FTC 173| Starting A Podcast

173: Joe Sanok On Living Through Adversity, Bouncing Back, And Podcasting

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Life often unfolds its plans for you after it has put you through so many challenges. Joseph Sanok, the owner of Mental Wellness Counseling and host of Practice of the Practice podcast, is no stranger to this, having discovered his path towards success with podcasting. In this episode, Joseph provides great insights about podcasting by sharing to us the journey of how he made that shift. Amidst multiple curveballs thrown his way, Joseph found it instrumental for him to continue to live a life of freedom and less stress. He shares some great tips on deciding whether or not podcasting is right for you and eventually starting your own and getting it ready. Together with his own business, Joseph then talks about how podcasting helps growing and scaling your private practice with client engagement, membership retention, and more.

Joe Sanok On Living Through Adversity, Bouncing Back, And Podcasting

I’m glad you are here but before I introduce my amazing guests, I want to remind you that this show, Your First Thousand Clients, is now a two-way conversation. That’s right, readers, you can talk back to me anytime you want and you could tell me anything you want to say. Simply go to YourFirstThousandClients.com. Click on the episode that you’d like to discuss, then click on the Speak to Mitch button. It’s a nice big red button right up top which will record your voice and deliver your message directly to me. Remember, this is a family show so please be nice or not, I don’t mind it. It’s okay.

I can reply with my voice as well. Go ahead, give it a try. Let’s make that happen. It will be fun. One more thing. Did you leave a review yet for me on iTunes? If not, I would so appreciate it. Let me tell you how much I would appreciate it. If you leave me a review on iTunes, I will send you a free book. How’s that? I’ll send you The Invisible Organization, which I can get out right away or later. I can send you my book, Power Tribes. Let me know and your book will go out. Let me know by sending an email to [email protected] and your book will go out promptly. Now, onto the show.

Strap in readers, this is going to be a good one. My guest is a business expert who helps people who want to live better lives and attract higher-end clients through podcasting and course creation. Life wasn’t perfect for him. In fact, in 2012, he had what many of us did at one point in our lives, a full-time JOB. Do you readers know what JOB stands for? Just Over Broke. He was struggling with a low salary but trying to make things work. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good year. His daughter went through open-heart surgery. He was diagnosed with cancer. His wife had a miscarriage and his grandma died. He realized that he needed to wake up and get out of that place in his life where he could attract all of what was set aside for him. That comes with being aligned with your true purpose. When he finally discovered that he took action and you are going to enjoy listening to how he overcame these temporary problems and how he went on to scale his own company. Welcome, Joe Sanok, to the show. 

Mitch, thank you so much for having me.

My pleasure, Joe. What a story. Sometimes life taps us on the shoulder and if we don’t notice, life then kicks us in the butt. If we don’t notice then life hits us over the head with a sledgehammer. Eventually, we noticed until finally, we wake up. Apparently, you had to go through all of that, unfortunately. Here you are. Tell us about the journey, Joe.

The 2012 was a rough year. I finally had my ideal job, which was working at a community college as a counselor. I had a lot of autonomy. I wasn’t making much money but at least enjoyed the job. I had taken the traditional route in the counseling world where I worked at nonprofits and runaway shelters and finally got a job. After that, as a foster care supervisor and then worked at a community college. That’s the route that most counselors will take. I had started a private practice on the side to pay down student loan debt. If I can make a couple of thousand dollars a year extra, I’ll pay down on these student loans way faster.

In that process, I realized that I didn’t know much about marketing and business. Life had different plans for me. Our firstborn, probably three or four weeks after she was born, I got a call from my wife saying that she had some heart issues and we needed to go right to the hospital. That’s a call nobody wants to get. The first 6 to 7 months of her life, she would only sleep for 1.5 hours. She had to be on this medication that kept the fluid off of her heart. What that made her do is fill her diaper every 1.5 hours. For that entire first year of our baby’s life, she was waking up every 1.5 hours which meant we were waking up every 1.5 hours.

She wasn’t getting enough nutrition because she was so parched that we had to make these breast milk milkshakes where we added formula to my wife’s breast milk so that she could get the calories in the couple sips that she would take because she would get so tired from her heart issues. It was this constant battle of getting her to gain any weight at all. We finally got to that day when she was about seven months old that she was supposed to have this procedure done with a catheter. It was supposed to take a 1.5, 2 hours and 4 hours in.

The majority of people that made money during the gold rush were those who sold the services to people to support the gold rush. Click To Tweet

The doctor pulled us into this room and said, “There had been some complications. She has left pulmonary stenosis, which means that she’s going to need full open-heart surgery. We can’t do that now. We aren’t the people to do it. She needs to go to a bigger hospital and she needs to get up to a larger weight.” What we thought was the end of that chapter and we could have our healthier baby come home. We now were back in it for another few months or so. In the month of her first birthday, earlier in that month, we went in for full open-heart surgery, stayed at the Ronald McDonald House at the University of Michigan. We watched our little baby go under, wake up and walk through all the steps to help her get back to recovery.

Fast forward a few weeks from there, the doctors give us the all-clear and that’s when I’m diagnosed with thyroid cancer. We thought we were done with hospitals and we could enjoy our new baby. That wasn’t what 2012 had for us. I went through treatment for thyroid cancer, which as cancers go is one of the best cancers to get. Even through that process, afterward, my wife had a miscarriage with the baby that we were expecting to have next and my grandma died and realize that there’s a lot that’s unpredictable in life but that my career didn’t have to be unpredictable.

I didn’t have to wait for someone else to bless me to become a supervisor, to become a leader, to become a CEO. That wasn’t the path that I had to follow. That self-determination side, although completely foreign to me because both my parents worked for the schools and both my in-laws worked for the schools. That message of working for someone else was pronounced in my family. I knew I had to start creating something that would move me away from the 50-hour workweeks that I was living at that point.

Joe, let me ask you this because there must’ve been an inflection point type of moment where you had an inkling of doing something like that over the course of many years. What was the inflection point? What was the point that moved the needle in your life where you said, “That’s it, I’ve got to do something and I’ve got to do it now?”

I remember I was at this hospital in Texas. It was the day that I was supposed to go in for the pre-check-up before I did surgery. My wife and baby were going to come with me and our daughter was sick. My wife stayed home and I was feeling down that this day that we had all flown down to Texas to get this check-up. I felt mad at the universe that I have to go through this alone. The first person I talked to was the billing coordinator there. They said, “We do billing before we do anything else.” She said an insensitive thing as I was leaving, she said, “Take lots of pictures because you’re going to lose your hair.” I wasn’t supposed to have any hair removal done as a result of this. I was fuming.

I went down to get my blood drawn and I’m sitting in this chaotic scene where they’re calling names, there are people coming in and out and feeling down. I thought to myself, “As a mental health counselor, what would I tell my clients?” I’d probably tell them fake it until you make it. I’d say have some gratitude towards what you’re going through, look at your surroundings a little bit. I said, “Let’s see if this counseling junk works. I’m happy. Let’s think through the things I have to be grateful for.” I realized I had health insurance where we only had to pay our copay out of state at one of the best hospitals in the nation. When it came to cancer, it was one of the most treatable cancers that I could have.

We had the means and the savings to pay for our deductible. We didn’t have to host a spaghetti dinner. It was at that moment that I realized the power of reframing what’s happening and how I had followed the path that had been given to me. I had done everything right. I had done the honors college, all the whole resume and I still landed on a job that felt like there’s something lacking here. Many helping professionals feel that. I realize that this small blog that I had started had a lot more potential than what I had given it to at that point. At that point, I was sharing what I was learning. I’d read a business book, I had to apply it to my practice publicly. I realized that there was something there that was needed but also lit me up on the inside.

What was that?

FTC 173| Starting A Podcast
Starting A Podcast: People’s bottoms and the stress they’re willing to endure is different than what other people may have.


It’s helping people design a life that they want. It feels like it’s imbalanced with the kind of living that they want, while still respecting the values that they hold dear. I think back to when I was in college, I sold the vacuum cleaners door to door. I was taught all these sales techniques on how to get someone that lives in a trailer to understand that a $3,000 vacuum was going to save them money. It rubbed me the wrong way. I felt slimy. That was my first and for a long time only interaction with entrepreneurship and the business world. I had associated selling people junk they don’t need at a price that’s way over the price of what it should be and using people for a financial transaction as being what business is. A lot of people have experienced that.

I was going to say this is where the conflict comes up in many people’s minds when it comes to selling. The thing that you felt when you tried to sell that overpriced vacuum cleaner to someone in a trailer park is the same thing that many people feel when they try to sell anything. Try and sell a $10,000 coaching program or $100,000 Power Tribe certification system. You go through those feelings. For me, it came down to this one phrase, “Sales is not something you do to somebody. It’s something you do for somebody.” Once I fully understood that, once I fully realized that the thing I’m about to sell somebody is going to change some lives in a powerful way, then my complete perspective shifted.

At that point, I realized that sales are now a moral obligation to do good for another. If I were to botch up this call and don’t close this particular client, then their lives are going to suffer and their family lives are going to suffer and maybe their employee’s lives are going to suffer too. It’s a difficult perspective to take when you’ve been stuck with the wrong one most of your life. I truly understand where you’re coming with from that and it’s a tough place to be. Joe, you said you liked your job and it sounds like you loved your work. How did you feel about your paycheck?

One of the other switches for me was when I realized that every year that I stayed at the college, I was going to make less money. That the health insurance prices were going up. That the amount that I had to contribute to the retirement system of the State of Michigan for people that were retiring was going up percentage-wise. The raises weren’t even keeping up with that combination of inflation, the cost of health insurance and the cost of me putting into a retirement system that I may never see. The only way that I was going even to make more money, it wasn’t going to be staying in that position that I would make less money every single year as a result of all those other factors. It was terrible. I’m there with the responsibility of the mental health when there’s a potential active shooter and I’m getting maybe $50,000 a year at that point. It’s amazing how the dean of students or the president wants to lean on you when there’s a psychotic student that’s making threats against teachers but then they don’t reflect that in the paycheck. For me, I knew I had to come up with an exit plan to take the skills that I had and present them to the world and help people in a different way.

To me the most important thing, you are married, you have a wife. You have a child and now probably two from I’m hoping that your second child did finally come along. When you do the math, you would have to support that entire family in a lifestyle on less than $4,000 a month. That’s less than $3,000 a month with all the deductions and taxes. It’s a challenge. Readers of the show know that I’m a big advocate of kicking that JOB in the BUTT and doing something proactive and getting out of your way and finding your place in this world where your true gifts can shine. Joe, tell us a little bit about your true gifts. Tell us what you now do and some of the results you’ve been able to get with your clients.

Some of the first steps for me were to understand that the 40-hour workweek was not designed necessarily for me to thrive. I was super risk-averse having two kids at the time. The idea of leaving my job was scary. I did an experiment which I’ve found is something that a lot of top entrepreneurs do is they do experiments. They don’t see it as pass-fail. When our second child was born, I used the full Family and Medical Leave Act for six months to work twenty hours a week, which covered our health insurance to see if I could leave that job and make it work. That first month that I didn’t work 40 hours that I worked twenty hours instead.

I made more money than I had ever made a total in my entire career. The next month, the exact same thing happened and the next month, even more. I finally said to my wife, “I’ve run the numbers and to match that full-time job, I need to have eight clients in my private practice.” She said, “I’m with you, I’ve always been with you. You’ve got to be the one that decides this.” Her go-ahead while also looking at the numbers helped me leave that job. My skills came in when I realized that the majority of people that made money during the gold rush were the people that sold the services to people to support the gold rush.

It’s getting all the pickaxes, you hear that a lot in business. That’s not a new concept but I thought, “What do I wish I had when I started my practice?” The initial offerings that I did were things that help people start, grow and scale their practices. The thing that got me on the map had my podcast. I was the first podcast in my specialty for people in private practice. Now, there are probably twelve or thirteen. I’ve been one of the first guests on all of them. That then immediately took me from being this Northern Michigan guy to a guy that’s interviewing experts that are being aligned with those experts. That’s where I started to see that as my clients started to level up more and more. That they were missing out on an entire arm of an opportunity of taking these clinical skills, these healing skills in their sessions and saying, “I don’t want to sit in the chair all the time. I don’t want my pay to be determined on me being here.”

When people say they don't have the money, what they're really saying is they don't have the time to put into learning those things. Click To Tweet

There are many people that are therapists, counselors, coaches, they only make money when they sit in the chair and they do the work. If their kid’s sick, if they’re sick, if they’re on vacation, they’re not making money. They even exchanged one job for another job because if you don’t show up at work, you don’t get paid in both situations versus creating a business, creating a lifestyle and some passive income, they can come in some predictable ways. That passion then happened first in my own life, where I realized this entire model that I’ve been sold is not necessarily true for me. For some people, they want a job. They want to stick with it. They like that security. Those aren’t my people that I’m talking to. I’m talking to people that have big ideas that say, “I don’t want to serve these people one-on-one. I want to go big with this.” It’s amazing to see people when they understand the impact that they can have on the world.

Joe, everything you’re saying I would agree with, I would echo your sentiments entirely. There have been many people out there who try to help others get out of that place. Why are you successful at it?

I have started with being a co-learner and naturally saying what the next step in this journey is? If we go back to the vacuum example, why a lot of people don’t feel like they enjoy sales is because they’ve started with the product. Whereas I suggest to people, they start with the people and the pain. If you don’t even care what you’re going to sell and you get to know your audience and say, “I know what starting a practice is like. I’ve been through it, I did a long, hard, difficult way and you can do it faster. Here’s what I learned.” I’m starting with the pain. It stinks to start a private practice and fail when you have these big ideas. Let me show you how to make that easier versus I have a product that I’ve got to try to squeeze you into. The vacuum in a trailer park versus people have dirty floors and maybe a $20 vacuum would be better than no vacuum. For me, what I started with was higher-end products, one-on-one consulting.

I had a low-end product that was $17 and it was an automated email series. Over time, I’ve listened to my audience and filled in the gaps between them. If someone says no to individual consulting, that’s too much for me. I have a product that I can sell them down into that I legitimately think is going to help them still. It may be a little bit slower. They may have to put in a little extra work because when you’re doing the one-on-one, you’re paying for speed and access and all of that. Being able to fill in the gaps from free podcast listeners all the way up to done-for-you podcasting services, there’s a step down at every single area where someone says no or yes. If they say, “I want to go faster,” I can say, “Awesome. I have something that is legitimately going to give you a good ROI,” or “I have a step down that you’re going to have to bootstrap it a little more, but it’s cheaper. You’re going to still get it done.”

Everything that you’re saying makes a lot of sense but a lot of people get hung up with the money. They say, “I’m not making a lot of money. I know I want to transition out of this job and I know I want to build a coaching consulting practice or offer my services independently but I need to buy something in order to do that.” What do you say to that? Can people get started for a little bit of money instead of a lot of money?

For me, when you look at the difference between blogging, you’re having a YouTube channel and having a podcast, the statistical difference is pronounced. If you look at a blog, we’re looking at around 660 million blogs out there. If that was an object, that would be a six-foot-tall person compared to a YouTube channel. The statistical equivalent is King Kong, who’s 104 feet tall. Whereas podcasts that have had an active podcast in the last 90 days, that’s the equivalent jump to Mount Everest, which is 30,000 feet tall. For me, when I hear stats, that’s fine but I like to give objects to it because the difference between being six-foot-tall or Mount Everest is pronounced. If someone wants to bootstrap it and set up their podcast, I would suggest a quality mic. If you’re super cheap, even the headphones or the earbuds that you get with your phone are at least decent for starting out.

FTC 173| Starting A Podcast
Starting A Podcast: The easiest way to generate revenue is to use the trust you have built with your audience to sell them into your own products.


I wouldn’t recommend it. If someone said, “I don’t want to spend too much.” You’re talking about $15 a month to host the podcast and then the rest of what you’re paying for is ease of service, maybe a website. If you want to have other people manage your social media, you’re then choosing to exchange your money for that time to do it. When it comes to podcasting, YouTube videos, creating infographics for Pinterest, those are all things people can do themselves easily now. When people say, “I don’t have the money,” what they’re saying is, “I don’t have the time to put into learning those things,” or “I don’t want to do those things.”

What I found is you got to wait for them to be frustrated enough with their life situation. I’ve had friends in college that they made a lot of dumb decisions and ended up in jail a bunch of times and it’s like, “Your bottom is way lower than my bottom.” When one of my friends got locked up the third time and I went to a good school and I’m like, “How are my friends getting locked up at all?” It was one of those things where his bottom was way lower than my bottom. If I had even had to talk to a police officer, I would’ve shaped up versus him going to jail three times. People’s bottoms and the stress they’re willing to endure is different than what other people may have.

Joe, it sounds like we have a lot of the same friends. That’s the bad news. The good news though is that you can start at any business with relatively little money. What people should spend money on is, as you said, I like the word accelerate. For example, if someone wants to start a podcast, they could go on YouTube and look up podcasting and pick up a couple of good tips. They might even schedule an interview and do their best even though they’ve never done it before. You could hire someone, a coach of sorts, to accelerate your process and your progress to the point where you’ve skipped a lot of steps now and a lot of mistakes and time. Since this is a learning show and what we do is put our guests on the spot and have them take us through their process. Let’s say that this was a client engagement and you are now working with a new client who wants to get started, get out of the hole that they’re in. Where do you start?

I would first start by talking through what type of podcasts would give them the biggest bang for their buck. I’m going to take you through five phases that we would want to have that podcast launch go through. First and foremost, you want to make sure that your podcast is aligned with your business. Let’s say you do landscaping in the Chicago area. You don’t want to have a podcast that’s all about landscaping techniques. Unless you’re saying, “My big goal is to start consulting with landscapers.” If you’re trying to attract local people to come to your business, you want a podcast that’s going to be around something local. It could be architecture and landscaping of the Chicago area and you interview people locally because that’s going to pull in a local clientele versus if you’re saying, “I’m good at doing hardwood floors and I’m sick of doing hardwood floors and my back is starting to hurt. I’m going to start the hardwood floor consultant podcast.”

You’re going to interview people about different things. You may do a YouTube channel. Starting with who should and who shouldn’t do a podcast and what kind of podcasts to me is so important. How is the podcast going to be an extension of you to bring in new clients and be a part of the funnels that hopefully you’ve already created? Second, I want to help people make sure that they identify what is the best use of their time and what’s the worst use of their time? In the beginning, a lot of people that want to bootstrap it may have to do all ten things that take to launch a podcast. At a certain point, you need to know when you need to start removing hats actively from what you’re doing. At that time you’re at least saying, “Right now, I’m designing the show notes for each show. Within 3 or 4 months, I want to be bringing in this much revenue to then pay someone $15 or $20 an hour, to make those show notes for me.” Actively taking hats off so that eventually you show up, you do your show, and then everything else is taken care of by your team or by a team that you outsource it to.

That makes a lot of sense. That’s what I’d do. I did start trying to do everything myself because I knew how, but that’s the bad reason. You know how but what’s more important is this is the best use of your time. That’s where the big advantage comes. Right now, I pay a team to put together all of my show notes. If you look at each page, Joe, they’re pretty well done and I’m happy with the work that they do. There’s another important element of show notes that most people don’t realize. Show notes skyrocket your keyword population under Google search engines.

You teach people to slow down because it makes you more effective when you speed up. Click To Tweet

Every single show adds to my top ten keywords list. What that happens to do is grow and grow which brings more and more people organically to the MitchRusso.com website and to every single show that I’ve ever recorded. I have shows that I recorded almost two years ago that still get listens to this day because people find them on iTunes and find them on Google. All of these little things that you might do to cut corners have a long-term implication if you don’t do them right. I fully agree with you. Once you understand that formula, what is the next step?

Phase one, once you determine a little bit of the direction, is discovering your main message. When you’re planning out a podcast, you want to organize it. What we use is Trello. There are lots of other project management software out there but what you want to do is you want to explore the overall message, the brand and what your initial offering is going to be as a result of the podcast. From there, you want to build out a unique website specifically for the podcast. The people coming to your podcast may not be the same people they’re going to be coming to. If you’re a counselor, your counseling site. You want to evaluate, do you need a separate website or should it come through your main website? My suggestion during this phase is to sketch out a nine-part email series or email course. The reason I say nine is that you can easily have three parts. They each have three emails in it.

From day one, I want you to be capturing people’s emails and to build that trust beyond the listener base. Right away, when we work with people and we’ve seen this work over and over again, to have a nine-part email course is helpful. Part one might be what’s the initial problem and how did we get here? It could be if you are a therapist or a counselor, maybe you’re working with people that have dealt with trauma. Maybe your course is going to be, what’s the common trauma that people come with? Here are three emails about that. What are some quick wins for people that help them feel better? The next three emails might be about that. Part three might be, what are long-term habits that have to be developed so that we don’t feel this way again or we at least understand what to do if we start to feel this way? That gives you a clear call to action. After you build out those nine parts then you’re going to make your email opt-in. That’s going to be a PDF that is going to take people through a process that’s going to help them feel like they’ve gone from their pain to that there’s some hope or some outcomes ahead of you.

I want to be clear, the perspective that you’ve described is for someone who might be a therapist who wants to create a show for potential clients. It would not be the show that you would create for other therapists.

That’s where you want to start with who you’re trying to target. If you’re starting with, I want to help other therapists learn about trauma and I want to sell an eCourse about trauma, then you want to have that course be outlined. From the beginning of the podcast to then the email opt-in where we’re doing an email course to then connecting with those clients or potential clients to then selling them into an eCourse or a membership community or something else. All throughout, we want it to be a consistent message. If you’re a therapist in private practice and your podcast is about trauma but you want it aimed at counselors instead of people that may be potential clients, you’re going to want a different website than your counseling website. Whereas, if someone is a public speaker and they speak about a specific part of the business and then they have a podcast that’s also about that same part of business, you want that to all be on the same website.

That makes complete sense. Once you have a podcast or once you set up this idea or this business model, which is what it is, as to who you want to attract with your show, how do you then use the show to generate revenue for you?

There are a few different ways that people generate revenue. I would say that the easiest one is to use that trust you’ve built with your audience to sell them into your products. A lot of people will start with affiliates or sponsors, which are all fine and we can talk about those. More times than not, I’ve seen that a membership community is a way that you can scale the profitability of a podcast quickest. What that might look like is that you may invite people to join your free email course and then maybe two or three times a year you open up people into that membership community. You have to decide what the transformation that they experienced is and what’s it worth to them. For example, we have a membership community that’s specifically for therapists starting a practice.

They’re under $100,000. They pay $88 a month. The next year we’re raising it to $99. They get access to over 30 eCourses. We have several live events each month that get recorded that they can also watch. Every month they get some tools of the trade. That could be a logo for free. It could be that we create images for their blog posts and they get something that we feel is worth more than the cost that they pay. By having 350 people in that paying $88 a month, I then have predictable income coming in and can continue throughout the podcast to have people get on our new private or practice email lists where they get great free information. A few times a year we opened up membership and then have 50 to 100 people join during that time.

FTC 173| Starting A Podcast
Starting A Podcast: When the things you are passionate about, the ways you make money, and the lifestyle you want to live are all in alignment, it becomes better for your clients, for yourself, and for the community.


That’s pretty simple. It’s a straightforward process. It seems like it’s working but the trick is that you have to provide valuable content month after month or else you will lose members. Membership retention is a whole topic by itself. The simplest way of retaining members is to constantly provide value and even increase the number of value people get as time goes on. That is how I’ve maintained my membership sites in the past. That’s how the best who run these types of sites are doing it now. Would you agree?

I would agree. The one-piece that I think people overlook is how little people read. Basic communication and making sure that you say the same thing in many different places is important. For example, we send out an email at the beginning of each month with all of the events coming up that month. We send out a weekly email on Monday morning saying everything that’s happening that week. We have our Facebook group image changed to have all of the events on there for the month. We set up Facebook events in there as well. We have a Google calendar people can subscribe to. Someone might not check their email once a week, which is unfortunate, but if they don’t, we want to still catch them in the Facebook group or through the Google calendar. Even those logistics of how do you onboard people? How do you make sure they feel like they know what they’re getting? How do we keep them up to date with our communication? I wouldn’t say it’s more important than the content, but I’d say it’s a key part of why people drop out because they didn’t pay attention to how to log into things.

That shortlist that you rattled off is valuable. That’s the thing that comes from experience and what you’re doing now, Joe, is you’re giving us a shortcut here. You’re helping people who maybe have never had the experience of building any membership system to learn from you. I appreciate that. The most important thing of all though, is that you are a guy with a job who made the decision to break away and do something for yourself by yourself. Readers, this has been an incredible success for Joe and it will be for you too, as long as you’re patient, as long as you do it slowly, as long as you keep your job. Remember now, we’re entrepreneurs. We can work a half-day. That means eight hours at work and four hours after work on our gig.

I work three days a week and work six hours each day. You’re talking to the wrong guy. I take four day weekends every weekend.

Good for you. I’m talking about the beginners now who need to get their side hustle up and running so that it can replace their salary similar to what you did.

It’s important to focus on the right things early on. For the first three years of the podcast, I joked that I was a nap-preneur that while my wife was napping and my baby was napping, I was upstairs recording podcasts. It takes that hustle but a lot of people get addicted to that hustle. That’s why I find myself pushing back so hard. We even have a conference called Slow Down School because I see that when people rein in the hustle and slowdown and genuinely turn off their phones for a period of time to let their brains rest. The amount they get done after that rest and the neuroscience supports it is so pronounced that I don’t want people to get trapped in that hustle mentality too much.

That’s such a good tip. I blocked off every Friday on my calendar to take that day off. I’m working four days a week and I expect to get that down. I want to be like Joe. I want to work three days a week. I’m on my way, Joe. Thanks for the encouragement there. It helps.

When I first tried that out, I had to set clear boundaries. When you love your work, like you and I, Mitch both do, it’s so easy to get sucked in. I was at home, my wife was off doing errands, the kids were at school and I thought, “I could do some emailing. I could brainstorm a little bit about Podcast Launch School. You teach people to slow down because it makes you more effective when you speed up.” I did a daily meditation. I read a book that I’d wanted to work on. I worked on a painting and I feel like I’ve been more effective than if I had jumped right into the emails like I have that natural tendency to do.

It’s a non-intuitive hack because it feels like you’re doing less, but you get more done. It’s worth it. This has been great and I’m sure that some of what you shared will have an immediate impact on people reading to the blog. Readers, if you’ve made a decision now after hearing Joe speak, would you go and Speak to Mitch? Would you go and hit that red button on Joe’s show page and tell us what you thought about, tell us what you decided, and tell us a little bit about what you’re going to do. Let us be your accountability coach in a sense.

Make a statement about who you’re going to be going forward and I will celebrate it with you. I promise. Joe, we’re at the point in the show where we get to know you a little bit better. The way we do that is we use a couple of snarky questions, if you will, something to think about. What’s interesting is that the answers are always revealing. Here’s the first one, Joe. Who, in all of space and time, would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch or an intense conversation with?

It would be all three of those things. My grandma, she’s the one who died in 2012. She was one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. If I could have an hour with her, that would be amazing. She was someone that we would have agreements and disagreements around politics, religion, all sorts of things. Even to hear her thoughts on the current political climate or the current religious climate or even what she’s pondering. What I’ve pondered now having not seen her for a few years that would be a magnificent conversation with her.

When people rein in the hustle and slowdown to let their brains rest, the amount they get done after is so pronounced. Click To Tweet

Joe, I wanted to tell you about a little project that I did many years ago. When I was a young man, I realized that I was still in the beginning stages of creating a life. I made this decision after being inspired after hearing something on the radio that inspired me to do this. I walked into a nursing home and I asked someone at the front desk if it would be okay if I could talk to some of the residents. I brought a box of candy with me. I said to the woman at the front desk, I said, “Would you mind if I had some casual conversations with some of the residents here? I have a little candy for them as well.” She lit right up into and said, “They would enjoy that.” 

I spent a few months of going in on the afternoons, maybe weekly, sometimes every other week, sometimes twice a week. Finding a single person and hopefully the ones I’d be talking to could stay awake long enough to finish the conversation. What I discovered was an unbelievable wealth of wisdom that would have never been available to me any other way. I enjoyed that process. I grew so much more than the little bit of candy and company that I gave back for that purpose. I understand why you’d like to speak to grandma. We’re at the grand finale. It’s that change the world question. Here it comes. What is it that you are doing or would like to do that truly has to potential to literally change the world?

I genuinely believe that when people understand how the things that they’re passionate about, the ways that they make money and the lifestyle they want to live when those all can align, it’s better for them personally. It’s better for whoever their clients are, whatever they’re selling. It’s better for them because it’s aligned with their value system. It’s genuinely better for communities because the number of people that move along through their jobs or even their businesses, they don’t step back and say, “Is this the kind of life I want to live? How can I sketch it out differently? How can I impact more people?” Those are important questions. When I work with people and we look at their income, they’re innovation, their influence and their impact.

It helps them see that there are a lot of domains that maybe are lacking or that could be improved. To see people that have changed their lives when we’ve worked together, where they went from working 60 hours a week. This one guy, I remember, he was at slowdown school and we sketched out a way that within three months he could work half as much. He called his wife and they were both crying on the call and now we’re great friends. He’s no longer a consulting client. He’s a buddy. To see a life change like that by aligning who he is as a person naturally, how he wants to make money and by looking at the impact on the world. To me, there’s nothing better that one can do but help coach people through that.

That is an incredible goal. I want to be like Joe. Readers, if you want to be like Joe too, then I hope you follow the incredible wisdom that he shared in the show. Joe, I understand that you have something free for our readers. Can you tell us what that is?

We’ve put together a guide to help you consider whether podcasting is right for you. They’re 27 tips, tricks and stats that will help you evaluate whether podcasting is something that you want to do. Most of the guides that you can download out there, they start with ordering this microphone, here’s the spot to fill in the blank for your title. We back up way farther before that and ask the question of when should and when shouldn’t you start a podcast? There are a lot of people that probably shouldn’t waste their time on it. Our goal is that you sort through the why, the way that it’s going to help your audience, the way you’re going to connect with your ideal client. If you decide that you do want a podcast, there are some great tips in there to help you get started. People can get that over at PodcastLaunchSchool.com. It’s the only opt-in there. You can get that full 27 tips that we’ll send you. We also do have a nine-part email course that comes after that. It walks you through the first steps in getting a podcast going if that’s something you’re interested in.

Joe, thank you so much for the time you spent and the incredible wisdom that you shared with our readers. I can’t wait until we get a chance to talk again soon.

Mitch, thank you so much.

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