Today, I spoke to Stever Robbins, who is the host of the #1 iTunes business Get-It-Done-Guy podcast, which has received more than 7 million downloads on iTunes. His new book, “Get-It-Done-Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More” is now available from St. Martin’s Press. I’ve interviewed Stever before back in early 2009, so I figured I catch up with him to hear about his new book. He also gives some good productivity and podcasting tips.
Explain the relationship between “Get it Done Guy” and the Stever brand? Are they inseparable?
I would love it if the Get-it-Done Guy and Stever brands were inseparable. It would make my life much easier! The Get-it-Done Guy brand is owned by my publisher, Macmillan publishing. The Stever brand is owned by me. I introduce my podcast by saying, “This is Stever Robbins, host of the Get-it-Done Guy podcast.” By phrasing it that way, I’m establishing both brands. When people write in, they write “Dear Stever” as often as they write “Dear Get-it-Done Guy,” so I know I’m being successful.
When I someday get tired of the podcast, the publisher will hire a new host for it, at which point, it’s important that I’ve established my own separate brand. At the moment, however, our interests are tightly aligned, so everyone is working to make both the Get-it-Done Guy brand and the Stever Robbins brand as valuable as possible.
What are some tips you have for building an audience through podcasting?
Piggyback on an existing brand with good distribution. It’s easy to cherry-pick people who have built large audiences under their own brand and think that’s how you have to do it. Nonsense. At various times in the last several years, I’ve been affiliated with Entrepreneur.com, Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, Harvard Business Review, and the Quick and Dirty Tips network. As much as I’d love to believe it’s my brand driving their success, it isn’t. In every case, being able to build my brand on top of a strong existing brand quickly attracted a significant audience that would otherwise have been very hard to build.
Keep in mind that I’m not saying that you should adopt their brand. Just find a way to build your brand under theirs.
Is it really possible to work less and do more in this economy?
Working less and doing more has nothing to do with the economy and everything to do with how you work. When we learn to do something, we typically learn one way and then assume that’s as good as it gets. Working less and doing more is all about finding different ways to do things you already do, but do them better, stronger, and faster. That, you can do in any economy.
It’s very easy to get distracted these days. How do you get focused?
Turn off your technology. All your distractions come through technology. Technology is built to distract you. Every electronic gadget is trying to be your game machine, your advertising machine, your messaging machine, and everything else. Oh, yeah, and they want to shove ads in your face the whole time.
Turn it off. Turn it off. Turn it off.
There are many harsh realities to putting yourself out there online, like criticism. Can you avoid it? What do you do about critics?
As soon as you put yourself out there, you have to be prepared for any criticism that comes your way. I don’t think you can avoid it. The internet is big enough even for people who are insane enough to disagree with you. Some of them will have no social skills and will express their disagreement in pretty harsh, over-the-top ways. My strategy has been to read any and all criticism to find out whether there’s a grain of truth to it. After all, if the critic has something to teach me, I want to be able to learn. And then I do my best to build support from people who value me and what I have to offer. Life’s too short to get upset at critics.
Stever Robbins is the host of the #1 iTunes business Get-It-Done-Guy podcast, which has received more than 7 million downloads on iTunes. His new book, “Get-It-Done-Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More” is now available from St. Martin’s Press. In addition to working as an adjunct lecturer at Babson College on Building Social Capital, Stever is in the midst of launching his tenth startup company, which shall remain nameless until the official launch date. Stever co-founded the early internet success story FTP Software, and has been a part of nine high-tech start-ups, four IPOs, and three acquisitions. He has been quoted in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, NBC Nightly News, The New York Times, ABC News Now, MSNBC, BusinessWeek Online, and Investor’s Business Daily. He has written for Harvard Business Review, The Boston Business Journal and has had columns on Entrepreneur.com and Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge.