Astute listeners of the audio versions of the last two episodes will have noticed a different sound. That's because I'm in San Diego, mere steps away from the beach and soaking up all the mid-70 degree temps I can for the rest of the week.
I made the trek to escape the heat of Phoenix, obviously. But also, I did it to let the waves and seabreeze recharge me.
Because it’s important to recharge. I wish I had realized that earlier in life.
I get mislabeled as a Type A personality all the time. Probably because I remember all the dance moves from when I was a Type A personality. But I made a compromise with myself a few years back to stop trying to do everything or be everywhere. Even though there are a lot of people who really want me to do more. Or better stated, expect me to do more.
Often, these are the same people who profess admiration and amazement at what I’m already doing. They marvel at my ability to record, produce, and publish a daily podcast, committing no less than four hours a day to the process. And then somehow managing to run a podcasting consultancy at the same time.
But apparently, I’m not busy enough, as they're often quick to offer up a list of other things they think I should be doing. Or better stated, expect me to be doing.
Don’t get me wrong: I love it when people bring new opportunities to me. So if you think I might have been talking about you when you read the above paragraphs: I might have been. But please don’t stop.
I’ve become quite good at saying “no” and passing up opportunities that either aren't a good fit for me at the moment or are cool-sounding things that are likely to throw me and my mental health out of balance. And I like the balance I have with my mental health right now.
But you, working podcaster, may not be in a place of balance. Or your balance might be less steady than the one I’ve worked to achieve.
But Setting Boundaries Is Hard For Many Podcasters
We’re living through a time of extreme growth and disruption in podcasting, which makes it even harder to find and keep some semblance of balance in our lives.
If you’re relatively new to the podcasting world, you quite smartly may be trying to increase your luck surface area by being everywhere you can and trying to connect with everyone who’ll take a meeting with you. It’s important to network, and being seen at key events is a great way to boost your podcasting cred.
Or maybe you’ve been podcasting for a while and are (finally!) seeing some modest success with your podcasting efforts. And now you're thinking of investing more time and more energy so you can reap more rewards. Good for you!
Alternately, you may find an opportunity has just dropped into your lap. The universe does that sometimes, and you’re suddenly seeing a path to a pot of gold or whatever it is that motivates you right over there. And all it takes for you to get it is just do more. Passing that up seems rather foolish, regardless of what’s already on your plate, right?
Chances are, some of that filled you with anxiety, stress, and a general feeling of “Oh shit. How am I going to get all of this done?”
And to be fair, those can be helpful feelings, motivating you to grow. There’s a kernel of truth in the adage, no pain, no gain.
But let me impart another nugget of wisdom: Opportunity will knock again.
Sometimes, it’s the very same opportunity, or one quite similar. When it shows up again, perhaps you'll be in a better place emotionally and mentally to accommodate.
Other times, the new opportunity looks totally different but is even more enticing than the one you passed up before. One that you could not have taken had you rushed to grab that first opportunity you really didn’t have room for. But you did, so now you have to pass up a better one. Boo.
Occasionally, you may realize that passing up on an opportunity is as much of an opportunity as the opportunity itself. Only this time, it’s an opportunity to refocus on your own mental health. Doing so just might keep you in the podcasting game for that much longer.
I'm living proof of that. I had to develop the ability to say “no thanks” or “not right now”, and I credit that development as a big part of why I've been in the podcasting game for nearly two decades without becoming a bitter, crusty old bastard. Or perhaps better stated, more of a bitter, crusty old bastard.
Your mental health is just that: your health. Treat it as such.
Thank you for being with me the past month as the show kicks off its fourth season. If you’re finding value in the thoughts and ideas I present to you each day, please consider returning some of that value by going to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra. Value for value contributes to my mental health too!
If you’re going to Podcast Movement ‘21, have fun. And be safe! The new COVID19 variants are serious. Your vaccination makes it unlikely you’ll get seriously sick with the disease, but it doesn’t exclude you from taking the virus home to your community or family. So mask up!
I’ll be attending the event virtually. I’ve blocked off the days from my calendar and watch a slew of different sessions from the comfort and safety of my living room, looking forward to attending in person next year.
I shall be back on Monday with yet another Podcast Pontifications.
Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra. He’s on a mission to make podcasting better. Allie Press proofed the copy, corrected the transcript, and edited the video. Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.