Why create a podcast that won’t sound good? Why create a podcast that won’t catch anyone’s attention? Why create a podcast people may not like? If you’re a podcaster currently in the “yet to be” stage, you’ve probably asked yourself these questions a lot — probably some others too. Many individual creators who come to us with questions about getting started, ask similar questions; all variations on the same formula: A good podcast has X, and I don’t have X. So should I start before I have X?
The answer to all these questions is yes. But you knew that before I said it. Let me tell you why the answer is yes.
Think about something you’re really good at.
Now think about how long you’ve been doing it.
Now think about the day you decided to learn how to do that thing.
Now think about how long it took you to get as good at it as you are today.
Your first podcast episode is going to suck in a multitude of ways. You’re going to feel uncomfortable behind the mic, you’re going to obsess over sounding “perfect”, you’re going to be terrible at interviewing, your editing skills will be laughable, and no one but your friends and family will listen to it. You’re going to feel useless as a screen door on a submarine and you’re going to judge yourself too harshly.
And all of that is good because…
Suffering, And The Willingness To Suffer, Is The Key To Sustainable Success
This is a maxim all manner of successful people accept as true and self-evident.
Imagine you’re interested in becoming a trail runner (in my case, I’d have to imagine really hard), and there’s this dangerous but highly rewarding 5-mile trail you heard about from a friend. It’s fraught with all sorts of hazards and most people can’t get through the first half mile of it.
You decide to run it. Before you do, you spend a couple of months running around your neighborhood to get your body used to running. Within a few weeks, you’re ready to try the trail.
The first attempt you twist your ankle half a mile in on one of the many holes sprinkled along the trail. You have to take a week to recover.
The second attempt you make it a mile, but you wind up stuck in quick sand and barely escape with your life. You lose your shoes in the process.
The third attempt, and with a new pear of sneakers, you make it 3-miles but run too loudly past a bear’s cave and the beast chases you back to the beginning.
This goes on for months until one day you skillfully avoid all the holes, leap effortlessly over the quicksand, sneak past the bear pit, take the secret path around the lava pit, carefully jump from stone to stone across a lake of piranha, and emerge from the other end of the trail to cheers and celebration — you made it.
You could have never preformed the way you did on the day you made it if you hadn’t preformed terribly all the times before. It’s not just that you didn’t KNOW about the quicksand, the bear, or the lava pit… it’s that you didn’t know how to navigate them. You had to experience the ways which didn’t work in order to discover the way which did.
You only got there in the end because you started and were willing to suffer countless failures in order to learn how to triumph. All winners started out as losers.
Your podcast might never be good, and podcasting might never do anything for your life… but you’re never going to know if you never take that first step and accept struggle and suffering as your wisest of teachers.
Don’t just start…
If you’re in need of podcast consulting or professional podcast editing and engineering services, consider reaching out the The Portland Pod at 207.295.6039 to schedule a free 30-minute phone call to talk about your needs and how we might help you meet them. Thanks for reading and take care.