Business Bites Episode 43: Create Your Own Life with Jeremy Ryan Slate

Create Your Own Life with Jeremy Ryan Slate

Episode 43 on the Business Bites Podcast

The Gist Of This Episode: Creating your own life is so important so you don’t get lost in this “entrepreneurship” thing.  Join Jeremy Ryan Slate and Rachel Brenke as they share tips for newer and established entrepreneurs on how to succeed.  Bonus tips on how to get engaged with local media!

What you will learn:

  • How having a separate source of income can actually help you when you are first starting out
  • Why it is important to know your “why”
  • Why you need to learn from those that have already been where you are
  • The importance of organization
  • and more!

Expand To Read Episode Transcripts

Rachel Brenke: Hey guys, welcome to this episode of the Business Bites. I am Rachel Brenke, all day, every day. And I know you guys are probably a little tired of just hearing my voice. Which is why I have invited Jeremy Ryan Slate to join us today. He is the founder of the Create Your Own Life podcast, to create your life on your own terms. You guys know that putting life before business is something that’s really near and dear to my heart, and I preach it to you guys all the time.

His history is so impressive. He studied literature at Oxford University, he’s a former champion power lifter, which I totally love that you’ve got this fitness aspect to you, Jeremy. And he’s a media entrepreneur. He specializes in using podcasting and media to create celebrity. And this is what’s super cool, as a podcaster myself, I love that he was ranked number one in the iTunes new and noteworthy, and number 26 in the business category.

I wonder if we were in the category together at the same time? Hmm, at the top, I’ll have to check that out. So Jeremy, I guess go ahead and say hello, welcome, I kind of just jumped into your bio. I’m excited to have you.

Jeremy R Slate: Yeah, thanks for having me, I’m stoked to be hanging out with you today, and hopefully add some massive value to your audience.

Rachel Brenke: Yeah, and you know what’s funny is we actually have not discussed podcasting at all on my podcast. I’ve really been focused on just helping a lot of entrepreneurs get their feet under them, but when I saw that you were named top 26 podcasts for entrepreneurs to listen to, and you’re named as a top millennial influencer, that is so incredibly cool.

And what is this about Buzzfeed? I’m seeing Buzzfeed on my notes; do you want to explain that?

Jeremy R Slate: Yeah, so, well there were two different places, there was where I was named a most influential millennial of 2017, then also Buzzfeed that I was named one of the top millennial influencers for 2017. Which is kind of cool, because I’m creating content all the time, I’m trying to help people all the time, and it’s amazing how when you put a lot of attention on like getting media pieces-

Rachel Brenke: Yeah.

Jeremy R Slate: And also helping at the same, that it also creates more media. And I think that’s the biggest thing people don’t understand about brand building, is how important that is to like continually be seeking media all the time.

Rachel Brenke: Right, right. And that’s the thing, I get it, because like as a newer business owner, or entrepreneur, or even an established, even myself, I’ve been doing this over a decade, I can get very overwhelmed. Just all the hats that I have to wear and everything, so my goal with having you today is to help the listeners be able to focus on just one of these hats, and to get some great tips from you on how to create their own life, and do it the proper way. Because really our goal, for you guys listening, is to learn from us. We’ve been there, we’ve made the mistakes, and we’re trying to give this to you, serve it to you really quickly through these bites, so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes that we did. Because it’s no fun making mistakes.

All right, so let’s just jump right in. I would love to know your top three tips for newer entrepreneurs, and these could even be people that are considering becoming an entrepreneur, but what are the three tips that you would give when they’re looking at business and trying to create their own life?

Jeremy R Slate: Absolutely. Well I’ve kind of been in both places on this one. So, my first tip is always to have something in terms of like working for someone else, or a job or whatever, when you’re creating that first business. Because I’ve been there where I’ve jumped right into it, and you make some really bad decisions-

Rachel Brenke: Right.

Jeremy R Slate: When you don’t have some source of income. And then on the other side, it’s when I really created something cool, is when I actually had some stability in my life. And that’s the one thing you’ve got to think about. And then you can kind of make that decision of when is it time to move on, when is it time to look at making this full time? But have something, because I’ve been on both sides of that coin, and I’ll tell you, I’ve made some really crappy decisions when I haven’t had some source of income.

And also, like what I was doing at the time was I was doing contract work for another company, where I was only doing 20 hours a week. So I was making decent money, working 20 hours a week, and it gave me time-

Rachel Brenke: Love that.

Jeremy R Slate: To be able to create everything I created. So that was kind of the first thing.

The second thing is to know like what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. And I think that’s the biggest thing a lot of people don’t understand. Because we want to make money, right? We want to make money, that’s a lot of why we’re doing it, but the problem is when you’re money motivated right out of the gate, you also make really bad decisions. So you want to figure out like what is your purpose here and what you’re doing. Like how do I want to impact people? How do I want to help people? And then you want to see how that aligns with what you can create, and you’ll see that when that purpose is lined up with your actual like doingness, or what you’re doing, like you can do a lot more. And that was kind of one of the biggest things I looked at, is I had somebody, when I started my first business, say to me … we use a business technology called the Hubbard Management Technology, and he said to me, “Have you looked at your administrative scale?” And what this basically does, it lines up all your goals, all your purposes and everything you’re doing. And I looked at it, and I’m like wow, everything I’m doing right now has nothing to do with where I want to go.

Rachel Brenke: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeremy R Slate: And that was really kind of a big thing, and I actually went out and got a job after that. And I worked for somebody else as like a contract worker while I was creating a business, and that actually allowed me to do a lot of what I’m doing now.

Rachel Brenke: You know it’s funny you say that, because I actually, even though I’ve been doing this for over 10 years, I find myself, and I think a lot of entrepreneurs listening may identify with this, you get an impulse to do something, because you get a little passion or a little spark for something, but it’s easy to become bogged down with all these other sparks, and not cultivating the one main fire, which is where your true interest is.

And I encourage people, don’t necessarily distinguish those sparks, just kind of set them aside until you create the platform, until you create the end goal, or there’s not really an end in this, it’s a journey, but until you create and get yourself into a position that you’re able to focus on those sparks without hurting the messaging, the why, and the income right then.

Jeremy R Slate: Mm-hmm (affirmative). No, absolutely, and there’s a great book I read on that too, it’s called So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport. And it’s about finding out what you’re good at, and getting really good at that so you can actually create something cool and you become passionate about it. Because I think so many times, like especially as millennials, are like oh my gosh, I want to be so passionate about everything I’m doing, and you can kind of get lost in that. Like you can kind of like not have an end … like final product you’re trying to sell people because you’re like oh, I’m not passionate about anything, I’m not going to do anything.

And I think that is like a really bad place to be. And I guess the third thing I would tell new business owners, is knowing who the opinion leaders are in your space. And that’s why I always … you know, find out who they are in your space, it could be Cardone, it could be Branson, it could be any of these people. But these are the people that you want to find out who they are, and you want to find out some way, be it a podcast, be it a blog, whatever it is, that you can interview these guys. Because that’s going to help you with positioning, meaning that you’re seen with a lot of influencers, which are going to help you build your brand. But also, too, you want to find out who’s already been there and done it so you can learn from them. And I think that’s kind of the biggest thing too, is you mentioned this before, is learning from other people who have been there, and I tried to make too many things … too many actions early on and I didn’t really know what I was doing. And you really want to listen to people that know what they’re doing, and I’ve been there, and I’ve created results because they’re really cutting the learning curve for you.

Rachel Brenke: You know, and it’s kind of like … I get this visualization of you cook spaghetti, and you’ve got all these noodles, and you throw it against the wall, and you’re going to see what sticks. And I think a lot of times, when you’re a multi passionate, and you’ve got all these little things going on, you’re just throwing it out there trying to see what sticks, but in the process, what you’re really doing is, imagine throwing at noodles at someone, we’re going to be ducking and moving all over the place, right? They’re not going to actually catch what you’re trying to sell. And I don’t think mean that from a monetary standpoint, but they’re not going to be able to buy into you emotionally, physically, or anything if they’re … all these noodles are being hurdled at their head.

Jeremy R Slate: Exactly. And it’s kind of find one thing to make as your stable point, and hold on to that. And I think that’s what people … they try to grab too many things at once, like just like you’re talking about. Find one thing, make that stable, and build out from that, but you’ve got to start somewhere.

Rachel Brenke: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well and you know, my little tidbit for this too, is like for example, I write children’s books and a lot of people will go, “What? I’ve followed you for years and didn’t know that.” And it’s because that’s one of my noodles, but I don’t want to throw that at you when I’m trying to throw everything else, my why, to keep people legally protected, to help them strategize, right? These children’s books are just stuff that fulfill me, so that comes after everything else. It’s not that I necessarily had to not do that interest, and I don’t publish, I still publish them, they just don’t end up becoming a mainstream part of the marketing and outreach of who I am.

Jeremy R Slate: No, totally, I totally agree with you there.

Rachel Brenke: Cool. All right, so that was for the newers. The newers, haha, the new entrepreneurs. I totally created a word, newers.

Jeremy R Slate: The newbies.

Rachel Brenke: The newbs. Well actually, you know what, newbies, before we move on I want to say, enjoy the beginning, because to be totally honest, I was so stressed, it’s like baptism by fire trying to get everything under control. I really do miss the beginning sometimes, because I was learning to pivot, and grow, and I grew so much as a person in those first few years that I really get nostalgic and miss it sometimes. So I know it may be completely stressful and overwhelming, just enjoy it now, and just know that every day that you’re working towards it, you’re putting a little deposit in the bank. And eventually you’re going to cash in eventually.

Jeremy R Slate: Love it.

Rachel Brenke: Yeah, hopefully really cash in. Like true cash in, but we’ll see. All right, so let’s flip the script on this a little bit. What are some tips then that you would give to people who are listening that have been entrepreneurs maybe for five, ten, fifteen years, and they’re just not feeling the spark, they’re maybe have forgotten their why, and they just are like, is this entrepreneurship thing still for me?

Jeremy R Slate: Well I think the biggest thing in like why a lot of people get burnt out is we talked earlier about a business system I use called the Hubbard Management System that we’ve used in our business, and one of the biggest things is you were talking before about wearing many hats, right? So we write up a lot of different tasks that are done in our business by individuals and we call them hats. Like what hat are you going to wear when you do this? So we write up everything, like what is the purpose of this job? What is the final product that this post achieves? What does this person look like? And then every single thing that person will be doing gets written up in that document.

And then what happens is when you hire that person, you can actually have them do exactly what you’re doing. Because I think that’s one of the biggest things, and it’s always been my hesitance early on in my business, is like … you’re like oh my gosh, I can’t hire somebody, they’re not going to do it just like me. And that’s one of the things, that if you’re writing down exactly what you’re doing, and even like how that person has to be, like in terms of like let’s say when I’m doing booking. I have to be tenacious like a bulldog, but in the most friendly way. So the person that I’m going to replace myself with has to be like that.

So that’s one of the really, really important things is hire people, but know exactly what you’re looking for, and have it written up so that you can hire the correct person, because that’s so important in everything that you’re doing.

Rachel Brenke: Well, I was going to say, management and hiring, it’s so funny, because I was just having this conversation with my law partner before I got on with this. But I have seen this through my multiple businesses, and I readily admit it, management and hiring are the two hardest parts of growing and running a business. It’s not creating a blog post, it’s not learning SEO, I feel like all that stuff can really be learned. And not that management can’t, but there’s so many different styles, and everyone’s different, and people are people. So what you just said, I wish I had heard from you 10, 15 years ago, because I would’ve saved a lot of time, money, and heartache, because I have hired the wrong people, I have banged my head, I’ve lost money. And it just … it just was not good for my business, and I just wonder where would I be now had I not had those bumps in the road?

Jeremy R Slate: Yeah but you also, you learn from those experiences too-

Rachel Brenke: True.

Jeremy R Slate: So you can’t make yourself wrong for them either. But it’s also looking at how much organization can you get into your business so that you can do more on a higher level, and produce more of it, and do it faster.

Rachel Brenke: Let me ask you this, you say organization, which I think is so funny because I always see entrepreneurs in kind of two camps. Where the passionate, there’s a lot of type A, but within that, either people are super organized to the point that it freezes them and overwhelms them, or you have those that just fly by the seat of their pants. And each of those can work equally well for different people, but how do you, I mean, what would your tips be to bring people to kind of this organize enough but don’t become so paralyzed by it?

Jeremy R Slate: Well I’m actually going to disagree with you there, because I think like-

Rachel Brenke: Oh no, okay.

Jeremy R Slate: Sorry about that-

Rachel Brenke: No, it’s awesome.

Jeremy R Slate: That there’s two camps and they can both work, because I really don’t think so. You can have some success, but that success can’t be duplicatable, if you don’t have like a process in place, if you don’t have a plan in place, if you don’t have something that can be done. And that’s not to say it has to be crazy, like-

Rachel Brenke: Right.

Jeremy R Slate: You don’t want to go nuts about organizing so you’re not producing, because that’s just stupid. Like I’m going to sit here, I’m going to organize all day and we’re not going to make any money. Well, that’s dumb.

Rachel Brenke: Well you know what’s funny, is I can think of two very successful entrepreneurs, I’m not going to call them out, but they sit in both of those camps. And so those are the two that I’m thinking of, and maybe they’re outliers in this space-

Jeremy R Slate: Yeah.

Rachel Brenke: But there are some that are paralyzed and have to really be nudged, but then she does really well, and I know a guy who just flies by the seat of his pants, has no real processes, no workflows, no organization, and is killing it.

Jeremy R Slate: Well let me ask you then, because this is probably the other part of it. Have they found the right person to do that for them? Because I think that’s one of the biggest things that you can look at then. If you’re crappy at that, then find somebody that’s able to help you do that. And if you probably look at these people, I guess, and maybe knew about the ins and outs of their business, there’s probably somebody someplace in what they’re doing that helps them with that. Maybe it’s software, maybe it’s something. But it’s hard to duplicate that without that sense of organization really built up, you know what I’m saying?

Rachel Brenke: Right. I mean, because let’s be real, our exec assistance are the real bosses, so shout out to you Pam, because you’re the real MVP. How funny.

All right. So I guess do you have anything that you want to leave with them, the entrepreneurs, new, existing, old hat, all of them, the whole range. If you only could tell them one thing right now that would fuel a fire and get them out of their seats and moving towards success, what would you say?

Jeremy R Slate: I would say really to put your attention on getting as much media as possible, and building your brand. Because I think that’s the biggest thing people don’t realize. Is they focus on oh my gosh, I need leads now, I need leads now, I need leads now. And that’s so important, but the problem is you’re always fighting that battle, every single month, of I need leads now, I need leads now. And if you’re not building a brand, and something that’s there-

Rachel Brenke: Right.

Jeremy R Slate: You can’t create a lot of passive leads, and you can’t be able to charge as much as you want to charge, because you need media, and you need press, and you need a lot of these things to do that. So I’d really urge them to, whether it’s writing for different publications, whether it’s getting featured on publications, or podcasts, or whatever it may be, start building your brand now. And even if you’ve been around for a while, start building your brand now. Get somebody on your team to do that. Because that’s really going to help you with having something that’s going to be more long term than just short term.

Rachel Brenke: And we just talked about newer entrepreneurs, and then existing, established ones. The newer ones are probably thinking well, I don’t have a team. I don’t have someone to do that. My recommendation is, is to get on to sites like Upwork, ask in your network, there’s people that will work contractor style work, they may be trying to get out of their own nine to five, and they’re looking for side work like this. And you can have them to do these outreaches for you. Have them soliciting for podcast appearances, but all of this reverse engineers exactly to what Jeremy said at the very beginning, is your focused why and what you’re selling. Like what exactly is the message directly. Because if you come out of the gate and you reach out to someone to be on a podcast, and even though you may do 50 things, if you include 50 things in the email, you’re going to overwhelm the person, and they’re not going to know how exactly you fit into their media platform.

Jeremy R Slate: Mm-hmm (affirmative). No, exactly, 100%.

Rachel Brenke: So actually, I do have a couple like selfish questions here, for my own gain.

Jeremy R Slate: All right.

Rachel Brenke: So, how would you recommend breaking into like the news media?

Jeremy R Slate: News media in terms of what?

Rachel Brenke: I mean-

Jeremy R Slate: Are we talking about TV, are we talking about like newspapers, like what classifies as news media for you?

Rachel Brenke: TV, radio, I more think of like those segments that you see, maybe at the beginning of the year when they’re doing the … they’ve got the fitness segments, then they’ve got the other ones that are targeted towards getting your business in gear for the year, I guess maybe your local television network, all the way up through being on like Good Morning America. That would be awesome. But so hint, hint, if you any of you all know any connections there, I would love to go on that show.


Jeremy R Slate: Well here’s the thing I’ll say about that, and it’s kind of like if you haven’t done anything, you have to start somewhere, and that’s kind of finding a lot of local press. For me, we’ve emailed TV stations around here, we’ve called TV stations around here, we’ve gotten local papers to pick up press releases. So you have to continually be doing that and find out how you’re relevant to what’s happening, you know what I mean? And that’s the biggest thing.

Recently Huffington Post changed how their contributor platform works.

Rachel Brenke: Yeah.

Jeremy R Slate: And that’s something I know a lot about. So we were reaching out to a lot of media to talk about that. So you need to figure out how you’re relevant to what’s going on, and … I have to find the post for you, but Peter Shankman, the guy that started Help A Reporter Out, did a great article about how to get featured on television, and also local press, and his like format for doing that, because there’s some different things you can do to … if it’s a story of the day, or if you want to be kept on file for when that story of the day comes up.

Rachel Brenke: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). You know, I have an episode I talked about before, or it was titled Why Working For Free Can Be Good For Your Business. Because sometimes when it comes to working with news media, or other podcasts, and all these sort of things, a lot of people don’t want to go on to a podcast if they’re not going to get paid for their appearance. Or they’re not willing to work with a local business and provide the images to cover an event if they’re not getting paid. And I understand there’s a line between being paid for your time, and your value, and what you have to provide, but I also truly believe in paying your dues. And I don’t mean physical payment of dues, but I mean the time, and the sweat equity that you put in. I’ve grown with these attachments to brands and media, like you’re talking about, because in the beginning, and even now still, I’ll do appearances and not even expect a penny in return, but it all builds that … you probably have a better term for this. Not necessarily credibility, but it envelopes you in … I guess it is, authority. Authority and credibility.

Jeremy R Slate: Yeah, it builds your authority, it builds brand, and that’s what people … when people think of brand, they don’t always know what they’re talking about. Brand is this big vision of who you are and who your company is. And you’re also building that by continually doing this as well.

Rachel Brenke: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I mean, for example, I was reached out to by a really large company that many of you are probably listening to this on their phone, that’s the manufacturer, and they wanted me to do a campaign. And I typically only do paid campaigns because I have such a large audience. And I was like you know what, I’d be stupid to spit in their face. And I said okay, and I limited, and negotiated it, so that I was still protecting my time, did one very limited campaign and it has opened the door now with them to paid campaigns.

So, for me, that is where I recommend that when you’re looking at working with media, or local businesses, and trying to get this authority, consider the potentials down the line. And the little sweat equity that you may have to put in to it.

Jeremy R Slate: No, absolutely, because it does take time, and it does take working at it. And I think that’s the biggest thing people don’t get, is they think media just happens. Media’s never looking for you, you have to be out there seeking it all the time.

Rachel Brenke: And it’s so funny, because I get pitched all the time for people to come on the podcast. And we will see people who pitch, and there’s bad pitches, there’s good pitches, but the ones that are super consistent, and follow up, and stay on top of it, they’re the ones that get moved to the top of the pile to interview. They’re the ones that we become most interested in, that show that they’re also … they’re not just here to use my platform, they’re here to really provide something in return.

So that’s my little tidbit of adding, of what you could pitch to media. How exactly you’re going to be … what you’re going to be able to give to their audience.

Jeremy R Slate: And I think that’s the biggest thing, because I get pissed a lot too, so probably annoys you as much as it annoys me, when somebody emails me and the first thing you talk about is, “So I have this book I want to sell to all the people that listen to you.”

Rachel Brenke: Yes.

Jeremy R Slate: I’m like, dude, dude, I’m not listening.

Rachel Brenke: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And you know, your book could be killer, your book could be amazing, but right there, you didn’t even say hi, or you didn’t even research me. You didn’t show that you’ve done any of the legwork to even be worth giving this virtual real estate, really, you know. I’m giving up a piece of this real estate to somebody else. So I say all that to you guys, keep that in the back of your mind, when you’re writing these pitches, when you’re reaching out to specific media, make sure that it’s in line with your client avatar, with your messaging, and what can you provide to them.

And I’m not saying give it all away and be completely used and abused. Have a backbone, have boundaries, but you need to demonstrate your value.

Jeremy R Slate: Mm-hmm (affirmative). No, absolutely, and it’s funny because my parents actually named me after an actor named Jeremy Slate as well, so I use my middle name for like branding, so people realize I’m somebody different. So it’s funny when people pitch me, I know that they don’t know who I am or what I’m doing if they say, “Hey Ryan, how’s it going?”

Rachel Brenke: Yeah, yeah, yeah. How funny. But you know, you live, you learn. And my encouragement on that, maybe you’ve made a mistake in a pitch, come back around, fix the pitch again in the future because-

Jeremy R Slate: Totally.

Rachel Brenke: We get so many, we’re not pinning them up on the wall going on ha ha ha, we’re never going to work with that person. We just close the email and we go on our way. But if you start developing a better pitch, a better voice, a better research into us, keep pitching to people. Not to the point of annoying, but enough to show that you’re interested and that you’re in it to win it.

Jeremy R Slate: Absolutely, I couldn’t agree with you more.

Rachel Brenke: Awesome. All right, so I kind of skipped over this at the beginning, but I want to go ahead and give Jeremy a chance to share with you guys a freebie that he was for y’all, and where can they find you, as well?

Jeremy R Slate: Absolutely. So, my business is actually helping people with getting publicity, dealing mainly with podcasts. So I actually put together a great thing for your audience, which is a checklist on how to get themselves booked on podcasts.

Rachel Brenke: Awesome.

Jeremy R Slate: And how to be a great guest, and it’s over at And also, it’s funny because people are like, “Wait, dot what?” Yeah, dot media, because we are a media company.

Rachel Brenke: I like it.

Jeremy R Slate: So

Rachel Brenke: Very cool, I’m also going to stick it in to the show notes of this as well, so people can snag that. Where can they reach out to consume the rest of the great knowledge that you have?

Jeremy R Slate: Everything is linked up over at and I’m Jeremy Ryan Slate on all platforms, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.

Rachel Brenke: I love it; that makes it so easy. So all right Jeremy, thank you, thank you so much for being here. Guys, this was episode 42 … I’m sorry, 43 of the Business Bites podcast. You can find all show notes at and I hope to see all you guys in the media, save a little piece for me, and best of luck.

Featured Guest & Resources

Jeremy Ryan Slate is the founder of the Create Your Own Life Podcast, to create life on their own terms. He studied literature at Oxford University, and is a former champion powerlifter turned new media entrepreneur. Specializes in using podcasting and new media to create celebrity and was ranked #1 in iTunes New and Noteworthy and #26 in the business category.

Jeremy was named one of the top 26 podcast for entrepreneurs to listen to in 2017 by CIO Magazine and Millennial Influencer to follow in 2018 by Buzzfeed. The Create Your Own Life Podcast has been downloaded almost a quarter of a million times. He’s also a featured writer for Influencive and After his success in podcasting, Jeremy Slate and his wife, Brielle Slate, found Command Your Brand to help entrepreneurs get their message out by appearing as guests on podcasts.

You can see all of Jeremy’s resources at

Free checklist:

About the author

Rachel Brenke is a lawyer, author and business consultant. She is currently helping professionals all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction.

Hi, I’m Rachel Brenke

Rachel Brenke

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