Joel: The ReLaunch podcast just turned 10 months old just a few weeks ago as we are recording this. And gosh, we sailed past 500,000 total plays in that 10-month period of time. We are on fire, excited about that. And on our podcast, we interview and we pick the brains of some of today’s most creative and most innovative thought leaders, authors, speakers and really uncovering some of the secrets to their success and also learning from their come-from-behind stories. They’re very inspirational and it really means a lot to me to get that kind of feedback, those tweets and e-mail back from our listeners. So it’s been a blast. The ReLaunch show really provides inspiring stories, fresh ideas and then of course practical steps for people going through their own ReLaunch. Gosh, we’ve all experienced numerous launches and relaunches in our lives. So it’s very easy to relate with I should say.
Seth: And you’ve had come an incredible way in a very short period of time. How have you grown your base so fast?
Joel: You know, one of the things that we did, Seth, which I think really served us well is we created at the very beginning of the launch, before the launch, we created a launch team. When I talk about a launch team, basically it’s a conference room full of people that knew us, that liked us, that trusted us and that believed in the ReLaunch message. And it was our launch team. We had about 80, somewhere between 80 and 90 people on our launch team. It was that team that helped to promote our show via social media, via the people that they knew, the people that were on their list.
And that actually catapulted us quickly to our first number one in the iTunes new and noteworthy system and then our second number one and our third number and so forth and so on. We actually ended up hitting number one in our categories repeatedly through the entire debut period which was an eight-week period on iTunes. Even after that period, the momentum continued and our audience actually grew about 12-fold from that very first full broadcast month. I think we had maybe 7000 downloads that first full month to our highest month so far which has been 93,000 for the month. That’s about a 12- or 13-fold increase and we’re really excited about that.
Seth: It’s an incredible growth rate. I think it’s a testament to the amazing stories that you are telling and sharing with your listeners. How do you select and find such amazing guests?
Joel: Great question. I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to talk about this. You know, I want to hear from people that are not afraid to be open and transparent about their come-from-behind victories and the people that have reached a certain pinnacle of success, people like Jack Canfield, for instance, the creator behind the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series and many, many other projects. People that have reached a certain level of success understand that it’s okay to share your come-from-behind stories and your struggles and your failures. So I’m looking for people that are not afraid to just put the guard down and to share. I asked Jack actually. I interviewed him a couple of months ago on my show.
I said, “Jack, what was the most challenging part of your life? What’s the most challenging season that you went through?” Gosh, Seth, within 30 seconds of our interview, he was telling me about his divorce and how it was such a blow to him on multiple levels and he had already reached a status where he was earning and making and worth multimillions of dollars. And that season of his life ended up taking pretty much everything, 25 million dollars from his net worth which basically made him start all over again. That happened a long time ago and Jack kind of laughs about it now or at least he laughed with me on my show a little bit. And he said that, “Well, you know, Joel, my wife got a good lawyer and I got to keep my job.”
People share those stories. At this point, we’re very fortunate that people are actually coming to us because they see the value, not just being on the show but telling their story and letting people get the inspiration from “gosh, if he did it or if she did it, I can do it too.” I interviewed a lady the other day that is a multiple bestselling author and she at one point in time in her life was living in her car in a Wal-Mart parking lot as a single woman. She had found some courage and some gumption within herself to pull herself up, to firm her boot straps and to relaunch if you will her life, her career and the relationship that she had with herself and with others. She was able to catapult herself into a whole different better season in her life.
Seth: Since you are so good at getting folks to share things like that, that inspire us let me flip the microphone and ask you, what do you wish you knew when you started that you know now?
Joel: What do I wish I knew when I started that I know now? Transparency is priceless and what I mean by that is to share who you really are, not who you think you should be or who you think that people will relate with but to share the real you. That includes exposing your blemishes, your pimples, your false starts and failed attempts and just letting people know. I tell you what, Seth, I still struggle with that as we all do because we’re all people. We’re all part of the same race, the human race and we’re not perfect. I still struggle with sharing all parts of me even the private parts if you will because they’re not always pretty but it is priceless to be able to do that. People like Jack and like Rachel, that was the woman that lived in her car in the Wal-Mart parking lot, they were able to realize the benefit in being totally transparent because that’s what makes people able to relate with them and to maybe learn something from their experiences. I still struggle with it but, as we all are, getting better.
Seth: We are all works in progress. What has been your biggest mistake? And what did you learn from it?
Joel: Sure. My biggest mistake is to build it first and hope that they will come. You probably remember that line.
Seth: Yes, of course. From the Field of Dreams movie.
Joel: From the Kevin Costner movie, absolutely. If you build it, they will come. That may have been true at one point in time in business but it’s no longer true. So learning how to do the reverse of that to make sure that they will come before you build it, that is the secret sauce to being a successful entrepreneur today. Making sure they will come before you build it and putting your concept, if you will, before they will come and then to make those tweaks to build up those improvements. You got to prove your concept.
Unfortunately, what a lot of people do is they spend their time, their effort, their resources building this stadium, if you will, sticking with that analogy, and then it’s empty. And it stays empty for a long, long time and that can be absolutely expensive on multiple, multiple levels. However, if you see that there’s interest in it, you know what, people are lining up already. Then you start to build it out. That’s how you prove the concept. And based on the feedback that you get from your early adapters, you know, the people that show up early, then based on what they say, then you can make whatever improvements, adjustments, renovations that are needed so you can continue to improve and attract more people that way. I mean, did I say that correctly?
Seth: Yes, absolutely. Now that you have obviously, hopefully learned that lesson – I think we all sometimes fall guilty of it. Even though we know it intellectually, we still sometimes fall in love with an idea and start building it before we sell it or before we market it.
Joel: There’s no question.
Seth: You’ve achieved an incredible level of success not just with the podcast but with everything else. You’re a serial entrepreneur. What’s your biggest challenge now?
Joel: Sure. That’s a great question. Biggest challenge now is probably to – we’re going through a re-launch of our show so to speak just to make sure that we’re making the correct adjustments and tweaks in our show and in our business so that we can serve more people and that we can build upon our own business. That’s the challenge right now. We’ve been having a blast. We’re almost 11 months old actually now and our one-year anniversary is coming up in a little more than a month. We want to celebrate that by making our show even more valuable, offering more meaningful game changing content and talking with the movers and shakers in the world of business and just respecting people’s time. So you asked what the greatest challenge is. It’s to make sure that we make the best and the most appropriate renovations and structural changes in our show and business so that we can help more people doing what we’ve experienced and learned to do over this time and that’s been writing bestselling books. We know how to do that. That’s been creating a number one podcast. We’ve learned how to do that.
Also to help people become known in their niche, Seth. One of the ways to do that other than those other two options, choices that I have just given you is to get yourself booked on television, real television, not paid programming or advertisement, infomercials and all that but to get yourself to be newsworthy and on TV. In the past, I don’t know, three or four years, I’ve been on TV on the news about 100 times. That is publicity you cannot pay for. When the news anchor holds up your book and points and says, “This is the book to have.” Then your information is flashed up on the screen. You can’t buy that kind of publicity. I teach people how to do it. I probably should’ve said this first but during the 90s, Seth, I spent pretty much the entire decade being behind the microphone doing traditional radio and also in front of the camera doing TV. And what that means is I know how that industry works and also know how the game is played. I know how to get on the set and I know how to help people get on the set so they can position themselves as the expert in whatever niche or field that they’re in even if they don’t have big-time connections with Oprah and Dr. Phil or if they don’t have a large social media at present. That’s just one of the ways that we’re helping people become known. That way is to get that television exposure.
A lot of today’s entrepreneurs are focusing a lot of their time on new media. When I say new media, I’m talking about podcasts like what we’re doing right now and e-books and Facebook and Twitter and all that stuff. All that stuff is great. Absolutely. If you haven’t adopted it yet- get into it now. However, a lot of people are ignoring the traditional media, TV, radio. Well, most people still get their information that way. Right or wrong, that’s still where most people get their information. So what I’ve done is I’ve taken traditional media by getting on TV, radio, things of that nature and then worked to blend it in with today’s new media. So you’re actually creating a marriage, a marriage that works between the two different camps, old media, new media, helping position a person well in their particular niche.
Seth: What are the three best books you’ve ever read that had the most impact on your work? And you’re not allowed to quote the Bible or something you wrote yourself.
Joel: Okay. Gotcha. Hands down, Category of One. Excuse me, it’s called Becoming a Category of One by Joe Calloway. That is a phenomenal book. I probably read it six or seven times, dogeared, highlighted, used, abused. I love that book, Becoming a Category of One. Compound Effect, Darren Hardy. That’s a phenomenal book as well, Compound Effect. Darren and Joe have both been on my show and are incredible mentors. I would recommend that your audience get a hold of those books and get a hold of their audio and their teachings because those people are phenomenal. For the third book, I would have to say – I want to think about this for a minute. I would say the third book is Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and that’s Stephen Covey. It’s nothing new for your audience I’m sure, Seth. A lot of people probably refer to that book as one of the greats that’s out there and continues to just be a game changer.
Seth: Absolutely. I would agree with that. I greatly appreciate your time. I know how busy and successful you are. So to take some time out to share with our listeners, we really appreciate that. Of course, we will send them all to go get the ReLaunch podcast and follow everything that you do. Joel, it’s been an honor and a privilege to get to spend some time with you and pick your brain. Thank you so much for doing the interview.
Joel: Appreciate your time, Seth. Thanks for your time.