leveraging connection & collaboration for improved performance
The Despicable Me franchise is more than imaginative. And cute.
He’s the consummate autocrat.
Hardly. He’s doing what countless people exhort us all to do – fulfill yourself by doing what YOU want. Make your life all about YOU. Find out what YOU want to do. Find out what YOU are best at. Stop doing what YOU don’t want to do. Start doing only the things YOU want to do.
I’ve been a Christian for 45 years now. I’m still learning and admittedly, a long way to go in many respects. However, I can’t get past what the Bible teaches. I can’t buy into the popular notions about happiness, pursuing passion and success.
I confess it’s a mindset. Well, partially. But it’s much more really. It’s a faith thing. It’s a belief thing. It’s a truth thing.
We love to consider anomalies and outliers as average, but they’re not. We want to read stories of people who went from homeless to millionaire in 90 days. You’ve heard people say of their own success, “If I can do it, anybody can do it.” Perhaps that ex-homeless millionaire said it. And we instantly think, “You know, he’s right.”
No, he’s not.
Jason Whitlock wrote a story about Tiger Woods, who came in 6th at the British Open this weekend. Whitlock talks about Tiger’s curse. Bad karma for his past sins. Yet, there’s really nothing to prove that such things exist. Bad behavior has consequences. Bad behavior is often found out. See Aaron Hernandez, Bernie Madoff and scores of other people who behave badly.
But this isn’t about scoundrels. It’s about us. Ordinary people chasing dreams. Average people struggling to rise above average.
Also mentioned in today’s show:
• Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
• Jeffrey Gitomer – “give value first”
• Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson
• James Dalman – friend, web design coach, consultant, stud designer & more
• Douglas T. Hawkins – a financial planner and attorney friend (I now voice his blog)
• This is the blog post on Doug’s site that I refer to, Wealthy Is As Wealthy Feels
• Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook)
• NBC TV show, The Voice
• The other day I made this post on Facebook (my personal page). I would appreciate your “liking” my BulaNetwork page.
Thank you for listening!
I probably should have sub-titled these episodes, “How You Can Launch Your Own Podcast…Or Anything Else!”
Did you miss Part 1? Click here. It’s much shorter than this one. The next episode will absolutely, positively be shorter! I had a lot of ground to cover in today’s show, but I didn’t want to drag this out into a third part. But no matter, it’s a podcast…that means you can listen to it in chunks suitable to your schedule.
I decided to record today’s entire episode on video, too. I’ll upload that to YouTube very soon. It’s part of my current fascination with YouTube. 😉
Let’s dive into the actual preparation stuff now. Part 1 dealt with the stuff that prompted the idea and other “soft” stuff. Now we’re going to discuss the actual things that must be done to successfully launch a podcast.
Here’s a list:
• The subject of the show
• The name of the show
• The domain for the show
• The format of the show
• The technology required to produce the show
• How to get podcast cover art
• How to do podcast show notes
• How to find guests
• How to line up guests
• How to interview guests
• When to release shows (including frequency)
• Submission to Apple iTunes and other podcast directories
• How to market the podcast
• Sustaining the effort
There’s a lot to it. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. And there are plenty of podcasting experts who have lots of great advice. Free.
Podcast Coaches And Experts
– Cliff Ravenscraft aka Podcast Answerman has a series of 8 video tutorials that are completely free. You don’t even have to opt in with your email address. Additionally, Cliff has hundreds of podcast episodes and accompanying show notes filled with useful information to help people launch a podcast, or improve an existing podcast.
In addition, Cliff offers a comprehensive in-depth training course called Podcasting From A To Z. It’s an intensive 4-week course designed to take people from no podcast to launching their podcast. This is group coaching that usually consists of 30 people or so. Just yesterday he posted this video which can give you a glimpse of the kind of help he can offer you.
The crown jewel of Cliff’s enterprise is Podcast Mastermind. That group is intended for people who approach podcasting with a more professional approach. It is a paid membership requiring a minimum commitment of 1 year.
As you can see, Cliff has a wide variety of resources. You’re bound to find something useful.
– Dave Jackson runs the School of Podcasting. He does some podcasting coaching, consulting and has a membership area, too. His podcasts and show notes offer lots of free information worth checking out.
– Ray Ortega is a podcast producer. That’s his day job, but it’s also his passion pursuit. He operates a site, The Podcaster’s Studio.
There are others, but that gives you a great idea of the talent out there ready to teach you a thing or two about podcasting. Each of them have their own style and focus. You’re bound to find a connection with one or more of them. Check them out. Listen to 3 or more episodes of each one and that should give you a better idea of how they approach their work.
Also mentioned in today’s show:
• Entrepreneur On Fire with John Lee Dumas
• Mixergy with Andrew Warner
• Jian Ghomeshi with Studio Q
• Audacity recording software
• Audio Technica ATR2100 hi-quality, low cost microphone
• iVideoHero is an online course that teaches you how to create great videos using your Apple iPhone. The iPhone can record shockingly good audio, too.
• Music Radio Creative with Mike and Izabela Russell, one of my favorite podcasts – just needs to be longer and more Izabela 😉
I hope this inspires you to give podcasting a go. Don’t be bashful. Jump right in and figure it out along with the rest of us.
Quite some time ago I had an idea to start a new podcast, an interview-based show. The idea was mostly born of loneliness. Business loneliness.
Isolation is common among solopreneurs. Since 2008 I’ve been on my own solopreneur journey. About a year into it, the isolation hit me fairly hard, but it was profitable because from that sensation was born this idea.
I was listening when Cliff “PodcastAnswerman” Ravenscraft launched his cleverly branded podcast in 2006. I was a fan of podcasts because mostly I was an audiophile and I loved electronic gear. I had built my own little studio (since named The Yellow Studio because the walls are mustard yellow), but podcasting wasn’t the initial objective. I’m a Christian and I was doing some web work and other things that were church-related. Posting sermons online, doing some audio editing and interviewing folks…those were the real objectives. It just so happened that the stuff I used in The Yellow Studio were the very things that made for a professional sounding podcast. Mixers, microphones, vocal strips, a telephone hybrid and a broadcast workflow were ideally suited for this relatively new thing, podcasting.
I faithfully listened to Cliff’s show because he was geeky and I shared his passion for the art of podcasting. I also listened to other guys who were more into the professional audio gear. They were more in my wheelhouse early on because I had spent my entire adult life in the electronics business. I was also a longtime audiophile (stereophile, really). The voiceover community had always fascinated me and many of them had killer home studios. Guys like Mark Jensen over at New Media Gear did product review type shows. In those days, gear envy drove a lot of us. It still does, but some of us have learned to temper our enthusiasm for the tools.
Driven by the desire to simply “pass it on” I launched a podcast at Leaning Toward Wisdom. You won’t find any of the back episodes now. I rebooted the entire site just recently and there is only one episode there now. But that was where I posted my first podcasts. Shortly after that I launched at Bula Network, my home base. Given that the company name was Bula Network, LLC it just made sense. At no time was there any motive or plan to create a business of either podcast. I was simply an experienced guy sharing ideas, thoughts and opinions – primarily aimed at my now grown kids. Honestly, it was about legacy of knowledge and wisdom. It was my little way of being virtual for those I love the most, my family.
I had no designs on anybody listening and I didn’t really care. I knew that one day, my family would want to listen. Honestly, I don’t think any of my family has listened to a single episode. If they have, they’ve not said so. And that’s fine. I’m used to talking to myself anyway. 😉
Well, back to the Chasing DFW Cool story.
I’m not an inexperienced guy with audio, or podcasting. As we say here in Texas, “This ain’t my first rodeo.”
But, this is the first time I’ve launched an interview-based show and it’s the first time I’ve launched a show with so much as a sniff of a business idea behind it. No, it didn’t start out that way, but I admit I’ve given some thought as to how I might be able to at least have it pay for itself. I’m not looking to create some money making machine. I’m just thinking of how I might earn a few thousand bucks a year to have the thing pay for its own way. And if it doesn’t, then that’s okay, too.
Back in the 70’s when I went to journalism school we had many classes that focused on interviewing. Other than tedious research, interviews are how journalists gather stories. It’s all that who, what, when, where, why and how stuff you learn in Journalism 101.
One of the first books we were required to read was a book entitled, “The Craft Of Interviewing” by John Brady. Brady was then the editor of Writer’s Digest. The book was published in 1976. I’ve still got my original copy (pictured there to the left).
A few years later, in 1979, a book came out by Barbara Walters, who was just making a real name for herself and breaking that glass ceiling for women in broadcast journalism. It was entitled, “How to Talk with Practically Anybody about Practically Anything.”
I’ve read scads of books about interviewing people. Of course, just because you’ve read books doesn’t mean you know how to do something. Thankfully, I’m so old and experienced (and have spent so many years in face-to-face selling), that I’m pretty comfortable talking to just about anybody. Even so, interviews are more than conversations. They’re prepared conversations with a purpose. Emphasis on “prepared” and “purpose.”
I knew I wanted to interview people because I wanted to make connections. Not with some ulterior motive in play…just because I wanted to hear the stories of what other people were doing.
Some words transcend the times. Others, not so much.
“Dig” is one that didn’t transcend the times. It sound corny today when I hear people use it. Come to think of it, when it was popular it sounded corny, too. To me, at least.
“You dig?” Reminds me of a bad episode of Mod Squad. I did love Linc though. His favorite word was “solid.”
The word “cool” has survived a long time. Not a day passes that I don’t hear somebody use it, usually after somebody tells them about something good. “Really? Cool.”
What is cool? It’s whatever you think is awesome, unusual, extraordinary or interesting. At least that’s how I’m using it for this new podcast.
I’m going to ferret out the people in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area who are cool people doing cool things. Okay, maybe they won’t all be cool, but their work will be. We usually find people interesting if they’re doing interesting things. Funny how performance and action determine those things, right? There’s a lesson there for all of us I suspect.
I live in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas. Remember, isolation was the impetus for this idea. One day I realized, “Hey, moron. You live in one of the biggest, most vibrant cities in the country. Why don’t you get out more?” Yes, I call my names when I talk to myself. It makes me less anxious when I call other people names.
So the purpose (see above) was to tell cool stories of people doing cool things right here in the metroplex. One side benefit would be for me to get out more and connect more. But a big part of it was for me to focus on people who only had one thing in common. They live and work here in DFW.
There Is Life Beyond What You Know
Not long ago I stumbled onto a vlog (video blog) by a young guy in North Carolina, Ty Moss. He has over 80,000 YouTube subscribers. That prompted me to dig just a little to see which YouTubers had the most subscriptions and to see what kind of content they were producing. Some of them I was already familiar with, but most were completely foreign to me. Stick with me here.
One of the few I knew about was Blimy Cow. They have over 186,000 YouTube subscribers. In fact, they just launched their audio only podcast over at Apple iTunes and rocketed to a top position with dozens of reviews. All with a single podcast episode.
ShayCarl has just over 1 million subscribers…well, to his main channel. The ShayTards channel has about 1.3 million. The ShayLoss channel has a bit over 300,000. He’s got quite the franchise going. I admit it, I’ve watched it more than a few times.
sWooZie has over 1.25 million YouTube subscribers. Extremely high production elements. Very entertaining, too.
DailyGrace has more than 1.5 million subscribers.
You think these are the top ones? Nope. Let’s stop playing around with chump sized audiences though, shall we?
To give you some perspective, WheezyWaiter (one of my favorites) has yet to break the half million mark. He’s currently at about 467,000.
But let me give you a bit more perspective.
Are you learning anything yet? Yeah, me too!
The point isn’t whether these people are worthy of their audience or not. The fact is, these are the audiences they’ve got. At least on YouTube, which is still the number 2 search engine on the planet behind Google.
Here’s the point. There is a much bigger world than the one you occupy daily. Those folks you follow on Twitter. The ones whose blogs you read and who have podcasts you listen to…they’re not the only people on the planet drawing a crowd. Fact is, they’re not likely even in the top tier of people attracting attention and building an audience.
Lady Gaga is 27. According to Forbes she’s earned $80 million through June. Not a bad first half. She’s got 38 million Twitter followers and 58 million Facebook fans. Boy, am I feeling microscopic these days!
I just mention those numbers to give you some perspective on how vast the world is and how vast the popularity is of people that you may care nothing about. It’s likely that the people who influence you the most are rockstars in a very small pond. It’s also likely that the pond in which they swim is very large to you.
In part 2 I’ll dive more deeply in the actual process I’m using to get ChasingDFWCool launched. I hope you’ll “tune in.”
What if many companies or people were clamoring for your services?
What if nobody wanted you?
Free agency in the NHL began at noon today.
Prior to that hour NHL teams could only interview potential unrestricted free agents. No offers could be made.
I don’t pretend to understand all the intricate nuances of NHL free agency. Every professional league has their own quirky rules, but basically most leagues have two forms of free agency: restricted and unrestricted.
Restricted free agency usually means the player can accept offers from other teams, but his existing team has the opportunity to match or best the offer and retain him. In that regard, he’s not completely free to go anywhere he likes.
Unrestricted free agency usually means the player is available to accept offers from any team of his choosing. He can decide for himself, for reasons of his own choosing, where to play next.
In both instances, free agency is typically based on years of service. That is, it’s based on how many years the player has been in the league. Each professional league has their own CBA (collective bargaining agreement) negotiated between the players’ union and the ownership to determine the rules of free agency.
A player’s value in the open market is determined by what teams think he can do for them.
Value in professional sports is determined by lots of things. Age, skill, mental toughness, injuries (or not) and much more. Teams determine a player’s value based on how well they think the player can help their team win.
Every season – in every professional sport that has free agency – fans anxiously watch their favorite team to see if they might snag the free agency prize and get that star player coveted by every team. The NHL represents my favorite sport so today I’m watching things carefully to see which teams land the best players available.
And as I watch, I can’t help but think about our lives. What about our value? We’re not pro athletes, but we’re free agents. We can take whatever job we may be able to get. We can start our own “job” and launch an enterprise. We can seek permission to be hired by somebody or we can blow that off and create our own. But no matter which course we take, we can’t succeed unless somebody wants us.
The NHL experts rank the free agents based on their subjective judgments. Here’s one such list. The point isn’t whether NHL fans or front offices agree with it. The point is, there is a ranking that goes on all across the league. Today, front offices likely have big boards in their “war rooms” where they’re watching and tracking the players they find most attractive. Each team has unique needs. GM’s all over the NHL will be doing whatever they think will best help their team for next season (and beyond).
The player can only do his best to build value in his own career.
This much is sure. If a player didn’t excel in a prior situation, it’s unlikely he’ll garner the highest rewards (or be the most sought after) when he’s a free agent. Teams will likely base their desires (and their offers) based on past success. Past failures and problems will only hamper the player’s ability to maximize his value on the open market during free agency.
I learned as a young man the value of “grow where you’re planted.” That meant, do the best job where you are because that will likely determine your future. It made perfect sense to me because I understood the value of habit. If I was in the habit of doing lackluster work, then I knew I was unlikely to do exceptional work if I were put into a different circumstance.
Sometimes players need a change of scenery. Sometimes they’re unhappy with a previous coach. Sometimes players get in a funk in one place only to blossom in a new place. It happens.
However, their stock – the desire for teams to want them – is only enhanced by their ability to soar wherever they are.
Are you waiting for a better situation? Maybe you’re a player who thinks, “If only I were on that team, then I’d show them.” But that team isn’t likely to want you because they don’t see the value based on your history.
Here in Dallas, we were blessed to have Bill Parcells coach the Dallas Cowboys for a few years. I loved watching his press conferences and it was evident the man knew how to coach football. He often said in his press conferences, “We are who we are.” He meant, our team is however successful we are based on our performance. Parcells didn’t much concern himself with potential. He was concerned about accomplishment and performance. Who cares if people (including players) think you’re a championship caliber team? If you don’t win more games than you lose, then you “are what you are.” It’s blindingly obvious, but brilliant, too.
You are who you are!
But, is that good enough? Is that good enough for people to want you? Is it good enough for customers to hire you? Is it good enough for companies to hire you? Is it good enough for you to succeed?
I don’t know. We each have to answer that question. We have to live each day doing the things that bring value to others so they’ll want us when we’re available.
Few things are sadder than the professional athlete who feels he’s got value to offer, but based on his past performance…nobody sees it. And he gets no offers. Nobody wants him. It’s the ultimate professional rejection and too many players end their careers not being wanted by anybody.
You must expect more from yourself. You must be honest in your work. Bring value every day. Grow where you’re planted. Be highly sought after.