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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.


123: Personal Name vs Business Name: Branding Pros and Cons

Friday, October 31, 2014 – 1 hour, 12 minutes

What’s in a name? Well when it comes to your business, a whole lot!

It may seem inconsequential, but your name bears with it a lot of implications. A personal name implies personal involvement. The nice thing is you have a great deal of flexibility, but it requires long-term participation. A business name may have less flexibility, but it can get you traction sooner and is much easier to sell later on if that’s what you’re planning.

Which is better? Which should you start with for your first business? What about your second business? Third?

I break this into two parts:
Part 1: Should I brand myself with my name or as a business?
Part 2: Should new projects be under a separate brand name?

I talk about transparency, your brand umbrella, and why you need to know your long term plan to make effective brand decisions right now.


122: 10 Mistakes You’re Making With Clients That Cost You

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 – 1 hour, 8 minutes

I’ve got a MASSIVE episode on client relations for you here today. I’m going to share the top 10 mistakes you’re making with clients that cost you.

These mistakes are costing you in a number of ways: They’re causing you to lose time, to lose money, to miss great opportunities, to miss out on working with the right type of people, to devalue your work, to get paid slower, to be seen as a novice, and to lose the respect of your client.

It’s been awhile since I talked specifically about the nitty-gritty details of client work, so I have an overwhelming amount to share on the subject and I don’t hold back.


121: Seriously, Am I Screwed if I Have Multiple Passions?

Friday, October 24, 2014 – 1 hour, 11 minutes

Hey, you’re good at a bunch of things. There are a number of pursuits you enjoy and really like doing. There are even more things you would love to do if you could.

Does pursuing just one of those passions give you a lingering feeling of dissatisfaction? Do you feel like no matter which passion you’re feeding, the others get jealous?

If you’re good at multiple things, not doing one almost feels like a waste of talent. You feel like you owe it to yourself to pursue them all.

In this episode, we talk about whether it’s possible to have multiple passions (spoiler: it is, and you’re normal for having them), the way you know if you truly are passionate about one of them, and whether or not you should be diversifying your time investment.

Each fire pit represents one of your passions. It’s tempting to rush from pit to pit to stoke the embers. But this multitasking and split focus ensures you’ll never build up any one of the fires to a roaring blaze that can be seen for miles around.

We talk about why it’s better not to stoke all the embers now so they have the opportunity to become bon fires later.


120: You Have 90 Days to Build Sustainable Income – What Do You Do?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 – 53 minutes

You’ve stumbled across 90 completely free days. You’ve got three whole months where you’re able to work on any project without worrying about money. Your bills are covered for these 90 days.

The question: can you build sustainable income in this amount of time? Can you use these three months to build something that generates revenue and supports you?

No question, you can make some money, but I’m talking about building something that will support you. I’m talking about something that consistently makes money so that you don’t have to worry about paying bills anymore.

Is it even possible? Yes, but it requires 3 things. The 3rd is the only one that can be done in 90 days. If you already have the first 2, it just might work. I tell you what those 3 things are in this episode.

I also explain the reason you should do client work in the beginning whether you like it or not and why client work is the key to products.

Depending on where you are right now, you may or may not be able to build sustainable income in such a short amount of time. But I will tell you the best thing you can do in 90 days regardless.


119: How to Get an Extra Day a Week

Friday, October 17, 2014 – 1 hour, 14 minutes

Is it actually possible to get an extra day a week? What would that even look like? Imagine going through your entire week, doing all of your work, and having a whole day left over.

Think of all the things you could do. You could relax, you could kick back, spend some time with your family, maybe do some cleaning around the house… Heck, maybe you’re hustling right now and thinking of how much more you could accomplish if you had another day just to work on your side project!


“What are you talking about, Sean?”


“Ok, now I’m totally confused.”

Those are the two things that most people lack. They don’t have focused work time and they don’t carve out silence and prevent interruptions.

If you’re allowing interruptions, you might as well be throwing money out the window. I’m going to tell you the difference between productive people and super productive people. We’re going to look at the way to create focused work time and how to get an extra day a week.


118: The Fear of Losing Everything: Dealing With Stress and Catastrophic Failure

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 – 1 hour, 10 minutes

My website crashed. It crashed hard. Nothing was loading. I had no dashboard access. It gets worse: I should’ve had daily backups, but something was improperly configured and the most recent backup was nearly 3 months ago.

I feared the worst.

Everything was down. I was getting complaints. My host tried reverting the database only to cause even more problems: orders from the database were getting repeated. Customers were getting charged multiple times. Overdrafts were happening as a result.

It wasn’t pretty.

In this episode, I tell the story of how I (nearly) lost everything, how I got it back, and what I learned from an experience that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.


117: 62 Topic Ideas So You Never Run Out of Things to Write About

Friday, October 10, 2014 – 1 hour, 13 minutes

Uh oh. Your scheduled blog post is due tomorrow and you have no idea what to write about! It’s come down to the wire and you thought your trusty, old procrastination would create the time constraint you needed to crank out something golden in the last minute. It almost always works, but this time it’s not working.

This time, you feel stuck. It’s time to podcast and you have no idea what to talk about. But you’re not going to do a disservice to your audience and just turn on the mic and ramble. You’re determined to provide value. You just need a topic!

In this episode, I share 62 topics you can write about (or use as fuel for your podcast, videos, etc.). There’s so much to talk about, it’s just hard to remember when you’ve hit a block. We’ll help you get unstuck.


116: How to Find Your Own Unique Voice and Style

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 – 1 hour, 4 minutes

How do you produce work that looks authentic? How do you find a voice that feels like your own? How do you say or create something original without feeling like you copied or ripped off someone else?

I break down it down into 3 parts: your actual voice, what you talk about, and how you say it. I talk about finding your unique voice in a written or spoken sense, but then also apply what we uncover to discovering your own artistic style.

I conclude with how to be inspired without copying and why you aren’t the one who determines your own style.


115: How to Overcome Self-Doubt, Get Rid of Anxiety, and Stay Focused

Friday, October 3, 2014 – 1 hour, 4 minutes

Self-doubt is paralyzing. “Do I have what it takes?” “What if my best isn’t good enough?” “What if I fail?”

It’s not just if you’re a beginner either. Even people who are successful struggle with self-doubt regularly.

But they have learned how to consistently resolve the feelings of self-doubt or impostor syndrome.

We talk about how to overcome feelings of paralysis, what to do to keep self-doubt minimized and less likely to resurface, as well as why the phrase “could be” is keeping you from ever accomplishing anything.


114: When to Increase the Frequency

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 – 7 minutes

So you’re thinking about publishing more? If you’re like me, it’s fun to entertain the thought of sending more newsletters, doing more artwork, publishing more blog posts, or recording more podcasts.

Wouldn’t it be great to be more prolific?

Yes, but if you go about it the wrong way, you’ll get yourself into a mess of trouble.

Today, I talk about increasing the frequency of your output: how to know the right time, and if you should do it at all.


113: The Importance of Your WHY and How To Get People on Board

Friday, September 26, 2014 – 11 minutes

I’m gonna be switching things up a little bit in this episode. This is one of what I’m calling my mini sabbatical episodes.

Today, I want to talk about this idea of the WHY for a moment. What is your WHY? What are you about?

Sure, you have certain pursuits you are fond of and things you enjoying doing, but what is your greater purpose?


112: What Is the Perfect Age to Work For Yourself?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 – 50 minutes

Too young to be taken seriously? Too old to be relevant? Where does adolescent inexperience meet youthful ambition? Where does late start meet experiential wisdom?

I think if you’re asking the question, you have what it takes. It definitely takes hard work, but you’re not too early and you’re not too late.

Are you living for 2 weeks out of the year or are you making the 52 worth living?


111: Courting Your Clients and Customers

Friday, September 19, 2014 – 1 hour, 14 minutes

We buy from those we trust and we trust those we know. You may have the solution to someone’s problem but if someone doesn’t know that your solution can be trusted, it’s going to be a tough sell.

Familiarity is key. You want people to be comfortable with you and you want to make a personal connection. In relational terms you want to court them—flirt with them even! It sounds crazy, but people crave this.

We get so caught up in pitching and teaching and providing samples that we forget one of the biggest hooks: story telling.

You’ll hear more on that analogy (along with riveting story of 3rd Grade Ben & The Note), but I’ll also be talking about the 3 modes a client or customer is in.

Most people are only reaching customers in 1 or 2 of these modes. Sure, you can still make some sales and land some gigs, but you’re missing out on so many opportunities. You’ll learn what those are and how to attract people in each one of those modes.


110: Behind the Scenes of seanwes: What It Takes & How Many Hours Sean Works

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 – 1 hour, 3 minutes

You know what’s frustrating? Seeing someone make something hard look easy.

What’s worse is when you don’t know that it’s actually hard to do and you think that it should be easy. Then you just end up feeling bad about yourself for not being able to do it.

They make it look so effortless. Surely they’re not spending hundreds upon thousands upon tens of thousands of hours working at it.

But in fact, they are.

The easier they make it look, the harder they’re working. As you read this, no doubt those people are working on their craft.

I want to demystify the process for you. I’m going to take you behind the scenes and show you exactly what it takes and all that I’m doing to make everything happen. You’ll witness the things that aren’t normally visible to you.

I’m going to get real and I’m going to tell you how many hours I work a week (hint: it’s not a two-digit number). In this episode, I’m also going to be fully honest and tell you that I often forget to eat. Neither of these are things I’m proud of and neither are healthy. I’m not censoring any of this, I’m simply showing you the reality that is behind the curtain.

I’m not promising it’s going to be pretty (it never is behind the curtain). You’re getting a real look inside the well-oiled machine. I’m showing you because I want you to see that it’s not a machine at all.


109: Mentorship Meeting with Sean & Ben

Friday, September 12, 2014 – 1 hour, 10 minutes

You walk into your favorite coffee shop. It’s a bit early and you’re somewhat groggy. Standing in line, you already know what you’re going to order. It’s the same thing every time.

“What can I get started for you?”

Startled, you come out of your daze and place an order.

Stepping away from the counter, you look around to take in the scene. “Why are people up at this hour anyway?” you wonder. Your thoughts are interrupted. Wait a minute.

Is that… is that Sean and Ben?


108: Creating Ambassadors for Your Brand When You’re Not Well Known Yet

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 – 54 minutes

You’re dreaming big. You have huge aspirations for where you want to be, and you have a vision for how to get there. But for as big as your vision is, the results don’t seem to be aligning.

You feel like you’re spinning your wheels. You feel like you’re working hard to show up and create content but it doesn’t seem to be resonating with anyone. Your audience doesn’t seem to be growing very much or even at all.

There’s a problem here. I’m going to tell you what it is, and I’m going to tell you why you have it.

I’ll show you how to create insanely loyal followers who will become your personal ambassadors. I’m going to show you the key to your next 10,000 followers.

It starts with one person. All you need is one person. You can change someone’s entire perception of you with this one, single conversation tactic I’ll be sharing in this episode.

Sean McCabe
Sean McCabe
Ben Toalson
Ben Toalson


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You've helped me increase my success at gaining and maintaining freelance work. So much so I'm now overwhelmed at the moment.

Mark R.

Thanks so much for your time putting this show together. The "tangible insights" part of the show description is my favorite because it couldn't be more accurate.

Jake R.

Thank you for being so honest, for sharing your passion with everyone, for building up this community of designers, and for emphasizing the importance of professionalism within this field.

Miranda M.

I just wanted you to know that you are changing lives here. [...] I feel that I'm on the right path again.

Agata K.

I feel as though I am getting special insight and advice I would expect getting while working in a upper level agency.

Jeff M.

You truly are changing the "design way of thinking" with your podcast and articles. Thank you so much.

Dina R.

Thanks again for always providing such rich and well-thought out content.

Hallie T.

After every new episode it leaves me feeling so motivated and inspired to do things differently. You guys put a lot of effort into crafting such good content, it really shows.

Daniel C.

One of the most intelligent business minds I've heard talk in forever.

Jennifer S.