Welcome back from the land of food comas, stretchy pants and loosed belt buckles. I trust that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving break. I know we did.
Kristin and I took the kiddos to the Hyatt Lost Pines resort for a one night stay, last Tuesday. It’s one of their absolute favorite places. Collin kept walking around the grounds saying, “I love this place. It’s so boootiful.”
Ahh, the childhood innocence and gratitude.
Needless to say, it was a good opportunity to break up the monotony of what would have otherwise been a full week at home. And believe it or not, they actually went swimming. Yes, swimming in late November. Krazy kats.
Wednesday we celebrated Thanksgiving with my family and then Thursday we traveled to Kristin’s sister’s house in Boerne, to do the same. The rest of the weekend was mostly spent watching bad football — at least for my teams — and throwing up the Christmas decorations.
All that said, I was really looking forward to getting back in the saddle on Monday. I’m a creature of habit and routine, as you know. A full week away from “normal” always leaves me feeling a bit out of sorts.
To that point, I came home early Tuesday after a couple hours of work and as she usually does, Kristin asked how my morning was.
Whew, a relief! I told her.
You see, I release new podcast episodes on Tuesday mornings and the week before, I recorded a long one — almost 90 minutes in length. The final product, each interview, I usually like to cut down to around 30 minutes.
I’ve found that to be the sweet spot from both a guest storytelling and listener engagement standpoint.
However, this week’s guest — Tiesa Hollaway — was such a pleasure to speak with that our conversation ran considerably longer. The challenge then became how to best curate the 90 minutes of audio.
A number of hours later, I think we hit our mark.
But then ….
My audio transcriptionist dropped the ball. Unbeknownst to me, he decided to farm out the transcription to his “brother” who, let’s just say, did not have a very firm grasp on the English language. I did not catch the litany of errors until I’d already paid and waited too long to have it redone.
My mistake. Painful lesson learned.
To go back and redo a 45-minute written transcript took me, I don’t know, 3x as long. If not more. Frankly, I lost count. I only swore a couple of times in the process.
That, of course, ate into my time needed to write the episode article, upload to iTunes, queue up the promotion and do everything else required to provide a consistent guest experience.
So when Kristin raised an eyebrow at my Relief! comment, that’s what she got to hear about. All tolled, I bet I invested 15 hours into this episode, from start to finish.
Seems excessive doesn’t it?
For something that doesn’t pay the bills?
I get asked the question all the time … how do you make money from your podcast? I don’t get it. It doesn’t add up.
But you see, in my eyes, that’s completely the wrong direction to look. It all harkens back to the advice I was given years ago — pros focus on building relationships while amateurs place all of their focus on making sales.
It’s the exact reason why most traditional business networking environments feel so icky. So transactional. Laced with expectation.
I believe in taking an entirely different approach.
I look at myself not as a real estate broker or a even a podcast host. But instead, as a Community Builder.
Yes, we are building a community — an army— of people who share similar beliefs, values and principles. I’ll go back to the mission of Voices of Impact, as it’s stated on the website:
“Voices of Impact is an initiative dedicated to amplifying the voices of honest, hardworking, business owners, entrepreneurs, leaders and community organizers. People, just like you and me, who are admittedly imperfect, but who have soul. People who have ‘Do Good Things’ baked into their DNA. In other words, it’s a platform built to spotlight people on a mission to make an impact in their and for their communities.”
And truth is, people either get that or they don’t.
Those who do, you can see the lightbulb go off almost immediately. Those who don’t, well, all they know to ask is, “how do you make money off of this?”
So no, despite the challenges with getting this week’s episode published, I do not, for a moment, regret the extra outlay of time and attention. I do not view it as an expense. But rather, an investment.
An investment in community and in relationship.
Because if we are going to build the community that I envision, I already know it’s going to take time and it’s going to take sacrifice. Like anything worthwhile in life, building the right community is a compound effect.
Strengthening one link in the chain. Week in and week out.
Financially, on the front end, we get nothing. Unlike a Tim Ferriss or others, there are no sponsors lined up to pay thousands for a 20-second spot on Voices of Impact. We don’t charge guests to be on the show.
Instead, I tell them all the time, “You never know how your story may inspire someone in the community who is going through the exact same situation.”
You see, it’s a a different kind of currency. A currency of story and inspiration.
And quite frankly, Im not sure there is anything more valuable than that.
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