How To Start A Podcast | Penji Co-founder Johnathan Grzybowski

Johnathan Grzybowski, is rogue risk taker turned serial entrepreneur. He is the Cofounder of Penji, which is an unlimited graphic design service without limitations. Penji offers unlimited graphic design at one flat monthly rate.

Johnathan is also the host of the #1 business podcast, Blind Entrepreneurship. His mission with his podcast and business is to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs so they too can execute their vision to profitability.

October 30, 2018 Download (MP3)

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Throughout this article, you will learn how to start a podcast, but for now. This calls for a celebration. This is the 200th episode of The Blind Entrepreneur! I’d like to start off by saying thank you! Thank you to the thousands upon thousands of people that have ever given a care or listen to this show, everyone of you that has ever liked, downloaded, or even subscribed to an episode.

It has been an incredible journey thus far.

You see, when I first started this podcast in November of 2016 I had a very simple goal and that was to get to 200 episodes. There was no reason behind that number, other than a number that at the time I thought was impossible to achieve.

Over the past few years of podcasting, I’ve learned a lot about myself, business, and the industry as a whole. I’m going to go into as much detail as I possibly can to explain to you the how, the what, the why, and the future of this podcast. 

Back in 2016, I started my third business, alongside this podcast. The reason why I created this podcast was for two simple reasons:

To network

That’s right, I selfishly created this podcast to get in front of people and to make new friends. You see, entrepreneurship is a dark and at times extremely lonely place. I was tired of the conventional means of networking and I knew that if I wanted to “make it” I needed to do something different. What better way to get in front of the doers and shakers than to give them a platform that you can control and ask the questions that you want to ask them. Because of my initial selfishness, I was able to meet some incredible people that have fundamentally changed my life and changed our business. 

Some of them became clients, but most importantly, a larger majority of them became my friends.

Learning from others

Which leads me to number two, when I first started my marketing agency, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I guess you could say that I was a lost lost business owner. So rather than hiring a mentor or getting into meetings with people asking for advice, I decided… well, what if I had a platform that allowed others to promote themselves and allow me to ask them any question that I could possibly have in business and they basically have to answer the question. 

They are live on air, why wouldn’t they give me their honest answer. I’ve interviewed some incredible people. People like:

  • Dennis Crowley of FourSquare
  • Rand Fishkin of SparkToro
  • Jordan Harbinger
  • Nick Bayer of Saxby’s Coffee
  • Scott Gerber of YEC
  • My tattoo artist Tim Pangburn
  • Scott Keyes from Scotts Cheap Flights
  • Mark Suster from Both Sides of the table
  • And so many more…

As mentioned before. I told myself that I needed to get to 200 episode and when I got there, I told myself that I would stop. So I am here to tell you that I am dropping The Blind Entrepreneur Podcast as of today! 

Dropping The Blind Entrepreneur Podcast name

I am dropping The Blind Entrepreneur Podcast for the following reasons:

The name of the podcast no longer pertains to me. The blind entrepreneur is a selfish title. It’s not about you or the person that I am interviewing. It was about me. This entire time, I was in fact the blind entrepreneur, but you know what. I’m not a blind business owner anymore. I run one of the fasted growing startups in the nation called Penji. I’ve also ran multiple businesses. Yeah, I have my moments of blindness, but as a whole, I’m not The Blind Entrepreneur anymore. 

To that point, there has been a lot of lessons that I’ve learned while running an organization like Penji. In the past 199 episodes of this podcast, not once have I ever told you what I did, how I did it, and why I do it. I think it’s time to explore that and share my story. So here we go: (I’m going to give these in bullet point format, so it’s easier to follow)

  • I quit my a comfortable job when I was 23.
  • I worked for Apple at the time and wasn’t happy with where my life was going.
  • I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 6 years
  • I’ve ran 5ish companies my entire life and none of them were all that successful until the past 2.
  • Today, I co-run an amazing company called PenjiI. We offer unlimited graphic design, all at one flat monthly rate.
  • I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life! 
  • I’m living my dream! 
  • I have the best job in the world, powered by the best people that a cofounder can ask for. 
  • If you don’t believe me, check out episode 199 and you’ll see for yourself.
  • I have an amazing relationship with an amazing woman
  • A fantastic and supportive cofounder
  • And a growing business that has been able to serve over 300 clients and over 10,000 design requests in under 1 year!

The future of this podcast

So what does that mean for the podcast?

I’ve chosen my words carefully. I’ve said I am dropping The Blind Entrepreneur Podcast and I am, but this most certainly isn’t the end! This is just the beginning. You see, it’s not about the blind entrepreneur anymore. It’s about curing this incredible disgusting disease in business and that’s Blind Entrepreneurship.

Although the words are very similar words, they have very different meanings to me. Blind Entrepreneurship is a mission that allows future guests to help entrepreneurs execute their vision. It allows myself and the guest to solve legitimate problems in business. Going forward the podcast is going to be less about the origin story and more about topical problems in business. Each episode we will solve a particular problem. Along with our guest, we will take you on a journey to profitability.

Episode 200 is more than just a milestone, it’s a shedding of skin. On future episodes of Blind Entrepreneurship you will see:

  • More topical conversation
  • Bonus episodes that are produced by and spoke by me
  • More story telling
  • More promotions of other peoples work. I’m going to introduce a new podcast (hopefully, every episode) that you should give a listen to
  • Overall, the podcast is more collaborative than it has ever been before.

Now, enough about me. Let’s get into the the real reason why you are here today.

How to start a podcast

Throughout the two years of running a podcast, we’ve made a ton of mistakes. If at any time are you lost or need additional clarity, email me directly at johnathan@penji.co or head over to tbeshow.com/ or just go in the show notes.

The podcast was not conversational. 

I had a set list of question each podcast episode and I asked the same freaking ones every single time. It absolutely stunned my professional growth. I was afraid to ad lib at times because I had a structure. If you go back to old episodes you’ll see that the podcast was so structured. But as you go on and listen to newer episodes, you’ll see that I started to loosen up as I gained more confidence. 

Using episode number in post

I have episode numbers in my tag line of the episode and even on the website. I don’t know about you, but I don’t give a single F about how many podcast episodes someone has recorded. All I want is for the podcast that I am listening to, to deliver value. Give me what I want. That’s it! The episode numbers aren’t relevant and it takes up 6 plus characters that I could explain more about why you need to listen to the episode! 

ZERO personality it brand

I didn’t use my face in any of the marketing at all. Now, I’m not saying I’m Brad Pitt (not sure if that’s even relevant at this point) but I’m not saying I’m great looking, but I know in full confidence I’m not terrible looking. I have an absolutely gorgeous girlfriend. So she’s with me for some reason, so I can’t be terrible right? But yeah, I didn’t use my face. Not sure what I was thinking there. I should have had my face more prominent in the marketing. From my statistics, I’ve seen that when I personally post something online, it does much better than that of something without my face. Morale of the story is to look at your analytics people.

Reading full bio

I read peoples full bio’s during the interview. I did this because I was afraid to disrespect the other person. I read every word of their bio and not once did I freestyle the bio. You the audience doesn’t need a 14 sentence bio as to how and why this person is successful. You need 2-3 lines at most and get right to the episode.

Sample Bio: This person is successful and is a bad ass in this topic because… here is what we are talking about. Done. That’s it.

Episodes were not topical

I had a Facebook ad expert on and he delivered a crap ton of nuggets. Rather than marketing the podcast in a way to help those with Facebook Ad problems, we spent the first half of the conversation about random crap and only talked about Facebook ads till the tail end of the conversation. Shameful on my part and a mistake that I will never do again.

Did not care about collecting data

I didn’t have analytics on my website or podcast until about 4 months ago. I literally ran a digital marketing company and for some reason, I tracked nothing. 

Why? Don’t know. But get analytics and invest in a podcast host that gives you analytics.

I use a company called SimpleCast for my hosting. They are a growing company, but these people are really freaking cool. They provide great work and the interface is awesome. This isn’t a paid advertisement, but I just like what they stand for.

No email data

Never collected emails on my website. Again… why? I don’t know. Make zero sense I know. 

Didn’t try to create a brand

I started this FB group that I wasn’t entirely great at running. I didn’t do much for the group. I noticed over the years that one of my weaknesses is community building. I kind of just randomly posted but again, didn’t focus my energy on that group or the brand. My job was to just be the interviewer and that’s it. I recorded it, I sent it to the person, and we were done. It was very transactional and didn’t lead to great marketing.

I was selfish

We already went into this but yeah. I’d say close that about 190 episodes are all pretty selfish conversations. Which is a shame, but a great learning experience.

10. Didn’t care about audio… So when I first recorded the podcast I used Ecamm and an Apple EarPod microphone. I later upgraded, but even then, the pitches were all off. I’ve realized that audio is everything and have since made the adjustment to care more, but it’s hard to focus your energy on a podcast and also running a company.

Just jump

Don’t do half in. Just jump and go all in. Simple.

No bonus episodes

I experience a lot on a daily basis in business and I rarely share what I’ve learned. I haven’t had the time to really teach anyone about my findings but bonus episodes will allow me to do that. It gives me a platform on my own show to simply provide value to each of you. So with every new episode/interview, it will be paired with a bonus episode. The bonus episodes are specific to my life and my findings. 

ZERO promotion of the episodes

Lastly, I didn’t promote the episodes. For the first time I am so proud, happy, and confident that a product/service that I created is beneficial and can legitimately help those who are listening. I am doing a serious disservice to not bring it up. For the longest time I felt like I shouldn’t promote the service because it would seem like a bate and switch, but you know what. It’s not. It’s my job to promote what I think is best for people. I am the host and I need to use my best judgement to ask the right questions and inform you about the best products available. Some of them will be my products and others won’t. And that’s ok. It’s up to you to determine if you think any of these are in fact the right fit for you.

To me and I am extremely biased but Penji is THE single greatest solution for to obtain graphic design on the planet. We are amazing in so many ways. It goes beyond the design element of our company. WE offer unlimited graphic design, we provide jobs and internships to students and residents in underserved communities. First being Camden. That’s pretty freaking awesome.

To end episode 200, I’d like again say thank you. Thank you to all of those who believe and believed in me. Thank you to those who have ever listened and watched an episode and to those who ever liked a single post on social media. Lastly I’d like to thank our members at Penji. We wouldn’t have the lights on without you. So thank you thank you thank you! 

We are officially shedding our skin. It’s no more about The Blind Entrepreneur, it’s about helping those that are experiencing entrepreneurship blind. From this point on, you will experience something completely new and unique. Something that you can listen to on the way to work and learn something tangible that you can take with you and apply it directly to your business. 

Our time is now.

Welcome to Blind Entrepreneurship, an episodic interview series that empowers the next generation of entrepreneurs so they too can execute their vision to profitability.