Why I’ve Been Ghosting My Podcast

by | Oct 14, 2022 | Personal Writing

I accidentally took a 3 month break from my podcast – oops! In this episode I explain why, including:

  • Why my business stopped feeling right
  • The 2 questions I used to get back on track
  • The unexpected business of being forced to STOP
  • How I launched a new product using email marketing alone
  • What to do if you want to break up with Instagram

Prefer to read? Here’s a transcript:

Well, it’s been a little while hasn’t it friends? I unintentionally ended up taking a bit of a break with my podcast. It wasn’t the plan. In all honesty, it’s just kind of happened. I am a creature that often follows my own will and if something doesn’t feel good, I just tend to not do it and go find something else to do instead. And for a little while, there are quite a few things about my business didn’t feel that great. So that’s kind of what I want to talk to you about on this podcast today.

I have no script. So there’s probably going to be more ers and ums than you’re used to. So apologies in advance, but I will try my hardest to stay concise off the top of the old noggin. So yes, a break. I actually ended up taking all of April off, and then most of May as well. Now the reason for this is that we moved house. So my husband got offered a job that was just his dream job essentially so we couldn’t really say no to it. I say we because it did involve moving across the country, which wasn’t in our plans. However, my husband has spent long enough supporting me in business that it felt like it was his turn to chase his dreams for a bit. And of course, I’m going to support him in that. But what it meant is that really I just hit pause on my business for most of April, because of the logistics of him actually starting the job before we’d moved, it meant that I had to take on a lot of the responsibility of packing up our place on my own. That might not sound like a big deal. However, we were living in an 11 bed bungalow, which wasn’t necessarily by choice. Like it was great. Don’t get me wrong. And I know 11 rooms, sounds proper fancy and all that. But honestly, it was way too big for just me, my husband and our two cats. Like there was three bathrooms. Can you imagine the cleaning?! Don’t, it is not worth it. Anyway, long story short, I had to do all of the packing as well as trying to manage selling a load of furniture, because the place we have now moved is basically five rooms, because it’s quite open plan in the kitchen and living space. So yeah, quite a bit of, downsizing, quite a bit of admin. And to top it all off, my husband actually got COVID as well. So he was down and out for a little while. And this might sound pathetic, but I don’t usually cook in our house. That’s his job. He cooks, I clean. However, for that fortnight period where he had COVID I was also having to figure out how the hell to provide meals for a human other than myself.

So yes, my business had to take the back seat for a while. And honestly, it’s probably the first time in my nearly four years of doing this. But I’ve properly stopped not just like pretend stopped where it’s like, yeah, I’m gonna have a break or yeah, I’m gonna go on holiday. But secretly the whole time I’m still thinking about my business. I’m still thinking about what content can I create? Is this an Instagram moment? Should I take a picture so that I can share it later? This was like a full on handbrake on, engine off, out of the car, and busy doing other things. I literally had no space in my brain to even consider my business. And yeah, like I said, it’s the first time that’s ever really happened. And what I didn’t expect is that not only did my business stop for a little while, I did expect that, but all the self doubt, all of the questioning myself, all of the constant introspection, constant need to manage my thoughts. That all stopped too. It’s the first time I’ve really realised that most of the pressure I put on myself, it genuinely is self created. I wasn’t thinking about what my offer is gonna be. I wasn’t thinking about what content I should be creating. I wasn’t comparing myself to anyone. I was literally forced to be very much in the present moment. And my God, did I need it? Yes, it was stressful. Yes, it was a lot, but it was also so enlightening.

So although I only originally intended to take April off, I actually ended up taking May off as well because I was just, firstly super knackered, but also that distance that I had created between me and my business, I felt quite disconnected from it. So jumping back in just didn’t feel like an option. I had to figure out what is it that I actually want to jump back into. And really, I would say there’s two main lessons if you like, maybe that’s not the right thing to call them. But two main points that came up; points of consideration for me. Firstly, it was the absolute realisation that the way I market my business, the way I show up and get visible is not sustainable. Because in April, at that point in time, the only place where I would go to talk about my business, to connect with people, to find potential clients and customers, was Instagram. And if I wasn’t showing up on Instagram, on stories, posting more content, people weren’t seeing me, they weren’t finding me, it wasn’t like all my old posts kept getting comments and anything like that, it was literally ghost town on there.

Secondly, the way my office was structured and what I actually had to sell and do business, if you like, it required me to be physically present, expending energy. It required me sat down in front of a laptop engaging with another human being. If I didn’t do that, if I was unable to be present, I was unable to make money. Now for a long time I’ve wanted to create a passive product. And when I say passive, I think there’s a misconception around that word, where it’s not that I just expect it to sell itself. But more I can sell it. And then once somebody has purchased it, they can crack on, they don’t necessarily need me 24/7 to get the transformation. So yeah, I had wanted to have a passive product for a while. And I’ve been thinking about how I can turn a lot of like my methodology that I use into a self study course. But it just hadn’t quite happened. And I know personally, like I’ve spent a lot of time with myself, pondering the way I work as a human being. And I know that if something’s not happening, it’s not usually because of procrastination. It’s usually because something about it doesn’t feel right. And I know if something doesn’t feel at least 85% right, I’m not going to take action on it, I am then going to procrastinate. But like I said, it’s not just because of laziness. And it’s not even necessarily because of fear of failure or anything like that. It’s genuinely because something in me knows this ain’t quite right, yet, you’ve not quite got it. It’s not quite worth spending energy to bring this idea to life because I’m not sure this idea is the one. But after having to put my business on hold, essentially, for two months, I realised that I needed to find out what it was that could become my passive product. So those two things that I needed to change were one, how do I actually connect with my audience? And how can they discover me? And how can they get to know me quickly without needing me to be present and online 24/7? And two, how can I actually have something to sell, which also does not require me to be physically tied in front of a laptop to deliver said product or service?

Now, the other unexpected benefit from taking this time off in my business is that I managed to really empty my brain of everybody else’s shit. And what I mean by this is that I didn’t have other people’s businesses or ideas in my head. And I think this is something that can happen so easily without us realising it, we go onto Instagram and before we know it, suddenly, we’re thinking we should do something that somebody else is doing, because that looks like it’s successful. Or to be honest, sometimes it’s like that looks kind of fun, I feel like I could get into that. However, I know for a fact, if I hadn’t seen that person doing it, I never would have really said, oh, I want to go do that thing. It largely comes from a place I think of my brain trying to be efficient. Like if somebody else has figured it out, I can conserve energy by just doing that instead of walking my own path and figuring it out for myself. That’s not how business works for me. Unfortunately, I kind of have to figure it out. Because I do have quite a specific nature in terms of how I like to work. And it’s not necessarily the way that most others do it. But yeah, it was an amazing benefit to really have a clear head. And the questions that I asked myself essentially is, what would I want to do? What feels fun? What comes naturally to me what feels sustainable? And where do I think I can most contribute and help people right now, without me having to be physically present the whole time? It was as simple as that.

And in terms of what comes natural to me in terms of the way I create: writing. It’s always been writing and it’s always been specifically storytelling. I love telling stories. I love listening to stories. I love understanding what makes stories work. It’s been the thread that’s connected my whole life. I was obsessed with reading books as a kid, I would get shouted up all the time for staying up too late reading. It was really that ability to step into somebody else else’s life and gain a new understanding about how the world works, how people work, how certain things might feel. It’s a way to experience magic, as far as I’m concerned. So yeah, writing and storytelling, I knew that these things hadn’t really played too big of a part in my business so far. Yes, I have Instagram captions. Absolutely, yes. I sometimes script out my podcasts as well about in terms of what I’m going to say. Because it just naturally comes out of me that way, as in from my brain and onto a page. But I’d never really just explored what writing could be in its raw and pure form, and how that could serve me. So I knew that I had to bring writing back into it. I also knew that with that, I wanted to infuse personal narrative. And so I dusted off a load of my old books that I have all around the science of storytelling all around how to construct stories all about how to share personal narrative in a way that is engaging for people. I refreshed my brain with all this stuff that I just naturally love and I’m drawn to. So I knew I wanted to bring more of that in. And then in terms of what could an offer be that could most serve people right now? Well, I didn’t have to think too hard because where I was wanting to break that dependency on Instagram, wanting to create more long form content that essentially could allow a stranger to turn into a superfan overnight, without me having to do any additional work. I knew if I was struggling with that, there’s going to be people out there struggling too. And it was during a Zoom chat with one of my business buddies that we were just kind of chewing the fat as you do. And I was talking about potentially bringing out some sort of offer around this, that the idea really cemented and landed in my brain. And the next day, the name came to me, it’s the Content Chronicle, which I have officially submitted a trademark for. And two weeks after that Zoom call, I had made the thing, I had the sales page up. And I was ready to start promoting it. And luckily, when I’d started to have these thoughts about I want to bring more writing into my business, what I’d done is begun to just send emails to people to my list that I’ve been building basically, since I started my business not actively in any way, I just had a freebie on my website that people had downloaded. So I had a list of about 200 people.

I started emailing them every week, there was no agenda in those emails, it was purely a place of I’m going to sit down and share what’s going on for me right now, just in case it is going to be helpful for somebody just in case it creates a perspective shift, a new insight, a lightbulb moment. That was my intention for those emails, an opportunity for me to practice writing, but also a really useful thing for the person receiving it. And I was getting replies, people were loving it. In fact, most emails I send out tend to get responses from people like “This is freaking amazing. Oh, my God, this is created something a new kind of level of awareness. For me, I never thought about it that way. This is brilliant.” All those kind of comments, I do get those responses, my emails, which is wonderful, of course. But from that email list, I essentially started to talk about, hey, I’m going to have this new product coming, that’s going to be around creating long form content. If you’re interested, just click this button and join a waitlist. So when it came to the point where I’d actually built out the Content Chronicle, it was ready to go, I also had a list of people that raise their hand, and were saying, Yeah, you can tell me about it. So I set myself the target of I want to sell 10 of these in the first week where I release it to the waitlist, and I’m going to do it only on email.

And I’m happy to say I actually exceeded that target. And I think what’s really been amazing for me and from this experience has just been the absolute validation that there is a different way. It is not only Instagram, that creates results. And I definitely had just been in this bubble, where I thought that was the case. And I’m hoping that if you’re listening to this, and you’re in that bubble too that I can come along with a big ol’ pin and pop it and say “My friend, there are other ways to market your business. People do want to hear from you in different formats. It’s not always about condensing our message into shorter and shorter time chunks to try and grab the attention of people. You can go deep. You can basically express in whatever way feels most natural to you. It feels most organic and easy and joyful for you. And that can work. We just have to have a little faith and a little bit of courage to give it a go and see what happens.” And that’s all that I really want to leave you with today to be honest. An invitation to really just take a moment to think how am I currently showing up in my business? And am I happy that way? Am I doing this because I think that’s the way that I should be doing it? The way that has been implied by others. Is there a way that will work? Does it bring me joy? And if not, do something about it. You have the power right? No one’s making you show up on Instagram. No one’s making you move over to TikTok. Be open to trying a different way be open to not following the mainstream crowd.

And of course, if you do want some inspiration to do that, if you know you want to start creating more long form content that you can either turn into a blog or a podcast episode, or start emailing out to your list, then do of course, check out the Content Chronicle, which is currently available for purchase. But the Content Chronicle is really just about giving you that inspiration that prompts there is a weekly theme, and give you that jumping off point to start creating legacy content, as in long form content that will hopefully outlast you, that you can use to really help somebody get to know you really quickly. The whole point of creating this long form content is to allow somebody to discover you, and overnight fall in love with you because there is enough of your personality out there. There is enough content around what you do, why it’s important your values who you are for who you’re not for, they can really consume all that in one sitting and make a decision about whether they want to apply or not. They don’t have to follow you on Instagram for three months to get the whole picture. They can do it in one sitting.

The Content Chronicle is delivered in four chapters, which you get sent to you every single week straight to your email inbox. There’s nowhere you need to log in, you get the full written version of it in your email. There’s also an audio version that you can listen to as well. And not only is there the prompts and the themes, but there is also a tonne of examples for each chapter, suggestions of how you can repurpose that content and also storytelling advice and mini trainings embedded into the whole thing as well. You also get delivered a prologue chapter as soon as you hit buy, so you can get started straight away.

I’m absolutely in love with it to be honest. I’m so pleased that the idea landed on that I just ran with it because it’s already outperformed how I thought it would do and it’s there forever now and I will of course update it if needs be. And if you buy now you will get access to all future updates as well. And that is where I’m going to leave it today. Dusted off the old podcast cobwebs hoping to get into a little bit more of a rhythm again now that I am back in the room essentially and not preoccupied with trying to nurse a sick husband, move across the country or figure out what other meals other than beans on toast that I can cook. So there you have it. I will see you next time for the next episode of The Story Behind Design Show.

Want to stay in the loop with all things messaging storytelling and running an authentic business? Well go sign up to join my email crew where I sit down every week to write a business Love Letter straight from my heart to yours.

Until next time, my friend go get creative, take messy action, and most importantly, don’t forget to have fun with it.

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