SurrealPolitiksRealpolitik in an Unreal World

Thoughts for Tonight’s SurrealPolitiks Member Chat 20230802

I am riding high on praise from my recent interview with my old friend, Ian Freeman, which aired as Episode 20 of SurrealPolitiks. This renders news about the latest Trump indictment, a drag queen topping the “Christian” music charts, another downgrade to the US credit rating, and the hack of social media site, sort of uninteresting to me by comparison. Though I’ll obviously be happy to discuss this or anything else with you this evening.

Some of the lessons from that interview were quite subtle. They had to be because there was so much to get to and Ian ended up giving me 90 minutes more than I had originally asked him for. I also didn’t want to turn any portion of the discussion into a debate.

On recent member chats I’ve talked about the prospects of commissioned sales as an avenue to success. Cold calling in particular, though rarely viewed as a glorious craft, played such a huge role in the success of Free Talk Live.

To recap, or in case you haven’t heard it yet. Ian’s co-host, Mark Edge, served 9 years in prison for 2nd degree murder. Before going into radio, he was in a sales role at Gold’s Gym. He had been recruited by Free Talk Live’s flagship station, and it was there that he met Ian.

When Clear Channel Communications let the two of them go, they began looking for a new station to host the show. It didn’t take long, but they were paying for the airtime. So, they looked for a new station, and by calling program managers at radio stations, they found one.

They were then cold called, by Genesis Communications, a radio syndicate. That is how Free Talk Live became a syndicated radio show, with three stations to boast right from the start.

But they didn’t stop there. Ian made a daily routine of looking up the contact information for radio stations all over the country. He subscribed to industry newsletters and kept apprised of what was happening in the radio business. He attended conferences and shook hands with the players.

He smiled and dialed.

Through this he managed to get his show on over 200 stations at the peak of his success.

Throughout this, Mark Edge also smiled and dialed. This was discussed less during our interview, but I know something about it. Mark described to me about ten years ago on Some Garbage Podcast how he recovered from a 9 year prison stint through sales.

I’ve been to Mark’s house. It’s pretty nice. He has a wife and kids. He listens to other talk radio shows. He hears who the advertisers are, and then, in his words, he “poaches” them. Find someone who is doing radio ads, call them on the phone, and say “I’m in radio too, come advertise with us!” functionally.

And one might note that their success was in some part due to getting lucky with Bitcoin, but this would be to overlook much. It wasn’t mere luck.

Opportunities pass us by all the time. The question is: Are we positioned to take advantage of those opportunities?

Free Talk Live was in a position to stumble upon Bitcoin because of their success in radio. A successful business man, and early Bitcoin adopter by the name of Roger Ver, knew his money would be put to good use in the hands of these already successful entrepreneurs. He saw over the years that this was indeed the case, and he continued to sponsor their work.

I didn’t make an issue of the amounts, but if you listened closely enough you got some idea of the scale Ian was working on in his Bitcoin business. This was many millions of dollars.

Ian’s tale is a tragic one. Nobody wants to be facing what he is facing, and I would not want this for any of you, clearly.

But that was nearly 20 years after the show began. Near 25 since Ian took an internship at the radio station. Perhaps 30 since Mark found himself hiding a corpse with his friend. Easily 18 since Ian started calling radio stations and asking for airtime.

Are you down on your luck? Feeling like there’s no hope for the future? Well, unless you are in a worse position than a man freshly released from prison with a murder on his record, I’d say there’s at least one example of a guy who was in a worse spot than you who , who climbed out of that hole by dialing the phone.

What might you accomplish in 18 years if you picked up the phone today?


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