Last January, I declared 2022 my year of “expand.” I did a lot of new things this year, opening a commercial office, publishing a book, making many new friends and moving. In August I did another new thing with a friend – we started a podcast!
I’ve learned all kinds of things since we started our podcast, but when I pare it down, there are three outstanding lessons. On reflection, I realized that my biggest lessons in my new venture were actually excellent lessons for not just podcasting, but business and life in general.
Podcasting Wasn’t That Hard
Some learning I prefer to undertake very formally, and some I prefer to DIY it as much as possible. Podcasting has been a DIY effort. I didn’t go to school, I didn’t hire a coach, and I didn’t pay for any certificates. My co-host Cinthia and I were able to get our podcast up within a month, and while I know there is always room for improvement, we are up and running with over 20 episodes under our belts. Yeah!
There are a lot of skills you need for podcasting: technical skills, people skills, interviewing skills, organizational skills and more. It would be easy to drown oneself in focusing on what you don’t know, but for me this was a year to “expand” and to try new things. As far as podcasting goes, drive, commitment and attitude turned out to be the most important.
It helped that I personally knew a couple, like two, other people who had started podcasts. They were helpful primarily to build my confidence and belief that coming out with a podcast was achievable. I didn’t lean on my friends for assistance or specific how-to’s or skill building. It was also helpful I took on this project with my co-host Cinthia. Having someone to spitball ideas with and be supportive was critical.
If there is a goal you are considering for 2023 or for your future, and it feels hard, give yourself a breath or a minute or even a couple of days to step back and reflect. You may be able to achieve your goal by realizing you don’t have to do it all big-time or perfectly for it to be an achievement. Finding some support and jumping in can be the way to go.
Podcasting is a Great Way To Meet People
With my theme of “expand” for 2022, I have pushed myself to be more active, and to make many new friends and meet dozens of new people. I’ve attended online networking meetings, offline networking meetings, joined a gym and done many fun activities with new friends. I have invented new classes, sold books at trade shows, and spoken in public for the first time in years. Having someone come be a guest on the podcast is an outstanding way to get to know someone and build a relationship, quickly, deeply and meaningfully.
There are a lot of ways podcasts approach having guests. Cinthia and I decided to start by approaching primarily people we personally knew. Our methodology is relatively simple. We invite a guest, if they say “yes,” we book a one hour zoom call. We take care of a few administrative requirements and draft and then share an outline of the interview with the guest a few days before our recording session. We alert the guest when the episode goes live, and ask him or her to share it with their audience.
The best part is the recording session with our guest. While 30 -50 minutes is not a long time, in our recording session we have an opportunity to ask our guests interesting questions. It’s a fantastic way to get to know someone more intimately, and to see the guest put his or her best foot forward. The microphone provides just the right amount of formality, and does a great job of bringing out the wonderful selves and messages our guests share with our audience. Being a guest on the podcast also deepens our connection with our guests. After the podcast goes live, we have a little piece of content out in the Universe that is ours collectively. A small step has briefly joined our energies together in a truly beautiful way.
Podcasting might be appealing or unappealing to you, but there is still a take-away here. Create an event where you and someone you want to know better and be more deeply connected with, and make it a priority and just do it. Maybe it’s sharing the responsibility for a project-based committee. Maybe it’s finding someone to work with to write a letter together on a cause you both believe in. Making something fun and leveraging the event as a way to meet others and deepen your relationship is fuel for your upcoming year.
Podcasting is All About Being Flexible
In only six months of podcasting, I can’t count how many times I have needed to remind myself to be flexible. From the first week, when I thought I had done everything right to post our episodes and they weren’t showing up, to this week when our episode wasn’t quite ready to publish at our planned time, podcasting has been an experience in learning and being flexible.
There is a constant balance to maintain: a balance of driving for quality and reach versus self-criticism and imperfection. Every single week before I hit the “publish” button I wonder if the work is the best it can be. I have to fight the urge to keep editing and improving so that the work will get out the door and not be stuck on my hard drive unshared.
Being flexible is important, whether that means allowing the kids a little extra play time or letting your co-worker off the hook for delivering a few hours past an agreed upon deadline. I am a big believer that almost all of the time, people are doing the best they can given the circumstances they are in. Opening yourself up to being flexible with yourself and others goes a long way.
Podcasting is a new lens for me, but through this lens I see lessons which stand the test of time. Pushing yourself to try something difficult with strong support, meeting and deepening relationships, and being flexible are all practices that bear fruit and support growth and expansion. I encourage you to tank up your personal 2023 rocket with fuel for an expansive and productive year.
Michelle is offering her first new class of the year on January 23, 2023. In this online evening class, “Free to Be Me,” Michelle will use conscious and subconscious techniques to lead participants in ways to be more confident and self-expressive for the upcoming year. For details, click here.