Mike DiCioccio here is the founder and president of Social Chameleon. It's a podcast agency that focuses on producing best in class audio and video podcasts as well as social media content. He's also the host of Mike'D Up.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 632
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See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[02:55] Tom's introduction to Mike DiCioccio [06:49] Super high level expert in foreign languages [09:37] Nominated for “Man of the Year” [18:36] Making the transition to starting own business [40:28] Three mistakes people make when starting a podcast
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Episode 632 – Mike DiCioccio
[00:00:08] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody, it's Tom here with episode 632 of Screw the Commute podcast. I'm here with Mike DiCioccio and don't even ask me how to spell it because there's no way I'll get it right. Try ten times in a row. We will have it in the show notes so you'll be able to find it. But just think of miked up and that will be an easier way to find him. You'll hear about why in a minute. And this is one of the few people that I even ever heard of who is working in the field that they majored in in college. Because most of, you know, I'm really ragging on colleges nowadays because people are getting degrees and, you know, competing for jobs at Starbucks. But this guy actually is working in the field. So he's kind of a unicorn, I guess. And he was a man of the year nominee. He'll tell you about that, too. All right. So hope you didn't miss episode 631. That was reputable email. This means having a good reputation, and if you mess this up, your open rates are going to tank and your spam complaints will skyrocket and and you'll likely get kicked off your email service. And unless you're a spammer who doesn't care about this stuff. But I want you to keep that email reputation high and I tell you exactly how to do it on episode 631. And to get to a back episode, you go to screw the Compucom slash and then the episode number. That was 631. All right, quick update on our program to get scholarships for persons with disabilities. We have three people in the program.
[00:01:58] One of them has already started his own business, helping other people with disabilities. He's blind. The other one is helping her husband with her, his construction website. She's blind. And then the third one is a schoolteacher who's physically got disabilities. And she's able to concentrate more on her studies now because she the school is out. So she's been keeping up right along. And I can't wait to get her out of that classroom and into her home business. So if you'd like to help us out with that, it's screwthecommute.com/disability. We have a Go Fund Me campaign. We're looking for our second round of financing and we want to try to get to more people in the program. It's a pilot program. When I can prove the concept that we can get these people employed or in their own business, then I'm going to roll it out really big to foundations and corporations and help loads of people, persons with disabilities. So help us out there.
[00:02:56] All right. Let's get to the main event. Mike DiCioccio here is the founder and president of Social Chameleon. It's a podcast agency that focuses on producing best in class audio and video podcasts as well as social media content. He's also the host of Mike'D Up. I told you about that. And Mike teed up a podcast featuring inspiring entrepreneurs, thought leaders and peak performers. And I don't know, he had me on there. I don't know if I am in any of those categories, so I don't see why. Maybe he was just slumming it when they had me on there. But but, Mike, are you ready to screw? The commute?
[00:03:36] I'm here and I'm running, man. No, it's really, really well done, dude. Awesome job. Do you have the voice for it? You have the personality for it. 632 episodes. That is consistency. And we'll talk about how consistency is key in this whole game, too, but absolutely an honor and privilege and really excited to be here.
[00:03:53] Well, yeah, my pleasure. And what's what's the average? Isn't there some average like eight episodes that people quit on the podcast?
[00:04:00] Yeah, like getting to 15 is worth celebration nowadays. Episode 15 Yeah.
[00:04:05] I was. I'm too stupid to quit on things. I just keep going and going and going.
[00:04:10] I love it. That's awesome. Yeah. No, this is great. You could tell that you have a passion for it and that's really like not to get all warm and fuzzy and all that stuff, but you do have to have a passion for it and you can tell that you are just exuding that and it comes through in the show and that's why people love tuning in.
[00:04:27] Well, thank you. And another thing that I think we we're kind of kindred spirits is you have a service above self mentality. Tell people about that.
[00:04:37] Yeah. To me it's like when you really get back to the heart of what you're doing, why you do it. You hear a lot of guys talk about that now. Guys and gals talk about getting back to your why. Right. And Simon Center kind of has that whole program about it. But I think it's important for you to tie things back to what you're doing. It's bigger than you. It's not just, Hey, I love to play the drums, and so I'm just going to play the drums at home in my basement. And that's that's where it goes. Like, to me, it's whatever it is, your business, your trinket that you sell a product. Service, online service. Think about how it can actually serve and help the world. And when you come with that kind of energy behind it, when you're struggling, you're not thinking about, Oh, it's just me. I'm looking to make money. You're serving people in your community. Think about your literal community or online community, and then it stretches out from that. Maybe you start to think almost like you think of like your street, you think of your city, the town, right? Your state, and then the country and in the world. And I really think when it's service above self, to me what I'm talking about is actually serving the people within my community so I can help them up level.
[00:05:43] I mean, people help me out and when I'm doing either podcasting or entrepreneurship and talking about those two topics, it's always with the direction to inspire other people to go and unlock their greatness. Turn around and then do the same for the people within their community. So that's how it is to me. It's like my goal at the end of my life and I don't know, God willing, when that will be. I'm a youngster, I consider myself a youngster. I'm only 36, so God willing, I got many years ahead. And with that, with that mindset comes this responsibility of like, what's that? What's that legacy going to look like? And I don't want myself to be the only one who wins at the end of the story. That's not what I'm about. I want to really help out others, and that to me is going to be more of the legacy story as people who can say, Yeah, that dude help me out, or he inspired me, or I listen to a podcast and open up the doors to this new opportunity or way of thinking. That's what, to me, service above self means.
[00:06:39] Well, why did you stop it? The world? What about the universe?
[00:06:42] The universe? Yeah. I mean, we're in. How many ethers that you're showing now? I think we're in like seven or so.
[00:06:49] So now there's something I heard about you that that I want. I want you to give us some examples on the show here and that you are a super high level expert in foreign languages. Do we talk? Do we tell him about that?
[00:07:08] We talk.
[00:07:08] About that? No. But I. It's my business to know, Mike.
[00:07:13] So you're talking about how at Bus State I ended up, they counted music and language tone. But yeah. So my whole thing is I've been playing the drums since I was old enough to get my hands on some. Literally, it started with knitting needles, my grandmother's big, thick knitting.
[00:07:29] Needles from.
[00:07:30] Way back in the day. So I was a musician and played the drums and literally any school band possible that I that I could. And if you're wondering, he said foreign language, why are you talking about music? It's because in school there was this weird loophole and started in high school where you had to have your foreign language requirement. And then somehow they when I took all the music classes, literally like jazz, band, orchestra, I'd just sit in there if I can hit the triangle. They gave me an A for showing up and hitting a percussive instrument.
[00:07:59] This is why I rag going higher education. I'm telling this.
[00:08:02] Is a true story. I literally got an A in orchestra for hitting a triangle and then I loved Jazz Band. I even did Marching Band and you know, there's all the jokes about that. And I was in high school, I think, when American Pie came out, so it got dragged down a little bit for all that. But it was a blast. I just made lifelong friends playing music and I was also in rock bands later on, but that's a different story. But the whole foreign language thing is I didn't know this at the time, but apparently all those extra music classes I was taking and I was literally taking as many as I could because it was easy as I go to Buffalo State College, which is a solid school here in town. And, you know, I didn't know what I wanted to do. I was actually going originally for elementary education, which I share that story if you care to hear it. And I'm sitting down with my advisor and we're going through different credits and things that I need to hit for my my freshman year. And they're looking at my high school stuff and I'm like, okay, cool. I was a pretty good high school student. Nothing to reveal there that I'm worried about. And they start like, lighten up about this foreign language requirement. Oh, my God, you're kicking butt in foreign language. And I'm like, if she asked me to say my my name in French, I could say, Jim, M'appelle Michelle. And that's about as good as I got. And and I was just, like, holding in the laughter. And I literally remember going home and, like, just just like, crying, laughing that that actually works somehow. But I didn't even know that that existed. So that's just kind of that's the story on that.
[00:09:31] Yeah. Yeah. Let me say why I, I rag on higher education nowadays.
[00:09:38] But this man of the year nominee thing now that's a pretty impressive thing. But, but before you tell them what that's about, in today's atmosphere, you have to define what is a man.
[00:09:52] Right? I know it's 2022 when we record. So yeah, I know that's a little touch topic. Whatever. We could go there if you want. But no, the man man, it is man and woman of the year. So that is I don't know if it used to just be called Man of the Year, but it's Man.
[00:10:08] And Woman of the Year. What was this for?
[00:10:11] Yeah. So this is for LOLs Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Yeah. So what they do.
[00:10:16] Is pretty good accolade. Just being nominated.
[00:10:20] Yeah, it was nominated. I did not win. But I'll tell you what, it's one of those things where everybody wins. Not to sound corny, but we're raising money for blood cancer. So literally, like coming in second place, you raised money for blood cancer. So we ended up raising over $150,000 for blood cancer, which, I mean, if that's chalked it up as a loss. No, I mean, that's a that's a huge win. It just, you know, the guy who ended up winning it, like he had some really amazing connections, which was cool to see that people stepped up and all the power to them. I to me it was an interesting time in life and to even get involved in this project or campaign was a really cool opportunity and I'll share something with you. Talked about service, about self. When I reconnected with a friend, funny enough, we talked about Buff State College, a friend of mine, Sarah. Her and I took some production classes at Above State and we kind of lost touch. Like a lot of people in college, you have a couple of classes with them, you remember them. You always have those fun moments together and then life kind of happens. 22 years old. You start growing up, you know, a lot of times people get married, have kids, and you don't really see a lot of the people you hang out with in college.
[00:11:30] And it wasn't like someone Sarah wasn't someone who I necessarily hung out with outside of our classes or anything. We just knew of each other and liked each other like it was just a good friend to have and someone you respected. So interestingly enough, ten years later, she is in this marketing role. I believe it was marketing, but she was kind of running the Buffalo campaign for the first year ever that less was in Buffalo, so it was kind of like a western New York. You know, when people wonder where when I say I'm in New York, they think New York City, I'm in West. New York, which is very close to the Canadian border here in Buffalo. So first time we're doing the inaugural campaign and she invites me out for a cup of coffee to kind of share this whole thing with me. And I was interested. And the reason I was my ears perked up is I have a little cousin, Ben, who's now four years old. He was two or three at the time of this campaign, and he was battling leukemia, you know, and so a lot of children, you know, blood cancers, you know, one of the things that, you know, I forget if it's 40% of cancers in children are blood cancers.
[00:12:40] Don't hold me to the number. But I remember learning something pretty eye popping that it's definitely a known problem. And then the fact is the money is going to research to obviously to to better help fight this stuff. Right. And so there's you know, it's just to me was important not only if whether or not I had a family member that was involved, that's one thing. But, you know, my father had cancer. It wasn't leukemia, but he had you know, he had colon cancer. So I've had family members battle through cancer to see a little you know, to see a three year old kid fighting through it as a whole different thing. And we also had a couple kids that represented the program in Buffalo that we got to meet. I believe the little girl's name was Lexie. And the little boy's name is slipping my mind right now, but we got to see people who are really going through it, right? So we got to meet them in person. And when she's pitching this whole thing, to me, mind you, I'm a young entrepreneur going through a lot of my own trials and tribulations at the time. And, you know, in entrepreneurship, I was in my let's see, when this was two or three years ago, I was like two or three years in a business because I'm just about to celebrate my five year anniversary with Social Chameleon, so I had no reason.
[00:13:55] I'll just tell you to say yes to this. I think 99 out of 100 people with right rightfully so. My family included were like, dude, you don't have time, energy, you need to really take care of yourself right now. Is that kind of a tipping point thing in the business where I was like, prove it, like, pardon my French because I know how to speak French like we just talked about shit or get off the pot, right? So that's basically what I was hearing from my friends and family that love and care care about me. But they knew that I was crushing it in business before I became an entrepreneur and they didn't understand why I would leave a great situation for this new one. And so I get it. Everybody, you know, nobody believes in me the same, even close to the amount that personally that you have from within. So I could have easily told her no is my point. So when she was asking me like, Hey, I identify you as someone like you have a nice social media following you do good things and buffalo. We love to.
[00:14:54] Have you, because I'm not clear on what she was asking from you.
[00:14:57] So to be nominated for Man of the Year. You're campaigning for I want to say it was ten weeks. It was pretty considerable time. So on my social media and my emails, knock, knock, knock, door to door, I was asking for different sponsorships or people to donate to. So I was essentially kind of being the face of it. So there was about five guys, five girls in Buffalo that all represented this campaign. So they were going saying, Hey, I'm a candidate for Man of the Year 2022 or whatever it was. I mean, I think it was 2020, we were doing it. What's also interesting is it was in the middle of the pandemic. So when I said yes to this, I think it was in November and then it was kind of like the pregame. We were going to meetings and I agreed to do it. I was sort of excited about it. But then the fall rolls around and March is kind of when the whole country understood that the pandemic was very real in the States. And so we actually I was campaigning, asking people for money in times when people were losing their jobs, they didn't know about health, safety. It was very difficult. So for us to raise $150,000, I think is nothing to scoff at. I mean, that was something I'm extremely proud of and that was collectively the whole group of us did that together and I had to build a team. That was one of the things they asked of me. So I was doing Zoom meetings with a bunch of friends that we were called Mike's Warriors, and we were raising money throughout different places. It was all all for the Buffalo Bills chapter. But I had a friend, one of my buddies that I've known since I was a little kid. He's out in Colorado. He was one of the guys on my team because we were able to do everything remotely. So it was kind of interesting. I said yes to this.
[00:16:41] And then the whole cast going at the time.
[00:16:43] Had the podcast going. So I was mentioning it on the podcast and guests, and I've had a couple of people on the show that were tied to it that I would have had on anyways, but it was kind of like, Oh, since you're talking about this, let's we'll talk about the campaign, but I'll just share this little inside story. Don't know how many people have told us to. Maybe one or two, if that. But when she was asking me, I felt this like turmoil, this contradiction of I was kind of known as the guy who would say yes to everything, because I always want to help and figure it out, especially if it's a tug at my heart. But I did tell her, like, I have to. I have to like marinate with this one. I just have to make sure if I'm going to do it, I don't want to half assed it. I'm not going to give you guys half of my effort, half my time. I'm not that kind of person. I go all in and I had to know if I had an all in, if that was even a switch on the switchboard that I could give because I already was all in with business and my podcast and everything.
[00:17:35] So I remember just kind of like looking for a sign and listening to a song at the time, and the lyric was a Chili Pepper song and it said, Newest Star is Born was the lyric. And I know it's not talking about stars like as far as, Oh, I'm going to get like accolades or anything like that. But I just got this sense, this feeling of like that was a little wink I needed of saying, like, you know, you're moving in the right direction, like you're doing the right thing. And so I said, Let's do this. I just needed a little bit of a nudge and it was a great opportunity. I made a lot of friends in LA and I strengthened, you know, I got to talk to Sarah every week. It was really fun getting to know her a little bit better too. And like I said, we raised a good, good chunk of change. And leukemia is no joke. I mean, it's a very serious disease. And blood cancer is something that, you know, you don't want to see anybody go through it, but especially kids. So that's what really hit it. Hit my heart. And that's why I agreed to do it. Yeah.
[00:18:34] So good for you. It's a good payback. Now. Now, there's two major things I want to talk to you about. One is you had jobs before you started your social chameleon business. So my main question is not so much is what they were, but how you made the transition. Did you just quit cold turkey and start your business or just save up money? How did you transition from working at a job to start your own business?
[00:19:03] So I was a cold turkey guy and part of that was intentional.
[00:19:09] I saved up.
[00:19:11] Yes and no. I'll share. I'm going to give you the real story. I don't know. Again, this is pretty cool that you've done your homework on me, which I like. You know, a lot of times people just have you on, like, okay, talk. Okay, well, Tom, you've done your homework. Yeah, I did quit cold turkey. I had a corporate America job. I was a store manager. I did two and a half million dollars in sales that year, which was above goal and just doing really well. 31 years old at the time, making more money than friends, family and people I knew that I was close to. But I'm not trying to say that as a brag. I'm just saying, like, there is no reason that I would, you know, for in other people's eyes that I'd want to leave the situation I was in. Everything was good, you know, I wanted that store manager job so bad because I was a sales rep for two years previous to that, and then I got that promotion later on. There's actually a few years where I was, I did insurance sales to to kind of learn the process of consultative selling and going out and networking and sitting at people's kitchen tables and learning the sales process. But in the moment, when I decided to be an entrepreneur, there was something else driving the decision. There's kind of two things going on.
[00:20:21] First of all, my self belief was really growing and it was, I have to think, podcasting for it. And that's why I have such a big place in my heart. For podcasting is because I was listening to guys like Lewis House, who's sharing his story just real quick with Lewis, who is an arena football player who was about to go, you know, he had the talent to go pro and bust his. I think he broke his arm and his chances just are dwindling. And he was living on his sister's couch for some months before he got into business and he got into LinkedIn. He was afraid to meet people. He shares his story, how he goes into Toastmasters and gets comfortable on the microphone, and now he has like a top ten podcast in the world, and he's a highly successful business person. So there was that story. Ed Mallette was another show I was listening to. He talked about having the water turned off and how him and his wife had to sneak into the pool at their apartment complex and shower in this back little thing. And he had to hold up a towel so he would protect anyone from being able to see his wife as they embarrassingly took a shower outside in the pool, stuff like that. Him talking about having his last $18 and you had to go to the ATM to try to take 20 bucks out.
[00:21:32] And he couldn't even take money out for lunch because he didn't have enough money to even have the machine spit something out. It said insufficient funds feeling like the hairs in my arm stand up. When I heard these people talk about being rock bottom and now seeing the level of success throughout. And I wasn't chasing necessarily dollar amount or status of what they had, but what I was chasing is seeing them in their light, shining and doing beautiful things in the world. Both of those guys are all about giving back and serving, and so they were great influences for me and an inspiration. And so I knew that there was something in me. I felt that the universe was ready to use me in a way that can help others. And I knew that just being in corporate sales and doing good for the company, I knew that something was missing my fulfillment. Even when I would crush a goal, my fulfillment was off because I knew that I wasn't in necessarily the industry and or position that I felt that was the right one for me. So I think it's equivalent to like when someone is like an athlete, they're just a freak athlete, but they don't stick with it because that's not fulfilling to them. And people don't get it because they're trying to write their story like you're tall, you should play basketball.
[00:22:45] It's like if that dude or gal isn't into it, no, they shouldn't play basketball. That's not their calling. So it was eating away at me for quite some time. I was doing well. I felt like the company didn't totally appreciate me. They didn't really get an understand what I was doing behind the scenes. They just cared about the numbers on a sheet of paper and when when the numbers were there, I didn't hear from anybody. And if we had a struggle or a team struggle, you know, like an employee situation or whatever it was, you know, there was a lot of drama that I didn't necessarily like. I'm a pretty drama free guy, and that's how I handle things. But drama happens and you have to address it. And so stuff was going on. And speaking of drama, I said two deciding factors. One was lack of fulfillment. Two was I was going through a divorce, talk about drama. So I was in a marriage, you know, about just about seven years in. We have at that point in time, we had our daughter was two Isabelle and she's now seven. So this is in 2017. And I was faced with this feeling of like my almost like my wife was kind of turning her back on me. I'm in this business on blood, sweat and tears in it.
[00:23:51] I'm not even fulfilled there. I'm listening to these podcasts. These guys are doing this incredible stuff and all of them started with almost nothing, or they had something and lost it all and came back. And I looked in the mirror at my apartment because I was separated from my wife, so I got my own apartment. Nothing in the apartment was set up. All my belongings were in boxes. It was like the first two days I was there. Right? And I look in the mirror and I just remember asking myself, like, who do you want to be? You know, like right now, I felt like in that moment I felt like I became a guy who is the right guy for my marriage. I was making money. I thought I felt I was a good father and a good person, but I wasn't really doing anything that a the little the ten year old version of myself, which was in a media production and all and music and stuff like that. I wasn't even doing any of that stuff anymore. And be this this self-belief in myself that I can go and be an entrepreneur was starting to really it's like the water was boiling and now it was really heating up 212 degrees or whatever it is. Right. So I was to that point, I was ready to do something.
[00:25:00] And I think the divorce was kind of the straw that was like. You know, Jim Carrey is he said this quote about his father. His dad was an accountant. And Jim has a big family, I believe, like nine brothers and sisters, something crazy. And they were living like in a van at one point, all kinds of crazy stuff. And his dad, he was an accountant. And when he was 50 years old, was was fired, basically, like pack up your box is walking down the stairs. And Jim remembers seeing this as a kid and he said, the worst thing in the world is failing is not the worst thing. Because the worst thing that can happen to you and hopefully I don't botch this, but basically the worst thing that can happen is that you compromise for your dreams and then you still fail. So Jim Carrey's dad was actually like a good jazz musician, but he never pursued that because he needed to make money to support his family. So he became an accountant. He hated it, but he did it for the family and he got fired. So you could still lose that, the things you compromised. And that is what I felt. I felt I made all these compromises in my marriage to be this guy that I felt was the right guy for the marriage. And then when that didn't come to fruition or didn't work out going through the divorce, I just had this really sick feeling of like, man, like I could have just been in rock and roll band those ten years and I could have just or I could do whatever.
[00:26:23] And, you know, but looking back at it with a more mature head on my shoulders, I have I have a beautiful daughter. I do everything the same way for her. And she's my number one. And I learned a lot. I learned a lot through marriage. I learned a lot in those businesses I was involved with. And so I did decide to to to go cold turkey. But I just wanted to build kind of the world of scene so you can understand this guy who just felt like everything turned around on him. And then you asked me if I had money saved. I did. Probably the craziest thing you could do is I depleted my 401. K at 31 years old, which I didn't care because I had, I think like 20 grand saved in there. Right. But I also realized to myself, I'm 31. Like if I can't make 20 grand back by the time I'm ready to retire, like, I may as well just, you know, I hate to sound graphic here, but like, I've been able to just put a hole between my ears, you know what I mean? Like, 20 grand shouldn't be what I'm going to retire on and have a nice place on the on the sand somewhere.
[00:27:24] That's not a big enough chunk of change. I felt it was playing money. It was basically going gambling for a weekend, you know what I'm saying? So what I did is I took that 20 grand and after all the percentages are zapped out of it and everything, I ended up being like real money. It was like $13,000. Wow. And it ended up allowing me to live in this apartment for about a year, you know? And I didn't have to worry about making one sale for a year, and I could still have a roof over my head. Now, I had to pay other things that I wasn't necessarily prepared to pay, like child support and all the stuff that comes with a divorce. That's unfortunate. And it was supposed to be a 5050 divorce. That's a whole nother podcast episode. You know, guys in New York State pretty much get get it taken to them. But I, I feel everything happens for you. You know, I came out of that situation learning a lot, self reflecting a lot. And I knew that I wanted to make a change and I wanted to do it right away. And I personally feel like why I did cold turkey was if you ever put a foot on, if you got one foot on the sand or on land, if you can picture this and then one foot on like a rock in the middle of like a call it the ocean or whatever.
[00:28:40] And you could just kind of go back and put it back on on land. You're always going to have that safety net. But if you take someone and you throw them in the middle of the damn ocean and now they have to get back, right? And you burn all the ships, as they say. I had to learn how to swim and I had to learn how to swim in shark infested waters. And it was literally an education that I couldn't get in the classroom. It was it was a bloody drop down, drag out, whatever it was called, like a big it was like a basically a, you know, ten round boxing match, you know what I mean? And so but at the same time, I would absolutely do it do it over again that same way but comma the big but here I would also the thing I would have done differently. Is I would have had more education up front, but that doesn't mean I would have started any later. So what I would have done is like while I was in corporate America for the last maybe six months, I would have done like 2 hours of reading a night or something, right?
[00:29:44] And then.
[00:29:45] And then. Yeah. And then when I transitioned, I wouldn't necessarily need to have like an LLC yet or even a business concept yet or anything. I mean that, that could always benefit if you have that stuff ironed out first. But the thing for me is I knew I needed to burn the ships, otherwise I was just going to easily come back and be like, okay, I'm ready to go back to this again. You know, I didn't give myself the option, so I'm going to figure this thing out, whatever it takes. And it took some it took a lot of humbling and it took a lot of being okay with eating whatever you can get your hands on at the end of those 12 months. And my family ended up, you know, they kind of saw me. I had a little bit of that crash and burn and they just couldn't believe that I would keep fighting that way. And I did that for the first few years because I had to figure out how to make it work. And one of the things I did was I transitioned and I started my podcast first before I can transition there. But in 2019 I felt this heart tug where I felt I wanted to launch my own show, which thank you for mentioning that in the beginning miked up it's a play on my name Mike and then DiCioccio so Mikey d up like you said with the exclamation and why I started it was to help other people who are going through the crazy shit I was going through.
[00:31:04] But also I was interviewing people who had the solutions, been there, done that, and had the success story tied to it. So a I was learning from all these people be I was becoming friends and community, you know, brothers and sisters with everybody. And just, just we were, we're in it together. And see, I was offering all this great information to an audience that really needed it and that felt fulfilling to me. I felt like I was serving in that way and I felt I had a gift on the microphone. I thought I was a great host. And and I have had people come back to me and say that I'm doing a great job, so I believe them and the people who say it. And thank you very much, mom. No, there's there's other people who come to me saying that I'm in and working on my purpose. And so that's why I did miked up. But what ended up happening is I didn't know that that was going to lead me into the business transition that it did. The key word in 2020 was pivot.
[00:31:58] Everybody mentioned it talked about pivot to P words or pandemic and pivot well previous to that, another P word. Previous to that, I ended up actually starting miked up and 2019. So before the pandemic or just before I was known in America, I should say November and one month after that I was doing so before I was in podcasting, just to let the audience understand what I was doing. I was building websites. I was getting people on the first page of Google doing like email marketing for people, videos, social media ads, running Facebook pages, Instagram, that whole thing. So Social Chameleon was more of like a social media marketing company and also digital media and marketing kind of I don't want to say generic, but we were doing. Almost everything. We had a lot of offers out there. And one of my friends, who is also an entrepreneur, he knew that I had a media production background and he's like, hey, you know how to edit audio and video and stuff. Do you think you can do my podcast? I was like, Sure. So I was doing it for pretty much lunch money and I was happy to help them out. Did about 50 episodes for him and I thought, This is pretty cool. I enjoy this. I can get paid for it. Helping a friend out basically to get the learning experience.
[00:33:13] And then I launched my show with the knowledge I just learned helping a friend out, right? And so Mike Up starts off like literally on a zero budget. All I did was I bought my Blue Yeti microphone, like most podcasters do on day one, and I started my show and one month later, one of the video clients that I just did a testimonial for, they were really happy with our work. She said she saw my email blast come out that I had a new podcast. She liked the way it looked, sounded and everything and was professional. And even though she didn't know, I was basically learning it as I went at that time and I said, Well, hey, thanks so much. I appreciate that. And her response blew me away. She goes, Our company, our board of directors, has been getting together for months now and have they've been talking about starting a podcast for our business and this was like in 2019. So it's a little bit forward thinking now. It seems like in almost every company is thinking this way, but at that time it was a little bit more forward thinking and I was kind of taken aback like, Oh, that's a cool idea that you guys are. It's kind of a different company. They were a group of people who is like buying and selling trades for big equipment, used equipment in the construction industry.
[00:34:25] Some like comp podcasting. I mean, these guys are in trucks all day long, so you've got a captive audience. That would be that makes sense. So when I talked to them, I thought they wanted me to teach them how to do it. I was like the dumb and dumber moment. So, you know, the Dumb and Dumber scene where with the bikini models on the bus, it was like Brazilian bikini models. And they're looking for two guys, happen to be two guys that are looking for that could help them get waxed up before their bikini shows. And it's you know, it's the two guys, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels out there. And the bus pulls up and asks them, hey, we're looking for two boys who can come on tour with us right now. And and they're like, oh, my God, there's a town five miles down that way. I'm sure you'll find some guys. And then the bus takes off like a bunch of idiots know. The girls are, like, stunned. They're like, these two guys just shut us down. Not realizing that they're just they're stupid and they're dumb and didn't get it. So then they look at each other and they're like, Oh my God, we're so stupid. How do we pass this up? So they they're waving their hands.
[00:35:28] They get their attention, they go, We're sorry. The town is actually five miles down that way. Right? So I had my Dumb and Dumber moment. What happened was they asked me, Hey, you're like, you're kicking butt with your podcast, can you help us? And I literally took that as like, how, how teach them how to do it. And they're like, Dude, we don't want you to teach us. We want you to just do it for us. So I was like, Oh, score. So I put together a proposal. They wrote me a check, and at that point in time, they probably didn't realize this, but it was the largest check I ever received in business. And I was like, Whoa, I can actually, because I was used to making, like I said, lunch money, doing podcasting. And I was like, Oh, this company is actually going to pay me like legit a good amount of money to do this. And then I realized, a, I loved it. B Now I see that there's a proven concept. If I can get paid once for something, I can pay twice. So I started to do some online videos and talk to people about starting a podcast, and it got so much more traction than anything else I ever did. The other stuff, I think people were like they were just sick and tired of hearing about like SEO and all that stuff.
[00:36:32] It's like it just ran its course, like optimizing your website, like how many times you get hit up in your LinkedIn box about people who can optimize your website? It's like every single day I get like ten of them. So at the time not too many people were helping and now it's a lot more common. But at the time I was kind of getting known as the podcast guy, just helping people do it, and I literally taught myself a YouTube my way through it and I admit that, but I got very good at the craft of it all. And then I pick up my second client, third client, and then people started to hire me as a consultant to teach. Like there were some that wanted to learn how to do it and do it themselves. And after about a year, my sales started to really go into the right direction. I wouldn't say I was making anything I'm going to write home about, but I was definitely showing a significant increase and profit and and things are going well to the point where the first company, the first days of the company, it was me, myself and I, all three of us were the team. And then I got.
[00:37:35] Of the month, every.
[00:37:36] Month I was employee, the month every month all hats were worn and like six months later, all of a sudden, I was working. On so many shows at the time, I was working 12 hours a day, which is still common today. But what happened was I ended up hiring. I brought an intern on, taught him how to do it. Then all of a sudden the two of us were full capacity, brought another person on, right? Then we realized, hey, we need to get someone to write show notes and we need to have someone manage it all. So it became this really cool thing where a business was born through this. It started as a passion project to be doing the podcast, and then all of a sudden it became something that people were willing to pay for. And I pivoted the business. So we were no longer kind of marketing ourselves as this social media marketing company. We flipped it to social chameleon. It's podcasting done for you, and we ended up leading with that. And I, I'll share this like a lot of people say, Oh, you did cold turkey and you didn't really prepare and all this stuff. Well, you have to understand, I would have never been where I'm at today, which is now the company's profitable and doing well. I would never be where I'm at today if I never got started. Because you have to learn. You have to. It's like a ball of clay. You play with it a little bit, you know, you shape it into different things. That doesn't work. You reshape it into something else until you kind of find your stride. And I remember seeing a video when I was learning about entrepreneurship, and this guy used like basic shapes, elementary shapes to tell the story.
[00:39:07] And and I learned that. And that's part of the reason I was willing to get started first and kind of figure it out as I went. As he talks about in sales, like in month one, you start your company and you're selling the object. Looks like a star, right? So it's got a lot of points and sides on it and you sell three of them and you're like, okay, well, we're marking this down. A lot of production going into we only sell three. Then you're you're looking at product reviews and two of the three people said it was too many sides. It's kind of pointy, whatever. So then you turn it into a triangle. The next month you sell ten of them. Oh, I went from 3 to 10 sales pretty good. And then you take the reviews and then more people are talking about it, and then you turn it into a square and eventually a circle. The thing doesn't even have sides anymore, and now you're selling thousands of them and it's like, Shit, I would have never got to that point in selling this product if I didn't start with this with the star. So my point is that's that's what social chameleon was. It was get started, help businesses out, figure out what I can do to help people out, monetize it. And then as it went, I found the thing I fell in love with, which was podcasting. And then it just made sense for us to specialize instead of being the hero for everybody. And too many options were where the solution for a very specific need, which is people who want a podcast but they don't want to do the back end work. They want it all done for them.
[00:40:28] All right. So let me we're running short on time here, but so give us three things. Three mistakes people make when they want to start a podcast.
[00:40:38] Mistake. Number one, this might sound corny, but not getting started. They just keep talking about it. But mistake number two is, once you get started, just assuming like that, it's okay to be sloppy, right? So unedited stuff. People just record like a zoom file and then they think like, Oh, I can now I have a video podcast and they don't really edit it. And I would say number three, that would be a little bit more detailed. One mistake that podcasters make. The third most common one is a lack of of utilizing micro content. So micro content is something I don't see enough people doing. Basically, you and I just talked for 45 minutes. You could chop this thing up into so many different bits and promote it. Audio and video. There's audio grams. If it's a video podcast, people can be doing reels, they can turn it into a square video, they can take a quote graphic out of it, they can share the cover art. So there's literally like 3 to 5 pieces of content, if not more from each episode that you can take. And it also becomes evergreen like three months from now, if you wanted to do something about entrepreneurship and someone getting started, you could take this soundbite and you can use it in three months from now. Nobody knows or cares that it happened. We recorded it in August, right? So I'd say that's the biggest mistake I see people doing is they have this amount of content and they just promote it once the day it comes out and then they forget about it.
[00:42:07] All right. So how do you work with people and who's the best client for you?
[00:42:12] We're working with organizations right now, and it also could be like solopreneur. It's people who are forward thinking. And also, I do care that the companies we work with, we also believe in what their mission is. Does it have to be like 100% lockstep? But we are also looking to work with organizations doing cool things, inspiring things in the world. So that's usually kind of step one when we're doing the discovery call to see that it's actually a company we like and we care about and we have a good feeling if someone's just doing it because they're like, We want to start a podcast to monetize it, and they have no passion about the show or care about it. They just want the the green check. At the end of the day, typically that's not exactly a good fit for us, so we want to make sure it's an organization doing the right thing. We're also looking for someone who's going to be committed like yourself, to consistency. 632 episodes is something to be very proud of.
[00:43:05] I'm just getting.
[00:43:07] You're just getting warmed up. Yeah.
[00:43:08] So, yeah.
[00:43:10] But, but, but a company like we're looking to work with people that are dedicated to more than like, oh, we'll commit to the first month and see how it goes. Like, no, the best shows are the best shows. Joe Rogan was nobody after one month of podcasting. So we're looking for people who are like, Yeah, this is going to be a part of our marketing. This is a part of our long term play, and we want to work with a company who cares about it as much, if not more than we do. And so that would be a good fit. We're not necessarily just looking for like if two buddies are like, hey, we want to talk about Dungeons and Dragons and like that's not necessarily our fit. I have no problem with that. Or if a fantasy football show or girls want to talk about something that's important to them or we're looking to do any kind of content where we feel like it can give back. I mean, we have we have one show we're doing right now that's an eighties kind of throwback show that's a family member of mine reached out to me, Hey, can you produce us? And we said, Sure, but we weren't going out of our way to go find that kind of content. We're more so looking for, like the entrepreneurial business minded, usually kind of like personal help, self help, that kind of stuff.
[00:44:18] Right? So what's the best way to get a hold of you?
[00:44:21] That's the way I'm the most active on Instagram. So if someone wants to see my content or get in touch, you could do it that way. And it's simply Instagram. You go to MikeDiCioccio, so just type the whole thing in and that'll be clickable in the show notes. So you guys don't have to worry about spelling the last name like Tom joked, that's for sure. But because it's DI, CIO, CIO, and I don't expect anybody to remember that. So if you actually go to Mikeuppodcast.com, I mean it's easy. So you just go to Mikeduppodcast.com that routes you to my linktree and on my linktree of my social media and you have all the ways you can listen to the podcast miked up and that would be the best way. And I'm also active on LinkedIn, so if you guys are really like LinkedIn heavy and that's where you like to hang out the most, then drop me a DM and just let me know. You heard me on Tom show and I love to get to know you guys a little bit more. One on one.
[00:45:15] Yeah, it's beautiful. And I think he promised some kind of discount if if you have to have a consultation or something like that. So, so thanks so much for coming on, Mike. My, if you've heard anything in the background, I've got a rescue dog here and she's freaking out because there's a thunderstorm coming up. So that's right here. That noise in the background. But but thanks so much for that.
[00:45:37] Yes. Thank you very much. And you're absolutely right. Anybody who's listening to this and mentions that they heard the show through this podcast, I'd happily do $50 credit towards one on one session with me to learn how to launch your podcast. I'd be happy to help out.
[00:45:54] There you go, folks. It's Mike DiCioccio, and we'll have all those links in the show notes so you don't have to worry about spelling and. Thanks, Mike. And we will catch you on the next episode. See you later.