TRANSCRIPT Ep. 306 Kvetch and Kvell – Why We Dislike Fakes ft. Jen Lehner

THE INSPIRATION PLACE PODCAST

Jen Lehner: I’ve picked up a few people from my podcasts who wrote a cold outreach when they list exactly what they can talk about that will benefit my audience. Like, what’s in it for me and my listeners? Not your benefit or your amazing credentials.

Miriam Schulman: Right. We don’t care how amazing you are.

Speaker 2: It’s the Inspiration Place podcast with artist Miriam Schulman. Welcome to the Inspiration Place Podcast, an art world insider podcast for artists by an artist where each week we go behind the scenes to uncover the perspiration and inspiration behind the art. And now your host, Miriam Schulman.

Miriam Schulman: All right. So this is our first segment of Kvetch and Kvell. Or is it Kvell and Kvetch? And I’m joined by my friend and counterpart, the podcast host of the Front Row podcast for entrepreneurs. Well hey there Jen, welcome to the Inspiration Place.

Jen Lehner: Hey Miriam, I am so excited about this conversation.

Miriam Schulman: Me too. Before we get into that, do you know who’s on the cover of AARP this month?

Jen Lehner: Oh my God, please don’t tell me. Like who?

Miriam Schulman: Well, somebody from our generation. That’s right. Exactly.

Jen Lehner: Like Doogie Howser.

Miriam Schulman: Who’s even younger than we are.

Jen Lehner: Who?

Miriam Schulman: Brooke Shields.

Jen Lehner: Yeah. Wow.

Miriam Schulman: Yeah. She looks good. I mean, you know, what I like about her is that she, like, she’s very natural in her aging. Like, you can tell. She’s just kind of aging.

Jen Lehner: She’s had some work.

Miriam Schulman: Yeah, some wrinkles.

Jen Lehner: But I like her. I mean, I like her, I don’t judge. I like her, too. I liked her back in the day, like, uh, she was, I just thought she was the most beautiful person I had ever seen, but, yeah, she’s like a mom, and she’s she—

Miriam Schulman: But no, but here’s the question for you. Did you have bushy eyebrows in the 80s?

Jen Lehner: I mean, I’ve always had I’ve never. I’ve never. Um. Plucked.

Miriam Schulman: So. Really?

Jen Lehner: Yeah. Hmm mm. I wouldn’t say they were bushy, but I did try to brush them up like her, you know?

Miriam Schulman: Yeah, I had very bushy eyebrows, and now they’re very plucked because I’m going down with this aging process, like clawing my way as they drag me into it.

Jen Lehner: Yeah.

Miriam Schulman: I mean, whatever I can do, I’m doing.

Jen Lehner: There was this man on, um, TikTok yesterday. He’s like a doctor. And the title of his TikTok was like, you know, ten things you need to stop doing if you’re 50 or above. And then he was like, don’t get on ladders.

Miriam Schulman: What?

Jen Lehner: Right? And so I went straight to the comments to see if anybody else was kind of offended, like I was. And people were like, dude, you’re at least one decade off. Two, maybe. He’s like, I’m an iron man. Don’t tell me I can’t get on.

Miriam Schulman: Like maybe when I’m in my 70s and I’m on osteoporosis drugs, I’ll stay off a ladder.

Jen Lehner: But so annoying. He was old. I mean, he was. He was probably 70. The doctor, you know, I mean, he had to be about that of that age. Like, don’t lump me in with you, honey. I’m, you know, I got a little ways to go before you tell me to not get on a ladder. Come on.

Miriam Schulman: Totally.

Jen Lehner: Well, look, we’re already Kvetching.

Miriam Schulman: I know. So let’s let’s go to the Kvell, then.

Jen Lehner: You want to start with the Kvell?

Miriam Schulman: I will, I will. I cut out an article weeks ago that I, I’ve never read, but I kind of skimmed it and I liked what I skimmed. And I think you’ll like it, too. Right. Okay. So this is from the Wall Street Journal from April 3rd. You probably already talked about it on your Alexa briefings, but, um, it says ad industry makes AI images less AI-like. But the one thing I skimmed and saw that I loved, that I want everyone to hear. Of course I’m going to have trouble finding it. Um, where is it? Okay, somewhere in here, which I’m not going to be able to find now, is that they said that in order to make it less AI-like, even when they use AI, they actually have to use just as many people as they did before. Does that make sense?

Jen Lehner: You’re saying you’re you’re loving that because it didn’t displace anyone?

Miriam Schulman: Yeah. That’s correct.

Jen Lehner: They could still have a job.

Miriam Schulman: That’s correct.

Jen Lehner: Yes, okay.

Miriam Schulman: That’s correct. So wait, let me see if I can find the exact quote. All right. So in the picture that they show. So our YouTube people will see it. Our podcasters won’t is they show a Dalmatian in the middle of zebras.

Jen Lehner: That’s very cool.

Miriam Schulman: It’s very cool. But in order to come up with that. Right. Okay. Surrealist close up photograph Kodachrome a spotted Dalmatian among a group of zebras. So top production studio tool used AI to make a rendering of animals, but in order to make it look less AI like. Gosh, I’m not finding it. Hold on. And to create that AI look, some marketing companies are working with talent not usually called upon in advertising circles. And then. Where is it that they said they used just as much people? I’m not seeing it now. Okay, I’m just going to read it. Ready? For commercial artists and advertisers, generative AI has the power to massively speed up the creative process, blah blah blah. But there’s a catch many, many images AI models generate feature cartoonish smoothness, telltale flaws or both, and consumers are already turning against that AI look. They don’t like it. So in order to make it look more natural. I’m not going to find it but, um, yeah. Anyway, I’m never going to find it because it’s kind of like asking your dog to do a trick when your friends come over.

Jen Lehner: Well, I have a Kvell.

Miriam Schulman: Good. All right. Go ahead.

Jen Lehner: It’s funny because this is actually very apropos because just the other day, maybe it was yesterday, you said, “I got to get out of here. I need to go. I can’t get work done. I’m distracted. I’m going to a coworking space.”

Miriam Schulman: By the way. It was great. And they had free macaroni and cheese.

Jen Lehner: Well, you texted and said it’s noisy in here.

Miriam Schulman: Oh, it was. It was noisy.

Jen Lehner: So.

Miriam Schulman: But I like the mac and cheese.

Jen Lehner: I mean that’s that sounds pretty good. And the key actually to co-working spaces, which I’m sure you know, is like you put headphones on.

Miriam Schulman: I did put headphones on, but the people on my table were so rude. One was having a call, and then he finally got into a phone booth. And then at the next table, two people were like watching a video together. So I guess I’m still kvetching, but I did get a lot of work done.

Jen Lehner: I mean, we should just skip the Kvells.

Miriam Schulman: Then I like sat up.

Jen Lehner: Let’s just go straight into the Kvetch, because that’s what we really want to do. Come on.

Miriam Schulman: But no, but I got a lot of work done because any time I was going to do something on my laptop, that was not what I decided I was going to the co-working space to do was not allowed. Okay, so it did create that container that anytime I was working it was for my project.

Jen Lehner: That’s good.

Miriam Schulman: Shopping on Fresh Direct.

Jen Lehner: Well, yeah. That’s that, that is good. And playing with your cat. So public library. Hello. I mean, and I’ve done, I have done full-on live streams about the public library, but every time I go to the library, I’m like, I love the library because for so many reasons, personally, um, when I am preparing a presentation, uh, a webinar, you know, they’re usually digital presentations. But funny enough, I really don’t like to plan them out digitally. I want to spread out across the space. So at our library and most libraries, they’ve got these giant work tables, right? Yeah. Same thing. Headphones help. So it just tells people to stay away. I’m not listening to something in the headphones, by the way. I’m just telling people don’t bother me. Airplanes, family, whatever. You got grocery store. I don’t care, but I’m not anti-social that much. And the bigger the headphones, the better because with long hair you can’t really see the, the earbuds. So like having like your podcasting headphones on your head. Very helpful. Anyway, I love that you could spread out also in our life. And I’m like, come on, Miriam in New York you got like the greatest libraries in the world there. And they’re inspiring places because you’re surrounded by books and I love to be inspired. Then, we also have rooms. That, totally free. You can reserve rooms and they’re fantastic. You go into these rooms and literally they’re like, there’s a window, but you face a wall or you’re in one of those like cubby things. So that has sides on, they have sides on it. Um, and the door is behind you. You can lock the doors. You don’t have to worry about somebody coming in, coming in on you. And it’s just turn your phone off. And it is like the most amazing focus chamber. So that’s my that’s my first Kvell.

Jen Lehner: Let’s Kvetch a little. I’m going right into my kvetch. Okay?

Miriam Schulman: Because I’ve already kvetched even though mine don’t count as my kvetch? Okay.

Jen Lehner: Yeah. We don’t have to count them. Um, you still have two. So I was reading an email the other day and I was very much enjoying this email from this guy marketer. I really, honestly don’t even remember who it was. Um, some. I’m subscribed to his newsletter and it was really pretty good. And we get to like paragraph three. And he starts off with how he’s bullish on whatever bullish on AI, bullish on email, bullish on whatever. And I just was like oh yuck. It’s like you’re not you’re not a Wall Street guy. You’re a marketer, you know? And like it just felt very contrived. And I hear people use it outside of outside of the investment world and the financial world, and I just don’t like it. I’m sure it’s just me, but I just think it’s sad. It’s like the same way people are using like a lot of, like neuroscience. You know, a lot of marketers will talk about neuroscience. And I just really I think it’s fine to allude to a study. Of course it is. Right. Like, but for you to just start rapping about, you know, the brain and the frontal lobe and the cortex and the frontal, see I don’t know what I’m talking about. I just think it makes me gag a little bit. I’m just like, don’t. Don’t try to be somebody that you’re not. It’s okay. Marketers are important.

Miriam Schulman: Well you don’t like it because it’s fake.

Jen Lehner: Thank you.

Miriam Schulman: And humans don’t like things that are fake. We don’t. I mean, that’s what that whole article was about with this whole I. People don’t like things that they perceive as fake. I don’t know if you know this. It’s like a Kabbalah concept that we are drawn to things that are authentic and real.

Jen Lehner: I mean, I 100% believe that to be true, but I didn’t know that was a Kabbalah concept.

Miriam Schulman: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

Jen Lehner: Give me a Kvetch.

Miriam Schulman: Okay. So my Kvetch also has to do with emails.

Jen Lehner: Has to do with what?

Miriam Schulman: Emails.

Jen Lehner: Oh okay. Bring it on.

Miriam Schulman: Okay. So all right, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that I get emails literally every single day that my team has to filter out, either asking if they can come on my podcast or if I will participate in their summit. And they always act like they’re doing me such a favor by gracing me with their presence and their invitation. And I think there’s a lot it’s more than just a kvetch. This is a lesson for all the listeners about, like, I’m going to dissect what is wrong with what it is that they’re doing so that you listening can understand what to do instead. Right. Don’t you think that’s like also the point of this is like, absolutely, here we are. Okay. So, first of all, there is the very fake ChatGPT sounding email. Hi. I hope this email finds you well. Now apparently other people told me that they do start emails that way, but I never in my life started an email that way until ChatGPT came out. And it’s like they always tell you to start the emails that way. Have you found that Jen? Did you ever start an email with I hope this email finds you?

Jen Lehner: Yeah. I did. Back in my corporate days, I used to always start my emails like that.

Miriam Schulman: So that’s a corporate thing?

Jen Lehner: I mean, I guess.

Miriam Schulman: Okay. Well. Whenever I see that, I’m like, this sounds so fake.

Jen Lehner: All right. Yeah. I don’t do it anymore just because it’s like, um, it’s unnecessary.

Miriam Schulman: I’m getting emails that start that way from people I don’t know. So then it’s like, what do you mean you hope this email finds you? Me? Well, who are you? So the one that really irritated me, that you already know about was signed by a woman named Liz. No last name. I hope this email.

Jen Lehner: Liz, if you’re listening. Liz, take note.

Miriam Schulman: No, it’s not. So we’re like, what? You know, from her email handle. Like my team went to her website to find out if this is someone I actually know who I. You know, like you’re the only one who can sign their email, Jen. That’s okay.

Jen Lehner: Or if you’re Madonna. If you’re Madonna or Lizzo, one name is fine.

Miriam Schulman: If I don’t know you, don’t sign it with the first name. This is how an email needs to start: “Hi, this is how I know you and this is how you know me.” Okay, so if you don’t know me, it’s like, “Hi, I’ve been following your podcast forever. Whatever.” Okay. Say something. You don’t know me yet and then introduce yourself. This Liz person never introduced herself. Like, just assumed. I don’t know, assumed I knew who she was. I don’t know, how am I supposed to know who she is? There’s no last name there. So then the next thing you need to say. So first thing is need to be like, how? What is your connection with this person? And hopefully you are connected with them before you’re reaching out in some way. And the next thing needs to say what’s in it for them? What’s in it? You know, you’re writing to Miriam Schulman. What’s in it for me? I need to know that first. What’s in it for me? I know that it’d be great for you to come on my podcast and promote you and your art and your tie-dye denim shirts. I know that would be a great opportunity for you. How is this going to help my podcast? How’s this gonna help my listeners, right?

Jen Lehner: I mean, I don’t think you do this. Well, maybe you do, but I’ve picked up a few people from my podcasts, from cold outreach emails like that. When they list exactly what they can talk about that will benefit my audience. So if they give me some really great hooks, like, “I can teach your audience, I can talk about this and this and this,” and it’s never about their journey, right? Like I don’t care about their journey from rags to riches, right? I care about them, you know, telling my listeners how they can go from rags to riches, you know what I mean, or whatever. But the point is, they position it that way. And I have brought some really good guests on the show who wrote a cold outreach, but they were. So you’re exactly right. Like, what’s in it for me and my listeners? Not your benefit or your amazing credentials, right?

Miriam Schulman: We don’t care how amazing you are. So here would be an email that would land it for me. I’m just making this up. “Hi. Hey, Miriam. Um, I don’t think you know who I am. I’m Julie, the founder of whatever. Okay. I’ve been listening to your podcast for a long time, and one thing I don’t hear you talk about is how artists can use Patreon. I’ve been using Patreon, and it’s generated x thousand dollars for me a year. And I’d be happy to come on to your show to share with your listeners how they can use Patreon.” See, that would land with me because I’ve never had somebody come on to the podcast to talk about that. And that was something that would be interesting to my listeners that would get my attention.

Jen Lehner: Love it. Yes, 100% agree.

Miriam Schulman: Yeah. Or there’s also the part two of the kvetching is the summit email the summits you want to.

Jen Lehner: Yeah. Go. Well, since we’re talking about Summits.

Miriam Schulman: No, you Kvetch about it too.

Jen Lehner: No, I’ve got my kvetches.

Miriam Schulman: Okay. Yeah. Well, it’s the same thing. I mean, a lot of my listeners don’t know what summits are. I know your listeners would. I was trying to explain to my team, like, why the only the person who mainly benefits from a summit is the one running it because everyone opts into their email list and I have a huge email list. I have over 20,000 people. So. So Liz is actually she came to me, we’re going to have a summit and we’re requiring everyone to have 3000 people each. I was like, okay, well, I have a huge audience getting in front of your 3000 people. I can run a Facebook ad and get in front of more people than that with like maybe $200 and a lot less work. So, um, yeah. I don’t know. That’s all I have to say about that. I mean.

Jen Lehner: Well, I’ll tell you my thing with summits especially, when my email list wasn’t big, even in the early days, what I started to notice was—so I think what’s really important, if you’re going to invite people on to a summit, is to let them know, again, what’s in it for them. Beyond just like email subscribers.

Miriam Schulman: Beyond being part of the summit. So my example, like if someone came to me with a summit invitation, said, “Hey, you know, Miriam, I know you have a huge audience and I can’t really promise you that. However. I can do this for you. So it would be, um, I know you’re trying to promote your book, and I’m buying 25 copies for my coaching program.”

Jen Lehner: Love that.

Miriam Schulman: You know, tell me what you’re going to do for me. Not that it has to be a tit for tat, right? But. Or maybe you already did do something for me, like I. You know, you may not follow me, but I’ve been, um. I made your book, the book club selection, um, or whatever. My Amazon store, I don’t know, I don’t know what it is, what you did for me or going to do for me, but. Yeah. Did I interrupt you? Yeah, I did.

Jen Lehner: No, no, no. It’s fine. No, that’s a really good point that needed to be made. I was just I was just saying that like, um, early on before I even had a big audience, uh, I made the mistake of going and doing a couple of summits that I was not aligned with in principle. Okay? I didn’t I didn’t know the other guests that this person was going to have on. So there I am on the little marquee that they put all over social media. And I’m next to some people, quite honestly, I just don’t want to be affiliated with. I’m not because they weren’t popular or famous, but because the things they talked about and did just were not in alignment with my own personal values. Yeah. And so and there it was out there in the universe. So I think it’s very important to also let them know who, uh, is going to be there. Maybe there’s, um, you know, big headliners. Maybe that alone is enough for me to join the summit. If I think, hey, you know, it will benefit me to have my name on a marquee next to this big name or whatever. I don’t know, you made the point.

Miriam Schulman: I mean that’s why we did Teresa’s summit.

Jen Lehner: Yes. Amy Porterfield and Mike Hyatt were in it.

Miriam Schulman: And I will tell you how she approached it way differently than everybody else. So first of all, we did have a relationship. So it wasn’t a cold outreach. We had already done a podcast swap, so we had already done that whole thing. Uh, but what she did was she didn’t just send me an email. “Hey, I’m doing a summit. Will you be a part of it?” She said, “hey, Miriam, it’s been a while since I spoke to you. Um, why don’t we catch up? Here’s my 15 minute chat link.” Now, this is only going to work if you have a relationship with somebody. If you’re cold outreaching, that is definitely the wrong approach, right? But what she did was she made me feel that she cared about me as a person before going to what I could do for her.

Jen Lehner: And she legitimately—same here. And we are friends too. And it was a it was like a really nice catch up because we haven’t spoken in a while. Right. That’s right. So it wasn’t you know. Yes. She had an agenda. But it’s okay. Like we get it. You know, it was fine.

Alright, here’s my other Kvetch. We gotta talk about Mr. Jay Shetty. So I never was a follower of his, but I do now that I’ve been researching after hearing the news, I, um, I can see why people would follow him. He’s charismatic. He’s quite easy on the eyes. He’s got that cute accent, which, of course, we Americans give so much credence to. It’s like you’re automatically we. We legitimize you if you’ve got that nice, cute accent. But, um. Yeah. So for those of you who don’t know, there was a journalist who was asked to do a piece for Esquire magazine. And they wanted him to do a piece on Jay Shetty. They thought it was going to be more of a fluff piece. But this particular journalist, when he started researching, found so many anonymous anomalies that he was like, huh, this is weird. Um, I’m finding things that. And he said that. The author said, “I heard him on a podcast. He was like, these things were just out there for anybody to find. So he’s like, I don’t know why. You know, I’m the one that ended up, you know, really bringing this to the forefront.” But in short, it was discovered that there are many things about Jay Shetty that show that he has been untruthful about his credentials and so forth. For example, his $7,000 program that gives you a credential, I guess, by going through it as a life coach or something like that.

He had on his sales page that he was affiliated with a couple of very prestigious universities. I don’t remember or organizations. I don’t remember exactly what they were, but let’s say like one was the London School of Economics or something. Something like that. Turns out journalist reaches out to both the institutions. They’re like, we have no idea who this guy is. We are not affiliated with him in any way. And that has since come down off of his sales page. And his origin story is way, way off. You know, he said he spent three years at an ashram in India. He did spend three years in an ashram, but it was like in California, I think, and he was Hari Krishna, but he completely left that out. Nothing against Hari Krishna. I’m just saying he deliberately did leave that out and um, and then finally loads and loads of reports of plagiarism and so forth. So yeah, that’s my kvetch because, you know, we put these people up on pedestals and, um, you know, even Facebook uses him as brings him on stage. They won’t now, but they bring him out on stage as like the golden boy who used Facebook ads to, you know, blow up his business. But he actually was so interesting. He, he got the word out about his business and himself. Through the religious sect that he was a part of because he was like a leader within that harekrishna group or whatever. So he kind of put it out there for them to blow it up, you know? And there were a lot of young people, I think, like so anyway, I.

Miriam Schulman: I have so much to say about this. Like I’m dying.

Jen Lehner: It’s just a bummer. All right, well, go. I’m done. That’s it.

Miriam Schulman: All right. So first of all, when he came out with that book, um, I was like, well, that’s really weird that somebody would give him a book because the last I had heard of him before that, our good friend Patti Lennon had pulled to my attention that he was getting called out by YouTubers about how he would, like, go on to whatever it was Instagram, YouTube. I don’t remember what where he was then, that we didn’t have TikTok then and he would like, say a Mark Twain quote, but pretend he wrote it type of thing. Like so he was doing like plagiarism.

Jen Lehner: And Maya Angelou. Or no, that was—Sorry. Rachel Peterson. I mean Rachel Hollis.

Miriam Schulman: Way back, he was doing plagiarism. So I was so surprised that a publisher would publish him because I was like, okay, I guess you can get away with plagiarism now. That’s what my thought was when I saw him up there. And by the way, I don’t know if I ever told you this. My mother’s brother, my uncle, he was Hare Krishna and he was the Hare Krishna in the movie “Hannah and Her Sisters.” Did you ever see that movie?

Jen Lehner: Oh, God. Ages ago.

 

Miriam Schulman: Yeah. So Woody Allen’s like going to search and find himself and he like speaks to the Hare Krishna and it’s my uncle playing himself.

Jen Lehner: No way. Now I’m going to watch it.

Miriam Schulman: Yeah. So I went to see the movie in high school with my girlfriends, and I knew that it was my uncle, and I was trying to tell them it was my uncle and my friends. Like Miriam. We know that you’re upset that your uncle’s Harikrishna. But that’s not your uncle. I was like, I was like, no, actually it is, it really is. You know, it is him. You know.

Jen Lehner: I did see that movie. It was so long ago. So I’m, I’m going to watch it again. That’s wild. I mean, but here’s the thing we also should say, because, you know, he still has a huge following and. And I don’t think it’s going to be like a Rachel Hollis situation where, like, overnight, he’s canceled.

Miriam Schulman: I mean he wasn’t canceled back then. That’s why I was like, nothing happened. He’s still here. He got away with that.

Jen Lehner: So I think eventually the numbers will dwindle because people just don’t like being taken for a sucker, right? But I will say that if whoever’s listening is a Jay Shetty follower and has been helped by any of his teachings or whatever, I think that’s great. You know, just because all of this is true, it can also be true that he has shared things of value with people. You know what I mean? So no judgment at all.

Miriam Schulman: No, we can judge. You don’t take credit for other people’s stuff.

Jen Lehner: I mean, we can judge a little. I know I am judging, I’m judging. I’m judging him. But no judgment on them, right, for being inspired by him or growing, you know, being able to grow in an area they weren’t able to grow in before because both things can be true. He can be a fraud, but he can also share things that have value and help people. So I don’t think he’ll… and also, look at our attention span anymore. Look at some of the really, truly horrible things people have done. They just bounce back like nothing ever happened, and they’re rich again, and they’ve got huge followings. It’s really weird. Okay, I’ve got a Kvell.

Miriam Schulman: Okay. But I’m not we’re not done talking about Jay.

Jen Lehner: Okay, there’s more.

Miriam Schulman: I just want to add my, like, commentary. So he’s basically like the Jorge Santos of the influence world.

Jen Lehner: No, he’s not that bad. I mean, come on. George Santos is the worst. No, Jay Shetty is not. I mean, he was so because here’s the thing: he wasn’t at an ashram in India for three years, but he was at an ashram, okay? He was like, so…

Miriam Schulman: Like kind of like if George Santos claimed to have played volleyball, even though he didn’t. Is that what you’re saying? Like…

Jen Lehner: No, no. Right. George Santos’ stories were completely fabricated out of thin air and were so fantastical and absurd, like, ridiculous that it’s jaw dropping. He would craft things completely out of thin air, you know? It wasn’t like hyperbole. That’s what I’m trying to say. I think Jay Shetty’s was lots of exaggeration and self-aggrandizement, but it was based on, you know, there was a kernel of truth. George Santos was a complete lie, a complete imposter, really complete. Oh my God, that’s a whole another show. That guy, you know, there’s got to be a movie coming out about him. And I hope they get someone really good to play him.

Miriam Schulman: I remember when we were in Las Vegas and one of the speakers, you were like, um, this person should have imposter syndrome. It was like…

Jen Lehner: Wait, what were they doing? Was it a man or a woman?

Miriam Schulman: I don’t remember, I don’t remember. It doesn’t matter. It’s like you just felt like they had no right to be talking about what they were talking about. It was like…

Jen Lehner: I wish I remembered who that was, but that does sound like something I would say.

Miriam Schulman: Not that I’m mean but you know.

Jen Lehner: Okay. So my other Kvell is stickermule.com. So, stickermule.com. If you get on their email list, they’ll send you deals. Like, I’m on their website right now and I’m clicking on the deals, and you could get 50 circle stickers for $19. Normally, that would be $68. But here’s the thing about Sticker Mule: they are so high quality. You can get vinyl stickers that adhere to anything. Sometimes I’ll buy, like, Yeti tumblers or coffee mugs and then I’ll get my logo sticker and put them on there. They will never come off. They don’t come up in the washing machine. They’re like vinyl stickers.

That’s cool. I had a one-on-one with a client recently who has this great book, but when she wrote the book, I mean, it’s a self-published book. And she’s a personal stylist. It’s a great little book, but when she published it, she wasn’t thinking about promoting her website or putting links to anything. She kind of forgot. So she’s going to run another 100 books to get published because we have a whole new way that she’s going to use the books for business.

And she’s going to order from Sticker Mule everything she wants to say. She’ll probably have like a QR code on there and her logo and her link to her website and all of that, and stick it smack in the inside cover. There are a million things you can do with these stickers. I just love them.

Miriam Schulman: Let’s talk about a few things other than this for my artists listening other than you selling them, we’re not telling you to sell stickers for $4, so don’t miss. That’s not a business model.

Jen Lehner: Thank you.

Miriam Schulman: It’s like, okay, so some things that I’ve used stickers for in the past and you don’t need vinyl ones to do this, but I always, whenever I packaged up my prints or my original art, I liked to get custom fragile art stickers where I would create it myself to match my aesthetic. So the fragile and the do not bend stickers were the two I would stick on my packaging. They matched each other and matched my branding, making it look really sexy and cool. How else do you use them?

Jen Lehner: Um, I have used them for the podcast. Like I’ve gotten my podcast logo on stickers, and then just including them in any kind of snail mail that I send out.

Miriam Schulman: I like putting them, like putting them on water bottles and things like that. That’s a good idea, too.

Jen Lehner: They are that they are that high quality. And then, you know, the Alf seal envelopes with them. Um, whenever I have a new client, I have a few different kinds of stickers. Oh, and you can get dye cut stickers as well. Those are really. Uh, really great. So I love that.

Miriam Schulman: I’m decorating my laptop with stickers and also my planner with stickers.

Jen Lehner: Oh that’s cute. My last several laptops have been just completely collaged with stickers. And then I realized, I’m 55 years old and I look like I’m 19 with this laptop covered in stickers.

Miriam Schulman: No, I love stickers. Let’s let’s embrace our inner middle schooler.

Jen Lehner: I mean—

Miriam Schulman: Not just the mean girl side that we’ve been bringing out today.

Jen Lehner: We’ve been a little bit mean girl today and a little hopefully we don’t get canceled. Speaking of cancellation.

Miriam Schulman: All right. I have another kvetch, but should I go to Kvell or should we end with Kvell?

Jen Lehner: Yeah, let’s cleanse our palate with another Kvell?

Miriam Schulman: Another Kvell? I don’t think I need to do the second kvetch. I’ll say the second kvetch for a different podcast episode. We’ll do this again. Okay, so my Cavell is I want to talk about the pods that I introduced to my Artist Incubator membership site. Did I tell you about that?

Jen Lehner: Yes. Oh, yes, because you told me about it. But I need to hear it again because I’m going to copy it. I think it’s such a good idea.

Miriam Schulman: No, you should definitely copy it. And anyone who has a membership site should definitely copy this. And this is just so anyone who’s not in my membership site, I’ll tell you the purpose why I did this. And this is so I have a membership site because I know I’m talking to Jen’s audience, too. I have a membership site for artists. There are about 140 people in there, and they get me twice a month. I have a Facebook group, but they really don’t have a good way to talk to each other. We did have accountability buddies, but it’s hard for accountability buddies because you get matched up, and sometimes your accountability buddy just kind of peters out for whatever reason. And Jen, you know how it is. Whenever we’ve tried to do some sort of peer support group, the hardest part is getting a group of people to commit to the same time every week and sending the reminders.

I knew that my people would really benefit from having that kind of accountability and being able to talk to each other. So what I did was I bought an extra Zoom link. This legitimately only cost me $16 a month. That’s the only real cost this whole thing has had. Then, I have an Acuity account already. I use Acuity to schedule my one-on-ones. What I did was create a second calendar on Acuity and set up classes. So, for example, every Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET, this pod is going to meet. We gave the link to the people in the incubator, for them to choose whatever time slot works best for them.

What was beautiful about this is that we took care of the hardest part for them. They decide what time works best for them, and they’re committed to that for the rest of the year. If they signed up for 11 a.m. on Tuesday, then that’s their time slot. We send out reminders to everyone in their pod every week, so they get the reminders and the Zoom link. We even put together a Google doc with a suggested structure for how to run it. Do you have any questions so far? I don’t want to be luxury about this.

Jen Lehner: No, no, no, I’m following.

Miriam Schulman: Okay. Uh, and the other thing that we did was I forgot what I wanted to say. Okay. So the very first week that we had it, I did have Anna, my assistant, pop in at the beginning of each of the pods, and we’re not going to do it after the first week. And she says, hey, these are the people who are in your pod. And we suggested they elect a team captain that they can rotate. Let us know who it is. If the people in the pod, they can’t make it, they let the team captain know, not us. So there really are self-managed pods.

Jen Lehner: I love that and how’s it going so far?

Miriam Schulman: They love it and we’re getting so many emails. Thank you so much for setting this up. This is awesome. I love the people in my pod. Um, yeah, I’m excited to see where this is going to go. So we’ve only had the first full week, and then we’re figuring out how we’re going to open up more pods after the next enrollment period. So I love it.

Jen Lehner: It’s because it speaks to so many pain points on both sides. Um, you know, it’s hard to scale yourself. People want more of you, but there’s only one Miriam, you know, and so but people want more human time and. Yeah, you know, and so this allows you to provide more of that without it really costing you any more time and effort. Um, I mean, $16 a month is a small price to pay to be able to facilitate such a valuable thing.

Miriam Schulman: Yeah, yeah. And then we have the pods. There are five people in a pod. Almost all of them are filled. I think there’s one pod that has three people in it and another that has three people in it. So, you know, when our next enrollment period comes, I’m sure those will fill up and we’ll start new ones, too.

Jen Lehner: In the next enrollment period, would you maybe do like a scramble so that people could then, uh, give people the option to change pods?

Miriam Schulman: You know, I don’t want to do that because I’m worried about people not being able to get into a pod that works for them. So the way I set up this initial go-round is I actually put a poll inside my Facebook group and I said, okay, you know, vote for, you know, how polls work. So just like you can check off all the times that you could do, um, not committed, but could do. And then what I did was I took all that data and I dumped it into ChatGPT. And I said, you know, Tuesday at 11 a.m., these 11 people can make it. Wednesday at 11 a.m., these are the 14 people who can make it. And there was some overlap. Right. And I put it all into ChatGPT and I said, distribute everybody into a pod. Only one pod per week. And make sure that there’s at least two people in a pod. Like nobody should be by themselves, no more than five people. So I gave ChatGPT all the rules. And that’s what ChatGPT is best at following. Like at first I started doing it by myself and I was like, wait, this is dumb.

This is exactly what the robots are for. So, right. And then it spit out the assignments. So then what I did, uh, was let’s say they said, well, these five, you know, the way you would distribute the best is these five people here, these five people there, these five people on this other date. So what we did was we reached out to each person on a Monday and said, hey, you have priority registration for Tuesdays at 11. Here’s the link. And that link we initially gave them was only for that time. I said, if you don’t have to commit to this, we will be opening more up on Wednesday. That’s when we’re opening registration for all of them. But this is your best shot of getting a time that works for you. So then a lot of them were already kind of populated. And then on that Wednesday, we sent the generic link to everyone in the incubator, but it really helped distribute it so that people weren’t stuck where they were shut out of the only time that they could do.

Jen Lehner: Are you giving them, um, cues or prompts, rather, um, to talk about in their pods?

Miriam Schulman: Yeah. So what they get in their reminder emails through Acuity, it always links to a Google doc, and in the Google doc it has best practices and prompts that they can use. They don’t have to follow the prompts because, you know, they can decide, you know what, every week we’re going to do whatever. It’s up to them.

Jen Lehner: But that way, in case it is awkward and there’s crickets or everybody’s kind of fumbling, you know, it provides some structure. I love that. That’s right. Can you give me an example of a prompt? Does anything come to mind?

Miriam Schulman: Oh, sure. You know, I’ll just, um, I’m gonna just pull up my Google doc and tell you exactly what’s in it. I mean, basically I modeled it after what I do inside my Inner Circle. So it’s kind of like a DIY Inner Circle for them. Okay. So first of all, we give them at your first pod meeting. We tell them, elect a captain, designate a time keeper and make sure everyone introduces themselves. And then we have, um, responsibilities for the pod captain. And responsibilities for the member. If you can’t make a meeting, contact your pod captain. All right, so what we have is share top three wins for the week. Share their challenges and roadblocks. Um, everybody, like mind meld to help them. Solve their problems and then commit to what they’re going to be doing before their next meeting. And then we give them apps to help them, like Fathom or the timer app we links to how to set that up.

Jen Lehner: Love that.

Miriam Schulman: So hair flip.

Jen Lehner: Yeah, that’s pretty cool. That’s that’s really, really good. We could have made just that, like the podcast episode.

Miriam Schulman: You know, we totally could have. So that’s. Well, now they’ll listen to us again because they know we’re giving them value instead of just complaining the whole time. Yeah.

Jen Lehner: That’s right. We also did not define Kvetch and Kvell.

Miriam Schulman: No we didn’t. I thought about that at the beginning. So it’s kind of like if you get it, you get it. But now if you didn’t get it, we will define it for you. So these are Yiddish words. Do you know what they mean? I just kind of know. You know how, like, sometimes you know what a word means, but you don’t know what the definition is.

Jen Lehner: Yeah, I don’t I don’t know the exact definition. I don’t either.

Miriam Schulman: Okay. Ask ChatGPT.

Jen Lehner: Well, we could definitely do that. But we can we can deduce. Kvetch, is you know, your complaining. And Kvell, is you know, kvelling. Way to define the word. You know, you’re gushing. You’re like, you love something, so you kvell.

Miriam Schulman: Okay, so the nice thing about Yiddish is that it very much is like onomatopoeia. It like the words do sound what they mean. Yeah. Okay. Kvell is a Yiddish terms expressing great pride and joy, often used regarding the accomplishments or happiness of a family member or loved one, of course. But we’re are we using it for loved ones or ourselves? What was your Kvell? No, your Kvell was about the public library.

Jen Lehner: Yeah. And tickers.

Miriam Schulman: And stickers.

Jen Lehner: It works, I think. Kvetch.

Miriam Schulman: Okay. Kvetch. Kvetch is a Yiddish word meaning to complain or gripe about something in a chronic, whining manner.

Jen Lehner: Well, we also accomplished that.

Miriam Schulman: We definitely did.

Jen Lehner: Look, we could do a whole show with just kvetching, right. Like, but but Miriam and I figured, like, no, you know, we can’t like, no one wants to just hear 100% negativity. So we hope that, um, we hope everyone—

Miriam Schulman: They will let us know what they think. So okay, you can Kvetch and Kvell about the show. You can. Here’s how you can do it. You can either. If you’re listening to this on one of our websites, there’s a comment section underneath. You can DM us over on Instagram. I’m at Schulman Art, S-C-H-U-L-M-A-N-A-R-T and Jen, what is your handle on on Instagram?

Jen Lehner: J-E-N underscore L-E-H-N-E-R.

Miriam Schulman: Yeah. Or, uh, you can leave a review of the podcast.

Jen Lehner: Only if it’s 5 stars, yes, thank you.

Miriam Schulman: No, they can leave an honest negative review.

Jen Lehner: On Miriam’s podcast.

Miriam Schulman: It’s fine. Then we’ll complain about them later. It’s like the risk they take. That’s right. You’ll be on the next show. All right, my friends, thank you so much for being with me here today. We’ll see you the same time, same place next week. Until then, stay inspired.

Jen Lehner: Thank you. Bye.

Speaker 2: Thank you for listening to The Inspiration Place podcast. Connect with us on Facebook at facebook.com/schulmanart, on Instagram @schulmanart and of course, on SchulmanArt.com.

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