According to Wikipedia, the American Top 40 radio show at one point was played by over 430 radio stations across the world. Countries such as America, Canada, China, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Australia, and many more would play the best music from that week and it was hosted by none other than Shaggy from the original Scooby Doo cartoon, Casey Kasem. We look at that number now, 430 countries, and that is not so impressive with our ability to reach every country across the world; furthermore, radio stations have had to share their space with Pandora, Spotify, IHeartRadio, and podcasts leaving a small space for world famous Dj and radio hosts, such as Casey. This week, I want to focus on podcasts, they have become our most popular tool for learning on the go and entertainment. In fact, the website Podcasts Insights tracks the data and according to their research there are 850,000 podcasts as of January 1st and an estimated 51% of Americans have listened to a podcast (144 million people), but I don’t need to convince you...trendy, up to date, reader (Insights). Let’s dive into some of the podcasts that have been helping me get my life in order!
I think it is best to go in influential order here, so let’s begin with Donald Miller the creator of Story Brand. I have consumed all of his content, but focusing on the podcast, he helps people through narration - by helping the audience tell and shape their own story. It is imperative that we know our story, that it is clear, that it is POSITIVE, and that this self actualization helps us make decisions that are in our best interest. I buy into the idea, with my fancy English degree somewhere in a closet, because I love the idea of living our lives through story - better yet that we are in charge of that story and have so much control over what happens and our own mindset on our journey. On the show he brings on experts in negotiating, in conflict resolution, on charity, and so many other experts that will help us build on our own story. Therefore, I have built much of my business and life around these concepts, even before I got hooked on his content I was practicing the story concepts, but now I have the ability to actualize the concepts with clarity.
Next, if you don’t mind the F-word then the Gary Vee show is amazing for life and entrepreneurship. The way I explain Gary’s show to people is that he has slippets of content to change your mindset, putting you in charge, letting you be as comfortable with losing as the wins, how to reframe your every situation to allow you to accept yourself and actions. He will go on a rant, it will feel random, just passion and life lessons - then - BAM he will hit a line that will perpetuate him into content that will change your lifeset. You have to dig in, really listen, sort through the raw language and rants to get to the juice that will impact you in a positive way. I usually listen to him at the end of a tough day, Fridays, weekends because it puts me in the right mindset to be successful but also has more of an entertainment factor than the more straight educational tone that some of the other podcasts that I tune into.
Let’s do one more review, Tom Bilyeu and the amazing interviews that he has on Impact Theory podcast. I can not always buy into what he preaches, cold morning showers, bake pizza in front of me when I am fasting, and other masochistic habits, but what I will say is that he brings on the show some of the most influential and inspiring people I have heard speak. Also, his interview skills are some of the most effective than any podcaster as well, digging deeper into the more meaningful topics of conversation - most importantly letting his guest be the star and talk most. I often find myself consuming the guests content right after the show as well, not just listening and then moving-on.
There are certainly more, Brian Buffini, Pat Flynn (also excellent!), Tim Ferriss, TedTalks, et cetera, but this week I want to focus on the top three. It is becoming the trend that the podcasts that you follow reflect who you are, what you want to learn, surround yourself with and consume - so I hope these three we reviewed today will help you try something new. Nearly gone are the days of radio broadcasts who dictate what you hear and when you hear it, a DJ playing their favorite tunes or covering topics that they enjoy. Podcasts and online radio have put us in control, we get to learn and grow by choosing what we want to consume...just another amazing aspect of technology. Finally, of course, if YOU have some favorites please feel free to share and we will be sure to check them out as well!
For the record, I am a big fan of black and white movies and Rolo Candy! Wait, no, that’s not the transparency on tap for today. The focus today is on the explanation, the meaning of transparency as it pertains to business and growth. We are all constantly walking the line of transparency and boring our audience with the manusha of the tedious elements of our job - as we know there is always a fun and boring side to every job. For example, we want to explain how signing on the dotted line will affect the warranty of their new purchase, but there is no need to go through the contract line for line and explaining the legal jargon of how lawyers define the word warranty. So this week, let’s discuss the importance of transparency and how to decide what the client needs to know...for FREE as Gary V will tell you.
Educated clients are the best kind of clients - just think, not having to explain the entire process of how something works, wasting time on longer meetings, how to buy the item, best use practices, and the general cost - basics. Skipping past the basics with an educated client will give you a chance to expound on the product, go into detail, really dig deep and challenge yourself when helping your client - fun. Fortunately, we have public and free platforms available for you to cover the basics of your product (take your pick: Facebook to Pintrest and then some), educate an entire mass audience, build trust so when you have that face to face meeting, when it is time to make the purchase, it is a better experience for you and the client. Plus, let’s face it people that are interested in your product are going to find out about it, educate themselves regardless whether you are the one putting the content out - so the information may as well be coming from you. Plus, they are much more likely to make the purchase once they feel comfortable and confident that they know what they are getting themselves into and how it can benefit their life. So there is no need to keep secrets around here.
Sure, it is important and easier for us to have educated clients - but what do they NEED to know versus what will put them to sleep? First place to start is by making a list of the most popular questions you get about your product and service, simple right, those are the things that your audience needs to know. Next, make a list of benefits or reasons why your clients need your product, also good for transparency. However, let’s do another list that you may be thinking of and come up with some of the negatives, some of the things that your audience needs to be careful of when experiencing your product. Don’t fear a reduction in sales, do not believe that this will talk people out of reaching out to you, but just the opposite as it helps create trust with your client. They need to also know the down side, no product or service is perfect, and by educating them on the possible negatives then they are prepared and you are less likely to get that complaint call to come put out a sales fire. You can even take it a step further and go over ways to help limit the down side, how to deal with the negative features to help maximize the client experience with you - embrace it. Quick review on how to keep your educated client’s attention: most frequent questions, benefits of the product, and the down side with steps to deal with that. Full transparency means an educated client that understands how your product or service can make their life better.
Finally, as we wrap it up let’s talk about free education. This week we are not getting into the details, I mean you have unlimited ways to reach an audience (flyers, pictures, videos, memes, testimony, holograms - endless options) and on various platforms (facebook, Instagram, Pintrest, Tic-Tok, lots), so the advise this week will consist of two things: find a platform that your friends/family/clients are on, and produce content that you find FUN. Simple. We have already reviewed what content to use, frequent questions, positives, down sides, so you have plenty of material to educate. Also, be sure to have a call to action somewhere in the material, such as how to get a hold of you, for when the audience is ready to take that next step and sit down with you. As we wrap it up this week, transparency means when you sit down with the client they had the opportunity to learn all about your product, they are knowledgeable, and they are ready to ask you detailed questions about how it will make their life better...and you can help them as their trusted consultant and local expert. I see you there transparency!
It is common in our culture to use the phrase “Yin and Yang of life” to mean that there is balance, for every uphill there is a downhill on the other side. However, the true meaning is that one is part of another and that to be whole they must be ingrained; for example, the yin of an ocean wave is the trough as it builds speed to the yang which is the crest of the wave before it crashes - you can not have one without the other or else it is merely water. To apply yin and yang to the New Year, we have goal setting and habits to set in place during the slow January as our yin, if we want to reap the benefits and enjoy the hustle of December which is our yang. It is difficult to not have one without the other, and if we fail to set up our positive habits in January then we are setting ourselves up for a less prosperous year. So, how do we take advantage of a slow January…?
First of all, if you have been following my emailer you know that there is no such thing as New Year’s resolutions, we don’t do them as they set us up to fail. Instead we set up our one goal to achieve this year (it is a good idea to set up personal and professional) and then the activities to obtain that one goal. Therefore, January becomes the time to set up the activities you believe will help you reach your goal and then start setting up the productive habits. So, for example, if your goal is to get a 5% raise at work and you believe by getting to work 30 minutes early, volunteering to run a difficult project per month, and tracking your weekly productivity will help you get that raise then January is the best time to put those habits into place. Sounds easy right...well...good. If you need to wake up 30 minutes earlier, set the alarm sooner, in fact you can even put your television on a timer to shut off at a certain time in the evening - a stern reminder that the zombie box is not as important as getting to work early. Then a checklist of what activities you need to complete first thing in the morning when arriving to work, as I doubt getting there early is all it takes for that raise, you need to do something with your time. Therefore, we are going to spend time this January setting up our alarm, the television timer, and the checklist of morning activities - creating the habits we need to achieve our one goal (similar process for the other activities- set them up, how are they done, create habit steps with physical reminders). Boom, done.
Some humble tips to creating the habits we need: incorporate technology to automate as much as possible. Your phone has an alarm, your television has a timer, and your computer has apps and calendars to make checklists. I take it one step further with calendar ticks: putting reminders in my checklist app to do an activity at a certain time of day with a loud bell reminder, then if the task can not be done at that moment, it stays on my checklist until it gets completed. Keep it simple: do not make the activities so arduous that it is easy to talk yourself out of doing them, it should not take a lot of effort to achieve your one goal...setting up a television timer takes three minutes, then once it turns off, go to bed. Give yourself cheat days: if you remain consistent, stick to the plan, even the strongest willed people slip. So set up times, like Saturday and Sunday, to sleep in a bit, finish watching that show, whatever you choose to miss can be made up. Under the same category, things come up in life, a friend visits from out of town, your parents invite you to dinner, PLEASE attend your kid’s baseball game, there is a play you really want to see - do it. You will have the systems in place to get right back into the habits that you believe will make you successful - your alarm is still set, the checklist is still at work, get on it. Remember that success is a choice.
Mid-way through January at this point, do not fret if you have not made the goal clear, if you have not set up the habits and activities yet - yesterday is the best day to start something, next best day is today. Again, start simple, make the activities that support your goal routine, which will give you the opportunity to build on them later. There is absolutely no reason to sit around January waiting for St. Patrick’s Day to roll around before you start becoming productive. One goal, activities to support it, and what habits do you need to act - done - start. Enjoy your week, stay successful.
The odds that you get struck by lightning is 1 in 700,000, getting hit by a meteor is 1 in 3,000, only 12 of the 18,300 NASA applicants became astronauts in 2019, and I won’t dare dash your hopes for the lottery. And I would venture to guess the odds that you, at this moment, need the services that I help provide are pretty slim as well - maybe not meteor in the head slim, but not too far off. Therefore, I find other ways to help people, to contribute to my community - there are options such as charity and volunteer work, of course my favorite form of community work is helping local businesses market and succeed. So how does that look exactly? I got started by volunteering to help local businesses make short commercials, interview style, that gave them a platform to talk about themselves and their passion. These short videos made for excellent advertising on social media, in email marketing, and to share with family/friends/clients when they were looking for someone personal and local.
At first, I was just techie enough to know how to make a video or two, but not enough to make them look professional...such as this one: https://youtu.be/ItqcqySJro4 (wow, pre-grey hair!), then as we got better and did many more, such as this one https://youtu.be/MOn1BcpPvBU, the videos became a useful marketing tool for local businesses all over the area. What I love the most about helping local businesses is their passion, they could easily spend hours talking about what they do and why they do it, who they help and how they got started - such positive energy!
Then, as my team grew and I had a chance to get even more organized we took the video concept to the next stage, which we started to call business pop-ups. We have started going into local businesses each month, bringing all of our friends, clients, anyone in the community into a business to try it out. Oh, you did not know there was a tea shop in the beach -- WELL come try it out on us! You have never been to the brewery before -- WELL let’s do a crabcake event there! And here is where we take the positive energy, mix it with gratitude and make volunteering as rewarding as possible. I don’t mean gratitude from the business, but that I have towards the business for letting us into their “home,” for the trust that the show as we are help them bring in people that will benefit from their services - that’s a leap of faith. Imagine, you spend countless hours, no such thing as overtime, you dug real deep into the savings account, put your sweat into your idea, and then someone you just met wants to fill your house full of guests...that takes trust.
I know you might not need me right now, that you have the similar odds of finding a lost dog today, but I still want to bring value to your life somehow - by bringing some of these amazing people, their products and ideas to you to enjoy the local community...that is my favorite way to give back. Being able to meet the entrepreneur who made your food, to talk with the owner face to face and see their passion; people that have children in your school, that volunteer at the high school football games, donate to Project Echo, give their time to the Marine Museum - those are the people I want to support in any way I can...and that is part of my mission: to support the community and help our local businesses grow. See you at the next pop up!