Stay true to the conversations. Those who need to know will come. We have video shorts so people can get a taste, increase their desire and have something cool to share with their networks that can get them interested and bring them back for more.
As part of my series of interviews about “How to Become the Center of Influence Through Podcasting”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tom Rosenak, the founder and CEO of Diamond Mind Enterprises. His human development firm uses proven techniques to help people have radically new conversations — with themselves, partners, colleagues, and teams —new conversations to create change. Diamond Mind supports clients with coaching, training, or consulting for personal and professional development. Listen to stories of radical reinvention, finding diamonds-in-the-rough, and binge-worthy conversations between Tom and people who inspire him on his podcast, “Where Diamonds Meet.”
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about why or how you got started as a podcaster?
Initially, as I was looking to market Diamond Mind Enterprises, people kept telling me about all of the things that I “needed.” A blog. A website. A podcast. A monkey with a flag with my logo on it. Everybody knew what I “needed.” The podcast, though, sounded cool to me. So did the monkey, but I haven’t pursued that yet. I didn’t know why I was so drawn to the podcast idea. I started and stopped working on it over and over. I had no momentum with it, but I still kept coming back to it.
Then I got hit by a car.
I had to make decisions. And, in this new context where my priorities were so clearly illuminated out of necessity, the podcast still felt important to me.
I think I’ve finally nailed why: I need to talk to interesting people doing interesting things. The podcast reminds me what I love to do — I love to connect with people and I love learning through conversation. It nurtures my soul, and keeps me from getting stuck on myself. Then, I want to share the stories my guests share with as many people as I can. A podcast gives me the platform to do this.
The true energy of conversation can’t be captured and passed along in a game of telephone. Of course, I can tell you, “Wow! That conversation was inspiring.” And you would hear that. But, it’s filtered. You don’t get to feel inspired, too. The podcast allows me to capture the conversations as they happen, show how the person “shows up” in life, and share the feeling with everyone, as it truly is and as the people truly are. And it’s there forever. The magic, the moment, the momentum, the energy, the inspiration, and the insight.
Can you share a story about the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started podcasting?
Podcasting validated something I already knew: how unique each individual truly is, even within the same field. And then, here’s the flip side: we are also all the same.
When I prepare for an interview, I jot down where I think the conversation will go and it always takes its own turn. My recent conversation with Catherine Johns is a great example. Catherine is a WLS radio personality (ABC Radio in Chicago) who had to reinvent herself when the radio business changed. She started a business helping women find their voices. It seemed like the conversation might be about adapting to change. However, it went in a surprising direction — about fear.
Often in conversation, we think we know where we’re heading. Do we? In life and in my role of an interviewer on the podcast, we have to be open to letting the conversation go where it needs to go. Often, we can’t know what that is. Every conversation has a life of its own and, if we try to control it, we lessen the vibrancy of it.
The subsequent conversation about fear is the gem of that episode.
Can you share a story about the biggest or funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
So here comes Catherine Johns again. I was so excited to interview her. I really dig what she’s about. I was actually so excited that I kept interrupting her and taking over the conversation.
When I listened to it afterwards, I was mortified. I couldn’t publish it. So, I asked her if I could try again. And I realized, in the second chance, that it’s not about me. It’s about the guest. I learned that I need to be more patient to become a good interviewer. You don’t get to start at the 100th podcast, knowing 100 podcasts worth of lessons. You have to start somewhere. And you have to be ok with making mistakes, learning as you go, and continuing to move forward.
Keep checking in with yourself. Is this podcast or subject aligned with my mission and skill? For me, because podcasting is so aligned with who I am, so it’s been worth getting my skills aligned.
I’m on an exciting learning curve. It’s good for my confidence and my humility. I’m not great at this yet. And I can become great. On my way to reaching 100 podcasts, I get better each time. The subject of this interview is about a binge-able podcast. Do you want to binge my podcast? I hope so! But I don’t know. And that’s both exhilarating and terrifying.
How long have you been podcasting and how many shows have you aired?
I’ve done more than 30 podcast interviews. Some haven’t been published. Some are waiting for the right moment. I’m growing and learning with every interview.
What are the main takeaways or lessons you want your listeners to walk away with?
The first lesson is: success leaves clues. Watch what other people do. Be curious about what drives them. But, then, don’t just follow them. Put it through your filtration system and ask, “What can I learn from this person?” It’s not about the information. It’s about the whole person. They’re giving you gifts that are different for every person who listens. I’m never gonna be Howard Stern. But I can learn from him.
If you want to be a better human and live a better life, meet other “diamonds.” Learn. Don’t copy. Take it into your own life. It’s a dynamic process.
Can you share with our readers the five things you need to know to create an extremely successful podcast?
Podcaster Influencer, Tom Rosenak of the Where Diamonds Meet Podcast shares the best ways to:
I feel that the evidence hasn’t caught up with my truth. Am I a successful podcaster? How do you define success? The world can’t see the evidence yet. But I see it. I am a successful podcaster. I can say that because success, to me, is about what the podcast gives me. When I think of the quality of brilliant people I get to interview, I feel so lucky.
How to book great guests. People are more accessible than you think. Take an interest in who they are and what they do. If they’re not available, that’s about schedules. They’re not in another stratosphere. Don’t take it personally. Be persistent. Your possibility pipeline should be vast. Reflect on the people you want to talk with and learn from. Your audience probably wants to hear these conversations, too. Get over the doubts. Keep reaching out, person to person. Come from the energy of your belief that you can do it. And you will. It’s ok to not always be aligned.Take a step back from imposter syndrome and get back into your own flow. I’m not Malcom Gladwell. I don’t have to be. Aiming for that will always feel like a failure. I can learn from him. I can aim for my truth and I can succeed. One way to help people say yes is to talk about what the value might be to them in participating in your podcast. For example, my guest Judy Ringer was able to promote her book on my podcast. And I was able to be inspired by her and learn from her.
Guests’ networks increase listeners. Stay true to the conversations. Those who need to know will come. We have video shorts so people can get a taste, increase their desire and have something cool to share with their networks that can get them interested and bring them back for more.
Professional production value comes from professionals. Get technical support. Ask for help from those who know. The technical side of production calls for a completely different skill set than the content side. Most people don’t have both. Don’t let that stop you. You can find someone who loves doing that stuff and you can afford them. I stopped podcasting before because I didn’t know how to do the technical stuff. Now, my friend Mario handles all the technical stuff and he’s amazing it. You can contact me for resources like Mario, if you’d like.
Invite people to be part of the conversation and have their own conversations about yours. I always include a call to action in my podcasts. I invite my listeners to reflect. “What’s one thing you can do to bring more richness to your life after our 28 minutes together?”
When people focus on monetizing a podcast, they’re looking too directly at cause and effect. My podcast hasn’t monetized directly. I don’t sell ads yet. This is much more about expanding the way I am known and trusted in the marketplace. I don’t think my business would still exist without my podcast because it expands my vision of what’s possible. Don’t rob yourself of this great gift because you’re scared your podcast won’t make money. Very few people make profit directly from their podcast. But it expands network and possibilities. There is intangible value beyond the dollar. But there is a tangible. Your podcast will expand your network. It will lead to more income opportunities. So, It is a financial expander. I’m confident of that. People see me differently because of my podcast. They engage me differently. They include me in conversations that I might not otherwise have been invited to.
From your vantage point what are some of the reasons why a person should consider creating a podcast series?
The communications world has become about pushing out messages. It needs to be more about conversation. Very few real conversations are happening. Everything’s about soundbites and agendas. A podcast gives us opportunities to have real conversations and something arises that neither individual could produce alone. It’s powerful. It improves listening. Questioning. Curiosity. Vibrancy. Humanity. The conversations that podcasting makes space for helps us connect to people who are not the same as us. It helps us to go beyond ourselves and expands our perspectives. Connection helps us change.
Nowadays it seems as if everyone is trying to jump on the podcast bandwagon. Are there people to whom you would advise to avoid podcasting and instead focus on another medium?
Yes. People that are looking for a platform to disseminate their message. A podcast isn’t a good medium for that. To me, podcasts are for conversation. Not lecturing, preaching or proselytizing. If that’s what you’re looking to do, podcasts aren’t for you.
How has your position as a podcast host and a person of high authority, impacted your business, sales, and/or increased your opportunities? Can you share a story with us?
I was having a funkadoodle day. Then, I practiced something I learned from one of my guests. And it changed my perspective. You never know you’ll learn and how you’ll be able to apply it in your life.
I’ve always been hoping my work could impact culture. But I had been working with a myopic focus on presentation skills. Now I’m working to impact culture within companies. I never believed I could do that before. Now, I do. And that is a result of the conversations I have on the podcast. I can view myself bigger because of the people I get to talk with directly due to my podcast..
What makes your podcast binge-listenable? What do you think makes your podcast unique from the others in your category? What do you think is special about you as a host, your guests, or the content itself?
The energy is vibrant, positive. The conversations go deep. It really is a conversation. The people and the conversations come to life. And that isn’t always the case in every podcast. I might think it’s the case because all the podcasts I listen to have that quality — because that’s what I’m drawn to — but, in the bigger picture, many don’t. “Where Diamonds Meet” is real. The people are real. The conversations are real. And there isn’t enough of that in the world. And that’s the truth.
I don’t hit a homerun 100% of the time,yet I’m getting better at it. I’m gaining new perspective, not soundbites. The conversations I have on my podcast illuminate humanity.
Where can our readers find you on Social Media?
Is there a specific high-value guest (obviously still living) that you would love to interview on your show, and why? He or she might just see this when we tag them!
No hesitation. Krista Tippett. She makes me weep because of the way she has conversations. She’s my mentor. She didn’t sign up for that but that’s what you do when you put yourself out there. Her soul is so strong and gentle and real and I feel like I know her even though I’ve never met her. She’s the conversational genius.