Stop waiting for someone to give you permission to follow your dreams. I am so tired of hearing the excuses we all make to not pursue a desired goal. When I wrote bootstrap your MVP 5 months ago I laid out a road map for people to follow their goals. I built on that road map when I released the podcast, leading an agile life. Both were distributed so I could lay out the framework I was following in my own life to begin achieving my own desired outcomes. When this year started I said I wanted to start my blog, and my podcast. I also said when I finished my MBA I would start up some sort of venture to begin earning capital.
Here I am accomplishing all of those things. I hate to be the one to talk about myself, but I need to use these examples to demonstrate a few things to the awesome people who continually come to this website, and listen to my podcast. When I wrote bootstrap your MVP I commented on how pissed off I was that I didn’t start my podcast two to three years earlier. Had I done so I would have already had a listener base at this point that would be big enough to be proud of. I just completed my weekly review of the podcast, and website and wanted to drop a few stats on my readers and listeners.
Not to mention the fact that my podcast has granted me the opportunity to jumpstart public speaking engagements, meet budding entrepreneurs, and prep to interview some really amazing people. There are some other really awesome things coming for the blog and podcast. None of them would be here if I hadn’t thrown away the bullshit excuses I was telling myself and gotten things started.
Alright so I’ve established that things are going well and we are coming far. Why should that interest you? The world is filled with advice, self-help gurus, and people who think they know how to do things better than you do. I’m not that person who is better. I’m that person who is right next to you. I work between 40-60 hours a week at my full time job. I spend several hours a day with my new born son. I keep my beautiful home and yard as clean as possible (with the help of family). I spend weekends with family and I fight to continue learning new things.
First, the bad post to your blog, the shitty episode on your podcast, always gets more views than the ones you spend a year working on and never release. You are not going to get content out there and build up a format to be proud of until you release some awful content. You can always delete those things later. I don’t because I want people to see how far we have come. I wish I could show you the way the website looked initially. Go back and listen to some of my first episodes. Some of them are awesome. Some of them are awful.
Now is finally the time where I feel like I am hitting my stride in blog posts and in podcast episodes. I am taking risks and creating content that is getting attention and I love it. I would have never made it to this position if I didn’t avoid the excuses I initially told myself about starting all of these things. Check out my episode with Adam Simmons if you want to hear about some random dude I met at a cigar shop who stopped letting me make excuses about starting my podcast.
This shit doesn’t happen overnight. Seriously. I honestly want to write that on my forehead right now so I never forget it. When you first start your blog, podcast, business there is always a surge of initial support. Your friends who love you will send out some shares, likes, and subscribes. Some of them will blindly stand behind you the whole way. Those are your ride or die homies. Some of them will not come back to your content again. That is ok, its not for them and they’re still the people you love to share good times with. After that you are going to have very few consistent viewers and listeners.
You will start to grow. Slowly. You must remain consistent. Consistency is key in building the habit of having viewers and listeners return to your content. Ensure that you are asking for help, soliciting feedback, and calling to action. My best friend from episode 3 also happens to be a professional publicist. Who do you think I bounce marketing ideas off of on a weekly basis? People tell me they love an episode. I respond and ask them to share with friends in their network. I also follow up and ask them what they liked most about the show and what they think most needs improvement.
It is so shitty to release a post that gets five views. I know how much you judge yourself for that. Here is the beauty of it. That post never goes away. It’s like a piece of real estate you own in the internet universe that can never lose value. If you say something really stupid and never correct it, it may detract from your reputation. However, it will never get less views. It will only increase exposure over time. As the old adage goes there’s not such thing as bad PR. Look at our President, he’s the king of leveraging bad PR to get some where big in life.
I met a dude in a cigar shop who said, “No man! you can start tomorrow.” I’m doing that for you right now. You can start right now. It is official. You have been told that there is not a single thing standing in between you and your goals, besides your willingness to take the first step. Whatever it is, start moving towards it and remember to keep moving forward. You will meet resistance and you will wonder if this is working. Continue to press forward. Continue to press!
John McCarthy is a Father, Son, Husband and former Marine Infantry Officer. He serves his local community and just wants to push people to be better humans. Check out the Tough Talk Podcast and other writings on this website to learn more.