Issue #14: First Year in Review

First Year In Review

As of this past Tuesday, it is officially one year since I released my first podcast episode with Trish Higgins and there has been a lot of refinement, learning, and growth over the first 12 months of Think Like an Owner. I tweeted a shortened version of my year in review, but I want to take a moment to write about the year in more detail.

The actual act of creating and publishing a podcast and blog is pretty easy and cheap thanks to tools like Libsyn, Mailchimp, and Squarespace. But creating a conversation and project that is enjoyable and educational to listen to is hard. I believe strongly in preparation before recording a new episode, but that preparation has evolved tremendously since that first episode.

In the first episode, I literally wrote out questions for Trish on a notepad and asked them pretty much in the order I wrote them. Later, as I recorded more episodes, I stopped writing notes and questions altogether and opted instead to focus on the conversation and what the guest was most interested in, rather than what I wanted to know. Podcast episodes I record today sound and feel so much more natural than previously because I don’t have notes guiding, nay, distracting me. A guest is most interesting and informative when they are given more control on where the conversation goes.

I’ve also tried to take myself out of the episode as much as possible by keeping or editing questions short and sometimes even removing the audio of me asking the question since the answer can stand alone. For example, often my first question has to do with the guest’s background and I say something along the lines of, “Tell me about your background” and the guest begins to answer. That first answer can stand on its own and a listener doesn’t need to know I asked about the guest’s background to understand the answer being heard. I’ve even considered eliminating intros altogether, but I still think it’s helpful to understand a little about the guest before the episode starts.

Backtracking to the part where I reach out cold to potential guests, everyone is so much more open, friendly, and responsive than I thought they would be. I went into the podcast assuming 20% of all cold outreaches would get a response. The reality has been more like 70%, which is just incredible. With Thanksgiving this week, what I’m thankful for is how open and willing professionals are to talk with younger people who have virtually nothing to offer them in return for their time. If you have responded to a cold email, phone call, or message on Twitter, thank you very much, I really appreciate it.

Finally, the podcast and this newsletter have allowed me to build relationships with so many more professionals than I ever would have had the ability to otherwise. Having a project like a blog or podcast publicly viewable not only helps me find interesting people in the space, but helps them find me which has led to an exponential growth in the number of fascinating conversations I’ve been able to have. If I look back in 10 years, I believe the Think Like an Owner project will go down as one of the best professional decisions I’ve ever made.

Capital Notes

  • I recently discovered Roam Research which is a fascinating note/productivity software that uses bidirectional links. This has huge potential and may even have applications with this project.

  • Sam Rosati sent me this article which gives a fantastic overview of how independent sponsors work.

  • Cowboy Investing: Part Time Venture Capital, What Could Go Wrong?

  • Ever think about how much space garbage we have? Wonder no further.

If you found an interesting article, podcast, or interview that I missed, please let me know, I’m always looking for interesting stuff!

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I’m always looking to connect with folks interested in this space, don’t hesitate to reach out.