James Newcomb – Musician | Podcaster

Ep. 3 The Easy School of Hard Knocks

I got into the podcasting game back in 2015. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and my first podcast titled Outside the Music Boxreflected that.

With some beginner’s luck, I was able to land a few high-profile guests but by and large I flailed and floundered around with it until I quit at around Episode 90. Hey, that’s nothing to sneeze at, and it gave me some valuable experience.

I took my newfound skills and enthusiasm and this time targeted it to a more focused niche: my own instrument, the trumpet. I did another 100 or so episodes of a podcast called Trumpet Dynamics. Still unsure of what my main message should be as a podcaster and entrepreneur, I switched gears and did yet another podcast called musicpreneur: making money making music. And yes, I stopped doing it after around 100 episodes.

My main takeaway from my podcasting career is this: It’s technically easy to do, but it requires some hard lessons like tenacity, patience, stick-to-itiveness, and many others in order to be successful at it.

In a nutshell, here’s the steps required to publish a podcast episode:

  1. Record an interview, either in person or on a Skype call
  2. Transfer the audio file onto editing software
  3. Do some editing and mastering.
  4. Export the mp3 and drag and drop the file onto your podcast host
  5. Prepare some info for the website in hopes that people will visit and want to opt-in to your email newsletter
  6. Share it with your friends and followers via email and social media

There are certainly more steps to it than that, but I want to impress upon you that even with a few more steps, producing a podcast is technically easy to do.

What isn’tas easy is the things I mentioned above. Boredom and the lovely sound of crickets chirping which ensue when you publish a new episode.

It takes inner strength to be able to endure those things. It takes vision, courage and patience to just keep on publishing new content, keep reaching out to potential guests and sponsors; going through the numbers and hearing the word “no” a lotuntil you get to one “yes.”

I had this principle in mind as I was going through some personal issues this past year, and brainstorming my next move as a podcaster and online entrepreneur.

Do I need to focus just on musicians? Or do I have a unique message that can serve a broader audience?

One of my favorite phrases to describe my education is I’m in continuing studies at the School of Hard Knocks. Although I do have a master’s degree in political science, I don’t put a whole lot of stock in it. I got the degree because 1) it’s a topic that interests me; and 2) I was able to pay for it.

I didn’t get the degree because I thought it would lead to some job in politics (yuck) and I certainly didn’t get it so it could be a means of validating my worth to the world (which you see from people in their 60’s and 70’s reading their bios and C/V’s).

I just did the work and got the degree, end of story.

I see my realeducation in the real world. Trying things, getting dirty, scraping my knee and just getting back up and keeping at it. “The School of Hard Knocks” is a great descriptor of that, so perhaps it should be a part of my business name. And then add the word “easy” to the front of it – just to be different. Hence the name, The Easy School of Hard Knocks.

That’s the message of The Easy School of Hard Knocks. To teach things that are technically easy to do, such as starting a blog or podcast (things I’m good at and am adept at teaching); but also the mindset, tenacity, stick-to-itiveness required to actually succeed in those things.

What will be taught at The Easy School of Hard Knocks? It remains to be seen, and depends largely on what you the listener/reader wantto learn.

Here are my credentials:

  • Experienced podcaster and blogger; I’ve published over 500 episodes in my own name and several hundred more producing other people’s shows
  • I’m a certified coach with Kion, which was founded by Ben Greenfield, one of America’s top personal trainers and authorities in the realm of health and fitness
  • I’m a professional musician who is in demand to play in performances that require symphony orchestra-level musicianship – and I’ve never set foot in a college level music course in my life.

In short, I’ve paid my dues, I’ve put in my 10,000 hours (actually more like 11,213 but who’s counting) and I’m ready to pass on what I’ve learned (and endured) with others who want to do the same.

So now the burden falls on you, dear listener/reader. Will you rise up above the masses and live yourlife? Not a life that’s been pre-planned by your parents, guidance counselors and the producers of the nightly news show. YOUR life.

The things I can teach you to do are easy. But whether or not you will live the life you were meant to live is entirely up to you. It requires strength, grit, determination, tenacity and courage. They are things you can’t learnexcept by going through your own School of Hard Knocks.

If you’re a weak-willed person; if you’re content to allow the media and your teachers in school to tell you how to think; you probably won’t last long listening to my show. And I highly discourage you from visiting my website, easyschoolofhardknocks.com. You’re better off going back to your cat and oh-so-funny pizza cutting videos on Flakebook.

But if you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, like me, consider joining my team. The first step is to opt-in to my e-newsletter which I deliver daily. That will give you plenty of opportunity to see if you and I are a good fit. Then head on over to the learning platform and receive a complimentary course of your choosing from The Easy School of Hard Knocks as thanks for joining the newsletter. It’s yours to keep, even if you unsubscribe two seconds after joining.

Perhaps you’ll be among the first to graduate from The Easy School of Hard Knocks “Magna Cum Lucky”.

I promise you this: It will be easy – but you’ll have to work your tail off for it.

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