February 18, 2011
My coaching colleague Francie Cooper and I decided last October to create a weekly podcast together. Neither of us had ever produced a weekly podcast so we had a lot to figure out, but we said “yes” anyway. We had both produced weekly newsletters and regular blog posts so we knew we would be able to prepare content. We were mainly in the dark about the technology – recording, formatting, uploading, and publicizing – but we said “yes” anyway.
We thoughtfully planned lots of time for each of the steps of planning and learning different components and said, back in early October, that we would have our first podcast ready to distribute the first week in January. By the second half of October we had chosen the name Tapa Palapa and learned enough about the technology to record a “test” show. We decided to go ahead and post it as our first podcast. Obstacles were collapsing like paper dominoes.
By November we had developed a monthly theme and a series of related shows for the month, well ahead of schedule. Smooth sailing, simply because we decided to move forward, learn things, and try them out. We didn’t need nearly as much time as we had given ourselves… mostly because we decided not to worry about getting things just right and instead aimed for good enough.
As we got up to speed and started producing shows we talked about the fact we would improve things as we gained experience, would tweak the format as we figured out what worked, and would make ours a more “professional” product as we learned what that required. In the description of a more “professional” product we included publishing Tapa Palapa on iTunes. For some reason, probably just ignorance, we thought that would be complicated and involved.
Last week during an advanced coaching class I’m taking through MentorCoach we did an exercise to imagine our businesses five years from now. I realized I would like to see the audience for Tapa Palapa continue to grow so both Francie and I can serve more people. It was time to move Tapa Palapa to the next level, and as Francie and I talked we knew iTunes would be an important next level – some day.
My expectations about the challenge of getting on iTunes were pretty distorted, as most things created in fantasy without a reality check tend to be. So I figured I would run into lots of detailed things to learn and steps to accomplish. But I decided to start looking into it anyway. It turned out the plug-in I use to publish the podcasts through WordPress is set up to format a lot of what iTunes requires from a feed. Our Feedburner account let me do the rest. In only one evening I had everything in place to start the submission process. That kind of took my breath away. So I breathed and move on.
Submitting the podcast went quickly, too. I went to iTunes, clicked “Submit a Podcast,” and filled in the information. The feed was verified and I got a confirmation e-mail our show was being reviewed. I thought that might take a few days, but the next day it was approved. The day after that it could be found through the iTunes Store search feature. We’re on iTunes, just like that! The feed has some glitches, but I’ll get those worked out.
This was an important lesson for me. We identified real obstacles to designing, creating, and publishing a podcast, and we worked our way through them without any resistance. We identified phantom obstacles we guessed would exist about including our podcast on iTunes and avoided them as a challenge for a later day. When that later day came, the phantom obstacles faded quickly as I did the research and got real information that replaced our ghostly speculation.
Don’t get me wrong. I have not overcome this problem once and for all. I’m just hoping that the next time I get daunted by imaginary obstacles I’ll be quicker to stare the phantom down and find what real challenges remain after he fades.
February 17, 2011
*Content warning: This post is rated PG-13 – or, depending on your neighborhood, community, or sub-culture, possibly PG-7.
I met Marianne Cantwell at The Joyfully Jobless Jamboree. She trains, consults, and coaches on custom-designed careers and small business development primarily for people who want portable work so they can explore the world. Her business, blog, and Twitter account are named “Free Range Humans.”
Imagine my surprise when I saw this tweet from Marianne’s Twitter account that said “Why you should say F-you to ‘finding your passions…’ ” WTF?? “Follow your passions” and “Work at what you love” and “Find your true calling” and “Live a life you love” are the steady mantras of lifestyle entrepreneurs and custom career designers. Was Marianne calling this approach all wrong?
Turns out in her blog post with that title she doesn’t oppose the idea of people finding what they love to do and incorporating it into their work lives. What she does oppose is the frozen resistance of contemplating your navel waiting for a nearby bush to burst into non-consuming flames and tell you what your one great life purpose is.
Marianne’s preferred approach is to focus on what you really love doing, and to discover that by paying attention within, instead of looking without for some clue to an undiscovered deep calling. This is probably in line with Barbara Sher’s point of view that finding your calling is just finding what you love to do. Sher says what you love to do is what you are gifted at, and your calling is to do what you are gifted at – to develop and express those talents to share them with the world.
Marianne is energetic and joyful and a bit unconventional so you’ll probably enjoy her article and be interested in looking at more of her material. Since she likes to be provocative you’ll probably find yourself questioning old thinking, even the recently established old thinking of a fairly new movement like custom designed careers.
Marianne’s post got me thinking, or actually forwarded my thinking. Read more
February 16, 2011
Last week I was on a trip with my twelve-year-old son to Orlando. We planned a road trip to see the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter section of Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park. We drove because we didn’t want to be “naked scanned” or groped in the airports, but mainly so we could make a couple of stops. On the way out we stopped to tour the USS Alabama battleship plus the planes, tanks, and submarine on display at the site. On the way back we took time to drive through the Civil War memorial at the Vicksburg battlefield.
It’s probably easy to tell my son is a Harry Potter fan and a fan of military history and weaponry. Okay, I’m also a Harry Potter fan, but I’m not crazy about military equipment and weapons the way my son is. He knew which tank was which. He was guessing about the details of the big guns on the battleship as we approached, and most of his guesses were right. He knew details of the cannons and rifled guns we saw on the Vicksburg battlefield. Obviously he had a great trip start to finish.
Along the way I took pictures of places we stopped and found it pretty easy to share them on Facebook. I created a photo file for our military tours that I named “BOOM BOOM Pow!” I created a file for our Universal experiences called “Perry Potter,” because when my son was very young and first heard of Harry Potter that’s what he called him. I also created a file called “Hakuna Matata” for our day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We had seen a documentary about how they planned, designed, and created the park so we were eager to take the safari ride, see the recreated African village, find the tigers in the Asian temple ruins, and experience the roller coaster on Everest.
I used Facebook because it was the easiest way to update extended family as we went. It turned out that some of my Facebook friends commented on the photos, asked questions, and had a chance to share the trip vicariously. Before long I was looking forward to posting photos updating everyone on what we were seeing and experiencing. I even took a photograph of butter beer in Hogsmeade village!
Sharing the photos and sharing our experiences became a way of recognizing and sharing my gratitude for the fun we were having, the new sites we were seeing, the fact we were able to take time off and enjoy a fun trip, and having the opportunity to see things we had been looking forward to seeing for a long time. Those photo albums became an impromptu gratitude journal.
Since writing in a gratitude journal daily – or posting to this blog on gratitude occasionally – aren’t things I do well, I like finding alternatives that I can do well. Capturing the moment in a photo to share on Facebook became a great way for me to savor those experiences.
I have tried to add the photo files to my Facebook business page but it’s not working out. They have recently added a feature where you can use a business page very much the way you use a personal page, but whenever I sign in to do that I can’t get the links to work.
If you’re a Facebook friend look for the photo albums. If not, go ahead and “like” my business page and you’ll be able to see the photos as soon as I’m able to post them. I sure hope they get that fixed soon. I’ll be really grateful when they do!