Mahrukh Imtiaz

Why Every Solopreneur Needs a Podcast

S2-EP009: Why Every Solopreneur Needs a Podcast Today. Part -1

“Sometimes you have to switch it up and you have to create a different process, you have to create a different system for yourself for who you want to be next.” – MARK METRY

[S2-EP009] – In this episode, Mark and I  discuss tactics to deal with social anxiety as content creators. We talk about attaining healthy content habits to sustain in the social media world. Mark shares his practical ways to work out of fear and adapt to the process.

Highlights from this episode: 

[1:00] What got you started with podcasting?

[5:25] Is this the social media platform (podcasting) you recommend to people who suffer or face social anxiety or are introverted?

[10:20] What are the fears that have come up for you when you started podcasting, what was that like?

[13:17] What were the 20% of the things that you did, that got you 80% of your podcast results?

[25:24] What is one piece of advice that you would give Mark in 2017? Before you were starting your podcasting journey?

Connect with MARK METRY: 



A little bit about Mark:

Mark Metry started a YouTube channel at the age of 13, and had 35,000 subscribers. He is a best-selling author, a former top 100 global podcast host, and a 2x TEDx Keynote speaker. He also works as a Center Director for one of the fastest growing centers for a Top 10 Education Company in America.


–> Watch my free training video to learn the 4 simple steps you can use to start your podcast today.

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TITLE: Why every solopreneur needs a podcast today 

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Today’s guest is someone I’m very honored to have. And I just told him in this pre-interview that I’m extremely nervous as well. Buckle up, because this introduction will take a bit. 

He started experimenting with entrepreneurship at the age of seven. He started a YouTube channel at the age of 13, and had 35,000 subscribers. In 2017, he started the humans 2.0 podcast that was ranked in top 100 global rankings in apple. In 2019, he got invited by four for a two-hour interview and gave a TED Talk. In 2020, he launched his book. Wow. But that’s not all. You see, he’s achieved all of this by being very open about his social anxiety and depression. What a journey. Welcome to the show., Mark Metry

Mark Metry: Mahrukh, thank you so much for having me. And what a beautiful intro. And yeah, I appreciate being here. And you have me on your platform?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah. Really, really excited to have you. So just to start off, like, what got you started with a podcast? Like, I know, you started a YouTube journey. You start you did the TED talk, but what got you started with podcasting?

Mark Metry: Yeah, so it’s interesting. So in 2015, at the end of 2015, I would, I would say, I hit like a sort of rock bottom, where I truly felt like, like, all meaning and hope was just completely gone in my life. And next thing I knew, I all of a sudden was like, you know, very overweight, all of a sudden, I was depressed seriously, for the first time. 

All of a sudden, you know, my lifelong social anxiety that I always had turned into social isolation. I just like really hit rock bottom. And ever since that moment, I’ve been on this journey of, you know, trying to help myself trying to rewire my brain trying to figure out who I am, what I’m all about, what do I enjoy. 

And, you know, throughout that process, I remember in 2017, you know, being a year, two years into my journey, and just being like, Man, this is so tough. This is so hard. And I remember just not really knowing what to do, and just being like, just kind of lost. And so I just sort of started to think to myself, like, what can I do to not get lost? 

And I remember one of the things that always, you know, either fueled me with reassurance or some sort of like education, and learning was just having like direct conversations with people one on one, people who are interested in talking about the things that I’m interested in talking about right now, people who, no, no offense to them, but people who are talking about the Super Bowl, and this and fantasy football and what Kim Kardashian did yesterday, and and all these different things that I just, I just don’t even think about like that doesn’t even enter my brain. And so I was just like, How can I set up some sort of a consistent system to where I could get myself in front of somebody who I could just learn from, for selfish reasons, right? 

And so I was like, let me start a podcast. And I remember, like, back when I had my YouTube channel, back when young Mark had his YouTube channel back in the day, which I’m actually very envious of. Because right now, my YouTube channel has like, a little less than, like, 2000 subscribers, I didn’t really take it that seriously now. 

So I’m trying to get back to those numbers. But I remember starting a podcast a long, long, long time ago. So I knew what a podcast was. And so I was just like, let me try to start a podcast to just like, improve my own life and just like learn what I’ve got to learn in my own life. And so that was really it. 

And I remember like, going for a run in the woods, and like, coming up with the name at the time, humans 2.0. And yeah, I mean, like, 500 episodes, four years later, yeah, no history. 

Mahrukh Imtiaz: What an achievement. Yeah, that’s amazing. Honestly, like, that resonated with me too, because that’s particularly why I started this podcast is like, Alright, I’m going to be having some very interesting conversations. I’m going to learn a lot selfishly. 

And I think someone else might also get gained something a lot out of my own journey. Because again, it’s it’s all part of that. It’s so like, why was it podcasting? I know, you talked about like, you were in a very low life like you, you went overweight. I remember I’ve seen a lot of your videos and your I listen to all your stuff. I know you’ve changed your podcast name and all. 

But and uh, you even talked about how when you were at a really, really close time you listen to Tim Ferriss episode. And that was extremely helpful for you. So is that why you went podcasting route because that has also helped you were like, worse is anything else? Like just want to know that?

Mark Metry:  Yeah, that’s a great a great thought. I mean, honestly, I didn’t think about it that way before but probably at some level, like I remember. Yeah, I remember like my first exposure to just like a different level of life was just like, yeah, like listening to like different podcasts like Tim Ferriss, Joe Rogan, Aubrey Marcus, people like that and just being exposed, like a completely different world. 

So I’m sure it was that but I also I bet it was also the fact that you know, like, even during that time, like I was still, you know, in the midst of my battle with like, social anxiety and I had so made like, a lot of progress since then. 

But I think I started a podcast because it felt like the safer option. Like from the perspective of like, I can just like hide behind my mic. And at the beginning I did video, but then I stopped doing video and then I went back on video. And so I think just the option of like not doing video was just quite like is very safe for me being like an introverted being someone like I don’t want to put my face on camera even though I had done it before. And so I think that’s like the biggest reason why

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Is that something you would recommend to people who do suffer from like face social anxiety or introverted? Is that the platform that you would recommend that they start out with?

Mark Metry:  Yeah, you know, it’s interesting, because when it comes to like the game of trying to like improve your life, generally speaking, like there’s like this phrase, and it’s don’t take the path of least resistance, right? And it’s like, if you’re, you know, in bed and like, you’re just waking up, and then you basically realize, like, Hey, I could get up from bed, which could be quite discomforting. 

Or I could just grab my phone and just stay in bed, and just like, you know, hang out until I end up getting up. And so I think I love that rule. But I think when it comes to like content creation, I think it’s got to be the opposite, I think you should definitely take the path of least resistance. Because I think at the end of the day, it just comes down to like, what’s practical, and what’s realistic for you. 

And I think a lot of times, like, there’s just so much noise and distractions and different people with different pieces of advice, that it’s just sort of like hard to, like, figure out what you should be doing. And so I think if Yeah, if you’re someone, you know, similar to like what I described? Yeah, I mean, go for it. And then I think once you get established that, then I think it’s easier to also like move up, you know, and you know, once you have that foundation, and honestly, you know, like what I’ve learned too, is like, there’s a lot of people who will tell you, 

Oh, you have to do videos, you have to do videos, you have to do videos. And I think again, videos are great, great marketing, again, like I’m sure you can make a case for like, you know, the biggest brands in the world, the biggest podcast, use video, whatever. But it’s also like, I know, people who have like 2 million followers on Twitter, who have never shown their face before who are just writers and podcasters, for example. 

And so there’s many, many different paths out there. And so I just think it’s about doing what’s the most realistic for you in the long term, and then not being afraid to you know, change things up and experiment. Right.

Mahrukh Imtiaz:  I love that. And like to unpack that a little you said, doing things that are most realistic for you in the long term. What does that really mean? Like, I know, one part of that would be like, Hey, so what am I comfortable doing? Am I good on video? No, but I’m a better writer. Are there other pieces to that puzzle? When you’re trying to really figure out what’s the long-term game for you?

Mark Metry: Well, since you’re saying I mean, not you ask it like that way. I feel like for me, when I was growing up, I feel like people always told me to do what’s realistic. And I feel like that’s the worst advice. Yeah, like in a general life sense. But when it comes to like, I think this conversation, I think, like in terms of diving deeper, I think what it’s really about is like being able to look at what you have, and being able to make the most out of that, right. 

And so for me, when I started my podcast in 2017, I was still like, in college, I was still like a little kid with a laptop, I had no idea what I was, I mean, I actually started out on my phone first I bought for my laptop. And so I think it’s just like, do what you can with what you have, and then try to sort of like lean in and evolve. Because I think one of the biggest things that I’ve learned is like, when I started my podcast in 2017, 

I basically just sat and I just executed like every day. When I look back at it, I’m like, damn, like, you know, young Mark. Yeah, he’s definitely also the line, he worked really hard. But then now, doing that same kind of work like isn’t necessarily like that motivating to me. 

And I think the reason why it’s just because I put myself in that process going back to like the beginning of why I even started my podcast, I started as a process to really develop myself and to grow myself. And for years on the road. I mean, I basically did that, you know, obviously, the journey never ends. 

And so for me, it’s like I had to keep going that process, go, go, go, go go. But then every once in a while, you have to you have to stop and you have to pause and you have to look up and you have to be like Okay, the reason why I set out on this journey, at least for me, isn’t even to have a goal of having the world’s most successful podcast. For me.

Like I think the reason why we set goals as humans is to eventually become different people. It’s not about how can we, you know, start the biggest podcast, it’s like, if you set that out as your goal, then the person that you have to become is ultimately going to be a different person, when you at least get close to achieving that goal.

And like I remember for me, like you know, just different moments where like my podcast hit like the top charts are like different, you know, successes and milestones that I have in my head and like all those things are cool, but you just have to keep being consistent and you have to pause and you have to look up and you have to shift and you have to adapt Because like, you know, right now I’m 23. 

And what’s gonna get me to like 25 or 26 may not necessarily be the same thing that I’ve been doing. Sometimes you have to switch it up and you have to create a different process, you have to create a different different system for yourself for who you want to be next. And so I think that’s been the biggest lesson kind of like was in that question,

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Right? It kind of goes back to like, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, sort of philosophy. So I totally get that. And we spoke a little bit about like podcasting being the root for you, because there was no video. So you were able to kind of hide behind the mic. So talk a little bit about other fears that might have come up for you when you started podcasting. Like what was that like when you were starting?

Mark Metry:  Yeah, it’s funny, because so I had this article that I wrote, and it’s titled something like, top five fears stopping you from starting a podcast. I’m sure you could just Google that. I hope I hope it comes up first. There was a Google SEO and all that work. But I mean, a lot of fears. I mean, there’s so many I don’t even know where to start, you know, what I think what’s what was really helpful is like, 

I think, for me, the most helpful thing that I look at us, like, why my podcast was successful, is the fact that I was doing these things in my life before I even started the podcast. And so for me, I was like, already, like in my own personal life, working on my different fears, and social anxiety, and like working every day to help expose myself to those fears. 

And it’s interesting, because there’s this great quote, unless you’re in mortal danger, or have a mental health disorder or an illness, then fear is a compass telling you where to go, right. And that’s really been something that I feel like I have used as a guiding philosophy. And again, you know, I’m not talking about if you have like, crippling social anxiety, you know, I’m not saying that, like, there’s a lot of things that you can do to help yourself. 

But what I am saying is like, personally, for me, like I face social anxiety my entire life, and yet today, like literally everything I do is public and and social, right? So I don’t think that there’s any sort of coincidence towards that. I think a lot of times, like we have fears, and that’s sort of the world’s way of of actually guiding us towards what we want. 

And so you know, all the fears that I could list of like having a podcast and starting it and hosting it? And what if you mess up? Or what, if you seem stupid, or what if you’re, you know, afraid to talk to your guests, I think all of those stem from what I just said, have number one of like, you have to be doing it in your own life first. And if you can do that, then that gives you the capacity to come on a podcast and be honest. 

And I think a lot of the times, like that’s what I think really lacks and separates the successful podcast from the unsuccessful podcast, its podcast hosts who are not honest. 

And I don’t mean that in some like, disingenuous way, but I just mean that from the perspective of, they’re trying to like craft like this, like this picture, perfect persona on like, how they’re perfect, and like how they are like a flawless expert, when in reality, they’re just a human same as everyone else. And the successful people who have realized that they realize that when you share your different weaknesses, your fears, you just relate to more people, you know, as long as you’re honest. And so I think that’s one of the biggest things

Mahrukh Imtiaz: You also mentioned something along the lines of when you started, you weren’t executing like you were just executing daily. And you know, you really just wanted to improve. So what would you say in your words, I know in Tim Ferriss language, what were the 20% of the things that you did at that point that got you 80% of the results for your podcast?

Mark Metry: Excellent question. Excellent question. Wow, what a terrific question. I love this good job. So I think so I would divide this by personal slash professional. And I would even say that the personal percentage is probably bigger than the professional. 

But I would say like, top 20%, that got me the 80% It would be sleeping well at night, it would be writing my thoughts down journaling, which helps with organization planning, meditation, eating healthy exercising, making sure that I’m living in my intentions and like within my social groups, and relationships, and then outside of that, in terms of professionally speaking, it would be to not look at my podcast as just like this thing that I’m doing or like, even like a business, but to look at it from the perspective of like, this is my passion and like this is my own personal tool that like is almost kind of selfish to my own learning, which is which is what I really enjoyed learning how to use LinkedIn. 

And then I think what I said before of like being an honest host, and then just preparing ahead of time and like actually, like in terms of the interviews and actually like realizing who I’m talking to, and making sure like I did the research on them and I understand who they are as a person. Those are the most important things that got me there.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Perfect. And then even like you mentioned, you started off with like the sleep and made it Haitian and journaling. And I know in general, you speak a lot about that, you know, just making sure that we eating while our gut health is in check. 

And you talk a little bit about when you’re in the creative space, you know, there’s not enough clarity at times, like you don’t know, what is your next step. So would you say those are the main reasons you’re able to gain clarity? Or is there anything else that you do on top of that to know, are as a creative? This is my next step.

Mark Metry: Yeah. I mean, I literally don’t like I don’t even know how I would function if I didn’t eat healthy every day, meditate, sleep and exercise and journal. Of course, not perfect. There are some days where I skip some of those things, or I don’t do them as well. 

But I don’t even know how my brain would be functioning. And it’s interesting, because I’ve done experiments where I stopped doing these things. And then I see what happens. I literally don’t get anything done. I just like sit there in my own misery and sadness. 

And I’m just like, What do I even do with life? And maybe it’s the same with everyone, maybe it’s not like, and it’s funny, because like, there’s times where like, you know, I try my best to meditate every day for 15 minutes. 

And there’s times you’re like, I’m meditating, my brain is like, Mark, get up, go do something productive, you know, go do this, go tackle that first thing on your to do list do that do this. And it’s very easy to do that. But one of the things that I’ve started to realize is like, at least for me, like, what’s the point of me doing my podcast? 

What’s the point of me making hundreds of 1000s of dollars? What’s the point of helping people if I don’t even have like, the basic fundamentals of what in the long term will either create or destroy my brain and my mind? So I always just go back to that is like, what’s the point of me doing these things, if I can’t even do these things, and I can understand, like, there’s certain situations where you’re busy, or you’re you have people to take care of, or all these different things. But I think just trying to look at those as the foundation for life as essential. 

And it I mean, as someone who is a writer is a speaker is a consultant, like for someone and a lot of people who, like you basically get paid for your brain to do creative things. This is the most important thing that I can say. And I think at the same time, too, when it comes to being creative, everybody is creative, right? Yeah. But I remember like this analogy that I heard on Tim Ferriss podcast, was Dr. Peter A TIA and they basically said on how like basically like your, your capacity for like being creative. 

And like using your potential, like when you first start off in life, it’s basically like somebody hands you like a hot blade, like a knife blade, okay. And when you pick up that blade with your bare hands to like, try to cut something in the real world to take action, you try to figure out how to cut it, you grabbed the knife, you cut it, but then often what happens is, if it’s not the first time, or the second time, or the third time, or after many years, you know, you look at your hand where you’re holding the blade, and the blade doesn’t have a handle. 

And so every time you cut, the knife is also cutting into your hand. And it’s making you bleed, right. And I think back to the time when I was like 1617. And I was running like a six figure business, I was making hundreds of 1000s of dollars. And then like two years after that, that’s like when my mental health was in the gutter. 

And it’s very, very, very common for for people like that, to experience things like burnout, you know, different issues, they get to some level of success, and then they get depressed. And so for me, like, that’s what I’ve learned is like, we all have that ability to pick up that blade and like, be creative and do amazing things. 

But then the second part of the equation is like okay, well, how do we then be able to use the blade and create things in life without it making us bleed out every time and like the answer to that is you learn these different conscious habits and tools and different structures of behavior, to schedule your time and in more meaningful, unconscious way that basically act as if you are building like, like a handle onto the knife. 

And like it’s not instant. You do it day by day, week, by week, by month, by month by year by year. And they you can you know, go on stage and talk about your life story in front of 1000 people, then you can write a book, then you can do a podcast and have it be successful. Like that’s how it works. And so it’s really about, you know, there’s this great quote by I think it’s Jay Shetty. And he says something like people are rewarded in public for what they do in private. And so I think I’m a big, big believer in that sort of philosophy.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Right? It’s like kind of goes back to what Kobe Bryant always said, like just kind of work hard in silence and just let success be the noise. 100% And one of the things when you were talking about podcasting in general, you spoke about you learned how to use LinkedIn and one of your posts on LinkedIn.

I think when you hit I think 90,000 followers there you had like, things I’ve been doing since day one, like you know, finding 15 people in industry messaging 10 people. So going into the extreme like tactics, right? When someone starting out on LinkedIn, let’s say their creators were like, alright, you really need to learn how to use this and you’re talking about finding top 15 leaders in your industry. Gray, how would you go about that in a very tactical sense.

Mark Metry: So I always say number one is hire me. Number two, would be to buy my LinkedIn course, which I don’t even promote anymore. I’m sorry, I’m just the reason why I’m answering it like this is because the reason why I’m answering it like this is because like, unless you are willing to dedicate time and energy into this every day, or unless you have very small goals, you’re just probably not going to be that successful. 

And so I just wanted to say that because not you, I’m just talking about whoever is listening, right? Because like the same way that if you took all that time, and you apply it to Twitter or Tik Tok, you would probably get successful in each one of those areas. 

Right. And so I think at the end of the day, it just comes back to like your time, energy and dedication at a daily level, which is very, very hard. And so I think one of the biggest things that I’ve learned in terms of tactics or like LinkedIn habits is like, Don’t overthink it.

And what I mean by that is like, there’s people out there who I’m not saying this is, this is right or wrong, everyone has a different way, if you will, out there who like get a camera man, and hire a video editor and spend like hundreds 1000s of dollars, and they like create this piece of content, and it gets like, you know, 300 views, right? 

And a lot of the times it’s like, if you just don’t BS your message, and you just don’t like put fluff around it. And you just like, speak to the heart and you know who you’re talking to, and you know why you’re speaking then a lot of times, like, yeah, you can just pull out your phone and just like record a video, like literally while you’re on a walk. 

And again, that may not work for everybody. But I think that’s like one of the biggest things because I’ve been on LinkedIn since seriously, since 2017. I’ve had all kinds of ups and downs. And honestly, outside of like the normal social media tips, I think the most impactful thing that LinkedIn has, is that more of like the professional business world is there versus Tik Tok, for example. 

And then I think the second part about it is LinkedIn has been around for a long time. Yeah. And so it’s so it’s very established. And so, you know, I’m very like, personally for me, like, I’m always hesitant, and like, where should I invest my time, right? clubhouse, all these different things. And it’s like, who really knows if those are still going to be here? 10 years from now, I don’t know if LinkedIn is still gonna be here 10 years from now, but I bet you they will. 

And so that’s one of like, you have to make sure it’s worth your investment. Right. And what I said again, is like, if, depending on like, your budget, depending on how successful you are other social media platforms. 

And that’s why I kind of jokingly said to hire me, because like the like, the realistic answer to this is like so contextual. And it’s so dependent, depending on like the person, depending on their industry, depending on what they want. 

That honestly, like unless you sit down with like an expert, who is someone who’s actually done it for themselves, or for other people, then a lot of like, a lot of this advice is just general outside of like, just what I said, and so right. Yeah, I hope that can guide people towards the right direction. I’m sorry for a terrible answer.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: No, no, that’s good. That’s good. It’s all going to be in the shownotes. Anyway, so I’ll make sure I’ll put those links in there. But yeah, that’s one of the questions that I keep getting a lot is like, how do I do this on LinkedIn? 

How do I do that on LinkedIn, you’re right. It’s one of those platforms where you have to just invest the right kind of time. And once you do that, like just like any platform, I agree with you, like, what if you put in the time and effort every day, it’s going to grow? 

So totally on the same page there as well. And I loved how even when you were talking about your podcast and the results you’ve got, I think, what I love the most is how you talked about the brain. And if you’re sleeping well, if you’re eating well, if you’re meditating, even days, you don’t want to, if you take care of that everything else was kind of take care of itself.

So I think that’s an extremely important message that I want to emphasize again, and again, because I do believe like most of the creators, that I’m constantly getting DMS from and all of that’s like, Oh, I’m burnt out, or I don’t know how to do this every day, or I can’t do this across five platforms. How do you do this? And it’s just like, it’s all about like, Well, yeah, I spend, like, I make sure I meditate for 20 minutes, like, you know, and I make sure that I’m not like I don’t use my phone for an hour a day, like stuff like that. It’s just, it’s those small things that are not social media tactics that are so so important. 

Thank you for like, bringing that up. And before we go into our final question, Where can people find you online?

Mark Metry: Yeah, for sure. And it’s so funny because like right now personally, like I’m trying to move like, I’ve been in like this whole space of like marketing and all this stuff for like, literally the last 11 years of my life. And now I’m trying to transition into mental health, social anxiety, all these different things. 

And one of the courses that I’m going to create is how do you manage your mind as like a social media marketer? Because, because like that, it’s like I like that’s gonna be that’s gonna blow off for sure. Because I love that. Yeah, yeah. Because I know what exactly it’s like and it’s it is very frustrating in terms of where people can find me. 

So if people go to my website, There’s going to be an email box. If you put your email in there, I promise to God, I’m only going to send you informational educational things, not only just sales and spam things, but that’s the best place to get in touch with me. And if you respond to any of my emails that will automatically go to my inbox, and I can respond directly from there. But yeah, just my website first and last, M A R K M E T R Y.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Awesome. So final question for you, Mark. What is one piece of advice that you would give mark in 2017? Before you were starting your podcasting journey?

Mark Metry: Oh, that’s such a good question. One, what advice I’d give to Mark 2017. Before starting my podcast, I didn’t, what I would say is don’t underestimate how far you can get in a year, if you really just focus every single day on what you need to do, but then also expect that what you will probably want to have happen is probably going to take longer than you think. 

And so I think it’s both of those kinds of bounces and extremes because it’s going to take many, many, many, many, many, many years. But then also like there’s also some you know, if you’re at the right time, right place, there’s also like a lot of lucky, you know, serendipitous opportunities and moments that can happen to you that can change your entire life.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: And I truly believe like those opportunities come up more and more once we execute. I just feel like the more I’ve executed the more those opportunities have come by No, I absolutely love that kind of goes back to the Gary Vee micro hustle and macro patients. 

Yeah, so I think that philosophy as well. But I love that thank you so much Mark for being here today. Thank you so much for bringing your authentic self thank you so much for your time. This means like a lot to me for everyone listening.

I’ve been following mark for about a year now. He’s the best person on LinkedIn to get all like your social advisor via depression vegans it be tactics like I told you like he had a post literally saying what he did every day on LinkedIn for a year to grow his followers. 

So go follow him read his books through being shy. Watch him on YouTube. It’s what I’ve been doing the past week. So yes, thank you again, Mark, for being here today. And for everyone listening. We’ll see you next week. You got this beautiful

Mark Metry: Oh, oh wow. I love that ending signature. Thank you

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