On today’s episode we welcome Dorothy Illson, host of The Do Well and Do Good Podcast. The show is focussed on talking to guests who have achieved a level of financial freedom and use that opportunity to give back in some way. So Dorothy’s show is not all that different from ours here at Causepods, as she is highlighting great causes and the people behind them.
In our conversation, we cover the beginnings of the podcast and how Dorothy got started in the podcasting world. We then go on to chat about her business and how she manages her time between all of her different commitments. Dororthy tells us about the lessons she has learned and hurdles she has faced in this role, and really stresses the value she sees in consistency and sticking to plans and deadlines. We also find time to get a few tips from Dorothy for any hopeful Cause Podcasters out there! For a great chat with a wonderful guest, be sure to tune in!
How Dorothy got started with her podcast. (03:21)
Finding time for running a business and hosting the show. (05:31)
Making the most of time and respecting deadlines. (07:13)
Why Dorothy chose to use audio and the podcast format for her cause. (08:54)
The initial hurdles that Dorothy faced on her podcasting journey. (10:32)
The importance of consistency and the vital role it has played in Dorothy’s success. (12:11)
Dorothy’s favorite story from her series so far. (13:40)
Finding fulfillment through contribution and collaboration. (18:51)
Dorothy’s advice to someone starting out or looking get started. (22:12)
How to get involved with Causecasts! (25:06)
And much more!
Thanks for Listening!
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[0:00:02.6] MP: Hey everyone, just before we get to this episode, I want to thank you so much for all of the early support here on Causecasts. This is really just a passion project that I launched because I really wanted to highlight those folks who were using podcast in a positive way but I have been seeing some great feedback, some great rating sand reviews from everyone and so I am inspired to keep this project going to find more amazing cause casters so if you’re someone who has a podcast for a cause or you know someone that’s using this medium for a great cause. Please have them go to causecast.org, fill out the form, reach out and I’ll schedule them on the show.
In the meantime, I want to thank those folks who have taken just a few minutes to give the show a positive rating and to write a review. Especially going out to Angela Obara, I hope I am not butchering your name when I say that, thank you for the positive feedback. Meredith Messenger, Chad Grills, Teach Tiffany, thank you so much everybody for taking a few minutes. Anybody else listening, if you like what we’re trying to do here on the show, if you want more cause casters to be highlighted, please go to causecast.org. Pop on over to iTunes or google or any of the platform, throw a positive rating and review, subscribe.
Tell your friends about it and if you can, if you have the resources, love it if you would also throw a couple of dollars at the go fund me pages for any of the host cause that you believe in. None of that money goes to me, I have no interest in profiting off this venture. I really just want to highlight great podcasters that are using this medium to make the world a better place and help them in their causes, be able to do more. Anything we can do to support them, I would really appreciate it.
Thank you so much and enjoy today’s episode of Causecasts.
[0:01:45.6] MP: Hi and welcome to Causecasts. I’m your host, Mathew Passy. Here at Causecasts, we have one simple mission, to highlight the amazing folks who are using podcasts as a way to raise awareness for good causes. Whether that’s a non-profit they work with, a charity they support, a social justice campaign they are championing for, a medical condition they are battling or someone who is just looking to make a positive impact on their local community, state, country or the world. These are podcasters with a positive mission.
Along with raising awareness for our guest’s favorite causes, we’re also going to see if we can raise some money to support their efforts. So make sure you check out the show notes for each episode at causecasts.org to learn more about what they’re doing and how to help them achieve their goals.
[0:02:34.1] MP: This week on Causecasts, we’re actually talking to someone that’s kind of doing a parallel show to what we’re doing here on Causecasts. My guest today is Dorothy Illson, host of the Do Well and Do Good Podcast and what she does is she talks to folks who have figured out how to create massive financial freedom and then, with that financial freedom, they are using that awesome success to give back. Sort of like what we’re trying to highlight here on Causecasts, it’s all about people who use podcasting as a way to give back.
Dorothy, thank you so much for joining us here on Causecasts today.
[0:03:06.3] DI: Thank you Matthew, it’s an honor to be here.
[0:03:09.2] MP: Dorothy. I’m curious, how did you get started with this project? What was it that wanted you to not only highlight people who are creating success but then turning it around and creating good with all of that.
[0:03:21.2] DI: Sure, I started my entrepreneurial journey if you will at the beginning of 2017. I have a Facebook advertising agency called needle’s eye media and well, I do love my work, I love my clients and enjoy what I do, there was definitely a piece that felt like it was missing. I didn’t really feel like I was getting the kind of fulfillment from just my day job that I really was looking for and so, it led me to kind of ask that question.
You know, does – how we achieve fulfillment, you know, achieve these larger life goals, does that need to be the same as what we’re doing to make money? That is kind of what started leading me down this path and I’ve always – giving back has always been something that’s been very important to me and so, it was about halfway through 2017 that I started donating 10% of my income and one thing that that really helped to open my eyes to is that as our income grows, as we make more money and create more success, our ability to help other people really grows along with that.
Not just when it comes to money. I mean, time is also a big part of this as well. You know, when you create financial freedom, you also create time freedom, typically if you’re doing it the right way and so, really, what I wanted to do was to help people to get over some of the limiting beliefs, some of the negative thought patterns around money that really hold them back from achieving the kind of life that they truly want and to really show people that you know, when you do that, that can really go hand in hand with making a massive difference in the world and really multiplying your positive impact on other people.
[0:05:21.5] MP: How is it that you not only have time to run your own business but you also have time to run this podcast and then give some of your time to great causes that you believe in?
[0:05:31.9] DI: You know, it’s kind of funny you ask this because I was just having a conversation with someone yesterday that is really on this exact topic, you know, how do we fit it all in and still have a life, you know, obviously running my agency takes, a massive amount of time the podcast takes a lot of time but what I found is that when we put boundaries in our lives and really build thoughtful boundaries around our time, we’re able to be more productive and get more done in the same number of hours.
I recently made the commitment that I am going to stop working by 6PM every night no excuses. What you find is that when you limit yourself in that way and of course, you know, 6:00 is still, it’s a full work day but I was often finding myself working until you know, eight, nine, 10:00 and what I’ve realized is that when you put those constraints on yourself, you will find ways to get more done in less time, it forces you to become more efficient and really solve for the limited number of hours in a day.
A couple of things that I’ve done with the podcast, you know, I record all of my interviews on Wednesday’s, the same day every week and really try to batch the work that I do both in the agency and with the podcast so that I am being efficient and I’m able to use my time wisely and get it all done.
[0:07:01.1] MP: I suppose it also helps that you probably, knowing that you have to be done by six, probably means you’re not lolly-gagging on Facebook, going on Instagram or Twitter, during what would be blocked off for work hours or for your charitable hours.
[0:07:13.7] DI: Well, it’s so interesting because the first day that I did this, I’d made the commitments, a guy named Justin Brook had posted about this exact topic on I think it was a Thursday and I made the commitment to myself, okay, next week, I’m going to start this, I’m going to be done by six every day and Monday rolled around and I was staring at my to do list at about 2:30 PM and realizing that I wasn’t even close to as far as I needed to be and I ended up asking Justin, do you ever extend your hours to make up for wasted time, you know?
If you weren’t productive he said no, a deadline is a deadline and it is that pain and that pressure that’s going to really cause you to transform your habits and make the changes that are necessary. I did close my computer at 6:00, left part of my to do list unfinished but I found that the next morning, I was really respecting my time a lot more than I previously had been.
[0:08:13.4] MP: I think that’s such a great lesson because so many people who are using, who are causecasting, so to speak, people who are either doing this for a pure passion project or maybe they work for a nonprofit and then they’re trying to add this element to it. It is a lot of work, it is a lot to do and so, I think that’s a great time management tip that will help Causecasters be successful in their project.
When it came down to it, why in wanting to highlight these folks, why did you choose to go down the road of launching a podcast? I mean, as someone who does Facebook advertising, I imagine, you know, great writer and you know, great digital market. Why did you think that this was the right medium for those stories?
[0:08:54.9] DI: Well, I first started listening to podcasts, probably three years ago and they have been really transformative in my own personal development and my journey as an entrepreneur and I think that it’s a really powerful platform to be able to reach people as they are going about their lives. You know, if you’re watching a YouTube video or if you are reading a Facebook post, you know, that is what you’re doing at that moment versus, if you’re listening to a podcast, you could be working out, you could be cooking, you could be driving to and from the office.
It’s a really easy way to consume content and so especially for what – the kind of thing I wanted to do where you know, we have deeper dive interviews with people where we’re talking for 45 minutes or an hour at a time, it’s tough to expect someone to sit down and give you their undivided attention for a full hour.
It’s a lot easier if they can do it in the car or do it at the gym. I think it’s definitely where things are going in terms of content creation and we can see that with how the space is exploding. I really had gotten so much value from podcast myself that I figured it was the perfect way to share my message.
[0:10:18.7] MP: Had you ever produced the podcast before?
[0:10:21.0] DI: I had not.
[0:10:22.4] MP: Interesting. You decide just to you know, take on this big project, what were some of the initial hurdles and things that you learned along the way that helped you to be successful with the show?
[0:10:32.9] DI: Yeah, I think just like with anything else, if you have a goal, if there’s something that you are looking to achieve, the absolute best thing that you can do is to surround yourself with people who have already done it.
I really looked within my network, try to see, okay, who has done this? Who do I know who I can lean on and get the support that I need in order to accomplish this? I am definitely a personal development junkie and I’m always a huge fan of coaching. I actually hired a podcast coach, a guy named Travis Chapel, his show is called build your network.
I had been listening to his show for a while and had seen kind of this rise that he had had from just starting to being a top 20 business podcast in only a year and so, I decide, you know, okay, that’s the kind of person that I want to learn from. I think that, it’s so important whether you’re looking to start a podcast or you’re looking to really achieve any goal to recognize that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, these things have been done and all you need to do is you know, find someone who has accomplished that goal.
Plug yourself in to these systems that already exist to accomplish whatever you are looking to accomplish.
[0:11:59.2] MP: Among the system that you’re plugging yourself in to and you’re trying to emulate, what was the number one tip, number one thing that you did that you think really made this project stand out for you?
[0:12:11.8] DI: I think there’s a couple of things. I think consistency is the biggest thing. If you are going to launch a podcast, the worst thing you can do is say, all right, I’m going to do three episodes a week and you start and you’re all Gung-ho and then it becomes hard to keep up with that level of content or even if you have a weekly show, it’s easy if you’re not prepared to say, you know, okay, things got busy, we’re not going to have an episode this week and consistency is really key to developing any habit but especially when you're looking to grow an audience.
You have to be consistent. Then the other thing is, you know, not being afraid of either what other people are going to think of you, what your friends are going to say or not being afraid to go after the kinds of guests that you really want on your show and it’s easy to get intimidated when you're new and say, you know, why would that person ever want to be on a brand new podcast but it’s really about the confidence of knowing that you have a message to share that is valuable. You have that determination to deliver that to the world, you know, whatever it takes.
[0:13:24.7] MP: Since you have the chance to talk to incredible folks who have become independently successful, independently wealthy and are not turning around and doing good with that success, who have been your favorite guests or you know, what’s been your favorite story to come out of the podcast so far?
[0:13:40.4] DI: One of my favorite episodes is actually a woman named Rachel Miller. She has an incredible story, you know, just as an entrepreneur. She’s a mom of six kids and she was kind of going –
[0:13:56.6] MP: Here I am complaining about my twins.
[0:14:00.4] DI: So when Rachel was raising her two youngest children, she was going a bit stir crazy and she ended up deciding to start a blog. The blog was called the quirky mama and it grew and grew and grew and then eventually, it was making her thousands of dollars a month from the traffic that she had monetized coming into the site and she gave a speech at some sort of event or conference and afterwards she was in the bathroom and she overheard two women talking about her presentation.
And they were basically saying, “Oh that’s nice for her but we could never do that. We don’t have the audience, we don’t have the money.” And so on and so forth and so Rachel was telling her husband about this that night and he said, “Well, why don’t you do it again?” And so that’s what she did. She picked a topic then a niche she knew nothing about. She started with a budget of just five dollars a day because she thought that that was something that almost anyone would be able to achieve just five dollars a day and she didn’t tell a soul that she was doing this.
And she built up an audience, she monetized it and then she ended up doing it a third time and so, she really cracked the code to virility. So how to get engagement on social media, on your content and how to build an audience and then monetize that audience effectively. Now she runs Moolah Marketing which really teaches people how to do this and the reason that I ended up having Rachel on Do Well and Do Good, is because one of her six children at least one.
It might be more but at least one of her children is adopted and she adopted this child from abroad. What she discovered when she did that was that these mothers, they don’t want to give their children up for adoption. They are forced to give their kids up for adoption because they simply don’t have the resources to take care of them. Rachel was absolutely heartbroken by this realization and so she started thinking about how can I help?
How can I make sure that another mother doesn’t have to give up their child? Now you could just donate money but what Rachel explained on the podcast is that donating money is like teaching a man to fish – or excuse me, it’s like giving a man a fish. It doesn’t teach him how to fish for himself. So instead, she teamed up with the charity Village Impact and Village Impact actually builds schools in Kenya.
Now what was so fascinating that I really didn’t understand before hearing Rachel’s story is that building a school doesn’t just empower the kids who attend that school. It actually empowers the entire community and changes the epic economic fabric of that village because now that there is a school, people build stores near the school. Now that there is a school, you know people can sell goods by the side of the road because now there is a road because it leads to the school.
They can take that road, they can travel to other communities and find jobs. So it really does create opportunity for the entire village and allows them to learn how to fish, allows them to create income for themselves which keeps families together and really changes lives and so I was so unbelievably inspired hearing Rachel’s story and hearing about how she was able to have this kind of impact by working through Village Impact.
I really wanted to know more about this organization and it is funny how the universe works sometimes. I was actually introduced just about a week after talking to Rachel to a guy named David Fry and David Fry was actually one of the people to help to start Village Impact. So I had him on the podcast as well. He was episode 16 and so it was really just an inspiring example of the way that individuals can have far reaching impact when they simply set their mind to addressing a problem.
[0:18:08.5] MP: That is incredible and I should highlight right now, we’ll mention it again at the end but Village Impact is in fact the charity that Dorothy is going to want us to all kick in and support as part of her time being here on Causecasts. So it sounds like an incredible organization. It’s villageimpact.com but we’ll set up a special donation page on behalf of Dorothy just for this episode. You will find that in the show notes and at causecast.org.
So that is a really, really cool, I mean that is just an incredible thing that she did there and like you said, you know trying to do one small thing and seeing it snowball into this huge massive positive change for this community is just so incredible.
[0:18:51.0] DI: And I think that one thing that my guests have really spoken about again and again is the fact that you can start where you are and cement the habit of giving. You know I think it’s easy for us to think, “Oh when I have X dollars in the bank that is when I am going to start giving,” or when I have achieved some artificial marker of success that is when you’ll start to contribute to causes that are meaningful to you but the reality is that we can all start exactly where we are.
And it is really imperative that we do because all of these things compound and if you are able to start small and just build that muscle of helping others and of giving back then as you grow as you become more successful, then your giving is going to grow right alongside it and there’s no reason not to start now and it doesn’t even have to be money. Like I said before, it can be your time. I think that we all have such a responsibility to contribute but what is really important is recognizing that we get so much more in return.
I think that fulfillment really comes from what we do for others. You know doing, serving ourselves, it is giving to others that is what really fills us up and inspires us to better the world and to feel fulfilled in our own daily lives.
[0:20:26.3] MP: Yeah. I can’t remember where, I was just reading something. It was either a social media post or something in the news, whatever it was but there was a great quote and it is basically like, everything you do for yourself, fine. You build up this, you build up that, you have a big house, fine. It might be comfortable, it might be nice but you’ll never feel good until you really do something for others. That will always have the largest impact on your mental and emotional health.
[0:20:56.6] DI: And you know Rachel Miller actually shared something with me in her episode that I thought was really powerful and that was it, your everyday life is someone else’s dream come true. So even if you are in a spot where you are really struggling but you have a roof over your head, you have food in your fridge, even if it’s rice and beans you have food and so just recognizing that no matter where you are you have something to give.
You have something to share and that is really what is going to start to bring in more into your life. It is a really powerful signal to the universe that you are operating out of that abundance mindset and it all comes back to you in the end.
[0:21:46.1] MP: So I know you gave a couple of tips before about what helped you get started but thinking about somebody else coming along who either is just launching a Causecast or is thinking about putting in this effort to create a podcast that would be beneficial to their non-profit, to a medical cause, to social justice in the local community, what would be your number one piece of advice to someone who is thinking about jumping in with both feet?
[0:22:12.9] DI: Just do it. Move forward. I think we spend so much time thinking about things and coming up with reasons why we can’t. All you need to do is take that first step. I mean you don’t need to see the entire path. You don’t need to know exactly how it is going to go. All you need to do is start and if you just start and take consistent daily action then you are going to eventually get to a place where your message is really impacting people.
I think that everyone of us has a story to share. Every one of us has a voice and it is our responsibility to share that message and so I think that that is definitely the biggest thing I would say and reach out. You know, get help, get support, ask questions. There is so many resources, so many groups out there for podcasters. You know for people who can show you the way to get this off the ground and to actually do it and the other thing I would say is think about the impact that you are looking to make.
Think about who is the person that you are trying to speak to and get really detailed about who that person is. I think it is really important to create what in business we call a customer avatar. You know knowing the persona of who it is that you are really trying to talk to and then just record your podcast as if you talking to that one person and even if you have – you feel like your download numbers aren’t big enough or you are not getting traction.
If you have even one person listening to your show you are making an impact and you just need to keep moving forward.
[0:24:01.4] MP: That’s beautiful. Well I think this has been fantastic. I think the project that you have launched here is great funding both in helping people with their personal success and then seeing what they do with that. Seeing how they are able to now donate their time, donate their money, donate their extra resources of just goodness to the world and I am so glad that you were doing that and highlighting it. The show is Do Well and Do Good. You can learn more about it at dowellanddogood.co.
We will have a link obviously to the show itself and then once again, we’ll have a link to a donation page for Village Impact. That is an amazing charity that is trying to make a difference, trying to make a small difference and it is just steamrolling into a bigger change that is impacting an entire community and building communities in it of itself. So both of those are fantastic things that we hope that you will take some time to support. Dorothy, thank you so much for joining us here on Causecast today.
[0:25:02.7] DI: Thank you Mathew. I appreciate you having me.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:25:06.2] MP: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Causecasts. Again, if you’ve been inspired by the work of our guest, please check out the show notes in your podcast app or head to Causecasts.org. There you will find links to the work of our guest and a special donation link set up to support their favorite cause. All the proceeds are going directly to that cause minus any administration fee on the platform that they set up. None of the money is coming here to the Causecasts production.
Also while you’re at causecasts.org, make sure you follow and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or wherever you enjoy your podcast show and follow us on social media as we’ll try to provide updates on what is going on with our guests and some other folks who we’ll be featuring on the show and any other efforts that we have to support the community of Causecasters that are out there.
Now there is also going to be a special Facebook group dedicated to Causecasters. So if you already have a podcast for a cause or you’re thinking about launching one, join the group. It will be dedicated to providing resources and answering questions specifically for Causecasters. Hopefully we can do things like arrange some special non-profit pricing of various podcast services to help you with your venture and keep you under budget because we know a lot of people doing Causecasts are not going to be reaping in the money. So we want to see what we can do to help you produce a high quality product, get your story out there, get people inspired and not break the bank.
Lastly, if you are a Causecaster and you want to join me here on the show for an interview, please head to causecasts.org and fill out the interview request form. We’ll take a quick look at it and if approved, we’ll schedule you for chat and show the amazing work that you are doing with Causecasts, raise some awareness for what you’re doing and ideally, raise some money as well.
Thank you so much again for staying with me and we will see you next time on Causecasts.