[This is a lightly edited transcript from Episode #100 of the How’d it Happen Podcast. I wanted to share it with you – just in case you prefer reading (does anyone prefer that to listening anymore?) – plus I thought it would be important to share it as well. Click the guest’s name to take you to their episode. I hope you enjoy!]
Hey everybody, welcome back to the show. This is a very special episode for me because it’s my 100th.
My first podcast was on August 27, 2018. And now we’re just in the beginning of June 2020 and I’m at 100 episodes.
I count in a funny way though, because I’ve done a lot more than 100 but when I do a shorter episode or when they don’t have a guest, I call it a point five.
I do that just to sort of separate between the episodes where I’ve got a super interesting person on the podcast to share their How’d it Happen story, from those when I have a different sort of interesting story, some of which include just myself just talking about something or explaining a thought of mine and others, like ones I’ve done recently in the Coronavirus pandemic when I started talking to people about their particular experience with Coronavirus, both personally and with their business. Those are what I count as point fives. (For instance here’s episode 90.5 where I shared Dan Sullivan’s 10 Points for Success in Scary Times.)
In this special episode, I’m going to do a solo. I’m here all by myself.
Why do I do the Podcast?
I get asked all the time, why do I do the podcast. Not in a ‘wow that’s a real waste time kind of way,” just in a curious like, why do you do the podcast because I’m interested kind of way.
I’ve vacillated with my answers over time, and this is where I am right now.
I do the podcast first and foremost for myself.
I’m in a very fortunate situation where I don’t need to promote a business on this podcast. I don’t have a coaching business, or something that I’m trying to sell.
What I’m trying to do is satisfy my own curiosity. That’s number one.
Number 2 is to deliver something that a listener finds interesting, something that is worthy of their attention.
I decided when I started the show that my number one goal would be to try to find people with very interesting How’d it Happen success stories and share those.
Simple goals are always the best goals.
I figured that a story that would satisfy my curiosity, because I always enjoy learning from new people, would also interest you. And as you’ve heard me talk about before, I’m just terrible, or I feel like I’m not very good, at meeting people in networking or social situations. I kind of need a quieter type one on one environment to do that and podcasting fit that perfectly.
And I thought, well, if I can get people to sit down and share their stories with me, I’m going to learn a lot and maybe other people would be interested so that was kind of my premise for starting it.
Ultimately, I became more refined with my thinking and determined that the reason I want to share How’d it Happen stories is because I want to influence people who are high achievers, or who want to be high achievers.
I want to put stories in front of them that resonate, but also challenge.
I want to make sure that the stories that I’m sharing will inspire people, move them forward, help them overcome an obstacle that they’re facing or lead them in a direction towards a goal that perhaps they hadn’t thought of before.
I think that is what’s so authentic about what we’re doing here, because that’s exactly what ends up happening.
I’ve been lucky to have so many great guests come on and share super stories, and I feel like if I’m learning something from the story, sure as heck the people that are listening are learning from the story as well.
So that’s why I got into it. When I knew that the guests would have an impact on me, I figured that they would have an impact on the listeners. On you.
What I didn’t expect was the impact on the guests who’ve come on the podcast. That’s been an unexpected, and tremendous, by-product for me.
What do the Podcast Guests Have to Say About Their Experience on the Show?
To celebrate my 100th episode, I reached out to the first 100 guests and I said, ‘I’d really love to get some feedback on your experience with the podcast.’
I got a great response from that ask.
I just want to share some of those responses because, first, they made me feel good, so I’m going to share for that reason. And then second, I figured hearing from these guests again about their experience with the podcast would be beneficial for you.
You enjoyed their How’d it Happen stories and now you get to peek a little further under the covers to learn a little more about them and how think. I hope you like!
The first is from Bob Kendall, the CEO of Cole Publishing. He is episode 89. “My own story made me laugh a few times, and the questions you asked me made me remember so many of the good times building the business.”
This one is from Calvin McNeely. Calvin is the President of Running Boards Marketing. He is episode 98. He says, “Mike made it easy to share the RBM story. It was a privilege to be one of his guests.”
And this one is from Dr. Sean O’Mara. Dr. Sean and I go kind of way back. He’s an expert in optimizing life. That’s how I like to define him. He is episode 66. And Dr. Sean said “Mike’s ability to share this content is exceptional. He writes so well, and his sense of humor is stunning.” I was surprised to get that. And I’m not sure that it’s true, but I thought I’m going to put that one in there anyway, because that just feels good.
And here’s one from Mike Harris the CEO of Patina Solutions, which is not his first company, Episode Number 79. Mike says, “he was one of the best interviewers I’ve ever worked with. If you have the opportunity to do a show with him, I strongly suggest you take it.” That’s quite an endorsement. Thank you, Mike.
This one you haven’t heard yet, because this guest Scott Jorgensen, who is a doctor and a thought leader, he’s actually going to be number 102. But Scott was kind enough to weigh in on his experience and he said, “it was great to have you sincerely interested in what we were discussing. Also love your introductory question. Same for everyone. And yet everyone’s response is unique.” So, thank you, Scott.
And yeah, I’m kind of happy with the How’d it Happen question. I wasn’t sure about it when I started. I thought maybe some people think it’s weird, and maybe some do, but I found that most people seem to really like the fact that it’s such an open-ended question. And as Scott says something that you can answer in a bunch of different ways it’s unique, even though it’s the same.
Next is from Xiao Wang. He is episode 61 and Xiao is the CEO of Boundless Immigration. He says, “talking with Mike is like talking to an old friend.”
Enjoyed that a lot.
Next one is from Dan Steininger. Dan is a CEO and the author of “Moving Mountains Every Day” and Dan has actually been on my podcast twice. He was one of the early ones at episode 17. And then recently after he had an experience, a personal experience with COVID-19, he came on to talk about that on episode 95.5.
And Dan said, “Mike’s podcast serves a greater purpose in that it helps our fellow citizens navigate their lives better from the information they learn from listening to his interviews.”
Thank you for that. Dan.
The next one is from my friend Dave Strand. Dave is the CEO at Thermal Product Solutions and an author. He is episode 71. And he’s a very humble guy. So, he says, “I was happy I made the cut and really enjoyed the experience.”
Short, sweet, and simple. Thank you, Dave, for that.
Next up is Jerry Jendusa. Jerry is the co-founder at Stuck Inc. and he’s also a serial entrepreneur. He did a two-parter with me, episode 34 and episode 35. And Jerry says, “doing a podcast with a fellow entrepreneur as a host who has been there and done that made for an inspirational, exciting and memorable experience.”
Thank you for that Jerry.
And then there’s Joe Fazio. Joe is the CEO of Commerce State Bank. He’s episode 83. And Joe says, “a fun experience and you made it easy. I’ve received several positive comments from friends that listened.”
I heard that a few times from people by the way and it’s really cool for a guest to be asked about being on the show from someone who listened to the show. It’s celebrity-like in a way!
Next is from Nicole Holland, episode 88. She is a kick ass media strategist and a coach including a podcast coach – get her help at Interviews That Convert. She says, “Mike is an excellent podcast host sincerely interested in this guest and it was an absolute pleasure to participate with him in an interview for his How’d it Happen podcast. Highly Recommend!”
Episode 88 you might want to go back and listen to that one.
Next is from Andy Nunemaker and he is a CEO and entrepreneur. He says, “it gave me the opportunity to look back on my business career and take stock and what I’ve learned along the way.” Andy is episode 23.
I thought that was very interesting. You’ll hear that a couple of times with the CEOs and people who’ve been on the show are actually reflecting about how having been on the show actually gave them an opportunity to think about something or about themselves or their business, that they may not have thought about or talked about prior to being on the show.
Next up is Phil Nadel. Phil is the Founder and Managing Director of Forefront Venture Partners. He’s also a serial entrepreneur as well and exceptionally successful. Episode 46. And Phil says, “How’d it Happen is a smart podcast for listeners and a fun experience for guests. He also says that the conversational style mix makes the guests comfortable exploring beyond superficial topics.”
Thank you, Phil, for that.
Mark Burish is up next. Mark is an attorney at Hurley Burish, a CEO and an entrepreneur, Episode 80. And Mark says, “it was entertaining, instructional and inspiring listening to some of the most successful businesspeople of Wisconsin. Your gracious style of interviewing brought out the best in all your guests, including me.”
Thank you, Mark.
Next is Dave Molenda, episode 97. Dave is a CEO coach. His company is Positive Polarity and I’m happy to say that Dave is on episode 5 of his Positive Polarity Podcast. So, check that out on apple podcasts. He says, “you brought up great questions and caused me to think about how I’m doing business. You’re encouraging attitude helped me share my thoughts with your audience.”
That was a fun interview. Thank you for that Dave.
Michael Gosman is next. Michael is the President and Chief Executive Officer of ACTS Housing, episode 29. “I love learning about the entrepreneurs and business owners you interview and appreciate your interview style, which always pulls out your guests interesting personal reflections. Keep it up.”
Next, I go to Wendy Bauman. Wendy is the President and Chief Visionary Officer for the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation. Wendy is episode 28, In the basement of my old house, where I started doing these shows. Wendy says, “I particularly enjoyed the probing about how it happened, either that one specific moment or incident or the many that have added up to action, ways of work and living ways of making an impact.”
Wendy, thank you for that!
Next, I’ve got Kelly Fitzsimmons. And Kelly is a serial entrepreneur, a CEO, Co-Founder at Custom Reality Services, an author and soon to be a singer, songwriter, musician, I think. She is episode 60. And Kelly says, “our conversation was very memorable, particularly because of the quality and originality of your questions. I’ve had the opportunity to be on plenty of podcasts, I found that few interviewers were willing to ask questions that dug deep beneath the surface of things. It was a total delight being on your show.”
Kelly, thank you for that, particularly for the endorsement of someone who’s been on a ton of podcasts because they can get pretty routine after a while, like, I imagine being interviewed as an athlete or something. I appreciate that you found something different about being on this show. Thank you for that.
And here’s one from Brian Adam. Brian is the CEO of Olympus Group. Brian’s been on the show twice, episode 52 and episode 96.5. Brian says, “the first episode was my first ever podcast and I was a bit nervous. For a little added heat, our podcast took place in August on a 95-degree day when the AC decided to stop working in the studio. [I do remember that – that was a bear to get through]. Despite a bit of sweat, Mike made the entire process incredibly smooth and easy. Mike has to be one of the easiest individuals to speak to, a natural podcast host [and here’s the best thing he said] My team members friends and family and yes, my mom, listened to and loved it – and enjoyed hearing all the stories.”
Brian, thank you for that.
Next up is Tom Deans. Tom is an entrepreneur, the CEO at Détente Financial Press and an incredible speaker and author. Episode 84. Tom says, “few podcast hosts have the discipline like Mike to research and prepare for each episode. The results are unique content harvested from thought leaders who are challenged to share their best ideas.”
Madan Kandula is next. He is the CEO and Founder of Advent, an independent medical practice and he’s been on the show twice as well. Episode 87 and episode 97.5. And this is what he had to say. “I’ve appeared on a few dozen other podcasts through the years. I can honestly say that both of my appearances on Mike’s podcasts are the most engaging and fun. Mike has a tremendous gift for conducting an interview. He puts the guests at ease and allows the opportunity for the conversation to venture naturally into unexpected territory.”
Next is Alex Kowalski. Alex is the CEO of Performance Complete Metal Solutions, episode 39. He says, “the podcast has definitely become an “80” for me to listen to.”
If you listened to that episode, or remember it, we spent a lot of time talking about 80/20 in that podcast, so to be an 80 is high praise from Alex, thank you for that.
Next up is Adam Berger. Adam had a special designation for his, he’s episode 39.75. And I won’t get into why we had to go to point seven five, but it was kind of an interesting dilemma that I found myself in and had nothing to do with Adam. Adam is the president of Doering Leasing. And this is what Adam had to say. “It expands the bookends of what we think we’re personally capable of. And that’s the best thing we can do for anyone, empowering each other to think big and do great things in the world.”
Adam, thank you for that.
Next up is Michael Wagner. Michael is the President of Pool Scouts, which is a pool service franchise, that he’s guiding. He’s episode 96. And he says, “telling your story with passion and excitement is a breeze when you feel comfortable, and Mike is a true professional.”
Michael, thank you for that.
Scott Welsh is next. Scott is the CEO of Inland Companies and has been on the show twice, episode 68 and episode 99.5. And Scott says, “The How’d it Happen? podcast is a great way to share and learn the many ways people have built their dream.”
Thank you for that Scott.
Elliot Roth is up next. Elliott’s got phenomenal stories. Very interesting. He’s co-founder of Spira Inc, episode 86. “Going on Mike’s show was an absolute joy. He asks phenomenal questions and really gets to the heart of the entrepreneurial journey.”
Next up is Mark Grosskopf. Mark is the CEO of New Resources Consulting, and a fabulous entrepreneur. We did two episodes again, early in my basement, episode 26 and episode 27. And Mark says, “I learned some things about myself. And I’m quite surprised that several folks have listened to the podcast and commented that it helped them to understand me better, and also that they learned something about what it takes to build a business.”
I just love that he says he learned something about himself. We’ve heard that from a couple of people now and that just gives me a lot of joy when I see that.
Next is Brad Deflin. Brad is the CEO of Total Digital Security. Episode 93. “My family loved listening to the podcast, and they learned new things about my 40 years in business.”
So interesting. We talked about things that no one has asked him about in a long time because it was important to his story. It was great to get into that territory because it’s new for him, he’s reliving it, and it’s new for me and everybody who’s listening, of course.
Next up is from George Satula and George is my Vistage Chair. I talked about Vistage, or TEC as we call it, often on the show and what that organization has done for me. George is episode 24. George says, “Mike, does not make you feel uncomfortable. But rather he helps you see things in yourself and your life in an illuminating way. Ultimately, this becomes more of a journey of self-revelation and elegant discovery, which is an experience that evolves into something quite wonderful.”
George, that was very eloquent and elegant in of itself, so thank you so much for that.
Next is Denise Thomas and Denise is the CEO of The Effective Communication Coach. She is episode 45. And this is what Denise had to say. “How’d it Happen is such a necessary and valuable podcast to experience from both the listeners’ and guests’ point of view. Because this platform creates an awareness of effective storytelling. Business and community leaders are often seen for face value, what they are doing now, but very rarely have access to their pathway to success. This podcast series provides an up close and personal perspective, straight from the horse’s mouth, which inspires others to tap into their greatness and become the next How’d it Happen guests. Keep up the amazing work.”
Denise, thank you so much for that.
And last we’ve got Lance Allen. Lance is the lead sports anchor for WTMJ Channel 4 for episode 32. And Lance says, “Mike made it an easy conversation. And we were able to talk about a number of topics, variety is the spice of life. So, I enjoyed the experience.”
So that’s it. Wow!
That’s 30 or so of the thoughts from my first 100 guests.
If that doesn’t want to make you listen to this podcast, I don’t know what would 🙂
But seriously, it’s been so rewarding for me to do this show and meet these great people. Many for the first time when they show up or we do the podcast over the internet.
It’s amazing that you have this opportunity to establish rapport with these successful people and share their great stories just right out of the gate. There’s often no warm up. And so, it’s kind of neat to get to feeling each other out.
But then, you know, as the hour or so goes on, it just starts to feel natural, like we’ve been talking like this for a long, long time and the newness of it goes away and all of a sudden, you’re just having this great conversation. It’s just been fascinating, very fascinating for me.
A Few Thank You’s
I want to end with a couple of thank you’s.
One is to you.
I want to thank you for listening. I know you have a lot of choices. There are a million podcasts out there right now, plus all the other things you can be listening to or watching. I’m just very grateful that you’ve chosen to make some of your time available for this, and to help me spread the word. It’s just, it’s very meaningful.
I also want to thank Joe DeNucci. Joe is my Podcast Producer – he does all the back work and he does most of the episode introductions as well. I must tell you that without Joe, I never would have made it to 100 episodes because I would have quit a long time ago. There’s a lot that goes into doing a podcast and the simplest part I think, is me just sitting down and talking with great people who have super How’d it Happen success stories to share, but there’s a lot of other stuff that goes into getting this out there for you and I’m just really appreciative of Joe.
Finally, thank you to Robin Brotherhood who helps me get guests scheduled, gets me prepared and makes it all seem so nice!
Where do I go From Here?
Finally, the question at the beginning was, why do you do the podcast? And I suppose the question now is where do I go from here?
I don’t know what the statistics are, but I don’t think there are many podcasts that make it to 100 episodes. And that was my goal. Well, I had several goals, but that was one of my foundational goals was to make it to 100.
I’m here now and that’s rewarding!
So where do I go from here?
Well, how about this?
How about I keep sharing great How’d it Happen success stories and you keep listening and sharing and talking about it. Please?!
We’ll touch base again on that question after episode number 200.
That’s it for episode number 100. Thank you for listening. I really do appreciate you. I appreciate everyone who’s been on the show and everyone who’s contributed their time to making my How’d it Happen story happen. Cheers!