Today, we're back with another Where Are They Now? episode. I love sharing these behind-the-scenes snapshots of evolving businesses because the progress is often incredible. This session is no exception but also comes with a few surprises.
Back in episode 1190, Gillian Tietz introduced us to her amazing podcast. Through Sober Powered, she helps people understand and overcome addiction. Her show is growing fast, but Gillian has her sights set on something even bigger.
So what has she been up to? You’ll hear it from her, but Gillian is building a legit empire. The Sober Powered Media Network brings podcasters in the addiction space together under one brand. The benefits in terms of marketing, monetization, and sponsor acquisition are unbelievable. Gillian and I chat about all of that today.
This is an inspiring conversation that I can’t wait to share with you. Of course, Gillian is under a lot of pressure. We also dive into how to manage the stress that comes with this level of responsibility and why transparency is key.
Listen in to learn more about making big moves like these and how you can take your business to the next level!
Subscribe to my weekly newsletter, Unstuck, to get tips, tools, and my best advice for creating a thriving online business.
AP 1245: Where Are They Now? Gillian Tietz
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here. Welcome to episode 1245 AskPat 2.0. This is actually a show here at the end of the month of October, 2022, which means it's a Where Are They Now? episode. This is where we revisit a previous guest who has been on the show, and then we ask them, Well, how are things going? What has happened since you got that advice?
And today we're speaking with Gillian, the host of the Sober Powered podcast, and she's a member of SPI Pro. She's just doing some amazing things. In fact, she made a huge decision in her life since the last time we chatted an episode 1190. So it's definitely been over a year and a lot has happened since then.
And what she's building now is absolutely incredible. In fact, I dig into it a little bit because I wanna understand more about how she's doing it, but I'll let her tell you exactly what's going on. So here she is, Gillian, who is the host of Sober Powered, an amazing podcast for those who are now sober.
So here we go.
Pat Flynn: Gillian, welcome back to AskPat. We're here to catch up and see how things are going, but first of all, just thanks for taking the time to hang out with me again today.
Gillian Tietz: Yeah, thanks for having me back. It's been like a year, I think.
Pat Flynn: It has been about a year, and we were sort of still in the middle of the whole pandemic situation the last time we chatted, or at least seemingly just coming out of it.
And of course there's still moments of it here and there, and we're still dealing with it a little bit, but that was an episode 1190. And this is way beyond that, so I'm sure a lot has happened. Tell us what's been going on.
Gillian Tietz: I think the biggest thing that happened is I quit my job and I went full time.
Pat Flynn: Congratulations. That's huge.
Gillian Tietz: Thank you. Yeah. I thought you would like that .
Pat Flynn: I love that. How did that feel. Were you nervous at all, or was it like, I know this is the right thing to do?
Gillian Tietz: It's something I've been working towards for the past, like year, and I've had in my head. I thought that I needed to hit this certain point to make it like the right thing to do, but I just decided to go for it.
I had a lot of opportunities and I'm really happy. It's been, I think like six or seven weeks. And I love it. I just went on vacation and I was telling my husband like, I feel like life is a vacation now. Like I don't feel like I'm on vacation at all. Like I just enjoy all the parts of my life.
Pat Flynn: Wow. That is incredible. Now of course when a person quits their job or like me had gotten laid off, it definitely a different kind of world. And you know, with that there are some new challenges that could potentially pop up and I'm curious if there are any of those and we'll get into that. But I wanna go back to what you just said.
You had thought that you had needed to get to a certain point, What did that mean to you, exactly? What was that point in your head?
Gillian Tietz: Yeah, a certain income.
Pat Flynn: And I'm assuming that you didn't quite get there, but you still made the decision anyway. What, what really drove you to finally make it happen?
Gillian Tietz: So the reason that I finally committed is cuz I was actually having some difficulty at work with like the culture.
I had some people that were like higher up than me, like making comments towards me that were really hurtful.
Pat Flynn: I'm sorry to hear that. That's not good.
Gillian Tietz: Yeah, it sucked and like, it just got to a point where I felt like this isn't really a good spot for my mental health. So I, I worked in biotech. I had like a six figure salary.
I got bonuses every three months. Like it was really hard to leave that cuz it was, it was so nice and I could build everything I'm working on on the side, but it got to a point where like it didn't feel like it was good for my mental health anymore, and as a sober person, I have to be, like. Really careful about, Right?
Pat Flynn: Yeah. You gotta surround yourself with people who are gonna lift you up and encourage you. And it sounded like the workplace was just not that for sure. So, really courageous of you to step away from that. And so were, was there any worry, cuz like, you know, the money part is a big equation in all this.
I mean, I know that, you know, mental health is key and that's, that should be the first focus. But what was going through your head as far as well, I'm gonna not be making quite as much and but also I'm gonna have a lot more time for the thing. I love and the thing that I'm doing.
Gillian Tietz: Yeah. So something I've learned from you and something that a lot of people talk about is that you should have like multiple things going on.
And my mom was always someone that like no matter what was going on, like she could always find like a thousand jobs and I've just seen her example. So I have multiple things going on. So I have like my podcast business that I'm starting, I write for WebMD. So that helps. And that gets me like, and that name is just so helpful.
And then I'm also teaching math part-time. So I was a teacher actually before biotech, so I'm getting relevant in teaching again. So like worst case, if this never works out and it just like explodes and my podcast dies, I can always go be a teacher again. So yeah, I have a lot of different options.
Pat Flynn: I love that. You know, when I got laid off, I thought it was the end of the world, right? And then it was like, I'm only supposed to be an architect. I went to school for that and that's all I can do. And then obviously that is not true. But you know, oftentimes when we have things like that in life happen, we, we tend to think about the worst case scenario.
And, and not even the real worst case scenario. Something made up, something that's a fantastical story about like tragedy that never is really gonna happen. So I love that you have like this thought that, you know, even if this doesn't work out, you're still gonna be better off than where you were before.
So that must be encouraging and uplifting to, to just know that, you know, you've set yourself in the right direction.
Gillian Tietz: Yeah. I was always trying to push this career success. I had this link like to my self worth that getting to this like certain promotion in my career or being well respected in my career as a biochemist that like that meant, you know, all these good things about me.
And that's one reason it was so hard to let it go. But eventually I just, I keep thinking about like 45 year old Gill. That's who I focus on. And I think like, is she going to care that you grinded for another year to maybe get these accolades and like recognition, like probably not. So eventually I just, it was hard to let that go cuz it was something I felt like I could achieve.
But mental health is more important.
Pat Flynn: I agree. I agree. I, I love that. And so now you have and have had this podcast, so Sober Powered, which I, I absolutely love and helps a lot of people. How is now quitting your previous job? What has that lent itself to, into your work here.
Gillian Tietz: So I speak at podcast conferences, so I've spoken at Podcast Movement and I'll be speaking next month there too, and Podfest
And through those experiences, I've made a lot of connections and those connections encourage me to start a network. So that's my business model now, is I'm starting the first network of sober podcasts and I have right now, three, and mine, so four. And then I'm talking to someone next week, so hopefully five. So I kept, like, I kept getting these signs like, you should do this. Like, you're the one that knows how to do this and like, making these connections. Like I met Nick. And I think you work with Nick. I met him at Podfest and he was like, You gotta do this. So I kept meeting these people that were encouraging me and I figured like, why not?
I kept thinking like me, no, Like I can't do this, you know? So I just gave a shot and I'm building it and it's working out and people wanna work with me. And yeah, I feel really excited about it.
Pat Flynn: That is really amazing. First of all, congratulations on that cuz I didn't expect that. Building a network, can you tell people listening who you know, they're not quite sure exactly what that means and what that entails. Can you, can you describe a little bit about what that means?
Gillian Tietz: Yeah, so what I do basically is I monetize the podcast in my network. So I help get them sponsors and I help negotiate price and get them the best price that I can.
A lot of us, unfortunately, will undercharge, so it's been a pleasant surprise for some of my podcasters so far with what I can get them for the network. And also being in a network allows you to get bigger sponsors. I'm gonna try to get them as much press as I can and like attention and we're going to all help each other grow cuz we all have big shows and now we're teaming up.
So it basically helps you get consistent monetization and more exposure for your show.
Pat Flynn: I love it. And the benefit for a person joining the network would be, obviously what you said, additional income negotiation, potential sponsors who normally wouldn't have given them the lead of the day because you're kind of working, you know, you're, you're putting those downloads together across the network and you, you are the one responsible for negotiating that.
And then sort of, you get a cut or, or rev share, right. With what gets trickled down to them, which is fantastic. How did you reach out to these people? Where did you find them and, and how did you start like building those relationships to create your network?
Gillian Tietz: So the first people I reached out to were my friends.
So I've been doing this for a little more than two years, so I've made some friends with other podcasters and I've been on their shows. Some of them have been on mine, and I just asked them, I said, Hey, I'm doing this thing. I don't know how you feel about it, but if you want, money for like, for like not that much work on, on your part.
Let me know. And some of 'em said yes and I had like a lot of calls and then I started reaching out to maybe the podcasters I didn't know as well. And I said, Hey, I have these shows. We would love for you to join us. So that's how I started. I started with my friends first.
Pat Flynn: Nice. What was your process for, cuz we're at a point now where we're making deals, right?
With different podcasts and there's deliverables, there's money being moved around. Like how does, like I know a lot of people have had an idea to create a network similarly to what you're doing, but when it comes to like the administrative stuff and, and a lot of the more technical money flowing types of things, it kind of is kind of scary.
How did you learn about that and, and are there like contracts in place and, you know, what did you do to to, to make sure it's not messy?
Gillian Tietz: Yeah, that part was scary for me too, because I don't know anything I, I'm coming from biotech, like I don't know anything about this, but one of the connections that I made, she works at Megaphone, so she helped me out a lot.
So now we're moving the network to Megaphone cuz that can support a whole network. They're a host, by the way, for anyone that doesn't know. Yeah. And I got contracts, I did a lot of research on like how to protect myself, how to protect my podcasters. But yeah, I have, I have a meeting with Megaphone tomorrow, actually.
So when you move there, they do a lot of calls with you to teach you how to do it, but I think that tech part will be a little scary in the beginning. But I've done everything myself. I've learned everything myself so far. So I feel confident that with their help, at least, I can figure it out.
Pat Flynn: Nice. I'm pretty sure you can, it shouldn't be too difficult and that's awesome.
And that way you bring in the sponsors and sort of allocate a certain number of downloads to each and every sort of podcast in your network and all that kind of stuff, So that's, that's awesome. Tell me about your plans. Like what is the ultimate goal or like maybe a year or two from now? What is this network, look like and feel like to you?
Gillian Tietz: I want it to be big. I wanna really help my podcasters grow. I wanna, like when I, I haven't launched it yet, so I'm launching it in like three weeks or so. I wanna make a lot of noise. I want everybody to know about it, and I think my main priority is just, like, getting my podcasters more exposure, more downloads for them.
Eventually maybe run events because people really, when you run a sober podcast, people really, they feel close to you and you're an important part of their life. If they listen to you regularly or like, you know, someone new to sobriety will often just binge an entire show to get some help in the beginning and you become like someone that they, they really care about cuz you help them.
So I would love to run events like where people can come meet all of their favorite sober podcasters. I would love to, you know, get more shows in the network, obviously. But I think just like getting my, the current shows, I have as much exposure as possible.
Pat Flynn: Nice. I love that. Do you feel any pressure, you know, cuz these people are trusting you for certain things.
Like how, how's your mental around the sort of pressure that might come. Delivering for, for the people who are part of the network.
Gillian Tietz: Yeah. I've had a few times where I've woken up in the night and I'm like, What have I done? Like, everybody's gonna hate me. Oh, everyone's gonna be so mad at me. And then I realized, like I was very transparent with what this is.
Like. I really care. I think caring a lot more than like most networks do. Like I genuinely care about their shows. So I think, you know, it'll be a learning experience. I probably won't be perfect, but I think the most important thing is I really do care about them.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, I love that. And, and as long as that's sort of the basis, then you'll do what it takes. Even if things aren't perfect on the way there and you know, so long as you are transparent and authentic and you take them along the ride, you know, not hide anything, then you know everybody's gonna win and almost work together to, to make sure this is success, a success. You know, I've had moments like that before where I put myself in a position that is of service and then I just freak myself out and I just kind of, it gets sweaty palms and just wonder.
And it's weird how we do that to ourselves. I don't know why that is the case. And you know, we always start focusing on the negative what ifs. But I mean, imagine the positive what, like. What if this thing grows huge? What if this changes millions of lives as a result of the amplification that you're doing?
I mean, that hopefully is exciting. And also what you think about from time to time.
Gillian Tietz: Yeah, and it does help that I already negotiated a sponsorship for one of my shows, and it was, even with all the rev shares that come out, it was significantly more than he was getting on his own. So he's very happy. So I'm like, maybe I can actually like, Help them and make them happy and bring more security to their life too, because we do so much work for people and like not having to talk to sponsors or get ghosted by them and like worry about putting in ads or when to remove them. Like that frees up a lot of time for them. So I'm providing security. So having that like negotiation that went really well. That helps too.
Pat Flynn: So, good. What else has opened up since you, you quit? I mean, I'm sure that's more than the, the podcast network, but I like, tell me about what else has opened up in your life as a result of, of the big decision.
Gillian Tietz: I think that's my main thing. I'm trying to get back on YouTube and you've given me some YouTube advice before, which was really helpful.
So I'm trying to get back on there regularly cuz I know if I, I'm so close to getting that monetized.
Pat Flynn: Yeah. I was looking at your channel the other day.
Gillian Tietz: Yeah. It's not active right now, but I still get a lot of comments and people asking me to come back, so I'm going to try to do that. My Instagram is doing really well.
I was looking back at our original episode cuz it's like a time capsule. And my following was only 6,000 when I was chatting with you the first time. Now it's 32. So growing and growing,
Pat Flynn: Yeah. Exponential growth. And it's just gonna continue to do that, especially with the network and you positioning yourself as sort of the the leader, right?
You're not better than the other podcast. You're just helping to coordinate this. You're a negotiator, you putting it all together and piecing it all together and using your special powers and now time that you have to, to be able to make it happen. So super proud of you, Gillian. I'm just so excited for what you've been able to do for yourself and just that tough decision to quit your job.
I mean, again, to go back to what you were saying, it's like I have amazing things to fall back on, even if this doesn't work. But you are doing exactly what you need to do, and I'm here in your corner and obviously you have access to me anytime you need something, I'm, I'm here for you. Just thank you for coming on and, and sharing the update and you know, good luck with everything and people should go and check out your podcast, Sober Powered. And do you have a name for the network by the way?
Gillian Tietz: Yeah, it's Sober Powered Media.
Pat Flynn: Sober Powered Media. Ooh, this sounds big time. I love it.
Gillian Tietz: Very fancy. I have a logo and everything. My website isn't live yet cuz it hasn't launched, but it's basically done. But yeah, I'm working on it all. I'm thinking about like, how can I get a lot of noise for it and like, how can I get everybody excited?
And so by the time this comes out, hopefully it'll be huge.
Pat Flynn: Should be, it should be you got a couple months or at least a month or two before this goes live. So when everybody listens to this, they should be able to check it out. So Sober Powered Media, and again, go and listen to Sober Powered on your favorite podcast app.
And Gillian, thank you again for the update. I'm sure we'll connect again soon in the future and we'll see even bigger things from you. So good luck.
Gillian Tietz: Thank you.
Pat Flynn: All right. Wasn't that an awesome update? Gillian, congratulations to you and your upcoming network. Or by the time this comes out, your network will have now been live. So again, Sober Powered Media, I'm guessing SoberPoweredMedia.com. I forgot to get the url, but I'm guessing that's what it is. If anything, we'll put it in the show notes and whatnot. But thank you so much for coming back on, Gillian, and I look forward to seeing how the network goes and grows. And congrats to your fellow podcasters in the space that you're in too.
Looking forward to hearing about events and other things you're doing and access to bigger companies who want to sponsor your shows. Absolutely incredible. Keep up the good work and I hope you the listener will keep up the good work as well. I hope you got some inspiration from this Where Are They Now? episode, which always happened at the end of the month here and we got some more coaching to do coming up in the next episode.
So make sure you subscribe if you haven't already. Looking forward to serving you then until then, thank you so much. Cheers. Peace out. And as always Team Flynn for the win.
Thanks for listening to AskPat at AskPat.com. I'm your host Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sarah Jane Hess. Our series producer is David Grabowski. And our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. AskPat is a production of SPI Media. We'll catch you in the next session.