Podcast Ep. 59 – The Power of the Podcast

Larry Olsen July 20, 2021


Looking for the formula to a successful idea? Simple, create something that benefits society. That is exactly what my amazing guest Tom Schwab did, based off his passion to introduce inspiring thought leaders to the world he created a thriving company Interview Valet. A platform that allows up and coming podcasters to network and leverage one another’s audience to grow their platform faster while also allowing knowledge to flow at a faster rate.


Larry Olsen: Welcome. I’m Larry Olsen, and what’s on your mind, once set, it delivers your life. To change the outcomes, we want we must change the plays we’re running. Join us at Mindset Playbook with Real people – Real talk – Real insight.

Narrator: Today’s episode is sponsored by Aperneo, an Achievement Acceleration Company, whose approach to professional development enables clients to gain insights and perspectives to live, work and engage with more success.

Larry Olsen I’d like to welcome all of you to Mindset Playbook. I know in your lives that there’s all kinds of choices you had. And for you to choose to listen today, I just want to tell you how grateful I am. I’ve got a guest in store for you that’ll make it all worthwhile. My guest today has become quite the expert in assisting others, as well as myself in finding great and interesting guests for podcast around the globe. His company Interview Valet is the leading company and podcast interview marketing and has been instrumental in the growth of my podcast and I’m so delighted to have him as a guest today on my Mindset Playbook. As a Navy veteran who ran nuclear power plants and an inbound marketing engineer, Tom Schwab has a refreshing, unique approach. He focuses on time proven strategy, then supercharges with today’s technology and podcast interview marketing. He is an author, speaker and teacher Tom helps you get more traffic, leads and raving customer fans by being interviewed on targeted podcasts. Welcome, Tom, to Mindset Playbook.


Tom Schwab [00:03:04] Larry, thank you for having me here. It’s always great to talk with you and what a great time we live in. I’m in Michigan. You’re in California. Doesn’t matter. And the world gets to listen into our conversation.


Larry Olsen [00:03:16] That’s right. I’m so fortunate to have the finder, of great guest to be my great guest. Tom, with all of the competition for listeners or clients, not only in the podcast business, but in all growing businesses, please share with us why you got into this business and how you can help companies get through all the noise and actually be heard by the people you’re trying to connect with.


Tom Schwab [00:03:44] Well, and you hit on some great words there, Larry. You know, “noise” everybody keeps talking about, you know, how do you break through the noise? And I think if you’re honest here, you’ve got to say most of us are just adding to the noise. And, you know, the people that are telling us break through the noise. They’re the ones that are selling us the megaphones and everybody’s getting louder and louder. So, I’m an engineer by degree, so I try working smarter, not harder. And one of the things that I learned years and years ago is one of the easiest ways to get heard by your customers is to get introduced by other people, you know, leveraging other people’s audience. Right. So, for my grandfather, that might have meant getting invited to somebody’s foursome and spending some time on the golf course with them or maybe leveraging somebody’s live event. You know, back in the good old days when we jump on a plane, stand in front of an audience and talk. Twenty years ago, it was leveraging other people’s blogs. So instead of me writing my own blog and getting seen by, you know, three people, if I got my blog posted on, you know, where my customers were, that would be seen. And so back in 2014. I hypothesized that you could use that same idea of leveraging other people’s audience, other people’s platform through podcast interviews, and so we started to test that it worked amazing. So much so that at first, I thought now it’s got to be a fluke. It’s got to be the personality or the niche. And the more we tested it, the more we realized, you know, if somebody listens to you for thirty or forty-five minutes, they’re not a casual, casual visitor to your site. They’re not a cold lead. You know, if they’ve listened to you, they’ve either turned you up or turned you down and they’ve self-selected. So, it’s a great way of getting the word out there. And, you know, at the end of the day, I don’t want to break through the noise. I just want to get in on the conversations that my ideal customers are having.


Larry Olsen [00:05:53] All right. You know, that’s there’s a little altruism in that. When you spoke earlier about wanting to create opportunities for other people, where did that spirit come from in you?


Tom Schwab [00:06:10] You know, it goes to our mission, our mission is to personally introduce inspiring thought leaders to millions of people that they can serve for the betterment of all. And I remember telling my mom that one time she’s like, what’s that have to do with podcast interviews? And I’m like, Mom, it’s about introducing people and introducing ideas. And maybe it’s because I’ve been, you know, been blessed so much that I want to be a blessing to other people. When somebody helps me with an idea or an introduction, I feel like I’ve got a responsibility to share what I know with other people there. And, you know, I live in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It used to be there was a limited number of people that I could share it with. But now with technology, there’s a lot of problems in the world, but there’s no better time to be alive. And you can share what you know. You can reach your customers wherever they are. And so, I just you know, we’ve talked before, you know, I think best gift you can ever give someone is introducing them to a new idea or new person. It’s the one thing that you can’t do for yourself.


Larry Olsen [00:07:15] And that’s the truth.  You know, you guys have done a great job of getting in people who are like minded for me to have as guests and to be a guest on their shows. And it’s not only created, I think, really some fascinating information for the audience and our listeners as well, but it also has given me insight, because I think when you’re involved in something so long, you try to, not try, but you take so many concepts and ideas for granted. And then when you hear somebody already explaining things that, you know, it kind of takes it out of the subconscious, brings it back into the subconscious mind. And you recognize that, wow, you know, I forgot that. Or, boy, I got to use that, so kudos to you in the good choices that you’ve made for me. And one of the things you talked about to is, the noise element, all of the choices that people have, because I know it seems like everybody’s got a podcast now that that has become such a such a major medium. And what have you found that begins to separate the podcast from one another relative to why a listener would choose to listen to begin with?


Tom Schwab [00:08:35] That’s a great question. And it’s interesting because the data shows there’s two million podcasts out there, over two million,


Larry Olsen [00:08:43] Oh for heaven’s sakes.


Tom Schwab [00:08:43] But there’s a little asterisk behind that. Only five hundred thousand have published in the last 30 days. It’s easy to start one, it’s hard to keep it going. And I think it’s got to be interesting, timely and timeless. Right. So, if you’re talking about it’s really tough. You know if you’re doing a sports podcast, you know, I’m talking about the scores today. I really don’t care about that tomorrow. And podcasts are so timely that if we record this today, it might not go live till next month, somebody listening to it a year from now. So, it’s got to be more timely and thought-provoking questions there. The other thing, too, is I think it’s got to be an interesting conversation. One of our clients Bix Bickson and pointed out to me what he thought it meant when a podcast goes viral and it’s not so much that, you know, it’s get so many downloads or, you know, so many shares. But he says when the idea of being viral, when it when it spreads from one medium to the other, and he said when you have a conversation, it causes somebody to think and to think about the rest of the day. And they’re like, you know, I was listening to this podcast this morning and Larry was talking about this. And all of a sudden it jumps from just in their ears to what they’re talking about the rest of the day. So, I think those are the things sometimes it’s a podcast that leaves you with more questions than it answers. It causes you to start thinking. And to me, that’s what’s really interesting. You know, the podcasts that are telling me the six hacks to make six figures in the next six seconds, I don’t really need to know those or.


Larry Olsen [00:10:30] Let me write that down.


Tom Schwab [00:10:31] Yeah, yeah. Or, you know, if it’s something that I could just Google. A podcast that’s telling me whatever they’re sportscast from yesterday, I don’t need to do that. I can Google that. There’s an expert called Siri that can give me all of that. But the people that are really talking about big ideas where the world is going, interesting conversations. I think those are the ones that we see are surviving, but also thriving.


Larry Olsen [00:11:00] Very good. You know, I’ve got a question for you. We as human beings are driven by our habits and attitudes and. Genetics plays about 18 percent of who we are, and the rest is learned behavior. And so, after a while, from dendritic perspective, if you get it into the brain in the neurology, we have already been preprogramed. So, the majority of the people go through the day, as you’ve probably heard before, basically unconscious. They’re just reacting to situations and circumstances as they did the last one, which is not stupidity at all. It’s the brilliance of the human mind to protect us. And we recognize that if you really slowed the brain down when a circumstance that we’re in happens, the brain goes, I’ve never seen anything like this before, which is probably leading me towards, is this going to be good or bad for me? And then it goes ahead and reacts. But 99 out of 100 times it reacts based on how it reacted in the past. And emotionally, 95 percent of how we feel, all of those emotions are past emotions. And so, when we talk about being present and we talk about mindfulness and you hear all these bumper stickers, slogans to the point where people don’t even pay attention to it anymore because everybody thinks they’re present, where else can you be? We aren’t really present, we’re living the past, and one of the things that I attempt to do when talking with people is a lot of these people already have a book out, they have scripted, they have their brief sheet. And all you’re doing is pushing a button when you ask a question and then they spiel out what they know and there’s nothing wrong with that. But we can read about that, and we can go on their blogs, and we can go find them and find that out for ourselves. So, one of the things I wanted to ask you about this learned behavior, if you go back in your life, what were some of the most impressive moments that you think began to become foundational for you on your frame of reference and how you go about making decisions when you’re in any kind of a situation in life?


Tom Schwab [00:13:20] That’s interesting. So, I would think a couple of things, my undergraduate is in mechanical engineering,


Larry Olsen [00:13:28] OK


Tom Schwab [00:13:29] I’ve always looked at that is how I look at problems to be solved. And I’ve noticed that before, that, you know, accountants look at things a certain way. Buddies that were history majors look at things. And I think that framework, even over four years, while I never really practiced engineering, it formed the way I look at things. The other thing, too, is that I was born without depth perception, so I got into the Navy on a technical error. You know, I wasn’t supposed to be in there. Thank God it was the good old days when it was written down and it wasn’t a computer. I got into the Naval Academy with no depth perception. It wasn’t till my senior year that they found that. And by that time, they gave me a waiver for it. But for me, I never knew the world any different. So, at times, sports could be difficult for me. Even reading.


Larry Olsen [00:14:30] Give us an example, Tom, if you will, about what one experiences without depth perception.


Tom Schwab [00:14:39] So. If I knew where I was on the basketball court, I knew how far in my mind things were, so where I could take a shot if I was playing baseball as a kid, the ball would come off of the bat. And especially if I was in the outfield and I couldn’t tell if it was really coming towards me or away from me. So, it was hard to get a jump on the ball. So, things like that. And even sometimes when I would read my eyes would switch from one to the other and it would make the look with the words look like they jumped up and down. So, a lot of times when I would study, I would lean on one hand to close an eye. And so, like even to this point, I prefer to listen to books, and I love that now with technology and stuff that we can create in the way that’s easiest for us and then repurpose it, but I wanted to ask you a question on that, too. So, if everything goes back to there, do you think that we normally tend to go back to that ninety nine percent that we know and avoid the one percent? Because that’s one of the things I love about podcast’s and hate about podcast’s, is it gives us the idea or the opportunity to be exposed to so many different ideas. But yet so often we choose the ones that reinforce our ideas. So, it’s not teaching us anything new, it’s just teaching us that we’re right in the whole world thinks that we’re right to


Larry Olsen [00:16:15] Absolutely. That’s how we’re wired. Neurologically we’re wired to and what they call it, as they call it, sanity. Insanity is your dominant perception of the true sanity is what your beliefs are, it’s what you need to support is right or wrong. And so, all we’re doing is looking for information to prove that we’re right about what we believe. The unfortunate thing is a lot of us have false beliefs. We have limiting beliefs. We have beliefs that could set us back, like you could have been set back with this depth perception thing and called yourself unable to excel. And so that would have channeled a lot of direction to decisions you would have made. And yet you chose to find out how to turn it into an asset, how to live with it and succeed with it, and that could be someone getting a divorce and never wanting to be with a person of that sex again. And only because the brain is protecting them. It’s an evolutionary element of survival. And that’s what we’re all attempting to do, even though we live in a very sophisticated society and we’re not fighting in the jungle any longer, we’re still protecting ourselves. And when people aren’t aware of that, one of the things I start out when I’m over, I’m sharing with anyone is ninety nine percent of you think about what’s ever on your mind and less than one percent of you know how you think. And yet it’s so easy to join the one percent, because if you look at it from statistics, you’d think you don’t have a prayer in hell. But when you recognize it’s a mind shift that takes you from, you know what, I’m not going to let the past determine the future anymore. And when people really understand from a scientific perspective what that means, that’s where they get into “Vision”. They get into what do I want to have happen today? They get into …… and a lot of people misunderstand that as well, because they categorize vision as goals and goals are set for the future. Goals aren’t something that you behave and act like you’ve accomplished in this moment. So, it’s a real paradigm that needs to occur for you and I to be able to listen to each other and not have it screen necessarily through our own experiences, but to be more interested in what the experiences are of the person who’s sharing it, which is where curiosity comes from, right? You were very curious by nature, or you would have never gotten into engineering. You know, they didn’t have a class and curiosity in college. But, you know, that’s certainly what you were involved in. So, you know, a long answer to a great question is, is, yes, the majority and I always put that at over 90 percent, are reactive all day long. And 100 percent of them want to be proactive.


Tom Schwab [00:19:24] That’s interesting. Yes, sometimes I’m forced into curiosity, so like for all of our clients, I tell them, I’ll listen to your first couple of interviews just to give you some feedback. And I remember being on a podcast once they said, what was the last podcast you listened to? And I pulled up my phone and I’m like adoption now. And there was just a look. It’s like, you know, fifty-five-year-old man, are you looking to adopt? And I’m like, no, it was one of our clients was on it. But, you know, I never had the experience in my life of infertility and adoption and all the rest of that. That’s not a podcast I would ever have even been curious to listen to. But I tell you what, I learned more from that podcast than I would listening to, you know, five of my favorite podcasts that were a rehash of a lot of things I already knew.


Larry Olsen [00:20:14] And that’s the truth. Yeah. So, what are you so excited about now that’s going on in your life?


Tom Schwab [00:20:27] To me, it’s the connections and the relationships. Years ago, a friend of mine pointed out to me that relationships are the ultimate currency. And, you know, there’s some people that will say, you’re your net worth is proportional to your network. To me, it’s like the richness of your life is the richness of the relationships. And our ability to connect with technology is just amazing. So, I live on six and a half acres in southwest Michigan. I was locked down here last year like everybody else. A decade ago, that would have been like solitary confinement. And as it turned out, I had so many friends around different places, now, I miss seeing people and that’s starting to change now. But that way that we can connect with ideas and people or to be on a podcast. I was listening to one of yours recently with Jaime Jay. And, you know, it’s like that was like two friends talking and I’m like, oh, great, they got to know each other. And I think that idea of the world getting smaller, even when we were locked down, we had another client, Morgan Wright, he’s a cyber security analyst on television and I was talking with him. And years ago, remember when we said six degrees of separation, you know, the six degrees of Kevin Bacon or whatever the game was? He told me that that number right now is down to two point three and they were using it in crimes. You know, every crime victim, you’re probably two point three degrees of separation from the victim and the assailant. And so, they’re trying to use that. And I’m like, that is so cool that the world is getting more interconnected. You know, I wake up sometimes in the morning and I think about how good we have it, the technology we have, the stuff that’s for free. Right. And almost have to pinch myself and say, you know, I got to be thankful. And here’s an example. We had to reschedule this interview because on Monday we had a tree come down and it took out our power and internet. Right, I mean, what worst thing could happen in this world? And once again, somebody pointed out to me a while back, they said a bad day for my grandfather was when he buried a child. A bad day for me is when I lose Internet. So, I had a great, bad day.


Larry Olsen [00:23:01] But, you know, it’s interesting that how that affected me. We have been in you’ve been here now about a week in Newport Beach, and I don’t know if I ate something bad or something, but I’m a really healthy guy. But I have never felt worse in my life. And I was going, how am I going to do this interview with Tom, of all people, you know, the podcast guru and I’m going to be, you know, no energy whatsoever. And Diane comes up and she goes, hey, did you know you got a message from Tom? He’s going to have to reschedule. That was the best I felt all day long, and then I went to bed. And so, it’s interesting how it can be a tragedy on one side and a success on the other. I feel for you, though. Holy cow. Where are you at now? Did the tree cause any damage besides the lines?


Tom Schwab [00:24:00] Once again, it did not. And there was a tree laid on the line and a friend of mine, he passed away probably 20 years ago. Last time I saw his grandson, I think here’s were talking that he was about eight years old, and he’s got a tree cutting business. So, I called him. He was out in a half hour and with mastery took that tree down off the line. And I thought, if that line breaks, we’re not going to have power for the week. And so, you know, by the next day, life was good.


Larry Olsen [00:24:38] That’s beautiful. With your spirit and I have been blessed to have people on that are infectious. And you are in that category. What would you share with our listeners as far as taking a look at? You’re waking up in the morning, a lot of people will hit the snooze alarm, or they will wake up before the alarm, and that’ll be the best part of their day because they get another hour to sleep. And you have probably a little different routine, because with the energy that you have in that positive attitude, where does that come from and what are some of the things that you just kind of maybe take for granted because they become routine as far as how you get up and approach the day?


Tom Schwab [00:25:34] I wish I could say that every day was like that. You know, I always get up every morning for a cup of coffee, but I think you’ve got to have something in your life that you’re excited about. And think about that the night before so that you know why you’re getting up in the morning, because without a purpose, it’s hard to get excited about everything. The other thing, Larry, is my best life coaches and business coaches are my two grandkids. And right now, they’re seven and five. And I have to be honest with you, I think the seven-year-old is starting to age out of being a good business coach, just the way that little kids, especially, you know, five and under the view life, when they wake up in the morning, they’re excited. It’s time to play, you know, what are we going to have for breakfast? All of the rest and everything is new and exciting for them. They ask questions and maybe it’s like what you were saying before that they don’t have that ninety nine percent where they like seeing it done it, I already know the answer to this. So, I try to stay curious, playful, you know, like the mind of a child and be open to that. And the older I get, the younger I want to act.


Larry Olsen [00:26:50] Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more, you know, and when you peel the onion a little bit on what you shared, apparently there was an interesting study, you might be aware of it with NASA when they were looking for the most intelligent people to come to work for them. Have you heard about this?


Tom Schwab [00:27:09] No, I have.


Larry Olsen [00:27:10] They set up a genius study. And because they said that was a type of people who would take to get us to the moon. This was during the Kennedy administration. And so, they developed this test and there was only two percent out there that we’re in the genius category. And so those were the people that they hired. Well, they took the same test and they tested five-year-old’s and it was eighty five percent were geniuses.


Tom Schwab [00:27:37] Wow.


Larry Olsen [00:27:38] So what have we taught people to do? We’ve simply taught them to focus on the wrong stuff. And that’s that old element, the first paper you got back in school, that everything circled in red, you did what?


Tom Schwab [00:27:51] I was wrong.


Larry Olsen [00:27:52] and what did we learn how to do? We learn how to focus on “what was wrong”. We had that was a learned behavior and without knowing it, people are really good at it now. If you look at our news medium and if you look at, you know, they think that’s how you get people’s attention is through fear or you also get as much attention through value. And the value in something is, like you said is, “what am I looking forward to?” [25.4s] And you know, you’re a human being and you have your days and, you know, maybe you don’t want to get out of bed, and you have……  But more often than not, when you remember why it is, you do what you do. That spark comes back into your life. And I would share with our listeners, don’t get too caught up in trying to figure out the meaning behind the circumstance, give the circumstance the meaning, but have it in alignment with what you want, not what it could take away from you, because you’re either coming from prosperity or scarcity and it’s a choice. [23.2s] And that’s why I was so taken on by you in the concept. And I was very skeptical in the beginning of this Interview Valet concept, it just seemed like, you know, he’s going to be doing real well with this. That was my first response. But I’ve got to tell anybody that’s out there that’s looking to enhance the quality of their business and find someone who can be a great partner and get you far, far more return on your investment than the investment itself. You need to contact Tom Schwab. And why don’t you give them a little how to get a hold of you? Because it’ll end up on the site and whatnot. But you know if the auditory individuals out there, they’re going to want it that way.


Tom Schwab [00:29:49] Yeah. One of the easiest ways is just come back to the website Interviewvalet.com. You know, I could give you all my Facebook, my LinkedIn. You won’t remember that. You were like, I know he’s the only Tom Schwab and all of Kalamazoo, Michigan, but if you go to Interview Valet, with a V dot com, all that information to my contact information is there.


Larry Olsen [00:30:15] Oh, that’s beautiful. And if you heard him say valet with a V, he told me an interesting story. Somebody thought he got into the ballet business. So, yeah, initials are important to keep and keep track of and letters anyway. Tom, unfortunately, as always happens, there’s always enough time. But when you’re with someone special, it just seems to fly by and that’s what’s happened with you today. What would you like to leave our guests with, with all the experiences you’ve had in life and some of the things that classic question that a lot of podcasters ask, if you could go back and be seventeen again, what advice would you give yourself? What would you be able to kind of share with them that can kind of put a little more of the pep in the step and help them get back in focus?


Tom Schwab [00:31:14] I think it’s something that I’ve I learned early on, and I’ve relearned it over and over. And it’s the thought of what’s ordinary to you is amazing to others. And when I first learned that was in the Navy, I was on an aircraft carrier, and you could tell somebody that was new to the carrier because they would go up and watch the planes take off and land. You know, you’d crawl up to climb up to what’s called Vulture’s Row and watch the planes. And it didn’t take but about three or four days when you’re just like, that’s normal. I’m just going to I’m not I’m not climbing all the way up there. But, yeah, everybody would ask you afterwards, do you do that? And it’s like, no, it’s just become ordinary to me. And you think the whole world is like that. And so, when you meet people, when I would meet people, I think, well, they had the same experience as me. They know the same things and know what’s normal to them is amazing to me. So that idea that we all have different experiences, different things to share. And I think having that viewpoint makes it more like a childlike. Right. You’re always trying to be curious and learn things. So that’s one of the things I say a lot and try to remind myself a lot, “What’s ordinary to you is amazing to others”.


Larry Olsen [00:32:28] And thank you. You blessed me with that. I hadn’t heard that before, but it makes so much sense. And thank you for your time and niche in a little out so that we could get together and do this. It means the world to me.


Tom Schwab [00:32:43] Thank you, Larry, and thank you for all you do. Anybody that says doing a podcast is easy has never done it or never done it well, it’s just the great ones that make it look easy.


Larry Olsen [00:32:54] Well, I want to thank all our guests out there as well for taking your time and investing it. And, you know, if you want to give a review on this one, we’re always encouraged to feedback as a breakfast of champions. And it’s just exciting to read whether it’s positive or negative. And I also want you to remember before you shut off with us is wherever you happen to be right now is exactly where you need to be. And it all gets down to the choices you make, and you’ve got that opportunity. Make sure they’re in alignment with your vision and tell your friends all about Interview Valet. We look forward to hearing from you and I thank you again. Very grateful for you. Take care.


Narrator: Thank you for listening. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, we ask that you please subscribe and share with your friends and associates.  Tune in for Larry’s recap where he shares insights on the importance of hanging around with higher level people than yourself, that getting what you want requires pushing the right button for self-motivation, and that growth occurs rapidly when you challenge yourself to challenge your own solutions; after all, would you rather be right than successful, or would you rather be open to more success



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