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Sticking with something is hard. When you make a commitment to do something consistently (like blog or podcast), I’ve found that there’s a mental block that comes around episode 20.

You’re going to feel like you want to throw in the towel. You’re going to wonder why you ever started this thing. What’s the point? Is it even worth doing anymore?

A lot of people quit here. They lose sight of their WHY and the reason they go into it in the first place. You’ve got to grab hold of your WHY before you go in.

Knowing this mental block is coming is half the battle. In this episode, we talk about preparing for the “Episode 20” hurdle, share some tips for sticking with commitments, and why I don’t plan for failure.

Show Notes
  • 02:27 Sean: Maybe you’ve committed to doing something: blogging once a week, starting a podcast, or creating art to post on Instagram every day—whatever it is. We’re going to talk about sticking with that commitment. We want to help you follow through and get past the points where you feel you can’t do it. The points where you think, “What was I thinking? Maybe I was wrong all along.”
  • 03:15 Aaron: For those of you who don’t know, I’m the Podcast Dude. I started helping people make podcasts two and a half years ago and it’s become my full-time job. A lot of people ask me questions about starting a show like what kind of gear to get, how to record a show, and how to edit it. I want to share everything I know how to do so I’ll be starting a podcast that will be on the seanwes network.
  • 03:54 Sean: We’ve got Ben’s show, In the Boat With Ben, coming up and we’ll be launching Lambo Goal on March 24th with Matt and now we’re going to have Aaron’s show, The Podcast Dude, on the seanwes network.
  • 04:23 Aaron: I want to provide value. There’s going to come a time where I’ve done episodes on every topic I can think of and I’ll think, “I’ve got to do another show this week but I’m just not feeling it. I don’t know what to write about or talk about,” so what do I do when that happens?

The Episode 20 Hurdle

  • 04:43 Sean: There’s something I like to call the “Episode 20 Hurdle.” Basically, it’s where you have to watch out for episode 20 of something you’re committing to. For some reason, right around episode 20 you’re going to want to quit and throw in the towel. You’ll have exhausted the list of topics you had made before you started. You thought you had so many topics that your list would last forever but it’s really easy to touch on a number of topics in an episode and to start blurring them together.
  • 05:32 What you thought was a whole separate show ends up being a concept you bring into another episode and suddenly you run out. You have no more topics and you’re wondering, “I have to show up because people are expecting a show, what am I going to talk about?” You know you have to provide value. I don’t know what it is but this consistently happens at episode 20. I want people to be aware of that. If you’re blogging or podcasting—whatever it is—you’re going to hit the point where you no longer have that initial momentum. It’s no longer a novel or magical thing, it’s now something you have to commit to.

Know Your WHY Before Going In

  • 06:22 The strongest weapon you have in fighting against that lack of momentum is knowing your WHY before you go in. Why are you doing this? What are you about? Why are you choosing to show up every day? You need to know that at a very deep level. You can’t just be doing it for the fame, the exposure, the downloads, the subscribers, or the likes.
  • 06:51 None of those things are going to sustain you, it has to be something deeper. It has to be something you know beforehand and that you can write down, because when you hit that “Episode 20” point, you’re going to feel that burnout. You’re going to want to quit. You’re going to want to throw in the towel and you need something to point back to and say, “This is why I’m doing this. This is why I’m showing up. This is why I decided to start this in the first place.”
  • 07:31 Aaron: If you do an episode or a blog post a week, 20 episodes is about six months of content. That’s enough time for the excitement of doing this new thing to lose it’s charm and you’ll have touched on a lot of things. Also, there are probably new opportunities coming along—like a job or a project—that are pulling your attention away from your commitment. It’s hard to stick with something for a really long time, unless you’re really passionate about it.

You have to love the process and the act of doing something, not just the destination you want to arrive at.

  • 08:09 Sean: You can’t just say, “I want to be a famous podcaster or blogger. I want people to like me and hear what I have to say.” If that’s the only thing you care about, it won’t be enough to sustain you. You can keep pushing and try to get yourself closer to that but you need something to pull you. It can’t just be you pushing yourself forward, it has to be something deeper that’s driving you. Not everything is going to be fun all the time, even if it’s something you’re passionate about. We’re not trying to act like the passion is going to make it all easy and it’s never going to be tough but having that passion is what’s going to get you out of bed. It’s going to keep you showing up every single day.
  • 09:13 Aaron: There will definitely be days where you don’t feel like doing it.
  • 09:17 Sean: I just had prints made of my Show Up Every Day design. I’m pretty excited about them.
  • 09:50 Aaron: I ordered one and every time I look at it hanging on my wall, it’ll serve as a reminder that regardless of how I feel about something on any given day, if I want to get better at it I just have to show up and do it.
  • 10:06 Sean: In the chat room, Andrea was saying, “I worry about getting writer’s block on topics even though I have 20 years of experience to draw from.” That’s a big one! A lot of people worry about that and it’s for legitimate reason because eventually, you will. Eventually, you’re going to run out even if you make a list of 100 topics. You don’t start with 154 episodes of content on day one but the good news is you don’t have to start with all of the topics you’ll ever do for the rest of your life. You just need to start with a commitment to show up. It’s hard because you show up and you feel like you have nothing to say. You don’t have a topic for today and you don’t know what you’re going to talk about.

Hitting a road block can’t be a reason for stopping.

It must be seen as a challenge to overcome.

  • 11:09 You’ve got to plan ahead of time for “Episode 20” and know your deeper WHY before you go into this thing so you can point back to it and say, “This is why I’m going to move forward.” If you don’t have anything to talk about today, find something to talk about today. Talk about being stuck and how to overcome it! It sounds cliché but you have to get the ball rolling.
  • 11:49 Aaron: I struggle with this a lot when I set down and write. Sometimes, I have a topic idea and I go to write, maybe I get a couple of paragraphs in for my outlines and at that point, I could just stop. “What was I trying to say there?” Then, it’s so easy to switch over to Twitter or reading blogs but you have to stick with it. You have to sit in that uncomfortable spot of being unsure and just pour out your thoughts onto the page. If you quit something every time it gets uncomfortable, you’re not going to get much accomplished.
  • 12:37 Sean: I know you’ve been writing about this a lot through blogging and doing screencasts. You’ve told me before that it all started with writing for you. I’ve seen some great stuff from you and I know you’ve been thinking about this topic from a podcasting perspective because you are The Podcast Dude. You’ve been preparing some great tips for people, not just technically like how to record or edit, but you also get people thinking: why are you doing a show? How do you make a great show? How do you continue to show up and figure out what to say or write about?
  • 13:26 Aaron: The more I think about writing, screencasting, and being in a creative mind space, that stuff translates perfectly to my audience—the people who want to podcast. I show up and I’m like, “Man, how do I find stuff to write about?” and they’re asking the same question! They wonder what to podcast about. I’ve learned a lot over the past few weeks and a lot from you, so today I want to share some ideas with people who feel like they get stuck.

Talk About What You Know

  • 14:11 First, talk about what you know. Talk about what you’re passionate about. What is your life? What could you sit around with your friends or coworkers and talk about all day long? What can you not get enough of? That’s what you should be podcasting and writing about. To become an expert in a field, which is hopefully what your goal is, you have to have a depth of knowledge that isn’t very common. A lot of people know a little bit about web design or making a video but it’s not enough to just know the surface stuff, you have to dig deep. You have to be able to nerd out. Your audience is looking for people with a deep knowledge of a subject.
  • 15:05 Sean: Most likely, people have something in their past they can talk about. What have you done? What have built? What have you made? Where did you work? What have you learned? Where did you have progress? Where did you advance? You have knowledge! You have insight that other people don’t have. Not everyone can be in every industry or area so you know things other people don’t know. It’s easy to get into a place where you think you don’t know very much because you’re looking at other people who know things you don’t know. It’s just the same with other people who could be in your audience.

There are plenty of people that don’t know what you know and that’s what you want to teach.

  • 15:50 Aaron: The last episode you did, Magic of 7, was great because I had never thought about it that way. There are people who are going to say similar things to you or you’re going to write about things other people have touched on but your audience may not like the way the other person says it. That’s nothing against the other person but you have to realize you have a unique outlook on life. You want to share what you’ve learned and be open because people connect with that.
  • 16:38 Sean: You say to talk about what you know and for the people out there thinking, “I don’t know anything. I’m not one of those people that can have a show or blog. Those people know things and have things to say,” those people have things to say because they chose to show up. That’s the only reason!
  • 16:59 If you think you don’t know something, you just need some mental priming. I’ve even given you 62 topic ideas (Related: e117 62 Topic Ideas So You Never Run Out of Things to Write About). Where do you start in any given industry? Have you gotten past step #1 in any industry? You don’t have to be at step #10 to teach someone how to get from step #1 to step #2. Tell people how to start and what to do after they start.
    • Where does the customer come in?
    • Where does the client come in?
    • Should you involve the client in the process? If so, how?
    • How do you set expectations?
    • How do you prepare deliverables?
  • 17:48 Maybe you’re not dealing with clients or customers but an artistic process instead:
    • What is your daily routine?
    • How do you get into the mindset?
    • How do you find inspiration?
    • Do you have a particular source of inspiration?
    • Where do you go to get inspiration?
    • Do you have a certain routine your follow?
  • 18:22 These would all make a whole show or blog post! Tell a story that’s relevant to a message you have to share. You have a message but you don’t know how you want to tell it to people. All you’ve got to do is wrap that in a story. Tell me about a time this situation happened that demonstrates what you want to say. Tell the story and lead with that. It opens people up and they get in a place where they’re listening. It primes them, so when you get to the conclusion of the story, they’re ready to receive whatever your message is. You don’t necessarily have to have a formulaic series of supporting points. Sometimes, you can just tell a story and then deliver your message.
  • 19:35 Aaron: In the chat room, Cory Miller said, “Something that has really helped me is to pay attention to my own life and circumstances. What am I learning now? What has happened to me in this last week that has taught me an important lesson that I should share?” I think that’s great. Your 62 things to write about is a massive resource, Sean, so thank you for putting that out there. You could go the rest of your life with those 62 topics to fuel great posts.
  • 20:18 Sean: Not to mention, by the time you get through those 62 topics, you can do them again because they’ll still be valuable. It’s a different time and you have different experience then.
  • 20:30 Aaron: People change so much year to year. You have to get into the habit of capturing the things you’ve been experiencing and learning about. What’s been going on? Start capturing that into topic ideas. I always marvel at songwriters who can take a situation that happens in life and turn it into a beautiful song. It seems like magic to me but it’s really just holding onto the important things you want to share as they go by, then expressing how you feel about them. Capture the stuff that’s been going on in your life. Anytime you have a conversation with someone and you think there’s something valuable there, write about it.
  • 21:39 This will help fuel what you have to write about: find out what the other experts in your field are talking about. You might think those guys are your competitors but listen to what they have to say. They’re well-known for a reason. You can learn things from them and you can share what you learn from them. Listen to podcasts, read blog posts, watch videos, etc.
  • 22:09 Sean: I subscribe to a number of newsletters from people in the seanwes Community and I recognize a ton of their topics. A lot of their topics are very clearly derived from my podcasts and I’m not even mad. They have their own spin on it and they have something valuable to say. I always appreciate if they attribute me as where they got the idea but I’m not upset if they don’t. Take my topics—I’m giving you 62 topic ideas and there’s 154 podcast episodes that you can run with. It’s crazy to say you don’t have anything to talk about. There’s so much out there, pick anything. You can talk about being a jack of all trades. Do you have a perspective on that? Do you have a story on that? You can start with anything.
  • 23:05 Aaron: I understand why people don’t want to do that: you don’t want to be seen as a copycat. “Look at this guy, he’s just repeating what he’s heard!” Like you talked about in the Magic of 7—it’s ok to repeat what you’ve learned because you have a unique voice on it. I have jack of all trades in my notes because to become great at something, you will have to say no to other things. (Related: e140: Supercharge Your No With a Reason for Saying Yes)

Immerse Yourself in Your Main Topic

  • 24:01 Whatever you decide to do a podcast about, you will benefit more by saying no to the other distractions that come along. Only live in the world of whatever your niche is. I used to struggle with this back when I was the seanwes podcast cohost. I was learning web development, design, I was a musician, I wanted to learn about podcasts, and record music. That is so many things! I wasn’t an expert in any of them. I couldn’t have started a podcast or write a blog about any of those things because I was only dipping my toes in here and there. Now, I’m even going to spend my spare time learning about podcast stuff.
  • 25:12 Sean: It’s crazy for me to think of you as anything other than that because you’ve done so well at honing down. It wasn’t even a couple of years ago that you had a job at a web agency.
  • 25:27 Aaron: This time last year—12 months ago—I was working as a front-end web developer.
  • 25:33 Sean: It’s not like this is the only thing you can do! We know you’re a drummer, you can do web development, and all these other things but we think of you as The Podcast Dude because you’ve chosen something specific and to curate. Ben has been struggling with this but I think people are starting to know Ben as the guy with a family, who they can relate to in their struggles of trying to start a business with a family. It’s only once he’s curated for that, that they know him for that. He does plenty of other things—he sings, he plays music, he writes, he illustrates, and he designs. Actually, there’s plenty of people who know Ben as a phenomenal singer and designer, but overall:

You will be known for what you curate.

  • 26:39 Ben has more and more started to curate the family aspect, especially with his upcoming podcast, In the Boat With Ben, and people are starting to know him for that. People are starting to know you, Aaron, for everything podcasts. It’s the reason I was able to be known for lettering. Even though I was doing everything—branding, illustration, animation, icon design, user interface—I said no to all those other things. I used to project all of what I could do and I wasn’t known for any of it. Once I started curating and only put out content on lettering, then people started knowing me as a lettering guy.
  • 29:46 Why do you think blogs where people dump their consciousness as a private diary on the internet, for the most part, are not popular at all? There’s millions of blogs out there where people dump something and they don’t have an angle, consistency, or curation—that’s why those types of blogs aren’t popular. Look at the popular blogs or the blogs you subscribe to, they have some sort of curation. They’re about something and you can tell someone what that blog is about in a sentence. Can you do that with your blog or podcast?
  • 27:39 Some people don’t know that Aaron was the original cohost on the seanwes podcast. He was on the original 20 episodes but it was for unrelated reasons that we decided for him not to continue at that time. Aaron, you said it was actually a good thing because you needed to focus and it wasn’t the right time back then. I want people to understand that we didn’t have a falling out at episode 20, it was a shift.
  • 28:50 Aaron: Back then, I wasn’t focused on providing value or creating good stuff for the audience. I was still very focused on what I was learning from the podcast. It’s good to have a mindset of learning and gaining knowledge, but at the same time, when you’re doing a podcast you want to focus on what the audience is taking away from it. You’re not doing this for you. If you want to have a great conversation with a friend and feel like you’re special, then do that but if you’re going to do a podcast, understand that people will listen and they’re looking for a takeaway.
  • 29:34 Sean: I don’t blame you at all because few podcasts are focused on that. I don’t know why people treat podcasts differently than blogs. If you want to just turn on the mic and act like you’re having a phone call with a friend, you can do that but if you want your podcast to be known and do well, you have to provide value to people. Otherwise, you’re playing the lottery and hoping your random, stream of consciousness, phone call to your best friend show does well. It doesn’t work that way. The reason the well-known shows do well is because those people curated in the beginning. Roll back the clock and look at what they did. At one point, they were known for something because they projected one type of thing. They projected a specific thing and then people knew them.
  • 31:35 Once you reach that celebrity status, you can talk about whatever you want and people will listen to you because you’re famous. You can’t get there by not providing value. I’ve been trying to focus on that since early on in this podcast. I didn’t quite understand all of it and I was iterating in public but I wanted to provide value to people. Every time I go to write a blog post or draft a podcast, I’m thinking about the takeaway. What is someone going to get out of this? What message do I want to leave them with?
  • 32:10 Aaron: You had texted me saying we needed to refocus the podcast because everything was feeling scattered and I didn’t respond as well as I should have to that. If I had been in the mindset I am now, I would have said, “You’re right. What do we need to do?” but I was distracted with a lot of stuff going on. I was playing music nearly full-time, working 30 hours a week making websites, and 20-30 hours a week doing podcast editing so I was spread too thin. I wasn’t able to focus on any of those things as much as I should have. Honestly, what I heard back then was, “People don’t like what you’re saying,” and that kind of hurt but I understand why now. I’m actually glad because if I didn’t step down from that, we wouldn’t know Ben.

Don’t Add Filler Content to Make It Longer

  • 34:15 I struggle with padding my content sometimes. If I sit down to write and I’ve got a topic idea with three points, and I write a paragraph about each then I look at the word count to see 500 words, I think, “500 words! Sean’s got 5,000 words. Nobody is going to care about 500 words.” I feel like I have to pad it and do a better job of explaining it. Don’t feel like you need to make something longer just because you want to reach a word count. Not every podcast has to be 60 minutes. If you can talk for an hour on a subject and provide a lot of value, great! If you have something to say and you can say it in 5 minutes, that’s great too. Less can be more. Make it be the best, most concise, content you can make it.
  • 35:23 Sean: I’m doing that with my mini sabbatical episodes—they’re 5 or 6 minute little nuggets. I don’t talk around them too much and I don’t have a cohost on those episodes so it’s just giving a takeaway without inflating it. If it’s going to be long, let’s have a lot of value. Let’s not make it long for the sake of being long. If we want to share a lot of things that are helpful, and we have a lot of useful insight around each of those points, let the runtime work in our favor. But not every blog post has to be 2,000 words and we don’t have to have an hour long podcast just because it’s a podcast.

Dedicate Time to Writing

  • 36:19 Aaron: I used to go through my day, get my work done, get home, and think, “I’ve got some time and I feel like writing,” so I would sit down and if it just wasn’t working, I would stop and watch TV.
  • 36:41 Sean: The “feel like writing” thing works great when you feel like writing. The only thing is it works against you when you don’t feel like it.
  • 36:51 Aaron: Maybe once a week I feel like writing. Do you know how much writing I would get done if I wrote when I felt like it? Not very much but if I know that tomorrow when I wake up, I’ll get a cup of coffee and I’ll spend an hour writing, it’s crazy what happens. You have to dedicate time to writing because everything starts with writing. Songs, podcasts, and movies all start with writing.
  • 37:48 Sean: Brandi says, “How do you start writing when you don’t feel like it?”
  • 37:54 Aaron: That’s the thing, I don’t ask myself if I feel like writing right now. I say, “Alright, what am I going to write about right now?”
  • 38:16 Sean: It’s a specific, set aside time because otherwise, you won’t feel like blogging or preparing a podcast. You’ll just turn on the mic and let whatever comes out come out instead of thinking about the takeaway. It’s got to be on the schedule. You write because it’s the morning. You write because you just woke up and that’s when you write. It’s got to be a dedicated time (Related: e075 Why Early Birds Beat Night Owls Who Don’t Wake Up Early).
  • 38:47 Aaron: Are you a morning person? I feel like you are.
  • 38:53 Sean: No, I’m absolutely not. I default to a night owl and I’m the oldest of 13 kids so when I was at home there was constant noise all day long. I lived at home until I was 21 because I was trying to be responsible and save up money. I had been running my own business for a couple of years at that point so I would just wait until 2am to get work done because it was so loud at home. Obviously, that wasn’t going to work when I got married because Laci had to get up early to go to work, so I had to adjust my schedule. The tendency is to fall back into staying up super late and sleeping in. I like staying up and I don’t particularly enjoy waking up early.

I don’t wake up early because I enjoy it.

I wake up early because I like who I am when I do.

  • 39:49 I like the productivity that it brings. I like the output I have when I wake up early. I’m a night owl and I don’t like waking up early, I do it because I choose to do it.
  • 40:04 Aaron: I noticed a huge shift in my writing style by writing in the morning. It’s way different than how I write at night. I don’t really feel like writing in the morning, sometimes I feel like writing at night, but if I sit down in the morning, I have to ask myself, “What are you writing about today?” I keep a list of topics—I capture those ideas when they happen and I pick one. I pick a topic like microphones or writing shownotes and I start writing from there. Otherwise, I would sit down and thing, “Ugh, I don’t want to write.” You have to set aside time.

Don’t Psyche Yourself Out

    • 40:52 Sean: What do you mean by, “Don’t psyche yourself out?”
    • 40:58 Aaron: Let’s look at the videos you do, Sean. You make awesome videos and you’ve got expensive, high-quality gear. You’re putting out videos and blog posts every day and 3 podcast episodes—including Lambo Goal—a week. You do so much and it’s all so good. You’re attention to detail is disgusting. If I can get the text to look right on my blog, I’m in good shape. Forget about featured images. You’re making posters out of your featured images they’re so good! Someone like me sees that and it can feel like I’m not good enough at this stuff and nobody will care.
    • 41:49 You think, “I don’t have an audience or 10,000 followers,” so you psyche yourself out and you go watch Netflix. It’s easier to consume than it is to create. It’s easier to go watch TV because you don’t have to worry about providing content or what people are going to think about what you’re making. I worry about what people are going to think of my music and my blog posts. I’m going to start doing videos and I bought a couple hundred dollars worth of gear and I worry about how people are going to take that but you have to push through.
    • 42:49 Sean: It’s a mindfulness of the quality. The fact that you’re thinking about it and you care is going to come out, even if you don’t have expensive gear and even if you don’t have the time I do. If my dedication to quality is able to rub off, I want you to get the mindset aspect of it.

It’s not about the tools or the time, it’s about what you do with what you have.

  • 43:20 Whether it’s equipment, availability, if you have kids or not, no time in the evening, or a lot of time in the evening—it’s what you’re doing with the time and the tools you have. If you’re even thinking about it and caring about the quality, that’s fantastic because a lot of people aren’t thinking about it. They don’t care if their video is shaky and doesn’t sound good. They don’t care if they prepare for their podcast. If you’re thinking about those things, that’s what matters.
  • 44:03 Aaron: That’s what sets great shows apart—focusing on making it good. If you spend time thinking about that, you’ll discover ways to make what you’re doing better.

Focus on Answering Questions for Your Audience

  • 44:21 Sean: Someone who is trying to find perseverance in what they’re doing—let’s say they went out on a limb and committed to something—how do they provide content that’s relevant? How do they know what people want to hear?
  • 44:48 Aaron: You need to pay attention to what your target audience is talking about. What are they struggling with?
  • 44:57 Sean (jokingly): You’re saying to do things for other people, like listen to them, figure out what they want to hear, and help them with what they’re struggling with? You mean I can’t show up and talk about whatever I want to talk about? This is my blog! This is my podcast!
  • 45:13 Aaron: You totally could but imagine this: lock yourself in your bedroom for 2 weeks and write about everything you’ve experienced in that room. Is that going to be anything anyone wants to read?
  • 45:26 Sean: I bet that would be hard. You would feel there was nothing left to say because you’ve described the bed and ceiling fan from every angle and how much you hate the alarm clock, and you only have 4 posts. That doesn’t sound interesting. I imagine someone who is locked in their own room, their own mind, or their own life will very quickly feel like they don’t have anything to say. It’s because they’re looking inside. They’re looking at just themselves, not what other people are experiencing. Other people have all the topics for you. They’re going to tell you what’s relevant, what they want to hear, and what will resonate with them.
  • 46:17 Aaron: Capture those things you can write about and capture the questions you can answer later in a blog post. You’ve got to go out and experience things, talk to people, listen to people, and ask them questions.

Find Accountability

  • 46:37 Sean: People are the key in more ways than one. First of all, answering questions from your audience is a great way to make sure the content resonates with them but they’re also going to help you stick with your commitments—that’s where accountability comes in. We all need accountability. It’s not just for the people who need the push to get started. People who are having trouble starting would certainly benefit from accountability but even the people who are already driven need accountability in order to keep going.

Your first challenge is getting momentum but your second challenge is sustaining that momentum.

  • 47:19 No matter where you are or what position you’re in, you need accountability. Even if you could continue on your own, you would at least benefit from accountability. I feel like I could commit to this myself but I do so much better when I have someone to be accountable to. Whether it’s public, partner, or personal accountability—those forms of accountability are going to keep you showing up. They’re going to remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing. They’re going to give you the push and the pull you need. It’s a different way of keeping that momentum: starting out, it helps you get going but then it helps you keep it. It’s not like, “Well, I’m going so I no longer need any accountability.”

Get Around People Who Keep Commitments

  • 48:10 Sometimes I hit a road block and I don’t know if I have it in me today and the Community reminds me why I’m doing this. They remind me that I do have it in me. Get around people who keep their commitments. If you’re around people who don’t care, that will rub off on you. If you find people for whom sticking to their commitments is a given, that will be contagious.
  • 48:41 Example: in the Community we have video hangouts. It’s like a call with a group of people talking and other people can listen in or chat. There was the question, “I applied to participate. What happens if I don’t show up?” I said we don’t ask that question and we don’t talk about that. We don’t talk about what happens if you don’t show up, we make commitments and we stick to them. If you say you’re going to be there, then you’re going to be there. People say, “Well, I want to be on this hangout but I might have this thing I’ll be doing and I might not be able to make it,” then don’t apply.
  • 49:56 Every time we do a show, at least 50 people in the live chat are waiting on us and they’re expecting us. We have a commitment to them and it’s on the schedule, so I say we stay on the schedule no matter what. If Ben or Matt ask if they can change the time we meet to do this podcast, I say no. I would rather cancel the show entirely than change the time for people because we have an expectation. We’ve had this on the schedule for a week. You made a commitment so let’s stick with our commitments. I’m going to show up and I’ll figure it out—I’ll do a solo show and prepare a new topic for myself. That’s just how we do things. We don’t ask the question, “What if I don’t show up?”

Don’t plan for failure.

  • 51:10 It’s just like my No-Debt Mentality. We don’t ask the question, “What about this situation where you would have to go into debt?” No, we don’t talk about that. If something comes up, we address it from a standpoint of values. We don’t give excuses for why we wouldn’t do something, we just don’t talk about that. If Aaron couldn’t join me on the show today, I would have done it solo. That’s nothing on Ben or Matt, that’s just the commitment level we have here. The point is to get around people who keep commitments because that will rub off.
  • 51:54 Aaron: I see all the content you’re putting out and it makes me want to put out more stuff. I spent a couple hundred dollars on video equipment this week because I watched you go through the process of buying gear and setting it up. It made me want to do it, it was useful for me.
  • 52:22 Sean: In the chat room, Ben brought up that I won’t let him live stream In the Boat With Ben until he can schedule a weekly time—this is true. He’s going to have a show on the network, he’s in the Community, and I’ve given him the software credentials to stream live. He asked, “What if I’m not able to do this consistently at a certain time? What if I can do it 98% of the time?” and I said, “Then we’re not doing it,” because we don’t plan for failure. If he said, “I’m going to show up every single time, no matter what. I’ll be there and find a way 100% of the time,” and then in reality, an emergency came up—and he did show up 98% of the time looking back over the year—I don’t have a problem with that. I have a problem with planning for that.
  • 53:21 Aaron: When you make a commitment to something, you’re saying, “I’m going to put this on the calendar. This is more important than everything else.” You have to think about it that way. If Ben says he’ll show up every Friday at 2pm to do a show but one week his computer crashes, that’s a lot different than saying, “I think we’ll probably record sometime Friday.” Other stuff will start to creep in if you think that way. If you can start committing to things, that’s when good stuff happens. That’s when you show up and create consistently, not, “I think I’ll do it Saturday, if I feel like it.”
  • 54:21 Sean: Ben also wanted to make sure everyone knows that the show will be put out consistently, it’s just a matter of the recording time being at a specific schedule for live streaming. That’s hard for him due to his family situation but he wants people to know his show will be consistent.
  • 54:47 Aaron: Ben is at the point where he’s got an audience but a lot of his audience is going to come from this podcast and the seanwes Community. I have no doubt it will grow beyond that but he knows that if he commits to making a show every week, we’re going to hold him to it. If he doesn’t show up with a show every week, he’ll be hearing from us. Now, when I launch my show it’s not, “Well, maybe someone will hear it on the internet,” all my friends are going to see that I didn’t do a show this week. I told them I was going to do it and I don’t like letting people down.
  • 55:33 Sean: That’s what I like about having the network here. We’re taking care of the show by editing it, paying for shownotes to be written, providing the Community and live streaming infrastructure, but along with that is the expectation of showing up every week. We also expect you to take a sabbatical. That’s how we do things here. When we work, we work hard and we show up.