It's no secret that there is a massive discrepancy between the number of cringeworthy shows (or the number of shows still trying to launch Episode 001) and the number of decent, good, and extraordinary shows.
That obvious imbalance fascinated me, and I set out to discover the cause of the great divide. It didn't take long to realize that I was my own test subject. Yes, I could compare with a heavy sampling of produced shows to analyze what the good shows were doing right.
But I could also take a close, honest look into the mirror and see clearly why some shows never launch, and others fade away before reaching double digit episode numbers.
The reason most shows never launch, or worse, launch without any fanfare, is not because the hosts are unskilled or untalented. It's because of this glaring fact: They are scared out of their minds!
They allow the fear and concern of the unknown to take over. “What if I look or sound stupid? What will they think? What if this doesn't work?” Or worse — “What if this does work?”
In order to embark on something new (even something challenging, say, like starting a podcast) it often requires expanding our comfort level and capacity while we explore new abilities. This is a tough call for some.
So they operate in a state of utter fear that prevents them from taking the moves they need to take, and from fully expressing themselves in the way that they must.
They find themselves spending an exorbitant amount of time debating minute details like whether to host with Libsyn or Buzzsprout. (That's like choosing not to shower for a while because you can't — or won't — decide between using Dove soap or Dial soap!)
Sure, you need to have some understanding of which audio host will best suit your needs and which microphone will serve you best, but…
(And this is a big but….)
You can not let those details prevent you from making a decision and taking one step (action) in the direction of creating your podcast.
Nothing is permanent. Each host you are considering has an established track record that is right for some, and not right for others. Same thing with microphones at various price points. Some love the ATR2100, some don't.
You ask online for a recommendation between two choices and you are literally left further away (further!) from where you began. You now have a dozen options to consider from 83 comments.
Simply choose between Dove soap or Dial soap, and take the metaphorical shower. You'll feel much better.
How do I recognize this fear of inching forward so clearly? I was there. For 40+ years. Let me explain.
Today I am the Hidden Entrepreneur. That's because I spent so much of my life hiding all of my talent, power, and ability, choosing instead to show up in all of life seeking the approval of others.
That gets very tiring very quickly especially when, behind closed doors, I secretly knew I was capable of achieving so much more than I was giving. Even so much more than what I saw those around me achieving.
Why did I do that for so long? What was I scared of?
I believed that if those around me saw me doing my best and achieving my best, it would make them feel insecure about not exercising their own full potential and not giving it their all, and they might retaliate against me.
I didn't feel strong enough to stand up for myself should that happen. (Crazy, right?!)
The ‘mask' I wore (refraining from all my skill and talent) created layers and layers of anger, frustration and despair. While trying to seek the approval of anyone, I gained the approval of no one. Not even myself.
Today, I am blessed with two adoring children. I have a 6 year old daughter and a 4 year old son.
Early on in their young lives I was embarrassed by the kind of father I was. By the type of person they were living with. I quickly realized what was happening: I was the child in that circle!
I could have continued making excuses and justifying my actions, or I could have simply made better choices. I decided to make better choices and to put in the work and take the needed action. Consistently. Daily. Repeatedly.
I got out of my own way. I was willing to embrace the fear and see what would happen if I stopped seeking the love, respect, appreciation, and approval from anyone and everyone on the outside.
What would happen if I took small, yet bold, steps in the direction of what I knew I wanted. And what I knew I was surely capable of achieving.
And what would happen if I believed that others would admire, love, and appreciate these moves instead of believing that others would feel threatened and insecure.
Instead of fear, I chose to look for (and found) those inspired by this bold step. And those who want to be a part of it.
On July 11, 2018, I launched Episode 001 of The Hidden Entrepreneur Show. Now with over 150 episodes to date, I have found meaning, connection and purpose within the podcast industry.
I co-host two shows, produce several more, and run live events throughout the year, and it’s only the beginning — all because I chose to be the example for Danica and Harrison.
It took my two adoring little humans to show me it was now or never. We all have the same innate power, skill, talent and ability to hone in any direction we choose.
If you feel drawn to using the podcast medium to get your message out, to inspire others, to make an impact, to leave a legacy, to have fun, to find joy, or to make a difference, find your ‘now or never' and get in the shower!
This profession allows for you to be your absolute best, if only you're willing to do so behind the mic.