I still remember the first day I press “Publish” a podcast episode — it was my birthday and I had been putting it off for, oh, two years out of nerves! I was terrified of what people would think, what strangers on the internet would say, and sharing my innermost thoughts.
Six months in, I have learned so much and am so grateful to that woman who felt the fear and did it anyway. Below are four of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from six months as a podcaster. If you have dreams of publishing a podcast (or launching anything creative, really) then this is for you.
How to Do a Podcast: Biggest Lessons
This tip may not be the sexiest to start with, but hear me out. I believe that being inconsistent voids the sacred contract you have with your creativity.
Several years ago, when I ran a blog where I published blog posts every weekday, I learned that being consistent IS what led to ideas. It’s almost as if my brain knew that it needed to come up with something because, one way or the other, something was being published. And while I can’t exactly explain why that worked, the expectation created an agreement between me and my creativity; when I showed up, it did too. Through years of publishing blog posts every weekday, I somehow always came up with ideas for the posts.
Podcasting has been the same. When I started my podcast, I had a list of maybe 30 or so *very rough* episode ideas. I didn’t really know what I was going to talk about past that 6-month point. But I’ve shown up almost every single Thursday, and the ideas have too.
Give yourself the gift of inspiration by being consistent. Show up with the intention to publish something every week (or whatever your cadence is) and watch how creativity delivers on its end of the bargain.
It’s almost like going to the gym. If you go with the intention of being consistent, eventually the results appear. You don’t have to obsess or overfocus on the results; they’re just the byproduct of consistency. I believe creativity is the same way. Try it for yourself and let me know what you discover!
Get clear on your intention
You can start a podcast, business, or creative project for a million reasons. To make money. To get fame. To have fun. To feel fulfilled. None of the reasons are right or wrong. Where it gets messy is if you confuse your intentions or don’t get clear on them to begin with.
For example, I started my podcast purely as my creative outlet. So even to this day, I don’t worry much about the number of downloads I get or how many sponsors want to work with me. Because that was never the reason for the podcast, and still isn’t.
However, if I had intended to become famous with millions of downloads, or to monetize the podcast to replace a corporate salary, I would’ve been disappointed because neither of those things had happened fast enough. But if or when my intention changes, I can adjust course and focus on the levers that will help me reach those goals.
Get clear on your reason for doing something. It will clarify your action steps, keep your expectations in check, and keep something fun because you’re clear on your why.
Make the journey fun
It’s easy to get so involved in the day-to-day tasks of a project that you can lose sight of how awesome it is to be building something from your heart. To avoid this, find ways to make the journey fun.
Celebrate milestones like your first 100 or 1,000 episodes. Dance around your living room whenever someone leaves a review. Personally DM someone and tell them how much it means to you that they shared an episode with their friends. Let the cool factor go and let them in on how excited you really are. It’s the best feeling.
The more fun something is to you, the more you are likely to stick with it, and the more joy you will find along the way. Which is partly the point, right?
Fear is the way
Lastly, while fear stops many people, I’ve personally learned that fear is THE way. Your fears always having something on the other side of them that you’re able to learn.
For example, if you’re scared of going live on Facebook, maybe fear is trying to lead you to self-confidence. If you’re scared of going on a date, maybe fear is trying to lead you to self-love. If you’re scared of booking the faraway trip, maybe fear is trying to lead you to a sense of adventure and self-sufficiency you never knew you contained..
For me personally, launching a podcast has absolutely been a lesson in becoming visible, taking up space, and not worrying as much about what others think about me. Was it easy to launch? Heck no! Was I terrified? Yes, for the first few MONTHS. Did it get easier over time, and do I now have more confidence in taking up space and my message? Yes and yes.
Thank you, fear! Instead of running from your fears, get curious about them, chase them down, and see what’s on the other side. The path is THROUGH not around.
While I’ve learned so much though starting a podcast, these are four of the biggest lessons that stand out to me. Are you a podcaster? Or do you dream of starting a podcast? Would love to hear what stands out to you and cheer you on as you begin.
Ready for Your Biggest, Brightest Life?
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