I launched my podcast 10 weeks ago, to the day. It was never meant to be a life-changing project or one of the best podcasts out there, but I did have specific reasons for starting it the way I did.

  1. I wanted an excuse to interview interesting people. People are generally flattered when you ask them to come on your podcast, and I knew this would give me a reason to not only hear their story in depth, but to record it and listen back without being creepy.
  2. I wanted to build a digital backlog of valuable content. Every one of the conversations I’ve put out has been valuable to at least one person.

Before it launched, I was just beginning to build my personal brand and put it all in one place. I had a book, some impressive work experience, and social media pages, but that was about it. My digital paper trail was lacking and this seemed like a fun way to add to it.

It’s tough starting something from scratch. I had to accept the fact that I wouldn’t see much or any benefit from this for months, or years. I was also putting some pressure on myself. I had interviewed 6 people before I launched my first episode, so if I didn’t follow through, I would be letting people down. Social accountability is healthy.

I’ve already benefited massively from this project – and not all of it was intended.

I’ve picked up some valuable habits, insights, and book recommendations from my guests. I also learned about a wide range of topics from language-learning to parenting and everything in between.

I got better at asking questions and listening. It’s a noisy world, and everybody has something to say. I love to talk about myself, but my podcast has trained my listening ear.

Hosting a podcast interview is quite an experience the first time. There’s the pressure of the audience (represented by the recording device) that feels like it’s analyzing every word you say.

Guests aren’t always the best at staying on track, so you have to take control in the form of asking good questions. You have to tease the most valuable stories or insights out of your guest. It’s an art.

I’ve found that asking questions about specific events or memories are very helpful in teasing a specific and valuable lesson out of somebody.

I got better at speaking. Speaking in front of people is hard because you’re not just speaking your mind, you have to actively ignore the clear awareness that people are listening. This is hard, but the only way to get better is to practice.

I learned some basic design and podcast hosting. I didn’t have a budget to outsource any of this at the time, so I designed the logo myself and figured out all the mechanics behind RSS feeds and hosting a podcast on my own. Isaac Morehouse has an article that was very helpful if you’re thinking about starting a podcast.

If you’re on the fence, just go for it. Commit to 10 episodes. If you absolutely hate it, stop. It’s not about having the most popular podcast. It’s about learning how to provide value while developing yourself and your brand.