100: Ten Lessons Learned in 3+ Years of Podcasting

This week marks a big milestone for the Pivot Podcast, as we celebrate the 100th episode! This has been more than three years in the making, from the show's early scrappy beginnings in late 2014 when I got the book deal for Pivot, to when I started publishing weekly in earnest in 2015.

Podcasting is a labor of love, but the biggest surprises for me have come from the priceless benefits: connecting more deeply with my author heroes, with all of you who are here listening, and learning every day along the way. 

In addition to the countless content nuggets of wisdom I’ve taken away from these 100 interviews—on everything from cyber security to finding one's home frequency (check out the full show archive here)—in this week's episode I'm sharing 10 behind-the-scenes lessons from three years of podcasting. As I’ve always said with blogging, which I did for nearly ten years before switching to this format, what you see (and hear) today is the result of 1,000 tiny iterations over time. 

Check out the full show notes for this episode at http://pivotmethod.com/podcast/100. Enjoying the show? I'd be super grateful for your ongoing support on Patreon

 Join me for The (He)art of Podcasting—Launching later this year

Working on rounding up these lessons inspired me to take this content deeper and share more of what I've learned with those of you who are already podcasting or looking to start.

To that end, I'm cooking up my next 5-day course, The (He)art of Podcasting. During this live series, we’ll dive into the nuts and bolts of bootstrapping your own podcast from a place of authenticity, intention, and heart. And as always, you'll get all my best tools and templates for helping you get organized and create a kick-ass show. 

Here's what we'll cover: 

Day 1: Podcast Set-up and Systems: Practical Tools and Tips for Bootstrapping
Day 2: Interview Preparation and Post-Production
Day 3: Powerful Questions and Presence
Day 4: Sponsorship and Patreon: Pros and Cons of Monetization
Day 5: Q&A (You'll get a chance to submit questions in advance even if you can't make it live) 

Want to be the first to know when enrollment opens? Let us know you’re interested and sign-up to get an early bird discount here :) 

Show Notes: 10 Lessons Learned in 100 Episodes

  1. Put yourself in the path of pivot: the power of public original thinking. Back into your next ideas by committing to public original thinking. Lisa Lewis’s message: "If you want to get hit by the luck truck, you have to put yourself in the middle of the road."

    » Related Pivot Podcast: Hunch: How to Translate Intuition into Business Ideas with Bernadette Jiwa

  2. Don’t worry about “niching down” too early. Back into it, Gary Vee “document don’t create” (me rejecting peak performer designation only years in) -my description before and after:

    Before: Interviews with experts and peak performers on navigating career change in a rapidly-evolving economy
    After: What’s next for your career and creative projects? Learn how to embrace fear, insecurity, imperfection and intuition as the superpowers they are while navigating the pivot process.

    » Related Pivot Podcast: Defying the Odds: Jason Wang's Pivot from Prison to Helping Others Transform Their Hustle

  3. Get scrappy: Teach yo' self! I record the show in my walk-in closet, and I'm not the only host who does—you'd be surprised how many people aren't operating in fancy studios with teams of people a la shows like those on Gimlet and NPR. There's a lot you can do with a little bit of time, the desire to learn, and elbow grease.

    » Related Pivot Podcast: Want Nothing, Have Everything: The Happiness Equation with Neil Pasricha

  4. Pivot on strengths: don't dwell on what you don't know. I grew up practicing journalism (I started a family newspaper called The Monthly Dig-up when I was ten years old), which meant getting curious, asking interesting questions, and telling stories. That later tied in (though I didn't realize the connection at the time) to my career coaching—which is all about deep listening, presence, and intuitive inquiry. I didn't realize until I looked back at how well these two disciplines prepared me for podcasting, and the commonalities explain why I love all three as much as I do!

    » Related Pivot Podcast: Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following with Dorie Clark

  5. Perfectly Imperfect: Embrace awkwardness. Podcasting is such an intimate medium . . . there's really nowhere to hide your true self in all its quirks! I make it a point not to over edit episodes, leaving in imperfections so you get as much as the real me and the real moments as possible. On many occasions I hang up with my guest feeling thrilled about our conversation and abundantly clear on all the ways I fumbled my way through!

    » Related Pivot Podcasts: Grab Bag! Upcoming NYC Workshop, BookRx on Interviewing Tips, and the Upside of Awkwardness, What's more important to you than perfection? With Jenny Blake, and Perfection Detox with Petra Kolber

  6. Forget metrics and marketing—curiosity and authentic excitement are paramount. I never select guests based on the size of their platform (I don't care if they have zero "social media reach" for helping promote the show), and I make every effort to read authors' entire book (if not several) before I confirm them for an interview. Earlier on, I made the mistake of saying yes to a few interviews because on the surface it seemed to align, or as a favor to a colleague, and I ended up cancelling the interviews or not publishing the shows because they just weren't aligned with my authentic excitement and my bar for curating only the best for you!

    » Related Pivot Podcast: Pivot From Working in the Morgue to the Ministry with Former Forensic Pathologist Dr. Thomas Andrew

  7. You don't always have to be the expert (in fact you never do): curate powerful perspectives. With the glut of information, articles and podcasts, see yourself as a Chief Curation Officer, choosing a select group of people and topics that will attract your unique audience. There's a lot of talk about how to become a "thought leader," but what if you emphasized being a thought listener instead?

    » Related Pivot Podcast: Defying the Odds: Jason Wang's Pivot from Prison to Helping Others Transform Their Hustle

  8. Take breaks when needed: building a body of work is a marathon, not a sprint. One of my business mantras is "let it be easy, let it be fun." Take the pressure off of publishing schedules that feel oppressive and focus on quality instead. Even if you just produce one "album" as your show, that's already something! Those 10-12 episodes can go into your pivot portfolio and help future clients, friends and even employers or colleagues get to know you better. Even my family learns more about me every week through my show, which is benefit enough in my book :)

    » Related Pivot Podcast: Artist as CEO — with Jenny Blake, Michel Karsouny & Kerri Lowe

  9. Forget about competition and market saturation; see growing a show like making friends instead. Although there are more and more quality shows hitting the podcast scene as media outlets and celebrities and podcast networks step-up their game, there's still no cap on who you can attract. There's no "saturation" on the friend market; you can meet new an interesting people at any time, and be genuinely excited to keep in touch! The same goes for finding new shows and listeners: be yourself and trust that the perfect audience—and perfectly sized—will show up . . . you guessed it, at the perfect time!

    » Related: Momentum Q&A call from May 2018

  10. Refine systems to reduce friction, and hire help as needed. The life of a podcast episode requires many moving parts, and you don't have to handle them all yourself (even if you're working with a shoestring budget). Look for what you can automate, delegate, or drop. There's a creative solution for everything :) For more on this, be sure to check out my 8-week Delegation Ninja Course!

    » Related Pivot Podcast: Virtual Freedom: Overcome Superhero Syndrome and Start Outsourcing with Chris Ducker

Episode 100: 10 Lessons Learned in 3+ Years of Podcasting

Listen below or on iTunesSoundCloud, YouTubeOvercastStitcher, or Google Play Music:

Resources and Next Steps:

  • Sign-up for the weekly(ish) #PivotList Newsletter for a round-up on what I'm reading, watching, listening to, and tools I'm geeking out on.

  • Join fellow smart, generous creatives working on interesting projects in Momentum, my private community for side-hustlers and solopreneurs

  • Dive in to Delegation Ninja: An 8-week course on how to work with ease and joy, earn twice as much in half the time

  • Want to be the first to know when enrollment opens for The (He)art of Podcasting? Let us know you’re interested and sign-up to get an early bird discount.

  • Connect with my awesome podcast editor: James Ede of Be Heard Now, who offers a free trial episode for new clients.

Check out other episodes of the Pivot Podcast here. Be sure to subscribe via iTunesGoogle Play or SoundCloud, and if you enjoy the show I would be very grateful for a rating and/or review! Sign-up for my weekly(ish) #PivotList newsletter to receive curated round-ups of what I'm reading, watching, listening to, and new tools I'm geeking out on.

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