[00:00:00] Mark: And it's a, it's about a female rabbit who, um, solves detective mysteries. Oh, that's awesome. I want it to, I dunno why I'm selling the podcast. Do you stop it? Right? I'm going to stop doing that
[00:00:13] Brendan: because he wants to do it. You know, you
[00:00:14] Mark: want to do it. It's the bit of me that like, I. Do a doodle and I want to see it on someone's fridge.
[00:00:26] Drew: Right? So you're paying your way to the top fly.
[00:00:31] Mark: hello again, Brendan Hutchins from the podcast advocate network. It's weird. Sorry, but I've got it. I've just got to say this and then you can say hi to me, but he's. It's weird considering this as a bingeable series. And then, you know, someone who has probably just finished listening to the previous episode and then we went away and now we're back again, but hi, Brendan Hutchins
[00:00:52] Brendan: and Mmark Steadman. And hi, Drew Ackerman from the sleep with me podcast. Thanks for joining us.
[00:00:56] Drew: Hey, thank you both for having me. Fully, uh, I like being in the middle of a binge, like a it's a fun place to be. Perfect.
[00:01:04] Mark: Absolutely. Um, so you were telling us before we hit record that you had something of a
[00:01:09] Drew: disaster. Yeah. So like, uh, I don't know if you guys can relate to this or anybody else listening, but.
[00:01:15] Usually for me, I usually have a production level disaster once a year. And yesterday was the day. Uh, it was, uh, for my show, the episodes kind of tend to be pretty. Our production kind of is spread out, but I had a time sensitive episode that I recorded yesterday and I was hoping to have it edited today so I could get it out like as soon as possible.
[00:01:39] And, uh, the recording went good. And actually in the ultimate irony, I Eve. Like 80% through the episode, I saw the batteries real low and I'm like, okay, let me stop. I record to a recorder. So I'm like, let me stop. Just in case the recorder dies. I want to make sure I have all this started recording again, finish the recording.
[00:01:59] And it was. Later in the evening. So then I was like, okay, let me upload the files. So they're backed up and the editor has them and then I was farting around. And then I was like, just sending an email to the editor. And then I was like, oh, let me just poke in there. Uh, and see, I wanted to, double-check something, I'm one of the files.
[00:02:18] And, uh, the SD card had gone corrupt at, at some point, which we'd record again. And I was like, you gotta be kidding me. And it was corrupt so fast that my backups didn't work. Uh, oh no. And so that I was trying to do that. It was like, Got a funny, cause I tried, I was like, okay, let me try to recover the card.
[00:02:38] And I was really irritated and now it's like 10, 11 o'clock at night and I'm running this recovery thing and the file names change. So I'm listening to all these wave files and the SD card crashes, like every four minutes. And I didn't realize it till this morning that I probably spent more time trying to recover the file.
[00:02:55] Then rerecord the episode and it's morning this morning. I'm like, wait a second. It only takes me like an hour and a half to rerecord. Uh, why don't you just do that? Like, which I don't normally like to do, but I was like, oh, well, yeah. And I, I, so right. I feel so good because. Just rerecorded it and uploaded it, like within the last hour and a half.
[00:03:18] And I'm like, okay. Uh, it actually might turned out for the best who knows or it's, you know, but those usually just happen once a year. So I think I got that out for 2019.
[00:03:29] Mark: Hopefully. Yes, you've exercised those demons next. Um, so for anyone who doesn't know that you, you sort of. People, um, fall asleep and give them a sort of a, a nice comforting, um, you know, sense of someone's there with you.
[00:03:47] Um, you know, if you, perhaps, if you, if you're feeling lonely or whatever, or you need something that just, you don't have to 100% engage with, but sort of is there as a nice as nice presence. Um, When do you, when do you typically
[00:04:00] Drew: record? So I usually record it in the daytime kind of, depending on how much procrastination I do.
[00:04:06] Like, uh, like with the recording, uh, like I re I actually recorded my shows over a two day period or two recordings, like, cause I have a long intro, so I'll do like the intro and the housekeeping one day. And then the episode portion the next day. Um, but yeah, usually I record in a perfect world. I were to record at 11 o'clock.
[00:04:28] Uh, I don't know why that is. I think just to get it out of the way it's so that I'm not worrying about it. Uh, but usually I tend to be like, well, I'm not feeling quite ready to record. I'm feeling a little nervous, just so that I'll just keep pushing it off until I get. The deadline crunch really emotionally kicks in, and then I'm like, okay, let's get this recorded.
[00:04:49] Mark: Th the, the reason I ask is, is obviously, uh, you speak with a degree of, um, a higher degree of energy, uh, when you were just talking as a person, um, than you do on the show. And I wondered like how you get into that space, because if you're getting ready to tuck yourself in at night, then it's, . So let's do that, but like, if it's 11 in the morning and he, you know, you, I dunno, you ready for your next coffee or whatever that must, that must feel very
[00:05:15] Drew: different.
[00:05:16] It's taken some time, but I guess like slowly, I don't know if it's a muscle memory or what, like, but when now when I get down to record, I guess sometimes I still am stressed or anxious. I just do try to remember that trophy thing of. Okay. I'm just here to help this one person who's listening. I don't have like, always a specific person in mind, but almost I'm almost like go deeper than I'm like th these peoples they're in bed, whoever's listening and it's their ears.
[00:05:45] I mean, we're right up against three years. So I always try to, like, I don't know, that really just helps me kind of calm down and take things like with a little bit more of a delicate hand, I guess. So like when
[00:05:57] Brendan: you're recording, you're often thinking directly about. The person that's listening. What I mean, I guess you're, you're mostly monologuing, right?
[00:06:06] So you're, you're talking to the ether. So I guess it would make sense that you're, you're picturing that you're talking to somebody on the other side, I'm typically, I don't typically do a monologue about gas loose anymore. And so I'm always thinking about the person I'm talking to and less so the audience.
[00:06:22] Drew: Yeah. Yeah. I think it's interesting. Like I remember reading this article in the new Yorker, uh, that I'll definitely misquote or miss paraphrase. The way, a short order cooks BrainWorks and all of the different things that are firing in a short order cooks brain and how long that takes to be able to keep all these orders in different places.
[00:06:43] And I think for me, my like, uh, I have a different thing where it's, again, I'm trying to think of the person listening and then I'm trying to be open to like a lot of times I might show. Internal dialogue that I'm publicly putting out there. So I will have conversations with myself. So I'm trying to listen, I guess, in a little bit different way than, yeah.
[00:07:02] Conversational podcasts like this, but still can have listening to whatever other parts of my subconscious are firing and saying, Hey, look at me, give me some attention over here. And I say, oh, what did, did you have something to add to the podcast and kind of seeing where it goes. And that also tends to.
[00:07:19] Usually at least my thinking is pretty Securitas and, uh, it could go on pointless meanders. So it works for the podcast. I wish I had an
[00:07:27] Mark: excuse. I wish I, I wish, you know, I said that my, the points of my monologue pad podcasts were just to, yeah. To give people some noise that they can just enjoy in areas.
[00:07:39] Rather than actually have to make a point. Cause I did that so often I especially enjoyed, uh, I think it was the most recent episode, your conversation with a bird and you kept sort of interrupting yourself as the persona of the bird and just like, oh yeah, yeah. You like, you like to listen to these kinds of podcasts.
[00:07:55] Yeah, yeah, no. Brilliant to it. And it was just, I could just imagine myself actually at night. It just, yeah. Yeah. This is quite, it's just quite nice. And I'm seeing a little bird image, you know, as a, as I'm drifting off to
[00:08:08] Drew: sleep. It's lovely. So I guess it's a good story. It's like my goal with my podcasts is to almost reach.
[00:08:13] Yeah, this isn't bad. Like, uh, like we're so she got half bed, like, uh, so, so I really shooting for the stars who say, well, I can take it or leave it. Like they said, exactly. I've nailed it. I've got it. Solid see,
[00:08:33] Mark: maybe one day I'll push for a B-plus. Um, so like, what is your, um, what is your production workflow then?
[00:08:39] I am. And, um, I imagine it's changed a lot since when you first started. Yeah. Uh,
[00:08:44] Drew: it took me like, when you think about podcasting and this idea that it instantly happens for people and that, like, it took me about 150 episodes to kind of slow. Just have the foundation of kind of the show I make now, but yeah, it's a lot of pre-production.
[00:09:00] So depending on the style of the episode, I'm making, it might be. Writing an episode, it could be taking notes or just kind of collecting ideas. Uh, so there's a lot of pre-production then there's the recording. Uh, then there's surrounded editing that I have a couple editors do, then I'll give it another listen and maybe make some editing or do the final mix, uh, then in the perfect world.
[00:09:25] I'll listen again, like at the release one, uh, before it goes out or like I put it out on my Patrion and then that's a human, a huge thing over the past couple of years to say it's almost like a focus group, like the patrons get the episode early and they can listen and then they can give me feedback.
[00:09:44] And then actually before the final episode comes out, I can still make. Make changes, uh, uh, or just be like, okay, like, I dunno, LR, feedback's always good. Like, because it's like, oh, I didn't even realize that, that you would hear it that way. That has been kind of a theme of
[00:09:59] Brendan: this, uh, of this whole miniseries so far is that we we're all recognizing how much.
[00:10:04] Listen, their feedback is really important.
[00:10:05] Drew: Yeah. And it's a hard, it's not a natural thing. Uh, it was a natural thing for me to be able to accept or even work with. I mean, I've been, you know, you always taught like, oh, constructive criticism or of this. Uh, but it really is something, at least for me, that's taken me years to kind of grow into a, I mean, it wasn't like I was resistant first as desperate.
[00:10:26] Like when I first started the show to hear from anybody, like, like I could like, oh, come on, please send me an email. Come on. And. W, but it's like almost like, oh, what do you like? It's this weird kind of porousness, cause you've got, you can let a lot of it in and you have to let a lot of it impact the show or impact you as a person, but you can't necessarily, even if you let all of it and you can't keep all of it.
[00:10:50] And cause some of the stuff is just, uh, you know, some people are just cranky I guess, would be the nice way to say it. That is very true. Especially in.
[00:10:56] Brendan: Yeah.
[00:10:57] Mark: So what kind of feedback do you get? You know, what, what kind of conversations are you having with,
[00:11:01] Drew: with listeners? You know, um, I get it all, like, it really helps fuel the show.
[00:11:07] I mean, it's weird that it's this kind of strange counter-cultural narrative, in some sense, like the majority of the feedback I get is people simply saying, Hey, like, this is. W w what I was going through, this is the impact your show had. I made it led me to sleep while I was dealing with these funeral plans, or while I was in the hospital where I've had this lifetime issue.
[00:11:31] And then they just say, thank you. Or they might comment on something and we'll have a, like a nice conversation about it, whether that's. So different than what's out there in the internet in general. And it's just something that really helps ground me of like, oh, okay. It, it does help me keep making the show.
[00:11:49] And as we kind of think about burnout, it also has helped me grow as a person and be like, oh, where did my boundaries landed? What's a. What's something I'm dedicated to doing versus unhealthily feeling obligated or something
[00:12:03] Mark: funny. You bring it boundaries. Cause I wonder in, um, and obviously, you know, your show is edited too, so this helps, but in a, in a, a monologue show where you really can't.
[00:12:13] I wonder, do you have to sort of self edit and self sensor? Are there things that, cause I often find that I will stray into, I have a certain brand of, um, sometimes over the top oversharing honesty, uh, and I like it. Are you ever in danger of that or you ever sort of think, you know, going down a road and you know, I'm not sure.
[00:12:33] Drew: Yeah. I mean, like, uh, I mean, I try to be authentic and I think like the stuff that works about the podcast is like these real human journeys or like just stuff I'm neurotic about like talking to birds or, you know, what, like what, what do I do? Am I going to be a good if I had a bird as a pet with the pet live, like that kind of stuff like is good, but it's also, it's like, oh, well maybe.
[00:12:55] With the bird live. Oh, you know it, so sometimes it's like seeing it coming ahead and like almost like monitoring my thoughts as I'm dialoguing it, and sometimes I'll miss it. And, um, I'll stop and I'll say, okay, let's try to rephrase that. And we'll do an edit there. Uh, but a lot of times it is just a learn.
[00:13:13] It's like, okay, what am I on the lookout for? And then it goes back to that listener feedback. It also like sometimes it's out of your control. Like our subconscious is not in our control. So if I'm really stressed about something, it'll leak it inevitably leak out in the show and it never. It'll like be that sympathetic vibration and maybe not a lot of listeners will pick up on it, but I'll get an email about it and be like, Hey, like I noticed you were talking about this character was going on a monologue about money and it was just a little bit intense, you know, and I'm dealing with something like that.
[00:13:45] And then. It can give me a chance to kind of reflect and be like, oh, you know, I was really stressed about money that week. And then it's another thing to kind of look out for, uh, and be like, oh, am I have thoughts about money coming? Like, how am I going to drive the car? Like I know like all these people in the Arctic freeze right now, driving in snow, it's like my car, my car kind of skids, 90% of the time.
[00:14:08] It's just getting it in the right direction and not crashing into the tree. I've heard you.
[00:14:13] Brendan: I've heard you say on other podcasts and during interviews that, um, you, you take that listener feedback a lot and you, um, you try to keep it in mind so that you're not triggering to people and that you're, um, You're being really conscious of, of what do our listeners are going to be hearing and how that might affect them, because it's going to be something that they're listening to that as they're sleeping in a vulnerable spot.
[00:14:39] I, when I think about that, like on one hand, I think, um, In this climate right now, you know, like monitoring, what you say is, is incredibly important and trying to be compassionate and kind to everybody around you, but also considering the topic of burnout. How much does that lead to stress on you while you're, while you're monologuing and thinking about the show and preparing, um,
[00:15:06] Drew: during that process, that's a great question.
[00:15:08] Like in a. I think it's like an open-ended question that is like, for me, uh, it has been this lesson, cause I also tend to be, uh, not a super optimistic person and somewhat similar cynical person. And the podcast is constantly humbled that part of me and been like, so, so with the kind of idea. Okay. My goal is to make this podcast and help the people that are listening, that it works for fall asleep or to be there for them.
[00:15:40] And I do tell myself, okay, you don't have to be perfect. The podcast doesn't have to be perfect, but of course, there's this part of me that doesn't believe that and doesn't believe that things are going to be okay. There's a part of me. That's like, dude, next time you screw up, like, uh, you know, and talk about money.
[00:15:56] That's it like podcasts over. Oh yeah. But I have to kind of remind myself. People are a lot more generous in that. And I found the listeners are more generous than that and that it's like, oh, you can fall. And then someone will let you know, it's also like reading feedback. It's like, oh, maybe this person isn't attacking me really.
[00:16:16] Cause a lot of times it is my first reaction. It's like, oh man, I talked about money now. They hate me. Now they hate the podcast. Now I screwed their life up. Packed with them. I screwed that up. I'm a terrible person. Instead of being like, okay, let's like, let's come back to this in a couple hours and they'd be like, oh no, this person said, Hey, this they're just talking about their feelings.
[00:16:36] And, uh, they're actually courageous for sharing that with me. And then it's like, oh, can I keep that in mind? So it's kinda hard. Let me keep that listener in mind or let me keep these other people that I encounter at the grocery store or on the internet, their feelings in mind, but also be like, I'm not perfect and I can't predict everything and I can't be perfect.
[00:16:58] And that's okay too. I mean, like it's weird that the podcast has really helped me grow up as a human being, because I wouldn't have learned that any other way. I could have avoided in some sense, those lessons. And the podcast puts it right there. It's like, well, you can either deal with this or it's going to cause you even more burnout, like, uh, in more stress and more anxiety.
[00:17:18] Uh, so it's like, you could feel these hard emotions or you could crash into them. Absolutely.
[00:17:28] Mark: You, you started this in 2013.
[00:17:30] Drew: Yes. Yeah. I started in 2013 at the end of the year to call it towards the end.
[00:17:35] Mark: Okay, so there wasn't, uh, you know, you weren't always, I guess, part of the. Uh, the, the network that you're part of, uh, the welcome tonight, uh, the Novell presents network. There must've been a time when it was sort of just you in your room, um, doing the show.
[00:17:52] Yes. What is the thing that made you able to persist
[00:17:58] Drew: and keep doing it? Th this is where it's like a, if the head balance, the hands of balance, I think like part of it is. Like, uh, I'm very stubborn. And like, I think so sometimes like, yeah, it cuts both ways, but a lot of times, like, it's like, oh, and like, when I started the show in 2013, I had, I had the idea for years and I kept putting it off.
[00:18:20] Cause I was like, this is a silly idea. You don't make podcasts. Like you enjoy listening to them. You're going to ruin it. Like, even though I love it. I loved about podcasts. Was there a spot casts about everything it's like, oh, but I can't make a podcast. Well, what would the podcasts be? Well, it kind of goofy bedtime stories to keep people company and put them to sleep.
[00:18:39] Now, now we're not going to do that. Now that's a bad idea. So I kept doing that for a year. And so when I finally got myself to make it, I knew I had, I was a person full of unrealistic expectations of disaster. And also like almost everybody that starts with podcasts, unrealistic expectations that it's instantly going to go well, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
[00:19:00] Like, it's just, it's just a thing that humans do a lot of times. And so I was like, how am I going to deal with these, these extreme parts of me? And I had done a lot of reading about podcasts and, and, you know, whatever, listening to podcasts about podcasts. And I had learned that most people quit their show.
[00:19:19] Like after the first episode, after the second episode, these are made up statistics scattered from my memory, but after like the seventh or the eighth after the 21st and after the 50th. So I said, And the competitive fire to me, I said, okay, we're going to make two episodes. We're going to make nine episodes.
[00:19:39] We're going to make 22 episodes, or we're going to make 51. And I, at any of those points, I'll quit. Like, like, and I won't feel bad about it. Um, but making it past those points just felt to me like something that was a hundred percent of my control, because as you learn with podcasting, a lot of it's not, and it was stuff that was achievable.
[00:19:58] And then. Broader goal to kind of make the show for two years and just say, can I make this for two years? Am I, can I follow through on something? Uh, for two years, even if it's, uh, like an uncertain thing that I'm just making and kind of seeing how it goes and it, and it was like a big experiment. Um, but yeah, I think the stubbornness to kind of stick to that, uh, and then after two years I didn't have those.
[00:20:22] Micro goals. And that kind of caused me a lot of stress and anxiety, ironically enough. Uh, but yeah, like the stubbornness to get there. Um, but also, I mean, I had a personal connection to show. I had struggled with sleep. I couldn't sleep last night, so like, it's very fresh with me. Uh, and I can re so I can relate to the people that are listening.
[00:20:44] And even when it was. Five listeners like, uh, and I didn't have any feedback I'd never heard from anybody. You know, it's kind of imagining at that point, like it was a little cognitive dissonance, but it's like, oh, if they're like me, when I was a kid and I couldn't sleep, I would turn on the radio. It wouldn't put me to sleep.
[00:21:01] And it made me, it pulled me away from all the misery within my head. Uh, W like, especially at those points where I was like, it's okay to quit. I would sit down with my internal critic and suddenly this dragon that was canceling harassing me was like, little, should we quit the podcast? Oh no, I guess not.
[00:21:19] It's going pretty good. And I'm like, where'd you telling me that I'm the, like the worst podcast or yesterday? Like the Spycast sucks. Oh yeah. But no, I don't think we should quit, you know, it's, let's keep going. It is like, oh God. So it's okay.
[00:21:32] Mark: like the dragon woods more fuel. It's like, it wants to find more ways to be.
[00:21:37] For you to miss, you know, to, to underestimate yourself, the dragon really wants you to, to underestimate self so that he can point at you and go, Hey, you see you were right. Yeah. So it's been going, it's been going for a long time. How are you? Um, like I was kind of like the, the cliche question is like, how do you keep it fresh or whatever, but now, but how do you, the flip side of that, how do you keep from being bored or thinking, you know, I'm going to have.
[00:22:06] Tell the same story I told three
[00:22:08] Drew: weeks ago. I mean, I think for me, that's like a, the health monitor of the podcast is exactly that. Like, I feel like if I get bored, uh, I won't be, I mean, I could push through it for a little while. Uh, and sometimes, you know, you have seasonal boredom or like not burn out, but like where you're, you know, the podcast just can feel different ways at different times or it gets hard for sure.
[00:22:30] Um, so it's kind of like, oh, can I push through that? Uh, is there something on the other side? And the other thing is I don't take a lot of breaks from the show because people are relying on it to fall asleep, but I'll try to take a couple of weeks off and build up enough, extra episodes and stuff. And thus far, anytime I've taken a week off of recording and writing, and even when the stuff I hate about making the podcasts, I do start to miss it.
[00:22:56] And so far that's always been true. And then when I sit down to record or write at the. You know when it's like, oh, I don't want to do this. Or I, this is not good at this. I notice I miss it. And then it feels good again. And then I'm like, okay, like I like making this podcast. Awesome. Uh, so I think for me, um, if it starts to feel like a chore, then I have to say, okay, is this something.
[00:23:21] Personal that's creeping into the podcast or is this the podcast health? I mean, the good thing is, I mean, we're, we're seeing it with song Exploder kind of, I mean, I don't know any of the bag backstory of that, but these shows kind of changing hosts that and changing up their formats and stuff. It's like, oh, okay.
[00:23:39] Like maybe I could trust my listeners more, maybe two or three years from now. Like I turn it over to somebody else or I hire writers to write the episodes or, you know, I give them more voice. Voice on the podcast. Like maybe my listeners would be open to that down the road. Like, uh, so it is kind of staying we're in this industry or we're making this art and.
[00:24:04] Like there, isn't a wrong way to do it. Like, I mean, there is a wrong way to connect with your listener expectations sometimes, but, uh, that trusting that there is this freedom there, and there is a freedom to change or make mistakes. Uh, but yeah, as long as I keep liking the show and it feels like a challenge, but a challenge I enjoy.
[00:24:26] Thus far I haven't my, my crazy lists of ideas. Haven't haven't, uh, petered out.
[00:24:32] Mark: That's good. Well, um, as you were talking there, I was thinking like, I, I, I don't want to give anyone else ideas to steal intellectual property. The idea of doing, like being able to franchise out the sleep with me model. Cause you know, you're talking about adding other voices, seems like it would be a really fun thing to do.
[00:24:52] So be able to, to bring on to the voices, you still keep doing your show because God forbid anyone change anything on the internet. Um, but you know, you can add stuff and then that, and that's fine. Um, but you know, you, you could have, you can have all sorts of like, for example, I like the Headspace app. And I, I wouldn't use something like calm because I would be not distracted, but I would be too aware that it's an American accent, for example.
[00:25:20] Um, whereas, because it's just some guy from like Luton or something in, in, in headspaces, he just sounds like a dude. Um, to me, you know what I mean? He's just like, all right, now it's time to just sit down and do the thing and write. A bit of breathing and he just kind of sounds norm
[00:25:38] Drew: your buddy
[00:25:38] Mark: handy. Yeah, exactly.
[00:25:40] Um, it's uh, like I, I, yeah, I could think that there's all sorts of voices that, um, people might enjoy. I mean, you could get into a dangerous, like ASMO kind of territory at some point, but yeah, I dunno. It's, um, it
[00:25:54] Drew: could be a fun thing to do. Yeah. I mean, I do have a dream of like one day having the show and other languages with other voices, like that's like my deepest.
[00:26:03] Like dream. And it's just a matter of like, oh, I think it's just every year, I'm like, okay, maybe this is a year that it looks like the people involved could get paid. I mean, that's like, one of my other things is like, oh, if I rope people into this, I want them to be compensated like, oh, if someone's going to translate this and rewrite it, I want it to be paid.
[00:26:22] And if there's going to be a voice, I want them to be paid. So again, it's my stubbornness coming back. But, but it's like, okay, when, when is it. Tipping point, when do we reach that tipping point? Or is it a jumping point where it's like, you know what, just, and that's something I struggled with and I was like, oh, just take the plunge, man.
[00:26:39] Just do 10 episodes and then worry about it. So it's, but, uh, it is a dream, uh, to hear it in other languages. And just as we think about podcasting, Hi, how are we going to, like, what is the onus on me to keep growing it and to kind of push the boundaries of my show that
[00:26:56] Brendan: that really gives me a thought or a question is how much does financial compensation, uh, counteract the possibility of feeling burnout or overwhelm or fatigue from doing.
[00:27:12] Drew: Uh, project who I think that is definitely a chicken or the egg question, like when it's your own show, uh, like I've found that in the first three, even three, as I did my show over two years, when I said, is this show ever, like, could it be financially sustainable? Could I do it as a job? And like kind of consume.
[00:27:34] Podcasts noise and the internet. And then it kind of used it as a barometer to kind of self shame and be like, well, whatever, like you're not going to get there. Um, it, it did, it did create an anxiety that probably wasn't needed and probably wasn't good for the show. I mean, I think it's hard not to do.
[00:27:50] It's like if you're working 40 hours a week and then you're working on a podcast, another more than 40 hours a week, you do have to at some point. Well, one of the empowering things, I guess, is like coming up with instead of a money budget, a time budget, and actually knowing how much time you're spending on the production of the show and the like everything from start to finish and then say, oh, like, what if like, w what if like that for 40 of those hours were, well, how much would that cost?
[00:28:17] Like, what are the, oh, what if, and then what if those other 60 or seven, like, whatever those hours. Funded like, and then just starting to break up these little budgets from there. Um, I mean, I think if you're involving someone else from the outside that isn't the creator, uh, like then it's like what, what is in it for them?
[00:28:36] Um, so it's hard cause it's like, once you think about how much time you're working on your show, uh, and then worrying about being compensated, it is something. I think that can, that just makes it a little bit harder. Um, but it's also like, as you do a show and if you're putting a lot of time into it, it does help you kind of say, well, is there a way to cut back on time?
[00:28:58] Do I need to make choices and, and make a little bit more informed decisions that make sense? Or are you just doing it for art? Like, it's like, I mean, that's the thing for me, or you're just doing it because of your. Like people put, you're putting something beautiful in the world. Or even if it's, I mean, early podcasts, LSU is just people talking about their hobbies.
[00:29:18] It's like, to me, that was beautiful. Like listening to them, joyfully, talk about the Smurf dolls or something. It's like, oh, I don't know why I like this, but I do like, uh, so it's like putting something good out and it's in the world. Eh, it's infectious
[00:29:33] Brendan: to hear people's
[00:29:34] Drew: enthusiasm. Yes. Yeah, for sure.
[00:29:39] Mark: This podcast is very, very bad for me, this, this specific series, because it keeps inspiring me to do that.
[00:29:46] And I'm trying to counteract. Um, the, the, uh, as, as Brenda knows, um, I'm in the process of writing a kids book and I'm having fun doing it, but it's, it's a slog to get to write it. Um, and you know, it's, it's, I did, I've maybe did 50 words today. Um, and it's, it's, you know, I want, I want to write it and I wouldn't do have written and I enjoy my time in the world.
[00:30:10] And so now of course, I thought for the longest time, This is, uh, this is not going to touch the internet until it's ready. This is just, this is going to be a book in whatever form and the more I'm starting to think about it, I'm thinking, I like the idea of having something accountable every week or every two weeks or whatever.
[00:30:29] That's like actually pushes me to write it because I've got to get some. Um, but also, uh, you know, from what you were saying, just, I don't know, something resonated that in, in, in what you were saying about, about sharing something and about the purity of art. I think we talked about something similar, uh, with Dan Mizener last week, um, that the.
[00:30:51] The purity of just wanting to express your, your piece of art for not really any of the reason. Cause like the only reason I wanted to go and get it published is because I wanted to know that it was could enough. Um, not because I wanted to make book money because how, how would that happen? It just doesn't happen anymore.
[00:31:10] Drew: I mean, I, I totally think like you're like, you're on the, like for me. Deadlines have become something magical as part of the creative process. And they have this power. I mean, it's a, it's like an anvil level power of being trapped under your head, but it like, it is like powerful how it can stimulate creativity.
[00:31:30] Um, and, uh, yeah, it gets you to put something out in the world or get you to put something different or tangentially related out there and, uh, it gets stirs on the other stuff.
[00:31:40] Mark: Absolutely. So that's yet another thing I can think about, am I actually going to do this? What a bitch. You, you mentioned this earlier.
[00:31:47] What are the bits that you like don't like about having to make the show?
[00:31:52] Drew: Do you just said we'd like re I mean, the writing, I like most of the time, but also sometimes like somebody. It's like, like you said, it's like, if I'm timing myself, it's like, I'm not focused. It's like, okay, let me set a timer because I got to get some of this done or I got to feel like I accomplished something.
[00:32:10] So it's just like, some days are feel like you're, uh, are not pleasant. Uh, and it's like trying to put that time in a. Uh, but then I like it sometimes. Like it's like, then it can be fun when you're like, whoa, this character just made this choice independently. At least somehow. Uh, you're like, holy crap.
[00:32:28] You're you talking back to me? I thought I invented you like, uh, when
[00:32:31] Mark: they, when they take an action and you're like, you're surprised by the action they took. It's
[00:32:36] Drew: incredible. Sent this comic book writer, uh, he was like, oh, and met him somewhere. He's like, oh, if you ever had any questions, like send it to me.
[00:32:45] And I was writing something for the podcast and I had this lead character and I thought she was going to lead this series, even though it's a bedtime story, but that she was going to be the central figure. And she ended up choosing, she said, no, thank you. Like each episode. She said, no, like these other characters will take the lead.
[00:32:59] And I sent him an email. I'm like, what should I do? How can I force her? He goes, dude, I write comic books for other people's characters. Uh, and I've done it for 40 years. He goes, this is a luxury problem. Like, uh, he goes, you're very lucky. And I was like, oh, okay, thank you. Refuse a little bit call.
[00:33:20] Mark: Yeah.
[00:33:20] Yeah, yeah, exactly. Like how many times at some point you actually do have to take up the call to adventure. You can't just keep refuse,
[00:33:26] Drew: right?
[00:33:30] So we talked before
[00:33:31] Brendan: about the origin of the podcast and the goals that you set for yourself. And, um, I'm wondering if before you had started the podcast, when you were thinking about that, um, uh, 2, 9 52 or 51 episode goal, what did you think about in terms of how to prepare yourself so that you weren't going to overwhelm yourself with how much work it would be in.
[00:34:01] I was the amount of work that it ended up being what you expected it to be before you had started.
[00:34:07] Drew: Um, let's see, like, so anybody listening, maybe you want to skip this, like, uh, like, uh, but I mean, the podcast. Has definitely, I don't know. I guess it hasn't been always more work than anticipated, but it gets it's different work always than you anticipate.
[00:34:26] And I think that always changes. So when I, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, I just knew I liked listening to podcasts and I knew also I had a history of like writing projects that I didn't follow through on. And so like when I started the podcast, After a couple of failed writing things like one, a collaborative one and one, a one I was working on my own and the biggest looming failure internally for me was like this kid part of me that was like, you just keep letting me down.
[00:34:56] Like, are you going to start this podcast? And then, you know, you're not going to, you're not, you're going to let me down again, like, don't give this to me if you're, if you're not going to be here to do it. And, and, uh, so that helped me guide those goals of like, Oh, what is failure for me is like the failure that I couldn't live with was like, uh, letting that kid down and being like, you know what?
[00:35:19] The spike Sid was stupid, man. Um, go with the critic. Like it was a waste of time. We should have never done it. Um, and almost. Learning that that was a lie. Like, I mean, that's like what the podcast is slowly taught me. It's like, oh, there's no rush. I mean, it happens before I record always like, even now that voice is there and I'm like, wait a second, man.
[00:35:40] We're making a podcast to put people to sleep and say, We were like, I don't, I think you're overthinking it. Like, let's just sit down. Let's calm down. We got the, we got the, like today I rerecorded this, that episode I lost yesterday and I was spinning my wheels and like, we can't possibly rerecord it. And then I was like, We got everything ready.
[00:36:00] Let's just have some fun, like, and it was a character. So I was like, you know, let the character do the work like, and it was like, oh, okay. And it ended up, I was like, oh, I think this went better than the original recording. But yeah, I think like, I didn't know how much work the podcasts would be. And I definitely, um, had to learn a lot of hard lessons about.
[00:36:20] Um, what I thought was under my control with podcasting. What is noise? That of things that are under, out of your control, like listeners and how many listeners you have is kind of under your control, but it's not under your direct control or if your podcast is going to become a job or be, could become something that you just do because you love it.
[00:36:41] Like. That's kind of under your control, like not really under your control, like it's a result of all of these factors, some of which you do, and some of which happen. And so, uh, I would get caught up in the noise and outreach stuff. Oh, you got to get it. Your audience should be growing this much or, oh, you should have this many listeners or, oh, like, if you have this many listeners, you'll be making a lot of money or whatever, and then it'd be like, why don't we have.
[00:37:05] 120 listeners. How do I get more? Oh, tell people about it on Twitter. Oh, that tells me, you know, you learn that doesn't work. Oh, make more episodes. Oh, w well, I, I S I mean, there was different times. I tried making like a daytime podcasts for awhile and, and it to try to stimulate my, uh, numbers and like, it not only was it dissonant with the rest of the show.
[00:37:27] I mean, I didn't have very many listeners, so it didn't, I didn't get a lot of. People upset about it, but it was like, w at some point again, I was like, how am I going to keep our RNA making a sleep podcast? This is taking away from this. This is, this is Burt actively burning me out. Like, okay, let's just stop doing it.
[00:37:44] W and, uh, it was actually, when I stopped doing that show my numbers like started to grow a little bit again. And then, like, we had kind of talked about offline. I mean, last year I had. I've been making the show for three episodes a week. I mean, when I first started the show, I wanted to make it five episodes a week, but I quickly learned that that was impossible, but I was like, oh, if I was sleeping to this podcast, I would want it five times a week.
[00:38:10] Right. And so I settled on. And even that was always too much. But then when I started to make these time budgets and, and, and I started to slowly, like for my show, I transitioned, I was working a full-time job. Then I was cutting my hours back to three-quarters then cutting back to half time and eventually transitioning to doing the show full-time and this was a slow process.
[00:38:32] But as I was doing that, I was like, um, Even if you transition out of your show, you're going to work a hundred hours a week for, for how long? Like, is that really realistic? Like if, uh, in the, I like it's like those hours, aren't going to be compensated like, uh, so it's like, like you might as well work at, in and out burger.
[00:38:52] If you're going to work for a hundred hours a week, you'll make a lot of money. It's like, just trying to think of like, how am I going to keep making the show? I don't know what the next two or three years hold for the show, but it's always like trying to make my decisions with that in mind of like, oh, is this decision going to help the show or is it going to help me in.
[00:39:11] I'm trying to do both, but, but, uh, I'd be like, okay. And so I cut back my show last year to two episodes and I was just crushed. Like, I felt like such a failure. I felt the audience was going to abandon me. I was like, you made this deal. You were giving them three episodes a week. You're going to cut to two episodes a week.
[00:39:28] You're going to lose your audience. Like w w you're just doing it cause you're weak. Like you, because you're lazy. Like, because you, because you couldn't figure stuff out, like to make, you can't make the show work. That's why you have to cut back. And really, it was just like the, again, the voices were talking about, I mean, now looking back, it was the best decision I ever could have made, like the listeners accepted the change because it was what was best for the podcast.
[00:39:53] Setting an example of good self care. Like, so, um, and I think like it enabled the show to have the episodes have more breathing room. So it's like, I'm able to like, stay fresh. Like we talked about like, yeah, like, and enjoy the show. And it's not about my ego. I mean, I think like when you people talk about ego, sometimes it can.
[00:40:13] Like a glory, ego of fame and stuff, but there's like this, I have a big negative ego and it's like, I just want to keep doing this. Cause I think it's safe of these three episodes and, and this is like the dark side of my stubbornness instead of seeing the big picture and. Well, this show is still an experiment.
[00:40:30] Let's see what happens at two episodes a week. And, and also now when I look back, I'm like, how the hell, wait. I mean, like I'm having a conversation. I'm like, you may, as like, you used to make this podcast and work full time, like, and I'm like, what the hell? Without to say guy, like. I have no idea like it, like I'm like, how did you do that?
[00:40:51] Yeah. Oh yeah, for
[00:40:51] Brendan: sure. I assume when you started, you were, um, doing the editing and production of it alongside the, uh, actual recording obviously
[00:41:00] Drew: as you. Yes. Yes. Yeah. And is it still that way? No, so like, uh, I don't know what year it was now. I lose track, but. At some point with this burnout and the stubbornness and keeping the show going.
[00:41:14] I think it was at year two. I was like, okay, how am I going to make the show for another year? And I started looking at the time and I was like, I just can't keep doing all the work myself. And so I found, uh, someone. Uh, Chris postal, he did the, um, theme show, the seams theme song for our show and he had a podcast and I'd listened to it.
[00:41:33] And I thought it was really well done. And I was like, could you just, would you like, do you edit other podcasts? Would that be something? And we talked to. Like how much would that would be. And then I literally started my Patrion, uh, with the goal of like, can I, can I bring in enough money to pay him to do one episode a week?
[00:41:50] We can. Then my next goal will be to pay him for two episodes a week. Can I get to paying him three episodes a week? And that'll keep the show going. And then after that, I was like, okay. Uh, in my critics did now, like that, it's like, wait, you're going to bring money into the podcast to pay someone else.
[00:42:05] Like, we're, we're getting screwed, man. But it's like, w w w we'll we're keeping the show going, like, that's the real goal. And then, and then from there I was like, okay, can I build a budget to pay myself for a couple hours a week? And then for a couple more hours a week. And, and then in bring. The three episodes a week was actually too much for one person so that it was like, oh, I found another editor to kind of do it.
[00:42:28] And then it was like, it just helped me a lot because it's like trying to keep the sound of the show and with different people working on it, uh, has really helped me grow and develop skills. Again, I could have just gotten out of like, uh, I could have avoided, uh, having to, having to learn these things and be a grownup.
[00:42:46] Mark: nobody wants that. Right. Exactly. It's completely ever right. Obviously, yeah, you you've been, you've been going, uh, going for this time. You've now got the Patrion. Um, and, uh, you know, you have, uh, ad revenue and you have a, a lovely sort of loyal listenership. Uh, there's a lot of alliteration. When did you, and I know this might not have been a.
[00:43:07] A sudden, like bump or, uh, you know, whatever blending flash on the road to Damascus. But when did you start to feel the tide sort of shifting like, oh, wow, this is, this is counting on like people, people are, people are digging this, like it's, it's, it's starting to get traction. Uh,
[00:43:24] Drew: like, I guess you could say I've been lucky or like, or this is like something that feels like as a podcast.
[00:43:30] Like a lot of people don't believe, but my show like is literally just kind of slowly and steadily grew. Like where there, there hasn't been any big bumps and. And, uh, I mean, it's just been a nice, slow, slow, slow, steady growth. I mean, it Peters out in the summertime, but other than that, the show just kind of steadily slowly grows.
[00:43:52] And, um, so, so it's allowed me to kind of grow with the show. Like I think if my show had been successful in the first, like when we say successful that's garbage anyway, but like, like where it's like, oh, you should just quit your job and work on the show. If that had happened in a year or even two years.
[00:44:08] I honestly, the show wouldn't have lasted like, um, like I didn't have the internal skills to deal with some of that stuff. And so I've really been lucky that it's enabled me to grow. It's enabled me to learn how to interact with listeners that are strangers and, and, and get outside of my kind of comfort zone and then deal with negative feedback or deal with.
[00:44:32] Yeah. What does, what does podcast advertising or what, you know, how do you decide that? Or how do you make a Patrion? And, and so, yeah, it's like, for me, it's just been this thing where it's like, oh, could it, oh, if the show keeps growing for another, if it grows like this for another year, maybe it could. And then it's like, oh, okay.
[00:44:50] So it really enabled me to kind of make these slow transitions, whereas like the show wasn't in a place for me to go full time, but I was like, oh wait, I, if another four minutes of, for four months, like if I buy some vacation at my job and that I could actually go part-time and then it was like, oh, wait, I'm out of that.
[00:45:09] After awhile, I ran out of vacation cause doing podcast stuff and uh, I was like, okay, wait. Yeah. Can I can I make, like how much does insurance and, and all that stuff. So it has like, when people talk about the slow journey of back-casting enemy and in some sense, I'm really lucky. Cause it, it has only been like five or five and a half years or something like, um, it has been.
[00:45:34] That there wasn't this big turning point. It was really always those small turning points of like, oh man, this isn't turning around. I mean, for me, I did want it to be, well, why isn't it? You're supposed to have this many listeners and you're, you're supposed to be making, um, This much money. I remember I never share my numbers anymore.
[00:45:52] I mean, part of it is because I feel like it would deflate me at the different stages I was at, but I also shared my numbers with a couple of people, one time at a podcasting thing. And they were like telling me how much money in my podcast should be making. And it was literally making like one 20th, that amount of money, like, eh, and I was like, like, and they were like, you must like, they, they weren't even trying to be mean, but they were like, will you, how come you're not?
[00:46:14] That's how much you make with ads. And I'm like, Now, now I show, how would you make with ads now, my show, like I'm like, yeah. And I remember kind of just feeling like not embarrassed, but I was like either I'm actually just let me know, like, okay, they're just buying into that kind of general internet discussion noise.
[00:46:34] And I was like, because it's just not the case. And I mean, for shows. Are an instant success. I think that's always awesome. Or for people's shows that the app, they just have really high ad revenue or they instantly have like, I mean, I'm sure there's a story behind that, but it's like sometimes there are exceptions to the rule and I think that is great for the people that are the exception to the rule, but it's really hard to count on that, like, or plan on it.
[00:46:58] It's easy to accept, expect it and to kind of hope and dream that happens. But if you, if, if you let it be a nice surprise instead of planning at it, then I'm sure for those people, it's like, oh, awesome. About gas is, uh, like a huge success. Instead of being like, damn, my podcast is not a huge success.
[00:47:15] Mark: I feel like you, you strike me as a, sort of a good model to look out for someone who pays like you, you you're paying attention to the work because I think it can be easy for someone to, uh, Get get to doing so many episodes and they're, you know, they're, they've maybe they've got 50 or a hundred downloads or whatever.
[00:47:38] Um, and, but it feels like with thinking about milestones and thinking about the actual craft of, of the work that you're doing and putting the time into it and knowing. While you're doing that, that would like, it's not really a surprise that it got to where it's got to, you know, there, there are very few podcasts that are made in this way that are sort of grassroots, independent things that will shoot to the top of any kind of charts.
[00:48:07] And so that, you know, that it's not surprising in that way, but. It seems like you've got that. You've, you've really earned that growth and really earned your position because you spent all that time being mindful of the thing that you're making. And I think not everyone is always, you know, not everyone always is mindful of that.
[00:48:27] And, and I certainly have lost sight of stuff I've done, you know, I got very close to having a sizeable audience for a thing and I screwed it up. Um, and it was because I didn't have my, on the right on the right ball. And it seems like. You know, maybe from hindsight, you can look back and go, yeah, I did make good decisions, but, um, it sounds like you, throughout this process, you have continued to make, um, sort of solid decisions that have helped the show grow into something that can sustain you.
[00:48:55] That's not a question.
[00:48:56] Drew: I mean, I think like I'm aware of this. I thank you. And I agree with you. It's like, I think it's like a combination of the decisions and the, and the mistakes, like in like, Always going back to like that idea of that. Those are the people that are listening. Like, I mean, I mean, I don't think all shows are necessarily can go through that filter, but it's like, you don't want to be too close to your show where you're so emotional.
[00:49:22] And your esteem is so associated with it that you can't handle those swings, but you want to be close enough that it hurts, like, um, and that you can empathize with the listener. And I think of those are just like, and sometimes you're going to do it wrong and you're going to, it could be, I mean, for me, Okay.
[00:49:39] I got to spend today in bed. Like I'm not going to be able to get out of bed today. I just feel like too, too low or something, but then there's other days your listeners are gonna lift you up. Uh, and I'm remembering people are listening, remembering that kind of the show can be fun or it's like, why, why, why are we making this?
[00:49:57] And also that it's okay to quit. Like I think, or change the show. Like my show literally grew out of other failures. They weren't podcasting failures. But they were failures to follow through working on stuff that wasn't working. And like, I, I, I think in some sense, I mean, this is trophy, but it's like I had to make those things or do those things in order, like for, for there to be like the fertile soil or whatever for the podcast to grow out of.
[00:50:24] Um, and yeah, I think like, I don't know. I mean it, no one ever believes it. What I'm like. Yeah. I had send listeners. I had, I remember when my show crossed over to 10 listers, like 10 downloads per episode, like, and I remember how long that took. And I remember watching those stats like, oh, 30 people, like, uh, and I think it was incredible.
[00:50:43] Yeah. And it, it, I think it should, and so sits like, well, 30 people, like, and I think sometimes that gets. Drowned out with the noise too.
[00:50:52] Mark: Um, I've heard the podcast had Justin Robert Young described earlier. He may have stolen it from someone else, but if you imagine that you've got 50 people in a room that are all listening to you, like that's 50 people that are all in it.
[00:51:05] Like if you actually think about the numbers that you get and the likelihood of being able to get 50 or a hundred, 150 people in a room. Listening to what you've got to say that came there just to listen to what you've got to say. That's
[00:51:20] Brendan: great.
[00:51:20] Drew: Yes, yes. Yeah. Yeah. And it's like, damn, you know, I guess like I've gone to performances.
[00:51:26] Live performances is what I always tell people. I podcast, I meet up somewhere. Like if you're feeling bad about your podcast and you have 50 lists. Go to some community theater or go to an improv show. Yeah. But if you just watch those people that are like, so especially the people that are really into it and they're pouring their heart, it's it's souls out for free in sometimes.
[00:51:49] I I've gone to performances where there's been more people in the performance and the audience, and it's
[00:51:54] Mark: like, I do performances where there are more people on stage than in the audience. I do them almost weekly and it's like, hi, Barb and
[00:52:00] Drew: improv group. Uh, such an important thing to remember when you're making the show like.
[00:52:06] There's still performing. Like they're still giving it their all like, and I mean, I don't mean to turn this negative, but I mean, I turned negative on myself. It's like, then I always am like, who are you to complain? Like to myself? I'm like, like if I go to a, uh, yeah, one of those shows and I see these two people, it just changes my, my, my focus.
[00:52:24] Cause it's like, yeah, who am I to complain? Like, w like, look at them, they're working their asses off, up there. And, uh, and you know, they're not their expectation is that. To do this and to express this or to sing or whatever it is. And
[00:52:40] Brendan: to that point with, uh, with Mark's non-question congratulations on winning the best health podcast in the iHeartRadio
[00:52:47] Drew: podcast awards.
[00:52:48] Thank you. I, I mean, I think like if anyone that listens to the podcast is listening, like it was literally like listener enthusiasm, and I feel like, uh, it's again, just like a reminder of exactly this thing we're saying like that, uh, these solicitors were so enthusiastic about the show that they went through all these.
[00:53:04] Like whatever layers of having to vote, like, uh, online. So I really appreciate, um, uh, that the listeners like that went out of their way and took time out of their day to support the show. Like, I hope that one day I haven't got the award yet. So like if I ever would I get my hands on the reward, I'll be happy to kind of share with those people.
[00:53:24] Cause it's like, yeah. And same thing. It's like you're taking the time out of day to vote for my podcasts. Thank you.
[00:53:35] Mark: Um, well sleep with me. podcast.com is obviously a where people can, can hear that. Um, where else would you want to direct people's ear balls or.
[00:53:45] Drew: Uh, I mean, I think, uh, I I'm on Twitter at, uh, at dearest scooter and Instagram. I like those. If you want to get ahold of me, like Twitter is usually the easiest.
[00:53:54] Uh, uh, but yet check out the show. I also am working. This is an experiment I'll share with you guys. Like I have a new, uh, if you check out the show and you vehemently dislike it, I'm putting up a new page. So he put it to me, podcast.com/no, thank you. So that'll give you a resources, like, uh, like for, if you hate the podcasts, like, cause uh, I've like, it's amazing.
[00:54:18] I always get, I get so much interesting people. Like it just hits some people's brain the wrong way and they're like, I love you and your show. It's a wow. I'm like, I still want to help you fall asleep. So here's the option. Yeah. So if you don't like the podcast, it's not even ingest. I mean, I guess it is a little bit, yeah.
[00:54:37] Sweepingly podcast.com/nothankyou..