Your opportunity to make it big with your creative endeavors is no longer something others are in control of. You can influence your own success tremendously – primarily through doing great work and networking at the same time. Josh Muccio is a great example of a person who did “make it big” by being picked up by a big company in his industry, but it’s not because they gave him permission – it’s because they noticed the great work he was already doing. Dane invited Josh on the show a second time because his story illustrates how creatives can open the door to their own opportunities. It’s a lesson we all need to learn and Josh shares a wealth of insight for those who are ready to hear it and take action.
Before you reach out to the “star makers” in your niche, do great work
Back in season two of Converge, Dane took a shot in the dark and predicted that Josh’s podcast “The Pitch” would be picked up by a big podcasting company like Gimlet… and it was. Dane wanted to hear the story of how that happened, so he invited Josh back for this conversation. The way the story unfolds is not what you might expect. Nobody came knocking on Josh’s door. Nobody sent a talent scout to find the next big podcast hit and suddenly discovered him. Josh kept producing his independent podcast to a high standard, found people to help him, and reached out to people in the podcasting space who he wanted to meet. Things happened because he did great work and took action. You can hear Josh explain how it happened – how he facilitated his own opportunity, on this episode.
People are your biggest resource, but they are not a commodity to be used
Even if you are a solopreneur or solo founder, people are the best resource you have. Josh Muccio realized that early on in his podcasting journey, so he started reaching out to influential people in his space WHILE he continued to do great work. He wasn’t looking for a handout or to be discovered, he was making his own opportunity. That is exactly how creatives in the digital age have to approach success: Do good work, make your opportunity. Jay shares why he sends cold emails to people he wants to meet every day, how he crafts those emails to be personal and appealing, and why he thinks it’s an important discipline that will work for anyone seeking to build good relationships with others in their space.
If you can’t create a brain-trust, at least get some smart friends alongside
One of the greatest benefits of becoming a part of the Gimlet media family is that a team of audio and storytelling professionals are available to help Josh make his already-great show even better. He refers to them as a brain-trust: experts who are able to look at his work, give feedback, and refine it to greater effect. Dane asked Josh if he thinks it’s possible for the average, independent artist to form their own brain-trust. While he’s not sure independents can pull together a team with the same level of expertise he’s blessed with at Gimlet, he’s confident that having other trusted, smart individuals look at your work and give honest feedback is always going to make it better.
There is always another opportunity to shoot for. Keep reaching
Near the end of this conversation, Dane asked Josh to share his perspective for those at the beginning of their creative journey now that he’s at the top of his industry. His podcast is a staple on the Gimlet media lineup, continues to get great reviews and is growing its listener base monthly. What advice does he have now that he’s “made it.” Interestingly enough, Josh points out that even those he works for at Gimlet don’t feel they’ve made it. There’s always another level to reach for, always another way to grow and become better at what you do. His advice: Your opportunity to become the best is always before you. Be aware that success doesn’t change the need to do your best work, no matter what level of success you’ve already attained.
Outline of this great episode
- [0:22] Why Dane is featuring a guest for the second time: Josh Muccio
- [5:30] How Josh got connected with the folks at Gimlet media
- [12:20] Why Josh sends cold emails to people he wants to know (and how he does it)
- [17:14] Podcasting? Why would a person choose to do podcasting?
- [21:28] What Josh did to educate himself so he could do what he was doing better
- [24:38] How life is different today that pre-Gimlet partnership
- [30:02] Could the average person put together their own creative brain-trust?
- [35:47] Would Josh do anything differently if he could start over?
- [41:05] The importance of Josh’s personal ultimatum
- [43:30] Advice from the top of the industry: There’s always another “top” to shoot for
Resources & Links mentioned in this episode
- Startup episode: Introducing “The Pitch”
- Original Converge episode with Josh Muccio
- The StartUp Podcast
- Gimlet Media
- Millennial Podcast
- Shark Tank
- This American Life
- Alex Bloomburg’s Creative Live course
- BOOK: Out On The Wire
- The Moth Podcast
- How Sound Podcast
- Gwen Stefani
Josh Muccio Resources
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