Sometimes we have thoughts and ideas that we can’t find the courage to take action on. This hinders us to reach our absolute potential to live our life to the fullest and limits how we impact people in the most beneficial way for them. Life coach and former pastor, Carey Green, talks about faith and its effect on our behavior and outcomes. He shares his inspiring story about being in the ministry and how he took a leap of faith and hit the entrepreneurial trail. It was a total turnaround that is worth more than anything else having an outcome that allowed him not just to create wealth for his family but to bring more value to people’s lives.
Listen to the podcast here:
Building Wealth And Bringing Value By Taking A Leap Of Faith with Carey Green
Faith Is A Beautiful Thing
I’m honored to have Carey Green on the show. Carey served as a pastor for many years in small churches and he sensed that it was time for him to leave the ministry. He discovered his entrepreneurial bent. He’s the Founder and Client Happiness Guy at Podcast Fast Track, a full-service podcasting company. Carey is married to his best friend since 1989, has five kids, a daughter-in-law and a son-in-law, three grand-boys, a black Lab named Joy and he travels the United States in a 39-foot RV named Roland. Welcome to the show, Carey. I’m glad to have you on.
I’m glad to be here. Thank you for the invite.
Give us your story. Tell us how you’ve led such an interesting life. To be in the ministry and then do a 360 and hit the entrepreneurial trail is not common.
I grew up in a blue-collar home in the panhandle of Texas near Amarillo, Texas. I grew up in a town called Pampa. It’s northeast of Amarillo, about an hour. My dad was a hardworking man. I worked at a company outside of town called Ingersoll Rand that built oilfield products and all things. They’ve diversified now. I learned to be honest and work hard. That’s mainly what my parents taught us. My mother took us to church. I learned about God there and had had lessons in faith as I was growing up. Somewhere around my sophomore, junior year of college felt that it was a calling on me to go into ministry. I started out in youth ministry and moved to an associate pastor role and then finally into some teaching pastoral roles at various churches around the country. That was a short nutshell version of the many years that we were in ministry.
I married my wife right before all of that happened and we had those five kids in that time. It was back in 2013 when I was sensing that season was up. It was one of those things where I feel that the role of the pastor is one your heart has to be entirely in and if it’s not the people are getting the short change that you’re supposed to be serving. I prayed through it a lot and my wife and I talked about a lot and we felt it was time for us to go. I didn’t even have a plan B. I knew that this isn’t where I was supposed to be. I let the church family know I feel like I can give this a few more months to help you make a transition, but I need to step out. It’s not the right fit anymore.
At that time, I was scared. I didn’t know what we were going to do. I had no jobs, no prospects. I was doing a little bit of work online, but not much. I discovered that I enjoyed audio editing and I enjoyed writing summaries of podcasts and things like that. That’s where the idea for Podcast Fast Track came from. It was created through an act of desperation because I had to put food on the table. I had to pay the bills. I didn’t want to leave the beautiful mountain town where we lived at the time and my wife didn’t either. I had to figure out a way to make that business work. That’s the long story short. It has been a crazy journey, but a fun one. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
I love it when people walk out of things in faith and move in faith because it says a lot about what your psychology is. Expectations are my field and we see them into two lenses, either faith or fear. Faith moves us through everything. When you have unconditional faith in what God has planned for you, you can move mountains. You let fear get you, it stops you every time. The devil walks in and stops everything from happening. His flow, his essence moving through you, whatever you want to call it, his power moving through you. When I interview people, a lot of people explain the tragedies in their life, but those tragedies had become stepping stones of their growth. It moves us in areas that make us uncomfortable, but yet the outcomes when you have faith are bountiful. It’s gracious and loving.
I’ve definitely discovered that God usually doesn’t grow us when things are comfortable as much as he does when things are uncomfortable. That was a season of a lot of discomforts. I was forced into roles and experiences I’d never thought I would be in. I would never go back.
That says a lot about how faith works. Faith is important in all of us. When I speak out in public, I talk a lot about faith not always being in a religious sense. For me, faith is my faith in God and Jesus Christ as my Savior. I understand, and God has spoken to me about this, about everybody that isn’t Art Costello, everybody isn’t Carey Green and we had different views. He wants us to minister to those people who don’t have the religious sense of faith. We can do that sometimes by explaining that faith is the ability to see beyond what is known. That oftentimes leads me to be able to help people into religious faith. Does that resonate with you at all?God's beauty really is everywhere. Click To Tweet
There are often people who you have the opportunity to talk with who are undergoing a difficult situation or are asking that question we all ask at times, “Why is this happening to me?” Pointing them towards a reality that’s bigger than them, that there is a God and he has a good plan for them is always rewarding. It’s a thing that people come to understand in different ways. They don’t necessarily resonate with every phrase you say or every religious sentiment you might express but trust that God’s bigger than that. He’s able to guide them in a way that they understand, to grasp the things of God that are there behind the surface.
When you were in the ministry and towards the end of it, was it because you weren’t satisfied with it and that you felt that you could do more outside of the ministry than you were doing inside the ministry?
That wasn’t my story. For me, it manifested itself in weariness and a sense of not having any more gas in the tank is how it felt. The church was still something I loved. The people were still people I cared about. All of that was the same, but the level of energy that I had to continue in that role wasn’t there anymore. I tell my wife quite often because I still teach biblically speaking quite a bit. I speak at local churches when I have the opportunity and I do a daily five-minute morning devotional podcast that I do teaching in. I still love God’s word and I still love to teach, but that heart for shepherding a group of people and for being in it with them in the thick and the thin day after day is what disappeared. It’s not that I don’t care about them. It’s that I don’t feel I’m called to that anymore. For me, that’s an important thing.
I can understand how it is at the core of your expectations and all the things that you live for. Coming from a North Texas background, what are your thoughts on some of those mega churches and the lifestyles of the pastors? As a small church pastor, the rewards monetarily are nothing like what they are in those mega-churches.
There’s a lot I could say. Let me say this to be as gracious as I can. Every situation is going to be a little different depending on the man or the pastor that’s in that role. Megachurches as far as they go are not a bad thing in and of themselves. There’s great work that’s happening in many of them, but I’ve come to believe that growth happens in smaller groups more than it does in larger groups. You’re able to develop relationship and intimacy with people who can truly pour into your life and you can pour back into theirs. They hold you accountable. You can hold them accountable, be there when tragedy strikes and a shoulder is needed to cry on. That happens in a smaller context, not in a large, massive meeting typically.
My model of what the church should look like has changed a lot over the years. As far as pastor lifestyles and things like that, I’m all for paying pastors well. For the amount of work they put in and the burdens they have to carry, they’re some of the most underpaid people on the planet right next to elementary school teachers and junior high school teachers. Having said that, I do think there’s a place where it becomes too much and it becomes extravagant. That line is a hard one to walk. It’s one that the people who are in charge, the elders or the deacon board or whatever the church policy has in place have to be wise about that. They have to know when lack of income is a distraction for the pastor. Therefore, we need to give him a little more in his paycheck. When is too much income a distraction for the pastor? We need to find that balance.
I know a lot of people are adverse to some of the lifestyles and some of the surroundings that had come with some of the mega churches. I have an interesting story about mega churches and this is solely how God has worked in my life. I have been at the root of probably some of the biggest megachurches, movements in the history of organized religion. To give you an example, in 1966 when I came home from Vietnam, I got out of the Marine Corps in ‘68 and started going to college in Costa Mesa, California. That’s where Calvary Chapel was created by Chuck Smith. He was in a tent and I became involved in the church there.
I had just gotten married, and my wife and I went to church and they said they were going to do a baptismal at the Pacific Ocean in Newport Beach. We walked down there and there were 4,000 people there to be baptized. We were in the front row. Chuck Smith walked up to my wife and I, took us by the hand and baptized us first. It was how my life goes. I went to San Diego State and we decided to start going to a small church, it was about 100 people going to it in. The pastor’s name was John Maxwell. We started going there and I taught Sunday school, went up to Fullerton, California after I graduated.
A friend of mine said, “There’s a beautiful little chapel in Fullerton, California. You need to go over there and hear this pastor. He’s incredible.” Chuck Swindoll started teaching Sunday school with them. I went to another church in Garden Grove with Reverend Schuller. I’ve been surrounded by some of the greatest pastors, but Chuck Swindoll and Chuck Smith was an incredible teacher. John Maxwell was a great leadership coach and all that. I’ve been blessed with having some of those people in my life. I never thought about it at the time. It’s being older and later in life I think, “God was working in my life in big ways.” After you left the ministry and started doing the entrepreneurial edge to it, can you give us some feedback on that? How it went and the struggles that you had there?Our tragedies are stepping stones for our growth. Click To Tweet
I discovered an entrepreneurial bent, which to me means I liked to create things that bring value to people’s lives. The reason I went into podcasting is that I like podcasts. I enjoy the audio portion of it and the technical aspects. I enjoy the writing that’s required for good show notes and that thing. I also am a perpetual learner so it was fairly consistent with my bent to dig in and do a DIY approach, do-it-yourself and figure out how to do some of these things. I learned things like search engine optimization and how to write a post to rank higher in Google. I learned how to do the technical aspects of audio editing and what makes for a good conversation and how to edit it so that it goes more smoothly and more coherently, all those kinds of things. That was when it was a one-man shop and I’m working with a few clients.
By the time I had ten or eleven clients, we had enough to support our family only. Any further beyond that, as we started getting more clients, I had to get help. I asked my oldest son if he would like to work for me part-time and do some editing and things like that. He was 23 or 24 at the time. He said sure, he would love to do that. He’s still with me now. He works full-time for me. He’s a great audio editor. He has a good ear for how to edit well. Some of the biggest struggles have been recognizing, first of all, that deliverables like services or projects that you’re creating for people only come out with the degree of quality and the standard that you want them to come out with. If you have a plan for how you’re going to get it there, that means a system or a checklist or something that helps you check the quality as you go along.
I had an early experience with a fairly big name, a client who had a decent podcast and we were working with him. I messed up. I wasn’t following a checklist. I was shooting from the hip all the time and creating his episodes week to week, but I would forget things as we’re prone to do as human beings. I wouldn’t cross all the t’s and dot all the I’s and it happened enough that he finally sent me an email and said, “We’re going to move over and work with this other company because there are too many little things that are being dropped.” That was a hard lesson to learn, but it was a valuable one because I learned that you have to have some quality control. If you’re taking people’s money in return for some service, they deserve what they’re paying you to get. That’s where I started digging into systems and organization and how to work that system to create consistent quality products for clients.
Once we got that in place and figured out how to refine systems and make them smooth, the business started growing because we could handle more work and we could deliver on our promises. Our clients were willing to refer. That’s a huge thing. All that was some of the growth pains and the biggest lesson that I learned was that business isn’t about the money, business is about the relationships. I want to care for the people that we work with and care about their message almost as much as they do. I won’t presume enough to say I care about as much as they do. I want to be right behind them being their cheerleader and pushing them along, helping them to produce the content that they want to produce. That care has paid off. When you truly care for people, they can tell and they love it. They are loyal. They stick with you and they’ll go through thick and thin with you. We’ve had our ups and downs and some times where we’ve disappointed clients, but because we’ve built a relationship, they stuck it out with us. I’m glad that they did.
Customer service is such an important part of any organization. Without customers, you have no business. It’s not only about customer service. It’s about caring about the service that you’re providing to your customers.
The way I talked to my team about it quite often is rather than use the phrase customer service. I refer to the customer experience. By that I mean what are they experiencing when they interact with us? It’s not so much about the product we deliver. It’s about how they feel about our team when we interact with them. Is it cut and dried business talk? Are we expressing concern for them and care for the outcome and wanting to know their goals so that we can help them meet them? Those things give them an experience with us that they don’t get other places because other places it’s often about the transaction. We want to go beyond that.
I am big into labels. The labels people put on themselves because they live up to those labels. If you surround an organization with negative labels, they’re going to go in a negative direction. Positive labels go in a positive direction. We’ve done research on it and a lot of things. One of the things that we found with prisoners in prison was that 90% of them had been told that they were getting to end up in jail when they were a child. I always tell people to be careful of labels. Internet marketers call their people tribes and I don’t like the word. I don’t like calling other people part of my tribe. It has an adverse in me. A lot of my clients become almost like family to me. I call a lot of my clients family members. They’re part of my family. I love them dearly. We’ve gone through a lot. We’ve shared a lot. We’ve grown a lot. They’ve helped me grow. I’ve helped them grow. It’s an exchange like a family and I’m passionate about it. I don’t mean to switch gears, but I’m going to make that 360. I’m interested in hearing about Roland.
The RV lifestyle. This is a crazy turn in our journey that we never expected. My wife and I started talking about changing the way we’ve lived. We lived in this little town in the middle of Colorado for several years. Most of our kids have been raised there, at least the older parts of their childhood that they can remember. We were at a point where four of our five kids would be out of the home finally. We’d have one still at home and life’s looking a lot different than it used to look. It’s like the perfect storm. All of these things collided at the same time. That made it evident to us it’s time for a change. As we were talking about what that looks like, we both liked the idea of selling our house while the market was high. Come to find out after we started investigating, we could do so and make a pretty good profit on it from what we paid for it, and then use the proceeds to get into a brand-new RV. Our thinking on it was if it’s going to be our home, we’re selling our home. We might as well get a nice one because I don’t want to live in a junker after living in our big house all that time.
We bought a new RV and we named it Roland because he rolls right down the road and we love it. We’ve been in it for a few months here and traveling. I’ve got five or six speaking engagements around the country throughout the course of the year. We’re following the trail that leads to all of those events. We’re in Tucson, Arizona. We’re going to be getting some warranty work done on Roland but after that, we’re going to cross Texas. We’re going to wind up in Florida where I’m a part of a podcasting conference, from there back up to Kansas City over to Portland. Across the north and into the Midwest and wind up over in the East Coast for the fall time, and then for the winter down probably in the Carolinas for Christmas. It’s this incredible adventure. We smile and laugh at each other all the time at how crazy this is.Faith is the ability to see beyond what is known. Click To Tweet
We’ve got so much in common because one of my dreams has always been to have a bus for some reason. I live in Austin. We have many entertainers here. Willie Nelson lived not far from us and George Strait lived in San Marcos and I knew his bus driver. I got to see their vehicles and see those extravagant buses that they travel in. We thought it’d be such a blast to go. I love people. I love meeting people and what a way to meet people and what a way to share your journey and your life and all that you’re doing in Christ and everything else that happens in our lives. You get to meet many people. I love meeting people. That is the thing that motivates me more than anything is I can be in the subway in New York and sit next to somebody. By the time we leave, I know their life history and they know mine. You’re hogging and squeezing on the way out the door and occasionally you get that person that goes, “Stay away from me.”
You’ve got unique gifts there. An interesting story you’ll probably appreciate since you like buses so much is the place where I bought Roland is in Fort Worth, Texas is called MHS RV, Motor Home Specialist. They have under this canopy in the back lot. They’ve got this old-style bus sitting there. I asked the salesman, “What’s the story on that bus?” He said, “That’s the last tour bus Elvis Presley purchased.” Our owner saw it on auction and had to have it. I don’t know why he has to have it. It just sits there. I wanted to go and take a little tour of the bus, but he never arranged that. If you ever want to see it, it’s in Motor Home Specialist.
I’ve been up there but I never went back into the back lot to look at it. I’ve seen Dolly Parton’s original bus that she had, which was a 50-something bus. There was a guy in Austin that used to collect the entertainers’ old buses to have a collection. He had one of George Strait’s original buses. He had one of Willie’s original buses. It was interesting to the history on the miles. Dolly Parton’s bus had 800,000 miles on it. It was run and you went, “If these walls could talk.” What’s on the horizon for Carey Green?
Other than doing a lot of driving, we are working on quite a few different projects. One is an offshoot of our podcast production service. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of the podcasts that are the higher level of production value, Freakonomics Radio, Masters of Scale. Shows like that have a whole lot of different sounds and interview pieces and sound effects and background noise and ambiance. We’re working to create a service that produces that outcome for people who work for Fortune 500 companies or large marketing firms, PR companies. We can work with them at a distance instead of them having to hire an entire entourage of audio professionals and sound designers and scriptwriters.
We’re trying to put together a workflow that can enable us to do that over a distance so that we can work with them and in a matter of a couple of weeks have a new episode out with that production quality. We’ve already decided on the name of the company. It’s probably going to be an offshoot company. We’re going to call it Narratively. It’s going to focus on narrative-type interviews where we piece together a story with a narrator and sound effects and interview pieces and all that stuff. That’s what’s on the horizon. I’m hopeful we’ll get it put in place and be doing beta work on it by the end of the first quarter of 2019. With the way you were traveling, I don’t know if that’s going to be possible. We’ll give it a try.
Being a new podcaster, and I mean relatively new since December 2018 when my first episode launched, do you have any advice for new podcasters? What would be the two pieces of advice that you would want to give them? What do you think is important?
The most important thing is that your episodes are packed with valuable things for the people you’re trying to reach. It’s one thing to record a conversation, but it’s another thing to stage or frame that conversation in a way that brings out value. The listeners that you’re able to attract to your show will continue to listen as long as they’re getting something out of it. If you think about any product or service, any company that we frequent, that’s the story. You keep going back as long as you’re getting something of value out of it, but the moment that stops and they start getting the sense that he’s publishing because he needs to publish on Friday and it wasn’t that good. They start getting drawn away and that’s becoming truer the more podcasts are published because there’s more to choose from.
People are becoming more selective. They’re becoming pickier in what they listen to. Things like audio quality and production value and good conversations all matter. A resource that I’ve come across is there’s a podcast called The Turnaround and it’s a National Public Radio interviewer who is interviewing famous interviewers like Dick Cavett and Katie Couric and people like that about interviewing. He’s had people like Larry King and all these big name interviewers asking them about the art of interviewing. You’re doing a great job asking questions. You’re easy to talk to, but I’m sure there are things you could learn therefrom that podcast that would help. It’s a great podcast for anybody who wants to do an interview-style show.
I’m very much like you. I’m an avid learner and I love learning. Being that I’m new at it, I know I have a massive amount to learn. I’d rather not put an episode out if I didn’t think it was going to have value to people. Even saying that you don’t always know how it’s going to go. Guiding it into being valuable to people is important to me. Thank you for that. That advice is I hope helpful to a lot of people, not only myself, but I’m blessed that you laid that on me because I will take your advice. You’re an expert in it and I’m not. I’m doing this interview and I consider it a blessing. How we came to do it was interesting. Any closing words that you would like to leave with the audience?When you truly care for people, they can tell. Click To Tweet
For too long in my life, I coasted. By that, I don’t mean that I didn’t do well at what I did or I didn’t pursue it with all that I was, but I didn’t recognize that God had gifted me in a way as he does with every person. Where I could take part in my destination, in determining what that was to a degree. That means we’re able to do things that can improve our lives. We’re able to do things that can benefit others. We’re able to come up with ideas that can change the course of the history of those who are around us in our lives. Since I’ve been an entrepreneur, I’ve gotten to see that more firsthand. You would think being a pastorate you can see that all the time.
Being in the pastorate’s a different animal in a way. You’re in a context where that’s expected of you and it’s part of the job description and all of that. Once you get out of that little bubble and you start realizing the people you meet every day are in need of encouragement. They’re in need of help. They’re in need of whatever services you provide. You don’t have to be salesy about any of it. You have to be genuine and care about people. I would encourage people to be people who are not afraid to look beyond where you are and believe that something better can come about. Set your sights a little higher and work and strive. Don’t be afraid of hard work. You can add some incredibly valuable things to the world.
That’s value and what I call a shower epiphany. That is an epiphany that people can use and value to move forward. Many people have ideas and thoughts, but they never take action on it. That’s what’s important. That’s what the value in what you and I are talking about is to getting people to take action and become doers of good deeds. It makes a huge difference in our lives. Thank you for being on the show. I appreciate it. Where can people get ahold of you? Your website?
Let me give you an email address. That’s probably the best way to get in touch with me. The easiest one is Carey@CareyGreen.com.
Thank you, Carey.
Art, I appreciate it.
I’m blessed to have had you on the show.
- Podcast Fast Track
- Motor Home Specialist
- The Turnaround
- Dick Cavett – episode on The Turnaround
- Katie Couric – episode on The Turnaround
- Larry King – episode on The Turnaround
About Carey Green
Carey has served 20 years as a pastor of small churches. After sensing it was time for him to move out of church ministry, he discovered an entrepreneurial bent that can’t be stopped. He’s the founder and Client Happiness Guy at Podcast Fast Track, a full-service podcasting company. Carey is married to his best friend since 1989, has 5 kids, a daughter-in-law and son-in-law, 3 grand-boys, a black lab puppy named “Joy” and travels the United States in his 39-foot RV, “Roland.
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