The Leadership In Business Podcast Episode 128 With Tracy Hazzard From The Leadership In Business Podcast With Todd Westra
As the internet becomes the main arena for business engagement, producing unique content aside from traditional adverts is highly needed. One of the best ways to do this is by producing a podcast show to highlight your work and connect with the target audience. In this conversation with Todd Westra of The Leadership in Business Podcast, Tracy Hazzard talks about her work at Podetize, the largest post-production house of podcasts. She goes into detail about how they help aspiring podcasters establish an engaging show through their profit-first model. Tracy also opens up about the challenges of managing a growing team scattered all around the globe, promoting free-thinking and critical problem solving to each member.
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This is Todd Westra with The Leadership in Business Podcast, where we take owners and founders of small to mid-sized companies, and we gain their insights. It’s six questions in nine minutes because we respect their time and we expect you to spend all ten minutes reading to the entire episode. Question number one, in a few sentences, tell us who you are and what you do.
I’m Tracy Hazzard and I am the CEO of Podetize. We are the largest post-production house of podcasts. I am personally a prolific podcaster. I have five shows that I produced over the last several years. I am an Inc. columnist, a columnist for Authority Magazine, Grit Daily. Prolific content here.
All I’ve got to say is intimidation. Austin Powers, his middle name is Danger. I don’t know if you knew that, but ladies and gentlemen, Tracy’s middle name literally is podcasting strategist and former Inc. columnist. Follow it up by Hazzard as a last name, this is intimidation.
The best decision I ever made was when I gave up several years ago, my real last name for my married name, which is Hazzard, which is too awesome a name to pass up.
Tracy, you provide an awesome service for people like me who want to do what I’m doing right now, and that is creating podcasts. Tell us a little bit more. I want to dig in, what are you actually doing for people like us?
We do everything, but let you record upload and be done. Our goal is to get you seen, heard, found and rewarded. This is not necessarily your typical reward. It might be rewarded with more leads, more publicity. It’s a different definition for each person. What I love most about this business is I love diving into all the different companies and the solopreneurs, and helping them by being their extra team and also by helping them power their business.
As you do this, and you’re providing this awesome service, you yourself are growing your business. What would you say as a business owner is your favorite part about growing your business?
Everything about growing the business is exciting, but I’m a how-to girl. At the core of it, I love to figure out the how to’s, how to get things to work, how to get from here to there. That plan, it does come to me at night. That drives me, and that passion for it is exactly where I love to be. It’s a grind in the beginning of something when you’re proving it out and making it work, but when you’re at that growth stage, there’s a lot of fun in there. There’s a lot that I thrive on personally. There are also some hard things, so don’t get me wrong. Finding enough cashflow to support your growth can be difficult.
You rolled right into our third question because everyone loves to talk about the joy of business ownership and growing their business. As you jump in, and the challenges associated with that, I generally find people drop their challenges into 1 of 3 buckets. It’s either the people problem, the processes problem or the tools. You brought up a close fourth, which is the capital. We’re going to skip that. Other than sacrificing your children, what is it about those other three that seems to be your big bottleneck?
For me, it’s the people. When we start out a company and it’s your core, yourself, your partners, and you’re all in it together, it’s easy to stay innovative, to stay nimble, to figure out how to serve your customers, and to be passionate about that, but it’s hard to pass that on to the next level. Right now, I have 60 employees around the world. Our teams are growing fast. We’re onboarding constantly. There’s a lot of buy-in that has to happen. There’s a lot of energy around how you understand what our corporate culture is. Do we even have a corporate culture that we’re working towards?
Obviously, we do, but we didn’t know what it was yet. There’s a lot of that that happens. For me, it is always the people side, it’s not that it’s not rewarding because it is, but it is challenging because we have to get people to think sometimes in ways that they are not comfortable. Especially because we reward free-thinking, problem solving, those kinds of things, which are not always typical. Some people want a checklist and they want to know what they have to do and go in and go out. We’re not that company.
That’s why most people are not entrepreneurs. There are no checklists, “What are we supposed to do next?” “I don’t know.” You have figured that part out, and that is exciting for you. I would have to agree having run a global business, having employees from different cultures, countries, places, and trying to get them to buy into one master culture that the company is trying to be is a challenge. What do you do? What advice do you give to someone who’s in your shoes right now, five years behind you?
I always approach everything that we do from what I call the prove it first model. My husband and I used to design products that you buy every day at mass market retail. You can still buy our best-selling office chair, platinum record sales at Costco. It’s a mesh chair, $99. It sells $20 million a year, but we had to prove that that works first. That’s where I go with everything that we do.The money flows faster when you've proven it. #podcastinterview #TheLeadershipInBusiness #ToddWestra Click To Tweet
If we think we can make this work for a new service, a new system, I’ll put a core team against it, and we’ll prove that it can work on that, and that we can get buy-in from the production side and the customer side. I look at it from those directions that we always look at something like, “Let’s take it to its prototype stage and then expand it out.” If we try to push everything into the bigger corporate world, the bigger corporation that we have, our bigger system, we crush it and we confuse it, and we stress everyone.
That’s some fantastic advice. Prove it and then just freaking nail it.
The money flows faster when you’ve proven it. That cashflow problem gets solved.
I love people that cashflow their business with clients, not with credit.
That’s exactly what we did.
As you are helping other businesses, you know a lot of people that I don’t know that are in your circle of influence that I may never know. I love to call people out on the show who are killing it, don’t even get any recognition anywhere for it, but in their own little bubble, making it happen. Who’s someone in your circle who’s doing a great job and deserves a little shout out?
I love the people who are behind the scenes, the ones you probably never heard of, because they’re so busy building their business, they’re doing such a successful job. You just don’t hear about them. They’re not flashing, they’re not in the news. One of my favorite people in the world, and we bonded over being podcast hosts together several years ago when we first met, is Aaron Young. He has a show called The Unshackled Owner. I’ve taken his class, The Unshackled Owner, which is for the foundational things of growing your business and growing your team and scaling it. I use his job description model. I have my vision statement. All of those things happen because of Aaron. I love the whole way that he operates and what he does. He also introduced me to the coolest, most interesting people all the time.
I have an interview with Michael Gorton, who is the CEO of Teladoc. He has a very cool story over someone threatening to put him in jail if he offered telemedicine. There’s so much amazing stories and other things. He knows these great company owners that he brings to us and to the group. I love associating with people like that, who themselves are reaching out into new communities and getting to know people who are on the ground doing cool things. That’s a great example.
I’m going to get him all synced up on my LinkedIn posts and everything like that so he gets a little special pat on the back, some more fuzzies hopefully. Tracy, I love your name, the little middle name function of it. I’m going to call you Tracy “The Podcast Queen” Hazzard. Thank you so much for being on the show with me. How do people get ahold of you, Tracy?
Find me on LinkedIn, Hazzard with two Z’s.
There are many fun ways to play with that. Tracy Hazzard, thank you for being here. Have a great day.