free phone apps

Freebies to Use for Your Business: Free Phone Apps For You and Your Biz

In the blog this month, we’ve been looking at freebies (or very inexpensive items) which will help you build your business. They are all things that I’ve used myself and will continue to use in the development of my content and in the content itself.

Again, this all came about when I posted a piece about working with others through the cloud – efficiently and for FREE. It primarily discussed cloud storage apps such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and one I use that not many Americans know about: MEGAupload.

In this post, the freebies we’re looking at are apps. Phone apps and web apps. 

Like most apps, most of these will have a free version and premium version. However, just like the cloud storage apps, you can get by with just the basic version.


Applications – Not Just on Your Computer Anymore:

Applications are not all on your computer these days. The days where you’d buy a CD or DVD and install your new program on your hard drive for it to completely work on your computer are, for the most part, long gone. In fact, when I don’t have an internet connection, it’s almost a chore for me to remember which applications I can actually use during that down time.

These days, most apps have an online portion – especially if they have a free tier. How else can they collect your data and emails? That’s essentially what you’re paying when things are “free”. But hey, that’s a pretty small price to pay to get all of this good stuff to help you out, right? 🙂

Anyhow – here’s a list of business apps that you can use mobile and on your pc or Mac.


Business Apps:


If there’s one app that I want you all to know about that I believe will save you a ton of time it’s IFTTT. IFTTT (pronounced like “gift” without the “i”) stands for “if this then that” — is a service that lets you create different recipes for streamlining your online activities. For example, you can create a recipe that saves all the tweets of a particular person and saves them on your Google drive in one spreadsheet. Or, if you want to transition your pics from Instagram to Twitter, you can do that too. Ta-da! Countless squinty-eyed hours saved scouring the Internet.


Social Jukebox:

Social media can be a pain in the rear – especially if you’re busy making things! Let Social Jukebox help you out. Just like a music jukebox holds and plays music randomly, it holds a bank of messages you can send out via social media. Its free plan will post to your Twitter up to 4 times a day. And if you subscribe to the premium membership, you’ll get to post to Facebook and LinkedIn as well.

Scheduling 1 on 1 calls and/or meetings is pretty straight forward with something like But what if you have multiple people you’re looking to get together for a meeting? You can’t use calendly for that (at least I don’t think you can). So what can you do? You could start an email thread and waste half a day tracking replies, or you could use Doodle. Doodle helps you effortlessly set up polls for scheduling. And one big awesome thing to me is that respondents don’t even have to join to answer a poll. Doodle cuts down on needless email and streamlines scheduling big time.


Slack & Ryver:

Here’s a couple more tools you can use to remove a ton of the emails that you regularly have to make if you’re part of a team. I’ve used both of these in the past on various projects and I’d say they’re about the same in what they do. And what they do, they do well. If you’re familiar with the old chat rooms that were made popular by AoL, Yahoo, and numerous other sites up until social media came around, then you’ll understand how these tools use channels to contain certain conversations between your team’s members.


Personal Development Apps:

Not all apps are geared towards making a business in itself. Sometimes they’re geared in developing you.

I mean, a mechanic can only upgrade his tools so much to do a certain job – because eventually, those tools might go outside of his current ability. In that case, the mechanic needs to get better to keep up with the tools themselves.

There are plenty of apps out there which will help you become a better version of yourself. Here are a few of my favorites:



There’s so many habits that we want to develop to make ourselves better in our craft. But the catch is that you have to put in the work to get it done. That’s where Habitica comes into play. It’s a habit building and productivity app that treats your real life like a game. With in-game rewards and punishments to motivate you and a strong social network to inspire you, Habitica can help you achieve your goals to become healthy, hard-working, and happy.



If you’re looking to learn how to meditate and the price tag on the Muse is a little out of your reach, then I’d say Headspace might be your next bet. It’s first level is entirely free and includes 10-minute sessions for each day that will help you get into the habit of meditating regularly. There are reminders, and you can choose to focus on aspects like foundation, health, and performance. If you want to go deeper, you can with the premium service.



In AoL session 79 with Barbara Ireland, we talked about how important it was to get rid of your negative thoughts. Part of doing that is to start developing an attitude of gratitude – focusing on what’s good in your life. With the happier app, you can start collecting happy moments throughout the day to add to your mental journal. (I use this because the 5 Minute Journal still hasn’t come to Android yet. If you’re a iPhone user – pick that up here.)



A lot of us who are in the the creative space work from home. So sometimes we don’t get out and about our own cities like we should. I mean, all work and no play doesn’t make anyone any better, right?

What’s cool about this app is that it features “incredible experiences on demand,” which is a trendy way of saying it has “the best activities, events and tours happening in town.” You can find and book last-minute deals if you’re feeling spontaneous. Paired along with Field Trip, you should always have new things to discover.


Reddit Is Fun:

Ok, so this one is kind of a cop out, because it’s a reddit browser. Reddit is the front page of the internet – so that means that pretty much everything that you can find online is on there. However, that said, there are subreddits that you can use to make your life better. Download the app and then check out these subs to get an idea of what I’m talking about: r/stopgaming, r/selfimprovement, , r/entrepreneur, r/getmotivated, r/iwanttolearn, r/lifeprotips, r/productivity, r/zenhabits and r/selfhelp.


Action Steps:

Ok, so there you go, guys. Ten apps that I use on a regular basis for my business and to improve it. I recommend checking them all out and seeing which ones fit you. There’s a few other ones that I could have added, but these are the ones that I’ve used the most. 

If I’m missing any that you think should have been on this list because YOU use them all the time, I’d love to hear about it. Drop the name of it below and I’ll check it out!

achieve what matters

Getting Prepped for 2017: Achieve what Matters in the New Year

It’s the last week of December. Are you ready for 2017?

For many, this is a week of reflection. New Years gives people a chance and a reason to start a new cycle – a new beginning. Due to this, it’s a tradition to have New Year’s resolutions or goals that they want to achieve in the next year.

However, at the same time, it seems like a tradition for people to not to stick with those goals or resolutions.

So it seems there’s something missing that successful folks do.

In this post, I’ll be sharing a couple of methods that work for many successful online entrepreneurs.


Yearly Achievement Method 1: Check last year and set New Goals

Ok, so this first method is one I’ve seen being promoted by Michael Hyatt this past month. He interviewed several successful folks and found out what their success making habits were as they were planning. Those folks included people like Chalene Johnson, Marie Forleo, Pat Flynn, Chris Ducker, Andrew Warner, and John Maxwell – just to name a few.

What he found out wasn’t anything new to me. In fact, there was only one different thing that he found that I’ll point out here in just a second.

But first, here’s the findings of his interviews…

When planning for a new year, the folks that Michael interviewed said that they had to do these things:

  1. Reflect
  2. Stay Positive
  3. Express Gratitude
  4. Eliminate the Excess
  5. Set Compelling Goals
  6. Break those Goals Down
  7. Schedule the Year
  8. Don’t Forget to Plan to Unplug

Now, as I said before, this isn’t brain science.

In fact, most of these steps I personally already employ.

But the one that really got to me was the plan to unplug step.

Because, I’ll tell you, I did not plan to unplug from NI at all this year and… I didn’t.

It’s not that I’m complaining. Any spare second I found, I was working on one thing or another.

But I didn’t have a light at the end of the tunnel like these folks build in. In his report, Michael shows that many big names actually go off the radar in late December (and here I am writing!) or the entire month altogether. And they’re able to do that because they actually PLAN to do it.


Yearly Achievement Method 2: BRINGIT

Now, if Method 1 seems like a lot of work and lots of things to remember or maybe you’re thinking that starting off with the reflecting part is a tad on the slow and tedious side, then I have an alternative for you.

Here’s the plan that I actually use.

Personally, I like to use a process that starts off with momentum building and ends with a plan to check periodically throughout the year to make sure you’re on the right path.

Here’s the acronym:


Which means…

Brain dump
Inspect for Good Opportunities
Nominate the best
Great Goals
Identify Steps
Touch base

A few notes to add about these are as follows:

Brain Dump:

When you’re brain dumping at the beginning, go as big as you want to go in your career. Starting with the end in mind has always been a good plan. Set a time for 10 to 15 minutes and just see what comes out. This can be anything from write a book, appear in media, to becoming a speaker – anything.

Main thing – DON’T EDIT. There will be time for that soon.



When reflecting, sure you can take an entire week to do it like John Maxwell does, but really, you can do it in as much or little detail as you want.

Main thing here is to just make an evaluation of where you spent your time. What should take less and what could use more?


Inspecting and Nominating Good Opportunities:

Now that you have a list of things that you think might be great ideas to pursue or things that might not necessarily be useful, make a list of 25 things that sound like something you can definitely achieve in the new year if you put your mind to it.


Great Goals:

Now that you have 25 possible things you could do the next year, now would be a good time to come up with 10 great goals. And what I mean by a great goal are those opportunities that you can put a definite Why to. If you can’t put a Why to it, then forget it and move on to the next opportunity.


Identify Steps:

After you have your goals, make 3 to 6 steps to complete each. If you’re creating a course, for example, then your steps might include creating an outline, ask high level folks to make parts for your course, build a launch schedule, then begin.


Touch Base:

The last part here, is to touch base. And what that means is to one, make sure when you’re just about to start implementing – make sure that everything ties together. Think about how they do for a few minutes.

Then, when you have time in the future and you’re questioning whether your actions are moving you towards your goals, just touch base again. Ask yourself are your actions reflecting your goals?


Take Action:

Ok, guys. There are two methods you can take to plan out this next year. I know there’s plenty of other plans to get going in this next year that you could probably find as well. Find one that you like.

In this instance, you can pick one that’s kinda analytical based… gets it’s momentum from facts and figures. Or you can go with the plan I use which is more focused on creativity.

Whichever one you find, the trick is to have the determination AND discipline to stick with it. Commit to yourself first and then commit to your plan.

Also, don’t expect the world from yourself at first as this new year is getting going – especially if you’ve never been an entrepreneur or creative in your life before.

Just like any transition, there’s going to be a time to go from the ending of one stage to the beginning of another. This is called transition time. Give yourself some time to become your new self.


4 levels of learning

The 4 Levels of Learning – The Secret to Hacking New Skills

McDonald’s just mentioned this past week that they’re going to be introducing automation to their restaurants in a big way this next year.

I shared it on Facebook and the overwhelming thought process is that the world is moving to a more and more automated society.What does this mean for people who work the jobs that are affected by automation?

Well, here in Indiana, it’s meant that many of those displaced workers have had to go to school and get taught a new set of skills for a changing economy.

In this post, I’m going to share with you the 4 Levels of Learning and how we all should navigate them to master our new skills.

Why This is Important

You might be thinking, “JC, I know if I know something or not. Why do I need labels?”. The truth is that you might not need labels.

But some of us – me included – want to decipher the world that’s going on around us. I like to categorize people by their personalities, their strengths, their age, and their education level because I know that each one of those things will tell me a little about where they’re coming from.

That’s just one example of breaking down a complex system into smaller ones. It helps me relieve stress in trying to figure out where people are coming from. With those labels, I kind of know what to expect.

Same thing is true when it comes to labeling where you are in your learning journey. It helps you realize where you are in your process so you know whether or not you have more things to learn or if you’re ready to help other people know what you know – if that’s your type of thing. 🙂

So, let’s get started:

Level 1: A grandson getting to see what biking is all about.

Level 1: Unconscious Incompetence

Do you remember the first time that you found out that something existed and you had to find out more about it? Probably not. When was the last time? Probably today, huh?

That state that you were in before you found out that thing existed was you being unconsciously incompetent. In other words, you didn’t know what you didn’t know.

In this state, you might have a sense of wonder, awe, and excitement – just like the grandson in the image to the right.


Level 2: Starting out on his first bike ride

Level 2: Conscious Incompetence

Ok, so you know this entire new world exists now of this new thing. Let’s say it’s riding a bike.

You might have seen all the big kids do it in your neighborhood. Heck, they might have been doing tricks on them.

As you start trying to start to ride a bike, you realize that you can’t even keep the damn thing up – let alone jump.

There’s just so much to learn and to do.

The thing with this phase is to know that you’re going to suck for awhile. You might even hate it and stress out a bit.

Learning to pedal and steer on training wheels all the way up to learning to keep balance. These were all things we had to learn to ride.

But in retrospect as someone who’s learned to ride now, you realize that you needed to “embrace the suck” in learning to ride a bike.

How many times did you fall off your bike when you were learning to just ride it?

I know I started laughing so hard everytime I fell off. I didn’t know what hurt more – my chest from laughing or my stomach from getting hit from the handlebars! 🙂


Level 3: A more seasoned vet saves himself from a spill.

Level 3: Conscious Competence

After enough practice, things to get a bit more fun. You’ll begin to realize that you know the basics of what you’re doing and you’re aware of what’s going on.

When I was learning to ride my bike, I didn’t really care about doing jumps. I just wanted to learn to ride FAST! Once I figured that out, I then wanted to get better at using my gears to get up hills better. Later, as I picked up riding again in college, it was going down small stairs and popping small hops to get on sidewalks.

In your situation, it might take you a shorter time than a year plus to figure out your new skill. It might take you more time. Again, it depends on how often you practice your skill (once a week vs 10 days straight) and how focused you are when you’re doing it.


Level 4: A young master working on his craft.

Level 4: Unconscious Competence

By the time you reach level 4, you’ve hit a certain level of mastery of the skill. You might not have everything down, but you’ve learned enough that new people are coming to you because you just seem to have the answers. Your skill is really just a part of who you are at this point.

In the biking example, I can think of the process it took me to learn how to ride, but that process was over many years as I needed to learn bits here and there. As I was learning them, I wasn’t thinking of the process it took me to get to that point.

All masters have this problem.

That’s why I say you should make it a usual practice to meet and engage with people who are just one or two steps ahead of you. They can teach you things better than if you were talking with a master. In fact, that’s exactly why, I’ve had to tune out Pat and other experts more recently. It’s not that I don’t think they know what they’re talking about. It’s simply that they’re so far up in their experience that they’ve gone into what I call “professor mode”. Thankfully Pat still explains things now in 2016 like he always has, but I’d really like to be talking to 2011 Pat as he was discovering things that I’m discovering myself today. Thankfully that Pat is still available in the archives (via the Wayback Machine.)

Bonus! Level 5: Shared Competence

You might have heard that the quickest and easiest way to learn something is to try and teach it to someone else. I heard this all the time as I was going through college and it wasn’t really until my first time as a lab TA that I found out what this really meant. I was used to teaching my friends who were closer to me in skill, but when it came to teaching freshman students, wow – there was definitely a difference!

If you are trying to become an expert in a field or someone who is trying to teach to others how to do something, you’re going to have to break down what you already know into steps your audience can follow. The higher your expertise, the trickier that’s going to become.

That’s why the best way to do it is to think of a transformation you want someone to go through and then make a 5 to 7 step process that they’ll make that transformation in.

That way, you’ll have it in small enough bites that the new person doesn’t get mind blown by all there is to know and you’ll be able to keep on eye on their progression easier.

How would you teach someone to ride a bike? What would those 5 steps be?

Action Steps:

So I hope that this process gives you a little more of an understanding of where you are in learning your new skill in whatever it is that you’re learning to do.

I think if you know that these are all part of doing something new, then you’ll probably have less stress about the small stuff… (unless you’re in engineering in college. Than it’s always going to suck until you graduate! Lol. jk!) Having less stress about learning something new will empower you to embrace who you are even more and just take things in stride a bit more.

Below I’d love to hear from you guys where you’re at in your journey of learning a new skill. Have you learned to embrace the suck? Do you find it hard to explain certain things to newbies? Let me know!

JoeWoo Career Path

Joe “JoeWoo” Rychalsky: Helping Others Find Their Right Career Path by Being the Example (AoL 061)

When it comes to getting started making a living on something you love to do, it can be hard to determine where to be begin. For many of us, we will have many interests and we’ll try to involve all of that into what we’re doing.

Depending on how exactly you do that, you can have one of two results. It can either differentiate you from the pack, or, what tends to happen most of the time, is that you spread yourself too thin when it comes to others understanding how you can help them.

So, the trick, is to fixate on one segment of your life like today’s guest, Joe “Woo” Rychalsky has done.

Joe has many interests that he could have pursued as a business. But he didn’t. Instead, he decided to take it upon himself to help others do something he wasn’t able to – find and fit into the right job and career for them.

Trying to find that niche that you can help others with can be tough, and there’s a lot riding on the decision we finally make. So, in this chat we’re going to help you make that decision by walking you through his story of becoming a coach and what all he has considered while making the decision to help others figure out their dream career.

We’ll also talk about what you need to look for when choosing your own coach, and we briefly talk about his podcast entitled The JoeWoo Career and Life Show.


  • What gave Joe the mind of a creator. 6:41
  • Which parent did he strive to please growing up and how. 9:09
  • What went into Joe choosing his major in college? 11:52
  • How well did Joe survive as a square block in a circle hole? 14:13
  • Was realizing that he wanted to be a career coach a single moment or a series of moments? 15:18
  • What did it take for him to make the transition from working in the corporate world to becoming a career coach? 17:13
  • What kind of clients does Joe like working with? 24:04
  • What need is he solving with his courses? 27:11
  • What do people need to look for when searching for a coach that can help them with a particular issue? 29:31
  • What’s the difference between a therapist, a psychologist, and a coach? 31:14
  • How Joe knocks people out of patterns that he sees. 33:52
  • How does someone go about becoming a coach themselves if they’re interested? 35:38
  • What’s the purpose behind Joe’s podcast? 38:19
  • What’s Joe’s interview style? 45:05
  • What are some of the things that Joe’s looking forward to in 2016. 49:47
  • 3 of Joe’s Favorite Podcasts 51:53
  • What he would do as his 10 year old self if all his memories were intact? 52:27
  • What is something he believed as a 35 year old and doesn’t believe it anymore. 52:57
  • What is one thing that costs under $100 that changed his life? 53:43
  • What does it mean to live a life of abundance? 55:43
  • What are three steps that someone could take to change their career? 56:51
  • … and MUCH more!

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.



Don’t Let Your Career Be Like Groundhog Day:

Why It’s Important to Prepare:

How to Store and Save Your Resume:

What Joe Got out of his Firewalk Instructor Training:

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!


podcast planning

How to Inexpensively Start a New Podcast: Planning and Production

In this second installment of this three part series of starting a podcast, I’ll be looking at the actual process of recording the show. Now that you hopefully have all your gear, you’ll need to learn how to put it all together and use it. Let’s get started.

There’s plenty of tips and tricks that I could give you in this post. There’s so many things that go into making a podcast that I could make a course on it myself… beyond what Pat has!

 If you’ve forgotten his tips or haven’t seen them, here’s that video:

Here are 6 more tips that will help you make an impression with your podcast:


So let’s start before where Pat started in his tutorial – which is the planning stage. This particular stage shouldn’t be taken lightly. So I’m going to cover it more detail.

The one thing he did cover was how long the podcast should be. And, I couldn’t agree with him more.

1. Who’s your Audience?

The first thing you’re going to have to consider just like all any other independent creator, is to figure out what your audience wants. What makes them, well… them? The best way to do this is to make a list of 20 some people who you think might be interested in your potential show. Find out from them what they’d want to hear discussed.

Not sure who those 20 people are? Ask yourself what kind of people do you want to help or entertain? What kinds of things do they geek out about? Do they appreciate their time? Do they like to kill time? How can you add value in that space?


Who’s Your Audience?

2. Length of Your Show

Once you’ve determined who your audience is going to be, you can start thinking about the length of your show.

Let’s start our first by thinking about what you’re trying to accomplish with your show. Here are three potential examples of popular shows.

  1. Action based. Meaning, are you going to be giving plenty of tips? Are you going to be interviewing people like Pat does to help others do something?
  2. More general conversation – a Hybrid. Where you’re actually just sitting down with the person to get to know them and have them share their expertise a little bit. That’s what we do on the AoL Podcast. Try and get a little bit of both.
  3. Deep conversation about anything and everything – Maybe you’re just going to have a podcast where you’re just talking about everything and anything that’s going on in general in your specific topic or with your specific guest? Not focused so much on actionable discussion, but high content. More like a radio show.

Generally speaking, as you progress from specific action based discussions to a more  conversational show, the longer your podcast is going to be. It just takes time to get into a good discussion that will captivate your audience.

That’s one reason why Tim Ferriss’ shows are so captivating. His longest shows at times are often his best ones. Some of those have been known to go 2 or 3 hours! He’s even said a couple of times that’s why he does have such long conversations – to dive extremely deep.

That said, he doesn’t release a new show every day, either.

So, here’s a thought. If your plan is to give tips, tactics, and actionable items on your own or with one other person. The more you can do it, the better. Think of Entrepreneur on Fire or Ask Pat.

If you’re going to be more in depth with a person, maybe a 45 minute to an hour chat, make it, at most, twice a week. Art of Charm is a good example there. Maybe throw in a Q&A call.

And if you’re going to go in-depth, make it once a week.


3. Interviewing Style

If your show is going to have guests on it, you’ll need to figure out what your interviewing style is.

What do I mean by this?

Here are three types of interviewing:

  1. Highly Structured – Ask basically the same questions with every guest you have
  2. Loose Structure – Use a framework to form questions based on the guest.
  3. Low or No Structure – Engage in regular inquisitive conversation.

Regardless of the type you use, make sure you communicate to your guest what’s important. Let them know what kind of structure you use. Also, it might be a good idea to keep in contact with them before the interview actually happens so they know it’s a for sure event.

Larry King - Legend of Low Structure Interviewing

Larry King – Legend of Low Structure Interviewing

High Structure:

Obviously, asking the same questions is going to be more scripted sounding. Whereas inquisitive conversation is going to be based on what the guest is saying at the time.

The pros of having a scripted show is that you and your audience will always know the questions and points that are going to be discussed.

The cons of this type will be that you might run the risk of being too scripted and come across as a robot. Or, even if you don’t sound scripted, it might still get repetitive. If patterns of answers start forming with your guests, you might lose parts of your audience because they already know the answer.

Loose Structure:

The middle ground interview type. Instead of having the same questions each conversation, this structure works more on a framework. In Pat’s tutorial, he mentioned that his favorite podcast at the time had different parts to the show. That show sounded like it uses a framework. In the AoL Podcast, we also use a framework for our conversations too. The overall structure is the same, but the questions change from show to show.

The good thing about using this type of structure is that it saves some time with your interviews and it won’t get super repetitive.

The bad thing is that it might sound like you’re trying to cram a ton of stuff into a single show without really going deep into much of it.

Low or No Structure:

True masters of interviewing typically use the Low or No Structure approach to their interviews. Every show is different because every conversation is different.

Essentially you let the guest lead the conversation and paint the picture.

The good thing about this type of interview is that it’s very relatable. Listeners will feel more like they’re part of the conversation as it naturally progresses.

The problem with this type of format is that it’s only done well in long format. To even scratch the surface of the guest, it might take the interviewer an hour. And even then, they might not get everything answered that they’d like to. Interviewing novices probably shouldn’t attempt this format as you they might not ever get the guest to truly open up – especially if they ask the wrong questions.

As a bonus, if you’re good at the low or no structure approach, guests will appreciate your company more because you’re not coming with agenda. That’s why Cal Fussman and Larry King have been able to make so many friends over the years of their career. They’re genuinely interested in the interviewee.

4. Finding Topics to Discuss

I used to produce a couple of shows that have since discontinued. One of was full topic based while the other was a hybrid show consisting of topics and interviews.

One thing that you should consider when discussing topics is, again, how pertinent they are to your audience. Three great ways to find topics is by discussing popular posts on blogs, threads in forums, or questions that are asked by your audience.

Remember that a lot of the media these days get their “news” from


When it comes to production, there’s going to be a ton of differences between how people get things done. Whether you have a PC or a Mac, use Garageband or Audition, or even how you record everyone. Personally, I have everyone record their side so there’s no hiccups from the Skype connection (I think Chase calls this dovetailing).

But there are a few things everyone can do when it comes to doing things inexpensively.

Dovetail Recording: Everyone on the show has their own Audio Track

Dovetail Recording: Everyone on the show has their own Audio Track

1. Intro and Outro

The intro to your show is part of it’s personality. It’s how people will recognize that they’re listening to the right show when they’re busy doing something else – be it driving, working, or exercising.

A lot of people will say that you need a short intro. To keep it to a minimum because people have short attention spans.

While that might be true in some instances, I really think it depends on your audience whether or not that advice is relevant.

If you’re audience includes people who are looking for a quick show, then yes. You’re going to want to have a quick intro. Or perhaps your topic is headline or news material, than yeah. A short intro is better.

However, if it’s a deep dive and you’re planning on having shows that approach an hour or more, then it’s not really going to matter that you have a minute to a couple of minutes long intro session. It really helps if you give an idea about what the show is going to be about so your audience can determine if they want to spend their time listening to it.

Same thing for the outro. If you have a long chat, make room for a proper outro. The worst thing you could do with an epic chat is just do a sudden drop. Have a wrap up and a call to action.

Also, as a little side note. If you’re going to use music with your intro or outro, you can take Pat’s advice to go buy stock music. Or, you can search for Free Stock Music and use that instead. There’s tons of samples out there on Soundcloud, YouTube, even Microsoft had some at one point. Just make sure you give credit if the artist asks for it.

2. Have a Backup Recording

You can never have too many recordings of a conversation. I mentioned that I use dovetailing to get everyone into the conversation without any skips. However, you can’t count on your guests or co-hosts to have their copy of the conversation.

That’s why you want to have something that actually records Skype.

If you have multiple people on the line, it’s good to have a control document. That way the flow of the conversation goes in the right direction at all times. There’s nothing worse than going over the same information twice on an hour long show and/or wasting your guest’s time because someone lost track of what was being discussed.

Also, play with the settings of your hardware and software so you get the best quality – and have your co-hosts and guests do this too. If it’s completely alien to you or them, find a tutorial in how to use your equipment when it’s brand new.

Action Steps

This time around, I want you to start thinking about your audience. The people that you want to help, influence, or entertain.

What kind of stuff do they want to listen to? Do you know for sure? Are there already other shows out there that’s like what you’re thinking about creating?

If you’re not sure, ask a few of them.

Once you get a good idea on what they’d like to hear about, determine how you want to deliver it based on what we talked about above.

And then, start familiarizing yourself with that hardware and software you should already have. It really helps to look up YouTube videos on this stuff.

Learn to Sweeten Your Podcasts with Chase!

Learn to Sweeten Your Podcasts with Chase!

Chase on Monitoring (Headsets)

Chase editing the Fizzle Show (with Logic Pro X)

Or, better yet, you can get 5 weeks (as of this writing) of free Fizzle and take a course where Chase illustrates some tricks of how he does the Fizzle Show. If you’re thinking about using Logic Pro X, I highly recommend it. I learn something new each time I watch it!


To be Continued…

Ok, so that’s it for part 2 of this 3 part series.

Next week, in part 3, we’ll be bringing it all home. Learning how to export your podcast and then figuring out where your going to post it so others can start hearing your great message!

start a podcast

How to Inexpensively Start a Podcast: Equipment and Software

When people think about starting a podcast, they believe that they need something that’s super duper professional and expensive. That’s truly not the case.

Back in 2012, Pat Flynn was one of the first to share his setup for his award winning podcast.

That post was just over 4 years ago.

In this first of three posts, I’ll be sharing with you my setup for starting a podcast. It includes reviews from two other sources, Pat’s tutorial, and Chase Reeves of, as well as what I’ve found on my own after 50+ episodes of doing the AoL Podcast.

Please note that there are Amazon affiliate links in this post!

If you want to get better deals or aren’t an Amazon Prime member, you can always check and see what you can find on eBay. However, if you’re on a schedule and you need to start as soon as possible, you might want to buy new from Amazon. I had to send several items back in the process of setting up my show. Took me a few weeks longer than I would have liked.

Most people who want to start a podcast these days will more than likely stumble onto Pat Flynn’s podcast tutorial.

It’s a great tutorial. In fact, I used it to get started on the first podcast I produced. But as with anything on the web, time passes and things needs to be added to or altered in some way.

Pat’s done a great job in changing it up since he created it in 2012, too. There’s tons of great information there that I think will prove beneficial to you!

However, one thing that many podcasters who are just starting out might not have is an abundance of money to pay for everything that Pat recommends in his tutorial.

Let’s Start with the Mic2016-01-14 16.07.49

Take for example, his recommended microphone, the Heil PR-40. It sounds great! But, it costs $300 or more depending on where you get it. Whereas the mic that I found via Fizzle’s Chase Reeves Microphone Shootout, the Audio-Technica AT875R, was $169.

When you factor all the additional hardware pieces that you have to get for each setup to get to the point where you’re ready to hit the record button, Chase’s “Best Buy” solution comes out to about half the price.

And, in my opinion, if you listen to the Fizzle Show, you can hear that it produces great quality.

Here are the two videos for you to compare even more. Pat’s is very too the point, where Chase’s Shootout is very technical – almost MythBuster like!

Check it:

Pat’s Podcast Tutorial Video 1: Equipment and Software

Podcaster’s High Quality Microphone Shootout:

Beginner’s Best Buy:

By the way, if neither of these mics are in your price range, a really great option that sounds pretty decent (if you tune it correctly), is the Audio-Technica atr2100 for $79. It’s a USB AND XLR compatible mic that I have many folks grab as their first mic. The great thing about it is that you don’t need a mixer for it to work. You can just plug it in via USB like many mics you might be already used to.

Other Hardware


The mic isn’t the only piece that you’re going to need to get started. In fact, both of the ones that Chase and Pat recommend need what’s called a mixer.

You heard me also mention XLR – this is where that comes into play. It’s the three pronged connection type you see most professional mics have. It’s an old analog connection. Meaning if you go with a professional mic, you’ll need a mixer.

Pat’s mixer for his tutorials was the Behringer Xenyx 1002FX, priced at $90. What Chase recommended for Fizzle members was the Mackie Onyx Blackjack, priced at $99. (I got mine used from eBay at $80.)

Arm Thingy / Stands / Booms:

Along the mixer and the mic, you’ll also need that arm thingy. These are called boom stands, and you’ll need to order one for where you intend to use it. As you saw in Pat’s video, there are booms that are specific for certain mics, but there’s also generic ones.

The generic one I got was this one at a whopping $13. It gets the job done.

In contrast, Pat’s Heil boom is $120. Go for it if you “want to be like Pat”.

Oh and there are taller ones if you want to stand up or while doing some video work (you can use the same mic over your head). I got this one by Griffin for my course videos sometime down the line.


Now, this is something that Pat didn’t talk about in his hardware piece. It looks like he had some sort of Beats headphones, but not being super familiar with that brand before it was bought by Apple, I went with what Chase recommended in one of the videos inside of Fizzle:

Sony MDR7506 Professional Headphones

If you see a better deal on eBay and they’re from China, don’t be afraid to get them. Just remember that it might take up to three weeks for them to come in vs 3-5 days with Amazon.

A Headset Option:

When I first started my podcast, I thought that my Turtle Beach gaming headset would be good enough for me to use when I’m podcasting. Unfortunately, I realized practically right away that the quality I was getting was horrible. That’s when I started looking to see what others used.

Eventually, though, I wanted to give myself a traveling option. So, when I realized that Lewis Howes uses a headset for his interview, I had to find out what it was. Here it is:

Audio Technica BPHS1 Broadcast Stereo Headset

Needless to say, I don’t use this option all the time because I use my permanent set up with the boom and at875r. However, it has proven to be a great asset when I’ve had to be on location.


Now, this is something that neither Chase nor Pat talked about in their review because they probably think you already have one of these.

However, the truth is that they both use Macs to do their work. You can tell in Pat’s tutorial he uses Garageband (I’m not sure what he has his editor use now these days) and Chase uses Logic Pro X. We’ll get to those in a minute.

If you’re in the market to get whatever’s easiest to do the job, I recommend getting a Mac. The software is just that much easier to work with.

Where do you get an Inexpensive Mac?

Not at the Apple Store!

First, let’s just get one thing straight. I don’t ever by brand new technology unless I’m forced to.

That means computers just as much as it means cars.

The only way I’d pay for an expensive new piece of tech is if it was a custom piece. A custom computer… or a custom car. Like a Tesla.

If you listen to Dave Ramsey or Robert Kiyosaki, you know that technology and cars are not assets, they are liabilities. So buy them as low price as possible.

That said, a great site to buy used Macs from is GainSaver. They generally get their older macs from offices or colleges that always have the newest and best gear.

Personally, I have a 2010 Mac Pro (Model: MC561LL/A) that I do most of my work on and it runs like a champ. Also, I don’t have to worry about it overheating with intense use. Many people primarily use Macbook Pro’s for all their work, but I had two of them burn-up in the same year.

So, I primarily use my laptop for small projects and browsing the web.

Also, you might be wondering why I don’t have a newer Mac Pro? Here’s an image to show you why:


I’m not sure about you, I don’t need all that junk cluttering up my desk.

Speaking of Upgrades

If you want to upgrade one of the computers on Gainsaver (or Apple’s site for that matter), you can do that. But just like at popcorn at a movie theatre, they’re going to charge you even more than you’d expect

Recommendation? If you’re somewhat technically gifted (meaning that you’re the go-to person in your family that everyone comes to tech help), or have access to someone who is, go to a site like Other World Computing, find out what you need for your specific model, go over to eBay, and find it for a great deal.

RAM and hard drives are CHEAP compared to just a few years ago!

Best names in memory as of this writing is Kingston and Crucial. In hard drives, they’re HGST and Western Digital.

And they’re really easy to install in a Mac Pro. I promise.

Editing and Recording Software:

Mac Options:

Ok, so moving back to software.

If you go with a Mac, you get Garageband for free. It’s a great little app and frankly, really all you need for conversations. Your show’s quality won’t sound like The Fizzle Show, but it might sound like the early shows of SPI.

Nothing wrong with that!


Let me tell you, as a beginner, Garageband (which is free with a Mac) is much easier to use than Logic Pro X is. The reason I use Logic now is because I see it as a personal challenge. I see it as a skill and artI want to develop. And, as of this writing (at almost 60 episodes), I’m still learning what I need to know to produce a show that sounds great.

If you don’t want to go through that process, go with Garageband.

PC Options:

If you go with a PC, there’s a couple of options I know of. One is a free app called Audacity (which I use for different things time to time) and a more professional option is Adobe Audition.


While Audacity isn’t my go to application, you can get the job done with it.

As far as Audition goes, I personally don’t know too much about it. But with everything else, you can always find out how to use it via YouTube.

Recording with Guests and/or remote co-hosts

Now, if you find yourself hosting an interview based show, then you’re going to want to consider a few more pieces of software because you can’t do everything you want to do with what I’ve already discussed.

In fact, before you go editing with the other programs, you’ll need to record with what I’m about to tell you.

To record online for free, you’ll want to use Skype.

You can have multiple people on and the sound quality is pretty decent compared to other options – like YouTube Live, Hangouts, or Facebook Live (I’m not even entirely sure if that’s possible – but it might be!)

Skype has been around for years. That means that there’s plenty of other apps that you can plug and play with it – which, in this case, you’ll need to do to actually record.

Another option is Zencastr if you want to keep things super basic (but don’t mind the compression that any online recorder will render on the raw audio/video).

Mac Skype Recorders:

Quicktime audio recorder

You have two options here. And honestly, I use them both when I’m recording. The first is another free app that comes on Macs only – Quicktime.

Most people know that this can play video files that are on their computer. But what they might not know is that it can actually record screen recordings (webinars anyone?) and whatever is spoken into the mic.

Great little tool to have.

Ecamm Call Recorder

The only problem is that it doesn’t record what’s coming from the other side of the conversation. So for that, you’ll need another application called Ecamm Call Recorder for Skype.

It’s pretty straightforward, once you have it installed. Just hit record when you’re about to start and then hit stop when you’re done. Same with Quicktime’s audio recording.

PC Skype Recorders:

Ok, so I’m going to admit that the reason that I’ve never had a PC is just the complexity that many apps have to do something that it’s fairly simple to do on a Mac.

In this case, you’re going to need to get a program called Pamela. Like the Ecamm Call Recorder, you install it and it’s pretty close to being ready to go. However, the default settings are not set up in a way that would benefit you as a podcaster. To do that, you’ll need to set the recordings to stereo as well as change the format it records in. Here’s a video to do just that. Pamela currently retails at just under $28.

Pamela for Skype
Pamela for Skype

Also, something else to note is that from what I understand, PC’s can only record in one application/program (sorry, I use those words interchangeably!) at a time. So make sure that Pamela is working before you start your show!

Action Steps

If you’ve decided that you actually are starting a podcast, here is my call to action for you this week:

  1. Get a feel for how much you’re going to want to spend on this project. With a new Mac Pro (or Macbook Pro), that budget might be upwards of $1800 – $2000. But that Mac Pro will be useful for everything else in your business AND you can list all of this as tax write offs for the year. (Be sure to get at least 2 monitors if you don’t have them already.)
  2. Make a list of the parts that you need yet to get your podcasting show started on the hardware and software side of things. Think of it as a grocery list.
  3. Get stuff ordered.
  4. Start putting it together and experimenting with it

It’ll end up looking something like this… (depending on how many monitors you get):


To be Continued…

Ok, so that’s it for part 1 of this 3 part series.
Next week, in part 2, I’ll continue with a few recording tips that have either changed or weren’t covered in Pat’s 2012 tutorial. I’ll be sure to include some of the more detail stuff that I have to do to get a podcast produced and ready to go out the door.

How to Make a Personal Development Plan for Your Business Which You’ll Be Sure to Stick To!

In the last post, I talked about Just In Time Learning. This is something that I’ve been learning quite a bit about recently.

Before I was focusing on building New Inceptions, I would always just listen to whatever the influencers had to say. Many times just because it was actionable information.

But, I never took action and therefore it was really just entertainment.

Once I did start focusing, however, I was able to actually apply what I was learning. And then I would naturally have more questions that needed answers. And the process would keep going.

This process has lead to me mastering skills and abilities that I didn’t know I’d even have before starting on the journey of building a business.

Want to know my strategy for mastering parts of my business? Here you go:

Step-by-step process: How to Make a Personal Development Plan for Your Business that You’ll Be Sure to Stick To

I’m going to walk you through all six steps here. Follow along and do what I do.

Step 1: Brainstorm

Using a mind map, I want you to think of 10 to 15 things that you believe that you could that could take your business to the next level.

Before you think of those items, I want you to give yourself 4 different categories that will help you with your thinking.

These 4 different categories are things that would help your business grow. So, for example, here are 4:

  1. Speaking opporutunities
  2. A website
  3. Products
  4. Engaging with potential clients

If you’ve never heard of a mind map, here’s what one might look like (via Pat Flynn in this 2008 post).


These are examples of things that Pat could make money from.

This mind mapping process can give you a much clearer sense of what’s important and you need to be focusing on next.

Step 2: From Your Mindmapping, preferably pick skills and topics that are in the Personal Development Sweet Spot.

Meaning that:

  1. You have a competency in or can perform it.
  2. You have a passion for it (or it’s existence will help your passion).
  3. Other people will want it.

Here’s a visualization of where you should be working:


Step 3: Prioritize – which of these chosen skills or actions will have the most impact on your business?

Now that you’ve brought this list down a bit, let’s see if it makes sense to do them right now.

First, do any of the items that you’re thinking about working on fall into one of the 6 Cornerstones of a Successful Online Business?

For example, if one of your items is learning how to use a certain type of social media (because one of the 4 topics we listed was engaging with potential clients), then you’d learn that social media, when it comes to business, is a form of marketing.

However, another one of our topics was “a website”.

Would it make sense to market your services first or have a place on the web (or in the real world for that matter) where people can find out more about you?

That’s where a website is needed. Marketing and engagement should come after actually having somewhere for people to find out more about what you’re doing.

Again, get the 6 Cornerstones eBook to help with this part.

Step 4: Evidence of Accomplishment

So let’s say that you pick doing a website now because you accept what I said in the last step.

How will you know that your website is done enough that you can start marketing it?

What does “Done” look like here?

That decision is going to be up to you. You might just opt for a long one page solution. Or, you might feel that you want to create different pages that that have different jobs. What’s best for what you’re wanting to do?

You have to start with the end in mind of what you want to achieve before you go looking for how you should do it.

Examples of things that might be considered “done” in my book would include:

  1. My New Product is available.
  2. I have a landing page for that new product.

Or if I wanted to work on traffic and leads:

  1. How many new followers do I need to have in order to get X traffic?

Knowing what you’re looking for will help you do the next step…

Step 5: Find and List 10 Resources or People That You Might Be Able to Learn it From

Ok, so how do you find someone that has the knowledge (free or for a premium) that will help you do what you want to do?

I have 5 suggestions you can to with increasing cost to get what you’re looking for:

  • Search YouTube – You’ll find the free options here. Many times, though, they’re previews of the main course.
  • Subscribe to Fizzle – Only $35 a month and it covers all the bases of what you need to know at any given time while building a young business. (Use this link for 2 weeks for free!)


Here’s the main page of Fizzle’s library of courses. Now you see why I recommend them!!

  • Go to a site like or uDemy to find specific skills for your business.
  • Buy a big ol’ course from a lead influencer. These usually have the best results because they’re so rich in details, but you will be paying through the nose for it. (These can typically cost anywhere from $500 – $5000 per course!!) You’ll hear about these courses from big mediapreneurs like Pat Flynn, Jordan Harbinger, and Lewis Howes.
  • Buy a course from a lesser known person through a site like Results might definitely vary here, but you might find a bargain!!

Step 6: Implementation through Accountability

Learning about some new topic, strategy, or skill, won’t mean anything unless you put what you’re learning about to use.

Some people like to buy the higher cost courses just because the higher cost will keep them more accountable to implementing what they’ve learned.

However, many of those courses are time sensitive and will expect your full focus right away. Often times you get to meet others through these courses and help each other accomplish more together.

Side Note: If you’re wondering how much a product that is currently being hyped will cost – the more hype combined with the more results a free portion of the product will yield, the more you can expect the final program costing.

So a great example of this was the recent Ryan Levesque’s Ask Method. He was on several shows giving great quality in-depth pointers in how to actually do something. He was also mentioned several times in email campaigns by other folks as affiliates. The actual cost of the program is unknown to me, but I would go out on a limb and guess it was easily $2000 to $5000 per participant. And if people wanted to work with him in a small workshop type of function – that could easily start that price at $10k for the entry price.

Personally, I’ve been through two programs like this: The John Maxwell Team Certification Program and The Foundation. My networks have blossomed greatly because of my involvement with both.

Other resources that are available all the time won’t require as much focus and chances are their price points won’t be in the thousands.

However, you won’t be getting built in accountability with it.

If you have a network already in place of people who are ready to be accountable with you in whatever you want to work on, then you don’t need that extra price

If you’re just getting starting on your business, here’s my suggestion: Hop on Fizzle and make use of their Roadmap or if you’re a reader, read Pat Flynn’s book Will It Fly?

Action Steps:

Here’s my challenge to you.

Pick 5 topics or skills that you’re going to learn about within the next month or so by the end of this week. Then start learning about the first one next week. It might take you longer than a week to learn and do as much as you can for each one. How quickly you learn them is completely up to you.

But you’ll have focus because you’ll know what you’re supposed to be learning about!

And, of course, the bright side of that is that you won’t go crazy trying to convince yourself you need to be doing 20 different things!

Let me know how it works out for you below!