097 – Jeff Brown – Podcaster Academy (@THEjeffbrown & @medicalschoolhq)

Jeff Brown

In this Starve the Doubts episode, Jared Easley co-hosts the show with Dr. Ryan Gray of the Medical School HQ podcast, as they interview THE Jeff Brown, an award-winning broadcaster and the genius behind the Read to Lead Podcast, a highly regarded show that quickly rose to become the Top 3 Career and Top 10 Business podcast in 2013.  His show is basically founded on the belief that “intentional and consistent reading is key to success in business and in life,” providing listeners with thoughts and insights about leadership, personal development, business, and marketing.

With his 26 years of experience in the radio industry, Jeff Brown brought his expertise into the Podcaster Academy, an online course he founded in December 2013, aimed at providing podcasters with the necessary communication artillery in order to help them deliver better and more improved shows by connecting more intimately to their listeners.

In this episode, you will learn about:

  • How Jeff transitioned from radio to podcasting.
  • How he got the courage to dive in.
  • The value of learning constantly.
  • The value of reading.
  • Putting other people first before you.
  • His goal to improve podcasters’ communication skills through the Podcast Academy.
Jeff Brown - Podcast Movement

Jeff Brown – Podcast Movement

Items mentioned:

  • On security vs. Freedom:

○        Security meant steady paycheck, vacation days

○        Freedom  there is no safety net but Jeff was ready for a new challenge

  • Once you’ve tasted freedom on the entrepreneurial sense, there’s no going back to “security.”
  • On radio vs. podcasting:

○        Radio means living up to someone else’s expectations; a lot of pressure to perform, ratings and pleasing the producers.

○        In podcasting, you’re the boss of everything, You create what you want to create and how you want to create it; you have listeners to please but there are no gatekeepers.

  • In 2010, he started a side business in the margins of life doing websites and mobile apps for small businesses but it’s not what he wanted to do long-term. He was thinking of starting a podcast.
  • Jeff’s timeline prior to Jeff’s independence day:

○        Around March-April 2013, Jeff has already been contemplating on leaving his job.

○        He planned to leave his job on December 31 of that year.

○        But on June 17, 2013, his company decided he was not needed anymore and so he was let go. Then he knew it was time. He decided to go full steam ahead and haven’t looked back since.

  • It took a while for him to get the courage and he was not even sure if he would’ve had the courage if he had not been let go.
  • What helped him find the courage: by entertaining those thoughts about podcasting and by reading folks like Seth Godin and Chris Brogan; and recently, Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, Cliff Ravenscraft, and Jared Easley.
  • For 5 years, he was surrounding himself with people like them via books and podcasts and mastermind groups. Without these people feeding into him, there wouldn’t be any courage in him at all.
  • You should always be learning.  If you develop those kinds of habits, you will find out very quickly that most of the people around you aren’t doing these things. And you will realize that you’re ahead of many of your peers without even initially realizing it.
  • In 2008, when he dived into the likes of Chris Brogan and Seth Godin and into blogging and reading about social media, by default, he began the go-to guy in his company so he was invited to speak at different functions within the company.
  • Over time, people start seeing that; people tap into it and start recognizing you. Before you know it, you’re doing these things that you love to do; people are actually calling upon you for help because you’ve taken upon yourself to dive in headfirst.
  • Read all you can and learn from other people as much as you can and attend conference and seminars.
  • Even if you’re not gonna leave your job, doing those things are important because you set yourself apart.  You become somebody that others appreciate, admire, and depend on; and if you do lose your job, you are far more prepared.
  • Reading was the last thing he wanted to do back as a young person.  It was a chore for him. In the last 25-26 years, all he did was write and came to love it; he came to love reading in his early 30s.
  • Reading opened his eyes to the level of knowledge contained in a $1500 book.
  • Then it led to his constant reading of blogs, which just blew him away in the late 2000s by how much knowledge that was shared for free by people who are infinitely smarter than he was.
  • Finding out what people need and giving it to them.
  • Figuring out not so much about what your passion is, but what they need and tapping into what skills you might have that can fill that need.
  • He messed up misquoting; crediting another person for Chris Brogan’s quote.
  • There’s nothing wrong with poking fun at yourself and that endears you to people.
  • The commonalities in the mindset of authors: the combination of helping people and relationships.
  • The Podcaster Academy – he went back to his radio roots and teaching others some of the expertise that he learned for so long.
  • How Jeff came up with the idea of Podcaster Academy.
  • Jeff hopes to ultimately help podcasters stand out and rise to the top and be the cream of the crop.
  • Jeff encourages people to launch the podcast first; and if you want to improve, then sign up for Podcaster Academy.
  • On starting out a podcast: Get out there and do it! And don’t let fear stop you! You have to start somewhere.
  • When you launch, there is hardly anybody listening and that is the best time to make mistakes.
  • There’s not really a trick to sitting behind a microphone, but what you have to remember is that it is a conversation. Treat the mic like a human being and not as an inanimate object.
  • Surround yourself with people who will encourage you.  Be part of a mastermind group or start one.  They will be able to answer questions for you and you get to help out each other.
Podcaster Academy

Podcaster Academy

  • Jeff is bringing the podcaster academy back in June!

Video: Jeff Brown’s interview with Ben Carpenter on the Read to Lead Podcast

Jeff Brown and Jon Acuff

Jeff Brown and Jon Acuff


  1. Jeff Brown on April 17, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Jared (and Ryan), thank you so much for having me on Starve the Doubts. This was an absolute blast. I really appreciate how much effort goes into what you do and am thrilled to have been invited.

    I will always be thankful to the two of you for a lot of things, but participating here is near the top. Thanks too for being a part of the first-ever Podcaster Academy class and feeding into me as I “starved the doubts.”

    • Jared Easley on April 17, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      Thank you Jeff. I am truly honored to be your friend & greatly appreciate your expample. The Podcaster Academy is outstanding & I look forward to spreading the word!

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