Stephanie Postles: Co-Founder & CEO of

Episode 235

Learn all about how Stephanie Postles, Co-Founder and CEO of decided to launch her own Mission by creating over 20 podcasts centered around business & technology. Listen as Stephanie shares how having an idea and seeing a hole in the market can be enough to make great things – and podcasts – happen. On this episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow.

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Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be, I want to just make sure you will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked down knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Kara Goldin show, though, join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone. It’s Kara Goldin from the Kara Goldin show. And I’m thrilled to have my next guest here, Stephanie Postles, who is the co founder and CEO of, you may or may not know But you will recognize some of her podcasts, including the one that I was on called up next in commerce. She also has a few others journey story. And another one, it visionaries. So Stephanie, co founded and as I mentioned, as the CEO of, which is kind of the umbrella company to all of these amazing podcasts over 20 podcasts. Is that correct? Amazingly, very, very cool. And I’m honored, by the way because Stephanie just informed me although she is a bit of a star, and she ends up interviewing so many, this is her first podcast that she’s been on to sort of share her story of building her dream and vision. So I’m very, very honored to have in

Stephanie Postles 1:44
the hot seat. Yeah, a little nervous. Yeah, usually I get to ask all the hard questions. This time. It’s your turn.

Kara Goldin 1:49
Okay. Well, that is, I’m very, very honored to have you here. So. So we’ll talk a little bit more about how calling your company the does, you’ve set your bar quite high, for sure, which is awesome. And like so many other entrepreneurs that are out there. Stephanie did not start off being an entrepreneur, she worked at a little company called Google, and did some incredible stuff there that I’m sure she’ll get into. But really looked at a lot of how the stories are really the things that create so many great businesses, so many great business models, you are getting these stories out. So I love, love, love that you were doing what you’re doing. And you’ve got a couple of other great co founders who are also Army veterans, I read up on them too, which is super, super cool. So really excited to have you on to share a little bit more. So welcome.

Stephanie Postles 2:49
Thank you. Yeah, I’m really excited to be here. And yeah, thanks for the great intro. I mean, a lot of good stuff to talk about today. So

Kara Goldin 2:56
tell me in your own words. So, you’re, you were sitting inside of Google, right? Like, and was there a little break in between you deciding that you were gonna first of all, like, Yeah, talk about the mission, or, and then we’ll go, we’ll backtrack a little bit on the story.

Stephanie Postles 3:13
Yeah, I was like, there’s a lot of things that add up to it. So I mean, Mission High level, we’re a media company, we have a network of podcasts, like you said, we have 20 at this point. And our goal is to yet like lift up the stories of these executives who maybe are not talking about them enough. And so for the most part, we’re going after the, you know, the CMO who’s been maybe at Disney for 15 years or something and doesn’t have an interview, or the person who’s, you know, been the CIO at three fortune 500 companies, and you can’t find anything on. And so when we started off building mission, we just wanted to highlight these stories and create evergreen content that people go back, go back to and learn. And our thought was, like, if you can sit down with, you know, this executive for an hour, that’ll be way better than even going to business school. And so yeah, we started in 2018. And we actually start on a platform called medium for you. Maybe Yeah, okay. Yes, yes. So yeah, we started back then. And it was all in a written format to start. And so we started with a series called the story. And that was telling the unknown backstory of people who change the world, and we would leave their identity hidden until the climax. And we were writing these stories weekly. And I mean, it blew up, people loved it on medium all of a sudden, we started having all these writers writing for us, we were getting like 20 submissions or more a day. And I mean, of course, there was a time period in the beginning, beginning where by co founder, who was also my husband, he and I were writing these stories, and no one was watching and no one was listening and it was all just crickets. And then finally it was like took off. And we started thinking like, Hmm, we don’t really know is like this written formats here to stay and I don’t really like being you know, tied to one platform. So what’s next? And so this was 2017. We were like, Why don’t we turn this into a podcast? Podcast? We’ll make money. How do we make money? We should go to a big company and you know, pitch this idea to them, they’ll want to sponsor it. It’s already doing well and unwritten format. And so we went to Salesforce, and we just said, Hey, we have this series called The Story. It’s doing really well. Do you want to be the flagship sponsor of a podcast that will exist? Once we figure it out? And for some reason, they said yes. And I mean, the rest was history. They sponsored our first one, it won a bunch of awards, we had celebrities narrating it like Alec Baldwin and Jeffrey Wright. And then we started seeing like, okay, there’s a lot of other content we want to make. And we started meeting more people within the fortune 500 and connecting with them and amazing people. And we were like, Why haven’t you been? You know, interviewed before? Why, like, I wish everyone could hear this stuff. And so that’s when we kind of shifted a bit focusing on building out a network of shows, and experiences and media for the C suite, like focusing on C suites and industries. And that’s what we’ve been building ever since. So yeah, we’ve got, you know, like you mentioned before marketing trends, where we’re interviewing CMOS of the Fortune 1000. We’ve got it visionaries are CIOs, I host the podcast, you came on up next in commerce talking to ecommerce leaders. I mean, there’s many. But that’s our focus now growing, not just podcast, but video and experiences in general for these people. So that’s the high level about mission.

Kara Goldin 6:28
I love it. That’s so great. And you worked at Google prior to co founding the company. So how did you? You have co founders, how did you guys all get together?

Stephanie Postles 6:38
I mean, like, I have to back up before Google days because Google was kind of the middle point of it. Okay. Before Google, I mean, I had like a big love of finance, and, you know, trying to always find ways to make money. Because I realized early on that I didn’t want to ever do hourly work really, like I was like, that’s just not my thing. Like, I don’t see how to get past this and how to, you know, arbitrage it and make more. And I think that really stemmed from like thinking back to like my childhood when I was like little with like, my dad. And he had back when I was six, something called dad’s bank. And his whole point was, he wanted us to invest money in dad’s bit, and we couldn’t do it in normal bank. And so he was like, every time you get your birthday money, or you know, you are doing chores, or you’re out helping a neighbor, like, if you come invest in dad’s bank, will write it down in this little notepad, you give me the money. And then every month, he was giving us 10% compound interest, but you had to sit down with him, and you had to do the math, I love so you sit down. And like every month, I’m like watching my 10% like really compound where I’m like, damn, this is like growing a lot. I mean, and he did this with us up until we were probably 15. Like, I mean, it got big to a point where he’s like, Alright, kids, take your money back here, I can’t keep compounding this anymore. And so he would do things like that. And then he would have things at Christmas, where he would have dad’s store, and you’d have to take your money and go in and buy something. And of course, it’d be like discounted prices, like, you know, a watch for my mom would maybe be normally $50. And he’d pick a spend five, which at the time still felt painful, giving him $5. But it was always like, there was always transactions and always learning, you know how to either save money or make money or loan. So I had this love of finance, always growing up. And after college and doing a bunch of scrappy jobs on the side and bartending and all of that. I went to Fannie Mae, which is, you know, like a mortgage company. Sure. And I mean, coming from Eastern Shore, Maryland, where I grew up, even getting across the Bay Bridge, like into DC was like a big deal. So at the time, I was like, Man, this is great. Like, I’m working in finance, I was in this like rotational program. And it was very boring. It was not what I thought it would be. I had like a very different idea, like what my finance degree would get me.

So I started tinkering a lot, because I was like, I mean, I would do my work now do a great job and get great ratings for a while. And then I would just still be bored. I would get home at five o’clock and be like, What should I do? And so at the time, it was my thick, he was still no, we were married, I think at this point, or no, not married, still boyfriend, Chad, and we would just start businesses, we went to the Virgin Islands, and we saw this cool bracelet where, you know, if you had like an outward, you sign, it meant you’re single. And if it was inward, it meant like you were taken and were like, brilliant, spring it back to the US. And so always tinkering with things that didn’t work. I mean, they definitely, you know, lots of failures. But then, after all these little tinkering, things that didn’t really work, things started getting a little shaky at Fannie Mae. I was kind of having some issues with one of the managers there. She really didn’t like me. And it was one month that all the executives like literally like the most senior people, I mean, imagine a bunch of older people like 50s or 60s, all of them get laid off. And me. And I was like, basically kind of an intern. I mean, I was in this rotational program, I was like, you know, a junior person. And it was honestly the best thing that ever happened to me. Because I don’t know if I would have jumped anywhere else for a while. Because, you know, I was like, Well, this is like, people look at this job. And it’s great. And you’re making good money, and you’re working in DC and whatever. But at the same time, I was talking to Google, this is how it gets back to Google. But as I was kind of bored, and just like looking on LinkedIn, and stuff, and a recruiter, reached out to me and said, Hey, we saw that you’ve done all these side projects. I mean, they didn’t care about Fannie Mae, they didn’t even like reference my finance background, they were like, we see that you’ve built some apps, and that you’re you built this iPad magazine, and we want to talk to you. And so it was perfect timing because they flew me out. And I told them, I was like, I got I just got laid off. And they were like, that’s fine. I don’t care. And so I interview with 10 different teams there, and got offers from most of them. But pick the one that felt most startup to me, because I was just thinking, like knowing me, and I get bored quickly, no matter what it is, if I get put into a company that feels like a process, I just No, I won’t do well, because that’s exactly kind of what happened. I was put into a process. I was writing housing papers, I was writing SQL queries, like it was just very process oriented. And so I picked the Google Maps team to go in there. I was one of two finance people. And I was managing a billion dollar p&l. And I was working on divesting a satellite company called Terra Bella. And they were like, had no processes. They’re like, set, we just need someone to come in. And you got to play finance, but you also had to play product. And you also have to like, go travel and like work with these engineers. I mean, it felt all over the place. And I was like, That’s my style. Perfect. And what did that experience? So yeah, I mean, it was, it was great at the time of getting laid off. I was like, so sad. Like, it was the saddest thing packing up my box, all my other like co workers looking at me and just being like, Oh, this is the ultimate failure. Like, I remember thinking like, What do I tell my parents, they were so proud of me, like working here. And like, they didn’t really understand a lot of the side things I was doing. They were like, really, like, you know, at Thanksgiving, like Steph works at Fannie Mae, like, so proud. And, but now I look back, I’m like, that was just the best thing that happened. Because I don’t think I would have ever chosen to, you know, leave my whole family in Maryland, and fly out to California and live there. And yeah,

Kara Goldin 12:34
I mean, I think, look, it’s a Steve Jobs used to famously say, I mean, you know, the dots eventually connect, if you allow yourself to go back and look at it. And when you’re in it, when you’re in those hairy times, like you just think it’s the end of the world for sure. But it’s, uh, you know, such a great example. So the co founders, I mean, basically, the co founders, your co founders, how did you? Were they at Google as well?

Stephanie Postles 12:59
No. So my original co founder was, at the time, my husband, my ex husband, so God, dad, yeah, we had always been doing businesses together. Like when he I mean, that was kind of how our relationship even started, he was in the military. And he had been deployed, you know, to Iraq and Egypt. And he’d been in there for a long time, eight, eight to 10 years, I think, God and so I met him back at my college town. He was like, you know, bartending at some random house party, and I met him. And then soon after, like six months later, he got deployed. And the way that we stayed connected on his deployment was through side projects. And so when he was gone, we were working on an app called college or not. And so it was basically an app that you could pull up, pull up your degree and see like, what is the ROI of this? What’s the industry like looking like our salaries increasing? What can you get with that degree? Oh, you’re getting a psychology degree. Here’s all the negative percentage, you know, the wage and how long it takes you to pay back your degree, like your loans. And so we built this whole app of like what we wanted for college. And so we worked on that when he was deployed, we started and education iPad, it was called education magazine, iPad magazine. And I was out interviewing educators, I mean, some pretty high profile ones. And I’m surprised that they said yes to me now. And I was writing the articles, and he would do the design, and then we would publish it on the iPad and charge a subscription price. And so we just had always been working together on stuff. So when it came to mission, and of course, we were already working on that together. When I went to Google, we started writing on medium. He’s like, very creative, and he was writing. And I was more of like, you know, operations, finance, get it done. hire the people, hire the team. Bring it all together. And he was more creative, like, you know, make sure the storylines, good there. And so yeah, we just started that while I was at Google. Because even though Google was great and fun, and amazing, of course, I mean, it was like if I didn’t do what I was doing now, I’m like, I would definitely go to Google search experience, you always get that itch you’re like, I just know there’s something else I could be doing and want to be doing. That’s mine. And with no constraints,

Kara Goldin 15:12
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Stephanie Postles 19:32
He is now? Yeah, he’s back.

Kara Goldin 19:34
He’s back. Okay,

Stephanie Postles 19:35
he’s back. Wow. Yeah. I mean, a company’s been through a lot of ups and downs. And there was a time period of about a year or two that he was not involved anymore. So yeah, he was struggling with PTSD. And back in a company started in 2018 and 2019 was fine. The end of 2019 some weird things started happening like, oh, finances are kind of looking weird and, you know, disappearing for weeks at a time and being like, Oh, let me just run this company. And at this point we had one kid are now four year old Grayson. He was born in 2018. Like, kind of like early starting of the company. He was always on me strapped to me. I’d be like listening to podcast episodes at night and feeding him. And I really, yeah, yeah, I know. That’s when I heard your story about, you know, for kids. Yeah, foods. I was like, Ah, that was literally be I totally

Kara Goldin 20:33
relate. So yeah, but that’s great. So he’s back in and how do you what does he do? What does how does he device Oh, it’s still

Stephanie Postles 20:40
kind of new. I mean, to go back to that backstory of the company, like so back in 2020, the company almost went bankrupt because of this, like just bad financial choices. And so he essentially left and he went to get help, and didn’t really want to be involved for a little while. And so I took over and was running it, because at the time he was CEO, so I took over CEO, but I had to lay off more than half my team, because it was December 2019, live, looked at our bank account, and I couldn’t really stop anything. So at that time, I didn’t, you know, I just couldn’t have enough like, financial control, I looked at our bank account, and it was to $2,100. Our payroll every month was almost 200,000 a month. And so I looked at that, and it depleted quickly, it was fine, one month, and then all of a sudden, it wasn’t, and I was like, I don’t know what to do. And so I put in a personal loan of my own money for part of it. And then I went to one of my best friends. And I was just telling her this scenario, and she was like, I’ll write a check. I was like, You shouldn’t, because this company is on the way out, like, there is no way to escape this, we don’t have any money, we’re in a ton of debt that was racked up within these past three months, I mean, crazy amounts of debt, that I don’t even know how to get get out of I think I might have to do bankruptcy, I wouldn’t put in money into this company. And I was like, but I do want to get my employees past Christmas. That was like my one thing. I’m like, I can’t lay them off, you know, December 22. So she’s like, that’s fine, you’ll be good for either in this lifetime, or the next, you’ll be good for it. I already know, I know, you and I know what you’re gonna do, either this time or the next company, like, it’ll get figured out. So she put a loan in, I put a loan in and yeah, we’re able to get through payroll, and then I laid off half my team. So went from like, 20 Something people down to like 11, and went to all of our clients and said, Hey, either this company is going down, or you need to be in a one year contract. If you still want what we’re giving you. I have half the team, but I think I can do it. But I need money up front. I need you to be in a one year contract, because I cannot get any loans unless you are in a longer term contract. And if not, then we can’t work together. And all of them agreed. And it’s amazing. helped. And yes, since then, I’ve been building it back up. And now I mean, I’ll say bankruptcy almost bankruptcy time period was actually honestly the best thing that happened because it allowed me to be like, Reorient, what kind of people do we want on this team? Like what matters here? How do we work with our clients and our sponsors? What’s important, you know, company culture wise, and I essentially got to rewrite the entire company for like, what I thought was important. And so fast forward to today 2022. My now ex husband, Chad is back. And he is helping again, me as titles chairman and co founder. And so he’s helping with, you know, different things within the company. But yeah, I mean, he went and he got the help he needed he tapped into, you know, psychedelic therapies. I’m a big proponent of that. And it helps Natalie mend. I mean, now we also have three kids, like at the time when the company was going bankrupt. Two months later, I was having my twins. And so wow, that was a whole nother thing. Crazy.

Kara Goldin 23:58
Crazy. Crazy. So yeah. Wow, that’s amazing. You have been through an incredible journey. And and your company is still so young. I mean, now it’s like, you’ve really, I think, look, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. As I always, you know, say, I think that that’s a testament just what you just shared for sure. So what has been the most surprising thing and starting mission that, you know, I actually, I was talking to an entrepreneur earlier today who had reached out to me and we ended up getting on the phone. It was interesting, because he went and ended up getting a lot of people in his industry, in the beauty industry, from large companies. And the first thing I thought is a lot of overhead, right? Getting these people in, but also a lot of those people don’t really know, the scrapy right, the I mean, the zero to 1 million, right like it, which is I’m sure you know and you don’t see that when you’re working in these large companies either. So it’s not like you worked there at the early days of Google where you didn’t see them trying to make payroll. And all of you know those times. So what do you think is is kind of the thing that for people who are thinking, Oh, maybe I’m going to go start my own company that you just didn’t know.

Stephanie Postles 25:19
Yeah, I mean, I think what you said was also a very interesting point around when you think about hiring, I mean, it’s different from when I was first starting the company, like zero to 1 million, I feel like I focused on hiring a certain type of person that was more loyal and scrappy, and, you know, learn quickly. I mean, we hired two people when they were back in 2017. Our first two hires were these 217 year olds that they were doing, they dropped out of college, and they’re going to do this other program, and we met them and we’re like, wow, you both are really smart. And they’re still at the company today. Wow. So even through I mean, these were two people who when I said, Hey, I might not be able to pay you for a month. And they were like, That’s okay, not at this point. I was also like, Hey, I had to go start another company, because this one might be gone. They’re like, that’s fine. We’ll follow you to that one. And so like the most amazing, loyal, amazing people, like, I think, in the zero to 1 million range, that’s what was really important to me of like finding those people who could learn to go wear multiple hats, who I can one second, say you’re on sales. Now you’re the editor in chief, now you’re my Chief of Staff. Now you’re a producer, you know, jump in and help me host this show. Like, that’s what was important. Then, after 1 million. I feel like now, I’m having to look for a different style of employee. Because I mean, I’ve always, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, like, what got you to 1 million will break you afterwards? Yeah, you can’t? Yeah, yeah. And so now I’m looking like, okay, 5 million plus, what are these founders doing in the five to 10 million range? Like, how are they hiring people. And it’s definitely quite a bit different. But I still think looking for the people with the scrappy mentality. Where we’ve ever struggled before is when we hire people who, you know, honestly, like me, coming from a Google where they’re like, Okay, let’s talk about, you know, all these things that I had at a prior company, and they don’t, they don’t understand the hustle of like, you know, the fact that this company is even here and can pay you is honestly, like, an amazing feat. And so, you know, asking for all these other things, as if you can compare to, you know, a Google or, you know, a huge tech company, like, I want to find the people that can still respect what’s going on to even have this company existing. And so it’s a different kind of hiring, it’s looking for people who can also withstand, like a wartime mentality that you know, is okay, when shit hits the fan and still are ready to help and not run. And then, yeah, I also feel like hiring people who have like this positive mindset, like, I’m sure you’ve seen it, how one person can infiltrate the org in a positive or negative way. Yeah. And so just kind of, especially with everything, you know, everyone working remotely now realizing like how important that is more than ever, is interesting to think about day to day of like, how do we keep our environment fun, and flexible, but firm, and like, you know, get done what we need to get done. But also, like, still have, like, a fun time. Because I mean, the whole point of building this company, was to build like, I mean, when we set out to build it, we said, we want to build an infinite game. And we want this, we want to build a company that is a game that we just want to keep playing, we don’t want to stop. And so we want to also find employees like that, like this is a game and we can make it what we want. And we can make it as fun as we want. Or we can be here and struggle every day. Like, yeah, how do you want to play?

Kara Goldin 28:33
I think that sort of goes along with I remember when I was first building hint, I and the first people, I think it was shortly after, maybe we were not quite a million, they quit and they went and took another job. And I remember thinking like somebody had just cut off my arm, right? Yeah, it was just, it was so sad, right? I felt like I get so personally. Yeah, like I had failed. And, you know, I’m not creating, we only have, you know, five people at the company or something, but I wasn’t creating the right fit and all of these things. And I always tell people that, you know, you have to trust that these people know who they are, right and what they need. And I think that the other thing is, it’s kind of a miracle. I mean, first of all, you had no experience in the podcast dentistry, you had no other route, like smart. You’re a smart cookie, right? You’re doing other things. But the fact that anybody even came to I was in tech, and then I started a beverage company. I’m like, come on, we’re going to start this thing and we’re going to Whole Foods. I have no idea what I’m doing. The fact that even one person showed up and said okay, we’re going to go and create this category of unsweetened flavored water and why should they trust me at all right to go in and line up so it’s definitely In the early days, you know, just be grateful that they even, that even one person came to help. Right, and that they, you know, dealt with, you know, probably not as much money as they could have made somewhere else, all of those kinds of things, you know, and definitely, I am sure you have those stories to has the mission changed of your company since you first started?

Stephanie Postles 30:22
Yeah, I mean, when we first started, we were definitely a bit more consumer focused. I mean, you know, the two, our two first podcasts, the story which I mentioned. And then mission daily, to first both of them were pretty consumer focus. So mission daily, you know, my co founder and ex husband, Chad, and I would sit down them like every day and talk about books, we were reading and talk about Michael Creighton, and talk about Jim Collins, and you know, and then we would also do interviews with people too, like CEOs in the valley, we would bring him in, we had a studio in Palo Palo Alto, that was also our house. And I mean, these executives would come through to be on mission daily all the time, because it was right along the route to work up to SF. So it was kind of a show just what we wanted it to be. And so it still had the ties of speaking to executives, learning from them, you know, the people who’ve been on the front lines, and actually, you know, have the best war stories and yeah, just history to learn from, but then it was also catered towards anyone who just wanted to learn in general, like anything. And that was how the medium publication started out, too. And so and the story as well, you know, it’s very consumer focused anyone in the family, I mean, families were listening to this podcast together on their ride to school and to work. And that’s when we started seeing more of like, okay, media in general. It’s, it has a big opportunity to not be based, like, not show these executive stories in a way that they currently highlight them. Like right now, I mean, you know, working, you know, founding it, you probably got on these media experiences that were full of gotcha questions. And, you know, just trying to like, oh, what can Kara say that we can get her in trouble for, and they just, to us, it was always around Fudd, like fear, uncertainty, doubt. And that’s like how they were getting people to even watch this. And the more we started seeing that, the more we were like, we want to do the opposite. We, I mean, you’ve been on our show. So you see how it is like, we want executive to come on. And we want to be the best experience they’ve ever had, in a way that they also want to open up and tell us stories that are actually helpful to all the people who want to learn total. So we did start to shift a bit, focusing more on executives and industries and like a little bit more niche, just because we thought like, if we can do a really good job with that, and bring on the best people, it’ll help more people who really care about that concept, because there’s tons of podcasts that can, you know, focus on everyone aware, like, there’s not enough focus on these industries and these executives and get their stories. And with that came, you know, the funding model of getting the right sponsors, and just being able to have a lot more upside, and a long term relationship, and not messing around with CPM deals. And, you know, like consumer facing companies who just want to run ads for two days and see the metrics. And, yeah, they’re not thinking long term. And so we didn’t want to play in that space. Because our whole point was like, we’re building evergreen content. It can be here in 10 years, and we still want it to be relevant, we still want it to be good. That’s why it’s not going to be news based. It’s not going to be what happened today. I mean, we want to get the best tips that can help anyone, you know, years to come. And so with that, we want to find aligned partners, who also have that goal in mind who are ready to work with us on this content. And, you know, assist us not just through funding, of course, like sponsorships are nice, but like, how else can we partner together to create a, like a long term relationship? And so yeah, that’s, that’s a bit how it shifted.

Kara Goldin 33:55
That’s really interesting. So what do you think? I mean, obviously, the podcast space has grown a lot like how do you differentiate yourself? And how do you get the word out? So you’ve got the sponsors for you know, Salesforce, just as an example, but then how do you get the word out about what you’re doing? As? I mean, obviously, you get great guests and all these yeah, there’s a lot of pull in that way. But what do you think is, I feel like there’s gonna be, there’s a lot of people who have been working from home who are starting bog gas, and so it got really crowded. And I think, you know, we’ll go back into where some of those are, are stopping, they’re not doing it anymore, and whatever. But how do you how do you grow your podcast, I guess, is is sort of the big piece.

Stephanie Postles 34:43
Yeah, I mean, a lot of different ways. Because we’ve, because we’ve been doing it for quite a few years, we’ve been able to experiment with a lot of things. And so I would say guess is a big one. I mean, we have, you know, on some of the best guests in the industry, where, when they share it with their network. I mean, that’s the best thing that can have Hold on. I mean, when we had the CIO of shell share his episode, it was like, blew up the shell. And because you know, most of his other CTO and CIO, friends, I probably not ever seen an interview with him before. And so yeah, same thing we had someone on from Burger King, like he shared his episode. And like, all of a sudden, you know, fast food, everyone started following us reaching out and wanting to be guests. And I’d say guest quality is definitely very helpful. And hard to do, because it just takes so long to book these executives. And I mean, we’re putting out you know, 15 episodes a week or something every week non stop, like, there are no breaks. Yeah, and so our team, I mean, bless them, they’re amazing, they are constantly reaching out. I mean, we take about 1% of inbound 1%. I mean, we get 100 emails, probably every couple of days, I’m sure trying to come on as guests. And so yeah, we take almost none. Because the whole point is like, if you’re reaching out that hard, you already can go on every other show. Like, that’s why we do our cold reach out to the people that we specifically want. The I guess quality is a big one, especially when they’re sharing it with their networks and getting in front of other, you know, like minded people. Sure. And then we also, we still sometimes tap into medium, you know, we share our stuff on our publication. That’s not really an angle that we do as much anymore, even though we still are top publication on there, and we get views and all that. But that platform has changed so much that I just, it’s not really one that I want to rely on for anything, which you shouldn’t ever rely on any platform, honestly, I mean, that’s why now, we’re expanding. We’re not just podcast. That’s why I say like, you know, we are a media company, and we’re creating these media streams. And podcasting is a piece of it. But we’re also on YouTube. So YouTube is a great expansion, place to be able to get found. And, like the advertising rates are much better than podcasting. Even though, you know, podcasting, we’re probably the best in the industry, when it comes to what we can do like cost per download numbers that we can get, we do a really good job. Because we’re forming strategic partnerships with advertisers. We’re not just, you know, going on any platform and just trying to run ads, we’re not just using Google Adwords and trying to do that, like we are building our own systems, we have our own demand side and supply side platforms that we’re building and making sure that the publishers and everyone on there is very aligned. And usually it’s through custom reach outs. And so I feel like most of our business is through very custom relationships and reach out whether it’s with guests, whether it’s with advertising networks, whether it’s newsletter partnerships, it’s a very custom approach to make sure that, you know, we’re only getting in front of the exact people we want to get in front of, and then we can show after the fact that we did just that.

Kara Goldin 37:38
That’s awesome. I love that. That’s a super great lesson, because I know, I get asked that question a lot. And I think a lot of the organic growth definitely is it happens as you get higher quality guests. I also think like something that you and I talked about before the podcast started. Sound is so critical. Oh, yeah. Right. Yeah. So if you don’t have high quality sound, yep, it really makes a difference. And that’s where we saw our numbers go up significantly when we actually focused on the quality and making sure that everybody has the best quality and all of that. So I think that’s another really big key one. So I, as I mentioned before, I was fortunate enough to join you on the up next in commerce, which I love the experience. The podcast is out there now you definitely can listen to it. So what’s gonna happen to podcasting going forward? I mean, what’s what is that you’re doing 15 Shows a week, you’re cranking these out? I mean, what do you think people are looking for that are listening. Now for podcasts? I mean, obviously, you seem like you’re really listening and going at the trends and very curious to hear what you think about, you know, what listeners are really looking for?

Stephanie Postles 38:54
Yeah, so I mean, I will caveat it was saying like, you know, we are in a very different industry, like, I’m not looking at a crime dramas. I’m not, you know, even listening to news podcast. So I can’t really speak to those areas, just because I’m so focused on business and tech, honestly, like, those are, like tunnel vision on those areas. But for those, I mean, one big area that we’re betting on is video, which, you know, you’re the podcast that I did with you is all out on video now. And we have trailers and clips, and that, to me is where the future’s headed. And I think that if you’re not doing video now, you’ll regret it because a lot of the podcast players will start to like you will be at an advantage if you have video if you think about Spotify, like right now they’re already starting to show video on the players themselves. And so if you don’t at least have it to be like, oh, yeah, you want video here it is. All Yeah, it’ll hurt you in the long run. Because, I mean, if you think about it, like very basic as a consumer, if you imagine are listening to Spotify, and you’re able to I open it up and be like, Oh, that’s what that person looks like, or, oh, I want to see you know who the guest is just having that there, don’t you think that’s a better experience than just Apple podcast, which, you know, you can’t even get that option. And they’re definitely probably not investing in that and haven’t really invested in podcast to begin with. So I think that video for sure is, I mean, people been already saying this for a year or two, that’s the way the future but I mean, I’m definitely seeing it now. And that’s why all of our shows are on video. And a lot of them are going to be having short snackable content, like all of our sponsors, are included in that as well. But like, they’re all getting maybe one to two minute teasers from each episode. And I mean, those the consumption rates, you know, people are finishing the entire thing. So that’s amazing. Why wouldn’t you want to, you know, be doing that. And also, it’s fun, I mean, you pick the best part of it, and you really get to highlight, you know, the person’s personality in a way that maybe they’re not going to sit around for a whole hour, but they might want to hear, you know, two minutes on their thoughts on the IRS, you know, updates or whatever. Like I,

Kara Goldin 41:03
and you’re showing that were on social?

Stephanie Postles 41:05
On social on YouTube. Yeah, everywhere. That’s great. See, I think definitely focusing on video, and yeah, like authenticity, I think is a big one going forward. Just figuring out like, how can you hop on video, because you’ve seen a lot of video interviews where you’re like, oh, cringe worthy, like, I don’t want to see you guys on video. This is just like, not good. Yeah. Like, how do you, you know, make sure that your guests is comfortable, so that you can get authentic content? Because, I mean, what we’re seeing now is that consumers, I mean, they want to see the most authentic content. And even if I’d say like, even if the quality is not that good. I mean, when we started the company, we had such a high bar for audio quality. I mean, like, at this point, we’re still shipping some of our guests mics. And I mean, we have the best mics that you can have. And quality was very high. And I’ve actually now seeing that kind of like, you don’t need to be as high if it’s more authentic. So if it’s first person shot, and you’re putting something on YouTube, it maybe doesn’t have to be as good if someone’s just like, yeah, that’s, that’s Kara. She’s doing her thing. She’s cooking meatloaf. And she’s telling us about, like, you know, building your business, like, you might not have to have the best quality. And you’re seeing a lot of ads right now doing the same thing. I mean, I was on like, our Smart TV the other day, there was a first person shot ad and it looks just like a tick tock video. And apparently, it’s done really well. And so I think, thinking through, you know, how do you make sure that the contents authentic, and it’s like cross platform, like never focusing on one platform?

Kara Goldin 42:33
Wow, so many tidbits here, you have me thinking for sure. And I loved just hearing about the obstacles that you’ve overcome. And I think that definitely, there’s a clear direction that I’m hearing that you just have to go figure it out. And you have to figure out how to move forward, which definitely is something that I always talk about. So thank you so much for coming on. Stephanie, again, I’m so privileged and honored that you chose us to come on for your first one. So, so great. And thanks, everybody for listening to this episode. Where can people find all of your is is

Stephanie Postles 43:18
people can go to Check us out. I mean, we’re everywhere. You can go YouTube, Spotify, Apple, our website, or find me on LinkedIn and say hi, and reach out.

Kara Goldin 43:28
Definitely. And your YouTube is really really great too. So definitely everybody check it out. And please subscribe to the Kara Goldin show give this episode five stars, those algorithms really love those five stars. And the more we get and definitely for this episode for Stephanie’s episode, definitely it really, really helps. And you can find me on all social platforms at Kara Goldin. Also, don’t forget to pick up a copy of my book on daunted where you can hear a lot more about my journey and building my company. Who knows maybe we’ll get Stephanie to write her book at some point one day and one day along the way. And we’re here every Monday and Wednesday may actually be adding another day very soon. So we’ll we’ll see. We’re in discussions about that. And thanks, everyone for listening and good bye for now. Thanks, Kara. Before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. Successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the book calm and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time, you’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight? Send me a tweet at Kara Goldin and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara Goldin. Thanks for listening