"Surround yourself with creative, smart, good, honest people and good things will happen. You are your scene."

Time to read: ~20 min

I can scarcely believe it's already been 2 yrs since the launch of SunCast! Today, October 6th, is in fact the exact anniversary. It also marks the beginning of my 39th trip around the Sun, woot!  Launching on my birthday in 2015 was an easy way to never forget the anniversary of the show!

There are 5 things I'll cover on this post today, so keep reading.

Today, on SunCast episode #50, we are going to dive deep, not with a guest, but with you. I'd like to tell you some of the things I've been thinking about and how I hope to create more value for SunCast as it begins to expand beyond a weekly podcast into a broader platform.  I began SunCast 2 yrs ago with the intention to create a place in the solar industry where you can come every week to get insights in to the Latin America solar market, hear from leaders in the space about how they built their business and careers, and create a community of solar warriors who are seeking to push the boundaries of what we're capable of doing.

Now, 2 years on, SunCast has evolved into in-depth discussions with solar founders and executives that give us the insights we need to develop ourselves as leaders in this and other industries.  And over the course of that journey, We have all learned some valuable lessons that I hope are contributing to the acceleration we all are experiencing in the transition to clean renewable energy sources.  I hope to (but don't yet promise, haha) write an article about the lessons learned and insights gleaned over the first 50 episodes, and welcome any of YOU to do it for me! Great way to draw attention to your own blog, btw! ;-)

TLDNR: SunCast, my solar-focused podcast, turned 2 yrs old today.  I am announcing the addition of twice-weekly content, more articles like this one, Webinars and trainings directed at helping you grow in your own solar career, whether you're just starting out, or an industry veteran like me.  I talk about what it means to create a "tribe" (which I hope you're part of), and announce webinar happening soon with some of my favorite people.

I'd like to first express a deep sense of gratitude for all of you who have been SunCast supporters these past 720 days! You're the reason I have showed up (with increasing consistency) to do this show, and you inspire me to continue.  I owe my excitement, momentum, and nearly 26,000 total downloads to your faithful agreement to join me on this journey.  Thank you!

And, Thanks to those who regularly contribute with positive AND constructive feedback via LinkedIn, Twitter, email, and yes, those amazing voicemails I have gotten from many of you. Keep 'em coming!

You may recall from Episode Zero, I said from the beginning that "I can't not do it" - and by that I was referring to sharing in a tangible form the information I have at my disposal (and continue to learn), and the drive I have for seeing the global energy markets evolve (in particular toward solar), as well as see the success of colleagues & friends (New & Old) as the market takes off.  And, while I believed at the time it would be exclusively focused on Latam as a fast-growing solar market, the show has grown to encompass much more than just insider market trends.  And I still believe that it serves as a safe place when you're feeling uncertain, like your work doesn't matter, or you're not making the impact you had hoped.  I hope you can return to SunCast and see that you're precisely as I said in episode zero, on the forefront of the charge into uncharted territory, on the cusp of something great.

I'm still here to help you sharpen the saw and scale your solar business.

The fun has begun, we're at Thing #1

We have heretofore accomplished this through long-form interviews, typically from 50 to 75 minutes in length, released every Friday evening for your weekend enjoyment.  I'm announcing today that, beginning with an awesome episode this coming Tuesday featuring Solar Fred, we'll be adding a weekly short-form episode I'm calling Tactical Tuesdays.  Think of this as mini-morsels of expert guidance along a specific topic. Perhaps it'll be, as is the case for this coming Tuesday's episode, an expert on marketing helping us thing through branding and content marketing strategy to grow our presence. These will be both curated by me, and recommendation-based by you, the SunCast listener.  I'll invite subject-matter experts to opine on topics as specific as "Resiliency" or "Understanding the UL Codes", but will also be highlighting interesting things I (Or you) think the community should know, and companies that I find who I believe are doing something differently, vanguard, cutting edge or who are just not getting the public attention they deserve!  The truth is at industry events like the recent SPI, I meet so many great people and gather such great content that I could never bring it to light without adding more publishing dates to the show.

And, occasionally, I intend test other ways we can engage - I'll speak more about the first of these at the end of today's conversation.

So that's announcement #1, This coming Tuesday, tune in for a topical conversation with "Solar Fred", Mr. Tor Valenza all about Content Marketing for your solar business.

Now the focus is on you, here's Thing #2

Today what's on my mind is what it means to create your own scene?  And what is a scene, anyway?

Jim Rohn has been quoted ad-nauseum for his adage, "you're the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with."  I believe this is very true in professional life, and so I am constantly seeking to surround myself with people who have done and are doing great things in life and business.  Heck, it's one of the foundational reasons Anyone should start a podcast!

And over the past two years, YOU have become part of my Tribe, and SunCast has become my scene.

James Altucher, one of my favorite authors and podcasters, wrote a great post (also very long) about the nature of creating your Scene, what it is, how to do it, and why it matters.  I'll give you the scrip notes here.

Surround yourself with creative, smart, good, honest people and good things will happen. You are your scene.

You can see the way a scene works in places like Silicon Valley: Facebook, Palantir, Youtube, Tesla, LinkedIn, Yelp, Yammer, and more were all either largely funded or started by ex-employees of PayPal.

If you watch interviews with comedians like Louis CK, Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, Chris Rock, they all worked together in no-name clubs for years, each opening for the other over and over again, until they broke out one by one and pulled their talented friends along with them.

In our own Solar industry, companies like SunEdison, SolarCity, Conergy, Akeena Solar, and Powerlight (and yes many others) have spawned some of the greatest entrepreneurs, cohorts and startups the solar industry has known.  I have a dozen or so friends in the solar industry who have been "with me" along the decade-long-path I've followed to find my own path in Solar, and we routinely get together to encourage and challenge one another. Many of them have been guests on this show!

Again, from Altucher, When people with positive energy are around each other, more energy is created.

More art is created. More innovation with more integrity with more opportunities. You literally can eat less if you are around people who are giving you energy and bringing you to a higher level.

When you do something you love, or even just something you’re good at (you will learn to love what you are good at) or even something you do with authenticity and integrity (because then you become the trusted source of a scene) then people will gravitate towards you.

So, How do you build a scene:


And I really love this exhortation from James in his article:

"Never stop building each other up. Never stop making introductions (with permission from each side before you make an intro).

Never stop delivering value into the Scene. The more powerful the Scene, the more likely it is you will have fun doing what you do, make money at it, succeed at it, live off of it, love it, and make friends."

So, who's in your scene?  Am I, Could I be?  Would you join mine?

I am experimenting with ways for us to have more than this one-way dialogue. 
Please be sure to connect w/me on LinkedIn, but you can also join a group I created on the website YourPack - just go to www.mysuncast.com and click on "Pack" in the links bar at the top - I explain more about it in this week's episode, so give it a listen as well.

I'm also the manager of the LACSA group (>4400 members) on LinkedIn - should we create our own SunCast group?

Still with me? Thing #3

(Affiliate) One way I've found my scene outside the solar industry is by joining the BuyOurFuture community - if you're unfamiliar, go back and listen to  Episode 25 (half a podcast lifetime ago!) where I interviewed Jason Zook on why he started this community, sold his future (all of it, and his Wife's future too!) and a bunch of other zany entrepreneurial ideas he's had that are sure to stretch your idea muscle!
This is one of the tribes of humans I get the most value from in my professional and personal life.
So this weeks episode is brought to you by BuyOurFuture - go to http://bit.ly/buyfuture to learn more about why I believe this is one of the best investments I've ever made in myself and my life.

But wait, There's More.  Thing #4

I'll soon be sending out a survey to gauge just how I can serve you better - so if you're not signed up for my newsletter, please do that at the bottom of this post, so you'll get the email invitation to the survey.  This is as close as it gets to you directly influencing the content you get from SunCast, so please don't hold back!

Still Feeling the Jive? Here's Thing #5!

Finally, something I've wanted to do for a long time is to partner with others in our industry to bring you original educational content.  My first foray into this began back in July at Intersolar with a conversation with my new friend Mike Rogerson of SolarEdge. 

As we pondered what topics would be valuable for our industry, we found ourselves discussing the dilemma of most small and medium installers who are eager to grow, but unsure where their investment of time, money and effort would yield the greatest results.  Since that discussion, we have put together a 3-part webinar series that we're launching on October 13th, that's next Friday!

It's called, "5to50 - the secret formula to Growth."

You can go to www.mysuncast.com/webinar to register for Part 1 of that webinar series now, which happens in just 1 week on Friday, October 13th.

And hey if you listened to last week's episode with Scott Mueller, of Solar Lead Factory, you got a little preview of the thoughtfulness we'll bring to this training - and we're bringing Scott on as one of the subject-matter experts for these webinars.

It's a 3 part series centered on 3 pillars of growth - Leads (the seed), Conversion (more than metrics), and Revenue (make it profitable)

Part I - LEADS - Growth starts here

In Part 1 of this webinar series, we explore various types of leads, how to get them, and how to architect your approach for success with a special focus on how to leverage paid marketing as fuel to dramatically increase your sales.

  • What are the differences in sales approach by lead type?
  • How can leveraging strengths in certain approaches help or hurt success in other areas?
  • Which marketing strategies are most effective?
  • How does the ‘top of the funnel’ impact the rest of the funnel?

So come join some of the smartest folks in my scene, and let's learn together!

A lot to contemplate this week warriors, and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to spend this time with you.  As always, you can find the shownotes and links from this and every episode here on www.mysuncast.com, so you don't have to remember it all.


While you're there, you can do me one huge favor, above all else, click on that rate & review button in the title bar - that'll tell you everything you need to know about how to subscribe, rate and review the podcast - and you can do that on iTunes, stitcher, pocketcasts, and many other platforms.  And I'm reviving the "launch" promo that I did back in the first 5 episodes, so if you're curious about that promo, and what you might win or how you can help, head over to mysuncast.com and click on "rate & review" to learn more.

As a great many of you dear friends head into another week on the front lines, I hope that you'll contemplate these ideas, and apply them.

How are you helping your team, and your scene, create truly differentiated strategies? Do you have the right people on the bus? Is what you're doing supporting the CASH needed within the business this week? Month? Quarter?  Is this conversation, task, or even conference helping you accomplish the One thing that will make all the other stuff either easier or unnecessary?

Above all, create amazing stuff. Help others do the same.

Soldier on solar Warriors, and keep showing up, as I hope to be here for another 50, another 500 episodes.

Until then,

Stay informed my friend, and stay tuned...