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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.


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

Saturday, September 20, 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 doing 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 be 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.


107: Why You Need an Accountability Partner & How to Find One

Friday, September 5, 2014 – 1 hour, 14 minutes

How do you stay motivated? How do you become the person you want to be? How do you keep commitments to yourself? How can you achieve the kinds of things the people you look up to have achieved?

You want all of these things, but you can’t seem to stick with something. You want to commit, but every time you try to start something it doesn’t really go anywhere and you just give up and move on.

These people you look up to seem to be prolific in their output. They’re successful, they’re consistent, and they’re constantly putting things out without fail.

If you feel like you’ve wanted to get to this point and you just aren’t there yet, accountability is what is missing.

Now the big question: how do you find someone?


106: Get More Done by Working Less

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 – 59 minutes

Note: This episode happened before I made the decision to start practicing Small Scale Sabbaticals. A few days after this episode was recorded, I decided to take off a week every 7 weeks. It’s interesting to listen back to some of the thoughts that were going through my mind beforehand.

Do you feel like you’re making an effort to say no to things, bringing on help, not doing too many things at once, and somehow you’re still overloaded? You’re still exhausted, you still feel like you have no time, and still don’t seem to be getting any more done?

It seems like no matter how much I say no and regardless of whether I’m hiring people to help, I somehow don’t end up having more time. What I’ve realized is I consistently tend to ramp up everything until I’m at maximum capacity. I’m bad at slowing down. I’m bad at taking breaks because I fall prey to the idea that they’re unproductive.

We talk about why breaks are actually helpful, the two kinds of breaks, the importance of thinking time, being able to take breaks even when you have kids, the piano teacher that always knew, and leveraging procrastination to get more done in less time.


105: What if I’m Jack of All Trades and Master of None?

Friday, August 29, 2014 – 59 minutes

Eagerness to do a lot of things at once. It’s an ambition many of us struggle with: being good at many things but not perceived as an expert with any one of them. You feel like you’re never really able to get traction.

Do you often pick up something to learn and end up gaining just enough knowledge to be dangerous?

I believe there are two kinds of Jack of All Trades: a permanent Jack of All Trades (you don’t want this one!), and an intermittent Jack of All Trades. The latter is a result of the journey to becoming a master—a good thing.

I want to talk about how to know the difference so you can determine which one you are. You’ll find out if you’re on your way to mastery or simply floundering about in the novice world of mediocre proficiency.


104: Become An Expert, Have a Happy Family & Get Your Focus Back

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 – 1 hour, 18 minutes

You have ideas. Great ideas. They come at you all day long but you aren’t able to pursue them. You have a task at hand that needs to be done. Maybe it’s your day job. Maybe it’s a project you’re busy working on.

You can’t engage these ideas because you’re supposed to be working, but they keep distracting you! A concept for your painting, a solution to your engineering problem, a way to relate to your students—they’re all begging for your attention.

We’re going to unpack all of this in a DYNAMITE episode. I’m going to tell you the way to get your focus back, show you how to apply that focus to becoming an expert, and explain how to do all of this while having a happy family.

A tall order? You bet. Let’s dive in.


103: You Are an Independent Marketing Firm

Friday, August 22, 2014 – 1 hour, 1 minute

The playing field has now been leveled. The middlemen are slowly fading away and you no longer have to play by the rules of the gatekeepers in order to reach your audience.

However, with the disappearance of the middleman comes many equivalent software replacements. Many platforms are seeking content creators and teachers like yourself to create, sell and teach on their platforms.

They bring the appeal of “wider reach” and “large audiences” that you will gain access to. But in exchange for this exposure, there is a very significant downside: lack of control.

When you build your own platform, you are the master. You own the domain and you set the rules. This means you can control the pricing, you can control whether or not your products are discounted, and you can design the entire experience.

Yes, building your own platform is a lot more difficult, but what does the alternative look like? Is the incentive of exposure enough for you to compromise your control and potentially devalue your products?

With the middleman gone it also places a lot of responsibility on you. The brunt of the marketing and distribution work is now yours to deal with. This can sound scary but it’s also extremely empowering.

I want to empower you: You are an independent marketing firm. Let me tell you why that should excite you.


102: Why It May Be the Wrong Time to Pursue Your Passion

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 – 52 minutes

Last episode, we talked about How to Find Your Passion. This was a very real topic for Ben as he was struggling firsthand with a lot of the things we were discussing.

In the days following the recording, Ben reflected on what we talked about and ended up writing an article on his own blog about setting his passion free. He realized that he was trying to solve the wrong problem. He thought the problem was finding his passion. What he ended up concluding was that he had no business trying to find his passion because he did not yet have a stable day job covering his bills.

His passion pursuits could not be free because he was using them as a tool to fill in the gaps of his monetary needs. What he needs is a day job that covers 100% of his bills first before he pursues the passion and he only has 50% covered.

We talk about the day job a lot in passing, but its importance is often missed. In this episode we talk about the crucial role of a day job as a foundation and define the right kind of day job needed to fully support the pursuit of your passion. An insufficient day job makes you vulnerable to Scarcity Mindset which leads to compromising your professionalism to pay the bills.

As fun as it is to talk about doing what you love, you have to go about it in the right way or you’ll kill the passion. Do you love this thing enough to not do it right now? It would be a disservice to say “Drop everything and pursue your passion!” without first defining the necessary foundation required. This is the purpose of The Overlap Technique. Let’s talk about it.


101: How to Find Your Passion

Friday, August 15, 2014 – 1 hour, 12 minutes

Finding your passion is no trivial matter. The problem seems to split everyone into two groups: Either you have no idea what you’re passionate about, or you have so many things you love you’re overwhelmed with possible options!

The difficulty comes down to thinking we might be passionate about something when really we just like the IDEA of something. When it comes to the act of DOING it, we often find that we don’t enjoy the process.

Because passion is found in the doing, exploration is required for discovery. But exploration takes effort and time. Where can you afford to invest time when you don’t know if things will pan out?

That’s what this episode is about: discovering the intersection of your categorical interests. I’m going to throw out a number of questions to help you uncover this and my hope hope is that one or two of them combined may unlock something for you.


100: The $1,000 Giveaway

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 – 1 hour, 9 minutes

Today is a very big day. After 1 year of publishing two podcasts a week, we’ve made it to the 100th episode of the seanwes podcast.

To celebrate, I’ll be giving away over $1,000 worth of seanwes products. The giveaway is exclusive to newsletter subscribers.

While the giveaway is pretty epic, it’s actually only half the surprise. I normally write exhaustive show notes for each episode, but if I did that now, it would spoil 2 other special surprises that happen during the podcast, so you’ll have to tune in to find out.

I wish I could tell you more about the topic without spoiling the surprises, but I will say this much: the conversation in this particular show is 100% on par with the quality you’ve come to expect from this podcast. The discussion was very enriching. We touched on a lot of real issues surrounding work, defining overworking, the importance of relationships, and why it’s not selfish to put yourself first when it comes to your own happiness and well-being.

I guarantee you’ll come away with a lot to think about and process in regards to the things that really matter in life.


099: How to Read Minds

Friday, August 8, 2014 – 55 minutes

If I could tell you exactly what you were thinking right now, would I have your attention? Whether it’s business or personal relationships, we all want to be heard. We want people to hear what we have to say. We want people’s attention.

Here’s the terrible truth: people only listen to what they want to hear. It’s true. Attention spans are short. We’re bombarded with ads, we scroll through infinite feeds, we are masters at tuning out. If we don’t want to hear something, we don’t listen to it—it’s that simple.

In order to be heard by people, you have to convince them that you’re reading their mind. “I was just wondering that. That’s exactly what I was thinking! How did you know what I needed?”

The answer is super simple: No, you’re not actually reading their mind, you’re doing the one thing almost nobody does—listening.

What are you listening for? That’s exactly what we talk about in this episode. We go into what to listen for, and how to deliver what you have to say in a package of what somebody already wants to hear. You’ll have people swearing you read their minds.


098: What Happened When I Consolidated 20,000 Email Subscribers

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 – 1 hour, 12 minutes

Not long ago, I had numerous, separate email lists for various things like newsletters, podcasts, and my courses. Things were very fragmented and confusing. Many people who wanted to receive updates of my new posts weren’t getting everything because they weren’t on all of the right lists—my fault.

I realized this fragmentation wasn’t helping anybody. I was thinking of things very literally: there’s “podcasts” and there’s “newsletters.” But when I took a step back, I realized that everything I’m about is helping you make a living with your passion.

Whether it’s newsletters, blog posts, podcasts, or videos, that’s what I want to help you with. It doesn’t make much sense to have individual lists for each medium. While I’m using different mediums to share new facets of the same message, it’s all fresh, relevant content.

If you’re thinking of combining multiple email lists, running several lists of your own, or you’re just plain curious, this episode provides an intriguing breakdown of the response I got.

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.

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