Welcome to “8 Questions With…..”
Dennis Sumlin is a special and unique person. He reminds me a little of that lawyer from Hell’s Kitchen. Dennis may be blind in many respects he sees much more then the sighted world.
Dennis is the owner and operator of the podcast “Core Confidence Life” and is in fact based in New York City. Through his podcast and being a certified life coach,Dennis can see where a lot of us men lack positive esteem,goals in life and maybe even tunnel vision where we can’t see the world around us.
It would have been easy for Dennis to let life push him where it wanted but the desire to be more and help others allowed him to push back and set his own terms for living.
I got to listen to a few of Dennis’s podcasts and let me tell you,they are outstanding. His easy going yet edgy swagger puts his guests at ease and encourages them to share their stories without any fear. The man is a born storyteller and his desire to help men see what their true potential could be,well its pretty heroic if you ask me.
But for now,let’s go ask Dennis his 8 Questions…….
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about yourself.
I have also been a podcaster for over 15 years. My main podcast, Core Confidence Life is a men’s development program. This show reflects my desire to help fellow men work through lack of confidence and low self-esteem feel more self-assured, aware, independent and purposeful.
I have always been the entrepreneurial type. I was adopted as an infant and did not know my birth family until I became an adult. I also grew up with a visual impairment. While none of those things mattered to me, other people allowed their stigmas to shape how they saw me. This taught me that I have to stand up for myself and do things for myself since others are too caught up with their own agendas.
My life’s work is to provide a safe space for people, and help them break out of old ideas and to claim and use their natural, personal, creator given, soul power.
What is a podcast exactly?
A podcast is an audio show, much like you would hear on the radio, only it is online and often is delivered to you through technology companies such as Apple. Most podcasters are people with an interest, love, or expertise in a particular area. Business, politics, true crime, religion, and everything in between can be found in the podcast world.
The name “podcast” comes from the word “Ipod”, which is how people use to listen to these shows. The term was first created in February 2004. Now you can hear podcasts from many different devices such as Alexa. Many different companies carry podcasts, and you do not necessarily have to have it on Apple, but Apple still dominates the market with 70% of people using it to listen to them. Some podcasts are also video. Whether audio or video, you can find people posting their podcasts everywhere. Many podcasts end up on YouTube.
What led you to starting your own podcast? What hurdles did you face and how did you overcome them?
In a sense, I was always a podcaster, before the name really caught on. Starting from when I was 11 years old, I use to make improvisational comedy skits and record them on cassette tape. I did all the voices. I use to let friends and family listen to these skit tapes.
I always had a thing for recordings, and other related things like mics. I loved being on stage and speaking to audiences.
In my early 20s, my interest and love for music, and my interest in politics and current events drove me to create shows around them. I first used telephone chatlines to make my show available, but my very first online talk show was posted in the summer of 2004, quickly followed by a pop music show in 2005.
Since then, I have had a few live internet shows as well as podcasts. When I moved into Life Coaching, podcasts were big, and I had years behind the mic. The challenge was turning my podcasting hobby into a money maker.
What kind of equipment does one need? Does it cost a lot to start one?
It does not cost that much to start a podcast. There are a few ways you can approach it. You can use your computer or smartphone, a good mic, and some free software, and you are set.
Many modern phones come with a decent mic. Free software is easy to find, but Audacity is a very common free software to record and edit your show. Getting your show onto Apple is also free. You would just need some server space to store your show. Many companies like Podbean and Ankor offer free podcast server accounts.
You could also invest a few dollars to get the best sound possible. Getting a Blue Snowball or ATR mic is less than $80 and will give you top notch sound quality. For sound editors, many people like Adobe Audition. Personally, I use GoldWave for most of my sound editing needs. The choices never end.
The rest would be based on what you want for your show. What topics would you want to cover, who you want to appeal to and so on. There is some technical stuff that you would need to do if you want to get your show on the different podcatchers, and there is also the question of editing your shows. You can choose to learn these things on your own as there are tuns of instructional sources, or you can hire somebody to do some of the editing and technical management for you. My company, Core Confidence Life does provide podcast editing and related services.
Is it better to have a specific topic or be a more well rounded show?
What kind of audience is your showing amining for?
You can have a podcast on any topic. I do think its best to have a particular topic or set of related topics you speak about, but some people would enjoy a broad, anything can happen kind of show. In 2008, I had a live internet show that did just that. I spoke about everything from pop music chart reviews, to politics, to sex, to humor and so on. Every style has an audience.
It is fairly common for somebody to have more than one podcast. I have more than one show, but it is the Men’s Development show that I consider as my main podcast. I still have the pop music show from 2005.
The most popular topics are politics, business, religion and audio drama/entertainment shows, but I have heard of all topics. My main show targets men under 40.
Can you take us through what preparations you do for a typical podcast?
There are many ways that you can go about cranking out a show. For me, my main podcast is Core Confidence Life, a men’s development show. I usually record interviews ahead of time. I typically have 7 to 10 interviews in the cue at a time. This usually means that I will almost never be at a loss for content.
I have the guest send me any pics, links or other things they want me to include in the show notes for that interview. Sometimes the guest takes up all of the show time, other times, the show is split between my solo part and the featured interview.
Before each show, I research and make notes on the topics I want to cover. I write down bullet points, reminder links to articles, and short summaries to keep me in the flow. After I open the software and position the mic, I go through a few dry runs of what I want the opening to sound like. I may record a sample to hear how it sounds, and I also talk out the dry run without recording it.
Once my solo part and the interview are together in one file, then I edit, then I review, then I edit. Sometimes I will do a few podcasts ahead of time, and sometimes not. Once the show is live on the net, I start the promotion, and start to look towards the next show.
You have done over 40 shows,what three shows have been your favorite and why?
Picking favorite shows is tough. I like different shows for different reasons, but I do enjoy shows that talk about higher consciousness, self-awareness, and the dynamics of human spirit energy. For example, a show that aired in March of 2019 featured an author. She wrote about the divine masculine energy and how men can gain more control over their personal energy.
I also enjoyed a show from April 2019. My guest, a relationship coach, spoke about the things that eat away at lover relationships and how to work threw those challenges. We spoke about the five love languages and the different mindsets that men and women have when in a relationship.
I really loved a show from July 2018 on the topic of meditation and all the different benefits it has for your health, mindset and spirit, as well as some best practices for effective meditation.
There are also some great shows from May 2019 about the holistic development of men and each man’s personal sense of manhood. Building confidence, direction and purpose.
I can think of another interview set for September 2019 airing about lowering stress and developing a mindset that keeps away stress. I can go on….but I won’t. Haha.
How do you find the guests for your show?
There are potential guests everywhere. I find them online through different Facebook groups. There are plenty of FB groups that are made for the purpose. I also find guests through other connections I have, AKA, word of mouth. Somebody knows what I do, the topics I cover, then they suggest people.
I also come across them in everyday life. I found a guest while at a friends summer party, and so on.
How do you help newcomers launch their own podcast?
When I work with a new podcaster, we first talk about where they want their podcast to go. We discuss their target audience and other basic ideas. We go over the technology and make sure they have the best sound that they are able to get. Most people want some structural features like an intro and outro. I can advise them where to go to pick out an intro, or my team can creat one for them.
My company does all the online setup, and handles the editing and posting of each podcast episode. I work closely with a podcaster to help them keep things in order, generate new ideas, and help bring publicity to their show.
We are as hands on as a client needs us to be. Some people just want to send us shows to edit, then send it back so they can handle the rest. Other people do not want to do all the posting, extra promotion and the other things that it takes to drive publicity and wants help with that. Some people may need a little more coaching on communication style. We help with that as well.
We take you from where you are to where you did not think you could be. We take you from a quiet whisperer to a confident, comfortable communicator.
What five people would you like to interview and what would be your first question you asked them?
Believe it or not, I do not have five particular people I want to interview. I also do not have 1 burning question I want to ask. When it comes to interviews, I want to hear about how people from certain walks of life got to where they are. For example, I want to interview more football and basketball players to hear their method of moving through life, how they handle the pressure of being in the spotlight, and their mindset secrets.
I want to interview more holistic healers and spiritual gurus to hear how they developed and maintain high consciousness, and the power of living through the soul.
I also want to interview more people who have moved away from traditionalist religian or ways of thinking to hear how they broke through societies stigmas, recovered from mainstream conditioning, and how they found their own voice.
Do you ever bring politics into your show?
My very first internet based show was all about politics. I loved it as I have very strong political views on some things. I will always have a drive to speak out on politics and culture. For my current show, so far I have kept politics to a minimum, and focused strictly on personal development and the real life stories of men.
As time went on, I have allowed myself to be a little more direct about some political issues. As the show moves ahead, I will allow the tone to be a little more politically and culturally directed.
Where do you want your podcast to go?
I would like the podcast to continue to grow in listener ship and play a bigger roll in the public conversation around culture, manhood, and higher consciousness.
The podcast is a piece of the larger Core Confidence Life company I am currently building on.
I like to thank Dennis for his time in answering our questions,he definitely has been one of my favorite interviews. We are expecting big things from Dennis in the future for sure.
To learn more about Dennis and Core Confidence Life,please go to the website in this link.
Thanks to everyone who dropped by and enjoyed this interview. We have a whole new batch are coming up including a return interview with the director who is Paladin’s spirit animal.
Please feel free to drop a comment below and you have a story to share,contact us and let’s talk.