Last Week’s Hurdles and Lessons (Week Ending 6/9/24)

Because I’ve received feedback that others got value when I shared the struggles from my current personal project, I’ve decided to build this project in public and share my ups and downs openly.

Current Personal Project: Reading Books about Entrepreneurs and Sharing What I Learned from Them via Blog Posts and Audio Recordings Distributed as a Podcast

What I struggled with:

  • I added editing twelve recordings to my workload. That, combined with reading two books, writing seven blog posts, and recording seven audio posts to distribute via podcast, was too much. I was behind and pushing hard this past weekend to hit my goals. The quality of the blog posts and recordings started declining late in the week.

What I learned:

  • People’s time is valuable. My goal is to provide as much value per minute as possible when someone reads or listens to what I share about books. I learned that I need to keep this top of mind and find the right balance of reading, distilling, writing, recording, and editing. This week I was too heavy on reading because of my two-book goal and editing because I had a new toy to play with.
  • A few weeks back, I stopped editing recordings and focused on getting reps by publishing unedited recordings. Then, researching successful YouTubers and podcasters highlighted that editing is key to making content concise. The editing tool also makes a difference. I was using GarageBand and hated it. A few people mentioned Descript. I started using Descript this week, and it made a material difference. This software makes editing audio as easy as editing a Word doc.
  • Knowing I can edit recordings has decreased my frustration. Before, I would get frustrated when I made an error because I knew I had to start from scratch and rerecord.
  • I listened to the early episodes of a few popular podcasts. They weren’t great. This was a good reminder that even the greats started on shaky ground and worked to continually improve. Comparing myself to the latest episode of a seasoned provider of audio content isn’t realistic.
  • When I set reading goals, I need to consider the length of books and my available bandwidth. All books aren’t equal. One of the books I read this week was 400 pages, and I shouldn’t have read it in the same week as another book.
  • My concerns about Amazon affiliate links being perceived as tacky were unfounded. I don't want the commission; I want the data on purchases. During feedback sessions, people said they thought a commission (that doesn’t cost them anything extra) would be fair if I helped them discover the book they purchased. They also highlighted it as a common practice that people expect now.
  • When I’m face-to-face with entrepreneurs, my project resonates well, and they get excited about listening. I also learn a lot about their reading habits and pain points. I need to lean into more face-to-face interactions to discuss my project.
  • The quality of my insights is greatest when I’m mentally fresh. On the days I was tired, my insights weren’t of the quality I know I’m capable of.

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!