How to Grow a Podcast while Balancing Day-to-day Responsibilities with George Sirois

Show Notes

Learn how to launch and grow an inspiring podcast while keeping your day job! In this episode of Podcast Tactics, you will discover how to create a podcast that puts a spotlight on creative people and shares their inspiring stories on their journey to success. Today’s guest is an international best-selling author. Listen in to learn how he balances his day-to-day responsibilities with his creative passions, including podcasting.

Remember to share what you got out of this episode by leaving a review at

Learn More about George and His Podcast, “Excelsior Journeys”

Episode recorded on February 27, 2021.

Music by Valence – Infinite [NCS Release]


James: In this episode of Podcast Tactics, you will discover how to create a podcast that puts a spotlight on creative people and shares their inspiring stories on their journey to success. Today’s guest is an international best-selling author. Listen in to learn how he balances his day-to-day responsibilities with his creative passions, including podcasting.

Remember to join the mailing list at so you can keep learning, get inspired, and stay motivated.

Thanks for listening in. I’m James, the host of Podcast Tactics. Now let’s get into it.

Joining me right now is author voice actor and veteran podcaster, George Sirois from St. Louis, Missouri. George, thank you so much for joining me and

George: thank you very much for having me, James. I appreciate

James: it. You know, I know you’ve got a couple of podcasts in the cooker. Uh, I do want to kind of focus in on Excelsior Journeys if that’s all right with you.

George: Absolutely. That’s kind of the flagship show anyway right now. So yeah.

James: Very cool. Yeah.

George: Tell us what it’s all about. Well, um, Excel to your journeys came about simply because I took a look one, uh, through my list of Facebook friends one day, and I saw all these different people that I grown up with from grade school, high school college people beyond college.

And they’re all like really talented in their own way. They have their own skill that they’re really excelling at and people don’t really know too much about them. So I just figured. These guys need to be on a podcast. They need to be out there. They need to tell the world about their skill. They need to tell the world about what it is that they’re doing, because there are so many podcast guests that are out there that have already like hit that CEO level or already scored that multi-million dollar deal or whatever.

And they’re all just kind of like saying. You know, here I am at the finish line coming, you know, come and join me. And so it was really more, much more interesting to me to hear from people that are kind of running in the race, along with the, with the listener. And so after a couple of months I realized like, okay, so everyone needs to be on my show.

And that’s when I decided that was going to be the idea. Of the show. The only thing I needed was a name and I was going back and forth with different names and everything, and nothing really seemed to stick. And it just so happened that one of my friends, David Lucas, who I, it was actually doing a podcast with in the past a right radio.

He was the main producer of that. Uh, he looked at my then, or from one of my books, which is Excelsior and the subtitle of it is part one in the Excelsior journey. And it’s the Excelsior journey is a three part. It’s a trilogy of young adult Saifai books, parts one and two are already out there. Part three is in production and he just gets, he just looks over my shoulder and goes, what about the Excelsior journey?

And I was just like, you know, that really works. So let me just go ahead and just, you know, tweak it a little bit. So now it’s Excelsior journeys. So that way everyone has one. And so now it’s almost like, um, I’m not sure if you remember Friday the 13th of the series. Oh yeah. Yeah. So you know how like, uh, the series itself is completely different from the Friday, the 13th movies that were, that were in, in theaters, it was almost like the movies themselves were kind of like the, the big leagues and then everyone kind of cut their teeth on.

The series and really just kind of, and that kind of created its own cult audience. That’s kind of the way I, I picture this because there’s no real similarity between the, between the characters in the books and everything that I talk about in, in the, on the show. So it’s got its own thing, but at the same time, they’re all, they’re weirdly connected in this way.

James: Well, I really do like the idea of you interviewing people that are making it happen. You know, they’re, they’re, they’re kind of moving and shaking, so to speak, and that’s really inspiring to hear those stories. I’m really drawn to that kind of, um, you know, people who are, are open to the possibilities of making things happen for

George: themselves.

Exactly. And there are, there are way too many people that are out there that feel the need to just kind of, um, kind of put their dreams on hold and just focus on their own personal responsibilities and you know, more power to them. If they, they feel that that’s the, the correct way to go. Um, but what I really respond to is what I am personally dealing with.

I have a full-time job. I have responsibilities. I have a mortgage, I have bills. I have student loans to pay. Thankfully, we just paid off the car. I got a wife, got a daughter, you know, mother-in-law’s living with us and everything. There are a lot of responsibilities that, you know, that are, that revolve around, keeping that full-time job, keeping that mortgage hayed, keeping those student loans paid.

But at the same time, I’m doing my best to try to make time for my own creative endeavors, including my show. So that’s something that I really appreciate when I hear about other people doing the same thing.

James: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. It’s it’s a reality for many people. Yeah,

George: yeah, yeah. And then people need to see that, you know, that, uh, that it’s, you don’t have to just do one or the other.

You don’t have to just tuck away everything that you’ve ever felt passionate for in order to focus on your day job. And you don’t have to. You don’t have to be the starving artist trying to make it, you know, like with, while leaving everything else behind, you know, there is, there are ways to have it both ways.

James: Yeah. I mean, and you bring a very, uh, you bring a very good perspective around that. You’re a published author, you know, and you’re balancing all of this, you know, writing podcasting family, man. Yeah. So. Kudos. He has a lot to

George: balance. Obviously, obviously the, the dream would be to you do like audio book narrating doing the author business, doing the voice acting full-time that that’s something that I’ve always kept an eye on, but at the same time, there’s a lot that my day job offers and the person that got me that job is someone I dearly appreciate.

And I want to make him. No. I want to make him feel that he made the right choice by bringing me in. So yeah. Oh yeah. There’s so there is that sort of balance and you’re not always going to find it. I don’t always find it. Like, I mean, there are, there are many, many times, like, I am just so creatively dry on writing this third book, but you know, like it’s, it’s like.

Parts are just kind of starting to make themselves known. And my second draft is starting to get a little bit of traction, but yeah, it’s, it’s something that you just have to keep, you have to keep working on because it is important to you and you want to make it, we want to make it right. And you want to make sure that you’re balancing all of your responsibilities as well.

James: Let’s bring it back to your podcast. I’m I’m want to kind of drill in a little bit more on that.

George: Absolutely. Yeah.

James: What. What is it that you are most challenged by with your podcast? For me,

George: it’s the marketing of it. I’ve been I’ve. I’ve. I’ve been even like kind of talking to some different people on clubhouse about the, about this, you know, talking to like a real, to a lot of really prominent people in the podcast world.

And some of them have suggested like a different name for the show and, uh, to make it a little bit more catchy, more universal and everything. And. I just, I can’t see myself doing that because it, there, I just feel like the main thing that I need to do is just make sure that the message itself behind it gets out there a little bit more.

That’s the thing that I really need to focus on is just getting the, getting that sort of feeling of, you know, that these people are. Worth listening to their worth, their worth, hearing their story. And there is so much that they have to provide, and those who have listened have really felt inspired by the kind of stories that they tell.

So I just, I, I just need to keep getting the word out there more. That’s marketing always seems to be kind of like my, um, my Achilles heel, you can say. That

James: is a shared Achilles heel with me. Yeah. And many people, you know, and your, your content. Well, we’ll talk a little bit about some of the episodes that I listened to, but yeah, the content is definitely there.

I mean, you’re, you’re getting it real nice. I mean, it is inspiring to listen to these people talk, it’s inspiring to hear you interact with these people as well. So I do believe that you’re right. You know, it’s just a matter of getting the word out there. And from there, you know, hopefully it’ll just blossom and bloom.

George: Yeah. And the main thing that I just keep on trying to do is just, just keep on making that content, keep on sticking with it, not give up on it, because I believe in the show, I, I truly believe in the show. I love the fact that, that the guests that come on wind up having a really good time. I got to, you know, spoke with a couple of them that have already said that they’re coming back and I’m really excited about that, you know?

And it’s, it’s given me the opportunity to create different themes of, of, for different things. Like all of March I’m D I’m talking with all these different filmmakers that are all like in various modes of making it, you know, like, uh, there’s a short film, uh, Right. Or an actress who has been just like, I mean, she has gotten one award after another, at all these different festivals and been selected to this festival and this festival and this festival, I get to talk with her next week, all about it.

And, you know, it’s, it’s a blast, you know, getting, getting to, getting to do this. You know, I was about to

James: ask you, what do you love about podcasting? But I think we just hit on it.

George: Well, and, and, and also it’s a great opportunity to talk to people that I never would have been able to talk to before in the past, one of the things that I realized that I had an opportunity to do to really kind of branch out the show is talk to more established people.

And, you know, and so like I had a great two hour conversation with the screenwriter of transformers, the movie Flint dilly. Wow. And, you know, and. He’s coming back in August for my 35th anniversary, um, retrospective for transformers, the movie that’s gonna take place throughout all of August. I’m getting to talk with Vince Nicola, the composer of the score.

And we talked for so long about all the stuff that he did beforehand. We didn’t have time to talk about transformers. The movie was coming back and he’s going to talk about it in August. So yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s amazing because the sort of feeling that, that. That I’ve gotten just from doing this and it’s allowed me to actually become a better speaker in all of this, because just hearing to some, just hearing some of the episodes, there are just, there’s a plethora of ums and UHS and you knows, and everything.

And even though I’ve done my best to kind of reign those in, they do happen from time to time still. And. There is the, you know, the deeper breath, but you know, a lot of times just because as I talk, I get a little bit out of breath, but I’m working on that too. Can relate on

James: both of those things, the ums and AHS and the outs of

George: breaths.

But at the same time, like, I mean, it just feels like the more I do this, the better I’m getting and the more prepared I’m going to be for when those, for when the general public really starts looking in the direction of the show.

James: Yeah. I mean, I got to say that it is humbling to hear you. Well, I should say it’s interesting to hear you, uh, have humility around it because I listened to the Tony Langhorne episode.

Oh yeah. And fun. You’re just so sharp. You’re so precise. And maybe that’s editing. It’s really a clean presentation of the interview. Um, he’s great. Right. Yeah. You know, I mean,

George: he really is,

James: but you really, you know, the interview was just a really nice connection with him.

George: Oh, thank you. Thank you. And yeah, that, that was, that was something that I did not expect.

I was asked to participate in this, uh, these two webinars called publish me and they were nice enough to let me. Repurpose the audio for my show. So I was able to introduce a lot of, you know, some listeners to all these really great people, Tony being one of them, uh, dark, Lima being one of them. She’s my friend who brought me on to that.

And I was able to kind of return the favor and have her on the show in, uh, earlier this month. And both of them were just fabulous. It was a lot of fun to really get to talk to them. And that was my first time really getting to talk with Tony. We had only, we hadn’t even really spoken to each other too much, you know, like we talked a little bit during the webinars, but that was the extent of it.

But I just knew, you know, after listening to him and hearing his passion and his ambition. The guy literally wants to take ideas and turn them into galaxy. So fat. Yeah. I was just like, I am, that’s it? Jill, you just got my tagline, right?

James: Exactly. That’s what drew me into that. I was like, man, that is such a great line.

You know what I mean? That, that, those, what is that three words? They’re so inspiring.

George: Yeah, yeah. Ideas to galaxies. I mean, like that’s, that’s the kind of person that I want to hang out with. You know, somebody with that kind of ambition who wants to, who has the means to back it up. And that’s one thing that I am really, really impressed with with Tony, because, you know, there are so many people that just like, what if we do this?

And what if we do that? And you can always good to just kind of stir up and brainstorm and everything. But if you don’t do anything with it, then. Nothing’s going to happen with it. Yeah. You gotta be an action. Right. And you know, like, and very much with, with this show with my show, because from October, 2018 to say November, so of 2019, the show was, was going at a good brisk pace.

And then we had moved into our new house and my, and things really started to ramp up with my full-time job and everything. And. And so it kind of took a backstep, it took a bit like a step back for a while and it was on the back burner and nothing really happened with it until may of 2020. And what’s bittersweet about it is the reason why it started up again was because one of my friends that I, that I wrote with.

On the pop culture website for one, one mania gave me the news that two of our most prominent people had just died. And so, and you know, like totally different, you know, areas, totally different States and everything, but one of them was really ill. And I think another one, the other one was pretty sudden, but it was a blow because both of them were just so steeped into this site and.

I had always talked about having a bunch of four, one, one mania writers, come on a show and we’ll do like a big like reunion kind of thing. And, you know, tell stories about all the behind the scenes stuff and how each of us got on the site and our favorite topics and the weird people that would email in and everything.

And then, but once I got that news, I was like, We have to do this now. Yeah. And we have to celebrate Larry and Chris, we have to get, we have to get this going and everything turned around so quickly. And I want to having with myself, you know, counting myself about 14 other 14 writers. I’m on a zoom call at the same time.

So you want to talk about, you know, like getting, you know, really cutting my teeth in terms of moderation, but we talked for like a good two hours or so. And it’s one of the, I think maybe three or four different episodes that had to get the explicit Mark on there from, from Apple podcasts. But, um, But it was so worth it because, especially from, you know, one of the guys, Tony and Sarah, who is just like, he was exactly that he brought the same exact kind of energy that I was really looking forward to because I wanted it to sound like the tribute to the great, uh, comic Patrice O’Neil on, uh, the day after he died, the opiod Anthony show had a bunch of different comics on there and there were all just.

Roasting each other while talking about Patrice and roasting him being like, it was a good, like three, four hours of some of the greatest radio I’ve ever heard. I always keep going back to that episode and to have that opportunity to basically kind of have my own with that. It was an amazing feeling and it got the juices flowing again, because then it’s just like, okay, who else can I get on?

Who else can I get to on next week’s show on. On short notice. And then it was just like one after the other. I just kept on checking out, you know, like all different people, different people that I had gone to college with. One of them that, uh, that became episode 50, uh, Ryan, Casper, Zach, he was on. So you think you can dance?

And he was, he and his brother were both on there. His brother had gotten all the way to like third place on when he was on. And so it was. I knew that that his interview was going to be a home run and it by far was cause he w he not only. Went on to do that show, but then he also went on to be a choreographer for Hamilton.

Oh, wow. Yeah. Like, I mean, great stories that, you know, that these are all my friends. And so it was just like, I felt like I was sitting on like a gold mine of, of content, just dealing with all these great people. So it’s just like, I always keep an eye out for whenever a friend is, wants to share something big on Facebook or whatever, saying like, Hey, I just did this.

You know, obviously you want to just be like, Oh, I wish I could. I wish I had that opportunity that I could do this full time, but you know, like you just, you, you have that moment, you let it pass and then it’s like, you want to be on my show, you can talk about it. And then all of a sudden, boom, you got more content.

So that’s, that’s what, that’s what I absolutely love about it. About doing that’s fantastic. Yeah. So.

James: What do you want people to get out of listening to your show? Why should they listen to Excelsior journeys? I

George: want people to know that it’s never just like an overnight thing too many people are just so dialed into the, behind the music style of.

You know, getting to know people and you know, like so many times on various shows, you’re speaking with like CEOs of multi-million dollar companies. You’re talking to somebody who has like 37 different screenplays that are out there that have been in theaters and all these, you know, like award winning filmmakers actors.

All this great stuff, people that are on top of their game. And that’s great. You want to have people on there to aspire to be like, but at the same time, you also want to know that there are a lot of people that are just like you, that are. That are dealing with their own responsibilities, but at the same time they are making their dreams happen.

And it’s possible to do both.

James: I feel like it’s much more relatable. I mean, it’s great. It’s great that, you know, people succeed and that they’re able to kind of share that portion of it. But I feel like that’s just a portion of it. Um, you know, giving you’re giving the broader story.

George: Right, right, right. To kind of bar to kind of borrow from, from Marvel.

And like, uh, you know, every, all of the other guests that come on on all these other shows that are all like at the top of their game, they’re, you know, they’re hosting Tony stark, they’re hosting Thor, they’re hosting Bruce banner, they’re hosting, um, you know, clin, clin, Barton, they’re all these, the top names in the Avengers at the same time, there are guys like Matt Murdoch, Jessica Jones that are just like that are.

Doing their own that are doing their part to make the world a little bit of a better place on a much smaller scale. They’re dealing with their own issues while they’re working. To help others. So that’s, that’s what I, that’s what I really like to hear from like the, the people that are, that are working behind either behind the scenes or on like the lower tier of stuff, but they’re working their way up.

And you know that these guys, as soon as they hit, every podcast is going to be coming, is going to come running for them. And I can say, I was there first, right on the verge, right? Yeah, exactly, exactly. On the verge, you know, like that’s really what they all are, you know, like everyone is, it’s like, they’re, they’re just, they’re just about to break, you know, and some of them have already broken, you know, some of them will broken through, I don’t want to say broken, but, but, uh, but I mean, they’re doing such great work on their own and I want people to know about it.

I want people to know that and you’re like, Hey, these are awesome people. My second episode was. Was with Mark Fratto, who was, who had made a name for himself as one of the ring announcers for HBO box. And he’s also doing like sports announcing for a St. John’s over Madison square garden for the Brooklyn cyclones game.

And. He’s done NASCAR, I think five or six times, whatever. And he’s someone I went to grade school with. So it’s just like, come on my show. And it was great going on in

James: St. Louis, Missouri with all these, some successful

George: people to be fair. I’ve I’ve only lived in St. Louis since 2011. I was in New York for a lot of this, but at the same time, like I even like living in Richmond, Virginia for about six years and going.

And going through drama class with people that, that, you know, that have taken their dreams and are still going. One of my dearest friends, uh, Jennifer L uh, Jennifer Eldridge, she was from high school. Somebody who always made a point to give me the time of day, somebody who was just an absolute, amazing person.

And she was just on the Goldbergs this past Wednesday. Yeah, this is like, and she’s going to, and she and her husband, Carl are coming on my show. So, you know, like I ma I knew that that was going to happen as soon as I said, you know, like how proud I am of her that she’s been able to do this. And she writes Ben, it’s like more material for the show.

Right. You’re damn right.

James: I over here. Yeah. Let’s, let’s step into a time machine. Let’s let’s uh, what’s is the response of that time machine statement. Everybody goes, Oh no, we’re going to go in the future. Let’s go. Let’s go a year or two down the road. What is your hope for Excelsior journey?

George: My hope for Excelsior journeys is that it’s going strong and I I’m getting more of I’m getting really good help, you know, like.

Consistent amount of people filling out the guest application on my website, filling out the sponsorship application on my website and making it so that way that the show basically sustains itself because I mean, we all have our expenses. We all have zoom. We have all of our equipment. We have our housing for our shows.

We have a website. An annual fee for the website. That’s this stuff doesn’t come cheap, you know? Um, but at the same time, it’s, it’s a labor of love. I love what I’m doing. And knowing that there are some people that are out there that, uh, that have asked that have reached out and asked, how can I support, um, how can I support the show?

It means the world to me, And so I, I would love a year or two down the road to not only be doing, you know, be consistent with getting this show out on a weekly basis, but also to be doing everything that I am doing full time, you know, I would love to have enough commissions come in and enough clients signed up and everything where I can actually really kind of make this my, my.

My end game, really, and be doing this, you know, like on a, on a full-time basis. Yeah,

James: absolutely.

George: Yeah. So all I have to do is all I have to do is just not hit a rolls Royce with a monster truck and I’m good to go. So, yeah, that’s a good plan

James: just before we wrap things up. I do have one last question for you.

Sure. Which famous person or celebrity would you be excited to learn about to hear that they were listening to your show?

George: Oh, wow. Okay. Um,

and sintering, considering the fact that my book Excelsior starts with three quotes is a quote from the Bible, the quote from, uh, Thomas Mallory’s Lamar to Arthur, and a quote from transformers, the movie, uh, knowing that Peter Collin, the voice of optimist prime was listening and would want to. You would want to be a guest, you know, like, I mean, that’s, that’s a slam dunk right there.

You know, like it would be, it would be amazing to, you know, to have him on. He’s always been like one of, uh, you know, he voiced my childhood hero and he, and, and he’s, and for all the work he’s done on everything, he’s become my hero and adulthood. So it’s having the chance to be able to talk to him would, would just be amazing.


James: tell us where people can find out more about you and your show.

George: You can find, find out more about, about me and my show at my website. It’s he’s got it. Dot com as in by George he’s got it. And if you go to, he’s got, then you’ll get, you’ll get all the different channels where you can, or we can go ahead and subscribe to the show.

Um, if you are an iPhone user, by all means, please use the Apple podcast. To subscribe. And also if you’re an iPhone user, try this a little strict, make sure that your podcasts make sure your podcast app is loaded up on your iPhone. You know, press down on the home button and say, Siri, subscribe to Excelsior journeys on Apple podcasts and see what happens.

And you can also find out more about my books over there as well. You can also go to, he’s got to, to directly purchase that way you can get not only signed copies, but also some additional treats that I always throw in for every order.

James: George, thank you so much for coming on. It was an absolute treat to talk with you.

I would love to keep in touch, you know, maybe, hopefully I know you’ve got a lot going on. Uh, hopefully catch up with you six months down the road. If we could fit an interview in, I would absolutely love that.

George: Absolutely. I would love to come back. Yeah. The name

James: of the show is Excelsior journeys, George.

Thanks again. Best of luck to you.

George: Uh, thank you so much for having me, James. I really appreciate it.

James: Thanks again to George. Check the show notes for links to learn more about George and his podcast. Excelsior journeys. Please leave a review on and share what you got out of this episode. The show notes has info for how to do this and feel free to make suggestions for what I can do to make this show even better for you.

Make sure you follow podcast tactics to learn even more about podcasting and future episodes. Thank you.

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