[Podcast Series] John Corcoran | Podcast Year in Review

Jeremy Weisz 1:35
I mean, the key to being good at interviews is having good guests that you don’t have to be that good.

John Corcoran 1:40
Oh, you’re too kind. You’re so in preparation, but that’s a minor detail is choosing the

Jeremy Weisz 1:45
guests in preparation. Yeah. But the bar is set way too high. But I’m excited because we are going to talk about a kind of a urine review, or a urine review of some of the top 100. You know, entrepreneurs, founders, leaders that you’ve had on your podcast. And before we talk about that, and digging into conversations, the episode is brought to you by Rise25. And this is how I always explain it to people, Johnny says, right, what we do is we help you connect your dream 100 relationships for your business. And, you know, we do that by helping you run your podcast, we are an easy button for a business to launch and run a podcast. But so it serves them in their relationships. And, you know, we always we’ve in our lives, a number one thing in our lives is relationships. And so we’re always looking for a way to give to our relationships. And I’ve seen no better way over the past 10 years to give to my relationships, profile. My friends, the people I admire the companies I admire, and have them giving them a platform to talk about what they do. So if you’ve thought about starting a podcast, and we believe every business just like you have a website, you should have a podcast. If you’ve thought about it, check out rise 20 five.com we put out constant content about it. If you have questions, you can email us anytime we help businesses launch and run podcasts. So let’s talk, John, and you know, you made a decision this past year, and I said 100 typically is not 100? No. So why 100? Well, in fact,

John Corcoran 3:31
Let me first say one year, it was only seven. It was actually only seven episodes published. I actually had many more conversations than that. But this is going back to the beginning of our business partnership. when we’d started a business. We weren’t in the podcasting space, we were mostly doing live events. In one year, I only put out seven episodes, because I was too stuck in the weeds on it. And you actually helped me. I said at the end of the years like Jeremy, you, you obviously put out all these episodes, how do I do what you do? You helped me revamp the process, and I put up 52 episodes the next year. But you’re right most years since that point going forward, I put up 5252 episodes or so give or take, you know, maybe a few fewer if I took some holidays or vacation or something like that. But you know about a year’s worth one a week. But this past year, March 2020, we all know what happened COVID hit the global pandemic. And you know, companies were shutting down right and left people were scared. People were uncertain. They didn’t know what was gonna happen. I certainly had no crystal ball. I didn’t know what to do. But at that point in time I made what I think was, you know, kind of a brave decision. I said, Well, you know, when the SH T has hit the fan for me in the past in my business and you’re talking to a guy who worked for, you know, a president who was impeached and a governor who was recalled. So I’ve had ups and downs in my careers like anyone. You know, what I’ve leaned on is relationships. And so I made the decision that I was going To invest back in doing more of the podcast, not less, you see many podcasts that gave up at that point. But I said, I’m going to do more. And so I doubled down, I started putting out two episodes a week instead of one. So rather than building relationships with 50, amazing people, or 52, amazing people once a week, and it ended up being over 100. And as a result, the amazing thing about it is our business grew substantially through a pandemic. And, you know, there’s a lot of pain, there’s a lot of businesses that are suffering out there. I don’t want to minimize that. But I do want to say that when you double down your relationships, it makes a huge impact.

Jeremy Weisz 5:37
So I want to highlight some of the top lessons you learned from some episodes. And I’m going to start off with I think, Craig Weiss. Okay. So, the interview with Craig Weiss, what was a lesson from Craig, that you remember?

John Corcoran 6:02
Well, the funny thing about Craig is that he tells this story, and it’s really great. I reached out to him, because we were in the process of writing a book. And I reached out to him and said, I wanted to feature you in this book. And he ended up responding. And the way he tells that is, you know, I don’t usually respond to people reaching out on LinkedIn, cold, but for some reason, I thought, okay, I’ll do this, you know, so he reached to reach back out to me, we scheduled time to talk, I interviewed him, took notes, you know, included in the book. And then at the end of the interview, he said, so what do you do? And I explained, you know, what I do is we help people to use feature interviews, in our case, primarily for a podcast, and I end up using it repurposing that interview also for the podcast. You know, when we reach out, reach out to people, we help people to do that, and then feature them in interviews, and then use that as a tool for ROI clients and referral partnerships. And he said, So basically, exactly what you just did. And so he, but then he left, because he ended up becoming a client. So he said, Well, I’m gonna take that I’m gonna do it to you, I’m gonna can’t beat him, join him, I guess is kind of the approach to it. But, you know, Craig’s an amazing guy, because he liked me as a recovering lawyer. And he had an opportunity to join a really fast growing startup that ended up he, it was a family business, I believe, at the time. And it wasn’t growing as much as it could, he ended up becoming CEO, and under his leadership, and about a three year period of time went from a $10 million valuation to over a billion dollar valuation. And they raised I think, hundreds of millions of dollars of funding and all this kind of stuff. And so the lesson I take from that is to be open to new opportunities to be willing to make a dramatic change, because he was a guy who, I think he was doing patent law or something like that IP law. And he made this major shift, going and being a CEO of this fast growing startup and ended up working out really, really, you know, really well for him. So I think that was a big tech takeaway from that particular interview.

Jeremy Weisz 8:01
Jeff Prager

John Corcoran 8:04
Yeah, he knows how to engineer your cash flow using seven simple numbers, great book, great guidance. And he, you know, ended up helping us with figuring out, you know, what key KPIs we should really be paying attention to. And his message is kind of like, you know, you’ve got all these different accounting statements, income statements, P&L, things like that. But really, it just boils down to seven numbers that you should be tracking. And so for me, that was the big takeaway.

Jeremy Weisz 8:33
So that’s how good of an interviewer you could be, if you are not, if you do research, you have a guest, you can just say, Jeff Prager. You just talk. I’m Tommy Mello,

John Corcoran 8:47
Tommy Mello, Tommy’s amazing guy. You know, he starts a business that is focused on one simple thing is garage doors. And they’re all so passionate about helping homeowners to swap out their garage doors and improve the curb appeal of their home. And that is what they do. He took it up to like a 30 $40 million business they’re on their way towards $100 million business. So for me, the big takeaway from that one was pick your lane, stay within that lane and do it really really well and really double down on it.

Jeremy Weisz 9:23
Do you remember what their value proposition is? Was it making the garage look better? Or was it What was their unique selling proposition for the company?

John Corcoran 9:33
I’m probably gonna butcher it but you know really, I think it was about curb appeal and is bigger with a route proud of the home that you live in. And he had some statistic that was something like 45% of your curb appeal is all wrapped up in the garage door.

Jeremy Weisz 9:50
Real Estate actually, if you think about the face of a house. Yeah, I was just thinking about it because you know in business, we all like to serve big pain points. I don’t know if you or anyone has ever had their garage door stop working. It’s like life shuts down. You can’t get the car out of the garage. Yeah, it’s an emergency.

John Corcoran 10:13
Yeah, it just happened to us the other day or

Jeremy Weisz 10:15
or flip side? It doesn’t go down. Yeah, you could probably pull it down, but suddenly get in their house and get all your bikes. They can get all your junk. So anyways, I yeah, I have some big pain points that he also serves besides the curb appeal. Yeah, Sky Fernandez

John Corcoran 10:36
sky. Fernandez. I love what he did, because Skype is a venture capitalist. And what he did was a little bit unusual. So he started a, basically a school, a training program for how to break into and become a venture capitalist. And what’s really cool about that is I mean, I’m sure it’s hugely time consuming to do this. And it, you know, brings a lot of your attention to that new entity, basically. But now is at this point where he has hundreds of former students that are now and other VC funds all around Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and all these people are his biggest champions, his biggest fans, and they’re looking out for him and they bring him deals, they bring him investment opportunities. And so it ended up being a really good benefit for him. That’s a big takeaway for me from that interview.

Jeremy Weisz 11:20
What I also like about podcasting, I was talking to someone, John, that we just started working with, and they just started doing interviews. And they were telling me a couple of the people who said yes, to be guests, and also ones they had just done. And they were so excited about the stories because you get to talk to some really amazing people. Absolutely, yeah. And so I always love hearing the stories of Chris Townsend MacDonald,

John Corcoran 11:50
Chris Townsend MacDonald. Now I reached out to him, I don’t remember how I came across him. But he was really early into podcasting. And, you know, the reason I reached out to him, because, you know, he’s really well connected. He was there in the early days. And just since our business is focused on that now, I wanted to be able to talk to him and hear about what it was like. So he started the b2b corporate division at libsyn, early on, worked with some of the biggest names biggest companies that were breaking into podcasting. And, you know, he also had worked in the music industry, and now he’s in agriculture. He’s a lawyer, like me, a former lawyer like me. And so I think the lesson from that one is just looking for new opportunities, looking for new offerings, being willing to try something completely new and clean, including a brand new industry. And then when you’re in that industry, then looking for opportunities within that industry, like starting a corporate division, an enterprise division within the company lips, and that was that he was at the time. There

Jeremy Weisz 12:49
was another one that was mutual friend, Adam Witty.

John Corcoran 12:54
Yeah, yeah, he was great. So Adam, is someone that you’ve known for a long time. And some of them had been thinking about interviewing for a long time. And finally, I’m glad that in 2020, I had the chance to do that was really cool. But what I loved asking him about is, I love asking people about what’s it like, when you go from admiring a mentor from afar, someone you’re learning from maybe an author, speaker, something like that, to actually getting to know them, to actually befriending them learning from them personally, and getting to know them on a more personal level. So that’s what he did. He ended up actually buying his mentor’s business, Dan Kennedy. And so he learned from Dan from afar, and you then determined that he was going to become the star student, you know, he ends up buying all of his books, going really deep with his programs, joining his different programs, building relationships with Him. And then finally, after a number of years, had the opportunity to purchase his business and basically go into partnership with them. So that was really cool. To see that sort of thing happen. You know, it doesn’t happen everyone obviously, but it’s really cool when it does.

Jeremy Weisz 13:58
Yeah. Gk I see Glazer Kennedy inner circle, you know, he has now rebranded it as magnetic marketing. And a lot of the top direct response marketers on the planet. Credit learning from Dan Kennedy. Yeah, you know, a lot of I don’t know if all roads lead back to Dan Kennedy, but a lot of roads lead back to lead back to Dan Kennedy, some of the top business people that I learned from Dan Kennedy, I had in chiropractic school. I had the magnetic marketing cassette tapes from Dan Kennedy that I was listening to. So I remember I had that stuff. Their copy is so compelling as a broke student. I was buying their stuff. Okay. Jason Swenk,

John Corcoran 14:46
Jason Swenk, you know, Jason had actually attended a reception. We organized at a conference, maybe about three years ago now. And I don’t remember what inspired me to reach out to interview him. We published this episode and Apr 2020. And so many great things led to it, you know, lead from it. He’s become a great referral partner for us. We’ve referred many people to him. I tell people about his podcast all the time, you’ve listened to every single episode, I’m not too far behind you. We end up joining his community, you know, doing coaching with him, telling others about his community. And so it was amazing looking back at the year and realizing April was when I interviewed him, and you have also interviewed them, you know, and so I just, I was so grateful again, that I doubled the output this year that I you know, cuz maybe if I wasn’t doing more than one a week, I wouldn’t have interviewed him. Right. And that, all those opportunities that held the people. Yeah, exactly. Right. Right. Exactly. So I was just so glad that I did.

Jeremy Weisz 15:54
Yeah, gee, I love Jason’s stuff. And it’s no, I don’t know how many episodes he has, at this point. Maybe 400 or something I have listened to, maybe 395 of them. I haven’t maybe listened to the last few slacking. But you

John Corcoran 16:10
gotta catch up.

Jeremy Weisz 16:12
Chris Dreyer,

John Corcoran 16:13
Chris Dreyer, the master of SEO, you know, I love the way how giving he is with his wisdom, constantly sharing again, we belong, we’re in some communities that he belongs to as well. And I see him sharing his wisdom. He’s also someone that, you know, what I’ve learned from him is that he’s someone who isn’t afraid to say I’m the best at what I do. And we’re going to charge top dollar, but it’s going to be worth it for you, you are going to be glad that you’re paying top dollar for us. Who is the best at what we do. And I love that kind of confidence. And so that’s a big lesson that I’ve taken from him.

Jeremy Weisz 16:51
Yeah, actually, he posted something on social media. There was a Mr. Swagger magazine and he was on the cover of it. So it goes to say and I go I think I called him up. This was the other week and I said, Hey, Mr. swagger. He goes into what you learn from him, I guess a

John Corcoran 17:13
level of confidence. I just don’t think I’m predisposed toward not

Jeremy Weisz 17:16
getting cocky or anything. He’s a humble super nice person, but confident in what he does.

John Corcoran 17:23
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, any stay is good. goes back to something I said earlier. Kind of staying within your lane. You know, deciding the lane that you’re gonna choose and then being the best at that.

Jeremy Weisz 17:34
Totally. Taylor Trusty.

John Corcoran 17:36
These questions are just so compelling you draw.

Jeremy Weisz 17:40
I don’t even like to try and say the least number of words possible.

John Corcoran 17:43
Taylor, what an interesting guy. So another guy is really active in eo entrepreneurs and organization. Friends with Sam Lundin and Chad Rubin are also guests on the podcast. You know what’s really cool about him is he built an agency out of Louisville, Kentucky, which varies from where it’s little if you’re from Louisville, Louisville, but if you’re not from Louisville, I lived for a year in Louisville. So, if people live there from there, they say Louisville, you know, someone who’s not they say Louisville, so get it. Okay, good. I feel like I’m making fun of them. If I said Lou,

Jeremy Weisz 18:21
it’s because you know, that’s how they say Louisville.

John Corcoran 18:25
Okay, I’ll say it like someone who lives in California. So anyways, he lives in Louisville, Kentucky, Kentucky. It’s like, you know, I live outside of San Francisco. People hate it. The San Franciscans hate it when you say SF Frisco drives me. bonkers. So that’s probably what I’ve just done with all those Kentuckians. Anyway, Taylor, great lesson there is he was recruiting this, you know, great talent bench to join his company, out of the university there. And, you know, paying them what was a good wage for Louisville. And they ended up being acquired, not necessarily because of their body of work, although I’m sure that has something to do with it. But a big part of it was that they had this talent pipeline built in in Louisville, Kentucky. So I think their acquirer was from Boston, Massachusetts. And that was a big factor for them. So the lesson for me from that was that something that, you know, makes your business really valuable might be something that’s surprising or unexpected. So start thinking about those things in a conscious way, so that you can continue to develop those types of attributes for your company.

Jeremy Weisz 19:44
Yeah, I mean, talent is huge. And I was talking to someone in private equity. I interviewed someone this morning. And he was saying when they acquire a company that they look at the talent and some of the people that companies have acquired have, you know, risen up The organization and become leaders in their private equity company. Right. So it’s really key that people and I and you mentioned the interview piece, we’ll talk about rustling rising swag, but a shout out Andrew Warner I learned a lot from. And I’ve studied a lot of the top interviewers to see what they do. And one of my favorites is nerd war. And most people who have never heard of nerd were some of the best, most compelling interviews you’ll ever watch, in my opinion, and you may start to binge watch them on YouTube. And I won’t even spoil it. But he’s interviewed some of the top people in the music industry. And so I watch all of his interviews, I study his interviews, how he interviews, what he does, he’s interviewed Snoop Dogg probably like four times, the whole Wu Tang clan. All the big music artists have been interviewed by nerd war. And so in so many ways, I study a lot of these people and everyone has their own style. Yeah, right.

John Corcoran 21:08
So I mean, I’m making fun of you for the short questions. No,

Jeremy Weisz 21:12
I think I shouldn’t be made fun of. No, the truth is, though,

John Corcoran 21:15
I mean, if you do study really good interviewers, sometimes their questions aren’t full, full questions. They’re just a statement, which then encourages the guests to respond further. Or it’s an observation, it doesn’t have to be a fully formed question. And I think that’s a great point.

Jeremy Weisz 21:33
He does a lot of research on his guests to like, I don’t even know how he does all his research. But he’ll hold up a poster, he’ll bring a poster as a gift to one of the Wu Tang clan members, who he knows has serious significance for this person. And he’ll just hold that up and go, what does this mean to you? And the person will go and tell a real personal story, but it’s because he did a lot of research. He doesn’t have to say much. Yeah, you know, yeah. So, Sam Lundin, Chad Rubin.

John Corcoran 22:08
Yeah. Well, I mentioned them in the context of Taylor. Yeah, but they are both good guests. Good friends. You know, I think the lesson of them have you

Jeremy Weisz 22:16
had a chat before I had Yeah. Oh, you have?

John Corcoran 22:19
Yeah. I think the lesson behind that is and Taylor actually, I think Taylor came through Samara, I know they’re good friends. But the lesson behind knowing those guys is to just keep you know, you know, to not forget to continue to double down on your existing relationships. You know, what one mistake I’ve made in doing the podcast The Times has been to, to go and interview someone I’ve never met before, who may be good or may not be good, but at the expense of the sacrifice of not spending an hour talking to someone who is a champion who is a friend whose referral partner is someone who you could get to know better. And so oftentimes, the best thing you can do is double down on your existing relationships, you know, by featuring them on your podcast, getting to know them on a much deeper level, telling the world or at least your audience about them. And I think that’s a great thing to do.

Jeremy Weisz 23:16
Yep. Chad’s companies, Cubana, if you’re in e-commerce, check it out. And he was a Sherpa at one of our events. And I think that’s how you first got to know him.

John Corcoran 23:26
Yeah, actually, it

Jeremy Weisz 23:27
was in Austin, Texas. Yeah, exactly. Russ Rosenzweig.

John Corcoran 23:33
So Russ graduated from University of Chicago, I believe, got his MBA from there. And they ended up starting this business called Roundtable Group. And the idea was to take experts who are mostly toiling away in academia, and not getting the recognition that they deserve and to give them representation. And to help give them you know, more commercial opportunities by representing them. And then they saw an opportunity, they saw that there was a big need, particularly in the legal field in the context of pending litigation or actual litigation, active disputes. So they saw an opportunity there, and they went really deep on that. And the funny thing is, so they ended up building it up, building up building up a up selling it, then which ended up being a publicly traded company that had it, which then ended up letting it kind of river kind of Willow went out with a winner will. wither wither, thank you wither on the vine,

Jeremy Weisz 24:32
you’re asking a biochemistry major. The thing that’s atrophy is that the word atrophy I like that word.

John Corcoran 24:39
Okay. So atrophy, if that’s a word, and then that public traded company wasn’t so interested in anymore and they ended up selling it. So Russ says, You know, I believe in selling high buying low so they ended up buying it back. And now the original management team ownership group is back, running it again and they love it. So it’s really Cool. So the lesson there is look for those types of opportunities. And you never know when they make sense to

Jeremy Weisz 25:04
sell, have it wither away, then buy it back and build it up again sell it again. Exactly right. I like hearing about the non sexy businesses, you know, because if you serve a pain point, it could go across any industry. Yeah, absolutely. That was a take home when I listened to that. One is Who would have thought just to serve that niche? It’s like a niche within a niche within a niche. Right? Yeah, yeah. So we have Fran Biderman-Gross. also interviewed, she’s used some cool stories about Jake working with Jay Z’s company, but

John Corcoran 25:44
Well, yeah, they’ve worked at some really cool companies. Yeah, she’s you know, she wrote how to lead a values based professional services firm with her co author Don scales. And she ended up hiring us to launch her podcast, but what time I interviewed her, that wasn’t the case. And we just had a, you know, great connection. She’s active in eo, New York, which I think is how we connected. She was really inspired by Simon Sinek, who’s famous for saying, start with why. And, you know, her whole business around helping other businesses to figure out their why, and figure out how to infuse that in everything that they do everything. You know, whether it’s recruiting talent, retaining talent, getting clients, all that kind of thing. And it’s more important than ever, you know, there are all kinds of public opinion surveys these days that say that employees are looking to work for a company that has a larger purpose, and they want to know what that is. And also consumers, when they purchase, they want to know that they’re doing business with the company, what their purpose is, you know, and so I think it’s really important for companies to think that through

Jeremy Weisz 26:58
some, I’m a huge avid audible reader, and the next person you had on I may have listened to all of his books. Maybe there’s six of them. I don’t remember how many Mike Michalowicz.

John Corcoran 27:10
Yeah, great guy. I interviewed him for the second time this year, because he had a book coming out. So I was happy to feature him on my podcast, again, is a great opportunity to reconnect with someone you haven’t talked to in a while. You know, I’ve been participating in iOS accelerator for the last few years, a wonderful program, and been really influential on the whole AEO programs, a big fan of Mike’s work, and his programs or, you know, his books and everything I really revered in that program. And so that’s, you know, simple reason why, why I interviewed him. I also read his book, oh, god, I’m blanking on the name of it. But the one about the past, when I know about maximizing your cash flow, cash comes first or something like that, something on profit, first, profit first, thank you. Which is a really counterintuitive approach to managing your cash flow, especially for small businesses. And he’s, you know, he doesn’t have a background as a CPA or anything like that. And it was kind of a book, and an idea that he mentioned in a couple talks. And people were just inspired by it, it really lit a fire under them. So he realized that there was something there that ended up writing a book about it. So I highly recommend that book to people.

Jeremy Weisz 28:25
Yeah, all of his books are good, everyone, check out his books. I think of the pumpkin plan a lot. I don’t know if you ever listened to it. But um, it’s basically the opposite of an entrepreneur. So I like it. I’m like, I need it to slap me down sometimes. But it makes sense. If you have all of these, whatever it is, take pumpkins, and you have your small, medium and large, and they’re all feeding from this trunk or whatever. If you cut off the smaller ones, and let all of the energy go to the larger one, it’s gonna get way bigger and grow. And it’s kind of what we discuss in our business a lot, which is, don’t get distracted with all these things really feed the thing that should be fed, and focus, easy to say hard to do for most business owners, I think. Yeah. And the next is about thought leadership.

John Corcoran 29:23
Yeah. Yeah. So you know, you and I made a decision in June of this past year to start doing regular weekly thought leadership episodes, and I’ll do them every week. But we try to usually as a LinkedIn live, that we also publish as a podcast episode. And it goes back to what we espouse to people is that they use a podcast also as a tool for sharing your wisdom. I’ve been guilty for many years of not doing enough of that, you know, if you, you put you do want to put the spotlight on your guests and highlight them and feature them and tell the world about them, but you also want to use it as an opportunity to share busier wisdom, because you’re building trust with your audience. And some of those people will want to know more about you. And they want to know about your services, you provide a way in which they can work with you. So we’ve we started doing those episodes, sharing our wisdom, sharing our ideas, and you start to build a body of work, you know, we could take what we did and a half a year and we could package it up, it could be a book, it could be, we did create a course this year. So it’s a lot of different things that it could be. But I think when you give away your philosophy, your approach, your best strategies, when you share that wisdom with the world, there are going to be people who, you know, then they want to do more work with you. And you know, some people are fearful that if you do that, then you’re going to lose a bunch of business. We haven’t found that to be the case.

Jeremy Weisz 30:48
Totally. This is one, either. Actually, I remember when I was working with mixergy. You may have had Derek Sivers nine years ago, or I don’t know, however long ago.

John Corcoran 31:03
Yeah. So he’s pretty recent. He’s known for CD Baby. And he’s someone I’ve known of, yeah, probably for 10 years. And I don’t want to inspire me this year to reach out. I think I was just on his website one day, and there was an email address, and he said, you can reach out. So I reached out and just said, Hey, I’d love to interview you.

Jeremy Weisz 31:22
You know, it’s funny, because you know, probably the people you have on some of the live and they go, how did you reach? How did you get that person? I go, I emailed them. Yeah. I mean, it wasn’t, I wish I had some crazy extravagant story, obviously, you know, providing value and doing it for a long time. You have other people that that you could point to that are, you know, experts in the field and respected.

John Corcoran 31:46
But yeah, there’s a lot, there’s a lot to unpack there,

Jeremy Weisz 31:48
like I was, I didn’t cite your email, though.

John Corcoran 31:50
You’re being modest. But you know, there’s a lot, you’re an amazing copywriter. And so you know, there’s a lot that goes into sending a short to the point is a synced email to someone who’s very busy, and probably receives a ton of emails and a ton of solicitations in persuading them that they should give up some of their time in order to spend some time with you. But the actual fact that you’re going to be highlighting them on a podcast is tremendously powerful, way more powerful than Hey, can I pick your brain, and I have some of your time, something like that. So Derek Sivers anyways, someone I admired for a while he has this great story about he was actually at Berklee College of Music in Boston, studying as a music student. And this music industry executive comes up from New York to speak to his class one evening, and he takes the train up or something or drives up or something like that. And he gets there. It’s like six o’clock. And there the class is about to start. And he says the professor Oh, I thought we were going to eat first. And the press is like, no, we’re, it’s time to eat. Or sorry, it’s time to teach. We’re doing the class. And so the guy hadn’t eaten all day, and he was starving. And so Derek, aha, he’s like, light bulb moment. And he steps out of the class. And this is like 2025 years ago or something. So it wasn’t like you can hop on your phone like you could these days. But he steps out of the class. And he goes, and he calls the local pizza place, says I’d like to order two pizzas, please bring them down to this classroom, which they did. And the guy you know, the teacher, was so grateful to him for ordering these two pizzas. Afterwards, at the end of the class, he, you know, he points at Derek and says, You come on over here. And he said, that was great. Well, you did really appreciate you doing that, if you ever make it to New York City. You know, look me up. And you know, Derek wants to break into the music industry. So this is executive, super influential. And sure enough, and ended up leading to all kinds of job opportunities and became a big mentor for him. So that’s a great story in a green lesson about the importance of going the extra mile for the people that you know are going to be influential and a big impact on your career.

Jeremy Weisz 33:55
I love that story. That’s great. Yeah. You can’t go wrong with free pizza either. Even if they don’t ask for it. Yeah. I was actually talking to someone. One of the people I interviewed and they said they, a company is reaching out to try and get their business and what they did was they sent their staff and several pizzas during lunchtime, unannounced, the card and I love that lunk lumpy mail at its finest edible mail. Yeah. Lewis Schiff.

John Corcoran 34:29
Lewis Schiff is the CEO of Birthing of Giants. He talked about the importance of taking moonshots. And that’s the name of one of his programs, moonshots and moneymakers, which is really about aiming much higher than you would normally aim. And then also the importance of surrounding yourself with others who aren’t going to think that your moonshot is crazy, or that it’s unattainable and who are going to have your back. They’re going to encourage you, they can. They give you advice and resources and help you to get there. So that’s what I took away from that conversation.

Jeremy Weisz 35:06
I think that’s an overarching theme, John, for all of my interviews, which is, it just makes me think bigger. You know, however I thought before, and then you have someone who’s done just amazing things, and over and over, and people who took chances and, and just did amazing things with our company. It’s like, wow, in a lot of these people, they’re not any smarter than you typically, they don’t work any harder than you, typically. So it’s just great to be around people that think bigger, that are doing cool things. Yeah, promote.

John Corcoran 35:47
Yeah. rahasia. Yeah. And just following on that point there. You know, we talked to many people who say they want to start a podcast, but first they need to figure things out, right? They say like, first I need to figure out whatever insert whatever objection, what the name of my show is, I’ve talked to people who said, like, you know, I’ve been thinking about starting a podcast for the last three years or five years, but I can’t come up with a name, you know, in our book is really not something that should be holding up doing an actual podcast, you know, but there are many people that, you know, hold back and doing that. And for us, it’s really about the relationships, that’s really the key critical piece about it, but promoter Asia. So he’s been a pilot for 20 plus years for United Airlines, as a serial entrepreneur founded multiple companies. The lesson I got from this interview with him was that, you know, his latest company is a company that produces drones for commercial purposes. And, you know, initially they’re thinking some of the applications might be security. So you think on the outside of a military base, having drones on the outside, instead of having, you know, places where you’d have a person who could fall asleep or could miss something, this has greater visibility. So that might be one of the applications. But when COVID hit, they realized there are other opportunities, for example, you know, people approached them about using drones to clean, large indoor spaces, because one of the differentiators about them is that their drones work in indoor spaces, because most drones, apparently they operate on GPS, which requires being outside, but his work inside, so they could go for example, to an Indoor Stadium. And initially, he thought, Well, how are they going to carry cleaning supplies and spray down stuff like that, but it was actually UV light. So it could have a really bright light, and then use that for cleaning and decontaminating indoor spaces. So it’s kind of a really unexpected opportunity. But the point, I think that I take away from that is that you may not know where your market is going. But he made a decision to go into this industry, which combined some of his other interests like aviation, which is obviously his background as a pilot. But you know, he saw that this was a growth industry, because the drone industry has been growing tremendously. So he may not have known exactly where it’s going. But he knew that it was growing. And then it might lead to other applications as it did, like, you know, cleaning, you know, which is something that obviously, he didn’t anticipate. So that was the lesson I took from that.

Jeremy Weisz 38:23
No one anticipated a pandemic either where you would literally need a UV light to clean stadiums.

John Corcoran 38:30
Certainly not Yeah, they would have been pretty prophetic if they had thought of that. So.

Jeremy Weisz 38:36
So I have one last question. Before I ask it.

John Corcoran 38:40
I don’t know if there are any other interviews that you think about when you look at this past year, or that stick any stories that stick out, you know, it goes back to taking the time to have a great conversation with someone that you admire and respect. And there are so many people like that. I mean, Rob Michon, interviewed this year, so known for a long time, and just never took the time to interview him. And you know, again, if I hadn’t doubled the number of output, I probably wouldn’t or maybe wouldn’t have taken the time to interview him. But I reached out during the year and had a great conversation. Really smart guy. So that’s one for sure. Carl Arnold, amazing guy. He built a business to over 100 million hospitality businesses. You know, they would build hotels, but he loved the security of longer term contracts. So they built these hotels that were like next to railroad stations and they would get contracts with these railroad stations to house some of the people who worked for the railroads who had to do an overnight kind of job in aviation. You know, you have a flight crew that needs to do it overnight. So in that sense, it kind of became a b2b option for him. So I think that was really smart. That was a great one. Who else comes on? Oh, Justin Breen, who you know, from Chicago former journalist turn PR specialist and you know, the funny thing is, is really what he really is is a connector and he uses making connections making introductions as his currency just like you and I do, but he’s amazing at it in order to lead to additional opportunities for him.

Jeremy Weisz 40:17
One of my favorite books is Blitzscaling. And you actually had one of the co-authors. Yeah, Chris Yeh.

John Corcoran 40:27
Yeah. Yeah. Chriss is a co-author with Reed Hoffman, Blitzscaling, founder of LinkedIn, he joked that, you know, if you’re gonna put out a book, and you want to make it a bestseller, co author it with a billionaire, that’s a great way to get a best selling book. Yeah, real, you know, real smart guy, real hard working, worked in the startup game for a long time, but really good at also building relationships, and

Jeremy Weisz 40:55
then talk about how he knew Reed Hoffman or anything like that. I

John Corcoran 40:59
can’t remember exactly how they got to know each other. But I know years ago, when he graduated, I think it was when he graduated from college. And he ended up starting an in person networking group for alumni of his college in Silicon Valley. And it ended up kind of taking off and a lot of people came to it, I think, like Elon Musk came to some of the events that he organized. And of course, as the organizer, you are the glue for that organization. And you know, I’m sure didn’t start small, you know, huge. It was a couple of people getting together for drinks and eventually got bigger and bigger. And so that inside it, he ended up growing a really big network. And I’m sure I think it was through that, that he eventually ended up meeting Reed Hoffman, if I remember correctly.

Jeremy Weisz 41:45
So I guess I just have to ask you the question that you ask your guests at the end of your show, which is, if someone’s at an award banquet, you know, Oscars or Emmys, and you’re being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for everything you’ve done. Oh, man, what everyone wants to know, who do you think, right? There are colleagues, there are friends, there are mentors, peers, business partners, but you know, we’ll just assume you’re going to thank your mom and dad and your spouse and your kids, you know, and everything. But from a business perspective, who do you want to think is a mentor or colleague that has had an impact?

John Corcoran 42:32
Man, I’ve never been asked that question before. I’ve asked it hundreds of times, but I’ve never been asked it. So now I appreciate you for your heart as well. Exactly. You certainly number one would be you because you know, you are my business partner and friend, and we’ve come a long way. And so I’m super grateful to you and you’re constantly knowing each other’s secrets too much. So

Jeremy Weisz 42:53
I like to say that. Exactly.

John Corcoran 42:54
And you’re a great inspiration. And, and you motivate me to work harder. And so that I appreciate that a lot. Yeah, and you know, another person comes to mind is Tony ruli, who, you know, he and I worked together with when it really might be a foundational transitional period from practicing law to, you know, building. I don’t know what you call that phase of time when I was doing a lot of webinars and, of course, yeah, digital business. Exactly. And he helped tremendously at that time. He’s still a good friend. Kevin Waldron also has been a longtime friend and mentor. I hope to see you again, Kevin, sometime soon,

Jeremy Weisz 43:36
I was buying pork, with Waldron isms. And I know

John Corcoran 43:41
when we’ve been bugging them for years to come out with more content. He is, unfortunately, he likes to be a little bit of a secret, we try to get him to come out of his shell and share his wisdom because we had him give to a number of our events. It was great. And then, you know, finally beyond that, I would just thank our team that we have right now. We’ve got a great team behind us that is about 25 now that are helping us to, really and it gets back to that purpose piece we’re talking about with Fran Biderman-Gross, you know, what’s your purpose. And our purpose is really, to help people to build life changing relationships, you know, with friends, with business partners with referral partners, and really to network in a smarter way build tremendous relationships with people. And so I’m so grateful to our team for helping us to do that and have a bigger impact than we ever could. Before, you know, on our own. Certainly,

Jeremy Weisz 44:38
I think some of the people that have given us advice I think you would agree. Like Dan Kuschell and I in garlic, who when we have questions we just remembered, you know, Dan was a Sherpa at one of our events too. And I remember us sitting around the table after the event at lunch and him giving us feedback. You know, candid feedback.

John Corcoran 44:59

Jeremy Weisz 44:59
What he liked, what we thought, what he thought we could improve. And he always does that.

John Corcoran 45:03
Yeah, I thank you for reminding me that both of them were guests, in prior years on my podcast, and both a big influence on us and our business and helping it really mutual beneficial relationship, I hope they would both say, where it’s a two way street, and whenever we get to get on the phone with either of them, that we’re seeking to deliver value to one another. So

Jeremy Weisz 45:30
there was also a cold email on LinkedIn or called a message on LinkedIn. I sent them yeah, he responded. And like you said, it’s not just oh, I just sent him a copy. Obviously, you think about how you craft that email, the elements you put in that email or that message. And I ended up meeting up with him, actually, in Arizona at the Genius Network headquarters, and met him and I met Joe polish. And, you know, I hung out there for half a day. And since then, we’ve become great friends.

John Corcoran 46:00
Yeah. And I and garlic is someone who we knew somewhat, and he passed him in the halls at a conference, and we ended up having a much longer conversation with him. And a lot has come from that relationship.

Jeremy Weisz 46:12
So it’s great. anyone else that you think of? I mean, I’m sure we can go on and on, or is that? Is that the end of your speech? Is the bell going on? That’s it.

John Corcoran 46:23
That’s the end of my speech. Yeah, the orchestra has taken me off the stage now.

Jeremy Weisz 46:29
Well, thanks for sharing the podcast of your interview. And I just want to point people towards more episodes at smartbusinessrevolution.com to checkout. If you have questions about podcasting, or thinking about doing go to rise25.com. And I’ll give a selfless plug, go to inspiredinsider.com. Of course, all roads lead back to Rise25 anyway, so that’s fine. Check all of them out the other amazing episodes of guests sharing all these gems and lessons. So thanks for having me.

Outro 47:04
Thank you for listening to the Smart Business Revolution Podcast with John Corcoran. Find out more at smartbusinessrevolution.com. And while you’re there, sign up for our email list and join the revolution. And be listening for the next episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast.