Never Been Promoted | Unleash Your Entrepreneur

The Innovator's Echo by Wysper.ai's Greg Mayer

April 16, 2024 Thomas Helfrich Season 1 Episode 40
The Innovator's Echo by Wysper.ai's Greg Mayer
Never Been Promoted | Unleash Your Entrepreneur
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Never Been Promoted | Unleash Your Entrepreneur
The Innovator's Echo by Wysper.ai's Greg Mayer
Apr 16, 2024 Season 1 Episode 40
Thomas Helfrich

Send us a Text Message.

Never Been Promoted Podcast with Thomas Helfrich

Greg Mayer's path to launching his own tech startup was anything but direct, weaving through roles in banking, sales, and product marketing, and ultimately leading him to the bustling startup scene of San Francisco. Discover how his passion for innovation and his unique career trajectory shaped his approach to entrepreneurship and led to the creation of Wysper.ai, a transformative platform designed to streamline content creation.


About Greg Mayer:

Greg Mayer, an innovative tech entrepreneur, has taken a non-traditional path to founding his company, Wysper.ai. His diverse background includes experiences in banking, technology sales, and product marketing, which provided him with a broad perspective on business and a deep understanding of customer needs. Greg's entrepreneurial drive and his keen interest in artificial intelligence propelled him to create Wysper.ai, aiming to revolutionize how businesses generate written content from audio sources, enhancing efficiency and engagement.


In this episode, Thomas and Greg discuss:

  • The Evolution of Content Creation: Understand the shift from traditional content production to innovative AI-driven processes.
  • Entrepreneurial Insights: Gain valuable advice on navigating the startup ecosystem and leveraging AI to enhance business operations.
  • Challenges and Opportunities: Discuss the hurdles and breakthroughs in developing and launching a tech startup.


Key Takeaways:

  • Innovative Problem-Solving

Learn how Wysper.ai addresses the common challenges faced by content creators by automating the conversion of audio into written content.

  • Strategic Career Moves

Greg shares his strategic decisions in career progression, focusing on skill acquisition over traditional promotional paths.

  • Embracing AI in Business

Discover the potential of AI in transforming business practices and offering competitive advantages.


“Embrace the journey of entrepreneurship with a focus on continuous learning and adaptation.” — Greg Mayer


CONNECT WITH GREG MAYER:


LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregoryjmayer/

Website: https://www.wysper.ai/


CONNECT WITH THOMAS:

X (Twitter): https://twitter.com/thelfrich | https://twitter.com/nevbeenpromoted 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hovienko | https://www.facebook.com/neverbeenpromoted 

Website: https://www.neverbeenpromoted.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neverbeenpromoted/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@neverbeenpromoted

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomashelfrich/

Email:

Support the Show.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

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Never Been Promoted Podcast with Thomas Helfrich

Greg Mayer's path to launching his own tech startup was anything but direct, weaving through roles in banking, sales, and product marketing, and ultimately leading him to the bustling startup scene of San Francisco. Discover how his passion for innovation and his unique career trajectory shaped his approach to entrepreneurship and led to the creation of Wysper.ai, a transformative platform designed to streamline content creation.


About Greg Mayer:

Greg Mayer, an innovative tech entrepreneur, has taken a non-traditional path to founding his company, Wysper.ai. His diverse background includes experiences in banking, technology sales, and product marketing, which provided him with a broad perspective on business and a deep understanding of customer needs. Greg's entrepreneurial drive and his keen interest in artificial intelligence propelled him to create Wysper.ai, aiming to revolutionize how businesses generate written content from audio sources, enhancing efficiency and engagement.


In this episode, Thomas and Greg discuss:

  • The Evolution of Content Creation: Understand the shift from traditional content production to innovative AI-driven processes.
  • Entrepreneurial Insights: Gain valuable advice on navigating the startup ecosystem and leveraging AI to enhance business operations.
  • Challenges and Opportunities: Discuss the hurdles and breakthroughs in developing and launching a tech startup.


Key Takeaways:

  • Innovative Problem-Solving

Learn how Wysper.ai addresses the common challenges faced by content creators by automating the conversion of audio into written content.

  • Strategic Career Moves

Greg shares his strategic decisions in career progression, focusing on skill acquisition over traditional promotional paths.

  • Embracing AI in Business

Discover the potential of AI in transforming business practices and offering competitive advantages.


“Embrace the journey of entrepreneurship with a focus on continuous learning and adaptation.” — Greg Mayer


CONNECT WITH GREG MAYER:


LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregoryjmayer/

Website: https://www.wysper.ai/


CONNECT WITH THOMAS:

X (Twitter): https://twitter.com/thelfrich | https://twitter.com/nevbeenpromoted 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hovienko | https://www.facebook.com/neverbeenpromoted 

Website: https://www.neverbeenpromoted.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neverbeenpromoted/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@neverbeenpromoted

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomashelfrich/

Email:

Support the Show.

Serious about LinkedIn Lead Generation? Stop Guessing what to do on LinkedIn and ignite revenue from relevance with Instantly Relevant Lead System

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Welcome to the Never Been Promoted podcast with Thomas Helfrich. Get ready for a thrilling adventure as we uncover entrepreneurial journeys and life changing business insights every week. And now, your host, Thomas.

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Welcome to another episode of Never Been Promoted, where we are helping you unleash your entrepreneur through the journey of others, learning from others. And today's guest is Greg Mayer.  Greg, thank you so much for joining today.

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Yeah, thanks for having me. Excited to be here.

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Yeah, absolutely. And if this is your first time listening, Greg is going to have a really good entrepreneurial story with this company of Wysper.ai. And if you listen to this before, you know what you're going to expect his journey. And we're going to talk about how his experiences can help you wherever you are in your entrepreneurial journey as well. The good and the bad. Hopefully not too much ugly, but, but Greg, you want to take a few minutes and, and just, you know, set this, kind of set the stage a little bit for, you know, your journey, who you are, and, you know, give yourself some creds and how you got to Wysper.ai.

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Yeah, yeah. Thanks for that intro. Um, so, like you said, I recently founded Wysper about six months ago, but I did. That wasn't my, the first thing I did. I, you know, took a winding path to get here. Started in, uh, banking, moved into tech, wanted to be in startups and play ping pong during lunch and all that fun stuff was in San Francisco, was working in sales. Then ultimately, when I got into tech, my goal was to one day become a founder, like, start my own business. And so rather than just be an NPC and, uh, jump on, like, the promotion train of, like, all right, now I'm an account executive, now I'm a senior account executive. It's like, what skills do I want to learn? So I went into customer success. Next I went into product marketing, and it was all getting closer to the customer and to the product. And those were like, the two areas that I felt like I was gravitating towards the most. And then I went over to an AI company from there, was starting the product marketing function there and then I just felt this call to start my own thing. It felt like there was a window of opportunity and the barrier to entry for folks to start their own thing has never been lower. Whether that's a course or building your following on LinkedIn or building a SaaS product like myself, if you want to just torment yourself, highly, recommend it. And that's kind of how I found myself here. Six months into it, and you built.

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Your company from you started yourself and kind of talk about the initial idea. Because I think one of the things entrepreneurs face is what would I do? And talk about how maybe you drew upon your past and the problem you're trying to solve and how you discovered that. Because I think that moment is where a lot of people kind of fall apart. They have that urge, but they just don't know what to do.

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Yeah, I mean, that self reflection is essential. It's a combination of a lot of things that led me to that point where it started all the way back when I was an SDR and I was like, what do I like doing? What am I gravitating towards? And I'm going to optimize for learning and enjoying the things I'm learning about. And that ultimately led me to the point where I'm thinking, like, what are the problems that I have? What are the problems that I'm observing? What are the things that I know a lot about that other people might not know? Because you tend to have this domain knowledge and expertise that you're like, well, yeah, that's obvious. But then someone like me, who's a neophyte, standing up email marketing, the most obvious things were, like, groundbreaking to me. But for some folks, that's so stupid. And I would have paid them to teach me that. Right. And it's those types of, like that arbitrage of knowledge that you've acquired in what you're doing. And I think that kind of goes back to my product marketing background. It's like the essence of being a good product marketer is really understanding your customer, your buyer, your user, what their pain points are, all of those things. And if you try to build a product where either you don't feel the pain and you're not the end user, or you don't know it extremely well, you're fighting an uphill battle. And it's going to be really hard to win in that space where you're competing against people who are the customer. Like myself with Wysperer, I wanted this for myself as a marketer. And so I could think. And, you know, I talked to customers and users and got friends to give me feedback. But ultimately it was like comparing against my own experience as well was, was like accelerated that process.

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That's a great point. So instantly relevant, my company, right, I founded it as a way to, when I was building practices for intelligent automation, AI, right? I never could get leads or traction from marketing or sales, so I built the function myself to solve a problem when I was working for somebody he did it so well. I was like, I think I can offer it as a service. Your note about self, reflective of your own knowledge. When you know something, sometimes you don't realize how much you know it and you don't. And also then don't know you can monetize it. That's, those are two things. The worst case that you'll have is you think you know more than you do and you don't know how to monetize it. You're going to find yourself in a pickle. But some people know how to monetize stuff they barely know. And those are your best sets. So what was your talk about your product or your service or the SaaS? Like, you know, what was the problem you're solving?

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Yeah. So the problem we solve is the amount of time it takes to create written content when we already have a lot of that already created. And what I mean by that is we take audio, like podcasts, webinars, customer interviews, all of the things that we were creating as a marketing team. And then we can automatically convert that into written content, like blogs, newsletters, nurture emails, LinkedIn posts, all of the things that we were using, freelancers, contractors, our own time, to then, like, recreate the wheel a little bit. And if we're doing a product launch and we do a webinar on it, why can't we just use that and generate all of the content that we need? You know, it won't be perfect. We'll still spend some time on it, but if it gets us halfway there, then that's beautiful.

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Oh, that's how I found you, too. So is, you know, if I had a, you know, of a channel called AI nerd, right? And we talked about this where it was just, you know, painting by grinding, just painful to monetize it. Too many interviews took forever to build the content. Too much money went up. And as I started theNever Been Promoted podcast and the socials, I was like, I want to find something that I can. Basically, this is for LinkedIn, too. So those listening, you know, I was always struggling with what content to put on LinkedIn, as everyone does. I don't like to do salesy stuff, you know, or even promotional. So I said, you know what, I'm just going to use the interviews from LinkedIn as my, my content, because it'll all be original. It'll be on point to entrepreneurship and growth and the things that I care about. And that's the commitment I made in 2023 to do this. And I was like, but I don't want to have to sit here and chunk up every piece of feet and create articles. And I know this technology exists. What I love about your platform, and listen, guys, I'm a customer of it, is I like that it can do it for me. I will upload an audio and it creates the shorts and all the other things. And you guys are just starting. I can't imagine what you're going to be a year from now, how well it's going to be done if you're looking for that. Like, that was a pain point that I needed that. I found, I think through a Google search, I'd have to guess.

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Yeah, it's hard to remember those things, right? Like I asked, where did you find Google search? How'd you hear about us? And I get asked that question. I'm like, there's so many things going through my brain all the time and I'm seeing things. Maybe I've seen it four places and then that got me to sign up. But yeah, I know. I really appreciate you saying that. It will be interesting to see where we are in a year. It's really impossible to say with OpenAI and all these companies, Google Meta, like, AI is going to be a different world in a year from now. So it's just about, it's an interesting place to be an entrepreneur because you have to be just hopelessly optimistic and adaptable. Because if you see an OpenAI dev day and you're like, I'm dead now, you can't have that mentality at all. You have to say, okay, now what can we build? How can we benefit from this, or how can our customers benefit from this? And it's just like, it's going to be a year of pivoting.

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It's going to be endless. Absolutely. Not to step on there a bit, but I look at your service and I'm like, I can accomplish that via just GPT chat. If I take the SRT file and then I go step by step and do each one of those things, show notes, yours just doesn't one shot. So the time savings for a relatively low cost is immense because I can also let up multiple files. And the idea is you save me time and save my team's time, which saves money. With that, GPT could solve that for you. But as you know, the more narrow you make your AI and its solution based, the better you'll be separated from the original, bigger model that probably can handle it nearly as well as when it's focused around audio or podcasting or whatever. It'll be so I agree with you, there are some products, digital products in particular, that you shouldn't probably invest in or worth time building because it's going to get replaced.

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Yeah.

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But as an entrepreneur out there, you should realize that what are you building and how quickly could it be replaced with an update to the latest, you know, large language models?

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You have to be prepared for that. And I don't think anyone in any industry is going to be safe for very long from that type of stuff in software, so. Yeah, exactly. And it's like, how can we make the best product or workflow to save the most time for this person and provide like a very specific solution to a specific problem? I still don't. So we'll see where the GPT store goes and other things, but for now, I think there's still immense value in that. And like, if my goal is to save time as a buyer, like doing that in chat, GPT isn't really going to accomplish that like it eventually, but it's a learning curve.

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Absolutely. When you were on your journey, what were some of the, like, just actually with Wysper. Right. AI. So maybe what's one lesson? If you could gone back even six months because you're still new into it, you wish you would have just done differently. Like, what's the one like, oh man, if I had only known.

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It's really tough to say, like there's, I've been thinking about this a little bit, like with the new year and stuff like that, I'm looking back and I'd like to launch some other side projects, quick tests and stuff like that. I'm like, what would I do immediately differently? One of the small, very tactical things is that I wouldn't build a fancy website. And webflow. Webflow is amazing. You can build incredible websites in it, but it's just clunky. There's a lot of functionality that you don't need and when you're rapidly testing iterating, changing messaging, you just want to move fast. I would just use something like framer or whatever those AI landing page tools are so that you can just rapidly iterate. Because the learning curve for webflow for me slowed me down in ways that were really frustrating in the beginning. And I'm like, even today I'm like, oh my God, I have to figure.

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Out it is for established SaaS, right? And you can do it quicker. You just created a homepage landing page to get the name out there. I see this as an agency owner and sometimes people become horrible people when they develop websites. They don't mean to be, but they overthink it because they think it's so important and valuable. I know as an agency, we built at this point in early 2024, a deep six figure agency, and our website makes $0 for it. Like it's in a cost center. And so I know it doesn't matter. I know I have to have one. And for you, if that's your only sales point, you just need to make it as easy as possible for someone to buy it.

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And.

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And it's a. It's a big trap a lot of entrepreneurs can take away from. Don't overthink that. Get the simple, get something looks good up, but don't have to commit to a huge blog or about sections and just get something up and running and get someone, because they don't care. They want to just buy your product, try it out, and make it easy to sign up. Don't. Don't overthink it. And I think you probably look back like, I wish I would have just done that. Just straightforward. Hit it. Here you go.

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Totally. Yeah, that's. I was in too deep once I started using webflow, I'm like, I don't even know how to get out of this now, so I'm just gonna. I'm on this path.

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That's it. We're gonna go all the way. We're making a 40 page site today. We only need one. As you look to the future and you think about your, you know, you're time zero again. Right. So you're now looking forward. So what is. You said you had a reflective moment. What are you gonna be doing towards the future here to. To really put yourself in a better position six months or a year from now.

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Yeah. We're continuing to look at how to both expand and narrow what we're doing. The way that the product works now is you upload and you get a ton of different content, like, all the content you need. And so we're also trying to narrow that and making it really simple to create the one piece of content you want really, really, really well so that you can double down in a channel and make those more and more customized. But then we're also trying to think of how we can expand to text to speech and text to video and all of these other amazing technologies that are available and seeing where we think the most value will accrue this year.

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Yeah. Because you do create a ton of content and having the ability to say, hey, I really, what I care about the most right now are the descriptions and being able to weight the models to, you know, or you look at someone's usage being better, where they never touch x, y and z, and they just, you just start focusing resources into. Yeah, actually touch. Are there any parts of your service you're looking at going, yeah, we don't need that. No one uses it?

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I don't think so, necessarily. There's things about the outputs that I think are. Some are way better than others. When you tell AI to craft a LinkedIn post, it instantly makes it corny. It's like, for some reason, AI just thinks LinkedIn is corny, right? And maybe it's because it's trained on a bunch of corny LinkedIn posts, but it takes a lot of prompting to improve that. And we've tried, that's one of the outputs that we've tried to improve the.

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Most, because, like, I mean, as an LinkedIn expert, I'll, I'll tell you, I read. I'm like, all right, that's not the Sunday, Sunday, Sunday, Sunday, Sunday, Sunday, Sunday, Sunday, Sunday type of.

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It's not salesy. It's not salesy.

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We.

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And we've tried. We've iterated on the prompts for these, like, a ton of times to. To try to get it closer to the end goal.

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So what, um. Well, when you look at this, right, what, uh, like, what team do you need to put in place that you.

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Don't have today for whisper and us? Oh, man, so much. I'm looking to hire someone to help build our own content, our own media engine. So we want to become a b two b media engine for b two B podcasts. And I could go into that as a bunch of buzzwords. And then on the other side is bringing in more developers and getting help on that side of things. We're a team of two right now, and we're pretty scrappy, but it would be great to just accelerate the whole process by bringing in some more humans.

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As an entrepreneur, are you doing the fundraising route or are you doing pure bootstrap?

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I want to continue to pure bootstrap as long as I think that it's the right decision and for the foreseeable future, I think it is. I think that is part of the thesis that I had in going into this was bootstrapped software businesses are the future for right now. You don't necessarily need to raise tons and tons of money. Um, you know, the outcomes can still be pretty substantial, so.

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Yeah, well, and the. The, you know, the bigger payouts. Long, you don't have to go sell as much later on to get. Get what you have gotten for having to put a lot more work and time and pain with it.

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Exactly. You got to think about the outcome and what you have to put in to get each one and, and.

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Yeah, wonderful. Um, so listen, at this part of the show, I always ask this question, like, who should, who do you want to speak to? Who should get ahold of you or who should try your product?

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Yeah, I think anyone with a podcast, it's like the use case is extremely straightforward. Anyone that works on a marketing team where you produce a ton of audio content, like podcast, webinars, I think we can really save you time and make your life easier, increase engagement and then, yeah, those are the main folks that we're talking to right now and that seems to be getting the most value out of it.

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I'll tell you one thing, as a product idea that I think is always important is the chaptering and so on, podcasts in particular. And so having content that could say, here's the chapter setup in the summaries that idea. And I think your tech is getting close to this because that creates the multiple posts you would need to kind of lure and all the short form shorts that would be tied to it. So as you guys look at that, I think you're on the path to something really, really important. And it's just going to be managing probably the backlog of ideas that I'm sure are coming to the highest value into sales. And so I think as an entrepreneurial lesson out there is that's a hard thing to manage. And may I leave you with that question before we kind of ask you just a couple smaller ones here, but how are you managing? I'm sorry, the onslaught of ideas.

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It's tough, actually. We have a very long list of, like, we call it roadmap, but it's really like a wish list. It's just like there's a million things that we could do. Prioritizing is the hard part for sure. Like there's one that I keep thinking about that we're working on is one click media kit, like media kits. So. And as I become a guest on more podcasts, like, it'd be so great to just get in that automated email afterwards. Like every, all the content I need to help cross promote and make that easier. So there's so much, but mainly it's listening to customers, right? Like I am in some ways the user, but I don't think I, I have such a limited view of everything and so if I can talk to 1020 30 customers and see what those commonalities are, just kind of move in that direction.

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Yes, it sounds like a good. Bring them together on a Thursday night masterclass. Listen, when you're on your journey, I call it the hot seat kind of thing. I don't know if that's the right term, but maybe what's what. Recommended business book for entrepreneurs that maybe you've read that you would recommend.

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Yeah, I read a lot of books last year. I kind of categorize them. I don't think there's, like, one size fits all in this. I really love reading memoirs, though. I think I learned the most from memoirs, and the one that I read last year that resonated a lot was how to get rich by Felix Dennis, which is like the worst book name ever, because it's the least how to book, but it's just this irreverent publishing magnate from the UK who made hundreds of millions of dollars, and it's just his life views and business views. And I found that to be really insightful. But then there's obviously you want to get some tactical lessons. And I thought, never split the difference by Chris Voss was one the sales book that really impacted me the most. And it's. A lot of them are similar. It's like, pick one and then just read it, like, six times and internalize what they say, because that's really where you're going to get the most benefit versus reading six of them once. So, yeah, those are two that have stood the test of time so far.

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Most people don't read six books in your, let alone one book six times. Just, I'm going to throw that one out there, maybe listen to it six times, but then by the fourth or fifth, you got to be like, all right, it's enough.

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Yeah, I read a bunch of books last year, and this year, my goal is to read less books and read, like, take notes on every chapter and, like, really internalize it and try to give a little bit more out of the. Each page, you know?

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Yeah, I absolutely understand that is be more of an active, put learner on it, as opposed to just check a box of. I listen to books, but even if you. Even if you go that route, good for you. For the learning, continuing, um, as a podcast, you know, personally, like, I always. I love to hear this, you know, what do you recommend, uh, for a podcaster? How do they start? What's the. What's the first thing they should do?

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I think it just starts with non recorded conversations. Like start talking to folks and start seeing what you like talking about and that you can just talk about for hours and be like, oh wait, it's, the sun is down. And that, that's a good thing to pick because if it's something you don't enjoy talking about, something that you don't, you're not really resonating with and the person you're speaking with isn't walking away energized. It's kind of like, find something else. And because it's one of those things like you've, how many episodes have you done? You just have to, the benefit comes from doing it for a long time and you have to love it.

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You do. And I like, for example, I think the perfect example of one of the things, I think it's a great idea because if you're not, if you can't see a path of endless content, you won't have it. And I know, like when I've started channels of other things, I'm like, how am I going to continue this content? I think after like ten, you know, ten or so episodes, I don't really have much more to say than so you have to create this kind of like flow. And so I think, you know, off, you know, camera conversations or maybe even different kind of podcast. This is my final question to you is have you ever been promoted?

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You know, I have to admit I have been promoted. It was only, only one technical promotion. Like I said earlier, I jumped around from team to team a lot. So they were never like true promotions. Like, you are this job and now you're a senior version of this job or something like that. I took a very non traditional path, but then in my last job, I got promoted from regular to senior. So I have to admit that I did. And then I promoted myself to this and make less money.

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I know that feeling. I've been asked to leave. You can't join the club, though. I'm sorry you've been promoted. But we'll still, we'll send you, we'll send you photos from inside the leather seats and stuff. Greg, thank you so much for joining today. And anybody who's made at this point in the podcast, I appreciate you making it here. If this was your first time, I hope you come back. And you've come here multiple times. You're probably, you get ten dad points and if you don't know what those are, that means you can spend them anywhere. My kids have millions of points of from dad, but Greg, you get ten dad points as well. Thanks for joining today.

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Yeah, thanks a lot. Thanks for having me.

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For everyone here, thanks once again. Until next time. You know a Never Been Promoted podcast, you go out there and unleash your entrepreneur and you go learn from other entrepreneurs to do that. Thanks again for listening. And until next time, thank you.

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Thanks for listening today to Never Been Promoted with Thomas Helfrich. Make sure to check the show notes for our guest contact information and any relevant links. Connect with Thomas personally at neverbenpromoted.com.


Introduction and Guest Welcome
Greg Mayer's Background
Initial Challenges and Idea Formation
Solving Content Creation Challenges
Entrepreneurial Insights and Future Direction
Challenges of Building a Startup
The Importance of Customer Feedback
Reflections and Lessons Learned
Advice for Entrepreneurs and Podcasters
Closing Thoughts and Future Aspirations