3 thing I learned from podcasting daily
In today's episode, I want to dive into the three key things that I learned doing 31 days of daily podcasting. That's right, we're having a retrospective episode.
Read on for the full transcription or listen to the podcast episode here
So let's cast our minds back to July 2020, when I thought it would be a good idea to post a podcast daily, for 31 days. Now, the reason why I wanted to do that was, as you all know, I'm a bit of a self development nerd. And any kind of literature about starting a new habit or, and building new skill sets, that kind of thing and all of the literature, research and studies kind of point to the fact, that a month is a really good timeframe to give yourself, to a build a new habit, and to give yourself enough time to decide whether or not you like that thing, and also give you time to improve. Because the truth is, when you start anything, you're going to be a bit crap at it, like you can't just go from never having done a press up in your life to having perfect form press ups. You know, it's the kind of thing where you have to build the muscle, and 30 to 31 days, like a month's time is a good amount of time to give yourself and to see whether or not it’s something you like and whether or not it's something you can build consistently into your routine. And see, get good enough over time to be at a place where you're like, you know what, after 31 days, I don't think I suck at this anymore. So that will give me a good idea as to whether or not I should continue on. And the very fact that you're listening to this podcast right now will tell you what the results were but let me about the key takeaways, because there was a lot, I was using that challenge as a bit of an experiment for myself, as well as wanting to kind of put out great information and help you guys during what is, you know, making sure I'm sharing all of my knowledge and best advice for you guys to keep on working during these unprecedented times and helping you more now, more than ever double down on VR and 360. And helping you try and get clients and work so that you don't have to leave this industry, whilst this pandemic is wreaking havoc on the economy. So apart from that, let's have a look at the key learnings and the reasons why I was kind of doing it.
So number one is action based goals rather than results based goals. If you have never heard this theory before, oh, get a pen and paper or get your notes up. This is a good one. And I might actually have to do a whole episode on this. So action based goals versus results based goals. So if I had gone into this 31 Day Challenge, and I had said - “by the end of 31 days, I want 50 listeners, I want 50 people to have listened to every single episode.” That would be a results based goal and the equivalent on social media could be for example, like you know - “in a month time I want 100 new followers” or whatever it might be. So results based goal is, to use another analogy for example, if you were just starting a health and fitness routine, it would be like…I want to lose 10 pounds of body fat. Although that is very extreme, let's bring it to about five pounds body fat. Not that it matters because it's an arbitrary anecdote. Why am I even diving into this? Well, that's me. So that is so me. Okay, let's bring this back on track. So those are examples of results based goals and are driven by what I would call a vanity metric. There’s nothing about those goals that really help shape a habit. In fact, those kind of goals set you up to fail. Because on day three, if I've only got two listeners, and I look at my goal of 50 listeners, I might have been really disheartened and stopped podcasting because I'm like, what's the point, you know, I'm a quarter of the way through this and I've only got two listeners, I'm never gonna get to that. Or if you were posting on Instagram, and you know, you're halfway through the month and you've only got four new followers because the organic reach on Instagram is shocking and you might again be like, what was the point I'm just not gonna bother posting. So instead of that mindset, instead of the results based mindset, what you want to do and what I learned from podcasting was that the action based goal of posting every single day, it did a couple of things but number one, it removed any kind of expectation I had about anything. My goal was not to get certain amount of listeners or a certain amount of title plays, you know, be featured on anything on anyone's blog. I didn't have any superficial vanity goals for it. It was purely an experiment where every single day, I wanted to post an episode. And what that did was just take off all the pressure, because I had no expectations of what was going to happen. I just knew that I wanted to show up every single day and post an episode. Now obviously, the result of that was that I did get listens and I did get a few people reaching out. But the important thing was that, those weren't the things driving my action. Every single day I wanted to post a podcast, that was an action based goal. And that was way easier to stick to, because I didn't have an arbitrary superficial goal, which I felt would have felt impossible when I started. And, you know, the idea of getting to a certain number of plays, would have seemed really, really impossible, because there's so much that is out of my control with that, whereas what I can control is showing up every single day. And obviously, as a result of that action, I did get results, which then made me motivated and my favourite quote which you know by now is “action leads to results leads to motivation, not the other way around.” And this is just the perfect example of that. So apply that to your own life, think about your goals, and think about how you can change those goals to be action based rather than results based. So if it is to get new clients, maybe the action based goal is to send 10 emails to new potential clients every single week for the next four weeks. Action, not results. So your goal is to not get three new clients, your goal is to send 10 new emails a week. And as long as you do that, as long as you show up and send those 10 emails, and then you have achieved your goal, okay? And the more consistent you can be, and the more you show up, the better you'll get, which in turn will drive better results. Okay, but that is not the goal. The goal is to show up, the goal is to send the emails, does that make sense? So that was a massive one. This was huge. And I've applied this in several areas of my life, not just in work, but I'm finding more and more that it is becoming the secret sauce for success for me.
Realisation or learning number two, is that done is better than perfect. I know, I know, it’s hard for a creative person to deny the benefits of perfectionism. One of my favourite film of all times Monty Python and Holy Grail, it says done is better than perfect and we, all in this industry are guilty of perfectionism. It's so funny to me. Like, it's so funny. Because objectively, we all know that perfection actually is subjective in itself, right? And perfectionism is actually us holding ourselves to these unrealistic standards. And sometimes perfectionism can be an excuse not to do things. Because we don't want to put it out into the world. Oh, it's not perfect. Yeah. And I don't want people to judge me. But actually, if you put out 10 different things and got the feedback from putting out those 10 things, you would be closer to getting to something that you would consider, you know, not perfect, but something that you enjoy something that you like, because you've actually given it a chance to perform in the way that you want it to perform. Does that make sense? Done is better than perfect. This especially applies when you're starting something new. So for me, podcasting was still really new apart from the miniseries that I'd done pre 31 Day Challenge. I didn't know how to do a podcast, I didn't know what was going to work, I didn't know whether I could actually give good advice off the cuff based on a question that I was reading from. But by just showing up and doing it and not worrying about how perfect it it was, I managed to then build that skill. And over those 31 days, I think I put out some pretty standout episodes that actually have gone on to really help people and I've heard from you guys, and how it’s helped you get your first clients and you've taken your first steps. And it's a different episode for different people right? Because you will need to hear different things at different stages. But if I had just decided, oh, I'm not, I'm gonna wait. And I'm gonna put it out, this is why I still do three times a week rather than one, because if I put out one episode a week, there might be this expectation that it was going to be really thorough and polished. And that's just not my style. I want this to feel like and this is kind of where my thinking has gone now, as a result of the 31 day challenge and not worrying about it being perfect, I want this to feel like we're in a room together. And it's just a q&a, or we're having a coffee. And you've asked me my opinion on “Oh, you know, Alex, what were some of the key takeaways from podcasting?” and this is just the normal conversation that we would have. Yes, I probably wouldn't ramble as much at you because you'd be interjecting without questions, but that's what I want the vibe of this to feel like not, like you're listening to an NPR documentary. Anyway, that was that was number two, which does nicely kind of flow into learning number three which is that imposter syndrome never goes away.
That little demon voice in the back of your head that tells you that you're not good enough? And why would anyone listen? Or why would anyone want to buy your services? Why would anyone care? That little voice, it never goes away, no matter how much success you have. And I use success very much in quotation marks, because success to me is doing something that you enjoy and that you're happy, and gives you the life that you want. So it's nothing to do with the amount of money you make, or the accolades you have. Are you happy? If you are putting things out, if you are going after new clients, if you are worried about the fact that like, I'm not good enough, or my photos aren't good enough, my skill set isn't good enough, I’m not advanced enough. You know, there's so many other people doing this, that voice will never go away. And that is so hard to come to terms with, because I think no matter what stage of your career you're in, you always think, oh, one day, I'm going to just really believe in myself. And I'm going to be that kind of person that walks around and thinks - yeah, that's right, I'm the best. That's why you pay me to do what I do. But the truth is, it doesn't. And although I hate the phrase, fake it till you make it (I do really hate that phrase because I think there's something inherently just unethical and a bit wrong in the sentiment of faking to make it at the same time) I do understand where that phrase comes from. And I think we all have to practice a little bit of that. Not letting the voice in your head stopping you from doing something. And so all of these three things, all of these three key learnings, they all kind of feed into each other, right? Because it's like action based goals rather than results based goals means that instead of overthinking about, you know, getting followers or getting likes or getting lessons or getting whatever it might be, getting reviews (although I will be shouting out for a review at the end, so just you know, a heads up) instead of focusing on all those vanity metrics, the goal was always just to show up and do it. And as a result of just showing up and doing it, it took the pressure off being perfect, because I knew that the challenge wasn’t to put out the best award winning episodes of a podcast every day. The goal was to show up and put a podcast out regardless of the quality, regardless of my my own perception of the quality, which is a whole other episode about the fact that creativity and perfection is totally subjective. And the sooner you can wrap your head around that, the better you'll be as a business person. And as someone pursuing a career in the creative industries, done is better than perfect. And as a result of that, imposter syndrome will never go away. Because just like that voice in your head that tells you that you're not good enough. The truth is that actually, when you just put stuff out, and when you start to just show up regardless of how perfect it is, and people actually (even if it's like just one person reaching out and saying, I needed to hear that) that episode was everything, even if it's just a comment on one of your photos that says, this is amazing. How do I do that? Even if it's showing your friends and family like a 360 photo and a headset for the first time and they're like, holy crap like this is amazing. Like the point isn't to have all of that affirmation, but the point is as long as you show up and you keep doing it, and you put it out into the world, good things will come back to you. And I'm not going to turn this into a bit of a woowoo law of attraction seminar but I do really believe in that. And there is something in it, if you show up, and you stay consistent, you will improve. So your level of perfection will go up naturally anyway, because you'll get better at it. If you just stay consistent, just keep putting stuff out, If you just keep with it, and you enjoy it, obviously, you've got to enjoy it. That's the big thing, I realised that I absolutely love chatting to myself, in my house pacing around the living room, and I’d think ‘let’s check the step count, 6400 not bad.’ and don't let that voice in your head stop you from doing the things that you know you really want to do. And I've heard from a couple of you listening to these episodes and you have gone out and you have started, you've got your first client or you've, you know, you've taken that first step. And I'm so proud of you. And for those of you who haven't done that yet, for those of you who haven't jumped and taken that step, because of whatever reasons, if any of these three things are the reasons why you're not doing it, I want you to think about just what you're waiting for? I want you to think - ‘what could be the action base goal that I take to make sure that I do this?’. You know, if you're just starting out sending those emails, or building a website, and it could be, it could be anything, it could be just like you know, every single day I will do X, or every week, I will do X and you give it a month, at least a month.
And I promise you, I promise you if you just do it, and you don't worry about how perfect is and you ignore that little Gremlin voice in your head telling you that you're not good enough, I promise you good things will come and it will get easier. And although you will still have to wrestle with imposter syndrome no matter what, It will get easier because actually the thing you've got imposter syndrome about will be something totally different to the thing you were worrying about before. Whereas before, you might have been worrying about like, why anyone would buy your virtual tour services? The next thing you'll be worrying about is like, why would anyone want to pay £10,000 when at the moment I charged £5000? You know, it's the kind of thing you get impostor syndrome but it will change. You’ve just got to keep doing it anyway, just keep showing up. Set yourself a challenge.
Reach out to me and tell me what your challenges for the next month. And just you know, it doesn't have to be anything huge. It doesn't have to be the most life changing thing in the world. Just pick something that you can do a little bit of every single day, just show up every single day. Whether it posts on Instagram, although I wouldn't say Instagram is the best at the moment, say something like LinkedIn or Tik Tok whatever it is, something with more organic reach if you're going to do that, but hey, the premise is just to show up, just to do, if the aim is to get better at your craft, taking a photo to post on Instagram every single day that holds you accountable, you're going to do it for 31 days, or sending emails to clients, pick something you can do. And reach out to me and let me know what that 31 or 30 day challenge is. So I can hold you accountable. There's a couple of you that have already reached out about things that you want to do and I've written it in my calendar, I'm going to be chasing you. So I will happily be your accountability partner. Reach out to me.
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