seanwes podcast

Tangible insights on creativity and business every Wednesday.

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.

What Should You Give Away for Free vs. Sell?

290: What Should You Give Away for Free vs. Sell?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 – 1 hour, 28 minutes

You have to make money to support yourself and you know you need to sell something, but how do you find the right balance between giving away things for free and putting a price tag on something?

Relationship marketing is important and giving away valuable content for free is a great strategy, but how much is too much?

Can you give yourself out of business?

Yes. Yes, you can.

You have to support yourself. If you don’t sell, you don’t make money. If you don’t make money, you can’t keep doing what you do. That means you can’t continue helping people and everybody loses!

But finding the balance is tricky.

We talk about finding that balance, how people don’t pay for content (they pay for context), and how true value is in the application of information not in the consumption of it. In other words, it doesn’t matter whether what you provide is paid or free—what matters is whether people apply it.

Why You Should Build a Writing Habit (And How to Get Started)

289: Why You Should Build a Writing Habit (And How to Get Started)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 – 1 hour, 21 minutes

We finished up something special a couple weeks ago:

It’s a mini course—30 lessons, 30 days, 30 minutes a day—crafted to help you build a writing habit.

Why build a writing habit?

Writing is the starting point for all other mediums.

• Want to do a speech? Write.
• Want to sell products? Write.
• Want to record a song? Write.
• Want to compose a book? Write.
• Want to produce a feature film? Write.
• Want to make a great podcast? Write.
• Want to teach an online course? Write.
• Want to shoot a compelling video? Write.

It all starts with writing.

Today’s episode is an extremely practical guide to helping you clarify your message, improve your writing and speaking voice simultaneously, increase your writing speed, and so much more.

If you know you should be writing more but struggle to maintain a writing habit, this episode is for you!

Make Money Faster by Not Doing Content Marketing Right Now (And What to Do Instead)

288: Make Money Faster by Not Doing Content Marketing Right Now (And What to Do Instead)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 – 1 hour, 6 minutes

Content marketing is all the rage—and for good reason!

(Content marketing = creating things like blog posts, podcast episodes, and videos as a way of attracting clients and customers.)

It’s a fantastic way to build an audience and attract a loyal group of followers who will buy from you and support what you do.

But there’s a downside: it’s not a quick solution. It will take 2 to 3 years of consistent, regular publishing for the bulk of benefits from content marketing to surface.

It’s a good long-term strategy, but is it something you should be doing when you’re just starting out and trying to make money?

This was the topic of a conversation Ben and I had over coffee at our last meeting. He’s in a similar place right now, and I actually recommended he stop focusing his efforts on content marketing and do something else instead:

Build one-on-one relationships with people and give them no-strings-attached value.

Why? Tune in to today’s episode to hear the discussion.

How to Stop Feeling Stuck Creatively (in 60 Seconds)

287: How to Stop Feeling Stuck Creatively (in 60 Seconds)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 – 1 minutes

If you’re feeling stuck creatively, it’s simply because you’ve given yourself too much freedom.

We think freedom produces creativity, but really it paralyzes us.

When there are infinite possibilities and too many options to choose from, we feel overwhelmed.

The solution is impose constraints on yourself.

• Limit your options.
• Reduce the tools at your disposal.
• Give yourself less time.

When you have fewer options, tools, or time, you’re forced to move forward.

How to Be Patient So You Can Win the Long Game in Business

286: How to Be Patient So You Can Win the Long Game in Business

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 – 1 hour, 13 minutes

I’m doing something different today: I’m talking about current events.

Apple has removed the headphone jack in it’s latest device: the iPhone 7.

Crazy or brilliant?

This move has been rather controversial (as have previous bold-at-the-time moves like removing the floppy and CD drives from devices), but it is a calculated move nonetheless.

Today’s show isn’t exclusively about Apple—it’s more about the concept of patience in business and making decisions in the best interest of the long game.

Whether you love or hate Apple, their actions affect us all—and there are lessons to be learned. We’ll be talking about those today.

Again, the point of the episode is not Apple but to use the topic as an opportunity to dive into a discussion about the long game. We do talk about Apple, but you should listen regardless of whether you care that Apple removed the headphone jack.

We talk about the future in regards to innovation and market acceptance, how people react to change, and how to set yourself up with enough cash reserves to afford to think about the long game.

Don't Compete—Dominate!

285: Don’t Compete—Dominate!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 – 1 hour, 3 minutes

You were taught a myth.

The myth is that competition is a good thing—it’s not!

When people say, “Competition is a good thing,” they mean that it’s good for consumers.

As a business owner, you don’t want to compete, you want to DOMINATE your market. It’s a weird concept to wrap your mind around at first because you’ve heard the opposite said so many times.

If the word “dominate” scares you, you’re going to get run over. You may have an averse reaction to the word, but it’s not about practices that aren’t above board. It comes from a place of wanting to serve your customers in the very best way possible.

Right now, someone else is serving your customers and doing so to a poorer degree than you. Are you satisfied with that?

You know you have the best product (this is the dominating mindset): you know it’s the very best and if people went with you instead of your competition, they would be better off. It would be great for them!

Why then are you satisfied with someone else serving these people poorly?

When you don’t dominate, you allow someone else to serve these people to a worse degree. You have to see it as your duty to serve people better and dominate your market.

Take massive action!

This episode is entirely inspired by The 10X Rule. It’s the best book I’ve ever read. I buy it for all of my team and family members.

If you haven’t read this book, you’re making a huge mistake. Go buy the book, read the book, and listen to this episode.

If you’ve already read the book, read it again. Then buy the audio book.

If you’ve listened to the audio book already, listen to the audio again, then buy the book and read it.

It will change your life.

If you’re still not convinced, listen to today’s episode.

Figuring Out Your Business Model

284: Figuring Out Your Business Model

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 – 1 hour, 22 minutes

There are many different ways to be in business. But you do have to sell something.

What you sell, who you sell it to, and how it helps them are all important things to think about.

There’s no right, or wrong, or even necessarily better business model—it’s all going to depend. Some business models work better for different businesses.

I find that a lot of people don’t have a good grasp on their own business model, so I feel it’s an important conversation to have. A lot of people need clarity on this topic.

We talk about examples of different business models and go over the pros and cons of half a dozen of them.

Why You Need to Publish at Least Weekly if You Want People to Care

283: Why You Need to Publish at Least Weekly if You Want People to Care

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 – 1 hour, 11 minutes

People live their life in weekly cycles.

They have habits that repeat: On Mondays they make a long commute, on Wednesdays they watch their favorite show, and on Fridays they hang out with friends.

We all have recurring events and things that happen on a weekly basis.

If you want to stay top of mind with your audience, you’ve got to get inside that weekly cycle.

People will attach the act of listening to your podcast or reading your newsletter or watching your videos to their own existing habits!

But this only happens when you get inside the weekly cycle. In this episode, we talk about staying top of mind with your audience by being consistent in your publishing schedule.

Overlap: Get From the Life You Have to the Life You Want

282: Overlap: Get From the Life You Have to the Life You Want

Wednesday, August 24, 2016 – 48 minutes

It’s written!

My first book has been in various stages of the back burner for the past three years. At the end of 2015, I said, “Enough! I’m going to finish it once and for all!”

In July of this year, I set aside a month to write this book. I ended up finishing all 75,000 words of it in 14 days (not including over 10,000 more words spent journaling about the writing process).

It’s called Overlap: Getting from the life you have to the life you want.

The book is for the person who wants to achieve greatness. It’s for anyone who wants to create additional streams of income or become a master at their craft. Whether you’re a leader or simply broke, without the support of their family, and feel like you don’t have enough time in the day, this book will give you clarity. It will help you create the life you want.

There are 26 chapters (you can see the full list at Before this recording, I asked the members of the Community which of the 26 chapters they most wanted to hear my talk about.

Here were the top three chapters people were interested in:

1. Increasing Your Focus
2. Teaching What You Know
3. Choosing What to Be Known For

In this episode, I give you an in-depth look at the three above chapters to give you an idea of the depth of this book.

Overlap is being printed as a beautiful, clothbound, embossed, hardcover book. I wanted to produce an item that felt as timeless as the message it contains.

The book is available for pre-order now and there’s a special bundle order that includes an exclusive print for anyone so kind as to support the project in its early stages.

I hope you enjoy.

What's Inside seanwes membership?

281: What’s Inside seanwes membership?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 – 1 hour, 21 minutes

This is a special episode. We’re showing you what’s inside seanwes membership and you get access to the full live video broadcast this time.

Becoming a member gives you access to The Vault, Learning Paths, mini courses, full network show archive, live broadcasts, 24/7 Community chat, mobile apps, custom content feeds for your favorite podcast app, and hundreds of like-minded people across the world eager to provide feedback and accountability.

seanwes is the place to build and grow a sustainable business.

Go behind the scenes of seanwes membership and see what’s inside.

Why You Should Engage in a Community Even Though You Think You Don't Have Time

280: Why You Should Engage in a Community Even Though You Think You Don’t Have Time

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 – 36 minutes

You’ve heard us talk about the Community at seanwes (and yes, this is a fantastic time because you’ll save $600 on seanwes membership when you join before August 31st), but this episode is really about engaging in a community of any kind.

If you don’t have time for a community, are considering joining a community, are part of a community, or run a community, this episode is for you!

Time is scarce and we don’t have a lot of it. You may feel like you barely have time to read this sentence, let alone engage in a community.

But a community isn’t a time sink, it’s a time investment.

What you invest in time with a community, you get back in clarity. It’s not that you can’t afford to spend the time, it’s that you can’t afford to spend years heading in the wrong direction!

If you want to be successful, you need to get around people who are successful. These people can help you get where you want to go faster. Find people who are already doing what you want to do and position yourself around them.

Just like you would schedule time to meet with a mentor or a coach, schedule time to interact with a community. This is where you will get clarity and breakthroughs.


279: Gold Miner: Finding Value in Unexpected Places

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 – 33 minutes

I want to talk about this concept I call Gold Miner.

A gold miner is someone who is always looking for something positive out of every situation.

What a lot of people tend to do is they try to find someone who mostly shares gold—this is good, you want to find people who mostly share gold. But what you don’t want to do is completely ignore people that you disagree with, who maybe share things you don’t like, or have different views than you, or things that you would consider junk.

It’s easy to pay attention to the people you mostly agree with and who give you things you appreciate.

But a lot of people tend to ignore and avoid people they disagree with. Even if there was something good, they don’t see it because they throw everything out.

A gold miner doesn’t care how much they have to dig through. All they care about is finding that one little bit of gold anywhere they can find it.

Every situation you encounter, every conversation you have, every book you read—you’re looking for that little piece of gold. You’re looking for the million-dollar idea.

This sounds simple in concept, but most people don’t do this. Most people aren’t gold miners. Most people are looking for the one little thing they disagree with so they can disqualify the person as a whole.

The One Thing You Lack That's Keeping You Broke (Hint: It's Not Money)

278: The One Thing You Lack That’s Keeping You Broke (Hint: It’s Not Money)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 – 1 hour, 7 minutes

We’re going to talk about money today. We’ll be covering the product spectrum, starting with the problem, not the passion, becoming passionate about the problem, and the one thing you lack that’s keeping you broke.

You can’t just do what you want all day and expect that to lead to making money. Yes, it is possible to reach a point where the way you make money involves doing things you enjoy, but you don’t get there haphazardly. You get there purposefully.

Time is money. People will give up their money if you give them time. To give them time, you need to do work for them or solve a problem for them.

You need to be good at doing work that someone else doesn’t want to do or can’t do. If you’re fortunate, that thing is something you happen to like doing.

There are two ways to reliably make a living doing what you love:

1. Become passionate about the problem. Get good at solving the problem. When you’re good at something that makes you money, this can turn into something you’re passionate about.
2. Become passionate about a thing. Get good at doing that thing. Find ways to solve problems that other people are willing to pay for by doing that thing.

Everything else is an exception and an edge case. Those edge cases are like winning the lottery. It’s not impossible, it’s just not probable—which makes suggesting that you play the lottery bad advice for someone looking to make money.

We’re going to talk about the one thing you lack that’s keeping you broke.

Preparing for the Virtual Reality Future and Why You'll Be Affected Whether You Like It or Not

277: Preparing for the Virtual Reality Future and Why You’ll Be Affected Whether You Like It or Not

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 – 39 minutes

Virtual reality is coming.

It’s not just for video games. It’s not just science fiction. We already live in virtual worlds. Look around you. Everyone has their face buried in their phone screen.

What will simply happen is the screen will no longer be something you hold in your hands. The awkward straps and head gear you see with early virtual reality devices is not how it’s always going to be.

Computers used to be the size of a city block. People thought a computer would never, ever fit inside a home.

The inevitability is that virtual reality will become more seamless, effortless to use, prevalent, and get closer and closer to looking like real life.

It doesn’t matter whether you like the idea of it or not. This is the future you will live in. And it’s not something you can put off thinking about.

You need to be preparing right now. If you want to succeed in an increasingly digital world, there are things you need to be doing right now to prepare.

You need to be able to interact with humans and do it well. You need to be able to present yourself with confidence and speak fluently. All technology does is make human interactions more seamless. The eventuality is that online human conversations will become indistinguishable from face-to-face interaction.

In this episode, we paint a picture of the future you’ll live in and give you some practical things you can, and should, be doing today if you want to succeed.

Dark Social, One-to-One Engagement, and Doing the Unscalable Things

276: Dark Social, One-to-One Engagement, and Doing the Unscalable Things

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 – 48 minutes

Dark social is traffic to your website that comes from sources that can’t be tracked in your analytics.

Every time you share a link in, or Snapchat, or in a private chat room, you are engaging in dark social.

These conversations can’t be indexed by search engines. Your links open up directly in the browser and don’t have any referral data. Marketers are somewhat worried because the amount of traffic coming from dark social is increasing.

What does this mean for you as a creator? Well, a lot of things. It really just harkens back to the principles of word of mouth. We will revisit 7 ways to encourage more word of mouth referrals in this episode.

But beyond just being aware that people are sharing links to your content in places that can’t be tracked, you should also be engaging with these people one-on-one as much as possible.

As things have become increasing automated and people are scheduling social media posts now, we are understandably yearning for personal interaction. Actually engaging with someone in real time, one-on-one, is incredibly powerful.

Of course, that kind of engagement doesn’t scale. But it doesn’t matter. You need to be doing the unscalable things.

Creative Ideas to Help You Quickly Get More Products on the Shelf

275: Creative Ideas to Help You Quickly Get More Products on the Shelf

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 – 43 minutes

Today, we’re building off of the last episode on creating products.

In the last episode, we talked about the order in which you should create products. You first start with something small, then launch something big. After that, you want to go back and fill out the spectrum.

You need more products on the shelf. You need more products at all levels. At every price point someone wants to give you money, you need to have an offering.

Today’s episode is jam-packed with creative ideas for quickly getting more products on the shelf. We talk about things like selling your process, templates, scripts, copywriting checklists, launch plans and so much more…

The best part? We’re not just talking about making new things. Yes, we do give you a TON of ideas for quick products you can crank out in a short amount of time, but it doesn’t have to be new work. You can repurpose what you’ve already made.

We’re going to help you make money from work you’ve already done. You have so many potential products right now under your nose that you’re not even aware of. You’re going to get a ton of ideas from this episode.

Sean McCabe
Sean McCabe
Ben Toalson
Ben Toalson


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