What It's About
An illustrator launches a podcast to help others find success with their creative pursuits.
Words of Wisdom
If you're concerned that you have a lot of contradictory paths, consider something that Andy said:
"Whenever I hear someone say they have two contradictory paths, I always remind them that innovation is simply building a connection between two things that seem contradictory. When you find these contradictions, instead of seeing it as an obstacle, see it as an opportunity to do something that's never been done. Don't avoid obstacles, sniff them out, they lead to innovation!"
Andy received a nickname from his listeners—Andy J. Pizza. They call him this because when his podcast reached one million listens, he and his wife created a huge pizza-cookie and posted it on Instagram to celebrate. Check it out here!
Notes from Chris
Episode 411For Andy J. Miller, it wasn’t the desire for more money or to leave his job that prompted him to start a side hustle. Instead, it was standing in front of 50 members of his church group, giving his first public speech, which sparked a new passion within him. Walking off stage, Andy realized he’d felt a connection to the work that he’d never felt in his day job. Despite working as a freelance illustrator, creating art for the big brands he’d always dreamed of, like Google, Converse, and Nickelodeon, something about talking to a small room of receptive ears felt more empowering. Over the next few weeks, Andy explored how he could replicate this experience doing his current work. He even toyed with the idea of quitting illustration altogether. But, instead, he decided he would combine his old work, and his new passion, into an experiment. He decided he would create a few episodes of a short podcast talking about creativity. If he liked it, he’d carry on. If he didn’t, he’d continue with his illustration work safe in the knowledge he’d at least tried. Grabbing his iPhone, Andy scribbled down some notes onto a piece of paper and then began talking into his voice memo app. He used his notes as a brief guideline but mostly ad-libbed and improvised his way through the next fifteen minutes. Before he knew it, he’d created his first podcast episode. He gave the podcast a name, Creative Pep Talk, and uploaded the audio file to his Mac. Andy loved the project and decided to keep going with it. As time went by, the episodes started to reach an hour in length, and he invested in an outside sound engineer to help him improve the audio quality. The first two years of his podcast, Andy says he was just tweaking, listening to feedback, and trying to find where his product fit into the market. Andy has been able to monetize his podcast in four different ways—sponsorships, products, donations through Patreon, and speaking engagements. And between these four revenue streams, Andy earns up to $70,000 per year from his podcast, all while he continues to illustrate for clients.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Creative Pep Talk: Andy's website and podcast hub
- Patreon: A service that allows artists and creators of all kinds to receive monthly financial support from the people who appreciate their work
- GarageBand: The digital audio workstation that allowed Andy to create his podcast and keep his expenses low
- Free Music Archive: An interactive online library of high-quality, legal audio downloads that Andy used to locate jingles for Creative Prep Talk
- Soundcloud: The music and podcast streaming platform that Andy used to upload the jingles he found in the Free Music Archive
- Squarespace: The website building platform that Andy used to create Creative Prep Talk
- EXTENDED CUT #11: Lessons in Podcasting: If you're thinking of starting a podcast, what do you need to know? This special episode includes tips on marketing, content, gear, and more
- Business Besties Turn Skype Calls Into Six-Figure Podcast: After two friends create a podcast for fun, it turns into a side hustle that generates $100,000 in its first year, multiple six-figures in year two, and a book deal in year three
- Musician Turns Drum Lessons Into Six-Figure Podcast: It starts with a drum set that his brother’s band left at his house for a month when he was a teenager—and it develops into a lifelong love of percussion and a major moneymaker
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To infinity and beyond,