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I have been talking to you about all week about making the shift from amateur/hobbyist to podcasting professional. You already have the reality check I gave you on Monday, and now you know that you going pro is different than having a pro podcast. On Tuesday, I helped you understand the skills and the abilities you have that need to be leveled-up to get you on the pro podcaster track. And on Wednesday I offered some suggestions on the people you need to surround yourself with and collaborate with who can get you closer to your goal of going pro.
But it's all going to boil down to this: Your mindset and your commitment to seeing this through.
I'm not a motivational speaker. I'm not here to put you on a fast-track to success. I'm not here to give you a list of action items. I don't have methods. I don't have formulas. All I have to offer is some encouragement, and maybe some unconventional ways to think about this industry of podcasting.
Specifically, I have some unconventional thoughts about the mindset you need to cultivate that can help with your commitment. Because you know this takes commitment. You know that you’ll have to really focus. You know you'll have to sacrifice. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm not worried about those platitudes.
All I want to do with this last episode in this miniseries is to tell you two things that will help get your brain thinking about this in the right direction. Just two things.
1. There's a very good chance that you will not succeed.
Bummer. But it’s reality. No matter how much effort and energy you put into becoming a professional in the world of podcasting… it just may not work.
Yes, the field is exploding. There's a need for people at all levels of podcasting, with a variety of skills that you may possess. But just because there's a need, it doesn't mean you're going to fit the bill. It just doesn't. So when you're thinking about the commitment required, I need you to keep in mind that it might not happen. I know that’s not the way “The Secret” works. But here's a secret. “The Secret” doesn't work. It’s bogus.
Yes, if you commit yourself to a goal and get your mindset focused on that goal, your chances of succeeding are great. But there’s also the chance of you not succeeding. You need to be OK with that, OK? Nothing is guaranteed.
2. Success might look completely different than what you're thinking about right now.
In fact, it's likely that’s going to happen. As you're going through these efforts to become a podcasting professional, keep your eyes open for opportunities. Remember: your goal is for you to become a professional in the podcasting space. We don't know what that might look like six months from now, let alone six years from now. We just don't.
As you go deeper into this and really commit to finding a way to carve out a professional niche for yourself, be alert for opportunities. You don't know where they're going to come from. There are paths to success that neither you nor I -- nor anyone else! -- has seen before.
I know that some people need a detailed plan, a promise to give up watching TV at night, and to make a pact with their family that allows them to spend all of their weekends learning new things. If that’s you, fine. You do you. All I’m asking is that you keep your mind open to the idea that something different might happen. Something might show up on your radar that you didn't even know about, and you certainly weren't considering.
But that thing just might get you to the next step. It could be somebody who asks you to collaborate. It could be some random person who reaches out on Twitter asking for 15 minutes of your time that turns into a one-off podcasting project. A project you get paid for. You don't know where these new opportunities might come from, so keep working to increase your luck surface area.
If you do that, and if you're not afraid to fail, then I think you've got a pretty good chance of becoming a professional podcaster.
If that's what you want. It's not my goal to make everybody into a professional podcaster. I think the lion’s share of podcasting will continue to be dominated by hobbyist, amateurs, and people just having fun with the medium.
But there’s never been a better time to think about going pro.
Enjoy your weekend! I shall be back on Monday with another Podcast Pontifications.