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Opening the Kimono: The Truth Behind Starting Something New

Written by on 09 Feb 2016

I know what I need… a podcast!

 

I’ll never forget that thought.

 

It was a stroke of genius. Nothing short of a full-fledged epiphany. I dare say, it was meant to be.

 

I mean, all the greats have their mediums. Why didn’t I have mine?

 

Picasso needed a canvas. Michelangelo needed a block of marble. Shakespeare needed a pen, paper, and a stage. Beethoven needed a symphony orchestra. King Jr. needed a speaking platform. Even Jimmy Fallon needed the Tonight Show.

 

It was fate: Tracy Timm needed a podcast.

 

After that fateful thought, I immediately committed myself to launching a Tracy Timm-branded podcast. I researched everything there was to know about podcasts. I listened to podcasts every available moment of the day (aka, driving). I interviewed people. I downloaded recording software. I figured out a way to record Skype calls in high definition.

 

I even dusted off the professional microphone my parents had purchased for me TWO CHRISTMASES AGO to get myself motivated.

 

And yet… here we are… February 9th, 2016… and still…

 

No. Damn. Podcast.

 

Some of you have been waiting patiently. Some of you don’t even know what I’m talking about. Some of you who were interviewed back in October of last year are probably wondering where on Earth that audio has gone and why in the world you wasted an hour of your life just for this girl to sit on your hard work and keep it from the ears of the world!

 

I know.

 

I’m sorry.

 

I promise it’s still coming.

 

In fact, there’s a very good chance we will launch as soon as next week.

 

But I wanted to use this as an opportunity to give you an insight into what it’s really like to start something new.

 

Sometimes, you miss all of your self-imposed deadlines. Sometimes you realize you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. Sometimes you question the entire endeavor and wonder why you even thought it was a good idea in the first place.

 

And sometimes, you get over your ego and start to ask for help.

 

I went through all of these and many more stages. And I realized something really important about the creative process. I realized the reason why we quit.

 

We are tempted to quit new things shortly after we start, because we expect ourselves to be perfect at them right away.

 

Society doesn't give us a whole lot of clarity into what it really looks like to start something new—from beginning to end, including failures and missteps, without being all dressed up in Instagram filters and professionally-edited book chapters. So when push comes to shove, we quit because we think it should be easier. If it’s this hard, then it’s clearly not meant to be.

 

We’re underserved in that way. No one opens the kimono and says, “Hey, I tried something new once. It didn’t go anywhere near ‘as planned’. At one point, I thought I was going to give up completely. But then, I kept going. And now I have this new thing. Here’s what that process looked like.”

 

Nobody does this!

 

And as someone who’s trying to create something new, I have to say…

 

This. Is. Infuriating.

 

But rather than complain about something then do nothing about it, I thought I’d try and change the cycle. Today, I’ve giving you a brief glimpse into what it’s really been like to start and launch a podcast with no previous experience. I thought I’d turn my “baptism by fire” experience into a sacrificial lamb for everyone else to use for their learning absolution.

 

The good. The bad. The ugly. The utterly misguided.

 

I hope it shows you that not everything comes fast. Not everything will be within your grasp right away. Not everything will be as elusive as it looks, either.

 

But the things that are truly meaningful and valuable are worth working through the ups and the downs of the creative process to attain.

 

With that, here’s what it’s really like to start a podcast, friends.

 

January 2015:

  • I got the brilliant idea to start a podcast.
  • Shortly thereafter, I put that idea on the backburner, but continued to tell people I will, in fact, launch a podcast.

 

July 2015:

  • I attended a conference breakout session about podcasting and left with a rejuvenated spirit to get this engine running again.
  • I naively thought that the podcasting session would teach me everything I needed to know about getting to launch.
  • I left the session more overwhelmed than when I started.
  • Despite all this, I added “podcasting” to my website’s permanent copy.

 

August 2015

  • I reached out to a friend and “fellow podcaster” for advice.
  • I neglected all of his advice, convinced I could figure it out on my own.

 

September 2015

  • I apologized for my ego, and start to implement my friend’s ideas.
  • I completed my brainstorming and finally came up with a title, format, and mission, including the fact that I will plan on posting 3 podcasts per week, which seemed manageable at the time.
  • I reached out to my first 10 interviewees , thinking that I could schedule and complete all these interviews by October.
  • I decide my launch date would be October 6th.

 

October 2015

  • My first interview gets completed, one month after I had planned.
  • I completed the other nine interviews, and after listening to one and estimating the time it will take to add intros, outros, and edit them together, I moved the launch date to November 3rd.

 

November 2015

  • On November 1st, I had the realization that I was nowhere near ready, and I needed to bring in the big guns to create a real plan: my mom.
  • We spent an entire day planning, and created a new launch date: December 7th.
  • We also decided to scale the podcast back to 2 posts a week.

 

December 2015

  • Two days before launch date, I’m almost there but I suddenly realize that if I launch 3 weeks before Christmas, I will have the least relaxing vacation of my life.
  • I decided to put everything having to do with the podcast on hold until after New Years.

 

January 2016

  • After taking a break from podcasting, I felt a weird relief.
  • I talked with a mentor and friend, who advised me to really evaluate whether a podcast would add to my business or not.
  • My mom and I had another all-day session, and finally decided that the podcast was worth doing, and could be launched this year.

 

February 2016

  • I was completed dismayed by my editing skills, and thinking about giving up despite really wanting this incredible podcast content to get out into the world.
  • I attended an event in Dallas and had the fortune of meeting the host of StartUpDallas Podcast, who mentioned that they have editors on staff who do all the nitty gritty work while he just gets to host.
  • I had never thought about hiring an assistant, but I decided to go on Upwork to see if I could find a virtual one.
  • I have engaged 2 different editors who have both completed sample assignments for me, and I’m going to engage with one on a weekly basis (because I'll only be posting once a week, now!).
  • The podcast will launch as soon as humanly possible.

 

So there you have it.

 

Nothing is easy. Nothing is straightforward. Nothing is ever “final”.

 

But one day, the pieces will come together.

 

The only way the pieces don’t come together is if you quit.

 

I am fully committed to getting a podcast out into this world. I know it’s bumpy. I know it’s not all buttoned up. I know that sometimes my brand and image suffer when I’m trying to do something new and it doesn’t go as planned.

 

But I also know that if I don’t share my journey, there are people out there who won’t have the encouragement they need to take that much needed first step on their own journey.

 

I hope this post shows you that just because something is hard or doesn’t come easily to you doesn’t meant that you should give up on it completely. Keep working hard for your dreams.

 

I also hope this post shows you that the podcast… is indeed… coming soon!

 

And I can’t wait to share it with you.


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