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seanwes podcast

seanwes podcast

Tangible insights on creativity and business every single Wednesday and Friday.

Want to make a living with your passion? From products and marketing to professionalism and clients, you'll get answers to the hard-hitting questions.

Join entrepreneurs Sean McCabe and Ben Toalson as they let you inside their discussions on the many facets of making a living online. You'll come away from every episode with something of value that you can apply to your business.

Save, Build, Buy the Life You Want in Cash

244: Save, Build, Buy the Life You Want in Cash

Friday, February 12, 2016 – 1 hour, 6 minutes

What does it look like to own your life?

What if everything you had was bought in cash? People say they don’t like living in debt, but they keep using it as a tool.

It is possible to live a life without debt. It is possible to buy the life you want in cash. But it’s not easy.

Just wanting to have no debt isn’t enough. You have to define the life you want to have and work backwards from that. Shift your focus back toward the life you’ve always wanted to have for yourself: what does that look like? What does your ideal day entail?

It’s a matter of reverse engineering the life you want and making sacrifices to get there.

I guarantee this episode will give you a ton of ideas and a ton to think about. It’s not just about how to cut expenses and save money (though there are some great tips on that), it’s about shifting your focus to the areas where you have the greatest impact.

It’s better to make $10 than to save $2. I’ll show you places where you’re missing out on the $10.

I get really practical in the episode on how to focus your time, invest your resources, and take back ownership of your life.

Building a Lasting Legacy

243: Building a Lasting Legacy

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 – 1 hour, 16 minutes

We often use the expression, “leave a legacy.”

Usually, the emphasis is on the word legacy. But the first word is just as important: leave. You have to actually depart at some point. That is when you leave a legacy.

While you’re alive, you can influence your legacy, but eventually it goes on without you. Other people will be the ones to define it.

Imparting a legacy starts with defining your values. If your values aren’t written down, you don’t have values. I’m serious. That statement might offend you if you believe you have values, but unless you can articulate them, all you have is a warm, fuzzy feeling. Most of us want to believe we are people of values, but if you don’t have those values written down, they are not actually tangible.

Once you have your values defined, take those values and turn them into principles. Principles are like sayings or expressions that are based on your values. Principles can be shared and passed on and referenced by others without your being there.

We talk about what to do from this point to communicate your values to others and give them the resources to carry them on without you. We also talk about the difference between mere influence and true legacy.

Find Your Why and the Reason You Do What You Do

242: Find Your Why and the Reason You Do What You Do

Friday, February 5, 2016 – 1 hour, 14 minutes

Do you ever wake up some days and wonder, “Why am I even doing this?”

I do. Sometimes it’s just a fleeting moment and I push past. Other times it lasts more than a few minutes. “Will I have something good to say? Am I just repeating myself? Does what I’m doing even matter?”

Without a reason for what you do, it’s hard to stick with something because things are not always going to be easy. You’re going to wake up not feeling like doing the work sometimes. You’re not always going to want to show up.

That’s where your WHY comes in.

We talk about how to find your why, if you can have multiple whys, and whether it’s ok for you to have selfish whys or if they have to be altruistic.

How to Become a Learning Machine

241: How to Become a Learning Machine

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 – 1 hour, 18 minutes

To learn, you must consume.

But most people consume inefficiently. They allow “educational distractions” and pursue things during times where they should be doing important work.

Becoming a learning machine doesn’t mean watching or listening to things on 2X speed or speed reading.

It’s about how you optimize your consumption time, not the pace at which you consume. Consumption is a good thing only if what you’re consuming enriches your life.

Increasing your consumption speed only means you will consume more. It doesn’t actually mean you’ll retain what you consume (and isn’t that the point?). Educational consumption can be detrimental if it’s taking you away from important work you should be doing.

The key is deferring your consumption. That’s what we talk about in this episode. Learn to optimize your consumption habits and become a learning machine.


240: 4 Keys to Growing an Audience

Friday, January 29, 2016 – 9 minutes

One of the Community members, Scott, listened to the last episode on The Long Game.

I talked about the importance of not worrying about short-term recognition and instead making your work for ten years from now.

Scott said, “Clearly you need to show up everyday, strive to improve, and work hard. What I’m wondering is if you invest more time, will you see faster results? For instance, if you sleep six hours a night instead of eight to create two extra hours, would you realize your investment sooner?”

I thought this would be an interesting question to discuss on today’s mini sabbatical episode.

The Long Game

239: The Long Game

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 – 5 minutes

Technology is a wonderful thing.

Want to watch a movie? Stream it. In seconds, you’re enjoying whatever film you like.

Want to go somewhere? Raise your wrist and call a car. Within minutes you are on your way.

We want what we want when we want it. For the most part, life can now give it to us.

At least… it can in most areas. In others, not so much.

On a regular basis, we see viral videos and follow the work of popular artists, entrepreneurs, and writers. Their work seems to instantly take off and reach thousands or millions of people. It seems so easy. So effortless.

Do things just come easier to some people? Is it merely luck and being in the right place at the right time?

How to Learn and Grow From Mistakes

238: How to Learn and Grow From Mistakes

Friday, January 22, 2016 – 1 hour, 3 minutes

Future focus.

Those are the two most important words when it comes to making mistakes.

It’s too easy to dwell on the past and feel bad about messing up. We tend to beat ourselves up for making a mistake, but there’s zero profitability in dwelling in the past and doing that.

The number one goal is to prevent this same problem from occurring in the future. Assess the situation: what went wrong? Focus on the WHAT not the WHY. It doesn’t matter why you made the mistake. Focus on what you did that produced the undesired results and implement processes to prevent the same problem from happening again.

Notice that I said SAME problem. You’re always going to make mistakes. The ideas is to make NEW mistakes. Don’t ever make the same mistake twice.

In this episode, we also talk about taking the empowering “future focus” mindset and applying it to delegation. When you operate this way, you can allow others to make mistakes in your stead.

You need to adopt this “future focus” mindset before you make your next mistake. This episode will certainly be helpful for getting past a recent mistake you just made, but it’s even more valuable for the future.

Breaking Commitments?

237: When Is the Best Time to Break a Commitment?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 – 1 hour, 13 minutes

Let’s say you’ve been blogging every week for two years now.

Last year, maybe you started a podcast (bear with me if you haven’t). Several months ago, you thought, “You know what? I might as well throw some videos into the mix!”

You’re good at making and sticking to commitments so your audience knows what to expect.

But now, imagine you just got back from a retreat. On the plane ride home, you did a lot of thinking because you didn’t want to pay $8 for wifi. You realized what you’re doing right now on a daily and weekly basis isn’t taking you where you want to go. Maybe it’s simply not allowing you the time to do the work you want to do.

You’ve come to the conclusion that a change needs to happen. But back at the ranch, people are expecting fresh content. You don’t want to let them down.

How do you realign the commitments you already made in the past so you can head in new direction to accomplish your current goals without alienating the audience that has come to expect new content from you?

Today’s show is all about the best way to break a commitment (and set new expectations too).


236: The Weight of Your Word

Friday, January 15, 2016 – 1 hour, 13 minutes

Today, we talk about integrity.

More specifically, we talk about your reputation and your word, but it all stems from integrity.

The higher your integrity level, the more easily a good reputation happens automatically.

In other words, if you have integrity, you don’t have to work hard at shaping your reputation.

What does it mean if you commit to something? What does it mean if you say you’ll do something? Is there a 50% chance you’ll do it? An 80% chance? A 97% chance?

How valuable is your “yes”? What is the weight of your word?

It’s easy to make promises you can’t deliver on so people feel good in the moment, but it comes at the expense of the long-term relationship.

When it comes to business, are you selling with a focus only on today or are you serving with a focus on the next 30 years?

Your word is your reputation. Your reputation in business is everything.

How we operate in business is a reflection of how we operate in our personal lives. Today, I want to talk today about the importance of your words.

Reverse Engineering $500k/yr

235: Reverse Engineering a $500,000/Year Business

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 – 1 hour, 49 minutes

Ben had a big goal the last time we met: he wants to make $500,000 in a year. I told him it’s doable, but I insisted we set the foundation.

In e233, we talked about the importance of focus and managing your time.

In e234, we talked about building business assets the smart way.

This is the third and final episode of our series you’ve been waiting for.

There are five critical things you need first. We talk about what those are.

Then, we reverse engineer exactly what it takes to make $500,000 this next year with your business.

Are you in?


234: How to Build Business Assets the Smart Way

Friday, January 8, 2016 – 1 hour, 43 minutes

Business assets are things you build that continue to serve you.

Compare having to work every month for money to having it come in automatically. We all want to build assets!

Because assets are so appealing, it’s tempting to try to get them as soon as possible.

But assets, like products, require upfront investment to acquire. It takes time, money, and effort. When you’re just starting out, you typically don’t have the money to afford the time to build assets.

This is why I recommend against trying to build assets as the very first thing you do. Instead, you should prioritize generating cashflow. When you start with a full focus on cashflow and building up front capital, you earn freedom.

Freedom is your first asset. The freedom that comes from the asset of cash in hand provides you the time and availability to work on investing in building other assets.

In this episode, I share a very purposeful and methodical approach to building assets from square one.


233: Get More Time in a Day, Increase Your Focus, and Accomplish All of Your Goals

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 – 1 hour, 21 minutes

Ben has a huge goal. He wants to know if it’s possible to make $500,000 this year.

“Yes,” I told him. This was at our regular, early Monday morning meeting at the coffee shop.

“There are a number of ways to accomplish this goal,” I said. “If you want to do it in a year, it is possible, but to do it sustainably, you need to think in longer terms than 12 months.”

Reverse Engineering a $500,000/Year Business. That’s the title of the show we’ll be doing two episodes from now.

However, we need to take a step back. I’ll be deconstructing what it takes to make half a million in a year, but first I want to set the stage. There are certain things you need to do to be able to accomplish this goal. In order to do those things, you need to say no to other things.

The reason I will accomplish my goals and you won’t is because I have a list of NOs and you have a list of MAYBEs.

You have to get an explicit list of things you will NOT be doing this year in order to accomplish your goals.

Saying no is your only tool for creating time. You need to learn to see “yes” as the expensive word that it is. For every yes, there are 999 implicit nos.

You will never find more time because we fill time automatically by habit.

You can only make time. We all make time for things. We all account for and use up the 24 hours in our day. The things you make time for define what is important to you.

Today’s episode is about getting more time in a day and being purposeful in your commitments so you can increase your focus and accomplish your goals for this year.

Goals vs. Plans

232: Planning Your Next Year

Friday, January 1, 2016 – 1 hour, 14 minutes

What’s the difference between a goal and a plan?

They sound similar and you may even use them interchangeably, but they’re quite different.

A goal is where you’re going. A plan is how you’ll get there.

You start by defining what you want to accomplish. This becomes your goal. Then you convert that goal into a plan that you can act on.

I give you a 5-step process for turning goals into plans in this episode.

Creating Margin

231: Reduce Stress and Do Better Work by Creating Margin

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 – 1 hour, 14 minutes

When was the last time you scheduled blank space on your calendar?

I mean empty space where you said, “During this time, I will specifically and intentionally not do anything.”

You know how sometimes someone cancels a meeting or an appointment with you and you suddenly have some extra free time? You know that relieved feeling? That’s margin.

Margin is something we all crave but very few of us create. By habit, we fill time. If there’s space on our calendar, we schedule something there.

But this space is important. As with all things important, it needs to be planned for. That means we need to schedule margin, as in, intentionally plan to do nothing.

In this episode, we talk about the ways that margin gives you a better life and how to get it.

Internet Famous & Broke

230: Why You’re Internet Famous and Still Broke

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 – 1 hour, 18 minutes

There’s a really big problem today.

You can be internet famous and have tens of hundreds of thousands of subscribers and followers and still be making no money.

You might even (gasp!) have to get a day job.

We have people thinking they can just “get famous” and once they have a massive audience, they’ll automatically be set for life and start making bank.

What’s wrong here? Why are there stars with 100,000 followers who still have to go to work at a minimum wage job?

They have no business model.

Repeat after me: a YouTube channel is not a business. A blog is not a business. An Instagram account is not a business. I don’t care how many followers you have. A BUSINESS is a business.

What is a business? That’s exactly what we talk about in this episode. You need a business plan and a strategy. Blogging and videos are acquisition channels. They are merely tools that advance someone on the Buyer’s Journey.

What is the Buyer’s Journey and how can blog posts and videos lead people to buy? I’m glad you asked. Tune in to the episode.


229: Behind the Scenes With Sean and Ben

Friday, December 18, 2015 – 30 minutes

After the podcast ends, we usually do a little “after show” segment following the music.

Community members enjoy an additional live bonus segment called the “after after show”. It’s typically more laid back and low-key.

The recording you’re about to hear came from an “after after show” conversation that went long. It went nearly 30 minutes. We weren’t originally planning on releasing it publicly, but it was such a deep conversation that I really wanted to share it.

It’s about taking a step back. In this off-the-record conversation, I get real with Ben about the challenges of producing as much content as we do. It was right before I was about to take a sabbatical week and you can tell I really need one.

I conjectured about what I might be able to accomplish if I stopped doing all of my shows and newsletters. If I stopped podcasting and publishing daily videos, what might I be able to do? It’s not so much that I want to stop, in fact I really enjoy the work, but more that I’m not sure I’ve had the chance to take a big enough step back to evaluate what it might look like.

I talk about the possibility of taking a whole month sabbatical instead of just a week every seven weeks. Ben and I discuss my plans to take a full year sabbatical in 2020.

The conversation delves deeper into the meaning behind satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment. I wonder how much of my efforts should be allocated to accomplishing my 5 and 10 year goals and how much should be dedicated to the short term.

I hope you enjoy this behind-the-scenes episodes.

Sean McCabe
Sean McCabe
Ben Toalson
Ben Toalson


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