out those videos for themselves, of course. But I wondered, you know, as a guy who works on the Internet, what did you think of a group of people that didn't even have electricity?
[00:49:51] Peter Santenello: Okay. Like all these communities, they're more complex than what you first think.
[00:49:55] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:49:55] Peter Santenello: So Amish, there are Swartzentruber Amish. Those are the ones without electricity. Those are the Amish that we think of that are Amish. Then there're Old Order, there're New Order, there're Tobe, there're Beachy Amish. Beachy Amish would be the most liberal of the amish. They have microwaves. They drive.
[00:50:13] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, wow.
[00:50:13] Peter Santenello: There's all these different rules. So the Old Order Amish can't have rubber on their carriage tires. The New Order Amish can. It's really complicated, and it depends on where someone lives exactly and the church, they go to. A lot of different rules. And so that's when with every one of these communities, there's something like that. Say, even the Hasidic Jews, there are 200 sects of Hasidics.
[00:50:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:50:37] Peter Santenello: You have the Satmars who are the most conservative. You have the Lubavitch that are the most open and liberal, but they're all Hasidic, right? I don't want to bore you with the details here, but you can't even just say Amish.
[00:50:48] Jordan Harbinger: No, it's like saying Jews, right? Like, there's just too many — or Christians, there's tons of different kinds.
[00:50:54] Peter Santenello: Yeah, in a way. But the Amish people were very refreshing to be around, really cool, eyeing experience. Like three years ago, people would say to Amish, "Oh, wow, they're really behind. They're missing out." After I made that series, so many people chimed in saying, "Oh, wow, look how simple their lives are. I want to live like that close to the land. I want to have a connected group that I'm with every week." I think there's more of a positive spin put on Amish these days because of the pandemic and the way the world is going, how things are going so quickly. They're pretty calm and rooted in who they are and what they're doing.
[00:51:32] I admire all of that stuff from the outside and making these videos. I can respect it all. At the end of the day. I'm too much of an individual. I really enjoy jumping into something, coming out, seeing it from this way, seeing that perspective, seeing those people.
[00:51:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:51:45] Peter Santenello: I'm not a great conformist. So I admire it fully and I respect it. I don't want to become Amish or Hasidic. Maybe after a few more years, like the last few we've had, I'll be out there in the field. Who knows?
[00:51:57] Jordan Harbinger: That's right, you never know. Plowing a field by hand or depending on which church you're in, the motor lives in.
[00:52:05] Peter Santenello: Exactly, exactly.
[00:52:06] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Peter Santenello. We'll be right back.
[00:52:11] This episode is sponsored in part by European Wax Center. You don't need a summer getaway to transport yourself. Book a smooth escape with a wax expert at European Wax Center. A fresh wax transports you to a smooth state of mind where you feel effortlessly confident. If you're headed somewhere fun and you want to look and feel good on your trip, make your way to your local European Wax Center beforehand. Their wax passes are a great deal. Jen always gets those — probably a little TMI there, but whatever. If you're new to waxing, rest assured they offer personalized consultations, so you can find the wax that works for you. And they have strict hygiene standards. So you will literally be in the best sanitized and glove-covered hands. European Wax Center's certified wax specialists are expertly trained in prepping, protecting, and pampering your skin, whether it be your back shoulders, legs, nose, or brows, or all the above, no judgment. The secret is their signature comfort wax. It's a proprietary blend of bees wax source from Europe and other skin soothing ingredients that allows them to remove hair easily for a virtually pain-free experience.
[00:53:03] Jen Harbinger: Book your smooth escape with the experts at European Wax Center. Make a reservation today, your first wax is free.
[00:53:09] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Peloton. I'm pretty disciplined, but I still need motivation to keep consistency up day after day, especially when I have work to do. I got my kids to play with. It's hard to fit anything else into my day. Jen and I have had the Peloton Bike for over two years now. Peloton makes it easy to work out consistently. The classes are a lot of fun. You can get lost in the music if that's your thing, and all the instructors are world-class. And Jen always takes Cody Rigsby's class. He will make her laugh the whole time, even when you know, we kind of want to cry, cuz our legs are on fire. Take a 10-minute upper body stretch between calls. You could even do a 40-minute run or cycle class before bed. There's also strength training and yoga. There's dance cardio, which is exactly what it sounds like. All available 24/7.
[00:53:50] Jen Harbinger: Workouts yo crave, anytime, anywhere. Start your free 30-day app trial today. Learn more at onepeloton.com. New members only. Terms apply.
[00:53:59] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored in part by Progressive. Let's face it. Sometimes multitasking can be overwhelming. Like when your favorite podcast is playing the person next to you was talking, the car fan is blasting, all while you're trying to find the perfect parking spot. But then again, sometimes multitasking is easy, like quoting with Progressive insurance. They do the hard work of comparing rates. So you can find a great rate that works for you, even if it's not with them. Give their comparison tool a try, and you might find getting the rate and coverage you deserve is easy. All you need to do is visit Progressive's website, get a quote with all the coverage you want, like comprehensive and collision coverage or personal injury protection. Then you'll see Progressive's direct rate and their tool will provide options from other companies all lined up and ready to compare. So it's simple to choose the rate and coverages you like. Press play in comparing auto rates, quote at progressive.com to join the over 27 million drivers who trust Progressive.
[00:54:47] Jen Harbinger: Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and affiliates. Comparison rates not available in all states or situations. Prices vary based on how you buy.
[00:54:55] Jordan Harbinger: Thank you so much for listening to and supporting the show. I know there's a lot of codes and the URLs are always changing and all that, we put them all in one place, one very searchable place, jordanharbinger.com/deals. If you're going to buy something, a mattress, some gift for your mom, go ahead and search the website, jordanharbinger.com/deals, or just go to the homepage and you can search in the search bar for any sponsor. It should pop our code right up there. Please consider supporting those who support this show.
[00:55:20] Now for the rest of my conversation with Peter Santenello.
[00:55:25] This Chicano video that subculture was, or I know there are series of videos, that subculture was wild. Like, everyone's seen those crazy cars around.
[00:55:34] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[00:55:35] Jordan Harbinger: And I've always like, "Who would buy this old car? That's kind of a beater, paint it up, do it up all nice. Put like a jillion dollars into it, put wheels on it that are too small. Jack up the right side of the car three feet, so you're in sideways and uncomfortable inside, but it's a whole thing. And as you start to go through the video, you're like, "Actually this stuff is pretty damn cool." Like you get a real appreciation for it.
[00:55:54] Peter Santenello: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, this work has made me less judgemental before I would've said—
[00:55:58] Jordan Harbinger: It has to.
[00:55:59] Peter Santenello: "That's such a waste. That's silly. That's stupid. Why would you do that to your car?" Now, I'm realizing all of these things are just catalysts to get people together, have common ground, camaraderie. It's really, that's what it's about, whether it be a car, a motorcycle, a tractor, whatever, it doesn't even really, really matter the device, to be honest, it actually serves a greater purpose. And the more that we are online, like we are right now, those human interactions are becoming more important, I think. And so people can find their tribe through that. And so the cold car culture I'm into it now, I think it's so cool. It's their world and they get together in south side of LA. I went there to an event. They got the music, food. Everyone knows everybody. The kids are into it. The adults are into it. It's multi-generational. I really respect it actually now.
[00:56:50] Jordan Harbinger: They kept saying, "We're proud Americans," and I thought, okay, great. I love that I love hearing that, but it was funny to hear the guy go, "I'm not Mexican. Everybody thinks we're Mexicans. My grandparents weren't even Mexicans." Like they were born in California. And I thought—
[00:57:04] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[00:57:04] Jordan Harbinger: —that's a really good point and kind of funny because that guy is more American than I am if we're going to measure how long people have been in the country. And yet, of course, I would assume that that guy is Mexican. You know what cracked me up though, is that one guy goes, "Yeah, my Spanish is really broken and bad, man. I can get by, but that's about it." And I was like, "Don't you have an accent though?" And he's like, "I can't speak Spanish." And I thought, so his first and only language—
[00:57:27] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[00:57:27] Jordan Harbinger: —is Spanish-accented English, which I thought, what? That exists. Like it just shows you what a bubble I am for not knowing that but also, of course, what he's in for being like, "This is my first language, this very accented English and I don't speak Spanish."
[00:57:42] Peter Santenello: Yeah, Chicanos, I knew nothing about them. Like most of these communities, I know very little about them and that's what's so amazing about the states, I'm seeing for the first time in my 40s that the Amish and the Chicanos and the guys in the hoods are equally American.
[00:57:57] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:57:58] Peter Santenello: How cool is that?
[00:57:59] Jordan Harbinger: It's really cool. Yeah.
[00:58:00] Peter Santenello: They're like in many ways they're living the same lives. In other ways, they're living completely different lives. But the fact that we live in a country where anyone can express themselves really how they want to, and not necessarily be judged for it, they can find whatever tribe they want to be in. It's really such a cool thing. Have you seen a lot of the world? Most of it's homogeneous, you know, most of it, there's a capital city, everything sort of hubs out of there. There's a certain monoculture, not everywhere, obviously, but a lot of countries. The US is this wacky experiment. It's just like, bring them all in from more wherever let's write up some rules called the constitution, let it rip and it has. And I love that expression.
[00:58:40] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:58:40] Peter Santenello: I love that people can be exactly who they want to be. For example, I'm making YouTube videos. If I had an Italian mom in Italy — I'm being generalistic here — it's not going to be so well accepted in culture, you know? "Oh, you should have been a doctor. You should have been this. You should have been that."
[00:58:56] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:58:57] Peter Santenello: Here, it's much more accepted.
[00:58:59] Jordan Harbinger: Look, there's still time for your parents to be disappointed in you don't give up yet.
[00:59:02] Peter Santenello: Ooh yeah, yeah, yeah. That's for sure. But the point is like, there's every little niche here. There's every available option here. There's an insane amount of opportunity and everybody's here. It's an exciting place. That's what I'm capturing. Now, I'm like seeing this for the first time in my life, in my 40s, even though I grew up here.
[00:59:20] Jordan Harbinger: In that same video, you had this moment with one of the guys who said, "I feel successful now because I can pay my bills without resorting to crime," essentially, I'm paraphrasing, but how do you feel when somebody tells you the unvarnished truth like that? You know, he wasn't fronting at all. He wasn't trying to maintain or manage an image. That moment was just pure honesty. And I see those moments in your videos quite regularly. What does that do for you?
[00:59:41] Peter Santenello: That's what I know I'm doing it right because that's what I want. This channel started because I got sick of us viewing the world through the media, right? And the media has its job and it's there to show the fireworks and the events. Yes. But that frames, people's images of what the world is like, consciously or subconsciously, right? Anytime I can get someone to open up and be really authentic on camera and just let it out like that on this format is not something a newscaster can necessarily do too often. In that format where the clips are very short, they're a so-called professional with the big cameras and then there's the subject. There's a little bit of a divide there. Anytime I can bring down that divide completely and it's like we're hanging out like friends, but you're living totally different than I am. And we can all learn something from you. Boom. That's when I know it's on. So those are the moments I work for.
[01:00:33] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I know that feeling. And that's like that satisfied feeling where you're just like—
[01:00:38] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[01:00:38] Jordan Harbinger: —this is good now. Like if I'm done now, this is good. And you can go eat a relaxing lunch and exhale. And it's like, this day has been worthwhile. I totally get that feeling.
[01:00:47] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[01:00:48] Jordan Harbinger: Do you storyboard or structure the video before you go or are you just kind of going along for the ride so to speak, get a ton of footage and then you piece it together when you're editing?
[01:00:57] Peter Santenello: Okay. So for people that want to do YouTube, figuring out a format is super important and it might take time. It took me a lot of time to figure out. In the beginning, I used to just storyboard in the sense that I would write up a narrative. Like here are all the points I want to talk about. And then I would get those experiences and I would drop all that B-roll and make a more assembled piece. That took me my first video of like three weeks of editing.
[01:01:22] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my gosh.
[01:01:23] Peter Santenello: My channel didn't start doing well until I posted every week. So now it's less of that, more of dropping I go out and do a video within a day. It's in chronological order. There has to be a loose enough framework, but I have to know there's enough of what I'm going into.
[01:01:40] Okay. I'll give you an example. This latest rancher series, we're meeting up. They're going to bring me on the ranch. I'm like, is there any activity we can get into? Okay. We're going to be herding cattle. Okay. I'm thinking in my mind, there's going to be movement. Okay. Videos that do better have movement to them. We're never just hanging out in one space for too long. So I always have to ask probing questions and sort of let the subject decide where we're going to go, what we're going to do because I want them to feel comfortable. I mean, I don't know their turf.
[01:02:12] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:02:12] Peter Santenello: I don't know if I'm giving a clear answer. Actually, every video is sort of different.
[01:02:16] Jordan Harbinger: It does make sense though, right? Because what I'm trying to sort of do is paint the picture that you are not necessarily, you don't have an idea of what you're going to do. And you're like, "Okay, now we got to go ride horses. Okay, now I want to go see the cars, let me get more footage of the cars. Can we do the thing with the car where it does this?" Like you're letting them live their life and you just have to be in the right place at the right time to capture it. Not saying you never ask for anything B-roll-wise or, I don't know, A-roll. Is that a thing? But probably, or at least from the look of it, they're going about their business and you're filming it and they're playing up for the camera a little bit, but really not much.
[01:02:51] But then you've got a ton of footage and you've got a storyboard it in your head after you have it, like, "Okay, I have this piece, this piece, and this piece." That's the talent and the skill, right? How do you keep all of those ideas in your head and then arrange them in a way that makes sense after you have them, it's like dumping out a 10,000-piece puzzle, except you don't have the final picture on the front of the box. And it's like, "Okay, make whatever this is." And you're like, "Is it a landscape scene or a picture of a person? I have no idea. Just fit the pieces together." how the hell do you do that?
[01:03:23] Peter Santenello: Okay. Say I make a video I shot two and a half hours of footage. I'm going to bring that into my editing software and then it's in order. And then, it's just watched through cutting out the fat. You're constantly cutting out the fat, cutting out the fat, cutting out the fat. So it's just shrinking down, shrinking down, shrinking down. Okay, it gets a little delayed here. We're going to do what I call a flow section, which is like traveling between two locations. I take that B-roll with my iPhone in slow motion. So I can do speed ramps where you make it go fast and then slow, add music, and so that will give a gap if there's too much dialogue.
[01:03:57] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:03:58] Peter Santenello: There's different ways you can be creative to try to keep a flow of a video. Honestly, it's serendipity, a lot of times. It just happens. As any musician, some songs are better than others and some videos are better than others.
[01:04:11] Jordan Harbinger: If you asked me this prior to the show, I do arrange my show before the show. Like I've got notes here, but once we record, not much gets moved around/nothing really gets moved around. Unless you're like, "Oh, I forgot to define this in the beginning," then maybe I'll splice it in there, but really that's it. And it makes editing a little bit easier. And also my engineer, Jason does that. Shout out to Jase, my engineer, but like a lot of it is just cutting out sneezes me talking over you by mistake and Internet glitch. You, spilling water on your lap and cleaning it up. Like that stuff all gets — that didn't happen, but that stuff all gets cut out. And then it's like, that's the show, but I don't get to go like, "Oh man, you know, I really need to get this other totally different thing now," and then put it in there and act like we actually covered that. That just doesn't happen.
[01:04:54] Peter Santenello: Yeah. Yeah. And I go into a video thinking, I usually have notes and I've thought about questions I want to ask. And like what you're doing, you're doing preparation here and the conversation's going to go where it's going to go, but you're framing it and you're guiding it. That's what I have to do too. And I try to go in with the average person in mind, like, what are their—? I don't want to go in as a specialist. I don't want to talk about Satmar Hasidic Jewish people from the get-go and like have all this knowledge on them because then I will lose 99 percent of the audience. I'll be like, "Okay, what's the difference of Satmars versus this group over here, Lubavitch? I don't really know much of it." And I might know something about him because I read something, but I have to frame it for your average person. With Chicanos, I started like, "How do you define it Chicano? Is that someone that was born in the US or they like have one Mexican parent, or how does that work exactly?" And that might sound really naive, but that's why I think these work because that's where most people are at. That's where I'm at before I start researching.
[01:05:57] Jordan Harbinger: So when you do your prep and your research, do you read what, like a Wikipedia page on Chicanos, or are you spending like eight hours learning about nuanced Chicano culture or Hasidic Jewish culture?
[01:06:08] Peter Santenello: Depends. Before I got my assistant Kimberly — shout out to Kimberly. She's awesome — she does a lot of this research and she'll prepare a brief for me now. And so that could be a combination of YouTube videos, Wikipedia, other sources, and then I'll go through and like really try to know more. I want to know a good amount, but not be an expert, not really, really know because then I'll come across like that in the video. And I'm not really an expert. I just read something I'm regurgitating.
[01:06:38] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:06:38] Peter Santenello: So it's a balance. I'm putting more effort into that actually than when I was just starting, it was just like scrambling to keep up, like post that video. And then I'm off to the next video, two hours later type stuff.
[01:06:51] Jordan Harbinger: How long does it take you to create, let's say a 45-minute video on the channel? From traveling to the place. You're not going to count the flight time, but you've still got to book the logistics, film it, edit it. What's sort of the all-in investment of time?
[01:07:05] Peter Santenello: Okay. So I've been traveling since I was 25. It was always my dream to go see the world. And we never traveled as a family growing up. And I went around the world, saved up 20 grand in year 2000 and went around. 85 countries I've seen in total. It's not a bragging thing because people are trying to do like count off as many countries as possible. It's hasn't been that. I've been to Istanbul 20 times because I find it interesting. I want to keep going back and learning more. Anyways, every shoot I'm doing, the ideal is to say, get eight episodes in two weeks. So I go to a location — I did a Muslim series. I know you're from Detroit.
[01:07:44] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:07:45] Peter Santenello: Dearborn?
[01:07:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, from right around there.
[01:07:46] Peter Santenello: I think I did six episodes there and two in Detroit. So I went on one trip. I had a week and a half there. I go out there and I'm just going a hundred percent on getting the content. So I get eight videos. I come home. That's going to last two months. Okay. because we post every Sunday. Now, the editing time for our 45-minute video, my wife is now editing. So she's taken that task away from me, which is amazing.
[01:08:11] Jordan Harbinger: Nice.
[01:08:12] Peter Santenello: That is probably 30 hours, maybe all from beginning to end with thumbnails and all these things that actually go in behind the scenes. So let's just say 30 hours per video. When I shoot, I'm shooting for a day, I usually dedicate a day to a shoot. So there's a lot that goes into it.
[01:08:33] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. There's a lot that goes into it. Before the show, we talked and you said you didn't make money for a long time and you had some tough times. I understand that. I don't think I made real money slash like legit amount of money for probably like five to seven years. I wasn't like I was completely broke, but I certainly wasn't making any sort of respectable living doing this for the first half-decade, at least.
[01:08:55] Peter Santenello: Yeah. No, it took a while. The long timeline is in 2011, I didn't think of YouTube. And I was going to LA every six weeks pitching a travel TV show concept to different production companies.
[01:09:10] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:09:10] Peter Santenello: I joined this group, this networking group down there. I was living in Lake Tahoe at the time and flying from Reno to LA every six weeks. I had no name for myself. I had no background in this space and I did that for like eight months and really got nowhere. And that's when it was I'm done. Okay, next idea.
[01:09:30] And I had another business at this time. I actually owned a detailing business that was funding everything.
[01:09:36] Jordan Harbinger: Cars?
[01:09:37] Peter Santenello: Boats, planes.
[01:09:38] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[01:09:39] Peter Santenello: I developed a crew and travel was the number one. I always wanted to travel. It's the best thing I could figure out in those days where I could take off and be gone for long chunks of time. I figured out how to run it from abroad. Anyways, it wasn't what I wanted to be doing.
[01:09:52] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[01:09:52] Peter Santenello: It paid the bills and allowed me to see the world, which was my number one. Before 40, I wanted to get as many experiences as possible in the world. So I wanted to be one of those people in life that was doing what they love to do. I always admire those people. Very, very few get to it. I think Steve Jobs said, you know, never give up on trying to go for your dreams. It might be your career and your wife. Those are the two most important decisions. I wanted to get this right. because I saw my dad miserable in his work growing up. So I'm going to LA every six weeks after a while, it's not going anywhere. I'm getting really low on money. I came up with a new startup. Okay, this is an app that's going to connect travelers with locals. So if you're going to Berlin, you love running. You're going to go to Berlin—
[01:10:33] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[01:10:34] Peter Santenello: The dates, running, you'll meet up with the local move to San Francisco, because I'm going to just start this next great app, right? And I have no tech background and three years at that, that flopped in its face. Right? Midlife, I remember just sitting in Golden Gate Park, reading books, like what am I going to do with my life? Luckily, I have my business. I'm still running it. It's keeping my bills paid, but I'm not like making a ton of money. My friend lived in Ukraine. He said, "Why don't you come out?" I went out, stayed with him and he's like, "Why don't you stay? You know, you can live way cheaper out here and you can travel more of the world." Well, I have sublet my apartment out that I was renting in San Francisco and went out there. Battling, battling, what am I going to do with my life? The startup didn't work.
[01:11:15] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:11:16] Peter Santenello: I tried doing a travel TV show because I just wanted to show people the world, places like Tajikistan or Republic of Georgia, you know, like show what's cool about these places. That didn't work. What am I going to do? I'm coming up in my late 30s. My business is starting to run out of oxygen because I'm an absentee owner.
[01:11:34] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:11:34] Peter Santenello: I could run it from San Francisco from four hours away, but now we're going half the world as much profit sharing as I was giving in bonuses, they start to think, "Oh, look at boss, man. He's halfway around the world. He's traveling. We're going to start taking advantage here and there." And that's just going to happen with any business if the owner's gone for long enough. And they were great guys while it lasted. So I'm realizing that's going downhill. And I'm like, what am I going to do? I'm going to start a dropshipping company through Amazon and a sales team in Ukraine because I have friends that have businesses in the US that need sales develop, you know, anyways, nothing got me excited.
[01:12:09] Midlife crisis happens. A friend of mine was like, "If you really want to learn the language, go out to the countryside." So I went, I lived with a family, refugees from the first conflict in the far east of Ukraine.
[01:12:20] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, wow.
[01:12:21] Peter Santenello: Yeah, they had zero money. They lived in this small house in the countryside, not one word of English. And I'm like, I'm just going to document this. And I documented a six-part documentary series of it. And it did well in Ukraine because I'm this guy is called fish out of water. Totally out of my element, lived with them, made a series, threw it up on YouTube. Okay, cool. There's some traction. Maybe I can go somewhere with this YouTube for this travel. Next series, total flop, terrible.
[01:12:49] Jordan Harbinger: Ugh.
[01:12:50] Peter Santenello: I have kept everything on YouTube just because it's like that's my journey, but there's no way you could even force me to watch this stuff. It's terrible.
[01:12:58] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man.
[01:12:58] Peter Santenello: And then the next thing, terrible. The point is it was a long, hard road to get where I'm at now. I don't take it for granted and it can all go away tomorrow. I mean just really hard internal battles. I remember being in Kyiv. My wife took me to a quest room as like a fun day.
[01:13:16] Jordan Harbinger: Is that like an escape room?
[01:13:17] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[01:13:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I love those.
[01:13:19] Peter Santenello: And I love them too, but I wasn't that day. I'm just battling, like what am I going to do with my life? Like what am I going to, how am I going to make this happen? And luckily, this Iran series sort of did well.
[01:13:30] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:13:31] Peter Santenello: And then I had some other series after it, dude, terrible. And it really wasn't until it got back to the states, because here's the thing with YouTube, which I didn't know. If your audience is in the Middle East or Eastern Europe, your ad revenue is going to be very low, but if you have a US-based audience or a UK audience, just the ad revenue's much higher. Google makes more money from those clients, those people clicking on ads. So when I came back to the states and started doing stuff, it was a Hail Mary. I think I had 50 grand saved. We're moving to San Francisco. My business is done and I'm going to make YouTube videos with Hasidic Jews in New York and somehow like living out of this. I told friends and they just looked at me like, "All right, man, whatever."
[01:14:16] Jordan Harbinger: You're a moron. Yeah. Oh, man.
[01:14:17] Peter Santenello: You're a moron. I'm going to go to the hoods and make some videos. And I'm thinking patron is going to pay my way somehow. Like I'll make enough money through Patreon to support this. I wasn't going to give. And then luckily at that time, things finally turned around. So being in the US, having a greater US audience being regular every week and just coming up with content, I try to be as creative as possible, getting into places that most people haven't gotten into. Now, it's working well. I can say it's really working well. So if you want to take the long road, it was 10 years to get to this.
[01:14:48] Jordan Harbinger: Brutal. I mean, that's a long time. Now, looking at your channel, you put up a video, Amish people. You get five million views. I mean, that is awesome. Right now, I think this is 1.1, two million subs, 133 million views and counting on your video. And this is just like going up every single day. By the time you listen to this, it's going to be higher. So you get Google's, you know, YouTube ads that show up, like a Lexus ad or whatever. I've got Premium. So I don't see those, but in video sponsors, they pay what a flat rate? Do they negotiate that? Like, how do the economics work if like, I don't know, Netflix wants to advertise on your video or Manscaped, you know, do they just offer you something? How does it work?
[01:15:27] Peter Santenello: Yeah, so I have an ad manager. He brokers the deals with different companies, and then there's just one flat fee. You can also do affiliates. I also do that with a clothing company Cuts. So I'll put an ad in a video. You click on my link, I'm getting 15 percent on every purchase. Those can add up, especially in a good ad. So there are really two ways to do those ads affiliate or just a one-off lump sum.
[01:15:53] Jordan Harbinger: Can I ask you the range, the lump sum takes?
[01:15:56] Peter Santenello: In the ads, it's roughly around 10,000.
[01:16:00] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[01:16:00] Peter Santenello: Roughly, it can be less, it can be more. With Cuts, I have my own contract with them.
[01:16:05] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[01:16:05] Peter Santenello: And it totally separate, and it's affiliate link clicks, so it just depends how many—
[01:16:10] Jordan Harbinger: Based on sales. Yeah, of course.
[01:16:11] Peter Santenello: Based on sales.
[01:16:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that makes sense.
[01:16:13] Peter Santenello: And also I want to mention, which I didn't think of for a long time. Facebook is excellent. It's very neurotic. I mean, some months can be great and some can be terrible, but I never even thought that would be an avenue. And I just put my videos on YouTube, put the same exact video on Facebook. It takes no extra work and that's a whole nother revenue stream.
[01:16:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, amazing. Well, congratulations on the success, man.
[01:16:37] Peter Santenello: Thank you.
[01:16:38] Jordan Harbinger: Love what you put out there. By the way, you went to Detroit, it looks better than San Francisco right now in many places.
[01:16:43] Peter Santenello: Downtown is. That surprised me.
[01:16:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:16:46] Peter Santenello: It's a really cool city as far as like, there's a good vibe. There's a soul there, right? And they're very proud of their city. They know everyone sh*ts on it. So I think when someone comes in and tries to show something good about it, they're really happy to reach out.
[01:17:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:17:00] Peter Santenello: San Francisco, San Francisco, it's beautiful. It's amazing. Everyone knows of it, right? It's world city.
[01:17:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I know. Detroit has always been kind of an under — well, maybe not always, but for a long time for generations anyway, it's been an underdog.
[01:17:11] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[01:17:12] Jordan Harbinger: Those of us from there, we might say it's got a lot of problems, but yeah, we always want to see it succeed and it just has so much raw potential.
[01:17:19] Peter Santenello: Oh yeah. Beautiful architecture too.
[01:17:21] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, there's just a lot, like most cities that have problems like that, there's a lot of corruption. There's a lot of issues. There's a lot of—
[01:17:27] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[01:17:27] Jordan Harbinger: —gang violence. There's a lot of drugs, a lot of everything. When you eat some of the foods, people give you from restaurants or food carts, especially like their restaurant or food cart, I could be reading into this, but I feel like you're not very good at lying about it being good. Like I feel like I can tell when you're like, "Oh yeah, this is it's good." And I'm like this guy, maybe you're not an enthusiastic eater, but I'm like, he doesn't like that. He doesn't like that type.
[01:17:48] Peter Santenello: Yeah. I'm not good at the food vlogging thing at all. You're right. If I don't love it, I can't fake, "Oh, this is amazing." In those food vloggers where everything is amazing, it's like putting an exclamation point on the end of every sentence. It like starts to mean nothing. That's my take on that.
[01:18:03] Jordan Harbinger: No, that's a good point. You can't just love every like, "Oh, these tortillas, man, amazing." Well, okay.
[01:18:08] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[01:18:09] Jordan Harbinger: But are they more amazing than the last one you had at the same?
[01:18:11] Peter Santenello: Right, right, right.
[01:18:13] Jordan Harbinger: You said in one of your videos, "I feel successful—" I'm paraphrasing here. You said you felt successful because you were raising the frequency in society instead of taking something away. What do you mean by that?
[01:18:23] Peter Santenello: Okay. So there are things like, you know, when you get ripped off?
[01:18:26] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:18:26] Peter Santenello: It puts your mood down a little bit. And then maybe the next interaction you have with someone else, you weren't at the level you were at before you got ripped off. So maybe you bring them down a little bit. I'm maybe looking too much into it, but I feel like you can add to people you can add to things or you can take. And if I can add and make someone feel happy or see it a different way, that's what I mean by frequency. We all have it when we're around people, right? You have an exchange with someone you feel better after that= or you feel worse if you're paying attention, right?
[01:18:57] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:18:57] Peter Santenello: So I want people to feel better. That might sound very egotistical how I say that but—
[01:19:03] Jordan Harbinger: No, it's like leave everybody better than you found them, kind of thing.
[01:19:07] Peter Santenello: We have so much negativity right now, right? I mean, that's really online. It works very well too. I mean, you're a platform that doesn't cohere to those rules, but so much of what, you know, if I wanted to just go one hard line on a political point, that's going to get a lot of traction.
[01:19:25] Jordan Harbinger: It is. It's funny. You bring that up. because my next section here was, have you noticed how many creators decide—
[01:19:32] Peter Santenello: Oh yeah.
[01:19:32] Jordan Harbinger: —consciously to divide people instead of bringing people together. Because that's where the money is, right? If I go right-wing or left-wing virtue signaling in some way, that is honestly the most effective way online right now to make a ton of money.
[01:19:46] Peter Santenello: So I don't even think it's conscious. Look, everyone wants to be admired for the work they're doing.
[01:19:52] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:19:52] Peter Santenello: So if you're looking purely at numbers, I try to distance myself from likes or subscribers. Of course, you want more subscribers. Like it's cool to have over a million subscribers. It was a big benchmark. Wow, it's like, okay, this feels a little different now. I'm not saying it doesn't mean anything, but I'll do topics where I know the video's not going to do well. And it's hard to stay disciplined, I think online, especially if you're younger, right? And I don't need as much praise. I really don't care as much as when I was younger. I'm so happy being with one woman in my life and I don't care if anyone else ever likes me again. I'm so cool with that, right? In your 20s, that's a thing for many people.
[01:20:33] So here's the danger in all of this. If I take a stance, people give me, let's just say pats on the back, which means subscriptions or whatever. My channel builds, then the advertisers are going to give me more money. I keep doing that thing, I'm going to get more, more, more. Now, I'm in, I'm in a little bit deep. Let me just be honest here. Okay, that point is really good from over here. I know it contradicts the last point I've been making for the last 10 videos, but it's really good. It's honest. And I want to bring it in. You're going to kill your audience because people come back if you've set your platform up. So it is the responsibility of the creator.
[01:21:09] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:21:09] Peter Santenello: You've set your platform up to bring in and reflect something that, that certain audience wants to see. So that's why I get called everything from a Trumper to a woke dude. I'll go into Muslims in America. I find that interesting. I'll get called more woke there. If I do a series on the border, I'll get called Trumper. At this point. I don't care. I mean, most people are digging the content, but you're going to, like, I think half of my audience is on the left and half is on the right—
[01:21:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That's a way to do it though.
[01:21:42] Peter Santenello: —politically. And I really try to avoid politics for that reason. I want to go and ask the questions to the people. I don't have to agree with what they say. I respect a professor I had who taught world religions. And at the end of that semester, he told us he was a Catholic priest, but you'd have no idea. I had no idea. He taught six of the major religions, very fairly, very well. And I respected him so much.
[01:22:10] I want to be like that with my content. I want people like, okay, you can probably see a leaning in what, how I look at the world in life. I really want everyone to be able to watch it and they might disagree or agree. That's cool to feel that way. Space we're in now, as you're saying God, it's like, you will get rewarded monetarily, you'll get rewarded with your audience. Everyone's patting on your back. Your family's happy because you can afford a better vacation now. And it all adds up. I think it rocks the soul though. I think it's a dangerous, dangerous slope to go on because you'll have people that are intellectually capable to understand a grand idea, let's say, and now they've taken one side and they can't say the obvious that's on the other side. I just lose respect for that. Now this person is not looking for truth. I know you do it in your content. You're a curious person. You're looking for truth in all your subjects. You bring on people from all different backgrounds because you want to learn what they have to offer you.
[01:23:12] And my goal and my content is truth, is where the compass is going. Really hard to find, I get it, not easy thing, but that's where I'm going. And if I'm wrong about something, for example, I did a South Texas series after that, about the border. I'm like, I agree with the wall here. I talk to a bunch of border agents. If you put a 30-foot wall up, they'll come in with a 32-foot ladder and jump it, but everyone's going to this one pinch point, but there's now an infrastructure of roads on each side. Now, border customs, border protection can do their job way better because it's a crazy landscape there. So this infrastructure has really helped them. Now, that's a very political thing—
[01:23:52] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:23:52] Peter Santenello: —but I'm just saying it from a pragmatic thing.
[01:23:54] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[01:23:54] Peter Santenello: If you're going to have a border, if you don't want huge, huge, huge influx of what's going on now, that's one way. Then I was just in West Texas talking with a sheriff. He doesn't like the wall there. Why? Because the river's right here and right back from the river, huge mazes. There's nowhere to put the wall. So the only place they could put the wall would be right on the river, which means give Mexico the river and they lose all of their tourism dollars and all what's good about living down there. So now, I'm like, okay, it doesn't work here at all. So like most of this stuff, it's nuanced, it's complex.
[01:24:29] And so I can say where I stand now, the wall works in this place. I can understand why they'd want it. And it doesn't work here. And I can understand that. And in five years, I'll probably think something differently.
[01:24:41] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:24:41] Peter Santenello: I always want to be that way. I don't want to lock into these ideas. That's insanity. That's like, you're killing your growth intellectually if you do. And so online, that's what we're seeing a lot of, not everybody obviously, but a lot.
[01:24:53] Jordan Harbinger: You said you're more pro-America now than ever before and at any point in your history.
[01:24:58] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[01:24:58] Jordan Harbinger: Why is that?
[01:25:00] Peter Santenello: Okay, so if you have a pair of shoes you wear, do you have a favorite pair of shoes you wear, Jordan?
[01:25:06] Jordan Harbinger: Probably, yeah.
[01:25:07] Peter Santenello: Type of shoe, like sports shoes or—?
[01:25:09] Jordan Harbinger: Oh sure. Yeah. Like, I don't know, something where I don't have to tie.
[01:25:12] Peter Santenello: Okay.
[01:25:12] Jordan Harbinger: You know, some slip-on leather things, but I wear socks. Don't let me in with no-socks guys.
[01:25:18] Peter Santenello: Okay. Okay. So I'll try to get better with the metaphors. If you only wore that one pair of shoes your whole life, right? That's your universe, that's your world. Now, you just stepped into a pair of dress shoes that are very stiff and they give your feet a completely different feel.
[01:25:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, they're slippery.
[01:25:34] Peter Santenello: And then you go back to the shoes that — now, you know the difference. Now, you have something to compare against. So as someone that lives abroad long enough, you're a spectator to your own world for the first time. You're not in the game, you're not playing on the field. They're actually in the stands, observing things, what you like, what you dislike. And so enough time abroad has given me a perspective of what is fantastic about this country. And so growing up here, I always thought everything in Europe is great. Do you know if you make 2000 euros in Italy, you're doing well, a month?
[01:26:06] Jordan Harbinger: Really?
[01:26:07] Peter Santenello: Oh yeah.
[01:26:08] Jordan Harbinger: That surprises me.
[01:26:10] Peter Santenello: Yeah.
[01:26:11] Jordan Harbinger: That shocks me actually.
[01:26:12] Peter Santenello: It surprised me too. Seeing the amount of opportunities here after being abroad in different countries, the basics, like I was saying earlier, clean air, water, all of these things, the amount of diversity we have, the amount of like, I can go talk to anyone here. Okay. We're told online that we're so divided with politics. I don't care who, what political affiliation any of my neighbors have or the Amazon guy. I'm interacting every day, no problem without any of these issues. Okay. We have everyone from every different background. We have every type of food. We have a beautiful country. We have a place where you can really be who you want to be in this life with the least amount of resistance. Okay. Tell me a place that does it better than that on the whole. Okay, they're going to be examples, but as a culture and as a country, the framework, how it's set, it's pretty hard to be here. What else would I say? You know, it's nice to speak in English again. It's nice speaking English, you know?
[01:27:07] Jordan Harbinger: I bet.
[01:27:08] Peter Santenello: I hate fumbling in a language. That gets old after a while. It's an embodiment of this country being a place of opportunity. My YouTube channel does so much better now that I'm just here, just because I have a US audience.
[01:27:21] Jordan Harbinger: Can you give us a preview of what you're working on now? Like what sort of is next for you subcultures wise? Or do you not want to share? By the way, by the time this comes out, it's going to already be out, because it's going to be like a month.
[01:27:31] Peter Santenello: Yeah, no problem. I'm posting for the next month or so cowboys and ranchers from West Texas all the way up to Montana, different ranches. We even got on the Mescalero Apache Tribe.
[01:27:42] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, wow.
[01:27:42] Peter Santenello: Which was amazing, and their native cowboys. I did a story with them. Okay. So all the way up to Montana, then coming up as a series on Alaska, then UK, I'm thinking. And then the big one, which I've been planning for like two years is Native Americans.
[01:27:57] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, wow.
[01:27:58] Peter Santenello: And that's been a tough one because of the pandemic a lot of the tribes have been really sort of closed off or locked down. So I'm just waiting for all that to blow over. It's also really difficult one to get into, but that's a big one I want to hit this fall. So that's most of the rest of the year.
[01:28:13] Jordan Harbinger: What's something that you want to do, but you think it's either impossible or it's going to be too expensive too far away, et cetera? Is there something where you're like, "Oh man, one day"?
[01:28:22] Peter Santenello: I think the Native American one is the big one for me. I don't think it's impossible. I think it's going to be a tough one because I've spent time on reservations this last trip going up to the west and some are really down and out, like a bomb went off. And others like the Mescalero Apache was in pretty good shape.
[01:28:39] And it's a world, I think, most of us have no idea about, modern natives. What is that world like? What is it like on the reservations? I've heard all sorts of things and I want to show it in a positive light, but there's a lot of heavy stuff happening there too on some of them. And so how do you do this fairly? My biggest fear is it does someone wrong, like it hurts them in some way, shape, or form, the video. Like I want all the subjects I meet with to be like, "Oh, it benefits them. Okay, cool." The last thing I want to do is get something wrong or make them look poorly.
[01:29:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That's good of you, man. I mean, Peter, you're the Anthony Bourdain of niche American subcultures, man.
[01:29:21] Peter Santenello: Ah.
[01:29:21] Jordan Harbinger: I'm honored to talk to you today and I consider myself lucky to be your friend as well because I can text you at all hours with questions about your videos from five years ago.
[01:29:28] Peter Santenello: My pleasure, Jordan, and respect you for what you do. You're so prolific and you're going into every different type of topic fairly and honestly, and asking good questions and it's so needed, so kudos to you too.
[01:29:41] Jordan Harbinger: Thanks for doing the show, man.
[01:29:44] Here is a trailer for our episode with Rob Reid, a little bit more dark than this one.
[01:29:49] Rob Reid: The terrifying thing, COVID is pretty damn benign compared to what could have easily happened this time around or what could very easily happen next time around particularly if the next bug is maliciously designed. Society produces a certain small but terrifying percentage of people every year, who for whatever reason, go to such a dark place that they become suicidal mass murderers and their death toll is limited only by the weapons that they have. Technology is the force multiplier.
[01:30:23] The 1918 flu virus, which killed at a much, much, much greater scale than COVID, and the smallpox genome, both of those are online and anybody could find them within a short number of minutes. The time would soon come where somebody could take that and reanimate that and something which scares the bejesus out of me, which is an influenza virus, not a coronavirus is H5N1 flu that kills 50 to 60 percent of the people that it infects.
[01:30:53] Two independent research groups, one in Holland and one in Wisconsin, took it upon themselves and they basically made it capable of aerosolized transmission, through the breath. No lab is secure enough to keep this stuff coming out.
[01:31:06] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:31:06] Rob Reid: And this is a pathogen that could quite literally topple civilization if it's contagious enough. If the lights shut off on a countrywide basis, after a shockingly small number of days, civilization starts to teeter and eventually topple.
[01:31:25] Jordan Harbinger: That was episode 244, Rob Reid, synthetic biology for medicine and for murder.
[01:31:32] I think you all will love the channel. The videos are absolutely crazy. It's just wild, block by block, the gang activity, showing how kids get into gangs at age 10 to 12. All the guys in east LA and Brooklyn projects were actually saying their communities were safer now than when they were kids. I've really enjoyed this conversation with Peter. His work is great, but he's a fascinating guy in himself. He's definitely a creator with a style that I can get behind. I hope you all enjoyed this as well.
[01:31:56] Links to all things Peter Santenello will be in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com. Books are always at jordanharbinger.com/books. And if you buy books from any guest on the show, please do use our links. It all adds up and it all supports the show. Transcripts are in the show notes. Videos up on YouTube. Advertisers, deals, discount codes for all of our sponsors are all in one place, jordanharbinger.com/deals. Please consider supporting those who support us. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. I love connecting with you whenever and wherever.
[01:32:28] And I'm teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships using the same software, systems, and tiny habits that I use every single day. I'm teaching you how to dig the well before you get thirsty, build those relationships before you need them. And the course is at jordanharbinger.com/course. And I'll see you over there. I'm answering questions in there, pretty much every single day.
[01:32:46] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, Josh Ballard, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. Hey, if you know somebody who would benefit from this particular episode, you know somebody who loves Peter Santenello, or is interested in people and subcultures, creating on YouTube, definitely share this episode with them. The greatest compliment you can give us is to share the show with those you care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[01:33:24] This episode is sponsored in part by the Barely Famous podcast. Hey, listeners ever find yourself endlessly looking for another great podcast to listen to? Finding the great ones can take a lot of time. If you're looking for an amusing podcast, check out Barely Famous with Kail Lowry. Kail drank the Kool-Aid of fame when she was on Teen Mom 2 and has since been blossoming into a great podcast host. She's got one of those "tell it like it is" personas that fans all love. She's that host that's not afraid to say what's on her mind. The podcast is raw, a bit risque. Believe me, you'll hear the F-bomb way more than you do on this show but that's why people love it. She interviews her friends, celebrities, family, and influencers alike. She's also got four kids and all their antics, which she tells all on the Barely Famous podcast. You can find Barely Famous right here on the PodcastOne network, wherever you get your podcasts.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.