About Our Guest

Shā Sparks is an energetic catalyst and fearless communicator who sparks leaders in transition, who are unclear, to go from fear to fired up about their life and business.


Let’s talk about living your dream life.

On this Chasing Financial Freedom podcast episode, we have special guest Shā Sparks. Shā is an energetic catalyst and fearless communicator who sparks leaders in transition, who are unclear, to go from fear to fire up about their life and business. She wants to inspire others to move confidently through change so they can step into their FIRE power!

Shā is the Chief Excitement Officer of Sparks of Fire International, and she is the host of The Power of Investing in People Podcast. She’s here today to help you figure out how to start living the life you’ve always wanted—and she’ll cover everything from identifying your dream life and what it takes to get there to how to start a podcast.

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Podcast Transcript

How to Start Living Your Dream Life with Shā Sparks

[00:00:00] Ryan: Hey guys, Ryan DeMent from Chasing Financial Freedom podcast. I hope you guys are having a great day this week on the podcast. We have Sha Sparks. She’s the CEO and I say CEO, the Chief Excitement Officer. So, we’re gonna have to talk about that of Sparks O of Fire International.

[00:00:20] Ryan: She also has a podcast, The Power of Investing in People. She’s also the author of How to Get Your Voice Back. Sha, welcome to the show.

[00:00:31] Sha: Ah, thank you for having me, Ryan. I’m excited to be here.

[00:00:34] Ryan: Cool. So before we get into your journey, tell the listeners a little bit about yourself.

[00:00:40] Sha: Gosh, that’s such a like hard question.

[00:00:42] Sha: Like where do I start? I’ll give you the fun version, right? So I am auntie Shaha to all of my friends’ kids. I am a rookie kayaker and I sometimes dog sit ,

[00:00:55] Sha: but I sometimes wait back up.

[00:00:58] Ryan: Sometimes dog sit. So can you define that?

[00:01:01] Sha: Yeah. So sometimes I pick up gigs to dog sit just to be able to stay at their house and get away from the roommate situation that I’m in.

[00:01:11] Sha: That’s it. So sometimes I have,

[00:01:12] Ryan: oh, that’s cool. Yeah.

[00:01:14] Ryan: That’s cool. It’s a different way. It’s side hustle.

[00:01:16] Sha: Yes, exactly. Yeah.

[00:01:18] Ryan: Awesome. You just of had a little bit of a life change for yourself.

[00:01:22] Sha: I did. I did I retired quote unquote retired from my career after 29 years as a hair salon as hairstylist and salon owner.

[00:01:33] Sha: and stepped away from that. And really had been working for the last 13 years to figure this out and to what do I wanna do? And it just kinda landed in my lap where my brother had been asking me to move to Florida for 28 years. And I was like no. And I’m not really sure why, other than, there was, I had a lot of excuses and.

[00:01:56] Sha: That I was focused on that wasn’t aligned with living in Florida. And then I decided to let all that go, let all the goals go and not be attached to it anymore and grieve those. And unfortunately, I also had lost some family members and realized that family is. The major thing that’s important in my life.

[00:02:15] Sha: And so I said, okay, I will move to Florida from Kansas city. So from the middle of the state to cold winters to, or middle of the country to cold winters to now it’s sunny almost every day. So yeah big change.

[00:02:29] Ryan: And you get ocean and beach and all those beautiful things that you didn’t have before.

[00:02:35] Sha: Oh yes.

[00:02:35] Ryan: And so how are you adjust?

[00:02:38] Sha: It is an adjustment. I’m lucky to live within 20 minutes from the ocean. So I don’t get there enough, but my goal eventually is to be able, is to go and walk on the beach every day at sunrise, because that’s like the most beautiful moment is when that sun is coming up over the ocean and the horizon.

[00:02:54] Sha: And I just feel like it’s God’s gift to us of a new start to restart every day. So I like to.

[00:03:02] Ryan: That’s awesome. A lot of people do not just say I’m gonna pack up and go and take a year off. I’ve had a gentleman on another, my other podcast that decided he was having, he called it a midlife crisis, but really he had two heart, he had two heart attacks.

[00:03:17] Sha: Wow.

[00:03:18] Ryan: And he decided that he was gonna go on a two year sabbatical and he traveled Europe. Nice. And it was very inspiring. To hear how he changed his life and changed his health and in his wellbeing, it was great. So let’s just dive right into it and we can get into some other stuff.

[00:03:35] Ryan: So what are you trying to accomplish and what do you want to do during this year that you’re taking off?

[00:03:41] Sha: Yeah. So the first year, because, or the first month I should say, I knew that, change is hard for everyone. And I wanted to give myself a grace period really sink into the change. And so I told myself that I’m gonna, for the first, at least.

[00:03:58] Sha: 30 days I’m gonna sleep, eat, and cry, and just be okay with whatever that looks like, because it is a change. It’s also a grieving period of what my life used to look like. And now it’s totally different. And, we gotta make new friends and a new routine. And what does all this look like? And I gave myself grace for that.

[00:04:13] Sha: And then the next. The next, the last five months that I’ve been working on, cuz I’ve been here six altogether is really just one traveling. I’m gone at least one week a month somewhere. And that could be just a road trip or it could be like a conference, a podcast conference or a coaching conference or something else.

[00:04:32] Sha: And in June I actually took three weeks and I did a road trip through the whole west coast. I flew into San Francisco, drove down to LA. San Diego over to Vegas and back up to park city, Utah and salt lake and home. And I did that. I know , that’s a big trip.

[00:04:51] Ryan: That’s cool. So you flew in and then drove to the different parts of those states?

[00:04:55] Sha: Yes rented up. And decided to drive because I had either, I had cousins in San Francisco and then I had friends and all the other places that either I had met through LinkedIn or Instagram or Facebook, some sort of social media and not met them in person. So I wanted meet them in person, or I had known them in person and just wanted to solidify more of that connection with the one-on-one cuz since the pandemic we’ve really been isolated.

[00:05:19] Sha: So I really wanted to get that back to the in person type of meeting. And so I, and then at the end I had a coaching retreat that I was a part of that I had went through with my coaching certification program. They have a coaching retreat every year. So I knew that was like the last stop. But again, there were people throughout this trip that I just really wanted to spend one on one time with.

[00:05:39] Sha: And it was absolutely probably my favorite trip that I’ve taken so far and my life.

[00:05:44] Ryan: That’s huge. Again, a lot of people don’t do these things to go out and explore and understand that life is what we make it, but we’re also only guaranteed, the now and today. We don’t get it tomorrow, so that’s big.

[00:05:57] Ryan: So you’re, you’ve been there six months. What’s on the plate for the next six months. And then, and how are you, what are you gonna be doing with your businesses? And then what are you gonna be doing, to grow yourself and expand out in Florida?

[00:06:10] Sha: Yeah. So great question. So about 13 years ago, I really started to explore what’s next for me and how can I retire from being a hair stylist?

[00:06:20] Sha: Because my shoulder. Was hurting so bad that I knew I’d have to probably have six months off to have a shoulder surgery at some point. And I knew that it was, that’s detrimental for most hair stylists when you get to that point and then you go back, you can’t go back at the same capacity.

[00:06:39] Sha: So I’ve been working on this what is it that I really wanna do? and, or what do I wanna do next kind of a thing. And so I loved the part. The interaction and the conversation in the salon. I loved the, having the intimate conversations where people tell me things. So two things, it was coaching and they were telling me I would been coaching behind the chair for most of my career.

[00:07:02] Sha: Anyway. and then the other part was podcasting. Actually love the conversation and stuff like that. So over the past, five months I’ve really been, oh, the last five years, let me back up the last five years I’ve been doing that. So I went through the coaching certification. I’ve written a book.

[00:07:18] Sha: I started my podcast really just honed in on what, the things that light me up that light my soul on fire. So I can then, create a, a. A space there where others can share their stories and, really spark their own voice in whatever that looks like. It could be a book, it could be a podcast.

[00:07:38] Sha: So in the last I’ve had my own dentist doctor and financial planner say, oh, I wanna start a podcast, but I have no idea where to start. And, if I ideally want it more conversational, blah, blah, blah. And I’m like, I can help you with that. So what I am doing. Do what I call is spark your voice and really it’s that I am a podcast producer slash co-host and I interview the professional who solepreneur, who like Dr.

[00:08:10] Sha: Dentist, accountant. What have you who really want to have a podcast that specializes in optimizing what they do, what they specialize in, what they wanna talk about, where I’m. The host, inter giving them the interviews and pulling the questions out to really get down to the nitty gritty and the cool stuff that we need to be excited about this for.

[00:08:29] Sha: And then then I take care of all the back end stuff, and I have a team that I work with to do that. So that to me is like, The ultimate thing that, I love having conversations like this. I love being on other podcasts. I love just having great conversations with interesting people. And that’s just shown up with me over and over again.

[00:08:47] Sha: Especially when I was out in the west coast tour. It was, I called it a podcast book tour, cuz that’s really what I was doing was just connecting with people and having fun.

[00:08:56] Ryan: I have to say doctors, attorneys. Accountants, whatever that group of people, that’s gotta be a tough conversation cuz my other side of my life is I have a coaching practice that I work with and I think we’ve talked about this.

[00:09:10] Ryan: I’m not sure about broke doctors attorneys in airline pilots and it’s tough and I don’t know how you do it. And I do it just off of. And it’s a struggle. They’re just a whole different group of people, not bad and different. It’s just, they’re different. It’s I try to have a conversation like you and I are having back and forth and it’s okay, I’m I gotta go pull your teeth or do something because man, you gotta have some type of personality.

[00:09:33] Ryan: And it’s like, how do you draw that out? I Let’s get, I let’s not even go there cause I can go down a rabbit hole, but let’s back up. Yeah. I Let’s talk about what you’re doing with podcasts, because I get that question. I just got a question before you, we came on from , an old boss of mine from when I worked in corporate America.

[00:09:48] Ryan: He wants to start a podcast. Like dude, one. I don’t have, I have the time, but I don’t really have the time. So do you help just anybody or you specific to those niches?

[00:09:59] Sha: Great question. I’m specific to those niches, however, What I’m really specific for are people who are asking that question or saying that.

[00:10:10] Sha: I wanna have a podcast and I don’t know where to start. And they also know that it needs to be conversational. Like they understand the value in having an interactive conversation rather than themselves reading a script and just talking about what it is that they do, because unless they’re trained professionally as a speaker or as a broadcaster, they’re not really gonna understand that their audience is going to hear them completely monotone.

[00:10:39] Sha: Because that’s when most people read it’s monotone. Yes. So for me, it’s really those people who are like your boss that are like, I wanna start a podcast and I don’t know where to start. And I know that it would be beneficial to me to have someone in interact with me and bring out the conversation because I have literally been the person that people tell things to my entire life before I became a hair stylist.

[00:11:03] Sha: I feel like being the hair stylist that, and. Experience that I have years of experience of drawing. People’s what they really wanna say out that I believe that’s why the host of the, the co-host the interview or the VA, the facilitator of the interview is like my sweet spot, cuz it’s really oh yeah, I get to dive down in the nitty gritty of who this person is and what they want to convey.

[00:11:29] Ryan: So are these only audio? Are they audio and video?

[00:11:33] Sha: They are audio and video. But my goal is for me to be able to train their marketing team to then eventually take it over, but we get started and then they take it. Because I am a different kind of coach. So I’m a certified, fearless living coach and every person I’ve ever spoken to about, oh, what is your coaching packages like?

[00:11:54] Sha: And what is this? And what is that? And I have always felt frustrated in that area. And I just figured out recently in the last few months that I am not a package person. I am not come talk to me for the next month, every single week. And we have 52 sessions together. That is not who I am. However, and I think it’s because I spent years people being with me every four to six weeks.

[00:12:19] Sha: 29 years of that. So now I see the benefit is let’s get you started on the right path, say it’s, eight to 15 episodes, and then let’s train your staff, your marketing team to see what they could take over. Maybe one of your staff can start interviewing you or, maybe we can just interview you, but then you take care of all the backend stuff.

[00:12:38] Sha: And it’s just a. Kind of dynamic then. So there’s different ways that it just depends on the person. It’s not a one and done package. It’s just, we figure it out as we go along, what it is that their needs are. But my goal is to actually give you back the control of it and I walk away and move on to the next,

[00:12:56] Ryan: I like that.

[00:12:57] Ryan: That’s I try to do that with some of my clients, but some of ’em are a little more further along cuz. They’re up against the wall when it comes to financials and bankruptcies looming. So I’m spending more time with them. But I like that. I like that. I’m gonna have to take that back and say can I do that?

[00:13:12] Ryan: Because I’m with you. I don’t want to meet with somebody on a regular basis unless I really have to. And if I can spend the time front to give them the tools necessary to succeed, that’s where I wanna be. Cuz then I can go help somebody else. But if we have to continue to go back to the. It’s hard. I feel like I’m repeating myself over and over again.

[00:13:31] Ryan: So there’s two things outta that is either. I didn’t explain it well enough on the front end and show you and give you the tools or you just didn’t listen. So those are the things that I struggle with. So tomato motto I enjoy that. So you’re in the podcasting space and I really like that.

[00:13:45] Ryan: That’s really that I it’s cool. It’s, there’s not a lot of people that are doing that, cuz most of the people, at least from my perspective that reached out to. They say, oh, we see you’ve cracked the top 100. You’re doing this, you’re doing that. And it’s oh, we wanna do this for you. And then I see the bill and I’m like, yeah this is not where I’m at.

[00:14:02] Ryan: And they wanna stay on forever and just keep going and keep going. It’s it’s not where we go. How let’s say I’m I wanna start my podcast. And I’ve got that question. Can you walk me through how that would look typical?

[00:14:15] Sha: Absolutely. First of all, we get on the phone or we get on zoom and we talk about, what, why you wanna start a podcast, first of all, and most of the time I’ll share with one for an example is that they got a lot of questions.

[00:14:29] Sha: Most of. Of the professionals. They have a lot of question. And instead of calling the staff and having the staff answer or making an appointment and have that professional answer, and then it takes them away from time who are with their paying clients, they can, they want to have a library, a resource center where they can send people and go check out my podcast.

[00:14:51] Sha: I answer that question right there. So most of the time I have found that is their. And then we go in then deeper. So the thing I love about podcasting is that it is just the one vehicle, but when you start into getting this trans.

[00:15:07] Sha: There are so many different aspects. It’s your social media, it’s your email marketing. Yeah. There are so many different avenues with podcasting. It’s just not a, an audio file. And then that’s it. You also have YouTube which helps your SEO. There’s all these different things that really makes me excited because it’s not just a here’s an answer to your solution or here’s an answer to your problem.

[00:15:26] Sha: And. That’s it, there are options for you to grow forward. And again, that’s my whole thing in life is to help you help people grow and stretch and heal and figure out where they need to go next. Once we’ve identified, all the different things that they need, because like I said, if their marketing team is capable of doing some of the things then great, I don’t need to train them.

[00:15:48] Sha: I don’t need to put in the hours to train them, but if they’re not, then we need to dive a little bit deeper and figure it out what it is they want. And they then have control of all the assets. So once we C once we record and rerecord on video and audio, they’ll have all the. So if they decide later on, they wanna upload it all to YouTube, but they want edited.

[00:16:07] Sha: Great. You can find an editor or I can find an editor again. It depends on their budget. It depends on what they’re willing to pay. And a lot of times, because they already know me, they like me and they trust me. Now they’re already like Shay, you. Can you do the editing and I’m, I will. Absolutely. If I have someone on my team that can do the editing and we will move forward with that.

[00:16:28] Sha: But if you don’t, I’m good with that. I don’t get upset if someone goes, Hey I don’t wanna pay for this because someone on my staff does that. Awesome. Have them do it, put them to work because I read a book many years ago called it’s not how it’s. And so when you find the, who that wants to do that thing that they love to do, then you let them do it rather than figuring it out yourself, going, how am I gonna do this?

[00:16:57] Sha: So if someone wants to do the editing or someone wants to do the marketing, awesome, let them do it. Cuz that’s their thing for me, my thing is getting that person in the, who I’m interviewing, getting them excited, getting them pumped up about their own. And that’s the other thing that I love about it is that they get to talk about the thing they love to talk about them and what they, what their

[00:17:18] Sha: specialty is.

[00:17:20] Ryan: Do most of these clients have like a marketing staff, internal already, are they that large?

[00:17:26] Sha: Some do. And some do not some have a receptionist and then that’s slash their right, their marketing depart. Got it, the whole department. And I have to walk them through and this is how you, you put a, you put your podcast on your PS on your email.

[00:17:46] Sha: Oh, PS, by the way, I have this podcast, I would love for you to subscribe and blah, blah, all of that. And then. There’s also social media. I had one just recently I’m like, so tell they kept asking me these questions about podcasting. And I was like, yes. And I can help you with that.

[00:18:01] Sha: And they’re like, no, and every time I would stay, I can help you with that. Great. I’ll have my marketing team call you. And then as we’re leaving the office, I walk out and they’re like, oh, by the way, here’s the marketing team. That’s also the receptionist. And I said, great. So do you have Instagram?

[00:18:18] Sha: And. Like 20 years younger than me. And they were like, no, I don’t have Instagram. Okay. So how are we gonna, we gotta start from square one and get you out on you have LinkedIn. And they’re like, no. Okay. So we have some things to work on. It’s really about guiding them and again, giving them back the respons.

[00:18:38] Sha: To do this because it, that my thing is not to be a babysitter, but to be a an encourager, a cheerleader, and somebody that gives them the tools to start the fire and then hand it back off to.

[00:18:49] Ryan: and I say this and it’s tongue in cheek. I don’t want to discourage people from creating a podcast.

[00:18:56] Ryan: It’s a competitive market, but it’s all about helping each other out, but people don’t realize how much time and effort goes into it, if you’re really gonna do it. I’ve gone through four different iterations of video work and platforms and I’m still evolving. I’m using a DSLR for my video.

[00:19:12] Ryan: And I can’t get it to shoot full frame for some reason. So that’s just bugging, what out of me. So I’m gonna figure that out. Or I’ve got another camera and I’ll adjust, but all the work that goes in on the back end, not just post, but like you said, SEO making the blog post, making sure you got the transcribe transcription done.

[00:19:31] Ryan: And then there’s all the video pieces too. Probably for the last I would probably say about six months or so. I’ve been really. Looking at video and doing shorts and then also doing three to five minute videos. And I don’t, and we can go down a rabbit hole on this one. I don’t know if it’s because of the internet or because we’ve just lost our attention span.

[00:19:52] Ryan: The gateway to my podcasts are through my shorts and my short videos. It’s the only way I’m getting people to come in and actually listen or watch the full 40 or 50 minutes. If I put 40 or 50 minutes out there with no shorts tie to it. I don’t get any movement from it because they just don’t wanna listen to it or binge it.

[00:20:10] Ryan: So I get it. I’m not talking about sexy stuff and it doesn’t hurt my feelings, but I had to go back and reinvent myself and say, okay, how do we do this? I have a virtual assistant. I probably gotta get another one. She’s learned a lot of social media, but not enough. Now I’m looking for somebody that can actually do some post production to take it off my plate.

[00:20:28] Ryan: Cuz I’m the one doing it right now. And it’s at this point it’s gotten crazy, but. Talk about, the work that goes into the podcast piece and really understanding if you’re gonna do it right. And jump in. And then we haven’t talked about this. So I don’t know where you’re at on it is the time and dedication and the consistency that you have to be to make it work.

[00:20:50] Sha: Yes. One of the things that I hear a lot of that, Really quite comical to me. If you make it, then if you make it and put it out on the internet, then everybody will see it. I’m like first of all, that’s never true. , that’s never true at all. And then second of all of I put 10 episodes out and I don’t get, I didn’t get any traction.

[00:21:08] Sha: I don’t understand. I’m not a success. I’m not making, I don’t have sponsors yet. Like I don’t get it. And so I always remind people that, this is a long game. This is for, this is a marathon. This is not a sprint. So what I like to do is take interviews and do them in a sprint and batch them all out.

[00:21:28] Sha: Let’s say in a week and several, at, 15, 10, 15 episodes done in a week, and then we can go from there and you can then spend the next, 10, 15 weeks working on the social media and things like that and bringing one out a week. It’s. There’s so many little components to it.

[00:21:47] Sha: And when I started out, I was editing it myself. I was doing all the social media. I was going to through my coaching certification. My dad had just passed away. I was also working full time in the salon. and I was trying to like, eat healthy and exercise and have relationships and friendships.

[00:22:04] Sha: And yeah, it was like, oh my gosh, this is so much. And I remember just thinking to myself, like how awesome would it be if I had a team one day to take care of all this stuff, because that’s what they’re good at. That’s their who, that’s the who for me. . And ended up going to a podcast conference called podcast. And at the time it was in two, it was 20, 20 March of 2020. So it was right before everything. There was no toilet paper in the world, actually, literally right before. And I went to the first day to the military creator cut on because I have a lot of veteran friends and I’m connected in the military and veteran support organization.

[00:22:44] Sha: Community. And so I went to that and I met the person who is now my editor, and it was like such a sigh of relief to be able to go, thank goodness someone else can take care of that. And then that’s what they’re, that’s what they do. That’s the gives them joy. And then I can get back to what really gives me joy.

[00:23:04] Sha: is the conversations and the connecting with the people before and after and building those relationships, cuz that’s what I’m really good at. And that’s what I love to do. So again, it goes back to, if you, depending on what kind of podcast you wanna start is why do you wanna do it? And then know that it’s going to be discouraging.

[00:23:25] Sha: It is not easy to start it, put it out on the internet and then wait. So you have to be able to inspire yourself and encourage yourself to keep going to be consistent. And even if you say, you know what, I’m gonna take a. Then call it a season or let people know that you’re going to take a break.

[00:23:45] Sha: Yes. Because even if you have one listener, 10 listeners, 10,000 listeners, they’re still listening. So you can say please feel free to, continue to go back and listen to, the beginning I will be back. I am just taking a break right now because I need it. And I found that when I did that, it was that they came back like double.

[00:24:07] Sha: when I took that first break, but I was funny when I did that first break, I decided, you know what, I’m just gonna call this a season. And some people, do the episodes, all the numbers. And I was like, Nope, I’m gonna do it a season because I need a break. And I do that periodically. And it’s so beneficial to me, but it’s also, I feel like beneficial to them cuz you’re really engaging in your audience.

[00:24:28] Sha: And I think that’s the other thing that people don’t understand in podcasting. It a it’s a threeway if it’s a interview or an interviewee, that’s a threeway conversation because you have to engage with the audience as well. And for those listeners, ask yourself this blah da.

[00:24:46] Sha: Those are the question like those, put a question out to your audience. So they’re thinking too, and it’s just not overhearing or Ease dropping on a conversation. You’re actually getting engaged in, into the conversation. And I think that really helps and build rapport and support as well.

[00:25:04] Sha: But to me, the most important thing is really consistency and inspiring and motivating yourself to be consistent. Cuz there are days, years. I’ve done this for four years. Over 200 episodes. And there are times where I’m like, oh, I can’t do this. So take a break and then come back.

[00:25:24] Ryan: It’s a lot of work.

[00:25:25] Ryan: I’m with you. And my, this podcast that we’re on, this is we’re gonna be turning four years old here in September, and it’s a grind . when I first started. I’m here to share the world. I was getting 5, 10, 12 downloads. Yeah, that is, that was frustrating to say the least, but back four years ago, the word was, if you stuck to it for 12 to 24 months, it would take off.

[00:25:52] Ryan: I’m like, okay, I can stick it out for 12 to 24 months. But the one thing I wasn’t consistent. I missed the consistency. I. Put any out an episode on the single day that I said I was gonna do it, I was missing here and there. So I felt like I had to start all over. And season two was a lot better. I got more consistent season three.

[00:26:09] Ryan: I was really consistent. And then between season three and season four. I took a break and I let people know, Hey, I’ll be back. I’m rebranding. I’m doing some stuff and you’re right. They came back in fold and it’s been wonderful. It’s great. The question that I want to ask, because it’s the question that I know a lot of people are asking, especially my old boss.

[00:26:28] Ryan: He’s I don’t have a lot of money for budget wise to start a podcast. So how do I afford an. And I, I don’t have that answer because my answer is I bootstrapped it and I learned it myself and I talked to people and I connected with people. I have a virtual system that can help with a lot of it already.

[00:26:45] Ryan: I don’t know what to tell those individual contributors about how do I do all this, because I’m just so used to boots. Yeah,

[00:26:53] Sha: that, that’s how I started too. I figured it out. I did it myself. I actually took a class at the local community college on how to edit a podcast. That’s what I did. And I was like, oh, okay.

[00:27:04] Sha: I can figure this out. I can do it. I downloaded audacity and that’s where I recorded in and made it happen. And then there’s the host. I think anchor is still free. You can upload it to that and go from there. And I started there. And here’s one thing I wanna say is that, just because you bootstrap it and you start off with the cheapest way you can, in the beginning, you are going to grow as a human.

[00:27:30] Sha: So your podcast needs to grow and reflect that . So it might not be that you can pay somebody today to edit, but know that at some point you will want to hand that off to someone. So when you look at your marketing budget, Going forward. Put that in there. Add that to it. Add, production, add editing, add maybe if you wanna take social media or up your plate, because then you have to ask the question is how much is your time worth?

[00:27:58] Ryan: Yes.

[00:27:59] Sha: And is all this timeing on the one thing that’s driving you crazy? Like editing used to drive me crazy. Then your time could be, is taken away from all these other things that you could be that. Want to do that you could be doing that could make you more money editing. Isn’t going to make you money.

[00:28:16] Ryan: No, it is not, but it will help your show grow. So I gotta ask the other question. Just ballpark. What would people expect to pay a editor?

[00:28:28] Sha: Ah, gosh, anywhere between, so I am guessing cuz I had somebody actually, when my clients told me well and so told me I could go to Fiverr and I was like, sure, go to Fiverr.

[00:28:40] Sha: That’s no problem.

[00:28:41] Ryan: No, not great. Not great results.

[00:28:42] Sha: I’ve tried exactly. Go somewhere else first. If that’s, what’s gonna help you to decide to come to me. Absolutely. go somewhere. I’m not afraid again to say that I’m all about collaboration. So if you go and you figure out that’s not the route for you you’re, you might not get the disl, the results.

[00:28:58] Sha: Desired outcome is that’s aligned with your goals for your podcast, for having a podcast. If that’s what you wanna do and try it, then try it. I had in the beginning, I think it was about that. I paid my editor about $60 an episode. And now it’s God, I don’t even know it’s a lot right now it’s in the couple of hundreds for an episode, but then, with everything else, depending on.

[00:29:23] Sha: All of the backend stuff, the social media, what is it that you know, I do, it’s anywhere from a thousand dollars, an episode to $15,000 an episode. And I just saw that. I just saw an article about that, that they had that same price range. And I was like, wow, that’s so amazing. Like 15,000 for an episode.

[00:29:45] Sha: Now I honestly have to tell you I’m gonna be full disclosure. I don’t actually charge that yet, but I could see at some point where that will be the case especially on the bigger accounts that I take on, cuz I do have some emails out there to other to bigger accounts.

[00:30:01] Ryan: Ah, wow. That’s amazing.

[00:30:03] Ryan: $15,000 an episode.

[00:30:05] Sha: And I think that would be more part of the video production side of it and not, and it would be in person. So there’s travel video team, stuff like that.

[00:30:14] Ryan: So if you just, you’re starting out and you wanna have somebody help you edit the video safe to say between 60 and a $200 to do the post production.

[00:30:26] Sha: Yeah, I would. I would say that’s probably about spot on to yeah. Maybe three to 60 to 300. And here’s the thing I’ll say this is that why I love the podcasting community is because I am a big fan of the podcast conference. That I attend, which is podcast, movement and podcast. You go when you meet hundreds of people.

[00:30:49] Sha: So maybe the person who wants to start it is start when the Facebook group and ask for editors and maybe you’ll find an editor who is new, starting out. and be able to say how can we maybe trade services? Maybe there’s something that you can barter, or maybe you can get a discounted rate for like that, a editorial, not an editorial testimonial on their services or something.

[00:31:13] Sha: And maybe it’s only going to be, five episodes instead of, your whole season, but it can be at least somewhere to get you started. If that’s really the route you wanna.

[00:31:23] Ryan: In, and I’m asking just, I know what it is, but I wanna share what the audience is. What could they expect for services for that range of between $60 and $300?

[00:31:34] Sha: What could they expect for what they get for what they get their

[00:31:37] Ryan: yeah.

[00:31:37] Ryan: What they get from the editor?

[00:31:38] Ryan: Yeah.

[00:31:39] Sha: Yeah. So a lot of times it’s transcriptions, it’s show notes. It’s also. Could be a hosting fee. It could be an editing fee of taking out the ums or the sneezes or the coughs or the, oh, I pronounced their name wrong.

[00:31:54] Sha: Again, you have to be cognizant of what it is that you recorded, that you want to have deleted, so you can give them notes as well. And That was the other thing is like, what? You just don’t listen and hear that. No, you have to be you have to, I mean that you have to understand that their dog is barking in the back.

[00:32:11] Sha: And so you need to, it might still be there for the entire interview, but they might be able to do something where they can Muff little bit. There’s just certain things like that. That’s what you get in the price. Again, it just, it runs the gamma. It depends. I met someone, the first podcast conference I went to, he was from Australia and which was amazing that they came all the way from Australia.

[00:32:32] Sha: There was like five of them that I met. It was incredible. Wow. From Australia and they didn’t know each other. That was the other thing. Two of them knew each other and the rest of ’em did. And so it was really fun to connect them, but they had one of ’em was an inter an editor. And I asked what do you charge?

[00:32:46] Sha: And he said, $600 an. And I said American dollars and he said, yes, American dollars, $600 an episode. Wow. And that’s just audio. That was not video. That was just audio.

[00:32:59] Ryan: Wow. That’s crazy. That’s, there’s so many tools out there on the back end that you can use. And we can go down revel, roll on that too, but $600 in episode that’s steep, but.

[00:33:09] Ryan: You know what I’m with you? I wanna offload it at some point in my life too. And my VA is I’ve got her stretched thin, so thank you for that. That’s good information. It’s I can use it. The listeners can use it.

[00:33:21] Sha: Let me say something about the VA, because I just learned this myself and I, it never occurred to me.

[00:33:27] Sha: So a lot of people will go hire a VA thinking, oh, they’re gonna be their catchall to do everything. And again, they have a specialty. So you might have, cuz you just said you might or thinking about hiring another one. You might have three or four because that’s three or four completely different specific things that they.

[00:33:43] Sha: This is why we work so hard in our business and our other in our day job. So we can have this hobby slash other business, another revenue stream at some point, so that, we had to have to spend money on it.

[00:33:58] Ryan: Some point there, you gotta say that some point

[00:34:01] Sha: again. Yeah, because it’s not just put it on the internet and there it is.

[00:34:04] Sha: And I’m making money on it. That’s not what happens exactly. That’s what people, the public who have no idea, that’s what they think would.

[00:34:12] Ryan: Very true. I’m with you on the VA. My one VA that I have, today’s been with me almost six years. But that was trial and error through, I think I hired and got rid of about 14 or 15 by that point.

[00:34:24] Sha: Oh, wow.

[00:34:24] Ryan: It was through a service. and then she left that service and then I just started working with her directly. And then she has friends that have worked at that service that have, different skill sets. So I’m starting to talk to them and understand what they can and can’t do and go through a process.

[00:34:38] Ryan: And that’s a whole nother conversation piece, especially when they’re in the other side of the world. So she’s in the Philippines. Yes. She’s 16, 17 hours ahead, whatever it is. And she’s working at night during our day. So you have to make sure that your VA understand that can handle the night hours if they don’t have any of that experience.

[00:34:59] Ryan: And they’re used to working a day job their time. It’s a struggle. I learned that very quickly in my first three that came through. They’re like I’m not used to working at night. I need you working during the day cuz that’s when I’m working. But it’s the same thing as I’ve tried fiber also like we discussed earlier and fiber was a joke.

[00:35:15] Ryan: You get what you pay for. But the other thing is they don’t wanna do very much work for you when it comes to the pieces that you’re looking for, they just wanna do the basics and be done. And if that’s what you’re looking for, that’s great when you start out, but you have to evolve and if you don’t evolve with that, it doesn’t work.

[00:35:32] Ryan: And the biggest piece that I take away from myself is I’ve had to learn to, like I said earlier, edit, but then what tools can I use that make me more effective with my. To minimize the amount of time. Cuz today we’ll record your show. I’ll go post, edit it tonight and it’ll be live on Wednesday. I’ve got it down to that type of a science to where as soon as we finish recording here, this will hit my VA’s desk.

[00:35:59] Ryan: She’ll start going through it, cleaning it all up and then I’ll see the final post for everything that we do. We use a tool named I’m sure you’re familiar with. It. It’s come a long ways and we’re out on the beta version right now where we can do storyboards. It is. Yeah. I love it.

[00:36:13] Ryan: I can’t, I, if I didn’t have the Descript, I think I’d be lost without it, because it gives me my transcriptions. It gives me my show notes. I get all my shorts out of it for video. There’s so many things I can do in one place, but it’s taken my time. I was probably spending between three to five hours an episode post production.

[00:36:31] Ryan: When I first started this, I’ve got it down under an hour. Oh, that’s

[00:36:34] Sha: awesome. That’s awesome. Now you got your time back

[00:36:37] Ryan: but by all

[00:36:38] Ryan: means, yeah, I get my time back, but by all means I’m no professional editor, but I’m teaching somebody else to do that. And then she’s learning a new skill and then hopefully the VA that I can bring on to do this full time, we’ll have even more skills.

[00:36:54] Ryan: So we can go to the next level because there’s a lot of things I wanna do. I just don’t have a time because my day jobs, running a real estate investment business, I’ve got a nonprofit. Take my time. These, this is my passion project. I love these. I love having conversations with guests like yourself, but you also have to make sure that you spend your time on things that make money and I’ve never got in.

[00:37:15] Ryan: So the very first thing I’ll say, and then I’ll say it to the whole group. Again, I never got into podcasting to make money. I got into podcasting to let my voice get out there, share my stories, but share my guest stories in. It’s an old adage, it’s dumb, but I want to be able to impact at least one person per episode.

[00:37:34] Ryan: I’m doing more than that now. But if you get into it for, the green stuff, it doesn’t work. You’re not gonna be successful. And it’s just gonna, you’re gonna fail and it’s, you gotta get into it. What you’re gonna put into it. And it’s either your passion, your love, or whatever you say, your side hustle.

[00:37:50] Ryan: But it’s a lot of people think, okay, I’m gonna put it on the internet, like you said, and I’m gonna make. So yeah, way I

[00:37:58] Ryan: on that one.

[00:37:59] Sha: No, I love it. The way I look at it is looking at it as a digital audio business card. It, is it just another business card for your business now? Does that mean that your business card makes you money?

[00:38:15] Ryan: No.

[00:38:16] Sha: No it doesn’t. But do, is it a tool that you can. So people can get to know you see your visibility, listen to your authority. Yes. So it’s a digital audio business card.

[00:38:29] Ryan: I look at it as a gateway, similar to what you’re talking about. This is a gateway into our universe and true vests is my universe is where people get to understand what we do.

[00:38:39] Ryan: Nonprofit real estate mortgage investing, private lending. But they get to see another side of me where I get to talk to people about their journeys in life. And then they just move their way in and start doing different things. I’m starting to see more people reach out for coaching.

[00:38:56] Ryan: More people are asking about how do I get involved with the nonprofit? There’s different things. And it’s I don’t expect it. It’s wow. Okay, cool. That’s awesome. It gets me excited. It’s okay, I’m doing this, but it. Four four years in September for this to happen. So this is a long game, but I had a lot of inconsistency in the beginning

[00:39:16] Sha: and I did too, but I really feel like even if you didn’t have inconsistency, I had somebody now who has think he has a million downloads an episode now and it took him 10 years.

[00:39:31] Ryan: Wow.

[00:39:31] Sha: And he was consistent for 10. But, you know what literally just think it’s not, it’s about, it’s not necessarily about consistency. It’s just about timing, period. It’s either your time or it’s the still the building time,

[00:39:48] Ryan: but he’s still there after 10 years. I, yes. After 10 years, if I had a million downloads, I’d say, okay, that’s success.

[00:39:55] Ryan: But here, the thing. I’m not a, I shouldn’t, I should have gotta back up. I’m not about the vanity numbers cuz downloads are vanity numbers. If we don’t bring, if I don’t bring quality to the listeners with great guests like yourself and other guests, what’s the point of having a podcast? You really don’t, you’re really not putting out a product, so why even do it?

[00:40:16] Ryan: So can we get the vanity numbers and can we get the shares and likes and comments? Oh yeah. Great. Whatever. But at the end of the. I want to do a show that I love and I’m happy about, and I can lay my head on the pillow at night, say, Hey, I did a good job. That’s it?

[00:40:30] Sha: Absolutely. Like we talked about with one of my clients, it that’s what he was wanting it for.

[00:40:35] Sha: And I love that because I know that at the end of every episode, the person I interviewed drop some sort of knowledge nugget and that as a take. For my audience. So it’s just a, it’s a great resource center. So it’s not about, again, it’s not about the numbers, because I think the numbers, depending on which platform you’re looking at are, they’re all indifferent.

[00:40:56] Sha: So it’s like, how can you tell, how can you tell who’s right.

[00:40:59] Ryan: Yes, they’re skewed because I’ve run my podcast across many platforms and it’s amazing how many different numbers you get. And it’s Okay. And then no one talks about some people talk about it, but then you have the doldrums of the summer.

[00:41:11] Ryan: And no one wants to say, Hey, in the summer, people take time off, away from podcasts and you’re not getting the same downloads. I’ve experienced ups and downs in, in the summer. And it’s whatever. I’m not worried about it, but there’s just so many nuances of podcasting that. We don’t really talk about and people and we’re back to it.

[00:41:28] Ryan: Again. People think you put it out there just like TikTok or Instagram. you put out one video, you’re gonna, you’re gonna trend and you’re gonna become a million overnight. And it’s if it was that easy, everybody would be doing it.

[00:41:39] Sha: Exactly. Exactly.

[00:41:42] Ryan: Wow. Thank you. I went down a rabbit hole with this.

[00:41:44] Ryan: This was really fun. Oh, this was awesome. Be before we get away I don’t wanna miss this piece. Can we talk a little bit about your book and then we’ll wrap things up and we’ll go from there.

[00:41:53] Sha: Yes. So I have written a solo book it’s called how to get your voice back. Six steps to build up your confidence when negativity takes you down.

[00:42:01] Sha: And that was an amazing feat to write a book and it’s not like any other book. It’s a journal. Prompt is what it is. And it has happened in wedding. And so I was lucky enough to just sit at the computer and one day it just flowed out of me. And so recently we didn’t mention this, but I’ll talk about it.

[00:42:24] Sha: Men recently in 2020, I started fire hashtag fire starters book, book, project, and that is a collection of creative thought leaders who have. Are wanting to expand their VI own visibility, expand their notoriety, expand their network. So they are connecting inside a book. So we have a Facebook group as well, that the people who are in the book we interact with we share each other’s posts or we, connect with them.

[00:42:56] Sha: We’re on each other’s podcasts. Some of them are podcasters. Some of them are coaches. I’ve had two chief master Sergeant. In the last one, two chief master surgeon. Probably three or four life coaches and a Navy veteran who was on spent years on a submarine. So it’s a fascinating that in most books who are do this co-author type of book, they, it used to be like chicken soup for the soul, for nurses or for teachers.

[00:43:22] Sha: It was specific to a demographic target market. And I wanted something different because I believe at the core of all of us, we are all the, we all are similar. And we all experience similar things. So I wanted to really have a diverse group and be able to bring people from all walks of life to really hit what was underneath and really focus on people that you never hear about who are already doing things in the world, that they are the change that they want to see.

[00:43:52] Sha: And so hashtag fire starters book pro started in April of 2020. We have the first collection out, which was called how to be a spark of hope in the midst of change. And then the second one, we are actually interviewing for new co-authors who want to be a part of this movement and it is going to be called how to be fearless in what sets your soul on fire.

[00:44:17] Sha: So I, if. I’ll just put the plug in there now, if that’s okay. Ryan, if anyone wants to, if anyone wants to be a part of that or know more information, you can go to fire starters, book, project.com, and there’s a link to either book an appointment with us and have an interview and see, go from there.

[00:44:36] Sha: And here your idea for your chapter, or you can ask more, hit an email and ask more questions about it. Yeah,

[00:44:43] Ryan: I’ll definitely put that in the show notes too, so we can share that. So I have no problem with that. That’s really cool. That’s we’ll have to, we’ll have to turn back around and get you back on and talk a little bit more about that.

[00:44:52] Ryan: Cause I think that’s the collaboration that comes out of all this. Yes. And being able to work with others that are like-minded is big. And I don’t know if you’re familiar with Brian Kelly. He? Oh, you are okay. A little bit, so he’s. He’s a good friend. And we’re talking about something to, in the sense of a mastermind, but more around business , but then having the podcast, being a, an offshoot, or are like that inner circle piece.

[00:45:14] Ryan: So it’s interesting how this all evolves and in where we go with it it’s a huge community, but everyone wants to be able to work together. And help and that’s, I love it. It’s great. I’ve met so many great people through this process and everybody is Hey man, if you need help doing this, I can do that.

[00:45:29] Ryan: There’s just so many things that go back and forth. It’s great.

[00:45:32] Sha: And that’s what we created was a mastermind inside a book. So you guys could do the same take everyone’s chapter on one theme, and then really create it inside a book to be able to expand your audience and to give so many, so much value and to leave the legacy, cuz that’s what books are.

[00:45:47] Sha: That’s what our podcasts are. We’re leaving a legacy and making an impact.

[00:45:52] Ryan: That’s awesome. I’ll we’ll definitely have to follow up on that and learn some more cuz that’s. It’s all about doing things in collaboration and working and growing your it’s growing that way because ultimately, like you said, you’re gonna get additional exposure and you’re gonna have other ways or I should say other doors open to where you get people coming in through your podcast or through this collaboration or through something else that you’ve done.

[00:46:13] Ryan: And you’re like, wow, I didn’t know that was gonna work. And it’s that’s and that’s just life in general. And being able to understand that, making that change and putting it out. It’s I get excited about it because I see people changing on a daily basis. That is awesome. You’re now a homeowner.

[00:46:27] Ryan: That’s a huge change. Yes. You’ve rented all your life and now you’re a homeowner. Yeah. You gotta be proud of yourself and, pat yourself on the back and, enjoy it. But you went through a lot to get there. And I think that’s what the collaborations do is you get all these great people together and they all have great stories to tell.

[00:46:42] Ryan: And it’s uplifting and you learn.

[00:46:46] Sha: Definitely agree. I love it. And you’re right. You pat yourself on the back for any accomplishment. So I will say that whether it’s buying a house or doing a podcast or start writing a book, it’s all an accomplishment

[00:46:57] Ryan: or hitting record and just recording a video that you’re passionate about and just putting it out there and start seeing where it takes you.

[00:47:02] Ryan: I’m all for that. Sha. It has been a wonderful conversation with you. I thank you for coming on best way to get a hold of you if people wanna work with you on a podcast.

[00:47:13] Sha: Yeah, absolutely. They can find more information@shaysparks.com. I am updating the website a little bit, but you can always connect with me on social media there.

[00:47:21] Sha: That’s linked there as well, but that’s S H a S P a R K s.com. And yeah, I look forward to hearing from your.

[00:47:31] Ryan: Cool. Thank you for coming on and I’ll put that in the show notes and I’ll be talking to you soon. All right. Thank you. Thanks.

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