What launching a podcast has taught me (so far)

Podcasting microphone

As many of you reading this probably know, I launched The Grass Gets Greener podcast two weeks ago. So I thought I'd share with you in this post what that was like for me and how it's been going so far.

I'll start off by saying that if you had asked me five years ago what I would be doing today, I never in a million years would have answered with podcasting. But that's precisely why I want to share this post with you today.

Part of the reason for my answer is because I wasn't really aware of podcasts back then, but a more important reason is because of where I was in my recovery process. If you're struggling to overcome the effects of bullying, then I'm sure you'll know exactly what I mean.

I was doing pretty good, but me...talking into a microphone...to other people...for all the world to hear? Are you kidding me! Talk about being scared half to death. But here we are five years later, and I'm doing it. And I'm okay with it. Heck, I'm actually quite enjoying it. Now that's pretty crazy.

Let me take you back...

The point here is that I got out of my comfort zone. That's really what it comes down to. Five years ago I was getting to a place where I was feeling ready to speak publicly about my experience. It became a matter of how to go about that. I wanted to give back and help others but I wasn't quite sure where to start.

I planned to write a book. I haven't done that yet, but I still plan to. Instead, three years ago I got let go from my job. But don't feel bad because I was about to leave anyway. The point is that I now found myself in an interesting situation.

Do I get another job or do I do something else? I was in a situation where I was fortunate to not need to get a job for the money, so I really did have the freedom to choose here. I started thinking about that book again. But I also started thinking about doing something online.

Well, one thing led to another, and I eventually started this website back in April. Now, just over 6 months later, I also have a podcast. These things have happened because I took action. Has it always been easy? Have I always felt comfortable? No, of course not. But I wanted to challenge myself, because I know that's the only way I'm going to keep growing as a person, and that's important to me.

I also want to inspire you to be able to do the same. That doesn't mean that you have to go public with your story or start a podcast, it just means that you should continuously push yourself outside of whatever your comfort zone is so that you can continue to grow and become that person that you want to be.

The reason I'm writing this type of post at this point and not back when I launched the blog is because I've learned more about myself and have been more affected by what I'm doing in just the past two weeks than I had in the past 6 months. Not that starting the blog wasn't transformative in its own right, but, my goodness, I couldn't have predicted what this podcast would do for me. And I'm excited for what's still to come. Hopefully that will lead to a follow-up to this post down the line.

Anyway, whether you're thinking of starting a podcast or something that would be just as scary for you, this post is for you.

So let me share with you some lessons learned in an effort to maybe take away some of your fears...

1.  It's okay to put yourself out there even if you're scared. You've heard it before, right? If you're scared to do something then it must be a good sign. I was really excited to put this podcast out there but I was also really scared. When my podcast went live and I started sharing it with others, and they started sharing it, I started freaking out. Because I had been blogging for 6 months, I had a bit of an audience who was waiting for the launch. Do you know how much pressure I felt? I was worried that I would let them all down. Thankfully, no one has had anything bad to say. So either I've done an okay job or they're all just being nice. Either way, nothing terrible has happened. If this is a topic that interests you, then you might want to check out the latest episode where we talk about putting yourself out there. The point here is what's the worst that could happen? I actually have a print out of that question on the wall right behind my computer so that I never forget it. It has encouraged me to do things that I may not have otherwise.

2.  You have more supporters than you realize. Like I said, I knew that I had people waiting for me to launch the podcast, but other people have since found out about it and have become supporters as well. I've even received an email from someone thanking me for doing this. All of the support just excites me to keep working on it every day. If you have something that you want to do, and people know that it matters to you, then they're going to be there to support you when the time comes. You can use that support to keep yourself motivated and determined. All I can say is that I'm grateful for all of the support and that I feel honored to have it. I'm not really used to being supported, at least from when I was younger, so it always means so much to me when I am.

3.  If you need help, just ask. This ties in to the previous lesson, of course. But, whether you realize it or not, there's someone out there who can help you with whatever it is you need help with. I'm not used to asking for help either. I feel like I'm being weak if I have to ask. I'm so used to taking care of myself. The problem is that if you don't ask for help when you need it then you're either going to spend way too much time on the problem yourself or you're never going to figure it out. Or, you're going to do something that's not as good as it could be. I've been lucky enough to be part of an amazing group on Facebook that is there to answer any questions I may have, and I've also reached out to others who offered to help. Asking people for help has only been a positive experience for me. No one is going to make you feel bad or stupid if they offer to help and you do reach out to them. So next time someone offers to help and you need it, do yourself the favor of reaching out.

4.  Doors will open that you didn't even know were there. After I launched the blog, I had some opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise, but after launching the podcast just two weeks ago, I've already had opportunities for new things come my way even quicker. I'm not going to get into the specifics but it's pretty crazy to me how just having a podcast seems to get you more attention. Part of that is because there are less of them than blogs but also because of the type of medium it is. People can connect with you differently through a podcast than they can through a blog. The point here is to just start something because you never know what it will bring your way.

5.  You will feel vulnerable. Okay, so, I haven't felt this vulnerable in a while. I feel like I have no protection right now. No walls up or words to hide behind. Nope, not with a podcast. I've put myself out there in audio format for all the world to listen to and judge. Not a comfortable feeling for me. It's almost as scary as getting behind a video camera for all the world to watch. I get self-conscious and I fear being judged because of how much I was judged in the past. I've been able to get better about that to the point where I'm putting myself out there anyway. What's the worst that could happen, remember? Plus, the more I do it, the more comfortable I get. I try my hardest not to care if someone judges me, but that's still sometimes easier said than done. The takeaway for me is to push back when vulnerability pushes its way in so that I can knock it on its backside.

6.  There are lots of people out there doing amazing things. I hope you already know this because knowing this brings hope. As I'm sure you do know, we are living during a time where anyone can spread any message. Of course that can be a bad thing if people are spreading messages of hate, for example, but I like to think that there are more people out there who are spreading messages of hope. There's one group of people in particular that I recently found out about that I want to mention here because I love the message they are spreading. They've created The #NoMoreShame Project. It's run by three abuse survivors who are trying to eliminate the shame that comes from being abused. I highly recommend you check out all that they are doing. I find that the more involved I get in this online world, the more good I come across, and that makes me feel hopeful for all of our futures.

So these are some of the lessons I've been learning / relearning over the past couple weeks. It's been amazing to me that launching a podcast has affected me in as many ways as it has. And mostly good ways.

I think the difference between launching a podcast versus launching a blog and why I've been so affected is because I'm interacting with others directly. I don't have to talk to someone to write a blog post, but for the type of show I'm choosing to do, I do have to talk to others to put an episode out there.

I've been hearing about so many amazing stories of trauma and how people are not letting their experiences hold them back. It's been inspiring but it's also been triggering at times because it's made me think more about my own past than I had been recently. Which has led me to writing this post.

I hope you've enjoyed this particular post. It's a little more vulnerable and personal than usual but it's just a reflection of what I'm feeling right now. I really felt the need to write it and I hope that it serves you in some way.

If you are interested in podcasting...

I also want to mention that if you are interested in podcasting and maybe seeing if it's right for you, I recommend you check out The Podcast Incubator. It's the program I used to learn how to podcast. You can get started with a FREE 7-day course, which could be really helpful. The link I provided is my affiliate link, so if you decide to check it out and purchase the full course, I would get a commission for that at no extra cost to you.

I also want to mention Podcaster's Paradise as another option. This is not an affiliate link. I'm not a member, but I do owe a lot to John and Kate there as well so I have to give them a shout out.

The best thing is to consider your options and go with what feels like the best fit. You can't go wrong with either of the two I recommend here. I used The Podcast Incubator because I was a beta tester for it so it just worked out that way. I have much appreciation for both programs.

You could also go it alone, but that's one option I don't really recommend.

While I'm giving shout outs, I also want to give one to my amazingly supportive husband who has been my podcast editor. He makes my job that much easier and I appreciate him for it. If you have any complaints with the editing, please direct them toward him. 🙂  Okay, he would appreciate compliments as well.

So this has been an interesting post for me to write and I would love to know what you think of it. Let me know in the comments below.  
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photo credit: Mustafa Khayat via photopin cc

Comments

  1. Cheval John says:

    Really happy for you, Melissa. Podcasting is a unique medium and it has changed so many lives for the better.

  2. CONGRATS MELISSA.

    CONTINUED SUCCESS.

  3. What an awesome post Melissa, loved it! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, feelings, and experience with us as you created your podcast which by the way, is awesome! Congrats to you! So very happy to see all you’re doing and the positive difference you’re making in the many lives of others. It truly is special and inspiring. I look forward to seeing all there is to come from you, I have a funny feeling you’re just getting started. 🙂 All the best to you, cheers!

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