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.

494: 494: Sabbatical Episode: You Dont Have to Finish Books

494: Sabbatical Episode: You Dont Have to Finish Books

Friday, May 8, 2020 – 1 minutes

I was just about to eat lunch, but I have to record this. My wife Laci was sitting on the couch and looking kind of down and I said, “What’s going on?”

She said, “The book that I’m reading just really isn’t that interesting. It’s really hard to get through.” And she looked kind of dejected, like she was required to finish this book.

And I said, skip it.

Move on to the next book. If you spent the rest of your life reading non-stop—you didn’t sleep, or eat, or drink; you just read books—you wouldn’t even be able to read all of the books that were published this year, let alone all the books in the world. Most books, they’re actually not that great. Very few books are excellent and worth your time, and if you spent the rest of your life reading only the excellent books, you still couldn’t get through them all.

So don’t feel guilty. It’s the book’s job to grab your attention and pull you through. And if it’s not doing that, move on to the next book.

493: Sabbatical Episode: What if I Have Nothing Worth Saying and No One Reads What I Write?

493: Sabbatical Episode: What if I Have Nothing Worth Saying and No One Reads What I Write?

Wednesday, May 6, 2020 – 8 minutes

You haven’t written that book, or started that blog or podcast you’ve wanted to start, because you fear you don’t have anything worthy to say.

I mean, you kind of think you have something worthy to say, but what if other people don’t think so? What if they don’t pay any attention to you at all?

“Worthy” is another way of saying “valuable”. But value is subjective. Information can be worthless to one person and invaluable to another.

This means you don’t get to determine what is valuable to someone else. Only they can decide what is valuable to them.

We all have wisdom to share. Even the things that seem mundane, or uninteresting, to us can be novel to others.

It’s not up to you to decide what’s valuable, it’s up to you to write.

Sabbatical Episode: Revenue Down? How To Pivot Your Business

492: Sabbatical Episode: Revenue Down? How To Pivot Your Business

Monday, April 20, 2020 – 10 minutes

Unless you’re Amazon, your business is probably bringing in a lot less revenue right now.

Payment processors for small businesses are reporting that transaction volume is down as much as 50%.

As a business owner, what do you do in a time like this?

People have changed how they’re spending money, so you have to change how you make money.

You can not afford to sell products people don’t need in a time like this. Unless your products are ESSENTIAL, you need to pivot.

Pivot means to change direction and head in a new direction. Give up how you used to make money in the past. Times have changed. The world is different. You must reinvent yourself. Denial will result in going broke.

Pivot to providing a MONEY-MAKING service for people who HAVE money.

If you sell nice-to-have products, you’re going to have a bad time. You were lucky to be able to do that in a good economy. Now it’s time to face reality.

If your market is mostly people who don’t have money, you’re going to have a bad time.

The only way you’re going to survive is if you pivot to providing a service that MAKES MONEY for people who HAVE MONEY.

While you make this pivot to bring in new revenue and keep your business afloat, you should also EXPAND and build your BRAND by significantly increasing the amount of content you produce.

Most people are contracting right now. Most people are REDUCING their content output. This is a huge mistake. You should use this opportunity to provide as much valuable and helpful content as possible.

If you wait until everything is back to “normal”, you’ll be too late. At best, you survive and you’re irrelevant. At worst (and more likely), your business will die.

We are going to come out on the other side of this situation and people are going to spend money again. This will pass.

You want to be top of mind when people start spending money again. The way you do this is by publishing content consistently while we’re in a crisis.

Sabbatical Episode: It’s a Strange Time to Have No Home

491: Sabbatical Episode: It’s a Strange Time to Have No Home

Monday, April 13, 2020 – 9 minutes

We moved out of our home at the beginning of 2020 to embark on a sabbatical year of nomadic travel. With no house or car, we set out to travel the world.

Then the pandemic hit.

This is an update on how we’re managing to #StayHome without a home.

490: How to Keep Going When Everything’s Changing

490: How to Keep Going When Everything’s Changing

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 – 1 hour, 8 minutes

There’s a lot going on right now.

That’s an understatement, right? The COVID-19 pandemic has taken everyone’s attention in the last few weeks, and rightly so.

Hopefully you’re in a situation where you’re safe, and healthy. But that doesn’t make it easy. A lot of things are changing all around us, and quickly.

How do we stay on track with our lives? How do we keep working, playing, eating, exercising, and supporting one another when every day brings more uncertainty?

Today we’ll talk about the mindsets and tactics needed to keep going, even when the world is more uncertain than ever.

489: Sabbatical Episode: Finding Community (Part 5 of 5): Making Time for Community

489: Sabbatical Episode: Finding Community (Part 5 of 5): Making Time for Community

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 – 14 minutes

This is it! The final episode of our 5-part podcast miniseries, Finding Community.

If you’ve been following along, you know the incredible role a positive, uplifting community can play in your life. It can keep you on track, get you unstuck, make achieving your goals only a matter of time.

But that’s just it: time. Who has time? We’re all busy, juggling a hundred different demands… and now we’re supposed to participate in a community, too?

Has Sean discovered a magical 25th hour you can add to your day? Well… no. But he can tell you how to prioritize what’s important.

Why you don’t have time for community.

The reason Sean created this series is not only to teach you why finding a positive community is so important, it’s also to let you know about a great opportunity.

We’re incredibly proud of the Community Sean’s built at seanwes. The investment for annual seanwes membership increases on March 20th.

Now is the best time to join, get access to all of our courses and training, and lock in the current rate.

We always reward loyalty: when you join before the 20th, we grandfather you in for the duration of your membership.

If joining the seanwes Community is something you’ve been thinking about, now is the time! Go here to become a member:

Speaking of time…

You may well be thinking “I don’t have time to participate in a community.”

Frankly? You don’t have time.

You don’t HAVE time to do anything. You MAKE time to do what’s important.

This is true for all of us. We make time, but we only make time for what matters.

If you want all the benefits that come from engaging with a community, you have to decide that engagement is important. You will get out of a community as much as you put in.

This doesn’t mean you have to be someone special, that you have to contribute time and teach people, necessarily…

In great communities like the one we’ve got at seanwes, when you invest time you receive clarity.

The two-letter word that makes time.

You want to make time for community, but you’ve got none to spare!

– Your to-do list is ready to burst.
– You’re feeling overwhelmed.
– You have too much on your plate.
– You’re caught up in the buzz of feeling “busy”.

It feels like we should be busy—after all, you’ve got great things to achieve! But what you are actually getting done? Where are you going?

Maybe instead of being busy, you want to be effective.

Make sure you’re actually headed in the right direction. That the things you’re doing now will get you results. That every step is a step closer to your goal.

You’ll never find time for community… until you make time.

And NO is the two-letter word that makes time.

What will you say no to, so that you can make time for community?

Remember that you’re going to get clarity as a result of this time investment. Decide: When will you engage in community?

Add time in community to your weekly cycle.

We all live our lives in weekly cycles. We expect certain things to happen on certain days of the week. We’re all creatures of habit that way.

It helps when your community fits into your weekly cycle with regular activities. That way, you can plan exactly when you’ll participate.

In the seanwes Community, every Monday we stream our members-only show, Fired Up Mondays. This is your weekly office hours, where members can show up and:

– Ask questions.
– Get answers.
– Get unstuck.
– Find clarity.

Every Tuesday, we live-stream recording of the seanwes podcast. You might be used to the show coming out on Wednesday—we actually record them 8 days in advance!

The podcast is interactive inside the Community. Members not only get an exclusive pre-show and after-after-show, but we open up discussion an hour before the episode streams.

Our members’ questions and live commentary throughout the show is what drives each episode of the podcast.

These events create a consistent time and place for you to engage in community. You can put them on your calendar and plan to be there.

But take note:

If you’re only tuning in but not engaging in discussion, you’re missing out on a lot.

If you’re only engaging during the live show, but never logging in at other times… you’re missing out on even more.

You’re missing the opportunity to ask questions, participate in discussions, and gain clarity.

You have to decide for yourself that community is a priority, AND decide when you’re going to engage.

But if you just think, “I’ll get involved eventually…” eventually always ends up being never.

Prioritizing community has so many benefits.

Why isn’t community a priority for you right now?

You probably haven’t reminded yourself of the benefits:

– Feel a sense of connection.
– See things from a new perspective.
– Get help from someone with more experience.
– Get unstuck and actually start taking action.
– Make a friend.
– Find an accountability partner.
– Form a mastermind group.
– Get key feedback about your business that completely changes your trajectory.
– Learn about a helpful resource or tool that saves you 5 hours a week.

None of these things happen if you don’t engage in community.

It might seem like you don’t have time for something like community, but maybe the reason you feel so overwhelmed is because you lack clarity.

It feels like you don’t have time, but engaging in a community—asking questions, gaining clarity—is what’s going to help get you unstuck!


– Stop spinning your wheels.
– Work on the right things.
– No more feeling overwhelmed and overloaded.
– Have freedom… and guilt-free free time.
– Stop rushing from one thing to the next.

This is all possible!

Now is the time to engage in community.

Don’t wait until you have the perfect question, or a finished project. Start engaging in community before you feel ready.

Share the journey. Share your creative process. Get feedback the entire time. You won’t regret it!

Maybe you’ll find out you weren’t making the right product in the first place, and someone points you to the four-week Presale Profits class in the seanwes vault.

Now you can validate your product idea and get paid before you even make it.

Think about all the time you’ll save! When you invest time in community, you get that time back.

And that doesn’t even count the ideas and perspectives you’ll get that you would never have even considered on your own.

Joining a community is like joining a gym.

A community is kind of like a gym membership: you get out what you put in.

You have to use your membership to get the benefit… and it’s not unusual to feel resistance to doing it.

Maybe you’ve been thinking of joining seanwes membership just to get access to all the courses, without having to spend thousands of dollars.

But it would also be cool to listen to the podcast stream live… and get access to that Fired Up Mondays members-only show.

Plus, you could ask questions and get clarity in the Community…

You’ve been thinking about all these benefits, but you still feel the resistance. After all, you don’t have time for the whole “community” thing.

Just like when you join a gym for your New Year’s resolution—you sign up for membership and think everything will take care of itself.

Now that you have that gym membership, you’ll finally exercise every day. And that first day, sure: you go, you’ve got your cool new workout clothes, your headphones in, everyone else is there… it’s awesome.

But on day two, you just don’t feel like going.

You tell yourself you don’t have time for the gym today… but you know that’s just an excuse. The fact is, fitness just isn’t a priority for you.

But the more you go, the better it feels.

At first it’s a little awkward. But after each workout, you feel a bit better about yourself.

Soon you start seeing results… and eventually, going to the gym is just something you do.

Joining a community is just the same. If you want the benefits, you have to keep showing up.

Whether in fitness or your creative ambitions, you’re either spiralling up… or spiralling down. Which one will you choose?

Of course, we’d prefer for you to spiral up!

The way to keep that upward trajectory is to stay plugged in to community.

When it comes to deciding what community to join…

Maybe it’s the seanwes Community. We hope so!

If you’re in any kind of creative field, it will be incredible for you. Whether you want to:

– Launch products.
– Sell services.
– Teach what you know.

Everything is here—and the connections you make with your fellow members will be life-changing.

We hope you do go to and join—we’d love to see you in the Community!

But whether you join our Community or not, get plugged in to a community. Find your people. Stay plugged in to those positive people who are going to encourage you, make sure you’re taking action, and achieve your potential.

You do have the potential for greatness. Pursue it!

This brings us to the end of our Finding Community series. Remember: the annual seanwes membership investment goes up permanently on March 20th.

And we don’t do discounts. Once the rate goes up, it never comes back down.

Lock in the current rate, and get grandfathered in for as long as you’re a member:

488: Getting Paid What You’re Worth

488: Getting Paid What You’re Worth

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 – 1 hour, 17 minutes

Money can be a touchy subject. When you work a job, your employer often forbids you from discussing it. When you sell products or services, you struggle to put a price on them that lets you make sales… but also lets you make money.

You might find yourself thinking, “I wish I could get paid what I’m worth!” But how do you even know what that is?

To be clear, we’re not talking about your personal worth; you can’t put a value on that.

When we talk about getting paid what you’re worth, we’re really talking about finding a balance.

There’s one thing that determines what your product or services are worth (and if you’re an employee, you’re still selling a service!):

– The value to your customer.

Aligning that with your needs is the key to getting paid what you’re worth. Today, we’re talking about how to find that alignment.

487: Sabbatical Episode: Finding Community (Part 4 of 5): Starting vs. Joining a Community

487: Sabbatical Episode: Finding Community (Part 4 of 5): Starting vs. Joining a Community

Monday, March 16, 2020 – 9 minutes

Today we’ve posted Part 4 of our 5-part podcast miniseries, Finding Community.

Sean’s talked about replacing negative inputs in your life with positive ones, and he’s explained how to find people pursuing greatness in your field and grow alongside them.

Community is key.

The question is: should you join an existing community, or start one from scratch?

The answer is in today’s episode.

Before you start a community, seek one out.

Starting your own community is tremendously rewarding. It’s also a lot of work.

If you can, find an existing community in your field and join it instead.

But don’t just join the community… pour yourself into the community!

– Show initiative.
– Pretend like you’re getting paid to be there.
– Act like an owner.
– Help the people around you.

Do these things, and watch the community organizer take notice. When you add massive value to a community, the organizer will want to promote you… and that’s just for starters.

Sean hires his team members out of the Community—hey, that’s how I got my job! And why wouldn’t he? You can see who’s in there every day, providing value. Act like the community manager, and you might end up getting paid to be one.

When should you start a community of your own?

If you can’t find an existing community in your space… start one!

It’s worth the effort. Communities are where the magic happens. All the best things in your career will come out of community.

People don’t like the word “networking”, but all it really means is building relationships with people. And that’s what people do when they’re in a community. They:

– Form partnerships.
– Tackle projects together.
– Set up weekly calls.
– Form mastermind groups.
– Hire each other.
– Recommend or promote each other.

There are many benefits to being a part of a community.

Starting a community from scratch is always an option, but expect it to take YEARS of effort. You’re much better off joining a community that already exists if you can find one.

Should a community be free or paid?

Whether you start a community or join one, paid communities are the way to go.

We’ve all been in free Facebook groups or hashtag-oriented “communities” on other social networks. We’ve seen how much noise there is for how little signal.

And the trolls! Don’t even get me started.

It takes time and resources to run a great community. If it’s going to stay vibrant, a community needs investment.

Whether it’s yours or someone else’s, if you want a community to last, invest in it!

Paid membership doesn’t just keep the lights on, it also keeps the quality level high.

– The people looking to troll aren’t going to bother joining.
– The people who aren’t serious will congregate elsewhere.
– Instead, you get the people who are committed and willing to invest in themselves.

Paid communities are much more likely to be higher in quality. But if you’re thinking of creating your own, don’t start a community for the money.

A community is a good investment.

A paid community is great, but you don’t start one for the money; start a community for the people.

The point is to attract great people so you can all grow together.

Sean invested the money he made from his community over the years right back into the community! He’s focused on continually improving the member experience.

A great community is a long-term investment.

A high-quality experience that’s worth your time.

How do you find your people?

It takes a long time of consistently producing content to create a community.

Sean has spent years putting out quality content which has attracted incredible people to the Community at seanwes.

The seanwes Community is where you’ll meet like-minded creative professionals from all across the world. Get 24/7 support, whether you want to:

– Grow an audience.
– Get more clients.
– Start a podcast.
– Sell your own products.
– Launch an online course.

The Community is a hands-on place, dedicated to your success. We have live office hours every week where you can get your questions answered.

Get unstuck and get results.

Now is the best time to join, because the annual membership investment goes up permanently on March 20th!

Get access to the Community, get all our premium business courses (an $8,000 value), and get a bunch of months for free: check out seanwes membership ( and lock in the current rate before it goes up.

Hope to see you in the Community soon!

486: Sabbatical Episode: Finding Community (Part 3 of 5): Learn From People Ahead, Connect With People Beside

486: Sabbatical Episode: Finding Community (Part 3 of 5): Learn From People Ahead, Connect With People Beside

Friday, March 13, 2020 – 9 minutes

Today we’ve posted Part 3 of our 5-part podcast miniseries, Finding Community.

In the first two episodes, Sean gave us the crucial steps for replacing the negative inputs in your life with positive ones. With all that new positive energy, we can get to work pursuing our creative passions!

But once we’ve created our great work, then what? We want to share it with the world. We want to forge friendships, make connections, build an audience around our work!

Today Sean shares exactly how to make that happen.

Getting someone famous to promote you.

Everyone wants a shout-out from a famous person, right? It would be great if someone with huge reach promoted your thing to their audience.

The problem is, it’s too late.

If you try to befriend someone famous so they’ll promote your work, they’ll see you coming. Everybody wants something from them. So how do you get someone with influence to promote you?

You have to befriend them before they’re famous.

Oh sure, you’re thinking, if you could predict who was going to be famous you wouldn’t need their promotion!

Good news: you CAN predict who’s going to be big using The Greatness Formula, which you’ll hear about in a minute.

Two types of positive people.

Positive people—the people you want to surround yourself with—fall into two categories:

– People to learn from: those many levels ahead of you in your field.
– People to connect with: those on the same level as you.

Obviously, you want to connect with people who are already famous and successful in your field, but it doesn’t work that way; learn from them instead.

Connect with people on your own level who will someday have influence.

Seek out people who are driven, taking action, making great work, have a positive mindset. These are the people to surround yourself with.

This leads us to The Greatness Formula: how you can recognize greatness before it happens:

The Greatness Formula: Mindset × Action + Time

You want to identify:

– People with a positive mindset (you know it when you see it).
– Who are consistently taking action.
– It’s only a matter of time before they achieve greatness.

Attach yourself to these people!

What level are you?

When we talk about people being at different “levels” in their field, what do we mean?

It’s a combination of experience, notoriety, and success.

These numbers are arbitrary, but let’s say you have 2,000 hours of practice as an artist: you’re a Level 2 Artist.

Now you know not to pursue someone who has 18,000 hours of practice—they’re a Level 18 Artist!

Find other Level 2 Artists who match The Greatness Formula.

Find the Level 2 Artists who are making work, sharing it with the world, practicing their art daily.

Because these people are at your level, you can connect with them. Attach yourself to them. What does that mean?

Well, how do you get a best friend? By being a best friend. Here’s the Best Friend Method:

– Comment on their work.
– Share their work.
– Make a video for them.
– Write a thoughtful email.
– Send a package.
– Repeat the above 100x.

When you find a person who’s going places, you want to become their greatest supporter. That last step is the key: Repeat 100x.

There’s one more key to connecting with someone who’s going places:

You have to embody The Greatness Formula yourself.

Embody The Greatness Formula.

In the last two parts of this series, we talked about cutting out the negative, and replacing it with the positive.

In order to pursue greatness, a positive mindset is crucial.

But a positive mindset alone is not enough!

The part you may be missing is taking action.

You can’t just have a positive mindset and do nothing—that won’t get you anywhere.

When you have a positive mindset and take action, people will notice. They’ll recognize The Greatness Formula, even subconsciously.

Since you’re following the 14/7 rule discussed in Part 2, let’s assume you have a positive mindset.

When you add in massive action, people can recognize you’ll achieve greatness.

It’s only a matter of time.

Now we’ve got two Level 2 Artists who want to be there for each other.

Repeat this process, and soon you have an entire crew of people, all accelerating each other’s success.

Finding your crew.

Let’s say you have a YouTube channel with 2,000-5,000 subscribers. Now you know not to try buddying up to the creator with millions of followers who’s been making videos for years.

Don’t try to befriend the person a dozen levels ahead, learn from them instead.

Find the other people whose subscriber counts are similar to yours (who also have a positive mindset), and grow with them.

Work in the trenches with other people who are pursuing greatness. Share each other’s work. Give each other feedback. Support each other. That’s how you’ll find success.

Now, how do you ensure you attract the right people?

You have to put out quality content, and you have to do it consistently.

It’s not enough to put up a video a week for a month… you have to be consistent for years.

But what if you want results now?

Well, we’ve done the work for you.

Sean spent seven years creating amazing content and attracting like-minded people. The seanwes Community is full of positive people at every level who can help you grow.

We have both:

– People ahead of you to learn from.
– People beside you to grow with.

Now is the time to join the Community, because the annual price is going up permanently on March 20th.

Get access to the Community, get all our premium business courses (an $8,000 value), and get a bunch of months for free! Check it out here:

The price of annual membership is going up to reflect its value. But when you join, we lock you in at the current rate.

In the next part of this series, you’ll find out whether you should start a community or join an existing one. Look for that episode in a few days!

Sean McCabe
Sean McCabe
Ben Toalson
Ben Toalson


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