Son of a Blitch

Ep. 48 Tuning Into Success with Freddy Cruz (Speke Podcasting, "Cruz through HTX" Podcast Host)

January 22, 2024 George Blitch Season 1 Episode 48
Son of a Blitch
Ep. 48 Tuning Into Success with Freddy Cruz (Speke Podcasting, "Cruz through HTX" Podcast Host)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The trajectory of a career in the creative arts can be as unpredictable as it is exhilarating. Freddy Cruz's professional journey embodies this truth, having transitioned from a distinguished radio DJ in Houston to an independent author and podcasting connoisseur. The latest episode of the podcast, hosted by George Blitch, provides a panoramic view of Cruz's versatile career, offering valuable insights for anyone looking to harness the dynamism of the digital age.

The episode begins by painting a vivid picture of Freddy Cruz's initial foray into the podcasting realm. His venture, Speke Podcasting, is a testament to his commitment to guiding others in the craft of podcasting, and rising the ranks with his latest podcast, “Cruz through HTX”. 

Through his own experiences, he shares a wealth of knowledge on the intricacies of content creation and business strategy. The conversation delves into his daily life, where he juggles entrepreneurship, fitness, and fatherhood, underscoring the symbiotic relationship between physical health and mental clarity.
 
A pivotal segment of the episode recounts the challenges that come with transitioning from a well-established career to the uncertainties of self-employment are laid bare, revealing the inner fortitude required to navigate such changes. Here, listeners can glean the essence of resilience and the courage to trust one's instincts amid professional upheaval.
 
They touch upon the complexities of podcasting, from booking guests to maintaining engaging conversations, all while fostering connections that transcend the professional realm.
 
The conversation then pivots to the world of indie publishing, where Cruz opens up about the emotional rollercoaster that accompanies the writing process. He dissects the raw emotions that drive creativity, from the euphoria of a positive reception to the sting of negative critiques. His journey from drafting manuscripts to contending with the publishing industry's vicissitudes is a roadmap for any aspiring author.
 
As the episode nears its conclusion, reflections on legacy take center stage. Both Freddy and George ponder the imprints they wish to leave on future generations. They express a deep-seated desire for their work—be it podcasts, books, or interviews—to inspire, inform and motivate others long after they are gone.
 
Finally, the episode wraps up with expressions of gratitude and a look ahead to future collaborations. The mutual respect between Freddy Cruz and George Blitch is palpable, as is their anticipation for what their combined creative energies might yield next.
 

This podcast episode is not just a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life of a multifaceted creative professional; it is a treasure trove of inspiration for those who seek to carve their own paths in the ever-changing landscape of media and entertainment. Freddy Cruz's story is a resonant reminder that the rhythms of a creative life, while often challenging, can harmonize into a symphony of success and personal fulfillment.

Learn more about Freddy Cruz and Speke Podcasting:
SpekePodcasting.com

Learn more about George Blitch and his projects:
SonofaBlitch.com
MapMyRanch.com

Speaker 1:

Hey everybody, welcome back to the Son of a Glitch podcast. I'm your host, George Blitch. Today I sat down with my good buddy, freddie Cruz, and talked all about the different things that he's been a part of. He was a radio DJ for almost two decades here in Houston, texas. A very well known voice on the radio. He's then been an author, written three really cool books, and right now he's currently running Speak podcast. So Speak podcasting is S P E K E and it's where you want to go if you're ready to launch your own podcast. He's going to walk you through all of the ins and outs of podcasting how to market yourself, get your brand going. Now I'm really kind of hone in on the analytics of what you need to do to be able to be the most successful in your avenue of interest, and you know he has been doing so many things over his lifetime that I really feel like he's probably the quintessential person to be able to talk to about taking your business to the other other level. So even if it's a consulting thing, he's a guy to talk to about. Whatever it is you want to do. You know, going ahead and booking all these amazing clients that he's done over the years. I mean, he's done everything. He's done everything and he is just such a wealth of knowledge and he's a gentleman who shares that and is very open about his experience because it's not always pretty being an entrepreneur and he talks about that and really kind of walks you through what it was like for him and what he wants to do and continue to pursue. We just had a great, great conversation. Again, I highly encourage you guys to go down below, check out the socials website, follow him, follow his journey. He's always got something interesting to say and he has really amazing guests. I'm not plugging myself here. There are really great guests that he's got on there. That you know you're going to learn something and you know, especially here around the Houston area, if you want to tap into what's going on and get your pulse on what's going on in our city, if you're listening from and around the Houston area, freddy's your man. So, guys, go check it out. This is a wonderful podcast. That's so much fun. Make sure you follow all of our socials, freddy. As I mentioned before, they're all down below here in the description and, without further ado, here is my podcast with Freddy Cruz. Freddy, how are you doing today?

Speaker 2:

man. Fantastic because I get to hang out with my man, george Blitch.

Speaker 1:

That's how I was feeling when I woke up this morning. I was like it's a Freddy day, it's going to be a damn good day.

Speaker 2:

For a split second. I thought you were going to say that's how I felt. I get to hang out with George Blitch, the son of a Blitch, all day. Wait a minute, that's me.

Speaker 1:

That's scary, man. I don't know. I don't you know a whole day with that this head. What's going on in here? I don't know. I don't know if I want to wish that upon other people. It's a busy mess.

Speaker 2:

Isn't it, though? It's like we get so trapped in our thoughts and you're like, if people only knew what was going on between my ears, I'd be fired, I'd be canceled, I'd be lambasted, I'd be quickly forgotten. I'd be so forgotten in less than five minutes after my inner thoughts are publicized. It's not even funny. I mean it's funny, but yeah.

Speaker 1:

Oh man, it's so true. There's so many things going on. I mean, you know that I have a few different projects always in the works. I feel like when we met each other, there's this kindred spirits of just trying to project goodness into the world, but also busyness. You were involved in so many different things. You've had quite different, various careers and things as well. Let's just start people off. What is your normal day-to-day look like of what you're working on, your projects and what you got balancing with your speak, podcasting with Freddy Cruz through HTX all the things that you're involved with? Let's just lay it out for folks. What is a day in Freddy's life look like.

Speaker 2:

Well busy, but I wake up first thing in the morning and generally it's taken my daughter to cross-country practice. She is a chip off the old block, so to speak, likes to run. I love to run. It's getting her off to practice, getting lunches ready and somehow fitting a 30, 45-minute exercise between that and starting my day. It's not one of those. Oh well, I meditate for half an hour than I journal for 45 minutes. It's not one of those things that's one of those cold lunch.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, 55 minutes.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, generally speaking, I think that when you're in business for yourself, we joke around about our inner thoughts. One of the things that I've come to realize is that if you don't have physical health, your mental health is never going to catch up, and so I feel like I'm not myself if I don't at least get a minimum of four to five days out of the week of some sort of rigorous exercise, and so I generally do that, and then it's whatever the projects are calling for. So at the time of this recording, we are coming up on the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One of my flagship clients with the podcast agency, we wrapped up 31 straight days of podcasts, which was insane, but also amazing for anybody listening who has a podcast and maybe wants to know how to grow your show and your audience. It's the reps. It's what Alex Hormozzi says quality and quality. So quantity and quality, and you only get to quality by doing quantity. So the more you do it, the better you get, and, of course, the more you're going to grow, and it's snowballs and snowballs. I've seen it firsthand looking at the back end analytics. We have quintupled our listenership just in it, and I mean again, it's what? October 23rd, so we still have another week left of October, another week left in the month, and we still got room to grow. And I'm just like this is all everything that the podcast experts, the people who know far more about this than I do everything they say it is actually working. So, yeah, it's producing for clients and driving out to their offices and I do some part-time marketing work for a local animal shelter and so, yeah, it's trying to grow the thing, and you know how it is when you're a small business owner and trying to leave a dent in the world before you leave and hopefully make it a better place than when you got here.

Speaker 1:

So indeed, man, it's lots of work, lots of hours, and they put in those reps. I think is the most important thing. You know, obviously now I think I got about 50 podcasts in the bag and I look back on the first few and I'm looking at it like, wow, I could, I could have sharpened that up a little bit there and this and that. And I even had to tape down in front of my laptop. Don't say awesome, because I'd always be like, oh, it's awesome, just the things you learn Like. Now I look back I'm like, oh, yeah, I need to redo that one. I'm going to call the client up, we're going to replace this. But you know you get better with anything you do, whether it's, you know, it's kind of like, I think, about the Malcolm Gladwell book. You know it's like about the 10,000 hours. You know the things that you put into it and like what, eventually, if you will master a craft, if you put the time into it, it's just a matter of those reps. So you know, I think that's a very important thing to queue in on and I kind of wanted to also chat a little bit about the idea of like. This is kind of something in the more recent years for you, because before you were an on air radio personality here in Houston, a mainstay, one of the best that I knew and you know. Then you decided to move in to kind of do your own thing. So walk me through maybe a little bit of the history of what you did and what you you know kind of for our listeners in Houston and then talk about that transition of deciding you're going to go out there and you know what ultimately ended up to you hiring yourself and maybe you talk about some of the you know challenges and some of the you know joys of going through that process.

Speaker 2:

Ryan Holliday says, ego is the enemy, and my ego was really. I never really saw myself as having one, but apparently the universe, our creator, thought that maybe I needed to be humbled a little bit, and so with that came in this fall of 2021, the time to renegotiate my quote unquote deal with my previous employer. And, to keep the long story short, I denied it and let them go and served out the remainder of my contract because I am a professional, and so I had told my wife and this was a long time, the writing was already on the wall. Listen, I will tell anybody out there who works for it doesn't even have to be a major corporation, it could be a working for a family owned business that if you see the writing on the wall, it is your responsibility to trust your gut, to rely on your instinct and start making plans. And I told my boss's boss at that time I'm surprised y'all didn't fire me during COVID, because in 2019, when they renegotiated my contract, it was made very clear to me that I was making too much money. And so 2021 came and I'm like, yeah, you guys, you guys are right, excuse me. So, yeah, fast forward to fall of 2021. And I tell my wife, I was right, I was right. Nobody wanted to believe me, and but that's okay, because, can I curse? Yeah, I'm Freddy fucking Cruz and I'm gonna find a job. This is gonna be a cake walk, it's gonna be. It's gonna be so damn easy, it's gonna be a cake walk. Well, november pass is no job. December pass is no job. Okay, honey, mid-february, by the latest. Mid-february comes no job. March comes no job. April comes no job. I'm in the middle of May 400 plus applications, 55 rejections, a handful of interviews gone awry. They just didn't work out. Either I tanked or I didn't have the right experience and I'm like, okay, well, this sucks one. And and to, I'm gonna go stir crazy because I'm not main Making any money outside of some of the freelance stuff that I'm doing. And I got myself in this mess and I've got a wife and two kids and you know I'm not gonna Certainly not gonna go back to my previous employer and beg them for my job back. In fact, I regretted my decision to leave Exactly twice, and each time no more than 30 seconds, because I felt sorry for myself For that long. So, in other words, almost no regrets. And so I Told my wife. I'm gonna try this business thing and see how it goes. And Wow, that's hard when all you know is corporate America from the time you graduate college or even before, because I worked all through College so, and my first job was at McDonald's. So that's all I've known is working within some sort of corporate apparatus. And now I'm on my own, 48 at last year, 47, so going only knowing corporate America until the age of 47, and Obviously I've made some mistakes. Some things have gone right and Much more has gone wrong. And the, let me tell you, dude, I Know, you know this because you're, you're in business too the world is just indifferent, it's not you, it's not them, it's just indifferent. And so you have to Pound your chest and talk about how proud you are, what you're doing and because, listen, if nobody, nobody else believe, if Nobody will ever believe in you, if you don't believe in yourself as cliche as that sounds this, but it's true, you've got a, you have to will what it is you want, you have to will it into existence, and so it's how, how bad do you want it? So I'm here and I mean, man, I just, I know there are a lot more people who are in far worse situations than I ever have been or ever will be, and so I just keep. I just keep that in mind. I'm not homeless, I'm not dead. I've got all of my physical and, for the most part, mental faculties with me, and so Just wake up and fight another day, and if I lose whatever, then I lose and Just keep going on your gaining back the next day.

Speaker 1:

I mean you just the way you were saying it when you first got on our call today is like hey, I woke up, I'm here, I'm alive, you know time to start doing something and in that You've always approached that thing since I've known you. Seems like a very positive Viewpoint, but realistic, and that is true. It's like yeah, also, you can't hang yourself like on your, your past accomplishments and like be like whatever you've done is what you've done. Every day is a new day and like people can remember oh yeah, freddie's done this, this and this. You remain staying Houston. People knew your name everywhere, but that doesn't mean the next employer is gonna be like okay, I'm gonna sign you because of that like may not be the right setting, but I think all those things probably, as difficult as they may have been at the times, help to call us you and strengthen you to be able to get to that next level and be able to create your own business. And let's talk about that. What was your goal? What were you trying to do? Because obviously you've got you know, speak hot podcasting. Was that the thing that you kind of had this vehicle or did you have another vehicle and that just ended up being something that you grabbed along the Way. Let's kind of talk about what your vision was when you decided Ari I'm gonna do this on my own, what was this? And? And kind of maybe talk about what that's kind of evolved into today.

Speaker 2:

I got angry because I did not get a job that Was gonna pay me about a third of what I made, and I made really good money. My previous employer really took care of me, like they really took care of me between ratings, bonuses and paid appearances. I mean I was doing really well and so for that I'll never disparage them, right? Yeah, I never will. And I also don't believe in burning bridges most of the time, sure, most of the time most of the time.

Speaker 1:

Some you got a light fire when you walk across. Right, I get it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but let me tell you, yeah, but it really. I was angry at a Job interview that I thought went well, and then I ended up not getting hired. You're talking to somebody who had, as a community affairs director, booked I Don't know how many segments, how many interviews, how many guests from 2015 to 2021. So I had that experience, and it was for a guest booking job and I didn't get it. And so then I went on their website and was looking at what they do and I'm like, huh, I do that. Huh, I do that. Huh, I do that. Okay, well, maybe I should start my own agency and see how it goes. And Wow, is it hard. It is hard. I mean, you talk about getting your your face kicked in, and then you, you fall on the floor and then Someone steps on your face and then they, they pick you up like a bowling ball through your nostrils and then they drag you across the mud and then they, then they take a baseball bat and then smash your knee in. That's like that's entrepreneurship, right, that is entrepreneurship and that's just the first week.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's the first.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and it's funny because I was listening to a Podcast episode of Tom bill you on impact. There he was talking to Cody Sanchez and they're both Amazing business owners and I credit. I credit people like that with a lot of my, a lot of my mindset toward, toward life and business. But he says entrepreneurship is getting your teeth kicked in over and over and the pain will all go away if you just quit. Quit, wow, and it goes away. But there are some people who are just wired to want to embrace the pain, like David Goggins. You know you embrace the suck maybe Seals that's their credo, right? Yes, yes. Yeah. So I've learned to sort of like getting the shit kicked out of me and so here I am. But hey, look, we live in the suburbs, we're not far from you. We live in the suburbs, we're doing okay, I haven't. You know, there are a lot of people who go into business for themselves and they blow through their life savings and they mortgage their house and they max out credit cards and look, that's not a knock on anybody who does that. I personally don't think that you need to grow a business like that. I'm not trying to do that because I'm also a very practical entrepreneur. I'm working a part-time job to try and help sustain and because I don't want to go under. I mean, I've told my wife speak. Podcasting never dies, it will reiterate, until I figure out how to make it a, you know, a huge company with a large imprint, but it's never going away and if I have to do whatever. Oh, and here's the other thing, George, I applied to be a barista, not a Starbucks, but at a local like really cool, hip and trendy shop over in our area, and I couldn't even get before before going to the shelter. I couldn't even get a job as a freaking barista. And you talk about getting kicked in the nuts. I'm like dude, I'm making coffee man. I can't even get a job making coffee.

Speaker 1:

You're overqualified, sir.

Speaker 2:

I'm like I want this. I'm like I want to make coffee. No, you don't understand. I want to work there. I'm trying to put hours in, please, yeah, yeah. So I'm like, yeah, and I say these things because I don't want sympathy. I want people to understand that just how hard it is. And so when someone like me gets to like the next, the top of the next mountain, whatever that mountain looks like, and if someone sees me in that after of the before and after, and they see that and like, huh, must be nice, yeah, let me tell you something, son of a bitch.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I didn't use to have teeth.

Speaker 2:

I've had them replaced multiple times. Yeah, exactly, exactly. These are veneers, baby.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no. Well, I mean, I think that when you see a lot of people don't see the ladder to success, they see people at the top and they think, oh, they must have known someone done this. It's like there's all these. You don't ever really notice all the hours of hard work because a lot of times people aren't showing that off. Now, in the days with social media and stuff, you can kind of see someone as they rise up and what the work they're doing, so there is some way to kind of track it. But a lot of times you just see someone like, oh wow, they're this. Well, man, you look at someone like Chris Pratt and all the different work and the things they put in, and then sometimes it is the lucky networking. Sometimes it is the right place in the right time. But those people also put themselves in that place. They put in the time to be able to be able to have those next connections. And it's hard for people to sometimes understand and they'd be like, oh well, you just did this, yeah, but like your story's too, along the way it hadn't been easy, but you're gonna get to the next top of that mountain and you'll be able to look back. And that's when I feel like the journey is worthwhile and it's something to be able to share with others, that, yeah, it's gonna be tough guys, it's not gonna be easy. You gotta put in the time, you gotta put in the effort, gotta put in the work, and if you do all those things, ultimately I think there's it's only a matter of being able to have some success, in whatever form it is, at least being able to say I went through that process and I tried my best. Maybe that wasn't for you, maybe it's another door you gotta go through, but I always kind of look at any type of work, relationships or even relationships with friends or people that you're dating or whatever Like being able to say at the very end of those things I did everything I could, I tried to make it work, I tried to do these things, I tried to be successful. At the end of the day, if you decide to go a different direction, you can at least walk out with no regrets or maybe there's two little 30 second regrets that you talked about, like you know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. I mean you just have to get used to losing. I think that we are so and I don't know if this is a thing of the West or maybe it's just a human thing where we don't like losing, we don't like setbacks. I mean, who really does like losing? I mean you have to be okay with losing more often than you have to be okay with losing more often than winning. That is my point and it doesn't mean that I just celebrate and enjoy it. I'm just saying that if anything worth having is not gonna come easy, because if it came easy you would be like like I don't know, I don't really watch football that much anymore but it'd be like, I guess, the New England Patriots playing a third grade Pee Wee League football team. Where's the fun in that? Because you know they kick the dogs not out of those kids every single week.

Speaker 1:

Like they were little entrepreneurs yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, man, I mean it's yeah, it's just, it's not fun. It's like when you're playing video games. When you're playing video games and you just beat level one of Super Mario Brothers over and over and over and over and over, and then at some point it gets really boring and you're like, okay, why don't we get to the next boss level? Let's get to the next boss level. We can do this. It was like I never really understood that playing with my friends, where, if they would get angry about what was happening in the game and then they just switched the game off, yep, dude, what the hell's wrong with you? I was about to score a touchdown.

Speaker 1:

I was about to score a touchdown. I was about to score a touchdown.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's just had to suck it up buttercup, that's right man.

Speaker 1:

That's right. I want to circle back in to speak podcasting and like what it is that you're offering folks, cause I know, you know we had a little bit of a communication with one of my friends who was looking to start a podcast and you know, I don't know where were you when I was trying to start. I could have used your wisdom, my friend, but you have such an elaborate background of being able to book guests, be comfortable talking with them. I mean, you know I'll throw this in real quick and we can chat about it later. But you know, you and I met while you were interviewing Jack Carr from the Terminalist series author, author of six amazing books. Seventh is on the way and you know, walked into Murder by the Book. And you know, first thing I looked down and we'll have to get to this is like, oh, there's Freddie Crews book, okay, and there's a Jack Carr book, so we've got to talk about your books as well. But I look in and I'm like man, this guy is awesome. And then I realized later on, oh yeah, radio personality in Houston, I know your voice, I know your name. Didn't connect him that first day, but you and I got to chatting and kind of communicating a little bit and, you know, has forged a friendship here. But you've done all sorts of different things and like I feel like when people come to you, there are multiple avenues of experience that you can talk about. But I really want to kind of, you know, give you a minute to talk about what it is that you offer clients and what it is that you know you walk them through and how you can help build their business.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, my goal is for there to be thousands and thousands of people who I've helped launch podcasts, because this is the future Everybody should have. Let me back up everybody should be a podcaster, because if I were to say everybody should have a podcast, that means you know, george and Freddie can go and start an episode, not get Joe Rogan numbers and then quit after episode two. So I want everybody to be a podcaster. Anybody who is listening, who is interested in some strange quirk, that's a podcast right there. That is at least six months worth of material which, by the way, puts you in the top 1% of creators. Okay. So my goal is to rally up as many people who are tired of waiting to get discovered by the gatekeepers in the big media companies. They're tired of waiting on gatekeepers. They're tired of trying to figure out the algorithms. This is what podcasting can do, where you take true ownership over the story of your brand or your personal brand, your company or what have you. It could be big, it could be small, it could be just a local run sort of pop-up shop thing, like what your daughter, ellie has. That's a podcast right there. Ellie, with her mom and dad go into different places. What I do is really it's multiple layers, so it's consulting and helping people, guide people through what their title should be and then how long their episode should be, how frequently they should be doing their episodes and really mapping out what their first 20, 30 or whatever episodes are going to look like. Having a plan, because you can have an awesome idea for a show about hunting feral hogs that's not to our previous interview. You can have an amazing show about hunting feral hogs and cooking them right, but if you don't have a plan for well, week one is going to be why hunt feral hogs. Week two is going to be how to cook a feral hog. Week three is going to be the easiest recipe. Week four, we're going to bring a chef, so you have to have a plan for execution. Then you go and you execute, and you execute without any regard for backend analytics, because with podcasters, if I had to guess, with podcasters we treat these precious download numbers the way somebody would treat an Instagram, like there, to a certain extent, vanity metrics. Yes, downloads matter just as much as likes matter. It's sort of letting you know that you're doing something right, that you're going in the right direction. Let's be honest downloads can mean anything from Freddie hit play for a minimum one second all the way to George hit play and listen to the entire episode. So there's a wide range of what one single download means. You go into the Apple backend analytics and you've got 40%. An engaged listen is when someone listens for a minimum 40% of an episode. So it's really coaching people to do an episode, record a show that's going to be long enough to cover what they want to cover, but not too long, to where it's just three hours of holy shit. Is this thing ever going to end?

Speaker 1:

I have recorded some three plus hours, one Now. It was great content for those who stayed with. But yeah, you're right, most listeners don't have that kind of time.

Speaker 2:

No, no, you know what? And they don't. And really one of my favorite shows is the Huberman lab with Andrew Huberman, the neuroscientist, and this guy goes off on most cases by himself for a really long time and it's like I want to learn about the brain. But man, I don't know if I could sit there too out. Are your classes even that damn long? Probably not. Cut it down, sir. Cut it down. But I mean, hey look, he ranks really high in the Apple chart, so he obviously knows something that I don't.

Speaker 1:

Joe Rogan, right, I mean, we look at folks like that. It's regularly two, three hours, you know, I've seen some longer. It's amazing.

Speaker 2:

That post Malone interview was four.

Speaker 1:

Dude, I saw that I have not finished the whole thing. I'm probably halfway through, but I remember just looking that up I was like, is that a typo? Like it has to be? But then I think about this like two guys having fun having good conversations Can't tell you how many times that I've talked with people for so long and you're like, oh my gosh, it's this hour or phone has died or whatever. You know good conversations and those two and a lot of the guests he has on it. There's just so much breadth of knowledge and experience that, yeah, you could feel that.

Speaker 2:

I mean, if podcasting was a thing and Joe Rogan was alive back in the time of Christ, that episode would be like 10 hours, let's be honest. It'd be 10 hours and Jesus would probably be a repeat guest, the way one of his, the way is, ufc fighters are, let's be real, marcus Aurelius too, I mean, you know. And then people would lambast him for wanting to talk to, I don't know, herod King. Herod, interviewing everyone, everyone, come on, come on. Yeah, I'm interviewing everybody. Hey, look, I'm going to talk to the king of the Mongols over here. I mean, next week we're going to. It's the diversity of guests, yeah, no, but yeah, I just, I'm obsessed with podcasting and really helping people who would not otherwise have a broadcast career like the one I had or the one that current insert the name of your favorite radio personality has. I want people to understand that they have a voice, they can use it, because everybody is interesting at something and podcasting is the way to go. If you don't want to be on video, you don't have to be on video. If you only want to do audio, hey, you can talk, you can hide behind the mic because you don't ever want to be on camera. That works out perfect. And then, if you're doing it as sort of a vehicle for driving business, you can use all of your podcast episodes, whether they are audio or video or both, and you could. You can turn them into sort of a content avalanche. You can adapt them for Instagram and Facebook reels, tiktok videos, youtube shorts, because YouTube is the second largest search engine next to Google Hello, they're owned by Google. You can take transcripts, insert a favorite quote of yours over a static image of you behind the scenes doing whatever. If you're a baker, I don't know. These are just things that you could do.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, there's multiple platforms. I mean, it's something that it can springboard to whatever it is you want, and I know that even after we had our interview, you send me over some stuff. It's like some really cool video content, text overlay and things too that are these little snippets where you can throw that in. Hey, there's your reel. There's something to attract a small bit, to get someone to have a bigger bite, and a lot of times that's kind of what you need. But there's things you can just do embedded and there's a lot of different types of AI interaction and availability these days, where things can kind of generate themselves, which is wild. I was very much not into the even you know here AI and like I just never even looked much into things. And then I start seeing it's like yeah, you can upload your audio and then all of a sudden give you these suggestions on stuff, where it's like now I see that as a tool. Did it come out perfect? No, but was I able to edit it? And it was like okay, well, it's using the words that we use during this interview. It's really kind of truncating things and being able to maybe put up chapter markers and maybe this one. I want to move over here, but at least they gave me it was almost like a rough draft instead of me having to start from scratch. It's like I already did the work. I did the research for a couple of weeks on that guest and then I recorded it and it's like you've done all this work and it almost like I think at first I was afraid of having that be like a cheat code. It's like I wanted to go and do all this, but then I realized sometimes I need to make sure, if I'm a one man shop running something, which I am, and my time is valuable and that's something that's like I've already done it If I can just have something else spit back and generate some things for me to work with, it's pretty valuable and useful man. I don't know what you take on, is it?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's like having your own personal assistant. It's like having you as your own personal assistant, because you're the one putting the inputs into the chat bot. So with chat GPT you don't just say hey, I'm interviewing George Blitz, can you write up some questions for someone who's an outdoorsman, who likes to hunt? You don't do that. You put in sort of a bio and then you put in use these parameters and make 15 questions and then it comes out. I love using it for drafting email newsletters. I've done this before for in numerous different sort of contexts, and it works so beautifully because, like you said, the rough draft part is already done. And then you go and you're like, okay, that sucks, that sucks, I'm gonna move that there. Oh golly, yeah, I would never let that fly. And let me tell you, man, you can tell when someone is dependent completely upon AI, because the thing that I've noticed the most is how redundant it can be. And so when you start to pick up on a third way of someone saying something within five sentences, you're like, yeah, that person didn't even go and prune it. And hey, to each their own. These people are obviously way more successful than I am. So it works, I guess.

Speaker 1:

But I guess that's too like what is the idea of, like the merit of your success If you're constantly advancing and learning and sharpening your craft. You're getting better at that and the way that I look at interviews and my ability now to be able to sit down and talk with someone. Before I used to spend a week writing down these 23 questions or whatever it would be, and now it's like I realize I can just pivot and just have these real conversations that I would normally have with someone sitting across from and I feel more comfortable being able to do that. I don't have anything in front of me to ask you any questions today, and a year ago that would not have been the case Now. I know enough about you and there's things I wanna ask you and I feel like we've already had a great start with that, but, like I don't, I'm getting better at it. I still am not as sharp as some of these other people. I look at the Rogans of the world or other folks who are going on and the Tim Ferriss and things. It's like wow, these guys. But you put in the work and stuff. You don't necessarily have to go through the notes and you can just kind of walk your way through it and it becomes very authentic. But you're teaching people that are coming to you how to do these things, how to use these tools maybe with AI, how they can be able to help build their brand successfully, and you've had that experience and so I feel like it's the most authentic person that I could think of. Whenever anybody asks me, I'm gonna send them your way and like thank you, man. He knows. Oh, of course, man, of course, and go ahead. No, you go ahead. I was gonna ask you. Pivoting now to your other kind of creations. Let's talk about that book that I saw, or the books, rather, when I'm walking into Murder by the Book and you have written how many books now is it?

Speaker 2:

Three and I'm done for now.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so talk to me about those. Is that something you always wanted to do? How did the first one come about and then how those other two roll into and like have you always been a writer? Is this something that you were like I'm gonna challenge myself, and what did that look like as far as the beginnings of your path as an author?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I have always been a writer, but in the copywriting sense of the word writer. A lot of what I did in my previous radio career was writing promo copy, so anything from a five second little one liner thing to 30 seconds to upwards of show notes Basically the equivalent of podcast show notes or show prep or whatnot. So I've always written, and very effectively too. The Marconi Awards I've probably played a couple of small roles in us winning those, but in 2018, we were at Barnes Noble one night it was a wacky Saturday night me and my wife and my two daughters at Barnes Noble burning the house down. It was crazy. And so we were walking through the book section and then one of my daughters was like, dad, you should write a book. I'm like, really, what do you think it should be about? I don't know, but you should write a book. And I'm like, hmm, I've always thought it'd be kind of cool to have a book and I think people sort of gravitate toward that. Hey, yeah, it'd be cool to have a book, and then they just never do it because it's funny. You mentioned Tim Ferriss. Yeah, it's a lot of work. You mentioned Tim Ferriss and I think he I forget who he was talking about, but it was essentially everybody wants to have a book, but not everybody wants to write a book, and that's sort of the same sort of a notion or the same sort of mentality toward having a podcast. Everybody wants to have a podcast, but nobody wants to be a podcaster, because being a podcaster means George and Freddie are putting in the work, research, we're editing and posts, we're scheduling, we're managing schedules and so, yeah, that's a tall order for somebody who doesn't do these, and maybe that's why there's so many zombie podcasts out there. But so my back to the books. My kids had dared me to write a book, challenge me, so to speak, and so the novelty of the challenge for dad wore off and I was left with okay, I'm not gonna just say that I'll write a book and then not write that check, that you don't write a check, your ass can't cash, especially when it comes to your kids, and so I'm not gonna let them down. But what do I write about? Well, they're obviously not paying attention because nothing dad does is cool anymore, what? So I know?

Speaker 1:

Don't say, don't say Sorry to let you guys down.

Speaker 2:

Man, if you got young kids, you will eventually not be cool, but so I'm like all right, well, I need to make sure this is fun. And so, in 2018, as you and the audience may know that was when a certain person was holding one of the higher offices in the world and things were really nasty just all over the place. And so I thought, hmm, how can I not keep from engaging with people on the internet? Oh, I'll write a book about repealing the First Amendment to the United States and show everyone what a real tyrant looks like, and so, and so it's funny because my developmental editor to this day, still has no idea what side of the political aisle I stand on, which is good. So I, in that sense, really did my job. The Houston press had other words for me. They said it was like a terrible libertarian book. They called my president, who got assassinated, trumpian, and I'm like no, no, I don't think so. I'm probably more like Ron Paul, but I don't even I even hesitate to say that. But yeah, so that was a fun book to write, and with anybody who ever wants to go the indie, the indie route of writing is that you really have to know yourself, because you can put out a big heaping stack of garbage if you don't really really seek out some help, like you have to, like you can. There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance, especially when it comes to something like a book. Because in Jack Carr you got the book in the background and you know I've interviewed the guy and I've listened to his podcast enough where he's like time is all we have and really you're, you're asking someone to buy your book. It's that is an investment of somebody's time that they just do not get back. And so not comparing myself to Jack Carr by any stretch of the imagination I had fun writing it and if the Houston press murdered it then it must have been somewhat decent. So, and then the second book. They canceled the DJ. I wrote that in a fit of rage because it was. I started conceptualizing the book after the the negative review. I use anger as a tool a lot, as you might be able to infer from our conversation. It is a good tool and I believe in using. I believe in using all the emotions as tools for for getting to where you want to go, and I would even say using happiness, if you like. If you like seeing your loved ones happy, well, guess what? She probably do more of that, more of what's working, so that you can keep them happy. But yeah, I believe in using anger, sadness, indifference, all as tools. And so I wrote that one funny story during the freeze of 2021. I wrote longhand, 10 pages in the dark, by candlelight, simply because I wanted to know how the old school people did it back in the day, before electricity and heat, and it was fun. I forget what chapter that might have been, but it was fun. Rose, my ass off, but I thoroughly enjoyed that. And then there's Allow Me to Ruin your Christmas, which was probably the most fun book I wrote out of the three I enjoy writing, but it was more of sort of a projection against like the the happy go lucky, sort of Christmas, like it's a Christmas miracle y'all and happy, happy endings and and Hallmark movies and the the boy gets the girl and Rose, you know, life is not happy endings. It can sometimes be very miserable and it could be made miserable by the people closest to you. So that was really a sort of a reflection on my disdain with with the holiday season just being so I don't know, caricatured in a very toxically positive way and so I had fun dancing. You know we all, we all have a shadow and I enjoyed dancing with my shadow for that book. And the last chapter was probably the best thing I've ever put together in my entire life. That and the halfway, the midway point, the climax, where things start to go go downhill. Of course I've been told that it goes goes downhill from chapter one, but I'm talking where shit hits the fan, like when it gets violent. It's first person, alternating characters, so you're inside the mind of Beckett and then the next chapter it's Lex and they're both told first person and I liked it.

Speaker 1:

So you say you're done with with the books. Is there some other type of project or something that you want to create? I mean, you've you? You checked that list off, right, you're like I did that. Is there something else that someone else has maybe inspired you to want to go after? I mean, I'm not necessarily saying you're going to write an opera and perform it here in Houston for us all, but maybe there's something, maybe that I did. I guess that. But is there something that you are like? You know what I want to make sure I accomplish that one of these days. Is there some kind of bucket list for you with what you want to do?

Speaker 2:

No, I'm just really angry at the way things have turned out with with writing, and I never set out to to. I never set out to be a Stephen King or Brad Thor. I've just the past two books as and again as an indie author, you are the owner of, of your destiny, right, and and so I would advise anybody who writes independently to really know who you're entering a partnership with. So, for instance, the second book and this is all just since June OK, the publisher for the second book went under and I haven't got paid my royalties, and I only knew they went under because I was reached out to by a fellow writer who hasn't even gotten her book. So she paid a bunch of money down. She paid in full before the book turned out and she still doesn't have a book. And apparently I'm one of the lucky ones because at least I got a book.

Speaker 1:

At least I got something.

Speaker 2:

Now, I haven't gotten paid any royalties, but at least I have a book. There are people who paid thousands of dollars and don't have a book, George. That is a travesty. So that's one, and then two. Again. Going back to as an being an independent author, you haven't really take on the lion's share of your work and, of course, the traditionally published people they don't tell you that. They also don't really market you very well. They probably market you a little bit If you're a big name. They market the crap out of you. But if you and I were to get a traditionally published deal, we'd essentially be on our own. That's why people say that it's always best to go indie. And I'm telling you yes, that is true to a certain extent, as long as you are OK with knowing that you could get dropped even by your indie publisher, which is what happened to me with Allow Me to Ruin your Christmas. So, effective November 15, I'm not sure when this episode goes out, but effective November 15, they will no longer carry my book. So that's all happened in less than six months, and so I'm done writing for now, and I eventually do want to have a library of books that I've written. It's just that right now I'm very right now the author world is I shouldn't say the author world, the publishing world is dead to me. Yeah, I just I need to. I need to figure out how I'm going to play in that sandbox, because I do want to play. I want to go back and play in the sandbox. It's like, you know, there are a bunch of scorpions in there and I'm not going to go in the sandbox of their bunch of scorpions. I'm going to figure out when I can go in and when I decide time is right, then I'll go back and and start writing. And also, also, I've started three books since last year. Is it three? Yeah, three. I've started three books since last year and have not finished any one of them, because I've gotten inside my head and so I think a lot, and then, and then this happened and I'm like, yeah, I just need to stop. I need to stop and just really get, get things, get my other affairs in order, because maybe that's my subconscious saying that you're not, you're not in a place to do it.

Speaker 1:

Well, you got to be in the right set and setting. I mean, I just recently interviewed Jim Shockey, who he talked about writing the first few words of his book and then realizing now is not the time and 25 years later finished it. He had a lot of life in between those 25 years which allowed him to then be able to write that part of the book, because a lot of it was autobiographical in nature. But those experiences helped shape what he wrote later on and if he didn't have those experiences that book never would have come to be. So maybe you're just supposed to go and do those things now for that future book to come out.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely, and I have. I forget what they call it. I forget what they call it it's. I have a manuscript that will never see the light of day. There's a technical word for it. I'm not even going to try and remember, but I have an entire manuscript that I wrote long hand and it was kind of fun, but it will never see the light of day. Just because I don't know that it's, I don't know that it's workable, editable. I just I just wrote it for me, just to see if I could and I did that whole. they call it the Pomodoro method, where you write for 30 to 45 minutes time at 45, 30 to 45 minutes at a time, sort of like writing sprints throughout the day, and, holy crap, I finished it in like two months. It works, yeah, I mean it really that method really works. Now, with all the things that I've got going on, I don't know if I could do it. Of course I say that, but I mean I was at the time working my radio gig where I had three freaking duties that were all full-time jobs, and then I was doing work for corporate and then I was also doing all the other things. So I mean I could do it. I think it's just do I want to? Probably not, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, if you focus on it and you set your sights on that, but if that's not what you're wanting to get after and you're so busy with all the other things you're doing right now, maybe there's a day for that next chapter, that next, so to speak, the next book, the next manuscript, the next story, whatever it may be, Before we wrap up. I've been curious about this with all my guests, but especially with you, who's done so many wonderful things. I wanted to know about what you view your legacy, that you want it to be. What is it? Are you going to be remembered whenever you're looking back on this or whenever other people are looking back and they're saying that Freddy Cruz, he's a hell of a guy. Here's these things that I remember about him. I'm totally curious about that idea of what that is, that people will be able to look back and see, and you want to exemplify your life in whatever way you want to explain that.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to refer you to the last page of they Canceled the DJ, and it's just two sentences with no context. I'm not giving away anything. These are not the last two sentences. There are other words 99% of us will be forgotten in 99 years and 99% of the world will never know of this unfortunate turn of events. At the end of the day doesn't matter. I mean, I want to think it does. Listen, I am the product of an unplanned pregnancy. My parents had me at a very young age. My kids were brought here not that way, and so I can't help but believe that there's some sort of higher power that put me here not to be mediocre but to do something large, and I've got the audacity to think that I can. And I don't know how long it'll take. I don't know if that happens before the end of 2023. Here we are in late October. I don't know if that's going to happen next year. I don't know if it'll happen in 2030. I don't know if I have to go freaking bankrupt and get sued and my family disowns me before I come out from the shadows of darkest places in one's life. I hope it doesn't come to that, because I don't think that's necessary. I really don't think that you have to hit rock bottom to accomplish amazing things in your life and in your career. All that to say 50 years after I'm gone. I would like, in case there's not a nuclear war that destroys everything, I'll throw that caveat out there. But 50 years after I'm gone, I would love for people who are in my bloodline to go back to watching an episode like this or reading a book, if there's still a book. We talked about my two previous ones being out of print, but they'll be on sale somewhere.

Speaker 1:

There will be an eBay in the future, we hope. Yeah there will be an eBay in the future.

Speaker 2:

They'll see something like a podcast interview with son of a bitch or they'll read a book like they canceled the DJ. They'll be like you know, life was so simple back then and we've got all these luxuries and I don't know how they did it. What is this Facebook thing that's so antiquated? And actual physical books. People did that. They actually turned pieces of paper. What the hell?

Speaker 1:

This chapter almost looks like it was maybe written by candlelight.

Speaker 2:

Written by candlelight. People drove cars, Cars had actual tires on them and now we fly. And so they look at my life and realize how hard they think I might have had it which I have hard days, but my life is not difficult. But they'll look at my life and they'll look at the things that I did and they'll realize how I got there and they'll, on a rough day, they'll be like if he did that, then I can do it too, and I owe it to my future self to go out there and at least try my fucking hardest.

Speaker 1:

Dude love it. That is one of the more epic answers and final words of a legacy question. It's so true, though, man and you have, that they can look back on all the different things you've done. You've produced so many things. There's interviews, there's your books, there's the podcast, the other people that you've helped launch in their careers too, and there's so much left for them, so many breadcrumbs to follow your history. And I love how you're talking about your future self and who you owe it to, because I think there was a quote I heard and I'm probably butchering a little bit, but he goes. The guy talks about his legacy and stuff. He's like I want the eight year old me and the 80 year old me to be proud of what I've done, and I was like that's pretty cool. So he's like he talks about every day making sure that that kid and that you know, as your time is setting, looking back on what you've done and accomplished. Freddie, thank you so much for joining me today. I know that there's going to be tons of people who want to learn more about you and where to follow you, so why don't you go ahead and give me your socials website, your business, and kind of give people a path to follow your awesome career and maybe help theirs blossom along the way.

Speaker 2:

I really appreciate the time, my man. The website is speakpodcastingcom, and speak is a combination of the words sparrow and Zeke, which are my two dogs, so s-p-e-k-e. Podcastingcom, and from there you can link up to the socials. I got two newsletters. I got the cruise thru h-t-x, which is the podcast. So cruise thru h-t-x available wherever you get your shows and listen to the interview with the son of a blitch, where we talk about feral hunting and all the good stuff and owning a business with your family, and so you can go back to that episode, make that the first one you listen to. And then the second recommendation will be a 77-year-old fitness influencer, joe McDonald. So those two will be my first, my top two recommendations for you when you acquaint yourself with what I'm doing. And so, yeah, that's where you can find me, link up, and I'm happy to hear from you and help you in any way, any way I can.

Speaker 1:

Once again, thank you for joining the podcast. Thank you for your friendship, man. I just love hanging out with you, connect with you you give me some fuel to my fire as well and looking forward to many more collaborations in the future man who knows what we're going to be doing together, but I know there's going to be something fun down the road. So thanks again, and everyone, make sure you go check out all the wonderful things Freddie's doing. Thank you, sir, we will talk soon. Appreciate you, george. All right, take care.

Freddy Cruz on Podcasting and Business
Transitioning to Self-Employment and Overcoming Challenges
Navigating the Path to Success
Podcasting for Business Growth
Indie Publishing Challenges and Writing Books
Reflections on Legacy and Future Success
Gratitude and Future Collaborations

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