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Interesting Lives of Normal People

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“I think you guys should start a podcast with Jake.”

The podcast started with a group text from Maggie, Jake’s wife. A few months later, Holdeman and Fin sat down with Jake to find out what was behind Maggie’s text (besides her usual motivations of starting a wildly successful business that would allow us all to retire at 40).

Jake shared that he just had a nagging desire to ‘do something’. Life was good, work was good, but still, something creative and generative seemed untapped within him. He needed a passion project and had a hunch that a podcast might be that. Holdeman proposed we just start recording, capturing the process of unfurling Jake’s passion project in real time, sharing the journey with people, and maybe helping them along the way with a word of encouragement or an actual exercise to complete.

The early episodes reveal an earnest, if clunky, pursuit of understanding passion, passion projects, and the risks of ‘doing something.’ Soon, though, Jake dialed into what he wanted to do: listen. More than just booking guests, figuring out how to mix sound, or determining the best marketing channels for the podcast, Jake wanted to concentrate on creating a space where people were heard, focused on, and maybe even learn something about themselves by being on the pod. For him, these conversations became almost like spiritual practices that stretched him and served others.

By midseason, Jake had discovered his ‘something’ and had dived deep into what became the crux of the show: deep conversations with “normal people”--people like him, with jobs and kids and mortgages--who were living out their normalcy in the most interesting and extraordinary ways. Jake noticed something else about “normal”, though: the further away he got from how he defined normal, the bigger his definition became.

Here’s what the podcast is about: We believe that regular people are living interesting lives all around us, but in the day-to-day grind, it’s easy to overlook them. So, we’re going to talk to normal people - people you could pass in at the grocery store or meet at your kid’s daycare - who are living normal lives in extraordinary ways.

We’re going to talk to a mom who is slowly going blind but refusing to wallow in it. We are going to talk to a first-generation American who’s actually trying to “go back where he came from.” We are going to interview a serial solopreneur who’s fighting racism with a new business.

No famous people allowed (take that, Ke$ha!); just normals with day jobs, kids, and mortgages who are intentionally living their lives in some pretty compelling ways.

Find us on Instagram
Jake Smeester: @jakesmeester
Ryan Findley: @finsky777
Ryan Holdeman: @ryanholdeman

Music by Hygge. Please follow her on SoundCloud.
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10 episodes

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