February 16, 2024

Episode #123: Rachel Downey – Share Your Genius

Rachel Downey is the founder, CEO, and Executive Producer of Share Your Genius, an award-winning podcast production company. With a strong ability to connect with people and a background in B2B marketing, live performances, and organizing events like the ESPYs, she’s passionate about empowering impact-driven brands and their visionary leaders to create content that fosters human connection, builds community, and achieves remarkable business outcomes.

Share Your Genius guides the creative, strategy, and execution of brand podcasts. And they do it because that is their mission—to create content that fosters human connection. They are an award-winning content-first podcast production agency specializing in B2B brand shows, having produced hundreds of shows, produced thousands of episodes, resulting in millions of downloads.

In honor of the fellow business owners in your life that had an impact on you
becoming the person you are today, let’s celebrate them. Click this link to apply to be on our podcast to recognize those people: https://www.BeMADTogether.com


hello this is coach Tim cancel and I’m your host for self-made as a myth make a difference together show where we are talking with successful business owners about their journey to building their business and because we know that success in business doesn’t come on our own we’re taking some time to recognize and give some shout outs to the folks who have helped us along the way I’m excited to have a fellow business owner from Georgia with us today my guest runs a podcast company and in her downtime she likes to spend it with family hiking and exploring and she is most proud of her kids and she’s got a story that she’s going to share with us about that today it’s my pleasure to welcome Rachel to the show hello Rachel how are you good thanks for having me on this is going to be fun absolutely well hey let’s start with having you introduce yourself tell us about a little bit of your background your personal story you know where you live about your family and some of your hobbies sure thanks so um I’ll try and be really succinct here but uh born and raised in Indianapolis and I know that’s your stomping grounds and our family has just relocated to the Atlanta Georgia area we’ve got three kids two four six and so Life’s a little bit crazy and busy um and really right now we’re enjoying just exploring our new environment hiking and even enjoying like more of the the city and some of the options and opportunities that are presented to us here um and I guess a little snapshot into my professional career is in 2016. I um started getting into podcasting launched the business officially in 2017 at the time I was in law school dropped out of law school and went all in on um the podcast company that we have today fantastic we’ll get you to tell us a little bit more about that here in a minute but is there a funny story Rachel that your family likes to tell about you that you’d be willing to share with us today a funny story that my family well I’ll tell you um we have a silly tradition this is from being a child and you had um my brother on the show a while back so you’ll have to check out his episode but his name is Zach else and um the reason that that’s relevant is every year as a family as you guys can you know think of like Thanksgiving and all of that come from a really large family a lot of siblings a lot of cousins the whole thing and it and I’m like the youngest of the entire crew and um what would happen is every Thanksgiving they would find funny things to make fun of me for and I would cry every year every year at the kids table I would cry and so now it’s just been like a running joke forever of like um for Thanksgiving how can we make Rachel cry and it’s all done and fun and love it’s good bowling or anything like that but um It’s Kind of a Funny family uh tradition of Let’s Make Rachel cry this year so a bunch of bullies eh yeah no kidding little kid getting made fun of so tell us how did the business come about and at what point did you have the confidence that you could run your own business so I would say I’ve always had a um I’ve always had the gumption and confidence to go do my own thing I think becoming a leader takes a whole different level of confidence and ability that I’m working on like from a from a personal perspective that is something that I have to remind myself of that I’m capable of doing because doing something on your own to just make some little bit of money is a lot different than leading an organization and leading people um but I would say in 2016 I had my first daughter and she was born three months early and so when something like that happens you start to take stock of what like what is life now going to look like because I wasn’t really sure um so she was born at 26 weeks at the time I was in law school and so I found myself at the hospital for you know 12 to 18 hours a day just being present with her so that I could be like physically with her and then I would leave and go to class and I would um study and that kind of thing and during that time I just kept thinking to myself I need to figure out a way to make money where I can control my own schedule because I wasn’t sure what her life would look like and at that time like serendipitously a friend reached out to me and he said hey will you help me launch and promote my podcast I had had a career in content marketing had always done some PR type stuff and kind of knew my way around some of the essentials there and so I was like sure I’ll do that he was paying me like 25 bucks an hour I think something that was like okay this is great while I’m in law school I can do this from the hospital I can do it at 3am and nobody’s gonna know like it’s not gonna affect anybody so I started doing this for him and um what we quickly saw was that his show was giving him the opportunity he needed to launch his own brand and his own content and I just had never seen a channel work so well um from a from a relationship building perspective from a Content perspective from a promotional like content creation asset from like all of of the things I was like this is the Swiss army knife of marketing and so fast forward I had my daughter home everything was kind of getting back into like a schedule and a life routine she was born without um her lower left leg and that was the only challenge that sort of presented ourselves ongoing and so I still wanted flexibility over my time in my calendar so that I could take her to her appointments and things like that and so I went back to my friend and I said hey I want to do this for other people will you help me and he was like let’s do it and um in 2018 at that point we had been doing it enough where I was starting to see some Market traction and some Market affirmation and so um I went all in and I dropped out of law school and I’ve been doing that ever since wow that is fantastic just how how everything just sort of came into into line and the flexibility that you needed and gave you exactly what you needed when you needed it it’s amazing what happens when you just take action you know like things start to come into place and you just pay attention I like to say that I live accidentally on purpose um like I’m not smart enough to like think all these things into life right and I will say that I uh I’m always willing to take a step forward and see like what kind of paths come about because of it fantastic so tell us a little bit more about the company the name what do you guys do how do you help people sure so the company name is share your Genius and we provide end-to-end Production Services um and it’s really the thing that we’re really excited about and helping our clients do is how can we use conversations to help them accomplish their goals with their marketing objectives as it relates to content creation and um driving their business objectives forward wonderful tell us the story Rachel of where maybe somebody pushed you or inspired you that you could do it even though you maybe had doubts and the impact that person had yeah so um I think I would I would harken back to my first business partner um his name is Jim Brown and he was the guy that asked me to help him launch his podcast and help her promote it and um I think the thing that he did so masterfully is he instilled confidence by just kind of like hey he also bet on me like he was like let’s do this together and so when someone else says you can do it you start to believe it um but the second thing that he did is he pushed me out of my comfort zone like he was he was sort of like a safety net except except she made me do everything um and I think I that was those are those things that you need people to do people who will let you fail um so that you can learn people who will um believe in you without having without you having to prove anything and then when you start to prove to yourself you start to realize wow their belief in me proved that I could do it but it was also the belief I had in myself that made it possible and so um I always think about him and one of the things that was really special is during the one of the first years of our business together him and his family decided to travel the world so they took 12 months and they went to a new um country every single month for 12 months and this was like when our company was a baby like they were still trying to figure out you know our product and things like that and um we shared we shared an office at the time at launch Fishers which is in um Indiana and he wrote on the big white board be great that’s what he wrote on the Whiteboard so I came into the office the day after he had left and I sat down and right in front of me was the sign that just said be great and I left it there the entire year that he was gone and it was just a constant reminder of like he’s not there I’m doing this on my own I mean he helped me from afar that kind of thing but I was on my own doing this building this business that we were still figuring out everything for and I just had this constant reminder of like be great um and that was a choice like I could have you know what I mean it’s a choice to actually strive and do something different and do something that um you know that takes like time and energy and all of that and um that was very meaningful to me and it’s actually our core value that we’ve carried through the business today is just this idea and this this realization of like in life you can choose to be good you can choose to be adequate you can choose all of these things but for us we’re going to choose to be great that’s fantastic I love that idea of that daily and and sometimes minute by minute decision that we have to either you know we’re gonna do something good we’re gonna we’re gonna go at this or we’re gonna give up on ourselves and and crawl crawl back into a hole and just let the world pass Us by exactly and it was it was just it was exactly what I needed um and it’s the thing that has really kept the spark all these years later so I I’m just playing back what you just said so your new business partner decides to leave you for a year uh with your new business and and his words of advice is be great I love it that’s right Rachel what’s been your biggest learning um as a business owner um I think my one of my biggest it’s hard to say the biggest because I feel like and you can relate to this I feel like every week There’s a big learning right you’re just like what the heck um but I think the biggest learning that I’ve had is um is just is kind of goes back to the ethos of what we’re just talking about as like this unrelenting belief and um you know being a business owner being a leader of a company it is a roller coaster ride there are days that are amazing there are days that are horrible there are moments that are amazing there are moments that are horrible and it’s like how do you continue moving forward when you’re in the valleys and honestly even when you’re in the highs because with the highs come the lows immediately you know what I mean because it’s like even if you’re hitting a high level of like great sales great Revenue great growth then on the other side you have to optimize for all of that you have to actually service the thing that you just sold you know what I mean and so that requires all cylinders going up full blast sort of all the time um and so it’s it’s keeping that belief and and the ability to move forward even when you don’t always know how um so I would say that’s always been my big that’s kind of my biggest learning that can apply to all areas is just like this unrelenting belief of what is possible um when you just keep moving forward um he mentioned the roller coaster so it’s interesting that uh all of us go through the roller coaster but not a whole lot of people tend to talk about it so when when it’s happening to us it’s like am I the only one that’s experiencing this no you’re not you’re not the only one and even if you’re not a business owner like if you’re if you’re working on something that um you know it like it goes again it goes if you’re trying to be great like if that is what you’re doing and that doesn’t mean you have to be a business owner that could just be that you’re you’re a person that’s working at a company that you really believe in the mission and the purpose and you know what I mean and you’re striving to be bigger than what you were better than you were yesterday um you will be on a roller coaster because you have to stretch you have to be uncomfortable in order to get there yeah that I I’m in a mindset coaching program and the analogy that our coach uses is how do you climb a mountain you don’t go straight up right you’ve gotta you’ve got to go back and forth because that’s the way to to ascend and um I actually have that picture in a mind movie that I watch every day because I need that reminder of oh yeah right sometimes you actually have to go back down in order to get to the right spot to be able to get you know can keep climbing and keep getting to your ultimate goal and um those that roller coaster ride or those descents down or those those pivots across can feel like they’re completely in the wrong direction but it’s really just preparing us and building us to be able to get to the next level exactly yeah like sometimes in business too it does feel like you take two steps back to take one forward but it’s like those two steps back help create a firmer Foundation than if you were to just keep trudging ahead you know what I mean um and that can be challenging like if you’re somebody who’s impatient like I am or like um you know like that is the kind of stuff that can feel draining but it’s like keeping that belief of like no no I’m getting to the top because I see something you know what I mean I want to go figure out what that is so keep going forward yes I I I a good question in those times is what good can come from this right so why am I experiencing this today that feels like a setback what what’s going on what am I supposed to learn from this what a what can I change in my business as a result of this that’s going to prepare us for the next step I love that yeah I’m going to take that what good can come through that’s awesome Rachel we know that business success doesn’t happen in isolation so tell us about um one of your challenges during the years and maybe a fellow business owner who came alongside you and helped you to get through that yes so I would say you said fellow business owner but I will I’m going to Pivot from that because I talked a lot about my original business owner who’s really helped me through a lot of the seasons um and we’re no longer business partners but he’s definitely somebody that I can still call for like phone a friend but I will share more of um you know as a business owner as a business leader you have to have a support system otherwise you will fail like you have to have people who come alongside you and um and during covid in 2020 um me and my husband had our third child and we were sort of in this like Fork of the road moment because um you know all of the the child care options were gone like all of our kids were home um I was still growing this business he has a full-time career as well and something that he’s really good at and passionate about but we were in this like Fork of the road moment of like okay we don’t know when this is gonna end just had this baby I can either slow down the growth of my own business and cut back um or what like what do we do because we have to take care of a newborn and one of the things that he actually did is he said how about I quit my job and I’ll stay home and watch the kids so that you can keep moving forward with the business instead of taking a step back because it’s starting to gain some momentum um and so that’s what he did so for like I think it was like six months he um took a step back in his career and helped take care of our babies so he would like like I’d be in a meeting and then after the meeting he’d like bring me our son so that I could feed him and like um you know he just like really helped step up in that moment because we had no options and then when the daycares opened back up and we were able to send our kids and um thankfully we were able to find some really good care for our our son and you know things just sort of worked itself back out but it was like we needed to make a decision in that season of like do we lean into what you’ve got going on from a business perspective or what and he was just willing to make that sacrifice so that we could continue to move forward and that I always think about that as like a pivotal moment and helping us move forward yeah what’s your husband’s name Austin Austin well wonderful what uh What uh uh a selfless thing to do for for you and the family I that’s just an amazing story thank you for sharing you’re welcome and now obviously you guys have moved so his his he he his career came back and you guys had an opportunity to have a new adventure in Georgia that’s right yeah it’s like I think that’s the other thing like from a business perspective and even like thinking about the audience it’s like those moments of belief of like even if in the moment you’re not sure how things were going to work itself out instead of letting fear Drive decisions let Faith you know what I mean just like believe in the thing and like just because one door shuts even temporarily it doesn’t mean you’re not going to have 55 open more like down the road like that’s not all endings you know the universe God whatever you’re yeah has a a positive desire for us if we’re just willing to take you know the unknowns right that go through this opportunity or go through this door take this risk because ultimately there’s a better there’s a better tomorrow ready for us if we’re just willing to to take the the quote-unquote risk of the unknown right that’s right that’s exactly right and the fear of the unknown can be pretty strong for folks so you know that for everyone I should do it right because I don’t know what’s gonna happen well so I so you mentioned mindset coaching I had a mindset coach um talk to me about intuition and just like it’s one of the most powerful things that we all possess and have access to but a lot of times we don’t know how to listen to it or hear it and so one of the things that he talked to us about and this is a company based out of Indianapolis called dream fuel Kevin Bailey but um he was like you you can physically feel your intuition and so you can sit on a question or a problem or a thing and you can close your eyes and he was like feel how your body actually feels like do you feel sick in your stomach or do you feel light are you moving forward like your body will actually like shake its head and and move itself in the direction that’s in line with your gut if you sit in it um and so I think that those are some of the things like as a business uh leader or owner it’s like you’re gonna deal with a lot of questions and a lot of like challenges of like where do I go like is is this fear driving me or is my belief driving me and like your intuition can tell you a lot yeah meditation is a powerful thing I used to think that whole idea of the Law of Attraction and meditating was all a bunch of Fufu until I I started embracing it and and realizing to your point right like wow our our uh our intuition the universe God whatever again whatever your your beliefs are is wow like there is there is a powerful force that’s guiding and directing us if we just pay attention to it so yeah I mean I could not agree more if I was to ask you I’ll put you on the spot here to pick three people um throughout your business Journey uh that you are most grateful for being there to help you with your overall growth and success who are those three people and how they help you the one again I keep talking this is not the Jim Brown Episode but it Jim Brown obviously he was the first person who kind of ponied up to help me get where I’m at today um the second one I would say is uh Tiffany souter she’s she runs a marketing agency in Indianapolis called element three and she’s actually um a part owner business partner for sure genius um so she’s helping take us to the next level if you will um and so she’s been instrumental in that and then that third spot is really hard because there’s so many people who have come around to really like pour into us um and help us be great um but I think in the spirit of uh continuity and um family as I’ll say my brothers my brother Zach um he’s also somebody who is an entrepreneur and somebody who’s always kind of led by example and um in a uh maybe it’s a family trait but just like this unwavering confidence in our own abilities um and so I’ve always seen him just work through a ton of challenges that he’s had and stay positive and so um I would say those three people stand out to me in this moment fantastic I did say I was going to put you on the spot so I know I know right there’s more way more than three people so it’s just so many it’s a fun little exercise to understand right who comes to mind and um and yes for everyone else who wasn’t mentioned there are tons of other people right Rachel that so many if we had time we’d be able to list them all of it unfortunately we don’t so as you think about the next three to five years what are the um the biggest challenges that you see that you’re gonna face in in reaching your goals for the company and who are the types of people that you’re going to need to solve those challenges yeah I think um I think like any like anyone we’re paying really close attention to technology and Ai and how it’s going to be a useful tool for the business that we’re in and so um just really leaning into the right Partners the right technology that can help us create um better Partnerships with our clients better outcomes for our clients so I’m really paying attention to that um I think that the world because of that the world is going to demand better content I think it’s going to like demand more authentic more human more um you know more content more engaging content that sort of has to cut through the noise because content can be created at such a high clip um and so we’re looking for amazing storytelling tellers like people who just see the world differently or who who understand how to ask the right questions so I think Talent is critical to the success of our company um and then I think just the other side of it is just um you know personal life I mean I’ve got three kids and um you know navigating school and navigating some of the things that I want for them in their life um and trying to give them the opportunities that are really are really meaningful to them so it’s just like how do you find the right balance while you’re still trying to grow a company um while you’re raising humans you know what I mean so right those are that’s kind of my high level uh answers and then I think the right people outside of just great talent for sure you genius um we’re looking for Innovative creators for Brands who want to do something different and so it’s like who are the people out there that are are thinking about content differently that are looking for the right partner like that’s who that’s who I’m thinking about right now wonderful you mentioned um balance so I know we’re all trying to figure this out but uh how how do you approach that how do you you know keep that that balance of driving a growing business and raising a family well I think um this is something Tiffany souter has taught me but it’s just getting really clear on like who you are and what you want um I think as a leader we often forget about what we want and um we think it’s selfish or we think whatever but in reality if I don’t know what I want I actually can’t lead my team well um and so I like to create space for myself and I probably do this at least once a quarter where I’m like am I actually doing what I want to do um because the minute I’m not doing what I want to do uh candidly I’m not going to create the best outcomes and I’m not going to be the most present leader or parent um and so I think just taking the time to really reflect on who I am and what I want is really critical and I think recognizing that that can change over time like giving myself permission to realize that can change has been critical as well um but I do that and then the other thing is I’m really intentional about my mornings um even if that doesn’t mean I’m waking up at 4 30 I wish that that was me but I just can’t just saying that um but I mean when my my kids are dropped up at school I don’t jump right into work I go work out or I go do yoga or I I just take 15 minutes and just like reflect and like read some devotional or meditate to your point earlier and just like get my mind right even if it’s five minutes um but that’s critical to me being successful um so yeah those are my tips I liked um you mentioned just making sure that you’re identifying what you want and and building that into your into your plans and into your routine and it just it makes me think about so our clients do 90-day planning and and one of the sections is personal right there has to be a personal goal and personal strategies because if we don’t do it it just won’t happen right because it won’t life is too busy already oh my gosh and there’s so many things pulling at you um at all times and so it’s like how do you cut the noise is you have to cut the fat and so it’s like what are the things I actually want to do is this moving me towards and you don’t have to have it like completely crystallized you know what I mean it’s just this idea of like accidentally on purpose it’s like I know that I want to feel this way or I want to have this type of outcome for my life how I get there doesn’t always matter but I need to know what it is so that I’m making the right decisions along the way to get me there I like that you’ve mentioned a couple times but access accidentally on purpose that’s just a a brilliant way to to phrase it you know Frame It Up in terms of what happens because we can’t control everything right but what I like about what you’re saying is if we’ve got a general sense or an idea of where we want to end up then it’s easy to say no to the stuff that’s not congruent with that exactly exactly and I think that’s the hardest part of being a business leader or business owner is like is actually saying no because we want to say yes to so many things because like we see the world we’re like so excited by opportunities otherwise we wouldn’t be running businesses right um but it’s like having the discipline to be like oh no no not right now yes I struggle with that yeah and because like you said earlier it is nothing is for sure so even we don’t know if we say yes to something or notice something if it was the right thing right so we’ve got to rely on our back to your point about our Instinct in our gut we’ve got to just trust that that we’ve put the right things in in place generally speaking and I know is not going to be tragedy and right and and just kind of accidentally on purpose flow with it right yeah and I love what you just said a no Is Not Tragedy like that’s something that I’ve always struggled with is like if I close that door like it’s never gonna open again and it’s like well even if that’s true that doesn’t mean that’s the only door ever exactly you know like there are so many doors and there’s doors that haven’t even been built yet you know what I mean like life is just like full of the like of unexpected things and I think if we think about this idea of like I’m gonna expect I’m expecting the unexpected if we lean into that how much more fun and exciting does life become right and it’s not like the again to the no it’s not like we’re gonna be shut down from any more opportunities because every day thousands of opportunities come our way it’s just a matter of choosing which one’s right for us exactly yes love that Rachel last question here um Jim Rohn awesome uh business Guru one of uh one of the quotes I love that he says is we become the average of the five people that we spend the most time with so as you reflect on that quote um and you think about all the business owners who are trying to do it on their own and and feel like they can’t reach out to other people and ask for help what advice would you have for those folks that’s a lie you can reach out to so many people um I mean half my half of what I do is meet with people with no agenda just to just to understand who they are and what who they are and what they want honestly um and asking for help is the is the not even asking for help but it’s asking questions that you need answers to it’s not asking for help to be like I don’t know this thing you know what I mean and even if you think you know something playing dumb will help you grow immensely right and so I think it’s just like leaning into asking questions puts you in a better position in every facet of your entire life and I don’t know if it’s ego or Pride or what but it’s like just like cut that off like even if you think it’s a dumb question and maybe it was something ingrained in school where it was like you didn’t want to ask a question because you didn’t want to sound dumb and I’m like who cares if you sound dumb the people not asking the questions they’re actually dumb because they’re not understanding the things that they don’t know and so I would just be like get in front of like I would make a challenge to myself if that’s somebody listening that feels that way is I would say find two people that you want to meet and know without any agenda other than they might be able to shed some light on something that they’ve experienced that might help you I would be like I’m gonna find two people and see if they’ll meet me for coffee and if this isn’t if you’re in Indiana everyone will meet with you like that is the Indianapolis Business Community is insane go Network go go go I was just gonna say I’ve never had anybody who I’ve reached out to and say hey would you mind you know gifting me some of your time to to learn about you and your business nobody’s ever said no no I will tell you if somebody emails me and says I want to pick your brain now that I’m like no ma’am or no sir like I want you to say like to you what you said is great I’d love to learn more about you like that is amazing um but I would say and the other thing I would say is like listen to podcasts there are these amazing Business Leaders these amazing people who have solved all these problems and you will learn so much just by listening to their stories and their experiences and you don’t have to ask them to meet with you you can just listen to them on a podcast um but absolutely go Network absolutely and and I’m pretty sure too if you listen to the podcast and you reach out to the host and say hey I I really enjoyed something that I lit you know you talked about would you be willing to meet for a coffee again I mean let’s like there’s no reason not to meet for sure Amen to that Rachel sounds like you’ve been blessed with some incredible people in your life if they were on the show here today what would you want to say to them thank you I mean really just thank you like I mean words are never enough you know what I mean but um I think the thing that we have to take away is the people who have invested in you and who have believed in you you have a responsibility to help somebody else and so I think it’s a thank you and I’ll pay it forward yeah I love that pay it forward in fact I’m I close out our our podcast with that because um I’ve had so many people who have gifted me their time that um it’s just a natural hey why wouldn’t I pay it forward because people have done it for me and I’ve learned and and grown so much from those folks that if I could be fortunate enough to be able to help somebody else with the the learnings that I have it’s actually it’s a gift to myself to be able to know that I could help somebody else absolutely Rachel it’s been a pleasure speaking with you today thank you so much for being on the show thank you for having me this was super fun to everyone who tuned in thanks for listening to the self-made is a myth show with your host coach Tim cancel be sure to help spread this Movement by liking the show and posting about it on your social media and to join our movement go to bemadtogether.com all right folks that’s a wrap make sure to pay it forward and I’ll see you all next time take care foreign