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.

481: Sabbatical Episode: You Can Travel the World If You Really Want To (Yes, You!)

481: Sabbatical Episode: You Can Travel the World If You Really Want To (Yes, You!)

Monday, March 2, 2020 – 1 hour, 3 minutes

Do you want to travel the world—or even travel your own country—with nothing but the pack on your back? Imagine that freedom—knowing you’ve already got everything you need.

There’s that line, “The things you own… end up owning you.” Well, what if you didn’t need to own hardly anything?

Between remote jobs and AirBnb, that unfettered life has never been more accessible…

But you could never actually do it, of course! You have a job, a car, an apartment… or maybe even a house. You’ve got leases and responsibilities and you’ve got a really nice couch.

But if there’s a part of you that just wishes you could pack it all up and hit the road…

Maybe it’s time to listen to that voice.

And if the voice is too quiet to hear… Sean is here to amplify it. In this call I had with Sean, he aims to prove that you can travel the world if you really want to. Yes, even you. Despite all the reasons and excuses… if this is what you really want, you can do it. This show will give you a lot to think about… and you might need to think twice about how much you really want that couch.

Enjoy the show.

480: When You’re Tired of Adulting

480: When You’re Tired of Adulting

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 – 1 hour, 4 minutes

You should be proud of yourself: you’ve got a lot on your plate.

You might be running a business, and, as I’ve heard it said, the great thing about running your own business is you can choose whichever 16 hours a day you want to work!

Or you might have a job that takes up most of the day, and a passion that you work on in the mornings, or the evenings, or both.

On top of all that, we all have our share of adulting: you know, doing the laundry, calling the bank, making sure there’s something in the fridge when we need it.

And I haven’t even touched on all the other people you have in your life, some of whom might need you to do all of the above while carrying them around or solving their LEGO woes.

You could be excused for just wanting a breather sometimes. Or maybe just wanting to give it all up and live in a tiny cabin on a moor. Or you could join a monastery, and possess nothing but a bowl, a robe, and a spartan room.

If any of that is sounding appealing right now, you’re not alone. Feeling overwhelmed with your commitments, desires, and responsibilities is a fact of life. Taking flight for the hills with no forwarding address might be the solution… but I hope not.

We still want to see you around these parts! 🙂

Let’s talk about what it takes to keep playing the often-exhausting game of life. We have yet to find the rule book, but we can share what we’ve learned that works.

479: Is It Ethical to Sell Products to Consumers?

479: Is It Ethical to Sell Products to Consumers?

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 – 56 minutes

There are no two ways around it: selling a product does not come naturally to most of us. In fact, the very idea can feel a little slimy. Isn’t it a little weird to try to convince someone to part with their hard-earned money? Who am I to try to take it out of their pocket?

Is this even ethical?

In previous episodes we’ve discussed why you as a business owner need to learn to sell—to sell often, and with confidence. But the whole idea can still be uncomfortable.

These days, we might feel a backlash against consumerism and materialism, and, even though we practice ethical and responsible ways of creating our work, we can’t shake the feeling that we’re still contributing to a problem.

If you create a product, isn’t that just one more “thing” you expect people to burden their lives with?

If these sorts of thoughts are leaving you paralyzed, don’t miss this conversation. We’re going to discuss the difference between creating and selling things that the world could do without, and truly valuable products that enrich the lives of their customers.

Products, sales, money… these are all just tools for the movement of value between human beings. Are they good, or are they bad? It all depends on how you use them.

Sabbatical Episode: Caleb Wojcik On Getting Your First Video Client and Creating Content Without Overthinking

478: Sabbatical Episode: Caleb Wojcik On Getting Your First Video Client and Creating Content Without Overthinking

Friday, February 14, 2020 – 40 minutes

While on our first stop of the sabbatical year in San Diego, I got to visit Caleb Wojcik in his home studio.

In addition to this episode, we also recorded an episode with me on the Caleb Wojcik Show which publishes today.

Caleb is an incredible filmmaker who has worked with clients like Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income and ConvertKit (filming their I Am A Blogger series as well as the Craft + Commerce conference). He also filmed our own seanwes conference.

Caleb regularly teaches what he’s learned building a successful six-figure client-services business with his podcast, courses, and YouTube channel.

In today’s episode, I ask Caleb what he would do to get his first client if he was starting from scratch. If you’re looking to sell your filmmaking services, this episode is for you.

Aside from client services, Caleb is also the inventor of SwitchPod. SwitchPod is a minimal, versatile, handheld tripod for vloggers that raised over $400,000 on Kickstarter. We talk about going from client services to physical products and the future of SwitchPod.

Caleb recently set up what many would consider to be a dream home video studio in the past couple of years. But like many of us, he still struggles with overthinking content creation and production quality. We talk about some tips for overcoming overthinking and how to make videos more easily.

Sabbatical Episode: Ridding Yourself of Guilt - A Conversation With Calvin Rosser

477: Sabbatical Episode: Ridding Yourself of Guilt – A Conversation With Calvin Rosser

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 – 33 minutes

This podcast episode was not planned.

While staying in San Diego during my sabbatical, my friend Caleb Wojcik invited me to his house to record a podcast. Caleb lives in Encinitas (about a one-hour train ride from where we were staying in downtown San Diego).

Caleb and I recorded two podcasts: one for his show, and another for mine. You’ll see that interview with Caleb on the podcast feed in the next day or two.

I was getting ready to take the 3:00pm train back to the city after recording with Caleb, when I received a new message on Instagram from Calvin Rosser:

“Hey dude, think I saw you’re in San Diego. I’m in Encinitas (north of San Diego) if you want to get together. Fairly free during the evenings this week. Just working and surfing.”

I’d met Calvin once last year at Craft + Commerce conference. We got coffee together the last morning before I went to the airport.

Calvin has been a nomadic traveler for many years now. Over coffee last year in Boise, Idaho, he shared stories of his travels, and emphasized the importance of going with the flow and not having an overly rigid plan.

“You may find that you love a place and want to stay longer.”

At the time, he spoke of settling down. Several years of traveling nomadically was an incredible experience, but he was ready to slow down and stay in one place for awhile.

We both just happened to be in Encinitas at the same exact time. How perfect was it that he messaged me without knowing?

This must have been where he settled down last year.

Calvin laughed. “I actually just got here a day ago.”

“What happened to settling down?”

“I still want to. I miss having friends I see regularly and with whom I can go deep.”

We met at a coffee shop in Encinitas, but Calvin hardly sat down. Right away, he asked if we’d be willing to go somewhere else.

“I actually have a car, but I prefer to walk. There’s a place nearby that’s really nice—it’s about a 14-minute walk from here. Is that okay?”

Calvin has a thoughtful tone, as you’ll hear in the recording. He doesn’t mince words, and he doesn’t waste any time getting straight to deep and meaningful matters.

Before I know it, we walk through an iron gate into another world. I’d never been in a meditation garden, but visiting at golden hour is everything you’d imagine: fish, flowers, and colorful foliage abound as you walk through winding pathways and up stairs.

As we go up, the trees give way to a bright sky with a sun that will set within the hour. We find a bench at the top in a little clearing that reveals a stunning panorama of the Pacific Ocean. We are high up on the cliff.

“I’m trying to remove guilt when not working,” Calvin says.

“Do you mind if I record our conversation?” I ask. “We don’t have to do anything with the recording, but if we end up discussing something worth sharing, then at least we have the option of making it available as a podcast.”

Calvin doesn’t mind. He almost seems indifferent.

I hand him the lavalier microphone to clip to his shirt. He doesn’t seem phased. We don’t begin with any formal introductions. The tone of our conversation remains the same. We just continue talking.

“With my work, I feel that there’s an endless list of things to do. When I’m not working, I should be focused on that list of things to do.”

The guilt. As a recovering workaholic, I know it all too well.

There were only ever two modes:

1. Working
2. Feeling guilty about not working

I didn’t like feeling guilty.

Calvin’s the same. He’s internally driven, and unsatisfied with anything less than reaching his full potential.

That was me, and why I worked 18-hour days for a decade. Then I burned out.

“The times I feel the guilt the least, and the times I feel most alive, is when I’m connecting one-on-one with someone else,” Calvin says. “I’m  able to engage with that in a way where the other stuff sort of melts away.”

The seanwes podcast has not, historically, been an interview show. Part of the reason is I, like Calvin, am not one for small talk. I like to go straight to the deep and meaningful stuff. That’s what I like about a co-hosted show: you know me, you know my co-host. Great. Now that the introductions are out of the way, let’s get straight to the topic.

Interviews always feel like they have so much preamble. I wasn’t a fan.

But during my sabbatical year, I decided I would record and share conversations I have with people along the way. Sometimes, that’s going to be a podcast interview that’s a planned event, but I also want to experiment with recording and sharing serendipitous conversations like this one. We didn’t plan to record anything, so it feels very raw. But I like that.

I thought about recording a formal introduction to explain who Calvin is, what he does, how we met, why we were talking, and what you’ll get out of the conversation. But that’s the furthest thing from what this actually was: a completely unplanned, unscripted, spontaneous moment. I want you to experience this conversation the way it happened in real life.

So I’m trying an experiment: rather than recording an introduction, I’m letting this written description provide the context for the episode. I’m curious to hear how you receive it. Feel free to send me a message on Instagram @seanwes with your thoughts on this raw format.

You can check out Calvin’s writing and sign up for his newsletter at Do reach out and encourage him to start his own podcast if you enjoyed this conversation.

Your Location Affects Your Motivation

476: Your Location Affects Your Motivation

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 – 1 hour, 8 minutes

Everybody knows if you want to be in pictures, move to Hollywood. Want to work in finance? New York, or London. Dreaming of starting the next big tech company? Better move to Silicon Valley—that’s where the money is. And if country music’s your jam, head out to Nashville.

Is that really true? Is it only possible to succeed in a handful of cities around the world?

Well, of course not. But your location does shape who you are. The things you see and hear every day, the way the people around you behave and what they talk about, the ease of access to what inspires you… it all plays a part in achieving your goals.

Today we discuss how your location affects your motivation—the impact where you live has on the opportunities presented to you and your ability to capitalize on them.

We’re not here to tell you where to live, but if you’ve been struggling with whether to move or stay where you are, this show will provide some clarity.

Getting Comfortable on Camera

475: Getting Comfortable on Camera

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 – 1 hour, 53 minutes

Since YouTube launched in 2005, online video has taken over the world. It might be hyperbolic to compare this to the invention of the printing press… but, then again, it might not.

Quite simply, video is the medium by which a growing amount of the world’s information is consumed. For a creative person, someone who wants to share their message and their art with the world, creating videos gives you an incredible opportunity.

But there’s a problem: For most of us, appearing on camera does not come naturally.

Have you tried making videos—or at least thought about it—only to freeze up when that camera lens is pointed at you? Do you find yourself stuck, imagining the endless crowd staring at you, just waiting for you to mess up?

Yup, it happens to the best of us. Today we’re talking about how to get comfortable with being on camera.

Sabbatical Episode: Sean and Laci’s Thoughts and Feelings on Moving Out

474: Sabbatical Episode: Sean and Laci’s Thoughts and Feelings on Moving Out

Monday, January 27, 2020 – 11 minutes

What does it feel like to move out of your old house but not have a new one to move into?

It’s like climbing a staircase and expecting another step.

Or as Laci puts it, “Like when you’re forgetting something, but it’s really big and important.”

“Like where you’re going to live,” I said.

“Exactly,” she replied.

We are officially moved out of our house. Our belongings are in storage, and we each have a backpack which contains everything we’ll need for a year.

We had some furniture to bring to family, so we rented a truck to drive to Dallas.

Near the end of our trip, we pulled the truck over and recorded this podcast to capture our immediate thoughts and feelings on moving out, having no home, and beginning the sabbatical year.

We also talk about how it feels to not yet know where we’re going to live after the sabbatical.

Sabbatical Episode: Moving & Meetups

473: Sabbatical Episode: Moving & Meetups

Thursday, January 23, 2020 – 5 minutes

We are just a few days away from moving out of our house and officially beginning our sabbatical year. That means I also have only a few days left to sleep in my own bed with my own pillow. I’ll miss that.

The nerves are starting to kick in. Are we really doing this??

Well, we booked a storage unit today, and our lease on the house is up soon—oh, and our internet, water, and electricity are all shutting down… so I guess we really are!

It definitely hasn’t sunk in yet. Randomly, I’ll feel a little anxious, but I think that makes sense; what we’re doing isn’t exactly normal. I think it’s nervous excitement. Maybe a little restlessness, actually. We originally planned to be out January 1st, so I’ve been itching to go for weeks!

My office is taking a lot of work to pack up. It’s just so complicated with all the gear and wiring. I’m also resisting the urge to shove everything into a box like spaghetti. I’m taking my time and trying to organize things neatly so I’ll actually be able to put it back together in 2021.

I’m super excited for the Dallas, San Diego, and Los Angeles meetups happening in the next few weeks!

Sean McCabe
Sean McCabe
Ben Toalson
Ben Toalson


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