What I Learned From Starting a Podcast, as a Business Owner and as a Writer
When my editor sent me the finished trailer for my new podcast, Leap Like Me, and I hit play for the first time, I was hit by a wave of excitement and euphoria.
I can't remember a time when I've been so fulfilled by a creative accomplishment.
That's saying a lot, because I'm a creative person and always trying new things. I write, I make things for my business. Yet nothing has come close to this.
I've had trouble sleeping at night because I've been so looking forward to sharing these interviews with you. That's an excited sleeplessness that I haven't had since I was a kid, on the night before our family trip to Disneyland, or before Saturday ski trips.
The experience is so novel, that I've been trying to understand it. Here are some of my insights:
Start before you're ready. I first got this advice from Marie Forleo, when I went through her B-School. It's her top advice to anybody starting a business.
We're all scared to put ourselves out there when we're starting something new and totally unknown. Marie says not to wait for perfection, and just keep taking action forward.
Start before you're ready.
When I was summoning the courage to reach out to potential guests for the show in the late spring, I did not feel ready.
This was a project that I thought I'd do "someday, maybe," when I was more qualified and skilled and successful.
It was scary to start now.
It helped to hear veteran podcaster Pat Flynn say that he hates listening to his first interviews because he was so terribly bad and amateurish. But he keeps them online so that other beginners can see that he too was once a beginner.
The thing about starting before you're ready is that when you actually prove to yourself that you can do it, the feeling of satisfaction is incomparable. You get an amazing surge in self-confidence and self-love.
Another insight: For me this is a huge reminder that this life, and finding the work and other creative outlets that fully allow us to express ourselves, is always a work-in-progress. And -- a very worthy one.
For so many years I tried to squeeze myself into the box of being a creative writer.
I still love to write, and have ambitions to publish a book (or a few). Yet for so many years I struggled with aspects of that art form that did not do it for me.
I hated sitting quietly alone at my desk for so many hours. It is terribly lonely work.
I hated too that the finished product -- if you went through the traditional forms of publishing -- could take months and years to appear before an audience, and then they would read it quietly to themselves and you'd rarely have any idea what they thought of it, or if it had any impact on them.
Blogging was an improvement on this, for its immediacy and ease with connecting with readers and hearing back from them.
Podcasting, though, seems a possibly perfect art form for me.
I've loved connecting with the people I've interviewed. I've loved learning from them, and hearing their stories. Then I get to share those stories with you, also in a fast, immediate way -- and hear what you think.
How many years have I been searching for the right storytelling form for me? More than 20. It would have taken even longer too, if I hadn't been willing to start before I was ready.
All of this also ties back into similar insights I had when I took my own sabbatical in 2013, the inspiration for Leap Like Me's Season 1 theme.
I was terrified to take that leap.
Going through with quitting my job, admitting that I was lost, and stepping into a complete unknown definitely took a willingness to start before I was ready.
How could I ever have been ready for a risk like that?
One of the most important lessons I learned from that experience though, is that we have to take steps forward like that -- even when they are so scary -- to keep this work-in-progress going.
By taking that leap, I got myself unstuck from a path that wasn't working for me. I freed myself to get closer to my ideals in pretty much every area of my life: my lifestyle, my work, my health, my time, my relationships, and my money.
These are only the beginning of the types of insights and themes that will be emerging in the first season of Leap Like Me.
Check out the preview here, and stay tuned for more in the next week.
So excited to share this journey with you.