Intro: 2017 Holiday Gift & Gear Guide

Intro: 2017 Holiday Gift & Gear Guide

The Gift & Gear Guide

One gift idea per day until Christmas

I am frequently asked for advice on gear and what tools to purchase. The Holiday Gift Guide is a way for me to share the tools I use and those that I think will help others create online content or just enjoy life a little more.

Gifts for Content Creators (and you):
Podcasters, Live Streamers, YouTubers, Bloggers, Vloggers, Designers and Tutorial Makers.

What Type of Gifts?:
I am going to share some of my favorite tools that I use for photography, video, audio and all of my content creation adventures.

The Master List of Gifts can be found on Amazon (I will populate it after each video):


Amazon Associates Disclosure:
Mike Murphy LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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Episode 112, The Patreon Show

What is Patreon?
Who is Patreon for?
How does it work?
What are my plans for using Patreon?

What is Patreon?

According to their website:
“Patreon is a membership platform that makes it easy for creators to get paid.” is a website/online community where creators sign up for a free account and build a membership website or blog that can be used to create new content or showcase content already created.

Those want to support the creator and find value in their work can pledge a certain dollar amount. They are called Patrons.

So there are creators and patrons on Patreon.

From The Patreon Blog:

For creators:
Patreon is a way to get paid for creating the things you’re already creating

For patrons:
Patreon is a way to join your favorite creator’s community and pay them for making the stuff you love.

This usually means a dollar or a few bucks per month. The creator gets paid regularly and you become a bonafide patron of the arts.

Who is Patreon for or who is using Patreon?



There are:
50,000 Creators

There are:
1,000,000 Active Patrons Per Month

The average patron pledge is:

Patreon projection for 2017:
$150,000,000 paid out to creators by their patrons.

How does it work?

It’s free to join and start building a Patreon website.

Patreon takes 5% of fees and a small processing and handling fee, but the creator does not pay until the creator gets paid.

The front page on every Patreon site is essentially an About Me/Landing page where the creator can post photos, videos and text and explain who they are, what they do and what patrons can expect if they decide to pledge a dollar amount to support the creator.

Patreon works on rewards and pledges.

Creators come up with perks or rewards they think their supporters will find valuable.

Patrons pick the reward level they want and pay the pledge amount via credit card or Paypal.

Why do Podcasters Use Patreon?

There are a lot of podcasters using Patreon to offset the costs of running and maintaining a podcast and because getting sponsors and/or monetizing a podcast is not easy for many.

Patreon is a good fit for podcasters because it is all about building and nurturing a community, which is the foundation of podcasting.

Patreon RSS Feed
Patreon gives podcasters the ability to create a special private RSS feed so their patrons can subscribe to this bonus podcast in their pod-catcher of choice (Apple Podcasts or Overcast, etc).based on what is the best bang for the buck

What are some examples of Podcaster Rewards:

Mp3 downloads of podcast recordings
PDF downloads of show notes
Shout outs on the podcast
Promotional opportunities for patrons who might have a brand or business.
Discounts on services or books or courses
Private webinars
Access to live recordings of the podcast
One on one Skype calls
Coaching calls.

The pledge amounts and levels can vary, but it seems like all Patreon pages have a $1/level and I’ve seen them go up to $100 or more but the majority stick at $1,2,5,10 and $20/month.

Illustrators or designers might offer sketches for downloads, or behind the scenes live streams of them creating artwork as a reward.

YouTubers and vloggers might upload bloopers or bonus footage.

Writers may give their patrons early access to articles or books.

Musicians may let patrons hear new material before anyone else.

My Patreon Page:

I never thought I would use Patreon because I did not think it fit my style and I did not want to seem like I was ‘begging’ for money. That is not what Patreon is about.

So why did I change my mind?
My only goal in my business is to create useful content and share my knowledge and insights to solve problems for people or to motivate others to go after their thing. Patreon allows me to do this.

There are people online that I really like and follow and would love a one on one conversation with them or a behind the scenes look at how they do what they do or just become part of their inner circle in some way. Maybe people want to have more access to me.

I get a lot of direct messages asking for my advice on gear or Adobe help or the best podcast host, etc, and I realized maybe there are people who would benefit from more direct access to me, but it is not possible for me to give away all of my time for free (as much as I would like to).

I am going to start with a $1/month level just as way for people to show support and who want to be more involved in my little online space and community and it will give you access to locked content on the page and probably a thank you shout out on the podcast and my eternal thanks.

If you want to check out my page it is and you can browse around the whole Patreon community and see how others are doing it if this is something you are considering.

Conclusion: Patreon.

An online community of creators and patrons of the arts or podcasters or everything in between.

It was built to make it easy for creatives to get paid for their work from fans or supporters who want them to keep making things and want to be more connected with the creator. Pretty powerful and cool concept when you break it all down and if used with good intention there is really a lot of positivity and potential for great results.




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The G Suite Show

Episode 111: The G Suite Show

Today we look at one of my favorite services, G Suite and why I think it is a no-brainer and a must have for nearly all brands and businesses.

What is G Suite?
How does G Suite work?
What are the key features and benefits of using G Suite for brands and businesses?
How do you install or get started using G Suite?


G Suite is an all-in-one office and productivity suite made by Google for small and large businesses, education institutions and non-profits and anyone with a website or home on the web.

Having the power of Gmail for your domain or website address with an entire suite of Google office and communication products similar to Word, Powerpoint, Excel and so much more, all branded to your business or organization



How Much Does G Suite Cost?
G Suite is free to set up and $5/user/month or $60/year.
For a free 14-day trial and get 20% off if you sign up: go to


How does G Suite work?

G Suite is a bundle of services that you can sign into from any web browser in the world. It allows you to change the DNS settings of your domain so you can have personalized email ending in your website/url address.


The DNS Settings you change are called MX Records. You change MX Records to point to Google.

Email Options when starting business or website:


Use Your Personal Email (not ideal)

Gmail, Outlook,Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL… is not professional looking. It will work great as email service, but does not give good impression.

Hosting Email (Better & Viable for some)

Most host companies like GoDaddy, BlueHost, HostGator offer email as a service through the CPanel. It’s better than using a personal email, but still not as reliable as Gmail.

G Suite (The Best by Far)

You get the power of Gmail,for your business.

Just a thought:
Email is alive and well and the backbone of most businesses. Do not take it for granted and make sure you are using the most reliable and trustworthy solution.

G Suite Features

Gmail email service customized to your business or organization.
Unlimited Aliases are the names before the @ symbol.

For example:

Aliases are simple to create and incredible benefit.

Unlimited Domains.

Add as many different domain names as you want for free under your GSuite account and create email addresses for any of them. Maybe your thinking about launching a new business or product, but want to test the waters. Add a new domain, point the mail servers to Google and now you have all under your $5/month account.

24/7 Support.

GSuite comes with 24/7 support with really helpful Google folks.


Every user gets 30 GB of free storage in Google Drive, which is similar to Dropbox. You can upgrade to $10/month for 1TB of storage for single users or unlimited storage for multiple users.

Office & Productivity.

G Suite has everything you need to replace programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc and the beauty is you can access everything from any browser in the world and sharing and collaborating with anyone in your organization could not be easier. Share folders and files and never worry about saving or losing track of versions or changes.

Security & Professionalism.

G Suite is more than just email and office apps though. Administrators can manage all of the settings, billing, and permissions for users. You can add or remove employees easily and set permissions and reset passwords and you can secure the organization files. G Suite basically gives you the power of a full IT department and it’s incredibly easy to maintain.


There is a full App store that you can add on products, mostly for free and integrate with accounting programs and Client Resource Managers you may already use and just want to use with G Suite.

These are all part of the G Suite:

  1. Gmail (which truly is second to none)
  2. Calendar (Shared & Personal Calendars). A must for any business
  3. Drive (similar to Dropbox. Backup your data and share large files)
  4. Docs (Microsoft Word)
  5. Sheets (Excel)
  6. Sides (Powerpoint)
  7. Forms (excellent for surveys and more)
  8. Google Hangouts (Skype on steroids)
  9. Google + (the social network is nearly dead, but this is still very important for local discovery).


G Suite Products are minimal and simple at first glance, but like most Google products, they pack a big punch without even realizing it. It takes many new users of Gmail and Docs, etc a little while to get used to it, but for reliability, dependability and ease of use, you can’t beat any of it.


So How Do You Get Started:

The Easy Solution

Sign up when creating your new website with Squarespace or or with Bluehost.

Sign up
at for a 14-day trial and read through the instructions and go for it on your own. That’s how I learned.

Hire Mike
 I will do it for you or your business and it usually takes 2–3 days to get it all done.


Free Trial:

Go to for 14-day trial.



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The Self-Doubt Show

Episode 110: The Self-Doubt Show

Today is storytelling episode all about self doubt and whitewater rafting.

Episode 110 is about having the confidence to create the life you want and overcoming self-doubt.

The dictionary definition of Self-Doubt: the lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities.

Whitewater Rafting Story:

Listen to Audio

I lived in Durango, Colorado for many years. I worked as a bartender and one of my favorite activities was whitewater rafting.

College I attended:
University of Massachusetts-Amherst

River Mentioned in Episode:
Cataract Canyon, Utah

The Moral of The Story

Self-doubt by definition is the lack of confidence in one’s abilities, but self-doubt from inexperience is natural. It takes time to be great. Use inexperience as fuel to get better because you are worth it.

Ignore the chatter and naysayers
The self-doubt in many cases is not your own, it’s the doubt of those around you.

You are putting too much effort and focus on proving your worth and abilities to others instead of putting all of your efforts to get from one side of the river to the other like you set out to do and know you can do it with a little effort.

Use self-doubt caused by inexperience and lack of time to your advantage to make you hungry and work even harder.

Do not misinterpret this as a sign that you need to quit or give up and whatever you do, distance yourself from negativity that is trying to make their doubt your own.

I publish content everyday because I am creating the life I want and I know what it takes for me to get there. Creating moves me forward.

In Conclusion:

Building an online business is hard.
Creating daily content is hard.
Producing this podcast every week is hard.
Creating a life that can support me doing what I love is hard.

I never thought it would be easy, did you?

Self-doubt is real all I ask of you is that you understand the source and do not give up too soon for the wrong reasons is all.

There is no universal timeline that guarantees success in podcasting or starting a business, but there is a guarantee that to be good and confident and skilled at anything takes time and patience and without either it’s not going to happen.

You got this and if I can help, just say the word.



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The Digital Cleanup Show

EP109: The Digital Cleanup Show

Today I am going to help you clean up your digital and online world (computer, iDevices, social media and online platforms) to improve productivity, focus and give you peace of mind.

Episode 108: The Priority Show (Part 1)

Priority is something that is more important than another. Clean your home and work environments to help focus and achieve clarity in what you work on and what is most important.

The Goal of Today’s Show:

To share what’s working for me and motivate or help some of you start the process of eliminating things that are not necessary in your home, work and digital environments so you can see more clearly and focus on what matters most.

Why De-Clutter? To give you some space to breathe, reduce stress, increase productivity and make you smile more and who doesn’t like the sound of that.

This exercise is strictly a mindset hack to trick you into introducing some positive new habits that carry over to all parts of your life and business. The less things you have to think about, the more things you can enjoy.

Digital De-Clutter:

Email Management. The goal is to achieve Inbox Zero. My inbox is my todo list. Once I reply or follow up I archive the email.

Photo & Media. Organize and backup photos. Delete junk photos. Export all photos from iPhone and iPad to computer/external drive. Use Lightroom or Photos to organize and clean. Use simple folder structures to catalog photos/media. I use one folder called Photos. Inside master folder I organize by Year.

Backup Plan
I keep all of my data on two external drives that are exact clones of each other.

My data is backed up 24/7 automatically using Backblaze

Clean Up Desktop & Folders
Desktop clutter causes stress. Do not use it as your organization folder.
Clean up and purge your documents folder, downloads folder and empty the trash on your computer.
Clean up your downloads folder filled with useless zip files and dmg installers (you know who you are).
Clean up your web browsers (empty cache, clean up favorites, bookmarks, extensions)

Delete Apps & Software Programs
If you do not use an app, delete it. All of that HP Crapware and old Adobe versions and everything else that is not important.

IOS Devices:

Reduce dinging and popups and notifications is one of our major goals. .

Clear Unread notifications (those little red numbers all over the place)

Clear Mail, Messages, Twitter, Software updates, etc.

iOS Apps. Delete or offload every app on your iPhone and iPad that you do not use at least once a week or month.

Unsubscribe from as many email subscriptions, YouTube channels and even podcasts. We’re trying to reduce the amount of notifications that fight for our attention. Peace.

Social Media Cleanup.
Clean up all of your social media accounts and unfollow all of the accounts that you do not know or have no idea why you follow them. Twitter & Instagram especially.

Unjoin Facebook groups, Unfollow people who you do not interact with and audit your friend’s list.

Productivity Toolkit**

Contacts List:
Consolidate and cross-reference your contacts and make sure you only have one master list and it syncs across all devices.

I use Apple/iCloud Contacts

Understand how it syncs and what is your main calendar. Be confident when you add an event from any device you know it will sync everywhere and you will not miss appointments.

I use Google Calendar

To Do Apps:
Consolidate all of your business tools into one simple system. I deleted ToDoist, Evernote, etc.

I use Apple Notes App.



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