PEARL LEMON INTERVIEWS:
A Fireside Chat
I had the opportunity to have an amazing conversation with Joe Saul-Sehy at The Stacking Benjamins today. From talking about SEO for Podcasts, Joe agreed to a quick interview.
He took the time to talk to me and answer some questions so I could get to know him better and hear more about the things that have helped shape his business success to date – let’s get stuck into it!
What Is The Book (Or Books) You’ve Given Most As A Gift, And Why?
I like everything Tim Ferriss writes, but my favorite gift is Steal Like an Artist. I work with a lot of creators who forget that we’re also creating art (which makes them panic). Austin Kleon shares the secret: great artists don’t start from zero. They’re inspired by others.
What Purchase Of $100 Or Less Has Most Positively Impacted Your Life In The Last Six Months?
I bought a lamp that looks like a little person. Think Pixar lamp but with arms and legs and made of wood. It’s called the Robo Book Lamp. Google it. $50. It inspires me.
When You Feel Overwhelmed Or Unfocused, Or Have Lost Your Focus Temporarily, What Do You Do?
I clean or arrange books. Putting things in order helps me focus and get back to priorities. Arranging books gets my mind moving about the topics inside of them. Because I only buy books about topics I like, I find I’m soon back on track.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Monetize everything. Horrible advice. We all need creative outlets and monetizing that hobby sucks the fun out of it.
Don't try to reinvent the wheel. Find people who know what you're trying to learn.
- Joe Saul-Sehy
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
I now believe I don’t need to optimize everything in my life. I used to be hyper-vigilant about efficiency. Now I ask, “To what end?” before going down that rabbit hole.
What Is One Of The Best Or Most Worthwhile Investments You’ve Ever Made?
Hiring coaches always pays off. I overpay to have smart people in my corner. I love to have my thinking challenged and I love to be pushed.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — what would it say and why?
It would be an early phrase I saw in a late 80’s Nike ad: “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” I can see why they went with “Just do it” instead, but as a guy who feels lots of fear, the clunkier version speaks to me more.
What careers advice would you give to your 21-year old self?
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Find people who know what you’re trying to learn. Ask more often, “Who can teach me that?”
How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours?
I was fired from my college job. That was a huge lesson because I’d acted like a jackwagon who thought he knew everything and my boss fired me for my insubordination. That taught me a lot about the value of relationships, whether you think you’re right or wrong (and by the way, I was clearly wrong and now RARELY think I have the complete answer).
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?
I’d tell people to explore. You’ll never get that age back to adventure and learn. Don’t worry about having all of the answers today. Ask more questions. I think the biggest advice you should ignore is to evaluate the ROI (return on investment) of every opportunity. Some detours provide huge benefits.
Tell Us About Your Business. What Does It Do And What Value Do You Add?
I’m the creator and co-host of the Stacking Benjamins Show, a podcast that’s recorded live from my mom’s half-finished basement. We discuss money headlines and concepts in a light, chatty way.
What is the most significant thing that someone much younger than yourself has taught you?
My kids taught me to not take myself so seriously.
Tell us about someone you admire and why you admire them?
I admire my wife. She takes care of children’s health for a living and to me is a “baby whisperer.” She has the patience of a much older woman but the demeanor of a happy seven-year-old. I admire all of that.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I always wanted to be an engineer. By “engineer” I mean the person who drives a train.
Where do you see your industry in the next 5 years?
I think quality will continue to matter more and more as increasing numbers of people listen to podcasts.
What is a 'hack' you have for success that most people don't know about?
Set a fast pace. People will remember 10% of what you do, so do more.
What's your favourite digital marketing channel and why?
I don’t really follow any particular digital marketing channels these days.
What is a useful skill someone could learn in one minute?
Learn to try to understand first before trying to be understood.
When did you first become a rebel?
I’ve never thought of myself as a rebel. I have a strong compass about where I want to go, but I always try to find ways to bring others with me.
What's your favourite colour?
How has Covid-19 changed your industry?
People now listen in different ways. We aren’t in our car anymore. That means we have different listeners than we had a year ago. I can see it in the numbers and in the questions we get about the show.
How has Covid-19 changed your company?
We were already virtual, so it hasn’t changed us much.
What is the most surprising thing you've seen in your industry?
It shouldn’t surprise me, but the number of people who do this thing for money is just plain weird. Podcasting is an extension of radio, and you don’t see many people lighting it up in that medium…so how is podcasting going to make you rich?
What popular celebrity do you admire the most and why?
It changes, but today it’s Tom Brady. He’s focused on being at the top of his game and taking care of himself.
What's your favourite holiday destination?
South of France.
What's something exciting you're currently working on/learning that only a few people know about?
We’re adding new characters to our show. I think we’re going to be even funnier in the future than we are today.
What one thing in life do you consider to be overrated?
What's your star sign?
What are you NOT Very Good at?
I stink at anything paper-work-ey, like this form.
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Scrambled eggs with ham and onion mixed in, with a side of cauliflower-infused toast.
What one song can you listen to every day non-stop?
I don’t have one. I have a 900+ song shuffle for that reason.
Pearl Lemon are an SEO, PPC, PR, and B2B lead-generation agency. We are based in London but service clients around the world.
We have taken the time to interview entrepreneurs and experts (like Joe) in this new series.