With Michael Neeley, a former professional actor and medieval knight turned author, speaker, and mentor to visionary solopreneurs.

He is the host of four popular podcasts, including the critically acclaimed Consciously Speaking, Buy This – Not That, Something to Wine About, and The PodQuest Show.

Join us for this conversation where Michael shares about how entrepreneurs can successfully use podcasting in their business, his own journey into podcasting including his background as an actor and professional jouster, what led to creating a 7-day per week podcast (!), and how he now supports clients in launching podcasts, writing books, creating telesummits, and more!

A member of the Screen Actors Guild, Michael has appeared in feature films with Mel Gibson and Kevin Costner, performed off Broadway with Andre Braugher and Kathleen Chalfant, and had recurring roles in several popular soap operas.

As the founder of The Authority Academy, Michael now trains and supports heart-centered entrepreneurs in professional speaking, virtual summits, getting published, and designing and hosting their own podcast to massively grow their business and expand their audience.

>>Subscribe to Guts, Grit & Great Business on Apple Podcasts

Biggest takeaways or highlights you don’t want to miss:

  • “I was chasing the almighty dollar.  …. Finally I started to come to the realization that I really needed to get back to [my passion]. Coaching people on mindfulness [and more!]…”
  • What can happen when you go into podcasting “blindly.”
  • What Michael learned on his own journey in podcasting, including what prompted him to launch a 7-day per week show.
  • Michael sharing about the natural shift from podcasting into online virtual summits, writing books, and more.
  • Plus, a host of podcasting success tips!

How to get in touch with Michael:

On social media:





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FREE GIFT: Take advantage of Michael’s FREE GIFT here: The Simple 5-Step Process to Launch a Rockin’ Podcast in Just 14 Days!

WEBSITE: You can also find Michael at MichaelNeeley.com and Podquest.net

Imperfect Show Notes

We are happy to offer these imperfect show notes to make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who prefer reading over listening. While we would love to offer more polished show notes, we are currently offering an automated transcription (which likely includes errors, but hopefully will still deliver great value), below.

GGGB Intro 0:00
Here’s what you get on today’s episode of Guts, Grit and Great Business.

Michael Neeley 0:06
I also talk to a lot of my podcasters who are starting – who may come in not having an interest in having a book. And I’m like, Look, you may not like writing but you know what you could take your interviews or even your solo shows, have them transcribed, you do enough shows you have all these transcripts, you hand those over to a ghost writer who can massage that into your book for you. So you’ve spoken your book into existence, so it works that way as well.

GGGB Intro 0:31
The Adventure of entrepreneurship and building a life and business you love, preferably at the same time is not for the faint of heart. That’s why Heather Pearce Campbell is bringing you a dose of Guts, Grit and Great Business stories that will inspire and motivate you to create what you want in your business and life. Welcome to the Guts, Grit and Great Business Podcast where endurance is required. Now, here’s your host, The Legal Website Warrior®, Heather Pearce Campbell.

Heather Pearce Campbell 1:01
Alrighty, welcome. I am Heather Pearce Campbell, The Legal Website Warrior®. I’m an attorney and legal coach based here in Seattle, Washington, serving entrepreneurs around the world. Welcome to another episode of Guts, Grit and Great Business. I am super excited today to present Michael Neeley, who is a total pro. I have to admit I’m a little bit nervous, having Michael Neeley on my podcast. I feel like a baby podcaster but I love it. And Michael is gonna be so much fun. He is, if you don’t know, Michael, you are just gonna be scrambling to try to get to know him after this episode. Michael, welcome.

Michael Neeley 1:45
Thank you for having me, Heather. I’m excited to be here with you. And come on. I mean, I’ve just because I’ve been at it for a while doesn’t make me any different than you. You’re a real pro yourself.

Heather Pearce Campbell 1:54
Well, thank you. I am super thrilled to have you here. And for folks that don’t know Michael, Michael is a former professional actor and medieval Knight turned author, speaker and mentor to visionary solopreneurs. It was actually really fun to get to know more about Michael’s background through this process. He is the host of not just one but four popular podcasts including the critically acclaimed Consciously Speaking, Buy This Not That, Something to Whine About and The PodQuest Show. I want to get on Something to Whine About.

Michael Neeley 2:31
That’s a fun one.

Heather Pearce Campbell 2:33
Yeah. I’m joking. I just feel like I have a lot to whine about in the midst of COVID. As a mom of two little people. I’m teasing. We’re very grateful we have a good life. But that sounds like a really fun one. Michael is also a member of the Screen Actors Guild and has appeared in feature films with Mel Gibson and Kevin Costner. He’s performed Off Broadway with an Andre Brower and Kathleen Chalfont and had recurring roles in several popular soap operas. As the founder of the authority Academy, Michael now trains and supports part centered entrepreneurs and professional speaking, virtual summit, getting published and designing and hosting their own podcast to massively grow their business and expand their audience. So Michael lives in Santa Cruz, California. And also I learned that he was a professional jouster and has lots of experience training horses and writers and has choreographed fights from time to time. So Michael, I don’t know anybody that matches the level of interesting things to talk about in your background, but welcome.

Michael Neeley 3:41
Yeah, it’s exciting to be here with you, Heather. And it’s funny when you mentioned that part, like Michael’s a former medieval knights sometimes I feel like I’ve been around that long. I feel, you know, when you when you read all my bio, I’m like, yeah, it took several 100 years for me to get all that stuff together. Whatever, you definitely don’t look it but you must have really gotten into the role that was so much fun. That was one of my favorite jobs ever. That’s amazing. How did you get into that? Well, my degrees are in acting first and foremost. So I wanted to be a professional actor. Ever since I was in the fourth grade, I got bitten by the acting bug. And right out of college, I was looking for work as an actor. And some friends told me about this restaurant called medieval times, dinner and tournament. And I went down to that place in Buena Park, California, and I kind of hounded him It took probably three trips and before they finally hired me, and I had been on a horse just a couple times in my life probably, you know, a handful of times before but they trained me how to ride they taught me how to sword by I already had the background and acting so that part, the performance piece I could pull off, but I really became a great swordsman and a great horseman doing the show. I mean, we’re, you know, literally you’re looking at it. We’re writing I’m on horseback, probably somewhere between 10 to 20 hours a week and it really adds up quickly.

Heather Pearce Campbell 4:59
Yeah, that’s amazing. Well, I know we were talking for a minute before we hit record, but I, you know, I’ve spent some time on horses in my childhood. My dad was a veterinarian. He’s like trueblue, old Western cowboy. He comes from a long line of cowboys. And actually his grandfather was the was one of the original Arizona men that 26 Arizona Rangers, they have their own television show. Yeah, it. And so, you know, I’m so impressed with anybody who can do anything on the back of a horse, right? I have some minimal writing experience, but the idea of roping, something jousting with them, but like, That’s insane. I mean, that seems like it would have taken a lot of training to get to know how to do that.

Michael Neeley 5:45
You know, it really does. It brings you back to a really funny instance, I remember well, on multiple occasions, people would come up to me after the show and congratulate me on a great show and all that. And they would say, how long have you been riding? And I remember when I first got into the show, and I would say I’ve been riding for six months now. And they were like, Are you kidding me? I’ve been riding for 12 years, and I’m nowhere near as good as you. And I’m like, well, the difference is you’re probably riding, you know, two hours a week, maybe for 12 years. That’s right, riding so much every week, those six months with so much was crammed into it. And so it really does make the difference. When you do something a lot, you start to get good at it pretty quickly.

Heather Pearce Campbell 6:22
There’s no promise I’ll switch off the horse riding stuff. But it really is a fun topic. My my grandfather who actually managed john Wayne’s rant for a while in northern Arizona, he he you know, was responsible for hiring and cowboys and getting them trained and all of this and he had hired a cowboy who, I’m sure just after the first few days of writing was like massively saddle sore, right. And he, he for you know, this is so my grandpa convinces this guy to let him put limit oil on his I don’t know if you know what let him in oil is. Oh my god, it’s like, it’s probably like the equivalent of like Icy Hot or, you know, I mean, totally just like sent him literally, like head over heels, like as far away as he could get from my grandpa at the time. But I just thought that is a really painful introduction to the cowboy life.

Michael Neeley 7:18
Well, and you know, the truth of it is yes, I mean, even now, I haven’t written in a long time. And anytime I go back, it takes a while to get your seat back and to get over that saddle soreness, because it’s your body’s you’re in a different position than you’re used to, and …. painful.

Heather Pearce Campbell 7:34
And doing that for hours at a time. That’s intense. Well, yes, man, I’ve got mad respect for you. So where did that leave that so fascinating that you began working for a restaurant and then you know, basically launches you in this whole direction in your life. And obviously, you’d studied acting, so you were primed for that. But what came next?

Michael Neeley 7:56
Well, I actually continued jousting for 12 years. So I for the company, medieval times dinner tournament, I very rapidly advanced through, got into the show became the head night and show manager and I traveled around the country opening up their other castles, actually hiring and training writers for them. And then when I kind of like after six years of that, I’m like, okay, I really need to pursue more of my legitimate acting career. And I was living in New York suite open the medieval times right up there by giant stadium. And so I was starting to pursue more stage and television work, as you mentioned in my bio, and then I jousted for another six years for the New York Renaissance Fair, because that was

Heather Pearce Campbell 8:35
You couldn’t get away from it.

Michael Neeley 8:37
Yeah, it was a weekend gig and the money was good. And I was really good at it. So it made it fun as well. But as I was doing that, I was acting. I was doing more film and television, I got into the Screen Actors Guild. I was bicultural for a while there had apartments in both New York and LA so I could fly back and forth for auditions. And then the most beautiful thing happened to me in 2002, my son was born. And at that point, I was like, gosh, do I keep acting where it’s hills and valleys? I mean, you might work and make good money for one month and then not work for three months. And plus that in the LA Smaug. At that point I had given up my New York place was strictly LA and I was like, You know what, let me just shift careers. And so we left Los Angeles moved up to Santa Cruz. This was in 2004. We finally moved up here he was two years old. And then I floundered for a while, quite honestly, I was chasing the almighty dollar. I was I worked in the pharmaceutical industry in sales. I worked in advertising sales, and then I got into high tech startups even had my own startup company as a CEO. And finally, I started to come to realization like, Look, this isn’t where my passion is, I really need to get back to that. And so I started coaching people, which in the realm of mindfulness and conscious awareness and having mindset breakthroughs, That’s it was at a session with a client where that we recorded it. And afterwards he said, Dude, that sounds really great. You should start a podcast. And then I saw a couple weeks later, I launched one literally, it was that fast. And then it just took me down this other path. And I’m just so grateful and excited about what I’m doing now. Yeah, that’s my journey in a nutshell.

Heather Pearce Campbell 10:21
Now, that’s amazing. Well, I love you know, I love seeing where people have been. And it totally makes sense, like, knowing you now, like seeing some of these pieces along your journey. And like the mindset and the coach. I mean, it’s such a great fit. So I’m curious. When did you what what year, did you start podcasting? Your friend who’s like, Oh, you should have a pie. Right? Like, good friend.

Michael Neeley 10:45
Well, right. And it was just fortunate the timing of it. And literally, I gotta say, Heather, I mean, I feel a little bit stupid by this, but I guess 2014 not that many people knew what one was. You don’t actually start a podcast. And I was like, what’s a podcast? I’d never listened to one of my life. I had no idea how that worked, what they were, and two weeks later launch, and that was in 2014.

Heather Pearce Campbell 11:07
Well, you shouldn’t feel bad. I had a friend who you happen to know who told me you should have a podcast, right? And this is a few months ago. And I was like I should and I still had no idea how do you make one? How do you … like it lived over in the bubble of mystery over here and having like technology and how all the pieces fit together? I had no idea and it’s 2020. So yeah, you don’t need to worry about you know.

Michael Neeley 11:38
I feel much better.

Heather Pearce Campbell 11:39
Awesome. So which one did you launch first?

Michael Neeley 11:42
So I launched consciously speaking, that was in 2014. And, and literally Even then, though, like I said, I launched it within 14 days of find out what a podcast was. That’s amazing. And I was just throwing together interviews with other conscious thought leaders, people who are in the space I was in who are coaches and authors and even my guiding meditate meditation teacher at the local insight, Santa Cruz. And so it was that type of a show that I was sporadically throwing out episodes. And then I don’t know if you talked much in your show about downloads or anything. But in the podcasting industry, the median number of downloads is only about 139. Oh, that’s literally 50% of the shows get more than that. 50% get less. And I didn’t know this at the time, but I know this now. And of course that fluctuates. But here I was getting about 50 to 75 downloads an episode, so it wasn’t performing very well. And then I released an episode and I got over 500 downloads. And I was taken aback. I’m like What happened? Whoa, what’s going on here? Did I strike a nerve or something? And it made me want to look deeper in podcasting. And so then I signed up for a webinar on podcasting. And I learned, oh my god, I’m doing this all wrong. I had no idea that you could make money from podcasting or anything. So I shut down that show, I got a mentor. And I realized about a month or two later, and this was now 2015. I launched it as a seven day a week show. And that’s when it really started to take off for me.

Heather Pearce Campbell 13:10
Wow, seven day a week. That’s impressive.

Michael Neeley 13:14
It was nuts.

Heather Pearce Campbell 13:16
See, I just gave myself a pat on the back for the last couple of weeks producing two shows.

Michael Neeley 13:22
I’m not doing it seven days a week anymore, because I’ve got four podcasts. Right, right. It was crazy at the time, but I learned so much kind of like the horseback riding thing. Doing it so much. I mastered it so deeply pretty.

Heather Pearce Campbell 13:35
I love that. Yeah, the challenge of mastery is, you know, it’s the word the challenge. And I agree like, you sound like a little bit like me the type of person that just jumped in, you know, but yeah, I love that. Now you’ve got four one was not enough. Do you have a favorite? Am I allowed to ask that? Do you have a favorite podcast?

Michael Neeley 13:54
That’s like asking which of your children …

Heather Pearce Campbell 13:55
I know! This is why I said Am I allowed to ask?

Michael Neeley 13:59
You can ask. I mean, I’ll give you the same parent answer. I love them all. Let’s see what each one has their own flavor. Just kind of like you know, your children have their different personalities. So constantly speaking. I love it for it’s my most popular show with over 2 million downloads, definitely the one that gets the most attention and attraction. That’s the main thing. My podcast show is the most fun because as a podcaster. I get to talk about that world of podcasting, which is really cool. Yeah, something to whine about, and by the

Heather Pearce Campbell 14:30
That one must be on the rise.

Michael Neeley 14:33
What makes it cool is it’s wine wi n E n. It’s the play on words because we drink wine but we also whine about stuff we also just have, it’s just a total fun show. It’s just a romp. Yeah, no particular schedule and then the other one by this knot that is really something that I built for my clients as well because they’re always asking me which technology should I use for this like a mailing platform or which webinar platform or any of those things, so I’ve been putting together episodes about all of the variety of platforms you can use plus training programs. Yeah. And then just kind of answers questions for me. I can direct people to the podcast. So all of them are really cool. And

Heather Pearce Campbell 15:13
Yeah, well in such a wide array, that does sound really fun. So talk to me a little bit about your own podcasting journey. Right. So you said early on, you learned like, Oh, I’m doing this all wrong. What you know, for folks like me that are a few months in or new to the podcasting world? What are some of the big pitfalls that you see people making? Well, I

Michael Neeley 15:36
Well, I think one of them is that when someone starts a show, they kind of go into it a little bit blindly, which of course I did. And I think most most of us do, unless you get a mentor. Yeah, but they’re going in blindly part is they don’t know how to monetize it. Like I know. And I didn’t even know you could make money going into it, which is also I think, can be harmful for some people. Because if you don’t ultimately start to monetize your show, in some way, it can start to be a drain. Yeah, because it’s work. I mean, you got to put in the time, and there is a cost to it, even though it’s minimal. But over time, if you’re not seeing any return on that, it could be challenging. And so when I first launched again, I mean, if there was no rhyme or reason to my release schedule, it would be sometimes seven days between episodes, sometimes 10, I might release it on a Tuesday, one week, Thursday, on the next week, there was, you know, none of the things that please the audience, because quite honestly, I wasn’t even thinking of an audience. I was just thinking, I’m just gonna put this stuff out there. And so those are some of the rookie mistakes, I think that people make is like, you know, going in to it without a business plan, like I want to do with it. And it’s not that I’m knocking hobbyists because what quite honestly, when I started, I was just going to be kind of a hobby. But if you really want to have a long running successful podcasting podcast, I think you need to go at it with a plan.

Heather Pearce Campbell 17:00
Yeah, I love that. I mean, most things go better with with a plan.

Michael Neeley 17:02
I built this house with No blueprint

Heather Pearce Campbell 17:08
totally winging it. I’m just gonna wing it. Yeah, exactly. So you have created something called the authority Academy. Talk to us a little bit about what you are doing, obviously, outside of the podcasting, but very much related to that with your current clients and what you know what you do in the marketplace.

Michael Neeley 17:28
Yeah, I love that question. Thanks for asking that, Heather. Because the there is kind of a natural progression between what we do as a business and as you’re building authority. And one of the things that naturally, we’ll looking back on it, it was kind of natural. And so now it’s what I teach, but I stumbled on it quite honestly at the time. But from my podcast, I started the podcast, and then it felt so natural to flow into doing what’s called a virtual summit. Mm hmm. And because really, quite honestly, all of virtual summit is is a series of recorded interviews batched and sold or marketed differently, and so different than a podcast. And so literally, it was so easy for me to next to a summit. And then from the summit, I started getting invited to speak on other people’s stages to speak at their summit, to do all of the speaking gigs. And so that’s another natural segue is to open up your speaking realm. We’re getting booked on stages. And then quite honestly, the other the final piece of it was in this I got to backtrack a little bit. I was approached, I had a book concept and was working writing a book and I was approached by new Harbinger publishers. And they sent me an acquisitions questionnaire. And I got all excited. I’m like, oh, cool, someone’s gonna pick up my book. And I’m reading out all this questionnaire and filling out the answers. I get to the section that says, How big is your mailing list? How many Facebook fans do you have? How many Twitter followers do you have? And it hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m like, oh, wait a minute, they want me to sell the book. And that was an eye opener. For me. I’m like, I need a platform, I need to have an audience. And so that was the final piece of the authority Academy, what I call the four pillars of authority. The fourth, fourth one is publishing. And that you can get your book published, but don’t do it until these other pieces are in place until you’ve built an audience. And part of what I teach in the academy is how to use those four elements podcasting virtual summit, speaking from staging getting published, and interweave them in a way that makes them exponentially more powerful. I have a year long training program where students come to me and we get all of those things knocked out in a super powerful way.

Heather Pearce Campbell 19:42
I love that and it seems, you know, you look at you look at those areas that you teach on and they are also interconnected and based around the same set of skills. It’s so obvious that people who are in that space should be doing all of them. A lot of people don’t they get stuck or not I’m sure this is the the, you know, your mindset experience comes out in working with your clients around showing up in new ways, right? And like embracing all of these platforms as a way to grow not only your brand, but your influence, like really do work in the world that you care about. What are the ways that people keep themselves stuck?

Michael Neeley 20:22
Well, one is and it relates to just what you’re talking about, there’s that many people will have one or two of those items, but not all of them are how to interweave them. And it’s true people will go, Hey, no, I’m going to focus on being an author, great, I got a book. Well, that is a great tool. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you it’s like all these are tools, but if Yeah, those tools together, now, instead of individual parts, you’ve got a machine, and that machine can catapult you or if you consider that machine like a vehicle, it can get you where you want to go faster. And it’s part of why I even looked backwards at what I had done, because people were asking me, they’re like, Michael, you just started your podcast like a year ago, and you’ve already got this many downloads, you’re already speaking on these stages, you’re already like, they’re like, how did you do it so fast? Yeah. And that’s when I had to look back and go, Oh, this is how it was just such a natural, easy progression. But I found like, there’s the magic sauce in that. And, and as an example, I just pulled this one as a quick one. For people who may go well, I want to do my book first. Well, here’s the thing. If someone reads your book, they finish it, they put it back on the shelf, or they put it in the recycling or they donate it or light pass it on your relationship is over. But let’s say you’ve got a podcast like you do now, Heather as well. So if you decided to write a book, at the end of a chapter, you could say, for a deeper discussion into this topic, tune in to Episode 37 of my podcast, where we do an even deeper dive with a special guest expert. And then elsewhere in the book, you could put things like I do an annual virtual summit that you know will be available and go to my website and sign up to be on my list. or elsewhere, you put resource so the book should interweave people back into the other pieces that you do. So that keeps that relationship going. And it makes it so much more powerful.

Heather Pearce Campbell 22:10
Well, it’s such a valuable point. And I’ve also crossed paths with people who are like, Oh, I have a book, but I’m like, okay, so are you coaching? Are you speaking like, what else is in there? Like? Well, no, I’ve got a website and the book and it’s like, the vibe was not gonna sell itself. And this idea of relationship building. And, you know, the point should not be lost on anybody who listens to this the importance of, especially with modern day publishing, the fact that most publishers do expect you to show up with a list to show up with a way of disseminating it yourself, or at least helping in that regard. And if you have that kind of a following, you’re way more likely to get a book deal.

Michael Neeley 22:54

Heather Pearce Campbell 22:56
I worked with a guy a couple years ago, and we’ve we’ve worked together for many years, but he we put $2.8 million of advance fee publishing agreements in place for him. And it is because he has a cult following around the world. He’s a very, very, he’s in a really unique niche. He’s a fascinating person, but he came with the strength of his own brand and his own following. And ways to you know, get a ton of books sold, like before they were even before it was even written. so important.

Michael Neeley 23:28
Yeah, so important. To kind of share just a quick little joke here that I learned about that same time, which is just stuck with me and and that’s these two authors are sitting there chatting with each other, and one’s a Pulitzer Prize winning author, and the other is a best selling author. And they’re, they’re chatting and the Pulitzer Prize winning author is like, I just don’t get it. Like, I am so much a better writer than you my books have. I’ve won the Pulitzer Prize, I’m a great writer, yet, you’re making 10 times more money than me. And I just don’t get it. And he says, Well, that’s why they call it a best selling author and not a Best Writing author. And so and it’s very true, it’s how much you sell, not even so much on the quality of the writing, always. And of course, you want to be a good writer too. But the thing is, is if you come in with a platform with a list, and you know how to move books move the volume, you’re gonna be much more appealing to a bigger publisher.

Heather Pearce Campbell 24:23
Oh, that’s right. Well, and it’s, you know, it’s the, the phrase that I also heard at a one of the early things I went to on the journey of building my second business, right, because I’ve practiced law for 18 years now. But about five, six years ago, is when I launched the legal website warrior. And it was on the path of learning how to build that business, which lives exclusively in the online space. That you know, somebody from stages had asked like a whole audience of people what business are you in, right? And of course, people are shouting out like all kinds of crazy answers and they’re like, no wrong. You are in the marketing and sales business. Right. That’s it. Oh, That’s it. If you cannot tell Yes. So it’s so important. Well, and the topic, I love the way that you bridge the gap between these areas, because I think you’re right that people really can think of them as quite different, like hosting an online summit. But when you look at what it actually is a series of interviews, you’re probably already doing this on your pod, you know, to me, I think it makes it feel much more tangible and reachable for folks.

Michael Neeley 25:30
It’s so does. And I also talked to a lot of my podcasters, who are starting – who may come in not having an interest in having a book, you may not like writing, but you know what, you could take your interviews or even your solo shows, have them transcribed, you do enough shows you have all these transcripts, you hand those over to a ghost writer who can massage that into your book for you. So you’ve spoken your book into existence. So it works that way as well.

Heather Pearce Campbell 25:56
I’m so glad you said that, because so last night, I’ll just tell you I have been known to burn the midnight oil around here, especially in COVID. Last night was one of those nights where I literally was up until like probably 1230 because I was getting the summaries and the titles of my next podcast episodes ready for my VA who had to do some things with them this morning. But I was at speed listening to like four or five interviews that I had done in a row right to kind of recapture some of this. I joke like I got done, my husband had to listen to me, like off in the corner, you know, and I didn’t have my headphones in. So I was kind of forcing him to listen to it, also. But I was like, man, I love my podcast, right. But I just really love the guests that I’ve had and some of the conversations that we had. And it dawned on me exactly what you just said, like, I should hand over the transcripts. Like I should just download transcripts of all of these things and hand it over because I could put together a guts grit and greet business like little mini Bible or mini book. Wow. So I’m so excited that you said that because I literally had not thought of it until last night.

Michael Neeley 27:05
Yeah, well. And if you look at stuff like Tim Ferriss, I haven’t read his tools of Titans. But I think that book is based on all interviews and stuff that he’s done with people figuring out what are the tools that these greats are using? It’s so there’s so many things that are done nowadays, which the author is simply the curator of great information, but you’re bringing it all together for the reader or the listener in the case of a podcast, and there’s value in that. And so EQ Yeah,

Heather Pearce Campbell 27:32
now, well, you got to think about even in the bigger marketplace, like you look at New York Times bestselling authors. You know, I picked up Kamala Harris’s book, right? And part of me and, you know, I hope I’m not not wrong when I say this, but you know, when somebody gets appointed to be the vice presidential candidate or whatever, like she didn’t write her own book in two months, you know, I mean, I don’t know, that’s my guess is there is a ghostwriter behind so many of those books where something happens. And like literally, within a couple months, there’s a book, right, yeah. And and we have to remember that, like, we don’t have to do it all, in the traditional way that we often think it’s done. I mean, we have so much we have such an advantage these days with technology and transcription services, all the ways that we can streamline this stuff. So share with us a couple of if you don’t mind, if you’re able to a couple of your client journeys, like where you’ve witnessed them go from before working with you, and even understanding what an authority platform is right to the end of the line or farther along and how their businesses and lives have changed.

Michael Neeley 28:44
Yeah, well, what I love about this, and it’s very different with all of my clients. And one of the things that I was worried when I first started offering the Academy is the fact that to get all four of those things done in one year, is a big task. So many of my clients stick around with me for more than one year because they’re like, it was just too fast to try to do all that in one year, which is great, that’s fine. But the the thing is with many that come in and they get involved first, I always teach everybody, let’s get the podcast going first. It’s the lowest level of entry. It’s so easy to do. And it will continue to grow in the background while we work on the other stuff. Well, many of those people who started me, they’re like, I’m not that interested in podcasting, initially. And now most of them have two shows. because well, because it’s it’s kind of like you know, you start to go well, I got this other idea too, because it just breezes really,

Heather Pearce Campbell 29:37
It doesn’t really fit here here. That’s right.

Michael Neeley 29:39
Yeah. And so many of them have their second show now. And then the some of them who are doing I had one that I just supported in a well, she chose to call it was a virtual summit, but she chose to call the symposium and I’ll never make it up your own different titles for it to give it a new feel. And she has 16,000 people opt in to participate in this symposium, which is phenomenal. Yes. And and so there’s the success going on in that realm. And then I’ve got people who are different levels of working on the books right now. But I’ve even had my clients come in with an existing book. And especially for those authors who are tuning in who know about print on demand, even if your books already out there, see about making some edits, if you’ve got a podcast now go back, make some changes, put insert, little podcast references wherever you can to start to drive traffic to your show. So I’ve got some clients that are working on that right now. And pretty much across the board, everybody has been excited about what it’s doing for their business. I’ve had some who come in and they make money from their podcast, literally, within the first month, one of my clients made had $10,000 in sales in the first 30 days of launching her podcast. So that was always exciting. And it really is across the board. I don’t know that there is any one person who’s really, gosh, quite honestly, I’ve had the academy now for three years. I’m just trying to think if anybody’s done all four parts so far.

Heather Pearce Campbell 31:07
Yeah. Well, there’s a journey it is. It’s a lot. And I think that I mean, I like the kind of sequential progression again, I think it feels much more doable for people like okay, you learn this, you get this handled, you move on, and it’s kind of the nature of things. And like, for me, I joke, I’ve been telling people like my experience of COVID whether it’s trying to clean the kitchen, or like I was gonna say clean the house. And it’s like, no, even trying to one room in the house is a little bit like dipping my toe in the water 1000 times a day, but never really getting to go for a swim, right? That’s how like, kind of divided and frenetic. COVID has been a little bit trying to do anything with two small children at home. But I was like, but I launched the podcast, right? I’ve got like 30 something episodes done, recorded, lined up ready to go. And yet, it is still only one small piece of the puzzle. Right? That’s the one thing I’ve done well and consistently during COVID. And so, yes, that I mean, the speaking is so critical for people that have a message to share. And luckily, we’re in a day and time when easy to do that online. You are getting connected and doing the right kind of networking. And you have a coach like Michael, who can help you do it the right way. Right. And but I think it does take kind of moving sequentially and adding the stuff to your plate. And yeah, it probably can’t, for most people be realistic to tackle that all in one year.

Michael Neeley 32:36
Well, and because of that, and I realized this real quickly, even into the first year of running it, I realized that and so that’s why I offered a you know, second year deals for people who wanted to stick around. And even now, as I do my most recent offers, I’ve broken it out into segments where they can do it all at their own pace. They can do it over time. And so it really I had to build it in a way that would fit them because while for me, it says I kind of like rapidly flew through getting all of that stuff in alignment. But I wasn’t doing it on purpose. It was like like I said the book idea had already happened before the podcast. Yeah, but when I finally finished it, it was in this sequential piece. And so yeah, I get it. It’s not you know, that fast won’t work for everybody. So it’s fine to do it at your own pace.

Heather Pearce Campbell 33:25
No, I love that. Um, so I’m want to shift gears a little bit this this podcast, right is called guts, grit and great business. So I’m going to ask you a question that you can decline, you can take the fifth, whatever. But what are some of the toughest decisions you’ve had to make in your business? Or in life? Right? We go definitely into the mindset regular life side on this podcast regularly. So but you know, for people out there because I do like I mean, one of the huge, and you know, this, like, one of the huge blocks to us doing anything well in business or taking it to the next level is mindset. Right? So absolutely. So I think it’s really beneficial for people to hear about not only the amazing stuff going on, but also times where we’ve had to struggle through something or make a really hard decision, the outcomes from that.

Michael Neeley 34:19
Absolutely. Well, and I love this question because it forces me to kind of really look at what were some of the hard calls that I had to make. And as I look back on that, I think the biggest one for me was really, I mentioned that prior to doing my podcast, I was chasing the almighty dollar and I tech startup company called graffiti tech. And we had investment money we had nearly $1 million in investment funds. And when we hit the end of that financial runway, I could kind of see it coming because we were trying to get more investment. We were struggling to get a second round and a part of me could very Easily had just said, I’m going to fight tooth and nail, I’m going to struggle. I’m going to do everything I can to keep that company going. But I think ultimately, I had to realize I had to dig deep inside of myself and go, Why? Yeah. Why are you committed? Because I was not. I mean, I was paying myself a minimal amount. So I was not getting ahead in the world, I’d already sunk all of my life savings into it, as well as the investment money that we had. Yeah. So I literally had to go, look, you’re chasing money, I had to come to that realization, this is not where your passion is. And you really need to just let it go. And it was scary as hell because you know, the money ran out, I had a fire myself, essentially, as the CEO of the company, because it couldn’t pay me anymore. So that was the end of that. And then it was like, Okay, I better find another way to make money fast, because I’d already poured all of my own personal savings into it as well. So that was a big call to make.

Heather Pearce Campbell 36:01
Yeah, that is well, and it’s a really powerful example. Thank you for sharing that. And I think, you know, the farther along any of us get in business, I think we have examples like that, where we learn, our success is so often about what we say no to, and what we let go of, than what it is about what we continue to say yes to right. And I’ve been in this crunch period. COVID, you know, gives us all kinds of opportunities to re evaluate efficiencies in our business and systems and all of the other things, but also bigger picture questions. And I sent this out to my newsletter this week, but I can’t remember, I feel bad, I can’t remember what I was listening to probably somebody else’s podcast. And it was there was a conversation about shifting to a CEO mindset, you know, shifting from being the worker bee in your business, and so many entrepreneurs that I serve, like, they’re also the worker bee, right. And even if they have small teams, they’re still often too much on their plate. And I know, personally, that that’s the case for me. And so the phrase that I heard was something along the lines of like, the answer is not doing more, doing less, so long as you continue to try to do more in your business as the word like, you’re never going to shift to CEO, you’re never going to shift to making some of the most powerful decisions. And some of the most powerful decisions are what we say no to. So I love that I’ve really been sitting with that recently. But your example is, you know, Case in point, you know, making those decisions that are CEO level decisions that are hard to make, but are ultimately what will help us to be more successful rather than stay stuck?

Michael Neeley 37:47
Yeah, yeah. I agree. 100%.

Heather Pearce Campbell 37:49
Yeah. Well, Michael, for people that are listening, and who are wanting to connect with you, where are you online? Where do you like to connect with folks,

Michael Neeley 37:59
probably the two best places would be at MichaelNeeley.com, which is the home of my firstborn, constantly speaking, resides there as a podcast, but it also has a bunch of other basics about me. And then Podquest.net is my newest child. And that one is not even a year old yet, but or about just about a little over by the time this goes live. That show is really where I put a lot of the work current work about podcasting there, which is, again, the tip of the spear. So one of those two places is good.

Heather Pearce Campbell 38:30
Awesome. And if you’re listening, make sure you check out the show notes, because we’ll share your social media handles your websites, whatever you want us to share, at legal website, warrior.com forward slash podcast. I think, Michael, you’ve got a gift to give away. Yeah, you want to talk about that?

Michael Neeley 38:46
Absolutely. So and it’s interesting, I call it the it’s a report. It’s a 17 page guide. It’s the simple five step process to launch a rockin podcast in just 14 days. And I use the 14 days piece because as you know, that’s how I was between what I learned what one was, and when I launched. It is really so easy. I do recommend for someone if you want to get serious about it, maybe search out a mentor, which I’d be happy to support you. But if you just want to get a show up and running and launch, this is a great guide to help you look at that and see what it takes because it’s not rocket science at all.

Heather Pearce Campbell 39:19
That’s amazing. Well, I’m super excited to share that not only through our show notes, but with my list because even in this space of time, I’ve had so many people ask because, you know, they saw me I never talked about a podcast and then suddenly I had a podcast and they were like, Wait, what? I rarely went from like not ever thinking about having a podcast. Yeah, having one launched in about a month, so twice as long but um, you know, people need this. People are trying to figure out how do they do this? And so what a valuable resource. So a couple of things. I’m going to ask you one question and then I’m going to share something but what what final thoughts for people that have stuck it out and are still listening What final thoughts you have for our listeners?

Michael Neeley 40:04
Well, if if it’s about business, if you’re thinking of getting into business, and I’ll say this about podcasting in general, one of the things that I love about it is that it is pretty much recession proof if you build it, right. By the way, I mean, I’ve got to say you have, you need to build it, right. But you can even build your whole business around it. And what I’ve done is with mine is I’ve created a freedom lifestyle, where I work the hours that I want to, I can take off when I want to, and I can work from anywhere in the world. And, and even knew, of course, even pre pandemic, I was working from home. So it’s there’s certain elements of having this freedom lifestyle that a podcast supports, that if that’s something that someone’s thinking of, or considering I highly recommend getting started down this path, because it’s working great for me, and I’ve seen it work tremendously for others as well. And so really, it’s, it’s a possibility, you know, if you want to do that, go for it.

Heather Pearce Campbell 41:06
Yeah. No, that’s amazing. And the flexibility, you know, being able to work from wherever you are, I mean, it’s such a powerful thing to be able to do in our lives. I mean, I go back, even when I talk about legal stuff, right? I asked everybody, like, what’s your big Why? Why did you go down this path of entrepreneurship, and it’s usually related somewhat to that they want freedom in either who they work for, or when they work, right. So I mean, what a powerful thing to add either to your business or to base a business around. Alright, I’ll let you go. But not until I share my one final thought and it gets back to the horse riding. So the movie, I don’t see movies that often because I have small children. And we’ve always struggled with keeping childcare. But the last movie that I saw in the theater was Wonder Woman, and they have a phenomenal horse scene in that movie. Do you know the one that I’m talking about? All the women on horses with the bow and arrows?

Michael Neeley 42:05
Yes, yeah, I remember the horse specific piece I would I was probably just checking out all the women

Heather Pearce Campbell 42:10
well, definitely there on the beach, and there’s like, some the the men have gotten through that protective role around that aisle, or the island or attacking him on the beach. And then when they’re, you know, all these Amazon women on horses, but I think it’s real archery work. And because I read an article somewhere about the training required, again, to develop the skills to even stay on the horses back while you’re

Michael Neeley 42:38
absolutely well. And it’s one of the things that I would teach the horsemen in the jousting field as well, because a lot of the time and think about it, you’re controlling your horse. Now imagine this scenario, you’ve got the reins in your hand, but you know what, in that same hand is your shield. Okay, so you’re holding a shield there? Well, you need to be able to move that shield around without yanking the horse’s head, pretty much controlling the horse with your legs. And then you got your Lance or your sword and the other hand. And so you really need to master the control of the horse with just your legs. Because your your arms are in action. So yeah, that’s amazing, right?

Heather Pearce Campbell 43:16
Yes, it explains why you have to train both the horse and the rider. Oh, yeah. Not just your average horse.

Michael Neeley 43:22
Right? The horse needs to learn to answer to respond to leg commands real. Yeah.

Heather Pearce Campbell 43:28
That’s amazing. Michael, such a pleasure to see you today to talk with you. I’m so excited to share this. again for being with us.

Michael Neeley 43:37
Such a pleasure. I love what you’re up to in the world. And thank you for having me. It’s a total honor.

Heather Pearce Campbell 43:41
Absolutely. Well, we will connect again very soon.

GGGB Outro 43:45
Thank you for joining us today on The Guts Grit and Great Business podcast. We hope that we’ve added a little fuel to your tank, some coffee to your cup and pep in your step to keep you moving forward in your own great adventures. For key takeaways links to any resources mentioned in today’s show and more. See the show notes which can be found at legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and if you enjoyed today’s conversation, please give us some stars and a review on Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast so others will find us to keep up the great work you are doing in the world and we’ll see you next week.