43 Men. 2 years. ManInside Show: Failures & Wins

Closing down the podcast — reasons & lessons learned.

Listen to the audio episode for this post below:

“My to-do is not having a to-do,” I replied to a very normal question of “What’s next on your to-do list?” from a friend.

The truth is I am kinda tired of to-dos. I don’t want my life to be another bullet list of to-dos and checkmarks and shit that I’ve accomplished just because someone else thinks it’s a great idea…

Today I am officially closing the ManInside Show project and stopping to produce the podcast that lasted for 2 years.

Here are the wins that I’ve hit during the 2 years of show production:

  • I have successfully launched and produced the ManInside Show podcast that hit #1 in iTunes’ New & Noteworthy Podcast category in the first 9 weeks
  • Learned about setting up a podcast, RSS feeds, microphones and equipment, tagging and exporting, audio & video editing, design and web development
  • Released 43 interviews that I have personally researched, scheduled, edited and published (last 5 episodes I’ve actually gotten help from a good friend who was working with me), including the one with John Gray, author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus and other 17 books about relationships
  • Worked with 2 interns, 3 virtual assistants, various mentors and supporters
  • Learned about email and social media marketing, traffic, SEO and all the other boring stuff that honestly, I didn’t care much about…

And here is the most professional video story I published from the show after Season 2!

Epilogue Season 2 Video

I’ve been on the road travelling the world as a digital nomad for more than a year now, have lived and visited 13 countries since then, currently have a well-paid job that allows me to work from anywhere, and am in a loving partnership with an incredible man.

And a lot of what got me here is a result of my work on the ManInside Show Podcast.

But it wasn’t like this just two years ago. In 2014, two years after graduating from the American University in Bulgaria, I was living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and having a full-time stable job at one of the coolest companies to work for.

I’ve just ended my 5-year old relationship with a loving man, moved up the career ladder to manage big and scary money projects, booked my next trip to Cambodia and Vietnam and decided to start my own podcast.

About Men.

I didn’t know anything about podcasting, audio or video editing, interviewing or booking guests, building a website or an online business, and especially, I didn’t know anything about marketing your own stuff online.

And that brings me to the biggest (however, not the most important) lesson that I’ve learned…

MARKETING is a bitch. Especially, if you can’t overcome your own imposter syndrome.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I breathe online marketing for a living. I know and practice quite a bit in the realms of lead magnets, video sales letters, open and clickthrough rates as well as high converting webinars.

But that’s for other businesses… not mine.

And so here are my realisations of why the ManInside Show project didn’t really become my lifestyle business as I had intended to (as I don’t consider them failures, only lessons learned):

  • I was a total marketing amateur when it came to my business. I simply couldn’t (or didn’t care enough) to put the necessary hours and effort into conversion rates, SEO, content marketing and all the other marketing that we are SUPPOSED TO DO for our online businesses
  • Maybe I am not a teacher and not a public person. I want privacy. Maybe my life is only mine to be lived. I have not figured that out yet…
  • I had a business plan and a revenue model, but wasn’t aggressively working towards it.
  • I couldn’t do it alone and I don’t want to. I am an extrovert by nature who needs alone time. But I love being around people and working with people. This online business stuff is a very lonely journey and I need a team. A passionate, dedicated team who cares as much as I do.
  • I am not a coach and other people’s relationship problems do not excite me. And that’s ok.
  • I have never liked the online relationship niche that by default I had become a part of and, therefore, my networking has suffered and competition had not been researched or paid much attention to.
  • Seems like this was really a self-discovery project rather than a business plan. Once I have achieved emotional freedom from men, understood myself deeply (btw, there is no end to this journey), healed from past trauma (no end to this one either!) and rediscovered my femininity, and have eventually attracted my partner — the project seemed to have served its purpose.

However, despite all that…

I am forever grateful and tremendously happy where I have been, where I am now and where I will be next. I do not regret a single moment of this journey (even its closing) and I cherish every single opportunity to learn, grow and discover — myself and the world.

So here is what is really really important to get out of all this. This is what I’ve actually learned and acquired:

  • Confidence

This project has literally proven to me that nothing is impossible. One moment I was just a girl from Moldova working in Malaysia, and the next one, I was the host and founder of a podcast about men. Things have changed quite suddenly and fast. I’ve learned that today there are no boundaries to what I can do, what people I can reach or how much money I can make online.

The cyberspace is the true land of opportunity. You can be no-one and podcast, create a business, or start your own Youtube channel. Anyone can do anything, as long as you have ambition, ideas and some common sense (ok, lots of common sense!).

I’ve also gained confidence to talk to any man or stranger on any topic possible (and, sometimes, impossible ;-) Try talking to 43 unknown men about sex and relationships and you will quickly gain confidence and wit about how to hold a conversation. Put me in a room with anyone, and I can produce a good interview and a soulful conversation :-)

  • Entrepreneurship

Oh, the rollercoaster… During the ManInside Show project, I’ve just had a glimpse of this entrepreneurship that I have called MENtrepreneurship. I loved every second of it: the thrill of having the ability to move mountains and the excitement of actually moving them, the darkness of feeling like a fraud and the frequent ups and downs.

I will always be an entrepreneur on my own terms which to me means creating value for myself and others through what I do, starting independent projects that bring me and others joy, and make the world a better place a.k.a solving a problem.

I have not yet seen an entrepreneur side of me that manages a successful business with stable predictable income from doing something I love (cause that’s my goal, yo!) but I am confident that I can do it now. Now, I can do anything I set my mind to and have enough passion. Ultimately, I know I need to follow what brings me joy, what I’m excited about and what has a feasible business model (if I want this as a business. Otherwise, I can just paint and knit and colour and interview men as much as I want!)

  • Emotional Freedom

Disclaimer: before I sum up for you my self-discovery journey during the existence of the show, I shall let you know that I’ve been working professionally in the personal growth industry for 4 years now so I have been exposed quite a bit to the concepts of living in the now, the power of positive thoughts and law of attraction. But bear with me, I have my own Eastern European approach to these things (which is quite skeptical and kinda down to earth, but not really ;-) Moving along…

Emotional freedom is something that if you manage to achieve, you will possibly be the happiest person ever. In your relationship, with people in general and with yourself. Here you can sign up for some awesome messages from Wanderova and also download a 11-page PDF ebook called “How to Stop Attracting the Wrong Men” where I go deep on the concept of emotional freedom as well as the subject of femininity and how this will help you attract the right men (if you’re interested).

Imagine being in a state where you do not wait for his message (no matter who that is), do not jump out of excitement whenever your phone rings or whenever he likes your Facebook photo. You go on with your life and you simply do not hang in there waiting, you move on, you give out this presence of “I don’t really give a shit, I have my own life.” However, you do not have a bitchy attitude (yeah, I’m talking about man-haters) and you are open to men and relationships… But he will have to work for it :-)

Trust me, if a man REALLY wants you, he will come and get you. You will know. You will feel it. It’s up to you to choose. Men have to “fight” for their women, otherwise it doesn’t feel like a prize to them. And yes, you are his prize. Every moment spent with a mature, self-confident, feminine woman with a healthy sense of self-worth is a prize to him. Because we are rare and because we have worked for it. Painful tears and stabs in the heart were among that work. So again, if you want to get more in-depth what emotional freedom means, click here to download your PDF ;-)

  • Femininity

My research on feminine and masculine energy and the relationship between the two has led me to some profound and fundamental understandings of how romantic relationships work. If you have not yet been exposed to these concepts, start reading and studying David Deida.

Once I understood the masculine/feminine polarity everything became very simple. I have started getting in touch with my core feminine side and read definitive studies and books on the subject like “Women Who Run With The Wolves”, John Gray’s books, and went through a couple of courses that actually teach you about femininity. And I fucking fell in love with it.

After the research I was like “Why did I try so hard to be a man all this time?” So I threw away my (masculine) balls and decided to become a feminine Goddess instead. And it feels amazing. Yes, it feels amazing to be a woman that knows her power and uses it wisely. Maybe that’s why I became in love with a fox and started colouring, buying myself flowers and long dresses, being in nature a lot and constantly wanting to cuddle.

And this is how and why attracted Him. The one who was already here. I call him Estring, he calls me Hashtag (cause I use #s in my posts. Yeah, whatever. I love it ;-).

  • My Man

I have found myself in a relationship very quickly after I arrived in Medellin, Colombia. I didn’t think I was ready nor that I wanted a boyfriend. In fact, I was really enjoying my emotional freedom from men and this new strange latin country of Colombia and its hot Spanish language.

However, the Universe thought otherwise. On my 4th day in Medellin I went to a casual digital nomad meet-up. Of course, I was the only girl (as usual) and, of course, I got attracted to the oldest, bearded Australian guy. I have always loved Aussie men and so he has arrived. Into Medellin, Colombia out of all places. But I didn’t take it seriously (remember, I was emotionally free!)

He looked nothing like I’ve imagined and this whole relationship started quite casually as a fling. In fact, we both were quite appalled by each other: he didn’t really like my straight-forward talk about sex and men, and I hated his tote backpack with a Yoda with headphones drawn on it and him always wearing his flip flops (he still wears them everywhere.)

But as we started getting to know each and having all these trips together I got scared. He was going for it full speed. My freedom has been endangered and my “wanderovanness” has been threatened. Of course, there was some drama involving another man in the picture but let’s not get sidetracked here.

I had no questions and no need to ask “where is this going?” Because he was just there and he wanted me. He had pursued me up until I gave in and opened up my heart. And I laughed. God, this man has made me laugh more than anyone I know. And I embraced the joy of being with a man who loves me for being a girl. And I am a girl. I have stopped trying to be a man a long time ago.

I wanted to run away but he had stopped me. I didn’t want to face the unknown of a “relationship” but he has brought me back. And I am grateful that he did.

After 3 months we moved in together and started working and travelling together. He is a nomad like me and all we need is wifi (love, and good coffee, of course) to be happy. Oh, and throw in some nice Mexican beaches into the mix.

Today we are are travelling the world, exploring cities and cultures together and exploring ourselves and our relationship.

This is a new chapter of my life where I am someone’s life partner again (after 2 years) but this feels very different. Not better or worse, just very different. More mature, more conscious. More like I am choosing to be with this man every day and he is choosing me.

He has opened me up, touched my deepest feminine core and embraced my wild nature. Our only agreement is this:

Oh, and one more requirement I have for him: You Keep Me Entertained. And boy, being an Aussie, he knows what it means 😉

We don’t know what the future will be and we don’t know much about it. We live here and now. We built plans 2 months in advance and mostly about where we shall travel and live next. Most of the times, we plan dinners. We are a team and we joke about being a #powercouple. LOL

We have not yet had a fight. I have not raised my voice or was stressed or frustrated with what he did or said. Simply because I am 100% responsible for my own emotions and reactions and if I consistently do not like a situation I am in, I am free to go. And he is free to do the same. He knows it and I know it and there is no point to discuss it.

He is so many other things but I won’t bore you with my heartfelt elaborations. My message is this:

If you are single right now, take the time to work on yourself, heal your wounds, lick your scars and love yourself. Once you manage to get yourself to a place of emotional freedom and taking full responsibility for your emotions and stop blaming him for treating you bad, being selfish, for not doing enough and, instead understand that you have a choice, everything will change.

Even when in a relationship this work doesn’t stop. There are situations where I don’t feel great in the relationship and my natural, default state is to blame him for making me feel this way. But the truth is that this is my reaction to his behaviour and only I am responsible for how I feel. So I make a quick decision of whether this is worth spending any energy or thought on and then I either move on (if it’s really nothing major) or I express my feelings to him and say something like “I feel X because of what you did or said and I would like for us to either talk about it or for you to possibly not do it again.” Most of the times he understands. Sometimes he doesn’t (because he is a man in the end) and then I switch to just discussing this subject with my girlfriends. And then I move on. But so far nothing major like this happened. We are still quite a young couple (it’s our 6th month together) but we are truly enjoying it and I hope it will remain this way.

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A lot of people know me as the girl who is talking to men about sex and relationships — Anna Rova. However, no matter how other people choose to define me, I am who I am and am not really defined by my passion project.

Because we are all free. Because IT is not my baby.

I am ManInside Show’s baby in so many ways. And this post is a dedication to these “baby” ways 😉

So what’s next? Well, a couple of things are brewing up! Cause, of course, I can’t just sit and have a normal life. The creative entrepreneur wants more, desires to create and shine!

So for those interested in staying in touch and getting occasional fun, deep and crazy updates from me, you can go here and just subscribe to receive these personal message from me. I think so much and discover so much on the road that I would love to share with you!

But I am currently loving this “break time.”

I have no agenda of scheduled posts for social media or episodes coming out…

I have nowhere to rush to with scheduling interviews and getting my landing page together asap…

No one to be accountable to make sure that my fans and listeners have their dose of sexy, good men …

Nothing to prove or justify in the sense that I need to push no matter what because this is who I am…

I would like to “anti-hustle” and detox for a while…I would like to create space for new ideas, new ventures, new people…I would like to have more time for the people who are already there and who I might have neglected because I’ve been so “busy”…

I am a gypsy and a hippie at heart and the world is my home.

The truth is I’ve always been an over-achiever. All of us out there should just gather around and hold a weekly meet-up and pray and praise the gods of achievement, ambition and “shit-to-do.”

The other truth is I am tired of constantly “doing”. We are taught to just do, do, do, take action, reaction and traction… We “do” so much that it simply became an act of just going with the flow where we don’t stop and ask ourselves the simple questions of “Does this really makes sense? Is this what I really want? Is this the smartest, most efficient way to go about this?”

I want to think more, to breath in the smell of fresh air, flowers and coffee with croissants… and just live. In all this hustle for “i-don’t-know-what-i-want-but-i’ll-keep-doing-it-just-because-GaryVee-said-so” we forget to live.

We forget to pay attention to what’s real, to what’s in front of us, to build a real genuine connection with people, nature and the world.

I want less.

And so this might be a “phase,” of mine, it might be me getting ready to settle and start a family in the magical island of Madeira in the Pacific Ocean or it might mean that something very important is brewing and I’ll be super famous in like 3 years.

But just like I didn’t know when the ManInside Show Project would end, I have no idea when the next one will begin. Or whether it will begin at all..

I don’t owe anyone anything and everything I do is for my own pleasure, development and curiosity. And this is how this project was born in the first place: out of curiosity.

ManInside Show has caused a revolution in my heart for two full years. And today it doesn’t anymore. Today I am ready for another revolution.

“Big Magic”, by Liz Gilbert

The project was driven by the curiosity to explore men, women, relationships and human connection. This journey has led me to unbelievable paths and alleys of self-discovery, transformation and tremendous growth as a person, an entrepreneur, and as a woman.

One thing I decided to do is write more about what I think, feel and conclude about the world, people and relationships. So I will be posting more articles here on Medium or go ahead and sign up at the bottom if you’d like me to send you an occasional email update of what’s rolling on the wanderova side 😃.

And yeah, there is no big website (not at time of writing), but I need your email so we stay in touch!

As usual, wishing you a life full of amazing men and heart revolutions!

Xoxo,