Work Alone? How to Force Yourself to Get Shit Done.

And Meet Your Heroes along the Way…

My heart was thumping as I slowly moved my cursor to click the “record” button.

We were commencing our first-ever podcast, and despite the nerves of interviewing someone I’d admired for so long, I had a million other thoughts running through my head. What would my voice sound like recorded? Would I botch the intro? Would there be awkward gaps of silence?

Little did I know, everything would turn out fine. And along the way, I’d make a huge discovery that would impact many aspects of my business:

Interviewing others has proven to be the single thing that forces me to get shit done like nothing else.

I guess it isn’t interviewing, really. But rather just involving others in your business.

When you schedule anything with somebody you respect, you better get prepped and stick to the plan. If you don’t, you’re blowing your first impression, and putting all potential future relationships/collaboration at risk.

A week or so ago, Michael, Joelle, and I decided to start interviewing entrepreneurs for our book, How to Build a Rocketship.

We planned on doing interviews all along — but what we didn’t plan on doing was recording them as podcasts, and releasing them leading up to the book launch as a way to start sharing value with subscribers while the book was “under construction”.

None of us raised the concern that we had never “podcasted” before. Or done any of the dozens of things that go along with releasing a really high-quality podcast.

We didn’t know if any of the entrepreneurs on the list would say yes to be interviewed. We didn’t even know what we’d talk about.

But we knew that if we didn’t start right away, it wouldn’t get done.

So we immediately started reaching out to potential interviewees. We gave them just enough information to hopefully get them on board, and tabled the rest for later. We didn’t suggest topics or a date/time yet. We just pitched the idea, linked to the book, and asked for buy-in.

We shot for our heroes, and within a few days, we’d scheduled interviews with some truly amazing entrepreneurs.

We realized we’d thrown ourselves into the deep end. And then we got to work. We had no choice.

Many would say this was all a distraction from the book, but it was actually quite the opposite. In our hunt for proper topics for each guest, we discovered our chapters for the book were way-off. We restructured everything and it’s injected momentum into the writing of the book.

After just a couple of interviews, we have an incredible amount of insight to work into the book from successful entrepreneurs with unique lessons to share.

When you get a “yes” from someone you admire, it’s so addicting. The momentum works wonders.

A few days ago, we recorded a chat with Ryan Hoover about building and marketing Product Hunt. Then, we spoke with Samuel Hulick about the content marketing for UserOnboard. And yesterday, we chatted with Todd Garland about bootstrapping BuySellAds.

We’re still not podcasting experts…but there is only one possible outcome here: every episode we plan will get recorded, polished, published, and distributed. Because if we don’t, we’re letting a lot of people down.

How can you lean on others to push your goals forward?

  1. Think of a project to work on that would involve someone else (interview, side project, etc).
  2. Email the person your idea and get buy-in.
  3. Set a reasonable time limit (1-2 weeks out) If you’re learning something new, you’ll want to give yourself time to get somewhat comfortable.
  4. Don’t stress yourself out. But do push yourself. This should be fun.

You can talk about doing a podcast for forever. But once you take a minute to email Adii Pienaar and he says “Yes.” — you better learn how to do a frickin’ podcast.

I’m Matt Goldman. I’m writing How to Build a Rocketship with Michael Sacca and my partner, Joelle Steiniger. If you’d like to listen to the podcast when it goes live, subscribe here.

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