This week I am very excited to bring you the one and only misfit/connector/instigator/creator/enabler Srini Rao from our partner Blogcast FM. Srini’s interviews have inspired thousands of creators to take the necessary steps toward doing what they love for a living, and he has a knack for asking questions of his guests in a way that provoke answers full of wisdom, insight, and actionable advice. Here he talks about his journey from MBA graduate to full time blogger and connector.
Who are you and what do you do? What’s been your journey to get to this point?
I’m the host and founder of BlogcastFM, an online show where I’ve interviewed over 400 extraordinary people doing interesting things online. In terms of the journey, it started when I graduated from my MBA program without a job. I started another blog called The Skool of Life and as a byproduct a weekly interview series called interviews with up and coming bloggers. Eventually that turned into BlogcastFM.
What advice do you have for people that might be juggling their creative work with a full time job? Is that something you had to do?
If that’s the case, your time away from work is the most precious time you have. If you come home and sit in front of the TV for several hours each day, it’s unlikely you’re creative work will turn into a full time job. You have to treat your creative work like it really matters. That means using your spare time wisely. While I don’t advocate that approach of spending every spare moment on it , I do think you have to be consistent about your work. The trap I’ve seen too many people fall into is sudden bursts of work when they feel inspired. That’s not really a sustainable approach to creative work. I built BlogcastFM along side my day job. That meant interviewing people on nights, weekends, and sometimes at 5am.
Tell us about some of the things you’ve struggled with in building your business.
I could write a book about the struggles. I think one of the places I initially struggled was how to make money. Revenues in my business were inconsistent for a long time, and sometimes we became a victim of our own success. We stopped trying new things, and taking new risks.
What kind of products do you offer and how have you promoted them? What tools have you used to sell them?
At the moment we’re selling ebooks, boxed sets, and we’re also currently developing our first course. In terms of promoting anything, I think our email list has been the most effective tool. And to sell these products, we’re using Selz.
In many ways building a small army starts with a mindset. It’s about service. You have to think about what you have to give rather than what you’re trying to get. If you provide value to other people, a small army will start to gather.
What blogs/books etc have you found helpful or inspirational?
I’ve read about 100 books in the last year. But I’ll narrow it down to 3 that I feel were really powerful.
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor is the most practical self help book you’ll ever read. The advice in it is easy to implement and you’ll find true changes happening in your life.
Unthink is a book about creativity written by a graffiti artist named Erik Wahl. Sometimes what we already know gets in our way and keeps us from taking creative risks.
Little Bets is a book that’s all about the innovation process that companies like Pixar and comedians like Chris Rock use to refine their work. I love Little bets because it reveals a process that anybody can use in their business without causing them to go broke.
Out of the hundreds of guest we’ve had on the show, I think my interview with my friend Meg Worden is a stand out at the moment. She has an amazing story and I think that I can’t even do it justice by writing about it. You should just listen to it.
What’s next for you?
Our in person event www.theinstigatorexperience.com