Collaboration Case Study: Think Remarkable with Madisun Nuismer and Her Collaboration with Guy Kawasaki

“I think sometimes we just need to make a decision, go with it, and do our best at it.” – Madisun Nuismer 


In this episode of The Widest Net Podcast, Pam is joined by Madisun Nuismer, the creative force behind the scenes of the Remarkable People podcast. Madisun brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the production process. With a BA in public health from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and certification as a holistic health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Madisun’s diverse background adds depth to the podcast’s content. 


Based in the vibrant setting of Santa Cruz, California, her role encompasses everything from managing guest pitches to meticulously editing each episode, ensuring that every aspect of the podcast reflects the team’s dedication to delivering high-quality, engaging content. Madisun’s collaborative efforts with Guy Kawasaki demonstrate her commitment to creating an exceptional podcast experience for listeners.


Here’s what you can expect from this episode: 

  • Discover the behind-the-scenes secrets of producing a podcast that captivates audiences and leaves a lasting impact
  • Uncover how Guy Kawasaki has influenced and shaped successful careers, and what you can learn from his insights
  • Explore the unique and vibrant surfing culture in Santa Cruz, and how it has influenced the local community and beyond
  • Learn about the collaborative process of writing and publishing a book, and how it can lead to new opportunities and connections
  • Embrace growth, grit, and grace as essential elements in personal development, and how they can propel you towards success


Remember we all need each other – life and work is better together.


Here are the Show Notes.

Here’s the transcript:


Welcome to another episode of The Widest Net Podcast. I’m Pamela Slim, and I am joined today by my guest, Madisun Nuismer. Madisun is the producer of the Remarkable People podcast, along with special guest Guy Kawasaki, who you, all of you might know. She has a BA in public health from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and attended the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and is a certified holistic health coach. She lives in Santa Cruz, California.        


Welcome to the podcast. Thank you for having me. I’m so excited. You and I have had a fun interaction behind the scenes. And initially it was, I think, when I was scheduling Guy to be on the podcast, this was a number of months ago.        


We’ll make sure in our show notes to link back to that episode. I am a very public fan of the Remarkable People podcast. So first of all, thanks for producing such a great show. Thank you. And it’s something I really pay a lot of attention to in many dimensions.        


Those of you who have known me a while know that Guy is a dear friend of mine, has been somebody who has been super important in my career, who I tease him as like a link sugar daddy, where him sharing a link to my blog many years ago in 2006, really opened a lot of doors of awareness for people to get to know my work. And so one of the things that I thought was really interesting and really, Madisun, how you came to my awareness is because Guy very deliberately talks about the team that he has to produce. The podcast, I’ve noticed in recent episodes, tends to, like, bring you up, mention you, even though you might not be, like, verbally showing up on the podcast. A lot of people are aware of the fact that you are there. And the other thing is this a surfing thing, where would they call you the drop in Queen or something like that?        


Like, what does that mean for non surfers? Yeah, so he calls me the Drop In Queen of Santa Cruz, which I don’t know if that’s something that somebody necessarily wants to be called, but so the way I first got to know Guy kind of was surfing with him a lot. And so the term dropping in is when somebody’s going for a wave and you kind of go after they’ve already started and you like, drop in on the wave on them. And it’s here in Santa Cruz, you know, it doesn’t have the best rap. It’s kind of disrespectful.        


But, like, for Guy and I, when we’re surfing together, we drop in a lot on each other and we’re just having fun. So, so was it literally just running into each other on the beach, just being in the same place and noticing the fact that you were, you were going out. Is that where you first just, you know, got to know each other? Yeah. Yeah.        


It’s, it is like if there’s a wave coming and say, Guy is paddling for a wave, and then I’m like, last minute, okay, I’m going to go on this wave, too. And then I get on it with him and maybe I’m in his way a little bit. That’s where the, that’s the term. But for him and I, you know, it’s, it’s different than the way people would normally perceive it to be in a negative fashion. So I love that.        


I love that inside sort of inside language. And it is really interesting in the different ways that I’ve known Guy. And I think kind of the genesis of remarkable people, that part of what I was talking to him before, when I was interviewing him was, I think there is discernment for those of you who may not be aware of Guy. He’s really well known as being a product evangelist. So was one of the original evangelists at Apple for Macintosh, and then is the current Chief Evangelist at Canva.        


And so one of the shorthand ways that I think about his work is just being a really good curator of taste. So having clear opinions about things that are relevant for people. And in this case, it is really interesting to have the topic of the podcast that you all produce be around remarkable people with a very specific point of view. So I’m curious, in thinking about, you probably get pitched all the time, I imagine, for people wanting to be on the show, what goes into that process of curation and publication of the podcast? How do you and Guy figure out who you’re going to feature and the flow of shows and things like that?        


Yeah, so we do get about ten requests a day from people. And of course, Guys, the final deciding hand, I’m doing mostly the behind the scenes emails back and forth and the one receiving the pitches. But the people we have are pretty all over the board, and they can be individuals, you know, that are pretty famous and just someone that’s ordinary and has a beautiful story. So a majority of the people we do decide to have on the podcast have reached out to us. There will be times when Guy will ask to have somebody specific and I’ll contact them, but for the most part, it’s people, you know, pitching themselves or having somebody else pitch them.        


And I think, you know, it’s just concepts that stand out to Guy that he thinks will allow listeners to become more remarkable. And, you know, a lot of the times, too, it may be subjects that he’s not totally, like, well versed in. He’s wanting to learn about himself, which I think is really cool because, you know, I think if Guy doesn’t know much about a concept, probably a majority of the population doesn’t either. So I think, you know, it just comes down to interest and then also something that he’s personally wanting to read a book on or learn about more. Yeah, because I’ve heard him say multiple times that generally there are people who has a book.        


That is a good reason sometimes why you get pitches, because people have expertise in an area with a book coming out. But there’s a lot of preparation that goes into the show. I know that’s something that he’s talked about is, are you involved in that process of preparation for the episodes and research and, like, how do you. How do you approach that? Definitely.        


So, yeah, I am usually the first point of contact, and I will get, you know, everything set up, whether it comes to, like, their Dropbox folders, their Google Docs. We have a big Trello board where we put all the contact information, all the due dates of stuff. And, you know, once things are set up and the interview is scheduled, I will ship the guest a gift and a headset, and we’ll get them just all the information they need and just get them really prepped for the interview. And then, you know, there used to be tasks that I used to do that my younger sister Tessa has taken over because things got really pretty busy when we were writing the book. And just in general, with all the work that I’ve been doing for Guy.        


So my little sister stepped in, and she’s extremely intelligent, and she does all the background research now, and she also will draft an intro and an outro for Guy. And so after that is done, you know, Guy will use that information to prep for the episode, and he will usually formulate most of his own questions. You know, he definitely has a special gift at creating good questions for guests, like, I’ve tried in the past, and I don’t think I will ever be able to fully live up to his questions. And, yeah, then the interview will take place, and once the interview is done, we’ll get all of the audio files uploaded to a Dropbox folder, and then I will also insert it into a platform called Descript. And within Descript, I will take a first pass at editing the episode.        


Guy’s really particular about, you know, liking the ums and the likes and little things like that. He likes to get those out of the episode. So I will go and edit things, and after that Guy will record his outro and intro, and then we will send it to our sound designer, Jeff C. And, you know, he’ll take the final pass. He’ll insert some of the music and the different sound effects, and then I will put it into a platform called Rev, and it generates a transcript for us.        


And we do use, like, another. Like a. It’s a human transcript. And so they will create that and send it back to us. And then Tessa, once again, will take that transcript.        


She’ll listen to the full audio of the podcast, and she will make sure that everything is correct, whether it’s, you know, the spelling of a person’s name. She’ll just double check that online or making sure commas are in the right places. And once we have the transcript done, I will create text for the episode, whether that’s social media, the blog. Yeah, there’s just all these different pieces of text that go into the assets and the marketing, and we’ll get some graphics done, and Jeff C actually makes those. He’s really good at it.        


And then we’ll get those sent off to the guest. The blog will be uploaded and published, the episode will be taken into simple cast. And then, yeah, from there, I will go on to all of Guys socials, and I’ll do usually a couple posts a week for each episode on every platform, whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. I think about every episode, probably 20 to 25 hours total goes into it.        


So it’s a bit of a process, but we’ve come to really enjoy it. That’s amazing. Yeah. And it shows in the quality of the production and both the quality of just the questions and preparation. But as you said, also doing a lot of the editing.        


You have seen, I’m sure, like all of us have. I just came from. I came from content entrepreneur Expo in Cleveland that I was just speaking there at that conference, and so AI was way high at the top of the list. I know that you all talk a lot about AI and being efficient and effective. There are many people who are just doing a lot of that kind of post, edit and audio work just with AI.        


And it sounds like there’s a real close, like, using some of those tools, but really a human eye to it, just to make sure that it has that quality and pun intended, that it’s truly remarkable at the end of each episode. Thank you. Yeah, I definitely think it gives us all a peace of mind, you know, to have like, these final looks and we can just say that, you know, nothing was missed. Or if it was, we can blame it on ourselves. So.        


That’s right. That’s right. And especially knowing there are people who have high profile and large audiences and so forth who are listening to the episodes, it is something that just does help keep with that alignment of the brand and especially, I think, with, with the whole idea about being remarkable. It’s funny, I know Guy told me not long ago and I think it might have been on the episode or maybe it was just in a catch up conversation that he was not going to write another book because I just probably asked the question, like, what’s next for you? Another book?        


And he was like, nope, I’m done. Those days are gone. No way. And then of course, I smiled when I looked on LinkedIn and I saw, hey, we’re writing a book which recently came out. It’s called Think Remarkable, which is highlighting some of the lessons and the stories from the podcast.        


So when did you and he know that there was a book in the Remarkable People body of work? Yeah. So, you know, I think it’s always been there. And I remember the day that Guy proposed the idea to me. So Guy and I are pretty much neighbors.        


He lives about a block away from me currently. And we’ve always lived within a short radius of one another. And so we met at a local coffee shop called Cat and Cloud, just right down the street from me. And, you know, I went into meeting him not knowing, you know, what the, what the point of this was. And so I show up and yeah, he proposes, you know, this book to me.        


And at the time it was not titled Think Remarkable, but he said, you, Madisun, we have a lot of quality content here. And I really feel that, you know, we could create a guidebook for individuals to, you know, live a more fulfilling life, especially younger generations. And I was like, you know, I’m all in. I, I do also love to write and I, well, more than that, I love working with Guy. So, yeah, it was something, it was all his idea and I’ve just been along for the ride.        


So it’s been, it’s been awesome. Yeah. And I guess we, you know, really realized that we had all the content when we printed out every transcript from every episode and that equated to about 5000 pages. And so I took the first pass it going through these 5000 pages of transcripts and really picking out okay, what are nuggets that can go into this book and what are messages that people need to hear? And I was really quick to discover that there was a lot of quality content information that we could use.        


So it’s always so helpful when you’re starting a book, and it’s a great example, I think, for people that are creating content and want to repurpose. A lot of what I’m always harping about is just the intelligent use of IP and utilizing it in multiple channels and multiple forms. It can be a very different type of experience in listening to the kinds of stories you hear on the podcast. Remarkable People. When I translate it through my lens, often of learning objectives and like, what’s the purpose?        


One can be inspired by hearing the stories, but you might say I’m not a data scientist or I’m not Jane Goodall or a lot of the other really amazing people that are there. But when you look at a different purpose that I see applied from the book, where it really is a framework for people who want to become more remarkable and more impactful in their work, it’s an interesting way that you can take what you’ve had and then really tweak it for that additional purpose. So you sounds like you went through some of the early transcripts, like pulled out the themes. What was that co-writing process? Like?        


How did you divide tasks as you were going through the process and about how long did it take, if you know, like from Twinkle in the eye of let’s do a book to actually having the finalized book? Oh, I would say it took a little bit over a year. So I think he proposed the idea to me in December of 2022, and then we were done writing it by December 2023. And then, you know, we had, we submitted it to our publishers after that and there was a couple months of back and forth editing and stuff like that. But I would say total, it took about a year.        


And I, I think that originally Guy was like, we’re going to get this done in six months. And then, you know, we pulled out all those transcripts and we’re like, oh my gosh, you know, we got a lot more than we really anticipated. And can you repeat the first part of your question for me? Because I totally just blanked on what you asked me before. Oh, that’s totally fine.        


So I was asking about the process of co-writing. So how you decided, like, what you did versus what he did as you went through the process. Yeah, I have two questions at once, which is a bad podcast. I’m glad you asked for clarification. No, that’s totally okay.        


So, yeah, we definitely divided and conquered, and Guy is naturally really talented at writing. And so he did take the first pass at writing a lot of things. I did a lot of the editing, a lot of the research generation of certain ideas from all of the transcripts. And I did, you know, put more of my voice into certain pieces of the book that I really felt applied to me, like vulnerability and just like, the concept of grace in general. I definitely enjoyed that.        


And, but I would say, you know, Guy’s written 15 books, and so he knows how to write a book. And so we did a lot of, like, bouncing ideas off of one another. I definitely did some writing. I did a lot of editing, and I did a lot of fact checking as well because, you know, we did use some AI when it came to generating. We needed examples.        


So there, you know, say we needed examples of someone who switched careers drastically in the span of their life. And so, you know, Guy would find some people and I would make sure that you, the information that he gathered was correct. But, yeah, it, I guess, you know, we both did a fair share and did things that were, were naturally skilled at. And, yeah, it was a lot of fun. It’s really neat just hearing the threads about that collaboration.        


And both, as you said, in surfing and working together in the podcast production and writing a book, it’s, it’s a delicate thing. I’ve never seen so, so far, I’ve never, I’ve done a lot of teaching programs. I’ve run retreats with different people. But writing a book, I think, is a really interesting experience. Cause especially with somebody who has, like, a really strong voice, because you do, too.        


I can tell you bring a strength and a point of view and a perspective, one thing, and you can tell me if it’s true. But I’ve had the direct experience with Guy that he is extremely supportive of, especially women entrepreneurs, like women creators, and is not afraid of pushback. Has that been your experience of being open, like, when you’re collaborative, not playing that card of, like, I’m the startup Guy that’s been everywhere and kind of pushing back? Are you able to get in his face in a good way where he listens to you? Oh, my gosh, yeah.        


And, you know, at the beginning of working for him, I didn’t feel that way because, you know, you start working for, like, you know, an older male and you don’t really know where the line is to where you can, like, really voice yourself. And I quickly discovered that, you know, Guy is so receiving of anything, I have to say, and so supportive and so open minded and quick to be like, you know what? Like, you’re right. Or like, allowing me the space to insert my ideas. And he’s always wanting me to be more involved as well.        


And so I’m just, I’ve had the best experience with him, honestly. It’s, like, changed my perspective, and it’s just given me a lot of hope. And he’s been so great. I mean, I don’t have any complaints. Yeah, I appreciate that.        


It’s often. It’s funny for some people, but knowing the space and knowing many contemporaries, that is not always the case. Often where you have a dynamic of somebody who is really well known. And so over the years have always really shared that. I think a lot of people may not realize, and you happen to be working with him on this project, but there’s.        


I am an example. There’s been countless of other, especially female founders where there’s been a lot of support behind the scenes that I just like to elevate because we have seen, we see many, many, many examples of the opposite, often not giving credit to often female staff members that work a huge amount on projects and also some folks who are really a nightmare to work with. So I’m glad. I’m glad that his public perception, you know, is one that really stays true on the back end as well. Yeah, definitely.        


I have nothing. I have nothing, you know, but good things to say. And, you know, my sister started helping with doing some work for him, too, and he’s just become like an uncle to the both of us. And so, yeah, I, you know, what you see out there is the way he actually is. And I, you know, I talk to him more than anyone else.        


And I think probably the same with him. You know, most Mondays through Fridays, we’re in communication most of the time. And, you know, I will happily work for him for as long as possible. That’s awesome. But in actually working on the book and some of the core lessons, maybe you can frame for us some of the, you know, kind of structure in the book.        


I’m just curious, like, what are some of the core lessons that you’ve learned from working on it and how that’s maybe impacted you of what it really means to be remarkable? How should we think about it? Yeah, so the book does have three main sections, and that is growth, grit and grace. And, you know, within those, there are about 88 tactics that we share and some that have really resonated with me. Well, one of them has been not focusing on making the right decision, but just making your decision.        


Right. And I think so many times in life, we stress about, you know, making the correct decision, and we put so much time and effort into that. And I think sometimes we just need to make a decision, go with it, and do our best at it. And that’s been something that just really allows me to take a deep breath. I just remember, you know, growing up, being in college, trying to figure out what I want to do and just having these options and being so stressed all the time about what’s next.        


And I. Yeah, I just wish I heard that as a young person. It kind of would have changed things for me, I think. And another concept I would say would be the growth mindset. You know, Guy’s, a huge fan of that, Carol Dweck’s work.        


And I couldn’t agree more. And I definitely have adopted more of the growth, growth mindset since working with Guy. You know, I don’t have a background in podcasting. I don’t have a background in social media or a lot of the things I’ve helped do with him. And, you know, I’ve really taken on some new skills and tasks, and, you know, it took Guy to, like, push me to do that, and I look back with nothing but gratitude.        


And it has transitioned into other areas of my life to, like, taking on new activities like rock climbing or, you know, trail running. So, yeah, I think there are so many concepts like that in the book that they can be applied to, you know, anyone of any age and any occupation. That’s so cool. I noticed that a lot as a parent of teenagers. So my kids are 19 and 16.        


My son finished today his final exam of his first year in college, which is amazing. Also studying public health. I told you that I saw you. You studied public health. My son Josh is also studying that.        


And I have noticed a lot through the socialization that you might get in school. In traditional school, they went to Montessori as younger kids, which is so helpful. I feel like it’s just infused with growth mindset so much, and emotional intelligence and all these good things. As you get into more traditional education, I noticed that there can be ways to think about, there’s one right way of doing things, or you have to have a particular path, or you have to have a certain amount of preparation in order to get work done. And I love that you’ve had that experience of just modeling within your own body of work, that you don’t have to have everything figured out in order to drop in and begin to do the work, and in order, I think, for you to have safety in doing that work.        


When observation is you do have to have somebody who is going to hold space for not admonishing you each time if you’re doing something totally new to really give that space within a context of growth mindset. I really like that. That’s the way I tried to walk the line to not being that obnoxious mom who’s always coaching my kids because they have to want to be coached. But it is so helpful, I think, in looking in one way as an example of your own career, the way that you’ve come into this work where you didn’t necessarily go to school for multimedia production or entrepreneurship, and yet you end up through being open and, you know, curious and having growth mindset to working with one of the world’s leaders in all of those areas, doing production on a podcast, working on a book that I just think is amazing. And you can be shortcutting a lot of years that it might take to be accomplishing those things if you had tricked yourself into saying, well, I must go back to school and get an MBA and work for all these other people before I do it.        


So just want to share with you that that’s one of the things that I really love. And watching this kind of collaboration and seeing it evolve over time is it is a really powerful message, I think, for you, just stepping up to do that work and being brave to do it and really learn as you go, because I think it’s just going to help you in all the ways, you know, moving forward. Thank you. I am curious what you think about, of what’s next for you. Maybe just what it is that you’re working on in the context of work with Guy.        


And then are there also other projects or things that you’re excited about moving forward? Yeah. So I definitely want to continue to help Guy. I love working for him. I love producing the podcast and, you know, so that’s something I plan to continue to do.        


I don’t know how much longer, you know, Guy’s planning to do his podcast, but I’m there for it. And I do have other areas of interest, though. Like you said, my bachelor’s is in public health, and I’m also a certified holistic health coach, and I have worked within that arena in the past, and those are things I’m definitely really interested in. And life just got so busy with the book the last year and a half, and so I kind of put those things on the back burner. And they’ve started to arise again lately of just me thinking about, you know, what do I really want to do and what are my next steps.        


And I’ve been considering different positions within the sector of public health and holistic health. Like, I love women’s health, and I think it’d be really cool to do work as like, a doula or a midwife or just coach women, whether it come to hormones or just anything. But I love working with women in general, and I love the concept of health. And I’m also really passionate about giving access to people of lower socioeconomic status to different arenas, whether it be, you know, medical care, preventative care. So, yeah, it’s something I’ve only really started to think about again the last couple of months since the book’s been out and things have slowed down a little bit.        


But I, you know, I can’t tell you what my concrete next steps are, but I, you know, I am dabbling into a couple of things, trying to figure out what exactly it is I want to do. It’s very exciting. Totally. And as you said, where you’re really content and happy and creating where you are. I think that’s a wonderful thing.        


I was just talking with a client of mine today that’s substantially, you know, older than you as I am. And one of the things, one of the biggest lessons over time is we just rush too quickly through things, thinking that I have to be thinking about what’s next and what’s next and what’s next. And it’s good. I find that it really will emerge as you’re paying attention to maybe projects that are of interest, but to enjoy getting up in the morning and surfing and just that beautiful, you know, land and water that you have in Santa Cruz. And then also to be working on a project, that’s really enjoyable.        


It is healthy and wonderful to just be focusing on those things and then. Right, begin to explore maybe some of the next steps. Thank you. Yeah. You know, I feel like so much of my life, I was always stressing about the future and what’s next and having it all figured out and, you know, the last, even with that, with, sorry, even within the last six months, I am just feeling so grateful and content in life and I’m like, you know what?        


I’m just going to take a sec to, like, really be here. And yes, think somewhat about the future because that is a smart thing to do, but really just like, bask in the present. And I’m just feeling so grateful in many ways. That’s the secret to life is to do that and then never stop doing it. Because you will find as a many year, decade career coach now, it will emerge for you.        


You’ll notice if work starts to slow or you have an area of interest. So I love that. What’s the best place for people to be connecting with you and learning more about the work? Yeah, so I would say LinkedIn. And also, you know, feel free to email me at any time.        


My email is, just my first and last name. And yeah, you can connect with me through there. Shoot me a message. I would love to talk. I love that.        


Well, we’ll also make sure that we have links to both the podcast, which I highly recommend. That’s always interesting. You always learn something new, get new insight as well as the book, think remarkable. I want to thank you again for spending time with me today, Madisun. And for those of you that are listening, you can check out the complete show notes at        


I’ll make sure to have all the links and access. I want to thank my 31 Marketplace production team, La’Vista Jones, Tanika Lothery, Jose Arboleda and our award winning show narrator, Andia Winslow. Until next time, be sure to rate and subscribe to the show. And continuing getting inspiration to grow your world changing work at scale.

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