Tune in to today’s episode of the Your Biggest Vision Show to hear JJ Ramberg, Founder of Goodpods. JJ is a serial entrepreneur who has hosted the “Been There, Built That” podcast on NBC News and a series for BBC World News called “Follow the Food”. She recently founded the brand new app called “Goodpods” and is coming on the show today to share her entrepreneurial journey with you!
Tune in to hear:
- The journey and evolution of JJ’s new app, Goodpods.
- Her main strategies for market research.
- The challenges, obstacles and successes of creating her new business and how she overcame them.
Transcript of Episode
Leah Gervais: Hey visionaries, welcome back to our new season of the Your Biggest Vision show and I’m very excited to have today’s guest because truth be told, she was supposed to be on the last season and we’re going to hear today a little more about her journey here. So, hi JJ, thanks so much for being here.
JJ Ramberg: I am so happy to be here. We talked about the entrepreneurial journey. The reason why it wasn’t on last season is because my company hadn’t launched yet and it was supposed to be. So yeah, you’re getting the real inside look here, but thank you for rescheduling. I really appreciate it.
Leah Gervais: Oh, it’s my absolute pleasure. So I know we’re in for a treat with you. So for everyone listening, JJ is the founder of a brand new app called Goodpods and I know so many of you are podcast lovers. Some of you even have a podcast yourself, which is so cool. You guys know that podcasts have really helped me on my journey. So we are in for a treat to hear about her journey and about the product itself. She is a serial entrepreneur. She has a rich history in entrepreneurship. She hosted a show on NBC and MSNBC all about entrepreneurship. And so she has been through it and can share it with us. So let’s go ahead and start on how you, I guess let’s start with Goodpods and how you decided to shift from whatever you were doing right before into Goodpods.
JJ Ramberg: Um, yeah, I mean, the Goodpod story is… it’s sort of like your generic entrepreneur story, right? There was something that I saw in my life that I wish I had, right? And, and so we just started it. Um, and, and the thing we were missing in our lives at that time was podcast recommendations because my brother, who’s my co-founder and I listened to a lot of podcasts, but I get to that point where I was about to go for a run and I would be staring at my phone and thinking, what do I listen to next? And it’s kind of, you have this almost like FOMO or like, I know there is good content out there, I just don’t know what it is. And so all of the recommendations we got were from each other or from friends or from podcasters we’ve listened to and we thought, this exists in music and it’s just in books where you can follow friends and influencers and see what they’re listening to, but it doesn’t exist in podcasts. And so Goodpods is, I’ll give you our line. We say you can follow your smartest, funniest, most curious podcast, loving friends, experts and influencers to see what they’re listening to by episode
Leah Gervais: Awesome. So I love that you have the problem and you started it. What were you, what were you doing at the time when you decided to start this?
JJ Ramberg: So I was a host of this show on MSNBC, your business. I also founded with my brother, 13 years ago, a company called Goodshop, which you can find the best online coupons and either have a percentage of what you spend, go to your favorite cause or it can be cash back yourself. And so I had both of those things going on. We have a CEO who runs Goodshop for us now, but he started Goodpods, you know, kind of on the side while I was working at MSNBC and then the show ended and I decided, let me just do this full time. And so we’ve been working really hard on it and so it’s thrilling as you know, to finally have it in the hands of real life people who are not us.
Leah Gervais: Right. Oh, I’m sure. Huge. Congratulations. I’m going to say congratulations over and over in this episode because I know how hard you’ve worked on this. Like even having, you know, interviewed entrepreneurs for your whole career and even having already founded a uh, uh, a successful business beforehand. Did you still experience any fear when you sort of decided, I’m going to go all in on this new thing and I don’t really know if it’s going to work and I don’t know how it’s going to work? Or do you feel like you, like how do you move through that now knowing what you know and doing, having done what you’ve done?
JJ Ramberg: Yeah, it’s different. The second time around, the first time I was younger, um, and I didn’t really know what I was getting into. I’m the child of entrepreneurs, um, and wife of one and sister one. So, I had seen it from the outside, but when I went and started my first company with my brother Ken, it was sort of like, let’s start this, this seems interesting and fun. And, and then it was, um, very luckily pretty successful right from the get go. And so, um, and so it all went really well. This time, starting a second company, I have my eyes way more open because I’ve been through it and that comes with two things. One is I have a lot more confidence in my abilities to do certain things and I have a lot more experience that I can draw on both good and bad. Right? I didn’t make mistakes that I didn’t want to make again. This second thing is though, and this also comes from 13 years of interviewing entrepreneurs, I know that most businesses fail, right? And so, um, and so I go in knowing like I think this is a really amazing idea and we’ve done so much research and customer research, but we put it out there and we know we’re going to have to change a lot of stuff.
Leah Gervais: Right, right. Sure. So you grew up with entrepreneurs?
JJ Ramberg: I did.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. Do you want to tell us a little bit about your childhood as seeing it from the inside?
JJ Ramberg: I’m sure. Yeah. So my father, his family came from Mexico when he was very young and his dad was literally a peddler going door to door and then started a business. So that was my grandfather. And then my dad worked with him and then started his own business. My grandfather on the other side was classic, like make money, lose money, make money, lose money. My mom and brother, my same brother who I co-founded Goodpods with, they started a company when my mom was in her late forties. She had been a full time mom and volunteer, but a full time mom and with my brother who was just out of college. And this was pre-internet when they started. So it’s like there was no Mark Zuckerberg starting something out of his college, you know, dorm that turns into a huge company.
And everyone thought they would fail. And my mom, you know, she didn’t have business experience and they worked at that company really hard. They turned it into an internet company, um, when the internet happened. And then all of these venture back companies came into their space and tried to beat them and couldn’t, and then they [unable to transcribe] 13 years later. And so I had a true front row seat to the idea of starting something in a space that no one thinks you’re going to be successful in with a background. No one thinks you’re going to be successful because of, and really making it work.
Leah Gervais: What an incredible Testament to the power of what I think is just his mindset and on my show, that’s kind of the thing I talk about the most from what I’ve seen. You know, you’ve, you, you’ve seen more than I have, but from what I can tell, that is probably the biggest factor when you look at if an entrepreneur was going to make it or not, obviously there’s other factors. Things that are out of our control, other things can happen. But it’s not where you come from or what even what, you know, some of the time. It really is the resilience that you have to continue on. And it’s amazing that you saw that so early on. And, um, I love what you said about how the second time around it has, you know, the benefits of knowing the good sides and bad sides, but also, you know, how, how challenging it is. And you and I are both friends with Bola who founded Clever Girl Finance. And I know she always says that like [inaudible] when people ask her, what would you do differently knowing what you knew now? And she’s like, I wouldn’t do it so hard. You know, it’s, it’s so much harder than you can think. So did you have any new challenges come up this time around that you hadn’t dealt with that surprised you?
JJ Ramberg: Nothing’s been really surprising. It obviously took longer than we expected for us to launch Goodpods into the public. But, in a great way, in some ways, because we designed it and we got it in our hands and we thought it’s not ready for prime time. So we really sat back and thought through it all and had a big beta test, and redesigned it. Um, and it’s interesting, right, because there’s this push pull between launching an MVP, a minimum viable product and launching something that you really actually think is ready for true prime time. And so there’s that push-pull of when do you actually launch? And that I did not experience with our first company because we just put something really simple out there and didn’t even really think about it.
Leah Gervais: So, walk me through this a bit. Did you and your brother create the app yourselves or did you like do you, do you code apps?
JJ Ramberg: Oh God, no. I wish we did right now. We came up with the idea and we came up with the basic structure of it and then we found a great team to build and design it. Um, and then if hired people along the way to help with all kinds of things.
Leah Gervais: Sure, sure. Okay. And then tell a little bit about your strategy and maybe any recommendations you have for doing the market research that you did. It’s amazing. You guys interviewed so many people and I’d love to hear any yeah. What, what are your words of wisdom around that kind of thing?
JJ Ramberg: My market research was talking primarily, I mean, there’s all kinds of research you can do around how many people listen to podcasts and what are the biggest pain points, et cetera. But my personal strength I think in this is talking to people. So I talked to, I’m not kidding, hundreds and hundreds of people from really famous podcasters and famous podcast brands, production companies to, you know, a lady in Kansas who has a tiny podcast about dogs, that a few people listened to because I wanted to just know from everyone, do you think this is a good idea? What do you wish existed out there as a podcaster, how can we help grow your listenership as a listener? How can we help you discover new podcasts? So even before we kind of put any pen to paper or code down, we just did so much listening to people and talking to people and it really shaped the company.
Lerah Gervais: Mm. That’s incredible. And then do you have a similar sort of structure or plan in place for the feedback when, well, I think it’s launch. It’s launching this week, right? It’s going to be public this week, which is so exciting.
JJ Ramberg: Yeah. So, for when you’re, when your listeners hear this, it’s launched, and actually can I throw something in really quickly because you and I met because you and I met so much before we launched. And so I got to call you right when we launched. When you go onto Goodpods, follow people, you are at Leah, that is the username for you.
Leah Gervais: You guys I am on there, come find me.
JJ Ramberg: Yeah. And then the thing is when people find you, they get not only your podcast obviously, but your suggestions of podcasts that they should listen to.
Leah Gervais: Right? Yeah. No, that’s so fabulous. And so will you do, do you do some sort of post-launch market research? Is that something you and your brother are, you know gonna cause I’m just guessing here that with everything, even when, when you launch it, I’m sure it’s going to change a bit, you know, as you go. And as you, as you shape things, do you have a kind of timeframe that you dedicated to post launch feedback before you do any tweaking? Do you leave it for a year? What, what or how do you approach that?
JJ Ramberg: The timeline is forever, frankly. I mean that’s, that is the thing about these companies, right, is that they will continue to grow. So, we launched the company, but we have a list a mile long about things that we still want to include and that was even before we launched. And so our feedback loop is circular and constant from our youth.
Leah Gervais: Sure. Incredible. I am so, so excited about this because especially even just for my business with my clients, I’m constantly recommending podcasts that they should listen to things that I think they should listen to more than once. Things that I feel like would really saturate their brain in ways of thinking and it’s going to be a total game changer to have that all in one place.
JJ Ramberg: Yeah. You know, it was so fun as I watched. Um, cause I followed everyone who was on the app and beginning, right. And I watched one person listen to this totally obscure podcast and then I watched their friend listen to it and then I watched their other friend, you know, like within like a day there were 20 people listening to this podcast and no one would have known about before. And that was really fun. I mean, podcasts are such a neat way to explore a world, and it’s pretty low commitment, right? You could listen to some esoteric science podcasts and then listened to some self-help and then a comedy and then true crime and, right. It’s a fun way to just kind of expand your day.
Leah Gervais: Yeah, it really is. And it’s, it can be. So it’s just, it’s one of those things that always has a place, like if you’re really wanting to get motivated, you can always find something to motivate you podcast wise. But sometimes I find myself feeling like I kind of need a little bit of a break from, you know, the normal podcasts I listen to because I listened to so many entrepreneur podcasts and sometimes you, in my experience, I need to come back to just my own voice and kind of focus on what I’m thinking of. And so then it’s so perfect to listen to these totally random podcasts with like celebrity interviews or just things that have nothing to do with my life and they kind of take me away. So yeah, they, they, they never get old. They really don’t. Okay. I want to zoom a little bit more in on the kind of journey that you have had to get here, because I love talking about this kind of thing and I think it’s so valuable to people. I really appreciate you sharing your story, um, to hear, you know, the entrepreneurial process, especially the challenges because it can look very great and we both know that that’s not always the case. So tell us a little bit about why and how it ended up taking longer than you thought it would. What did that look like?
JJ Ramberg: Yeah, I think that really was the design of it, right? Some of the things that we thought would be intuitive once we had it in our hands were not entirely intuitive and think we would’ve gotten that right away from looking at, you know, the wire frames, the whole process. Right? But once we got in our hands, it just needed a reboot already. And so, and we needed some more features and those features came from actually having something real to show people, um, podcasters and listeners and saying, what will you, how will you really benefit from this? And so there was something really simple. I’ll give you an example. Like in our first version we had that you could share an episode of a podcast to the, to your feed, which we thought was kind of the magic of this, right? Because someone can say, go listen to X podcast and you get there and you’re like, okay, but there are 80 of them, which episode? So it was very important that you be able to share episodes to your feed and recommend episodes to people. But then we realized that sometimes you want to share a whole show, right? Especially ones that are serial one’s, right. I don’t need to show every single episode of the dream. It’s an eight part series. I just want to share the show. It sounds very little. But when you do that, then there’s programming that has to happen and all kinds of things. And so every little change we have just extended the time.
Leah Gervais: So do you believe the old phrase, and I don’t want to butcher this right now, but I know that there’s some quote about how if you are not somewhat embarrassed of your first product, then you’re launching too late or something like that. How do you have the mindset of it’s, it’s actually ready now cause couldn’t there always be something more to do? How do you know when to do it?
JJ Ramberg: I know there’s so much more to do. I mean we all look at our product and we’re like, it’s missing blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And we have people on our team who feel differently. You know, some of us are like, let’s get it out there. And the other people are like, no, not yet. So yes, I don’t think, um, I cannot imagine that there would ever be a time where we’d feel 100% like this is done. Let’s put it out there. So yes, I do agree with that. It is a hard decision.
Leah Gervais: It is a hard decision. But yeah, I mean I, I’m definitely of the school of thought of doing it before you feel comfortable because like you said, and like you’ve, you know, been saying there will always be tweaks to be made for forever. So it’s better to have time in your favor and get things going so that you can see, you know, how people are reacting and what’s working and what isn’t working. And- oh, go ahead. Sorry.
JJ Ramberg: I was just going to say I think, cause you, I know you’re, you’re talk so much about the entrepreneurial journey and you know, one of the things that I found when I was hosting my show a lot is that, that a lot of times as an entrepreneur, people tell about how great it is or they talk about the hard parts after they happen. So it almost sounds like a humble brag. And so, and so I, and I think you’re trying to get beyond that in the show. I just have found that one of the things that is really helpful to me is that I have a lot of friends who are entrepreneurs. And to just really be surrounded by people who have been through it. My friend Courtney Nichol’s, she’s the founder of this really amazing company, um, called Smarty Pants. She said to me, you go into these things, whether it is a relationship or a business or starting something, knowing that it’s going to be, did you know that it’s going to be hard? Then it’s not shocking when it is. Right? And so then you’re like, Oh, okay, this is the hard part. I knew this was coming. It doesn’t necessarily mean any less hard, but it makes you able to deal with it because there’s not like, Whoa, wait, what? This was supposed to work perfectly. So it didn’t surprise me and it’s so simple, that advice, I don’t know why it resonated with me so much.
Leah Gervais: Well, I think it’s such an important point because if you go into it with, with Rose colored glasses or just without that clear expectation, um, then when things are hard and they are hard, you can take things personally, you can think something’s wrong with you, you can think you’re not good enough, they can send you into some sort of, you know, a depression or anxiety, none of which is usually true. It’s part of the journey. So I think it’s great advice to just keep the expectations really clear and remembering that even when you do get a rejection or someone says something that’s, you know, not what you wanted to hear or things don’t go the way you want, um, that it’s part of the process if it’s not a personal thing. So I think that that’s a great point. And I love that you mentioned having friends that are entrepreneurs.
I really, I’m so proud in my business to have, um, groups that we host of entrepreneurs together, you know, based on what they’re working on or where they’re at. And it’s because I’ve seen how powerful it is, especially when you don’t have as many in-person entrepreneur friends. Not all of us are married to entrepreneurs and grew up with entrepreneurs. I’m lucky to actually have, I actually think about it, my dad was an entrepreneur and so is my husband and so I’m one of the luckier ones. But, um, I know that that isn’t the case for everyone. Um, yeah. So I, it’s just awesome that you’re doing this with your brother too. I mean, do you love working with family in that way?
JJ Ramberg: Well, I do and it’s not just my brother. So, um, we have, uh, my brother’s working, we’re the co-founders. My sister is one of the smartest people I know. My nephew who was before his joined. And then obviously we have a number of non-Ramberg people working on it. Sure. But it’s been amazing because, um, we all bring something different to the table. So it’s been really, really fun to work altogether.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. Oh, that’s so fabulous. And must just be so rewarding. Um, and so you’re also a mom of three. I’m going to get a little personal just because I love hearing how- how do you do it all? That’s my question.
JJ Ramberg: You know what’s really funny is, so 13 years ago, I guess a little less than that. So, when I started my old company, Goodshop, started my show on MSNBC, got married and had three kids all within five years, maybe four years actually. Actually all that within four years. And I was being interviewed one time back then about like, how do you do all of this? And I had heard Anne Curry at that time interviewed and she said, well, I try and really separate my family time from my work time. And so if I am ever working [unable to transcribe] mgo into a room and I shut the door. And at the time I thought like, Oh, that’s smart. That’s a good answer.
Someone asked me this question and I sort of panicked and I said that answer literally while holding my baby and like trying to work so funny. Yeah. The truth that it is much messier than then, you know, it probably should be in a perfect world. We have calls every night at 6:00 PM. And I try and take it from home because then oftentimes that, you know, it’s starting a business. We’re working all of the time, but my kids, I, they’re just part of it now. My kids are 10, 11 and 12 and they’ve been in the background and I’ve tried to really involve them in this company so that it doesn’t feel like I’m all, my time is being taken up by something in another room. But actually, you know, they were beta testers for this product and they’ve given their input. So, um, but it is, it’s a lot. It’s, you know, starting a company is a 24 hour a day job and it’s a lot to have kids and do that.
Leah Gervais: Oh, I love that advice though, that you kind of make them part of it so it doesn’t feel like mom’s working all the time. It’s like mom’s doing this project and you’re kind of in it too and this is just what’s happening in our life right now.
JJ Ramberg: Right, you’re our marketing team, like all of your 12 year old friends who have phones, like they gotta download Goodpods.
Leah Gervais: Right. Absolutely. So do you, um, and especially having interviewed so many entrepreneurs, do you feel like there’s a point where the 24 hour kind of way of working stops or is that kind of wishful thinking? And the reality is that if you’re a real, you know, if it’s in your blood to be entrepreneurial, that’s just going to be how you operate.
JJ Ramberg: No, I think that it sort of has to stop at some point. I mean, for me, right, I think everyone’s different, but I do really value my time with my family and my husband, my friends. And so I think at some point when you can get to the point where you don’t have to be involved in every single decision and you have a really good team and it’s not [unable to transcribe]. Yeah. I mean I, some people maybe can’t stop that, but um, I would like to be that.
Leah Gervais: Yes, I like that. I like that. Take their, there, the light at the end of the tunnel that you will get through and things won’t necessarily be easier, but you won’t feel as, you know, as busy as you are now.
JJ Ramberg: But yeah, the first thing is like right now it’s so fun. It is so fun. There’s, it’s the beginning part is just so exciting. There’s so much riding on it. Like I want to be involved in every single thing and I imagine there will be a time when it gets bigger and we hire good people. I know this happened with Goodshop. Right. And we just had to really make the team. At some point we hired a CEO and he was able to take over the day to day.
Leah Gervais: Right, right. I love that. Well thank you for sharing all of that kind of behind the scenes with us. I have a few more questions for you about Goodpods itself. So what do you feel like is the ultimate, what’s, well, I don’t want to say what’s your five year plan because I hate that question, but what is, what is the huge vision for it? Does it feel like the Instagram of podcasts?
JJ Ramberg: Oh, I mean that’s great. Yes. Ma, our dream is to take everything that you do around podcasting and put it in one place right here is where you get all of your recommendations from your friends. Here’s where you’re talking about it with your friends. This is where you’re listening to it though, if you want, you can still, it’s not another player and you can use Goodpods as the discovery place. But yeah, there’s, there’s the, these things are happening all over the place. We want it. Just put it all on Goodpods. It really is a place where you can interact with podcasters, you can have discussions on Goodpods with podcasters and get to know them a little bit more too.
Leah Gervais: Great. So that brings me to my next question, which, what are some tips that you have for podcasters for how to make the most of this platform?
JJ Ramberg: That’s funny. I just wrote an article about this very thing.
Leah Gervais: We will put it in the show notes, wonderful.
JJ Ramberg: But the feed is where all the magic happens, right? So that is where you will really grow your listenership because you’re your best kind of spread the word army or your current listeners. What happens now is people might mention it at dinner or on a phone call, but when their friend actually gets to their phone or whatever to listen to a podcast, they’re like, wait, what did they tell me to listen to? Right? So Goodpod’s gets rid of that uncertainty. So for podcasters, the best thing is for their listeners to actually be on Goodpods. And then every time they listen to something, their friends will see it. And then, um, I’ll give you a couple of other things. They, uh, podcasters can have discussions again to build a deeper loyalty interaction with their listeners. And this part, I love too. Podcasters have two places on their profile. One is their show. So that every time they drop an episode, it goes into their listeners feeds or their followers feeds. But then they also have their own feed of things they’re listening to and so you can use that area to cross promote your friends just like you do on podcasts now. Right. So that’s a good way to reach each other’s audiences.
Leah Gervais: Right. Great. And do the listeners of a podcast have to be, I know you said that they can listen to things on any platform. It doesn’t have to be listened to on Goodpods, but will Goodpods still share it in the feed if they’re listening to it on a different app?
JJ Ramberg: Yeah, you can share it into your feed by just pressing the share button, you can share it into Instagram. Yeah. And you could share it out of your feed also onto other suits, social media from Goodpods.
Leah Gervais: Great. Okay. And so it seems like it’s very easy to interact with your, with your listeners as well. They can message you and connect with you just talking to you that way?
JJ Ramberg: Yeah, it’s really fun. You can, you can just have discussions. So on our show pages, we have a discussion area. And so whether the podcast or wants to launch a discussion or say I’m having an AMA, an ask me anything at three o’clock on Saturday or whatever it is, um, or the fans of the show just want to have a discussion themselves. They can do that too. But there’s also a place when you, when you see something on your friend’s feed, you can comment also online. You know, hey Leah, it’s so cool that you listen to this. I did too. What do you think that they should do in the end? You can talk with your friends.
Leah Gervais: It seems like.. I also do a monthly, well we’re just doing it, doing this season anyway, but we’re doing a monthly Q and a episode or just, you know, an ask me anything type episode. So this seems like a really great way to gather those questions because right now it’s like you can email them in, you can message me on Instagram, you can message my podcast producer. It’s kind of all over the place. So if it’s like this is where it is, you know, submit your questions by the end of the week or whatever, um, before we make our episode, that is a great solution. I have actually been very annoyed with that up to this point. So I’m glad that you have presented that.
JJ Ramberg: That’s all good, it resolved that for you. And then you can actually follow up because your podcast is only so long. Right. But you can have follow up answers or Q and a after the AMA. There are a lot of letters here after the ask me anything, right, that you can continue on with the discussions page.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. Oh, it’s so fabulous. Well, I for one cannot wait. I hope all of you out there find me right now at Leah. Give me a shout out that you’ve listened to this episode and I will answer it because I can, which I absolutely love. Is there anything else you want to make sure we know about this incredible app?
JJ Ramberg: Well, yes. One last thing is it’s new. As you and I have talked about, it’s new. We are going to, they’re going to be some kinks that you’re going to have to bear with us through. And so I just ask that anyone out there who goes on and tries Goodpods and has any suggestions for it, email me directly. Truly JJ@goodpods.com. We will listen to anything that you have to say. Good, bad, ugly, fantastic. Because it’s all incredibly helpful to us. And if you go on, which I hope all of your listeners do, just download Goodpods, ask a few friends to do it with you to start so that you have people to follow besides, me and you, everyone will follow you, Leah.
Leah Gervais: Yes, yes. Oh, and this also just, I’m even just thinking what a good solution it’s going to be for like, you know, my parents, my mom who I recommend podcasts all the time, but it’s not the easiest thing to, she’s just not used to it. So she doesn’t necessarily know how to find them and now I can just have her on this.
JJ Ramberg: It’s no fun. So there’s the feed, but there’s also direct recommends.
Leah Gervais: Perfect.
JJ Ramberg: So like DMing on Instagram. Right. So I directly recommend things to my kids all the time. Whether they listen to them or not is a whole different-
Leah Gervais: That’s in 2.0 tracking, tracking if your kids actually listened to them. That’s so funny. Okay. Well I have a few like being your biggest vision questions for you. Are you ready? I’m ready. Okay. What are you most proud of in your career thus far?
JJ Ramberg: Ooh, gosh. Was I supposed to prepare for this?
Leah Gervais: I don’t send them in advance and whatever comes to mind.
JJ Ramberg: I’m most proud of, in my career… I think maybe this in the moment, just a launching this thing. Um, yeah, but you know what, I will tell you, actually, let me think about this again. I’m most proud of in my career, um, that I have done things that felt, um, a little bit scary at the time. So my TV career, um, I was a producer, a TV news producer, and I really wanted to be a reporter and a host. And I was beyond terrible when I first tried and people were very vocal with me about how bad I was early on and when I was a producer, but really what I did it to switch. I was very proud and I tell this story that while I felt truly rejected many times in a row, I somehow didn’t feel dejected. If you understand the difference. I kept thinking, okay, if I keep trying and keep trying and listening to people and listening to their feedback, somehow this will work. I’m already in the door, right? I’m already a producer. And so, and it worked. It took me a full year of sending tapes every month to my boss being like, can I do it now? Can I do it now?
But eventually they said yes and I flipped from being a producer to being a host. But I, that’s the thing I’m most proud about because that kind of attitude you need to take into any venture that you start. And so that’s what I carried with me through Goodshop and hopefully I won’t have the same rejection for Goodpods. I did with my first TV for Ray.
Leah Gervais: Hmm. I love that story. That is true. Um, perseverance and determination and that’s, that’s why you’ve been so successful and why this app is as well.
JJ Ramberg: Yeah. You’ve gotta put your ego outside, like no ego. Put it aside.
Leah Gervais: Do you have a daily tip on that or something else? I love that. A daily tip. Like any, any kind of quick way that you actionably can do that. Cause it’s so much easier said than done. How do you put your ego aside?
JJ Ramberg: You just have to think everyone goes through this. Yeah, that everyone, everyone goes through something at some time and you have good friends who love you and you have family who love you. And so just eyes on the prize, right. This, whatever’s going on right now does not define you.
Leah Gervais: You can’t let it control you more any at all. Really beautiful. Uh, what is a GoTo book or podcast that has helped you as an entrepreneur?
JJ Ramberg: Okay. This is gonna sound so silly. Um, but this is from my mom. [unable to transcribe] my mom used to read us The Little Engine that Could.
Leah Gervais: Wow.
JJ Ramberg: Like I think I can, I think I can. And so like I have read probably more books on entrepreneurship than you can imagine because you know, partly because I wanted to learn so much and partly because I just had this show for 13 years. Right. And I picked up all kinds of interesting things about marketing and HR and all this stuff. But, but the thing that I truly like, the thing that I go back to is like, okay, you can do this. Like you may not have the answer, but you can at least go find someone who has the answer. You can do this.
Leah Gervais: That is my favorite answer to this question that I’ve ever heard on this show. The Little Engine that Could, is the best business book. I will send you one. I have stacks of them. Literally, I would love that. Or I’m going to get one for myself. My dad used to read that to us too and it’s so good and I’m just, I dunno, I’ve forgotten about it. So I love that you’re bringing it back up. Beautiful. Okay. And what is your go to when things are just really not going your way? You’re having just a crappy day. Things are not happening the way you want them to. Do you have something that helps you get out of the funk?
JJ Ramberg: Um, I don’t always do this, but the thing that usually does is go for a run.
Leah Gervais: Exercise. Cardio. Yeah.
JJ Ramberg: Or like go for, you know, coffee or walk with my best friend or husband or you know, it’s those kinds of things. Just like maybe give in to it for a second. Also, just admit it. It mate, you’re having a bad day. Yeah. This is hard. This sucks. I will get through it.
Leah Gervais: Do you run outside or do you go to the gym?
JJ Ramberg: Either one. I mean, it’s freezing cold right now where I am in soap, and I have been running downstairs in my basement on a treadmill in a really ridiculous kind of old lady exercise routine. That makes fun of me for.
Leah Gervais: That’s so great. Whatever works. Awesome. All right, well where can people find out more about you and more about Goodpods?
JJ Ramberg: So Goodpods You can go to the app store and download Goodpods or you can see it online at Goodpods.com or on Instagram. You can find me at JJRamberg.com or on Instagram I’m @JJRamberg and obviously on Goodpods, I’m @JJ.
Leah Gervais: Fabulous. Well thank you so much for being so transparent, sharing your journey with us. Thank you for sharing this incredible app with us and letting people know how to make the most of it. I for one, am very, very excited about it and we’ll be very active at the time of this release and hope everyone listening is to, and I am wishing you all the best. I think that this is incredible and you’re very, very inspiring. So thanks for sharing it with us.
JJ Ramberg: Oh, thank you. Thank you for rescheduling this a couple of times. I appreciate your patience.
Leah Gervais: You know what? I get it. I get it. And I love the hustle. So it’s been a pleasure. Thanks for being here, and I’m so happy we made it work.
JJ Ramberg: Me too.
Leah Gervais: All right, visionaries see you on the app. I hope you guys have an amazing day. Here’s your biggest vision.
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