Corey Coates Interview Transcription
Lou Mongello Interview Transcription

Harry Duran:
Welcome back to Podcast Junkies aka The Podcaster's voice aka, the show where we search out interesting voices in podcasting and get them to kick back their heels and talk about their shows and whatever else is on their mind. This week we speak to Jessica Rhodes. She's the host of Rhodes to Success. It's the podcast extension of her business, which is Interview Connections.

Jessica has been making a name for herself in the Interview Connections space. She helps facilitate guests being on shows and vice verse and it's something she worked her way into when she was trying to figure out what type of business to make for herself. She got some guidance from her father who's actually a successful business coach.

So, we talk about the influence he had on her when she was growing up and we talk about how the business is going, some challenges she's having with it, but I think we also get to get a social conversation, which is funny because you'll see, again, this goes over one hour and you'll find that Jessica is someone who is really passionate about human connection and I think that comes through in our conversation and in the way she describes the interactions that she gets the most value out of.

She has an interesting background that she talks about. She actually dabbled a bit in theater and majored in communication, but she's really, really found her sweet spot, I think, with Interview Connections and she's really, really personable and I think we just had a fantastic discussion. We actually got back into TV shows again, if you remember a couple of episodes ago, we geeked out a bit on Game of Thrones. This time it was on Breaking Bad, which is another fantastic show. So, I hope you enjoy this conversation and you get a little bit more insight about Jessica and you'll get to see what a fantastic personality she has and you'll understand why this went over an hour, but I hope you enjoy it. I certainty did and stay tune for a couple of updates on the show after the interview, thanks.

So, Jessica Rhodes, thanks for joining me on Podcast Junkies.

Jessica Rhodes:
Hey Harry, thanks for having me. This is an honor. I feel like I'm a member of the podcast club now that I'm on your show.

Harry:
Yeah, it's funny. I probably and I think you can relate to this as well. I think at this point since I started in April of 2014, feel like I should have like a ton more people on the show, but I think it's just, it speaks to me being a little bit more picky about the people that I have on, because I want to have some sort of connection with people and I want to have had at least some interaction with them prior to them jumping on, because I feel that makes sort of just a more natural conversation.

Jessica:
Yeah, I actually totally agree with you. I'm the same way with my show. The couple of times that I've had people on my podcast that pitched me or somebody introduced them to me and I'm like, yeah, they look good. It's just harder when the first time you talk to them is on a recorded podcast. The ice hasn't been broken. I just have such an easier time being conversational and having fun with the guest if I have some type of existing relationship, even if it's just that we Facebook chatted and we're like oh, yeah, we should totally do an interview together, this would be a lot of fun.

Yeah, I'm the same way. I always say that and I'm like, wow, I'm a hypocrite, because that's what I do in my business. I pitch people and get them on podcasts, but you know, I think it's also, like if you do have people on your show that you've never met before, it just take the time before the schedule of recording and talk to them and figure out what interests you about them.

Harry:
Yeah, I think, I had interviews with people that have reached out to me and although we haven't met in person, I've either listened to several of their shows so I can sort of, you can sort of tell how a host is – because of how they treat their guests on their show, what their sense of humor is like, you know, what they do and don't like to talk about and it's sort of gives you some sort of precedents for having a feel of how they'll be on your own show.

Jessica:
Oh yeah, like I said, I listened to your interview with Corey this morning and I probably should not have been playing that with my son around.

Harry:
Yeah, I probably should have..

Jessica:
But it was a great interview and it, yeah, it allowed me to figure out like you know, what your style was and gosh, I feel like I should have a glass of wine and dim the lights while I talk to you.

Harry:
Yeah, it's interesting. I've always want – I've heard some podcasts where they do a happy hour thing and everyone's got a drink in front of them and I imagine those can't go that long, because at some point, you know, the one drink becomes the two and the three and you're probably affecting the quality of the podcast at that point.

Jessica:
Yeah, I mean, unfortunately even if I wanted to, I couldn't have a drink right now, because as Corey so eloquently noted, I'm producing another human at the moment, but if I ever do record a podcast like after six o'clock at night, I usually do have a glass of red wine with me. Nothing that's going to make me go like, be inappropriate after a half hour or 45 minutes, but it does kind of, I don't know, it relaxes you and just makes for a better conversation. That's horrible. I'm like drink alcohol and you'll be a better podcaster.

Harry:
Well, I think it just speaks to lowing inhibitions and having people not be overly concerned, because I think sometimes just speaking as podcasters we tend to get into our – be in our head to much and we start to think about, you know, how is the interview going, is my guest having a good time and am I, do I have the proper amount of questions lined up, am I going to run out of questions, you know, what am I going to ask next, is there going to be some awkward silence and you start thinking about all those things and nothing like a glass of wine to get that stuff off the table.

Jessica:
I know. It's so much like dating. If you just have some drinks with you, it's so much easier!

Harry:
Yeah, at least for the ice breaking part and because a lot of times and we – this probably speaks to relationships in general and in podcast guests and interacting with hosts and there's this whole dynamic of people meeting each other for the first time on these podcasts and you can hear it when there's no interaction and there's no relationship and no connection between the guest and the host and it just sounds awkward, it sounds stilted and you probably don't tend to those podcasts or the episodes for very long.

Jessica:
Yeah. I think it's, I mean, there's also skill involved too, because I mean we all know a lot of guests that can get on an interview and not sound awkward even though they've never met the person. Like, I was talking with, I think it was Katie Krimitsos when I was on her show Biz Women Rock! And she was talking about how I have like, I post both personal stuff and business stuff to Facebook. She's like, what's your strategy it's very well balanced. I'm like, I don't have a strategy.

I honestly post whatever the heck I want when I want. If my son is being cute, I'll post of picture. I have a podcast that's live, I'll post the link to the podcast and I think a lot of people are like, when they're on a podcast or when they're in business mode, they get into that mode and they feel like they can't be themselves or they can't joke around and just kind of be personable and I think that you, even if you've never met the person, if you know just how to be yourself and not worry about like, oh, I'm in business mode right now and I'm going to talk about whatever I talk about on the podcast. Like, just be open. Corey was a perfect example. He was probably more open than I would have wanted to be on your show.

Harry:
What's funny is that he has that great relationship with you that you guys have built up over the past year because of the work you did on The Podcast Producers and I think that he feels comfortable talking about you knowing that you won't get offended, because you've probably heard stuff coming out, from his mouth, like that before.

Jessica:
Oh, yeah, yeah. He's great and when we were recording our conversations for the show, it's like, we would just say, yeah, you'd just say whatever comes to your mind and if you have no filter, I mean, you might say stuff you don't want to say, but that's probably where the good stuff comes out is where you're just talking and you're not worried about like, oh, am I saying this right or am I sounding right or am I saying what I need to say, just like open dialog and open conversations.

I mean, that's what I like about podcasts. Like, I really like long form interviews. Your shows are, you know, I was noticing they are all at least an hour long and what I learned from Corey when we were doing The Podcast Producers, he's like, the best stuff comes after 15 minutes and then whenever I was interviewing someone I was like, okay, it's only been ten minutes with you and I, Harry, and the best stuff is yet to come.

Harry:
Yeah, it's exacting, right?

Jessica:
Yeah. I mean, people really do warm up, so I think that's why I like, if you never interviewed, you know, if you're on a podcast with someone and you haven't met them yet, it's like, go longer than 30 minutes. Spend some time just getting to know them and then have them back a second time, so you can keep that relationship building.

Harry:
Yeah and I think it's something that you touched upon earlier. You want to be the same person in your show that you are in real life, you know, you don't want to have to want to figure out which voice do I have to turn on now, it's just seems like it would be a nightmare to try and manage.

Jessica:
Yeah, that was definitely a learning curve for me. I mean, I don't want to go back and listen to my first podcast, because I would feel like I would be embarrassed listening to it. Like, I've been doing videos for, like weekly videos, for just over a year and I went back to my first couple of videos, I'm like oh, I was so stiff and it's the same thing with podcasting.

Like, you want to figure out kind of what you're going to say in your intro and kind of how you're going to introduce your guest and in my first overall podcast, well, probably for a few months actually, I was, yeah, just kind of going through like my intro script and just doing my thing and I would ask my questions and then finally, like, you kind of have life full moments.

You hear different podcasters give different tips and it was something that Daniel J. Lewis said at NMX, no, Social Media Marketing World. He gave the tip about, you want to have some type of structure and predictability on your show. You don't want to be totally different every other episode, but don't open it up the same way every time.

So, after I heard that, I started opening up my show with like a quote or just something that's very specific to that guest interview and so that way when the listener hears it, it's not, they're like, oh, she's not in robo mode and that really helped me loosen up and just get into the moment and yeah, so it definitely takes practice, I don't feel like anyone can start a podcast and automatically be a natural and, I mean, obviously if you have a radio background, yeah, you can go into podcasting and have some skill, but it definitely, it took me several months before I got comfortable just talking in my real voice. I feel every time, for a while, I definitely felt like I had to be like, hey!

Harry:
Like bubbly Jessica or something like that?

Jessica:
Yeah and that's the thing. I am very bubbly and energetic, so there's like a balance, I guess.

Harry:
Well, it's funny because, you know, you may think there's a balance and maybe I shouldn't be too bubbly, but at the end of the day and this is something I started to figure out, you know, about almost 50 episodes in, you start to create a unique voice for your show that attracts a certain type of person and these people I don't know, like, you don't know where they were before and then you just start to see them come up and start to make comments and then make comments again and I recently had a fan who just binged listened to all my episodes and I'm like, wow, that's a real fan.

Jessica:
I know, somebody told me that yesterday on Facebook. They reached out and was like, I just binged listen to your show and I'm thought, Rhodes to Success or The Podcast Producers, because a lot of people have binged listened to The Podcast Producers. He's like, no, Rhodes to Success. What's The Podcast Producers? I was like, oh, he binged to Rhodes to Success. Like, that's awesome.

Harry:
Yeah, yeah. I think as a podcaster, it's almost like the moment of pride because of something using an analogy you can relate to, something you've birthed, right?

Jessica:
Yeah, yeah.

Harry:
You're like, someone actually took the time, not just as a causal listener, but was interested enough in the last couple of episodes to say, hey, I like this style, I like this person, I like this content, I like this format. What they're doing is validating your approach and it could just be a couple, but we start to build up a tribe of those people and those become your true fans.

Jessica:
Yeah, definitely. Like, every now and again I'll go and look at iTunes reviews to see if there's any new ones and one of the reviews I had was, I love how Jessica just like dives right in to the content like she doesn't just chit chat with her guests. I'm like, duly noted. My listeners do not want me to just chit chat about – and it's funny, because somebody that I interviewed as I was talking after the recording, like, he was suggesting that I ask questions that are like, just like personal questions or unrelated or I share personal stuff about myself and I'm like, I don't really think people care. I mean, I feel like I should have another show where I just like chit chat and talk about different things, but like, that's not really the point of this podcast, I don't think that's why people listen to this podcast. So, I mean, sometimes I'll talk a little bit about the guest story, but I'm like, I like to just get right into content. I mean, that's what my show is about and that's what listeners have told me they like, so I just stick to that.

Harry:
I find that a lot. I'm helping a client produce a podcast now and it's focused on startups and how to prefect their pitch and all the feedback he's gotten from his show is like keep it coming and keep it focused. It's 30-45 minutes and it's jammed packed because he's got great interviews and he just dives right in from the moment the conversation starts, so for him to just change gears and say, oh, so my dog went to the vet today, you know, it'll probably be out of context for that show.

Jessica:
Yeah, yeah and you have to know like the right places to talk about that. When I do my videos, I'll share a little bit like, oh, yeah, it's like, Wednesday morning and – because it works in that setting, but for my podcast. I'm do get right into valuable and actionable content just because that's what I do with my show and I always think about, because when Corey and I were recording our conversations for The Podcast Producers, we would just totally banter and it was all mostly related to podcasting, but I'm like, this would be so much fun to have a show where I didn't just focus on content and I would just like, talk, but then it's like, oh, another show. Okay. I don't know.

Harry:
I know, that's the one thing with podcasters. We get, there's no shortage of ideas, because I've had probably five to ten ideas for podcasts that I could start and then the minute I remember what's involved in doing this one. I was like, oh, man. The only way I'll do it is if another podcast host comes on board and he can do all the production.

Jessica:
Yeah, I know. I know. I got kind of lucky there.

Harry:
Of course with Corey. It's awesome. I think I have a name for your causal show. You can call it Rhodes After Dark.

Jessica:
It's great! I'll write that down.

Harry:
It's sort of like, I think The Daily Show does that or something like that.

Jessica:
They do The Daily Show podcast without John Stewart, I'm subscribed to that. Is that what you were talking about or..?

Harry:
No, you know how sometimes The Daily Show interviews are so ridiculously short? It's like, they get a guest on and then they banter for a few minutes and they're like three or four minutes and I'm like, the person flew all the way to New York to be on this short interview on John Stewart and then I think they moved some of that to the web for some of these.

Jessica:
Yeah, for some the extended interview go to The Daily Show website. It just made me think of when Jennifer Lawrence was on, the whole time they talked about her hair cut and she's like, what? It was hysterical. I don't know if it was Steven Cobert or The Daily Show, but it was one of the two and it's like, wow, these people fly all around to do these interviews and they go on to talk about their hair when they're promoting a moving.

Harry:
It's funny because they are used to it and I know from a celebrity perspective and I have a friend of mine who does the – he actually interviews these celebrities in these junkets where they line up, I don't know, 10-15-20 interviews in one day and then the celebrity has to sit there and like ten minutes, ten minutes. It must be like the most boring and mundane part of their career, although they can't complain for what they're getting paid, right?

Jessica:
Oh, I know. Sometimes you can tell from some guests, like you can just tell – I look out for that now as podcasters and as people who interview other people and get interviewed, I love like watching those celebrity interviews from that perspective. I'm like, I don't know what's really going through their head right now doing this like publicity stint.

Harry:
You mentioned on one of – I think it was your show or you were talking to Joel and Pei of Relaunch about how, I think you have Jamie Tardy as a client and she said something to the affect of, I've been on so many shows and I've been asked almost every question in the book and she's bit weary of going on additional shows. She's like, my story is out there. Everybody knows my story, like what value is there for me to continue to be on these interview shows?

Jessica:
Yeah, well, Jamie, she's actually not a client of mine, but we're friends and she refers people to me and stuff like that and we've booked some people on her show, but I have like a couple of different, see, whenever I hear an opinion like that, I can see both sides of it. Like, I can totally validate and see how she feels, like I'm tired of telling my story, but I think it was David Hooper, do you know David? He co-hosts the RED podcast? He's a great guy, great podcaster and he's got a radio background.

He has a radio show in Nashville and it was after Chris Brogan posted a similar type of blog that was like stop – if you're going to interview me, stop asking the same questions everyone else has interviewed me on and to an extent, I'm like, okay, that's valid, you know, at the same time, you know, what David posted in an article, like in response to Chris Brogan – I just get such a kick out of watching these interactions go on with podcasters, because everyone gets really hyped up about it, but I really liked what David said and it was like, you know, these big celebrities, because he's interviewed major, you know, musicians and rock stars, he goes, that is, that's really what you're doing.

That is your job to tell your story, because there's different people listening to every podcast. Like, I have a few select marketing, not even, I have a very, very few select business shows that I listen to and as a podcaster with a podcasting business, I am specifically paying attention to all these players so I've heard their story, but there's like, hundreds and thousands of people out there who have not heard Chris Brogan's story and don't know who he is and to assume that everyone knows who I am, well, it's actually, no, because I've met people. I'll talk to people at conferences and stuff and they're like I've never heard of him. Like, I mean, so it's like, if you're tired of telling your story, just stop going on podcasts, but if you're going to go, it's the podcaster's show, they get to chose the questions they ask you, you know?

Harry:
Yeah, it's funny, because I imagine that if the interviews dried up and a couple of months went by, they'll probably ask, how come no one is asking me to be on their show?

Jessica:
Yeah, yeah. It's funny. We all have stuff in our business that we don't want to do. Like, I, I mean, I haven't told my story probably as such as Pat Flynn or Jamie Tardy, but I've been on a fair number of podcasts and people ask, how did you get started with Interview Connections and I've told that story a fair number of times and in my head I'm like, here we go again, but you know what, I always tell it with enthusiasm, because I know there are people who have not heard it before and for me to go on a show and be like, again? That's just, I'm sorry, that's bitchy. It's a bitchy attitude to have. If that's the attitude you're going to have, then don't go on podcasts. Like, there's plenty of big names that they just, they don't accept invitations, because they don't want to and it's like, good. If you're going to be irritated by it, just say no.

Harry:
It's interesting that comment. I mean, we live in this world, so we hear these names non-stop and we're like, oh, Jamie Tardy, Pat Flynn, [cuts out], Michael Hyatt and all we need to do is step outside of our little podcasting bubble and realize like, guys, no one knows who all these people are. My wife heard a couple of my episodes, she's like, you mentioned a lot of names I just really don't know, like, who are these people and so, she really wasn't like getting into the show, because we have to be careful sometimes that if we want to broaden of our audience, we have to step outside and even for me, like I'm trying to step outside of the entrepreneurial podcaster bubble and I have some leeway, because I interview podcasters, so now I can start going after comedy podcasters or people who do history shows and I just had Liz Covart on from…

Jessica:
I Love Liz, I just met her in person at Podcast New England, but we've been Facebook friends for a while.

Harry:
Yeah and then I had Jen Briney, she did the Congressional Dish podcast and we chatted. I'm just fascinated about the inner workings of how people put their show together, but what you realize is you start to have these conversations, it gives you an insight into, you know, why they started it and what was their motivation and that sort of gets us out of the podcasting world.

Jessica:
Oh yeah, definitely. I think, that's the thing I always try to remember is that, you know, an internet celebrity is not a real celebrity. It's just not. My brother and his friendlily were just – like, they always laugh at me when I'm at conferences, you know, because when I go to conferences, I'll, as a lot of us do, like we'll get pictures with, you know, the Amy Porterfields and the Pat Flynns and we'll post them online and stuff.

Oh, Jessica with Pat Flynn, that kind of thing and whenever I'm at a conference and those pictures are being posted, my brother, he's just like, who are these people? Like, he sees me posting pictures like, oh meet Jessica with these big celebrities, like I literally never heard of that person and you're posting it if they are someone that like everyone knows, but it's, you know, everyone in a very small sub circle knows who they are, but to the rest of the world, okay, well, I don't barely know what a podcast is.

Harry:
It's funny because it's even probably smaller than we think it is, because not only is it the podcast circle but in some of these cases it's, like, the entrepreneurial podcast circle, because you go to other podcasters, extreme example, if you go to Marc Maron and you ask them who, like, maybe Pat Flynn is, he probably wouldn't know.

Jessica:
Yeah, yeah. It keeps you, I think it's important to stay humble and it's like, when you remember that, you know, you remember that, we are all just regular people and after you podcast for a little while, we all have people that look at us like celebrities and when I first started listening to podcasts, I, they were people that, I'm like, oh my gosh, like they're so big and a lot of these people I'm now friends with and look at and I look to them as peers, but when I first listened to their show and saw them speak, I was all starstruck and I am now like, oh, well, what's the big deal with him? I mean, people are starstruck by him? So, it's just so subjective and it's all about where you are and ultimately it's all in your head, because one person's celebrity is another person's just, best friend who, you know, they look to as eqauls. It's interesting.

Harry:
So dialing back a bit to your start in podcasting. Did the podcast came after you already had Interview Connections setup.

Jessica:
Yeah. So, I was working with podcasters and booking guests for just over a year before I actually decided to have my own podcast and I was, like, honestly, it was, well, first of all, I just didn't like fit it in to my schedule. I was very focused on building a business to have a living, because at no point was my business a hobby, like I started it when I was pregnant because I needed an income that I could do from home, so I was very, very focused on building my business and I knew that podcasting was going to be an investment, because I was not going to write my own show notes, I was not going to edit my own show, and it was going to take some time.

So it wasn't until, yeah, I mean, this past fall where I'm like okay or, you know, it was really last summer, because it was after I went to Podcast Movement. I'm like, okay, I think I can handle this now and I think I should do it, but there was also fear too, because I was afraid of, you know, as really we have pretty much alluded to, like there's so much talk about different shows or are you going to be unique enough or are people just going to say, oh, you're just another interview show and I was like, well, if I never have a podcast, nobody can tell me my show sucks and nobody can say I'm copying them and then I was like, I just decided I didn't care if people thought I was a copycat and yeah, I just got over that. I'm like, I'm just going to do it and I had a lot of fun with it.

And I've come to really, I've always loved listening to podcasts and I've always really been into podcasting, just working with podcasters and guests and things like that, but now that I've gotten into it as a host and somebody that's actually doing their own show, I'm like, this is awesome, because I'm really passionate about human connections, that's what I realized.

Like, I used to go door-to-door, my last job was, I ran a field canvas for an environmental group and one of the things I really like about that was like knocking on someone's door and having a face-to-face conversation , because we're just so, no, yeah – we're all online and people text now. They don't pick up the phone and call and I loved just like talking to somebody and having a conversation and I'm realizing that's what we're doing as podcasters now is we, we get on Skype or we get on the phone and we just have a conversation and it energizes me and I realize, like, I never really use the word passion when I talk about like what I do in business, because I'm like, ugh, it's so fluffy, but there's a little bit of passion that goes into it, for sure.

Harry:
I think you have to have passion, right, because if you're not passionate about what it is you do at the end of the day, you're just going to run out of steam and you're going to get bored of it and you're going to start looking for something different to do and it's going to show. People are going to hear it, people can tell, sort of like that vibe about like when someone walks into the room and they're like in a crappy mood, there's this aura around them that you just don't want to be around those people and I think the same comes across us with podcasting, with what we do, but with your job in general. Like, if you bring that passion and we can see each other, so we're know we're having a good time in this conversation, but sometimes you can even hear when people, you can almost tell when people are smiling and you're just listening to them on a podcast and you're like, that person is having a great day, because I can hear it and…

Jessica:
I was talking to someone yesterday. A new client actually and he just started a podcast and just as I'm having a conversation with him, I could tell he was smiling the whole time. He was energized and passionate and enthusiastic, just, like, you could just tell, this man love life. He loves what he does, he was telling me about his different businesses and what he's doing and why he wants to have a podcast and all this stuff. He was just so full of joy.

It was so energizing that I hung up the phone, I mean, not only was I excited to have a new client, but I'm like, oh this guy is going to be so fun to work with, because he loves what he does, but meanwhile there are also people that want to have a podcast because they're like, you know, I want to make money with it. I want to get clients from it. I'm doing it because, you know, I feel like I have to.

Harry:
Yeah, even in your example of like re-creating their voice, you can hear like, it's almost like they're dragging their voice through mud, I don't know what better analogy I can come up with, but there's, yeah, I just dread this and I feel like I have to do this and there's nothing exciting or fun about that.

Jessica:
I know, like there's nothing and, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with starting a podcast because it's good for business. I mean, ultimately, like, I pulled a trigger on starting Rhodes to Success because I want to keep my business growing and I want to be a speaker at these events and things like that and I'm like, they're never going to book somebody to speak about podcasting who doesn't have a podcast, so that was kind of the duh, you should have a podcast, but I do really enjoy it. Like it's not something that I'm doing just because, like, ugh, everyone, you know, I have to do is because I want to be successful. It's like, no. I really, really dig it and it's awesome to talke to people and I have a lot of fun with it, too.

Harry:
So, you mentioned your previous job at Clean Water Action, right?

Jessica:
Yeah.

Harry:
You talked about being passionate about human connection. Is that something you realize in yourself, it's part of your human nature like going back before you had that job?

Jessica:
Yes. Absolutely. I'm an extrovert. While I enjoy my alone time and I really like working from home, I get energized being around other people. Like, when I go to conferences and stuff and go to events or go out with other people, there's always a little, like the hard, the social anxiety of like getting into the situation, but I always leave feeling so much energized than if I were to jst be alone for a long time.

So, I am an extrovert and always have been and I've also, you just ask my parents, I've always been a talker. Like, from whenever – from kindergarten, pre-school probably I was always the kid who didn't shut up, like if a teacher asked a question, my hand was up first and I didn't understand if people who knew the answer why they wouldn't raise their hand and answer the question, so I always was the one talking.

So, yeah, it has always been a part of my personality and I don't think I, it was until recently that I actually, well, it was during my last job that I thought about why I liked canvasing. It's because I like talking to people face-to-face, but it really wasn't until my adult life that I put words to why I like to talk and that aspect of my personality, so I do think it's always been inside me and it's cool, because I went to school. I thought I was going to go into theater, because I thought I'd be on Broadway and then kind of realized I wasn't good enough, so I took a different career path there and ended up majoring in communication and organizational communication and so studied that and never thought I would go into broadcasting, but I always knew I wanted to do something where I wanted to talk to people. Like, when I was really little I thought I wanted to be a receptionist, because I could answer the phone.

Harry:
That's funny.

Jessica:
I must have been really young, because that's not a great career goal.

Harry:
Well, it's interesting, because where would you have seen that, like, I'm showing my age with this reference, but when I say receptionist, I think of like the call operator and I think of this TV show, there's a skit where Lily Tomlin is like a telephone operator and she's like plugging in the cables.

Jessica:
Yeah, I don't know where I got it from. I just have this memory of just wanting to answer the phone and talk to people.

Harry:
It's funny, because if someone were to make, obviously people have videos now of all of this stuff, but what kids say when they're young what they want to be when they grow up is like so far way from what they end up being and if, you know, people should. There should be someone that puts that together and says, well, this is what you said to your bee and there's probably very few kids who decided very early on, you know, they had maybe some of these old souls that are very clear about what they want to be when they grow up and they actually end up doing that.

Jessica:
Yeah. There's a few people that, yeah, that have known what they wanted to be for as – I mean, there's a lot. There's a lot of entrepreneurs too that's like, I've always been an entrepreneur since I was a little kid or I started a business as a little kid and, I mean, I didn't think that I'd start a business until a couple of months before I started my business.

Harry:
That's about the right time, right?

Jessica:
Yes.

Harry:
I think what's important is to leave room for stimulation for a child. We don't have any kids yet, my wife and I, but I have a lot of nieces and nephews and I'm just fascinated when I run into a child is years, if not decades, older than what their physical age is just by the nature of the things they say and I think it just, you know, in my mind, it would seem like, you'd leave them enough room to let their imagination run wild and if you don't restrict them, then I think the future is super bright for them.

Jessica:
Yeah. I mean, as I mentioned a couple of times, I have my son Nathan is two and a half and I'm having a girl in really just a few weeks and so I think a lot about how raising our kids and how we're impacting the way we see the world and what they aspire to be and as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, I can see like how much opportunity and room for imagination and, you know, just your ability to be creative and just make life what you want it to be now that I have my own business, but growing up, I never saw that as a possibility.

Like we only ever hear of, well, you go to school, you go to college, you get a job, you climb the career ladder, whatever, it's just very mapped out for everyone and no, like kids are just never, like I think kids are born entrepreneurial, but they're taught to follow the path that everyone should take and go to school and do this and do that, so yeah.

I can only hope that my kids will, I don't know, I want to them to be entrepreneurs, but my husband is not an entrepreneur. He's like, no, I want them to be an activist and a community organizer, because he works for, yeah, an environmental group and non-profits and stuff like that. We're like, whatever they do, they'll have a positive impact on the world and they'll be happy.

Harry:
Yeah, it's a fine line, because as a parent, and I see this with my parents, you know, at the end of the day they just want their kids to be happy. They want their kids to be secure and they have a roof over their heads and they freak out when they see their kids struggle and sometimes we need to struggle, right, because we need to make it on our own. We need to leave the nest, so to speak, and demonstrate that we can survive in this world on our own, but that connection as a parent never ends and I'm just sure painful to watch when some of your kids make it and some, you know, are still struggling.

Jessica:
Yeah. That's what I'm learning now. My siblings and I are all grown and out of the house, but I can still see parenting doesn't stop when the kids grow up. I mean, you know, you think that as a kid, you're like, you know, I remember being 18 and going off to college and I was like, I'm grown now. Like, don't tell me what to do, but now I can see it, because my parents, they don't stop worrying and then the worry goes from you, like, my dad is still texting with me on like, you know finances and stuff and I'm like, we got this. Don't worry about it, but he's still, even though he knows my husband and I independent and we've got stuff together, like he still needs to just like check in and ask us, because as a parent you can never let your kids go, you know?

Now that I have kid and kids soon, you know, I look at my son and, he's like a little two year old running around and I can picture him as a little tiny baby and I can only imagine when he's like a smelly 16-year-old, I'm going to still picture him as a little baby and it's going to be so hard when he like doesn't want to give me like a hug and a kiss.

Harry:
Yeah, all you need to do is have your own kids to put into perspective like the job that your jobs did raising you.

Jessica:
I know. I know. I get, I'm like, when he doesn't go to sleep for me at night. I'm like, oh, I'm getting such serious payback, because I remember and I remember being, I've been told I was just terrible at going to bed at night. Like, I just wouldn't want to go to bed and now I know what my parents felt like when I wouldn't go to bed at night.

Harry:
So, you mentioned your day and you actually had your dad on one of your podcast episodes. It's Jim Palmer and he's a successful business coach and I'm wondering how much of an influence that had on you. Like you said, you didn't immediately go into an entrepreneurial venture early on, but I imagine like seeing him and seeing what he was doing growing up had some sort of influence on you.

Jessica:
Yeah, he started his business when I was around 13-years-old after he lost his job and got cancer. So, he was not a successful business man for several years – well, I guess his business kind of took off probably like when I was in high school and when you're in high school you're so self-absorbed, you're not really thinking and, you know, also I never knew how much money he was making and he was getting out of debt and everything.

So, it really wasn't until, you know, my adult years and as I approached starting my own business that I realized that I started to be impacted by his entrepreneurship, because from my childhood up until I was 12 or 13, he was very successful as director of franchise for a major corporation and then he lost his job, he got cancer, you now, unemployed for a long time, started his business, took a year to get his first client, he was working at Target stocking shelves in the morning, networking at night, going to different coaching seminars and stuff like that.

So, that's what I saw. I mean, I saw the hustle, but it's funny, because I'm like, what did I think? You know, I don't remember how it impacted me at the time. I mean, I can look back on it and kind of see, you know, hindsight is 20/20, but yeah, I mean now, we're really close because we're both entrepreneurs and he's taken me under his wing and shown – I mean, everything I know about business I really learned from him.

There's a lot of skills that I've learned in my previous job and of course going to school and college, there's different skills you learn, but as far as marketing and business building and all the entrepreneurial lessons I've learned by coaching with him and, yeah, you know, I am in his mastermind group and I'll do coaching calls with him. We'll get on, you know, I'll schedule a call with him and we'll talk about business and we, it's funny, we have a separate, like we have our father-daughter relationship and then we have our coach-coachee relationship, so yeah.

Harry:
That's important to keep to separate those out, because you sort of have to – as a successful coach and you guys both touched upon this during that episode and we'll put a link to that in the show notes that you have to put on that different hat and you don't want to have a coach that's a friend and he mentioned a lot of these times, they are just accountability groups with no real outcome and then you're left wondering why you're not progressing in your business.

Jessica:
Yeah, absolutely. You can accountability partners and people you mastermind with. I have a good friend, she's actually in our business mastermind group with my dad, so we both invest financially in his coaching and his mastermind group, but then her and I teamed up and meet weekly. We are accountability partners and so what I get there is I do a lot of great support and advice from her, but there is more, like, I would be more afraid to go to my dad and say I didn't take action on something you told me to take action on then I would if I went to like a really good friend that supports me and we meet together. Once a week, we so you get different things from different types of business relationships.

Like, I had a really, very, very impact coaching call with him a couple of weeks ago where, you know, I was looking at my cash flow and I have a really big team of virtual contractors and, I don't know, Harry, you have like contractors or virtual assistants, but there's always that..

Harry:
Yeah, VAs.

Jessica:
Yeah, so there's always that balance of like gross revenue coming in and then the expenses going out and it's always nice when you're net positive, right, so I remember I had a coaching call with him and we're looking down my, you know, the labor expense on my P&L and he really got me to see that I had to make some decisions in my business to be profitable and to keep moving forward and I just wouldn't have seen it without him just saying like, you need to keep – you're kind of thinking with your heart right now, you know? Because ultimately I had to let some people go. I had to shrink my team a little bit because I had too many people on staff and – because I know the people and we like work together and everything and he's able to look at it and say, he's just able to look at the numbers and say like this is clearly the decision you need to make.

Harry:
Yeah, I think sometimes you need that outside eye to give you the perspective that will keep you in business for the next couple of years, right? Not doing something that, well..It's not personal and you can still maintain a relationship and I think if you treat people with respect, then you're upfront with why you're making those decisions then they'll, you know, although they may not like the decision when it first happens, I think they'll remember you treated them with respect and you'll not have burned a bridge and if things pick up later, there's always that opportunity to continue working together.

Jessica:
Yeah. There's this book that I read a while ago. My dad reminded me to remember the lessons I learned, but Dan Kennedy wrote a book. I think it's No BS Ruthless Management of People and Profits. Great book if you have – if anyone listening has a business where they have anyone whether it's a virtual assistant or a team of employees, this book is definitely something you should read, because I think Dan actually – Dan Kennedy is like this really old marketing guy.

Harry:
Old school. Yeah.

Jessica:
Very old school, very misogynistic and he like opens up his book , you know, you'll probably not like a lot of this advice, but it works, and kind of the main lesson in the book, what my dad reminded me of, is the only reason you hire someone or have any type of expense in your business is because it's going to help you be more profitable and it's going to help you have a bigger return on your investment. If at any time anything on your expense column on your P&L report is not producing return and not helping you grow, you got to cut it. It's got to go.

Harry:
And you have to cut it sooner rather than later.

Jessica:
Yeah, because you're not, like, we're really not in business to – it's great when we can be in business to create jobs. Like, I love that I have a business that's grown to a point where I have a lot of stay-at-home moms that have a nice income where they're home with their families. I love that, but that's not the reason I started my business.

Harry:
Yeah, it's not a charity.

Jessica:
It's not charity, yeah. I think a lot of businesses fail because they, you know, they're paying people too much, they're hiring too many people and they are not remembering that as a business owner, your priority is to be profitable, you know? And that, it can be hard, because it can feel cold-hearted sometimes, but ultimately if I, you know, if you don't make these hard decisions to be profitable, well, you'll go out of business and no one is going to be happy in three months when you all get fired.

Harry:
Yeah, I think it bares repeating and no matter how long we've been in business, I think keeping that lean mentality in the back of your mind as you grow as you scale, just kind of revisiting those lessons about staying lean, staying lean, because that's what happens, you see these corporations and they're just bloated and sick layers of middle management and you go through these offices and there's like 20 empty cubicles and that's the extreme version of it, but we do that as entrepreneurs as well.

We start subscribing to these newsletter, buying these services, oh, it's only $99 a month here. It's only $249, whatever it is. We're like, oh, I kind of need this or I want to try this tool and they just sit there unused and before you know it, we're looking at our credit card statements and we're like, where is all my money going? So, it's just keeping that lean mentality is something that I don't think we should ever stop doing.

Jessica:
Oh, I totally agree and that's another thing my dad said is like, you want to get – because it's scary, it was scary for me to make my team a lot smaller, because the idea of bringing on clients and not having the bandwidth within the team to be able to serve them, that was scary, but what I realized is I got to, yeah, you've to be lean, you've got to have the smallest team possible that can produce all the results you need and then when that team is totally maxed out, then you hire, and then you grow, but you don't hire a whole bunch of people and then hope to fill it out.

Harry:
Yeah, I mean, that we have this vision of trying to build this really huge company and then waiting for the business to come in as oppose to what you just said is, like, have enough that, you know, so nothing is breaking, but then let that get to its straining point and that'll be the sign that you need to expand.

Jessica:
Yeah. I think it's also a matter of making sure your team, if we're talking about labor expenses, making sure your team, like understands how they help you grow, because it's really – I have contractors and really if they can't show themselves, they can't book the interviews and I can't keep them on, so there's an element of like making sure people understand that. Listen, if you show results, if you help the business grow, that increases your job security and that allows us to grow, but a lot of employees, if you just look at businesses and stores and thinks like that.

A lot of them don't have that mindset. They're like, I got hired, I'm going to work at this cashier and I'm going to do this. It's like, what can, I've read, I can't think of the specific books, but there's great business books out there where they talk about, if employees have that mindset of how can I help this business grow, how can I help – if you're working at a retail store, like, how can you help make that retail store the best one in the region. Well, chances are you're going to be promoted to manager. Chances are you're going to have a job a lot longer than somebody that just comes in and rings people out from 9 to 5 and I just think that, yeah, there's a difference between people who are successful and people who are not. It's because the people are successful are thinking about how they can, how they can make the company grow and how they can show true results as opposed to coming in and logging their hours and clocking out.

Harry:
Yeah, and I think the companies that are successful value their employees, so they accept that they bring them into all decision making even some of the things where they don't need the decision, they just want their opinion, they want a second set of year and they are brought into the company's mission statement and they share the mission statement and they say this is how we treat our customers. This is how we interact with each other. Sort of the guidelines and they feel like, they almost feel like they're apart of this family and then they're brought in at that point and they want to succeed. They want to succeed personally and they want you to succeed and when you have people like that working for you it's really fantastic.

Jessica:
Oh, yeah. My dad does a great thing. My dad has a big virtual team and once a month he does an R&D call. So, he tells everyone on the team. He doesn't have employees, we're all virtual assistants, virtual contractors and he tells everyone on the team like, I for one hour a month invoice me, bill me for one hour, I want you to think about what you – think about ideas that will help my business grow and then we'll all get on a team meeting and we just go round robin and give our ideas and he says some of the best ideas, some of the best ideas he's implemented to keep his business growing have come from his team and so he invests in that and that's definitely something I want to implement more officially in my team, but I always keep that open line of communication.

I try to just constantly remind my team, you guys are on the front lines working with clients really directly. What can we do to make this better, because the system that I setup when I was doing it solo may or may not work for the team, so I'm always open to changing and adapting and your staff, your team, can bring you the best ideas.

Harry:
Yeah, you just got to give them credit that they actually have some originality and, like you said, they're on the front lines, so they're the ones closest to figuring out what's broken and where there's room for improvement.

Jessica:
Yeah, definitely. Always making sure they can speak up, because a lot of times they're like, well, I don't want to rock the boat, I don't want to step on your toes, because I don't know if it's my job to say this, but I'm always like, no, no, tell me, tell me, tell me.

Harry:
Yeah. That's funny because my, one of my virtual assistants is in the Philippines and so there's a cultural difference there too and a lot of what I learned when I first started working with virtual assistants in the Philippines is they are not going to be confrontational, it's just not in their nature and they're not going to speak up and they're not going to do anything that they think might make their boss look bad and it's almost like a shift in mindset where you have to say over communicate. I mean, those are the words I've actually used. I tell her, over communicate. If you think you're annoying me, you're probably close to the point where you're over communicating, but over communicate more, because until I start telling you stop nagging me every hour, because it never gets to that point. If you tell them to over communicate, they'll go to where they think, this is too much, maybe Harry wouldn't like this and for me it's not enough. I'm like, no, just text me. If something is broken, I need to know right away and if you don't have something to do your next step in the procedure like, let me know, because, yeah, you can't just send one email or with all these forms of communication we have and I use Slack, which is fantastic.

Jessica:
That's what I use too! I just started using it a few weeks ago and we love it. It is so awesome.

Harry:
And then if you use the hashtags correctly, then you start to see, oh, this is something on this topic and you know, you can get your mindset, okay, that's what they have a question about, so that's fantastic how you can group out the chats into different groups.

Jessica:
Oh yeah. So, when you say the hashtag, do you mean the channels?

Harry:
Yeah, the channels.

Jessica:
Yeah, yeah. We're starting to – so, first we were, you know, over an email and I'm like this is ridiculous, let's move somewhere else, so then we had a private Facebook group and I'm like, oh, this is terrible.

Harry:
It's even worse.

Jessica:
Then I actually heard about Slack on Smart Passive Income, like Michael Hyatt was interviewed and they talked about it. I'm like, this sounds awesome. So, we use the free version and it's all we need and it's so funny, because speaking of getting your team involved in decision making, I did not want to have a decision about whether or not we're using it, I said, we are using it one week from today. If you hate it, we can take a vote and this is what Michael said he did with his team except he did one day.

I said, I'll give you a week to try it out, because some people won't work Monday, you know, I was like, I want a whole week where we're all using it and then we can take a voice and decide how we can communicate and I mean, it was unanimous. Hands down everybody was like, oh, this is so great and so now we're trying to see all the different ways that we can be utilizing the channels, but it's interesting what you said about the, having a virtual assistant in the Philippines. Most of my team are, at least everyone that works with clients directly booking interviews is US-based.

I mean, one gal is from the UK originally, but I hired a virtual assistant from the Philippines to do more administrative work and I was talking to her about how many hours a week and she was like, well, if I can't get it done in that many hours, I'll just, I won't bill you for more. I'm like, no, bill me for what you're working, let's just figure out – because I'm like, I want to pay you for what you're doing it. Like, don't just do free work, but she was like, but her, she wanted to just make sure – they're very, very accommodating, but yeah, the communication is key.

Harry:
What's interesting about Slack and I created a web app, a mobile app, sorry, a couple of years ago and I'm big into UX, UI design and there was an article about the founder's of Slack, if you think about it, the tool is nothing new. There's been a lot of these chat tools over the years. I think HipChat was another one that people were big on for awhile, but what made Slack different was the fact that they wanted to make the experience fun and so if you look at – if you think about the sounds that come up when something pops into your slack channel or the little visual graphics that they use or the animation or even the colors.

I mean, the article is fantastic because it literally broke down from the psychology perspective of what this user experience should be when they're using the tool like this and you should feel like almost you're having fun or you're playing as oppose to like, ugh, I don't want to log into this tool, it's so ugly and like, that's the feeling I get when I have to use Outlook or something.

Jessica:
Oh, I know. Yeah, it kind of makes you feel, it takes a virtual team environment and tries to bring it into real life. I love the random channel, because every now and again, we'll post funny stuff like, I'm thinking, so my husband and I just recently started watching Breaking Bad.

Harry:
Oh, wow.

Jessica:
We're like six years late on that trend, but we just started on Netflix and it's so good and it's like when you watch a show that's been out for, I don't know, six years, seven years, nobody is posting on Facebook about it so I’m like who can I talk to about this. So, I just posted in the random channel through my team. I'm like, does anybody watch Breaking Bad and it turns out not many people have on my team.

Harry:
You have to be careful, because if you have a comment or if you have a question about it, you have to make sure which season you're referring to because big time spoiler alert.

Jessica:
That's the thing, I don't to talk to people who have seen the whole thing, because like, we just started season two, but yeah, it's a great show.

Harry:
When people tell me – I ask them, I said, okay, what season are you up to and they're like, oh at the part where he loses his job or he's like…

Jessica:
Did you watch it?

Harry:
Oh yeah. For me, it's one of the best TV series I have ever seen.

Jessica:
Yeah and at first I was a little hesitant to get into it, because I really like happy things, but my husband and I have so few shows and movies we both like and so I was like, okay, fine, we'll watch it and I watched one episode and I was like, oh, that was pretty good. It's one of those shows as I'm watching it I'm like so stressed out. Like, we just started season two so, you know, it starts to get really intense. I feel like all of season one was very foundational, kind of just like setting the stage and now every episode is this huge cliff hanging and I'm like, oh my God, but yeah, it's so good. The story is so unique and Bryan Cranston, I mean, no wonder he won so many awards. His acting is incredible in it.

Harry:
It's just so funny because Vince Gilligan talks about the arc of the character. As the viewer, you're watching someone go from Mr. Chips, which I guess is a famous TV character or a movie character. I don't know who he is referring to, but it sounded like maybe like a clown or something like that. So, you're watching the arc of someone go from Mr. Chips to Scarface.

Jessica:
It's crazy.

Harry:
And you see it over the course of like how many season five or six seasons, whatever it was, and it's true, because if you go back and you watch the beginning and you see where he eventually ends up, you're like, wow, I don't know that there's been anything done like that on TV before.

Jessica:
Yeah, I love it because there's so much crap on TV. Like, there's so many shows that are just so bad and then you get a show like breaking bad or I love The Walking Dead. I love it. It's so, I mean, just the character development and the story lines are not just being repurposed from one show to the next. Like, how many cop shows do we need, really? Like, you know? I actually really like Chicago P.D. and Chicago Fire and Law and Order, but they're all kind of the same show with different characters, maybe that's why I like them, but yeah, to get a show like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad or Mad Men, like these are all shows that are very, very unique. They didn't just try to copy something.

Harry:
Have you gotten into Game of Thrones yet?

Jessica:
No, no. My husband loves it. That's his Sunday night thing. I'm not, even though I do like The Walking Dead, I'm not really into anything else like fantasy wise, so I don't know.

Harry:
It's a lot of, it's interesting, we took about three or four times before we could actually get started watching it and we finally picked it up this year, so we obviously binged watched seasons one-four, which is always fun, because there's no such thing as a season ending cliff hanger, you just like, next.

Jessica:
I know. I love it. I'm big on Orange is the New Black. Well, that's like my show. My husband doesn't watch that with me. That's like my show that I binge watch and the last episode of season three that just came out is an hour and a half and I'm watching it and 20 minute chunks, so I'm really savoring it. I'm really making it last, probably because sometimes I can only get 20 minutes in before I have to do something else.

Harry:
That's funny because you can sort of tie that back in to like a podcast episode, like the length doesn't matter. If you want to hear a show and it's interesting and engaging, you'll just chunk up your time to figure out when you can catch, you know, where you can fit it to your schedule and listen to the entire thing.

Jessica:
Yeah, because even though I'm sitting at my desk, I listen to podcasts on my phone or my iPad, because want to carry it around, you know, I'll carry it to the bathroom with me so I can keep listening, but I'll be able, like the long episode,s you know, you can just, like if you have to do something you can just pause it and then when you're ready again, you just play it, it's great.

Harry:
How did you decide, you talked about and I think it was on Relaunch as well how you had a point where you were about to have the baby and decided you're not going to work anymore, you're going to be a stay-at-home and then there's a transition period where you had to decided that you wanted to work again and you wanted to be something that I imagined was going to be flexible with your time, which is what I imagined eventually lead to Interview Connections, but in that period where you decided what to do next, how did the idea for Interview Connects came about?

Jessica:
It really didn't, Interview Connections really didn't come about until after a few months into having an online business which really for all intents, I mean, I was a virtual assistant working as a sole proprietor, like I didn't, it was me doing a service hourly for individual clients, most of which was my dad at first, because he – when I was, you know, three months pregnant, I gave my boss my notice saying that, hey, I'm pregnant and when the baby comes, I'm leaving.

There was a few months there I had no idea what I was going to do and then it was like, around Thanksgivingish my dad had said, well, why don't you be a virtual assistant. I'll show you how to have an online business and I'm like, what? But he was like, just trust me. You know? So, I just started by doing work for him and then I was booking, one of the things, he's like, yeah, I get interviewed on podcasts and radio shows, it's really good for my business, why don't you just start booking me. I'm like okay, I don't know.

I'm like, business podcast. I'm like pitching him to these probably shows that would never respond to my pitch, but that's where naivete, ignorance is so – like I feel like that's why I was able to grow my business, because I didn't know who was big, I didn't – like, I just approached everyone and then from there as I was doing that as a virtual assistant, people, you know, podcasting started to pick up and podcasters and other entrepreneurs started saying, oh, can you help me get booked or can you help me find guests.

I was doing that and I was also doing Pinterest marketing. I was doing people's Pinterest pages as a virtual assistant and then I also figured out how to design info graphics with Piktochart. So, I was doing a couple of random things and when I realized like a few months after my son was born, I was saying to my dad, I really need to build my business. I need to grow faster. I need to make more money and so he asked me, he's like, well, what are you going to enjoy doing the most in your business and what's the most profitable and for me Pinterest and infographics weren't really the most profitable because it really was just so – first of all, I didn't, I just came to not really enjoy it quite as much, if you have to, like honestly I don't know how people make a whole business around one social media platform. I don't know how Amy Porterfield does it. I would be so sick of Facebook if I were her. I would just hate my life if I had to talk about, I mean, maybe people think that about podcasting, but I just think it was a much broader, anyway.

So, I wasn't really stoked about growing a Pinterest business just kind of, but I'm like, well, I really like booking people for podcast interviews, because everyone is really happy when they get booked on an interview and so he just, he helped me come up with the idea for Interview Connections and he's like, well, you know, create a service, because, you know, if you want to scale a business, you've got to do something that's going to grow beyond just you because I did not want to be solo entrepreneur. I wanted to grow where it wasn't all going to be tied to my hours and my time.

Harry:
There must be a small world or small niche or small circle in terms of people that – obviously booking guests is not something new, but booking guests for podcasts, there must be a small circle of folks that are doing that, right?

Jessica:
Yeah. There are, I'm seeing more and more individuals who are doing that in their business, offering that as a service. I have yet to see another business who has scaled out a team that's booking people. I can think of several names who I know work with clients and get them booked, but as far as growing a whole team and having a whole, you know, business beyond their individual name who serves one other person, yeah, I still haven't seen it. I mean, I know I'm not the only one doing it, but I mean, I love listening to, there was an episode of The Daily Show podcast without John Stewart where they interviewed the booking agent for the show.

Harry:
Oh nice.

Jessica:
I'm like, this is so cool, because like me, but for The Daily Show! And that's really neat, because it's like my model is nothing new. I just took it and I adapted it to podcasting, to a very, very specific niche of podcasting. Like, I have had people that come to me who have, you know, TV and entertainment podcast, can you help me book the actors and the people and I don't and I'm like, you know, I've built out a network of entrepreneurs and small business owners and we're getting to some different categories, but I really just stayed very, very niched and just become, I've become very well known in a very, very small pond, you know, when you think of the big, big picture of the world and a business.

Harry:
Well, it seems like you've established the framework for booking the guests and you have the business setup already, so it's no stretch to think that at some point in the future you could have divisions, right, you could have business, you could have comedy, you could have entertainment.

Jessica:
Oh yeah.

Harry:
Because you have the infrastructure in place, you have the skill set required, it's just a matter of establishing the connections with those people and those circles.

Jessica:
Exactly. I mean, it's really just a matter of like getting the right people on the team who have the ability to make those connections, you know? So, yeah, there's so many different things that I could do with it and there's no shortage of people that have said, you should totally do this with Interview Connections. Oh, you should do this. Yeah, let me just slap up a new website, you know, but yeah. One day in a few years once I'm not like producing humans and changing diapers. There's a lot, there's cool places I could take the business, but now I just, I like doing what I'm doing, you know, just working with this small business, entrepreneur podcast or community. It hasn't slowed down at all. There's still a lot of opportunity to get out of it.

Harry:
If anything it's picking up, I imagine right?

Jessica:
Oh yeah. It's so funny when I hear people like, oh, is podcasting going anywhere? It's like, yeah. Like, trust me. People everyday are discovering how powerful podcasting is for business, like, there are so many people out there. It's only in it's infancy.

Harry:
What's interesting is that your in a unique place where you get to interact with the hosts and you get to interact with people who want to be guests or you need to reach out so that they can be guests on shows, so I was wondering if taking both of those audiences and just dealing with the people who want to have big name guests or prominent guests. What is one thing or either a common misconception that people have about the process or something that continues to trip people over from a podcast host perspective?

Jessica:
It's funny. When people sign up on my website, one of the first, they fill out a couple of forms, information about their podcast, booking requests, who they want to interview, and I have in big bold letters, on word on celebrity guests. I have a little kind of disclaimer like, if you're about to type into this booking request form all of the biggest celebrities and you haven't yet launched your show, let me offer you a little reality check, it's not exactly in those words, but I am so not the person that thinks celebrity guests are the key to a successful podcast. I just…

Harry:
I agree.

Jessica:
Yeah. I can't even put it into words. I just think A) like, people say, oh how do I get the A-list guest. I'm like, there isn't an A-list guest and B-list guest and C-list guest, there's guests that are great for your show, you know?

Harry:
Yeah, I think what you should do is also in an addition to putting that disclaimer there, you automatically put a link to that Chris Brogan article where he sort of goes on a rant. This is like the second Chris Brogan rant we mentioned now, so maybe there's a trend there.

Jessica:
He's a ranter.

Harry:
But I think it's the one about if you just had me on your show because you thought I was going to boost your ratings or something like that, something to that affect, because I guess he had someone reach out to them. Hey, Chris, you were just on, don't forget, send it to here, send it to here and tweet this and link this and he's like, why did you have me on, because if that was the only reason, then you're going at it all wrong and I thought it was a great post and (#70:27?) had a recent post on medium around that same topic.

Jessica:
I loved everything he put in that article about how he's grown. He talks to people and we kind of touched on that, right, when we first started. We both interview people on our show that we both really like. Like, I interviewed Doug Foresta. He has a few different podcasts. He has The Coachzing podcast and we interview each other and he mentioned to me, he goes, you have a great show, but I haven't really heard of most of the people you interview. I'm like, yeah, because I don't care how well known they are.

I interview people that I meet and that have and sometimes I will seek out experts in a specific topic or specific field, because I want to cover that, but then I find the person I resonate most with and I have really no interest in just like big name guests, because – also, because I see these rants and because I hear the opinions of, you know, like Jamie says, I told my story a million times, like I don't want to have her on my show if I feel like she's tired of telling her story and she's tired of giving the same tip. I love Jamie, don't get me wrong, but I don't want to interview people who are tired of being interview, like that would be uncomfortable for me and there's also really like, big name podcasters that are very opinionated about like how things should be done.

Like, quite frankly, like, again, Michael O'Neal, he's a friend of mine, love his show, but he is, he does not like going on podcasts where the podcaster does something he think is wrong. I would be incredibly nervous and uncomfortable to have someone on my show when I feel like they're judging me the whole time for my skills, like that's kind of my thoughts on the big name, but I just think a lot of new podcasters it's their, you know, their silver bullet to success. It's going to get them high ratings and high, you know, a high downloads right away and I mean, I'm sure, Harry, as you and I both seen having a podcast for, I think you said – how many episodes are you at now?

Harry:
45.

Jessica:
Yeah. I'm somewhere around the same amount. I mean, more with the number of interviews I've done, there's a lot more, like, with The Podcast Producers, but what I've realized is that you start getting listener engagement. You see on the Libsyn the download stats start to go, the trend go up after you've been around for a while, you know, because it turns out you're better after like your first couple of episodes. I was talking to Corey and I said, you know, I was browsing new and noteworthy. I was kind of curious what shows are coming out and I clicked on a few and I'm like, wow, these people suck. Like, they're not very good. They will be good if they stick with it and they keep podcasting, but they're not good right now, so why would you want to have your biggest celebrity guest on and you suck.

Harry:
Yeah,. You really got to give it, I mean, I think, 50, maybe 100 episodes before you hit your stride and you get comfortable behind the mic, you get comfortable talking to people and you just work out all the kinks and you know what you want to say and you know how you want to introduce your show and, like you said, people hear it. They understand, oh, this person is sort of growing into their podcasting skin.

Jessica:
Yeah, when I think about the number of interviews I've done for both shows that I'm a part of it wasn't until probably 40-45 interviews that I felt like it clicked and then I felt like I hit my stride and yeah and now I feel like I can just keep getting better, but it takes a good 40 to 50 episodes, I think, before you really hit your stride and before you really get good.

Harry:
So, now the other side of the equation, the guests that you speak to, either guests that want to be on other shows or guests you have to reach out to because they're bigger names. Is there something about your interactions with those people that the listeners would be surprised to hear or probably should hear?

Jessica:
So, when, are you asking like, when we reach out to book them for interviews? Like we ask them to be on a show?

Harry:
Yeah.

Jessica:
I mean, just as far as like reaching out and getting people booked, you, I mean, this is one thing that I learned when I went door-to-door is we would – we went door-to-door fund raising, so we had a goal in mind to get people to make a donation and we would always, the skill we would have is called matching energies, so if we were going door-to-door in a really ritzy neighborhood with like really big houses, maybe very conservative, we would approach that person a lot differently than if we were in a really working class neighborhood where people were really poor and disgruntled and thinks like that.

So, that's kind of the skill that I apply to booking interviews. If I'm approaching somebody. Like, I was booking interviews for a fitness podcast and he was looking at some really big names in the fitness and bodybuilding space and you can tell on their website if they say like, if you have a media request, email it to this person and we don't say yes a lot, but you can send the request here, when you know that they get requested it a lot, you got to keep it really short, simple, to the point and realize that they don't actually need you, unless you happen to have a really big show and they're going to be excited about it.

But most likely it, unless you are somebody that has a very big, big podcast that they've heard of and that they're going to be excited to hear from you, most likely you have to understand that this is, they're going to look at this either, because maybe they enjoy doing interviews and they are going to be nice and say yes or, you know, as a favor, because being in front of your hundred people is probably not going to make a huge dent in their overall business. Not to say they should say no to you, but you just have to remember like, what's in it for them and like I usually keep my emails to the bigger guests really short because this is, they know the drill, you know? They don't, like, you don't need to tell them all about your podcast and how amazing it is and all that. Like, oh, I'm in new and noteworthy. It's like, well.

Harry:
That doesn't carry a lot of weight, no.

Jessica:
That's what I see a lot of people doing. It's like, known as iTunes new and noteworthy podcast. It's like, guess what, everyone has been in new and noteworthy.

Harry:
Yeah, exactly.

Jessica:
So, you just have to know who your audience is and talk to them accordingly.

Harry:
Very good point. So, this is fantastic. As always, we went past an hour, which is fine, because I think..

Jessica:
Hey, the best stuff came after probably 30 minutes here.

Harry:
It does. What are you excited about coming up on for the rest of this year either with your business or just with podcasting in general?

Jessica:
So, with my business. I mean, I'm really excited about, just we talked so much about like the team and I've scaled back a little bit in terms of how big my tam is, but I'm really excited to just like keep perfecting the aberrations of Interview Connections and just keep improving my services there and then you know, with podcasting, I'm really excited to do another season of The Podcast Producers and I'm excited, I'm excited to keep, you know, keep podcasting with Rhodes to Success.

I had kind of a light bulb moment a little while back how my podcast, you know, people talk a lot about podcasting as a lead generation tool and I think that it is, but for me, I have noticed it is really powerful in retention of current clients. Like, I have a lot of clients that listen to my podcast and I believe that is a reason they stay with me. So, I'm excited – so what I do when I think about guests to bring on and topics to cover, it almost always comes from what my clients are asking about, so I don't really think about the outside space, I just look at who is paying me money, what do they want to know about, I'll bring that to the podcast.

So, I'm really excited to just keep covering different topics and interviewing different guests there, but I'm excited about The Podcast Producers, because I think Corey and I learned so much from season one and you know, we really releasing the interviews now, like the raw and uncut version.

Harry:
Yes, I want those.

Jessica:
So, we've got, I think, my count was 28 interviews that we did and so, there were definitely some where so much was left on the cutting room floor. I'm really, really excited to get some of those out there and I mean that was just a fun series to produce, because it really – while so many podcasts are either all about the guest or all about the host. I feel like the thing we did right with The Podcast Producers is we made it all about the medium and allowed everyone to be a journalist and give their opinion, but nobody was – nobody in that series, not Corey, not myself, not any guest were right.

It was just we were presenting everyone's opinions, so we have to think about what we want to talk about in season two, because we covered such big name topics in season one and we're like, where do we take it? Do we do a whole season on one little aspect, like one little segment of podcasting or do we do another season of like ten more topics to cover, so that excites me a lot.

Harry:
Yeah, that's cool and I've got a couple of folks I'm going to send your way that I think will make for some fantastic conversations.

Jessica:
Yeah.

Harry:
And the best part is the folks you originally reached out to who said, no, I don't think it's a right fit and now they're knocking on your door.

Jessica:
Yeah. When we, yeah, I know exactly who Corey was talking about too. It was pretty hilarious, but you know, they didn't know what it was going to be, so no hard feelings.

Harry:
You gotta get in on the ground floor sometimes and take a chance.

Jessica:
Yeah, some of the things we were talking about is like, you know, do we go, there's like some big names we are really interested in talking to, but then it's like, well, maybe we just do a seasons with people nobody ever heard of. So, we were thinking about what types of guests we want to be interviewing. It's all very fun and exciting to just let your creative juices flow.

Harry:
Yeah. It's a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to it and it was well received and so I'm sure you'll have fun with the second one.

Jessica:
Thanks.

Harry:
So, just before I let you go, one last question, something a little different, is what is the one thing that is most misunderstood about you?

Jessica:
Wow. Most misunderstood about me. Well, I guess I would have to know what people think about me to know what's misunderstood about me.

Harry:
Or just the case when sometimes people have preconceived notions about you or either based on what they've seen, what they've read, or what they've heard and then when they actually meet you, it's something different.

Jessica:
Oh my gosh. I, like, I honestly don't know, because I don't know what people say about me and if it's wrong.

Harry:
It doesn't have to be anything recent too. It could be something maybe when you were growing up too.

Jessica:
My God. I hate being this stumped on a question, but I really have no idea. I don't know. Have you ever had a guest that can't answer this question, because I have no idea what to say.

Harry:
That's okay. No, I mean, people always have good…

Jessica:
What have other people said?

Harry:
Well, you know, a lot of times it's personality, right, people think I'm super serious and that I don't have like a light side, because they hear my voice and it's all authoritative and then when they hear me and then when they're hanging out and usually it's at a conference, right, you get to see the lighter side of people at conferences and they're like oh, wow, like this person is not as obnoxious as they sound and sometimes it could be the opposite too.

Jessica:
I guess that to an extent is because especially like if you, like, I keep really professional in emails. Well, I try to be as very straight forward and direct in emails as possible, because whenever you're typing something, you know, you really can't make jokes or be sarcastic or joke around in emails, so I think a lot of clients and people I've emailed with probably think I'm not as fun as I think I am and then when I get in person with them I'm like totally energetic and bubbly and things like that, so that, I mean, that's probably it. People probably just don't realize that I am, of course I'm like, everyone knows what I'm like, but I'm with myself all the time.

Harry:
What's fantastic is now that this episode when it goes live, it's going to paint you in a whole new bubbly light and people are like, wow, Jessica is a lot of fun.

Jessica:
Awh. Yeah, no, this interview was really fun. I've never done a podcast like this. I mean, we're at almost an hour and a half. We've talked about everything from TV and like business stuff and joked around and laughed about different podcasting stuff, so this was, this is great, yeah. People just listen to me and you'll get all sides of me.

Harry:
You mentioned – I just have to ask one more thing. You thought about theater for a while, did you ever get to perform anything when you were in school?

Jessica:
Yeah. I was in, I mean, I did plans and musicals all throughout my childhood, so the last. I mean, the last time I preformed was when I was a senior in highschool. I was Frenchie in Grease

Harry:
Wait, you said musical. So, that means you can sing.

Jessica:
I used to be able to sing. Don't even think about asking me to sing now.

Harry:
I don't think many people knew that.

Jessica:
People don't know I'm a secret – that's the funny thing, I don't like going to plays anymore. Like, I don't enjoy musicals, but yeah, I used to sing and dance and act and you know, I'm a ham.

Harry:
So, if you run into Jessica at Podcast Movement, feel free to invite her to your karaoke after party. Even if she says no, she's more than game.

Jessica:
If you run into me at Podcast Movement, we have issues, because I'm due two weeks after Podcast Movement with my baby, but future events, you know, next Podcast Movement, Social Media Marketing World, any of those events. Hey, get a couple of drinks in me. I'll join you at the karaoke bar.

Harry:
Now that we know she can sing. So, Jessica, thanks. We'll ring this one in for a landing. Thank you so much for being super generous with your time and where can folks track you down?

Jessica:
JessicaRhodes.biz is my main website and that's where I blog and then there's links to my podcast and my TV show and my business. I'm very easily accessible through that website.

Harry:
Thanks again. I had a blast and I look forward to catching up with you in person as well.

Jessica:
Yeah, you too, thanks Harry.

Harry:
Okay. So, that was a fantastic conversation with Jessica. I say this a lot, they could have gone on for probably another hour. We had a really fun time and at some point we have to wrap it up, but I think you get a feel for what she's like, what her energy is like, why she's so passionate about human connection, which I really resonated with because I'm the same way and that concept she mentioned about matching energies when she was talking about linking up guests with podcast shows and vice verse I think also resonated with me, because I'm really a firm believer in working off people's vibes to get a feel for who they are.

I'm a pretty good read at that kind of thing. I feel like Jessica is that type of person as well and it speaks to the quality and the type of person that I want to continue to bring on this show. I really want you to get a feel for who they are as a person, as a podcaster. The fact that they are a podcaster is what gets them on the show, but the fact that they're an engaging lively, warm personality with a lot to offer and the audience and a lot to contribute in terms of the conversation is why I think they make for a good fit on the show and I'm going to make it my mission to continue to bring those types of people on here, because I think those are the most entertaining and engaging types of conversations.

So, PodcastJunkies.com for everything you need to know about the show and how to support it and namely a iTunes review, hint, hint, is always awesome and that's why I keep asking for it, because it helps the iTunes algorithm, it helps the show, it helps people find the show, the other thing you can do is recommend it to a friend. So, if someone wants to learn about new podcasts, you might recommend Podcast Junkies to them.

So, enough about that, enough about me. If you've made it this far, this time we do have a hashtag for you. Shout out to Patrick Keller for calling me out on the last episode, because there was no hashtag on the end. It's just a little game we do with our very, very loyal listeners who have listened all the way to the end of the podcast to this week. The hashtag is #MatchingEnergies . MatchingEnergies, the hashtag, and that way Jessica and I will both know that you are the super duper dedicated Podcast Junkies fan. Have a fantastic week guys. Talk to you later.

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