Charles: Hey everybody and welcome to episode 231 of the Freelancers’ Show. This week on our panel we have Philip Morgan.
Philip: Hello. Hello.
Charles: Reuven Lerner.
Reuven: Hi everyone.
Charles: I’m Charles Max Wood from Devchat.tv. Jonathan couldn’t make it this week but we are going to be talking about some changes coming to the show.
Reuven: It’s a very special episode of the Freelancer’ Show.
Charles: That’s right. In my opinion anyway, I just wanted to talk about when to move on from a good thing. The change to the show is that I’m actually leaving the show. I know this is going to surprise a few people because I’m on almost all of the shows on Devchat.tv so they just expect me to be here. I had some hard conversations with some folks who have my best interest at heart. I realized that I could do a lot more good things for people if I had a little more time. I actually quit two shows.
This is my last week on this show unless I come back as a guest which I may do. The other show that I’m doing the same thing on is the iPhreaks Show, which is the iOS development show that we put on every week. I’ve already talked to Reuven, Philip and Jonathan about it. I thought it would be interesting just to dig into when do you look at something that you’re enjoying, that generally a good thing in your week and decide, “Alright, I’m going to quit that for other things, other maybe more important or more profitable or personal pay off kind of things.” I‘m curious, have you guys had to make a decision like this before that you can think off of the top of your head?
Reuven: Many times.
Philip: I’ll run down the list. This is going to be in the last, probably a year. Some of the things you’re reminding me off in talking about coming to this decision for yourself. I had a service for a while called My Content Sherpa which was done-for-you content marketing, delivered in a very standardized format. Kind of similar to something that ultimately, it was a competing service that turned out to be much better which is called Audience Ops. I wound that down even though that had potential of making enough money at certain point. That’s one thing.
Another thing that was very similar was called Drip Sherpa which was again a done-for-you service focusing on helping people setup their Drip account, Drip email automation. Those two things come to mind but there have actually been so many things that I’ve wound down because I guess reasons we can get into and talk about in more detail. That actually has created a page on my website called [00:03:03]. I have now probably half dozen things that redirect to that page because even if something is working there is a cause to it.
There’s this idea, the stream of passive income. You set something up and it makes money and you don’t have to do anything with it. That’s never been the case for me. Nothing has ever been passive to the point that I can just ignore, truly ignore it. It occupies space in my mind. I’ve really embraced the idea that says everything there is a time and a season, at some point something is not going to be worth the time or the energy, the mental head space that it takes to keep it up. Not to make this a big monologue but I’ve definitely wound st0uff down when I know that at some point that’s the thing I need to do. What about you Reuven?
Reuven: I have done that so much, much to my detriment. I’m very bad at stopping doing things. I’m very bad at noticing that it’s not productive, not profitable, and not useful. Perhaps the closest thing I’ve done to that that I can think of is, I was running for over a year this thing called Daily Tech Video. This was like an experiment that I tried running where everyday, as it implies, I would put up a new video on this blog that I thought was really cool and interesting, that I found at various technical conferences. The motivation was several folds. Motivation was I can maybe make some money off of advertising and I could learn a ton. The answer is I learned a ton. I had so few viewers on this thing that when I had to decide between am I going to move ahead on the regular expression book or am I going to work on the other tech video. I said I’m just going to work on the regular expressions book. It’s now officially on [00:04:57].
I would love to get back to it but I have reached the conclusion that I think most humans do at some point earlier than I did, which is time is finite. You actually can’t do everything you want to do and it’s good to make choices and say no about things. This was very, very hard for me to realize and deal with because for so long I just ignored that reality. I said, “Well, I’ll sleep less.” “Well, I’ll do more.” Also the things which are maybe not healthy, this was the first time when I made a decision and I walked away. It actually felt a little painful first and then felt good. I haven’t done it much but it gives me the sense that I should do it more.
Philip: Before we hit the record button, Chuck was telling us a little bit about the fact that this is, by many measures, an incredibility successful show. Chuck, I’m curious, how did it feel to walk away, I mean not walk away, that’s a wrong term, but reduce your involvement in something that’s, it’s not, not working, it is working.
Charles: Yeah, it’s totally working. Just to back up a little bit in July, I went to Podcast Movement in Chicago and rubbed shoulders with a whole bunch of other podcasters. Some of the podcasters are from NPR and places like that. We start talking and they’re like, “How big are your shows?” Then I give numbers and they’re like, “It’s pretty good.” Because they have hundreds of thousands of listeners because they essentially pick people up who can’t catch their show on the radio everyday but can pick it up on a podcast app somewhere. Since they’re widely syndicated anyway, they tend to get a lot of listeners.
I talked to the mill podcaster. Even if they’re successful podcasters, some of them are getting hundreds of thousands of downloads and some of them are getting hundreds of downloads. The rule is hundreds not hundreds of thousands. If you’re getting 1,000 you’re doing great. This show gets about 4,000 downloads every episode. That puts us within probably the top 10% of podcast out there on the internet. By that measure, we’re succeeding. We’re being successful. We have a long time sponsor in hired.com. They pretty close cover the cost of the show so we’re basically breaking even, money wise as far as what I spend to have it produced versus what I’m bringing in with the sponsors. That again is also a big deal because a lot of people, they either edit it themselves which cost them an hour or so every week depending on how long their show is or they pay some other servers to do it. You can wind up for an hour long show paying anywhere from $50 to $200. I’ve seen price ranges from all of that depending on whether they’re writing your show notes or posting it for you or doing transcripts or doing video editing or things like that. The fact that the show was self sustaining or close to it is also a big thing.
Overall, it’s a successful show. The only that’s really costing me if you’re looking at it just from that basis is the time I spend getting on. The other thing is that I get stuff out of talking to Philip and Jonathan and Reuven every week even though I’m not out there chasing clients anymore. That’s also a win. For me, it’s a net positive. It’s a net gain to be on the show. It’s, okay, then why would I quit? Why if this is a success, if this is a net positive for me and it’s a net positive for the audience, and it’s a net positive for you guys to come on the show, why would I bow out? Ultimately, there’s a little bit more perspective to this that I think will help people understand why I’m making the decision I’m making.
The first thing is that I do this for several reasons. Ultimately, now I am actually living off of podcast sponsorships that kind of happened by accident but ultimately, it got to the point where I didn’t have time to do consulting or podcasting with the five shows. I picked and I picked podcasting. Things have just worked out nicely that way for me. At this point, I’m not making a ton of money but I’m making enough to pay all the bills. There were a couple slow or bare spots this year where things got a little bit tight. I think some people think you’re either making it large or you’re not making it at all and I’m somewhere in the middle.
Reuven: My first job when I finished college was at HP, HP medical, which I don’t think exist [00:14:00]. While I was there they bought a huge magnet. It does [00:14:10] people from other companies. Basically the talk was that HP was going to go into the Cardiac MRI business. It was this long story of [00:14:21] and everything. Then a few months later, they laid everyone off and they said the project was cancelled. I asked someone, at that point I was like 22 years old, didn’t quite understand how these things worked, I asked why this happen. They said, “Well it was going to be a successful business but it wasn’t going to be successful fast enough.” At that point, I thought, “Oh my God. This is stupid. This is crazy. Who would make such business decisions?” It was this insight that is stuck with me, obviously to this day, where it’s not necessarily a matter of walking away from something that’s bad, it’s a matter of walking towards something that could be better. That sound like what were your doing. Obviously, I’ll miss having conversations with you each week but I can’t really blame you for reaching such a conclusion when it’s based on very good business ideas and personal satisfaction.
Charles: It’s funny too to me because it’s easy when it’s like, “I just can’t take anymore of this.” You get to the point where you’re going to quit because you just can’t take anymore. It’s a completely different conversation with yourself when it’s, “Yeah, but this is a good thing and it’s working.”
Philip: I’ve seen both sides of that. You’re absolutely right. It’s like when something becomes intolerable, it’s the easiest decision in the world to walk away from it but since I’ve started working three days a week, I’ve seen the other side of that which is there are some things that they have value, they’re good things to do but they’re literally not worth the time to do them. If you stop doing them, what you give up is less than what you gain by not doing them. I think, conceptually, that’s a weird thing for a, for someone who’s used to billing hourly, not that everything needs to touch back to the world of freelancer here but that certainly does because that was the mindset I had, that hourly mindset is like, “Okay, every hour is equal to every other hour because you get paid the same for it. You don’t [00:16:20] in terms of the inherent value of the thing you’re doing, you think of [00:16:26] time it takes to do it. I think that makes it difficult to think of the terms you’re thinking in Chuck, where you’re thinking about impact and scale and leverage.
Charles: Yeah, exactly.
Philip: For me, working three days a week was, I mean honestly it was kind of a way to stave off burn out because when I was getting my business going, I worked six or seven days a week for two years. I know other people have it worse. I’m not complaining. I’m just saying I work a lot. At some point, it just became necessary to turn down the volume and focus on the things that are working really well. Since doing that, my income has not come down but what has gone down is my stress level, what’s gone up is my clarity of exactly what I’m doing, what I’m trying to accomplish. It really was a mindset to realize that I can get the right things done if I just have three days a week but I can’t do everything that I want to and not everything that I want to is equally valuable.
Charles: Yup. The other thing that place into this is where do I want to wind up? I went to a retreat in Evins Mill, Tennessee. It’s about an hour east of Nashville. It was for one of my mastermind groups. We just went out there and had some time together but we were also coming as we were going to be in 2020. Just seeing where do I want to be and what’s the impact that I want to have, it really drove home to me that this was the right decision because I do want a little bit more time margin in my life. My son has ADHD. He has it pretty severely and has some behavioural issues that eventually lead to us pulling him out of the charter school and putting him in an online school so that we can just work with him at home. He’ll have a teacher that he watches lessons online with and then my wife and I will work with him. It’s that kind of margin as well. It’s like, “Okay, how can I get more of that margin?” And it’s, “Well, if I quit this shows and I change the way I do some of these other things, then I’ll admit some of that extra sponsorship money is going to go into my pocket so I can spend time working with my son so that he can deal with some of these life situations.” And then it’s, “What other impacts do I want to have?” I do want to be reaching more people and having that kind of impact that I talked about a minute ago. It’s all of these things and it’s, “Okay, well I don’t have time for everything that I like doing and everything that I feel like I need to do to get where I want to go.” A lot of this came out of that as well.
Philip: This is something I’ve thought about. I’m curious if you thought about it too. At some point I reached a point where I was like, “I feel I’m too spread thin.” And realizing that my effectiveness at the things that I was beginning to think really mattered to my business, my effectiveness at those thing was diminishing because I was too thin. Did you have that feeling too like you could be more effective or more present or do a better job at something if you did less things overall?
Charles: Yeah, there’s definitely that. The way I’m trying to solve that is actually to hire somebody. Again, if I have a little bit more money and sponsorships, then I can afford to hire somebody which is something that I wasn’t sure I could do before. All of this, place back into that same thing where its, where do I need to margin? Where do I need to be focused? Do I really need to be doing this? Or should I be trying to do this other thing instead? There’s a lot of email that I answer. There’s a lot of Twitter stuff that goes on that I answer. There are different nitty-gritty things I deal with, with the website, stuff like that. All of that takes away from the focus of making the shows as impactful and relevant as I can. I felt that especially with the podcast where I have five shows to prep for every week and I honestly don’t have a lot of time to do that. If I can get somebody to pull some of this stuff off of my plate, then I can do that and I can also, as you said, have a little bit more margin where maybe I’m getting some down time so that I’m fresh for the shows or maybe I’m getting some down time so I’m in the right mental space to solve some of the problems involved in the podcast or the conferences or whatever else. Just by getting that space, it really allows me to operate at full capacity.
Reuven: I find it somewhat ironic, not in a bad way that this set of decision you’re making regarding both podcast you’re involved and how you’re involved in them, it sounds like the whole process, sounds very similar to what we tell people to have a show which is you can’t just think of your freelancing career as something fun to do, you need to treat it as a business. I think what goes and said very often when we say that is, that means making unpleasant decision sometimes. Making a business decision means you’re going to do things and it’s going to be a trade off. It might mean doing something that’s good for your money, good for your family, and good for yourself. It was like what we learned in engineering school, when I was in engineering school, there’s a trade off for everything. Here you are demonstrating what we preach every week by abandoning us.
Charles: No, it’s really true.
Reuven: Really, I try to understand it.
Charles: It’s funny because I talked to new freelancers, they get in and they start struggling. Then they figure out, “Oh, I need to spend more time marketing.” All of a sudden, they spend half of their time doing business-y stuff and the other half of their time, coding. It’s the same argument, it’s just would you rather be coding? “Oh, heck yeah.” But if you want to pay the bills, you got to go to the marketing stuff too. This is the same kind of thing. Do I just want to chat with you guys all day? Yeah, but there are other things that I need to be doing so that I can succeed in the areas that I want to succeed in.
Reuven: Makes sense. Let me ask you this. What would you have done differently with the show, meaning what should we do? We ignore it. You won’t be around to tell us.
Charles: One of the things that I would like to do better on the shows and wish I could have done better in the past with the shows is just that ahead of time prep. For example, sometimes we show up to the show and it’s like, “Oh, what are we talking about?” We pull off a great show because we all have experience and things to drop on, to talk about whatever the topic is. But at the same time, I wished and I tried to pull this together, but again I didn’t have time for all of it, I really wished that I had been able to say, “Okay, next week we’re talking about…” Whatever the topic is. We sat down, maybe collaborated in Skype or Slack or on a Google doc or something. Then, when the time came for the episode it was, “Oh, okay we’re prepped.” We know what we’re talking about. We know what the flow is going to be and we just jump in and maybe deliver an even better episode. It’s just things like that that I just never quite got to process around that I wish I had.
Reuven: I wish I were prepared for anything I do.
Charles: The other thing is I also, and this is something that I’m working on now is just outside of the show, finding out what people need, as far as a cohesive product or cohesive thing so it could be an eBook or video course or something like that where maybe the one hour a week format isn’t the best for that. Even if we broke it up and talk about it for an hour every week for two months and covered all of the topics and everything else, it would still be easier to digest and we’d solve people’s problems better in those ways by just having some big cohesive thing. I wish I had treated some of those better. I’m working on that now and yeah, they’re going to be paid products but ultimately, it’s, “Hey, look. This is the best way I have to solve this for you. And so I’m doing an exchange of value with you regarding on how all that works.”
I’m sure there are problems that we could solve and questions that we could answer that way and I think to a certain extent like with Philip’s book, The Positioning Manual or with Jonathan’s book, where Hourly Billing Is Nuts, we’ve addressed some of those issues. I just wished I had teased out a few more of those and been able to directly address some of those things.
Philip: Chuck I’m curious how the online conferences fit into your new vision or how you’re doing things?
Charles: That’s one of the other areas of focus that I’m going to be pulling together. Ultimately with those, I’m working on standard operating procedures for those right now because most of the work is reaching out to people to market it, reaching out to potential speakers to speak at it, and then getting it all scheduled and getting all the content on the website.
As you can probably guess, besides having the contact information for a lot of the people that I want to speak, I don’t have to be involved. I could have somebody else email them, I can have somebody else get them scheduled on the calendar, I can have somebody else do all of the data entry in the website. Because of that, I’m working that out right now so that it’s a product that I produce, it’s something that I will host for the foreseeable future but at the same time, it’s not something that I have to be deeply involved in and it’s another area where I am essentially ducking out of the day to day work and having somebody else hand that for me so that I can do a lot of this other work.
I found that if I can get the speakers lined up well in advance and I can get people talking about it on various podcasts and other forms of media, those can be very successful both for attendees, speakers, and for me as far as my time and my investment there because the attendees get to collaborate with each other, they get to know the speakers. It’s a lot of the same pay off that we’re talking about with the podcast except there’s a little bit more interaction there as people ask questions or as we have.
On the conferences this year, I’m actually going to be putting on an online round table discussion event. It’s like, “Hey, bring your dinner, sit down on a Google Hangout and we’ll just talk shop for an hour.” Things like that where again, people get that payoff it’s just semi in person virtual. That’s kind of what I’m envisioning for those conferences. But yeah, they’re going to be kind of a key part of this moving forward as far as sort of connecting with people who are listening to the show and making sure that we’re providing what they need.
Philip: Nice. One of the things I’ve noticed about how people change is for most people, they can sort of see the change that they need to make, they can kind of picture it maybe on their mind or they just grasp it, they understand but there’s this time of fighting it like I don’t want to. That’s uncomfortable, or weird, or I don’t know if it’s going to work. I’m curious if you had that happen as you went through the journey to this point.
Charles: Can you say that again? Sorry.
Philip: Yeah, totally. I help people change. That’s really one way you can describe what I do for a living. I see that a lot of people, they’re not ready to change right away. They say what they need to do. They know it. They know okay, I need to make this change to my business but they’re not really ready to take action at the same moment that they recognize that they need that change. I’m curious if you saw that in yourself like if there’s a little bit of resistance to making this change for a while even though you were clear that you needed to do it?
Charles: I think there was. I mean, until Jamie kind of pointed it out. I had thought about it a couple of times but I was never ready to pull the trigger on it and it took somebody kind of the position of, “Okay you’re an expert, you’re looking at this objectively,” and she explained it to me and we talked through the reasons that I’ve talked through on the show and it was like, yeah, this is obviously a right step.
Philip: Okay. I was going to ask what you needed to take action? It sounds like a somewhat objective third party perspective help. Anything else that kind of help push you over the edge?
Charles: I think it was kind of a culmination of a lot of different things but that was the main one. The retreat, I’m talking about where I wanted to be in 2020 and just having conversations with few other folks. That all kind of helps solidify that is the course of action I wanted to take. That was ultimately the catalyst that kind of pulled everything together and said, “Yeah, this is the step you need to take.”
Philip: Circling back to something you said earlier, you said there have been some various spots where things were kind of tight and I’ve seen myself too. I think I haven’t done any client works since basically August of this year and I envy that change as soon as it was humanly feasible. Like the change of taking a break from client work. The result is, some months it has been a little tight. I’m really committed to trying to develop this part of my business that I’m focused on right now which is the training and education part. I’m curious, what kind of got you through those tight spots?
Charles: Well part of it is that I knew that the money or whatever, I knew that it was coming so it was just a matter of waiting it out or working with the people who are going to pay or whatever to pay me a little bit early. I worked things out with hired.com and I gave them a little bit of discount if they paid me upfront a month in advance or something because I hit a bare spot in August. I had another bit of a bare spot in October but that was mostly just timing. I had the invoices out, I knew the sponsorship money was coming. It was really just a matter of when it’s going to show up. I followed up with the sponsors that we’re going to be paying. I work on some of the other things, talk to some of my friends. I have a few other ideas now to if I had another slope period as to what I can do to get that money to come in. Ultimately it wasn’t a matter of if, it was a matter of when. It was, “Okay, well, here’s what we’re going to do to kind of tighten our belts and hang in there for a week until the money shows up.
Philip: That’s so valuable to develop those sort of. It’s almost like SOPs. We’re running a different kind of business because I certainly had thin spots when I was in client work but there was always this feeling like, “Well, I can hustle a little bit more.” And I try to find something else. It just changes when you change your business model. Those ways of making it through the lean times really do change.
You mentioned Chuck that one of the changes you’re going to make is you’re going to be hiring someone. Are you worried about that? Because that’s different than running a business just by yourself. I know you have people working for you in the past but in times like this, this would be a different sort of hire.
Charles: I’m basically looking for somebody who would have a very similar relationship with me that Mandy had. I have a pretty good idea what it would look like minus the podcast editing that she was doing. Just pull somebody in part time who can pick up a lot of this slack and execute standard operating procedures and maybe manage a few other remote workers depending on what kind of work and what’s evolved.
I have an idea. I’m working on the job description right now and I probably get it listed here within the next week. And then I’m just going to take my time and make sure that I make the right hire because I’ve hired people before and it didn’t work out. I’ve hired people before and I had it worked out for a while and then had it not work out and I’m just going to go slow and make sure I get the person that I need.
Reuven: That’s very wise.
Charles: Well, the thing is that if I bring somebody in, let’s say I list it next week and I hire the first person I bring in and they don’t work out, I’m not going to know that for two or three weeks. By then, I could’ve had the right person come in and pick up the work and be that much further ahead. I feel like even though I kind of desperately need somebody to jump in and help me out with some of the stuff, it’s not worth screwing it up. We’ll ease them up into it and then eventually they’ll kind of take over the full gambit of what I needed done.
Reuven: Do you see Devchat.tv growing to even more number and more variety of podcast?
Charles: That’s where I’d like to go and I feel like if I can bring in on the experts on those technologies because there are a lot other programming technologies that people want shows on. I’ve been asked for a Python podcast, I’ve been asked for a React podcast, I’ve been asked for an Elixir podcast, I’ve been asked for an Elm podcast. I’m not opposed in any of those but I don’t have expertise there either and so I don’t see those shows that I would start and get involved with myself.
React Native Radio has been running for years on the Devchat.tv network. I’m probably looking at the arrangements for Freelancers’ Show and iPhreaks. Having spoken with you and having spoken with the other hosts on iPhreaks, looks like the arrangements are going to be pretty close to what React Native Radio has. If I can bring another shows and kind of provide them with process and production and things like that, that are hard to solve unless you know how to solve them, then I feel like I can add to the programming world and add to the content out there without actually having to be directly involved and having any expertise in those technologies. I’d like to go that way. I’m still figuring out what that looks like and how to make sure because I want high quality shows on the network. Just figure out how that all kind of shakes out but we’ll see.
Reuven: Would you recommend knowing now [00:36:46] podcasting that people—I mean I know you enjoy that and you recommend it sort of for fun and for marketing purpose but is a good business for people to get into also?
Charles: It’s still pretty hard unless you have a large audience to make a living as a podcaster. Most people I know who are making a living at podcasting are making a living because it’s their marketing channel and they’re selling other products on the side. I know people with a thousand person audience or 800,000 person audience who will go out and sell products, high-end products, $500, $2,000 products. That’s how they make their living. They have enough people who are interested in what they have to offer that go out and actually will invest in their products but they’re selling them that way, it’s not the sponsorships. I kind of like to move in that direction a bit myself.
The conferences definitely count to me as products but I’d like to get some other video courses and stuff out there. In that way, I’m helping people in all the ways that I can but it also move things away from what if there’s some economic disaster and my sponsors can’t sponsor me anymore but at the same time my customers can still buy video courses or attend conferences. I like the idea of having that kind of spread out so that I’m not wholly dependent on anyone or any set of companies. I’m not going anywhere if anyone wants to email me they can just email me, firstname.lastname@example.org and I’m on Twitter and stuff. I check Twitter about once every week or two. I’m really not big on Twitter or Facebook for that matter.
Philip: You check Twitter once a week? I had this impression of you on Twitter all the time.
Charles: Yeah. I have this program called Meet Edgar and it posts for me everyday.
Reuven I don’t see your tweets. I’m not on Twitter that much either. I just [00:38:38] impression used a lot. There you go.
Charles: I use it to contact people. I use it to reply to people. I post stuff on Twitter occasionally. I think it’s funny. Like if I take a picture of what I think is interesting or something. Anything else you want to talk about though before we go to picks?
Reuven: Not off handle though. If we’ll do the eulogizing. I just really, super enjoyed having you on the show. I know each of us has their own motivations for doing the show and mine is completely and utterly self-centered which is I really enjoy having conversation with you guys, both our recording and everyone and before and after the recording happens. For me, it’s like one of the high points of my week. The fact that I get to have a conversation with all of you on the panel and get advice and suggestions and just sort of think about my business has been a gift. Now, that gift will be 1/3 smaller and I really appreciate all the suggestions and ideas and the stimulating conversations we’ve had Chuck. I expect this will not be the end but maybe end on a weekly basis.
Charles: Now, I’m blushing. Can you hear me blushing?
Philip: Put your face closer to the microphone.
Reuven That’s why the red light is on on my microph
Philip: Yeah. I feel the same. I feel like we’re sort of losing our anchor and I’m just doing a Google Search for how you do a three-way rock-paper-scissors contest to see who’s going to pick up the slack here. We’ll figure it out but it feels like the end of an era or maybe transition to something different but equally good.
Charles: That’s what I’m hoping is that you guys will make the show your own. I know you can do it. I’m not going anywhere, I’m just not going to show up and record every week.
Philip: True, true.
Charles: Alright well let’s go ahead and do some picks. Reuven do you have some picks for us?
Reuven: Yes. Last week actually after we recorded. I’m currently in Belgium [00:40:42]. My Belgian accent is terrible. That’s when I mentioned that I’m looking to speaking with some companies and I wasn’t quite sure how to approach them. I think it was last week maybe two weeks ago where after the show, Philip and Jonathan basically simultaneously said, “Oh, you must read this book Selling to Big Companies.” I said, “Okay fine.” I got the book. Reading the book was actually horrifying because she listed all of the things that I’ve done wrong in reaching out to companies. She said, “You want to reach out to companies? This is probably the sort of email you sent.” I think of myself, “Oh my god, how did you know?” It’s been somewhat painful but very, very enlightening book. I’m hoping and planning to use a lot of the information from it to try to explain my marketing. Basically, the luxury I have right now, I have a lot of work coming so this is a totally new set of skills for me to learn. As often happens when you’re learning new skills, you learn it the hard way, you have bumps along the way and you do things that are hardly embarrassing. I’m prepared to get more embarrassed but I think it will be worthwhile in a [00:41:47] long-term. I definitely recommend the book and I appreciate that recommendation from Jonathan and Philip.
Charles: Awesome. Philip what are your picks?
Yeah. I just got to second that book. The reason I came across this show on PBS called Sound Breaking and it is fantastic. If you’re curious about music, if you’re a music fan. If like me, you have some interest in how music is recorded or made, it’s just great for all of those things. It’s an eight-part documentary series. It talks about—the first three or four episodes talk about how music’s made and the evolution. Man, just the footage and the still images that they have in this documentary are just great. I mean, I guess it depends on your music taste there’s not much time spent on stuff like classical music. It’s really talking about the rise of popular music. Starting from the 40s or 50s and onwards. Anyway, Sound Breaking, it’s a PBS show. You can stream it online at least here in the States for free and it’s fantastic. I’ll recommend two other things. One is this episode of This American Wife which I ask Chuck earlier if he’s heard it and he hasn’t. It’s not really the same thing that Chuck’s doing but the topic of the episode is quitting. And I think it’s actually the seventh episode that they ever did. It’s a very early on episode in that show. So if you just search for This American Wife and the word quitting, it has some fantastic stories. It interviews people who reach that point—it’s more about stuff that wasn’t working and the sort of exhilaration that comes when you walk away from something that’s not working. That’s why I say it’s not really the same thing Chuck was talking about here but it’s just a fantastic episode of that show that I’d recommend everybody listen to because I think knowing when to quit is a seriously valuable skill for people to develop. Some things, I think you do need to quit with and walk away from even though it’s not easy to do that. I’ll point people to the page on my website finally that I use when I retire something. The kind of things that I’ve retired are lines of services, ideas or services,, landing pages that kind of outlived their usefulness. I’ve retired a fair bit of stuff from my website just to keep myself sane really. People might be interested in seeing the page that I use because it’s basically a big giant email list [00:44:27] page. Anyway, those are my picks for this week.
Charles: Awesome. I’m going to jump in here with a few picks. The first one is I got this poster, I don’t know if I picked it before or not but Jaime sent it to me and it’s says ‘Seize The Year’ at the top and it’s a 2017 calendar poster. It is whiteboard marker friendly. Anyway, it’s on the closet door behind me and it’s huge but it’s really cool. I’m going to be planning out basically what next year looks like. I’m kind of excited for some of the opportunities there. Anyway you can get it at www.nuyear.com I think. I’ll make sure there’s a link in the shownotes but it’s pretty cool. If you’re looking for kind of planning device like that then definitely do that.
The other pick I have, awhile back I got my wife an Amazon Echo just because I’ve heard a lot about them and she uses it all the time. She tells it to play music, you can tell it to set a timer and that works really great when you’re putting kids on time out. It’s just really—it’s like, “Hey, set a timer for whatever,” and then it says “Timer set for whatever.” But the other thing I’ve been finding is that Amazon Echo actually will connect to IFTTT. I use [00:45:51] for my stuff but I couldn’t find Amazon stuff on [00:45:54]. Now, I get to use both. You can do home automation and all kinds of other stuff with the Amazon Echo and IFTTT. I’m starting to dig into that and see what the capabilities there are. Anyway, I got the Amazon Echo Dot. It’s a much smaller version. It’s got a speaker on it and it does everything that the big Echo does and I’m really liking it. I have one on my desk in my office now and I’m going to set the other two up in the master bedroom and master bathroom. In that way, my wife can tell it to play music in the bathroom or whatever.
Do they connect to each other or do you have multiple ones in the house so they’re just independent stuff.
Charles: Yeah but you can install skills for it and then it does all kinds of other stuff. One of the skills is a seven minute workout so you can tell it to give you a seven-minute workout. If you’re feeling like you’ve been sitting around all day recording podcast and you need to move then it’s a terrific way to go. I really like it. Super handy, they’re not terribly expensive. I’m really tempted now to like buy an [00:47:03] thermometer so that I can tell it to, I have TTT to turn the temperature up or something. That’s the stuff. Well, I don’t think there’s anything else so I’ll go ahead and I guess I won’t be catching you all next week. But I’m looking forward to what Jonathan and Philip and Reuven and whoever else they’ll bring on the show come up within the future.