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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.

096: Boosting Creativity by Reducing Choice

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 – 1 hour, 12 minutes

Everyone is always looking for a way to conjure the ever-elusive creative muse. Can you evoke creativity on a whim? Is it possible to turn on creativity like a faucet?

Maybe not quite. But creativity is something we can facilitate. Creativity comes when there is an environment that can foster it. We must encourage creativity by setting up a the right context.

You might initially think that creativity comes from freedom. But when there is an abundance of possibility and a wealth of options, creativity is decreased. What we need is restriction to challenge our brains. It’s constraint that breeds creativity—not freedom.

In my last newsletter, I broached the notion of limiting choice. In this podcast episode, we dive even deeper into exploring the how and why of reducing choice for the purpose of boosting creativity.

We look at the places where we are most creative, how those contexts look, and how we can create similar environments in the future.

095: Overcoming the Fear of What Other People Think and Doing Your Best Work Anyway

Friday, July 25, 2014 – 1 hour, 23 minutes

My wife is an aspiring writer but has been held back from really pursuing it by the fear of what other people think. The other night, she shared numerous personal fears related to putting her writing out there. With her permission, we’re dedicating this entire episode to tackling all of those tough questions.

How do you respond to hate? Should you respond at all? What’s the difference between hate and legitimate criticism? Can you still take away something positive from negative feedback?

We’re going to get into all of this and show you why the only thing you have to fear is having no haters at all.

094: Goals & 5-Year Plans

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 – 47 minutes

Some people dislike the notion of a 5-year plan. Others swear by it. The primary concern is “planning” yourself into a corner. We talk about ways to still set longer term plans while enabling spontaneity. Having a longer-term vision is important, but equally so is planning for margin so you have the freedom to pivot.

This episode is a followup from e068: You Have One Life – Set Bigger Goals.

093: Lessons Learned From Running Businesses in 3 Different Industries

Friday, July 18, 2014 – 1 hour, 14 minutes

My story begins with a computer repair business. I was in high school, and it was my very first business. I knew next to nothing about legalities, accounting, and taxes, but it was the perfect way to learn: diving right in.

The things I learned from this business carried me through the next several businesses. I’ve told my personal story in bits and pieces throughout the podcast, but I wanted to have a canonical episode the really focuses on the transitions between each business.

I zoom in on the reasons for going from one business to the next and review the lessons learned at each of them.

You’ll hear how I went from one to the next, and the takeaways that continued to serve me in all of my future pursuits. It goes to show that even if what you’re doing isn’t that thing you’ll do for the rest of your life, you have no idea how the things you learn will help what you do in the future.

092: 4 Keys to Growing an Audience When You Feel Like You’re Not Getting Recognition

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 – 1 hour, 10 minutes

You’re working hard, you feel like you’re doing a good job with your work, but you just don’t seem to be getting any traction. No matter what, your audience isn’t growing at the rate you want it to.

Why is it that some people seems to be getting recognition and you’re not? Do they know something you don’t?

It turns out they do.

Growing an audience is not a result of magic and it’s not a result of luck: growth comes when you consistently serve great content to that audience.

It’s not just any kind of content, and you can’t just do it whenever you feel like it. There are 4 very crucial keys to growing an audience, and you don’t just need one—you need all 4 of them.

091: How I Prevent Unwanted Spending Even Though I’ve Never Had A Budget

Friday, July 11, 2014 – 50 minutes

I mentioned in passing to Ben that I’ve never had a budget. Even when I was living month-to-month, I didn’t have a budget. Ben said he was taken by surprise because, “If anyone were to have a budget,” he certainly imagined that I would be one of those people.

Oddly enough though, I never have. We talk about how my no-debt mentality plays into this, as well as how I’m able to prevent unwanted spending and still maintain proper allocation of funds and expenses without using a budget.

It’s an exploratory episode wherein Ben and I discuss the different methodologies, habits, and mindsets around handling finances and ultimately arrive at deeper issue of your core values and how they define the way you approach money.

090: Taking Vacations When You Love Your Work

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 – 53 minutes

Matt announces that he’s finally quitting his day job and going full time with his businesses and self employment. We start out talking about finances, paying yourself, spousal support, and investing in your business.

We get to the difficulties of taking vacations when you love what you do. How do you remove yourself and take a break? We discuss the challenges of systematizing in the context of Physical businesses vs. Digital businesses, and defining the difference between finding fulfillment in your work and just plain workaholism.

089: Building Customer Trust With The Long Game Mindset

Friday, July 4, 2014 – minutes

I recently received a series of questions from a potential customer. They were inquiring about a product and wanted some additional details. At the end of their list, they wrote one more question which they admitted to feeling silly asking but went on to say was important to them:

“How can I trust you?”

The profundity of this question struck me. Sure, I had plenty of social proof, but at the end of the day those are just numbers to this person.

How can you really know someone? How can you really trust them?

We talk about 3 ways to build trust, how trust leads to loyalty, and why loyalty positively influences the lifetime value of your customer.

None of this works if you’re focused on short term returns. It’s all about the Long Game Mindset.

088: The 2-Letter Secret to Creating More Time

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 – 1 hour

We all want more time. Unfortunately, we’re all allotted the same amount of time each day. We fill time automatically, which means we don’t “find” time by chance.

All you have is the time you intentionally set aside. You make time by saying “no”—it’s the 2-letter secret to making time. When you choose to do one thing, you’re able to do it because you’re saying “no” to other things.

The only tool you have to create time is “No.” We do the things that are important to us, and the things we say “yes” to are the things that our actions are declaring as important.

We talk about how to say “no” if you’re a people-pleaser, why “no” is about more than just creating margin, and the reason you should be saying “no” even if you have an entirely blank day on your schedule.

087: 10 Myths Creative People Tell Themselves

Friday, June 27, 2014 – 1 hour, 7 minutes

I’ve compiled a list of common myths creative people perpetuate. Many people repeat these myths to themselves, and often offer them as advice to others. I want to talk about why they are misconceptions and how you can change your mindset.

It’s rapid fire and we don’t slow down in this episode (well, except for the unexpected yoga bit). It’s chock-full and jam-packed. Unofficially, we’re calling it the “Gold Nugget” episode.

086: Why You Should Quit Your Job

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 – 47 minutes

Do you come home from work every day completely drained? Is your creative energy zapped when you get off work? Are you completely unmotivated to work on the side projects of your passion? Let’s face it: you’re probably in the wrong day job.

The day job is the foundational platform of The Overlap Technique that supports your ability to grow your passion organically to the point of making a living.

The key is a day job you don’t hate. It’s not going to be your favorite thing to do, but it can’t be something that drains you creatively. If you hate your day job, you need to quit. You probably already know that and just haven’t pulled the trigger yet. We’re here to motivate you and help you through the many struggles associated with quitting.

I’m not talking about being foolish. I’m talking about making a calculated risk and going all in with the things you love. Let’s take the dive.

085: Failure Does Not Exist

Friday, June 20, 2014 – 34 minutes

I do a solo show challenging the idea, concept, and existence of failure. I’ll tell you why it doesn’t exist and how (astonishingly) you’re actually right if you think I’m wrong.

It’s a condensed, deep, and introspective episode that will get you thinking about mindsets no matter what you believe. It’s a refreshing change of pace from the usual.

084: Using The Overlap Technique With Multiple Businesses

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 – 1 hour, 19 minutes

I’m joined once again by good friend, Matt Lopez who you might remember from e059. Matt is a serial entrepreneur who maintains an intense pace (I think this is why we get along so well). He shares insight into how he started his many business, the struggles of being taken seriously as a young entrepreneur, what he calls “business goldmines,” removing yourself from the things you shouldn’t be doing in your business, and why he offer $500 to his employees to quit.

We discuss the application of The Overlap Technique with multiple businesses and using capital from one business to fuel another. You’ll always leave a discussion with Matt inspired, and this episode is no exception.

083: How to Make A Podcast Successful Long-Term

Friday, June 13, 2014 – 43 minutes

Why do people subscribe to you? Why should people subscribe to you? What value do you provide? If you can’t answer these questions, there’s a problem.

Are you consistently delivering the kind of content people expect from you? Are you valuing their time and attention by putting in the forethought and preparation needed to create valuable content?

Creating content of this caliber on a consistent basic requires a substantial amount of effort and dedication—one that many are not willing to put forth. Worse, when you reach a certain level of success, you can be tempting to “coast” on your past success, fooling yourself into believing that your reputation alone will carry you forward.

In this episode, we discuss Celebrity Syndrome, and how to avoid it now before you get there. We dig deep into the value-centric questions you need to ask yourself to stay on track.

It’s hard to maintain quality output. That’s exactly why you need to do it. It’s about thinking of the value of the time and effort you’re putting in now as being quantified by future returns.

082: Making A Living With the Trifecta Part 3 of 3: Teaching

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 – 1 hour, 14 minutes

This episode is jaaaaam packed with value. In an EPIC finale to the 3-part series on Making A Living With The Trifecta, I break down 8 methods of teaching and conflate both short term and long term monetization strategies (hint: The Long Game Mindset always wins).

Don’t think you have anything to teach? This episode is for you.
Have a lot to teach and don’t know where to begin? This episode is for you.
Already teaching and want ideas for new ways to teach and make money long term? This episode is for you.

I guarantee you’ll be reeling with ideas for days after listening to this one.

081: Making A Living With the Trifecta Part 2 of 3: Products

Friday, June 6, 2014 – 1 hour, 4 minutes

The 2nd step in overlapping with The Trifecta is Products. Using money saved from client work, we talk about treating products as a long term investment and not expecting to see quick returns.

We hit on a plethora of product-related topics including creating demand, ecommerce platforms, shipping, systems, when to restock, how much inventory to purchase, crafting the customer experience, how many products to launch with, what kind of conversion rates to expect, and insight into the right kind of emails you should send leading up to a launch.

Learn about launches, marketing, and why it doesn’t matter if you lose money on your first product.

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.