Download: MP3 (14.7 MB)
The seanwes podcast is now going to have only one new episode a week instead of two.
In 2013, I started the seanwes podcast with a commitment to produce two episodes a week. For nearly three years now, we’ve done that.
However, some big changes are on the horizon for seanwes. I’m here to tell you about a few of those changes today.
I took a step back. Actually, I took many steps back. Then I asked myself, “What is our mission? What is my vision for seanwes?” When I had that answer, I asked a second question:
“Is everything I’m doing right now serving that goal?”
The answer was no.
Many of the things I was doing on a regular basis were not helping me fulfill that vision. They were not getting me closer to the goal. I was just doing them because I’d fallen into a routine of fulfilling commitments I’d made long ago when my goals were different.
Things had to change. There are big changes coming to seanwes. I’m going to share a few of them with you today.
Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
- Our mission at seanwes is to help people make a living with their passion by teaching them how to build a sustainable, audience-driven business.
- College and traditional universities are going to become much less important in the next 10 to 20 years. The future is online education.
- With seanwes, I want to build a library of business training material from knowledgable people. Essentially, a university.
- We are decreasing the output of the seanwes podcast to once a week.
- We are making cuts to some of the shows on the network, including seanwes tv.
- We want to take our time on new courses we’re producing, improve the courses we already have, and improve the Community member experience.
- These changes, among others we will be revealing in the coming months, will put seanwes in a position to be able to create the greatest work possible and fulfill our mission.
- If what you’re committed to doing on a daily or weekly basis is no longer serving your goals or taking you to where you want to go, it’s the right time to break a commitment.
- 01:00 Sean: You probably saw that the podcast is switching to once a week. We are decreasing our output from twice a week to once a week, and this is something that’s happening on the front end as a result of huge shifts on the back end. Internally, there has been a monumental shift in the direction of seanwes. I know that all of this sounds kind of scary because a lot of changes are happening, but they are very good things. Not that long ago, we had an episode on when the right time is to break a commitment, and all of this was spurred by a conversation I had with a Community member (Related: e237 When Is the Best Time to Break a Commitment?).
- 01:44 That was followed by a rather large team call about the focus and direction of seanwes and what we’re doing here. We really took a step back, or as Justin says, we took 12 steps back, and we looked at the whole big picture here. What are we doing? Why are we doing what we’re doing? When I was honest, the seanwes podcast is a very big part of what we do at seanwes. It’s certainly the most popular show. It’s the show that’s been around the longest, and it’s the show we’ve received the most feedback on.
- 02:18 A lot of people have said that this show has changed their life—they’ve quit their job, started their business, or moved across the world. It’s really, really impacted them. I want to share some of the things that we talked about and what’s going to be changing. When I started thinking about the seanwes podcast and our vision here at seanwes, I thought of our mission.
Our mission at seanwes is to help people make a living with their passion, and our focus is on business.
- 02:50 seanwes is about business. It’s about helping people build sustainable, audience-driven businesses. We want to give you all the resources you need to be able to do that. We want to help you with that. We want to help people make a living with their passion. That is our mission. In the very big picture—I’ve shared glimpses of this here and there in various episodes—in my opinion is that college and traditional universities are going to become much less important in the next 10 to 20 years. It’s no longer going to be the obvious route for people who want to get an education, make their way in the world, or start a business.
- 03:36 It’s becoming less and less of an obvious decision to make. It’s no longer incredibly obvious that you should go to college, spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, and go into debt, because the return you get on that investment is going to be incredibly and immediately apparent. It’s just not true anymore. It’s becoming less and less valuable. Today, people want to see your track record. What have you done? You either have a piece of paper that says that you know how to do what you do, or you have work that backs it up and speaks for itself. As an employer who hires people, I never ask for credentials. I say, “What have you done? Show me what you’ve done.”
- 04:22 Increasingly, that is going to be more valuable to people. That is how you’re going to get positions at companies and how you’re going to get to work with clients. It doesn’t matter about the piece of paper anymore. That piece of paper will be worth less and less as time goes by. The future I see is one of ad-hoc education. Pick the education you want from the source that you trust. What do you want to learn? Learn that exact thing. Don’t waste your time on anything else.
With seanwes, I want to build a library of training material from knowledgable people that I trust.
- 05:06 These are people I want to give access to my platform. I want to help people learn how to build a business and anything that goes into that. I’m talking about an online business in this year or the next ten years. In the current age we live in, how can you build a sustainable, audience-driven business? That’s what I want to help people with. That includes things like podcasting, making videos, branding, marketing, writing, pricing, working with clients, professionalism, and design. I want to provide people with high quality educational material.
- 05:49 Essentially, I want to build a university. I want you to think, “If I want to learn about business, the obvious solution is seanwes.” That’s my vision for 10 to 20 years from now. That’s what I’m building towards. That’s where we’re going. My team knows this vision. We were having this conversation yesterday that was spurred by a call I had with one of our Community members, and he just joined a couple of months ago. He said, “Hey, I have some thoughts, input, and advice for you. I started writing an email, and it got to be too much, so I wanted to see if I could have a call with you.”
- 06:25 I said, “I’m moving this week and then I have a sabbatical week, so it’s kind of crazy, but if you can do it right now, I’ll hop on a call with you.” He said, “Okay, let me install Skype.” Apparently, he didn’t even have Skype installed. I made time for him because he was a Community member, and he remarked on that. He said, “It’s pretty crazy that I can just hop on a call with you.” I said, “It’s because you’re in the Community.” I get a lot of people asking for months and months, “Can I interview you? Can I get you on my show?” And I don’t have the capacity for it, but I prioritize people like him because he’s in the Community.
- 07:06 I really care about the people there and I want to help them succeed. Little did I know the advice he was going to have for me, and a lot of that is beyond the scope of this particular episode, but I do want to share how some of those things are going to be changing. He had this call with me and I had a call with my team, and we took a step back to look at the big picture. We said, “Where do we want to go? What are we about here?” What we’re about is helping people make a living with their passion. Here’s the next question: “Is everything we’re doing serving that mission most effectively?”
- 07:50 We audited everything we’re doing at seanwes. The seanwes podcast is staying, but it was on the table that we may stop doing it entirely. One of the questions was, “Are podcasts the right route?” I just started a podcast, and now we’ve been doing this without questioning, “Where are we going? What is the business model? What is our vision here? How does this fit in?” We needed to ask these questions, and we decided that the podcast will stay, but we’re decreasing the output. We’re going to do once a week, and the reason for that is because a lot of the things we were doing aren’t serving the mission. We decided that seanwes tv is going to be cut, not just on pause.
- 08:44 We had to be ruthless about everything. Everything has to make business sense. When we look at it, 90% of the team’s focus, everyone I’m paying every month, is spent producing free content. It’s not getting us closer to the company we want to build. It’s not getting us closer to being in a position to serve the people we want to serve and fulfill the mission. We decided to decrease the output of the seanwes podcast. We’re also going to be cutting a couple of shows. That’s the business decision we had to make.
- 09:17 The point is to hyper-focus on what we are about. What is the mission? We’re auditing everything we’re doing to make sure that it serves that mission. This is going to free up everyone’s time on the team, it’s going to help us focus on quality, and it’s going to give us the capacity to work on things that will sustain the business. When I took a step back, I saw that I’m doing the seanwes podcast because I want to help people, but I’m continuing to do it twice a week just because I said I would. I committed to it. In the episode about when the right time is to break a commitment, I said that I think the right time to break a commitment is when the goals change. There’s no reason to continue doing the same thing just because you said that this is what you were going to commit to when the goals change.
If what you’re doing on a daily or weekly basis is no longer serving your goals or taking you to where you want to go, that’s the time to break a commitment.
- 10:08 I felt stuck, honestly, in having to continue doing the show. This is a very conflicting thing for me, because I absolutely love doing the show. I just met with Ben this morning at a coffee shop to talk about all of the big changes that are going to be happening, and we’re only talking about a few of them here. We aren’t quite ready to reveal everything here, but we’re definitely excited about those. I wanted to share this with Ben, and it is bittersweet for us. We enjoy doing the show twice a week.
- 10:51 The changes we’re going to be making, which I’ll be revealing over the coming weeks, will result in more people being helped, more people being served, more people taking action, more resources, more time, less stress, and increased focus for every single member of the team, as well as the hosts of the shows and myself. That’s the update, and it’s about all I can share at this time. There’s more to come. I’m excited that we’re going to be able to focus more of our time on producing courses.
We want to improve the courses we already have and take our time on new courses.
- 11:37 We’ve gotten to the point where we have one month of runway in the bank, and the way we’re operating the network here is not in a way that sustains itself. The Community doesn’t make enough to support everyone’s salaries to be able to create these kinds of high quality shows, and I don’t want to do sponsors. I don’t want to sell ads or anything like that. I want to focus on quality and giving you, the listener, a super good experience. I also want to focus on improving the Community member experience. We’re here because I was focused on the long game too much, admittedly. I have this vision that, 10 to 15 years in the future, all of this will pay off.
- 12:28 I still, to this day, believe that’s true. The difficult part is surviving for the next 15 years until we get that return on investment. Currently, the business model we have isn’t sustainable. I’m working on the side myself building these courses, generating enough revenue to fund the entire network. It’s kind of working, but it’s incredibly stressful, and it’s not sustainable. We’re relying on these revenue spikes, so we’re saying, “We have to do this course because we need the revenue, so we have to crank it out!” Our courses are very high quality, but I’m not content comparing what we make to what everyone else makes. I’m only content comparing what we make to the best thing we can possibly make.
- 13:16 I know that when we are in Scarcity Mindset and we’re operating our business month to month like this, we can’t make the best work possible. I’m very flattered to have been compared with Apple on a number of occasions. People compare seanwes with Apple, and that’s flattering, but Apple doesn’t operate anywhere near like we do. They don’t give anything away for free, but we’re giving away most of our stuff for free. Look at what they’re able to do when they focus on revenue! They’re the most wealthy company in the galaxy, and they’re able to create really great products because they have the resources.
- 14:00 I wonder what we are robbing the world of by not putting ourselves in a position to be able to create the greatest work possible. I want to be able to work on adding more value to our existing courses, perfecting the courses we have, and continuing to improve and add value to the Community member experience. That’s a sneak peak at what’s going on behind the scenes and some of the decisions we’re working on. This just happened yesterday, as I record this, so all of this is starting to shift and change as of yesterday. There are a lot of details about things that are changing that I can’t quite share yet, but I wanted to give you a precursor to see where we’re going.