Josh is the creator of The Pitch podcast, a Shark Tank-like show where entrepreneurs pitch for investment. He built his first business right out of college and sold it 3 years later. He’s a husband and father of 2 (soon to be 3!) and he loves to ski, travel, “taste” many wines and considers himself a coffee snob.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [00:59] – Josh lives in Sarasota, Florida but his show is based in San Francisco
- [01:06] – They record an entire season in two to three days!
- [01:50] – Why Josh is a coffee snob
- [02:36] – He has a cold brew coffee maker at home
- [03:32] – Josh’s area of expertise is in creating stories from a pitch and helping entrepreneurs with their pitches to investors
- [04:22] – One BIG and Unique Value Bomb: You have to start small in pitching and try to solve a tiny problem
- [04:56] – Start pitching using the problem that you’re solving
- [05:28] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: Josh’s worst moment came immediately after his best moment. After Josh sold his business in 2014, he realized he didn’t want to be financially free. He woke up and didn’t know what to do anymore.
- [06:47] – Josh felt worthless
- [08:19] – You have to find value in life that’s bigger than any monetary value
- [08:34] – The statement you pour your life into needs to be HUGE
- [09:57] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: The Pitch started in 2015. It was massively successful by podcasts’ measures, but Josh thought it was still lacking. He then decided to go all-in and his wife quit her job to join him. Josh felt he wasn’t keeping his promise to his guests, so he followed through and found investors; then it felt real.
- [12:05] – Be willing to start
- [13:31] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “We started to get feedback from the show that just came out and so now I am so passionate about it.”
- [14:59] – Josh talks about their feature on iTunes
- [15:40] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Myself. I just never thought of myself as an entrepreneur”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Doing something small every single day that feeds into your goals”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “I try to do the same thing in the morning when I wake up… I will send an email to someone I don’t know every single day”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – You Just Need Space
- 18:42 – Check out The Pitch Podcast
- 18:47 – Connect with Josh on Twitter
- [19:16] – Embrace your weaknesses
Disclosure: I am. Yes!
John: Josh is the creator of The Pitch podcast, a Shark Tank-like show where entrepreneurs pitch for investments. He built his first business right off college, and then he sold it three years later. He is a husband and father of two, soon to be three, and he loves to ski, travel, and taste many wines, and considers himself a coffee snob. Josh, take a minute. Fill in some gaps in that intro. Give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Josh Muccio: Yeah, sure. So, I live in Sarasota, Florida. Our show is based in San Francisco, though. So, what it means is we’ll do a – we’ll record an entire season of the show in like two to three days so we'll batch things and then we’ll spend the next couple of months creating the story for each episode. So, basically that means, I wake up, I go to my fourth office or fourth bedroom and I get work done. We go through scripting, multiple revisions of every single episode for each script. Then, you know, there’s several different stages to how we go through crafting each episode. But, yeah, it’s just me working in my boxers.
John: Well, that’s not a bad thing and you get to be a coffee snob while you’re doing this, so what exactly does that mean? How are you a coffee snob?
Josh Muccio: I just don’t like – the absolute opposite of a coffee snob is someone who drinks Starbucks coffee.
John: Oh, no! I literally have a cup of Starbucks in my hand right now.
Josh Muccio: Well, what is your drink of choice?
John: Well, I’m just not a coffee snob. I just do Keurig just because I’m lazy, and you know, I just do whatever works, and so I get the little Sumatra Dark Roast K Cups, and that’s how I do it, which makes me, I think, the opposite of a coffee snob.
Josh Muccio: Well, it’s okay. My wife does it too. I just think coffee – you know they make Starbucks coffee so you can put sugar in it and stuff, and that’s how it tastes good? I remember my first experience with really, really good coffee was a Nitro cold brew in Park Lake – Salt Lake City, Utah, and it just changed my life.
John: So, what do you do now to make sure that your coffee lives up to your taste buds?
Josh Muccio: I have a cold brew coffee maker at my house, and so, what we’ll do is I’ll ground – grind literally 12 ounces or a pound of coffee at a time, put it in this big, two-gallon jug, let it sit overnight out on the counter, in the grounds, and I’ll strain that. It’s less acidic. To me, it tastes really good. And so, we’ll put that in the fridge and I have coffee for the week. My wife nukes it in the microwave and has hot coffee and I just pour it over ice and have cold [inaudible] [00:20:34].
John: I’m just too lazy for that, I’m not gonna lie, but it sounds like if you can batch it like you do and do it for the whole week and maybe I can get into that mindset, I’ll try.
Josh Muccio: I’m lazy too. That’s why I do it.
John: That's true. So, let’s talk about your area of expertise, besides, of course, making a great cup of coffee for the entire week. What would you say the area that you specialize in most in? Just a couple sentences.
Josh Muccio: So, I’m gonna name two, and then you pick the one you like best for your listeners. Number one, I’m really good at crafting a story out of a pitch from someone where there's seemingly no story, whatsoever. If you’ve known – I’m sure you know, entrepreneurs can tend to ramble about their stuff. Well, rambling entrepreneurs is my worst enemy. So, you know, that’s the big process for us is cutting that out, finding the story, in the weeds, you could say, and then the other thing I do is I help entrepreneurs with their pitch to investors. I help them to keep from rambling and find out what is really, really unique about their pitch, specifically, because that seems to be the thing that can cause results when they’re raising funds.
John: Okay, so let’s go with that one. Let’s go with the second one about raising funds, and, specifically, what’s one thing that we probably don’t know about raising funds, about pitching investors that we should know, as entrepreneurs?
Josh Muccio: I think people tend to go to entrepreneurs – to investors, specifically, and they pitch, "This is the next UBER. This is the next Facebook. This is a billion-dollar opportunity," and they don’t want to hear that. You have to start small. You have to start with the granular idea. What it is you’re actually doing? What’s the problem you’re solving? And if you could solve one tiny problem, and then tell them how that’s a big problem that deserves the next ten years of your lives’ attention and their money to help fund that idea, then you've got something, but you have to start with the actual practical thing of, “What’s the problem you’re actually solving?”
John: Yeah, I think it was Paul Grant that said, “Show me ten customers. I don’t want to see the hypothesis of ten million customers; I want to see ten real customers. Right now, show me those, so start small." Josh, let’s, kind of, talk about what you consider, to date, your worst entrepreneurial moment. I mean, your life’s worth is probably ahead of you, so don’t let that freak you out, but let’s just talk about, to date, what your worst moment is. Tell us that story.
Josh Muccio: Believe it, or not, my worst moment was - came immediately after my best moment. It came immediately after I sold my business in 2014. I had spent three years building it, built it up and we’re working for, probably about a year, before we sold it, finally let go of it, and it was just this huge high, you know – money in the bank. I’m sure it’s a lot of entrepreneurs’ dreams to sell what they have and to live completely financially free, and I don’t know, maybe it’s because of my age, but I didn't really want to live financially free. I realized that the day after. It's like, “Oh, shoot, what do I do?” Like, I woke up and I didn’t know, and that sounds amazing, right?
It was amazing for a little bit, and then I realized, “What am I doing?” So I immediately tried several different things at once. Tried to get some stuff done and nothing was working. Nothing was getting traction and I wasn't making any money. I came face to face with this hard fact, and I think a lot of people will probably relate to this: in that, the draw their value, as a person, from the money they're making. And I think, especially for me, as a man, providing for my family, I felt so worthless because I wasn't making any money. I was doing all this stuff, and it just would - it made me work constantly because I felt like I was not – I wasn’t providing properly, and that –
It drove me to a bad place and made me realize I can’t – I know I need to make money, and that’s important, but there has to be something else that I can draw my significance from because a lot – some of the best things that you build aren’t gonna make money from day one, or even year one or year two. You have to be – find a way to essentially cope with that. That was a really rough moment. I can talk about, you know, how I came out of that.
John: This has really been a theme, Fire Nation, over the last few episodes. Have you been listening to these? Relevancy is important. It is super important. You will lose your identity. You will lose your relevancy in life. If you don’t have that next step plan. If you think that the finish line is selling your company, making a ton of money doing X, Y, and Z, it’s amazing in the moment, but then you wake up the next day like Josh and like some of the past guests that we’ve had this exact same topic about. Relevancy is so important. As humans, we need goals. We need progress. It is important. Yes, money is important, so if you need to cash in, do so, but do so with a plan so that you can remain relevant.
So, Josh, what is one takeaway that you want to make sure that we, the listeners, get from that worst moment you experienced?
Josh Muccio: I think the biggest takeaway is you have to find some value in your life that’s bigger than just monetary value, and I think that should drive your goals. It is essentially your bigger purpose statement and for me, that statement needed to be huge, it couldn’t have been five, ten, fifteen, or twenty years. It had to be something that I could pour my lifetime into. I had a theory about where people – why people had midlife crises and I think it’s directly related to living a life that doesn’t have a big enough vision, and then freaking out about halfway through your life and you realize, living day to day, supplying your own needs, meeting what was next, was needed to be done in your life.
There was no bigger goal. There was no bigger purpose, so coming face to face with that, obviously, there’s a lot more that goes on in a midlife crisis, but it’s intrigued me, and it’s made me try to think, “How can I think bigger about my life and how can that big goal dictate what I do every day, or what are my goals for the year?”
John: It’s a really interesting philosophy and Fire Nation, something to think about for us coming into our midlife. I mean, I’m 37 now, so I’m kind of – I feel like I’m moving pretty quickly in that direction. Or, if you’re in your midlife or later, you’ve probably experienced something like that, some thoughts, and guess what? It’s never too late to start that big vision because who knows what will happen, who knows what likes you’ll be able to pass forward or pass on. So, Josh, let’s shift now and talk about what you consider your greatest ideas to date, which, of course, you’ve had a lot of, but what’s one that really took off, walk us through that process, that story.
Josh Muccio: So, that’s really interesting because The Pitch, Season 2, which I think you promote a little bit, just launched and we started this podcast, The Pitch – in 28 – so maybe, a year after I sold the business. This was 2015, and it was because somebody approached me and said, “I want to start a podcast like Shark Tank. You seem like you’re doing this cool thing,” with another podcast I was doing at the time. I said, “Man, that podcast I’m doing is going nowhere. I want to start the podcast like Shark Tank and we did it for a year, and it was massively successful by most podcasters’ standards, but I wasn’t really happy with it.
I felt like we were failing and that we could do better, and so, I had this moment where I said, “We’re either gonna do this thing 100 percent,” had this conversation with my wife, and she quit her job, and joined my company, and this is last year. We decided, “Let’s make the show we’re doing real. Let’s stop dancing about it, and making everything theoretical about investing and let’s find investors who will actually invest in companies on our show and come through on the [inaudible] [00:10:11]. It sounds like, it wasn’t this big epiphany. It was like I’m not following through on what I’m promising to people when I say we’re the Shark Tank podcast.
Let’s see what happens if we actually follow through on that premise and have real investments happening on our show. It doesn’t sound like an innovative idea, but it made all the difference.
John: All the difference, Fire Nation, and what I’m really taking from this, Josh, is the evolution. I mean, you had this idea and you started to realize, “Hey, there’s just not real follow through here. It doesn’t quite feel real yet. What can we do to make it real? And that’s okay, Fire Nation, you’re not gonna have it all figured out from Day One, but Josh got the ball rolling, he saw the success – he saw the traction and he said, you know, this is a successful podcast by your average podcast standards so there’s obviously an audience out there for it, what can we do to bring it to the next level? What can we do to make this real? And he did just that. So, Josh, that’s my big take away, but what do you want to make sure our listeners get from that story?
Josh Muccio: So, I know that many of your past guests have really pushed this, but being willing to start and publish something that you know sucks. I have to admit, Season One of the show, we did 50 episodes. I personally look back on those episodes and think, “Man, they sucked,” even though that was my second podcast. Before that, I experimented with podcasting before, but I think, in every stage, if you aren’t building something where you think the thing before isn’t that good, then you aren’t growing, right? But you have to be willing to – you can’t go from step one to step ten. You have to start at step one. You have to be willing to suck in the beginning and you have to find a way to come to terms with that and you know, keep pushing, publishing, even though you’re not 100 percent happy with the results.
John: And, Fire Nation, that is the evolution of the entrepreneur. I look back and that is one of the reasons why I love podcasting. I mean, it’s all there. All my past episodes are there, and I sucked when I started. I mean, I looked back at my first 150 and I still cringe. I mean, luckily, the show was able to continue to move forward because I was able to bring on great guests who really carried the weight, but Fire Nation, you’re not going to be great when you start. Michael Jordan did not make the first foul shot that he took. Tiger Woods did not hit a hole-in-one the first time he swung a golf club. These people had to evolve by practicing, by doing that thing.
Now, Josh, here we are in 2017, and you’ve got some traction, things are working, not working, what are you most fired up about today?
Josh Muccio: We’ve started to get feedback for the show that just came out. I am so passionate now. People are like, “We love the direction of the show. This is awesome.” People are sharing it. It’s getting featured all over the place. We’re gonna get featured in iTunes today, actually, so that’s crazy. And so, seeing that is just like – finally getting feedback from customers is like – it’s getting me fired up for the next episode and like – even this morning, I was editing the next episode and it just – the creativity is firing, my writing feels 10 times better because I’m getting that confidence from that feedback loop.
That, to me – I’m actually to the point now where I’m starting to hang up things on my wall that inspire me, to get me pumped every day. By nature, I’m a pretty lazy guy and so, if I don’t have that motivation, or those – that structure in place, those habits to really get me excited about what I’m doing each day, I lose interest. I’m kind of high on the review cycle of people telling me what I’m doing is meaningful and it’s making an impact on their life – that’s driving me.
John: I’m actually looking at your feature right now. It is live in iTunes, and there it is, right here –
Josh Muccio: Are you kidding me?
John: It’s live, as we speak. I’m looking at it – The Pitch.
Josh Muccio: I just – I just checked it before you went live! Who would’ve guessed?
John: It’s live, buddy! The magic of EOFire! I love it!
Josh Muccio: Oh, my gosh.
John: I’m looking at it. It’s front – center. And then there’s a little unicorn that goes in front of the moon, so can you, kind of, explain that real quick?
Josh Muccio: That’s an inside joke for people who are interested in startups. These are billion dollar valuated companies. So, UBER’s gonna be one. Facebook’s gonna be one. Airbnb. There have been more and more of them lately. But that’s, kind of, the ultimate in the startup world. It’s a little hint, a little throwback to people interested in startups listening to our show.
John: Well, Josh, I know you want to log into iTunes right now. Hold yourself back for the next five minutes because we’re gonna crush the lightning round as soon as we thank our sponsors. Josh, are you prepared for the lightning round?
Josh Muccio: Let’s do it.
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Josh Muccio: Myself. I just never thought of myself as an entrepreneur. It took a college professor pushing me and saying, “You have the gift. You should do it.” I still didn’t listen. Then, a year later, I got fired from my accounting job when the economy went bad and I was essentially forced into entrepreneurship, but I realized how good I was at it, and I haven’t looked back.
John: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Josh Muccio: It would be the thing on the wall, I think, but it’s also from a book, which I already mentioned, so I’ll skip that one, but the promotional stuff, the reviews on the wall, the stuff to get you fired up. For me, it would be actually doing something small every single day that feeds into your goals and it’s from a book that I read called, The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson and it just – the whole theory behind the book is the difference between someone who lives a massively successful life at the end of fifty or sixty years of career is the little tiny things that they do every single day. It’s not the big stuff. It’s the little stuff.
John: Have you followed that book up with The Compound Effect?
Josh Muccio: No, I have not, but I will definitely check it out.
John: Put it on the To-Do list. It’s a must follow up to that. What’s the personal habit that contributes to your success?
Josh Muccio: I try to do the same thing every morning. When I wake up, I work out, I look at the inspirational things on my wall – I try to get fired up for the day. Other than that, this one, key, thing that I – lately, I’ve been doing, I will send an email to someone I don’t know every single day, and it’s to build my network outside of my local area for my show. I need a network in San Francisco, and so every day, I try to email somebody I don’t know. I don’t use social media for this. I email somebody and try to strike up a conversation and create a relationship.
John: Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation.
Josh Muccio: There’s a new website – just launched – called, youjustneedspace.com, and what it does is, it uses neuroscience to help break you off the things you’re addicted to on your phone. The apps like Facebook or Twitter, the things you check way too often each day and what it is, is it’s a bridge between that app you need to spend less time on and it’s an icon on your phone that you hit and it just pauses for a second, almost like it’s loading the app for a really long time, and it just says, “Breathe. Breathe.” It’s like five or ten seconds, but it’s supposed to, essentially, slow down that loop of instant gratification and wean you off of these apps you’re addicted to.
John: Josh, let’s end it today on Fire with a parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Josh Muccio: So, you should definitely check out the show, ThePitch.fm, or on ITunes at The Pitch, or reach out to me on Twitter: @joshmuccio.
John: Love all of that. And the parting piece of guidance?
Josh Muccio: Embrace your weaknesses. The more I face them, the more I come to understand them, where I can actually become stronger knowing them, and find ways to work around them, and fill your life with the people that can help augment those areas that you’re weak.
John: Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with and you’ve been hanging out with JM and JLD today, so keep up the heat! Head on over to eofire.com. Just type, “Josh,” in the search bar, and his show and page will show with everything we’ve been talking about today. Best [inaudible] [00:18:02] in the biz, Fire Nation, time stamped. Links galore. And of course, head over to ThePitch.fm to check out that podcast that is currently being featured in iTunes. Josh, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
Josh Muccio: Thanks so much, John.
John: Hey, Fire Nation, hope you enjoyed our chat with Josh today, and productivity, discipline, and focus are my three greatest strengths and they can be yours too. Simply visit the masteryjournal.com and master all three skills in one hundred days, and I’ll catch you there or I’ll catch you on the flip side.
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