Are you interested in learning how successful entrepreneurs & high achievers overcome self doubt? If so, welcome!
by Sam Lytle
Those who know me well know that I am a connoisseur of podcasts.
Okay, that’s not really accurate. I am a devourer of podcasts. I listen to shows on business, finance, religion, technology, self-help, history, politics, marketing, news and entertainment.
I’m also a podcast snob. If I listen to an episode or two of a new podcast and don’t feel like listening to another, I won’t. I am constantly pruning my lineup and dropping the shows that I don’t get excited about.
A few months ago I came across ‘Starve the Doubts’ by Jared Easley. In this interview based podcast, Jared asks successful people how they overcame opposition to ultimately succeed.
Now, I’ve listened to a lot of interview based podcasts. It is a popular genre because- let’s be honest here- the fastest way to build an audience is by tapping into audiences that are larger than your own. It is a smart way to quickly get attention in this information inundated world.
But if you have listened to Starve the Doubts you have noticed that it is different. The show isn’t focused on Jared or even on the listener. The show, instead, is focused on the person on the other end of the Skype call. It is a half hour of questions engineered to delight the successful entrepreneur that has so graciously given his or her time for the podcast.
After listening to enough Starve the Doubts episodes you start to understand Jared’s method. His show prep isn’t asking his audience what questions they want to ask Guy Kawasaki or Pat Flynn. Instead, that time is spent researching the things that matter to the one that will be interviewed. You can hear the interviewee light up in delight on the other end when he asks if they prefer Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts coffee because that is their two favorite kinds. He finds obscure blog and social media posts, podcasts and other information these individuals have written or been a part of to engineer specially crafted questions based on their interests and passions.
It is not uncommon for those being interviewed to jokingly reply “Have you been stalking me?”
Jared figured out a long time ago that most of these people get interviewed all of the time. He realized that most interviews would be very similar and that he wanted his interviews to be different, at least to the one he was asking the questions to. He understands that people don’t care how smart you are or how many people listen to your podcast. All they care about is how great you make them feel.
The result is actually a very helpful podcast, even if it isn’t a direct path to that point. Stories are related and secrets to success are shared. Individuals that have achieved incredible success are revealed to an audience that needs more individuals that have achieved success to look up to.
And we will save his methods of getting these high profile interviews for another day.
Jared’s process is important to learn from. So often we try to make ourselves look big and important or, worse yet, assume that people care about us. If we will just instead look for ways to make those around us feel great, the path to success will be quicker and easier. If you have the opportunity to reward someone that has done something great for you (such as given you an hour of their day for an interview), the best reward is usually to do your best at making them feel awesome. This is especially true for those who have more money than they need.
My dad taught me this principle a few years ago and I will never forget it. We were at an awards banquet in the final year of my engineering undergraduate. Wealthy donors had given millions to the school and the school went above and beyond to pay them back by naming the award after the donors. (You can see my senior design project here)
But they didn’t stop there. The entire awards banquet was about the donors. They gave them praise and recognition and applause. And for some reason the donors continued to donate, year after year.
My dad was a school principal for many years and had similar opportunities. He leaned over to me and said something to the effect of “If someone ever gives you something great, do everything you can to make that moment all about them.”
It is true whether it is about a celebrity giving you an hour or a janitor cleaning up after you. Make those around you feel great about who they are and what they are doing and you will be half way there.
This is just Jared’s reach up strategy. Perhaps sometime I’ll discuss his reach down strategy which is amazing in its own right.
Video: Jared spoke at Belmont University in Nashville, TN about Podcasting.