Mike is a former derivatives trader turned investor and entrepreneur, who also holds an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship. He has built a career in online media previously holding roles at Money.com, Reviews.com, was Managing Editor at The Simple Dollar.

He is currently the CEO and owner of Rejoin Media. Mike is widely quoted in media including Good Financial Cents, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Business Insider, Yahoo News, Ask Men, Authority Magazine, Reviews.com, The Simple Dollar and has been featured on various local news stations. Mike runs his business remotely with his team scattered across the U.S. Right now, Mike resides in the beautiful Midwest with his wife and 3 young boys, and the family is building their side hustle, Quote Book.

Topics we covered:

  • How one business venture opened Mike’s world to podcasting
  • The Domino Effect of Podcasting in Marketing and Business
  • Changing people’s lives with podcasting/The Priceless Benefits Podcasting can bring to your audience

This episode is brought to you by “Podcast Accelerator Challenge“. I’ve been using podcasting as a powerful business growing tool for years. Nothing is more powerful than podcasting for help businesses grow. If you’re tired of playing roulette with your ad dollars and frustrated with algorithms constantly changing on social media platforms, the only thing that has changed about podcasting is the popularity of the platform.

If you’re a business owner and you want to grow your business but you’re not sure where to start, then join the FREE 5-Day Podcast Accelerator Challenge“. Within 5 days, you’ll go from no podcast to having a full realized podcast with built in strategies to help use this tool for your business.


Select Links from the Episode:

Show Notes:

  • How Mike went from small website acquisitions to Podcast Host extraordinaire (01:21)
  • How Mike is leveraging podcasts to fulfill his mission to mentor people about their potential career paths (02:19)
  • The cure-all of business’s major marketing woes: Podcasting (02:42)
  • What inspired Mike to utilize podcasting to grow his social media presence across the board (04:03)
  • The ripple effect that podcasting can bring to your business (06:03)
  • From podcast host to local news sensation (06:57)
  • How you can command authority in your field using your podcast (07:41)
  • The invaluable impact of podcasting to your business’s credibility (09:00)
  • What Mike did to overcome his dilemma of finding the right mix of content for the podcast (11:26)
  • How podcasting helped realize his dream of guiding people in exploring alternative career paths (14:18) 
  • Why podcasting makes it easy to connect with many in today’s digital world (16:43)
  • Why purpose and your audience should serve as your north star in podcasting (18:17)
  • How living vicariously through others’ past failures can positively impact your career and life’s trajectory (21:41)
  • Why mistakes are actually an investment in loss (23:14)

Transcript:

Cliff Duvernois: Hey, they’re world-changers, and welcome to Entrepreneurs on Podcasting today. We’ve got an awesome guest. His mission is to help people get intentional about their career journey with an MBA in finance and entrepreneurship. Our guest today has built a career in online media. He is currently the CEO of rejoining me.

He’s widely cult quoted in good financial clients.com. The simple dollar reviews.com. The Huffington post Forbes business, insider Yahoo news, ask men literally every major publication that’s out there. He’s the host and executive producer of the Career Cloud podcast.

Please welcome to the show Mike Gardon. Mike, how are you? 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: I’m doing really well. Thanks Cliff for having me.

Cliff Duvernois: Excellent. So why don’t you tell us a little bit more about your business? 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: Yeah, sure. I built a little bit of a career in online media After selling one of our companies, I came back to doing that full circle again. And what my business really does is we acquire small websites and try to grow them. And as part of that, we acquire.

Career cloud.com several years ago which had this nifty little podcast going. And as time went on, I said, I really want to get more involved. In this podcasting thing, I have a passion for mentorship and helping people see their career options more clearly. And so I just started slowly taking over the podcast a few months.

Cliff Duvernois: Nice. And the question that I got for you is for, the business, cause you said you bought it and it actually had a podcast which came with it, which I think is absolutely fascinating by the way. And so what was it that made you decide to start really leveraging the podcast for the business? 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: Yeah. What I’m trying to really do is create a platform for people to build the career of their dreams and get really intentional about what they want to do and understand their choices. And part of that is inspiration. I think a lot of people don’t quite, they don’t always come out of college or high school or whatever, understanding kind of the landscape of things that you can do to make a living.

Right. It’s not just get a job, climb the ladder and be more successful that way. And so I felt having a podcast can help put it. It’s just a different way of storytelling, then online, just doing online writing. And so I think that is. Where I’m trying to leverage the podcast going forward, trying to find we’re in the middle of a retool with it.

But from a tactical business level the podcast is just, it’s another form of content, right? That’s obviously growing as, you know, And it’s another way to leverage authority in a space. When we saw the podcast, it was really about from a business decision. It was really about like, how can we leverage this podcast to Get PR grow credibility, provide links back to our content and grow our website and things of that nature.

And so that was what, it was really the impetus around pulling the trigger on this site.

Cliff Duvernois: Nice. And the thing is, and I want to go back in and unpack this a little bit. And cause you were talking before about, leveraging the podcast, not only in getting your message out, but building a thorough. At the same time when you’re doing this. So the question that I got for you is that, from your, from coming into podcasting, where did you get exposed to that idea? 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: That’s a good question. I’m not sure exactly how to answer it. I think just coming from the media space and understanding how different forms of media and content can help drive Th they’re all different ways of discoverability, right? So if you look at YouTube, YouTube has its own discoverability engines and so do podcasts.

And so do so does online content with, search engines. And so all of these things can be leveraged in different ways for the same goal. And so that’s really what it. What the thesis was. And then when we dug into the metrics of this site, we could already see that just organically colleges were linking to the podcast as a resource for their students to, listen to the podcast, uh, if you want career advice and things of that nature.

And we were. Able to, like Inc magazine and entrepreneurship, entrepreneur magazine and things like that have put out articles and, we’ve been ranked in the top top career or job search podcasts, to listen to. And so that’s all sort of organic, natural ways of drawing attention to your platform.

Cliff Duvernois: And I think that’s really cool because you’re bringing up, and this is something that I tell people when they’re producing episodes and, maybe they get, a little bit tangled up in the fact that they’re not getting to download, getting the downloads that they’re looking for or whatever it is when they start a podcast.

But what you’re talking about here, Is that quite frankly, you really don’t know who’s listening and the person that’s listening to your content, listening to the podcast, that’s going out. There could be somebody at a university level that says, you know what? Our students need to hear this matter.

And so they go out and they start sharing it with their audience, right. Sharing it with their students. And, just like we were talking about ink magazine and these other places like that, the moral of story is you never know who’s listening to your content and that’s why it’s important to make sure that you put it out there. 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: Yeah, I think that’s totally true. And I also think that it’s just, it’s an authoritative form of content that you can then leverage in other ways. So as an example part of what we do is like we’ll put out studies on, recently with remote work and things like that. We’ll do a study and we’ll tell you.

Bureau of labor statistics, data, or other governmental data and we’ll slice and dice it. And we’ll come up with , what are the best states for remote work? Like where are people moving to and stuff like that. And when we do that, we’ll go out and try to promote that to news stations, like local news stations.

And so they’ll link back to the study and get, we’ll get more buzz around our site and our platform. And if I’m just Mike Gardon who acquired career cloud I that’s one thing, but when they realized that I’m the host of a podcast that goes out it just brings.

Authority. And so we’ve been able to leverage that and get me on local news. I’ve been on local news in New York city, and I’ve been on the radio in Miami and Atlanta and Cal, Bakersfield, California, and all of that works together. And I don’t think I would have gotten as many or continued to get as many local news spots without being able to say I’m the host of a pretty well listen to.

Okay.

Cliff Duvernois: Yes, definitely. And I think that, and this was something that I talked to with a previous guest on this, is that, , podcasting really does open the door for you to be able to, be interviewed and also get speaking engagements as well. 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: yeah, I don’t do a whole lot of speaking for fee, but absolutely. Look, when. When somebody reads what you write on the internet or, and that’s it, they don’t understand how you’re going to come across. To an audience in audio format, be that on an interview, a 32nd interview on the news or in a speaking engagement.

But when they can go to an episode and listen to you and Nick and experience how you come across and how you communicate yourself. Yeah. It, it’s don’t tell me, show me and with using a podcast you’re able to hone your skills there and actually show people how you come about.

Cliff Duvernois: Definitely. Definitely. And so the one things that I would like to discuss with you is because I know you, you said that you acquired the career cloud.com website, which also came with a podcast with it. What is the impact that it’s had on your business? 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: so we acquired the site in, I believe it was 2017 if I’m not mistaken. And it’s really hard to say in terms of the actual impact, taking that down to a bottom line because when we acquired it, it was part of the foundation. And from a, I guess a business standpoint, there wasn’t a whole lot going on.

But I do I would say that it’s invaluable. Because of what I had talked about previously, like in our business, in growing an audience online. It, it matters your social reach. It matters the links that you’re getting from authoritative websites in the news, and, uh, business insider and Fox news and places that are linking over to your content.

And that’s all part of your authority profile. And I think we wouldn’t have gotten to where we are without the podcast. So I think it’s an integral part of it. I don’t know how to quantify that. Super specifically, but then talking about, going forward and growing this into, I guess like where we’re at is probably stage two of a five or six stage future with the site and.

And so we’re, well-read, we’re authoritative and I, and again, making this up platform means that where I want to go is be able to come up with much more integrative content around helping people make decisions. And I think the podcast leveraging the podcast in the future now to provide inspiration to people and to draw in.

The readers and fill the top level of the funnel is where I’m thinking about is how I’m thinking about using the podcast going forward.

Cliff Duvernois: Nice. Yeah. Just to let you know that I really wasn’t looking for a quantitative number. It’s like you said before, right? That the podcast has really allowed you and your business to kind of establish yourself really as thought leaders. In this particular space and because of it’s helped you to establish it, like we were talking about before, the it’s opened the doors for you to, be interviewed, get exposed to other people’s audience, get quoted in all of these major publications and everything else, and I, and I think it’s safe to say that if you didn’t have the podcast, you wouldn’t be getting nearly the visibility that you’re getting today. 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: Yes. I agree with that. Yeah.

Cliff Duvernois: Excellent. And so one of the things that I would like to talk to you about is cause like I said before I know that, you bought the podcast when you bought the domain name, but when you came in there and started taking over the role of podcasting and being the host of things like that, what was one of the biggest challenges that you had overcome? 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: With the podcast.

Cliff Duvernois: Yes. 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: Yeah, I think it’s the same. It honestly, it’s the same challenge that we face today. So I guess like when we bought it. I didn’t do anything with the podcast. I left it be the way it was. And we had a gentleman who was continuing to turn out episodes because he just liked talking about interviews and resumes and, getting a job kind of a thing.

But I was always, we, we got to figure out like the right mix of content in what we want. That’s going to allow us to grow grow that top level. And I think we’re still messing around with that. And so basically I just to give you a little bit of a history, again, we had somebody doing the podcast and it wasn’t until really June of this past year that I started to do episodes.

So I’m myself pretty green. In terms of podcasting But, and I think what I think, so again, I mentioned that we’re in like we’re in a little bit of uh, content retool and where I want to go. I want to go away from, how do you get a job? What should I do with my resume? How sh interview tips like that kind of thing, too.

Inspiration around career. So I’ve done a million different things different careers in my life already. And I want to bring that to people because you can use entrepreneurship, you can use freelance, you can use your passions and interests and build a career and a lifestyle around those things separate from just getting a job.

And so where we’re going is in the future again, here is I want to do. I want to find really, I want to find people that have very interesting careers and think about the word career differently. And I want to bring that to the podcast platform because that’s what provides inspiration for people to think about their career differently.

And then as they get familiar with the career cloud brand and the online content, we can continue to roll out products and services that help people. Build that career of their dreams. So it’s, so that’s a, long-winded answer to your question, but the concise answer is it’s all about figuring out like the content mix to me.

And what’s going to resonate with what people need for us specifically.

Cliff Duvernois: Yeah, I really love your answer because the one thing cause, cause people always say, when you think about, your content and the problems that you solve the, what I just heard from you is that you’re interested in being a part of the career. It’s not just so much about how do you land that first job, but it’s, how can you get that first job?

How can you get that second job? And what I’m hearing from you is really building a career that people can find satisfying. That’s the angle that I’m hearing you talk about. 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: Yeah. And it’s about taking responsibility and being intentional about those decisions as early as possible. Look, I went to college, I was fortunate to go to college. I don’t feel like I had a great idea of. The world options for what I could do with my life. Right. Like I knew finance and I knew accounting and like those things.

And so if we can help people to open their eyes at a much earlier age to the ability and really the, I would say. Make people understand that it’s not as risky as it sounds to do other things and to take chances with your career when you want to build, when you’re building your life, then we’re doing a real, then if we can do that, we’re doing a really good job on that top part of the funnel.

And again, that’s what I, where I envisioned the podcast coming in.

Cliff Duvernois: Right. tell us what are some of the successes that you’ve seen from your podcast? 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: We’ve gotten some good user feedback and I think user feedback. Challenging in a podcast scenario, but we’ve had people, write us and say, Hey, like I was, I got laid off and I was really struggling and I listened to your podcast and a bunch of your old episodes or whatever it was.

And it got me on track and I was able to get, a really good job, things like that. We hear all the time. And so that’s that’s a huge validation for what we’ve done in, in what the previous people have done as well. That’s stuff that like I can go to bed at night and feel really good about.

And then I think from my standpoint, like whenever I if I see if I wake up and see that again, like Inc com has listed us, like the best. Career podcast to listen to that’s super duper satisfying.

Cliff Duvernois: Yeah. I can only imagine if, I sit in or checking my email And all of a sudden I found out a major publication was linking back to my stuff. That would be absolutely just, killer and it’s awesome. And it’s nice that your audience. The ones that, the people you’re really impacting and you’re really helping out.

It’s nice that they’re able to reach out and actually share their, their wins with you. It’s not like they’re necessarily being quiet, but they’re taking the time out of their schedule to say, Hey, thanks for, being able to help me with this knowledge and this value that you’ve given me.

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: Yeah. And I think when you think about. How busy everybody is in this digital world. It’s actually pretty hard, to reach out and do that. I know you gotta go find an email address on a website or something like that. It’s not super duper easy in podcasts. Even more difficult.

Cause a lot of times you’re listening to a podcast and your task switching, you might be like commuting or something and then, okay, you go to your job and you forget about it. There’s a kind of a heavy lift to provide that feedback. So somebody has to feel really good and feel really inspired to pull the trigger and, write you like a lengthy note like that.

So I’m, uh, I, I just have to think that there’s more out there, right. That are listening and feeling the same way, but haven’t gone through those hoops and those steps. So that gets me like feeling good and motivated to keep going. 

Cliff Duvernois: Yeah.

because I think a and you bring up a really good point there because for every person who does reach out to you, when we’ll jump through those hoops to reach out and say, thanks, there’s probably a thousand other people out there that you have helped as well. Who, for whatever reason, another either didn’t feel like jumping through those hoops or whatever it is, but, they’re, they’re going to be lifelong listeners because you did help them out. 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: yeah.

Cliff Duvernois: Excellent. Now here’s the question, cause I love that you’re, you’re retooling your podcast and you’re making it more making it look like it sounds like more holistic as far as the whole approach to career goes for the entrepreneur out there who has a pod. And, maybe they’re struggling.

What would be one piece of advice that you would give on? 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: I think, eh, it depends because I think it depends on what what you’re trying to accomplish. There are podcasts that could be, I think it, to step back, I think the number one thing is you have to figure out. Where your content, where you want your content to hit your intended audience.

So if you’re trying to use a podcast to fill up your funnel, that’s different than using a podcast to close a sale, for instance. Right. So I think it’s, I think it’s actually about like matching up. Understanding your user user’s journey in whatever the product or service is that you’re offering and figuring out where your podcast kind of best matches that.

Like where do you want that information to land? When they’re in that journey and then you can figure out everything else. So again, like I’ve been saying. Over the course of this interview, ours is very much top funnel and we want it to be inspiration. So that’s how we’re approaching it.

And then we went through the exercise of kind of thinking about, okay, like what could we talk about and what are the things that would get people inspired? And to me, that’s going to be that’s interviews with really interesting people that have interesting careers and. Teasing out the nuggets of advice that come with that, but not making it specific about what’s the advice.

It’s more about what’s your experience. And having listeners hear that. And so that’s something that like when I started in June, I had an inkling of, and so I did a few episodes, just, talking, reaching out to some of my friends like that might’ve been in VC jobs or software engineering or whatever.

Innovation consulting, things like that, that are just interesting. And just having conversation with them. And as we got some feedback it seems like that’s the direction. It makes the most sense for our readers and for providing inspiration. And so we’re coalescing around that. We’re making plans to really I guess, relaunch more wholeheartedly in that direction.

Cliff Duvernois: So it seems to me that the, one of the things that you’re really embracing with the retooling of your podcast is making sure that you’re capturing those stories for those people that are building the careers that they really love. 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: Yeah, exactly. And we’re not like we’re not trying to be judgmental about what way it has to be. We’re just trying to expose people at this level. Right. And I want people to hear. The decisions that were made. I love the story element. I love like the historical story element of people’s journeys.

That’s one thing about me that I just really love. So I love hearing, oh, I made this decision coming out of college and it was wrong for me. Okay. Well, why was it wrong? Like, why did you realize that was wrong and how did you choose to do something else? Like, I think those types of.

Lessons without being advice are super helpful. And that’s what like actually resonates with people because people can, can extrapolate that to their circumstance. And I think that’s super powerful

Cliff Duvernois: They always say that, we learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: for sure. That’s definitely. True for me. As I said, I’ve done a bunch of different things and some things haven’t worked out and that’s led me to like where I am now and what I do now. And I think, everybody’s got those stories and I think the more the more folks, young folks hear those, then they’re more apt to take a risk.

And they’re more apt to say okay, if this doesn’t work. I’m still alive. I’m still healthy. Like it’s not, it’s not going to kill me. It’s not the worst thing in the world. I’m young. I can pick it up and I can try something new. And I, and that’s inspirational and I think it’s mind changing.

And if you change, somebody’s mind, like at a young age, then you’ve changed their trajectory. And so that’s what I ultimately want to do. 

Cliff Duvernois: Yeah.

and I love that you. Without, and I think this is great and it’s something that’s worth re you know, exploring is when, when you, when you hear these people tell their stories and you’re like, this is a decision I was making and it didn’t work out for me. So, number one that’s a learning experience for your audience, right?

While you were talking about their if somebody is thinking about making a similar decision, they’re like, Ooh, I didn’t even think about that particular angle there, but also too. It’s that even if you do make a decision, And it doesn’t work out for you, that’s okay. Because it’s just, it’s just a hiccup on the road, things are going to work out, you’ve got to keep making decisions, keep, keep moving forward. So when you talk about making this to be inspirational, I love that. 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: yeah, thanks. I used to think that. Progress was always linear. So I always had to be making this linear progress, everything I did had to be up into the right on a chart. And and I. I’ve talked about this before on like in a YouTube video and stuff, but I read this book it’s actually behind me.

I don’t know if you can see me cliff, but it’s behind me. It’s called the art of learning and there’s a chapter in there called investment in loss. And what that concept basically means is there’s a lot of times you have to stop what you’re doing and go backwards to make like a giant leap forward.

And that wasn’t something that had registered to me up until that point. And but I think it’s super powerful. Like it’s not as risky as you think to waste six months of your life on something that failed, right? Like it’s not that big of a risk to say, no, I’m going to stop doing acts so I can learn why.

Because I think that’s going to get me, to Z. And that was powerful for me. That was super powerful for me. I, and I started looking at kind of risk and career trajectory in like a totally different way. And I’m trying to bring a little bit of that to people

Cliff Duvernois: Nice. I absolutely love it. And for anybody who’s listening to the podcast right now, if they want to find you, check out what it is that you’re doing, listen to listen to your podcasts, maybe check out the retool that’s going on, how best can people find you on. 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: If you’re, on apple podcasts or we’re on Spotify or, the other major players is career cloud radio, you can just search that. We pop up. The website is career cloud.com. It’s all one word. And that’s got all of our podcasts information as well.

Plus some of the writing stuff that we do, it’s got shownotes and transcriptions of all of our past episodes as well. So those are the big places to find us. You know, we’re. I think we’re on Instagram and Facebook and stuff too. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t have the handles off hand. I don’t pay as much attention to those, but I’m sure you can find them.

And we are on, we have a YouTube channel going as well. So you can actually see video of all of our interviews and we do a number of other video-based content. So I think the best place to start is just career cloud.com and you can find every.

Cliff Duvernois: Awesome. And for our audience, we will have all those links in the show notes down below. Mike. Thank you so much for being on the podcast today. This has been absolutely great. I thoroughly loved chatting with you about, your podcast journey and I’m really looking forward to seeing what you guys do in the future. 

Mike Gardon, Career Cloud Radio: awesome, cliff. Thanks so much for having me have a great rest of your day.