Erica Hanna: Unleashing the Power of Video Storytelling

Erica Hanna is driven by a belief that anyone can be a storyteller if they are given the tools and the confidence to let their voice be heard.
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Erica Hanna

Founder, Puke Rainbows Creative

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Puke Rainbows Creative takes its name from a hashtag Erica started, urging people to take whatever is given to them and create something beautiful.

An encounter with Prince helped Erica get past her “imposter syndrome” and realize she had talent to share with the world.

Erica believes effective videos are not driven by large budgets, but rather by the ability to tell a story that is unique and personal.

On her website, Erica provides self-help tips so people can use their phones to shoot video that can help them achieve their goals.


IVAN STEGIC: Hey Everyone! You’re listening to The TEN7 Podcast, where we get together every fortnight, and sometimes more often, to talk about technology, business, and the humans in it. I’m your host Ivan Stegic.

My guest today is Emmy Award winner, Erica Hanna, owner of Puke Rainbows Creative, a creative content strategy and video production studio based in Minneapolis. She is a public speaker, a video coach, online course instructor, director, producer, photographer, writer and strategist. Her studio’s mantra is, When life gives you rain, puke a rainbow. I feel like I’ve known about puking rainbows since I first started on Twitter over 10 years ago, so I’m really looking forward to talking to Erica today.

Erica, welcome to the show.

ERICA HANNA: Hi. I’m so excited to be here. I know that I talked about it earlier today that I’ve just been so pumped and looking forward to this, so the day is here.

IVAN: Yay, and that slomo you made on Twitter was amazing, just really so indicative of how creative you are, and just wonderful. What a great energy to get from you.

ERICA: And then I’ll reuse it on St. Patrick’s Day, so that’ll be great. [laughing]

IVAN: Yes, that’s the day everybody’s listening to this.


IVAN: Yay.

ERICA: Be safe everyone.

IVAN: Yes, and sane please. Where are you joining me from today Erica?

ERICA: I’m actually in the Twin Cities so it’s nice and sunny here. I believe that’s where you’re at too right?

IVAN: I’m right in Minneapolis, close to downtown in the Lake of the Isles region and you’re right it is a blue sky out there after having sub-10, sub-20 degree weather over the last couple of weeks. It’s been nuts. But it’s nice to be hopeful and feeling the warm air and the sunshine and getting ready for spring.

ERICA: Some hope finally, right?

IVAN: Yes. Indeed. Before I ask your origin story and where you grew up and we find out all about that, I want to talk about Puking Rainbows, because to me it’s synonymous [laughing] with Twitter. I think it’s been around forever as far as I’m concerned. But tell me about the origin. What does it mean, and where does it come from?

ERICA: For me personally Puking Rainbows came from this idea of When life gives you rain puke a rainbow. A lot like when life gives you lemons make lemonade type of thing. The story originated with me doing #Puke rainbows, when a young follower of mine on Twitter, at least 10 years ago, this was when I was the person on Twitter that I’m sorry, I was so annoying, very annoying. I was that person that posted positive quotes all the time and that was my only contribution [laughing], all these positive quotes by philosophers. And this kid from New York City was following me, and he was probably 16 at the time. His name was Juan, and he sent me a direct message, and he said, Say, I like following you and I get half the stuff you say, but I don’t understand about half of the quotes. Can you kind of explain where you’re coming from usually? I said, Yeah, man. It’s super easy. Usually what I mean is when life gives you rain, puke a frikin’ rainbow. He’s like, Oh, I get it. Okay, so from that lens.

So, then what happened was every time he would make a choice in life that was benefitting him in a wonderful way, getting his homework done, that kind of thing, he always used to call me Twit Sis, like Twitter sister, [laughing] and he would use #pukerainbow, so that I could see it, and I wouldn’t miss it. It was so funny because then this mindset started where I started doing the same thing, I’m like, Puke Rainbow, we’re just going to make the best of the situation, which was also a little indicative of my filming style, because I didn’t always have the biggest budgets where I was, so it’s like, we’re going to make something amazing out of almost nothing, but we’re still going to make it look like it cost a lot of money. [laughing] So I started doing Puke Rainbows as well.

So then when it came time, I was finally making enough money as a freelancer, and my accountant who at the time was this very, what’s the word I’m looking for? Straightlaced.

IVAN: Like conservative?

ERICA: Yes. [laughing]

IVAN: Maybe in the classic definition of conservative?

ERICA: Classic definition, yes, that’s what I was struggling with. She looked at me and she said, Well, should we do Erica Hanna Videos since we need to name your company when we file these taxes? I said, No, you know what, I don’t think so, that’s just not me. Right at that time my phone dinged, and it was like <ring>, Puke Rainbows. And I said to her, I think Puke Rainbows, and she looked at me. Ivan, she looked at me like I had four heads. She was like, No. No, and she refused. She sat there and she refused to write it down. I was like, You need to write it down. She’s like, I’m not going to. That’s ridiculous, and no one in their right mind, if you think you’re going to grow this business, it will never happen with the name Puke Rainbows, cause nobody who takes themselves seriously would ever do that. I said, Good. Okay, cool. I don’t want everyone to take themselves too seriously. So, if that’s like the barrier to working with somebody who has a good track record, then it sounds like a them problem, like you can’t get over the word puke. I don’t know. [laughing]

IVAN: Yeah, you're kind of self-selecting your clients already just by the name. I think that’s awesome. You're kind of setting a line in the sand here.

ERICA: Isn’t it so funny, because I do think that that’s what happened and I didn’t even realize that that’s what would happen, but it does seem like now if I’m talking to friends of mine in the production world and hearing these horror stories about clients. And then all I hear, especially from my crew is, Oh, we love being on shoots with you, because you get the most fun people. We always have so much fun with them, and nobody’s ever mean or whatever. [laughing] I’m like, Okay, cool. That’s so great to hear. [laughing]

IVAN: What made you want to start a company like that? I mean, it’s fun working in an environment like that where work doesn’t feel like work. Did you have a motivation to having a company that could be like that? What happened before Puke Rainbows and to influence this climate in this environment that you’ve created?

ERICA: Absolutely. The answer to that is I didn’t want to have a company to be honest at the beginning. It came about kind of a happy accident. I did this project where I was doing coffee with people from social media, because I felt like I had a lot of online friends, and that just sounded weird to me. I read this really great article in Inc Magazine about this person that did 50 coffees in a year, and I thought I could do that, that would be fun. So, I set out and did it, and it was so insightful, and so much more than I could’ve ever dreamed it would’ve been.

And, most of it is because when I would sit down and have these conversations with people that were not in my industry, right, they weren’t in video most of them, and they didn’t work with me in TV, and didn’t work with me at an agency. And when we would sit there and talk about business and talk about philanthropy and talk about just anything, I would say seventy-five percent of them unprompted actually, and it just shocked me, kept saying, Okay, so when are you going to go out on your own? I’m like, Ha-ha, that’s funny. I like paychecks, those are great. I was just like, I like being a cog in the wheel. And they’d go Do you really though? I’m like, No, I do. I like it. I like the stability. And they’re like, Do you really though?

I think someone says something to you that many times finally it breaks through, and you just start thinking about it. I had a bad case of imposter syndrome, if I’m going to be really honest with you, a lot of the time when people ask me to do speaking or was asked to be the keynote speaker for 32 Under 32 and I was like, Why me? What? That doesn’t make any sense. I was miffed. It really wasn’t until working with Prince that he convinced me that I wasn’t just a garbage pile of a human, [laughing] to be honest.

IVAN: Powerful. We’ve had a couple of guests on the show that have worked with Prince in the past, and they’ve described their experiences working with him as generally quite positive and have led to other careers in other industries. How did you work with Prince? What was the capacity? Were you freelancing? Were you part of another agency? Tell us a little bit about that.

ERICA: Again, I would say it’s a little bit of a happy accident. [laughing] I actually said no initially due to the imposter syndrome. I was approached by a producer friend of mine from a different network, and he said, Hey, I want you to come down with me to Paisley Park. I have this project I’m working on for Prince, and I want to put something together for him. I said, Oh, I think that you have the wrong person. I don’t think I’m the person for that. I work at a TV station. I don’t think I’m really up to that level. Finally, he said, Hey, here’s the deal. He’s probably not even going to be there. It’ll probably be just his band tonight. So at least come down with me tonight for the rehearsal. Because they were going to do a concert down there.

I said, Okay, fine. I’ll go for the rehearsal. I’ll meet the band, that’s cool. I’ll get to go inside Paisley Park, awesome. I talked to a different friend of mine who had done some work for Prince, and he confirmed that. He’s like, Oh yeah, that’s true. He probably won’t show up. He didn’t show up half the time, [laughing] like when we were supposed to do things anyway, or he was too busy with something else. So, yeah, you’ll get to meet the band, that’ll be fine, go down there, check out Paisley Park.

And I went down there, and we were working with the band and it was fun. It’s Paisley Park, right? Then this moment happened where I had taken the camera from my first cameraman, because he wasn’t doing exactly what I wanted him to do. So I was just showing him the move I wanted him to make up the fret of the guitar. And suddenly I looked up at my cameraman and said, Okay, do you get it?

And he had this look on his face, and he was looking over my shoulder, and under his breath with his teeth clenched, he just goes, He’s standing right there. And I was like, Prince is behind me? He’s like, Yes, he’s behind you. [laughing] And I was like, Oh my God. I turned around, still had the camera in my hand, and I had no idea what to say. I’m like hello, Mr. Formerly Known Symbol Prince person. Like how are you going to address him?

IVAN: Yeah, what do you say? Exactly. Your Highness?

ERICA: Yeah, exactly, right? I had no idea. He just motioned with his finger, Come here I want to see what you did there. And I took the camera over to him and he looked at it, and here’s the second part of Puke Rainbows, I thought I was going to throw up on Prince.

IVAN: Oh my God. Yeah.

ERICA: I’m not even kidding you. My stomach was just like, this is it, this is the moment, this is when everyone finds out that I’m the worse, and I am kicked out of Paisley Park forever, and I’m ruined, and I have to go back to Market 152 or whatever.

And he starts shaking his head back and forth, kind of like the no symbol, like the signature not like great, like this is garbage. And he looked up at Pete, our producer and he said, I thought you told me that she produced video? And he’s like, Ah, yeah, yeah, uh huh. And he looks at me and takes a step forward, and we’re very close and he said, From now on I want you to tell people that you produce art, because this is not video, this is art.

IVAN: Wow.

ERICA: I wanted to puke for a completely different reason. Then he gave me a huge hug and he’s like, Let’s make something the world’s never seen before, and we spent most of the night there and then ended up filming one of his pajama parties that he had, which ended up being a concert that lasted until about eight o’clock in the morning. There were about 1,000 people in there, and we had pancakes at midnight. It was a blast. [laughing]

IVAN: So, a couple of reactions to that. First of all, he gave you a hug, like touching and also a concert and people all in the same space, that’s so foreign to me right now, so that’s a reaction. Another reaction is oh my God, what a turn of events in your brain, because obviously everyone around you isn’t thinking that, right? So, the whole imposter syndrome is fascinating to think about, because I think we all have it, and I think we all spend too much time thinking about it, and if we all have it doesn’t that mean none of us have it?

ERICA: That’s such a good point. I love that you said that, yes.

IVAN: I guess I wonder do you see that as a turning point in your career, or as being a person, or do you still feel like an imposter?

ERICA: I wouldn’t say it’s as bad for sure. There are definitely times I still get nervous and question, Ooh can I handle this? Maybe it’s just a really huge project, but I think that we all do that, that’s not necessarily imposter syndrome. But no, I think that he did a pretty good job of wiping that from my head. And I don’t know if it’s so much what he said about art, or if it was more along the lines of, this sounds really strange, but, the only time I felt that kind of energy is when I was in the presence of Prince, and when I was in the presence of a Nobel Peace Prize winner. That’s the only time. Some people have that energy that fills you just by standing next to them, that you’re like, I want to be better. I want to make a difference. I want to kill this.

IVAN: I have to ask who the Nobel Prize winner was?

ERICA: I met Mohammed Yunus. He’s kind of known as the founder of micro funding, kind of like Keva, that kind of stuff. So he has a lot of micro funding, micro loan, little mini banks that he concepted. It was probably 10 years ago now. Again, that was an amazing exchange as well, because I had asked him to sign a book, and I don’t know, he stopped and he looked me in the eye, and he just paused and put his pen down and he patted me on the back and he said, I have a feeling I will ask you for your autograph one day. I was like, What? It was just so bizarre, but amazing and wonderful, and he probably says that to everybody he meets.

IVAN: He still inspired you and left certainly an indelible mark on your psyche. That’s what you want. That’s the kind of person you want to be, I think.

ERICA: Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. I try to keep that in mind when I’m teaching workshops and stuff like that, that the technical information I’m teaching is almost secondary. And primary for me is to really help people know that whatever they’re creating is great. It really is. I’m so glad that you’re here to try to learn to create bigger and better things and the thing that you made today is amazing, because you made a thing.

IVAN: You’re clearly very passionate about content and high quality content. And I know that part of your mission isn’t just to create high quality video content, it’s really to try to tell the story of a business's heart. When you think of a business, I think you don’t really think about its heart, because those are human qualities, but of course humans make a business. I think you’re looking for the essence of a company, its pulse as you’ve described it. Can you tell me a little bit about how you do that? Every business has a heart, you’ve said.

ERICA: They do. It does. Part of that actually comes from when I was working at Bring Me the News with my partner in crime there, her name is Kyri, and she’s wonderful, and she did a lot of the data analytic side of things. And we would sit and talk about data, and she actually said to me once, Data is just an indicator of how healthy the heart is of the company, so I look at data as the heartbeat. I thought that was just such a wonderful way to put data for someone like me who is like Data. What? No. Feeling.

And for a way to bridge that gap of, no they can work together in such a beautiful way if we really try to understand each other, both the data and creative sides. But then when it comes down to my own formula, I guess, for finding the business’s heart, it usually comes from a lot of conversations. I’m not going to lie. I don’t think necessarily that you can get an idea of a business’s heart just by looking at their branding document, that type of thing. The brand for sure, the heart I don’t know. For me the heart of the company is how are you making a difference? Who are you helping? How is this making the world better? I think that’s the truth for most companies that even though we have these other more logical goals, more data driven goals, one of those things is usually true, that you’re helping somebody with what you’re doing.

Then, when I parse it out into video, I like to make sure that we’re getting into specifics. I always, always tell my clients I don’t want to make a video that your competitor can put their logo on at the end, and it could be true for them as well, because I feel like that’s a lot of the times what happens with these big grand scale branding videos. It’s like a bunch of stock footage and some pretty words, like, teamwork, and you’re like, That’s great. That applies to every single business in this field. Like just put their logo at the end.

But really, what the heart is are the stories of the people who have been affected. Stories of people who work there. How it got started. I oftentimes say to the CEOs, When was the last time you talked to your janitor? Why do they love working here? Do they love working here?

IVAN: So, ultimately the business's heart is the people in it.

ERICA: Absolutely. And that’s what always makes it unique.

IVAN: You have this successful business called Puke Rainbows. You’ve been at WCCO here in Minneapolis and Bring Me the News. Where did you grow up? Where was the beginning of Erica Hanna, and what does that early childhood, high school look like for you?

ERICA: I grew up in rural Iowa. Our town has two stop lights now. When I was growing up, we had one stoplight. Yeah, two stop lights which is just huge.

IVAN: An upgrade, 100 percent more.

ERICA: [laughing] Right? Definitely. Forest City, Iowa is where they make Winnebago’s. That’s pretty much 90 percent of the town is employed there.

IVAN: Wow.

ERICA: Yeah, rural Iowa. I grew up with a grandfather who was a professional painter. I tried to paint as a child through high school and I was terrible. I’m not even joking, [laughing] just the worse. I had it in my head that I wasn’t a creative person. I’m like, I think I’m just not creative. I’m not meant for this. I can’t do art. When I finally got to college, I went to Waldorf College in the same small town, Forest City, I took a video class. I was going to be a radio major, and then I had to take a video class, and it was just really easy for me. It just came very naturally. I still looked at it as, Oh it’s a set of rules. It all makes sense.

And what not and honestly it wasn’t until like I said that work with Prince when he said, You don’t create video, you create art, where man, it all just kind of collided for me. It was like, Wait, what? Videos? Art? What?

IVAN: He kind of gave you permission to be an artist, didn’t he?

ERICA: Absolutely. It was so nice to be able to relate to my grandpa on a new level then and then I told him that story. I said, Hey Grandpa, do you know that I thought I wasn’t creative at all, because I would sit next to you, and you’d be making these meticulously wonderful paintings, and I would just, it looked like someone vomited all over the canvas. It was just bad. [laughing] He’s like, What? Really? Isn’t it funny how we tell ourselves something, and then we find out something completely the opposite later on in life?

IVAN: It’s insane. You’ve also said that you currently live for making video more fun, more accessible and exciting. I screen captured a tweet of yours here for my notes, and I want to know how you do that. What’s the secret sauce? Because it’s hard to be remote, and we’ve been a distributed company for a long time now. And there are days when Zoom is not your best friend, and I would love to know what the secret is, if you’ve figured it out yet.

ERICA: [laughing] Absolutely. It kind of depends on what part of the video you’re looking to be talking about. But when I talk about that I live for making it more fun and more accessible, it’s just that. It’s just that I want one, to make it accessible at all. I do feel like there is this misnomer that video is way too hard for the average person to take on, and that’s just not true. And I think part of that actually has been, I think my own industry is guilty of that, guilty of some elitism, I guess would be the word. Where I’ve heard it from people in my industry where they say, Why are you teaching people how to use their Smartphones, because we have these cameras that are $20,000, and they’re so much better quality, and all this lighting and it’s so amazing.

And I’m like Yeah, that’s awesome that we can do that. But not everybody has 30 grand to hire us to do it. So then do we just tell them, sorry you’re out of luck? And they’re like, Oh, you’re taking clients away from us by teaching this. I’m like, I’m not taking clients away from us [laughing] by teaching this. If anything, it’s empowering them to do their own video content that they can put out there and see what’s successful.

IVAN: You’re probably taking clients away from yourself by doing that, right? You’re empowering them so they don’t need you anymore. This has been an essential tenet for TEN7. We want our clients to be able to do the things; we empower them to do that.

ERICA: Absolutely. I’ve actually talked to clients before that approach me and maybe will have a smaller, but doable budget, especially non-profits where they’ll say, We have x amount of dollars, let’s just say we have $10K to do a little video for our end of the year synopsis to all of our donors. And I’ll say, Okay, that’s great, but is it better for you to do one video, or is it better for you to learn how to do a video from me, to use your Smartphones, to buy a light kit, and to send out weekly updates to your donors? I just want to make sure you’re using that money as wisely as possible.

And the nice thing is that half the time that we do that they still come back to do the super, high, high, high end things once a year or whatever. And then they have a better idea of what their audience is actually grasping onto for content too. They’re like, Hey, we’ve been trying this for a year. They love this, this and this, so let’s make a really, really kick butt video about this, this and this.

IVAN: So, the secret sauce is teach them to do the work that you’re doing, enable them and then they will come back for you to do even more work?

ERICA: Sometimes that’s how it works.

IVAN: [laughing] Not always. What’s interesting to me is if you look at a cross section of the YouTubers these days that are really successful and have millions of subscribers, I’m going to out myself now and tell you some of the people I watch. MK BHD, if you look at Unbox Therapy, if you look at Linus Tech Tips, if you look at any of these, I Justine, they all have millions of followers, and they all have really expensive video equipment, and really expensive lighting equipment, and crews that have grown leaps and bounds. And they all started at the beginning of YouTube, and at the beginning of this whole fad as 200 subscribers, Smartphone producers and then evolved. So, that’s mind blowing. Are you at a point where you have an 8K $30,000 camera and doing things? I’m not. I think it’s not necessary. Right?

ERICA: [laughing] Yeah. It just depends on what you’re looking to do. There’s definitely projects that I get where they need stuff that’s in 4K. Eventually, obviously when the pandemic is over it’s like, hey, we’re going to put an ad up in a movie theater, stuff like that. Or network broadcasts for sure we’re shooting in super, super, amazing equipment. But, yeah, the average person that’s out there and even small businesses it’s just not a necessity. It’s not. It’s a matter of learning how to light yourself so you look decent and having a nice enough microphone to sound okay.

IVAN: I wanted to ask you about Extra Emily. I know I mentioned her to you earlier today. I don’t know if you got a chance to see her Twitch stream at all.

ERICA: Yeah, I jumped on it really quick before I hopped in here with you. It was so fun.

IVAN: I want to talk a little bit about learning online and how our kids are all in school, and they’re using Zoom, and how online learning has changed definitely in the last year, but certainly in the last year or two. So, for those of you that are listening who don’t know about Extra Emily, this is a teacher online who is teaching classes just like a gaming Twitch stream would be. She’s trying to meet her class attendees where she thinks her students are everyday in a Twitch gaming stream.

So, she’s implementing chats, and she’s doing things like trying to gamify things by extending hours on a deadline for a homework assignment if five smart questions get asked during the class. I’m fascinated by the fact that here’s a teacher that’s really looked at this situation with online learning and is trying to implement something new. It’s so engaging. I want to watch it. What do you think about that?

ERICA: I thought it was just wonderful. I tell you what, I hopped on and she wasn’t live, so I just watched one of her broadcasts from Sunday. Even then it just felt so good. There isn’t another word that I can use really. It was exciting, and fast paced, and I think above all what I loved about her style, of course she had, like you said, she has the gaming in there and the quizzes and everything, and that’s wonderful and that’s interactive. But also as a teacher, her teaching style, what I loved is that she’s naming people by name constantly. That’s something that we can all do without even implementing the extra gaming stuff. It’s just like, Hey, I see you. I see you. I see you. I see you. She’s just shouting out to people all the time enough so that they’ll stay engaged and wake up a little bit, right? I thought that that was really cool.

IVAN: How do we apply this to adults? Can we? It was too fast paced for me. I could not keep up. I look at that chat stream going up and up and up and I’m like Yeah, I can’t do this. [laughing]

ERICA: It’s interesting right, the chat streams like that. I think we forget it's like, okay we don’t have to read the entire thing. She’s scanning it. She’s responding to it. But I do think, you’re right, how do we apply this to adults? The thing that I can come up with right now, but again, it’s different for every adult, right, because we’ve all figured out our learning style. For me, my learning style right now, due to time, is microlearning, just little things.

I love using Duolingo. I also use a public speaking app called Speeko, and that’s really helped me, especially since I had that bad car accident in October of 2018. That helped me get back on my feet real, real quick. Microlearning has been wonderful. That’s also how I got into meditation. So I think the app Headspace has been really popular for people as well. How about you? How do you like to learn?

IVAN: I kind of fluctuate between what you call microlearning which the term I haven’t heard before, and then doing deeper engagements with articles. I watch videos to learn but more to relax, so it’s sort of passive learning. It’s keeping me on top of technology by watching YouTube videos, but then I feel like I go deep into something like a political issue, or a particular technology, and I do a lot of deep reading and long-term reading. That’s been more of something I’ve been doing lately, as opposed to something I did two, three years ago.

I just stopped social media for the longest time, because I felt so distracted going from leaf to leaf like a frog jumping on a pond. It was okay, but it just wears on you, and you need to go deep, and so that’s sort of what I’ve been doing lately. It’s fascinating how it changes as well. It wasn’t like this 10 years ago, and it certainly wasn’t like this 20 years ago. It feels like learning is just changing all the time, even now.

ERICA: Absolutely. One thing that I have also noticed, not just in the video sphere, but I’m sure you know since obviously you’re in the podcast area, [laughing] you’re the pro here, are these little bite size podcasts that are coming out. How do you feel about that?

IVAN: I have opinions about that. When we first started The TEN7 podcast which was 112 episodes ago, three years ago if I’m not mistaken, we actually started by calling it an audiocast because we didn’t want to do a podcast, and we started it with five minute chunks, because we thought, Oh, who wants to listen to a podcast for more than 30 minutes, like, I don’t have the time for that. Why would someone else have the time for that?

So, we did audiocasts that were short and there were three points you get through and you’re done. In retrospect it wasn’t the right time to be doing that. And we evolved from that and so that’s why we have a long forum, 30 to 45 minute show, where we can go deep into someone’s life and explore their origin.

But it’s interesting you would mention a short audio, because I thought we were done, and that was the wrong way to do it, but if you’re thinking that this is something that might be interesting now and, in the future, well, maybe we need to revisit that, and maybe there’s a sister podcast we do. Tell me about what you think.

ERICA: I think part of it is, and I talk about this publicly, so it’s not going to be a surprise, I have ADHD. Concentrating for long spans of time it’s either I’m hyper focused, and I’ll sit, and I used to be able to edit for 12 hours at a time. It’s either hyper focus, or all over the place, and you can’t keep my focus more than five minutes. [laughing] It’s kind of one or the other extreme.

I think what changed my mind, and I do think you’re right, it really depends on the subject of the podcast and the format of the podcast. I think that that’s such a great point that you made. I think the one that I’m thinking of that I stumbled upon is called Before Breakfast. And the reason I like it is because it’s a self-help podcast. I would get a little overwhelmed [laughing] with an hour-long self-help podcast, where I’m just like, wow, all this stuff that I am not doing that I really should apparently be doing to make my life way better. Then I just feel worse, and I’m like, thanks.

But what I like about it, I think her name is Laura (Vanderkam), the host of Before Breakfast, it’s just these little nuggets, I don’t think they’re over longer than 5 minutes. And the way that she approaches it is like a suggestion instead of you have to do this for your life to be better. It’s like, this is something you can try today if you want, and if you don’t have a good day, happy breakfast.

IVAN: What I think you’re describing is one complete idea, a nugget of information in a short amount of time that can be consumed quickly, and that you feel like you’ve learned something. That wasn’t what we were trying to do. We were just trying to cram as much as we could into five minutes, and I think that was the wrong approach. But I think you might be onto something here.

ERICA: It’s like, hey, if I can just learn one new thing today, that’s pretty awesome. Because at the end of the year, holy cow. Even if I didn’t implement a bunch of those things, at least I know they exist. [laughing]

IVAN: Okay. So, now I have a new idea for a new show, and I’m sure Jonathan my producer and Brian my writer are all going to be all over this with more things to do. We will credit you with the inspiration behind it Erica.

ERICA: [laughing] I’m so excited to hear more about it. That’s awesome.

IVAN: Oh my gosh. We’ll definitely be talking about it. Before we wrap up, what’s top of mind for you right now? What’re you looking forward to? What’re you excited about in the world?

ERICA: What am I excited about in the world? Well, I’m excited that we’re getting a handle on the COVID situation it seems like. I’m excited to get outside since Spring is coming, knock on wood, [laughing] it’s Minnesota.

IVAN: Exactly.

ERICA: Workwise I’m really pumped. I just got assigned to do a six-week speaking series with AARP for a virtual speaking series, so I’m super pumped about that.

IVAN: Congratulations.

ERICA: Thank you. I’m really, really excited. I’m also doing some video work with them, so they’ve been just wonderful. Then I also am going to have some one off workshops that I’m teaching here in the coming months, because I haven’t done my smartphone video bootcamp in a while. And I’ve had some requests for it, and I just want to make sure that that’s still accessible to people, especially since we’re still technically doing things virtually, and you could do a lot of damage, like with your Smartphone, in the meantime. That’ll be coming up here pretty soon.

IVAN: When is that coming up and how can people get more information about it?

ERICA: The information is going to be on my website and in my social media channels. You’ll be able to find it, and the date is going to be March 27th. That’s a Saturday morning. That way even if people want to be creating outside of what they’re doing at work, they can still attend.

IVAN: That’s always a good idea. Accessible on the weekends for those of us who have to work during the week.

ERICA: Absolutely. I typically have done them during the week, and usually I would give them as an in-person sponsored type of thing. I think offering it virtually is going to be really fun.

IVAN: A lot has changed in how you deliver your services these days, and virtual is so much more accepted now. I hope it stays close to that way, because I think it’s so flexible for people who are working moms, or who have people they need to look after at home, or older parents, or a new dog or a new baby. It’s just wonderful how that’s changed.

ERICA: It’s interesting too. I was actually speaking with an organization at a university about how it’s completely changed placement opportunities for internships for students. And the accessibility to these companies that maybe, if you’re a student and you don’t have the money to fly all the way to LA to work for whatever, you can do research for them virtually and that type of thing. How cool is that? I agree with you, I hope that most of this is here to stay. I really love it.

IVAN: I do too. I miss people too, but we can get our fix in other ways.

ERICA: Absolutely. And I think that it’s nice because then when we are finally seeing people in person it’s for pleasantries and for friendship, not necessarily meetings. [laughing]

IVAN: [laughing] Exactly. I love it. Well, it’s been so great talking to you. Thank you so much for spending your time with me today. It’s truly been a pleasure.

ERICA: It’s been so nice to talk to you too Ivan. I really, really appreciate you having me on the show.

IVAN: You bet. Erica Hanna is owner of Puke Rainbows, a creative content strategy and video production studio based in Minneapolis. You can find them online at and of course Erica’s on Twitter. Her handle is @meeterica.

You’ve been listening to The TEN7 Podcast. Find us online at And if you have a second, do send us a message. We love hearing from you. Our email address is [email protected]. Until next time, this is Ivan Stegic. Thanks for listening.


This is Episode 112 of The TEN7 Podcast. It was recorded on March 2, 2021 and first published on March 17, 2021. Podcast length is 48 minutes. Transcription by Roxanne Chumucas. Summary, highlights and editing by Brian Lucas. Music by Lexfunk. Produced by Jonathan Freed.

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