Robbie Swale is a leadership coach who works with clients on creativity, leading with honour and the craft and business of coaching. He is the author of the new book, How to Start When You’re Stuck and the host of The Coach’s Journey Podcast.
Topics we covered:
- Being profitable while staying true to yourself
- The brutal reality of podcasting
- The endless list of what makes podcasting worthwhile
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Select Links from the Episode:
- The Coach’s Journey Podcast
- The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
- How to Start When You’re Stuck by Robbie Swale
- The 12-minute Method
- How to become successful without compromising your values (01:48)
- Why podcasting became a priority for Robbie’s coaching business (04:16)
- How following his zone of genius led to podcasting (6:08)
- How Robbie accidentally wrote a life changing book (10:07)
- Transforming an article into a lucrative coaching program (13:30)
- Overcoming the initial struggles of podcasting (17:51)
- The brutal reality of building a new stream of income (22:34)
- How podcasting become the ultimate balance of a business model (27:23)
- The secret to sustaining a podcast (32:43)
- The main question that every entrepreneur with a podcast needs to ask themself (34:52)
- The immeasurable successes that podcasting can bring (36:30)
Cliff Duvernois: Hey there, World Changers and welcome to another episode of Entrepreneurs on Podcasting. I’m really looking forward to today’s episode. And I know you’re going to get a ton of value from it. So let’s talk about today’s guest. He’s a leadership coach who works with clients on creativity, leading the honor and the craft and the business of coaching.
Cliff Duvernois: He’s the author of a brand new book. How to start when you’re stuck. Please welcome to the show, the host of the Coach’s Journey podcast. Robbie Swale. Robbie, how are you?
Robbie Swale: I am good Cliff. Thanks for that lovely introduction. And it’s great to be here.
Cliff Duvernois: Excellent. Why don’t you tell us a little bit more about exactly what your business is and what it entails?
Robbie Swale: Yeah. So primarily I work as a coach. And for those who don’t know, I mean, most people have some experience of coaching and sport or something like that, but coaching and the way that I do it, and many other people practice, it has become one of the most widely used. Leadership, personal and professional development tools, if you like it’s a form of one-on-one support.
Robbie Swale: And what I get interested in that in as part of coaching is those things that you mentioned. So, I’m interested in leadership and working with leaders often, I find that tends to often the question that leaders who I’m working with are asking is something like. I feel like I need to compromise who I am in order to get ahead.
Robbie Swale: How do I not do that? How do I stay true to my values and still be successful? And it’s not always like that, but, you know, I love in that space, working with people who are interested in having a big impact on the world and helping. If, if through a coaching session you can unlock or a series of them, you can unlock an extra 5% of capacity and somebody then if they’re already in action than a successful person, then that, that can have big, wide ranging results.
Robbie Swale: So I’m interested in leadership. I’m interested in creativity and let you say that’s the really, that’s the subject of the book that came out in December, how to start when you’re stuck. And we can talk a bit more about that if we want to, but what I’m interested in there is. Why do people.
Robbie Swale: And I include myself in this sometimes have a long period where they really want to do something and we know we really want to do it. And for some reason we’re not doing it and I’m interested in like, how do we bridge that gap and get people into action? And then, yeah, I love the craft of coaching.
Robbie Swale: Hopefully that comes across in the way I talk about it. and I finally found myself and we may talk about this because it’s, in some ways it’s the Genesis. That’s my podcast, the coach’s journey. I found myself with an audience of coaches who liked what I had to say about coaching and, and the way I said it.
Robbie Swale: And I love doing that work with coaches that they’re amazing. People are really driven by wanting to make a difference. They’re often very creative people and it can be really exciting. Them get unstuck and make successes of this thing that is often a real passion for them as it is for me.
Robbie Swale: So the actual business itself is primarily a combination of one-to-one and group coaching that I do with some training of facilitation mixed in there. And then there’s a little bit of podcast income. And the new thing is the new part of my businesses. That’s now book sale income, and that’s been a fun that’s.
Robbie Swale: So that’s new in the ecosystem of my business, and it’s been interesting to read. That there’s now this whole new part of, of my business, which I could sink a enormous amount of time into and I have to work out okay. What’s the optimal way to to manage that. So that’s a new thing mixed into my business, and that’s a little bit about me.
Cliff Duvernois: Nice. And yeah, we’ll definitely go back and talk about your book. I would like to talk about why you’d started to get into podcasting. Right? What was those events that led You to sit there and say, you know, what? I should start a podcast.
Robbie Swale: You know, it’s a really good question. I was thinking about that a little bit ahead of this call. I don’t think there’s a, like a, I don’t think there’s a simple answer. Often in my business, what I found is when I do something new, I’m trying to solve a few problems at once. Like my favorite new part of my, whenever I get a new part of my business and the book is included in that the podcast was that I run a community for coaches, which again, we might talk about because it links in with the podcast.
Robbie Swale: That was that with the podcasting. And I guess it had been like in my mind. So it had been in my mind as a thing that people sometimes do and therefore on some level of things, Th the truth is the reason I started it was because I have a goal setting exercise that I do and what one year it made it into those top five things that I was going to work on that year.
Robbie Swale: And that’s why I chose to on some level, that’s why I chose to do it. But on another level there were kind of two things, perhaps two main things going on. What’s the order for this. Like I have. I, I had ended up running a small group program at the time for coaches and I loved doing it. I’d run it.
Robbie Swale: I can’t really think I’d run it once. Maybe I’d run it twice by this point. I really loved it. And I wanted to keep doing it, but it, but it was quite hard work enrolling for it. So it was like I needed to get small group for six people, but a reasonable investment, I think about between maybe 2000 pounds.
Robbie Swale: So two and a half thousand dollars, little bit less than that per. That was cool. I was finding it challenging with the way that my business worked to get 3, 4, 5, 6 people to say yes to that. At the same time I did it kind of two years and it worked, but I could see that that pool of people wasn’t necessarily growing and might run out.
Robbie Swale: And so one thing that part I knew the podcast would do would be, well, I hoped it would do, would be create some form of pipeline for me for that. So it was like, how am I, if I want to keep running this program, which I do for all kinds of reasons. Where am I going to find the people, like, how am I going to keep finding new people for that so that I can keep running this program, which I love doing.
Robbie Swale: And it’s lucrative for me over a number of years. And I guess in that actually was the other piece as well. So one of the reasons, so one of the things I was really looking at in my business was this concept from the other times, still think about it a lot concept from a book called the big leap by gay Hendricks.
Cliff Duvernois: I love that book.
Robbie Swale: Such a good book. I mean, there’s so many concepts in it that, that have been pretty transformational for me. But in this case, I was thinking about probably the biggest and most interesting one in now, which is the zone of genius. Um, and for people who haven’t come across it, sometimes that phrase is kind of evocative enough by itself.
Robbie Swale: But the idea is what if there’s this sweet spot which takes into account your unique mix of gifts and experiences and what you love and what if also. Yeah. When you’re in that space, doing that thing, that gets you the most abundance and satisfaction, including money that you could get. And what most of us do is we get trapped in our zone of excellence, which is kind of the zone below that, where we’re good at it, but it’s tiring.
Robbie Swale: It wears out and somebody else really could be doing it better. So I was interested in the zone of genius. How do I, what are the things that I would do all day if I could what are the things that give me more energy than they take away? And I knew that talking about coaching was included in that. And so that’s why I love that group program.
Robbie Swale: And so also the podcast, the reason I knew it, I thought. I didn’t know. I know now I fought before it would probably give me a chance to do something that I would just do all day. If money and time was no object. Hopefully it was going to contribute to the business. That’s one reason I started it.
Robbie Swale: And particularly that group program, although that’s not how it turned out, we can, we can get to that. I thought it would be a zone of genius activity. And by this point I was reasonably trusting that if I got into the zone of genius, good stuff, and they had this intuition. So I sat down with my goal setting exercise for the year, which is based on a Warren Buffett story about how he worked with his, the pilot of his private jet story.
Robbie Swale: I’m sure we can all
Cliff Duvernois: yeah.
Robbie Swale: empathize with but it’s a great exercise and it’s trust your intuition. What are the five most important things you could do from this long list of goals and do those. And the others are the things you have to avoid at all costs. That’s the punchline of the, of the story.
Robbie Swale: And I just trusted my intuition as well. I was like, this thing has been on this list. I know it’s a kind of good idea, I guess, in there as well. It was like, I know it’s a good idea. I can’t see anyone else doing this exact thing. That’s weird. I’ve got a chance to be the person who does it. And so that kind of slightly messy, a mix of things is why I started the podcast.
Cliff Duvernois: nice. Absolutely love it. And one of the things that I would like to do is cause normally when I have somebody on the show, we talk purely about podcasting, but the bigger picture of course is about just, creating content. That is going to resonate with your audience. And I, I tell people all the time, I think, podcasts is a really great relationship tool, dah, dah, dah, but I recognize there’s other channels out there.
Cliff Duvernois: Before this podcast, I was browsing over your website, reading over your content, a lot of great, great content that’s out there. But what I want to do is I want to talk about that seminal piece of content that literally deserves to probably, you know, probably be etched in stone because I loved it.
Cliff Duvernois: I emailed it out. I’m working with three coaches right now and I emailed it out to all of them because I just thought it was really good and really good chunk of information. And that’s your article about how you became a full-time coach in less than two years. So why don’t you talk to us about that piece of content and the quite honestly the, the, the results from it, what happened to it?
Cliff Duvernois: Talk to us about that.
Robbie Swale: Yeah, well, first of all, that’s such a lovely thing to hear. What more, there’s almost no greater praise for a piece of work than that. Someone could read it and then instantly want to share it. So thank you for telling me that, cause it’s really lovely to hear and in some ways that article really, that was the Genesis of this, of this podcast as well.
Robbie Swale: So essentially what happened was I don’t have to, I’m sure I’ve written about this somewhere since. I’m not sure exactly why, but I just had this kind of intuition. I want it to write. I’d got into writing. Writing for me had been like a real challenge. I’d have to do how to do a lot of battling through my procrastination and resistance to do it, to get to a place where I could post stuff I’d written online in a way.
Robbie Swale: That’s what my book is about. It’s a story of that. It started as a practice of. How do I get out on my own way? And the practice was write an article in essentially I ended up writing an article in 12 minutes, proofread it once and post it online. And I did that over three years. And in the end accidentally realized I’d written a book and that’s the story of the book, but I was working on it.
Robbie Swale: So I started working on that and I had this intuition that I wanted to write an article about what I learned in the first two years since I’ve I started a COVID. I don’t know exactly why that was. I think part of it was, I’d seen other people struggling, probably I just had this kind of creative call.
Robbie Swale: It’s like, I should do that. And then I hadn’t done it. But what was happening to me a lot when I was starting my coaching businesses, people were canceling sessions on me. So one of the interesting things you find in a, in a businesses when you’re starting out, right. You’re not charging very much. And when you’re not charging very much, the commitment that you get from the people you’re working.
Robbie Swale: Is different. So I was having far more cancellations in those days and it was really getting me down and I can’t remember it. I would get really upset. I’d get annoyed. I get frustrated. I can’t read if it came from my coaching or this was just a decision I made. I basically made a decision at one point that every time someone canceled on me, I would take that as a gift of some time back.
Robbie Swale: And I would not, not just do emails, I would do something cool. That was my definition. I have to do something. If someone cancels, I have to do something. And a client canceled on me and she was actually like a wonderful client. It was a genuine cancellation I’m sure with her. And I thought right now is the time I’m going to write that article about.
Robbie Swale: About my journey as a coach and I sat down and I think I banged it out in not completely, but I probably got three calls a bit done in that in the time that when that client had canceled on me and then it took me a little while I definitely procrastinated. I had resistance and a bit of fear about it, but I got pretty good through my 12 minute writing practice at busting through that, by that point.
Robbie Swale: So in the end I got the article out and yeah, like a S a surprising thing. To me on the back of that. And I gave it a slightly click baity title. Cause I thought that would be like, it was time to get out of like, it’s time to get out of my own way. Right. Sometimes we’ll avoid things because we know they can be used by sleazy marketers, like a really clickbaity title.
Robbie Swale: When you see a title, it’s so good, you click on it. And then the article doesn’t deliver, but that’s really different to giving it a click baity title, but the article does deliver on. So it was, I called it how I went, how I caught you probably have got it there. I kind of want it. I call it like.
Robbie Swale: Great how I became a full-time coach less than two years after starting my training. That was the that should be enough. And it was, and I did some things to get it out there, but a slightly crazy thing happened with it, which is lots of people shared it and it went. can a bit generously say it went viral.
Robbie Swale: It definitely had a kind of many viral I think now it’s probably like in the first few weeks we’ve got read like 4,000 times, which is more than anything I’d written at the time had been read. Probably it’s probably still the most read thing that I’ve written. It will be now be up to at least 8,000 probably.
Robbie Swale: Loads of comments coming in loads of LinkedIn requests, loads of shares. Like I hadn’t really seen anything like it. And to a certain extent, I haven’t seen anything like it in my business since now we can talk about why that was important, but to join it up with the podcast story, I then have this audience of coaches, like not many but hundreds who were connected to me on LinkedIn.
Robbie Swale: Follow me, signed up to a little to my mailing list that I had. And that in the end was what led to me starting the group program because I was at, and it, and it led therefore of course, to the podcast. And it was in those, one of the things I said I did in those, in that article was reach out to established coaches and say, how did you do that?
Robbie Swale: So like how did you become an established coach? And I spotted some patents from that. And so of course, when I wrote that sort of, so that essentially as cash, another piece of this story, cause it’s all interwoven. When I decided to start the podcast. Another thread that I didn’t mention before is I’d had these five, six conversations at the start of my journey as a coach that really helped me know how to grow my business.
Robbie Swale: And I was like, I wish I’d recorded. So that I can share them with people is that everyone could benefit from them. And that is essentially what I did in the podcast. Right. I asked those same sort of questions. That’s how it started. That certainly what a whole chunk of the episodes are like, it’s me interviewing coaches about how they got where they are no longer is it really, for me, although I do learn loads from it, but it’s so that like, there’s this resource for the coaching industry so that other people can learn from the coaches, the last thread to just say in this, because I think it does again, tie back.
Robbie Swale: So I had all these new codes. After that reaching out to me saying, can I talk to you about how you grew your coaching business? Can I get some advice? And I was saying yes. So that then in the end, partly it showed me why I should run the group program because there’s something I can offer that people will like.
Robbie Swale: But also when I was answering gay Hendricks is zone of genius questions. Like what would you do all day that doesn’t feel like work? Those conversations with coaches were fresh in my mind and one of gay Hendricks is other questions is like, what’s the zone of genius thing. Well, what’s the work you’ve done that has created the highest ratio of satisfaction and abundance to time spent.
Robbie Swale: Like that article was a hundred percent, like it felt amazing. One-on-one clients came from it. Members of those group programs came from it, all these connections came from it. It’s like there was so much abundance satisfaction in it. So whatever I had done in that article and whatever I was doing in these conversations with coaches, that was part of that zone of genius thing for me.
Cliff Duvernois: When I was reading over that article, of course, I’m, you know, some people say I’m a, I’m a coach. I don’t consider myself to be like any kind of certified coach or official coach. But reading that article, I just remember thinking to myself that for my business, I could use that I could use that I could use that literally.
Cliff Duvernois: Like I got done reading your article and I thought, you know, if you just took coaches out, you could almost insert any business into this article. And it’s literally like a playbook, right? It would definitely. Definitely, resonate with that. And So what I, want to do is I talk about, you know, so you put this piece of content out there.
Cliff Duvernois: It really resonates with a core group of people which really inspires you to, to start the podcast. What I would like to do is go back to the beginning of your podcast journey. What was probably like one of your biggest struggles when you got.
Robbie Swale: Yeah. So I, I, when I was thinking about that, I’ve been thinking about, because I’ve been talking about my book so much, I’ve been thinking about how glad I was, that the podcast came after that writing practice, because I’d learned a lot from that about how to keep something going. So I’ve been writing a post a week in 12 minutes for like five and a half years now.
Robbie Swale: Um, so it’s like a, it’s like an embedded thing. So I show I shortcutted some of what I would have been challenges from stuff that I’ve learned already elsewhere. And that is like an underwrite as a coaching question that I always think that sometimes that’s clients that shouldn’t work, it’s like. Tell me, I’m struggling to have this conversation with my boss.
Robbie Swale: Tell me about a difficult conversation you’ve had in the past that were successful and they tell you, and it’s like, well, what of that? Can you apply here? And it almost always unlocks things for people and you can use it in your business. You can use it in your relationships. You can use it with your kids.
Robbie Swale: It’s like, what was the time when I related really well with my daughter? Oh, it was that time. Can I bring that in now? And so, so it’s important to say that I’d learnt a lot from it, um, like a kind of unrelated, but also kind of related practice I had. But what was interesting is I still the biggest challenge I still run into, which I should known.
Robbie Swale: Better on because of that 12 minute writing practice. So the amazing thing about the 12 minute writing practices, it’s sustainable because it takes 12 minutes a week. There is no week when I cannot find 12 minutes. I’m kidding myself if I think that’s the case. And yet the thing that, so like the challenge in the early days of the podcast was I was doing it all.
Robbie Swale: So I was like, I was editing it. I was doing the interview. I was editing it. I was writing the copy. I was putting it all together. And I was at, I started over. I did a Tim Ferriss trick. So it was a big fan of the Tim Ferris. I’m a big fan of the Tim Ferriss podcast. I remember him saying that when he first started, he knew he had to shell in five, so that if the first one was cause he knew the first one to be really embarrassing.
Robbie Swale: So you would have to schedule in a load so that he couldn’t give up after one. So I’d done that. And I mean, I had five to start off with and I started off releasing them every two weeks, but the episode was probably taking me like including recording and editing a copy, like more than a day.
Cliff Duvernois: Oh, yeah.
Robbie Swale: and like, and because that long episodes as well, which is I love doing, that’s how I, I love creating, I love long form conversations, so that’s how I want my podcast to be.
Robbie Swale: Right. I want to create the kind of thing that I love. But it was taking a lot of time and it meant that I couldn’t focus on other areas of my business. It wasn’t real. It wasn’t. Like we can talk about, let’s talk a minute about whether it paid for itself, because there’s another challenge that I had, which if I could go back, I don’t know if I change this, but I might about, about clients and paying back and that kind of thing.
Robbie Swale: But the big challenge was that I should’ve seen coming was it was just not sustainable. And at some point I like, I couldn’t schedule in the calls fast enough because two hours is quite a lot of time to ask if someone, so you’ve got to like, uh, It’s not as easy as just squeezing in 45 minutes or an hour, which kind of most guests can do in the next few weeks.
Robbie Swale: So that was quite hard. So the big shift was I moved to monthly. And at first I was like, does this, does this count? Is it enough? But you know, in the long term, what I’ve learned from the writing practice, and I think from the podcast is I’d rather be the tortoise than the hare. If the hare would have to give up at some point, like, it’s like, if I can keep going two episodes a month forever, that is better in some ways than one episode a month.
Robbie Swale: But as soon as I know that I can’t do that. Uh, much better to carry on a month at a time than to, than to burn out, trying to do two. And, the, I guess the other solution that I found to that is I did in the end, find people, someone to do the copy and someone’s, I only do really light touch editing on my conversations.
Robbie Swale: Cause I bet like the article, I kind of want it to be as much me as possible, including, you know, warts and all saying stupid things sometimes and all so it’s light touch editing, but. Outsourcing that also made a massive difference because yeah, because in the end, in a business, in my business, it has to pay like insane.
Robbie Swale: Well, I felt like in the end it had to pay in some way. Um, and yeah, like I, maybe I, maybe that’s not true. What felt true.
Cliff Duvernois: Whoo.
Robbie Swale: felt so it’s like,
Cliff Duvernois: Okay.
Robbie Swale: I don’t think with the content I create, I need Hm. To know that it will pay but I got to a point where it was taking up so much time, but I couldn’t afford it to not pay.
Robbie Swale: Like it was too draining. If it didn’t pay the way it was going at two times a week. And when. Sometimes, I think when you’re making something, when I’m making something, just for the, just for it to pay that it’s not going to be the right thing that I’m making, but I got to a point where if it wants to be sustainable, it has to cover itself somehow.
Robbie Swale: And that is in terms of the time that I invest. And then it was also in terms of the money.
Cliff Duvernois: Basically, what you were talking about before is, and I want to point this out, but this was a comment that you made earlier about how, uh, the podcasting has also helped you out to create this group coaching program. You that you’re now doing. So there might not be like a direct monetary benefit from the podcast, but it has opened up another revenue stream for you.
Robbie Swale: Yeah, I’ll tell you. Let’s talk about that because I think it’s really interesting. So it reminds me a bit, I once went to see Reid Hoffman talk, he
Cliff Duvernois: Oh
Robbie Swale: tour in London, amazing speakers. If people who don’t know, he was like in PayPal at the start. And then he’s basically the founder of LinkedIn.
Robbie Swale: And what you said about LinkedIn. And I think you could say the say, I think Uber is probably still in this place now is when they started LinkedIn. They didn’t know how it was going to make money. And they had like three plans. They were like, when they were talking to investors were like, it’s either gonna be this, or it’s gonna be this, or it’s gonna be this.
Robbie Swale: And it was none of those. Right. They didn’t know it was going to be their corporate job search offering, essentially that was going to pay for LinkedIn, which as I understand is, is the case. That wasn’t on that list. They just made it up later when someone asked about it and then they kept selling it until it was.
Robbie Swale: Until it worked and I thought it’d be pre, they thought it would be like the premium LinkedIn thing expense to companies would be how it would pay for itself. But it wasn’t. And that’s essentially what happened with my podcast.
Robbie Swale: So I thought what would happen is it would generate enough connections in the coaching world that I would feel effortlessly was my aim or at least without, without the kind of pressure that it took my group coaching program for coaches as it was, which was like a six month intensive thing. We meet three times a month. We there’s a small group of us. We’re going to really help them grow their businesses. Obviously, like you said, it’s like, it could be anyone, but it happens that it’s coaches.
Robbie Swale: And there’s a great thing about for, for anyone. Listening is a great thing about being in a group program like that with people in your industry, because you’re learning so much from what they’re doing and what they’re struggling with. It’s a great environment to be in. It worked a bit. So the next year I ran that program.
Robbie Swale: After the podcast started. I did a podcast started November. The first time I launched the next time I launched a group program was January. Was I sold three places on it, which was enough to run it. But it’s a bit disappointing because it was fewer than the year before. And it, and I, I think like one of them maybe came from the podcast.
Robbie Swale: Now there’s like a, there’s like the, the kind of business strategist in me looks back on that, those first few episodes and berates the naivety of Robbie of late when was it? Late, late 20. How long have you been going? Two and a bit year. So late 2019.
Robbie Swale: Because I designed, I created from a pure place, those first few episodes. I thought, who are the people that I would love to share these conversations with? So I would love other coaches to be able to hear my conversations with. And also who are the people that I know without doubt I’ll have great conversations with. Like, I don’t want early on to have any guests that are difficult because I’m still learning this thing.
Robbie Swale: And so the first call that I did the first episode was with a woman called Katie Harvey, who was my coach at the time. And the weird thing about Katie is she’s got like, she’s gone like 15,000 hours of coaching. She’s been doing it for like years. Her business is run entirely for like 15 years, 20 years entirely on referral.
Robbie Swale: Her website I’ve known her seven years. Her website for that whole time has been website coming soon in the meantime, email me here. So it’s like, she doesn’t need any of that. Cause she’s so bloody good. The problem is she, I was saying to everyone in this episode, this woman is my coach. And she charges less money than the group coaching program.
Robbie Swale: So I pull out of the, I think that if I hadn’t had that episode with Katie in those first few episodes, I would have got two or three more members for that group coaching program. Now I have a bit of regret about that. I can kind of feel it in my chest. It’s like, ah, you absolute idiot. Right? And so there’s a thing here for podcasts are starting out, which is.
Robbie Swale: There is a ch like, I believe really strongly again, that’s what my book is about. And we need to make the thing that we’re being called to make
Cliff Duvernois: yeah.
Robbie Swale: and worry about the business later. Right. That’s what the article did. Make the thing that you want to make and trust that you’ll find it later. I could have done with putting on hard-nosed business, Robbie hat or speaking to you, someone at you Cliff, and you go just a sec.
Robbie Swale: Do you not think maybe just be a bit careful with this, like this one thing? That would have been better now. I don’t tend to hold onto regrets too much, but this is one that still in me it’s like, it was so annoying. I’ll tell you it was a personal development exercise in itself. Having like two people that year explicitly say, Do you know, I’ve just decided to go and work with Katie instead, because I heard her on your podcast. And it’s like she owes me tens of thousands of pounds by now, probably.
Robbie Swale: Anyway. Um, she’s a wonderful woman and I was like, the flip side of it is like the higher part of me. The deep part of me knows I’m really proud that there’s almost no platform that Katie has despite being this truly magical, amazing woman. You can’t find anything out about her.
Robbie Swale: And, but now you can, because there’s this 90 minute conversation where even clients who’d worked with her for years in fact learn new things about her, right? So it’s like, I’m really glad it’s there. And at the time it was a really difficult. Now what’s interesting is the market then worked on me.
Robbie Swale: So I was then back with some problems. So like, come come a few months later, the end of that group program, I had some new problems. One is I want to keep the podcast going, but I’m not sure I want to run that group program again. Now part, because I didn’t want to run the group program is because we were having a baby, the following January.
Robbie Swale: And I was like, I can’t, when we’ve got the new baby. Do they put the amount of energy into enrolling that group program that is needed. So next year, at least I can’t run it. Not in the time that I normally run it, so I need it, but I, but I want to keep the podcast going. Cause by now we’re six months into it.
Robbie Swale: I know it’s a good thing. I’m getting lovely messages from coaches saying I’m so glad this thing exists, great work, creating it. I’m having a ball during the conversations, connecting with new coaches, like lots of. stuff starts to start to happen. Like, a woman called Marcia Reynolds. Who’s like a real watershed moment in my podcast was there’s a woman called Marcia Reynolds.
Robbie Swale: Who’s like global gurus, number five, most influential coach in the world. Like she or her PR team contacted me asking to be on my little podcast. And I was like, what is this? I didn’t know who she was. So I was really glad that I Googled who she was before. I said, I’ve never heard of this woman. No. And I was like, yeah, Well, actually, I think I can make space for Marcia Reynolds.
Robbie Swale: So, so, so cool stuff was happening. And I, so I didn’t want to stop the podcast. And I’d had that thought about, is this sustainable? Can I really spend either the day of the day, even a day and a bit a month or that part of the day, plus the money on the other people. So how can I make this add up? I thought about what’s happening with.
Robbie Swale: And the truth is I was being out competed. It’s like competition in any marketplace. So it’s like, what can I create that solves all those problems for me, that is not, doesn’t have the high intensity of of enrolling the group coaching program, because I can’t do that because we’re going to have a baby that will, that could in the end or will soon pay for the podcast.
Robbie Swale: And that also gives people who can’t afford or for whom an intended. 2000 to 2000 pound investment is not the right thing, because part of the reason people might not have been signing up for that is the money. Part of it is it might be the wrong thing for them. And that’s where, what I th that’s where from that emerge.
Robbie Swale: So my podcast called the coach’s journey from that emerged in the end, the coach’s journey community, which has now a year and a bit in reached the point where it is. I don’t get paid very much. It’s covering all my costs and it’s paying me a bit for all the stuff that I do on the podcast. And it’s replaced a group coaching program in the way that the way that I get to have those conversations with coaches.
Robbie Swale: So I was able in the end to find this way, and then I had to test it out. And it turned out it works reasonably well. I’ve got a small, but perfectly formed community of coaches and I, and I love having it, but it’s like, it’s a bit like LinkedIn because. I thought it would, that podcast would pay for itself.
Robbie Swale: And the thought it would pay for itself with coaches, but I was wrong about how it has ended up paying for itself. And what’s interesting is actually now the guy who writes the copy for me, he, I had dinner with him and he said, what are your plans for the podcast? And it actually really stumped me. So I’m now a little bit in like, it’s an interesting moment.
Robbie Swale: I’m like two and a half years in. And I’m thinking, okay, I wonder. What’s the next phase of this and how it works, but that’s quite a lot for me, cliff, and answer to a question that, to be honest, I can’t even quite remember what it was.
Cliff Duvernois: No man. That’s okay. Your, your answer is great. And a couple of things I want to go back and a highlight from that is. When you were talking before about the 20 minute writing exercise and doing that every single week for five and a half years. The lesson learned from that really is, is you learn consistency and the importance of consistency. Now for you to go from two episodes a month to down to one episode is an and I just want to make sure I point this out to the audience, is that.
Cliff Duvernois: Consistent does not mean daily consistent does not even mean weekly. Consistent is what is consistent for you. So if it makes more sense for you to publish one episode a month, like you’re talking about the amount of energy that you put into an episode, then stick with that. It’s more important to be consistent.
Cliff Duvernois: One of the, one of the crazy podcasts out there that I listened to, I absolutely love it is called hardcore history. He comes out with an episode like once every six months,
Robbie Swale: but it’s because the detail in them, right. I’ve listened to a few, like, it’s, it’s a really different thing to like some of the like a daily podcasts like yours, I imagine can be daily because it’s manageable. Whereas if he’s going to research the whole of the, the Mongol hordes or something, then he can’t bang that out in, in, in a day, let alone.
Cliff Duvernois: Yeah, And it’s, it’s great too, that you were able to pivot your business model and not get so stuck on having a group coaching program. Whereas you could turn around now and make that into a community. And I think that’s absolutely brilliant. And like you said before, and I’m going to quote Reid Hoffman on you.
Cliff Duvernois: So, you know, he said, being an entrepreneur is kind of like jumping off a cliff and building your airplane on the way down. So what you were talking about for about just getting started into podcasting and then figure it out. How can I make this like a really viable part of my marketing what’s resonated with my audience and what are some of the products or solutions that I can make to go forward.
Cliff Duvernois: And I think that speaks testaments to, making sure that you’re getting out there in the first place, producing the episode. And then figuring it out on the backend. What I would like to do is kind of chat for a little bit you’ve created this podcast, you’re doing really well.
Cliff Duvernois: Your podcasts are just really great. There’s entrepreneurs out there who are starting a podcast and they’re struggling. So for them, what would be like a piece of advice or maybe a couple pieces of advice that you would have for.
Robbie Swale: Yeah, actually, I think if it kind of feeds into what you were just saying. So apart of it would be something I already said that I did. And I just think this is great advice. Make something that you love. So it’s like, if you’re going to do, if you’re going to jump off the cliff and build what is it? And build the plane as
Cliff Duvernois: build the plane on the way down.
Robbie Swale: like, you’ve got to want to jump off the cliff.
Robbie Swale: And in terms of the podcast, like I, for most businesses, the right podcast, I really think can be it can be a massive asset. And I think, but it probably is important to say you don’t know how you’ll make the money out of it necessarily. Like you can work with people who do and who will tell you that you will be able to find you the appetizing and that kind of thing.
Robbie Swale: I’ve never really thought or gone into that. Or I have made a little bit of money through affiliate stuff. But for me, it’s if you want to make it sustainable, make something that you love to make and make the making of it. An end in itself, like a worthwhile end in itself, because then it, it takes the pressure off of.
Robbie Swale: All the things that, you know, you, the reasons you might quit, a lot of them are reduced. If the thing is so valuable in itself. So early on in the podcast, I was, I remember going for a run. It was early in the pandemic. So my podcast started in late 2019. So it’s been going two and a half years early in the pandemic here.
Robbie Swale: I started running again before my niece gave, gave up again. Um, and yeah, and, but I remember where exactly where I was when I was running and I had this thought, it’s like, If through doing this podcast, I just became known as like the kind of person, like, I don’t, this hasn’t happened, but it could, it’s if I became known as the interviewer of coaches in the UK, like that would be a great outcome from this that would that would serve me in the long term.
Robbie Swale: I’m pretty sure. So it’s like from those two things, make an episode that I love, get it in my zone of genius and then have that kind of outcome that comes just from doing it. Then that’s very valuable. It also taps into like, when I’ve been thinking about my 12 minute writing practice and, and this podcast and how they tied together.
Robbie Swale: One of the interesting questions is like, who do you want to be?
Cliff Duvernois: Yes.
Robbie Swale: like if you like, there’s, there’s one for me. If I want to become like an expert interviewer of coaches, then that will happen. If I do certain things. For example, if I practice interviewing coaching with my writing practice, what I really want to do is to become someone who could share something online.
Robbie Swale: Without feeling really, really, really scared and anxious about that. And I practice that and I have become that and it took it didn’t take five and a half years. It took three, maybe to be honest, to get to that place, but it did happen. And what’s magical about what I love about it is if you, if you choose that, then the podcast is successful, as long as you practice that thing.
Robbie Swale: So if you want to become something who do you want to become, and then you make the podcast about becoming something that will help you become. Person you want to become, then you will succeed at that. No matter how many listeners you get, no matter how much money comes in. And that in itself is one of the things that I think keeps us, can keep us going when the going gets kind of tough.
Robbie Swale: So there’s a, quite a lot in there actually, but it’s for me, it’s those it’s like make something it’s like, what it boils down to, make the making of it as far as you can make the making of the podcast worthwhile. Almost no matter what else happens, because that will keep it sustainable.
Robbie Swale: And then trust a bit like Hoffman that when you’ve made something that, in, whether it’s in one month or six months, in three years with my writing practice, I was like, I’ve got a thing that can be a book here. Took me another two years to publish the book. But, but I accidentally made the book.
Robbie Swale: I didn’t set out to write a book. It’s actually a series of books. Like I did a bit set out to make the podcast. But I didn’t know that it would feed this lovely community. Now it’s only partly about me because they have meetups without me there sometimes. And, you know, I talked to somebody earlier today who was talking about how he’s regularly speaking to a, uh, an another person, a woman in the community.
Robbie Swale: It’s like, I didn’t know that was what was going to happen as a result of this podcast. I just made something that felt like the right thing to make. And then I made it sustainable. And then trust. But in the end, there’s like a body of work there that will be valuable. And if I stop the podcast tomorrow, I won’t stop getting messages from coaches who say, I’m so glad this podcast exists because it’s a good thing for coaches that it’s there.
Cliff Duvernois: Yeah, definitely. And that’s one thing when you produce podcasts episodes and put them out there, unless you deliberately go out and remove. They’re out there forever. And each one of those podcast episodes acts like a little salesperson,
Robbie Swale: Yeah and investment for the future. And it’s incredible to have a body of work. Like it does happen to me and it happens with the community now. You know, I don’t even need to speak to people sometimes because they feel like they know me. And because the entry into the community, I made the entry level really affordable.
Robbie Swale: Cause I was like, if I’m going to make this a thing that competes for price with Katie, then actually I’m going to triple down on that. I want to make something so that no one can’t afford to work with me. So you can start at it for like 10 pounds. And you don’t get, you don’t get much for that. You don’t get, you’re not in every call and that kind of thing.
Robbie Swale: Yeah, we were talking before he switched on Cliff about what happens if I lose my thread in the middle of an answer, which has just happened. Because I, I love, I love the kind of messiness of like, my thing is kind of better, better, messy than better, messy than not out. That’s my that’s become my thing as part of my business.
Robbie Swale: But, you know, it’s like, what I was gonna say is. When you’ve got a body of work, especially if it’s authentic, like it’s really you, is that it? You’re absolutely right. It becomes a sales tool and sometimes people will meet. I’ll meet people now. And they’ll be like, I feel like I know you because I’ve listened.
Robbie Swale: They might, they might, it doesn’t like I’ve got like 35 or 34 episodes now. Most of them had like at least 90 minutes. So we’re talking 70 hours. So they might have spent 70 hours listening to conversations with me. Since then people have listened to the episodes more than once. They really do know me to a certain extent.
Robbie Swale: Now there’s then a challenge because if you’re not showing up as yourself, that can be jarring. But as long as you’re making stuff authentically, like it’s an amazing sales tool. And yeah, we never know, like it’s I was thinking it’s a bit weird actually the other day, Cliff, I don’t know how you feel about this.
Robbie Swale: I’ve got a little girl. And I was like, oh, this is really weird unless I delete it when I even when I’m dead. But certainly when I’m 50 and she went, no, wait when I’m 37 and she’s 37 and sorry, when I’m 74 and she’s 37, she’ll be able to listen back to me, age 37 to hours of that content. That’s so weird. ’cause, I can’t do that with my parents.
Robbie Swale: But it could be out there forever and it could be paying back forever. And that’s another amazing thing about the internet really is you can make some work now and it feels like a big investment, but you never know how long that investment will be paying back. Like we can’t know. And that’s a hard thing I think for a human To be able to hold in their mind or their heart when it’s difficult or embarrassing, or you’ve spent money on it and feel like it’s a loss leader or you’ve accidentally sold loads and loads of coaching to your, to your coach, Katie.
Robbie Swale: And you’re kind of regretting it. It’s like hard to hold onto that, but in the higher plane I’m able to go. Yeah, that was a good thing to make. And in the long term, I think making. Making the right podcast is better than making the podcast that should be made is better than trying to make a podcast specifically to sell one thing.
Robbie Swale: Cause that might sell you the one thing now, but in the long term,
Cliff Duvernois: Right.
Robbie Swale: the best kind of podcast is going to be the best investment.
Cliff Duvernois: Yeah. exactly. So if somebody is listening to this and they want to, find you online, follow you, check out your socials, whatever, what’s the best way for them to do that.
Robbie Swale: Yeah. Well, if they’re a coach, then everything to do for coaches is that the coaches journey.com. So you can find the podcast there. Of course the podcast is on all the podcast platforms, but that article is that I collected all my writing and the videos I’ve made for coaches. And like you said, a lot of that is applicable to other people too.
Robbie Swale: Everything else. So there’s stuff about leadership, stuff about creativity [email protected] The book is on Amazon. It should appear in some other places soon. But that’s the place to go. If you want to get the full head of this place of thinking that I’ve been in. Small and often around embedding those habits around the tortoise and the Hare and around what the transformational power of that is.
Robbie Swale: And also that’s also the place to go to the book. If you are, if you’ve got this site, maybe. Actually, you’re not the entrepreneur with the podcast yet. You’re the, like, I really want to have a podcast about this, but I just, for some reason I’m not styling. That’s the place to go for that. But also you can find me on LinkedIn.
Robbie Swale: If I love connecting with people, especially people who have been interested in my work. What I’d say about LinkedIn is I’m a little slow to respond to requests that don’t have a note within these days. Cause I’ve been added by people and then sold unskillfully things too many times.
Robbie Swale: So just let me know if people want to have me on LinkedIn. I don’t mind that tool, but let me know that you heard about heard me on the podcast. And one of the things that I’m because of the book most, well, I realized it’s really meaningful. Is if people start things inspired in some way, even tiny way by me that they wouldn’t have otherwise started.
Robbie Swale: So it, I love hearing those stories. If that’s very meaningful, I re I, it’s only a recent realization really about how meaningful that is to me. So I’m trying to say that because I think if I say it more people are likely to, um, tell me when that happens. So I I’d love those stories too.
Cliff Duvernois: Sure it awesome for our audience. We will have all those links in the show notes down below Robbie. It’s been great having you on the podcast today. I’ve really enjoyed this conversation. So thank you.
Robbie Swale: Ah, it’s been an absolute pleasure. I would have happily go for another two hours. I feel like we could, we’ve got
Cliff Duvernois: Oh, we can chat all day. All right, Robbie, take care.
Robbie Swale: Thank you.