David Nebinski, Podcaster Extraordinaire: his Portfolio Career Podcast just passed the hundredth episode, which is a great chance to talk about showing up and doing the work.
This episode was recorded on April 5th, 2020
The Portfolio Career Podcast
The podcast: “It’s Like How I Built This But For Careers”
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The transcript was created using otter.ai and is slightly manually edited. It will contain some errors. Click to open transcript.
Klaus Reichert 0:10
This is the 2.5 conversations connecting innovators. My name is Klaus. I’m an innovation coach from Baden-Württemberg in the Southwest of Germany. This podcast’s mission is to help other innovators grow with meaningful conversations with innovators from around the world about their motivations, visions and ideas. The 2.5 originates from the 2.5% innovators of Everett Rogers Diffusion of Innovation theory, which I find is truly fun to work with. Head on over to the2pt5.net/about to find out more.
Klaus Reichert 0:57
Today I have a conversation with David Nebinski podcaster extraordinaire. His portfolio career podcast just past the hundredth episode, a great chance to talk about showing up and doing the work. I have met David about a year ago. He was coaching me in the Podcast Fellowship of Alex DiPalma and Seth Godin. His personal style was very helpful for me and many others to get started.
Klaus Reichert 1:39
Hello, David, welcome to the show.
David Nebinski 1:42
Thank you, Klaus. Thanks for having me. It’s an honor to be here.
Klaus Reichert 1:45
Glad to have you here. You are in the us right now in New York, are you well?
David Nebinski 1:52
I am. I am in New York and I am well and doing much better that I’m here with you. So thanks, thanks again for the invitation.
Klaus Reichert 2:02
In these odd times, like now, it is very good to have also some distractions from normal life. Since all of these things have changed in a very, very strange way. Life is very different for many people, but things can be awkwardly normal right now. What do you make of the situation we’re in right now?
David Nebinski 2:26
I think it’s a very hard time for a lot of people. I think your point about trying to find ways to make progress is an important thing. But it’s also a very hard thing to do. There’s plenty of distractions and there’s plenty of, you know, new things, new feelings and new challenges and, you know, finding ways to make progress. You know, we only have 24 hours each day. So, you know, progress to me is having a conversation with a friend, like I’m doing right now. And Yeah, that’s that’s that’s the best that I think that I know that I can do. There’s plenty of ways to get caught up and a lot of a lot of the distractions and the challenges and things that people are facing, but I’ve really tried to focus on more and more sometimes my friends think I’m almost too pragmatic. And where that I always just try to focus on what’s what’s the next step, what’s the smallest thing that I can do. And I feel like that’s I’m still trying to do that today, even though it’s it is really hard and my heart goes out to a lot of people that are struggling these days.
Klaus Reichert 3:37
It’s, it’s awkward, what is happening right now things can be really, really different for many people. And yet, we have to look very much ahead and sort of plan for the future and use the time as long as we’re as long as we are healthy and and have the resources And the focus to to think and plan for that time after this crisis because at some point of time, things will be not back to normal but different normal. You are you the podcast host of the portfolio career podcast, and I’ve seen that somewhere it was named something like, it’s like how I built this, but for careers. With a portfolio career one of your central things is planning, being able to design something to sort of predict the future in a way or work on the future. What do you make of that thing that hat came across our came above us, that changed everything, all these plans.
David Nebinski 4:55
I think the current situation how it’s gonna affect careers is going to be. We don’t really know, I think we’re all processing a lot of information right now I think, you know, people, more people will be working from home if they can, and I’m mostly talking about knowledge workers here, you know, beyond the essential services, people. And again, I appreciate all the hard work and generous work that they do. And we don’t say thanks enough to those to those people. But for knowledge workers, I think that things are definitely going to be changing. I feel like you know, companies and teams are going to be adapting and have been adapting very quickly to working from home and that’s causing new problems, new challenges, and maybe even more, some other opportunities for people. So maybe more people on their own in their free time will be forced to be a little bit more creative and think about ways that they can advance and develop their skills. Create new projects. And that’s the stuff that I get really excited about. And that’s kind of the core of portfolio career podcast was an is, is being more than just a nine to five job and is designing your life around your contributions, your learning your growth, your community and your work as well.
Klaus Reichert 6:27
So life is an odd thing, in a way. It is not plantable you don’t know what is going to happen. The future is very wide open, which means there’s lots of opportunities but there’s also lots of things that can happen that you just couldn’t predict in any way. But what you doing is what what what you’re saying is behind that portfolio career, designing is that you can do Something implantable such as life
David Nebinski 7:05
I think you can be intentional about… Again, this is a very unique time period. So and one that it’s hard to get a really good read on what’s going on. But I do think you know, we do have 24 hours in the day, and we get to decide what we’re going to do with that time. And I think and you already seen it a little bit. So you’re seeing people adapt and start new projects and organize people in different ways. So I’ve gone to a virtual dinner party. So, you know, a person who starts something like that right now, in a year from now, that may be that could turn into a business that could turn into a place to find clients, find collaborators Virtual dinner party did not. I don’t have many friends, but I wasn’t invited to one about a year ago. But now it’s happening and more of it’s happening. And so I think you can try it, you can be intentional, and I feel like you have to be somewhat resourceful because the world is changing fast and I, to some extent, the portfolio career podcast, I think is is also a it’s a hedge. It’s a diversification strategy. And, and part of the reason is because I started the podcast when a little bit after I had gone kind of all in on a startup that I was working at, and then I after I left, I didn’t have much else as in a new city. I was in New York and I had friends and I became friends with these people, not based upon what they did for their nine to five, but around personal interest, personal development, creative projects, creative interests, and kind of big picture thoughts to some extent. And so that’s, and what I realized. And that’s what I got really curious about was, How did my friends design their lives around these different interests, coming from a place where I previously had gone put 100% of my time into one startup. And then when I saw these other people doing these other, designing lives differently, I thought it was really fascinating. And so I think in a diversification just like an investment portfolio, can be applied to your career as well. And some people may say, Well, you know, if you find something that you’re really passionate about, you can go all in and you should do that. But, you know, what I found is for me, it was left me kind of stuck. So I’ve been now trying to think about ways and you know, things always change, but about designing and rebalancing my portfolio of my time and my skills and my work.
Klaus Reichert 10:19
So it’s something that helps you find and look into opportunities, even if into opportunities that didn’t that don’t think that don’t seem to be big at the at the moment, but simply that are worth looking into and and exploring and they are helping to go to help you along the way. And you’re sort of mixing into mixing different streams of opportunities and some point they might grow some at some point they might not. They might disappear?
David Nebinski 10:55
Yeah, I think 100% on that and we’ll also Things eventually always kind of come back around, things that you’ve learned people that you’ve met, you can connect the dots in different ways. And I think that to your point about placing little small bets or small experiments, and kind of prototyping it, just like the innovation work that you do for companies can also be applied to on a personal level. So kind of think about it as a, you know, a startup view or startup a product, you are the product and it’s, you know, how do you you know, what, what types of things can you do, and this is a little kind of meta, but, you know, what are the things that you can do that are low risk or start small, but maybe over time, they become more meaningful. And, you know, maybe to some extent, we could say that that’s the way my podcast has turned out, right? Like I didn’t really, I didn’t really know where I was gonna go when I started. But now here we are, you know, over 100 episodes later, and We’re not talking about my podcast, which is still a personal project, but you know, almost two years now it’s 100 episodes. And it’s been an incredible journey. And but when I started, it was, I didn’t know what I was doing. My first interview was with my roommate, you know, and it’s, it’s gone a couple different places since then. But, and I think that that’s, that’s what’s really cool about the opportunities, we all kind of have to think about how we can be in service to other people to other companies, and also how we can continue to evolve. And, you know, being the 2.5, for ourselves.
Klaus Reichert 12:46
We have met at the podcast fellowship by Alex De Palma and Seth Godin, and I think you were several of these classes ahead of me and when I started out as a newbie, you served as a coach in the podcast fellowship was, which was really helpful and your work. And the way you were doing this was really helpful for me. And I think for the others in the group to develop my own podcast. And and now looking back at this and comparing this, I see 100 episodes, you really showed up, you came and did the work. You didn’t stop after 17 or the first three after whatever the first problems you ran into. You simply carried on. And I think that’s very extraordinary. You’re a man with a mission.
David Nebinski 13:45
Thank you. It’s clear that there’s there’s many different sacrifices along the way and many of challenges that have also occurred but you know, I have kept going and I think being a coach in the podcasting fellowship encouraged me to keep going, right? So if you want to think about environments that you can place yourself into that, you know, can kind of create a feedback loop, just like, you know, product innovation, just like businesses, you know, getting feedback from their customers. How can you do that the same for your personal career. And I know that people do that with, you know, with certain projects and also in writing, you can, you know, publish a blog post and see if anybody responds to it. And then you can keep on learning and adapting, I think, for me with the podcast, it was a lucky honor to meet you and to be a coach because then I was continuing to be in the mindset and the environment of around other podcasts or so trying to coach and teach other people To be a podcaster and me not doing that would have been. It’s not, that’s not that would have been a tough spot. So that forced me and encouraged me to keep going on myself and also reinforced my learning so, so thank you for for showing up doing the work in wanting to become a podcaster. And this opportunity, an honor here, because then that improved my skills. And that’s one thing that I hadn’t experienced before in my career. And and so I think there’s a certain element of, of a portfolio career and being on kind of two sides of it of learning and teaching at the same time, I think is a really powerful kind of feedback loop and something something that I’d like to continue to always Think about kind of designing my life that way. So even as things evolve over time, and I maybe do something else, I still always like to have some kind of component of teaching or coaching. Because I feel like that posture just makes you a better person, but also reinforces your learning too.
Klaus Reichert 16:22
I can very much subscribe to that, in my coaching work I sometimes I feel bad because I learned a lot myself also, I get from the feedback and from the discussions and from the stuff that I have to learn for, for these for these sessions, myself so much back. It’s it’s very, very, very valuable to me. And I think teaching is not possible without learning. You have to be on the job all the time. You have to think of new ways to teach And also in new stuff to teach and, and stay on top of things like, especially if you if you do something that says like a science or an industry that changes a lot you have to keep up with the knowledge with the new ideas and stuff all the time. And and I think that’s the challenge if you have to have that one to one conversation with somebody else who is in that coaching session. There is no way to sort of fake all this. You have to be very honest and direct. Yeah, and yeah, so I’m, I’m, I understand that completely. I think that is very, very valuable. And that’s why I myself use coaching or the exchange of ideas with other people a lot also, because it’s not me who knows everything, but I know a lot and other people also know a lot and when these People come together. Great things can happen basically, if you’re open to this exchange, so as thank you for, for sharing that. I think with that, podcast fellowship, something really odd also happened. People from around the world came together and shared their ideas and projects. They they help each other. They were helped by coaches and and there was a single actually a single focus, getting your own podcast out there. But that was only possible by helping others.
David Nebinski 18:43
Yeah, it was a transformational experience for me. And something that I didn’t anticipate as much you know, I had was had not taken an online workshop before. I didn’t know too much about that whole world, and then, you know, signed up because of one email from Seth Godin about the podcasting fellowship. And that posture and that collective force that you’re talking about, where everybody is trying to do the exact same thing. And they’re all starting from a certain place of, I have an idea. I want to make a podcast from it. I don’t know any, I’m limited in how to do so. And but that’s what I want to do. And I want to, I want to do it. So having a couple hundred people all with the same focus, the same mission, and all being aligned and starting from the same spot and supporting each other is very, very, very powerful. And it was transformational for me. And then it was a lucky honor to then be a part of it as a coach and get to meet you and So many other special people. So yeah, it’s it’s truly rare, right? There’s so many in it’s rare and in many different ways. But you know, once you want to see it and once you experience it, it’s hard to you get hooked.
Klaus Reichert 20:19
Yes. And I think that’s also a great example for doing innovation work. So I’m very glad that we have this conversation today. David 100 episodes, basically one every week, where do you get the energy for such a big project?
David Nebinski 20:48
So I think that there’s there’s a couple different components to it. I think some of it comes down to I’m, I’m not an ideas person, I’m an execute er, and I’m very pragmatic. And so there’s a couple different situations where I started to tell myself a story that I was going to publish X amount of episodes, or I wanted to do X types of things. And so we talked about one of them, which was the coaching, right? So, you know, those weeks and months, you know, just kind of naturally kept me going. So it’s how do you create environments where, you know, you don’t really need the energy is much bigger, like how to activate yourself, because it’s just a part of the process. It’s a part of who you are. And I think identity based habits are very important. So the more things that you can start to internalize yourself and say, I’m the type of person that publishes an episode every week. That’s that’s the way to do it. And so there’s definitely the was definitely weeks where. And it was a struggle, and it still is a struggle because i’d like to have a kind of a quick turnaround. So I didn’t batch many episodes. So there’s definitely times where it’s Monday or so and new episodes got to go out that week. And sometimes you get in it, you know, you got to innovate. And some episodes, I thought were kind of quirky, a little bit different. And put my ad it’s really like those ones. So I think that’s, you know, to companies, to innovators that are out there that things that you think are maybe bad ideas, because it wasn’t what you plan for can actually turn out to be big success. So that’s, that’s an interesting takeaway. But, yeah, I think it’s just, you know, it’s part of the habit. It’s weekly by week, drip by drip and trying to just know that each week new episodes gonna go out. And it’s a it’s a privilege, it’s an honor. And yeah, and here we are.
Klaus Reichert 23:17
Do you normally meet the people you talk to on the podcast in person?
David Nebinski 23:22
It’s probably a mix of about 50/50. And, yeah, probably probably about a mix.
Klaus Reichert 23:32
I think that that can help also to, to, to get the new episode done if you know that you have the meeting in a cafe or in your office, say next Tuesday, and it will help you to, to develop or to stick stick to producing to and focusing. Also it gets us around and meet interesting people. Was that something that motivated you also to start the podcast? I know it was important for me.
David Nebinski 24:05
I started the podcast, mostly because there was a new I had a portfolio myself. And I think I mentioned earlier I had a couple months, six months, nine months or so before, I had gone all in on a on a startup, and then I left and then then I started piecing together my own portfolio. And then I had at the time, then a bunch of people were asking me like, hey, David, what are you up to? I see you doing this project to see you doing this thing? Like, can we talk about this, like what like, Let’s meet and let’s talk about it and I, I had been coming from a place where I had left to start up, didn’t know what I was going to do. And then I started figuring something out and this portfolio of different skills, experiences and relationships really started and it was kind of integrated. It really started to work with Well, and and so then when I learned about the podcasting fellowship to me, then it was like a perfect way to learn from other people that I saw that were doing, having this kind of lifestyle to start to learn from myself and learn from them. And then, then yeah, then it’s always I wanted to, I think a podcast is really great, where you get to learn and create something together with a friend or somebody that you’re inspired by. And there’s a really cool kind of shared experience that happens. That is different from let’s grab coffee or let’s do dinner. So, I think that that’s, that was never really the intention or I since I had never been on a podcast, I wasn’t sure that that’s how it was going to happen. But I think learning from my friends or friends of friends and talking to them And creating work together was definitely something that has continued to keep me going. And I’ve had some lucky lucky honors and privileges to talk to certain people that have been huge role models to me.
Klaus Reichert 26:18
Some odd thing I discovered this is just a sort of a bit off topic, I discovered that certainly, I used to live in the US for for a year I went to high school when I was 16. In Colorado. So speaking English is not not something new to me, but it was with me all my life. But in a way, it’s also very difficult once in a while to sort of switch back and forth between German and English. And, but at some point of time, I decided Oh, okay, I don’t worry about it anymore. There will be errors. There will be mistakes that I make and the pronunciation might not always Perfect, but it’s my second language so give me a break. But sometimes it’s I can see that thinking in English is, is different than thinking in German. So, so actually also the, the way I’m talking and stuff interacting with people is also different in sometimes that’s not easy.
Klaus Reichert 27:27
David you are at a point with 100 podcasts now, 100 episodes. Where as a pilot, people say when you have done 100 hours of flying as a new pilot, you’re in your most dangerous situation, because at some point of time you think all I’ve got it, I can wing it. Things are going well. And I’m in the routine right now. And that’s the part where of pilots, at least, errors happen because people don’t pay attention anymore, and so on. How do you feel at the moment with you 100 episodes? Where you are where do you Where are you right now? Pretend what what do you do you feel very secure right now? Or what? What is the plan for the for the next episodes? Is there? What is your main takeaway that you have learned that you are going to apply for these next episodes that you are to record?
David Nebinski 28:40
Yeah, I think you bring up some really great points. I would say only until the last couple of weeks, or a couple of months did I realize that I was getting closer to 100 episodes. So putting, because I was coaching and because I was teaching other people. You know, I felt like I I just was head down and just working a bunch and, and then when it gets closer to 100 people, I know that number just kind of pops up and people and then people start asking you about it and then you start thinking about it. But I think it’s still just goes back to this idea of it being an identity and, and to me a podcasters about somebody that cares about other people that wants to create work together, that is learning and further developing skills. And I would say podcast is, is has allowed me to learn a lot of different digital skills that I wasn’t expecting along the way. So I feel like it’s, you know, the technical components of editing and Audacity. I still think there’s so much more to learn in there. But also there’s these other skills that I’ve been developing in advance and along the way, so I don’t look at it as Oh, here’s another episode. It’s like naturally something I’m going to learn from along the way. And as I keep going, so I think the new episodes you know, I’d said, I’m trying to just like we started this conversation a little bit, you know, try to adjust to see, you know, adjust the content a little bit to the current environment. But for the most part, you know, one thing that’s really cool about the topic that I chose, is people are launching new projects, and people are doing new things. And so there’s always to some extent, there’s new opportunities. And, you know, I’ve done some episodes of prior guests before, I can see that maybe I’ll do that again. And so I think that’s, that’s one thing that’s called lucky to me and is that my category or my focus is kind of broad. And so I can with a certain type of focus So then I can always, hopefully find ways to, you know, share and share new ideas. So I don’t maybe since now that we’re talking about it, now you got me thinking and created a little bit more tension for me, but I actually feel today actually a little bit more head than I’ve thought prior weeks. So you know, I had a recorded a podcast on Friday, so I’m feeling pretty good.
Klaus Reichert 31:37
Right now you’re, you’re an established podcaster with 100 episodes. So that’s a normal way for you to interact with people and help them along the way. Not just the people you talk to you learn from them, they learn from you, but also your listeners. And that scales quite well. Because podcasts, podcasts can be listened to all around the world. But do you have also other types of media or projects that you’re pursuing, say in real life that are not digital to pursue the same ideas?
David Nebinski 32:15
I think the environment is difficult to do certain types of caught in person workshops. But, you know, over time, I’ve slowly started to look to do other ways to kind of talk about some of the ideas behind the podcast. So you know, on Monday, I’m hosting a call for my listeners and my email subscribers to kind of talk about their projects and kind of like a mastermind type of format. This is the kind of I think the second or third one that I’ve done like this. So to me, that’s a similar type of situation as I Like, I think I’m really excited about when people start personal projects and create something that something that they care about. So that’s if I can support people on that and hear about that I get really excited about those things. So yeah, um, that’s a way to kind of further advance my skills, my my learnings and connect with core people around their work. So yeah, but again, but but those, but kind of going back to them where we start in the beginning, it’s a natural cycle, right? So when I was that the 2.5% of the beginning of mine, I didn’t, I didn’t have all these other ideas. I didn’t, I didn’t have all these other skills. I didn’t have all these other kind of resources and outlets and, and mediums and so but that comes over time and you get just like with podcasts and you got a little bit more more comfortable in the same thing with other skills. And so yeah, I’m really grateful for slowly evolving my work slowly evolving my skills and meeting new people along the way. And yeah, it takes time, but you keep going and slowly things kind of evolve.
Klaus Reichert 34:24
And 100 episodes happen. I’m really impressed by the work that you’re putting out there. It’s something that helps yourself and you could say, okay, that’s very selfish. Yes, but it is helping a lot of people. And I think the progress or the speed that you have, which is the slow speed that helps other people to evolve along with you. And your listeners, I think is very powerful. It’s a very powerful thing and you don’t branch out Immediately in something else, you keep showing up and you do the work. And that way, people and you evolve on the way. And I think that’s fascinating to observe.
David Nebinski 35:15
Yeah, thanks. There’s some over the, I guess almost the two years it’s just been really interesting to see all the different podcasting related projects that I’ve worked on too. And so that’s been really cool to slowly start to branch out a little bit and so you know, I’ve worked with a couple companies and and help them with their podcast. So then I take learnings from that and experiences from that. bring that into my own podcast. And so that’s what’s that’s what’s really fun too, is how you can utilize these skills in a couple different areas. So I’ve done a there was a conference, a one day kind of Gala. And I did like we’re recordings on site, kind of like a reporter kind of thing. And then I turn those into like mini kind of podcasts, little clips and stuff. And, you know, I think this the skills are very transferable. And I think that that is I think that that’s important. And so the more things that you can do that are transferable, that are long term, I think have many benefits. So, you know, having a conversation with a friend that’s transferable, that’s long term. So that’s definitely been something that I want to keep doing is figure out how do I keep doing work and building relationships with people that I care about? And so, because everything you know, like most things, they compound over time, just like the work so it’s definitely been a focus of mine.
Klaus Reichert 36:47
David Nebinski, thank you very much for being part of the 2.5 thank you very much for being part of the show.
David Nebinski 36:57
Klaus thank you so much. It’s been an honor. Thank you for doing the work and thanks for the invitation.
Klaus Reichert 37:07
That was my conversation with David Nebinski, the host of the portfolio career podcast. in the show notes, you’ll find a link to the episode on the 2.5 website. Along with a list of links. You will also find a transcript of this conversation. I’m grateful to David for taking the time for this conversation in this difficult time. Somehow this episode also made it clear to me that English is my second language. Thank you also to music producer Immex for creating the music of this show. Creating the podcast is also an adventure for me. It is a labor of love, lots of work and great fun. Hosting and producing the podcast is broadening my own horizon and helps me to grow as an innovator. If you enjoy listening to these episodes, please show your support. Subscribe on your favorite podcast app and rate the show on Podchaser.com or wherever you listen to podcast. That way you help others to discover the show. And while you’re at it, please follow the podcast on social media and tell your friends. You’ll find the links in the show’s website at the2pt5.net My name is Klaus. The podcast is brought to you from Baden-Württemberg in the Southwest of Germany. Thank you for listening to The 2.5 conversations connecting innovators.