No fluff. No bullshit. Just relatable straight-talk from creators and entrepreneurs you can relate to, and learn from. One lesson at a time, and one brick at a time! Each episode of this show explores the intersections of business, psychology, audience building, and more.
EP44 - What's Coming Next
2:59We're going on a quick break, but this episode includes a sneak peek at what's coming up next. Thanks for a great season, and for all of the positive comments. If you love the show, consider leaving us a review on Apple Podcasts: https://lovethepodcast.com/stackingbricks
EP43 - Jonathan Stark has Questions About Self Publishing
45:44I recently joined friend Jonathan Stark on his podcast "Ditching Hourly" where he typically talks about business strategies and best practices for helping freelancers and consultants escape hourly billing. And we talked about that world of business quite a bit, including how people often copy the wrong parts of the successes they've seen.But as a self-published digital author himself, Jonathan also wanted to grill me on exactly how we launched The Tiny MBA and sold thousands of copies without a publishing deal...and without boxes of books sitting in my basement.So I indulged him!In this episode, you're going to hear my answers to Jonathan's questions about:Why we decided to make The Tiny MBA a physical, printed book in the first placeHow and why we picked our printing and distribution partner (and why it's not Amazon)And Jonathan and I riff on my new "secret weapon" for building pre-launch momentum, and why it created a 90% conversion rate and some of the fastest sales I've ever seen.I also learned that Jonathan went to music school, and the comparison he draws in the first few moments between learning both business and music through style practices still has me thinking about it weeks later!I'm excited to see Jonathan ship his first paperback book in the future, and if you're inspired to consider self-publishing a print book, I hope the stories and suggestions in this episode help you too.WIth that, let's get into my conversation with Jonathan Stark from the Ditching Hourly podcast. Ready? Here we go.
EP42 - What is Sales Safari? with Eteinne Garbugli
18:59This week I'm talking customer research with Eteinne Garbugli. Eteinne is the author of a book called Lean B2B, and after learning that his book included our Sales Safari customer research framework, I offered to talk with him and answer some of his remaining questions about the methodology.In the next 30 minutes, you'll hear Eteinne and I talk about:- the surprising origin of Sales Safari itself- what we really mean when we say "customer pain" and the many forms it can take- why strategically choosing an audience is actually a lot more straightforward than most entrepreneurs make it ...and a whole lot more.In the full interview, we also talked about a bunch of other topics related to entrepreneurship and some of Eteinne's favorite lessons in The Tiny MBA, but you're here for the Sales Safari so I'm jumping straight into that here on the podcast feed!This is some of the most in-depth information we've ever published about Sales Safari outside of our paid courses, so I'm excited to share it and hope it helps you understand and reach your audiences.Ready? Here we go.
EP41 - Questioning Our Assumptions with David Dylan Thomas
39:00This week I'm stopping by The Cognitive Bias Podcast with David Dylan Thomas to riff on a topic we're both very passionate about: the intersection of ethics and capitalism.Dave is one of the best people I can think of to talk to about this because as a designer and a strategist, He spent a lot of his career thinking about the implications of bias on our work as creators.And one of the things I've heard Dave talk about over and over and over is how so many of the ethical problems we face in business today might actually be designed problems that we can better solve. And in some cases only solve. If we first understand to the cognitive biases that those problems are rooted in.Dave has spent so much time thinking about bias that he literally wrote a book about it called Design for Cognitive Bias, about how to understand the impact of biases on our customers, our teams, even ourselves. The book is amazing. Everyone who makes things should absolutely read it.Back to ethics and capitalism. Seemingly opposing forces. Right? Well, in this episode, we're going to be talking about: the impact of survivorship bias on the kinds of businesses that people start and growthe relationships that exist between money and power and a very unexpected segue into an episode of the nineties TV show dinosaurs that I promise is more relevant than you could possibly imagine.If you enjoy this conversation, I highly recommend going and checking out. Dave's aptly named Cognitive Bias Podcast for other similar in-depth discussions with industry experts, and then go back and check out these super bingeable back catalog of his 5 to 10 minute episodes where he explores one bias in each one. It's truly a treasure trove of how our we're human brains work. But now, and here, I hope you enjoy this wide ranging discussion about the get rich quick scheme that we call America with David Dylan Thomas. Here we go.
EP40 - Worst Boss, Best Boss with Lauren Williams
14:39This week I've got a quick brick for you today, on the topic of bosses.One of the things I don't think we talk about enough is how the bosses we've had inform the bosses we become, and that includes becoming our own bosses too.A few weeks back I had the chance to sit down with Lauren Williams from Workplace Harmony and the host of a very fun show called "Caffeinated Convos and Horrible Bosses" where she asks her guests to share their best stories about the worst bosses they've had, and try to learn lessons that can make us better bosses today.Lauren and I talked more about my backstory and The Tiny MBA on her show, which you can go listen to at anchor.fm/horriblebosses, and dig into her archive for more horrible boss catharsis.But in today's mini-episode, I share:- My horrible boss story, and how it informed my approach to business- As well as the impact one amazing boss has had on my life in ways that still impacts me, more than 15 years later.All that and more inside this caffeinated conversation with my new friend, Lauren Williams. Here we go.Find Lauren on Social MediaTwitter: @LaurenShazzamInstagram: @workplaceharmonyHRFB: Workplace Harmony
EP39 - Grow your Audience with Kevin Chemidlin
26:36This week The Tiny MBA podcast tour comes with a twist! Isn't there always a twist? Is it still a twist if you know a twist is coming? I guess M Night Shyamalan would say so.... ANYWAY.I'm bringing you an episode from a brand new show called "Grow the Show" by my friend Kevin Chemidlin and his podcast company, Cue 9 productions.As you might imagine from my repetition of the word "show" this is a podcast about...podcasts. More specifically, it's FOR podcasters. Ya see, Kevin is a professional podcaster himself, now producing successful shows of his own as well as for others. He recently started helping his fellow podcasters - as the title of his new podcast would suggest - grow their show.GTS is a little less of an "interview' show and more focused on making sure each episode teaches a very specific lesson, from a very specific aspect of starting, growing, and even making money with podcasts. The expert just before me was Eric Nuzum, whos name you might not know but whose work you likely do: it includes a bunch of NPR shows like Invisibilia and TED radio hour.On my episode of Grow the Show, we did something I hadn't had a chance to do yet: we looked at the lessons in The Tiny MBA through a very specific lens, exploring how the book applies to podcasters! We go very deep and specific into:how to find your audience on the internetthe specific, concrete elements of audience building and effective self promotionand how to reach them without feeling (or looking like) a spammer.Kevin's new show is great, and I'm excited to see what he does with in the coming months, so if you enjoy this one go search out "grow the show" wherever you get podcasts.If you enjoy this deep dive on audience building with Kevin Chemidlin, make sure you go check out my full episode of Grow the Show along with the other episodes. Here we go.
EP38 - Don't Pee in the Pool with Nilofer Merchant
47:46This week we're taking a break from the Tiny MBA podcast tour to bring you a very special conversation with a very special guest: Nilofer Merchant.Nilofer comes with some serious credentials:She's worked as an executive and strategic consultant at massive companies like Apple, Adobe, Autodesk, Nokia, and many moreShe's shipped 18 Billion (with a B!) dollars in products across her 25 year careerShe's famous for (but not always known as the source of) the phrase "sitting is the smoking of our generation" from her viral TED talk by the same nameShe's written three business books, and currently writes an advice column about making hard business and life decisions that I highly recommend subscribing to: https://atwork.substack.comBut don't get it twisted: unlike many voices in positions of corporate power, Nilofer is a creator like you and me, and uses her position and experience in the business world to make the business world a better place for more people.Nilofer is one of us :)Which part of why I asked her to write the forward for my book, The Tiny MBA.And here's the thing: whenever I have a conversation with Nilofer, we end up somewhere much deeper and more meaningful than where we started. We have a rapport that lets us skip the pleasantries and get right to the real stuff.So in today's episode, Nilofer and I are inviting you into one of those conversations.In this conversation we talk about everything from:How we learned to seek and understand patterns in businessWhat we've learned from our careers of giving professional adviceAnd why peeing in the pool is a problemAnd a lot, lot more.With that, let's get into this very special episode with Nilofer Merchant. Here we go.
EP37 - The stuff they don't teach you in school, with Mayur and Shahzada
26:01Over the last few weeks, I have been visiting podcasts all across the internet, talking with entrepreneurs and creative people, just like you.And this time, I took a virtual trip to India to visit to my friends Mayur and Shai-zada on the Remote Explorers Podcast where they talk about remote work and more generally, the culture of work.In the full episode that you can find on their podcast feed, we talked a lot about the current and future state of coworking, but here on Stacking the Bricks I pulled out some of the highlights about business, entrepreneurship, and education that are most relevant to you, including:The three most valuable parts of a college education, and why it might be more valuable for some people than othersWhere the "Tiny" in Tiny MBA came fromAnd since this is a podcast about remote work, a few of my best tips for adapting to remote work (hint: it's got nothing to do with software)So with that, I hope you enjoy this very special presentation from the Mayur and Shaizada, the Remote Explorers. Here we go!
EP36 - Building Trust at Scale with Will Toms and REC Philly
38:57Over the last few weeks, I have been visiting podcasts all across the internet, talking with entrepreneurs and creative people, just like you.And this time, I paid a visit to Will Toms and the REC Philly community here in Philadelphia. REC - which stands for "resources for every creator" - is a pretty incredible community and resource center geared towards helping artists, musicians, and other creators turn their creative skills into real business opportunities.Just last year, they opened an amazing facility for that community of creatives, sort of like a gym but with digital audio stations and recording studios instead of treadmills and weights.I also admire their dedication to education, and making sure that their community knows how to make the most of having access to those incredibly powerful tools.But most of all, I love the people. The staff, the leadership, and every community member I've met at REC is smart and creative, some of the best Philly has to offer.So I was excited when the team invited me to one of their "creator sessions" to share some stories and lessons surrounding one of my personal favorite lessons in The Tiny MBA: Audience Building Building Trust at Scale.The entire session is more than twice as long as what's here on our podcast, and includes parts of my personal business story. You can check that out on REC Philly's youtube channel.But here on the feed, I jumped straight to the lessons. In fact, you'll hear me give details and context for ten of MY favorite lessons that I hand picked specifically for this audience of creators, and why I picked each one.After sharing these lessons, I was joined on the virtual stage by REC Philly co-founder and my good friend Will Toms. Will is one of my favorite interviewers and moderators to watch work, so for me, being on the receiving end of his questions was a LOT of fun and for you, you're gonna get some new answers that you definitely haven't heard me talk about anywhere!Some of my fav questions from Will and the audience include:- The importance of listening as a business skill, and how you can practice it.- Where I learned how to sell people back their time and confidence.- And how much sharing is oversharing.I love any chance to jam with the REC Philly crew, and I'm very excited to share this session with you.So with that, I hope you enjoy this very special presentation from the REC Philly archives. Here we go!
EP35 - Debugging Humans with Michele Hansen and Colleen Schnettler
30:34Over the last few weeks, I have been visiting podcasts all across the internet, talking with entrepreneurs and creative people, just like you.We'll not necessarily JUST like you, because you might have noticed that these last few conversations have been visits to podcasts hosted by dudes!Thankfully, I was able to end this white-male-podcast-host streak by visiting with Colleen Schnettler and Michele Hansen on the Software Social Podcast.Among a sea of white dudes talking about how awesome they are, Michele and Colleen's show stands out as something...special and needed. It feels less like an interview, and more like two smart professional friends offering weekly stories and support about what's going on in their respective businesses.I love shows like this, that feel more like a human conversation that we, the audience, just get to listen in to.So if you're into software and business, and like me want to hear more diverse voices talking about the things we're interested in, I highly recommend checking out their podcast backlog after you're done tuning into this one.So, about this episode!Like the last several podcast hosts I've visited, Colleen and Michele have recently read my new book The Tiny MBA, and true to form we had a great time going deeper into their favorite lessons from the book to help you get an even better understanding of how these lessons might be valuable for you.I found it especially interesting how Michele and Colleen both took valuable lessons from the book, even though they are at very different stages of their businesses!So in this episode, we talk about:- Why education is the most effective marketing you can create- How psychology can be thought of as "debugging, for people"- And why one question in The Tiny MBA left Colleen feeling TERRIFIED.Don't worry, by the time we were done with the conversation, she wasn't feeling terrified anymore, and maybe even excited to take on the challenge I proposed.So with that, let's get into this...maybe my favorite episode of The Tiny MBA podcast tour to date.I hope you enjoy this in depth conversation I had with Michele and Colleen on the Software Social Podcast. Here we go!