You’re not getting any younger, and neither am I, so don’t leave unfulfilled thoughts, desires, and dreams undone. After learning and practicing management and leadership for the last 35 years, I decided to codify and speak about my experiences. I thought I might do that through a blog and a podcast. I always loved public speaking and secretly wanted to do my own radio show, so both certainly helped me execute on this. I bought some sound recording/editing equipment, enrolled in an online training course to create a podcast, hired someone to help build my website to house both communication mediums, and away I went.
The Creative Process
I started writing content months in advance, to ensure I knew what I wanted to talk about and had enough in the hopper to get way ahead of the recording cycle. Topical ideas came from the “mind map” I built a year earlier. A mind map is simply a visual display of information all centered around a specific idea – in my case – leadership. I started writing my weekly blog back on April 2 in order to get a feel for the writing process. In parallel I was planning for the podcast launch. After several months of development, exploring and deciding on – title, purpose, vision, process, audience, format, duration, periodicity, and yes, ultimately content – I launched my first podcast.
I typically start thinking about what I want to write and speak about over the weekend. I start writing the blog draft on Monday, finalize it on Tuesday or Wednesday, and publish it on Wednesday or Thursday. At the same time, I am taking notes for the podcast, which at this point, has become a lengthier, more detailed account of the blog content, filled with stories, examples, leadership principles, and some fun. I try to record the podcast on Wednesday, but don’t always make it. The podcast usually takes me a full day to record, edit, post, promote on social media, etc., so sometimes it doesn’t come out until Friday. The experts will tell you that some days are better than others for posting content, and I’m generally following that guidance, but I’m trying not to lose sleep over it as I want to make sure the content is right – that it’s helpful and informative. The only deadline I’m beholden to is my own self-imposed one.
So I’m a few months into my blog and only six episodes into my podcast, yet I wanted to share what I’ve learned thus far in the hopes it might be instructive, interesting, and/or inspirational for you in the pursuit of your dreams:
- Many people and organizations with lots of expertise from various corners of the planet are available and willing to help, and they are easy to find. In fact, most of them find me.
- Much of that help comes from unexpected places and new relationships – what an incredibly pleasant surprise! My website developer is from Canada. My content reviewer is from London. My podcast training instructor is from San Diego.
- Key support and advocacy comes from a few long-standing relationships built over the years – no surprise. What is somewhat surprising is the lack of support from those I expected it from. Regardless, nothing deters me from my vision.
- I’m developing new ways to think, new ways to learn, and new perspectives on business and my personal life. It couldn’t be more liberating.
- I’m developing a writing style that mimics the way I speak. I have the most fun when I’m pontificating in front of the microphone for each podcast episode! I’m a ham – I admit it.
- All my research and interaction has been online and remote – par for the course these days. It’s not so easy to conduct business when you don’t have your team physically in front of you every day.
- Real traction in terms of content development and delivery comes from disciplined execution on a daily basis. If you only work when you feel like it, don’t expect to make significant progress.
- I’ve learned and continue to increase my proficiency with GarageBand, WordPress, Buzzsprout, all the podcast directories, and a number of other applications. Who would have thought?
- I’ve become somewhat of a novice audio engineer having purchased and routinely use sound recording and editing equipment. Determination and the willingness to learn makes it happen.
- I was never one for social media other than LinkedIn. I now have accounts and/or post regularly on Instagram, Twitter, Parler, FaceBook, etc., and I’m still only scratching the surface!
From start to finish – you’re never really finished – it’s been quite the learning journey. There has been lots of trial and error, and in the end, I go with my gut and instincts, which are largely based on my education and experience over the years. Oh, and expect adjustments to your plan. I changed the name of my podcast after four episodes – more on that later. Suffice it to say, planning is critical, but stay flexible and be ready to adapt based on feedback. As they say, feedback is a gift.