Music Radio Creative Founder Mike Russell Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Music Radio Creative Founder Mike Russell
Music Radio Creative founder Mike Russell is our guest today, on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots free podcast interview.
He is a man who I’ll be honest I should have had on the show along time ago.
As he is someone that quite simply can put me in my place, and show us all how to create a podcast, a podcast movement and still have his own hair and teeth in the process.
Nobody said it was easy after all!
Starting his career back in 1995 on Tunbridge Wells Hospital Radio, it was obvious that he had set out on a path that was always going to be his own.
One linked to his love for radio, and one that was linked with his passion for content creation.
Then in 1997 things started to get serious, as he started seeking out work experience with many of the household names that make up national UK radio, and it’s more localised stations.
He worked for BBC World Service, Capital Radio, TalkSPORT, Sunrise radio, 101.1 Rock Radio in Manchester, and even Kool FM, before he realised that in all likely hood he was going to end up building someone else’s dream if he didn’t take the leap and go for it on his own.
How The Dots Joined Up For Music Radio Creative
And this he did by launching Music Radio Creative, a company that provides jingles, voice over talent, and script editing for anyone with a desire to create a podcast or radio programme too.
Radio stations to your humble podcasters, have saught out his knowledge of everything sound related, and positioned him very much front and centre of the UK podcasting scene.
And now with his wife Izabella, and his ever expanding family, he has taken this profile and launched the UK Podcasters Community and The New Media Europe Conference too.
He is nothing but busy I can tell you.
So with so many career jumps in his life, was he always on the path to where he is today, or is it one that is totally unexpected?
And does he feel that being an entrepreneur in 2016, especially in the world of New Media is still wild west time, or just a walk on the golden sands of life?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Mr Mike Russell.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Mike Russell from Music Radio Creative such as:
Why you should never get worried by the amount that you need to pay to start something. Just look around and see if you can do it for free, and then develop slowly.
How he took his first steps into the entrepreneurial world by looking at a way of selling his voice, and little by little created his whole business around this one idea.
The reasons that the UK has Hospital Radio, and why it such an unusual mix of people, but certainly a great grounding for anyone who wants to get behind the mic.
Why it is so important to take every opportunity that you get offered. This breeds confidence and will lead to the kind of opportunities that you really want for yourself.
Music Radio Creative Books
How To Connect With Mike Russell
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Music Radio Creative Founder Mike Russell
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:35]
Yes, hello there everybody. Hello there and welcome to the world of Join Up Dots. This is where it starts. This is the exciting bit missus, you know I got up this morning. And if a lot of you listen to Join Up, Dots, you will know that I sometimes do a little jiggy in my underpants only dancing around and I did that this morning and my guest today. I bet he’s somebody who does that kind of thing as well. He seems like somebody that will dance around in He’s wife runs. So I’m going to ask him that and I’m going to ask him so much because he is a man who won’t be honest I should have had on the show a long time ago as he is someone that quite simply can put me in my place and show us all how to create a podcast, a podcast movement, and still have his own hair and tape in the process. Now, Nobody said it was easy after all this podcasting game, and he has been on a journey. starting his career back in 1995. On Tunbridge Wells hospital radio, it was obvious that he set out on a path that was always going to be his own one link to his love for radio, and one that was linked with his passion for content creation. Then in 1997, things started to get serious as he started seeking out work experience with many of the household names that make up national, UK radio and it’s more localised stations. He worked for the BBC World Service capital radio, Talksport sunrise Radio 101, point one rock radio in Manchester, and even call FM love that name before he realised that in all likelihood, he was going to end up building someone else’s dream if he didn’t take the leap and go for it on his own. And as he did by launching music radio creative, a company that provides jingles, voice over talent and script editing, for anyone with a desire to create a podcast or radio programme to radio stations to your humble podcasters have sought out his knowledge of everything sound related, and positioned him very much front and centre of the UK podcasting scene. And now with his wife, Isabella, and he’s ever expanding family he’s taken his profile and launched the UK podcasters community and the new media Europe conference two he is nothing but busy. I can tell you. So we’ve met so many career jumps in his life. Was he always on the path to where he is today? Or is it one that is totally unexpected? And does he feel that being an entrepreneur in 2016, especially in the world of new media is still wild west time or just a walk on the Golden Sands of life? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up with the one and only miss the UK podcaster himself, Mr. Mike Russell.
Music Radio Creative [2:58]
Wow. David that is hands down the best introduction I have ever had on a podcast. And it’s a real honour to be on the show. And actually it’s it’s boxes that I bounced around in, or sometimes nothing at all. But I didn’t really want to put that image in the in the listeners head this early on. Sorry.
David Ralph [3:16]
Let’s join forces because I do like to do a little bit of naked jiggy, jiggy. And the other day, actually, I was on, we was on in the house and it was just me and my wife, no kids, and that doesn’t happen very often. And it was about sort of like mid morning I was a little bit sweaty because I’ve been working hard, and I thought I’d go for a shower. So as I finished showering, I thought I’m 46 years old and I look after myself. My wife is gonna be excited by a naked man dancing down the stairs. So I dance down the stairs and I came down the stairs with a fake top Pat, you know, the sort of light and the cane. The one step kicking my legs up, and she didn’t look up and I thought to myself, I need to do something more dramatic. And I decided that I would burst into the kitchen, doing a naked 46 year old man river dance band. All she did was look up from Facebook and go, Oh, that’s attractive and look back down. I’ve lost it, Mike, I’ve lost it.
Music Radio Creative [4:14]
Well, David, you see, that’s the distraction society we live in now Facebook and you know, scrolling through a smartphone. It’s far more interesting.
David Ralph [4:22]
I’ll tell you what, I’m going to post an image on the show notes of you and me doing our thing. But of course, our real thing is UK, podcasting. And you are a man at the forefront. And I’ll be honest, I look at the number 616. And I think why weren’t you on before? Is it me? Mike? Are you scared of me? Wow.
Music Radio Creative [4:40]
Well, I have to say yes. I mean, after that introduction and everything you do, David Yes, I’m, I’m kind of I’m sitting here in order just just waiting to see what experience I’m going to go through. But it’s it’s fantastic. I mean, it’s brilliant. I mean, kudos to you for for going so long. How do you how do you keep it up? How do you go for so
David Ralph [4:57]
long? My wife asked me how I keep it up. And all those kind of things as well. And I think he’s just a love for the game. Do you know that I think we started something you on nervous energy and you just kind of go for it. You don’t know if somebody is gonna listen, you just kind of find it. But what I’ve realised recently is I am more obsessed by the technicalities of making a podcast sound as good as possible. But without actually spending that much money on it because I know you are a professional podcaster if anybody wants to go over to music, radio creative or any other websites, or Facebook pages at Mike’s own, you can see he studio and it’s like, it’s like radio to time. It’s got things flashing, it’s got things are beeping. I’m a great believer in trying to do it for free to be able to get the people I think it’s going to be prohibitive to get going. And that’s come out over the last maybe year or so. I wasn’t like that at the beginning. So I think you keep it up by finding your passion, don’t you? You absolutely
Music Radio Creative [5:55]
do. And that’s the key there, David. I mean, you’ve mentioned it, you know, get started. Don’t be overwhelmed by the fact that you might have spent hundreds or thousands on good quality audio. That is something I do but you know, I started off with a microphone obviously I started off in radio stations recording then I got my own home set up. But now to you know, have the sound treated room that I work from is is fantastic. And you just build in light with anything that starts as a hobby. Eventually you become more and more serious about it. But possibly you find that you can make a career or become an entrepreneur in that field. Then why not to sort of plough some some of the money you’re making into making things better.
David Ralph [6:34]
Now, if we stray is one of those ones where there seems to be a path where you somebody, even when he was a small child, and you still kind of look like a small child, I’ll be honest with you. I don’t know how you’ve managed to do it. You’ve got a Benjamin Button thing going on, and it’s only ever that you’re very young. But then you’ve got kids so that’s something illegal now It must be that you just Benjamin Button been going on. But when you was young, were you somebody about We’d sort of go up to bed and save on going to bed now and then put a headphone in and listen under the sheets where you were kind of radio file as a kid or did it’s all get you later on.
Music Radio Creative [7:10]
Oh, yeah. Crikey, David. Yes. I mean, one of the first stations I listened to was Capital FM and London as you correctly mentioned in the introduction, which I’m really impressed by, I started out at hospital radio Tunbridge Wells, so I was just on the on the outskirts of London, and much of my my parents delight I actually got them to instal an FM aerial on the roof of our house so that we could pick up all the London stations so obviously during the day Yeah, I was listening to capital I was listening to the jingles getting excited by that. But back in the day when a FM radio was big remember that am radio I was listening to the the original talk radio UK as it was no now it’s Talksport and there is an hour reincarnation on D AB called talk radio. But I listened to the original talk radio UK under the bedsheets and and that was exciting not just from an audio in images point of view, which is obviously what I do in my business, but listening to the host the talk hosts, because I’ve been on air as well. So that kind of fired me up and got me all excited about that side of life.
David Ralph [8:10]
Because Well, what fascinates me with you is you are somebody that really has got a foot in both camps, new media and old media. So there is a quality that you have brought into your work that you can hear comes from radio stations, you know, nobody’s going to tune into a radio station, audio is terrible and turn off. But in podcasting land, a lot of people kind of think that you can get away with that. Oh, it’s only a podcast. Because your background Do you listen to things and go guys, guys, it only takes a couple of twiddles of your knob and you could make it so much, much better.
Music Radio Creative [8:44]
Absolutely. David, I mean, you’ll you’ll notice as well as I, if you look at the top, say hundred podcasts in the iTunes directory, I don’t think you’ll find one with bad audio quality. But because you can go so nice on a podcast. There are some people doing some fantastic content. But just haven’t quite got the audio sources and, and having audio sounding great, I believe is is very important. Now I do think there are different rules and that well, there are there is one rule that there are no rules technically in podcasting, but you know, you’ve got to kind of move a little bit away from that sort of polished produced radio sounds, particularly if you’re doing a talk style show you’ve got to be more personable, I think. But certainly having some of that background in old media or some of that training I mean, you can do it online now you can learn a lot of the the audio tricks online via YouTube or via you know, a you know, paying for courses from places like Udemy or Lynda and you can learn those tricks yourself. So I mean, I think if you’re passionate I think anyone can really make a great sounding podcast and and be up there you know, with the top hundred.
David Ralph [9:46]
So when did your passion really find its home? You know, because at the beginning we try stuff we tried this and we try that and we kind of move and we it’s not quite right. And little by little it kind of shapes into Something When did your passion actually become? What you would say is a business that was worth pushing through with?
Music Radio Creative [10:07]
Wow, that’s a really good question. So as you rightly mentioned, I had a background in radio since I was 13 years old, I think when I joined the hospital radio station, and then I worked in commercial radio for a long time national station stations on the other side of the world. And I like you mentioned I was always working for somebody else producing a show or a sound or piece of audio a promo for a radio station for a group or a programme director. And then I started music radio creative back in late 2004, early 2005 This is when I first took my dabble into the the world of being online and essentially, particularly selling my voice online. And initially it was me having this crazy idea that I how do I become a voice artist that can do voiceovers for radio stations in America, in Australia and also in the UK. And then I think the key was just well, putting something out there, but a website out there with a PayPal, you know, buy it now button. This was before, you know, even Facebook or any kind of social media was around. So it really was kind of I guess back in those days, the best kind of marketing was was posting in forums and SEO, of course. So he’s doing a bit of that. And I started to notice that, you know, after a while, I wouldn’t say it happened overnight. Because as you know, and I’m sure you’re listening to those, these things don’t happen overnight. There’s a lot of hard work. But over time, I could see that things were starting to happen that the the the website was starting to rank for certain phrases, and that was attracting a lot of good quality traffic to the site. And then it just grew from there. And obviously, when it became a business, I would say that would really be about 2011. When Isabella right, she was on maternity leave that Isabella is my wife my other half and she was on maternity leave with our first of two children. And that’s the moment when she took her attention away suddenly from her job. Which was banking in the City of London to oh this music radio creative and she started looking to the business side of things. She’s very good at that and and that’s when it started to grow because we started to take on more talent. We started to work with other people all around the world. And yeah now it’s our it’s our full time thing that that pays the bills obviously we have as you alluded to new media Europe as well which is a big passion projects. But yeah, music radio creative as grown over the years. And we continue to, to look for ways to to expand it and, and do other crazy things to do with audio because that’s really that’s my my core passion is audio, making great audio, playing with audio and just making people happy by making nice things. Do you know I’m gonna
David Ralph [12:44]
have to play this show back Mr. Russell, because it sounded to me that you said as you know, and your listener knows, it sounded like there wasn’t a plural to my listenership, sir.
Music Radio Creative [12:56]
Well, that’s it again, I’m coming from the radios school of thought if you speak to one, one listener, the listener right now, who has that earbud in who is actually listening to my voice? But of course, you are a worldwide phenomenon.
David Ralph [13:11]
We’re getting there. But is that how you think because I had this argument a lot with podcasters, where they say, Oh, yeah. Oh, as long as only one person is inspired, and I think one person one person I want, I want millions. What’s the point in doing a piece? Like that? Is that how you think?
Music Radio Creative [13:30]
Yeah, I definitely I come from I’ve had it drummed into me over two decades of hosting on air at Radio, you talk to one listener, that one listener that’s listening to you. But I mean, there is an argument we could go or we could fill the whole podcast arguing about this, David, it’s, it’s ridiculous. But I can see the other point of view of you know, Hello, folks, hey, listeners, how you doing today. And particularly if like yourself, you’re building a community of like minded people, then maybe it is the correct thing to address them in the plural. So I’m open to both schools of thought it’s it’s just Yeah, I’ve had that radio radio upbringing which is still sticks in my brain today.
David Ralph [14:07]
Be open to both but just know that I’m right Mike. Let’s go with that route. Yeah, always go with the host of this show. So you know your your wife right interesting time. I didn’t realise that she came from banking in London. I was in banking in London, maybe maybe. Maybe we drank together in some clubs and pubs? I’m sure you did. That become easier for you when she joined forces because I’m always interested with the people that struggle to find the right business partner. And when you have found somebody that is not only your business partner, but is your partner that sees you dancing in your underpants in the morning and sort of loses the mystique. Is that easier? Is it? Is it harder? How does that work? So, being married to a business partner?
Music Radio Creative [14:55]
Absolutely. It’s like any relationship you know you work on it and If you like the other person, which I happen to do, which is a good sign, you know, it’s good but not every not every spouse can work with their you know, with their other half. It’s not always possible, and that’s fine. But yes, in any case, if you’re looking for a business partner, or you find someone you would like to be your business partner, definitely think very carefully about it. If it’s if it is your other half, that’s that’s great because you’re married to them. So there’s already that cement there in the relationship but in the case of Isabella and I, it’s just we get on very well. We’re very I guess, enthusiastic very, what’s the word I’m looking for?
Looking for the word very
optimistic, but there’s another word to describe it.
David Ralph [15:43]
I was gonna say without spire.
Music Radio Creative [15:45]
Yeah, a bouncy we aspire to do we aspire to do lots and Isabella in particular is somebody who cannot rest her mind. She’s always on. I do have I’ve, I am able to switch on and off and into different modes. But yeah, we just worked great together and we complement each other as well which again is another thing to look for in a business partner is someone who is complimentary to you. So I am greater creative coming up with interesting ideas marketing, being on the edge of of new, which is something I really enjoy doing. And, and Isabella has all of that to her, but she’s a very good business sense. great talent manager. I mean, she looks after our hundred plus talents at music, radio creative, when we organise conferences, she is the one you know, making the calls and chatting to people and talking them through what’s going to happen. Whereas I’m more kind of on the technical side of things, the marketing side of things, you know, and I’m putting together with the AV guys on the day obviously that’s that’s my trade so I can do that. But yes, complimentary, I think is a big key there. whoever you’re working with.
David Ralph [16:51]
I like sleeping with my wife. But that’s as far as it goes. Really. She’s my I couldn’t have it with her. I could not worry about I walk into the house. More often than not, she sitting in front of a laptop saying to me, why is it doing this? Why is it? I don’t think I don’t think I could work with her at all. So it is it is. Yeah.
Music Radio Creative [17:09]
Definitely. David, it is good to have that. Because I mean, certainly in our case, it can be where everything about your life and all the conversations you have revolve around business. So a challenge is better. And I have is to say, right, we need to set some time where we just have a meal, and we just talk about life. It’s either kids or business that we talked about.
David Ralph [17:28]
I was always the way we have kids, especially when you first have them and you go, let’s go away for a weekend. We need a break. And after 15 minutes, you’re just talking about the bloody kids all the time, you might as well be with them. That’s right. You cannot get away with it. Now also, the thing that interests me as well is the fact that in podcasting land and in radio, then there is a kind of bit I think there’s a starting belief of people being hidden, where it’s quite intoxicating to be in a recording studio in a room talking into a room. microphone and sending it out to the world. But there comes a time when your profile gets to the point where you’ve got to step out of the mic, and actually in front of people, now you’re doing that to sort of bigger and bigger sort of conferences. Was that something that was scary? Was that something that you went? Yeah, Bring it on, because I’ve gone from public speaking to this side. So I’ve kind of done both of them. And now I’m getting an itch to get back onto the public speaking side, which I didn’t have a couple of years. Did you find it a natural path to take?
Music Radio Creative [18:31]
Hmm, I like that question. And well, I know what you mean, is it a natural path? Yes, it is. I you know, I find it very easy to talk in front of a microphone. So therefore, I do find it easy to talk in front of people. But I wonder if you feel the same way, David, even though you’re, you know, at a pro level so you definitely feel confident in what you’re presenting. But I think still everyone still gets those nerves before they go on, even if it’s in front of like, 20 people in a room. That kind of, I guess nervousness or adrenaline that’s rushing through you, whatever you want to call it, that kind of makes you perform. And you do get that, I think, to a certain extent behind the microphone, but it’s amplified. You know, when you actually go out there, do you find you get
David Ralph [19:14]
that to? How many times do you need a way beforehand? That’s what I will say because I, I did public speaking for many, many years, and even I used to run sort of induction courses for people sort of in house training. And even though I’ve done it 100 million times before and it was just like, in me, I could just turn on the switch and go, I always needed three weeks beforehand. That’s my bench. what’s what’s your wi levels are
Unknown Speaker [19:39]
Music Radio Creative [19:41]
I’m trying to think of what it is I do, but yeah, definitely that’s that’s a good indicator of Yeah, that nervous energy you have before you start. Yeah, I find actually a little trick if people are starting to file into a room that you’re about to speak to. It’s not just me that does this. I’ve you know, heard other speakers talk about doing this as well. He’s going to go and mingle, go and say hello, go and shake some hands go and say thanks for coming along, you know, that kind of thing. And that can put you at ease I think if you if you know, even if even if you’ve just made contact with them on that day, but if you feel like you know, some of your audience, the other key is thinking of them naked Of course. You know, I find shaking hands helps.
David Ralph [20:19]
I like to shake hands when a kid that normally happens after the event. You can get it if you’re good enough, Mike, you can get there.
Unknown Speaker [20:28]
David Ralph [20:30]
So So when did you first go into a recording studio and sit behind the mic? You said it was 13 when you first went to hospital radio in Tunbridge Wells, and I don’t get hospital radio. I think the last I’ve listened to a bit of hospital radio and most of it is pretty shambolic. And I think that if I’m in hospital feeling ill I want somebody who’s good. I don’t want somebody go, hello. This is the top three of this week. I want somebody good. Why did they do that? Right yeah what do I invest in that to me?
Music Radio Creative [21:02]
That’s a good question and I think it’s a question your American listeners and many other of your listeners around the world will be asking because I understand hospital radio is pretty unique thing to the United Kingdom. So yeah, I mean it’s it’s interesting in the fact that hospital radio as it as it says on the tin basically serves wards of hospitals. It’s not a national thing, although there is a, an overall national organisation called the HBA that looks after all the stations, but basically Yes, it’s an independent stations set up usually on the site of a hospital. The broadcast that used to broadcast certainly in the Kenton Sussex Hospital in Tunbridge Wells via wire. We used to have wires going out to the Tunbridge hospital and Pembrey hospital as well. And, yeah, you just get all types going on. As you know, you do get that kind of set of people who are ambitious, and they just come in and they want to learn the ropes. And for me, it was definitely the best way to get in, because nowhere else would have me as a 13 year old so I was I was quite fortunate in that time that I I was I was able to work for it’s a voluntary organisation. So I was able to do that. And then you get a set of people who just just love being on the air, but maybe they they don’t quite feel like they’re at the professional commercial level. So they just do their show once a week. Yeah, and you get just Yeah, all kinds of interesting people coming in. So it’s a great, it’s a great crowd. Actually, that was. For me as a young teenager, I also felt socially it helped me to enhance my social skills. Amazingly much more so than anything I’d ever learned in school actually mixing with with real people and doing something I was enjoying that was that was a good education for me.
David Ralph [22:38]
Well, let’s play some words now and then Delve back into that because that is little Mike. And I don’t think there’s much of a difference between little Mike and Big Mike. This is Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [22:46]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [23:13]
Now, it’s interesting. He’s talking about 12 years old, he was 13 years old. Did you go up to your mom and dad and say, I want to be in radio? Did they sort of encouraged you? Or did they think it was just going to be a phase you were going through? Because certainly when I started podcasting, probably up to about 300 shows more. People still thought it was just a phase. They couldn’t understand it. It was always two questions. What’s a podcast? And secondly, well, how do you make money from it? Did your parents have the same kind of concerns right back in the day?
Music Radio Creative [23:44]
Yeah, I mean, even before I joined hospital radio the the indications were there I was I was very interested in radio at that time. I mean, I yeah, I listened to the radio. I had a cassette recorder a home where I was recording and doing all kinds of silly things. I remember one Christmas when I must Being in single figure age, I got a mixing desk and I was playing with that. So it was very apparent that was my interest. And I was fortunate that I, you know, I still do I have parents that support me, and have always supported me in in my career choice if you like. So I’ve been lucky in that sense. I’ve never been told to get a real job or, you know, go to university and learn something and, and all of that. They’ve just encouraged me to follow my passion. And I’m grateful for that. So, so yeah, and that’s kind of how I got started in hospital radio, because my mom actually worked with somebody who knew somebody who was at the hospital radio station, so I kind of got introduced that way. And yeah, that’s, that was the start of something.
David Ralph [24:44]
I bet that friend went, Oh, my God. Oh, like, oh, okay, bring him in and we’ll see what he can do. And how long do you remember that you actually started feeling that he was providing value?
Music Radio Creative [24:58]
You mean at the hospital station. Yeah. So how long did it take before I felt? What do you mean to find providing value? Do you mean like thinking I was doing a good job, or?
David Ralph [25:11]
That’s a very good question. You’ve thrown it back at me. There’s a certain point in your journey where you feel like you are making it up. You’re gonna get caught out. Oh, I know. I know that. I’m a professional Bodger. I’m just doing these things in my spare time. Somebody’s gonna grab me by the shoulder and go right you bide your time make out you go. How long did you feel sort of like safe because you realise that you was actually providing something that the station required.
Music Radio Creative [25:38]
I think I was really fortunate with with hospital radio being a voluntary organisation, they were grateful to to have anybody helping out who had a sincere interest in doing so. And I mean, you know, aside from being on the air and I mean, that was a real nervous point for me because I was a 13 year old I don’t think my voice even quite broken then. Wonder if I’ve got any of those demos. Hopefully stored away somewhere. But yeah, I mean, I was on the air and and quite nervous but you know, people at the station were very encouraging, you know, and often come in and say, you know, sounding good, sounds great and all of that. And I think it must have been the the way I was playing jingles rather than the way I was presenting. Because, yeah, some of my old demos definitely made me cringe. But also I was getting involved in the the fundraising. So we’d often go out and shake tins and do outside broadcasts and bits like that. So it was, it was really great fun. So I, I think there was always a chance to provide value in that environment from the very start. But yeah, actually getting to the stage where I felt I was confident on the air. That would have been a lot longer, I think because yeah, I mean, it takes time to hone your skills. And I remember one of the first people I worked with in in commercial radio. I gave him a tape of mine and you know, now listening back to it, it would probably sound awful, and he just came out to me straight up and said it was crap. It was like it was probably the best piece of advice I had. Because, you know, rather than pulling the wind out of me and making me think oh, maybe this is the wrong career choice for me, it just made me even more kind of, you know, I want to do this. This is really what I want to do. So I went back and hone my skills even more and I guess my voice dropped a couple of octaves and, and then I was fortunate.
David Ralph [27:24]
I think the best bit of advice I got right in the early days on the show, I think it was Episode 44. It was a guy called Tyson Webb. If you’re listening to this Tyson, I salute you, you won’t be listening. You’ve gone on to bigger things. And he is an American DJ who has been you know, 3040 years very similar to you. He’s, he’s like the American Mike, where he wanted to sort of break into radio and he became, he managed to do it at the age of 14, whatever, as working the two o’clock till four o’clock in the morning shift showed great hustle. And he said to me, the biggest advice I can give you is when you’re talking, you put 25% more into When you would normally so it sounds natural on the mic. And I listened back to some of my early shows and I was just talking, it was just me talking. Now there’s there’s much more energy, I think it makes it much more vibrant. And little by little, that competence becomes an unnatural thing. And I think that is the benchmark of what we’d like. I think it’s not really the content as much I think it is the it’s the enthusiasm, isn’t it? It’s the presenting I listened to you sir. And I could listen to you talk about anything really, I could listen to you read a curry house menu, because he just kind of didn’t know how to do it. And I think that is where old media comes into it, isn’t it?
Music Radio Creative [28:42]
That’s very kind of you to say yeah, absolutely. some some some good tips there. And yeah, I think when you when you feel like you’re you know you how many hours do they say you have to practice a skill or, or years before you really truly are a master at it. I can’t remember how many it is exactly. And isn’t it 10,000 There you go, I thought it was 10,000 and you know so you but you’re always learning though even if you think you’ve you’ve got it down and it’s all good. There’s always something you can do to to up your game. And even in the the audio production world where I will delve in. And to this day, even though we have audio producers working for music, radio creative now creating most of the jingles I will occasionally dive in to the orders and I will take some of the orders and produce them myself so that I don’t go rusty so I don’t lose those skills. And also because there’s there’s always different ways of producing and I mean, that’s, that’s apparent when you listen to the different decades and genres of music, you know, there’s actually a great video. If you look up on YouTube Pentatonix they’re an acapella group from the US and I think it’s the history of music, and they sell from the 1100s and go to the 1800s and then the 1900s and the 1920s 19 six He’s right up to the present day, and they do this acapella evolution of music. So I’ll send you remember, send you the link, so you can pop it in the show notes. But that is a great example of how things and you know, they’re always changing and you should you should keep on top of those trends.
David Ralph [30:16]
But said, Let’s take you back in time to tell him that maybe wasn’t as happy in your life, sir. Now. I’ve been watching you from afar. Some might say it’s stalking. Some might say it’s grooming but I have been watching you. And last I think it was about June, you was running the new media conference and you posted a video where you’d received an email from somebody that was less than positive about your work. And unfortunately, in entrepreneurial world, you do get slammed around left right and centre. When you first started getting Bose. Was it hard to overcome because once you get a bit of experience, you realise you’re going to get those because you’re being noticed. And the reason you’re being noticed is that other people kind of see you as a threat somehow where really the world is abundance. So When you started to get those comments that’s all of them could have knocked you back. Did you just breeze through them? Or did you sit there cutting little numbers out of newspapers and doing blood notes to send back How did you deal with it?
Music Radio Creative [31:13]
It’s an interesting question though because at the time it really hit me hard but what what was really encouraging was actually talking about it and you know, if you do have a problem or an issue often that is not always the right course and certainly respect people’s privacy of if it’s a matter like that but you know, I think the the encouragement that I received after talking about it was was overwhelming and usually that is the silent majority. So this is the way to think about it. You know, when you post particularly YouTube is a minefield of trolls and people out there ready to to slag you off. I mean, they got better with the the Google Plus comments integration, but you still get some interesting comments this day is I know running a YouTube channel. But yeah, I mean, you will get comments from the the vote Cool minority usually telling you to do one thing but then you won’t recognise. For instance, a great example is, you know, recently I changed the format of how I do my videos. Rather than talking into a DSLR camera. I now have a green screen and put myself in the bottom right of the screen while I’m doing a tutorial. And I just had this comment that says, Yeah, absolutely don’t like your new style mate looks terrible. What are you doing with a green screen? lightnings rubbish. You look anaemic, you know, all that kind of stuff. I was like, Whoa, and then I paid attention to that one comment. And it really made me think for a moment, do I need to change back you know, I just, you know, invested in a new setup for nothing. And then I failed to for a moment when I was looking at that comment, I felt a scroll up and look at the, you know, double digits likes that were coming in on it. So you know, those are the silent people that are quietly watching getting value liking appreciating everything. And then as you know, there’s one little comment saying you’re doing it wrong. So that’s what you know, pitiless entrepreneur to make it you know, to a wider appeal. Really, if you get one or two people saying This isn’t good, do it another way, that might not necessarily be the way you should go. Because then the silent majority, who are who are loving what you do might not agree with that. Does that make sense?
David Ralph [33:16]
It makes total sense. And it makes me wonder why have we got a silent majority? What why if people are out there, you know, I got a, what do I get yesterday and this is from a lovely lady called Anna Ren who was a guest on the show. And she sent me an Amazon voucher 35 pounds. And, you know, just to thank me being on the show, you know, and I get a lot of nice stuff from people, but I get a lot more horrible stuff. And I had one the other day and this is this is the most bizarre one. And if you’re listening, sir, I don’t know who you are, what you are where you are. But it was a strange email. And it basically was from the teachings of Lucifer. And this guy said, I have been listening to Join Up Dots. I am following the powers of blue About you inspire me to follow you. And it was a bit a bit weird to say the least. And I looked at his kind of google plus profile. And he looked like the the Emperor in Star Wars he had like a hood on. And it was it was a little bit bizarre to say the least. I just kind of ignore it. I just totally ignore it and do my own thing. And I think that’s what we’re going to come to later with the Steve Jobs speech. You’ve got to just close off, just think about what feels right inside you. And then just keep on doing it because nobody, no one out there is going to like everyone. I think you’re pretty good. Mike. I’m not going to say you’re any better than pretty good, but I think you’re pretty good. But there must be some people that absolutely adore you and some people that think you are complete swine, because everyone can you.
Music Radio Creative [34:46]
Yes, yes, you can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time, right?
David Ralph [34:52]
Yeah. And how do you please yourself and I want that in a professional way. How do you know that you are you No happy with what you’re doing. And it’s right for you.
Music Radio Creative [35:04]
That’s a really good question. And I think, as entrepreneurs, we often go through that that moment where we’re kind of in the storm and we’re like, oh, am I doing the right thing? Is this right? But it’s that passion, isn’t it? Is that that fire in your belly? That thing you always returned to anything? Yeah, you know, I’m in my zone here doing this. One thing that really fires me up is just using creative products. So not only Adobe Audition, which is what I use to edit audio, but I’ll fire over and I’ll edit video or I’ll make motion graphics in After Effects. And I really get in my element when I can produce something that looks amazing that I never thought I could do. So that fires me up. And particularly, I guess, telling people how I do things, you know, sharing the knowledge because there’s, there’s a lot of kind of, you know, you shouldn’t be sharing all that information about how to make audio and how to produce and, you know, that’s all implement industry information, and all of that. You know, sometimes, you know, get comments like that, but I think put it out there. And, you know, I was lucky to have some really good mentors, back in radio who taught me a lot about how to make great sounding audio. And now with the way the world is going, you know, not everyone is going to get that opportunity. But everyone hopefully is going to have the opportunity to watch YouTube and learn from that, or, you know, whatever the next thing will be for online learning. I get a lot of people in particular, right now, as Africa is starting to come online. That’s huge for you know, if you would like a new young audience, to some of the content I’m producing online, because these are folks that are just now setting up radio stations in cities in Africa and they want to know, they either want to buy a jingle package or they want to start to know how to make everything sound great. So yeah, absolutely. That’s that’s one thing that I’m grateful for.
David Ralph [36:57]
Now, I’m struggling with you on I can’t quite work out, well, I can’t work out. So I’m just going to save this. I think that you are an artist as in, I think it’s not radio really excite you. It’s the content creation. And wherever you are sitting there with an easel and painting something, I think that is the output. That’s what gets you going, isn’t it producing something that is your spirit, whether it is in audio, whether it is in, you know, a PowerPoint, presentation, whatever, it’s the content creation that really gets you going in it?
Music Radio Creative [37:31]
Absolutely, absolutely. And it’s a buzz. When I, when I have finished something and I’m ready to put it online. Nothing excites me more than having something that I know. I mean, I produce lots of different things, in my in my own opinion, varying quality, but when I know I’ve produced something that’s exceptional, and I feel really good about it the moment before I hit Publish. That that is a very exciting time for me.
David Ralph [37:57]
But nothing excites you more Come on. Come on, man. Let’s be honest with you, nothing excites you more than putting a bit of content out.
Unknown Speaker [38:06]
Unknown Speaker [38:06]
yes, we go along with that.
David Ralph [38:09]
So your beautiful wife, spending time with your kids, all that kind of stuff go second place to putting a bit of content out.
Music Radio Creative [38:20]
Well, no, the content can wait. If there’s family time, definitely Family First, always.
David Ralph [38:24]
I’m going to play this. I’m going to send this to Isabella, and I’m going to say you’ve got to zip through to 38 minutes and you can find out the real bike. That’s the beauty. It’s all there and I’m gonna I’m gonna screw you over, sir. I’m going to take your power or position and bring you to your knees. Now, talking about your powerful position because you are in in the UK, podcasting. There’s no getting away with it. We kind of look at you as our leader. You are our leader and we pray at the temple of Mike. And is that something that sort of sits easily with you because you seem to me somebody who is would be very comfortable to be lifted. On your island, doing your content creation, and not really getting bothered by people. The fact that we sort of look at you as as where to go, does that, does that excite you? Or is that just something that you you’re dealing with?
Music Radio Creative [39:14]
Wow. Well, I’m essentially first and foremost, just someone who is passionate about podcasting. And my main goal with the whole UK podcasters community, which we started is better than I started back in 2014 was just to unite a load of like minded people. So I guess it’s, it’s about the community for me, it’s about having that community that that is, you know, always around and now there’s, I believe a lot of people in the UK who know each other, just because they’ve suddenly connected online and I don’t think it was it’s necessarily anything to do with myself or with it is better. I think it’s the fact that the, the the pathways of being connected I think it’s funny how that that can happen, isn’t it and community can create be created and then just kind of morph itself into something and now you know there are connections out there and, and things that have happened in the podcasting space that can never be undone. And that’s just because people have connected and whether it’s through an event we put on or you know, through the internet or you know, coming on different podcasts as guests. I think it all adds up doesn’t it to make the community I mean the the US that’s, that’s what inspired us initially the US has had a really strong podcasting community for a long time you know, obviously the the the core podcasters who will do their shows and then the the the meetups and everything and for me it was it was coming back from an edition of New Media Expo. Harsh back, probably 2013 I think back in Vegas, and then just thinking you know, why is Why is this not going on here and that’s that that was the genesis of it all.
David Ralph [40:50]
I have never met another podcaster in the flesh. In in all my days. I talk to them, we connect virtually but I have never put out My little chubby finger and poke somebody.
Unknown Speaker [41:04]
You need to get out there, David.
David Ralph [41:05]
I do need to get out of there, which was so exciting. We did. Um, what do we do? I did a couple of things with you the world’s longest podcast, which was great fun. And we’re talking about that and shortly. And also you did some kind of summit last year. I can’t remember what that was. And when you Oh, that was it, wasn’t it when you started falling asleep halfway through an episode? Yeah. Yeah. Let’s talk about that before we bring it the show to an end with Steve Jobs, because this was you. Just being a mentor. This was you having an idea? And I believe, not thinking it through. But now we go. Thank God. He didn’t think it through because he went to something better because of it. But you decided that you was going to record I think 36 hours of constant podcast. So you would just have guests lined up guest lined up guests lined up. And did you start off with over energising yourself or were you aware that you couldn’t push through? Did you do mic and then nine hours into it thinking oh my god I’ve started too big
Music Radio Creative [42:05]
I think I had to be quite reserved and look after my energy so yeah, I think I think that helped me but we’ll do go through those those depths particularly staying up for 36 hours. And I think it was well paced but I was fortunate to have lots of really good guests that came on. I mean, really, it was the I would say that was the creme de la creme of podcasting talent in the UK I mean we we literally reached out to everybody that we could think of and you know GOT GOT slots booked in and everything from you know some some of the the hosts will come on and you know, talk for a lot so that gave me a chance to kind of just kind of sit there and listen and and pace myself
David Ralph [42:46]
slowly and that’s what you did. You didn’t listen.
Music Radio Creative [42:51]
I can definitely say in all honesty, I did not see one but but I might have had a few micro nodes.
David Ralph [42:57]
You were just investing your eyes as I said.
Music Radio Creative [43:01]
Yeah, exactly. But it was it was great fun, and I’m really glad that that we did it and yeah, it was just it was awesome and some, some really good people that, you know, I hope still lives out there as a podcast today so I hope that we’ll get get discovered as a kind of podcasting Time Capsule for years to come.
David Ralph [43:21]
I thought it was remarkable I really did but I also bought you a mental from the very beginning and I don’t often watch the live goings on and things but I did because it was a kind of weird torture that was going on just seeing that you you flagging and people still talking and I would have been going Mike might wake up wake up you know how rude I’m talking to you. But they could obviously see you dipping but they didn’t they just kept on going you know, very, very kind. I wouldn’t do that. Well, this is a bit of a show so that we we’ve got to play because this connects the whole theme of Join Up Dots and these are the words that Steve Jobs said back in 2005 When he stood up in front of a group of graduates just leaving Stanford University, let’s hit them again.
Steve Jobs [44:05]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [44:41]
So you seem like somebody with a very visible series of dots that line up. Is that too simple? Or can you look back over your life and go Yeah, I think that’s pretty right.
Music Radio Creative [44:52]
That’s very deep. And David, thank you for playing that because I’ve watched that Steve Jobs speech before. I think it’s absolutely outstanding. But yeah, I think no looking looking back now I don’t think I knew where the dots were going or what was happening. I definitely knew what I wanted to do and the kind of things I wanted to get into and if you like be known for. But it’s, it’s like with anything sometimes, particularly if you have multiple things that you’re interested in and say, should I be an essential estate? Or should I just do what I feel is right now, but really, in the broad overview of things, certainly, looking back, as Steve Jobs mentioned, there, I can now see how actually you’re doing that has affected that idea, and has connected me into this thing, which wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t have done both of those things. So yeah, joining dots in the name of your podcast, absolutely brilliant. Because it’s, it’s true. And if you feel it in your heart, or, you know, as Steve Jobs mentioned, whatever it is that works for you, then you know, just trust that what you’re doing is going to lead you on to the right thing. Because that’s that is very powerful.
David Ralph [46:02]
And do you have a big dot when you look back over everything? And you could go Yeah, yeah, that that was the thing. I think it was that moment that conversation led you to where you want to do
Music Radio Creative [46:13]
a big dot like a Yeah, kind of aha moment. Mm hmm. I think I’ve, I’ve had I’ve had moments where I’ve had opportunities, and I guess that that’s increased my confidence over time, but I can’t really put it down to one big thing that that has happened, just series of opportunities coming up. And sometimes it’s, it’s amazing. I mean, I’m a firm believer that you have to put yourself out there you have to do the work or, or be there for something to happen. You can’t just sit there and wait for an email to come in or wait for an opportunity to come your way because you’ll be waiting a very long time. But if you put the right intentions out there, then those Those big dots do come along and do connect you in and it’s always exciting when when you are working really hard on something, and and then something does come out of the blue and you think, oh, wow, that’s, that’s cool.
David Ralph [47:11]
I think that really but that you can’t see the dots until you pass them. That’s that’s the sort of metaphor of what Steve Jobs is talking about. But by taking bold actions, like you’re saying, you can convert those dots into stepping stones forward. Now you can’t see him at the time. And that’s why so many people sort of, quote law of attraction and stuff where they go, that is amazing. It’s amazing. It’s just happened. This person’s come to me and I didn’t do anything about it. Yes, she did. You were doing stuff the last 1015 years but it just sort of led up to something. So but that’s do become stepping stones and where are your stepping stones going from now? You’re going to finish off this. You’re going to go and apologise to your wife and family forgiving them second billing in your excitement levels. What are you doing?
Music Radio Creative [47:58]
What am I doing going forward What’s the next thing?
David Ralph [48:01]
Yeah, with Mike and Isabella and music, radio creative and everything you’ve got going on?
Music Radio Creative [48:06]
Wow, that’s a great question. Well, right now obviously, we can conclude it this year’s, new media Europe. So we are looking forward to 2017 and the possibilities for that also right now, we’re firmly focused at this time of year. As we record this episode, I’m looking into music radio creative. So not only am I focusing on looking after, you know, radio people DJs podcasters, who need great audio. But as always, I’m looking ahead to the possibilities of audio in the future and a big thing right now is virtual reality audio. So I’m looking how we can position ourselves to be sort of right there on well already the curve has gone hockey stick if you look at Google Trends, but that’s something that I’m looking into. So always looking for new ways to make great audio. And that would definitely be something and yeah, I’m just I’m I’m excited about particular building up a video presence right now. So we’ve done a lot with audio and podcasting, YouTube space in London open recently been up there already and we’ll be returning there very shortly and bringing in a lot of talent from music radio creative to create these really awesome videos that I hope will provide a lot of value to aspiring audio producers, aspiring voice artists, aspiring singers. So that’s another great project we’re going to record all the material there in 4k and then I’m going to bring a huge SSD back and and edited whole lap and get it out there so yeah, there’s there’s lots lots to look forward to and going on steppingstones heading into the future.
David Ralph [49:39]
Well, thank God that you still look young and youthful then because all that kind of stuff. It highlights it highlights the wrinkles, you know, sir. It’s it’s been leading you up to this point, as we’ve been leading up to this point now because this is the part of the show that we call the Sermon on the mic when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time, especially Beat to the mic. What age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out, because we’re gonna play the theme. And when it fades your lap, this is the Sermon on the mind
Music Radio Creative [50:33]
well, Mike, you’re 13 years old right now. And I want to say that you’ve just started in hospital radio. And you clearly you can see that you’re very passionate about that. So, follow that. Follow your dream and keep doing what you’re doing. In particular, just if an opportunity comes along and you feel it’s right for you, take it and yeah, I mean, get get yourself out there as much as you can. So if you get opportunities to speak, I very much think that that will be a great idea for you. And yeah, there’s there’s a lot to come for you in the in the in the future, particularly, watch the internet, I know you’ve always had a passion for the internet and creating websites, well, that is only going to get bigger. But I know your heart is in audio. So keep looking at that field and how you can make yourself the very best you can be in the audio world because, yeah, I believe that that that will help you tremendously in the future.
David Ralph [51:33]
Amazing advice, Mike, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you?
Music Radio Creative [51:39]
best way is I would say head over to the website music, radio creative comm all the details of what I do is there but if you wanted to get me on social media, quick and easy way would be Twitter at I Mike Russell, two s’s two L’s and I just like any Apple product I Mike Russell
David Ralph [52:00]
Have over links in the show notes. Mike, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots, please come back again when you have more dots to join up, because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our paths is the best way to build our futures. Mike Russell, thank you so much.
Music Radio Creative [52:16]
It’s a pleasure, David. Thank you.
David Ralph [52:20]
Mr. Mike Russell, from music, radio creative. He had the voice to me. He had the UK podcasting boys, that’s what I need. That’s what I want to have. I will creep down to the Isle of Wight and steal his voice while he’s sleeping. But as somebody who’s you know, he’s built, he’s joined up, he stops and he’s gone from the age of 13, all the way to where he is now, his knowledge, he’s got more and more comprehensive. With that upskilling obviously, there’s more value that you can provide to the world and people will sort of turn to him and the fact that Africa are turning in his direction, for this sort of new radio stations are bursting out he would only have been able to put himself in that position by starting and That, my friends goes out to you as well. So if you’ve got something in your heart, you’ve got a dream, you’ve got a passion, you’ve got something you fancy doing it and you should start it today and see where it takes you looking after yourself. And thank you very much for listening to this episode of Join Up Dots. This was David Ralph, and I’m gonna be back very, very shortly. Cheers. Bye bye.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you or wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.