Ryan Sullivan Just Keep Learning Summary
Ryan shares his process for writing, rapping, and podcasting. We talk a lot about learning and how we can take control of our lives as creators, and artists.
Ryan Aka Sully Bop is a business owner, audio engineer, producer, rapper, DJ and podcast expert. While he is really multi-passionate, his monetized activities all revolve around sound, audio and voice.
We get to hear all about the journey and thought process behind getting into things like rap and podcasting. Both mediums were new to him, but he connected with them immediately. From there he found a way to have both podcasting, and hip hop be things that he does for fun, as a passion, but also as a professional.
So we talked about making hip hop music, and podcast production. Listening to Ryan share his stance on podcasting fundamentals was really valuable. Anyone wanting to start, or re-brand a podcast would benefit from these ideas. One of the sneaky tips that can help a lot was to outsource things you don’t enjoy as soon as possible.
How To Go After That Creative Dream
Ryan shared a bit about improving your audio and how to succeed as a hip hop artist. It was fun hearing about how he got into that medium a little later in life. It was also really helpful to learn about his workflow in that area because people struggle with the question, how do I get started?
Discussion about the mindset it takes to continue to pursue a creative career was really helpful. It’s not just about motivation, or a big why. Setting up systems and habits that improve over time have a huge impact. Values like perspective, patience and persistence go a long way too.
We talked a fair bit about the philosophy of life in general. Particularly around the notion that you can’t get time back. Ryan also brought up a good point that our mindset around time, money and environment is very much related to how we were raised. Overcoming barriers to be able to build wealth of time, and wealth financially is well worth it.
Ryan shared some of his insight into the world of business as well. We learned about the business model he created to help other people start podcasts. It was quite the shift he made, which really came down to shifting his personality at the same time. He shares some insight into role models he looks up to, how he learns and the goals he has for the future.
16 Tips For HipHop Artists And Podcasters
- Always, always, always start with a solid “why”. If you know why you are doing this, you will be less likely to give up.
- Creative success is a lot of work, and a long term commitment. Even if you outsource most elements, there will be times when it feels like too much.
- Build systems and habits that help you enjoy the process and stick to producing and publishing, even in difficult, or busy times.
- Don’t expect pro results with amateur execution. Of course it won’t be perfect at the beginning. But it’s a medium that takes so much time and energy, you might as well be as professional as possible from the beginning and just keep improving.
- Outsource things as soon as possible. Decide the main thing you don’t like doing and hire someone to do that for you as soon as you can. And then outsource the next things asap.
- Focus on your mindset. You must believe your work is having an impact. If you only look at early data you might think it’s not succeeding. But it’s a chicken and egg problem because you have to believe it’s being impactful first.
- Have a positive perspective. Create because you love it. So long as it is having an impact on one person, it is worth it. If one person tunes in and has their life changed, then your show is a success.
- The tools don’t matter. Your workflow will evolve. There are so many great tools from free, all the way to very expensive. But there is no one best recording platform, digital audio workspace, or microphone. Figure out the package that works from you and if something no longer works, try another one.
- Set micro and macro goals to work toward, but don’t worry about the results. It’s quite easy to get into top 10% of creators in the world. Anything beyond that will take a lot of patience, work and falling in love with the actual journey.
- There are many ways to build an audience and all of them can work. For marketing, you can look at what worked for others and copy that. But you truly need to figure out what works for you and then double and triple that.
- There are many ways to monetize, but don’t worry about that at first. It’s the same as business, you need traffic, or in this case an audience and then doors will open to make money. Much like marketing, don’t expect a golden rule, or plan. You have to figure out what works best for you.
- You have business, then you have podcasting, or music and then you have the podcasting, or music business. It all comes down to building leverage in the form of an engaged audience. Once you have, let’s say 1000-10000 downloads per month, depending on the industry, you can then start to approach brands and build partnerships, or create your own products and services to fuel the financial side of getting your art to really take off.
- Join a community that can support you as a creator. Whether it’s a super expensive mastermind, free online group, or a local meetup doesn’t really matter. Collaborating and building community in line with your passion and goals is a game changer. You will learn things much faster, and you will be way less likely to give up.
- Learn everything about your craft. Sure, you will end up outsourcing a lot. But if you’re in podcasting, or hip hop, learn how everything works from concept to creation, to marketing. Because once you know a base level of everything then you will better be able to outsource, and have collaborative conversations.
- Build a team around you. Your support team will evolve and look different. At first, it may be pre-revenue partners, but over time it will scale and grow. Either way, you won’t do it alone. From the beginning focus on the concept “who, not how” when it comes to building your team. Ask, where would you benefit from support and teamwork, and continue to surround yourself with good people who reinforce a culture you want to build.
- Done is better than perfect. That’s the most important thing to remember. We can have all the plans in the world, but if we don’t share our work no one will know about it, and we’ll never gain feedback on how to improve.
“When you are creating most important is the subtraction. Because it’s easy to add. But can you have just the right pieces in the right places?”“If something is done, let it be done. Most people get caught up by not finishing things. Anything you want to make, you have to decide at a point, it’s just done good enough, ship it and move on.”
“Figure out who you are. This is your journey. Other people won’t understand. If you know you are an artist, then be an artist and lean into the core group of people who do get you.”
“Hiring other people is underrated. It should happen way earlier. Whatever the thing is that you hate to do, that’s probably giving you resistance from actually wanting to create, then outsource that, get someone else to do it.”
Ryan R. Sullivan is a rapper, producer, DJ, and podcaster from New Jersey. He is also known by his stage name “SullyBop.” In 2016 he released his first single and since then has cultivated over 3000 amazing fans with 2 EP’s and a full length album.
Music continues to be a huge outlet and part of his life, along with his work as a performer and professional DJ. But the interest in audio has since been extended to include podcasting both on the art, and business side.
In 2018, he launched, BopCast, a podcast interviewing outliers who are breaking the mold of the status quo. Three years later, the podcast has been listened to in 10 countries by thousands of people, had 60+ guests, and sponsored by SodaBeats.com
Ryan is also the founder and CEO of Podcast Principles: a Full Service Digital Podcast Production Company. This is now his full time job and he wakes up grateful everyday to pursue work he loves.
His goal, through art and business is the same. To be able to make somebody’s dream of spreading their voice to the world a reality.