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Show Notes

Do you have an important message to share with the world but you’re not sure how to create an audience as an introvert?

According to Matt Johnson, you don’t need to reach everyone to have great success in life and business. The key is being famously influential to the right people or MicroFamous. Matt has found great success and has built a work/life balance that he loves around his introverted strengths and needs.  Matt has also learned how to set appropriate boundaries as an introvert.

Matt is a marketing agency founder, podcaster, and musician. Matt runs a podcast launch & production agency based in San Diego, an international team that helps business coaches, consultants and thought leaders use done-for-you podcasting to attract an audience, build influence & become MicroFamous. Matt is the author of MicroFamous and currently hosts the MicroFamous podcast. 

In today’s episode, we discuss how to attract an audience, build influence & become MicroFamous using introverted strengths, and honoring introverted needs.

Guest: Matt Johnson

Contact Matt:

MicroFamous Podcast:

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Contact the Host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast:

David Hall

Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster
david [at]

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Timestamped Overview

00:00 Homeschooled musician becomes introverted entrepreneur, builds successful business.

05:41 Grew up with introverted dad, discovered success in podcasting as an introvert.

08:40 Introverts thrive on stage, but need recovery, and should not judge themselves.

13:16 Introverts have a small circle of trust, unlike extroverts who maintain many shallow relationships outside of it.

16:34 Realized only need strategy, writing, leadership. Introverts strong in strategy, writing, leadership. Listening for influence, good impression.

19:57 Introvert sets boundaries, manages time, dispels myths.

23:23 Extroverts don’t understand introverts’ need for alone time.

26:02 Partnership challenges with extroverts, setting boundaries, and mutual understanding.

31:47 Introverts find success with clear, compelling ideas.

37:07 Book advocates for building systems rather than extreme changes for introverts to achieve goals without changing themselves. Examples of systems described.

40:02 Be happy by understanding yourself, not by being an extrovert.

Podcast Transcript

Matt Johnson [00:00:00]:

I went from really not knowing my place in the world, not knowing how I fit in, not understanding how to be good at sales, to building my own business, be not only being an entrepreneur, but ended up like structuring the business around my introverted personality.

David Hall [00:00:25]:

Hello, and welcome to the Quiet and Strong podcast, especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall, and the creator of This is a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced normally. We’ll air each episode on a Monday. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform, leave a review, tell a friend, help get the word out there. Matt Johnson is a marketing agency founder, podcaster, and musician. Matt runs a podcast launch and production agency based in San Diego and an international team that helps business coaches, consultants, and thought leaders use Done for you podcasting to attract an audience, build influence, and become microfamous. Matt is the author of Microfamous and currently hosts the Microfamous podcast. Matt has found great success and has built a life that he loves around his introverted strengths and needs. All right, well, I’m very excited to have my guest, Matt Johnson. Matt, welcome to the show.

Matt Johnson [00:01:33]:

Thanks so much. I’m honored.

David Hall [00:01:35]:

So Matt is the author of Microfamous. He has the Microfamous podcast and he’s also a marketing agency founder. And I’ve been listening to Matt’s podcast and I’m reading the Microfamous book, and I love how Matt weaves in the introverted angle with honoring your introverted needs, embracing your strengths, and he brings that into the work that he does with being microfamous. So, Matt, we will get into the microfamous part of your work, but I want to know first, tell us about yourself and your journey through understanding and embracing your introversion.

Matt Johnson [00:02:13]:

Well, I like to say I’m the least likely entrepreneur ever. So if anyone’s listening and they’re either not an entrepreneur or maybe never even thought about it, I know I never thought about it, so this conversation will apply regardless. So I was a homeschooled pastor’s kid who grew up in the Midwest. I thought when I grew up I would be either starting churches, doing something in other countries, maybe playing music. I was a musician since I was very young. I picked up the drums at two, and so those are my plans. I decided to move out of that arena and ended up in real estate, which was an OD thing for an introvert to do. Right? I mean, traditionally, real estate is very extroverted industry. I didn’t find out until later that a lot of the top agents are introverts, which is an interesting conversation, but when I was in it, I immediately felt like, inadequate. I wasn’t doing enough. The conversations that I was having was not going the way that I wanted to. So this is like six, seven ended up shutting the team down after the crash and I just said, you know, I’m just going to go. I wasn’t sure exactly what to do. I started practicing the drums again, ended up practicing four or 5 hours a day and just decided I’m going to go chase the dream as a full time musician. And so I chased that dream for about five years, went, pushed it as far as I could and then realized I’ve built this skill set of marketing and I could build websites and do social media and stuff like that. I’m like to be like an independent musician. You have to spend 80% of your time doing that anyway, and you only get to spend 20% of your time actually doing the thing you love. So I said to myself, well, if that’s the case, why don’t I spend that 80% of time marketing over in the business world where I can actually make a really good living and just do music on the side? So I got into that, went and worked for an agency for a while before I started my own, and that worked out pretty well. So I’ve essentially built this business around myself where I get to be an introvert. I work from home, I moved out to San Diego, so I live a few blocks from the ocean. And all of my team, I’ve got like 14 people on the team. They’re all scattered across the country and around the world, so they’re not all up in my space. Right. I don’t book any calls afternoon for the most part anymore. I stopped booking things on Monday for the most part. And so outside of running the agency, which takes me about 4 hours a week to kind of keep everything, keep the trains running on time, keep clients happy, do all that stuff. Outside of that, I get to do the stuff that I, as an introvert, enjoy doing, like creating content on my own, going to Starbucks in the afternoon and writing, which is how the book got written. Right? It was written at a Starbucks in yeah, I just I went from really not knowing my place in the world, not knowing how I fit in, not understanding how to be good at sales, to building my own business, not only being an entrepreneur, but ended up structuring the business around my introverted personality. So in a nutshell, that’s the journey. That’s where I’m at now. So I built a life that I love and I built it essentially without changing who I am.

David Hall [00:05:27]:

That sounds amazing. It sounds like a life that many introverts would enjoy. Ocean sounds really good right now too.

Matt Johnson [00:05:35]:

Yes, it does. It’s pretty fantastic.

David Hall [00:05:37]:

So did you always know that you were introvert?

Matt Johnson [00:05:41]:

I did because my dad is an introvert. He was a pastor and pastored as an introvert. I had that model growing up, right, where I kind of watched how he ran things. He ran very slim, like minimal staff, and he spent most of his time alone studying, preparing for messages and things like that. And so I had that example. So I was new as an introvert. The big breakthrough for me wasn’t really realizing I was an introvert. It was realizing that I didn’t need to change in order to hit my goals. Now, the way that that happened for me might be a little different, so I’ll share it briefly. I had gotten, like, stumbled into almost the world of podcasting, and one of the people that I was doing some live webinars and stuff with in my old agency just called me up one day and said, hey, man, we have a blast. We grab a great time. I’m interested in doing this, you want to do that? A little bit of that. Why don’t we start a podcast together? And I’m like, Well, I was going to call you next week and pitch you the same thing. So yes. The answer is yes. Let’s do it. So that was 2015. It was a show called Real Estate Uncensored, and now that’s coming up on we’re at like 1.7 million downloads or something, and it just took off. It went really well despite me being an introvert. So he’s an extrovert, I’m an introvert. We have a lot of fun. There’s good chemistry on the show. People really connected with it and took off. I started to get agency clients, and I got pulled into starting my own agency because I was just meeting people and having these relationships, and the relationships were coming because podcasting allowed me to skip the networking, skipping the flying around to all the events, and skip the small talk, right? Podcasting allowed me to just jump on with really smart people and get into really deep one on one conversations right away, one on one or two on one, whatever. But in other words, it sounds OD because podcasting is like putting yourself out there, but I’m sitting in my place alone. It’s still in my comfort zone. I’m not having to buy a bottle service at 02:00 A.m. At Hawkison to sign up clients, right? So anyway, that was the big breakthrough for me, was realizing that I had stumbled into a way to grow my business, meet people, and hit my goals without changing myself as an introvert. And I didn’t mean for it to come out that way, but once I realized that is what happened, I’m like, okay, great. All in. And once I found that thing that worked, I just went all in on that.

David Hall [00:08:04]:

Very cool. And a few questions from all of that. Sometimes people think that we don’t want to do things like podcasts or give public speeches or that we don’t like to have conversations. And there’s a lot of myths, and we’ll probably get into some more myths. But I mean, honestly, just like you’re saying, I love this, I’m having a great conversation with you, we had a little bit of pre conversation before I hit record. I love this because we’re talking about things that are interesting to us. Again, there’s a lot of myths, but introverts can be very successful on podcasts.

Matt Johnson [00:08:40]:

I know introverts. I have some of them as clients that would crawl over broken glass to speak in front of 1000 people. Now, here’s the difference, though. The introvert will speak in front of 1000 people and then we’ll want to go back to the hotel and take a nap. And unfortunately, we’ll also beat ourselves up for it. And that’s what I would hope to set people free from, is like, if you get into the business world, what I started to notice is I’m like, man. And coming back to the conversation I mentioned earlier about the real estate thing, my old agency put me in touch with a lot of high level influencers and coaches and speakers and experts in the real estate world, the world that I was in ten years ago and thought that I had failed in because I wasn’t extroverted enough. And I started getting around these guys and I’m like, he’s an introvert and she’s an introvert. And I’m like, what is going on here? And I started looking at it and it didn’t seem to matter. They were speaking on stages, they were talking to people, they were making prospecting calls. They’re doing all this stuff. And what I was finding though, is that they would beat themselves up for not being extroverted, right? They had overcome and they had built these amazing businesses and all accomplished all these amazing things as introverts, but they still judge themselves for not being more extroverted. And I think that’s the thing that I’d hopefully set people free from is if you’re the person that if you can find the thing that works for you, it might not be public speaking, it might not be podcasting, but it might be something else. Once you find that thing, lean into it. But most importantly, don’t beat yourself up for not being more extroverted while you’re doing it. So if you can go out there and do public speaking, which I can do and all my clients can do, but we have to go back and go to the hotel and take a nap afterwards, don’t judge yourself for the nap. Go take the nap, right? And say, okay, this is who I am. Other people may be able to go speak and then spend the next 10 hours at the party and the after party and the after party. Those people are great. I love them. They’re amazing. They’re all my friends. Doesn’t matter. I’m the one that’s going back to the hotel and taking a nap. I’ve come to a place within myself where I’m okay with that and I take pride in it as opposed to beating myself up for it. That’s the difference between me now versus maybe five years ago.

David Hall [00:10:53]:

Yeah. And that’s the same. I love giving speeches, but you have to understand what your needs are, and just because they’re different from somebody else’s doesn’t make them any less valid. And being able to explain that to people, hey, I need to go take a break after this.

Matt Johnson [00:11:09]:

Exactly. I got invited by a client of mine last year for Thanksgiving over to his house, and he’s a loud, boisterous extrovert, and so is his wife. So he invites me over, and I just told him in advance, ma’am, I’ve got about 90 minutes, and then I’m going to leave, and it’s not you, and nothing is wrong. It doesn’t mean I’m having a bad time. But I’m like, I probably got 90 minutes of social time, and then I’m going to bail. And he’s like, I got you. It doesn’t matter. Come over, have a good time. Bail when you want to, no problem. And I went over there and was having such a good time, I stayed for 3 hours, but I’ve learned to set those boundaries and honor my own needs. And if I happen to be having a good time, I’ll stay longer. But just prepping people in advance that, hey, natural introvert here. My social energy has a finite energy tank, and when that’s drawn, I got to get out of there.

David Hall [00:12:01]:

Yeah. And I mean, it’s just a matter of explaining that. And if you did only stay for 90 minutes and there was no explanation, there could definitely be some hurt feelings. Like, man, what’s wrong with matter? Why doesn’t he like us? Or whatever. And I think I’ve heard you say on your podcast that you feel like you can get energized by people. Right? It’s just the right situation, the right.

Matt Johnson [00:12:22]:

People, right conversations, right people tends to be more one on one. So if you take an extrovert and you plop them into a networking event, they’re the ones that come out with everyone’s business card. If you plop me in a networking event, I want to find the right one person, and I’ll be off in the corner having a deep one on one conversation with them, and I’ll walk out of that networking event feeling great because I met that one person. If you stick me in an event and you tell me to go get everyone’s business card, I’ll shoot myself. I’ll sooner jump off the nearest bridge. That’s just not my game. So, yeah, I think we can succeed in those environments as introverts, but our definition of success is a lot different.

David Hall [00:12:59]:

Yeah. And I’m the same. I want a good conversation or two. Maybe it’s someone I know. Maybe it’s somebody new. And if I even tried, if I needed to meet everybody, not only will it be very draining, but it’s probably not even going to be that effective for me.

Matt Johnson [00:13:16]:

No. That’s what extroverts are. Okay with so theory, and I don’t know if you’d agree with this, but this is my theory. So, like, the circle of trust from was that meet the parents or whatever, like the circle of trust. So for an introvert it’s very small, but we all have one extroverts and introverts, we all have this circle of trust. So you imagine like this network of fairly close relationships, part of its family, part of it’s really good friends, part of it might be people in the same business or the same industry. Right. So you’ve got this inner circle of trust, then you’ve got everyone else, and for introverts, that’s literally everyone else in the world, right? Like if you’re outside the circle of trust, we don’t have a lot of time for you as an introvert. We don’t have the energy to give everyone a piece of us. If you’ve already got people in your circle of trust, my theory is that extroverts have another layer kind of outside the circle of trust for all these really light, touch, shallow, not very deep relationships that they keep up with and they enjoy keeping up with because that’s where their energy comes from. So they can have 1500 or several hundred kind of shallow relationships with people that they carry on ongoing. I think that’s really difficult for introverts and we get beat up for it and we beat ourselves up for it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. Like, just understand you have a circle of trust. It’s probably pretty small. You’re going to have to make some special efforts to build relationships beyond that because your natural compulsion isn’t the same as an extrovert to have that extra layer of shallow relationships that are outside the circle of trust. I don’t know if without being a visual, does that make any sense?

David Hall [00:14:46]:

Oh, yeah, absolutely. And it’s very normal for us to have a small circle of close relationships, and I think it has to do with just us being deep thinkers and we’re more inwardly focused where the extrovert is more outwardly focused and that’s the big difference for me. So yeah, that absolutely is a great explanation.

Matt Johnson [00:15:07]:

Yeah, I like the way that you explained that on your website, that it’s not even so much just your social energy tank and sensitivity in other ways. I’ve seen it, explained it’s inward versus outward because yeah, that’s very much what it is. When I have a string of calls like this in the morning, I got to batch them all together because that’s my outward like my energy is outward and then after that I want to turn my energy back inward again. Yeah, I think that’s just a very good way to divide it. Yeah.

David Hall [00:15:35]:

With the energy discussion. Sometimes I hear people say that that’s the main difference and I take a little bit of issue with that and I say it’s a big difference, it’s a huge difference, but we’re going to get into strengths. And if you say that’s the big difference or the main difference, I should say, then it discounts all the great strengths you have as an introvert. I want to talk about my strengths that I have. And yes, the energy part is so important. You have to understand that and understand what gives you energy, what drains you, how you can make a plan to recharge if you know something’s going to. And I’m loving this conversation, Matt, but I will just need a little break.

Matt Johnson [00:16:16]:

Right. Sadly, you’re my first call of the day, so I have like 2 hours, two and a half hours left after this. Yeah.

David Hall [00:16:24]:

Anyway, so you definitely talked about some of your needs. What would you say are some of your strengths as an introvert, and how do you put that into the work.

Matt Johnson [00:16:34]:

That you do as far as strength? So there was a point, I think, about four years ago, and I kind of had this little flash, and I don’t even know what caused it, but I’m like, Holy cow, the business only needs three things from me. And it was like strategy, writing, and leadership. And those are the three of the three things that I’m really good at. And being an introvert helps contribute to being really good at those. And I just realized, man alive, like, I don’t actually need to be doing anything else in my business but those three things, and I should be building up those strengths so that they become stronger. You talk about introverts being more inward looking. I think that makes us better at strategy, because strategy is being able to see things, understand trade offs, make hard decisions, really think things through, see things clearly. I think introverts are probably more inclined to be really good at strategy, good decision making, and then writing. Obviously, introverts are great writers if we have a writing skill set introverts are really good at because we can just plow away. We don’t need people to draw out our ideas. And then leadership is an interesting one because I think most people don’t think of introverts as leaders, but leadership is just influence, and introverts can be really good at influencing other people. I think one of the strengths that I’ve noticed about myself as I’ve embraced being an introvert in this business where I have a lot of extroverted competition is that one of the values that I bring to the conversations with clients is just really deep, active listening and then reflecting and asking good, smart questions that make them think. And that will always get you instant respect from somebody, especially if you’re going into a situation like a job interview or you’re meeting someone that’s influential that you want to make a good impression on, listen deeply, ask good, intelligent questions, and they’re going to come away from that interaction going, that is a smart person. I like that person. So anyway, those are some of the things that I noticed about myself. And I just think that being an introvert contributed to all those things. And then I doubled down on them and made sure that my entire business and my entire life was based around being good at those three things.

David Hall [00:18:53]:

Absolutely. And that’s one of my strengths too, is being strategic, trying to think of a better way to run the business or things like that. And it’s because that can be a strength. Again, there’s lots of different introverted strengths and half of us are introverts, so we don’t all have the same strengths, but you’re really thinking deeply and coming up with some different solutions that maybe somebody else hasn’t thought of. And I think that’s thinking is definitely a strength of ours.

Matt Johnson [00:19:21]:

Yeah, 100%. Couldn’t agree more. And yeah, it’s interesting you asked me what my needs and strengths were in the pre interview kind of prep that you sent over, and I had to think about that. I hadn’t thought about the strengths thing in a little while and the needs especially, I hadn’t thought about just different way of phrasing it. I think it’s important to think those things through.

David Hall [00:19:39]:

Yeah, absolutely. And that’s what this show is all about. It’s embracing our introversion and understanding our strengths, honoring our needs, and of course, dispelling some myths. We did a little bit of that. Is there any other myths that you want to bust today about introversion?

Matt Johnson [00:19:57]:

Yeah, there was a funny one that I did a podcast episode on Microfamous about, I think it was a couple of months ago because I ran across a gal and she was an introvert and she complained that people say that we’re aholes, that we don’t like people. I mentioned that on one of my podcasts. My co host is a big extrovert. Not only that, he’s an extreme extrovert, right to the point where at one point in our history of the podcast, about a year in, he starts giving his cell phone number out and just says, hey, text me and let’s set up a time free coaching. We’ll spend an hour, hour and a half together. He did it four nights a week. He basically offered Monday through Thursdays. He ended up getting booked 18 months out. So for 18 to 24 months he had to just jump on basically a coaching call with people for an hour a night for four nights a week. He completely burned himself out doing this. I of course, knew that was coming and said, hell no, there’s absolutely no way I’m giving myself our number out. Come on. To an introvert, that seems insane, and it is. I knew he was going to burn out doing it if it worked. He didn’t know it, didn’t believe it. Of course he did. But along the way he started teasing me on the podcast about being like my cold black heart, because after all, he was the soft, cuddly teddy bear that would talk to anyone everywhere. And I was the one that was very protective of my time. I think introverts we get a bad rap for that because we have to set good boundaries. We have to be conscious of our energy levels, conscious of that sensitivity, conscious of the time that we spend being directed outward because that’s not our strength. We have to be conscious of all that stuff. And if you’re really good at hitting your goals as an introvert, you’re probably good at managing your time, managing your calendar, and kind of balancing some of those things and setting good boundaries. And I was, and I think he jumped on that to kind of playfully tease me about having a cold black heart and not liking people. And I think as introverts, like, at the time, I just kind of brushed it off and said, yeah, that’s funny. We turned it into a running joke on the show, which is fine, but when it’s not a joke and you allow yourself to be painted as that way, as not liking people or a little bit of an ahole or off putting or intimidating or whatever, I think we do introverts a disservice. I think we need to push back on that and go, no, that is a myth. It’s a misperception. I am strategic and intentional about how I spend my time and who has access to me. I don’t hate people. I just don’t allow anyone unconditionally to have access to me because I know what it does to me internally.

David Hall [00:22:31]:

Yeah, when you were talking about your partner’s offer, I was getting a little anxiety. That would be typical, would have given me anxiety. Yeah, we’re thinkers. We’re more analytical. There’s definitely introverts that are more feelers more empathic, and so there can be different approaches. But I know that what you described did you say cold black heart?

Matt Johnson [00:22:58]:

Yeah. Cold black heart, yeah.

David Hall [00:23:00]:

I can relate to that because I approach the world very analytical, and I have to help people understand how I do care about things because it’s not always apparent. So that’s something that I have to work on, letting them know where I’m coming from and all that. So that’s definitely something. So working with your partner, that was an extrovert. Did he understand your introverted needs and strengths?

Matt Johnson [00:23:23]:

God, no. Oh, my God. No. It’s funny, I think a lot of extroverts are that way. They don’t understand how it feels because they could go 810, 12 hours a day of being social before they start to wear it down. So here’s an interesting thing. So my co host on that show, his weekly schedule was like 06:00 a.m. To 06:00 p.m., 07:00 P.m., five nights a week, and then bam. Complete and total, utter shutdown. Lock out the rest of the world and completely go solo for two and a half full days and then do it all over again. I’m like, that sounds terrible. Why would you want to do that to yourself? But that was the rhythm that worked well for him was 80% social 20%, cut off the world and go inward. And for me, it’s just like I find a much more balanced approach. So, for example, I work six to seven mornings a week, but no more than on the weekends, no more than a couple of hours, two, 3 hours or whatever, and only on stuff that pushes things in my life forward. Right. Because I enjoy it and because the rest of the week I haven’t burned myself out on being social to where I don’t have the energy to do anything. So I can work six or seven days a week in the mornings and not burn myself out. As opposed to him who wanted to work and run hard for 12 hours a day and be social and then had to completely shut down. I know people that burned themselves out to the point where they put themselves in the hospital, gave themselves adrenal fatigue that it took years to recover from by running schedules like that. One of my friends who’s an extrovert, said he almost lost out on marrying his wife because he didn’t understand that she was an introvert and almost broke up with her in the early days of their relationship until she explained to him this is why I don’t want to stay for 5 hours at the party you took me to. It’s not you. It’s because I’m an introvert. And he’s like, well, what’s an introvert? She had to explain it to him. So no, extroverts have no idea. They don’t understand. And the more extroverted they are, the less they understand.

David Hall [00:25:18]:

Yeah. And hopefully with the work that we’re doing, we could also reach some extroverts to help understand that a little bit better. I wrote my first book on time management, Minding Your Time. And my sister, that’s an extrovert, read it and she said it helps her understand the introverts in her life. She has kids that are introverts and so hopefully we can do that. And when we’re working with people, I have some extrovert folks I work with that understand introversion, and it can be a good partnership. They might bring something that you don’t have a strength that you don’t have. I’m not a great party planner, but I have people around me that are. So that could be a really good thing.

Matt Johnson [00:26:02]:

Yeah, exactly. When you understand partnerships are tough anyway. But yes, if you’re working with an extrovert that doesn’t understand you at all, you’ve got to help them understand. And that can be really difficult sometimes because it’s hard for them to put themselves in your shoes and understand how it feels. You know what I’m talking about when you hit the wall, right? You’re social. You’re social or social and then bam, you’re like, oh my God, I’ve got to get out of here. I’m going to be really cranky really fast if I don’t get out of this situation. Most extroverts don’t really know what that means. That won’t happen. To them until like five or six. That won’t happen to them until like three in the morning or something like that, right? You have to explain to them that, hey, you know how you feel after 7 hours of being at a party and expending yourself or doing public speaking or whatever and you’re just exhausted? That happens for me, bam. In an instant, 60 or 90 minutes in to being social in a public space. And until they really grasp and understand that, they won’t really know why you set those boundaries. Why do you set boundaries where, I’m not going to show up to that, but I’ll show up to this? I do calls here and not there. I do this, but not that? Because they don’t really understand how that feels. They think, well, yeah, I get tired after a party. It’s like, no, it’s not the same thing. And it takes you seven times as long to get tired of being social than it does for me. But if they understand it and if they respect it and they don’t view it as you not liking people, it can be a really great long term mutual partnership. So my co host has come to understand and respect the way that I run my life and my schedule. I find that extroverts, once they grasp it, they’re often jealous of how disciplined we are with our time and how intentionally we are with our calendar and stuff. They’re like, oh, I would love to be that way, but I could never. That is a myth too. You can absolutely be intentional and strategic and tell some people, no, I’m not going to go do that. Go there, you just won’t. Which I find endlessly hilarious.

David Hall [00:28:07]:

Yeah, it’s definitely differences and I love how you put it. Setting boundaries, that’s a really important piece. This is what I’m going to be able to do and this is what I’m going to need. During the lockdown, we were working from home and I knew a lot of extroverts didn’t have to go into the office, but did it because they were hoping to see somebody. So it was kind of interesting. And again, we all just have our different needs and the more we can understand them, the better.

Matt Johnson [00:28:37]:

What’s funny about that is my sister sent me something like a month into the lockdown, and it was some joke about how homeschooled kids were, like kids that were homeschooled as kids, now as adults, like going through the lockdown, how this was just like business as usual. It was not that way for like I hated the lockdown and got out of my house every day to walk along the bay here in San Diego and stuff. So it’s hilarious for being an introvert. I am not the person who wants to get up in the morning and walk 8ft to my desk and start work. I got to get out of the house. I like being around the energy of people first thing in the morning at a coffee shop or something, I just don’t necessarily want to talk to them.

David Hall [00:29:11]:

Does that make yeah, completely.

Matt Johnson [00:29:15]:

I’ll go days and realize the only person I’ve talked to is the barista at the coffee shop and I’m totally okay with that, but I do like the energy of people. So Lockdown was very tough.

David Hall [00:29:24]:

Yeah, and that’s kind of when I started the podcast during that time and people were just saying, oh, introverts, they just love this. And I’m like, no, I’m feeling a little isolation. I got my wife and three kids here, but other than that, I’m missing other people in my life and missing it. So I need a balance. And that’s where we have to get to is what do you need, what kind of balance? And definitely dispel some of those myths that are out there about what we need. And yeah, I don’t want to only spend time at my desk where now I do all my work and I spend all my time here, whether at work or after work, working on the quiet and strong things. And yeah, I need some variety, for sure.

Matt Johnson [00:30:07]:

Yeah, 100%.

David Hall [00:30:08]:

So I’m really enjoying your microfamous book and the concept really resonates with me that you don’t have to be everything to everybody. So tell us what it means to be microfamous.

Matt Johnson [00:30:21]:

Well, it kind of comes from what I mentioned earlier when I started to notice these influencers that were on the introverted side in MySpace, where I was working in real estate. And they were the type of people that they weren’t super active on social media, they would get interviewed on podcasts. Some of them had their own podcasts, especially my clients, because in that case, we launched them for them. And when they would go to an event, they would get surrounded by people that all knew who they were, peppering them with questions, pulling them into conversations, like really trying to have deep conversation with them. And they were incredibly well known within their space and incredibly influential in that space. And then outside of that, nobody knew who they were and they didn’t care, right? So they could go to the grocery store. They weren’t the ones putting their faces on billboards. They were the ones running these insanely successful multimillion dollar businesses. And you’d never know it from just kind of being around them. But then when they show up at an event, everybody knew who they were, everybody wanted to talk to them. I’m like, well, what do you call like it’s not just a thought leader, not just an author speaker type. And that’s where microfamous came in. I’m like, they are famously influential to the right people. It’s like if Tom Cruise walked into any event, that was like them walking into the events in their little niches. And I’m like, man, that’s what I want to be. I don’t want to have to worry in my daily life that if I accidentally cut somebody off in traffic, they know who I am.

David Hall [00:31:47]:

You know what saying?

Matt Johnson [00:31:47]:

Like, I want to be able to just go about my life and be my introverted self and kind of be inward and all this stuff. But when I go to an event, I don’t want to have to be the one introducing myself, trying to build those connections. When I go to an event in my industry, I want people to know, oh, there’s Matt. He’s the microfamous guy. That’s what I wanted, and that’s what a lot of my clients wanted, because that’s where their business would come from, too. So anyway, that’s where that concept came from. And it all starts with I think one of your other questions was, how do you get there, which is the clear and compelling idea? So a clear and compelling idea is an idea of what you do and who you are that can be expressed in as little as a couple of one to two sentences. But really, it’s an expression of an idea that is so clear that it’s instantly understandable by the right person, and it’s so compelling to them that when they hear it, they go, Holy cow, I didn’t even know that exists. I’ve got to find out more about that. I noticed that in my own business years ago because I started to get all of my early clients. Not because I was a great salesperson, but because I would get them on the line to book them on a podcast, either mine or somebody else’s or whatever, or just networking and meeting people. And they would go, well, hey, Matt, what do you do? And I would just tell them very simply, like, hey, we launch and produce podcasts. We do everything for you, including the guest booking. So basically, all you do is show up and hit record and walk away, and everything’s done for you. And they’re like, Holy cow, seriously? That didn’t exist then? Nobody was doing that. They’re like, I didn’t even know that was a thing. You can do that. I’m like, yeah, I just built it around what I built for myself with my own podcast. I’m like, all right, how do I find out more about that? And I noticed that the clients that I had come in that were really successful podcasting had that same thing, too, with their right people. They had an idea that was so clear and it was so compelling that it was instantly understood. It was easy to communicate. It was short. It was punchy, and when the right people heard it, they were just completely blown away, and they had to learn more. It didn’t feel like a sales conversation. It was just like, you got to tell me more about that. I can just walk away. I’ll give one of my clients, for example, built a multimillion dollar real estate business on the east coast in north carolina and got it systematized to the point where he spent about 2 hours a week on it to net a million dollars a year. When you tell an average real estate agent that’s working 70 hours a week running around with their head cut off just to do a couple of deals here and there, that somebody is selling 500 400 homes a year and working 2 hours a week and netting a million dollars, it’s so outside their reality. Like, okay, either that’s complete and total BS. Or he’s the greatest person I’ve ever heard of. Either way, I’ve got to learn more. That’s the level that we’re talking about here. I think where introverts have an advantage there is because we’re inward, because we’re strategic, and because we like having deep conversations about ideas. I think we’re better suited to find those ideas that cut through the noise more so than an extrovert that’s just focused on talking to people. Does that make sense?

David Hall [00:34:46]:

Yeah, absolutely. Microfamous, it’s for introverts.

Matt Johnson [00:34:52]:

Extroverts, it works really well for introverts and digital introverts. We talked about this a little bit before I hit record. So I’ve also noticed that in the course of building the microfamous brand and talking about me being an introvert on the podcast, I’ve also had people go, hey, I’m an extrovert in daily life. I like people, but that doesn’t mean I want to spend all day on social media. I’m a digital introvert. And so I thought, that’s true. I actually have some really great clients. They don’t want to be on social media all the time. They don’t have a huge email list. They don’t have all the markers of a digital extrovert, right? But in real life, they love people, and they’re extroverted in their daily life. So those are the two people that I think really do well with the microfamous system, because I think extroverts tend to go, hey, I just want to reach everybody introverts, I think, go, I don’t have the energy for that. I want to go after the right people and only them. I want to have the conversations that energize me and not the ones that drain me. And I think that’s what that microfamous approach, whether you’re in business or not, that’s what that allows you to do. So, for example, I run my own agency now, but I used to just be a guy that worked for somebody else. I was a full time employee of another agency. I started to become microfamous even in that space, because my CEO at the time told me to start a blog where I shared what I was doing for clients, and I started to become microfamous to my clients by just sharing what I was doing for them and for other clients. So this is a principle that works at any level. You can be an employee. You can be working for somebody else, working for yourself. It doesn’t matter. You can be an academic, you can be a student, and you can become famously influential within the circle of the right people. So that principle applies regardless.

David Hall [00:36:30]:

Yeah, I love that, because no matter what, we should all have a clear and compelling idea. No matter what we’re trying to do, like you said, whether we’re an employee or we’re running our own business, whatever it is, we should have that thing that people understand, what we could be microfamous for.

Matt Johnson [00:36:47]:


David Hall [00:36:49]:

Hey, Matt. So we’ve talked about a lot of great things today. Is there anything that we missed that you want to bring?

Matt Johnson [00:36:57]:

There’s? So one of the big books that had a huge impact on my life I don’t know if you’ve ever come across this before. Have you come across the book? Systems mindset by Sam Carpenter.

David Hall [00:37:06]:

I haven’t.

Matt Johnson [00:37:07]:

Okay. It’s really amazing, and he’s a natural introvert from what I know behind the scenes, and he doesn’t really talk about that in the book. But here’s what the book is about, and it’s why it impacted me as an introvert. So the book is about building systems around you and focusing more on tweaking and improving the systems of your life to get the results you want than focusing on trying to make this day a perfect day or going on these huge binges where you do these extreme diets or extreme workout plans and all this stuff. He’s focused on what are you doing every day, and how are you tweaking that little bits at a time to make small, permanent changes that just add up a huge way over time. So that really changed my approach, because I think a lot of us, introverts included, beat ourselves up and judge ourselves harshly for not making extreme changes that stick. Right. We beat ourselves up for not sticking to the huge diet or the huge workout plan or the, oh, I’m going to do this, and I’m going to run hard for 90 days. Whatever. Anyway, what that book turned me on to is this concept, which I talk about at Microfamous. You don’t need to change. You need better systems around yourself that get you to your goals without you changing. And it came from one of my clients really reinforced this, and then I know we got to close out because time is limited. One of my introverted clients, who is, I thought, one of the most disciplined people in the world. He’s climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. He just ran his second Iron Man. He’s in his early 50s. This is a disciplined person. He made an offhand comment with Tom. He’s like, I’m a terribly undisciplined person. I’m like that. Well, first of all, that’s complete. And told me he’s like, no, seriously, I don’t ever go to the gym alone. Like, what do you mean you don’t go to the gym alone? It’s like, I always have a workout partner, an accountability partner, and or a trainer, because that’s the only way I’ll show up at the gym. So I built a system around myself where it ensures that I work out because I’m a lazy bastard, I don’t want to work out, but I make myself work out by building this system and I’m like, man, that’s so good. And so I started to apply that to a whole bunch of different areas. So the goal is not as an introvert to become more extroverted. The goal is to build systems around you that allow you to get to your goals without you even changing and just to keep on tweaking the machinery of your life around you to get better and better and better results without you having to go, okay, today I’m going to be super extrovert. Like, no, that’s not like becoming somebody different. Tomorrow is not the answer. You may transform over ten years, but you’re not going to be like, you talk about this on your website. Introvert extrovert stuff is hardwired in you can change a lot about yourself. You can grow as a person, you can get more confident, you can get less shy, you can get all those things. The introvert extrovert thing is hardwired, and I 100% agree with that.

David Hall [00:39:56]:

Yeah, I mean, I’m a deep thinker, I always will be, and it’s a strength of mine.

Matt Johnson [00:40:00]:

Can you imagine not be?

David Hall [00:40:02]:

Who wouldn’t know? And the goal is not to be an extrovert. The goal is to do whatever I want to do to be happy. And that comes from a self awareness of understanding what your strengths are, what your needs are. And yeah, I never say that people should try to become an extrovert because it’s not going to work. And that’s where this journey started. I tried that a long time ago and I realized this isn’t working. And it was a long period of discovery, but I’m like, oh, I’m great how I am, here’s what I need, here’s my strengths, and I can get what I want. It’s not from being an extrovert, it’s from understanding who I am. That’s the key.

Matt Johnson [00:40:44]:

No, I think of the systems of my life as a BMW. It’s a lot better to get into a BMW and drive 60 miles than to try to walk there.

David Hall [00:40:54]:

Yeah, absolutely.

Matt Johnson [00:40:55]:

Walking is going to be a lot harder. I’d rather have great systems around me and the systems propel me where I want to go and take me there with a lot more ease and comfort and enjoyment.

David Hall [00:41:06]:

Yeah, absolutely. That’s a good point. Systems are very important for us. So, Matt, this has been a wonderful conversation. Lots of good pieces of wisdom in here. How can people find more about you, whether it’s reading your microfamous book, the blog, or even if they wanted to launch their own podcast?

Matt Johnson [00:41:25]:

Yeah, well, the easiest way to get a hold of me nowadays is I’m starting to blog more on substac, so all my podcast episodes go there sketches, articles, stuff that I used to maybe put on social media. I’m just not very active on social media anymore. So if you just go to Microfamous, you’ll get all of my stuff. Basically. That’s the one central place now.

David Hall [00:41:45]:

Sounds great.

Matt Johnson [00:41:46]:


David Hall [00:41:47]:

All right, well, thanks again for being on the show. It’s been great to have you.

Matt Johnson [00:41:50]:

I appreciate it.

David Hall [00:41:52]:

Thank you so much for joining me today. I look forward to further connecting with you. Reach out at Check out the website I’ll add social media channels for me and my guests to the show. Notes please comment on social media posts. Send me topics or guests you’d like to see on the show. There’s so many great things about being an introvert, and so we need those to be understood. Get to know your introverted strengths and needs and be strong.

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