Transcript for "Effort - with Ryan Flahive"

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00:00.00
podcomm
Hello I’m Craig Konine welcome Ryan it’s a pleasure to get a chance to meet other anytime I meet a podcaster that I haven’t ever met before I love talking to people who are passionate about the medium. You’re also clearly passionate about the message and what you’re doing with the medium. So there’s.

00:01.90
Ryan
Hi and I’m Ryan flehive.

00:19.68
podcomm
So many threads here to pull on. Let’s let’s start with I know that you originally and it’s not because I’m mission. It’s because we have these long conversations before we start I know that you originally were talking about writing and writing a book and podcasting sort of became somebody suggested. It might be easier to to release things or to. Deploy the pieces as you got them rather than making 1 whole big mcgiilla of a book. So I’m just wondering if you can tell me about your thought process like when did you realize one that you think that might really be a way to do it that just instead of writing a book create this short form podcast about climate change.

00:52.76
Ryan
Um, sure. Well my creative career has largely preolved around publishing and then my professional career as well. So I’ve got you know twenty plus years in in big corporate publishing and I own my own little publishing company and I really I just love books. And as a father of two young girls who cares deeply about climate change but doesn’t have a lot of you know technical proficiency I’m not an engineer I’m not going to build a new solar panel trying to figure out what I could do with my skill set to have an impact and. 1 of the ideas I came up with that I was very excited about was writing a book called the heroes of the new energy economy and talking to the people who are who are impacting climate through their research through their products through their activism etc and that just made a lot of sense for me. It fit right into my skill set.

01:41.13
podcomm
Yeah.

01:43.86
Ryan
And over lunch with ah with a buddy who is supportive of the idea and was going to introduce me to a number of people he suggested that I consider a podcast and at the time I really thought of podcasts as kind of a millennial thing I didn’t really listen to them. Um.

01:55.57
podcomm
I know know exactly what you with you? Oh oh now I drank I drank all the clue I drank all the Koolai now. Yeah I’m in.

02:00.18
Ryan
And now I now I now listen to a ton of them I mean I don’t big time. Yeah, the format’s amazing and and I love it because it allows listening to a podcast you can do something else like it’s not like video that requires your full attention. So I listen to podcasts often on bike rides and hikes.

02:12.41
podcomm
Um, yeah.

02:18.55
Ryan
So I’ll like give the first half of my bike ride to listen to a podcast on one of the many topics that I’m interested in and then ride back and kind of in silence. But and think about what I what I learned um, but anyhow so I started thinking deeply about starting a podcast and doing some research into it. And I’m a big follower of of Seth Godin and he has a a workshop called the podcast fellowship which I just found out. You’re now a coaching so I just missed you I think because I was okay.

02:43.40
podcomm
I’m not I’m not technically a coach sorry I’m want to split hairs I’m I’m a volunteer I going in as a remarkable. But yes sorry I just I always I always want to split that hair because I’m not erley her coach. But anyway I interrupted you sorry.

02:48.40
Ryan
Got it sure sir important work nonetheless and I’m a big believer in in the the pedagogical approach that Seth uses for cohort based learning many you learn in a team.

03:02.33
podcomm
Yeah.

03:04.49
Ryan
And so the fellowship was really amazing because it starts at the basics like here’s the equipment that you buy here’s how you write your intro here’s how you pick music for your intro and then add it to your intro and it’s step by step and at the end of the day at the end of the cohort. You have your first couple episodes of a podcast and it’s it. It wasn’t hard it that now the editing.

03:11.80
podcomm
Yeah.

03:23.85
Ryan
Can be hard. Um, and that’s one of the reasons I love I Love your format and I kind of think I might steal this from you where you just you just go. Yeah, just go.

03:27.50
podcomm
Um, steal away. Yeah because I one of the things I mentioned was your podcast is also a short form I’m like we’re going to derail your train of thought here. Um, but I think there’s magic in that format, but but keep going so.

03:36.76
Ryan
But that.

03:41.82
podcomm
Booked idea turns into interviewing people idea turns into podcast idea.

03:43.89
Ryan
And then it you know I because I worked in publishing and did like I published the first ever undergraduate textbook on climate change and I I managed a number of programs in the the geosciences and atmospheric sciences and biosciences biological sciences and. Have met some of the greatest thought leaders at least in Academia and so I was able to bring on some pretty heavy hitters up front which is not usually how you do things in the podcast Fellowship. You know you you interview your neighbor and you just get started and but but what was great about that is I’ve found that success Breeds success and so once you get.

04:14.10
podcomm
Right? start with your brother right? yeah.

04:23.57
Ryan
Um, you know someone who who has a ah name recognition on your podcast then you could use that in your outreach to the next person and that helps and that and that that worked all the way up to when I got Jane Goodall which is kind of my drop the mic moment and that’s obviously the first thing I tell somebody when I’m trying to recruit them for my podcast is.

04:37.16
podcomm
Um.

04:42.73
Ryan
You’re in good company with Jane Goodall so it and it’s helped me build relationships with people that otherwise probably would not have met with me over coffee because it just makes more so it’s a podcast. It’s something they get to walk away with.

04:51.66
podcomm
Um, yeah, well there’s the I call it the force multiplier effect. So if you approach me and say hey will you and then I I go well if I have coffee with you. It’s just you and me and coffee and I don’t really know you that well and that’s gonna be great for you. But ah man, no thanks. But the force multiplierer says. Yeah, well if you and me do this thing. Somebody’s going to listen to it maybe thousands of somebodies and unless I’m really going to dig in and really vet you I’m going to guess it’s at least hundreds right? So people sort of give you as the podcast creator they give like you did when I said hey you want to? you’re like yes, sure. Okay, whatever like it gives us this. Ability to like carrot and stick people along like no I hey Ryan I think you have something interesting to share I really do I’m not blowing smoke I think you have something interesting to share. So why don’t you come and talk about it. So I’m totally I love your? ah.

05:36.80
Ryan
Ah.

05:44.78
podcomm
Inside the courses they call it and Mvp minimum viable podcast or minimum viable product and I love the way you’re you’re like wait a minute I have this whole stable of people that I know these contexts that I’m comfortable reaching out to um because you know to to you and me that feels like that’s the easy work. But that’s actually really the hard work like the hard work was like the.

05:46.30
Ryan
Ah.

06:02.66
podcomm
25 years you spent you know, working in that you know industry you’re in that silo of working on Academia and books and developing those relationships. So for you, it feels really easy to not have an access problem to get those people to come on. But that’s just like what do they call that. Um.

06:03.36
Ryan
Vo He’s still there. Oh.

06:20.49
podcomm
Overnight 20 year success like so I think it’s brilliant to to leverage that to create you know the thing you’re making.

06:27.21
Ryan
Yeah, thank you and and then another piece of it too that relates and it relates to a question that you asked that I haven’t addressed yet is the format issue. So like you I’ve chosen a shorter format and. You know part of part of that is I do think it’s easier to recruit people when I say hey it’s a half hour total and it’s a 12 to 20 minute output um so it’s not you know I mentioned Tim Ferriss I’m a big fan of his work I almost never listen to his podcast because it’s too long like I don’t have that kind of time so I’m also creating.

06:44.68
podcomm
Yes, yep.

07:00.91
Ryan
what I what I like and I mentioned Seth Godin he’s a really good thought leader and his podcast is around 15 minutes so that seemed like a good number for me. It just makes it easier for people to listen to it when it pops up as opposed to putting it off which means it’s getting get buried behind all the other podcasts.

07:07.80
podcomm
Yep, every week you know what you’re going to get yes.

07:13.95
podcomm
Yeah, under the snow. Yeah cool. Do you find? Um so ah, by the way this is one of my stakes. What number you on roughly give or take 1 or 2 what number happens 70 congratulations I as you know.

07:27.81
Ryan
Oh seventy s like 70 something. Yeah.

07:34.11
podcomm
Podcasting is a lonely world the podcasters like work in their little offices doing their thing. Um, so I like to take a chance anytime I can to say hey Ryan 70 episodes on like a particular topic and finding a groove I really want to say that’s awesome. Um I don’t think enough people other than the podcast crews who are listening. I don’t think enough people really understand how hard it really is you know to be the person who does all the stuff that nobody sees or hears so congratulations on 70 and like ah it’s over 2 years, right? You’ve been started in t twentylight yeah 2 years and 70 episodes have you given any thought to.

07:57.76
Ryan
Oh thank you? Yeah about a little over 2 years. Yeah.

08:07.40
podcomm
Um, what are your thoughts on publishing and like publication schedule. So we mentioned like Seth’s akimbo podcast is I’m going to say it’s it’s frenetic like it’s every week and I know a lot about how he does it and how they put the show together and he doesn’t do it all himself, but still. Like anytime you have a weekly publication schedule that can become a slave driver or a horrible burden. Um, so what are your thoughts on how did you settle into like what is the pace that you were imagining and how does it feel when you have to let like a week go by and like what are your thoughts on pacing and cadence for all the podcasters out there.

08:39.85
Ryan
That’s a really good question. So I think that one of the reasons that I got to 70 is that the coaches in the podcast fellowship including Seth really hammer down on what he calls the practice which is you ship get stuff out there. A regular cadence he gets it out every Wednesday morning. It’s there his podcast and I did that and and there are a couple times I experimented with like you know we should it be a Wednesday or Tuesday what are my ads how does it differ? Um, but what’s happened in the last year

08:58.39
podcomm
Now.

09:12.75
Ryan
And and part of it Frankly is you know that I’m juggling a lot of different projects and a pretty intense day job. Um that that I really love but takes a lot of time is I’ve fallen off of the cadence of the the calendar driving me and more who who am I interested in talking to and when are they available and that’s given me.

09:23.91
podcomm
Um.

09:32.35
Ryan
Ah, and um, I’m going sound really lazy because this is how I answered my format question but it gives me a little bit of wiggle room to not work as hard as I worked early on and to get things out when something’s of interest to me so I’m interviewing a guy today who is the founder of bitcoin and I’ve really dug in deep to. Regenerative ranching. That’s kind of my passion regenerative farming and ranching is my my big passion in the climate space and he’s a leader and I just found out he was from boulder and I bought his book and reached out to him last week and we’re talking today. Um you know and then I’ve got a bunch of other people lined up but I haven’t been as aggressive in the new year

09:59.69
podcomm
Um.

10:10.13
Ryan
And certainly wasn’t as aggressive at the end of December I took to give myself some liberties but I I think that I want to get back into a regular cadence. Maybe maybe a biweekly cadence. Um, which is maybe a little more sustainable but if I could I’m learning a lot from you in terms of just letting it rip and not feeling I have to headed because if I could just do the interviews.

10:17.87
podcomm
Um.

10:25.79
podcomm
Ah.

10:29.78
Ryan
But less editing that that that saves a lot of time I think I overedit sometimes um, but yeah for for someone starting a podcast I don’t think I would have made it I don’t think I would have survived if I didn’t have a rigorous calendarization early up front.

10:41.13
podcomm
Hadn’t done the I I agree with you 100% I started in fact, ironically I I journal a lot today is literally the. Five years ago on January eighteenth was the first day I turned a recorder on and tapped on a microphone like today. It’s the five year anniversary I was like wow um, and I think in the beginning being ah like a ah. Like okay this is puted up on a Tuesday and then this goes on Wednesday and then Thursday gets published and then next week I’m doing this thing and I got 3 people come like having that regiment is totally like how you get going that was what got me to whatever mod success I have so I totally agree with you and I also agree with you. There’s magic when you finally and I don’t mean finally like oh. Why did it take me so long I mean finally like I’ve matured enough that I can let go of certain things. So I I sat around before I started this particular show and I said all right? What don’t I give a shit about I don’t give a shit about people’s verbal ticks. It doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t bother most people I don’t give a crap about occasional cursing or random two- minute wanderers. What do I care about I care about talking to cool people I care about doing enough of them so that I’m scratching the edge of conversation like so I just like made this literal list of like must haves and don’t care abouts and that it goes out at ten o’clock on a Wednesday wasn’t on the careabout column and I had my original show which still goes on. Um. Was literally ten zero a m on a Wednesday we used to pre-schedule everything and it was like super regimented and then one day we went you know like we don’t really have something three weeks from now. So let’s just take a pass. So I think there’s something about like showing up a. Steve Pressfield talks about the muse right? show up, show up, show up show up and after a while the muse shows up too and now I think when we’re able to spend like when we’re able to do the hard work and work hard on those parts. We make really great things and it’s like I don’t care about whether I publish every week because. There would be a few people who would listen to your show every day the moment that it comes out. You know like people who listen to Seth’s like minutes after it drops but most people have a queue and and they’re like if we’re lucky they bump us to the top of the queue. So I think there’s a lot of wisdom in in what you shared there and the moment I was trying to reiterate about you know, know what to be. Adamant about this I must do or I’m going to have a problem like me I’m adamant about having the space like this physical setup that I have I never take this apart so that I can do a podcast you know at the drop of a hat because this is important but you know whether I wear this shirt or that shirt or whatever is and as important anyway I’m off a tangent.

13:08.22
Ryan
Another thing about the scheduling that I think is important for at least for people starting up to to know is that early on one of the harder elements is getting the right guests if you if you have a guest-based podcast. Of course you don’t you can have your own podcast without guests. But um.

13:22.79
podcomm
Right? right.

13:27.21
Ryan
So having the Cadence forces you to get those messages out to people and the networking out to people. Yeah yeah, and whereas now like I’ve now I’ve got a big binder full of people who’ve already said they’re interested and I get incoming requests.

13:31.10
podcomm
Yes, oh good point do the outreach. Yes.

13:44.89
Ryan
You know for people to be on my podcast so that that tension that comes from who who who am I going to get isn’t there anymore and I can just choose okay, this person is ready or go through my folder you know I’m ready for this person now because you know with the with the the climate meetings. Their national climate meetings recently. You know there are certain people I’ve been meaning to reach out to that I hadn’t I’m like oh I gotta reach out to them now because now this is timely. Yeah, so so that’s not as important now for me to have the the biweekly or weekly regular schedule as it was before but that’s again, it could be me being lazy and I maybe I should jump back on that and get a little more productive.

14:06.31
podcomm
It’s top of mind for me. Yeah.

14:18.86
podcomm
So you know it it depends on the it depends on the people you’re reaching out to um so I have this show and then my other project. Um the other project is called movers mindset everybody listening knows that and it’s the the humans are completely separate Venn diagrams. So the.

14:20.96
Ryan
Yeah, more stories out there.

14:38.19
podcomm
The podcasters are one group. They totally love digital calls. They love audio gear. They’re down for like staring at each other with funny headphones on and the people that interview on the other show are are very a lot of them are very outdoor people like to move in nature or they work in nature or they’re running and jumping and playing in urban structures and. A lot of times I’m lucky if they have a cell phonee like whose battery will last for 20 minutes like and I’m I’m not dissing them It’s just for them. The technology is not even on their give a shit list so you know they’re not going to do Zencastr calls like for them I have to record over Zoom and for them all the hard work is getting the schedule of the lineup.

14:59.78
Ryan
Deep. Ah.

15:14.17
podcomm
Where for the podcasters. They’re very much like oh you have a calendar link. Yes, please they click on it. They they self-serve. Um, So I think there’s there’s an important piece there and I’m thinking I probably should write something about this that you have to one house has to be mindful of who you’re trying to get on your show like some people you just can’t herd them. They’re just going to be cats. That’s the kind of people that you were trying to get in your Show. You have to just oh I Guess I need to be less structured and some people you know like oh I can be super regimented about it. So I think it’s important to think about you know, um because you can like make rocks that you’re going to smash your ship on if you decide I have to be regimetted and the people you’re reaching out to just… They’re not that kind of person then you have to figure out how to But how to you know, be the willow and bend in the breeze.

15:55.80
Ryan
Well, that’s funny. You mentioned that so generally since I’m dealing with academics and business people not technology is not an issue. A lot of them do podcasts regularly. But as I mentioned earlier I’ve been really interested in regenerative ranching lately and that means I’m talking to a lot of ranchers.

16:06.40
podcomm
Um.

16:11.99
Ryan
And some some big names like I had Jill Salatin was one of my my first and people who are into region will know who he is but he was on a mountaintop with his cell phone when we when we did the interview you know so I just decided to give a disclaimer like sorry for the wind in the background and.

16:21.71
podcomm
Right? We know? yeah.

16:28.50
Ryan
And a lot of times I’ll get these guys and the only time they can talk is 6 am in the morning from their pickup truck. You know and so we just have to accommodate and again, it’s like they no matter how much I write up this is what I the the minimum expectations necessary. You know they don’t they don’t necessarily read that so they’re in their pickup truck on their phone.

16:31.48
podcomm
Um, yeah.

16:46.24
Ryan
And they call me like oh how am I supposed to do this I’m like well log on your link on your computer I don’t have my computer all right, Let’s figure this out Then yeah.

16:49.72
podcomm
Um, yeah, hold on what’s your phone number around send me your message. But but again that what you’re describing there that to me that’s the hard work. That’s the good stuff like that’s the the heavy lifting that we do as podcasters that. Ah, you know I don’t want like overly whoa. We’re shining lights but that’s what shines light and on people who wouldn’t otherwise be heard and you know it’s 1 thing I mean Jane I don’t I’ve never talked to Jane I don’t know Jane at all. But Jane Goodall has gotten plenty of press right? and and it’s great to hear about the children’s project that she was talking about. But she doesn’t really need another 5 minutes of fame. But what you do by getting those guys. Ah, you know in their pickup trucks at 6 in the morning they would never be heard you know unless somebody ran into them or you know who was really into it would go and find them. So I think that you know you and I are kind of like. In violent agreement that the things that we find that are like oh this is tedious and it’s hard work but yet we’re still drawn to do it. It’s because that’s the right thing to be working on That’s what’s calling us.

17:49.40
Ryan
Yeah I had I had a ah young man from Uganda on my podcast recently and he was at cop 26 um in this young leaders group that greenpeace actually sent on the green peace rainbow warriorship to to the meetings to like get young people to talk to these.

18:00.62
podcomm
Just.

18:06.64
podcomm
The panels right.

18:07.72
Ryan
You know, very wealthy white men. You know, basically and he’s from Uganda and he he talks about how how real climate change is in Uganda and how there’s so many people who are climate refugees for drought flooding you name it but back to the technology issues. We. We just couldn’t connect like we tried every single app that I use. Um, and then and then we finally got a decent connection then it was raining and we couldn’t I couldn’t hear his voice then we we called again, he was a home and there’s like babies in the background and he’s in and out so eventually you know I said I I’m glad we got to talk but what I’m going to do is I’m just Goingnna record I’m gonna send you my questions.

18:32.99
podcomm
Um.

18:44.39
Ryan
And just record on your phone. The answers and email them to me and I had edit it with everything together and that’s and it and it came out sounding as if we’re having the conversation but again his story for those technical reasons and for equity reasons and geographic reasons his story wouldn’t be told by many people.

18:45.21
podcomm
Yeah.

19:02.31
Ryan
Um, he’s easily overlooked. He’s a young man doesn’t have any wealth. He’s he’s highly educated, really smart and really dedicated but he lives in Uganda you know and and so yeah to your point we have to get creative and I’m not going to let the technology get in the way of telling the story. We’re going to tell a story.

19:18.80
podcomm
Um, yeah yeah I say all the time terrific Ryan as much as I hate to say it I think that’s probably a good place to stop if we’re going to stick to our short format. So.

19:20.43
Ryan
Guess it’s gonna take a little extra effort and creative thinking on how we do it.

19:34.28
podcomm
Ah, thanks for reaching out we a little bit of trouble took us a couple of months and then we had a mutual friend who was like you know Ryan Craig Craig Ryan so I’m really happy that we got a chance to talk together I’m glad that you and your family are safe I had heard about those fires from somebody else that I know who lives up north of boulder. Um, so I’m glad to hear that that was a harrowing yet.

19:39.70
Ryan
Ah.

19:53.13
Ryan
Well thank you? Yo! Thanks Greg and thanks for the work that you do I think it’s really important for our community which to your point earlier is were kind of isolated by nature, especially someone like me who has a thematic podcast to to reach back out and read. Um.

19:53.40
podcomm
Uneventful story. So but thanks for taking the time today.

20:02.85
podcomm
Yeah.

20:11.60
Ryan
Connect with people who do the the same work and art that we do and I and I appreciate the work that you do.

20:14.93
podcomm
Well thank you, Thank you very much and thanks for putting in all the hard effort on climate work because that needs to be done too. Okay, cool. Thanks see you later.

20:23.91
Ryan
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