Have you watched the international treasure that is Ted Lasso? I’m mid-way through the second watching of the first season (in anticipation of Season 2 coming in July) and can assure you that the show is every bit as amazing on a re-watch.
There’s an episode where Ted confesses to a reporter that he doesn’t define success by wins and losses. And of course, the entire episode goes on to illustrate why that counterintuitive and controversial stance is the absolute right stance to take.
If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to refactor that attitude towards podcasting and make this proclamation:
At the risk of offending David, success isn’t about building a big podcast. It’s about being proud of the work you do as a podcaster.
Are You Proud Of Your Podcasting?
To my religious friends out there; do your best to leave the “deadly sin” baggage to Sunday and think about the question: Are you proud of the work you’re doing in podcasting right now?
As a podcaster, you're making content, putting it out into the world, and putting yourself out into the world. As much as I’ve tried to remove the word should from my vocabulary… Dammit, you should be proud of the podcasting work that you do!
And if you’re not proud of the work you’re currently doing, you should (there I go again) be working on ways to get better at the craft of podcasting so that you are proud of your podcasting efforts.
Controlling Where We Place Our Pride
The concept of pride is a tricky thing. The word is overused, I think. We’re supposed to take pride in things we had little to no control over. Like the state or country we were born in simply because we were born there. Sounds more like something you should be thankful for or lament over, I’ll grant you. But proud of where you popped out? Weird flex, but OK.
None of us had any control over where we entered the world, but many of us are fortunate enough to have control—agency—of how we conduct ourselves as podcasters, and what work we put into the world. And that is something we should (again, Evo?) take pride in.
Letting Go Of That Which We Cannot Control
With all the churn, uncertainty, and doubt we're living through right now in podcasting, much of which is beyond our control, this is one thing we can control. So control it!
We can’t control podcasting’s macroeconomics. Money is going to flow into podcasting the way that money flows into podcasting. Like water, money tends to flow along established pathways, accumulating en masse in a few spots, either of accidental or intentional design. There’s very little any given show can do to impact that momentum, so try to not let that define your podcasting success.
We can’t control human behavior. Attention is always going to be disproportionately allocated to big podcasters who oftentimes say ignorant things that keep the spotlight on them for longer. As unfortunate as that is, there’s very little any given podcaster can do to divert humanity’s fascination with trainwrecks, so try not to let that define your podcasting success.
All most of us can control is the effort that goes into the shows we make. We can change the efforts we put into our shows and episodes. And those changes will, if we’re doing it right, change who we are as people, even when we’re not sitting behind the microphone, the DAW, the text editor, or whatever interface we use to proudly practice our craft as podcasters.
Thanks for that reminder, Ted. I know I needed it.
If you know of a podcaster who needs to be reminded that it’s OK to be proud of their efforts, please forward this article to them. From time to time, we all need this reminder, I think.
And if you wish to show me your appreciation for reminding you, please go to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra and slide a virtual coffee or 12 my way.
I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.