Catch Justin Schenck on the #PirateBroadcast™
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Introduction: [00:00:00] Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns: [00:00:10] And it's a beautiful day for another #PirateBroadcast™. We got another new pirate in the room. Justin, welcome. Welcome to the party. How are you doing, my friend?
Justin Schenck: [00:00:20] Russ, thank you so much for having me, man. I love the#kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. I'm like, that's amazing. So it actually made me smile right before we went live. So that's why people saw the brilliant smile that I just had on. But thank you so much for having me,
Russ Johns: [00:00:34] it's an amazing opportunity to actually share a little bit of kindness and every day I get up and do this show and hopefully your experience getting on the show was comfortable. You made it okay. You showed up. Everything works and is okay.
Justin Schenck: [00:00:50] I love it. I got all the notifications and letting me know you guys are excited to have me. It made me feel wanted and welcome. So this was a great opportunity for me. So thanks.
Russ Johns: [00:00:59] Oh, fantastic. We, you and I both have been in and around the podcasting world for a few days. And so let's go back. When was the first opportunity that you thought about, and you heard about podcasting or you became aware of it and give us the backstory, because I just want to make sure people understand and appreciate what you have done to bring podcasting into the forefront.
Justin Schenck: [00:01:26] Yeah. That's a really good question. And if I were to break down the whole story, I actually became friends with a guy that some people are familiar with named Lewis House about 10 years ago, about 11 years ago, actually. And so we connected back when he was like the LinkedIn guy and he ended up launching his podcast and I was like, that seems pretty cool. That seems like a great opportunity to connect and learn from people. And as I went along my journey, it was in the back of my mind. Like I, I understood what podcasting was. I saw it as a tool. I was like, that's pretty neat. Obviously, I didn't understand how it worked or what to do or anything like that. And then actually a little over five years ago, about five and a half years ago, I decided I was going to dive into podcasting. And really be like, okay, let me connect with entrepreneurs, interview them so I can pick their brain and learn how to be a better entrepreneur, because at this point, just like that typical journey, I had three failed businesses under my belt and I was like, hey, let me use this tool to connect and learn and grow. And that was the original idea behind the podcast. And six months after I came up with the idea, it was actually the worst day of my life. My mom lost a 20 year battle to opioids and it was in that moment that I decided that life was so much more than entrepreneurship and money and all these other things. And so my podcast, the Growth Now Movement organically became about overcoming adversity, creating the life that you want, finding happiness, even in those rock bottom moments. And so it was actually fun. I just crossed the five-year mark, so a little over five years ago I launched the show. And organically, it started to grow over time. And I was lucky enough to be honored by Inc magazine as a top eight podcast, every entrepreneur should follow and all these crazy things followed that and it's become my full-time thing. I'm a podcaster. Like people ask me, what do I do? I say, I'm a podcaster. And so what started out as, let me pick some brains, became a massive hobby of mine, and I fell in love with the process of being able to connect and grow and make an impact in the world.
Russ Johns: [00:03:08] It's interesting that you'd say it that way, because it's what, five years for your overnight success, right?
Justin Schenck: [00:03:13] Yeah. It took a long time.
Russ Johns: [00:03:15] And the reality is that, and I talk to podcasters all the time and people that are live streaming or content creation people, folks in the content creation space. And it really is a long game. There's no shortcut to doing the work. You still have to show up, you still have to actually produce something. You have to work every single day to improve this process. Pod fade is a real thing. As I'm sure you've had many people saying I've got seven episodes out there and nobody's listening. Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. It's like anything, the first time you pick up an instrument, you have to think about, okay, I got a practice at it. And what happens a lot of times, especially in the podcasting environment, the beautiful thing about it is it introduces you to other opportunities and other conversations, and these conversations develop into other ideas that you expand on. And I know that it brought you to a place where you were doing events and activities like that, so evolve us into the idea that some of the events that you've had. And some of the events you are thinking about producing and being involved in.
Justin Schenck: [00:04:28] Yeah. So first I want to comment on the pod fade thing, right? Actually, it's funny. I just created an online course and part of the course was I brought Libsyn in to talk about podcasting and they were discussing numbers and so five years ago when I started podcasting and you can relate to this I'm sure. Five years ago, I would tell people I had a podcast and then they'd go, what's a podcast. And now I say, have a podcast and they go, oh, you too and they roll their eyes. Because everybody has one. But here's the crazy thing that I didn't realize the numbers, I knew pod fade was real, but I didn't know the actual numbers. it's unreal. 2.3 million podcasts are out there, but active podcasts, meaning they have more than 10 episodes and they've done something in the last 14 days, they've released an episode in the last 14 days. There's only like 430,000. So they said, if you fill Madison Square Garden, five people will be podcasters in all of Madison Square Garden. Active podcasters. And I was like, that's insane. So there's still an opportunity, but that's what I love about the medium is that it creates an opportunity for you, but it's all organic. Like you have to be good, right? Like you have to be good at it in order to garner it. And that takes time. Like you said, it takes the reps, it takes all the things that you gotta put in to be good at it. So to answer the second part of that question, Yeah, organically what happened was I started to build a community around my podcast. And for me again, it became about that. How do we create the life that we truly desire and how are we happy through the process? And I realized that live events are something that you can truly create for individuals to get together, to get connected, to create opportunity, create excitement, to do all these things. And I was like, it was the end of 2018 and I was like, hey let's dive in. Let me see if I can do a live events and see how people respond. And so I ended up putting together a live event called Growth Now Movement Live, which was in May of 2019. I had incredible speakers like Fabio Viviani from America's Top Chef. And Albe Manzo from Real Housewives of New Jersey. And you talk about opportunity and connection from podcasting. I've become friends with these incredible people because of my podcast. Yeah, and then they did me the honor of speaking at my event and had about 160 people from all over the country and Canada come and attend. And then my goal was, hey, let's double this in size. Every year let's create a movement. Let's really create the growth now movement. And then as 2020 hit and COVID hit and everything stopped. And so it made me shift and pivot a little bit. I've done two virtual events since then. I did one back in September and I just did one back in February and it was neat. It was a weird virtual way to create community, it was a little bit different, but it's where we're at. But something that really pivoted me into that I'm excited about and you talk about things are always going to change around you and things are going to hold you back at times like COVID right. I have no control over COVID, but how can I now shift as the world starts to open up a little bit? And me and two other individuals, actually, my girlfriend, who's a nutritionist and a health coach and my good friend, who's actually a psychic medium who helps businesses grow. We came together and we created a weekend retreat. And so we had people from all over the country come in, but there was only about 11 people there and to be safe and follow the guidelines and the rules and it was amazing. And we were able to deep dive, and so I was for the first time able to take everything we've created with the podcast and deep dive with individuals who have followed the show who I've connected with over the years from speaking at things like Pod Fest and other events, which was amazing. And that's something that I've added to the repertoire. So there's another one coming in October. And so I think the neat part about podcasting is that it's a medium to connect, right? If you do it the right way, you're connecting with whether it's the people you're talking to on the screen here, like you and I, or the people that are listening, how can you connect, create community and then deliver something to that community in order to serve them in some way, shape or form. And so that's really been the evolution of the Growth Now Movement and everything. That's involved with that. And I do plan on bringing back the live event. Once everybody feels safe and they're willing to fill an arena one day.
Russ Johns: [00:08:08] Sure. A live events can be incredibly powerful. And, I think I want to tag on what you said earlier, We don't have control over COVID. We don't have control over some things in our environments. However, what we do have control over is how we perceive what we can do with what we have. And I think it's really important for us to understand that we have a lot of opportunities. And if you're looking at the obstacles, you always find more obstacles. So look at the opportunities, discover what you can do with the things that you have right around you. Like you said, your girlfriend and your friend, you created a retreat. You still say stay safe, following the guidelines and everything else and best practices. And it's still possible to do things like that. And it's really important for us to understand that we're not always limited to what we feel our limitations are. So I just want to recognize that. I want to give a shout out to Howard Kaufman. Howard is an incredible individual that I really thoroughly enjoy being around. Great story. There are, there is so many kernels of learning from the podcast conversations. Even those in different industries may trigger new thoughts and perspectives. It continues to be an #inspiration, inspirational input to helping me with challenges and opportunities. We all have challenges and opportunities. And it's so important for us to understand that we don't have to have all the answers. We have other people that might have an experience that is unique to our needs and the things we're challenged by. And ask for help, reach out and say, hey, if I have a podcasting issue or a challenge, I could say, Justin, what have you done in this situation? You got any ideas and thoughts for me and reach out and ask questions. We're on social media, you can ask questions so many ways, so many different directions, and it's really important for us to understand that we don't have to have all the answers and we don't have to feel alone because we don't have the answers because I think it's important for the community. Because #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. That's why.
Justin Schenck: [00:10:25] That's true. It's true. And I love the idea of life is happening for us and not to us. Like you said, you focus on the problems, you're going to have more problems and that's just the reality. But if you focus on what you can be grateful for and the opportunities the world is creating for you to create the next big thing or whatever you feel is important. And one thing I always like to make super clear is my show has gone on and it's grown and it's doing really well. A couple million downloads over the course of the show itself and, tens of thousands of downloads per episode now. And I feel really blessed. But back when the show was doing 60 downloads an episode and I did have that pod fade moment of do I quit? What should I do? Nobody's paying attention. I actually had somebody reach out to me from Japan and they said, Justin, because of your podcast, I decided not to take my life. And I realized that impact happens, even if it's one person at a time. And so as we talk about things like life is happening for me, not to me. What are the things that you're going through right now that become part of your story that become part of the thing that you want to build. We're sitting here talking about podcasting. This is just one of the many ways to grow a platform, right? Like you're very big into video. I don't use much video. And I jokingly say, I have a face for podcasts which is why I'm real heavy on the audio side. But with that being said what is your, what's your vehicle in order to create your movement? And of course my show is about overcoming adversity and is in the self development space. But if your show is about podcasting, and if your show's about business, you can teach that one tip that changes the person's life in such a direction that now they have a strong roof over their head supporting their family there's food on the table, there's whatever that you've created for them. And so understand that everything is happening for you. You just have to take the time to learn the lesson so you can then go teach other people.
Russ Johns: [00:12:07] And I think that's a great point, Justin. Learn the lesson because there are so many things that we fail to add. And I'm so bad at this. I'm improving, I'm working and I'm improving on this. I diminished some of the things that I've learned in the experience that I have, and I share with other people. And I think everybody knows this. Not everybody knows this and I want to go back to the message from Japan because it's so life-changing for some people that you'll never hear a word from and that moment, when you get a text message or an email or something say, hey, I really enjoy what you're doing. Thank you so much. And that moment of appreciation has a huge impact on people. Even if you're not podcasting, even if you are not creating, you make a difference, you #makeitmatter. And we're all here for a reason. We're all here for a mission. And the reality is we all have a gift. We all have a message. We just have to learn how to share it. Whether it's podcasting or not, it could be blogging. It could be anything. I just want to make sure that we all understand that there's something out there for us and you have an opportunity to share it. So I want to give a shout out to Angie. Good morning. She's amazing supporter and I love you. And good morning pirates. Jenny Gold is here. Hey, Russ Johns. She says what a great interview. Hi, Justin and Howard Kaufman. And Nick says Nick from the North, my brother, Nick, how are you doing my friend? Let's catch up soon. The reality Justin, is that we are living in the most incredible time for live events, podcasting, live streaming, content creation, and you feel like you're in a saturated market only because you're seeing the same thing you're producing and it's really not. You go out and do you, you go out and be yourself and things will show up. The conversations will take place and you will evolve. So keep doing it.
Justin Schenck: [00:14:15] No, I love it, dude. I love you said that because a couple of things that you touched on, you nailed it and you hit it out of the park. We all have a story. The thing is what a lot of people do is they believe that they are their story versus because of their story. So they become that victim. They fall into that grief moment and all those thought processes. But if we can change that narrative and say, oh, wow, I am because of my story, this is what has built my strength. That then becomes your message, right? Like that then becomes the next thing. And then whatever your medium is, whether that is just one-on-one. So going out to dinner with a friend and changing their life, or if it's podcasting or if it's streaming or if it's blog writing or, there's so many opportunities this day and age in order to get your story and your message out there to help improve some lives, that is game changing. Same for your business. If you're not trying new things to grow your business or your platform, like you're missing out because the opportunity is great. The fact that I'm in Reading, Pennsylvania, You're in Arizona, and we're sitting here live as people all over the world are tuning in on LinkedIn and Facebook and YouTube, which is unreal. I love that by the way. I also love people say, hello, pirates. But realistically, the crazy thing is this is game changing stuff and it's only going to get better. So mine is we'll hop. You got in real early I feel like an OG, but like you're an OHHHHG, right? Like you've been around a long time. But it's about really hopping in and saying, yes, I'm going to give this a try.
Russ Johns: [00:15:32] Yeah. I think people right now, because of, things like Tik Tok and Instagram, you live and all of the things that are taking place, it feels as if there's a lot going on, however, coming from beginning the story of origin there, we have traveled so far in so little space and, I'm a little older than most people on social media, but the reality is that I love the fact that the technology and systems allow us to connect in new and unique ways. And I think it's important also. You're going back to the physical connection, the live events, we're all kind of storing up the energy. That's going to be available to us when all this things clears out and, life goes back to whatever it's going to end up being in the future. And it's really important for us to stay connected with people to the best of our ability and have the opportunity to maintain that relationship and build those relationships over time. Cause it's so important for us to stay connected with people, and like you said, you're evolving into a few new things and a few new adventures, and maybe you can speak to that where you're taking this to, direction and momentum, as well. Because we're all changing. We're all evolving. So what's the next chapter for Justin in the book of life?
Justin Schenck: [00:17:00] Yeah. I touched on it a little bit, right? These retreats are something new. Like I, I look at, obviously we went full in, on a two and a half day retreat. It'll be three next time. Learning from that and making it better, continuously improving the things that we're able to do right now to serve individuals on a deeper level. My goal is to reach millions of lives and let people know that it doesn't matter where you come from, what matters to the choices you make today to create a better tomorrow for yourself in the world. And that's really my purpose and my drive for everything that I do, whether it's my podcast or helping other people podcast. And, my thing was, I've done a lot of one-on-one coaching with seven figure entrepreneurs and influencers to help them launch their podcasts and stuff like that and do it the right way. And I said to myself, going into 2021, I want to be more of face forward. I want Justin Schenck to be able to tell his story on a deeper level, reaching more people. So I took a step back in the podcast world and I created an online course for individuals where I literally teach. What I was teaching seven figure plus entrepreneurs for thousands of dollars. I really scaled it down into this incredible deep course for people to really launch or relaunch their show in the right way. And so I'm really excited about that because the goal again, is to reach millions of lives. How do we do that? We do that by giving the tools to others so they can reach those lives. And so if they launch a podcast and 10 years down the road, they're like, I changed all these lives and I went cool. I was a little piece of that. That's enough for me. And that's really where I'm going is how can I make micro connections in my life that make macro effects into the world? And that's a big focus of mine. Again planning growth and that movement live whenever that wants to come back around. We're potentially, this is a very small maybe but September of this year, potentially we could do it. But if not, we'll push to 2022 and we'll have a massive event with incredible speakers and people from all over having a big party. And so what I like to call my events a two day rock concert for entrepreneurs, like literally in 2019, I had dancers dancing with the speakers up to the stage. We had live performances and dances up on the stage. Like it was absolutely incredible what I was planning for 2020. I had live performers coming in from LA, like musicians and it was going to be amazing. So let's try and recreate that whenever we're allowed. For me, the long-winded question, or the long-winded answer that I could have said in a sentence is I want to continue to impact more lives and I'm gonna, I'm gonna do whatever I can in order to do that, whether that's retreats, live events, online courses, which is the first. It's funny, they've been around forever. All my friends do them. This is my first foray into them. But excited for that as well. And I'm going to continue to try and make an impact wherever I can,
Russ Johns: [00:19:24] Making an impact is what it's all about. And I think it's really important for us to understand that. Everybody can make an impact on somebody. Everybody does make an impact on somebody. And I would like to encourage you to make it a positive one. Because if you turn on the TV, you know that it's not all positive, so let's move forward and do what we can to make it as positive as possible. And I love what you're doing with the Growth Now Movement. And I hope that evolves and encourages people to get involved and in because I have damaged almost every part of my body. And when I start feeling my bones and my aches and pains, I think, that's a story. I can tell story around that thing. And you have to appreciate what you have and develop and grow from what you have. And you've really taken this on and you've grown and you've expanded your brand and you've expanded the message and you've helped so many people explore this through podcasting. And I look forward to seeing what is going to happen in the future with live events and activities around that. So I want to talk, I want to dive in before and share with the pirates, cause I know there are a lot of pirates out there that are doing their own podcast. And I want to dive into a little bit of a strategy on some of the things that you did, growing up to these live events and making an impact to millions of people. And what things do we need to think about as we're growing and what kind of efforts do we need to put into our messaging to make sure that we can actually see a result or not get discouraged by the slow growth? Some things that we might be able to consider or might be able to do. I know I've shared a lot on the show and I've had other people share that on their messaging as well. So what are some things that you've come across that people might want to consider as they're developing their podcasts or their show?
Justin Schenck: [00:21:26] Yeah. Podcasting is an interesting medium, like we talked about, there's no hacks. Like you can buy Instagram followers, you can't buy downloads for your podcasts that are actual followers. I'm sure there's a way that it's happening somewhere. People are buying downloads, but it doesn't matter if you're trying to actually make an impact. And one thing I will say is this, for years, I did the podcast and a couple of hundred downloads here and there. And it was fine. And my guests were saying, wow, your audience is really engaged. They're reaching out to me and I went, why aren't they reaching out to me? I didn't even know who was listening. I knew people were out there listening somewhere, but they weren't reaching out to me. And so what I ended up adding to my show and I'd stopped doing it since, but I was doing a weekly moment of growth. So it was me five, 10 minutes, sharing something inspirational, sharing a teaching tip, doing something like that every Friday on the podcast. And then all of a sudden they reached out to me, they're like, wow, this guy's not just a good question asker. He knows what he's talking about. So the first tip I'm going to say is. Make yourself the expert as well. I know a lot of these podcasts are interviewing people, but you have something to say to share that with your audience, then you're going to see who they are now. Here's the really important part that most podcasters miss. I stood up at the front of Pod Fest a couple of years ago, I hosted their biggest breakout that year, which I was really honored that even happened. And what I said was in front of hundreds of podcasters. I said, podcasters are the most selfish people on the planet. I thought I was going to get thrown off the stage, but here's what I meant by that. Oh, wait, we buy a microphone and we feel like, what we have to say is so important. If the people are listening, don't find what you have to say to be important, they're not going to keep listening. And so don't be afraid to ask those people that end up reaching out to you and say, hey, I really liked that episode. Go, hey, thank you so much for reaching out. What do you want more of? What do you want me to continue to give you on this show? And here's what happens. Here's the secret. You then give them that. To the deepest level you possibly can. And then they're going to tell their friends. There's a good chance their friends are very much like them, and they're going to also want to listen to your show. So the number one way still to grow your podcasts, yes, there's ads you can run now and do all these things, but the number one way still to grow your show on podcasts is word of mouth and to truly build that relationship. So number one step is ask your audience what they want more of. Number two step is get out of your own dang way and give them that. And then the third step would be to continue to pour into them and continue to have that grow organically for you. And that's really the first step is are you delivering the right content to the audience you're trying to reach? And once you get that point down, there's other things obviously you can add and so on and so forth and there's tips and tricks and tactics and launch. But from that standpoint, continue to pour into the people that you know are listening. And then you're going to see that organic growth a hundred percent of the time.
Russ Johns: [00:24:02] I think it's important for people to understand and we talked about pod fade from earlier in the episode. The reality is that you just have to decide that it's a long game and you're going to have one conversation at a time and you're going to talk to one person at a time. And those individuals are going to eventually talk to someone else and there's no shortage of people out there to listen. It's just a matter of finding the right people and making those connections because not, everybody's gonna resonate with my message, not everybody's going to resonate with your message and that's okay. Yeah. We're all human, we're all gonna find a friend, it's hey, pick a human, make them a friend. And the reality is that's how podcasting is, just be yourself and make sure that you're putting out the best possible content that people are asking for. So they come back, they return and they stay involved and engaged in your message. So it's so important. So Sheri Lally, you're here. Good morning pirates. Love you, Sheri. So I hear this message over and over and I thank you for doing that. Hopefully, like I said, what I do with the #PirateBroadcast™ is demonstrate to individuals what the #PirateSyndicate™ delivers, and the #PirateSyndicate™ is the tool and the vehicle that I use to produce shows for other people and other individuals. And it's really important for people to understand that you have an option. If the technology and the process and all of the things that have to go into it, overwhelm you. Build a team, grow a team, bring people in around you that can actually provide that service and the support and and find some #inspiration from people like Justin. You're doing this all the time and there are resources out there, so don't feel like you're obligated to do it alone. Feel like you're obligated to help other people add value and you'll always have a place in the world.
Justin Schenck: [00:25:58] No. I love that. Actually, the last tip I shared in the training, we just finished the week, three module last night, then the last tip was stop doing things you don't like doing. So if you don't like the editing, if you don't like the social media post, if you don't like that stuff, give it to somebody else to do. Find a way and by the way, there's a whole scale. You own a production company. I own a production company. Our price points are probably ones in left field and one's in right field. You can find a price point that matches you. Just make sure they're delivering on the quality that you're asking for. And from that standpoint, get rid of it. That's why pod fade happens. Cause you're doing all these things you don't actually like doing, just have somebody else do it. That is so smart. Also we haven't discussed, you talk about the name, where the #PirateBroadcast™ came from. We both have unhuman parts inside of our body. I got screws in my hips, so I love...
Russ Johns: [00:26:44] Yeah, we both have the hips going on, don't we?
Justin Schenck: [00:26:47] It's unreal.
Russ Johns: [00:26:49] Well, and that's the whole message that we share all the time. Justin is the triumph over tragedy, take the circumstances we are involved in and, merge them with life and make them a story and make them play out in a positive way. This message, we don't have to fall down and stay down. We could get up and do something else we don't have... there are no limits right now. They're only opportunities out there. And it's really important for us to understand that's the way it is. So that's another episode. We should probably schedule another episode. So it's really exciting to talk about some of these things that we didn't touch on, but I did want to make sure that you were highlighted in the fact that you've been doing podcasting, you've done live shows, you've got more live events coming up and people need to connect. So how do people connect? How do you like to have people connect with you?
Justin Schenck: [00:27:43] My favorite platform is Instagram. So if they follow me over there, it's @JustinTSchenck. They can shoot me a message. I try and get back... I do get back to everybody who messages me. I actually try and message everybody who follows me. That's a fun little game, as well. So they can follow me @JustinTSchenck over there, would love to connect. And if podcasting is a thing and they want to get into a course obviously the course is out there now. Purpose-driven podcast.com. They can see how to really effectively launch and grow their show. But honored again, honored to be here. And I love your community. I love the comments coming in. And so this has been phenomenal. Thank you.
Russ Johns: [00:28:15] Justin, I really appreciate you and all the opportunities to connect and now that you're a pirate, you're always welcome back. So let's keep the conversation going and grow the community and make sure that you're making a difference and go out and #makeitmatter.
Everyone, because #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree, so you #enjoytheday. Take care, everyone.
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