How Starting a Podcast Changed My Life and the Trajectory of My Business

May 28, 2021

One year ago I decided, I decided to start my podcast, Reshaping Education. 

In that time, I got the opportunity to interview billionaires, best-selling authors, and top CEOs. 

Here's how it all happened:

March 2020

The world had just gone into lockdown, and I could tell something was shifting when it came to education. I wanted to be a part of the transformation in some way. 

At first, I didn't even call it a "podcast." 

I reached out to some of my close contacts and asked if they wanted to join me in a "recorded conversation" to discuss changes we saw in online education.  

I had hoped to learn more about what was going on, but I got so much more. 

Every business has an unfair advantage. To this day, my podcast has been my ultimate cheat code for building Virtually.

Here are three things the podcast did three things for me:

  1. It got my foot in the door
  2. It helped me rapidly learn about any topic
  3. It deepened my relationships

It got my foot in the door

Starting a podcast opened doors for me in a completely unexpected way. 

Suddenly, top CEOs and best-selling authors who didn't have time to talk with me were open to scheduling an hour-long call with me. 

While potential clients weren't interested in talking to a startup that they had never heard of, they were more than willing to give an interview for a podcast. 

Everyone wants to share their story.

It helped me rapidly learn about any topic

Early into the first few recording, I discovered how quickly I was learning. Those early episodes with the industry experts in the space gave me a medium to take decades of learning and compress them into an hour-long conversation. 

To this day, I still believe that conversation is the best medium of learning. You get instantaneous feedback and insight from someone who has dedicated their life to the topic of discussion. 

Not to mention, running a podcast forces you to listen. 

If learning is asking questions, podcasting is the process of learning to ask great questions. 

It deepened my relationships

Besides helping me meet celebrity CEOs and best-selling authors, Reshaping Education helped me deepen my existing relationships with existing customers and the broader education ecosystem. 

Before I knew it, I had members of the press pitching me to interview their CEOs on our podcast or feature their product/service. 

We even had potential hires, investors, and customers reach out to us because they had listened to the podcast. 

Instead of chasing opportunities, a great podcast can bring opportunities to you. 

May 2020

In May 2020, I got admitted to the prestigious startup accelerator, Y Combinator. Becoming a part of the network gave me unprecedented access to top CEOs in the space. 

Through the network, I was introduced to top CEOs like Michael Chasen (Founder of Blackboard), Moe Abbas (Founder & CEO of Acadium), and more...

Many have spoken about the compounding effect before (Notably, James Clear in his book, Atomic Habits); however, I truly felt its impact in the process of consistently putting out episodes each week. 

The hardest part was getting that first and second big guest. After that, it got significantly easier. 

Not long after that, I got the chance to talk to one of my favorite authors, Ryan Craig. 

January 2021

This Winter was particularly tough for many people. With the pandemic at its worst, many were forced to stay indoors and isolated from one another. 

During this time, some of us turned to the social audio platform, Clubhouse, to build relationships with one another. 

With a drastic rise in its user base, I saw Clubhouse as the perfect opportunity to expand the Reshaping Education brand. 

I reached out to some of my favorite guests on the podcast and asked if they'd want to join me for a live session. 

This is what I heard back:

Andrew Barry, Program Director for On Deck Course Creator

Will Mannon, Course Director of Building a Second Brain

We were in business. 

The first session went so well we decided to keep it going. So we did another one. And another one. 

We continued for 12 consecutive weeks and built what we called the "Future of Education" club.

In that time, we interviewed titans of industry, including:

  • Ali Abdaal
  • Austen Allred 
  • Gagan Biyani
  • David Perell
  • Tiago Forte
  • Sahil Lavingia 
  • many more+

These were some of the most energizing conversations of my life. 

May 2021

Starting a podcast was an experiment for me. I had no idea how impactful it would be on my life and the trajectory of my business, Virtually

I also didn't expect how much I would enjoy it. 

Through the show, I've made countless connections with top leaders worldwide, and I'm still hungry for more. 

A few weeks ago, after I crossed 50+ episodes across both the podcast and the Future of Education club, I decided to take a step back and determine what's next. 

I have finally come to a decision, and I have some big news to share with the Reshaping Education community. 

We'll be sharing the news at our upcoming Reshaping Education Summit, where we'll be hosting a day of live events from our most notable guests covering topics about the most exciting trends in the online education space, including: 

  • Will Mannon (Course Manager, Building a Second Brain) on "Nailing the Student Experience for Your Online Course"
  • Julia Saxena on "Copywriting for Course Creators"
  • Mehak Vohra on "Project-based Learning"
  • Chris Messina on learnings from "On Deck Course Creator."
  • Laura Marks on "Scaling your Education Business w/ Virtually."

Throughout the day, we'll have giveaways and various prizes for members of the audience. 

You're not going to want to miss this one. 

Register here if you'd like to attend. It's completely free! 

Ish Baid

Ish is the Founder & CEO of Virtually (YC S20).