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.

seanwes podcast: Surviving the Holidays

462: Surviving the Holidays

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 – 57 minutes

We look forward to it every year… or do we?

The holiday season is just about on top of us, and while it can hypothetically be a time for peace, reflection, and family, those qualities are easily overwhelmed by feelings of stress, overcommitment, and inadequacy.

Today, Ben and Dan give their best tips for making it through the holidays in one (mental and emotional) piece. A lot of these are perennial seanwes topics, and now is the perfect time of year to talk about them once again. (We also include a great sidebar on holiday travel, where Ben provides his recommendations for the best suitcases to pack your six kids in.)

Between managing your commitments and protecting your time and attention, focusing on what’s meaningful and setting yourself up for a great new year, let’s go into 2020 strong.

Happy Holidays! 🥳

seanwes podcast: Sean Is Forcing Me to Write a Book

461: Sean Is Forcing Me to Write a Book

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 – 1 hour, 15 minutes

The other day, Sean and Dan had a call. Sure, they could have talked about growing the business, or Sean’s upcoming sabbatical year.

But, no.

They had to talk about Dan’s lack of progress on his novel.

See, Sean had this brilliant id—well. Sean had this… idea.

“I want you to write a book called, ‘I Tried to Write a Book’.”

It’s the story of an aspiring author. A harried, foul-mouthed aspiring author. His name is Dane Jacobson (no relation).

Today, Ben and Dan discuss this ambitious project: Is Sean for real? What is this cryptic book really about? And what the heck does any of this have to do with making a living pursuing our creative passions?

Tune in to find out.

seanwes podcast: Do You Have a Shadow Career?

460: Do You Have a Shadow Career?

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 – 1 hour, 17 minutes

In Overlap, Sean talks about the importance of the day job to protect your passion: you need to cover all your bills with something that doesn’t rely on your passion so that you don’t compromise out of desperation to make ends meet.

Compromise kills passion: do enough of the kind of work you love under circumstances you hate, and one day you’ll realize you don’t have that passion anymore.

We’ve talked a lot about the dangers of the wrong day job. A bad job, that drains your energy, that you resent, but you can’t give it up because it keeps you comfortable.

But today we want to explore something a little different: what happens when you have a great day job? A job you enjoy doing, with a flexible schedule, working with people you love, making a good living… That’s the ideal situation in which to pursue your passion on the side.


In his book, Turning Pro, Stephen Pressfield describes the “Shadow Career” as a calling we pursue because we’re terrified of our true calling:

“Are you getting your Ph.D. in Elizabethan studies because you’re afraid to write the tragedies and comedies that you know you have inside you? Are you living the drugs-and-booze half of the musician’s life, without actually writing the music? Are you working in a support capacity for an innovator because you’re afraid to risk becoming an innovator yourself?”

When you have a job you love AND a passion you want to pursue, is the job a stepping-stone, a companion on the journey… or just another way to hide from the work you were really meant to be doing?

Fired Up Mondays

459: Fired Up Mondays: Taking Care of Yourself During the Holidays, and the Map Is Not the Territory

Wednesday, November 27, 2019 – 41 minutes

Hey, Dan here. We’re doing something a little different for this episode of the seanwes podcast.

In the seanwes Community, we do a special live show every Monday morning, called Fired Up Mondays. This is our community office hours, where members can ask questions and get answers right there on the show. This is just one of the many benefits of seanwes membership. To find out more, go to

Normally, Fired Up Mondays is members-only. But Sean suggested that we put this episode out on the regular feed.

You’ll notice this show is a little different from the usual seanwes podcast. It’s a solo show, and I’m answering questions from our members and touching on a variety of topics.

At the end, I give an update on my own “side-hustle”: the novel I’m writing. This is because Sean, well, basically dared me to talk about the novel every week as a form of accountability.

Ugh! This guy, amirite? 😉

There’s some context for what you’re about to hear. It’s a little different from the usual podcast, but still full of value. I hope you enjoy it!

Ben and I will be back next week with another episode of the seanwes podcast. Thanks for listening!

seanwes podcast: No One Is an Island, but Everyone Is an Iceberg

458: No One Is an Island, but Everyone Is an Iceberg

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 – 1 hour, 31 minutes

Your internal life is wonderfully complex. You have an endless sea of thoughts and feelings, beliefs and reactions, and, for better or worse, they’re mostly your little secret.

It’s not just you, of course: we all know, intellectually, that everyone has just as much going on beneath the surface as we do. But it’s one thing to know something, and another to understand its implications.

The truth is, it’s hard to remember, in the moment, that each of us is an iceberg—what’s visible on the surface only tells a fraction of the story. When we all react differently to the same situations, when we do and say things that baffle or enrage each other, it’s because we thought we were all basically the same, thought the same, felt the same…

But that’s a big “nope”.

This isn’t just a reminder not to judge one another’s actions too harshly; it’s also the reason that sharing our own iceberg is so important. If you want to connect with people—really connect, in a meaningful way—you have to reveal at least some of what’s hidden beneath the surface.

The problem? There’s nothing scarier than revealing what’s hidden beneath the surface.

Let’s talk about why and how and with whom to share yourself—not the carefully polished and manicured self, but your actual self—and ask how we can better understand others, no matter what they share.

seanwes podcast: Self-Doubt Is Holding You Back

457: Self-Doubt Is Holding You Back

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 – 1 hour, 47 minutes

Is it safe to say we have all struggled with self-doubt? Very little is more frightening than a sense of uncertainty, and when we feel like we don’t know what we’re doing, it’s easy to become paralyzed.

If you think you need to wait until you’re free of doubt and fear before you can accomplish anything… bad news: you’re not going anywhere.

The people who do things and make things have one thing in common: they start before they feel ready to start.

In this episode, Dan and Ben talk about the dangers (and inevitability) of comparison, self-doubt’s roots in your lack of skill and your abundance of ego, and the steps you can take to overcome self-doubt and build confidence in your abilities… in any area of life.

Sean and Laci

456: My Wife’s Eating Disorder Almost Killed Her

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 – 49 minutes

Something’s been going on for more than a year that I haven’t been able to talk about.

My wife, Laci, nearly died earlier this year.

She is currently in a partial hospitalization program. It’s still a dangerous situation. The recommended treatment period is a minimum of 30 days. But after only two weeks, our insurance suddenly decided to stop paying for treatment far short of the duration recommended by her team of healthcare professionals. I’ll explain more in a moment.

Warning: this article talks about anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, and eating disorders. If you struggle with any of these things, consider having a loved one read this instead.

What I’m about to share is extremely difficult for a lot of reasons, but we have decided it’s time.

seanwes podcast: What Would It Take for You to Make?

455: What Would It Take for You to Make?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 – 1 hour, 19 minutes

We’ve been talking about content for the last few weeks: how to make it, why you should make it, what to make.

But the truth is, despite knowing all the tactics, despite having the path laid out in front of us…

Most of us still do nothing.

We have a passion. We have a message that we want to share with the world. So why don’t we do anything about it?

Today, Dan and Ben want to get to the bottom of this. What does it take? What does it take to turn intentions into action? What does it take to step past our barriers and do something? What does it take, to actually make the work we care about?

Sean and Ryan Show: Think and Grow Rich Book Club

454: Sean and Ryan Show: Think and Grow Rich – Chapter 15: How to Outwit the Six Ghosts of Fear

Thursday, October 24, 2019 – 1 hour, 6 minutes

The final chapter of Think and Grow Rich warns of six “subtle enemies” that can remain hidden in the subconscious mind, where they are difficult to locate, and still more difficult to eliminate.

These are the Six Ghosts of Fear.

– The fear of POVERTY
– The fear of CRITICISM
– The fear of ILL HEALTH
– The fear of OLD AGE
– The fear of DEATH

“All other fears are of minor importance, they can be grouped under these six headings.”

But where does fear come from?

“Study, analyze, and understand the three enemies you have to clear out. Where one is found, the other two are close at hand.”

The Unholy Trio:

– Indecision
– Doubt
– Fear

“INDECISION is the seedling of FEAR! Indecision crystalizes into DOUBT, the two blend and become FEAR!”

Indecision and doubt blend to form fear.

“The “blending” process often is slow. This is one reason why these three enemies are so dangerous. They germinate and grow without their presence being observed.”

The purpose of this chapter is to focus on the cause and cure of the six fears.

Sean McCabe
Sean McCabe
Ben Toalson
Ben Toalson


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