You read books and watch interviews of successful folks in your field. Deep down you wish to be mentored by them. Hoping they can fast track you to success.
So you cold email them. You expect successful folks to write back thanking you profusely for your cold emails. Weeks go by and you don't hear back. You are pissed. You go to a nearby Starbucks and grab Shitty Latte™ to cool off.
You see a famous author working there. You become a spy and try to steal a glance at their laptop screen. You see your cold email along with hundred others titled "Heyy!", "I like your book", "Mentor me plz" in the famous author's inbox. You realize you are not the only one doing this.
If only you had a unique value proposition to offer the famous author that would motivate them to reply to your cold email...
Why I started my podcast?
I found a hack to get in front of successful folks in the design field. Submit talk proposals to design conferences on futuristic topics (less competition). If I get selected to speak, leverage the conference brand name, reach out to successful designers and conduct expert interviews. Then present my expert interview findings (and personal insights) at the conference.
From 2017 - 2019, I was living the dream and consistently getting selected to speak at international design conferences around the world. I interviewed CEOs, startup founders, designers and learned a lot. My strategy for interviewing successful folks was built on leveraging other successful brands.
The problem with this strategy is it requires me getting selected to speak at design conferences ever year. An extremely hard feat to achieve given the insane competition. The dream ended in 2020 when I didn't get selected to speak at any of the design conferences. Which meant I would have to sit on my ass for all of 2020 and apply again in 2021. Imagine going to the theater to watch your favorite movie but the tickets are sold out. And the next available show is a year later!
I was dejected due to the conference rejections. To take my mind off things, I went grocery shopping at Whole Foods with my buddy Danish. I expressed to him my frustration at not getting selected by any of the design conferences despite submitting stellar speaking proposals.
Danish listened patiently. Then he shouted with excitement:
"Dude no one fucking knows that you interview these successful folks except us and maybe a few conference attendees. Fuck these conferences! You should have your own fucking podcast!"
Few shoppers nearby stared at us. But I didn't give a fuck. That was my aha moment! Start my podcast and invite successful folks as guests on the show. Promote their journeys and learnings. Finally a unique value proposition that will motivate successful folks to answer my cold emails. I don't have to rely on the conference brand to cold email successful folks.
This is one of the reasons I started the Design MBA podcast. Other being I didn't want to spend $200,000 on an ivy league MBA program to level up in my design career.
Why should you start a podcast?
If you want to learn about a topic from experts start a podcast.
If you want mentorship from successful folks start a podcast.
These are just two of the many amazing benefits of podcasting.
Speaking of mentorship from successful folks – when I got burned out from editing my own podcast interviews, podcasting expert Tony Daussat convinced me to hire his podcast editor. I would have quit on my podcast had it not been for Tony's timely persuasion.
So why does Tony mentor me? Why does Tony answer my emails? Because I interviewed him on my podcast and built a long term relationship! For all you podcasting enthusiasts, my interview with Tony is all about helping a beginner get started with podcasting:
So what's stopping you from starting a podcast? Email me and tell me. I read every email :)