Hard to believe isn’t it? Two years ago I climbed into my VW Jetta Diesel TDI and began this journey with our very first episode, An Introduction to The Survival Podcast, on that day one person listened, me. Over the next few weeks we got into iTunes, I put a few episodes of the show into “Stumble Upon” and a few other social media sites and just began working my ass off.
I had a full time job back than, actually more than one, I was the owner of one company and in that capacity worked as effectively the Director of Marketing for three others. My days were long, often the nights were as well, business dinners, recruiting events, etc. Some nights I got home at 10-12 at night and would begin the outline for the next show at that point, climb into bed, get up and do it all again. Hell even my wife didn’t know I was doing TSP until about two months into it.
I worked like a mad man and it wasn’t really so I could build TSP into the business it has become it was because at last I was living my true passion, teaching people. During that first month we grew from one listener to about twelve, really just twelve! But in the next month it grew to a few hundred, we set a goal (the early listeners did it with me) grow to 1,000 regular listeners by the end of the year, we hit 1,000 in November of 2008, I gave a free iPod to one of the listeners that was inscribed, “Be an Ant, Not a Grasshopper”. Today more than 14,000 people a day download or stream TSP and about 11-12 thousand are direct consumers via our feed. In fact the show has been downloaded in total now over 2.2 Million Times, and that is only counting via our feed!
Despite my maniac like work ethics that is not really what grew the show though, you did it! The community around the show built it. The forum is a classic example, I wanted no forum. I was known in several forums and didn’t want to appear to be a “forum pirate” (one who sets up a new forum to siphon users from others that are already established, to me these people rank with spammers and phishers as scum of the internet). I wanted TSP to be built on its own merits.
In the fall of 2008 I was actually informed by several members of the audience that I had no choice about a TSP Forum. Seriously! It was basically a threat, you will give us a forum, we need one we will even run it for you but, you are going to do it. So I did it, I installed the forum, I set up the initial boards, recruited about 7 moderators to help the 4 “thugs” that extorted a forum from me and stepped back. The results?
- Over 5100 Real Members (spammers, inactives, etc are terminated by the Mod Squad)
- Over 16 Thousand topics of discussion on the forum so far
- More than 1.9 MILLION posts, I think we will break 2 million today
- My moderators became my “Ad Council” creating the only advertising program I know of where the audience approves sponsors
- I have made friends that I wold trust my life with, yes I mean that
- I met Tiffany and Rich Rockwell as moderators and out Gear Shop was born
Those folks are just highlights. Now every day I wake up and I thank all of you, I honestly say it to all of you verbally generally as I walk my garden and prepare for the day’s show. I try to do each show with an outflow of gratitude and a sincere desire that every day at least one person fundamentally takes at least one step to towards a better life based on something I say on that day.
Last year on the anniversary we had an amazing episode that if you have never heard you should listen to. (Episode 224) Listeners called in and told others what the show had meant to them, what they had changed, the debts they had paid off and the freedom they were feeling. That show changed me, I actually felt the change I was causing, more accurately the change WE WERE CAUSING together across the nation even across the world.
Prior to launching the show there were a few days I looked at my nation and as a former solider and true patriot shed a tear or two for America. These were tears of despair, the nation I loved, the people I loved were dying right in front of me. Their spirits were broken, they began to believe the lie that the answer was outside of themselves. My response was “damn it no!” in fact, “hell no, not while I can still shout to someone, to anyone that this is not our path!, We are still free men and woman, we still are in charge of how we live.” I wondered if anyone would even listen.
People listened, they did a hell of a lot more, they shouted back, they cried out, “I am here, lots of us are here, we are not gone, we will not go away, we are with you”. Something even bigger began to happen other voices cried out, “we are awake now, we were asleep, we believed the lies that told us we couldn’t do it on our own, now we know it is bullshit and we are with you too and WE ARE TELLING OTHERS”.
This year as the anniversary approached I considered doing another call in show with people just saying what they have done, (we will do one don’t worry), but something else happened. Enter Greg Yows of RevolutionRockAndRoll.com who worked with me to create a new song called “The Revolution is You” and this time I asked you guys to send me pictures of you living the new revolution. Gardening, fishing, hunting, building, bee keeping, shooting, teaching, camping, etc. anything that was linked to preserving lost skills and creating self sufficiency and independence.
A total of 650 plus pictures came in (keep sending them, there will be new versions of the video in the future with more pictures) 120 made the cut for the first edition of the video. I worked like a mad man on this one, when it was finished I again paused and shed a tear or two, this time both of hope for my nation and of gratitude for each of you that found the courage to act, to do something, anything that says, “I will control my own life, I will teach others and my children how powerful we all really are.”
Below is the video we created together, if you sent a picture and I did not include it I apologize, the time constraints of the video meant over 500 could not be included. Like I said more versions will come.
Today’s show will be sort of brief, no sponsors, no house keeping, no announcements. Just me telling all of you what this journey has meant to me and a request that you forward this video to as many people as you can. Thank you, all of you who have understood that the choices are our’s and the revolution is you!
With great appreciation to all,