As I close out the fourth season of Jump Start Your Joy, I am looking back at the top ten things that I’ve learned along the way. If someone had told me, back when I started in 2015 that four years later I’d still be doing this show, I might not have believed them. And, if they’d told me that I would leave my 9 to 5 job, and become a podcasting producer and life coach, I think I might have been surprised about that, too.
Jump Start Your Joy has taught me a lot; it’s taught me to be tenacious, to keep going when I thought I couldn’t, and to always, always, look for the joy in every moment and every situation.
So, as Part 1 of the Season Four Finale, here are the top ten things I’ve learned along the way:
1. The first rule of podcasting looms large at the top of this list, because it’s something that was a hard won lesson for myself: “It’s your own damn show and you can do whatever the hell you want with it.”
Around the first time I ran my Jump Start Your Podcast course, I found myself wanting to encourage students to really make their shows their own: from the music, to the cover art, to how often they published the show, the format, the content, and even to how long the show ran…. All of it is truly up to the podcaster to decide for themselves. Some students seemed to want to have this defined for them. And that’s not the point.
When you get vulnerable, when you do your show your way, when you take the risks and make it different, that’s when the magic happens. I know this is true for podcasting, and I know that it’s one of those rules that can apply to your life, your marketing, your coaching practice, and your business as well. Trust your gut.
2. You absolutely can make a living doing what you love. It’s funny to look back at the origins of the show: my original intent was that it would be the marketing arm of what I thought would be my life coaching practice. Little did I know that the show itself was helping me create my own future, and that part of my business would involve producing other people’s podcasts on a consultant basis. It’s also amazing to me to look back over this last year and see the doors that have opened because of the show: amazing new clients, being chosen to speak at She Podcasts Live, and being invited to create a mindfulness program for a summer camp.
I could not have foreseen that any of these things would come out of starting a podcast, nor would I have ever have guessed that my future would unfold how it has. But the idea of getting to coach, and be a podcast consultant, that I get to speak and craft programs for places and people I love? This is all an amazing mix of joy and delight, and I’m amazed at what the last year has brought from doing this show I love so much.
3. Sometimes the most unexpected conversations change your heart. When I started interviewing people, it was my intent to speak with people who had followed joy in their life, even when it was hard, and even when joy was the most improbable of choices. Looking back, I can see that so many of the conversations I’ve had have shifted something in my heart. You can listen in to hear what I have to say about the episodes with Danny Wood, Fred Leblanc, Stasia Savasuk, and Kelly Denithorne.
4. In doing anything for four years, you learn that from time to time, you’re going to change things up. I think it’s essential. From the podcast perspective, it might be that you’re changing your mind on a topic, or that you might change your cover art or your music. I think it’s the nature of the work, and that evolution and change is at the heart of any creative endeavor.
5. Going the extra mile always makes a difference. From the time I started the show, I’ve followed the mindset of “treat others the way you want to be treated,” and I love how that has echoed through the show, the community, and the reception. Having joy be the heart of a show sets a certain tone, and I want people to feel loved, cared for, and like they have a soft place to land when they interact with the show, whether that be as a guest or a listener. I love seeing that play out in big and small ways in the show.
6. Share your accomplishments and wins. Women are often bombarded with the messaging that we shouldn’t brag, or make too much of something that we’ve done well. I’m gonna call BS on this, and, I think it’s important that ALL of us start to celebrate our wins, and share them with others. If you’re doing something you’re proud of, tell people about it. If you have a show that’s lifting up others, or offering a service, or sharing good news, it’s worth sharing. I have found that people like to hear about good things, and they like to celebrate. So don’t hide your accomplishments – share them!
7. People are genuinely surprised and touched when you reach out with joy. And they crave it. I’ve had a lot of guests tell me that they love getting to talk about joy, and that they really enjoy getting to look at the role it’s played in their lives. I think we, as a society, don’t talk about joy enough, and we don’t always make time for it. What I’ve learned in 199 episodes is that it’s our job to share joy with one another. Joy is part of our purpose, part of what we crave, and part of what makes the world amazing.
8. You will find your people – and they will love you. And email you. And send you things. And it will hit all of a sudden. I discovered that my people are a handful of really loyal ones. They know me well. They are really good ones. Growing a community takes some time, and it is so very sweet when you start to notice who is rallying around your message. If you are not there yet, it will happen. Just keep showing up and sharing your message.
9. Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around you might miss it. One of the biggest blessings of having a show I love so much is that work truly feels like play. I have learned to build time into my schedule to have “play” that is outside of the show itself. So, make sure you take the time for the trip, for the walk outside, to meet the friend. Build joy into your day. It’s worth it.
10. “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” – Henri J.M. Nouwen This is the “cornerstone quote” for the show, and it’s something I think about daily. Joy is still a practice. Joy is still a choice. I still keep Choosing it. And I’m in awe of the journey it’s led me on – every day.