April Malone interviews Adam Webber, who is the founder and developer of a podcast app called CallCast. Adam is currently working from home since March of 2020 and has been working with a team to develop phone app. Most recently, they developed an app that could be used by on-the-go podcasters who want to record themselves or even conduct interviews and do light editing all on the phone. In order to test out his own app, he challenged himself to test it to the limits by recording and publishing a new interview with a new person every single day for a year. He's chosen to ask people to record stories about their fears and the things they've learned about themselves as they've faced or challenged those fears. Adam had interviewed April on his podcast (episode 296) and returned the favor by coming onto this show to discuss some of his own fears and the adjustment from working in a shared working space where he could easily collaborate and brainstorm with like-minded people to working from his home office. He talks about letting go of some of his own perfectionism and sharing his product after many months and the process of slowing down and embracing a new hobby after pushing himself so hard to get this app launched.
Watch our episode together on Adam's Podcast: https://adam.callcast.co/embed/-MJnHlGTgyLUn_0yq8Zw
Check out Adam's podcast: https://adam.callcast.co/
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April Malone 0:03
Hello, Hello. My name is April Malone, and I'm with Yes, I Work From Home; and this is the podcast. Today, I have Adam Webber with us. He is the founder and developer of a podcast app called CallCast. Did I get that right, Adam?
Adam Webber 0:17
Yeah, you're off to a good start.
April Malone 0:19
Good. Take it away. Why don't you tell us what you do, where you are, what you're up to?
Adam Webber 0:23
Yeah, so absolutely, absolutely. So, a little backstory on me is, I now work from home, since coronavirus hit; and I have been developing with my team an app for podcasters and anyone who wants to record, edit, and publish a podcast right from their phone, callcast.co is a solution to try and handle that studio little podcaster for anyone who's like a podcaster on the go. And, really, the mission behind it was to make it really easy for anyone to connect and record a podcast and just take out all the difficulties of how to get guests on your show. And part of that was, one, just my love of story and connecting with people; and, two, my dad wanted to record a podcast, and he lives in an entirely different state than I do. And so I got on a call with him. This was a couple years ago now, and I was trying to tell him go to this browser and download this software; and it was a total nightmare for him. And he eventually just kind of gave up; because, you know, it was just a frustrating experience then. I think the podcasting world has evolved a lot within the last one to two years, it's come a long way. And, especially, you know, on this topic of working from home, you know, more people are wanting to connect and wanting to, you know, record stories with each other as they're going through these crazy times. And I think, with Zoom and stuff like that, people are becoming more comfortable just kind of connecting like we are right now, where you're doing these video calls; because people are experiencing this style of work from home when they're connecting with their coworkers and having Zoom meetings and conferences and stuff like that. So, the world within the last year has accelerated in ways in which we're meeting each other, connecting with each other. I met you on doing another podcast right? And had the pleasure of--
April Malone 0:23
Yeah, I got to try out your app, it was pretty painless.
Adam Webber 2:18
April Malone 2:24
I just installed it, you sent me the connection, and we went for it.
Adam Webber 2:37
Yeah, so the idea was to make it multiple ways to record. One was phone calls, and that's just like a dead simple way for anyone to record a podcast with each other. So one option is I could have sent you a phone number, said call this phone number, and we'll record. Another is if you download the app, you kind of get more of the quality of going to VoIP route, so more like Skype or Zoom or something like that.
April Malone 3:00
So, your podcast theme is fear. Can you talk about how you landed on that? I talked with you for 45 minutes about, I don't know how long we went, but it was a while, about fear. And it was really interesting, because it conjured up some stories that I hadn't thought about for 45--for 15 years.
Yeah, I loved your story. And imagining you in a plane as a young girl, like doing these loop-de-loops and stuff like that. That was such a wild and cool story that I think, you know, a lot of kids don't--have never experienced that. So, it's so unique.
So, Adam, you are doing 365 interviews in one year.
Yeah, one new person every day was my goal. And the idea was, it was about to be New Years; and I had been working on this app with my team and not releasing it. You and I have spoke previously about perfectionism, right, and getting caught in--anytime--I think a lot of people who are creating anything, whether it's a podcast or artwork or music or whatever it might be that you're creating, an entrepreneur building something, you have to put it out into the world. But you also don't want that criticism that the world has, right, and it doesn't work for people; and they get angry, or you just feel like you're letting people down or you don't want it to reflect badly on you. So you hold it close, and you keep working on it; and you always find one thing that you could make a little better, right? And, so, for me, it was like I'm going to draw a line in the sand and New Years. We're coming up on New Years, you know, so it's like again. So it's like a opportunity for anyone to take on a challenge and say, "You know what, I'm going to try something new and give myself permission to do something." And, so, for me, it became a definitive moment when I could push something out into the world. And, then, with doing so. I'm a true believer where, if you are going to build something like a product or an app and put it out into the world, you should really use it to the extreme so you can know it in and out. And so, for me, it was putting this app out in the world for anyone to make a podcast; but then I'm gonna challenge myself to know what would it be like to make a podcast every single day with a new person and push that out into the world. And, so, if I can do it and not have it take over my life or become this, you know, difficult thing, then I can deliver on that promise to other people also, right? So, I'm really eating my own dog food, so they say, right? So, it's like, if it works, then I'll know. And, also, I'll be able to empathize with my users more. Like, where are the pain points? And put myself in their shoes. Even like, what's it like inviting a guest onto your show? And will they show up? Or will they not show up? And, like, all those kind of hurdles that you have to deal with? And what does it feel like when your guest doesn't show up? You know, do I take it personally and like, you know, does it say something about me? Or can I just let it roll off my back and be like, "You know what, there's other people out there who are willing to talk and moving forward. So, just, the more I can understand, like, what it feels like to be a podcaster and go through that journey, the better I can serve other people and help them with their journeys.
Have you had anyone ghost you? Have you been able to get your goal of that once every day?
Adam Webber 6:19
I've never missed a day yet. And I've been ghosted so many times, right? It happens more often than you think. But, really, what I had--and what's interesting is you learn the lessons through the way, right? So, like, I would stop scheduling people so late in the day, I would only schedule up until a certain point in the day. That way, if I did get ghosted, I have more time to find somebody, and it takes pressure off me. And if you take pressure off you, then you don't leak that negative energy out onto other people. Right? So, like, especially when it comes, you know, talking working from home, right? So, it's like, I've been ghosted, and then my poor wife would have to get my stress, because I'm scrambling to find a guest and stuff like that. Right? So how do you just keep the energy around you better energy? Well, just do a little better planning, right? So like, if I haven't, and then it comes into, like, really confirming with people the day before, yu know? That's one of the things my wife told me. "Well, why don't you?" I would schedule someone, and I'd be like, "Well, every time I schedule something, you know, I try to be always be true to my word, I'm going to show up. If I say I'm going to be there, I'm going to be there. So why wouldn't other people be the same way, right?" And so you come to find out, it's just not the way the world works. So my wife would say, start confirming with people the day before, and lo and behold, I started--I listened to her, confirmed the day before, and the amount of people then that would not ghost me went up by like--improved my rate of people showing up by like 80% to 90%. It was like, because I think, you know, she pointed out that a lot of people are doing podcasting for the first time; so, they might get nervous, or they might have forgotten, and then you're reminding them like right before their podcast. They're more like, wait a minute, what did I sign up for? Whereas, if you remind someone the day before, they can mentally prepare and be open and willing then to show up?
April Malone 8:17
And stay home, ready to record? Yeah, I can see that. I've had that a few times where I'm like "Eh, I don't want to like be that person and, you know, maybe not be trusting that they can--but then again, as a busy mom, I definitely like, I'm the person who sets multiple reminders on my phone for everything, or I will totally, you know, brain scramble and, you know, be across town or helping a kid. And not--yeah. It's easy to-- we give grace to one another more than we do for ourselves sometimes, so, yeah.
Yeah. And that's a that's a really good point. And I think it becomes a valuable lesson. And if we can have that opportunity to remind ourselves to treat ourselves with more compassion with whatever it is and not beat up on ourselves and not take things personally, it frees things up--like it takes weights off your own shoulders.
How did you determine your theme though? You went with fear.
So, the theme was sort of easy for me; because, one, it was something I was personally wrestling with, right? Not releasing the app because of fear. I hadn't yet--even though I was building a podcasting app, and I love podcasts, right? I grew up listening to public radio and always like loving stories of, like, that human existence kind of stories of what brings us together.
Adam Webber 9:49
Yeah, I loved--I love This American Life. I grew up on it since I was a kid right? It's so old, so ancient.
April Malone 9:59
Stuff You Should Know, that's our favorite.
And, so, but I had yet to record actually even my first episode; because it feels scary to record even a podcast and stuff, right? So there was all this fear, whether it was the entrepreneurial journey that I've been on for a long time or putting, you know, stuff out into the world. Just overthinking things and taking, you know, 10 times longer than probably what needed to be. Like, what you learn is once you do something, you learn that, wow, that first episode, like, if I had only done that a few months earlier, I would have been way farther along on my journey of where I am now. And so many times, we spend more time than necessary over preparing, and over, you know, like, "Oh, I got to get the right microphone, I got to get the right this, I got to get the right that." And it's just--at the end of the day, like those things can come. You can add on to those things. But if you're trying to make everything perfect on your first episode, you'll find out nothing's always perfect. And, like, just you told me the other day, how like, you tried to go Facebook Live; and you've tried to do all this, and things go wrong, it's just gonna happen.
You mentioned perfect--you said the word perfect, and we were talking about perfectionism. I think a lot of people just say, "I'm really bad about procrastination." But that really is probably another way to say, "I'm a perfectionist." But you're saying the reason that you're procrastinating and you're a perfectionist is because of the fears that you have. What kind of fears, like, you were wrestling with?
Oh, I'm not good enough. You know, I'm gonna be judged, I'm gonna look stupid. You know, I'm just, it's gonna fail, and people won't like it. Therefore, I gotta just make it like, perfect, perfect, perfect, or it just needs this one more feature. Or it's, you know, to be vulnerable and put yourself out into the world by just talking on a show like this. You know, it can be scary. But, then, I find once you accept the call--and that's what I was so grateful for you the other day, because when I reached out to you, you had like, 10 minutes to prepare; and you're like, "Okay, let's do this." And you hopped on, right? And I feel like when we live life with a little bit of that spontaneity and willingness to just jump feet first into something, the magic of life returns, the freeness of life returns, and you just, wow, this feels good to be doing something, whether it fails or you look--you know, you say something silly or stupid. It doesn't really matter. In the end, like, again, back to what you mentioned earlier, we're our own harshest critic, right? And we give other people--we give other people more leniencies than we do ourselves. And so, for me, fear was an easy topic, because it just was, so many things of what was holding me back in life had to do with fear. And, then, the other the other component, just to finish up on that thought, the other component was, I felt like I could do 365 podcasts with one new person every day, because I felt like fear was a topic that is so universal, that all of us have to walk that walk, and no one else can do it for us, but ourselves. And so there were people out there willing to share that story. And just tell me their story. And, as you know, my podcast is very much like, tell me a story. I'm just going to sit back and listen. Right? And I just want your story.
People really need to be vulnerable to share that.
Yeah. And I think that's why, you know, speaking to being ghosted, right? I would phrase it in my mind of "Well, they weren't, you know, have compassion towards that person. They didn't show up to record with me, because they're still working on going through that part of their story or that part of their journey. So, be compassionate to whatever they're experiencing."
I mean, that was the first time I ever have been a guest on a podcast. So, it was kind of a fun opportunity for me. But, yeah, you just have to kind of dive in and not think about it sometimes. I know, I was telling you some of my stories and how I generally don't dive into things; but, sometimes, you just have to--to get over a fear.
Adam Webber 14:10
Yeah, absolutely. And then--
April Malone 14:12
I told you my story about the needles, how I had been so afraid of needles for so many years; but, finally, I just signed up for a research study, and I just got stuck with like 15, you know, IVs and injections and there were even biopsies involved. And I went whole hog on that which probably wasn't exactly, like, baby steps but definitely got me over my fear.
It's brilliant. I think your story is so brilliant, because you had this extreme fear. Well, first of all, even before that, you felt like such a brave girl right? Because your dad was such like an adventurous person, and your mom was so outgoing and talkative, that you felt brave; and then you go into the hospital that one day, you see a needle for the first time you're like, Oh my god, I'm gonna--I can't do this right? But then, your kind of recipe to jump feet first into it. It's like that girl who can do loop-de-loops in an airplane, right? You're gonna just go to the extreme. And you actually became a guinea pig for science, which is so wild. I feel like people don't--most people don't do that. You know, it's like.
It paid the bills.
Adam Webber 15:17
Yeah, I guess it had two benefits. One, it got you over your fear. And, two, it paid you some money, which is cool. But, then, the other thing that you mentioned which I think is really fascinating is, once you faced your first fear like that, then you began to ask, "Well, what are my other fears?" And you made a list of fears, and you actually started knocking those off one by one. So what an--it's kind of like I feel like we need that first experience to challenge the idea that this fear is holding me back. And, once you do one, you see I can climb this mountain, what other mountains are up there that I can climb next? And it just leads you on this wonderful life journey? From one mountain top to the next? You know, it's kind of sad when we get caught. Maybe look back in life, and we maybe had never even attempted to scale that first mountain, you know? And the fact that you were willing to just say--you took, I think you said 26 years old, you signed up for science, right? And you knocked it out. And then you spent, you know, the rest of your years right away just jumping in, what's my next fear? What's my next fear? And I think that's really cool to have that kind of tenacity to take on and just live a greater life that way.
April Malone 16:33
It definitely gave me some strategies, I guess, for--You know, because those were things that I still had control over. I made the decision to sign up for this, you know, I had to go through that brain battle. But now, you know, I'm a mom. I've got kids, you know, we've had to do a lot of things. And I think it just kind of gives you like, strategies to deal with things as you face them, maybe even the unexpected ones. Like "Well, I've lived through the other things before, I guess I'm gonna make it through this as well."
Yeah, I love that. I love that.
Let's talk a little bit about your background. So, you said you've been working from home only during the pandemic, what was happening before that?
So pre pandemic, I worked from a co-working space which was really cool. It was WeWork. And it was a really amazing environment to work in, because you are around so many other creative, interesting people who are building their dreams, building their companies. So, it was small scale. You know, kind of--
So it was like a shared--like did you pay rent to have like a desk?
Yeah, so I paid--
Or just drop in?
Adam Webber 17:42
Nope, I paid rent and actually had a permanent desk office setup. And then, the shared parts, you have, you know, like a kitchen and coffee and kind of a private office room that you could book and go into the office with whiteboards and stuff like that. And the WeWork experience, for anyone that had it, was, when it first launched, a really, you know, they made a really cool environment. They would have like, they'd bring in lunches. And all the different people would come and have like Taco Tuesday or something together, and you just meet people and share ideas; and so much of the time, you would meet other people that are working on cool things and kind of be able to help you out. Because you're trying to figure out how to do something. So it became like a really cool--
April Malone 18:33
Was it more like a maker space? People were there to collaborate?
Oh, I'm not necessarily but I would say that's just like kind of one of the beneficial things of when you can get into an area with a lot of creative people, you're all working on your own companies, but you have an opportunity to kind of cross pollinate on ideas.
Right? Hey, I need some feedback here.
Yeah. And so--
I do have a place that's about a mile from us; and, literally, the first week of March, I was in and out of there several times looking at using their conference rooms. I wanted to conduct focus groups for some market research and just kind of getting some ideas about what people who work from home might need. And, since, you know, I have a small house with, you know--and I wanted to bring in like 12 or 15 people at a time, or 8 to 15 people, I was looking at their big conference tables. And it was really good. Like, you could--I think I could have rented, I could have signed up from like, say, 20 hours a month. And I could either just sit at their desk, you know, they're open drop-in spots, or I could reserve the conference conference room; and that's what I was planning on doing. And I was literally going to start reserving those rooms like the week of the pandemic. So, it never came to fruition. So how is that maker space working now?
Yeah, so it's the same for me; so, I, when the pandemic hit--and so that's the drawback of the collaborative space office, right? There's people from all over the world traveling in and out of these office spaces, right? And people literally would use these collaborative offices as like hubs. Right? So people would fly in from China or from the East Coast like New York, and they would have like a satellite little office; but their main headquarters is back in New York, right? And, so, really quickly, I was like--I am dropping. And the sad thing, yeah, the sad thing is, is I had had a membership with them for six years; and then I asked them, "Hey, will you pause my membership while this pandemic is happening?" And they said, "No, we're gonna keep charging you month to month." And it was like a really insane bad break. It was like a bad breakup with a long-time relationship, which was sad for me, because I had loved the company so much. But fascinating articles or if you just like Google, I think people have created podcasts all around just the implosion of this company that was like a billion dollar company and just watch them meltdown to nothing, it's a fascinating--
Do you think that it is all of them, though? Because I know there's like the Regis spaces and stuff like that too, where people can rent, kind of like the Airbnb of office spaces. I'm assuming that entire industry has been hit. But I actually did listen to a podcast the other day, that said, in some ways, that industry--I mean, I guess it just depends on how they handle it; because, in some ways, people that have had these long-term agreements, a lot times office spaces rent their space for 10 years. The contracts are long contracts. And so, now, some of these companies have started to say, "Hey, we're going to make this a more flexible office space rather than like a contract with one company. So, it probably just depends on how you handle it.
Yeah. So in WeWorks case, their problem was, you could think of them like Starbucks, where they, pre-pandemic, their business plan was to buy up so much land, so much space. And, so, they themselves overextended and owed.
Adam Webber 22:09
They over committed, and they were signing those 50 year, you know, or, you know, 20-year contracts with these buildings in like, amazing locations; so, the rent that they got left holding the bag on was way more than what they were taking in when everybody was a mass exodus, right? So, they're sitting there, they still have to pay rent. Although the thing that was so crazy is, I found out that they stopped paying their rent to their landlords; but, yet they were trying to charge me rent--
April Malone 22:38
Adam Webber 22:38
Demand my rent, and so yeah, it just--they got kind of lost along their way on their mission of, you know, building community and how to how to treat people. Especially during a pandemic, how we treat each other, really is going to be a tell, I think, and have longer lasting impacts.
April Malone 22:58
I'm curious how you ended up choosing to work in a space like that versus like a home office? And then how are you feeling right now? Now that you've been working from home? Are you feeling like, "As soon as I can, I gotta get back to another shared space like that." Or are you thinking, "Hey, I can maybe do this long term"?
What's so fascinating is I had worked at WeWork for so many years and really loved it. But if I reflect back now on my last year there, I was ready for a change of office space; and I wasn't loving it. And it really gave me an opportunity to set up a home office space that feels really good. And, right now, I absolutely love my home office space.
Are you in it right now?
Adam Webber 23:45
I'm in it right now. And just the natural light that comes out, and I have the benefit--I have like a beautiful patio like door that opens up that goes out into a beautiful patio. So, it's incredible. I mean, you can't hear it right now, unfortunately, there's construction that, in the last week, just started across the street; and we'll see how long that lasts. Because there's only so much jackhammering I think I'll be able to take each day.
April Malone 24:15
Especially when you're trying to record a podcast every day. Do they jackhammer at specific times of the day, have you been able to find a pattern?
Yeah. So, I mean, it's been starting early and going throughout the day.
Adam Webber 24:27
So, yeah, we'll have to see how that's going. But, like, it goes back to this. There's some aspects of home office that, you know, maybe it would happen in a maybe in a normal office, you could be more, you know, protected by some of the elements of what's going on right outside.
April Malone 24:48
Or it could happen there too.
Adam Webber 24:49
Or it could happen there too. You just don't know. Yeah, so I guess the biggest thing is community that I'll miss, of having that kind of serendipitous opportunity to just be meeting all kinds of amazing people. And I think what I will do is eventually go back to some of that, a blended model with, back into a shared space like that, but maybe at like a reduced kind of package with them.
April Malone 25:16
Like two days a week.
Adam Webber 25:18
April Malone 25:20
Have you been able to keep in touch with any of the people that you were, you know, office mates with?
Adam Webber 25:24
Yeah, so. And a big part of my life now is surfing, I surf as much as possible, you know, like a little bit each day.
April Malone 25:35
Oh, right, you're in LA.
Adam Webber 25:36
I'm in Los Angeles. So, for me surfing--
April Malone 25:38
When I think surfing, I think of surfing the internet, but you mean like, literally surfing.
Adam Webber 25:42
Literally surfing. And I owe that to a group of guys that I met at that office, right? Where they were like, "We all want to learn to surf, let's go together." And, so, there was a group of guys, that we all started learning to surf together. And it was such a fun, awesome experience. And I still keep in touch with a bunch of those guys. And, yeah, so. And one of my other friends that I was in the office with, actually, he's been doing a podcast now for a long time, with incredible people. And I was just on his podcast yesterday. So, yeah. It's just I'd meet all kinds of incredible people and had the fortune of staying in touch with them.
April Malone 26:24
So, the team that you were working with to develop CallCast, now were they people that you knew in person in real life? Or are they people that you were collaborating with virtually?
So it's both. So, pre-CallCast, I've always been in app development and product development. And so this was part of my team that we were doing apps, and I still do apps for other people on the side, just to bring in some extra money. So, it's basically my team which is a distributed team, people work from all over; but we've also grown since the pandemic, and I have more people who have worked, and it's just always been kind of a distributed team, where we're in the US and abroad, all over. It's made--it's kind of just, we've always used the tools for collaborative work but not needing to be in the same office space together. So, it just kind of was part of how we always worked.
What is your role in this team? Are you more of overseer manager of this? Are you in the nitty gritty day-to-day work?
So I'm doing more project management, overseeing you know, anything and everything that might need some work, I'll also hop in. It's just kind of being the founder of the product, I need to kind of do a little of everything at all times. So, it's just if testing needs to be getting done, I'll be in there testing things out. If it's, you know, sales and reaching out with clients or even, you know, I'm doing free workshops with people when they want to learn how to use the app, I'll get on a Zoom call and take them through just how to use the entire experiences, whatever needs to get done, I'll be working on that piece.
About how many hours a week are you usually putting in this kind of work from home stuff that you're doing right now?
It's kind of a bizarre schedule; because, on one hand, it's, I take time for myself, right? Like, I need to go into the ocean and surf, right? I need to, you know, read a book that has nothing to do with being a founder or whatever, but on, yeah, work. But on the other hand, you know, it's like, the other day, my phone buzzes; and somebody is on my website, reaching out to me through those little chat bubbles that pop up on your website, like, "Hey, I'm trying to figure out how to do XYZ." So it's like, two in the morning; and I'm on with that person, like, "Hey, here's, let me help you, here's how we can do it." Right? And it just so happened that I was able to. But I love that, right? I love being able to be there anytime someone needs help and I see it, I'm gonna be there to help you. Right? Anytime. If you were like, "Hey, I want to hop on a Zoom call or whatever," if I'm in front of my computer or whatever, it doesn't matter what time of day it is, I'm going to do it; because I love the idea of helping somebody through their journey of you know, when it comes to podcasting, or storytelling or whatever. Like, I want to support you through that and I find that to be a magical experience for me. It's rewarding. So for me--
It's like you're on call 24/7.
Adam Webber 29:39
Yeah, I think of myself on call for 24/7, with the caveat of I know how important it is to do the things that recharge your batteries, like going for a walk on the beach or getting down to the ocean or, you know, walking my dogs and just--one thing I have noticed is I hit a point where I am getting kind of these migraines, I think, from staring at my screens too long. You know, like, too much time in front of the screens. And it's become a reminder that I need to break away a little more from the screens; because I just know it's from, you know, holding my phone like this close to my face for the amount of hours or staring into this monitor for so many hours, I feel the toll finally starting to add up.
April Malone 30:30
I know a lot of people, when they move home, it usually takes a few months before they start to have those aches and pains really get prominent, the headaches and things. A lot of times, from my experience, at least, I think it usually comes from a different ergonomic setup. When you were working at the WeWork space, was it their desk or their chair? Did you change? Or did you bring your own stuff? Did you bring anything home? What are you set up with right now?
Yeah, I mean, I have the exact same setup that I had there. So, I built--because I would work there, and then I'd come home and I'd work all night here. Right? So, it's just like I would be on when I was in, like, the main building aspects of the app. Now it's a lot of just smaller upkeep and you know, working on features, a little slower, and just kind of more less of the heavy, heavy building from the early days. But, by then, it was 24, you know, around the clock. So I'd be up all night, all day there, all night here. So I'd have the same setup there that I have here and replicated that.
When you're doing your interviews using our phone, are you using a headset with earbuds? Or are you holding your phone with your ear to your shoulder?
I actually do mine on my side through speakerphone. I don't recommend other people doing it through speaker, but I just kind of hold my phone with the speaker right up and just talk directly into the speaker. And I just get close enough that I know that my voice is going right into the mic.
Right, yeah. I've had kind of hit and miss experience with speakerphone. So I know--I use earbuds usually, and I also got like a dongle or whatever you call it? A little thing that I can even use my USB headset with my phone, with my iPhone; but it requires buying a lot of different kinds of connections.
Adam Webber 32:27
Yeah, that's really cool. I was gonna say, I listen to my guests, right when they come on, I'm always asking them like, "Hey, can you hear me okay? I'm trying to--" You know, and I gauge them; and many people that, when they're on speaker, I hear it; and so I ask them to take it off speaker just to get it, make sure they get a little more crisp.
April Malone 32:49
Right, yes. I wanted to talk a little bit about your transition working from home. So, did you say that you already had an office set up at your home? Or did you have to do anything to change things from when you went from going into the office every day to going into your home office?
Adam Webber 33:06
Yeah, so I had a desk kind of office that I would come home to. It wasn't really office office, it was just kind of a desk area, but nothing--I wasn't thinking about, you know, organizing it or making it nice, specifically with kind of like Zoom-like calls or, you know, when we do our, you know, with my team, kind of Zoom meetings, stand ups, we call them, where everyone gets on a call and we kind of start to make sure we're all on the same page. I never really--you know, I never gave any kind of thought to how the room was going to be set up or structured or anything like that. And, so, I did a total--it gave me an opportunity to kind of rearrange the office space room.
April Malone 33:53
For the asthetics?
Adam Webber 33:56
Yeah, just, and if you're going to be now sitting there a lot longer, like make sure it's a place that you're comfortable in, right? Like make sure it's something that you feel good sitting and spending time in. So, I feel very blessed to have the the kind of room and office space that I have. That being said, it's a lofty area; so, my poor wife has to, you know when I'm on like I'm about to do a podcast call and she's like okay, I'll turn off the radio or, you know--so there's some give and take there.
April Malone 34:26
Are you like in more of a high-traffic area in your home, where your setup now?
Traffic as in outside?
Oh, as in, like, inside, like is this right in your like kitchen, living room, dining room area; or you like off in a bedroom?
I sit, no, I sit--the office is like a loft that sits multi-story, that sits above a kitchen/living room or whatever.
Oh, open air to the rest of the--
Open air to the rest of the house. Yeah.
Yeah, gottit. And you mentioned dogs? I bet they like having your home?
Adam Webber 35:02
Three puppies, which I love; and I don't mind. So, for me, if I'm doing a podcast personally and they bark, it's just kind of--it's part of, you know, the soundscape of the world; and it's just kind of one of those things that I accept, and I'm learning to become less and less of a perfectionist and worry about those elements and embrace it as just kind of like--this is part of the fabric that makes for, you know, the world in the place it is, just accepting those.
I feel like the tolerance for all of that has really gotten better, with so many people having now experienced working from home. You know, a lot of people are saying, "Oh, my executives in my company are now in T shirts, and they've got their kids running around, and now they feel the pain, you know, where a lot of times they, you know, they weren't compassionate about that lifestyle; and, I think at least maybe going forward, people will just be a little more tolerant of, you know, kids. I've got three kids, and I never know when my daughter is just going to, like, walk in.
April Malone 36:05
Yeah, I was in a meeting the other day with a client who wants to build an app; and we were doing a discovery call, and her kids kept coming in the room; and she was so apologetic and feeling so bad, because our kids desperately wanted her attention. And she just kept profusely apologizing; and I was like thoroughly was totally cool with her kids coming in; because I don't have kids. So, for me, I just see it as, like, a really sweet experience to have, you know, to have that and to see this kid who really wants, you know, "Mom, look at what I'm looking on my phone." Right? And it's just like, "You can't be in here" and it's like, "Oh, don't worry about it." To me, it's just, you know, it's life, right? It's not something to be embarrassed about or anything like that.
Right. I know, I was--I think I was recording the other day, I was recording myself actually. I gave my story; and, sure enough, halfway through, my daughter just comes on in; and she just needed me to like unbutton her dress or do something for her. And I just did; and I'm like, "Okay, go on out and don't interrupt me again." And it took me a few minutes to catch my train of thought; and I think even like rewound a couple of minutes and, like, had to just kind of start over that whole paragraph that I was speaking in. But one thing that we've done in our family is just, to give a little privacy for our family, is I try to always make sure that I've got my back to a wall, so that my family isn't like walking around behind me. My one daughter doesn't always dress up to--camera ready. She's not always wearing all of the clothes that she should have. And, so, I kind of have it so that, if she comes in, I can, you know, give her a loving touch and just be like "Okay, go on out now." So she's not always on camera. But, like, again, I think that people will just be a lot more accepting of that sort of thing. And I think most of us are--I mean, there aren't very many circumstances where it would be like a train wreck if a dog barked. You know, it really isn't that big of a deal. I know that, you know, there's always things that you can do to prevent that, you know; but is it really necessary all of the time? There's not very many times that it really matters.
I actually love that a lot. I love that we're becoming more tolerant of these things and finding less stress, and I feel like so much of the world, when it came to work and working from home and stuff, we put way more stresses on ourselves than we needed to be. And it's true with all the kinds of things we do in life.
So, I was talking about how I was doing some market research earlier on in the year about working from home and things like that; and it's kind of funny, you know, that we did this interview yesterday about fears. And that's actually one of the questions that I almost always asking people. You know, I would say, "Did you have any challenges when you started working from home? What are some of your current frustrations now?" But, then, there was a stinger question, and it was: "What are your fears about working from home?" And people would almost always say, "Oh, I don't have any fears about working from home." Then they'd pause, and then they would think of something. And it was a little bit amazing to me to watch that thought process happening in almost every single person; and, usually, they would say I'm afraid that I won't be able to work from home going forward, that someone will take this away from me. So, now that you've experienced this for six months, you know, what about you? Did you feel like you had any fears related to actually working from home? Or is it all just hunky dory-- great.
My thing was the community aspect, right? Like missing the connection of, you know, being--like that experience, you know, like, one of the greatest things for me now has been surfing and getting into the ocean. And I would never have had that happen in my life if it wasn't for that group of guys at the office kind of doing those things, right? So I feel like it kind of goes back--to a testament to your own mom who's willing to go talk to anyone, you know? You said she'd be in a grocery store line or whatever, and she'll just--or at the bank, and "Hey, how you doing?" Right? Talk to anybody. And I feel, like, when you put yourself out into the world, you open yourself up to have those kinds of interactions. But when we hide away in our home offices and never leave and shelter ourselves off, we kind of really close ourselves off from those serendipitous moments of meeting other people or just being open to having those experiences. That being said, on the flip side, like, for me, home office--also I'm always worried like, "Am I doing enough? Am I working hard enough? Am I getting enough done?" And it's always "No," right? And it's like, should I be working harder, should I be working more kind of situation and not having that clear gauge on that, right? Because time just feels weird when you're working from home and you're living at home, it just kind of blends into a weird thing.
It's something that you definitely grow into and adapt to. A lot of people, say, will select a portion of their homes, to be their workspace. And then, basically, when it's the workday, they'll go in; and when the workday is done, they'll leave. Other people have their workspace in the middle of the kitchen, you know, where they kind of always feel like that laptop is beckoning to come and do something. When you can actually close the door. I'm in a closet. I don't know if I mentioned this, but I'm in like a little small walk-in closet. And the cool thing is that I can close the door. So, when I have my weekend now, I didn't always have weekends--but, now, when I have a weekend, I can close the door. I don't have to look at it for two days. Great.
Did you set it up with acoustics and put, like, sound stuff on the walls or?
You know what? I bought that stuff, and I haven't put it up. And part of it is because I already have so much stuff in here. We did remove the clothing. We built two wardrobes from IKEA into our bedroom, our bedroom was not huge; but it was big enough to accommodate two side-by-side wardrobes are really tall, so they can hold a lot. But I'm teaching English as a second language as kind of my side gig right now. And I do have just a lot of like, there's some books; and there's a lot of like teaching materials. I use a lot of like physical props. It's actually just my kids' toy collection that I raided so I'd have like things to show. I can you know, hold up ice cream cone, I can hold up a frog, you know, just all these different thingsI have in here. I guess I have enough of that, that it kind of creates--there's carpeting on the floor, and there's just stuff all around that already has kind of created that sound buffer. But I bought like $60 worth of foam, as I haven't felt like I really needed it; so I haven't bothered. But I was gonna say, as far as you being at home and having to go through that change, kind of how cool is that, that you already had this podcast started; and you're making all these connections with new people. You've already met over 200 people this year, you know, and had a conversation with them. Do you feel like that has kind of helped ease that pain of that transition of not having your day-to-day connection in the office?
Adam Webber 43:12
I was telling someone the other day that, for me, I feel very stressed; and, then, once my podcast happens, I feel less stressed. Because, one, I've met my goal which is recording that day. But, two, also it's a very special experience when someone is willing to share their story with you. And just to open up and tell you--and, to me, having that connection where someone is just really baring their, you know, what I've been through in life and what I learned is a beautiful moment. And, so, for me, it became the best part of my day is to have--you know, and I intentionally keep it short around that 20-minute mark. And if it runs a little longer, great, or a little shorter, great.
April Malone 43:57
I'm sure I went way longer than 20 minutes.
No, but to me, it's great. But that 20 minutes also is just to take some pressure off other people, right? Because, if you're a guest but you're more shy and you don't, you know, feel like, oh my god--you know, I've had people like "I can't talk for 20 minutes." And I'm always like, "You'll be surprised at how fast the time goes by," you know?
Yeah, and it's very low pressure, just "However long you want, just go for it, and then I'll ask you a few questions to follow up." I really liked that approach.
Adam Webber 44:24
Ah, I appreciate it. Yeah, and it's been special, just, you know, people sometimes worry about it more than they need to; and then they start talking, and then it just becomes like a natural flow for them to just share their story. And, to me, you're right, like, not having an office where I'm interacting with people but having that podcast where people are still. And there's something about podcasting and when you're asking those kind of questions, when people are really opening up and sharing their life. That's so much better than just the small talk you might get at the office with like, "Hey, how's your day?" "Great, great, okay." You know, and you walk past each other in the hallway. But to really have a deep conversation with somebody for at least 20 minutes each day is, you know--it's kind of like a therapeutic moment.
April Malone 45:07
And it's not like you're just listening to people's sales pitch for 20 minutes. I know a lot of podcasts, you know, it's just "Oh, just tell me what you do and what are you selling and, you know, go ahead and tell my audience what you're--what you're trying." I mean, I know that that's an aspect of some of it, I know. But you are asking some, like I said, vulnerable questions, like talking about your fear is not something that people just normally go straight to. I don't normally just stand up and say, "Oh, by the way, I was really afraid of this thing." You know, that's not a part of our life or our personality that we're usually willing to present to other people; and, like, when you just watched 200 people do it ahead of you, you can be like, "I can do that, too." Do you think that a lot of your guests are first time podcast guests?
Yeah, my guest today was.
Adam Webber 45:49
She messaged me after, and she's like, "Oh my God, that was my first time. I was so nervous but now I loved it."
April Malone 45:55
It was my first time yesterday.
Adam Webber 45:55
Yeah, she was like, "Oh, can I do--do you want to do another one." And I had to say--
April Malone 46:01
One is good!
Adam Webber 46:02
I mean, I love it; and I love the enthusiasm. But, for me, you know, my goal was one new person every day, right? So it's got to be somebody new that I have not spoken to. But otherwise.
April Malone 46:12
You're helping people overcome their fear.
That's the beautiful thing. It's an opportunity for, and I think there is a lot of fear with, you know. But my hat is off to anybody, and I recommend it to anybody. If you are listening, if you have never been on a podcast, I feel like it's one of those bucket list things that you should try at least once. You know, like, there's so many podcasts out there now. Find a title of somebody recording something that resonates with you, whether it's work from home or anything else. You know, like, find a podcast where you are like, you know, and just go on and do it as, like, a bucket list thing. Because it is a little nerve wracking at first, right? You're gonna go talk to someone you don't know. You're gonna get on a podcast. But it's also like rewarding and exhilarating and just kind of a cool moment in time. So I would suggest it.
It's like your moment of fame. Well, I think both of us probably are pretty approachable in that way. I've had almost all of my guests so far have been first time. I think two people had been on before, well, three. You will be my third, I think. And then you, too. So, now, all of you, Adam is looking to find a new person every day until the end of the year. So, how can people find you if they want to record with you?
Yeah, you can either go--an easy way is CallCast, just CallCast.co. Send me a message. There'll be a little chat thing that pops up and just say, "Hey, I heard you have a podcast. I'd love to record with you." That's a super easy way. Or my email, my personal email, is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yeah, that's how we connected. So, it was easy, easy peasy. Not not too scary. We just chatted for a minute, and then he told me "Take a deep breath, and we're going to--I'm gonna unmute myself; and you can just talk for a while. And when you're done, then I'll ask a few questions." And it was really painless.
Yeah. So if you have a story about fear and something you've learned is what I've been exploring each each day. So, anyone with a fear and they feel like they learned something from facing their fear? Please, please, I have--what is it? 76 more days until this year is done? It's really crazy. So, I can't believe this year has just gone by so fast.
What are you gonna do next year?
Adam Webber 48:26
I don't know, I was wondering that. My wife made me promise not to do something where I have to get other people to join me each day of the year. So, yeah.
April Malone 48:36
365, yeah. Maybe scale it back to, like, once or twice a week. I'm trying to maintain twice a week. I don't know if it's gonna always happen. It depends. It would be nice if I could batch ahead and have, like, you know, three or four ready to go at a time so that I don't have that pressure. But you have determined not too batch, right?
Yeah, all mine is just live that day, I record a new person. So I had to get really good at figuring out how to do scheduling and just kind of that follow up to connect with people. How long for you did you know you wanted to create a podcast before you ended up actually doing yours?
It was over a year. It was definitely over a year. And, then, I thought that I would definitely have it live by June 1. And it finally went live in the middle of September. So, too long. You know, I waited too long. I felt like I needed to have all these different things in place and, you know, know what I was doing. And, then, when I finally just got it started, I think it definitely opened doors, too. You know, like now that I've had a podcast, you found me. We were able to connect, and then it makes it easier for me to be a guest, it makes it easier for other people to find me once it's already established. So it's just a matter of taking that first step. I wanted to wrap up with one last question: What have you learned about fear now that you've talked to over 200-some people asking them these questions?
Yeah, it's a beautiful thing, in a couple different ways. One, I truly believe, just like you, where, when you challenged your fear of needles and, then, all of a sudden, you found yourself making that list, right? And just checking--like what else? You know, you begin to ask yourself, what else am I capable of, that I didn't think I was capable of? And that's a powerful thing. So, for me, to now look back, I remember how daunting it kind of felt when I made that commitment. Right? I'm gonna do one new person every day. And, it was like, "Oh, my God," like month one, "I've already had so many people flake on me," month one is "Oh, my God, this can be so stressful if I haven't found a guest. And it's getting to be 11pm. How am I going to, you know--it's also--my challenge is record and publish that same day. So it's live for the person. So it's the whole thing, right? So there's just a lot of pressure related to it. So, now, I feel like it is one of those things where I am like, "Well, what else am I afraid of? What else has been holding me back because I want to do that?" And the other thing that I find so fascinating is I'm seeing these threads that weave all these stories together of all the different people that I'm talking about. There's just kind of elements that sort people, their stories kind of have the same elements, no matter that, that, you know, they fall into these kind of categories with each other. And one of the things, so much of the time, is when people start saying something out loud. Then they hold themselves accountable. So if my fear has always been something and I tell somebody about it, then I'm more likely to, you know, challenge my fear or take it on; or it becomes less scary. And just they're like--I'm starting to see these, like, just kind of threads from all these people. And, even in your case, you know, when people have taken on their fear, it makes them more courageous to keep taking on other fears; and they keep propelling themselves forward. I'm seeing those same patterns amongst all these people that I'm talking to. So it's a really cool thing.
For me, it was you know, I tackled several different things. I kind of was looking at the things not only that I felt afraid about but also the ones that I just avoided, or things that I have an aversion to, but why? Why do I have an aversion to that thing? Do I really not like the taste of mushrooms? You know, and I took a bite of a mushroom one day, I had my cousin's watching me, they were cheering me on. I was like, "Yep, I seriously don't like them. But now I know." I can't just say "I think I don't like them. Now, I know I don't like them."
Adam Webber 52:47
See, you had your cousin's cheering you on. See, that goes to the point of when we tell other people. You told your cousins, "I hate mushrooms." "Aw, are you're gonna try them?" And you do it, right? Like, when we involve other people. And that's why, you know, we might go back to working from home; but having community and having other people that we continuously connect with is such an important thing because then we become accountable to push ourselves forward and do these things. And, once we do them, they becomes stories we can tell. It becomes adventure and stuff like that.
April Malone 53:18
I love this. Thank you so much, Adam, for joining me today. I think we're gonna have to wrap it up. But if anyone wants to find Adam, it's Adam with CallCast, Adam Webber with CallCast. You can reach out to him. I'll put the links to your contact information in the show notes. And everyone should be able to find ya.
Adam Webber 53:36
April, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. I really appreciate it.
Unknown Speaker 53:40
Yes, this is good stuff. All right, well, this is April Malone with Yes, I Work From Home. You take care.