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Jeff Large, Voiceover, Alastair McDermott
Jeff Large 00:00
There’s tons of tangible, practical, strategic things you can do. But if your foundation isn’t straight, it’s gonna be really hard to be successful with the rest of it.
Welcome to The Recognized Authority, a podcast that helps specialized consultants and domain experts on your journey to become known as an authority in your field. So you can increase your reach, have more impact and work with great clients. Here’s your host, Alastair McDermott.
Alastair McDermott 00:24
Hey, folks, it’s August, as the summer winds down and we’re getting ready for September, I’m getting ready for a new intake into Authority Labs. That’s a coaching group and tight knit community for independent consultants and experts. Were looking for coaching, accountability and peer support on your journey to authority. The next Authority Labs cohort will be starting in September. And if you’re a consultant or expert, and you’d like to build your authority and grow your income, have accountability and support around you while you do that, then this might be the right group for you. You can sign up for the interest list at TheRecognizedAuthority.com/group. Now on with the show. So today, my guest is Jeff large. And Jeff is the founder and CEO of Come Alive Creative. And his team helps marketers and founders with full service podcast production. Jeff, I’m really happy to have you on the show. I think you’re one of the the smartest marketing and podcasting guys that I talk to on a regular basis. And I love chatting with you. So I like the way you think about marketing. So thanks for coming on.
Jeff Large 01:26
I just realized, are we doing video too? Like is this been a video version of this?
Alastair McDermott 01:30
We have a video where we are recording video. And I hope that at some point, I have budget to go back and process all of those videos that we have. But we are recording video.
Jeff Large 01:40
Yeah, I know we are but I mean, do you plan on using it? Do you want me to be aware of myself while I’m doing pretty?
Alastair McDermott 01:49
Jeff Large 01:50
Okay, okay. Okay.
Alastair McDermott 01:50
Is that alright?
Jeff Large 01:51
No, it’s fine. It’s fine. I just forgot to ask before.
Alastair McDermott 01:55
That’s alright, you look good. So let’s see, we might leave that in. So
Jeff Large 01:59
Now that we’re good.
Alastair McDermott 02:00
Let me let me ask you,
Jeff Large 02:02
People look at all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes.
Alastair McDermott 02:06
Exactly. We might come back to that. But the first thing I want to ask you about is in the pre show, we were talking about a few different things that we could talk about. And value alignment is one of those and you were talking about how value alignment is really important to you in working with clients, clients that you choose, and all that kind of stuff. Can you talk a little bit about what you think about value alignment? And how that relates to what you do?
Jeff Large 02:25
Yeah, it’s key, it’s critical. We started using the origin story for that as we started using EOS. It’s like a framework business framework could be like Rockefeller habits or different things like that, I think I forget that books called scale up or something. The EOS book is called tractions, the main one, and then there’s Get a grip and like several other What the heck is us, there’s a bunch of books around it. We started using it, the end of 2019. And one of the things that they they do in there to kind of set your foundation is what are your values, get clear on your values. And a big reason for that is because especially if you have a team, like if you’re if you’re solo, you don’t really have to deal with us a whole lot. But if you have a team that you’re running, all of a sudden, it’s like how do you keep people accountable? What are you actually what’s the criteria that you’re going to judge their job on? And all these things, and even even to the extent of like, how are you going to make decisions as a business. And if you don’t have some sort of framework in place, it’s really easy to go all over the map. And so for us, I can just kind of list the room to sort of put it in context, we sat down. And it’s the other thing I guess I mentioned before I say ours is that a lot of companies that feels like they don’t matter, like it was just maybe some some higher up, sat down and made some words that sound cool and slap them on the website, but nothing they actually do reflects them. If you actually go through this process, pick something that matters to you. Because if you actually do it, it will become very evident throughout all of the decisions you make. So for ours in particular, we have charitable, knowledgeable, intentional and honest. And so we have definitions, each one it’s not super pertinent that I go through them. But that is the framework in which we work in which we hold ourselves accountable. Even myself, we from a quarterly basis, we go through the team like our might me and my leadership team will look at the team will judge everybody on those values. Basically you either get a minus which means you’re not doing it plus minus means you’re kind of doing it plus means you’re you’re good and so we kind of look at that or anytime we get stuck in our decision making where it’s like oh, there we go after a or do we go after be like will just default to the values and go okay, this is what we’re about make this choice and then we kind of don’t look back. And so taking the time to do that upfront, just helps and then especially from the client side, like we were asking me putting that out there and practicing it like living it from the first sales call like the first interaction like and even from the marketing side like we said to have my marketing be infused with it. People get to know me quickly. You and I have the benefit Have we’ve talked on and off for years now, with with different things and what you’ve had said this right before we started, as you know what I’m about, like, I’m pretty candid guy, I’m going to speak my piece, it might not always sit well with people, and that’s fine. But as, at the same time, people know that care, people know that I’m actually interested in their success and things along those lines. And so it just goes back to like, the one that I said integrity, like, I just really want to be somebody who does what he says and says what he does, and like kind of all those magical analogies and things like that. But to me, it’s like, I wouldn’t be able to run a business without values, like without a clear set of values of what are we about? And how do we function?
Alastair McDermott 05:41
Yeah, I think it’s really interesting, because I know that there is a, there’s a kind of a thing that goes with, you know, mission statements and vision statements picketing corporate websites, where people just think it’s a bunch of bullshit, you know, it’s doesn’t really like nobody, nobody there is actually living living those missions, or visions, or values. So, but yeah, I’ve done the same thing. Now, I’m not using Eos, the Entrepreneurial Operating System, for anybody who’s not familiar with that. I’m not actually doing EOS. But I do have values that I have shared with my team. And so for me, it’s fiduciary responsibility. So always putting best interests of clients and non clients before our own interests. Friendly, not just polite, so kinda compassionate. I think that’s important. Humor is there. And so for anybody who sees me on video, they know have Cartman behind me. He’s one of my favorite characters in South Park, and honesty and equality. Like one of the things I try and do with with honesty is just to be admit when I’m wrong and speak up. And then equality. One of the simple things I tried to do with equality is just to try and keep like the gender balance of the gender ratio of guests that I have on the show I try keep that a 50-50 is just a simple thing, and then just have like diversity and in the people that I bring on. So that’s how I try and live that with with the podcast. But I don’t actually have these mentioned on the website. So like, do you think it’s important to actually list them out there somewhere? Or? Or is it just something that you have internally,
Jeff Large 07:04
I, we have ours out there, I put mine out there, I run the risk of that, like I said, I’m just being like, whatever. But anybody, if somebody just if a random person, like I think you think of it as like UX, like user experience, if some random person who’s kind of scoping us out when looked at them, maybe they believe and maybe they wouldn’t, if a prospect who talked to me then saw them, they’d probably be like, huh, like they i My guess would be that they pick up on some of it and go actually, I think these might be legit, even if they give it the time of day. If somebody is applying to work on our team, that’s verbatim, I’m like, Look, these are our values. If you can’t get behind this, don’t bother applying because you won’t work here we’ve I’m trying to think we haven’t really lost anybody when I haven’t had to like straight fire anyone. It’s only happened maybe once or twice or something over the past. I mean, we’ve been in business now since like 2014. It has, we’ve always run kind of a small team. And it’s always been natural ebbs and flows, if anybody did have to go, it’s like something happened, where it’s like, it just made more sense for them to move on or change focus or something like that. It’s only been, like I said, once or twice where it was like straight a bad fit. And most of the time, we figured out it was a bad fit because of the value set. And it’s like, hey, look, this isn’t working here. Let’s come up with a plan on how to get you up to speed and improve that one. And then if it’s still not working, it’s like a I’m not sure what to tell you. But it’s we’re not quite there yet. And so I would say like, those are kind of the three buckets, I would put it in, I’m happy to put it out there because I’d rather it’s like one of the things I guess I get self conscious sometimes of like, Are people gonna think I’m blowing smoke, like, like you said, like, is it just bullshit, but I it’s not to me. And so I’m okay putting it out there. And if somebody’s gonna have a poor interpretation of it, or just blow it off, like, it doesn’t change anything, it’s still the way that we function. So that’s kind of my view on it.
Alastair McDermott 08:52
Yeah, I like it. I think it’s one of these things. I think it depends on where your cynicism dial is set. So some people are very cynical, and will will be cynical about that. And then some people will be will be much less. So. I’m not particularly cynical. So for me, I think it’s, you know, when I see it, I’ll take it at face value unless I see something counter to it. But yeah, I think it is it is interesting, because, like we do see these mission statements and vision statements, and some people, for some people, they’re hugely important for some organizations are hugely important. And then for others, it’s just, it’s just not at all, something that they even care about. So it’s interesting to think about that. How do you actually use that then when that comes to working with your clients on their podcast? Is that something that I’m actually what we should do is we should just clarify what what it is that you do for your clients first?
Jeff Large 09:41
Yeah, we focus on full service podcast production. So essentially, in layman’s terms, if you’re like crazy busy and you want to podcast, we’re the type of team that you want to talk to, because we’re looking at it from planning, production, promotion and tracking progress. Most of our clients either give us the idea, they’re like, Hey, this is what we were Want it to be about and we just make it, or they want to be the talent, they want to be the host similar to you, and the show, and they just show up for the interviews, and then we literally do everything else. And so that’s kind of the main ways that we’ve operated. We’ve played around a bit in the education space, just because I’m a former teacher and things. But every time I’ve attempted to do that, well, it’s it’s literally just making another business. And I’m always like, I don’t want to run another business. And so I get into it. And then I ended up just going back to the full service side. Because like I said, that’s a separate topic. But but that’s the main thing is we’re just helping people make podcasts. So and then going back, what was your original question again?
Alastair McDermott 10:36
Yeah. So so how, how do you bring your values into that? Or how did how did they impact on what you’re doing?
Jeff Large 10:42
Okay, so it’s easy stuff for me knowledgeable, practically speaking, I’m gonna go through and kind of how to, or we’re all dedicated specialists on our team. And I really, it’s dedicated specialist and lifelong learner. So the way that I look at this as our team is broken up, where if you are talking about our space, and this is true of me, I used to do web dev before this and so any, any specialty, any, any vertical industry, whatever creative type of thing runs into this, and they you can either be a generalist, or you can be a specialist, or you can be somewhere in between, you can be like the T-shaped marketer or some of those other different analogies that they talk about. But basically, our team is made up of people who are straight producers, who can take a show and rearrange it, and make a story out of it, and do all those types of things. They’re usually also good writers, I normally hire journalists to come in and be kind of like that dual part writer and producer, we have straight editors where the only thing that they do is that it we have people who are like more higher end editors, I’m not using all the technical names, but it’s like their music composers, and they do sound design and things as well. So when you hear the footsteps in the background, I mean, it’s like they’re sound engineers in that regard. We have people that are straight graphic designers, somebody who’s a dedicated project manager, my project manager is very good at marketing. But we’ve purposely kept him in a project manager operations role, because that’s his role. And like, what we found is like everybody’s knowledgeable in their trade, and we’re all open to learning. And so when really good trainings come along, it’s like, hey, well, we’ll cover that if you want to go learn it that like that kind of scenario. So that’s just one. One example. When it comes to, say, clients, when we’re looking at some of these other things like charitable, intentional honest, there’s plenty of decisions that would make a show terrible, that like just aren’t a good idea, or even to what you referenced putting the client first where I might be able to make some extra money. But if it’s not in the best interest of them, I’m going to tell them and it’s like, I think some some salespeople would probably cringe. But most of my sales calls don’t feel very salesy, because it’s literally just they get on the phone with me. And I’m like, Alright, how can I help? Like, here’s, here’s the format, I want to know what you’re about, I want to know why you think this is a good idea. I’ll answer any questions you have, by the end of this call, we’ll figure out if we’re a good fit, or if I need to send you somewhere else. Because there’s plenty of times where it isn’t a good fit. And sometimes I’m like, we’re too expensive. You don’t want to use us. But you could go use these companies that are more in line of what you want, or people are debating, I just had one of our existing clients there. They’re looking at reopening, or I think making a different podcast in a similar vertical. And they’re thinking about video. And I went and I analyze their page and their their page was like, super disengaged. And so I told them, I was like, Look, right now I just saw, I think a week or two ago that YouTube may have become the number one place for people to find a podcast, it was number three, I think it may be just pulled up rank to number one. And I’m like, so there’s this truth that’s just out there. Right now. It’s like one of the top three ways that you can find podcasts. However, your page is dormant. I don’t know if anything’s gonna happen. And personally, I don’t think it’s worth it yet. If you have a YouTube strategy that you plan on rolling out simultaneously to this show, let’s do it. But otherwise, I don’t think I’d do it if I was in your shoes. And so I mean, I’m leaving a lot of money on the table by saying we’re not going to do the video component to it, but it wasn’t in their best interest in my opinion. And so it’s like, those are some of those practical things where I’m a pretty big believer in the value when you do people, right? It’s it’s just a better way to live, like, and then especially do business and things and so I can go to bed at night feeling good. Even if I might not be as wealthy as I couldn’t be like all these different things. It’s like I said, I mean, and that just kind of goes back to the value set and what is actually important.
Alastair McDermott 14:29
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well, I think, I think part of that is just kind of a philosophy and approach to life. But I liked I liked the way you do things. And that’s kind of the way I approach it as well. I think we’re using slightly different words, but really, we’ve got the same kind of view on it. There’s a few different things like I could get into there. I’m really interested in the kind of the tactical stuff that you’ve done like YouTube as as as the number one place because like one of the things we mentioned at the start of this was are we doing this on video or not? So, and I have recorded pretty much all of my interviews on video unless there was like a technical glitch or something. I have recorded all of my podcasts interviews that way. But I haven’t actually put out those videos. But it is something that I’ve been thinking about, and in particular, starting the YouTube channel just for the podcast, but put up the podcast episodes. So and actually, that’s a strategic thing that maybe this is not your forte, but I’m wondering whether to put it up as its own separate channel, or to put it up as a playlist on my existing channel, which is typically shorter form videos. So
Jeff Large 15:35
Are we are you asking me that? Or were you just
Alastair McDermott 15:36
Yeah, I’m asking that if you know the answer.
Jeff Large 15:38
I don’t know the answer. But I have dealt with the same thing myself. The conclusion that I’ve come to is because I’ve purposely avoided video because it opens up a whole realm of things. So the listener won’t be able to tell this. But one of the other things that we were talking about is I got a new camera setup and some lights, and I’m unnecessarily sort of a white bluish tint right now. And I don’t look like a normal skin tone like you. And it’s kind of pissing me off. And so I’m trying to figure out how to fix it. But I haven’t yet because it’s like a new setup. And so it’s like this just a practical example of video ads and all sorts of crazy stuff. What kind of lighting are you going to use? What kind of camera are you going to use? What kind of lenses are you going to use? And yeah, and then plus, you have all this extra equipment lying around. It’s like a ton of extra work. And then the video editing component, when you break it down on a podcast side of things. Almost always, the amount of clean editing you can do in audio first podcasts are audio only podcast is ridiculously better than what you can do on video based podcasts unless you either A want to keep it all one continuous thing, or B you’re alright, with 1000 Different jump cuts is sort of what it comes down to. And either one of those things could be off brand for yourself or for the company are working with or whatever it is. So there’s all these extra decisions. And so go into your thing, when I’m, it was just this year, like we knew we couldn’t ignore it anymore. Like we have to have a solution for our clients. And we really need to be doing this internally. And so I have struggled for a long time with figuring out what my personal brand is against my company, like my company does its thing, it’s podcast oriented, I’m known pretty well, in either one of those two spirits, I basically accidentally become a marketer over time, just because that’s like, who I gravitate towards my old podcast was literally just my name, Jeff Large podcast, but a lot of people put it into a marketing bucket, because so many marketers came on the show or people where I was pulling kind of marketing lessons. And so when I’m looking at the video things, I’m like, alright, what the heck do I do? Like, what do I put on my channel? Like my personal brand versus what I put on the company? And so I’m gonna put it for me. Is your is your existing channel a ccompany channel? Or is your existing channel your personal channel?
Alastair McDermott 17:52
Well, it’s The Recognized Authority. So it’s the same brand as this podcast. So it’s not it’s not my personal name.
Jeff Large 17:58
Okay, yeah. I mean, that, to me, that almost feels like a no brainer. Like, why would you put The Recognized Authority podcasts on The Recognized Authority channel? Like, it’s just a different avenue? Are you using straight shorts? Or are you using just short form video?
Alastair McDermott 18:11
So the videos and I, I’m really happy to get into this tactical stuff. I hope it’s interesting for the listener, the this one so first off all of the stuff that you said so far, about why video why you didn’t get into video straightaway, because all of the editing issues and the lighting and all that kind of stuff. That’s in part why I haven’t done that yet with this, because you do have to make those kinds of decisions. And all of those jump cuts, which results probably in nicely in audio, but makes a weird looking video because it’s just kind of very stuttery you know, they end
Jeff Large 18:40
I clearly Yeah, people in the industry, but I, I can’t stand it that is not on brand for me.
Alastair McDermott 18:46
Yeah, so so, like, I’ve thought about that. And also, like simply, video editing is more expensive, you know, video editors will probably do a lot more around like, they would probably be able to fix your lighting issues and things like that, you know, in post production, they’d probably be able to throw a filter on there or something like that. I’m sure there are ways that they could do some post production around that. But yeah, there is a lot more to it there. The other thing so what one of the reasons why I record the video is because at some point I want to pull up clips. And so pull up a 60-second clip of of you and I having a conversation of this for example. And that that tends to do quite well on social media. Again, there’s a lot involved in that first of all, identifying the clip pulling it out and then you’ve you know, you’re gonna move the move the the the
Jeff Large 19:30
you’re using Riverside, here we go we’re gonna go deep into the weeds. Are you hitting Mark clip every time something cool happens?
Alastair McDermott 19:35
I should be there’s a little button. Good Bay. Yes.
Jeff Large 19:39
You know, as a host, you get that inclination and Tommy, like Winnie the Pooh and he’s hungry. It’s something somebody says something and it’s like worthwhile and you’re like, God, dang, you either need to be writing that down in real time or clicking that Mark click or mark.
Alastair McDermott 19:51
I actually write down timestamps like I have. I have an a4 sheet of paper here, or E Americans would call it M What Is It Legal legal pad? I’m writing down lots of lots of notes. So I have a lot of notes of things that you said earlier. But I do I write down timestamps on that. But um, yeah, it’s still carry on. It’s still hard, you know, like the content production thing. And we can talk about that. And, like, when so a lot of people that I work with are independents, or have a small team. So they’ve got like a handful, five people, how many people do you have on your team in total, so far, we
Jeff Large 20:26
only have 10, we’ve tried to run light as possible not not to overextend anybody. But just because that’s more of the, like I said, that goes back to just kind of how we function like everybody. That’s a whole nother thing. But then I’ll leave it at that.
Alastair McDermott 20:39
Yeah. And that’s going to feel like a huge team to a lot of people listening to this. Because they’re probably coming from where I was coming from. Originally, when I started the business, I really wanted to be just me, I never wanted to be responsible for somebody else’s mortgage. That terrifies me. But yeah, so So you know, the amount of work that content production takes, there’s like, like, like you mentioned earlier, sometimes people just rock up and say, you take care of everything for us. And then other people will come up, they want to be the talent or other people want to do everything themselves. I know people who I’ve been on their podcast, they’ve been on my podcast, but they produce, edit, cut all of their audio and everything themselves, they do the entire podcast production themselves personally. And I think that’s crazy. If you’re, if you’re an expert in your field, I think you have to be delegating and outsourcing part of that to somebody else, whether they’re full time or part time or whatever. There’s just so much work in in producing it. And I think so like, for me, one of the first things I talk to people, when I’m talking to my coaching clients is about like, do they have any administrative help? Do they have somebody who’s helping them with things like bookkeeping, and all of those other kinds of things? Yeah. So let me let me ask you then. So some people are using it to somebody using podcast to build authority themselves. And I want to get into because like, we’re talking about personal branding, we’re talking about, like you were talking about your name versus the brand name. Let’s get into that a little bit. Like how do people actually use podcast to build authority? And what does that look like? And how do you think about personal branding? When when like, where does that fit in the mix? There?
Jeff Large 22:20
That’s a big question. Could you maybe specify where do you want to start?
Alastair McDermott 22:25
Let’s start with, let’s start with, right you’ve got you mentioned earlier on your personal brand, versus your, your brand, and your your business brand. And so why would you want to create a personal brand when you are the principal in your business, likewise, that’s something that you want to separate.
Jeff Large 22:44
Because I’m not my business, like I am at face value. Like a lot of people, if they buy into me, they buy into come alive. But I’m, I’m still not my business, in my business would can go away, I’m not going to go away. My interests aren’t always the same. And that’s sort of what I was alluding to earlier, where I care about way too many things. Like when you look at a Gallup poll, StrengthsFinder test, like there’s all the different personality tests that you can take my top things, my number one is learner. And I used to be a teacher before I did any of this stuff. So I’m constantly learning new things. And most of the time, they don’t make any sense together, at least them at face value, like this, over here. If again, for the viewer, I have some books in the background. It’s all in interior design. And every day, I’m podcasting and doing the stuff but I suddenly for whatever reason, like interior design, I think that’s fun. I’ve hated cooking for the longest time. And just recently, I’m like, I’m gonna figure this out, because I want to make awesome meals for my family. And so I started researching, like, different baking and cooking, and all those kinds of things. Other stuff I’ve gotten into that’s been fascinating is like, I don’t know, if it’s just I’ve hit that age as a dad, where I care a lot about like everyday carry. So the whole EDC scene and like, what’s in my pockets, and like, there’s all this different stuff that makes me me, that doesn’t, nothing to do with podcasting. And so that’s why it’s like, you run that conundrum of everybody tells you niche down and do this and like talk about one thing, I think it’s true, like we’ve seen success with it, like whether you’re going to focus in on an industry, or you’re going to focus in on a service, or you’re going to focus in on an industry and a service, and a specific human in that industry. Like most of the time, not all the time. But most of the time when you niche, you see greater yield from the whole thing you see greater success. But when it comes to my personal brand, I kind of don’t care because I am what I am, and I’m interested in the things that I’m interested in. And I haven’t fully committed to it yet. If you go to my personal site, it’s just super dated and all about podcasting still. And so it’s like don’t spend any time there. We’re actually getting to rebrand on our come alive page and then I’m gonna start thinking about what I wanted do it the personal. And so I still think what I’ve sort of come to to give it a little closer and then you can run with the next one is. This is this is a truth that happens in most content, but most people don’t really talk about it, but they do talk about it a lot in podcasting. I originally heard the idea from Alex Bloomberg. He’s previously planet money started gimlet media startup is one of his more popular shows all those things. And he’s talked about it in the sense of interesting intersections. And so you might have an idea. My very first podcast ever, I talked about this more often because it was like the first time I ever experienced that. My very first podcast was in the board game space. And a board game podcast by itself isn’t very interesting. There’s a bunch of them, people reviewing games, people drinking and talking about games, like all those kinds of things. The thing that made us unique is that we were about the business of board games. And at the time, this was back in 2012, we were the only show that was spending all of our time talking to designers, manufacturers, artists, distribution chains, of how in the world do you make a board game, not like Monopoly, like gateway games that people might be familiar with would be like Ticket to Ride King of Tokyo Settlers of Catan. Like all these types of things. And then it’s like, there’s this world Well, beyond that of the entire indie game scene where it’s the last time I went to Gen Con is like one of America’s biggest events. It was like 70-80,000 people, I don’t know what it’s like now. But I mean, that was years back. And so just to kind of give it context. And so for my personal brand, I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. But the thing that I think I could make, encapsulate a lot of the different stuff I want to talk to is like, how do you grow a business without killing your family in the process is something that I’m, I’m teasing, or I’m playing with the idea, because it’s like, my wife and I, we got four kids. Life is crazy. And we’re trying to make it work. I homeschool one of them. And it’s like, I should be dead. Like when I sit back and look at all that stuff we’re doing. Like, it doesn’t seem humanly possible, but it’s happening. And so to be able to maybe give some insight. And then like I said, it’s like, broad enough that I could probably talk about what I want to and so I don’t know, I might not do it. I’m not 100% I’m not I’m not committing to this just because I said it out loud. But that’s like, what’s on my mind right now of what the heck do I do with the personal brand.
Alastair McDermott 27:18
Yeah, I think it’s interesting. And so I know that, like for me, when, when I started out, and it was just me, the businesses is purely me. And now as I’ve started to build out a small team, and I’m not going to have a very big team, I have one person full time, and I have two people part time both on kind of like half half weeks. And yeah, so I do think about that, you know, by kind of separating myself from the business, but But right now, I think that a lot of people who are in this kind of professional services, consulting type space, you’re still like, whatever the brand name is, you’re still hiring the person, you’re still hiring the principal. And so
Jeff Large 27:56
You always are, you’re hiring the human like behind it, like I mean, definitely. So I don’t disagree with that. And that’s why I’ve settled with it’s like, it’s okay, that a lot of people associate me with come alive. But even from early on, like early on in the sales process, they need to understand quickly that you’re going to be dealing with a lot more people than me. And what’s happened though, is everybody that we everybody that’s on our team is awesome. And so it just makes it easier where it’s like, they know, they trust me. And so by default, they trust the team. And it’s like very, very rare that anything ever comes up where it’s like, oh, that was a bad move, or like you just represented us poorly. Like that rarely happens. And so it works out in that sense. And it’s just a matter of teaching people that it’s more than just me because if you think I’m going to do everything, you’re crazy, like you said, like I can’t, I can’t do everything. I’m going to do the important stuff for you. But I’m definitely not going to do the day to day and the everything because it just I can’t do that. It’s not possible.
Alastair McDermott 28:50
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I think it’s interesting, you know, this, this kind of, I guess, this kind of split or just thinking about personal and business brand. I know that some people will, we’ll talk about the importance of separating that so that you can sell your business later if you want to, which is interesting, I think there is a value in thinking about your business, from the perspective of potentially selling it later, even if you never have any intention of doing that. Because what it’ll do is it’ll usually get you to setup better systems. And it’ll usually get you to disconnect from and delegate a bit more from some of the delivery. So I think that can be useful. But…
Jeff Large 29:32
Alastair McDermott 29:33
Yeah, I’m interested. There’s so many different things I could talk to you about here. Let’s talk about
Jeff Large 29:39
See my problem?
Alastair McDermott 29:40
Yeah. This is this is why this way, I think, you know, for me, building authority, it’s about focus publishing, really consistent focus publishing. And so you’re consistently creating something which is focused on a particular niche, and and it’s publishing because you’ve got to have that recognition, you’ve got to be actually putting your thoughts out there because otherwise people won’t know about you. So. So let’s talk about how you actually do that in terms of podcasts. Because if you have a client who comes to you, and they specifically want to build their authority, would you recommend that they be the talent on the podcast? Or that they bring somebody else in? If they’re if they’re like a, an independent or a small, like a very small firm?
Jeff Large 30:21
Oh, well, there’s a little little more to it. If it’s an independent and you want to build authority, I have no idea why you would ever have anybody else to have the show for you. Because then they’re building the authority if they’re the host, some people offer services where they flip it, and like, you can go to them, and they’ll interview you. And that will happen. But to me, that’s sort of weird. Like, it’s, like almost self serving in a weird way not to knock on their businesses. But I can’t imagine, I wouldn’t want to produce something like that, I would have a hard time. Like if our if our team was asked to do that. Or if somebody offered to me like, Hey, Jeff, I’ll come in and interview. It’s like, I might do a monologue show at that point. But I don’t need to hire somebody to do that. So that’s like another way that I’ve seen happen. And it’s easy, like, it’s an easy way if you have no time to produce content, or to get your thoughts out of your head. So it’s not like a terribly bad idea. It just doesn’t really align with some of those values and things that I’ve said, but in terms of, generally speaking, for sure, if it’s an individual, and you want to build authority be the host, if it’s a company, whether large or small, I think you have a little more flexibility in terms of how you brand it. But the second piece that we didn’t say is that a lot of people will also want to use these as like a human opportunity, like a human ROI. And what I mean by that is networking with individuals that maybe they wouldn’t be able to network with talking to existing client bases about whatever their subject of expertise is to or to learn more about how they’re utilizing your product, could be building partnerships in the industry. Again, you want to get good rapport with other humans, this is a great way to do it, it would be foolish for you not to do that yourself or to have somebody on your team do that for you. So we we could, and there’s situations where we have and it’s worked. But I can tell you on the ones that come to mind in the exhibit, the examples that come to mind authority wasn’t really a thing for them, they were looking at more building like an internal podcast to support maybe like a client and that client, but well, sometimes sometimes Client Onboarding, sometimes team member onboarding, things like that, where they just needed more or less the information, but it really wasn’t important who the host was, they just wanted to sort of get their, their name out there. And so that’s that’s how I typically approach that most of the time, you’re probably going to want to be the host, I can think of maybe some situations where you wouldn’t?
Alastair McDermott 32:45
Yeah, I think the other thing we like you mentioned there, monologuing. And you also mentioned, like, I think there’s an implication there that it’s an interview show, from from what you said there that one advantage in getting interviewed is that once you become the subject of the interview, the subject or the guest of the interview, is is usually the person who has the authority platform, because they’re being asked the questions, unless you get to make it really conversational. And for example, we’re having a bit more of a conversational episode here. Sometimes, the interviews that I’m having, it won’t be so conversational, will be much more asking questions of the guests. And I think part of that comes from how well you know the guests how well they know you and things like that as well.
Jeff Large 33:29
Yeah, let me if I if I may jump in right there, like you may want to consider them the opposite side. And sometimes I have to like kind of pump the brakes for prospects is that there’s services that do offer sort of guests tours, where they’re able to get you on a variety of good shows. Or maybe you have an internal team that’s working on doing that for you. Like that’s a perfectly fine solution to and to me, that’s a little more, it depends on a guest on what you need. Because then the next again, there’s so many like secondary questions, the secondary question would be, do you need to control and own the content? Or do you just need exposure, like so say, authority isn’t the number one, but if the number two thing is like, we need to build out our marketing flywheel, alright, well, then maybe you want to retain that content. And it makes sense for somebody to come in interview. But if thing number two is you want authority, and then number two, you’re looking for exposure, you’d probably be better off going on like podcasts or and getting on a bunch of other people’s shows, because you do like you said, you are the authority. You’re the one that’s been asked the questions, but at the same time, it’s going to have it’s going to align better, because you’ll have a further reach than trying to generate that audience yourself.
Alastair McDermott 34:34
Yeah, and actually, I think you should do both. I think that I think that there’s a huge benefit in having your own podcast and and being able to, you know, control the relationships by, you know, by reaching out to specific people. Like for example, I had David C. Baker and Alan Weiss on the show. And because I had the two of those I reached out to Chris Do. And Chris Do has 2 million people following him on YouTube and he’s just a huge and he Wouldn’t he wouldn’t have come on the show if I didn’t have those other guys on the show. But because I was able to say, Hey, Chris, I’ve had David C. Baker and Alan Weiss, do you want to come on? He said, Yeah, sure, you know, because, yeah. So you get that kind of effect, that you’re able to do that. If you were only guessing on other people’s podcasts, you wouldn’t really be able to have those connections. And it would be very difficult for me to rock up and try and get on to one of their podcasts as a guest with that platform myself.
Jeff Large 35:23
Yeah, no, that’s huge. We’ve done similar stuff. With my my personal show. I knew at one point I wanted to get Rand Fishkin in he’s a pretty predominant marketer, and I wasn’t sure if he was gonna say Yes, right away. And so fortunately, there’s a lot of super smart people in his circle. And there was people that I met at conferences that I knew were like friends with him and different things. And so I did the same thing I spent about a year, periodically, inviting and getting people that he knew on my show, I still genuinely wanted to talk to these other people. But by the time I made the ask and approached him, it was like, I was intentionally using one of his products. I responded to one of the product emails of just like, hey, by the way, I would love it. If you came on, you’d be joining the likes of person, you know, person to know, personally, you know, would you be interested? And he was like, Cool, let’s do it. And it made it very simple. Ask at that point. And so being able to, it’s it sounds, it sounds disingenuous, but it’s not if you actually want to talk to these people, if those other two people you mentioned prior to the Crisco, assuming I’m assuming you want to talk to him still, like it’s still good conversations, and good content is just you can still do it in a way that’s intentional to eventually kind of like you said, level yourself up in a way that you couldn’t previously.
Alastair McDermott 36:33
Yeah, absolutely. Like David C. Baker wrote the business of expertise, I definitely want to talk to him. Alan Weiss has written 65 books in the world of consulting, I definitely want to talk to him too. So yeah, there’s absolutely I want to talk to them. But and also, like, I mean, it’s not just about getting big name people on like, I’m, I’m quite happy to get somebody who’s really interesting, who I’ve spoken to, and who doesn’t have any profile. And I’ve had people like that on the show as well. And like, I like if somebody if this is the first podcast they’ve ever come on, because, in part, like, they’re not going to be a very polished guest. But, you know, it’s just like, they’re going to be somebody a bit different. And I’ve had several of those, and I’ve got several more of those to, to come out soon as guests as as episodes. Yeah, I think they’re, I think there’s, there’s a few other things like, like there’s a part of, there’s a thing in authority, where you just get past some of their authority, just by being on the same platform with them just by being side to side just by saying, Hey, I’ve had such and such on my podcast, that that passes you just this tiny little bit of credibility and authority. And, and that all adds up as well. So like, I think authority is really interesting. And that’s why I love podcasting for that. Because I think that you don’t get that if you write blog posts in the same way, like even if you did a podcast, sorry, a blog post interview, where you sent somebody questions and got their answers back, then you’re not going to have the same kind of thing. It’s not building relationship, and you’re not seeing side by side with them.
Jeff Large 37:57
I think, I mean, to the to the blog, or the blog post, no, it’s not the same. I think podcasting is unique. It’s a unique medium, in that sense of you are going to have that authority rub off sometimes, if you get the right like, pull quotes from other people, because there’ll be times when I write articles, and then I’ll intentionally reach out to specific individuals and give them the context of like, Hey, if you have a quote from me for this, that can work over time, when you have that going on regularly, when you see like a certain type of person contributing to your posts, like you can sort of recreate it. But again, like you said, it’s not it’s not as intimate. It’s not the same as a human to human conversation. I’m curious to flip back on you. Have you done any actual like data research around? How that works almost mathematically, like, from this person personally has authority in Person B shows up? Like, do you have a formula? Or I feel like there’s like some sort of trigonometry equation of like, if I hang out with Alastair I’m gonna get 30% benefit of his authority.
Alastair McDermott 39:02
Jeff Large 39:03
Do you have anything like that?
Alastair McDermott 39:04
No, I don’t have anything like that. I’m, I just know that the…
Jeff Large 39:07
Alastair McDermott 39:09
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. that would that would be fascinating. If you know somebody who’s really in the world of podcasting, they should go and do that.
Jeff Large 39:15
That’s wild stuff. No, I mean, it’s cool. I think about it, because it’s like, even to your example, like, one of my craziest ones. I don’t really talk about a whole lot. But we had to produce a interview with former President Bill Clinton for the in the US. And it’s like, he’s a very polarizing figure. And so some people are like, think he’s amazing. And some people think he’s the devil. And I’m just gonna remain neutral on the whole thing. But the point is that for a show, we had to do do a show with him. And just even with the fact that I have a picture of me run an audio on this interview between him and the former Secretary of Defense, like who was our client, and it’s like, that is crazy. And like, people are like, why you did what? And I’m like, Yeah, I had to go to New York and do this. It was cool. I mean, just like all of that adds up over time. Like and I mean, that’s, it’s why we do this stuff where it’s like why we feature all these brands on our websites of trusted by and like the brands and stuff. It’s like,
Alastair McDermott 40:07
Yeah, it’s all of that social proof I don’t get like that’s that’s what it is, I guess it is actually social proof. But there is an element there as well, like I’ve seen people kind of barge their way into get a photo with somebody with some celebrity. And I really hate that thing as well, you know?
Jeff Large 40:21
Well, I mean, that’s where you become disingenuous again. And that’s what we’re talking about, as you can read through that authenticity. And it’s like, you can tell on people’s sites on the same token, I’m speaking of situations that I actually believe in trust, like they were legitimately your client. Or for me, I can take something like one bigger company that I respect that I think is really cool as the Blinkist. And if somebody isn’t familiar with blankest, as they like, make short synopsises of books, they take like an entire business book, and they break it down into a 15 minute thing, we had one contract with them, where we were potentially going to start producing some of those because they were looking to scale operations. And we ended up recording, and completing one. And then I realized this does not fit our model at all. And as much as I love your team, we can’t do this, we’re not a good fit, it would be very easy for me, because I had a single engagement to put Blinkist on our website is one of the companies who’s like trusted us or has worked with us. But that’s not true. I had one stupid contract. And like people will do that even less, where it’s like, I talked to a talk to this person, it’s like they trust me, and they’ll put it on there. And it’s like, You’re a liar, they do not work with you or get out of here, like you indirectly were hired as a third party on working and you may be edited three things on that show once you didn’t work with that person get out. And so that’s why I think we just owe it to ourselves to be honest about this stuff. Like sometimes you can say that. And to your point. Yeah, there’s plenty of people that BS it. So again, just keep keep that cynicism when you approach certain things.
Alastair McDermott 41:51
Yeah, I get this sometimes, like, I’ve been hiring people, subcontractors online, since by 2007. So I get this sometimes where, you know, I’ll say, can you tell me a little bit about some of the work that you’ve done, and somebody will will send me a list of like 50 or 60, website addresses. And they don’t say what they did, was like, I know, you didn’t build that complete website. So you’re gonna need to tell me, I’d rather you sent me five and like, give me a paragraph about what you actually did. Because then that actually tells us a little bit more, which I think goes to the value of case studies on websites and case studies being another form of social proof, which I think what do you do with somebody?
Jeff Large 42:27
Let me let me spin it, though. Let me let me play devil’s advocate for a second, what do you do with the people that are just starting and they need something? Is it okay to to really tote some of those beginning relationships? Or do you just got to eat it for a while?
Alastair McDermott 42:40
Well, I think that when you’re starting, I think you’ve just got to do whatever you need to do to stay alive. Like, that’s part of what you’re doing, when you’re in that startup scramble, kind of, you know, you’re just trying to you gotta get cash flow. And that’s, that’s a tough place to be. So yeah, I think like, a lot of people kind of early on in the journey, their input particular to doing a lot of outreach. So yeah, I mean, if I mean, if you’re, if you’re starting your when you’re into business, then one engagement with Blinkist is pretty damn cool, you know, in that context, so. And the other thing, is it like, it’s not a lie to say that you worked with them, you know, that like that, like you did work with them? So they did choose you for an engagement, however brief, you know, so, yeah, I think I think that when you’re in that startup mode, I think it’s different, like you’re doing a lot more aggressive kind of outreach, trying to stay alive. And as a business, I mean, and so I think it doesn’t mean you should have no ethics. But I think that you’re, that you’re going to be much more in that scarcity mindset. So you will take opportunities, I think you’ve still got to be careful, you know, not to take the wrong opportunities. But I think that, yeah, there’s probably a little bit more forgiveness at that point for, for how you present the work that you’ve done. But I think it comes back to being honest, you know, you say, Hey, we did work with these guys. You like it? That’s being honest, you know, so I think that’s okay for me.
Jeff Large 44:09
Alastair McDermott 44:09
Um, so I just want to ask you a couple more tactical things about podcasting. And about, because I know people like, I talk a lot about creating content on here. And, you know, personally, I’m using podcast as one of those vehicles for this. And I really think it is one of the best ways that you can do that. Because you can repurpose that content so many different ways. But can you talk to me a little bit about what mistakes that you see people making with podcasts when they start out?
Jeff Large 44:38
Give me a realm because there’s a bazillion you could make. So like what? Yeah, cool.
Alastair McDermott 44:43
Yeah. So So I mean, everything here hopefully, is in the context of independent consultants and people who are experts who want to build authority. So in that kind of context,
Jeff Large 44:51
Let’s break it down into even the, the, the ways that I mentioned earlier so if we were looking at a podcast in terms of the planning phase, you’re gonna In everything set up the production phase where you’re actually edited, even creating the show, promoting it. You’re trying to grow the show and get exposure on the show. And then you’re evaluating it, you’re, you’re tracking your progress of those four things. What area would you like me to focus on?
Alastair McDermott 45:16
Let’s talk about the planning part, because that’s the first thing that people got to do if they are considering it. What What? What mistakes are people making at that point?
Jeff Large 45:26
Yeah, there’s there’s always a lot like you said, man, it’s like more accurate, more of what we can do is screw up, then then get it right. And that it just I mean that more generally, not just with podcasting, but there’s like, there’s so many things that you can mess up as a whole, as a business owner as like an entrepreneur. It’s part of the reason the risk is so high a lot of the time. But it’s like, to me stuff that I frequently see is that your idea is probably not that unique. I’m sorry, most people think they have super unique ideas. And it’s like, there’s no other podcasts like this. And I’m like, there probably is there’s like almost 3 million podcasts, my guess is somebody else’s thought of that at least once. Like you said, in terms of how we allocate our time, like, are you going to try to do everything? A lot of people packed starting a podcast can be easy, but starting a podcast that’s worthwhile or worth listening to, is not. And so if you’re going to try to do everything that comes down to how, how are we using our time, like, Do you have a lot of time right now? Or do you have a lot of money because you’re either going to spend one or the other. And then there’s that other element of like, I have been a pretty firm believer that there’s three types of work. There’s the work that only you can do. There’s the work that a human should be doing, but it shouldn’t be you. And there’s work that can be automated. And so when you look at these things of how you divvy up your time, if you plan on planning the show, prepping for the show, conducting the interview, editing the interview, publishing the interview, like all of this stuff takes a significant amount of time. And if there’s other things you should be working on, like you’re killing all that other time. So you got to figure out a way to balance that. People, I can talk about it in the planning phase two, that most people don’t always think about their goals upfront. But for me, that’s crazy. Like, I won’t start a project unless I know what success looks like. So whether you want to name this as what are the goals for the show, whether you want to name this, what are your key performance indicators for you marketers out there, all the KPIs, like, there’s a lot of different ways you can validate it, but you need to know where you’re going. Because again, if if I wanted to build a show, that had to do with me growing my own authority, it might look one way, whereas if I need to show that I want it to be uber popular, so I can get a bunch of sponsorships, I’m gonna build it a completely different way. The other thing too, is a lot of people, the one that I’ll say, should start at planning, but normally doesn’t most people get their show up and running. They’re like, eight to 15 episodes in and they’re like, why don’t I have more traction, I need to start growing this thing. But what we miss is you didn’t do a good enough job at the beginning. Like if your foundation isn’t squared up, if your foundation isn’t strong enough to stand on its own, it’s going to be a lot harder when you get to something like the promotion phase, to grow it. And so that’s something that should be happening in the planning, but most a lot of people who do it on them themselves, or if they go into it a little more like quick and dirty type of a thing like a DIY quick and dirty approach. If you don’t have that lined up in the beginning, that’s it’s an easy oversights. I mean, there’s there’s plenty more, but those are some of the top ones. I mean, the top of mind ones, at least that come that come to mind for me.
Alastair McDermott 48:30
Yeah, that’s one of the things that you mentioned that start early on in your answer was making it worth listening to. Can you just expand on that a little bit? Like what is what makes a show worth listening to?
Jeff Large 48:43
Yeah, let me let me provide context. So there’s a couple of things to think about. A lot of people are wondering like, if we’ve hit the bubble, I think, I don’t remember the the most recent stats, and a lot more people are publishing statistics. But on one hand, when you look at the industry against other industries, we have, I think the last check was maybe last fall at the time of this recording. So fall of like 2021. It was something like 2.7 registered 2.7 million registered podcasts on Apple. And then you compare that to like, I forget what the number is, but it’s literally like 6 billion videos or something on YouTube. People are still starting YouTube accounts, and they’re still successful. And so in my opinion, that’s like, that’s just one. There’s a lot more data around it. I’m simplifying it for the purpose of this conversation. But you have a lot of headroom, still, podcasting isn’t going away anytime soon. I mean, just look at Radio, radio still has a good foothold in a lot of different industries and areas. And if anything, it’s like radio on steroids. On the flip side of that though, you also have of those 2.7 million podcast, only 30% of them or something roughly 33% of them something like that are over have over 10 episodes. And so all of a sudden the pool dramatically drops in terms of people who are doing this consistently. And so you have this sort of really interesting dynamic. And I told you the stats, and I had a direction I was going, but remind me your question, because I just lost it.
Alastair McDermott 50:09
Yeah. So basically, what makes a podcast worth listening to? That’s…
Jeff Large 50:14
Okay. So so I was I was setting it up. So it’s like, this is the scape. Like, to me, this is the landscape of what we’re dealing with. But it still goes back to the to me, it goes back to the goal. And people, people listen for different reasons. Like you might listen for entertainment, you might listen to be educated. Those are two of the easiest ones. I mean, this is why we consume any type of content, you you alluded to me that you have a certain set of questions. And at the end of this that you’ll ask me, like, one is, like, kind of the business side of things, but then also like, fictional reader, what do I like to read for pleasure? I mean, we have different reasons that we do things. And so it’s hard because I think, I think there’s a lot of freedom in terms of what we can do. And to almost non answer it. I feel like you’re gonna have to drill down a little bit more, if you want me to get some of the specifics, but to non answer it is to be intentional with whatever it is you’re doing. And the reason I say this is because like, you have a show two different opposite ends of the spectrum, you have a show like the one that I alluded to where it’s called “At the Brink”, I’m gonna plug it real quick. It’s great show. It’s all on the threat of nuclear issues. And so we’ve been working with former Secretary of Defense, it’s a full blown narrative show, we got custom composed music on it, sound design, all the stuff, we’re talking to all these different, like government level, and scientists and historians and looking at like, how we almost blew ourselves up several times, or what is it like to walk around with a button that can literally nuke any other country everywhere you go, or what was it like to survive a bomb, because we literally got some people that lived through Hiroshima and different things. We’re in the middle of season two, getting that all done and produced. And so it’s this crazy show, and in its own right, they wanted to, they wanted to spread this message. They wanted to educate people in a in a fun, not with fun, kind of a weird word. They wanted to educate people in an interesting way, not just tell him a bunch of facts, but tell the stories around these things that happen, get the perspectives of the people who live it. That to me, is a very successful show. And it’s building Lisa, the host authority. It’s cementing their her authority against her grandfather, who was the former Secretary of Defense, it’s got authority around all these other people. And then you take something on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, this, this isn’t really going to fit the authority as much, but it’s going to more answer the success piece of it. I forget what the heck the show was called. But there was one that gimlet media put out with, in partnership with like Crest toothpaste, and it was just his thumb stories. It was for like 60 seconds a pop, and had some little jingling music and whatever in the background, and it was just to get kids to brush their teeth. And everyday the idea was, they listen to the podcast, and then they brush their teeth. And then by the time the podcast is done, they’re done brushing their teeth, and they did it in the morning and night. That’s when they released and like for that regard, like it fit that type of authority, like it built the authority with these little kids of Oh, I get to listen to like, I can I forget the name of it, but it was like a crocodile on the I remember were visually it was like, Oh, I get to listen to teasers or not to name. But whatever it was called. And they brush their teeth and they do their thing. And it worked for a while. And it’s like two completely weird different shows different ends of the spectrum, but they’re sort of doing the same thing. They’re both successful in their own right. And so that’s what I mean, where it’s, it’s hard for me to say like ABCD like, it’s, there’s more to it than that there’s more going on. And because it still is, yeah, there’s so many business related things. But because it’s it’s still a creative medium. And we can still like have fun. Like we have room to be interesting and enjoy it. It doesn’t all have to be the straight interview style shows like we got a lot of freedom. And I feel like we’re only just beginning to touch what people can really do with it. Like it’s, it’s to me, it’s a very exciting time to be in it and medium to be in.
Alastair McDermott 54:00
Yeah, so there’s a few things I think. So first off, I think that if we are purely educational, without having any entertainment part, or component to that, I think that people will get bored. So I do think you know, it’s something that I see with YouTube. And it’s probably one of the reason why I haven’t made more significant use of YouTube is that I know that I need to bring more entertainment in there. And I’m trying to figure out how to do that. My sense of humor, I don’t think it comes across very well on video because I’m very kind of very dry in terms of like royal
Jeff Large 54:34
royal pentane bombs. So Life Aquatic,
Alastair McDermott 54:39
but I like for me like humor is on my values list because I don’t want to be all business all the time. Like I like to have fun. I like to joke around with my clients. I like to bring a little bit of life relief in a stressful situation. You know, that’s that’s how I approach it. So, so for me, I would like to bring that in a bit more than I actually do. are some people who have done stand up, like stand up comedian training to try and improve their podcasts, which is really interesting. And I don’t know if I’ll actually go as far as to, you know, kind of be be standing with the spotlight on me kind of the marvelous Mrs. Maisel style, you know, or whatever. I love that show, by the way. But I don’t think I’ll be doing that. But I certainly would like to bring humor a bit more into it, and bring entertainment a bit more. And if I can, and if I can keep the, if I can still keep it really, really educational. So yeah, that’s that’s how I think about that. But I do have to move on. Because we’re running really close. It’s gonna be a really long episode. But that’s okay.
Jeff Large 55:39
What is the lesson?
Alastair McDermott 55:41
Yeah, what is the number one tip that you would give to somebody who wants to build their authority?
Jeff Large 55:45
Be authentic. I mean, it’s not super tangible. But don’t try to be something you’re not. If you don’t, it’s something you might not know who you are. It took me even a while to figure it out. And so it’s like, like we said, at the beginning, figure out those values, figure out what is important to you figure out what is what when do you. I mean, even I don’t mean to do this on purpose, but a huge reason Howard company got named is what makes you come alive. Like how do you feel most alive and I don’t, let me be clear that I don’t mean just willy nilly follow your passions, and it doesn’t even necessarily have to be a passion, I can tell you that there’s plenty of days where this is straight work for me. And it’s not very enjoyable. As much as I like doing it. Work is still work. And when a passion becomes work, it’s still work. But what actually makes you light up, when do you feel like you’re thriving as a human, and try to pursue those types of things and just be your self to a degree, I don’t know if I want to say unapologetically. But figure out what what that looks like to you. Because the faster you can, the faster you can figure out who it is you want to work with. And the faster you can say no to the wrong people, or direct the the wrong people. And I don’t mean like they’re bad people, but they just don’t fit your your thing. Those those types of qualities to me are going to there’s tons of tangible, practical, strategic things you can do. But if your foundation isn’t straight, it’s going to be really hard to be successful with the rest of it.
Alastair McDermott 57:15
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And that’s not the first time I’ve got the answer of Be authentic. I think it’s, it’s really important. Can you tell us about a business mistake or failure that you’ve experienced? What you learn from it?
Jeff Large 57:26
Yeah, a lot. Maybe I’ll say the one that I said earlier. And because I’m, I’m in the middle of it, it’s I don’t know what the lesson would actually be. Learn what you know, it, understand what you’re getting into, maybe, because this is the second time I’ve done it. And it’s just kicked my butt with this whole education piece where the long short story is, we’re traditionally a service based company, we’re best known for that. It’s definitely our bread and butter. And there is a big element to it that I am curious on. How can I run lighter? How can I scale and do these types of things. And so traditionally speaking, it’s productized methods, it’s this is this is gonna be more like business stuff, or it’s not good. But productized methods, cohort learning, group consulting, courses, like DIY, done, it kind of do it yourself courses, all these things. And so years ago, I attempted to make a Come Alive Academy. And I did and I actually sold like a couple lifetime memberships. And there was like, as I was doing what we were doing workwise. And then I had this whole educational site that was separate, I realized, this is way more than I want to deal with because these are two completely separate business models. Like I can’t handle this right now. And I reimbursed everybody and shut it down, like the educational side and just stayed the course with what we’re doing. We’re in the middle of a website redesign. And we have full intent of relaunching the academy and I think you and I even talked about it at the beginning of your podcast where we did have people go through it, we ran it for about a year i beta tested it more or less to several different people. And I just had a meeting with a coach just looking at where we’re at and kind of evaluated that it just doesn’t make sense yet, I need to put more effort back into the full service side of things to continue almost to what you were saying earlier about we’re not going to sell the company or anything but it just runs better when it’s a smooth machine and there’s a couple of things that need my attention right now in terms of our own growth and adjusting to it and like shifting in my team and some different things where my coach in particular was like yeah, that’s if you feel like you can do this other thing that it’s not going to take too much time away from coming alive the service side and go for it, but if not, don’t do it yet. You’re not ready yet. I was like sob like and so even though this redesign stuff, we’re basically just gonna leave those pages as drafts more or less like I’m not going to have them up yet I have literally 30 videos that are all ready to go that tell you how to make a podcast from start to finish. We use them internally, they’re still super, super useful because I use them with all my clients. But I don’t want to sell that yet, because it introduces questions and problems that I’m not ready to put time investment into. And my team’s not really ready yet, either. And so it’s, it’s feels like a bummer. Like, I mean, we’ve had to backstep a little bit because obviously, there’s like, of course, I want to scale and that I can make more money and not do more work. Like, of course, I want that. But it’s not the right thing to do. And so as you make these decisions, don’t don’t underestimate that, like the differences and even some of our offerings. Like one more, one more anecdote to it, I think that’s just important to understand. It’s like, we have a system around those four components, it would be easy for me to say we offer podcast promotion. But somebody who needs podcasts promotion, is a different avatar and a different prospect than somebody who needs full service like the full suite. And and so I always that night, divided my conversation, and I’m gonna start talking to two different people. And so it’s not worth me trying to go after the secondary market, when we have a very clear funnel and people coming in and all this stuff on the first side of it, it’s just like, let’s continue to double down and where we function best and just own it. So it’s tempting for me to try to do things that even feel super, super closely aligned. But when I’m like, objectively looking at it hard, I have to say no, a lot to the point that it’s like uncomfortable, but still the right thing to do. And so that’s like, I get in the weeds a lot with that type of a thing where I want to go after something and even start to and like I said, I spent over a year working on the academy and stuff on the behind the scenes, but then you sit back and you wonder what would have happened if I didn’t do that. And I just double down even further on where we are. So so it’s kind of a pain. But I still think it’s the right thing to do. And so you do it.
Alastair McDermott 1:01:56
Yeah. And if you do take on somebody who’s just looking for promotion, they haven’t gone through the panic planning and production steps with you. So you don’t really know what’s gone on there. And so,
Jeff Large 1:02:07
Yeah, you could be garbage. I mean, you don’t, ya know, and then all sudden, you got to double back on everything. And it’s like, like we’re saying, I mean, that might not be the best case scenario, because I don’t want to have people feel like the bait and switch or something, you know.
Alastair McDermott 1:02:18
Jeff Large 1:02:18
That’s like if somebody came to us, and that was the situation they’re in, like, we have one person right now, who we’re currently recording. They have this first season, but they want to rerelease the whole first season. And so in their scenario, it makes sense where we’d restructure the show, we’re gonna change the format, we’re gonna get the current intros and just release it, but make it significantly better. So it’s like that scenario. Makes sense. But yeah, like you said, you can’t vet the product right away. And so for our scenario, it might not work.
Alastair McDermott 1:02:47
Yeah, yeah. Interesting. Okay, I better move on. Is there a business book or resource that’s been important for you?
Jeff Large 1:02:54
Yeah, there’s tons I read a lot. I think I’ll give to my one of my long time favorites and long been probably read it over the past three years, maybe it’s called “Shortcuts” by Shane Snow. I like it a lot because of what I was alluding to earlier. I am a big, big believer in learning cross industry, I think there’s a lot of things that you can look around. Like I was saying, like, all the different things that I’m into right now, like I’m a better business person, because I care a lot about being a father, I’m a better business person, because I was a good teacher for multiple years. Like, all of these things, I’m a better business person, because I’m super into board games, like not joking, like all of these things play into who I am now. And his book is super cool, that looks at a bunch of different scenarios, in a very unique and interesting way. And like how surfers learned all this stuff about business how like these different musicians learned about business in these different ways. So that one’s cool. The most recent one, I’m much more leery about new books, but one that I would hands down absolutely recommend is called the “Fewer Better” and it’s by Howard Mann. He’s a friend of mine, he doesn’t write, he writes, he doesn’t write books, often but when he does, it’s like worth it. And that one is an easy go read it. To me, it hit me at a good time. Even with some of the things that I’m saying, I’ve just paring down and focusing. And I think it’s probably more appropriate for your audience as well. Because it’s easy. I know, as me as an individual, it’s easy to get grandiose ideas and maybe get too far ahead of myself. And so it’s a type of book that helps you see the important things and what matters and to let go of stuff that doesn’t. And it hit me at a really good time. I think that’s the case with most books is you have to read them at the right time, even if they’re good books, otherwise they won’t work. But it seems seems like a good book, especially right now even in kind of the current economic state to just sort of look at what you’re doing and go is all of all of our focuses the right thing so fewer better by him.
Alastair McDermott 1:04:58
Cool. Yeah, that’s “Fewer Better” by Howard Mann and I will link to everything that you mentioned in the show notes. And what about fiction? Do you read fiction at all? Are you morning TV or movies or anything like that?
Jeff Large 1:05:09
No, I I liked movies, but I don’t really watch any now. I tried starting Peaky Blinders. Like, it looks really cool. I only got one episode and I just don’t really have time for television or viewing anymore. In terms of fiction reading, though, man, there’s so many really good books that would that one would be hard. I read a lot with my kids. And I can’t think of the last one. I’d have to I’ll have to put a blast on social media or something about this because there’s so many guys especially being a middle I was a middle school language arts teacher for a long time. And so it’s like, we got I’m I’m gonna blank on all the ones like we did Chronicles of Narnia, and we did like BFG was funny. I’m trying to think my daughter’s reading Matilda right now that’s a really She got she got the whole like Roald Dahl like gift pack for her birthday. And so she wants me to read the magic finger. I haven’t picked that one up yet, though. Oh, yeah. That’s what I’ll say. I read my son read Shane. I forget who the author is. But he he read that he’s a classical academy. And so he reads a bunch of like, really great literature too. And he read Shane, it’s this Western.
Alastair McDermott 1:05:55
Yeah Roald Dahl Yeah.
Jeff Large 1:06:19
That was excellent. That was that was like a simple read. But he was like that you’d like this a lot. You need to read it. So I was like, okay, and I did and I read it within like, just like two or three days. It was it was super good. So I’ll say Shane is the one that I remember.
Alastair McDermott 1:06:32
Jeff Large 1:06:33
I’m struggling for a minute, but that one’s dead.
Alastair McDermott 1:06:34
Well, I also recommend like everything by Roald Dahl like the BFG. And all of those are brilliant.
Jeff Large 1:06:40
Alastair McDermott 1:06:41
Particularly from parents, I think but but even even for adults it’s cool to read those sometimes.
Jeff Large 1:06:45
Yeah, some of them are kind of freaky. So like, depending on what your
Alastair McDermott 1:06:47
Oh yeah, like, it’s
Jeff Large 1:06:49
like how young your children are. Use it with discretion. It’s almost like something like the Goonies or,
Alastair McDermott 1:06:55
like, Roald Dahl has, has a short story collection of very dark, short stories with twists at the end for adults is very, very good. But they’re like they’re not set in fantasy worlds or anything. It’s just
Jeff Large 1:07:06
Yeah, it’s almost like ribs tails.
Alastair McDermott 1:07:08
Jeff Large 1:07:08
those were it’s like they’re worth the read but proceed with caution depending on who your audiences
Alastair McDermott 1:07:13
and I would recommend that you go back to Peaky Blinders that is brilliant show.
Jeff Large 1:07:17
Yeah, I will eventually.
Alastair McDermott 1:07:19
Yeah, it’s great storyline, great actors and the sag Oh,
Jeff Large 1:07:23
the cast is killer. That’s what Romain was like, this is a really good cast. I love the setting. But I haven’t haven’t had the time yet. So event.
Alastair McDermott 1:07:30
Yeah. So listen, I have to thanks to make first to the listener for listening to us for over an hour and nearly 10 minutes. And secondly, Jeff, thank you so much for coming on the show. Can you tell listeners where they can find you if they’re interested in learning more?
Jeff Large 1:07:44
Yeah to two places. I’m gonna break the rules a little bit. If you want to know what we’re doing podcast wise, comealivecreative.com is our primary company site. And if you want to talk to me, just go to Jeff Large find me on LinkedIn. That’s where I’m most active at the moment. I posted about podcasting all the time and more than happy to jump in whatever conversations if you have questions or something just DM me.
Alastair McDermott 1:08:07
Yeah, and I recommend following Jeff on on LinkedIn. Like I do see almost every post he make about a bit podcasting. So I’m stalking you on there. Yeah. So Jeff, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Jeff Large 1:08:21
Yeah, this is great. Thanks for having me.
Alastair McDermott 1:08:26
Thanks for listening. If you gained any insights or tips from this episode, please leave a review. It would really help us out. And it’s very easy to do. Just click on the review link in the show notes on your device and it will bring you straight to a page with options for the device that you’re listening on. Thanks. It really helps. It’s much appreciated.
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