This won’t be the last time I do something for the first time
I might be really bad at the start, and I’m not going to apologise for that. I’m actually proud of that fact. As Jake from Adventure Time says, “sucking at something is the first step to becoming sorta good at something”.
Lately, there has been a phrase muttered to me more and more often by those who are close to me. Friends and family have said it from time to time over the past few years but recently I’m hearing it more and more.
“You’re such a maker-things-happen — it’s great.”
Okay, so it’s not the most grammatically correct statement, but you get the gist.
Rewind to 2009 — As I made my way through my bachelor of design, with a semester overseas, I returned to Melbourne and upon graduation, I found myself hitting a wall. I had to work in shitty jobs because I couldn’t land a proper design role, despite having graduated with reasonably decent grades and a good folio. After what felt like hundreds of job applications and countless interviews, I could not catch a break. I was told “we like you, we like your folio, but you just don’t have the experience.” Obviously, pal — I’m so fresh out of uni I’m still green.
This was tough to hear, as I wasn’t in a financial position to be able to volunteer my services. So I picked up a cushy job. After two years or so working as an outbound telemarketer (cold-calling is a bitch, [that sales knowledge actually goes very far — more on that another time)], I had saved up enough money to pick myself up, and go backpacking around Europe for 4 months, and ended up planting myself in London. Finally, I landed a design job! You have no idea how much of a relief it was. “Gee, I mustn’t be that bad after all,” I told myself. “It must have been the shitty Melbourne market!”
London is a cold and cruel city. The hustle is real. The people are hard, and if you don’t work your butt off, you can drown in no time. This was the perfect environment for me to set up and thrive. Once I had the job I needed, I stumbled across a little podcast by the wonderful Pat Flynn, you might have heard of his show The Smart Passive Income Podcast. Boy, did that blow my mind! The idea of working for myself was always something I had dreamt of. And now I could listen to people who were actually doing it, and making things happen. Heck, if those people could do it, why not me?
The whole world of podcasting, which was completely new to me at the time, seemed so far out of reach, but it had piqued my interest. After hearing an episode with Noah Kagan (App Sumo), I decided to email Noah telling him how I was planning to start a podcast. He wrote back to me, much to my surprise.
All the email said was, “what’s stopping you?”
I was actually taken aback. After the initial shock, I sent back my well revised list of things I needed to prepare before starting. It detailed everything from coming up with a show structure, name, content, the logo design, microphones, recording equipment, editing software, domains, hosting and the list went on. I had done my research, you see. To all of which he replied, “record it on your phone, and email it to me tomorrow. :)”
What. The. Fuck.
Who was this guy? Thinking he can come in to my life, shake up my well thought out plans, and interrupt my overly complicated list of things to do which I didn’t even know where to begin. Could it actually be that simple?
Yes. It was.
That night, my colleague (co-host) and I, stayed late after work. Opened up the Macbook. Used some shitty free software to record half an hour of our ramblings. We uploaded it to soundcloud. This was our ‘pilot’ episode.
The following week we had sourced a mic from one of the IT guys at work. We’d decided on a name and even managed to get a friend to help create the theme tune. We came up with a witty name and artwork design.
For the next, 24 weeks following, every Monday, we would do the same thing. Staying back after work, and recording our latest episode. We got better and better every time — adjusting along the way. It was never perfect, but it was fun. We learnt a lot, and we got it done. After all, one is better than none.
So, that’s what this is. This is the first time I have published a post on Medium, and it certainly won’t be the last.