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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.


201: Feel Guilty When You’re Not Creating?

Friday, September 4, 2015 – 8 minutes

Do you feel guilty when you’re not creating? I know I do. I have a hard time not making things.

I had a weekend recently and it was the first true weekend I had in months. I didn’t have anything planned. It was incredible. I caught up on my reading list, I watched some videos, conference talks, a documentary even(!), and learned a ton. It was very relaxing.

But it also felt very weird. I usually don’t go that long with making something. I still felt that itch—that drive to create.

I see the chronic creator situation as a plus. Sure, it can be considered a curse, but look at the alternative: chronic consumer. Most people consume. Few people produce (which is why you’re not a small fish in a big pond).

This is Only the Beginning

200: This is Only the Beginning

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 – 1 hour, 21 minutes

After two years of podcasting twice a week, we are excited to share our 200th episode with you.

Special guests Aaron Dowd and Matt Lopez join Ben and myself in person for this magical event. We talk about my “Show Up Every Day” mantra and our collective focus on the Long Game Mindset.

With hundreds of episodes under our belt, we still feel as though this truly is the very beginning and look forward to many more hundreds in the future.

We take a reflective look at how doing this show has changed our lives and what’s in store for the future.

This episode broadcasted publicly to a total of 1,058 live viewers who enjoyed full access to the Community chat during the event. We gave away over $2,000 in prizes to the group who attended live.

Last but not least, what really set apart this magical evening was the live jam session we put on. We transformed the room into a studio right before the eyes of the viewers and put on an unscripted show.

While the full live jam session was enjoyed exclusively by those who joined us live, I decided to include a single song at the end of the recorded podcast.


199: Behind the Scenes of a $177,803 Hand Lettering Course Launch That Made the First Six Figures in 26 Hours

Friday, August 28, 2015 – 1 hour, 26 minutes

This is the big one.

Last month I launched my course, Learn Lettering 2.0. In this exhaustive, 8,000-word case study, I pull back the curtain and show you literally every step that went into it.

From the production to promotion to marketing, pricing, and real revenue numbers, you get uninhibited access to it all.

I’ve learned a lot from people sharing their marketing and launch insights with me over the years. Now, I’m paying it forward. I want to help you and hopefully inspire you.

I hope you find this valuable and learn a lot from it.

Keeping an Open Mind

198: Keeping an Open Mind

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 – 1 hour, 16 minutes

It’s easy to dismiss someone entirely just because you don’t agree with one thing they believe.

I know I’ve been guilty of throwing the baby out with the bath water before. Someone has a belief that differs from you and you discredit them as a whole.

For instance, maybe it’s a marketer who uses a tactic you find spammy, or a business leader who curses when you don’t, or simply someone who has a different point of view of theology or politics.

Ben and I talk today about maturity and being open minded and why it’s actually good for the beliefs we already hold. The alternative is constructing an echo chamber around yourself where you only ever follow or listen to people who confirm beliefs you already have.

We talk about how allowing yourself to entertain ideas objectively and even let them challenge your beliefs is healthy and can strengthen your existing beliefs.

We also discuss how to distinguish between someone who simply has an opposing view, and may be worth hearing out, and someone who is simply spewing pollution.

It’s a very real and raw discussion!

Being Your Own Client

197: Being Your Own Client

Friday, August 21, 2015 – 1 hour, 20 minutes

Ever had a personal project you never finished? Do you find it difficult to be your own client or design things for yourself?

Last episode, we talked about being your own boss. This time, we’re breaking down what it looks like to be your own client.

Personal projects can be frustrating because we don’t treat them as objectively as client projects. But it’s absolutely crucial to separate your two selves to ensure the work gets done and the result is not compromised.

I make some bold statements in this episode: “If you’re not able to remove your own subjective preference and compromise from a personal project, what makes you think you have business taking on clients?” We talk about professional responsibility and how to ensure projects where you are your own client are successfully completed.

Don't Be Your Own Worst Boss

196: Don’t Be Your Own Worst Boss

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 – 1 hour, 10 minutes

It’s pretty easy to recognize a bad boss when you’re an employee. But when you work for yourself, you are your own boss. It’s a little more difficult to distance yourself from the situation to look at it objectively.

In this episode, we collectively team up to define what a good boss looks like, and then dive in and analyze the most common ways in which those of us who are self employed tend to be bad bosses of ourselves.

We talk about distinguishing between your two selves (your boss self and your employee self) to become more self-aware of your strengths and weaknesses. We discuss how personality types play in, and how being aware of your tendency to overwork or be over-lenient is something you have to compensate for.

I also share my vision for Small Scale Sabbaticals and why I pay all of my employees to take a week off every 7th week and how it has affected our company.

The Customer Experience

195: The Customer Experience

Friday, August 14, 2015 – 1 hour, 24 minutes

This is an incredibly insightful episode that will cause you to rethink the customer experience from both the customer and business perspectives.

So many businesses optimize for the first sale with no consideration for investing in an experience that will result in creating extremely loyal customers that will continue to buy from you again and again.

This episode includes some incredible customer experience stories that Community members shared in the live chat as well as from our own encounters. In one story, a business that previously used to get people who constantly asked for discounts made a simple change that revolutionized how their customers saw their products and services. Not a single one of the new customers ever asked for a discount.

We talk about how you can use customer support to turn unfortunate circumstances into a unique opportunity to craft an incredible story that will turn your customer into an ambassador.

It’s also full of discussion around promotion, discounts, popups, and other things that may appear to deliver tantalizing initial returns but are, in reality, affecting your long-term brand perception and success. This was one of the most enjoyable and eye-opening episodes in recent memory.

Doing Too Many Things at Once? Here's What to Do Instead

194: Doing Too Many Things at Once? Here’s What to Do Instead

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 – 1 hour, 22 minutes

Constant switching, always juggling, so many things on your plate and so many responsibilities. Sound familiar?

It’s hard giving up things you want to do. It’s difficult delegating things you’re good at. It scary to say no to offering more services because you’re afraid that narrowing your focus will turn more people off.

In the beginning, you do have to wear a lot of hats. You do have to handle a lot of things in your business. This is a natural part of growth, but the risk is getting so accustomed to switching hats that you’re essentially a Professional Hat-Switcher.

In this episode we talk about learning to delegate and learning to focus. We also discuss when to hire and what kinds of things you should be giving up.

I remember enjoying all of the different things I used to do, but I knew they weren’t things that I should be doing. I knew I should be focusing on the things that only I can do. Now that I’ve delegated, the focus I have has been game-changing.

You may enjoy all of the things you’re doing, but what if it’s simply because you’ve never experienced the freedom and clarity of focusing on fewer things?

Automating When You Can't Afford to Hire Yet

193: Automating When You Can’t Afford to Hire Yet

Friday, August 7, 2015 – 1 hour, 7 minutes

You’re doing a lot of things yourself and you know you should be systematizing and automating things, but you’re just not in a place where you can invest yet.

The question you should be asking is: “What things should I be automating in my workflow and business that I don’t know to automate?”

Fortunately, a Community member asked it for you and that’s exactly what we get to in this episode.

I share several of my favorite tools, shortcuts, and workflows and how I use them to maximize efficiency and get a ton done.

I guarantee even seasoned productivity pros will get something out of this episode, but if you know you’re not as efficient as you need to be or if “automation” is a strange word for you, this episode is going to change your world.

Who Are You Positioning Yourself Around?

192: Who Are You Positioning Yourself Around?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015 – 57 minutes

Your mom was right: you become like the people you spend the most time with. Who are the people you hang around with most often?

You’re going to absorb the mindsets and speaking habits of the people you’re around. Are the people you’re with in the possession of the kind of mindset you desire? Do they share the values you have? Are they living the kind of life you want to live?

What media are you consuming? What videos are you watching? What podcasts are you listening to? What books are you reading?

We talk about finding these people with good mindsets and how to get around them and grow with them. We also talk about dealing with family and people close to you when they have a negative mindset that’s bringing you down, but you don’t want to just cut them out of your life.


191: The Hustle Never Stops (Part 2)

Friday, July 31, 2015 – 59 minutes

We continue the hustle episode in an exhilarating part 2! I take you even further behind the scenes of the Learn Lettering 2.0 launch.

While I’m still not sharing exact revenue numbers yet (that’s coming in a future exhaustive case study), I do share my marketing techniques, and my crazy idea of giving away the $99 Starter Class for free, how it’s resulting in a video hosting bill in the thousands of dollars, and why I think it will be worth it.

I talk about the importance of honesty in marketing and how I’m trying something new and taking a leap. I’m sharing everything as I go so you can learn from it.


190: The Hustle Never Stops

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 – 35 minutes

Learn Lettering 2.0 launched on Monday and as I write this, 3,300 people have signed up for Learn Lettering. I talk about how I was able to get this many signups in a little over one day, what it took to produce the course, how I wrote over 100,000 words in the past 6 weeks, what my 30-day hand lettering blog post series has done for building the list, how we’re getting people to share it, and a ton more.

It’s a speeding bullet of an episode and it will not quit. Just like our hustle.

It’s so jam-packed, in fact, we ended up splitting it into two parts. I do leave you with a cliffhanger, but not before providing massive value and behind-the-scenes marketing insights.

Seriously, in the middle of the show, Ben said he wanted to leave right then and go apply what he heard.

Oh! I almost forgot. We announce a very special live event happening for e200 of the seanwes podcast and how you can join us. You’ll have to listen to hear more about that.


189: Finding Your Passion

Friday, July 24, 2015 – 54 minutes

Back by popular demand, my wife Laci joins me again for an episode on discovering what you’re passionate about.

Laci shares why she felt paralyzed and overwhelmed when it came to figuring out what her passion was. She had so many options and nothing was clearly standing out.

She felt like there was a lot of pressure to know what was the “right thing” to start with. There were all of these options, but nothing was 100% perfect. Was she supposed to wait for it to be perfect?

Then she had a breakthrough and sudden clarity.

Now she has direction and feels free to try something new. We talk about what brought about this clarity and how she overcame the overwhelming feeling of immobility.


188: Why I Work Hard

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 – 42 minutes

It’s 9pm, the night before this episode publishes. It’s a crazy week. I’ve been working overtime—16 to 18 hour days—every day of the week for some months now.

What is this all for? Why the crazy hours?

The simple reason? My new course, Learn Lettering 2.0, launches on Monday, July 27th, 2015.

The not-so-simple, deeper reasons? Well, that’s what I get into in this episode.

It’s very raw. I share real numbers—both the 3-figure dollar amount I was looking at in the bank as well as the 6-figure launch projections I’m projecting. I’m 100% transparent with it all.

I think this is one of the most real and vulnerable episodes to date. I talk about how even though I hustle like nobody’s business, I still have the desire to goof off and sink a ton of mindless hours into Reddit, YouTube, or Netflix.

I’m not immune to those temptations, but I also know that they don’t pay off. They aren’t fulfilling. It’s a false high.

I talk about how nothing compares to the feeling of satisfaction I’m getting from working hard and helping people and getting their words of encouragement every day. It fuels me. It’s incredibly fulfilling. I feel immensely satisfied and I wouldn’t trade it.


187: 3 Reasons to Stop Checking Your Inbox in the Morning

Friday, July 17, 2015 – 13 minutes

I’ve got another mini sabbatical episode for you today (the short, focused ones with me playing kalimba in the background).

Why do we check our email inbox first thing in the morning? We wake up, we roll over, we grab out phone and we look at out inbox. That’s a surefire way to throw off your day.

I want to briefly share three reasons why it’s a terrible idea to check your inbox right when you wake up.


186: How to Self-Promote Without Feeling Like a Loser

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 – 11 minutes

Today, I’ll be doing a shorter, hyper-focused episode on self-promotion.

I know a lot of people struggle with this. You have something you want to share, but you feel awkward telling people about it. It feels like you’re bragging or you’re being arrogant or something. Really, you just want to share something that you think is cool, or helpful, or valuable to someone, but for some reason it just feels weird.

In this short episode, I’m going to help you feel more confident about promoting, and not just feel less bad about it but actually feel good promoting!

Right now, you feel guilty promoting your stuff. It makes sense. It seems selfish at first, right? You feel like an attention hog. You feel like you’re just taking advantage of people who are giving you their attention.

Yet at the same time, you’re concerned because it feels like an awful, twisted mess. You actually want to provide them with more value, but they don’t even seem to know that it’s there. You “announce” it but nobody cares. What’s going on here?

Sean McCabe
Sean McCabe
Ben Toalson
Ben Toalson


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