Did you miss LLCA open enrollment and want us to make an exception?

nl llca logo

Episode 100 Transcript: Crafting a Successful Audio Branding Strategy with Ben Williams

Ben: Don’t just pick music that you like. Pick music that engenders the feeling that you want your avatar to have when they arrive, where you want them to be. That’s a very long sentence, but that, you know, picture them achieving the thing you want to help them achieve. How do you want them to feel? And put it in context for them. So you know, whether it’s a sense of joy or relief or empowerment, or whatever those feelings are, seek those things out in sound and start gathering those tracks, the tracks that make you feel that way. 

Nancy: Welcome to Your Permission Prescription. I’m Nancy Levin, founder of Levin Life Coach Academy, bestselling author, master life coach, and your host. I train life coaches, aspiring coaches, and anyone who wants to add coaching skills to their current career to elevate their life and their business. I’ve coached thousands of people to live life on their own terms, and now I coach, train, and certify other coaches to do the same. 

If you are ready to give yourself permission to finally make yourself a priority and mobilize your vision, you’re in the right place. Let’s dive in. 

Nancy: Welcome back to another episode of Your Permission Prescription. And this is an extra special episode. It is our 100th, I can hardly believe it. And my guest today is Ben Williams, who has served as our podcast producer from the very first episode. 

And so it seems very fitting to have been with us today on the 100th episode as he is launching a whole new venture into the world. And this new venture is called Bold: Brand Out Loud Design. And we’ll be talking about this today. 

But first, let me share a little bit about Ben. Ben started out as a songwriter, a music producer and performing artist who also worked in the brand events business. And after helping the likes of Xbox, Red Bull, Paul McCartney and Will Smith create amazing on street performances, Ben was ready for his biggest adventure, starting his own business. Today, Ben is the founder and creative director of Brand Out Loud Design, Bold for short, an audio branding agency that brings together sonic design and brand strategy to boost brand recall and recognition, strengthen purchasing intent, and build customer loyalty. They use creativity, strategy, and design to translate your brand attributes into an authentic voice that will resonate with your listener and create a connection so strong they’ll know you with their eyes closed. I love this. Ben, welcome. 

Ben: Hi Nancy, happy 100th. Woo Woo. 

Nancy: Happy 100th! And you know, I have to say that I love, I have loved working with you this entire time. I love your, I love your sensibility, I love your sense of humor and I love how immersed you found yourself in the material of this podcast and that you were really able to be discerning about pulling the clips to play at the front and, you know, you really were active, active listening beyond, beyond your job. 

Ben: Absolutely. Yeah. Well probably get onto it, but it had quite an impact on me. So yeah. 

Nancy: I love knowing that. So I’m really intrigued by this new venture of yours and I have lots of questions. So the first thing I’m curious about is what is a sonic brand? How do you define this? 

Ben: A sonic brand or an audio brand, is basically a system of sounds, music, sound effects, sound design, melody, rhythms, that’s all custom written for a brand in the same way that you might approach a visual designer to create your visual logo and a banner and a website and, and all the other elements that you need. But it’s all kind of consistent from a palette of color and fonts and so on. Sonic branding is essentially the audio equivalent of that. It’s creating a palette of instruments and sounds and tambor and tone and pace and rhythm that all kind of combines to create an emotion in your audience. So it’s, it’s basically sonic design that’s intended to create the emotional impact and the behavioral change that you’re trying to have on your audience. 

Nancy: And I love, you know, in what I was sharing in your bio this last line about, you know, they’ll know you with their eyes closed. 

Ben: Yeah. 

Nancy: And so there is sort of that instant recognition that I imagine we all have with other brands that we may not even have paid close attention to. 

Ben: Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s a preserve of the big brands or has been traditionally. I mean, that’s part of what, what I’m doing. But it’s everywhere, you know, the obvious things of like McDonald’s, it, it’s everywhere, you know, and they’ve been using that for decades. 

Nancy: Yep. But lots of businesses do it.

Ben: Hotels do it with their ambient sound in their lobby.

Nancy: Yep. 

Ben: It’s, it’s the sound that’s the, the one that really jumps out that’s usually done badly is call hold music. 

Nancy: I agree. 

Ben: People Complain about, but when it’s done well, oh my gosh, the difference it can make, 

Nancy: I’m sure. 

Ben: So it’s kind of tying together all of those touchpoints that people have with you and making sure that every one of them you’re making the most out of them that you can, you know, not just using visual, but using audio as well. 

Nancy: So I’m very intrigued by the way you’re talking about sonic branding and you’re likening it to graphic branding and your lovely wife, Fannie is a graphic designer. 

Ben: She is. 

Nancy: And she worked with me and my team for quite some time. And so I’m, I’m wondering if that helped influence you? You saw that you translate from graphic into audio. 

Ben: Definitely. Yeah. I mean, I had always, obviously I have a musician background. 

Nancy: That’s right. 

Ben: But I don’t have a back or didn’t have a background in working with a client, understanding where they were coming from, mood boarding, creating all these options, and kind of figuring out how to express some element of them through a specific medium that I’d always expressed myself as a musician, I was a songwriter, so. 

Nancy: Right. 

Ben: So I mean, that was, I’ve learned a lot from Fannie and her attention to detail, her ability to kind of pick out things, you know, and, and get them really crispy. So I did learn a lot from her. 

It’s interesting cuz the internet’s traditionally been a, a visual form and we are in the middle of a revolution where that’s, that’s now changing and the internet is becoming screenless, almost device less, you know. I mean that’s part of, of what got me started into this because globally people are spending more and more time online, but less and less time on screen because they’re using voice assistance and they’re searching for podcasts. And so when, that’s really where I, I realized, you know, someone’s out on their run in the morning and they’re doing a voice search to listen to a podcast about a topic. They’re not looking at your brand. They can’t see you. 

Nancy: Right.

Ben:  At all. 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Ben: So the question I ask people is, can they hear you? 

Nancy: I, I love this. And I find for myself, even if I am quote unquote watching a video, I likely am not watching it at all. I am only listening to it. 

Ben; Yeah, same here. 

Nancy: Yeah. I really very rarely sit down and watch a video, I will listen to it. Sometimes I confess I multitask, but sometimes I am out for a hike and I’m not gonna look at my phone while I’m hiking, but I’ll listen to the video. 

Ben: Exactly. So I think it’s something that’s only gonna get bigger. There’s more and more content. It’s being consumed on the move and in different ways and because there’s so much coming at you as well, all the time, we’ve gotten very good at discerning and tuning things out. Our brains are brilliant at that, you know? 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Ben: Just kind of going, none of this is relevant, this is all the same, ignore it. You know, you need to be able to cut through that with something else. And audio, for me, probably with the exception of, of smell, audio is the most kind of emotionally impactful sense. You can hear something and it transports you.

Nancy: Yeah. 

Ben: And you can tell people a lot, or you can show people a lot in sound. It’s like set design almost, you know, like you, you can do a voiceover saying this, this grizzled detective, it works too hard and is an alcoholic. 

Nancy: Right. 

Ben: Or you can just put a coped in the corner and a few empty whiskey bottles on the shelf.

Nancy: Yeah. 

Ben: You know, so I think audio is very powerful at, at kind of conveying character and intent and emotion and, and all of those things.

Nancy: Yeah. And in my business, especially inside of Levin Life Coach Academy, I’m obviously training coaches and one of the most essential coaching skills is deep listening, active listening. Listening for what’s being said, listening for what is not being said, listening for tone. And so I’m also intrigued about, you know, your concept of audio branding in terms of not only the way that we listen to others, but also the way that we put ourselves out into the world – how we make ourselves visible. And it’s something we talk a lot about in terms of creating a coaching business, for example, stepping into visibility. Visibility tends to, for most people, I imagine certainly for me, relate to what I can see. And I’m curious how you, how you would talk about audio supporting visibility for entrepreneurs. 

Ben: That’s a really interesting question. If I think about my process and the way I work, it’s essentially, and it’s probably the main difference between what I do and custom music or something like that, it’s the, the brand persona piece that I do at the beginning. Some people have that all dialed in and some people don’t. What I find is I need it, I need that to be part of the process so that, because otherwise it’s really hard. In the same way that it’s hard to be visible, let alone to put yourself out there, but just to be seen even if you don’t have all that stuff dialed in, who you are, you know, why you’re doing what you’re doing and why it’s important. 

So what I tend to do is approach it from a point of view of taking that brand and kind of pulling out, teasing out those elements. Like what might the vision be? Where are they trying to go and what things are personally important to them. Until you get to the point where you can start saying, this brand or this side of, often the brand and the person are, you know, essentially an element of that person at least one side or two sides. And start pulling out, are they, I use the kind of 12 archetypes of marketing. So, you know, are they a lover? Are they a guide? Are they a hero, are they a magician? You know, all those kind of things. And once you can pull all of that stuff out, you can start figuring out what kind of a person they are in terms of their brand, and therefore what kind of a voice they should have. 

Essentially, the way I do it, and I don’t know if this answers your question or not, but, but the way I do it is to have almost like the points of a compass. You have who you are, who your avatar is, what it is you’re both trying to achieve, or where you’re trying to get to – the why basically, and how you’re gonna do that. And somewhere in that, in those four points, that’s where you hone in on basically the overlap between the different sides of you and what your avatar will respond to best in the context, of what they’re trying to achieve. So some people want a guide, some people want a best friend, some people want, you know, so it’s, it’s kind of figuring those things out and then translating that into sound. 

So for example, I work with a furniture company and they do bespoke furniture, but they’re very kind of rebellious and, and edgy and kind of almost punk. So how do you represent craftsmanship, tradition and also disruption and rebellion. In that case, we took a cello and wired it up to a guitar amplifier and their thing is like an electrified cello with drums and things and, and it really was a representation of what they were doing in their industry, you know? 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Ben: So yeah, it’s, there’s, there’s so many ways you can get there. 

Nancy: Yes. 

Ben: But it’s about understanding, really understanding deeply who the person is first, because you’re writing it for them, not for, I mean, that’s the big difference between, you know, buying a track from a sound library that is simply labeled motivational corporate piano. 

Nancy: Right. 

Ben: And something that really is truly written specifically for an individual or a brand.

Nancy: I mean, what’s coming to mind for me is it’s, this might be a weird analogy, but it almost sounds like it’s like audio copywriting or, you know, because it has to be like, I know for me, you know, if I’m working with a copywriter, I need it to be in my voice. If someone else is writing something for me, I need to know that it sounds like me, that it’s using my language, that it isn’t using things that I would never say. And so, in what you’re sharing, it also sounds like you’re doing that, but you’re doing that, you know, musically as well. 

Ben: It’s so interesting you say that, because that’s one of the things working in podcasting before, that was one of the biggest things I found. You know, when on paper the job was editing and music production. 

Nancy: Right. 

Ben: But we all know, you know, we all have our talents that we bring to bear. And often mine was to kind of say, okay, have you thought about wording it this way? You know, and copywriting it, that’s interesting actually. Yeah. 

Nancy: Yeah. It’s just what popped in my mind. And, you know, we, you were saying before about, you know, that there are so many examples of this, you know, sonic branding out in the world that we may not pay attention to, but it’s hitting us all the time. 

Like, the one I’m thinking of right now is like the Netflix, you know, you know, like right when you come on. And you’re basically getting like an audio logo with the video logo. 

Ben: Yes, exactly. So I mean, that’s where it comes into play. So like, yes, Netflix is almost like an exclamation mark. 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Ben: Whereas Disney’s one is like a almost a sort of a pallet cleanser that kind of come you, you settle down on the sofa with the blankets and the twinkle stars, you know? Yeah. That’s getting you ready basically to kind of, yeah. You’re now watching this thing together. But it’s all part of a whole, and the interesting thing is, is how when people hear that, it works, but they don’t really know why. Because a brand, the expression of a brand is like the last 10% of the work almost. It’s a lot of work, but it still comes at the end after all the kind of, probably most of the people listening will have had that grind where you’re trying, how do I summarize this? How, what, what is it? Who am I,what do I do? 

Nancy: Right. 

Ben: You know, it’s getting through all of that first. But with an audio brand, it’s, it’s about having, yes it’s having the audio logo. So every time you drop a video, every time you drop a podcast trailer, that same musical moment just kind of drip, drip, drip creates recognition recall with your listener. But then if they then go, for example, to see you speak live. 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Ben: That same melody is in the kind of club banger that comes on when you grow up on stage, you know? 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Ben: Just before you start talking. So whether it’s phone, YouTube, TikTok, socials, webinar, hold music, all these things, it’s about creating that system that kind of pulls it all together. So it’s not, doesn’t feel random. 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Ben: And there’s an intent behind each, you know, if you, if you go into a doctor’s surgery, the music is gonna try and keep you in a state of, of calm, you know. I know there was, I think it might have been Walmart, but one of the big supermarket supermarkets, used music that was much slower. They, in, they introduced a whole palette of music where they slowed the beat down really slow beat. And their sales went up significantly 34%, I think, over the course of that six, seven months. 

Nancy: Wow. 

Ben: Because people slowed down, you know, and kind of ah, okay. Just kind of brazed around any, it’s really clever stuff. 

Nancy: That’s fascinating. Hmm. Fascinating. I had this experience yesterday. I was speaking in a virtual event, I’m speaking in the event later this week, but I had like a vendor Zoom room open after the event, and someone came in the room not knowing who I was, nothing about me. However, she had started listening to my audiobook and she said, I only knew that this was you actually, because I had listened to your audiobook and it’s the same voice as this person on the Zoom. 

And I thought, how interesting. I don’t, like, I don’t really think about my voice as my branding so much, my actual voice, like the what’s coming outta my mouth. But it is, It is.

Ben: It is, yeah. I mean, the voice is enormous. Voice is the one of the biggest elements that Nancy: Yeah. 

Ben: That especially some of the bigger brands understand, but even kind of fairly large companies overlook. 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Ben: You are fortunate in that your voice is your voice and, and you have, I’ve told you before, I think you have a fantastic voice, but not, not everyone can do that. So yeah, selecting the right voice for your brand is, is a big deal. 

And luckily because you are your own, you have your own voice. 

Nancy: Right. 

Ben: And it’s, so, I mean, the thing I like about your voice is you can hear who you are in every kind of syllable, which is, which is nice, you know? 

Nancy: I like that. I’m curious for you to talk a bit about what propelled you to make this shift in your offerings and what, you know, what you know you have to bring to the world. How did that, how did this come about for you, this switch? 

Ben: Oh my gosh. I mean, it was a long, long journey, I suppose. But last year, in the fall of last year, I’d kind of, the podcasting business that I’d started had really taken off, especially through the pandemic. And I’d kind of gotten to a point where I was pretty burned out, well I was completely burned out. 

And I had a chance conversation with someone. There was a couple of things that happened.I had a, a chance conversation with someone and I made some offhand comment about, I think I’d had some, some new product idea. And, and they, they thought it was a great idea and, and I said, yeah, you know, it’s not, it’s not, you know, my dream or anything, but it’s, it’s good.

And being a very emotionally intelligent guy, he said, well, wait a minute. what do you mean? What is your dream? And no one had ever asked me that before. And, and so I told him, and it was this idea, and he, in the course of me explaining it, I kind of lit up, you know, and started explaining it all. And then he lit up and kind of said, wow, this is being American. 

He said, he said, I’m gonna call you back. And, and he called me back 10 minutes later and he’d already gone down the hall to talk to another business that was a, a marketing company. And they called me back and it, it, it was one of those things that kind of, it was unbelievably fast. 

Nancy: Wow. 

Ben: Once it started, I almost just needed to say it. 

Nancy: That’s right. 

Ben” Yeah. Say it out loud. So that was the first thing. The second thing was, was reading your book, I, I got, I got your book over here and started reading that.

And the third thing was realizing I couldn’t, the work I needed to do all myself was the foundation of, and the beginning of the business that I literally couldn’t even, I couldn’t execute what I wanted to because I was too, I was kind of at the end of me, you know. I was just, just raising the kid. That’s all I was doing. And I had, it was kind of admitting that to myself and realizing that I had to work on myself before, before I could work on this idea, or the same patterns would repeat, you know? 

So that was the impetus. And then, I suppose this is a very long answer, but the last thing that happened was, I’d written a song around about the time your book came out.

Nancy: You’re Talking about The Art of Change, right? 

Ben: Yes. The Art of Change, yes. 

Nancy: The Art of Change. Okay. 

Ben: So I, I’d started reading that and I was at the same time just happened to be writing this song called When We Were Fire, and it was supposedly about someone singing to their partner about, you know, remember how we used to be, and we can be that way again, kind of thing. But I listened back to it and it hit me, it did, that is not what it was about at all. It was me singing to myself, and I kind of just cracked open when I heard that because

Nancy: I felt it chills. 

Ben: Oh my God, yeah. I just, it was like the me of the past, the child, me singing to me now 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Ben: Come with me. Come with me and live by the Sea. You know? And, and that was the beginning. Basically, all those things kind of were within a few weeks of each other. Hmm. And I think I wrote to you about you did six weeks later, because I would never have expected that all to happen. But it definitely wouldn’t have happened without sitting here listening to you all these week after week. Eventually even my thick skull, it started to go, started to go in. So, yeah. Thank you. 

Nancy: You’re welcome. I love, I love that so much. I, I really, I remember the email, I remember receiving the email from you, which I have saved, and you also sharing your experience of reading The Art of Change and sharing that song with me. And, you know, to me it was the perfect representation, what you’re saying, that it was really about, you know, you present and you the younger version, because the way I work with the term reinvention is this return to the essence of who you are.

Ben: Yeah. 

Nancy: And that’s really what that song was about. 

Ben: Absolutely. 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Ben: Yeah. Every line, well, when I read it now, every word, it’s, it’s, it’s remarkable. And it made me realize how much songwriting and really all art is, is an act of journaling really. 

Nancy: Very much so. Yeah. So now moving into this, into this space of the sonic branding, I’m curious for our listeners who are even just starting out with building their brands, you know, especially a lot of the coaches who go through Levin Life Coach Academy and a lot of other entrepreneurs who are listening, what are the first steps when creating your own brand, especially if we’re usually thinking about something visual? What’s the first audio step to take in the branding process? 

Ben: Depending on where you are, if you’re right at the beginning, then I think it’s just to have an awareness as you are going through that process of figuring out your values, your mission, your vision, all of those things. 

When you get to the point where you are actually looking at your brand voice, your brand personality, that’s, that’s the time to start thinking about these things. In other words, as you get into thinking about your positioning and how you’re gonna differentiate yourself and who, who your market’s gonna be, and niching down and all those things. Sorry, niching down, I should say. 

Nancy: I say niche. 

Ben: Oh, Okay. Nicheing is in the niches.

Nancy: Doesn’t really sound. 

Ben: Yes, I know it doesn’t sound as good.

Ben: But yeah, as when you get to that stage, it, that’s the point at which you should begin thinking about writing down those keywords that, that describe you, your voice, how you want to talk to people. Are you brash? Are you soft? Are you challenging? You know, all of those things. 

And even start mood boarding. I mean, that’s a great way to do it. And it’s actually, even if you don’t plan to have a custom audio brand, it’s a great way to do it. You know, a lot of people use Pinterest and that’s great and you can use images and things, but you can also grab songs and create playlists and from Spotify and really just focus everything on not what you like. Obviously you don’t wanna pick things you don’t like. But don’t just pick music that you like, pick music that engenders the feeling that you want your avatar to have when they arrive, where you want them to be. That’s a very long sentence. But that, you know, picture them achieving the thing you want to help them achieve. How do you want them to feel? And put it in context for them. 

So you know, it whether it’s a sense of joy or relief or empowerment or whatever those feelings are, seek those things out in sound and start gathering those tracks, the tracks that make you feel that way.

Nancy: This is so helpful for me because I am a poet, so words are my thing. And you just sharing take the words, you know, take the expression and the words that we would use to label the feelings we want them to experience, and then what is the, you know, what is the audio song representation of that emotion. 

Ben: Exactly.

Nancy: That helps someone like me who is not, so, I, I, you know, I wouldn’t say that music is my language, but when you frame it this way, I can immediately, right now even, you know, think of the songs that, that embody certain emotions. The emotions I would want someone to feel coming to my work. 

Ben: Yeah.

Nancy: Yeah. That’s cool. 

Ben: And then once you’ve honed in on those things, there’s any number of ways that you can, depending on how you wanna approach it, you know, even if you’re just going to a music library, use those words 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Ben: In the, in the search terms, you know? Yeah. And it, it helps to find those things.

And, you know, I, I have a, a document on the website that people can download called Boost Your Brand with Sound. 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Ben: It’s like a beginner’s guide. It, it, it breaks it down a bit so you can kind of say, well, should it be fast or slow? Should it be, should there be bass? Should there be drums? You know, what, what kind of sounds represent who you are? And then play them to other people and see if they, you get the reactions that if you get a sort of consistent or a fairly consistent reaction, then you’re probably on the right track. 

Nancy: Yeah, I like that it, you know, you were talking about senses before, and I like that this really creates an immersive experience of the senses bringing in the audio to this degree.

Ben: Yeah. It’s, it’s, there’s been a lot of work done now, and it’s, I mean, Spotify had a report on it and, you know, audio, something like 4.4 times more effective in terms of boosting sales, intention and, and recall. So when you put sound, even sound is more effective than visual. And visual plus sound is ridiculous, it’s like 1200% more effective than one or the other. 

Nancy: So lots is of course, coming to the forefront about AI. And I’m curious what you think the impact of AI on audio will be. 

Ben: It’s gonna be massive. Absolutely massive. I mean, when you look at something like chat, GPT music’s just another large language system. So I think it’s gonna be enormous. There are AI music tools out there, and what they produce is very variable. It’s not great, but I’ve heard worse from people. 

So, you know, it’s now at the level where it’s, it’s certainly not, my mindset’s kind of changed on it. I used to feel like I need to stay ahead. That was my mindset. And now I’m much more of the mindset of I can’t wait to work with it. 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Ben: But it is gonna be enormously disruptive to the industry in, I think it’ll be as big as the internet was. 

Nancy: Wow. 

Ben: If not more so. Yeah. I mean, certainly we’ve seen what, what can be done now in visual terms.

Nancy: Yes. 

Ben: In, in terms of audio. I mean, I used chat GPT the other day, and I gave it a brief to write me some song lyrics. And I told it what themes should be in the song and what visual imagery should be used and what the song was about. 

Nancy: Yep. 

Ben: And I, and I said, write it in I ambi pentameter or whatever it was, I told it and I hit enter and it went, I know I wrote a song in 0.3 of a second while it was doing a billion other things.

Nancy:  Oh my God. 

Ben: And again, the lyrics, they weren’t good enough to use, but again, they were better than some people’s lyrics that I’ve seen. 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Ben: And I could certainly have, you know, in a half an hour, I could have polished that up. 

Nancy: Well, that’s what I noticed. I like to use it for, I, I like to use it for sort of brainstorming. 

Ben: Yes. 

Nancy: You know, like, I’ll go into chat GPT and say a bunch of stuff and see what comes back. And then I’ve got a working sort of document to start editing and playing with. And we’ve been using chat GPT a little bit for the podcast descriptions, you know, or for little video descriptions, taglines under a YouTube video, little things like that. And I think it’s, I think now you’ve gotta be with it, not against it. 

Ben: Absolutely. And it’s funny, it’s a timely question. I mean, I think that where it will help me is to kind of 10 x or a hundred x my productivity.

Nancy: Great. 

Ben: So it will be like me having a little composer sat next to me to assistant. 

Nancy: Totally. That’s so cool. 

Ben: So I can say, instead of going into my software and manually painfully selecting sounds and playing them in and changing the parameters, I will be able to say, give me a violin root and fifth, and I want it to sound like the violin in this piece of music.

Nancy: Wow. 

Ben: I, I think that’s where we’ll end up pretty quickly. 

Nancy: It’s so cool. 

Ben: I don’t think it’s five or 10 years away. I think it’s like two years away or something. 

Nancy: Yeah. I think this all happened faster than it seemed we expected. 

Ben: And there’s a sound library, very popular sound library that emailed me yesterday saying with a, like a new opt-in thing. So composers put, like myself, put music on sound libraries. Well, they’re now asking, can we use the data, the metadata from your music to provide to companies like chat GPT, so they can start creating these, like analyzing millions of tracks and going, oh emotional equals, you know, this beat and this thing. So I, yeah, I think it’s gonna be enormous, but we go with it, I think. 

Nancy: I think so too. 

Ben: No other choice, really. 

Nancy: Okay. So Ben, as you well know, the name of this podcast is Your Permission Prescription. And I would love to know what you would invite our listeners to give themselves permission for as it pertains to you and your own journey.

Ben: So this is the point where I have an answer, the perfect answer because I’ve listened to this every week, so I should, and yet I find it really hard to narrow it down. I will just go off my experience over the last couple of months to get to where I am now from where I was, which is just a ridiculous change in me. I mean, we didn’t talk too much about it, but I’ve, I’ve lost 40 pounds in weight. I’ve started a second business and lots of other things as well. And it all started, it started with reading the book, listening to myself, literally. And I think fundamentally it was, I would invite people to give themselves permission to be honest about what they want.

You know, we can do any number of things, but we can’t want what we want. We can’t choose what we want. And I spent a lot of time doing what I thought I was supposed to do. 

Nancy: Right. Yeah. 

Ben: And, and not being truly honest about what it is I wanted because I didn’t think I could have it. 

Nancy: Yeah. Yeah. 

Ben: And it turns out that almost literally the minute I said what I wanted out loud, someone gave it to me, someone helped me get it, he was literally as excited as I was. And that was a big lesson for me, that I’d spent my whole life hiding what I wanted or compromising on what I wanted before anyone else forced me to compromise on what I wanted.

And in the end, it, it’s, it’s just such a painful mistake. I think just be honest about what you want. And for me it was, what am I good at? What can I be paid for? What do people need? That’s that, that old thing about Zone of Genius or Sure. I Iki guys the Japanese call it.

But yeah, for me there was a fourth element which was, what do you want? 

Nancy: Yeah. What do you love? What do you feel passionate about? Yeah. 

Ben: Yeah, exactly. 

Nancy: You know, and then like you said, you gave voice to it and then it snowballed immediately. 

Ben: Yeah. And it was, not being afraid to fail was the other thing. Just like I have a thing on my desk now that just, I have two things, one says action because I’m very heady indeed. So like, do the thing and see what happens. You know, you learn a lot faster. And the other one is right here, but it says, success is a path I am walking. 

Nancy: Hmm. I have to say, I love in the video shot here, I get to see the neck of your guitar. 

Ben: Oh dear. One of many oh two, yes. 

Nancy: Okay. Yes. I just, it’s just, I think it’s a nice touch. 

Ben: Oh, everything’s everywhere at the moment, basically. I just moved into new offices, so funny. My wife is very happy. Yes, sure. The guitars are outta the house. 

Nancy: I love it. Okay. So let people know the best way to find you. 

Ben: Sure. So if you want to find out more about audio branding, download that guide or get in touch or whatever you might need, you can go to brandoutlouddesign.com and reach me there. Or you can, if you wanna email me, you can email me at hello@brandoutlouddesign.com. 

Nancy: Love it. Ben, you are a treasure and this conversation is a treat. And happy 100th. 

Ben: Happy 100th. 

Nancy: Yay. 

Thanks so much for joining me today on Your Permission Prescription. For even more, I invite you to head on over to nancylevin.com and sign up for my newsletter, The Practice, and follow me on social media. 

If you’ve enjoyed this episode and want to support our podcast, please subscribe, leave a rating and a review. 

See you next time.