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Beyond Business: Professional life a launchpad for local podcasters

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For some in business, there’s nothing quite like sealing the deal or inking the contract – yet for the creators and hosts of new local business podcasts, life is about something more.

Real estate developer Mitch Jenkins has taken up the mic – occasionally with his wife, Amanda, at his side – to explore what his podcast description labels “self-belief, mindset, faith and the practicalities of business and real estate.” In The Mitch Jenkins Podcast, which launched in December 2023, he interviews business leaders and athletes to discuss what has propelled them to success.

In January, Pavel Bosovik debuted his podcast Suits & Shoes: What It Takes. In it, Bosovik, founder and CEO of expedition vehicle manufacturer 27North Inc., talks to a range of accomplished people about how they achieved their goals.

And in July 2023, Angie Mullings and Tonya Murfin, broker-owners of separate real estate businesses, joined to offer their Simply Authentic Podcast, which in each episode’s introduction challenges listeners to dream big and be their most authentic selves. The two sometimes invite a variety of guests from the community and sometimes discuss each week’s theme among themselves.

For all three programs, the podcasters have their foundation in business, but all raise their sights to take in a broader view of what it takes for their listeners to thrive.

Different approaches
Before the launch of Bosovik’s podcast, he was a guest on the Jan. 18 edition of The Mitch Jenkins Podcast. On the episode, No. 5 for Jenkins, the two share their reasons for branching out from their careers to begin interviewing guests for insights.

Jenkins’ mission is to get to the why motivating each of his guests. Bosovik explained that he grew up without mentors.

“I had a lot of questions,” Bosovik said. “What does it take to walk in a certain person’s shoes?”

His follow-up question, he said, was, “What does it take to be in their clothes?” And that’s a question he meant in every sense.

“What kind of clothes do they wear? What kind of shoes do they wear?” he told Jenkins. “I’m going to do a podcast on suits and shoes tailored to what to wear quite literally. What does it take to wear those outfits?”

On the episode, Jenkins offers his own why.

“I want to inspire and help people realize that they are no different than the people that are on this podcast,” he said. “They, too, were created and designed for incredible things. If through this podcast we can peel back the layers of the onion to help people understand what those things are, then they, too, can implement it in their lives.”

Dream big
Though rooted in real estate, Mullings and Murfin’s Simply Authentic goes beyond professional life, and this year’s theme for the show is on reinventing the self. Guests so far in 2024 have included a nutritionist and a financial planner, and a future episode will look at physical health.

“It’s wellness in all aspects,” said Mullings, who is a real estate broker through Century 21 Integrity Group.

She and Murfin each individually considered starting a podcast when a mutual friend suggested they join forces.

“What does make this a little bit unique is we’re both broker-owners of different companies who came together, and that’s pretty unusual in our business,” Mullings said. “Brokerages typically stay in their own lane, but we both had a desire to share our expertise with people.”

Jointly, the two have more than 50 years of real estate experience, Mullings said.

“Our mindset is very important to us – the things we do, our routines,” she said. “We wanted to give back and empower people to dream big and be more.”

In the beginning, Mullings said the focus was on entrepreneurship – how to start out in business and achieve, especially as women in the field.

“Now, the people we have lined up are coming in and talking about making yourself better – improving your life, improving your goals, your dreams,” she said. “We’ve kind of done a little shift.”

Murfin, a broker-owner of Southwest Missouri Realty, said in seven months, the two have learned a lot from the people they’ve interviewed.

“The future really just holds us continuing to fulfill ourselves with what we’re putting out on the platform and making sure we think the content is fulfilling to others,” she said.

She said real estate remains a touchstone.

“You can find a couple of dates where we talk a little real estate,” she said, “but that’s what we do all the time. We wanted to kind of go in a different direction with the podcasts and talk about the things everybody’s talking about, or the things people won’t talk about.”

Mental health is one example, Murfin said – and menopause is another.

“When you sit down with your best girlfriends, at a happy hour or having dinner, what are the things you’re comfortable talking about? We’d like to bring that out for a conversation with everyone openly.”

Murfin said it was never a goal to grow their real estate business through a podcast.

“We love the term in our industry, the trusted adviser,” she said. “That is who we want to be in our day job – our regular job as Realtors and brokers. But we hope that our reputation that we’ve built over the years will lend a hand if we’re talking about mental health, nutrition or other information that can make your life better.”

Opportunity to serve
Jenkins, who owns development firm Elevation Enterprises, said he wants to serve others through his podcast.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have mentors and friends who have done some pretty incredible things,” he said. “It’s while I’m in proximity to those people that I’ve found a tremendous amount of growth as a husband, father, entrepreneur and real estate investor. My thought was if I could bring really wonderful guests and have them share their stores and insights, listeners could be inspired.”

Some of his guests have included developers Sam Coryell Sr. and Matt Miller, and CrossFit athlete Jessica Cahoy.

“So many of these people weren’t good students, don’t have an Ivy League education, don’t come from wealthy families, but they have certain character traits – discipline, grit, eagerness to learn, willingness to step out of their comfort zone and take risks,” he said. “It’s allowed them to accomplish difficult things.”

Bosovik, too, said he would like to motivate people and help them achieve success by interviewing luminaries like businesspeople Doug Pitt and Jack Stack. This year his focus is local, he said, but he plans to expand to a statewide, national and even international audience in the future.

He noted someone like Pitt, founder of the nonprofit Care to Learn, has found a way to help meet a landmark 3 million needs experienced by the region’s school children through the organization’s good work.

“What do these people bring in terms of value? What does it take to be inside of their clothes and walk in their shoes?” he said. “The value we bring is worth so much more. In Doug’s case, he wears ordinary shoes and ordinary clothes but brings extraordinary value.”

He said he is often asked for advice through email, text messages and social media channels.

“On a busy day, I probably get 20-plus messages like this across all my platforms,” he said. “I thought, if people are asking me, why don’t I sit down once or twice a month and record answers to all of these questions and cover all of this and more?”

Ultimately, Bosovik – who said he was bullied throughout his childhood – wants to help people.

“I decided instead of being the bigger bully, I want to be a bigger brother,” he said. “That’s the main reason I want to be kind and available.”

The larger picture
The podcasts are all in their early stages, though the podcasters all say they plan to continue and grow their audiences, especially now that they are learning their way around a microphone – sometimes with a little help from others.

The Simply Authentic Podcast has received studio help from Gershman Mortgage, which allows them to use its in-house studio. Mullings’ niece serves as their producer.

“It’s very nice,” Murfin said. “Some of our guests tell us they have done podcasts in somebody’s basement, but this is already set up. The owner at Gershman is very kind and generous to let us use it.”

Others in Springfield have also caught the podcasting bug. One of these, Thomas Douglas, CEO of managed IT firm JMark, began his podcast, Own the Journey, in 2021.

Own the Journey has a definite business focus; its description states, “With topics ranging from marketing to leadership to culture to product development, and loads of others, Own the Journey will dive into the nitty-gritty details that make up the day-to-day entrepreneurial struggle and how to tackle these areas with the enthusiasm and tenacity of a successful business leader.”

Topics of Douglas’ episodes include “Resilience and the Myth of Work/Life Balance with Adam Markel,” “Simplifying the Business Insurance Game & Employee Stock Ownership Plans with Richard Ollis” and “Navigating the Start-Up World with Augi Lye.”

The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Springfield have partnered to offer another business-focused podcast called SGF Insider, which has two episodes per month. They are SGF Business Insider, featuring views with business and community leaders about community initiatives, and Plugged In, with a look at how local leaders make an impact in the community.

Springfield Business Journal also offers podcasts, including No Ceiling, which interviews women business and community leaders, as well as CEO Roundtable.

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