How I Built It - Case Studies & Coaching for Creators and Solopreneurs

It was Christmas Eve, and I was waiting in line for bagels.
As someone who grew up in New York now living close to Philly, I’m admittedly a snob about the quality of the bagels I eat. But there’s a bagel shop not 5 minutes from my house that makes the best bagels I’ve ever had outside of NY/NJ.
And they offer preorders for Christmas Eve. It’s become a bit of a tradition in our house to get those bagels and do a Christmas Eve brunch.
They also have a select stock for people on a first come first serve basis. People who preorder can buy from this stock. The many preorders combined with the select stock creates a long line. After-all, these bagels are superb.
So we waited.
And during that wait, there were some people who complained about the wait1.
But no one left the line or cancelled their order. After all, if all they wanted was bagels, they could have gone to the grocery store a few doors down and buy bagels immediately.
But those are not even good bagels. And we wanted great bagels.
See, there’s a dirty little secret that no one wants to hear these days:
Great things require time. And they’re worth the wait.

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What is How I Built It - Case Studies & Coaching for Creators and Solopreneurs ?

This one's for all the busy solopreneurs who can't spend more time on their business. Each week, host Joe Casabona talks about how you can build a better business through smarter processes, time management, and effective content creation. He does this by bringing on expert guests, and sharing his own experience from 20+ as a solopreneur. With every episode, you'll get insights, great stories, and 1-3 actions you can take today to build a better business.

 It was Christmas Eve and I was waiting in line for bagels. As someone who grew up in New York, now living in Philly or close to Philly, I'm admittedly a snob about the quality of the bagels I eat. I am one of those people who would say it's in the water like the Hudson River had better water than the rest of the country.

That said, there is a bagel shop not five minutes from my house that makes the best bagels I've ever had outside of New York and New Jersey. And they offer pre-orders for Christmas Eve. It's become a bit of a tradition in our house to get those bagels and do a Christmas Eve brunch. They also have a select stock for people on a first come first serve basis, and people who pre-order can also buy from this stock.

That many pre-orders combined with the select stock creates a long line. After all, these bagels are superb. So, we waited. And during that wait, there were some people who complained about the weight, but no one left the line or canceled their order. After all, if they wanted bagels, if all they wanted was bagels, they could have gone to the grocery store just a few doors down and buy bagels immediately. But those are not even good bagels, and we wanted great bagels.

See? There's a dirty little secret that no one wants to hear these days. Great things require time. That's what I want to talk to you about today.

Hey, everybody. And welcome to How I Built It, the podcast that helps busy solopreneurs and creators grow their businesses without spending too much time on it. I'm your host, Joe Casabona. And each week, I bring you interviews and case studies on how to build a better business through smarter processes, time management, and effective content creation. It's like getting free coaching calls from successful solopreneurs.

By the end of each episode, you'll have 1-3 takeaways you can implement today to stop spending time in your business and more time on your business, or with your friends, your family, reading, or however you choose to spend your free time.

All right. So I am excited to talk to you about this topic. If you are listening to this, you might have noticed it came out a day late, of course, after the first day, it doesn't matter, but I think I wanna highlight this because it really lends to the point I'm trying to make today.

I was away at a conference last week and instead of rushing to get something out for today, I wanted to spend a little extra time on it, get this script right, get the editing right, and put out something better. So it required time, but it was worth the wait. So what does this have to do with podcasting or content creation in general? I think we see a lot of things today that tell us we don't need to spend a lot of time creating content or doing something good.

So, last week I was in Orlando for PodFest and whenever I'm in Orlando, I have to take advantage of going to Disney World. My brother works there. it's like my happy place. And of course, I'm a huge Star Wars fan. One of the routinely panned lines in the first Star Wars movie is when Hans Solo claims he did the Kessel run in less than 12 Parsec. To most people, it seemed like a parsec was some in universe way of measuring time, but a parsec is actually a real-world way to measure large distances. In other words, bragging that you did the Kessel run in less than 1Parsec 2 is like saying, I traveled from New York to California in less than 2000 miles. You can't. It's physically impossible. There are 2,500+ miles between New York and California, but the shortcut sounds impressive. There are plenty of coaches, gurus, and influencers who are trying to sell you the ability to do the impossible shortcut because it sounds impressive. And Therefore, it's going to be an easier sell.

Let's look at an example of this. Writing a book. I was reviewing the many podcasts in my podcast feed when I came across an episode about how to write a book in seven days with AI. And there is a lot of content like this. I came across another article on Medium about how to write a book in three days with AI.. My immediate reaction to this content is always, “Yeah. It'll be a book that no one will read.”

My feelings about using AI to write just about anything are well documented. I'm not a fan. I've talked about it on LinkedIn and other social networks. I've talked about it here. I've debated my friend Alastair McDermott on his podcast. It's a hill I will die on. I've even equated it to using a car to run a marathon.

The problem with the very premise of writing a book in a week at all is that anyone who's written a book know that this is BS. To write a book, you can't just say, I'm gonna write a bunch of words and put them together. You need a good premise, an outline. You need to flesh out that outline more fully before you start writing. You need lots of research to support your claims. You need case studies, especially if it's a nonfiction. This will help you kind of book. You need personal stories to support your claims. You can't just say this is a thing that I believe and then not back that up.

Podcast swaps will grow your podcast. If I just say that, no one will believe me. I need personal stories and I need case studies, and I need data.

If you're writing a fiction book, you need character development. Heck, even if you're not writing a fiction book, you need character development, right? You need a story arc where the reader is the hero.

After you have all that, then you can start writing each chapter. You need an editor to review for grammar, clarity and accuracy. Not to call out specific authors, but 100 million offers by Alex Hormozi might have great advice and it's a nightmare to read. There are so many grammatical errors, and maybe it doesn't matter to most people, but that immediately cut against his credibility for me. This guy's teaching me how to make nine figures, and he couldn't be bothered to hire an editor for a thousand bucks to read this book and proof it a little bit.

After that, you need a round of rewrites for the editing. Then another round of edits. And that's just to get a manuscript that you can put into production. And again, this is if you want people to read your book. And yeah, maybe if you're famous like Hormozi or Joe Rogan or whoever, maybe you don't need to do all this, but the vast majority of us are not those people. And so we need to put actual effort into what we're doing.

It's taken me longer than a week to write articles. In fact, I wrote an article for that was published last week that is over 5,000 words, and it took me eight days from when I started to when I said it was ready for review from my editor. From my editor, took me eight days. Anyone who is telling you a shortcut to writing a book has never written a book worth reading.

You know what? They've probably never written a book, period. And I know, I've written five books. You have people who are saying, I'm gonna write eight books this year. They're not putting any real effort into writing their books. They are claiming to do the Kessel run in less than 12 parsec. So what's my point in all this? Well, let's get into that after a break from our sponsors.

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Hey, there. One of my goals in life is to help busy solopreneurs and creators like yourself win back your time and spend less time in your business. It took three kids and a global pandemic for me to understand the power of using my time wisely. And I wanna make sure that you don't need to go through the same thing I went through. That's why I want to tell you about my membership. If you want more insights into how creators build their businesses, more automation tutorials and templates, and even more great content, you should become a member. You'll get ad free extended versions of this podcast, access to My Automations Library, my Friday members-only newsletter called the Automated Solopreneur, Livestream Archives, and more. All of that for less than two cups of coffee from Starbucks.

So if you want to win back your time and get even more insights into how creators build their business, head on over to [] and sign up today. You won't regret it.

My point in all of this is you need to spend time on the important stuff. All of these examples illustrate the same thing. People are trying to take shortcuts for things that will and should take time. They want the best bagels without waiting for them. They want to get to a destination without traveling the distance. They want to write a book without putting the proper effort to write the book. And the key word there is effort. These shortcuts make it seem like you can do great things with minimal effort, but here's a nice cold bucket of water for you. That's not going to happen.

People take the same approach with podcasting. They wanna take shortcuts on research, the script, the edit, and the content because it's easier, but these are the things you need to spend the time on.

Listeners don't want to hear the raw interview. That's a thing lazy podcasters tell themselves. And if we look outside of podcasting, the same thing goes for writing or videos or artwork or whatever. The stuff that stands out is the stuff that took time.

There was a guy a few years ago who took a picture of himself every day for a number of years, and he put that collage together. It showed him growing up. You can't rush that. You can't take 365 pictures in one day and say, I got it. You actually have to live each day and take a picture.

Walt Disney would spend years on movies, making sure the script was right and the animation was right, and everything looked good. But people don't want to do that these days. They want to rush content out the door. And I think it's because we've been trained by the internet. Buy two day delivery, buy a whole bunch of other stuff that we can get things instantly and we can do things instantly, but the best stuff still takes time. And you can tell the difference. You can tell the difference between a YouTube video where someone just turned on a camera and talked and turned it off and uploaded it versus something like what M-K-B-H-D or Mr. Beast does where they put a ton of time and effort into their videos and it pays off.

Spending time, crafting the story, doing research to support your claims, finding the right stories to drive your point home, or extract great answers from your guests, editing with care, these are the stuff that turn content from okay to great. It's what separates a song like Love Story by Taylor Swift from a song like Friday by whoever wrote that song for Rebecca Black.

But that doesn't mean you need to do everything manually. You can still save time, you can still leverage the shortcuts. After all, if you wanna go to California from New York, you can walk, drive, or fly. You still have to do the full distance, but each of those will get you there in different amounts of time.

Save time in other parts of your process. Use AI instead of actually writing the content to help you come up with ideas that you may not have thought of. But again, don't use AI to write the script or the questions. Don't skimp on guest research. Instead, make booking and scheduling easier. That way you send your guest one link and you can spend the rest of that back-and-forth time on research.

Don't release the raw interview. Use Descript to edit through text. Or even better hire an editor.

Use social media software. Leverage AI to create the initial social media assets for sharing. Tools like Cast Magic will at least pinpoint some areas that you could highlight even if you don't use exactly what they give you. You have 10 timestamped quotes to use. Maybe there was something better than the AI prompts you to think about.

If you want to create a great podcast or YouTube video or article or book, you need to spend time on the tasks worth spending time on. The ones that will lead you to create great content. If you wanna write a book, you need to spend weeks, likely months crafting something that's worth reading, and that is the only way it will be great.

After all, if AI can write a book for you, what's the benefit of hiring you over AI? If all you're doing is having a raw conversation, what's the benefit of listening to your podcast over the thousands of other podcasts If all you're doing is turning the camera on talking at it for a while, and uploading it to YouTube? What's the benefit of watching your video over someone else's video?

These are the things that you need to consider. Yes, 80% is good enough most of the time, but you make standout content, you make standout anything when you get it to 100%. And cheating by using AI or some other tool is never going to get you to a hundred percent.

Thanks so much for listening to this podcast. I hope you enjoyed it. If you do, let me know. I wanna do more solo episodes this year because I want to create great content. And writing out the script and allowing me to tell a better story helps me do that. And the shortcut, there is that I'm not scripting with another guest or doing raw interviews with guests and then creating documentary-style episodes. That's something that I can't do right now. So, I'm taking the shortcuts I need to take to create great content. And I'd love to hear what you think about that.

Now, all of these thoughts kind of came to me over the time between Christmas Eve. Last week when I was at the conference, this was like, this topic was a long time brewing for me, and in the Pro Show for members, I do want to talk a little bit about my conference-going process and some things I've been thinking about there.

So, if you do want to hear that as well as some more things I'm trying, a conference focus mode, and how I'm finding inspiration, you can become a member over at [howibuiltstudy/join]. if you're listening right in Apple Podcasts, you can subscribe right in Apple Podcasts. It's very easy for you to do that. You'll get ad-free extended episodes and bonus episodes as well as a weekly newsletter.

So again, that's over at [howibuiltstudy/join]. Today I'll be talking about going to conferences, my plan, my approach, and how I still manage to find some inspiration there.

But that's it for this episode. Thanks so much for listening. I really appreciate it. There will be a written-to-be-read article of what you heard today over at I'll link that in the description, but thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thanks to our sponsors. And until next time. Get out there and build something.