Talking About Great Ideas and Letting Your Guests Shine with Justin Honaman


“I had been blogging regularly, and decided to convert that into a podcast. It’s just taken off and allowed me to be creative and bring content together that I’m passionate about.” -Justin Honaman Share on X

Today’s Episode:

Justin Honaman has taken his experience in business, data analytics, and strategic sourcing and procurement and combined it with his love of creativity and leadership and built a business and a podcast around it. He is the co-founder and president of Contender Brands where he and his wife run a business that combines consumer products and other creative ventures. They feature products such as the Ringo Ring Cleaner and several clever card games that are meant to spark fun and conversation in groups. 

They also feature other creative ventures such as their books and even music. Justin and his wife and business partner, Monique, believe life should be an adventure and that sometimes you just need to listen to your heart and trust your gut. Justin is a frequent speaker on leadership, personal development, and organizational culture. He is also an accomplished sales and marketing executive and the host of the ContenderCast podcast which is a leadership and entrepreneurship podcast centered on shining a light on bright ideas. 

Justin shares why he started his podcast and tips that he feels are important to have a great show. We talk about letting your guests shine, the value of consistency, and how it’s okay to do things differently and have your own twist like bonus episodes and “best of” episodes. Justin is a man with a diverse background and professional experience, but whatever he is doing it’s revolving around creativity and great ideas. This is an episode about how being creative can lead to great things and great podcasts and ideas are the basis for any business, product, or creative endeavor. He also shares wisdom about how your worst show can be your most popular show, how he defines success, and the value of being consistent. 

“I use the podcast to help other people and shine the light on them and their product and ideas. The bottom line is shining the light on bright ideas.” -Justin Honaman Share on X

Show Notes:

  • [03:08] We started working with Justin over two years ago, and he has recorded 107 episodes. 
  • [04:43] Justin has an Industrial Engineer degree from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Auburn University.
  • [05:51] Justin has spent his career in the consumer goods industry. He has been at Georgia Pacific for about a year. His background is technology and business. He’s moved between consulting firms and the business side of things.
  • [06:14] He also has a side hustle which includes the podcast. Justin and his wife have a number of creative endeavors, and they run Contender Brands together.
  • [06:35] Justin and his wife had ideas for a couple of consumer products and card games. He had already been blogging and decided to convert it into a podcast. 
  • [07:27] Justin’s wife is better at some of the business and numbers side of things. Justin is the idea guy. He loves selling, relationship building, figuring out new ways to get products to market, and finding guests for the podcast. 
  • [08:24] Justin had been blogging about leadership topics and content. A lot of the information was expanded upon information from his first two books. 
  • [09:24] He knew how to manage sound from his music experience. Justin understood sound mixing, but needed help getting the show to the podcast platforms. His podcast is a passion product for his creativity. 
  • [10:08] He and his wife have had a great time recording shows about the creation of their own products. Contender Brands is a collection of their creative outlets. They have books, products, the podcast, and music. 
  • [11:45] Justin loves using his creative mind to create awesome podcasts.
  • [12:34] All creatives know that when you make a product, there’s going to be someone who hates it. When you put yourself out there you have to be willing to accept the criticism along with the praise. The majority of the feedback that Justin has gotten back from the podcast has been awesome.
  • [13:53] Ironically, the podcast episode that Justin thought was the worst ended up being his top downloaded episode.
  • [15:39] An episode is released every Monday morning. Justin keeps a calendar. If he has crazy good content he wants to release, he will launch an extra episode on Thursday.
  • [17:12] He also has “best of” episodes. It also gives him a space of extra content. 
  • [18:14] Justin organizes everything in Evernote and uses Dropbox to exchange files.
  • [19:32] Success for Justin is providing content that people want to listen to and that he’s excited about. It also has to be something he’s able to make time for. He keeps manageable expectations for download numbers.
  • [23:07] Justin does most of his interviews over the phone. He has portable microphones.
  • [24:02] Start with a big idea and focus on it. Justin chose entrepreneurship. Decide on your format. Have a prerecorded intro person. Have a structured approach to the interviews. 
  • [26:16] A challenge Justin faced was determining his focus for the podcast. Podcasting takes time and a commitment to release on a regular schedule.
  • [29:09] Let your guest talk and don’t interrupt. Make them the center of attention.
  • [30:44] Good habits that Justin learned from his mom and dad was having a calendar and a to-do list. His early schedule was packed with activities.
  • [31:55] Justin loves leading worship with kids on Sunday.
  • [32:59] He saw Pink Floyd in the mid-90s and would love it if they went on tour again.
  • [33:21] If you love leadership content, read Turn the Ship Around and FOR by Jeff Henderson.
  • [37:53] Darrell’s takeaways: Sometimes the show you’re most afraid to release will be your best episode. Justin doing a “best of” episode is a really clever idea. You have to deliver or people will stop listening. Committing to releasing weekly episodes can become a grind. Be consistent with your releases. Let your guests talk. Let them be the star.
“If one person downloads it and listens then it’s worthwhile. I don’t care about making money. This is purely a creative passion project.” -Justin Honaman Share on X

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