Pod-Crashing Episode 16 Know Why You Want To Do It

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Pod-Crashing Episode 16: Know Why You Want To Do It Shaking hands with the future without getting a good look at who it is I’ve just met. That’s how I describe this lifestyle. If you aren’t prepared to let it consume your every thought and time schedule it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to start. I recently had this conversation with a well-known and highly respected movie critic who wasted no time telling me that he prefers to be a guest on podcasts without ever having to host them. Here’s the thing. Paul Stanley of KISS says it best when he meets fans and followers that mention how they’d like to one day get into music. If you’ve burped up those thoughts then don’t leap into podcasting. It’s not being a jerk! It’s being honest, upfront and very forward without you having to guilt trip your journey into another wall of failure. My entire 40 plus years of radio have been flooded with men and women who’ve been told they have a great voice and think they should get into broadcasting. Or those that come out and stick their stake in the mud “I once did college radio. I was thinking about getting back into it.” First… I’m not gonna stop anyone from dipping their big toe into a giant pool of nobody knows where this is growing. I’ll say it again. If you think you’re going to get into anything and you feel like you have to tell people without ever taking the first steps… Don’t injure your heart and willingness to want to create. I’m still pissed off at myself for getting into canvas painting 250%. I invested my soul into the process of creating and marketing. I thought I had what it took to be a little better than good. I was making money at local shows and wanted to nationwide. The moment we opened a show in New Orleans and the critics came out I was done. I’ve never lifted a paint brush again. The only reason why I’ve spent 40 years in radio is because I can’t shake it free from my frame. I live it. I breathe it. I fail with it and find better things to do other than sit and stew. I keep pushing beyond what others will never see. The darkness, the lonely times when you think you’ve got a brilliant idea and flops again and again. If you’re gonna take one or three swings at podcasting and leap back onto land. Save yourself the time and buy into a different ship. I love Chinese food, hotdogs and perfectly broiled steaks but you won’t catch me on the streets of America trying to sell it from a food truck. Those that live the life and style wouldn’t kick me out of the race but they’d be honest enough to tell me how deep you have to dig before you can drink a sip of whatever it is your chasing. I get that podcasting is a great hobby. I started my radio life in 1976 hidden away in my Billings, Montana upstairs bedroom using a Mr. Microphone that could be heard a thousand feet from the house. I know how the local DJ’s handled me when I’d call in and ask simple questions about delivering the right words over a song intro. Most of them would chuckle and simply put into the air, “Don’t get started if you have to ask these sort of questions. Experience it first then grow into the path of speaker talkers.” I actually didn’t instantly fall in love with radio or podcasting. It was a feeling that I needed to be part of it all costs. It reminds me of how I got into martial arts at 42. I wouldn’t allow it to be my midlife crisis. If I was going to take classes it was to become more than a black belt. It was gonna have to be the way I lived the rest of my life. This is the part of the radio station conversation where the program directors would lean into the conversation and bluntly fork out a harsh thought, “Get the passion out of your game. It’s injuring you. You’re taking things way too seriously. The only thing we want from you is to do your job. Radio isn’t an art gallery. It’s a business.” Harsh right? Broadcasters hear it all the time. Podcasting will soon make the same evolutional changes. The big guys have arrived and in their business eye it’s a business. They want to make money and they want to do it now. iHeart and Spotify aren’t messing around with who is thinking about getting into the podcast circle. By the time you decide to take that leap of faith there won’t be any more room inside this oversaturated digital world. If it’s truly what your heart is commanding podcasting is going to require more than a USB microphone and a recording device. Growing into this pair of shoes meant discipline. Just because your studio might be in the coolest room in the house doesn’t guarantee your family and friends will allow you enough time and space to keep up with the rat race. My wife didn’t understand any of my dedication and passion. There I was trying to hone the skills of creating content for an on demand listener and she wanted to know why I didn’t find another radio station to drop my vocals over the latest in music. Podcasting was first introduced in the latter part of the 1980’s and it’s still one of the biggest mysteries of the industry. Is it because those inside radio watched AM stereo and HD radio take the route of no listener interest? The good news is, listeners don’t have to purchase fancy radios to pick up the sounds nor do they have to wait for carmakers to redesign the dashboard of cars. Conan O’Brien can’t enough of the digital stage because in his words it allows him to get closer to those that have brushed across his night show without ever truly getting to know them. You can hear the drive to be a leader in his voice whereas I felt nothing in the Ron Burgundy series. It doesn’t mean it was bad. I love Will Ferrell. I’d love to hear just him being himself. Like Chelsea Lately. She’s nailed the purpose and the plan. So what’s the moral of the story? Podcasting is always going to be a toy. It’s inviting to every age group whether you’re rich or living off the street. It’s incredibly fun but it’s very time consuming and needs a lot of attention. When those numbers start rolling in and your listenership is motivating your drive to reach out there even further don’t spoil the moment and tell people it’s a hobby. The emotional connection you make with listeners isn’t a game. Fans and followers love to hear you sweat while having a good time on the net. The moment you tell them that it’s not really what you want to be doing it’s like you cheated on their time. Remember it’s always their choice to find you then come back. Don’t be telling people you’re thinking about creating a podcast. That’s no different than someone walking up to me and forcing their vocals into a lower range trying to sound like a disc jockey. If you’re gonna play. Play for real. Get muddy. Find failure and grow from it. Discover your voice. More importantly teach your path.

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