The Business of... Podcast

What’s Worse? The Fear of Failure or Fear of Success?

Last week I finally got on the podcasting bandwagon and published my first episode of Series One: The Business of Coaching and Mentoring.

After almost 15 years’ in the radio business I was surprised by the utter fear of putting myself out there on YouTube and platforms like Spotify. Questions like the following:

  1. “What if no one listens?”
  2. “What if after all this time in radio I actually have no idea how to craft a podcast?”
  3. “What if lots of people actually DO listen and then bark that they wasted how ever long they listened for of their lives?”
  4. “What if it actually succeeds?”

A lot of critical self talk… The second being the most ridiculous, following the success of a podcast coaching workshop I gave to DFDS, the shipping company, which went very well and I loved leading.

I’m also writing a Wiz-Guide to Podcasting book right now that, if I could get over the sporadic feelings of imposter syndrome, I would finish and publish.

I do know what I’m doing but it’s hard to believe it sometimes, especially as knowledge gained always seems to proceed that empty-headed feeling that we have so much more to learn. The more you know the more you realise just how much you don’t know. I’m not sure who said that but someone did and it really resonates.

I am comforted by the slow burn characteristic of podcasting. No, it’s not going to go viral in the first week. Who has the marketing budget for that? It’s fine. Slow and steady will do nicely.

It has taken a lot of work by myself and my wonderful production assistant to get these shows ready to release, but it begs the question: Why are we doing this? Is it for snazzy stats and chart topping numbers?

In actual fact, although lots of downloads would be a lovely ego boost, this is not how I measure success. I do this because I love being on the mic and interviewing fascinating people from all over the world on their passions and expertise. I do this because I love to learn from my guests. I do this because I love having the ability to then share my guests energy and knowledge with whoever feels it will resonate with them. Different guests will reach different listeners and I can’t wait to hear that someone who has heard an episode has been in touch with the guest. That’s the real dream. To connect people with those that might be able to help them. Whether that be in a coaching environment from my first series of interviews, or a follow up message to a guest of thanks for the tips they gained on digital marketing from my second series.

I do it for the love of the process.

I am very lucky that my work as a broadcast journalist on a local UK station has given me the knowledge, technical and interviewing skills to transfer into the podcast world, so why am I afraid?

If it flops, no matter, i’m still on the radio. If it is seen as a success, well now why does that bother me?

This feeling reminds me of when I was planning to try and be a musician full time. After a number of song writing sessions, rehearsals and gigs I dropped this dream. Why? It wasn’t a fear of failure, it was actually a fear of success. Do I want to be in the limelight? Do I want “exposure”? Do I want to open myself up to criticism and ridicule? In fact, no… I would rather make a small difference to a few humans while staying in the shadows.

Success, in my understanding of the word, is not measured by the number of followers you have or how many downloads you attract on your podcast. It is measured by the impact you have on those you are connected to and the joy you feel from the process.

I’m a week into the podcast publishing gig. From the feedback i’ve had from a few individuals I feel close to, I’m happy to say it is, in my eyes, a success.

Bring on S1 E2 with Helen Calvert, coming out 8 June 2023.

To find out more about why I do this, check me out (on camera AHHHH!) chatting to Jack Leatherbarrow on our Introduction to The Business of… Episode:

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