For the last 15 years I’ve been working a 9-5 corporate job in the aerospace industry. I remember when I started, the company was a smaller private company and when I left, it was public and part of a multi-billion dollar organization. I started as a part time receiving clerk and worked my way up to senior leadership during those years.
Today is bittersweet for me because today was my last day at that company. Three months ago I told the CEO that I would be leaving before the end of the year to pursue my SaaS startup (PodMatch) full time… And here we are.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “Ah, Alex must have hated his job!”
Although I know that many people hate their jobs, that wasn’t the case for me. I loved the aerospace industry and the company I was working for. It was a great career, I was considered “extremely accomplished’ for my age especially. But, again, here we are.
As I’ve been telling people, I’ve received mixed responses. Some people think I’m crazy, some are very worried about me. On the flipside, some people are beyond excited about what I’m doing.
Here’s what I’ve learned through all of this:
Some of you may already be aware of this, but every year on my birthday, I pray and ask God to give me a word/theme for the year. My year for the 32nd year of my life is CHANGE. When I first picked this word, I was nervous, unsure of where it would lead. Because of this, I wrote down these words that are worth sharing in this post:
“Good things are supposed to happen to me through these changes in my life.”
Some days I believed these words, some days they even inspired me. Some days they made me scared, but regardless, I’ve never let fear stop me – And that is why I am where I am today.
No one knows what will happen. When you step into the unknown, it’s just that, unknown. All you can do is take hold of fear, and pursue great instead of good, even when it means sacrificing the good. Take calculated risks when you can calculate, and when you can’t, trust yourself and have faith.
Get your people in your corner:
I spent time in prayer and felt peace from God to make this transition.
The date was December 8, 2018. I was given a very nice bottle of champagne. My wife (Alecia) and I agreed that we would open it when we had something significant to celebrate. Whether that would be celebrating life, or celebrating the wins from one of our businesses, we knew we wanted it to be something good!
Alecia is great at celebrating the small wins and big wins. I, on the other hand, am not. I often forget to celebrate altogether. When I have a small win, I view it more as just another task completed. When I have a big win, even something like launching PodMatch.com or having my podcast reach the top 20 in the entrepreneurship category, I view it as a step to an even bigger goal.
As a full year had gone by, I still had that bottle of champagne sitting there, waiting for “the perfect win” to celebrate. Occasionally, Alecia would bring it up, “When are we going to celebrate something with this bottle of champagne?”
My responses were always the same, “When we complete that next big thing!”
So there I was, well into 2020, still have not celebrated anything. At this point, this bottle had been sitting on my minibar for a year and a half. Then it hit me…
This bottle of champagne had become a physical representation of an internal issue.
You see, 2019 was a great year for me.
I received much recognition from my aerospace job.
I received a sizable bonus that year.
My blog, DailyPS grew substantially and the team of authors surpassed 100.
I launched Creating a Brand and found immediate success with it.
Even among all of these great wins, I continuously told myself, “When I reach that next milestone is when we will bust open this bottle of champagne.”
The problem is this: That next milestone just became another achievement, not a celebration. Every. Single. Time.
Let’s take launching Creating a Brand for example. I launched the business, launched the podcast, launched my courses, saw success with all of them. The podcast even reached the Apple top charts one week! (Number 197 out of all 700,000 podcasts.) Shirley, this would be enough to celebrate, right?
Wrong – And don’t call me Shirley.
I mentally filed each of the things I mentioned above as another milestone or slight achievement. But nothing worth celebrating.
I’m going on a little bit here, but do you see my point? There’s always something else to achieve. Always another goal, always another target.
Here’s what I’ve learned: Life will pass you by. You have to decide to celebrate everything, even the little things.
My wife and I sat down to have a “come to Jesus moment” where she brought all of this to my attention. At that same point, we decided on what next goal we’d celebrate. What we decided on still doesn’t seem like a huge goal to me, but I’m sure that’s just because I still have much to learn on this topic.
Alecia immediately launched that cork across the room as I covered my eyes and one other delicate body part (TMI, sorry)
As we held two glasses to cheers, she said something I won’t ever forget: “Cheers to the small wins!”
Friends, I encourage you to celebrate your progress in life and in business, even if it’s small. Remember, life is about meaning, not about achieving more and more until one day you are no more. So enjoy the journey, and stop to take in the view!
“Can you believe we’re already halfway through summer here in Florida?” said one of my coworkers just last week. I immediately felt uneasy; not because I hadn’t realized it was ‘already fall’ but because why “already?” I thought to myself, “Isn’t it the same amount of days and time that it was last year? How did it sneak up on you? …Man you need to learn to begin taking control of your time! ”
Comments regarding how fast time is passing have always irked me. Every year is the same amount of time, right? So how does it pass us by quicker and quicker?
Many people feel that life is passing them by. This is something that I’ve been pondering a lot lately. Why does life seem to be so quick for some people? Because the truth is, time is always the same… 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 365 (or 366) days in a year. That’s it, it’s always the same.
Although my perspective has always been accurate, recently someone, we’ll call him Bob, challenged my thinking about how quick time seems to pass us by. Which in turn has inspired me to write this blog post today.
As I was having a conversation about time with Bob, he said the following to me:
“Life feels shorter to people each year because it is getting shorter.”
As you can imagine as soon as I heard this my facial expression could only be described as visual confusion. (Similar to Obi Wan as he learned about the clones.)
Anyway, back on track here. Bob went on to explain, that every year represents a percentage of your life. Every year the year you’re in represents a smaller percentage of your life. – LIGHT-BULB! Here’s what this means:
Example: From ages 1 to 2 you’ve lived 100% longer. From 2 to 3 you’ve lived 33% longer. Now, once you go from 20 to 21, the percentage has dropped significantly. And once you hit 60, it’s drops even more significantly.
So, my mindset changed…
Every year does get shorter when you base it upon the overall percentage of your life lived.
With that said, although Bob was right as to the reason people say things like, “Can you believe it’s fall?” or “This year has flown by, hasn’t it?” The fact is, every year is still 365 days, no matter how long you’ve been alive.
Just because every year feels like less time and when you look at the percentage of your life, it is, doesn’t mean we have to let life pass us by. (This is my big point, you ready???)
We all know that “time fly’s” but you have the option of being the pilot or a passenger. Which will you be?
After leaving my conversation with Bob conversation, I decided to write this post. So after the longest lead up ever, I want to share with you 5 ways to take control of your time so it doesn’t feel like life is passing you by. I’ll position this by answering a popular question.
How do I begin taking control of my time?
Keep a calendar.
Write in a daily journal.
Focus on the most important tasks
Prioritize what you love.
Live in the moment, not in the future.
I’ve found that these 5 points I’m sharing today have been what have helped me take control of my life and time more than anything else.
#1. Keep a calendar.
Easily the main reason that life seems to pass you by is because you’re not in control of your time. Keeping a calendar (budgeting your time) leads to control, not bondage.
My favorite book, the Bible, summarizes this beautifully:
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalms 90:12
#2. Write in a daily journal
I write every single day. In multiple places. I have a daily checklist, which I hand write with the most important things I need to accomplish that day. It normally ends up having 15 things on it, half of which repeat every day, but I still write them out. I write in my notes on my phone. A few months ago I began to journal about my previous day and the day that I’m starting. A simple way to get control of you time is to document it – this gives you clarity!
#3. Focus on the most important tasks
Continuously identify the most important tasks in your life. If you’re growing a business or getting your fitness to the next level, or even growing a relationship with someone, focus on those things! Stop spending your time on the things that don’t matter. (F.O.C.U.S. = Follow One Course Until Successful)
#4. Prioritize what you love
Stop wasting time on what you don’t love. What are you passionate about? Spend your time on that! Delegate the rest. Ask yourself this question, and get serious with the answer: Am I REALLY enjoying my life?
#5. Live in the moment, not in the future
So many of us live with our heads in the clouds. We’re not happy with where we are today, we’re looking ahead at some distant future that we desire. Here’s the deal, the grass is always greener. You’ll chase this feeling your entire life. The best way to turn this around is to learn to be thankful for where you are today, no matter where you are, or what you have. Be thankful, express gratitude!
Remember, time fly’s but you’re the pilot. It’s time for you to begin taking control of your time today!
This blog post you’re about to read comes strictly from a place of humility and a desire to help others achieve the same outcome. I mention the stats below as credibility, not from a place of bragging. This is my story of how I created a top 20 Entrepreneurship podcast on Apple and how you can do the same.
I’m going to quickly share some screenshots and timelines with you of our post launch, just for credibility and so you understand the timeline. THEN, we’ll get into the details of HOW we made it happen.
Creating a Brand Podcast Launched 07/02/2019
We launched the Creating a Brand podcast after recording the entire first season, 13 episodes. Please note: We had a very small audience, including social media following when we launched.
Featured by Apple 07/11/2019
Within two weeks after launching, Apple featured us in the New & Noteworthy section on the Business category for 8 weeks. Which is the maximum amount of time a podcast can be featured in this section.
Featured by Apple 07/13/2019
Within two weeks after launching, Apple featured us in the New & Noteworthy section our sub category, Education. It stayed featured here for close to two weeks!
Top-100 Business Podcast 07/16/2019
Exactly two weeks after launching, the Creating a Brand Podcast reached the Top-100 Business Podcast list!
Top 20 Entrepreneurship Podcast 09/19/2019
A couple of months later, the Creating a Brand Podcast reached the Top-25 Charts in the entrepreneurship category!
Apple Top Charts (All Podcasts) 09/21/2019
Then, it happened. The Creating a Brand Podcast reached the Apple Top Charts for ALL podcasts! (#197 out of #200, but still, what an honor to be on this list!)
Our Current Ranking: Today
The Creating a Brand Podcast continues to be a top rated entrepreneurship and business podcast; focused on helping other succeed! We now sit among the top 2,000 podcasts globally at any given time, and on Tuesday’s, when we post new episodes, we see a spike.
Now for what you came for…
6 points that explain how the Creating a Brand Podcast became a top rated podcast AND how you can do the same.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: I do not have a large social media following (or massive group of friends) I leveraged a small audience to yield massive results. When celebrities launch a podcast it ‘automatically’ becomes top rated because of their audience. I didn’t have anything like this. In fact, my audience today is still very small.
Alright, I’m glad we got that out of the way…. Onward, my friends!
POINT# 1: Figure out your plan and strategy.
Although I do not recommend waiting long to start your podcast, or even as long as I did, it will cause you to become more successful.
It all started back in 2018…
In December 2018 I decided it was time to go all in with an idea for a podcast. I knew that I wanted to go beyond just my blogging content and this was the direction I wanted to take. Here is Creating a Brand’s pre-launch timeline starting in January 2019:
January – Planned the name, the idea and the idea for the podcast.
February – Started learning the tools I would need to make it happen.
February – Recorded my first episode then began scheduling more.
March – Searched for more guests and recorded with a few.
April – Launched the website
May – Recorded with the final group of guests that would make up the first season.
June – Mastered and organized the season and planned the launch strategy.
July 2nd 2019 – Podcast launch date!
For more on each of the items above, how I made this happen, how I landed big guests before I had a podcast and many other things, check out this completely free course (I don’t even want your email address).
A 9 Step Guide for Launching a Successful Podcast
POINT# 2: Copy what others have done.
If you want to launch a top rated podcast, this second point is really the only thing you need to do. So pay attention here.
If you’ve followed me for any time at all, you’ve heard me use this quote from Tony Robbins:
“If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.”
The first thing I did to launch what ended up becoming a top 20 entrepreneurship podcast on apple was follow the success plan.
I learned everything I could about launching a successful podcast from people with large podcast who did it wrong, and from other coaches who did it right. The point is, take it seriously! Put time and energy into it.
I pulled elements from top-rated podcasts.
I started listening to every top rated podcast that seemed to fit the mold for what I wanted to create. Then I pulled the best elements from each show to create what became, the Creating a Brand Podcast.
The Course That Teaches You How to Launch a Top 100 Podcast
POINT# 3: Intentionally leverage the audience you have.
Remember my first point, that entire planning/strategy phase? Well, during those 7 months, I TOLD people about what I was doing. I was getting them “warmed up” for my launch. Throughout this time, I helped share hundreds of people’s content and with small projects. When the day came that I would ask for something, they were all ready.
The day I launched, I had hundreds of people on my side, ready to share my newly published episodes. Here’s what I asked of them:
Please listen to my new podcast.
Leave a 5-star rating and a review on Apple.
Share it with 3-5 people that you know it would add value to.
Ask those 3-5 people to leave a review on Apple AND send it to 1-2 people that they know would benefit from hearing it.
Please share my announcement of the podcast launching post on your social media
POINT# 4: Focus on adding value every chance you get.
After this, I focused on getting my episodes in front of everyone that I believed they would help. And I mean everyone. I did searches on social media for the topics I was covering, I sent the episode to people in a value adding (not saley) way.
I had time to do this because I had focused on getting my entire season recorded and scheduled before I ever launched. So, this allowed me to really spend the time getting the content out to people.
POINT# 5: Get connected with other podcasters.
This is the point that I wished I would have done sooner. I wish that I would have connected with other podcasters SOONER. This means a few things.
Be a guest on podcasts before starting your own. (PodMatch.com is the single easiest/best way to get booked on podcasts.)
Attend podcasting conferences. (My favorite is Podfest, they are always doing something!)
Join a podcasting network. (Get yourself into a community. Check out the PodMatch Community, it’s a great place that hundreds of podcasters call home.)
POINT# 6: Never stop hustling.
When I published this blog post, it was just after I finished up the 1 year anniversary episode, which I encourage you to listen to. One of my main points was to keep hustling. Do the things that you don’t want to do but that you know will grow your audience.
I’ll end this post with a quote from Jerry Rice,
“Today I will do what others won’t so tomorrow I can do what others can’t”
So… This is how Creating a Brand became a top 20 entrepreneurship podcast. I hope that this information that I shared serves you well today. If you have any questions at all, I’d love to have you join the PodMatch Community. Once you join, shoot me a direct message and we can chat through your questions!