How I Struggled and What I Learned This Week

Entrepreneurs like hearing about the ups and downs of others’ journeys, so I’m sharing mine in this post. Here’s what I struggled with this week and what I learned:

What I struggled with:

  • Reading two books and sharing lessons from them via my written blog and audio recordings distributed via a podcast was hard. Consistently doing all this at once is new, and it likely contributed to this week feeling like an uphill battle.
  • Six feedback sessions confirmed what I already knew: my audio recordings aren’t great. The external feedback is helping me improve. It’s frustrating that I can’t improve these recordings as fast as I would like. It’s slow and gradual, and I need to accept that.

What I learned:

  • Blog vs. podcast – My audio recordings had more total listens than my written blog posts had total views. It’s the same content but a different method of consumption. I created more new audio posts this week (19) than blog posts (7) because I was catching up on recordings. However, my written blog catalog contains more than 1,500 posts written in 4+ years, while I’ve posted 35 recordings in a little over a month. I’ll continue to monitor this to see if this trend continues. My gut tells me audio consumption resonates more with people, but the data will confirm this (or not) over time.
  • Building in public – My post about my struggle to record audio consistently and how I overcame that struggle was mentioned most during my feedback sessions. Building in public isn’t something I’ve intentionally done before. This inspired my change from a weekly reflection post to a weekly update post. I view this as something with limited downside that could help others. There’s no reason to not give it a try.
  • Internal vs. external feedback – Recording my posts every day and listening to those recordings are good daily feedback loops, but they aren’t enough. Getting external feedback in the feedback sessions added a different element. My internal feedback has been more tactically focused, while external feedback was more high level. To put it another way, internal feedback focused on how well I was marching, while external feedback focused on whether I was marching in the right direction. I need both perspectives going forward. As for frequency of feedback, daily is ideal for internal. Weekly or biweekly is probably ideal for external, but I’ll test to pinpoint this.
  • Feedback sessions – I had six sessions focused on recordings related to lessons learned from books I read. Here are some clear takeaways:
    • Each recording included the date and title of my blog post. People couldn’t remember the titles or dates of the recordings they reviewed. I replaced the date with episode numbers. This made it easier to reference a recording and shortened the titles.
    • I’m focused on reps to establish my recording habit, so I’m reading blog posts verbatim. I limit each blog post to 500 words, which equals about 5 minutes of audio. Five minutes is too short. The lessons didn’t stick with people. I’m keeping my 500-word constraint but enhancing the recording so the lessons are clear. I’ll summarize what each blog is about in the opening, add more context and my insights throughout, and add an outro. I’m now aiming for 10 minutes max with these changes.
    • It isn’t clear to listeners how they can apply the lessons I learned from the books I read. Judgment (i.e., application of wisdom to their situation) isn’t something you can do for founders. They must do this on their own. I’m not sure what I’ll do to address this. I’m actively seeking suggestions on this one.
    • People want to hear more about the struggle or context of what the founder was going through when they learned the lesson I’m sharing.
    • What resonates with a listener depends on their stage and focus. Early-stage entrepreneurs, established entrepreneurs, and investors valued and sought out different things. Early-stage entrepreneurs are looking for tactical answers to current problems. Established entrepreneurs are looking for general ideas or concepts. Entrepreneurs is too broad a market. I need to think about what niche target audience I want to serve.

Those are my struggles and learnings from this week!

Prefer listening? Catch audio versions of these blog posts, with more context added, on Apple Podcasts here or Spotify here!