Welcome to our Between Two Mics community series, The Community Interviews. For the next three weeks, Zach and Rock are sharing SquadCaster interviews that they’ve recorded. They spoke with more than 15 podcasters over the past few months who record their shows on SquadCast.fm.

Zach and Rock spoke with scientists, doctors, lawyers, artists, business execs, mental health advocates, and everyone in between, about what it’s like to be a content creator.

In this week’s episode, Rock shares his conversations with business-related podcasters. You’ll meet Chaz, Dino, Jessica, Shubham, and Tom. Next week, Rock speaks with Chris Angel, Felice, Paige, Randy, Arun, and JoJo about people and stories. And for our last episode of the year, Zach will speak with Jayde, JJ, Keith, Manny, and Phil, about social issues.

Why are we sharing The Community Interviews? We want to show off our amazing SquadCast community. We asked them about their lives, their passions, their podcasts, and more. And this series is to honor them! And to tell the world about what they’re up to.

Today’s episode features

Learn from Chaz about his career pivot, from game tech at Dave & Busters to media company owner. Meet Dino, who interviews business leaders about what keeps them honest and authentic in their day-to-day lives. Shubham gives us practical tips on treating your podcast guests like gold. Learn about how Jessica’s experiment in podcasting is turning out to be beneficial for her business. And Tom tells us how the pandemic impacted his podcast network, for good!

Extras in today’s episode

Credits

  • This episode was written and edited by Arielle Nissenblatt, SquadCast’s community manager
  • This episode was mixed and mastered by Vince Moreno Jr., SquadCast’s head of support and audio
  • The music in this episode is from Shawn Valles, SquadCast’s support specialist
  • This episode is hosted by Rock Felder, SquadCast’s co-founder of CFO
  • Our logo and designs are by Alex Whedbee, SquadCast chief of design
  • Our transcript is by Ian Powell

Episode Transcripts

[00:00:00] (Lofi Music with Clapping)

[00:00:00] Mae: Before we get to this week’s episode of Between Two Mics. I want to tell you about another show. I think you’ll enjoy. My name is Mae and I host a podcast called Maed in India, spelled M A E D. Cause my name is Mae: M A E. You’re going to get a chance to discover some really good indie music from India and South Asian artists.

[00:00:24] You can find it on any podcast app of your choice. Now it’s time for this week’s episode of the SquadCast podcast Between Two Mics.

[00:00:33] Rabiah: Hi listeners. I’m, Rabiah, host of More Than Work, a podcast about finding your self worth outside of your job title, recorded on SquadCast. I’m taking part in this SquadCast scavenger hunt this month, and you should do.

[00:00:44] Prices are worth over $5,000. And I’ve learned a lot about the world of SquadCasts by participating. To register, go to contest.squadcast.fm. Thanks. To the hunt!

[00:00:59] Rock: Welcome to Between Two Mics, the SquadCast podcast. You’re tuned in to a special series we’re running this month called the community interviews. If you’re new ro the podcast. Hello, I’m Rock Felder, and I’m the co-founder and CFO of SquadCast.fm, which is a remote recording platform for content creators. SquadCast allows you to record audio and video in studio quality with anyone, anywhere, and at any time.

[00:01:35] For the next three weeks, you’ll hear right from the SquadCasters themselves. Ever since Zach Moreno and I started SquadCast five plus years ago, the community has meant everything to us. We lean on our customers to learn what’s going well, what’s not, what they want more of, and what directions we should head in when it comes to design and innovation.

[00:01:57] Since SquadCast opened its internet doors in 2016, we’ve had a community to rely on, but last year we made it official. We put some programs in place that really centered and honored that community. We now have monthly workshops for podcasters at all stages of their journeys. We have a Slack channel dedicated to the community.

[00:02:19] We have Facebook groups, we have our content submission page, where SquadCasters can share their content with us to be blasted all over the internet. Our community efforts, all hinge on the idea that we want to amplify you. And the next stage in that community effort is this podcast series: The community interviews. Over the past few months, Zach and I interviewed more than 15 SquadCasters.

[00:02:46] We asked them about their lives, their hobbies, their podcasts, their passions, and more, and it all comes together here. We’ve got three episodes for you. You’ll be hearing from Chaz, Dino. Shubham, Tom, Jessica, Chris Angel, Felice, Randy, Paige, JJ, Arun, JoJo, Keith, Jayde and Phil, and maybe even more. We’ve divided their stories by podcast category.

[00:03:17] Today we’re introducing you to folks whose passions lie in the business realm. Next week, it’s all about people and stories. And then to wrap us up, it’s about social issues and the importance of mental health.

[00:03:31] So, how are these episodes going to work? Well, this is an experiment for us. Usually our episodes are pretty standard interviews. In the community interviews, it’s going to run in a more narrative style. We’ll share pieces of our chats with some of the folks whose names you learned a moment ago. Then my voice will weave in and out.

[00:03:51] I’m hosting this and the next episode, and then Zach is going to close us out. Listeners. We want to hear from you throughout this series. As always, you can let us know what you think by reaching out on social media. We’re at SquadCast FM on all platforms. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this new format

[00:04:12] and we plan on doing another iteration of the community interviews in 2022. So get in touch if you want to be on the show.

[00:04:23] We start off today’s episode hearing from Chaz Volk. Chaz is a Los Angeles native who is very immeshed in the entertainment industry. He now runs Mr. Thrive Media, which serves a variety of business podcast titles, while also providing a hand in the world of networking for artists and creatives. Mr. Thrive’s goal is to generate engaging media while connecting artists around the world.

[00:04:51] We begin with how a less than stellar job experience for Chaz led to him working with his dad in the podcast space and how that shaped the path for him to start his company.

[00:05:04] Chaz: So I used to work in the film industry. I used to be a production sound mixer. I was the guy with the boom pole turning dials, and I, I worked with a lot of major stars. I got to work with Gordon Ramsey and Terry Crews and Howie Mandell at one point. There were some really great opportunities in that area.

[00:05:21] However, it wasn’t fulfilling to my soul, you know, I didn’t really, I think I liked some aspects of the work, but it, it, I knew that this wasn’t the thing that I wanted to be known for. So what I ended up doing was when there were no seasons happening in the production company I worked for, I would actually steal a green room that wasn’t being used.

[00:05:46] And while on the clock, technically I would work on my own project and I started producing my podcast. At the time it was called Mr. Thrive’s Stars of Tomorrow, cause I really looked at my coworkers as the stars of tomorrow. They were these fantastic people, great personalities, a lot of promise in their talents and, and trades and whatnot.

[00:06:07] I started interviewing them and that was rewarding. And this was starting to feel like the thing that I was looking for in life. I, it made sense. And soon enough, I was going through the trial and error of what it means to be a podcast host and, and figuring out what you sound like and what you should sound like on the microphone.

[00:06:24] So that was an exciting journey to begin. And it led to me quitting the film industry. I stopped working for the film industry and my dumb ass decided to work for an even worse job. I don’t mind disparaging their name. I went to work for Dave and Buster’s in Hollywood. That specific Dave and Busters was one of the most dehumanizing jobs I ever had in my life.

[00:06:46] Rock: Oh no! What’d you do?

[00:06:48] Chaz: I was the game technician. I was the, I was the guy in the embarrassing checkered uniform. That little kids would come and tug on their shirt. Without saying please or thank you. And then you’d stick half your body into machine while kids are still throwing rubber balls into the machine and you’re fixing it while rubber balls hitting you on the inside of the machine.

[00:07:05] So it was a pretty awful job, but that was also minimum wage. But the great thing that happened in that time was I was still producing my podcast and my dad came up to me and he said, you know, I really like what you’re doing. I want a podcast too, but I want to make it about small business. And my first thought was, oh, I don’t want to work for you, but it was, but it was the best thing I ever agreed to do.

[00:07:31] Because I became his first client and he became my first client. And the way that I became his first client is that he started coaching me on how to build a business before he even became a business coach. Today, he is a business coach. So I have a very close relationship with my father on both a personal and professional level.

[00:07:50] And, uh, he mentors me and I mentor him. And he helped me build my business and I helped him build his podcast and his reputation and his network. And it’s exciting. It really is. And so we’ve been able to now replicate that process, going into the pandemic and out of the pandemic. As we have one foot in one foot out of the pandemic as it seems.

[00:08:09] You know, I’ve been able to do that for other businesses on a repeated basis, uh, since the beginning of that journey. And it’s been really, really exciting.

[00:08:17] Rock: Wow. Shout out to dad. And, uh, that’s an incredible story and thank you for sharing that, that incredible relationship that you and your dad have on a personal and professional level.

[00:08:25] So when you all were cooking up the plans and the idea for Mr. Thrive, your business, what was, what was the goal with it and what was the goal with the Mr. Thrive podcast as well? How do you know that, like, you’re fulfilling your mission and like, obviously you made a, that’s a big jump man to go from the film industry, which I’m sure at some point was a dream.

[00:08:44] And then as a lot of things, we kind of figure out that, uh, you know what, this isn’t the right fit and I I’m, I’m looking for something else. So that’s extremely courageous of you, especially because you could seem like you went and took a step backwards in some ways that at Dave and Busters, so I’m glad those days are behind you, but what was the goal with the show?

[00:09:01] How do you knew, how would, you know if it’s being successful, the way that you hoped and expected?

[00:09:05] Chaz: That’s a great question. And by the way, that goal has changed over time, as my business has developed and grown.

[00:09:11] Rock: That’s just it! That’s great!

[00:09:12] Chaz: One thing

[00:09:12] that you’ve said that I think is a great reflection on life is that life is never a straight line, which we’ve all heard that.

[00:09:18] But I think the game, the board game that most reflects your life is a game of chutes and ladders. You know, there are moments where you going to be up. Other moments are going to be down. It’s a whole pendulum of, uh, topsy turvy events that no one could predict. IE: 2020 pandemic COVID-19 changed the whole world. Changed

[00:09:38] everything changed how you and I are communicating as we speak. It’s absolutely wild. When you think about that kind of stuff. My measurement for success though, is the, the fostered relationships I have with the guests on the show. I think more often than not, there are some very funny motivations for wanting a podcast.

[00:09:53] A lot of most common one being, you know, all, I want to make millions of dollars like Joe Rogan and get sponsored and I’m like, Hey, that’s great. Are you really willing to sacrifice 30 years of your life to get to that point? Because let me tell you. It’s a really tough journey. And Joe Rogan didn’t become popular because of his podcast.

[00:10:15] He became popular because all the stuff he did before that and during the making of his podcast. So how much are you really willing to sacrifice? My other favorite false motivation for starting a podcast is that people want to become famous. And people have actually reached out to me on LinkedIn and then I’ve jumped on a meeting with them and they’ve said to me, point blank, I want to be famous and I’ll have to tell them, I’ll have to tell them on that call.

[00:10:40] I’ll tell them. Okay. That’s great. But I need you to understand that I don’t sell fame. I sell podcasts. What would you like? If they just want fame? You know, I know some great PR people. I know some great digital marketing people. We have a hand in those areas, but we’re not exclusively those things. Podcasting in the business world touches PR and touches marketing, but it’s not exclusively that. It’s more so authority building.

[00:11:06] And when we have that power to do so, we have an ability to help small businesses compete against the bigger guys.

[00:11:16] Rock: I really loved chatting with Chaz about how his business came to be. It’s super inspirational to me as an entrepreneur. If you want to hear more from Chaz, first off, he interviewed me, Zach and our community manager Arielle a few months ago on his podcast,

[00:11:31] Mr. Thrive. And second, we are going to be releasing these episodes in full in the near future. As you can hear, we’re releasing snippets of our overall conversations in this series, but you can hear the full thing down the line. Chaz’s emphasis on building a brand, building your personal brand reminded me of the conversation that I had with SquadCaster, Dino Cattaneo.

[00:11:56] Dino is the host of the podcast, Authentic Leadership for Everyday People. He’s been an active member of the SquadPod Slack community for a while, and it’s been super fun getting to know him. We spoke about authenticity in leadership.

[00:12:12] Dino: In order to be successful, you need to operate from your true self and your true self-

[00:12:18] I use, I studied Greek as a kid, ancient Greek- Latin, and Greek. And the term authentic is way overused or used improperly. It comes from two words. One is our thoughts and one is entos which is the inside self or the true self. The true self. And so. The basic premise of the show is that when you’re operating fully in line with who you truly are, you are not only happier, but you actually more successful in your endeavor.

[00:12:46] So that’s the authentic leadership part. The for everyday people, part of the title is really about the idea that leadership is a much broader concept that we think about. You know, when you think about leaders, we traditionally think of CEOs or generals or, you know, presidents. And, um, what I want to do in my show is I light a balance of people that have- that are successful leaders that lead authentically within the traditional definition of our leaders.

[00:13:12] But then I also bring in people that are not what you would normally think as a leader? So for example, um, you know, one of my guests was Rand Fishkin, who is one of the top five digital marketers in the world: had a very successful careers and entrepreneur, and has some really thoughtful ideas as to how, and when you should go or not go through a venture capital financing for a startup, but then another one of my guests is a woman named Erin Berra.

[00:13:39] Who is the director of the popular music program at the University of Arizona. And she’s designing a program that is, uh, has the goal of creating access to top quality music and music business education for everybody. And for, you know, underserved communities. And so, you know, in the episode, she talks about the fact that a school like Berkeley, who was the number one school in the world for popular music or Julliard, or the school of music at USC have a requirement to audition to come in.

[00:14:11] But the reality is that when you have an audition in a school like that, you have like, of course, like, you know, the super geniuses will audition well, but the majority of the people who get to the level of proficiency that’s good enough on an instrument to come into that school probably come to a situation where their parents could afford to buy them good instruments to buy them good music instruction.

[00:14:32] And so one of the design elements in her program is to remove the audition so that she can create, you know, can give access to people who have talent might maybe have not had the ability to invest in that talent yet. And so it’s a different type of leadership than the leadership of a CDO, right? She’s, she’s, she’s on a mission to get access to a specific type of art and education to an underserved community.

[00:14:56] So I tried to keep both balances if you will, in, in the show.

[00:15:00] Rock: Yeah. Well,

[00:15:01] I appreciate you breaking that down and I totally agree with you that authentic is unfortunately kind of a overused word these days, and which is terrible because I think it’s a great word. Whenever I hear someone call me authentic or say that SquadCast is authentic, like

[00:15:15] that’s an incredible compliment. So it’s too bad that like the over use of a word is kind of- minimizes it, but I still think that it’s helpful for you to address that and confront that and really do stuff to really differentiate yourself. And so that’s what it sounds like is that you, you are aware of this, but like still had the goal of doing something different.

[00:15:35] So why did you need to start this show?

[00:15:38] Dino: Yeah, that’s,

[00:15:39] that’s an excellent question. So I started the show, um, and it’s just quick background. I am business trained, sort of by, you know, education. I started out on Wall Street. I went to Harvard business school, spent some time in consulting and then 20 years in digital marketing, um, working for agencies first and then as a C level executive at a small company.

[00:16:02] And then six or seven years ago, I decided to go out on my own because I wanted to balance time for my family with time from- sort of traditional work. My wife is a musician. I wanted to have the ability to help her manage her career. Um, and by the way, that’s another element of my show is I, I play a song by my wife at the end of every show. Um-

[00:16:23] Rock: Love that touch.

[00:16:24] Dino: About three or four years- so I started as a digital marketing consultant. And about three or four years ago, I decided to add executive coaching services to my, to my offering. Some of it is because having spent about 30 years in services, I realized that a lot of, you know, I have obviously really good understanding of marketing and strategy, but I like a lot of- the work that I did when I helped my clients implement their strategy and going to market, it was really had to do with the psychology of the different people- constituencies within the organization or coaching my clients on how to present their idea to other partners, to get it approved. And I felt that that was a very complimentary skill.

[00:17:04] And in the process of getting trained as a coach, I realized that the coaching is, you know, a lot more than just a profession for me, it’s a mission. And I had this and I realized that like I wanted, my issue is to- my mission, sorry, my mission is to empower people, to be their true, authentic self. And at some point, somebody in one of these conversations ask me, yeah, you want people to be their authentic selves but are you being your true, authentic self?

[00:17:31] And that started sort of uh, self-examination and some of it was realizing that I really wanted to say, to sort of like share my point of view on authenticity, on leadership with the world. And in one of these conversations, the phrase, authentic leadership for everyday people came out. And I’m like, this is what I want to talk about.

[00:17:54] And I had been interested in podcasts as a medium for a while. I wanted to start, you know, I’ve played around for many years with you know, starting maybe like a music related podcast or a passion related podcasts, but this felt like a very natural fit and a way to put myself out in, you know, in a very authentic and true way.

[00:18:16] If you want to really hold myself accountable to what I say, my mission is, and I have in my show, there are two episodes where I had somebody, actually, someone from the SquadPod. Matt at a SquadCast Breakfast at Podcast Movement, interview me. And in that interview, I answered all the questions that I asked my guests and you get it all the good, the bad and the ugly.

[00:18:44] Rock: As the co-organizer of those in-person SquadCast breakfasts

[00:18:48] I’m very glad to know that attendees are getting more out of them than just free pancakes. I love chatting with Dino about his thoughts on leadership. Zach and I really try to embody authenticity in our work. I also just love hearing about folks who have shined in other areas, in other parts of their career, and then pivot to podcasting as a way of sharing their ideas with others.

[00:19:10] And I love that SquadCast can help them share those ideas. What an honor. Next up, Shubham Agarwal, who’s a reading and communications enthusiast. He’s also a mechanical engineer. Early in the pandemic. Shubham thought of getting into content creation. That’s when he launched Secrets of Storytellers, a podcast that features best-selling business authors, sharing their stories and secrets. Shubham

[00:19:37] and I had a fascinating conversation about all things business, but I want you to hear this piece that I’m about to play. He places a strong emphasis on reading and fully immersing oneself in your guests available content.

[00:19:52] Shubham: So I am an avid reader and I love reading. I can’t really live without a book at any point of time.

[00:19:57] Now what happened with the podcast was that, you know, you have to come out with an episode every week, so you got to really churn these episodes fast. And so I did not read the books initially. I did not read the entire book, initially. I just researched about the book, wrote the script, uh, went on with the episode and it was good.

[00:20:13] Now what happened around, uh, I think the 20th episode is, so if I’m not drunk, I happened to interview someone whom I respect a lot. And I thought if I don’t read his book, I would really not be confident in the episode while I’m interviewing him. And what if he, you know, has this really wrong image of me? And somehow I was really panicky.

[00:20:32] I was really anxious and I read through the book. So I just read through the book, that particular book, and I interviewed him and people wrote back saying, dude, this was really different. This episode was way different than the ones that you’ve done before. I never told anyone that I read the book and they said it was really deep.

[00:20:50] You were extremely comfortable and it spiked for us. The episode did at least, I think, 13 times better than any other episode before that. And that was, that was, that was it. That was the holy grail for us. And I started reading each and every book after that. And that has helped me because now I have to have to read a book within a week, sometimes not making it, but yeah, I’ve, I’ve been able to read the book every week and that is increased the speed of reading the book, joining the episodes and it’s, it’s been really fun.

[00:21:21] Rock: We don’t have

[00:21:21] infinite time and podcast is, uh, quite an involved thing, especially if you want to put out the best product, which it sounds like you, you are and have always wanted to, which is great. And it’s, I think it’s really.

[00:21:32] A great lesson and a great example in story of something that we’re preaching on this podcast all the time, which is like, there’s no substitute for doing the work that’s people that are in this space that have been successful that I look up to like Kara Swisher, Jordan Harbinger. Like one of the things that Jordan says is he always reads the books about the author and it’s like, they’re, they’re blown away by like, you actually read it.

[00:21:52] So I do think it makes a difference, but what’s amazing is that your audience could tell too.

[00:21:56] Shubham: You’re right

[00:21:57] on that part. I didn’t know he said that, but I respect him a lot too. And you’re right. The guests would come back and say, Hey, you read through the book, the entire book, typically it’s 400 or 200, 300, 400, whatever number of pages.

[00:22:08] And they said, you read through the book. It’s it’s commendable. They have a lot of respect and they help in various ways, the guests, they have no, no obligation to help, but just because I read through the book and I interviewed them, they’ve helped in a number of ways. They have helped me reach out to more guests. By themselves.

[00:22:23] I have not even asked for it. And they have taken me to guests I could have never hoped or even thought of interviewing on the podcast from the best people in the country, not just in the country, across the world. So I think whatever you work for comes back in, in weird ways.

[00:22:38] Rock: Shubham also shared with me that he makes an effort to meet up with his guests in person, which I think is super classy.

[00:22:45] I asked him about what spurred this, that after he reads his guest books, chats with them, and puts out their interviews. He takes the time to schedule dinners, coffees, or other meetups with his guests throughout India.

[00:22:58] Shubham: Podcast

[00:22:59] is like a second gig in my, in my life. So I have a full-time job that pays for the podcast because podcasts getting there is still not a very lucrative profession.

[00:23:07] I think it is not anywhere in the world right now. Not sure, but anyway, so I have a full-time job that makes me travel now with the down the country. With the country opening up and the economy opening up, we are traveling back again. So I am a management consultant as a full-time full-time role. Now it takes me to places in India, where my guests have been stationed, where I interviewed them online.

[00:23:29] So, uh, and these are people who are from the industry, uh, who are working professionals, who are very experienced guys in men and women. And forever I think this is something about me that I want to meet a lot of people. I love networking as well. It is this inherent, uh, I just love meeting new people. So I made it a point that, you know, on the evenings when I am traveling, why not meet

[00:23:51] some of my guests? This turned out to be a great thing. I mean, I had dinners. I, like I told you, I just had a dinner. I came before we joined and it was great. You connect online, but meeting in person has a completely different charm to it I think. It has been going great. I think I really, really recommend everyone doing that because when you meet them, they’re whole lot of new things that come out of that conversation.

[00:24:15] And, you know, you reach a new levels of connection with your guests.

[00:24:21] Rock: Next up, let’s hear from Jessica Stewart. Jessica is a contributing writer and digital media specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020. She is also one of the co-hosts of the, My Modern Met Top Artists Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance studies from University College, London, and now lives in Rome, Italy.

[00:24:46] She is extremely accomplished. And while she’s mostly focused on art, I was struck by her drive and the goal she set out for herself when she started the podcast. This week, which is mostly focused on business related podcasts, I wanted to include a bit of Jessica’s approach to the business side of her podcast.

[00:25:05] We talk a lot on this show about what it means to be a creator and being a podcast creator often means being the owner of your own media agency. And that’s a lot of work.

[00:25:17] Jessica: So I think the goal initially was just to: one, try and see. We didn’t have many expectations, you know, we didn’t know. Would it be good?

[00:25:24] Would it sound professional? Would people want to listen to it? Luckily we feel like we’ve accomplished that, but really it was just too- again, being an extension of our brand to solidify our role in the space of art and culture as storytellers, as sort of top storytellers. And that was really the main goal more than, you know, of course we wanted, you know, um, and we, we do have goals, you know, After our first season.

[00:25:51] Okay. We want a thousand downloads per episode. Okay. Now we want 3000 downloads per episode or whatever it may be, you know? So we do have those goals and of course we do have goals of monetization, so it would be great to have ads and we’ve started getting some of those slowly, but surely. Again, we have a headstart because we have advertisers for the website.

[00:26:12] So if I can sneak in there and say, Hey, would you like to also do an ad on our podcast? I’ve had a lot of pretty decent success, you know, here and there and ads and that’s been great, but that’s not- and of course the goal would be to have the podcast be self-sustaining monetarily, but that’s not the number one priority right now. The number one priority for myself, uh, for My Modern Med is to make a quality professional sounding podcast. To keep getting better with our interviewing skills: all of us. To keep getting bigger and bigger guests.

[00:26:45] And to really just deepen the storytelling and we sort of feel like everything will follow from there. That’s what we found in our experience on the website. And so, yes, podcasting is a new medium, you know, our expectations were different. You don’t get the sort of, you know, counting visualizations on a website

[00:27:02] per month, it’s a much different number than, you know, podcast downloads. And we had to learn that and realize that and embrace that. And that was fine. So it’s been exciting. It’s actually an exciting challenge to see it grow, you know, little by little and that we do have somewhat of a headstart. We still face a lot of the challenges that any new independent podcast has.

[00:27:24] You know, we don’t have a network behind us pushing us. Um, it’s been exciting to see it grow for sure.

[00:27:32] Rock: And I’d be remiss not to share this awesome piece. Jessica shared with us about one of the favorite interviews she got to do. I absolutely love hearing about how SquadCast is able to connect hosts and their guests.

[00:27:44] Here’s one of those examples.

[00:27:47] Jessica: I got to say, I’ve been lucky. I really haven’t had any bad interviews, but one of my favorites- this season, we’re talking about impact and artists who have had an impact. And I wrote about, uh, are wrote about I’m getting mixed up. I have written about, and then I interviewed a really historic street photographer from New York Jamele Shabazz.

[00:28:07] He photographed New York city in the eighties. So before the crack epidemic, all the way through like the AIDS crisis, the rise of hiphop. And his pictures are so amazing. And I have to say, I had, I really love telling his story because just talking about how he used his camera to sort of connect with his own community and also to sort of reflect that back to a wider public when people didn’t know what it was.

[00:28:30] Um, he was just such an interesting person. And one of those people that made my life easy because I just sat back and he told incredible stories. In fact, I think it’s the longest episode we’ve ever had. Cause I just didn’t know what to cut out and I thought it was so interesting. Yeah. Just to give him the chance to share a little bit more behind some images that are really iconic to us, but you know, to him, they have such a different meaning because they’re so personal and they talk about different moments in his life.

[00:28:58] So I really enjoyed that one.

[00:29:02] Rock: Keeping in the vein of inspiration and drive: next up and last up for this week’s episode is Tom Fox, founder of the award-winning compliance podcast network. If you’ve ever considered starting a podcast network or joining one, the following is golden information. Tom is also an executive leader at the C-Suite network.

[00:29:24] The world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders. Tom is literally the guy who wrote the book on compliance with his seminal one volume book, The Compliance Handbook, a very accomplished compliance guy. And I know a thing or two about this area because of my line of work before SquadCast as an accountant. When Tom first had the idea for the network, it seemed like a no-brainer, but it didn’t take off.

[00:29:51] Tom: So I founded the Compliance Podcas Network and what I wanted to do was have one resource where any compliance professional could go and get information via the podcast format. So I had this idea in about 2016. Formulated, it took it around to the three big organizations or four big organizations to compliance, to profit, to non-profit and said, Hey, let’s create this, uh, we’ll be a resource.

[00:30:17] And I kind of silently said, and we’ll control all the advertising, but I would never say anything anti-competitive like that. So I didn’t say it very loudly. I whisper. And I could get no interest, no one was interested. They didn’t even have podcasts at that point.

[00:30:32] Rock: But he kept at it. And then the pandemic hit.

[00:30:37] Tom: So I said, uh, I’ll just do it myself. And so I did, and I knew that- the compliance, and you certainly know this from your original professional background, uh, internal audit is a very narrow niche field. I was never going to have a 30,000 download podcast, but I could have a 30,000 download month if I had 10 podcasts.

[00:30:58] So my vision was to go as niche as I could, but as big as I could. So I, uh, started, uh, do my own podcast and beg, borrowing, and stealing people to come on my network. Uh, for the first year I had to pay people to come on the network and just generally pull teeth to get people to do that. And then when the pandemic hit, I had built out a huge infrastructure for a network.

[00:31:26] I have bought all the cool toys, a Rode caster. Mics and mixing boards, and people called, uh, after the kind of May 15th, 60 days after the country shutdown people started calling me product providers in the compliance space with one question, how long do you get on your network? And my answer was 48 hours.

[00:31:45] Because I had built out this infrastructure. I had the largest social media presence in compliance, and I could slot them in with either their own content or I could create content for them. And it just exploded from there. And I had about 10 podcasts at that time. Then I had 40 at the end of the year and I cracked 80 this past month.

[00:32:06] I hoped to hit a hundred by the end of the year, but I’m not sure I’ll make that, but probably close to 90 podcasts on the network 40 of which I host or produce. And the rest are other people’s podcasts.

[00:32:17] Rock: Tom’s got the compliance network. All of the leading compliance podcasts are on his network, which is quite a feat.

[00:32:25] But I was wondering how someone who worked in such a traditional field made his way into this new-ish medium of podcasting.

[00:32:33] Tom: I’m a lawyer by professional background and I’d always written articles, legal articles. And so, uh, when I moved more into compliance, this was 2010. I started blogging and it took a little time to change from legal style to a more informal style.

[00:32:48] But I blog every day and podcasts were a natural extension out of that. The audio love though comes from as a teenager. I, uh, played around with audio. I had a reel to reel player, you know, the old, uh, single blade razor, where you would cut the tape physically and splice it. I used to do all that and I quit doing that.

[00:33:11] I had this huge reel to reel I hauled around with me. So I was always interested in audio and I have a Mac. Garage Band’s preloaded. It’s relatively straightforward and relatively easy to learn. So I was able to start a podcast though, as an extension of the blogging and my social media outreach. So to me, it was really one just kind of seamless writing legal articles to blogging, to publishing books, to doing podcasts.

[00:33:39] Rock: What really stands out to me about all the clips we shared in this episode is the passion that you can hear coming from these interviews. Chaz, Dino Shubham, Jessica and Tom are also involved in their podcasting work, which I can relate to since I’ve made the podcast space my life. As the co-founder of SquadCast, it delights me to an unimaginable extent that these folks choose to record their shows on this platform and spend their time online in our SquadCast communities.

[00:34:12] Here’s Tom:

[00:34:14] Tom: The first thing about SquadCast is I met you guys at an event called, uh, PodFest global, and, uh, you guys were relatively new then. And, you know, you and Zach talked to me, and I said, well, let’s, let’s have a call, had a call. You had a free trial period. And I thought, look, these guys are servicing me.

[00:34:39] They’re servicing the independent podcaster who may be making some money, but they’re not doing this for a living. Uh, they’re came up with this idea, they got this great tech, let me just give them a try. And, you know, Zach had his rocket and we talked about NASA, you know, you and I talked about accounting and internal audit.

[00:34:56] You and in, you know, I learned about you and Zach’s friendship, how you had this idea, you came together and I thought this is a really compelling story. So let me just, you know, try these guys for a couple of years. The price was certainly right. Gave a great quality. But, uh, as we both grown professionally, I would say, I hope we’re still as good a friends, but something now has happened on the technical side that I have to talk about now, which is the following.

[00:35:23] I moved out and bought a ranch in West Texas. And, uh, it’s great, except it has crap internet. And, uh, it made podcast recording extraordinarily difficult, but here’s where SquadCast really saved me. You guys take the original feed, recording off both computers? Uh, yes, I can put it in, in the cloud and then download a recording from that.

[00:35:47] But I’m sure my picture in front of you is pixelated because I have bad internet and that happens all the time. And I tell people, don’t worry if I disappear, don’t worry. If you disappear, don’t worry. If you get bounced off, don’t worry. We’ll just restart it up. But I know I’m going to get a high quality audio recording now.

[00:36:07] And that, you know, has literally saved me because the internet is just so bad where I live in this rural area. And that’s not something I can do anything about the closest studios an hour and a half away. So on the technical side, a SquadCast in my mind is highly superior now. And you, you all always were, but you’ve given me as someone who lives in a rural area, really an added, added plus.

[00:36:33] And none on the last part is it has been so fun to see you guys grow. And not just grow, but innovate, continually innovate. You’ve innovated on the technical side. You’ve innovated on the social side. I think it’s one of the best newsletters I get. You know, every Friday I get the SquadCast, weekly newsletter, and it’s very informative.

[00:36:54] It’s fun. You tell me what’s going on. And, uh, the format she has, I think is great. So, you know, you guys have done a variety of things. I know you’re trying, you’re always innovating. You’re always doing new things. But being in this community for me has been very different because I came in early, like 2012.

[00:37:14] So I’ve got to see people like you guys, you know, come in and grow.

[00:37:18] Rock: Here’s Jessica:

[00:37:20] Jessica: So SquadCast

[00:37:21] has been with us since the beginning. I mean, like I said, I didn’t know anything about what it took to make a podcast, but I knew we wanted to do interviews. I knew we would be remote. I live in Italy for instance. So definitely not going to be having people, you know, coming to hang out.

[00:37:35] Plus we’re also in COVID times, I’ve listened to enough podcasts and know that recording Skype or Zoom wasn’t going to sound that great. So I knew there had to be something so just in searching for what can I use to interview remotely? SquadCast, you know, came up and really just fit the bill. Uh, what we were looking for, you know, to have an easy interface that people would be able to use.

[00:38:01] I love that it’s sort of independent, uh, like it’s recording in the cloud. We have the two tracks sort of fool-proof also because my internet here in Italy can be a little bit sketchy at times and flake out. So knowing that, you know, we’ve had that happen before, but I’ve always been able to capture everything.

[00:38:20] We’ve used it since day one. We’ve never used anything else. It’s always worked really well, been reliable and super easy to use. So it’s a huge part of what we do.

[00:38:32] Rock: Here’s Shubham:

[00:38:34] Shubham: And don’t even get me started on how we landed up on Squadcast and how, how much it has helped me. So we used Anchor and- we used to use Anchor initially, and we were recording on Anchor. And we switched to Zoom and we tried a lot of other platforms, nothing against them, but there are a lot of issues, you know, the lag, the internet connectivity.

[00:38:55] The background noise is and whatnot. I mean, it was crazy. So my brother is the one who takes care of all the editing piece. He’s the one who takes my, the average voice to a great voice on the podcast. Uh, he’s the one who does the magic, uh, on, on the laptop. So when we stumbled upon SquadCast, it was really great for us.

[00:39:16] I mean, we could do away with so much work, so much effort. We had so much comfort in using the platform because you know, it’s on the it’s on the web. Uh, it takes care of whole lot of things that needed to be taken care of with people. The echo, I have long lists of how SquadCast has helped me.

[00:39:37] And I think I have told every single guy or girl who’s asked me, how do you start a podcast? And where do you record? I tell them SquadCast for that particular reason, because I really respect SquadCast. When you reached out saying how about coming on to Between Two Mics? I was like thrilled. I was like “okay. Man this is cool.”

[00:39:57] Rock: Here’s Dino.

[00:39:59] Dino: SquadCast is the bulk of my recording. And it goes to the show design, right? Some of the people that I’m trying to get access to, if you’re a CEO or CMO, and they’re like, you promised me 45 minutes of your time. First of all, the fact that I can record remotely is like, yeah, I’m only going to book this 45 minutes of your time.

[00:40:19] Second, I need to make sure that it’s really easy for them. I send a SquadCast link, they connect and it is a blast.

[00:40:28] Rock: And here’s Chaz, who kicked us off today:

[00:40:31] Chaz: Well, I’d like to say that I think SquadCast found me.

[00:40:35] Rock: Sometimes at SquadCast, the community finds us, but other times we find the community, we meet them where they are.

[00:40:42] When we started putting this series together a few months ago and organizing the conversations into categories, we divided them into four sections, business, arts, social and stories. We eventually had to fold one of our art stories into this one. Shout out to Jessica. But I think the variety of business-related podcasters that we get to service is astounding. From compliance to Hollywood, from street art, to engineering, from authenticity to networking and everything in between.

[00:41:14] Thank you to the SquadCasters who joined me for this first episode of our Between Two Mics series, The Community Interviews. In order of appearance: Chaz Volk, host of the Mr. Thrive podcast, Dino Cattaneo, host of Authentic Leadership for Everyday People. Shubham Agarwal, host of Secrets of Storytellers, Jessica Stewart, host of My Modern Met.

[00:41:40] And Tom Fox, founder of The Compliance Podcast Network. Of course we’ll have links to all of their podcasts and contact info in the show notes of this episode. As a reminder, you can join our community on Slack. We have all sorts of back channels, stocked with helpful resources. And opportunities and we love to have you there. There’ll be a link in the show notes.

[00:42:08] We’re back next week with another episode of Between Two Mics, the community interview series, get ready for more SquadStories, more inspiration and more podcast advice. In the meantime let us know what you think of this series. If you’re listening on an app that lets you leave a review, please do. We’d love to read it.

[00:42:29] This episode of Between Two Mics is hosted by me Rock Felder. It was written by Arielle Nissenblatt. It was edited by Ariel Nissenblatt. It was mixed and designed by Vince Moreno Jr. Our website and logos are designed by Alex Whedbee. My co-founder and co-host is Zach Moreno, and we couldn’t do anything without the support of the community.

[00:42:51] Thank you, SquadCasters.

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