067: Pro Wrestling and Podcast Movement with Dan Franks

On this episode of Build Your Network, Host Travis Chappell interviews Dan Franks, the co-founder and co-organizer of Podcast Movement.

Here’s what Travis and Dan discuss in this episode:

  • About Dan Franks
    • Spent his 20’s as a pro-wrestler.
    • He now runs live events for a living, but never expected to do that.
    • His background is a CPA, doing taxes.
  • How long were you a professional wrestler and how did that come about?
    • He never grew out of his love of pro-wrestling, he knew he wanted to do that when he grew up.
    • In college he gave it a go and travelled for about 10 years wrestling professionally.
  • When he got to college, he trained to be a wrestler and did that on the weekends.
    • When he graduated he kept wrestling, but then started doing taxes.
    • He wrestled and did taxes at the same time.
    • When he showed up at tax meetings with black eyes and other pro-wrestling marks, he knew something had to go.
      • At this point he stopped wrestling.
    • From CPA to event organizer
      • He was listening to a lot of podcasts at work doing a lot of busy work.
      • One of his co-workers listened to a lot of the same podcasts.
      • Then he and his co-worker started a podcast about business and entrepreneurship.
      • This lead them to go to some conferences that included podcasters.
        • These were more generic conferences that included blogging and more.
      • He realized that there weren’t a lot of places that were just for podcasters.
      • A few people at those conferences got together to start their own podcasting event.
    • The first Podcast Movement Event
      • They figured out that putting on the event would be really expensive.
      • They started crowdfunding on Kickstarter when it was a new thing.
        • They called it the first dedicated national podcasting conference.
        • They shared the page with their friends.
        • They presold tickets to the event on Kickstarter.
        • This was the first step to put the event together.
      • What did finding speakers for Podcast Movement look like?
        • People were really excited about the event and interested in speaking.
        • It was a combination of reaching out to a lot of friends and people they had met at other conferences.
        • The bigger named people were a little more hesitant, because they had to guard their time a little more.
          • Now pretty much everyone who turned them down, has since speak at the event.
          • They’d asked John Lee Dumas for the first year, and he let them know that he didn’t have time, but he wished them good luck.
            • They decided not to take no for an answer, so they asked John if he would just come.
            • They finally got to the point where John agreed to moderate a panel at the event.
            • This turned into a relationship where John has taken part every year.
          • Some people say no the first time to everyone, and then start vetting people on the second attempt.
        • Do you believe that what you know or who you know is more important and why?
          • It has to be who you know.
            • A lot of what you know comes from who you know.
          • In what Dan has done, everything has started with a person.
          • He’s in the fake it ‘til you make it camp.
            • The easiest way to learn something is to dive into the deep end.
          • Tell us about a time in your life where a connection lead to a big moment of success.
            • A project he’s working on now came from a suggestion from someone very high up in the podcast space.
              • He felt there was a need that Dan and his partner would be a great fit for.
            • People they know are starting to bring us things that are based on those relationships they’ve built with them.
          • Why do you think that people neglect to network?
            • It’s hard, most people are introverted in nature.
            • There are a lot of online interactions and people don’t know how to cross over to a more personal type of relationship.
            • The digital divide keeps relationships from happening.
            • He loves live events because you can use them to bring people together and have real conversations.
          • How do you deal with the fear of rejection?
            • You have to ask yourself “what’s the worst that could happen?”
            • They still have people turn them down even when it really makes sense.
            • Every year Audio Technica turns them down for sponsorship, even though it makes a lot of sense.
            • The worst case scenario would happen anyway if you don’t ask.
          • If you had to narrow networking down to one tip, what would it be?
            • Make connections online first.
            • Find facebook groups and Twitter handles related to the events you’re going to go to.
            • If you’ve tweeted with someone before or commented on their blog posts, you can go up to them and bring up the time you had a conversation with someone.
          • What do you think about business cards?
            • Bring them, or have them, but don’t give it unless you’re asked for it.
            • The conference he runs has people from every age range.
              • Some people only know how to do networking with business cards.
            • He personally would want to have a business card to give, but wouldn’t necessarily want to throw them around on his own.
          • Of everyone you’ve met, who is the best networker that you know?
            • Dan says he’s not great at it naturally, but luckily his business partner Jared Easley is a master networker.
            • He’s great at connecting with people on Facebook and following up with them.

The Random Round:

  • What profession other than your own do you think it would be fun to attempt?
    • Professional Wrestling again
  • If you could sit on a park bench for any hour with anyone past or present, who would it be?
    • Mark Cuban, he’s local to Dallas and they’re seeing everything he does from both a business and a personal perspective.
  • How do you like to learn best, books, blogs, podcasts or video?
    • Podcasts/audio
  • One of your favorite podcasts.
    • Something to Wrestle – newer podcast hosted by Brother Love.
    • Raised by TV – newer podcast by two comedians about 90’s TV.
  • Give us a glimpse of your morning routine:
    • Wake up around 5am
    • Get ready and do crossfit
    • Come home, eat breakfast, get to work
  • What is your go-to pump up song:
    • Listens to podcasts, not music
  • What are you not very good at?
    • Networking, cooking
  • Find him on Twitter @DMFranks or his personal site DanFranks.me

Tweetable Quotes:

  • The easiest way to learn something is to dive into the deep end.
  • The worst case scenario would happen anyway if you don’t ask.

Resources Mentioned:

Buildyournetwork.com – Podcast website

DanFranks.me – Dan’s personal site

Podcast Movement – Podcasting Conference

Audio Technica – Audio Equipment Company

John Lee Dumas

Something to Wrestle With Podcast

Raised by TV Podcast

Planet Money Podcast

Startup Podcast

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