When Podcasting Gets Tough, You Need This
What is your reason? What is your motivation, your inspiration? Why do you get up in the morning and work on this thing called podcasting? Why do you do that? I want to dive deep into this topic today because this is the heartbeat of your show.
And if you do not have this key piece in place you will fizzle out. You will not be here next year. Let’s dive into all the things of giving yourself a solid reason about why you’re podcasting.
If you haven’t done this before, if you haven’t walked through this, let’s walk through it together. If you have been here let’s refocus on it. Let’s just pause for a second. Do a quick, check-in like a quick checkup. Is it still good? Does it still apply? Let’s dive into that in today’s episode.
When you feel like you are not getting anywhere
To be completely transparent here, last week for me as in two days ago, I was in a week where everything was just lagging. Everything felt like it was moving through mud.
And when you feel like that, moving through mud, feeling like nothing’s working, nothing’s clicking and why am I doing this? All these doubts and fears can come crashing in if we let them. Right? So if we have a great mental space of why we are doing this. If it is like a, it’s like a solid rock foundation to our podcast show, our show will live on. We will continue to do the show.
So let’s dive into this really key piece.
It is, this is foundational. It’s why I wanted it right at the beginning of this podcast show. Because if you do not have this piece, the rest won’t matter, the rest is fluff. It’s not actually fluff because you will need all the other strategies, but.
This part is like across the board. You need to have this. Other strategies: sure, pick and choose. This one, it’s a must. It will be the motivation. Knowing your “why”, having your reason to get up in the morning to do your show, to work on your show will be the reason that you keep going.
Knowing your reason why also gives you a direction. It gives you a focus. It gives you a purpose, even if you don’t know all of what that purpose is, even if you don’t have a crystal clear perfect niched down topic focus. If you don’t have that, that’s okay.
When things get tough, when times are tough, you will keep going. You will persevere because you know your reason why.
This is your starting point
Your “why”. It will drive that focus. It will drive that niche. This will drive you into an area that you just light up and you cannot stop talking about. And that’s why this is such a great exercise to do at the beginning if you’re a beginner podcaster. But it is also a great one to have as you’re going through the slog of the middle.
Like to be honest, the most glamorous part about podcasting is launching your podcasts. That is the exciting part, the climax, the high. Also getting your community to talk about your podcasts, that’s another amazing high. And getting guests onto your show and getting your guests to talk about your show as well. That’s another high.
The rest, it is day to day. It is day-to-day living. It is day to day chores. And I don’t mean that in like a negative type way, but it can lose the glamour really fast. That is what I mean. It can lose the glamor really fast. The adrenaline rush of launching a podcast show wears off really fast and anybody in the messy middle knows this.
But if you’re in that spot of the messy middle, if you’re in the spot of slogging it out day after day. Totally fine. But if you are feeling like depressed while you slog, it’s a good time just to pause for a second, even if it’s just for 15 minutes and reestablish your “Why”. We’re going to go through how to do your “Whys” in the second half of the show today.
- But the first part here I just want to reiterate if you just started, let’s do this.
- If you’re in the middle pause, let’s refocus. Make sure you’re good.
- And if you are just, you’re like a pro, you’re like a pro podcaster. Awesome. You are amazing. I love you. How’s it going? Do you still have a “Why” that’s in line with what you are saying? Is your “Why” still getting you out of bed in the morning to do podcasting? Is your “why” still like firing you up? Even on the days that you’re kind of like, Oh, “I really don’t want to spend the next three hours working on this.” Is it still enough of a motivation to just open up everything and get going?
If so, you’re good. Keep going. You’re awesome.
If not, let’s just pause for a second. Maybe pause for 15 minutes and let’s just realign, refocus. That’s all I want for you.
So if you’re going for “knowing your why” as giving you direction, focus, and purpose, the goal of the future would be to expand your “why” as you experience more, as you pivot, as you change, as you realign, you’ll be expanding your “why” you will be, you’ll be tweaking your “why” to follow you and help you keep podcasting.
It’s not like a one and done solution. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say. Don’t leave it on the shelf and buried away. And we’re going to get to that a little bit later, too.
All right. We’ve kind of talked about how important this is. It’s almost like morning routines. You hear again and again, influencers, bloggers, podcasters, pretty much anybody who’s had a high level of success could say a good chunk of that. (And I know it’s kind of wiping it across the board, but it is due to a morning routine.)
I love to get up early. I love to have a pattern of how I start my day. And the pattern of how I start my day, no matter what time I wake up, sets my day up for success. I know what’s coming at me. I know what I’ll try to do. And I know it’s not going to all workout, but I know I’m going to give it my best shot. Why? Because I went through the pattern of starting out my day. The same with knowing your “why”.
When you know your “why” it gives you that umph behind your message. It gives you that power behind the words that you say. It wipes away guilt. When you feel like you should be spending time, maybe with your family, but instead you have to work on your podcast. The “Why” of why you’re doing it is going to wipe away that guilt.
It might not erase it completely from your life, but it’s going to be powerful enough to motivate you to overcome the guilt of not spending time with your family, that you’re going to spend time on your podcast.
Similarly, if you know your “why”, it will be a motivation strong enough to overcome yourself, to get yourself out of your way, to help people, to serve your people, to teach your people, to keep podcasting. And sometimes we can get into our own heads.
I know I’ve been dealing with that a lot lately, too. Thinking of “who are you, who are you to deliver that message? Who are you to have people listen to what you have to say?”
And to overcome that you are not just going to magically wake up one morning and be done with it. Right? You’re going to use tools. To push that aside saying, “I see you, I acknowledge you. I am feeling imposter syndrome” or something like that.
And then you can move it out of the way and say, “but my ‘why’, why I’m doing this is more than my imposter syndrome. So I’m going to get up and I will be doing this anyway, whether or not I feel like a fool.” That gives like knowing your “why” just this, the whole other meaning of it’s not just like, I need to have a persona in place. My avatar. Which we talked about in episode number two, it’s not just about that.
This is you and nobody else. Nobody else will probably be seeing this, but it will be behind everything that you do, which is amazing. It is awesome.
15-minute exercise to help you keep podcasting
Let’s jump into this exercise, we’ll probably take about 15 minutes. Grab a scrap piece of paper, open your Evernote, pull up a new card in asana, whatever you do, wherever you do it. Don’t try to do something new. Don’t start going into Trello if you’ve never been there before. just open up what you usually use and label it: “My Why” And we’re going to start with a question. I’m going to ask you a series of questions and we’re going to start with:
Where did you start from?
Where did you start from when you started this business, when you had this inkling of a dream of a podcast show, where did you start from?
What were you thinking? Write it down. What were you feeling? Write it down. What was the punch in your face feeling of I have to do this, even if I don’t have it all figured out, even if I don’t have the equipment, even if I don’t have fill in the blank, whatever it is, you have this like gut reaction pull on your heart? I have to do this. So what was that feeling?
Was it like I have all this knowledge and I need to share it with the world. Is it that I’ve gone through this God awful experience and I’ve overcome it. And I am going to be the best friend to the next person that is going through a similar situation. Like, what is that thing that got you started? What did that first fire look like for you in your heart? When you’re like I’m doing a podcast show, call me crazy. I am doing it.
Compare your “Why” from then to now.
Looking at where you are at now and looking at where you started from, is there something that is going on now in your “why”? Something about why you’re doing what you’re doing now? Is there something from your past that is still true today? Is there something from where you started from that is still true right now that is a common thread.
It could be that your “whys” shifted and changed so much you don’t recognize where you started from to where you are now.
But if there is a commonality between the past and the present, I want you to draw a line from question one to question two. And what is similar. Just pull it right out. Is it that you still are wanting to teach people, but the topic has shifted. Do you still really want to walk beside people? Is it still that you want to share your story? Like, what is that thing?
Is there a commonality between the past and the present?
Compare YOU from then to now.
Question number three, we are going to ask ourselves, looking back from where we started to where we are today, just as we pulled from our message in question number two, a common thread, a common theme. What about us? The person that we were when we started is not going to be the same as the person we are now.
But as the message is the story and testimony of what you’re doing and what you’re saying, is it still true for you? And if it is, draw a line from your question, number one down to question number three, and pull out something about you that is still true. You can circle the words that jump out at you that still describe that passion in your heart. Circle those words, because those are the words that describe who you are still.
So you are making sure that you are still aligned with the message. You are still aligned with the testimony and the transformation that you were teaching and sharing.
So question number two is you’ve reassessed your message, and you pulled out something common from the past to the present. Question number three is that you have pulled out something from the past to the present that is aligned with you and who you are.
And now that you’ve done all this, seen where you’ve been and where you are, I want you to ask yourself question number four.
Is it still true?
What you’re doing from the past to now, is it still good? Has your business changed? Has your messaging changed? Maybe your business pivoted. Have you niched down even more? So I want you to start putting a checkmark beside your answers for question number two. And your answers for question number three, if they are still good, if they are still true, and if they still apply.
If they don’t want you to scratch them off.
Objectively look at your “Whys”
Question number five is that I want you to go through your reasons of why you’re still doing this. And I want you to look at them objectively, picture yourself in your mind’s eye, looking at them, the words on the page about why you’re doing what you’re doing.
And I want you to look at it from above. Just try to remove the emotion from the situation. And I want you to look at them as if you are studying them in a scientific experiment type of way. And I want you to ask yourself: “are these ‘whys’ strong enough in three months from now? Are they still going to be strong enough for me to stand on so that I will still be doing my message?”
Any of your “why’s” that came out in question number two or three that are not strong enough, that you feel are not going to last you much longer, I want you to cross them out because those are not for you. And I just wanted to go through that almost like you’re putting pressure on them to see if they still work.
So let’s go do an example for this one.
Let’s say you have a friend, a really good friend and they are having so much trouble cleaning their house. They are desperate. They’re like, “Sharon, please help me come over and help me clean my house.” And I say, “yeah, sure. I’d love to help you out. You are my good friend. I’m going to help you. You are amazing.” And you go out and you help your friend and you guys clean their house together and it is awesome.
And time goes on and things shift a little bit as your friend is saying “can you help me clean my house? I actually can’t clean my house because I’m busy grocery shopping. Can you just come and clean it for me?”
And you go to their house and you are by yourself and you clean the whole house. It looks great, but your passion for it is kind of waning. And time goes on and your friend keeps asking you to do this. The reason why you started: to help out your friend with them to clean the house, is a great reason why you started, but it’s not a reason that’s gonna last you the long haul.
You’re not going to keep going back volunteering, cleaning the house all the time. When slowly your friend becomes disengaged with the whole process. The process has shifted, the processes changed. And the “why” you started out with is a weak “why” now.
The “why” that got you started then to help them clean their house is a strong enough “why” to help you get you out the door and to help them clean the house the one time. For the long haul, it would never last for 10 years. You wouldn’t, no. You’re not going to do that for 10 years.
If you’ve done that before you are a Saint, but this is just an example.
And what I mean is you need to cross off that “why”.
It doesn’t work anymore. It’s not going to last you the long haul. Everything with your message and your podcasting and your “why” has to be thought of in that long-term goal setting mindset because this is not a one and done, (unless you’re like a pop-up podcast to teach people a strategy while you are launching your new product or something. Maybe that’s something that you do.)
But if your “why” is set that you were going to help people or transform lives or serve your people or teach your people, then you need to be thinking of long-term strategies that are going to get you there. And a solid “why” with strong reasons behind it is what’s going to last you.
So cross off anything that’s weak, cross off anything in number two or number three that does not work for you anymore.
What is going to motivate you?
Question number six to ask yourself is “what are the one to three things that are going to motivate you?”
And I want you to be really specific here, like write out a situation, include words from a person about how you changed and transformed their lives. Include those words here.
But what are the one to three things that are still relevant from questions number one, two or three, that work? What are the ones that’ll fire you up still?
What are the three sentences you could say about why you were doing this thing you’re still doing? If you need to get super specific here and nothing is coming to mind right now, I have a little exercise. It’s a fill in the blank sentence. One that I actually did in episode number two and one I will be doing again in episode number five, but it is so powerful.
Related post: Who Are You Talking To?
And I just want to tell you a quick story.
For two years, I had been blogging and sharing, just random stories about my life and things that would help people. I wanted to serve and help people, but I couldn’t figure out a way to do that. And what the problem was is that I really needed to niche down.
And I hadn’t done that yet because it was too hard. It was too scary. Then, if you know my story at all, I jumped into YouTubing after blogging and I did YouTube for a good year. Did the courses and the coaching and did all the things with my teacher and my teacher is amazing.
But unfortunately, what I found out is that when I finally went through the whole entire process of niching down, my audience was not on YouTube. And that broke my heart, but that’s not the point. The point is that my teacher was super specific and said:
“You need to figure out who you’re talking to and why you’re talking to them. What is it that you are trying to do? Transform promise, teach, or change people’s lives. And you need to know.”
This is what you have to fill in. It’s a fill in the blank sentence, and this is a great, great starting point or a great refresher point.
I help ______ by _____ so they can _____.
I help ______ Who do you help? Who do you serve? So just mentally say that, who is it that you help?
By _____ How do you help your people? How is it that you change lives? Transform people, serve them. What is it that you do?
So they can ____. This here is your promise. This is why people will come to you and listen to what you have to say. This is why people will seek you out. What they will type in, in a Google search bar and you will pop up as their answer. What is the thing that they’re typing in the Google search bar? And how are you going to fix it?
This is your “why”, this is your promise of what you were doing. So that is your starting point. When you have that piece all together, then you have a solid starting point for why you, (you personally, the thing that nobody else will see,) are doing this. This starts right from here and can stem from here.
So I know I went through this process and it took me months to niche down from a huge lifestyle type blog, into a tiny time management type niche. And when I figured out that my audience wasn’t on YouTube, I was given the choice I could tweak and change my messaging. Or shift and journey onto a new platform, which is what I did. I jumped headfirst into podcasting and after YouTube, it’s super easy. I love it. And that’s what I did.
It still is a lot of work. Don’t get me wrong, but I know that you know that already. And how come I do all this work to put out my podcast? Actually, I have two podcasts. So why do I do all the work to put out two different podcasts?
Because I know my “why”.
And those weeks that I have that shake me, that feel like I am slogging through mud just to get out one episode, I need to go back to my “why”. “Why am I doing this?” And I want you to ask yourself that too, whether you never have before or whether you already mostly know and just need a quick refresher. Totally fine.
And, and don’t be afraid to dig deeper.
I think it was about a month ago, I was diving into the “why” of my writing aspect. And I kept asking, “okay, I’m doing it for this reason, but why, but why. But why?” So I just kept asking layers and layers deeper. And I talk a lot about that in episode number two. And I was free-flowing handwriting this out on paper because I can think faster and write slower. So it works for me to keep up if that’s the way to say it.
But as I’m writing it out, I just started crying because I wasn’t really being honest with myself for my first, “why”? And I dug a little deeper and I got more honest with myself, “but why”.
Keep digging deeper and just keep being super honest with yourself, because nobody’s going to see this. Nobody’s going to know, but be super honest with yourself. Is it about financial security? Write it down. Nobody’s going to see it. Nobody’s going to know, but you have to be honest with yourself and write down financial security.
Your “why” should move you, whether you cry or not. It doesn’t matter. You’re not me. I’m not you. That’s fine. But you need to have it written down in a way that moves you. So when you’re done free-flowing, writing it down, you read it over and you’re just like, “YES, this fires me up. This is why I’m here. And this is why I will keep coming back”
Because it is hard. It is not worth it. I’m sorry to say that, but it is not worth it if you don’t know why you’re doing this, I’m sure you can have an inkling of why, but I mean, I mean like die-hard, honest with yourself, smack in the face, I’m-super-freaking-honest-with-myself “Why”.
You don’t have to show anybody up. You don’t have to pretend you’ve got it all together. Just be honest with yourself.
And give yourself the respect that you deserve by stating clearly “why”.
Write down why you will keep podcasting
This brings me to my last point number seven.
If you did the whole entire free-flowing journal exercise and you’ve just gone for it until you have nothing left to say. Go back to question number six, where I said, pick one to three motivational sentences in there and string them together.
This is almost like your mission. It’s almost like your vision. And if you get them polished up enough that you’re comfortable with sharing them with the world, go ahead and put them on your contact page. Your mission and vision for who you serve, what you do, and why you are here. Go ahead and do that. That is awesome. But once you’ve picked out your three to one sentences that motivate you:
Write it down, write it down somewhere. Buy a cute little chalkboard at the dollar store or a poster board or a scrap piece of paper. Write it down, write it down messy. Write it down nice and pretty. And stick it on your wall. Stick it right beside your computer. Stick it somewhere where you can see it every day, like in your face.
Cause, especially for those weeks when it feels like you are moving through mud, you’re going to need this. You’re going to need this reminder. “Oh yeah. That’s why”. It might not feel as powerful as when you’re super revved up and motivated, but it’s going to be enough for you to keep going.
This doesn’t have to be a perfect keep going. It just has to be enough that it keeps you going. That’s all it has to do through those weeks that are really super tough, which is why a visual of it will be great. You could even like create a cute graphic and stick it on your desktop wallpaper. That would be kind of cool.
You’re going to need this.
Recap – how to keep podcasting
A quick recap of today and how we’re going to go through and hash out our why.
1| We’re going to write it down.
Scrap piece of paper or whatever app you use on a regular basis. Please do not start something new, but you are going to write it down. What it was like when you started? Why was it that you started? What was that thinking back, turning your mind’s eye to the past?
What was that passion or heart flare-up that you said “Yes, I’m going to be the brave one and step out and do this thing called podcasting”
2| Think back. Is there something that you did then that is still true for you today?
You are going to circle it. You are going to draw a line out of it, however, you want to lay it out. But you just want to make sure you pull out what was true back then. Is this still true now?
You’re going to pull out the things that are.
3| What is still true for you today?
Have you shifted? Is there anything that you see of yourself back then when you started? That is still true today? So it’s almost kinda like question number one through three is just taking stock of what was, is it still good? Is it still working? Yes. Awesome.
Keep it, expand upon it if you need to. Pivot it a little bit, if you need to shift a little totally fine.
4| Is there anything that is weak?
Any “whys” that are weak? Reasons why that will not get you to the long haul? This is a marathon. There are no fast sprints here. Cross it off, cross off anything in number one that does not work for you anymore. Cross off anything in number two, that is not good.
Question number 3 was to ask yourself, is this still true? Has this changed? And if they have changed, move on into question number 4, cross it off, cross off those weak reasons why. The ones that are not going to last you the marathon of podcasting, anything that’s still is good. Put a checkmark by it from question number two or three.
Anything that is not going to work for you, that is not true of what you are or what your business is today. Cross it off. It doesn’t work. Throw it out. It’s okay. We’re going to find something new for you.
5| What are the one to three reasons that you are doing what you are doing?
And I want you to be very specific here and how you’re going to be specific is that you are going to do a bit of a free-flowing journal-type therapy session. (If you want to call it that). I love doing it this way. It’s like the act of writing it out or speaking it out into your app or writing it out on a piece of paper. The speaking motion is slow enough for your brain to slow down. Cause sometimes it’s like we think too fast, right? It’s like we can’t keep up with our thoughts.
So speaking it out into your app will force you to slow down enough to articulate what you were feeling, what you are thinking about, why you are doing this awesome thing of podcasting. The act of writing it down, does the exact same thing as slows your brain down long enough for you to get it out on paper?
I love the writing it out part, and I want you to be super specific here, but more importantly, raw honest. Be true to yourself, be true to who you are. Be completely vulnerable with yourself. If financial security is what works for you right now? Write it down. It is Okay. Just be super honest with yourself and ask yourself, “okay, why am I doing this?”
And write that first thought down. Okay. But why? And write that, like, just keep asking yourself why. Go six layers deep, if you can. And I mean, just keep digging through what you’re thinking and feeling. Write it down. And when you’re done reading this whole mess of why thoughts down, I want you to pull out, as I said earlier at the beginning of question number 5, the one to three thoughts that are just like the heartbeat behind it all.
If everything else fell away and all that you were left was this handful of sentences about why you’re doing what you’re doing.
6| Write that down.
That is the handful of sentences you want to make sure you save, write it as a desktop wallpaper, write it on a scrap piece of paper and smack it on your wall. Write it on a beautiful poster board with beautiful calligraphy type handwriting and frame it for behind you. Write it as your mission and vision and stick it on your contact page on your website, write it on a chalkboard that you can buy at the dollar store, and stick it as a little prop up beside your computer while you’re working.
You can glance over and see why you are working so hard on what you were working on because it is a marathon.
It is tough, but you totally got this. Love you guys so much. And I’m so glad you tuned in with me today.
Thanks for reading today. I hope you found it helpful. You may also like the backlist of episodes, as well as my FREE PODCAST PROCESS CHECKLIST, all the things you need to do to bring your podcast episode from idea to published. It has all the steps laid out for you of how to bring each of your podcast episodes from ideas to life.
So print it off. Check off each step as you go through and create your weekly show. That way you’re going to know at a glance what’s left to do and where you left off.