MGU 160 | Podcasting For A Year

We’re now down to the last month of the year, but for This Might Get Uncomfortable podcast, we’re greeting a new beginning. Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen celebrate the show’s one year anniversary, marking the 160th episode! They reflect on how they are going so far, how success metrics can either bring us joy or torture us, and how growth happens when we do not give up and just continue. With all the numbers and successes we see online, we can sometimes feel insecure about our own. Jason and Whitney remind you what is more important than all these social proofs: the value you give. Join them as they talk about the show, what matters in podcasting, the future, and more!

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One-Year Anniversary Episode: Reflections On Podcasting For A Year

This episode is one that we have been waiting for, for literally a year because this is our one-year anniversary episode.

I feel we should have made a greater effort to book Usher for our one-year anniversary episode, but it’s okay. There are many things, Whitney, that we get to look forward to in 2021, even though we know nothing magically changes. Spoiler alert, life is not going to change because it’s January 1st. That said, in our manifestation list, I know there are some guests you want, but one we can definitely agree on is Usher Raymond. We will get Usher Raymond at some point.

Do you even think that he would be a good fit for our show?

If we were to dig into the psychology of artistry and listening to your heart and trusting your instincts and what it takes to have a sustainable career in the music industry. Whereas you sent me a funny TikTok about one-hit wonders of the 2010s. Many of these artists, I had never even heard of. You sent me this clip and I was like, “I’ve only heard of three of these people.” I would want to talk to him about what is the mental side of not only sustaining a career for decades but a particular industry that is so fickle, volatile, and turns out many artists every year. If we think about it, Whitney, there are only a small ratio of musical artists that have decades-long careers. It’s rare when you think about it. We would have a lot to talk about.

We can aim for that when we hit a big number, assuming we continue doing this show for a while and that’s a good note to start on. Now that we’re officially a year in, technically we’ve been recording episodes for over two years, if you can believe it, Jason. I narrowed down approximately the very first day we recorded an episode and that was around October 12th, 2018. The day that we’re recording this episode is December 5th, 2020. When this episode comes out, we’ll have passed the one-year mark of our episodes being live. Somewhere towards the beginning of the show, we talked about the process of making a podcast. We might’ve even dedicated an entire episode to podcasting.

We did. We also had some accompanying blog posts as well. Funny enough, before we started recording offline, you were like, “Are you going to write another blog post?” I’m like, “I can do that.” A little behind the scenes is we divide the work up here with our brand Wellevatr and our show. We tend to play to each other’s strengths in the sense that I’ve been working as a copywriter and many iterations prior to becoming a chef and a wellness coach. I tend to focus more on the writing side of things. Whereas Whitney is way better at graphic design and the technical elements. If you have not been following us on our social media, particularly Instagram, it’s @Wellevatr. Whitney has been designing some stunning, beautiful, minimalist and incredibly poignant pieces of content on our Instagram. Definitely follow us there, but looping back to the blog, we did a dedicated blog post breaking down how we started the show, our technical equipment, how we structured things. For anyone who wants that, you can go to our website and you can find that there if you want to see how we run our business.

It’s interesting because I feel invested in learning how to continue to grow our show. I’m in this one big Facebook group that I won’t name because I have mixed feelings about it, but there are tens of thousands of people in this group and it is fascinating reading through it. I would like to work on being less judgmental. One judgment that I’ve had continuously is judging people for not being “up to par” in the way that I view things. I used to be judgmental and I’m slowly unraveling that, I’m not perfect at it because it’s years of undoing and it’s a very common thing. It’s socially acceptable to judge people based on their status, experience, and based on their knowledge, etc. From a compassionate and also mental wellbeing standpoint, it doesn’t serve us to judge other people, but like I said, I still catch myself doing it. I’ll be like, “Why doesn’t this person know this? Why are this person’s graphics or description? How come they don’t have great equipment?” It’s fascinating to step back and examine that. Part of the reason I’m trying to be less judgmental is that I’ve been on the other side of judgment many times, barely as a podcaster. Podcasting tends to be tame in terms of critical feedback. Jason and I have received a couple of bad ratings on iTunes, on Apple Podcasts, but in general, we haven’t received that much bad feedback. I don’t know if that’s because we haven’t been doing this for that long because a year is relative not being that long and we’re still growing our audience. At a certain point, we may receive more critical feedback. My experience with criticism or judgment has mainly been around platforms like YouTube or Instagram. It’s this interesting thing that people do where they’ll make themselves feel better by judging other people for where they’re at. It’s the comparison. I found myself comparing our show to other people. A lot of the times, I feel like, “I’m doing a good job.” Every once in a while, I’ll see somebody who gets tons of downloads, has great artwork and great reviews or they’re up in the charts and I’ll feel a little envious. This podcast group is fascinating if I step back without judgment and observe it, to see all the different stages that people are in with their podcasts. This is our 160th, Jason. We’re getting close to 200. Not that numbers mean anything. I remember we did our 100th episode and it’s like, “So what, who cares?” We’re on our one-year anniversary episode. I don’t even know if people care about that. That’s a whole other topic, celebrating milestones, it’s so cliché on social media for people to be like, “Thanks for the 10,000 followers.” They have this celebration for themselves. It’s bizarre. Who cares? I’m going to go on a tangent for a second and then I’ll get back to my point. Who cares about how many followers you have and this idea of thank you? On social media, I’m sure the reader has seen at least one person do this, you might’ve done this yourself and I’m not trying to judge you. I’m saying it’s a little odd and I probably did it many years ago, but I haven’t done it in a while because it doesn’t serve me. When I see somebody posting and thanking their audience collectively, I’m thinking, “If we look at social media by person, I, Whitney, am viewing Jason, your post, as myself. I’m not viewing it as your collective audience.” When somebody like yourself, Jason, were to post, “Thank you for X amount of followers,” what does that do for me? The only thing it does for me is make me think, “I wish I had that many followers.” It’s such a bizarre trend that we’ve had for many years on social media, celebrating these milestones. I also want to take this episode lightly and be like, “It’s cool that we hit the year mark, so what?” I don’t think the readers are like, “They hit one year of podcasting. That makes me feel more dedicated as a reader.” Maybe somebody takes us more seriously. I’m impressed when I see people who have been doing their podcast for five years or so. Aside from that, I don’t think I care that much.

It’s all arbitrary and relative at the same time, in the sense that I can understand a person’s desire to, I suppose, take inventory or acknowledge their progress. There’s inherent value in a person acknowledging milestones to see how far they’ve come relatively. Announcing it publicly is the strange part. I agree with you because we can individually have aims, metrics and desires to maybe hit certain numbers, but I personally have never felt the desire to announce this. I don’t think I’ve ever done it. If I’m thinking back on my time on YouTube, Instagram or Facebook, I’ve never had the desire to be announcing, “Thanks for 50,000 followers. Thanks for 10,000. Thanks for this.” It’s like, it is what it is and my numbers on every single platform fluctuate other than say our number of downloads. Spoiler alert, life's not going to change just because it's January 1st. Click To Tweet I haven’t checked that in a while, but that’s also relative on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, I watched the numbers go up, I watched the numbers go down. People follow, they unfollow. It’s all a very fluid thing. I also think that we go back to this idea of our metrics of success. What does that even mean? I know we’ve mentioned them here on the show before, I enjoy Mark Manson’s writing. He’s the author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope. Overall, I like Mark. I get his newsletters. I read his blog posts. He has a particular style to his writing and it resonates for the most part with me. One thing that he talks about in his first book is this idea of how success metrics can elevate us and lift us up and make us feel good and joyful or they can torture us. As an example, you and I could look at an arbitrary metric, Whitney, such as our bank account, our number of followers, our number of downloads. We could say, “We have X number of downloads in our first year.” How does that compare to someone a colleague of ours like Luke Storey, who we’ve had on the show? Whereas Luke sometimes on his social media feeds will say like, “The life style is podcast. Over four million downloads.” I know Luke’s been doing it. I first guested on his podcast back in 2016, but so what? Does Luke compare himself to Lewis Howes? Does Lewis Howes compare himself to Joe Rogan? Does everyone compare themselves to Joe Rogan in terms of how many tens of millions he’s making and how many tens of millions of downloads he gets per episode? We could torture ourselves trying to live up to an ideal that isn’t necessarily even ours to live up to. One of the things that keeps me going with this show is that you and I have not set any hard metrics of what we consider to be successful. I’m grateful that we’ve had multiple sponsors in our first year. To me, that’s a huge win. We’ve had Sunwarrior. We’ve had BiOptimizers. We’ve had amazing partnerships with Pique Tea and Swanwick Sleep. We’ve had great brands, partners and friends who have supported the show. I’m not saying, “Why didn’t we make $5 million our first year podcasting?” It’s like, “So what?” This opens up an interesting conversation in concluding my little rant, I would prefer that you and I moving forward set more aim than hard and fast goals of we need to make X amount of money, we need to get X amount of downloads. I feel more freedom to create with you. For myself individually, if I let go of these hard and fast rules or metrics of success because it’s a slippery slope. I don’t necessarily feel more motivated if I have a super clear, hard success metric and I get it or don’t get it.

The thing that I find interesting too, is if I step back, even with this episode, hopefully, somebody is finding value in it. The most important thing is we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the reader. That isn’t necessarily true. This is one fascinating element of podcasting. The great majority of it do not get that many audience. That’s why most people give up. I’ve seen metrics, especially in the groups that I’m in, that big Facebook group. A lot of people get small numbers, and that’s when I’ll get in that high horse comparison, I’m like, “We have 10x what this person gets,” or whatever and that’ll make me feel good. To your point, Jason, I’ll see somebody else who has massive numbers compared to us then the opposite will happen. The aim of this show is not just to hear ourselves speak. The aim of our show is not for Jason and I to be chatting with one another because we could do that any time. I saw a TikTok making fun of people who are talking to their friends saying, “We should start a podcast. We have so many interesting conversations and that would be so great as a podcast.” I was thinking about how basically that’s how it started with me and Jason. I wish I remember more about why we started the show and what motivated us. I honestly don’t recall if you, the reader, want to know our very first episode that we ever recorded, not the first episode we released. It was about supplements. That supplement episode was our first one that we ever recorded. I would like to go back to it. I remember vaguely what we were talking about, but I don’t remember much beyond that. I don’t know if we talked about why we were starting the show or anything. My big point is that it’s cliché for friends to start a podcast together, but what’s not cliché is continuing. I want to give us a pat on the back and also acknowledge anybody else reading who has been pursuing something for a long time because that to me is the most inspiring thing. If anything, I’m proud that we’ve hit this mark. I still feel in the grand scheme of things, a year is not much time at all, but in the podcast world, a lot of people give up very soon. We were in a group of podcasters on a network that dissolved. Initially, when we launched our show, we’re part of this group of people and there was a whole podcast network developing. We never signed a contract. As far as I’m aware, that network has completely dissolved, but who knows? It might be continuing. We’re not part of it. We were grateful for it because it was an amazing launching point for us and because of that network, we got involved with Podetize. A little side note for how we run our show. Podetize is such a phenomenal resource for us. I now consult for them. In full transparency, I’m biased towards them as a company now, not only because they’re the people that help us with our show every single week, but I also have been helping them with their social media strategy. If you follow Podetize or any of their podcasts, they have a podcast called The Binge Factor, The New Trust Economy, Product Launch Hazzards. They’re doing so much that it’s run by these two incredible podcasters and their company Podetize does a lot of the post-production for our show. They take each episode and edit it. Shout out to the amazing editing team that they have. We record each episode, we send it to them, somebody on their team edits it for us. They write our show notes. They make transcripts. MGU 160 | Podcasting For A YearWhen you go to Wellevatr.com and click on the podcast section, that whole website is run by them. It’s an incredible asset. Coming back around to this network that we were part of, they connected us to Podetize. That’s where all of this began. In that network, there were a good amount of people. I don’t know exactly how many. I would venture to guess, maybe 20 or 30 people were in that network ultimately. I heard that most of those people either gave up or they weren’t getting many downloads and listeners, and they were doing it for a lot less time than us. Another part of this point, Jason, is because you’re doing something for a long time, doesn’t mean that you’re going to have success from it. Usually, not always, your chances of success grow, but they grow the longer you do something because you’re putting more out there. That’s one of the reasons, Jason, that I’m grateful that we’ve done three episodes a week. Initially, we were going to launch with three episodes. We didn’t look this far out to the future. Every once in a while, I’m like, “Should we continue doing three episodes a week?” I feel like we’re in the habit of it, but I’m not sure that we need to be doing three episodes a week. Certainly, it sounds appealing to do less, but one of the things about doing this show with you, Jason, is that it’s felt fluid and easy. That’s the reason that we’ve been doing this for a couple of years since we first started recording the episodes. Once we got into our rhythm and committed to this, it hasn’t been that challenging. As we’ve mentioned a few times, there are certainly days where we don’t feel like recording. One of us will be in a bad mood. We’ll be tired, we’ll have a scheduling conflict, just like anything else. I would say when I look back over a lot of the content I’ve created over the years, I would say the show might be the energetically easiest project I’ve ever worked on. How do you feel about this?

That’s a bold statement. Considering the sheer volume of content you’ve put out from videos to blogs, to your websites, to social media, I had no idea you felt that way. That’s awesome. There’s a natural fluidity in the sense that you and I can latch on to a variety of topics we present because collectively, we are curious, experimental people who want to research a lot about life. To me, you asked the question of what was the original intention. I remember the conversations that we had in early 2018 when we were putting the idea of this together and Wellevatr first before the show. It was zooming out from the entire wellness industry. I don’t know about wanting to do things differently. That’s an overused phrase. For me, it was a recollection of let’s blow out the conversation to a much broader thing in terms of rather than, “Eat this food. Take this supplement. Do this mantra. Do this meditation. Get this blood work. Spend money on this biohacking device.” The podcasts that are that are fine. They’re wonderful. There are many like that. To me, I wanted to use this as a jump-off point to expand the conversation beyond what to eat, what to supplement, how to move your body. We love all that. The idea of researching and experimenting with wellbeing is something we’re very passionate about. You, dear reader, are likely passionate about it too. We get your DMs and your emails. We hope you appreciate the tangential and broad nature of what we present here. For me, Whitney, the reason I feel it is so fluid is because of the breadth and the variety of topics we do discuss. I want to touch on something you mentioned before we keep going because there’s an interesting blend of fear of failure meets perfectionism, which we’ve talked a lot about here with different guests as well, and an expectation. It’s like fear of failure, perfectionism and expectation have this strange effect on many people, myself included. If we initiate something new, a podcast, a YouTube channel, a new brand or even learning something new, woodworking, guitar, cheffing, I also see a lot of people giving up quickly. There’s a strange expectation that people ought to be good or even great at something that maybe they’ve never done before or maybe they’ve never spent a lot of focus and attention on it. They’re like, “Fuck it. I’m not that good.” There are people in my life where my response to them, which is also a reminder for myself, is like, “You’ve been doing this for a week? A month? Two months? What are you expecting? Are you expecting to pick up a guitar and be Eddie van Halen? What the fuck?” Dave Grohl from The Foo Fighters had this amazing quote. I probably have mentioned it here or maybe in one of our Wellness Warrior Training that a couple of years back, he posted something on social media that there are some great artists that never get to have their art heard because they give up. He said, “Give yourself permission to suck. Give yourself permission to pick up the drums, the guitar or whatever you’re doing. Just suck at it for a while.” I don’t think he was saying it in a way to be abrasive, judgmental or telling people they suck, but it’s like, “What are you expecting?” To do something for the first time or the tenth time and be amazing at it. Social media and society play into this a bit in the sense that people put out their highlight reels. We talk about this. Other people will perceive their highlight reels and go, “I’m never going to write a song as good as Bob Dylan, Springsteen or Jack White. I’m never going to write a rap as dope is as Kanye, Drake or Jay Z.” It’s like, “They’re putting out their stuff that has decades of work, practice and experimentation behind it. Why would you expect after a week or two, a month or a year of doing this thing to be as good as them and who put that expectation in your head?” What are your thoughts on that? I feel a lot of talented and passionate people do give up on something because they think they should be earth-shatteringly world-class amazing at something after a short period of time.

This is another thing I noticed from podcasters in that Facebook group is they’re constantly looking for metrics. One of the most common posts in that group is about like, “These are my numbers. Is this good?” As if there’s some standard for what’s good. There isn’t when it comes to podcasting. That’s one of the most challenging parts about podcasting. I don’t experience this myself, but I think a lot of people do because this is posted about so frequently. People want to measure themselves up. “Am I doing a good job? Am I getting enough listeners? Do I have enough reviews? Have I been doing enough episodes? How does it sound? How long should my episode be?” One of the most freeing parts of podcasting is that you can do whatever you want right now. The metrics aren’t shared publicly. Nobody knows how “good” or “bad” you’re doing unless you’re broadcasting it. You mentioned a number of different people, Jason, who shared how many downloads they get. It’s like, “What do they expect by sharing that?” It ties into this desire to publicly broadcast like you want somebody to give you a pat on the back. Personally, I like getting pats on the back a ton. Jason knows this. I like somebody to acknowledge me, tell me I did a good job. Words of affirmation are important to me in life personally and professionally. Getting them on social media never “hits the spot.” Even the times that I’ve been recognized or acknowledged for my career, I don’t think it does much for me. Every once in a while, we use that to put ourselves in some context. The media does this, for sure. It’s like if you’re in a movie, if you won an Academy Award or you were nominated for one, they use that to market the movie as if your chances of watching it are higher because an actor received an award, maybe it’s slightly more appealing, but I watch movies and TV shows all the time. I don’t even know who these actors are and I watch them and see if I like them and then I’ll continue watching it if it’s good. I suppose if you’re going to go the movie theater, you might evaluate things a little bit differently. My point being is when it comes to authors, it’s the same thing. They love to broadcast if they won or if they were on The New York Times bestselling list, but I’m not going to buy a book or pick up a book because it was a bestseller. Maybe I’ll be swayed if it was in Oprah’s Book Club. I would rather if a friend recommended it. That ultimately is the metric that I care the most about is when somebody refers our show to somebody else. That’s the greatest thing. Somebody genuinely writes a review because they care about our show and you can tell. One thing I wanted to do was to go through some of the amazing feedback we received, not to give ourselves a pat on the back, but to acknowledge the people that have taken the time to write us a review on Apple Podcasts because it means the world to us.

From a compassionate and mental well-being standpoint, it doesn't really serve us to judge other people. Click To Tweet

If you, the reader, have been thinking about it, please do. It doesn’t have to be anything that in-depth. This was interesting, speaking of reviews, I want to go confirm this, but I thought for a while and now I’m unsure. My old mindset was that if you got enough ratings and reviews on Apple Podcasts, that would push you up in the charts. I heard something that said that wasn’t true. I have to confirm that, but that ties into this conversation of wanting to get all the reviews, downloads and all of this stuff. Does it even matter? Ultimately, we want people to tune in to our show, enjoy it, take something away from it. Maybe they like reading our blog. Maybe they like us as friends. Maybe they like reading the guest, but it doesn’t serve us to have all these numbers if it’s not making a difference in people’s lives. I feel the same way on social media. I’ve been going through the list of our followers on Instagram, for example. I’ve been paying a ton of attention to it. Not because of numbers, but because I want to know who’s following us on Instagram. A couple of times a week at least, I go through our following list and I interact with other people on their accounts. I go on their photos. I comment. I’m trying to show people that we care because we do. Through that process, Jason, I find people who are bot sometimes that are following us. I find people that don’t actively post on Instagram. Who knows if they even visit Instagram anymore? I started to realize or remember more accurately that there are so many people that follow you on whatever platform who are not even active anymore. What does that number even matter? You look at things the algorithm. I meant to share this with you, Jason. I saw some accounts with at least 4 or 5 times higher followers than us, which we don’t have much of a following on Instagram. That’s fine because it doesn’t matter to us. I was looking at somebody else with much higher numbers and they were getting the same, if not less, likes on their posts. I remember stepping back and being a little bit in the comparison trap of like, “Why does somebody with so many more followers have the same amount of engagement as us? Does that mean that their followers are bots? Does that mean that they bought their followers? Does that mean that their followers are no longer on Instagram?” There are so many factors. The numbers are a little bit deceiving. They don’t mean that much. Long story short, it doesn’t matter how many downloads we get. What we care about is does somebody find value in this. Is somebody going to write us a review because this changed their life or are they writing the review because they feel indebted, they want to get our attention, we had it as part of a giveaway option, which we certainly do? I want things to matter, I suppose. That’s my aim with this show. Not just does this bring me and you joy, Jason. Does this bring you, the reader, joy and value enough where you’re going to keep reading, you’re going to hit subscribe and you’re going to share this with somebody because you want them to know about it too?

The slippery slope in this idea of social proof in terms of people posting the number of downloads they have or one big thing that is almost a copy and paste thing that I’ve been noticing is that entrepreneurs over the years, Whitney, have posted their income breakdown. We’ve seen people do this. There are a lot of people who’ve posted in their blogs or their social feeds how much money they make, what their revenue streams are. It’s a fine line. Is it being done to instruct, educate and inspire other people to follow a particular framework to try and earn that amount or is it the slippery slope of someone, as an example, Andy Frisella who has a podcast. He’s a big entrepreneur who makes all the rounds. He has a supplement company called 1st Phorm and Andy’s got nice cars. I’m a car guy, I dig his cars, but I’ve seen some stuff Andy posts about framing it like, “I’m posting this stuff to inspire you all.” I’m like, “It’s a fine line between claiming you want to inspire people and here’s my ego.” I’m going to say this for myself. The little boy got finally got all his toys. For me, the part of me that wants to maybe boast about material stuff is the little boy inside me who’s like, “No, I’m worthy of love. Look at all the cool stuff I have. Do you want to come play with me?” This whole, “I’m showing you my wealth, my success and my metrics to ‘inspire’ you,” I don’t think it’s possible to detach the ego from it. Some people try and act they are. You’re not detaching your ego from this because we’re tribal creatures. We’re mammalians who are still trying to uphold some social hierarchy to make ourselves look good. Why? If we look good, we have a higher status in the pecking order. We attract mates, we keep our mates or we maintain our power. This isn’t a difficult thing to analyze psychologically with people. We understand why people do this, but I don’t see the need to post about money, cars and motorcycles. “This is how I made my first six figures.” I know we’ve mentioned this, but I always keep seeing the same tactics over and over again. It’s the same kind of captions, the same kind of posts, especially from entrepreneurs. I don’t feel the need for us to do that. As an example, you have talked about your Tesla, but you’re not on it like, “I’m the shit. I got my Tesla. Do you want to find out my twelve-step program for manifesting with your dreams?” I’m glad you’re not doing that because if you were doing that, it would give me a lot of pause as your friend and your business partner. I think that there are different ways to inspire people without appealing to their base level materialistic urges and their desire to move up the social hierarchy. I’m going to post about this on my personal Instagram and maybe we’ll post about it on Wellevatr too that I found out that my motorcycle is getting totaled. The insurance company is a total loss. I drove down to the salvage yard and I took some accessories off my motorcycle and I took the license plate off. I got to say goodbye to my motorcycle. It was this weird moment of this thing that I was manifesting for twenty years that I finally got and now it’s gone. It’s not mine anymore. It never was because in terms of a material sense of the word, our money, our downloads, our metrics, our cars, our houses, all this shit, we’re not taking any of it with us. He, she, they who dies with the most toys still dies. I’m reminding myself of the temporal nature of all this. You and I know this show will change. Our business will change. You and I will change. We don’t know how long we’re going to do it. We don’t know what it’s turning into. I know this is a long tangent, but I want to remind the reader that if you find yourself being attached to a certain idea of success and what that means, having something, being something or having the numbers, it’s all going to change. None of it is going to stay fixed. Not to be morose, we’re all going to die. It’s not wrong to want the houses, the cars or any of that stuff, but don’t let it run your life because ultimately, at some point, it won’t be “yours” anymore. We’re so obsessed with material shit. Someday, whether through loss, accident or death, we’re going to have to give it up. I guess I’m saying all this because I want to keep it in perspective for myself, but also to make sure people keep this idea of money, success, fame, materialism in perspective too because it’s all going to end.

Sometimes that makes it harder to figure out how to proceed because I suppose we have been trained to compare ourselves to other people, to measure up against each other. I don’t blame myself or others for doing that. It’s what we think we ought to be doing. When I got my car, Jason, to bring it back to that point that you made, I made a video on my Eco-Vegan Gal YouTube channel. Looking back, I’m like, “Why did I make that video?” First of all, I had partnered with a brand that sent me products for my Tesla called EVANNEX. I’ll give them a shout out because they’re awesome. If any of you reading have a Tesla, EVANNEX is a wonderful third-party or aftermarket accessory company. They gave me all of these cool products for my car in exchange for talking about them, which is something that Jason and I experienced a lot as a perk of our work as content creators. I made a video talking about my car, talking about EVANNEX. I remember somewhere in that video, I talked about how you could do this too type of wording and I genuinely meant it. Part of my motivation was that I felt guilty. I hope nobody thinks I’m trying to brag. I certainly don’t think I was bragging, but it was like, “Let me celebrate this publicly, getting something that I’ve wanted for a long time and talk about what it’s like to have a Tesla.” I have a bunch of other videos that I’ve been working on over the past few years since I got the car that I’ll post eventually, sharing what it’s like to have a Tesla over time. Some people are curious, but there’s always that possibility of somebody seeing that and thinking that I’m bragging. Why did I feel the need to say you could do it too? It is a little bit of guilt. Part of it is genuine. Although my perspective has changed a little bit, I think there has been a slight myth that anybody can do anything that they want. That’s not always true. In 2020, we’ve been a lot more aware of racism and classism. There are a lot of things that can get in people’s ways. It’s not always as easy as we think it is, especially as white people, to achieve your dreams. There are factors working against some people that Jason and I cannot relate to and there are factors working against us that other people can’t relate to. We’ve talked a lot about how we have worked hard and followed a lot of strategies as entrepreneurs that did not work out for us. It’s easy to fall into this place of shame and feel like a failure because somebody told us, “I did it. That means so can you.” That phrase is overused and certainly a subject that we’ll keep touching upon because it’s a huge part of mental wellbeing. A lot of us feel sad, depressed, anxious, burnt out, all of those emotions because we are trying to measure up ourselves so much. I also think this is one of the big reasons that podcasters “podfade.” Jason, now that I’m thinking about it, maybe our 100th episode was about the things that we’ve learned as podcasters. I know the blog post you’re referencing, Jason. I know we did an episode about tips and things. We’ll make sure that we put that in there for you because if you’re a podcaster as a reader or you’re thinking about creating a podcast, we want to share with you as much as we possibly can to help you. One of the common things is podfading, which usually happens after around twenty episodes or so. A lot of people give up and they call that podfading. Meaning you say you’re going to do it. You do it for a little while and you don’t get the results that you want or it doesn’t bring you as much joy or it’s harder than you thought. You’re not necessarily going to experience what Jason and I experience. I want to give us a pat on the back, Jason, and acknowledge each of us for pivoting during COVID. Anybody else, which is most of us, for pivoting, it did take a complete revamping of the way that we are podcasting.

MGU 160 | Podcasting For A Year

I also want to acknowledge us for adjusting our schedules during my road trip, for example, because I took ten days off to travel each way. We are batching a bunch of episodes because of the holidays. Podcasting has required us to pivot or adjust a lot of times. That’s not something that everybody finds easy. Some people get overwhelmed by that. Some people find that mentally challenging or another huge issue that we also faced before we launched was, what platform do we use? Where do we host our show? We were very fortunate. It was honestly a lot of luck and good timing that we were introduced to Podetize. Without them, maybe we would’ve given up Jason. This is a huge part of the conversation. Somebody’s success depends on a lot of different variables. It can be luck, it can be timing, it can be resources. It can be the color of your skin, your age, your income, your gender. There are so many factors that go into success. I was watching a TikTok video of this guy sharing how he has been making the same videos frequently and consistently. One day, one of those videos went viral and led to him getting tons of followers. He said, “I didn’t do anything differently. It just happened.” That is another factor. Some people can’t figure out why they got so successful. A lot of us are looking for that formula. We’re looking for somebody to guarantee success. You see this again a lot in the podcasting field of like, “How do I do this or that?” You see this in social media. For me, doing a lot of social media consulting and coaching, sometimes I feel helpless. I’m like, “I know my client wants this result, but I don’t know how to give it to them because so much of social media is about luck, timing, money, networking, partnerships and whatever factors.” There’s so much that goes into these “measures of success.” That’s why what you said, Jason, is wonderful because we have to find that joy and be grateful that other people find joy in our show. That’s an amazing thing. You and I also, Jason, had been fortunate. Our numbers aren’t blowing us out of the water at this point and that’s okay. They don’t need to, but relative to a lot of podcasters, you and I got out the gate with solid numbers. I don’t take that for granted because a lot of people will release podcast episodes and have no one listening or maybe they’ll have a couple of people listening and that’s their close friends and that’s it. That’s all they get. You’re not guaranteed anything by posting your podcast or posting on TikTok or whatever. It’s just that we’re constantly exposed to people who are successful so we begin to think that that’s within our reach. This is the American dream. I love referencing that book Do Nothing, which has shaped my viewpoint and fingers crossed that the amazing author Celeste Headlee will be coming on our show at some point. We’re waiting to schedule all of that. I’m so excited to have her as a guest. In her book Do Nothing, she talks about this American dream. We have believed and been culturally conditioned to believe that success is within reach. The truth is the great majority of people never make as much money as we think we’re going to or have the amount of successes we think we’re going to. We’re constantly seeing through the media all of these success stories, all these case studies. It shifts our perception of things where we think things are easier than they are. I also wanted to go back to Joe Rogan. Let me ask you, Jason, how long do you think that Joe Rogan’s been podcasting?

Seven years.

Is that your final answer?

Based on the number of episodes, he’s in the way past 1,000 episodes. 2013? I’m going to take a stab at it.

According to Wikipedia, he started his podcast around the same month and date as us. He started it on December 24th, but the year was 2009.

That dude has been in the game for many years. That’s important to take note of. It’s more than a decade.

We could torture ourselves trying to live up to an ideal that isn't necessarily even ours to live up to. Click To Tweet

I didn’t listen to Joe Rogan until a few years ago. I was definitely swayed by that episode he had with Elon Musk, which was a huge turning point for him. You and I were traveling together in 2017, maybe. We were on the East Coast when we listened to that episode.

It’s also interesting too, in terms of there’s a certain amount of advice that some people will say like, “Stay in your lane and master what you’re naturally good at,” type of thing. Joe Rogan, being a standup comedian and the host of Fear Factor. If you take into context his podcast career now, one would have maybe expected advice given to him of like, “Why don’t you do a comedy podcast? Why don’t you do a podcast on conquering your fears?” The tangential, random, broad nature of him talking about quantum physics, science, aliens, psychedelics, food, ethics and music. Whether you like them or not, in terms of the topical matter, you would step back and go, “Who the fuck is Joe Rogan to host a podcast like this?” Conventionally, some people would think, “Do about comedy, do it about fear, do it about being in Hollywood.” For whatever reason, that dude, there is no topic off boundaries with him. It’s almost like on the one hand, there’s the advice of, “You’re a doctor, you’re a wellness expert, you’re a musician. You should do a podcast about this very niche thing in your field.” He’s an interesting example for the fact that whatever playbook may have been in place, he tore it up and did whatever he wanted. Whether you like him as a person, as a creator, he’s throwing away any proverbial or metaphorical rule book. I like that about Joe. He would talk about whatever he wants in any genre in any industry. It’s cool.

He also goes to show that it can take a long time, and he was successful before he started that podcast, to your point, Jason. He already had something working in his favor. He already had an audience. He is a white man. There are so many factors that worked in his favor to even compare yourself to him is not even worth it. There are many people that I’m looking through the highest-earning podcasters and they include Dave Ramsey who has been doing his work for a long time. I don’t know how old his podcast is, but a lot of people know who Dave Ramsey is. There’s Dax Shepard who is a well-known actor and his show gets a lot of promotion. He probably has money to buy ads. There are many factors. There are other podcasters on here that I’ve never heard of before. It’s interesting because there’s no formula for any of this. What I keep coming back to is the joy that I found in this. For me, having conversations can be therapeutic. I’m interested in exploring things out loud. I like doing long-form content, which is probably one of the reasons I like podcasting. I will talk about something in-depth for a while and love to explore it and get it out of my system. We found that it usually takes us about 1 to 1.5 hours to explore a subject matter and talk through it. Doing the podcast is different than talking to you, Jason, offline. Even though it certainly overlaps, our style as podcasters is a little bit different than our friendship. You and I wouldn’t usually get on the phone and talk for an hour or 90 minutes straight. There’s also the joy and talking to you and hearing what’s going on, checking in with you and getting feedback from people that listen. Of course, there’s the guest side of things, which I find so much joy in, but I’m also glad that we don’t have every episode based on a guest. That’s a common podcast format. I feel good about our format right now, Jason. It’s interesting because it wasn’t very contrived. We were advised by Podetize to consider having a guest on our show, but that wasn’t our initial plan. Having guests definitely more work, but I still find that process enjoyable, reaching out to guests and having them on. We’ve had incredible conversations with people that we probably wouldn’t have had if it weren’t for the show. A lot of podcasters do a podcast for that reason. It gets you in touch with people. One time, I reached out to a well-known author and her publicist to see what would happen. I got a response and we haven’t booked that person on the show yet, but maybe we will. When else would I have that opportunity? It’s cool we catch up with friends sometimes through our show. It brings me a lot of joy and we get to introduce them to our audience in a new way. One that comes to mind is our friend Vani Hari, who is been incredibly successful with her website, Food Babe, her books and all of that. She came on the show and we caught up as friends. I got to hear her talk in a different way. My hope is that somebody reading is knowing somebody Vani talk in a way that they don’t normally do. It reminds me of the joy I have when I see somebody on Oprah. I was watching her interview with Barack Obama on her Apple TV show. It’s The Oprah Conversation. She used the phrase uncomfortable on her show, Jason. The first couple episodes, they might’ve even been called uncomfortable conversations and I was like, “That’s so cool that she’s aiming to have uncomfortable conversations with people too.” I could sit there and listen to her talk to those people. I love seeing Barack Obama open up in a way that’s more from his heart and less onstage presenting as a former president. He opens up in some honest ways. I feel grateful to consume that type of content. That has been our aim from the beginning. Joe Rogan’s controversies aside, he inspired us because he goes on tangents and he brings on guests. Someone like Elon Musk who doesn’t do that many interviews, the joy of listening to him talk for hours is super fascinating. The controversy has worked to people’s advantages. As careful as I am to be politically correct and to not offend people, maybe it’s okay to offend people every once in a while because it might bring more attention to you. We’re certainly not trying to purposefully create that controversy. You were talking about this with me through text, Jason, how that one influencer who “leaked a sex tape” and you’re like, “I’m sure it’s going to help his career.”

There are things that we know are going to activate people in a specific, psychological and emotional way. For someone to intentionally leak a sex tape, which there are a whole slew of celebrities that have been doing this for years and have done great things for them because right now in our society, attention is the most valuable form of currency. He, she or they who commands the most consistent and emotionally visceral attention gets rewarded for it. You have people climbing over themselves like crabs in a barrel trying to get the most attention. What are the things that get the most attention right now? Sex, controversy and things that we know will be emotionally inflammatory to people. If you can combine those things and have emotionally inflammatory, controversial content that also has elements of sex in it, you’re going to do great in the attention economy. You’re going to do fantastic if that’s what you want, if that’s what you value. For a lot of young people, influencers and content creators, we’ve talked about this. We talked about, from what I recall, our episode with Paige Snyder, who’s an amazing clinical nutritionist, holistic health coach about this idea of, “You’d get a lot more followers if you took your clothes off. When you do take your clothes off, some people celebrate it and other people vilify you for it.” It reminds me of this old example of the musician, Alice Cooper. In the ‘70s, there was a concert where someone at one of his shows threw a chicken on stage. There’s video footage of this. Alice Cooper picks up the chicken and he puts it back in the audience. The audience, it’s horrible, they tear this poor bird to shreds. The next morning, the headline and all the newspapers and the media was, “Alice Cooper dismembers or kills chicken on stage.” Frank Zappa calls up Alice Cooper and says, “Is this true? Did you kill a chicken on stage? Why would you do that?” Alice Cooper says, “Of course not. Someone threw it on stage. I threw it back and they killed it.” Zappa said to him, “Don’t deny it because it’s great coverage.” What happens? Controversy. Alice Cooper’s album sales go up. Even “negative attention” is still attention. This is one of the most convoluted and dangerous parts of our society. People get so obsessed with fame, money and attention that they’re willing to do things and pretty much anything to get it. I’m not judging or vilifying. I think it’s fascinating, the lengths that people are willing to go to. It’s not complicated. Take your clothes off, make a sex tape, pose a certain way, use a certain filter. It constantly mystifies me, Whitney, that you’ll send me certain people like on Instagram, TikTok or friends and they’re like, “Did you see this person?” This random ass person will have a million followers. I’m like, “Who even is this?” If I scroll through their content, I’m like, “They’re leveraging sex and controversy. That’s why they’re so popular.” I would hope that collectively as humans, we could get to a point where we start to devalue this stuff and not put so much emphasis on attention as currency. Maybe people will start putting out content that has sustainable lasting value.

Who’s to say, that may never change. The other thing is we, as human beings, are hoping for world peace, but we may never achieve what we perceive as world peace. There’s always this balance of things that we like versus what we don’t like, the controversies, the things that we find pleasing that somebody else finds horrific. It reminds me of when I was on TikTok, which is, as I say many times where I go for entertainment and information. I saw somebody posting about this website called Omegle. I don’t know if it’s the same company or not, but what was the name of that website where you could go on and chat with strangers? That one guy became famous that we met through the Ford Fiesta movement. Remember that? You randomly connected with a stranger via video.

It was Chatroulette by Steve Kardynal. He would dress in drag and do these hilarious dances and impressions. I liked his stuff. I thought he was off the wall, oddball funny. What is he up to in the world? What is he doing?

MGU 160 | Podcasting For A Year

Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving

Does he have a podcast too? It looks he might’ve had one called The Kardynal’s Nest. He’d be an interesting person. That was in 2017. I don’t know if he still does it. It’s so interesting to look up people and what they’re doing now. Remember when he was at top of his game and it seemed like a lot of people knew who he was because he had that viral video. We ended up getting to know him because he and I were both in a program called the Ford Fiesta Movement back in 2013. It was like when you and I met the guy behind Bane Cat and we freaked out over that. I don’t know whatever happened. If anybody hasn’t seen Bane Cat, if you click on any link in this episode, click on the Bane Cat link, please. This is interesting. I looked up Steve Kardynal’s Twitter where he’s active. He was sharing how his Wrecking Ball video was posted in 2013. That was when I met him. He was at the top of his game back then, but it looks like he’s still doing well on Twitter. One of our guests was Jason Horton, who I met at the same time through the same program. He was a guest on our show. That was an interesting episode too where he talked about his experience as an influencer and as a new author. I’m scrolling through Steve Kardynal’s Twitter and somebody wrote, “We fondly remember Steve Kardynal’s amazing version of Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball on Chatroulette.” That was his thing. On TikTok, somebody was posting about the newer version of Chatroulette, which is called Omegle. I’m going to see if they’re connected or if it’s a copy version because I don’t know. Maybe they’re two separate platforms because now I found an article on Bustle.com that’s talking about that people are tired of being alone during quarantine so that’s why they’re back on these platforms. I don’t have the time to go through this article properly. My point in bringing up Omegle is that people are doing horrific things on that platform. It’s hard for me to even think about. I’m going to talk about this lightly, but this woman on TikTok was saying how not only can your data be compromised on there because people have learned how to hack the site to find your location, which is disturbing. Certainly, they could do that on a number of different platforms. We don’t have as much privacy as we think we do in general. That’s creepy, it’s one thing to have somebody hack into your email, but it’s another thing to know where you live, be able to come there, hack into your webcam, and watch you sleep, which is a nightmare of mine. I literally have ongoing nightmares of accidentally posting something online or accidentally going live. I had that dream. I woke up at 5:00 AM because my brain wasn’t sure if it was a dream or reality that I posted something I didn’t mean to post on social media. Going back once more to Omegle, apparently, people are on there committing suicide. They’re on there committing bestiality and all sorts of pornography. There are a lot of predators on these platforms. There are dark things happening on that platform and it is fully accessible to us. You can go on there easily. This one TikToker was saying how, in her opinion, it’s the closest we have to easy access to the dark web because it’s not monitored. It’s this platform where you can do anything. There’s a high chance in both Omegle and Chatroulette of seeing somebody exposing themselves. You imagine you’re a teenager seeing that, but I didn’t realize that people are doing horrific things like ending their own lives or harming other animals or whatever else. I don’t even know why I brought this up. The reason was because that you were hoping that things would get better, like people would stop doing things to get attention, but I don’t know if that’s ever going to end. We find more avenues for it. The downside of TikTok is that it gives people this false sense of fame or that fleeting sense of fame. Did you watch that video I sent you of how there’s an app that’s designed to replicate what it feels to go viral?

I did. I didn’t find it disturbing. It’s fascinating to me that there’s an app designed to fake fame. Talk about meta. We’re living in this reality where fame is this bizarre, fleeting, temporal thing anyway and now there’s an app designed to give you the illusion of fame. I don’t know how I feel about it. It’s fascinating and bizarre to me.

What’s bizarre is in that video, the TikToker shows herself trying out the app. She says it does feel good, even though she knows it’s fake. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the direction we go more and more in as a society where we know something isn’t real, but we enjoy it anyways because that’s the way our brains work. We are already living in that false sense of reality. Some people thinking that we’re living in a simulation. How do we know? It’s so easy to create a false sense of reality. Maybe a lot of the things that we’re doing are not real. The same thing you could say about online dating. Somebody can go on Tinder, for example, or whatever app you choose to use and get this false sense of feeling desired. It’s like, “All these strangers think that I’m attractive. All these strangers want my attention.” Now we’re at a point where it’s so common. I don’t know if it always has been, but we’re more aware of it. It’s incredibly common for people to see each other, never respond to one another, be interested and not interested maybe in the same day. One common thing I see on TikTok, which I always skipped through because I don’t enjoy listening to bad dating stories. That’s a theme on TikTok. Many people are talking about the crazy experiences they had during dating. I’m like, “I don’t want to hear that.” That makes me feel depressed, knowing that somebody is making you feel horrible about yourself or you’re left feeling depressed, lonely, unwanted, undesirable, confused and all those emotions.

One of the most freeing parts of podcasting is that you can just do whatever you want right now. Click To Tweet

Why would we put ourselves in that position? Tying back into the show, Jason, moving forward, I like experimenting with different things in this show, but I also feel like there’s something to be said with you and I carrying on for as long as we feel like doing this. I hope that we do it for a while, but then again, that hope that I feel for the show is based in this present moment and who knows how I’m going to feel in 2021. I intend on continuing. I don’t have a desire to stop, but to your point, Jason, we have no idea how long we’ll do this show. We don’t know what successes we’ll have. We’ve tried a lot of different things and some things have panned out for us, some haven’t, and that’s okay. We’ve tried a lot over the years that you and I have each been running our content careers. When you were talking about Joe Rogan starting in 2009, you and I were both creating content before 2009, we weren’t doing a show yet. We have been through a lot of different scenarios and we’re nowhere near the success that Joe Rogan has, but that’s okay. I don’t need that. I don’t need to have the show be massively successful. My ego would enjoy that. My bank account would enjoy it, but that doesn’t mean that I am attached to that in terms of doing the show.

I think this comes back to a thought that I’ve been ruminating on, Whitney, which if we come back to the idea of whatever success or metrics mean to us because we’ve interwoven that throughout this conversation. I’m focusing on this idea of minimalism. You and I have had some great conversations about having a year-end wrap-up and discussing where we want to go in terms of the direction of the show and our Wellevatr brand and including our personal brands. There are a lot of dimensions and layers to this conversation. One thing I feel excited and passionate about is simplifying, minimizing, streamlining and getting more clear and specific about not just the direction, but the look, the feel and the attitude of everything we’re doing. It reminds me of a quote. I do not remember who said this quote or when I heard it, but it was, “I make my life more abundant by making my needs and desires few.” I don’t mean this in an aesthetic sense of let’s all go live in caves like monks. I don’t personally want to do that, but it’s like, why are we obsessed with success? Is it because I need to have a certain house in a specific location, drive a certain car or have a certain credit score? We talk about there are a million different examples of these metrics, but it’s like, “What if we reframe what success means to us in the sense of maybe I don’t need to buy a $1 million house on the Venice canals?” That was a former dream of mine when I had my TV series. I was like, “I’m going to make so much money from this TV series. I’m going to be this huge celebrity chef.” You remember. You and I would walk through the Venice canals all the time dreaming about, “We’re going to buy that house and buy this house.” I couldn’t give a fuck right now. I remember that time fondly and how big I was dreaming and you and I were dreaming in terms of business and life, but do I need to buy a $5 million house on the Venice canals to feel validated in my success? I don’t. At one time I did though. It’s up to each one of us to critically and honestly evaluate why we want certain things. Is it to prove our value and our worth and how lovable we are to our parents, to society? I don’t want to get into the fragments of the psychology of this, but it’s important we ask ourselves this. Maybe I can move somewhere else where I don’t need to spend whatever the median house price in LA is now, like $700,000. Maybe I can buy a place and live in a tiny house or an RV or spend $200,000 on it, whatever. I’m getting tangential here. The point is that it’s important for all of us to reevaluate what we feel is a success, if it even fucking matters. Does it matter? For each one of us, that’s going to be a different evaluation process. Why are we doing what we’re doing? You and I have talked about Simon Sinek and Start with Why, but I’m deep in that right now. I know you are too with the evolution of your brand of Eco-Vegan Gal with Whitney Lauritsen and where Wellevatr may or may not go. It’s important for you and I to sit down at the end of 2020 and have a broad, not just intellectual conversation, but almost an esoteric, gut, heart, spiritual conversation about like, “Why are we doing this? Where do we think it’s going? How do we want to conduct ourselves?” It’s a critical thing to do.

How different is that from setting a resolution? To your point, Jason, just because you set a goal doesn’t mean that you’re still going to want that goal in the future. That’s the interesting thing about these conversations. Similar to resolutions, I don’t know if I want to spend the time making vision boards, writing out goals and all of that stuff because I’ve done that so many times. That hasn’t necessarily shifted the way things went. There is data around having your eye on something and people give these metaphors like you’re driving somewhere. If you don’t plug in your destination, how are you going to get there? It’s like, “Sure, it is helpful, but maybe it’s more about those micro-goals.” What if it’s a monthly thing? Even as we’ve said before, maybe the word goal isn’t that relevant anymore. It’s an aim, it’s a direction, but not being as attached to it is the big thing that I’ve learned. Ultimately, Jason, it doesn’t matter. If we step back and think. Let’s say that we have a goal of getting more downloads. It’s like, “Sure, that appeals to sponsors.” Maybe that does matter. We don’t have that much control. If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past year, it’s like, we’ve tried a lot of different things with our show, but it’s rare that things move the needle. We’ve had a couple of amazing experiences, for example, having Jason Green on the show a couple of times. He’s our top two episodes. Who knew? Out of 160 episodes that we’ve done, both of Jason Green’s episodes on the show as a guest are our top two episodes. When we brought him on the show, we had no idea that was going to happen. Jason Green was a friend of mine that I met through TikTok and in his first episode, he didn’t even have the platform that he has now. A few months after he came on our show, he exploded on TikTok. It’s called Relationships and Relationshits, which is such a great title. He’s got a podcast as well. He talks about attachment styles and that was his passion. Our show inspired him to do that, which was cool. He was coming on to talking about it personally, never realizing it was going to turn into his profession. It went in both directions. We helped him, he helped us. My point being none of us knew that was going to happen. None of us knew that that would be his career path. None of us knew he’d be our top two episodes and retain that position for many months. My big point is the times that you and I have put all this energy and time, Jason, to try and to plan things out for the hopes of success because we thought that was a strategy that would work, it doesn’t always work. We’ve done that so much over the years and honestly ends up being exhausting. It’s like when you and I were talking about the bundle sales. We’ve done so many bundle sales and in a couple of years, Jason, you and I toiled over it. We were working non-stop for a month. For what reason? To make $1,000, to make a few sales? It certainly wasn’t worth it, but we thought it was going to be worth it is my point. I guess it doesn’t feel cynical to me. It feels like, “I’m going to put my energy somewhere where it feels good.” For me, what feels good is taking it day by day or month by month. I don’t need to plan out the trajectory of a show. We don’t even know how long we’re going to have this show.

It goes back to the thing we’ve said multiple times in multiple ways, Whitney, as I feel we’re energetically maybe getting to the end of this episode. The idea of following a roadmap, following a formula or walking the path that someone else has laid, even though people say you ought to find an avatar, a mentor or a hero to emulate. We hear all kinds of parotid phrases of good artists borrow, great artists steal, which I think we could do a whole episode on that. My point is that I was thinking about this. I had my first bout of insomnia in a long time and I’m tossing and turning and my mind won’t shut off. One of the thoughts I had apropos of this idea of roadmaps or formulas and this pedantic simplified thing that people make millions on them, “Follow my twelve steps to success,” and all the contrapreneurs doing this shit out there. I feel like I was stuck in an idea for most of the last few years, to be honest of, “Here’s what I remember getting on a Facebook for the first time.”

MGU 160 | Podcasting For A Year

It was like, “You’re on Facebook? Cool. You’ve got to get on Twitter now. You’re on Twitter? There’s this thing called YouTube you need to get on.” I remember I had a publicist at the beginning of my career who was like, “You need to do this and do this. Here’s the next step. Now you’re going to start doing speaking appearances because you have a YouTube channel. We’re going to book you at this conference. You need to do an eBook because then an eBook will get you opt-ins and you’ll build your mailing list and you can sell your mailing list. By the way, now you need to do a DVD,” when people were doing DVDs. Lo and behold, “You’ve got to get a TV show. Now you’ve got to do a book deal. Now that you have an audience, you need to do an online course. Go and find a person and launch an online course. By the way, have you heard of this thing called LinkedIn, you need to get your profile?” My point is all this. This idea of this sequential system toward happiness, fulfillment and success is an illusion that we need to destroy. Does it work for some people? Sure. I’m not saying that it doesn’t work if someone cops a roadmap or a system that may have worked for some people. People wouldn’t be in business if everyone failed using their roadmap or their system. It obviously works for some people. The danger is in what Taylor Proctor talked about when we had her on here on the show. It’s this roadmap of, “I need to check all the boxes and here’s the next thing. Now it’s a book, it’s a show, it’s a YouTube channel, or it’s a publicist.” I’m not saying this as a humble brag. I’ve experienced all that in my career. Having a manager, a publicist, an agent. You and I have gone to the parties and met certain people. At the end of it all, it’s not that I don’t feel proud of what you and I or as an individual I’ve accomplished, but you go through all those steps and all those check marks on the roadmap. It’s like, “Here I am and I’m not those successes. I’m not those check marks on the fucking box.” My whole point is it’s important we break this idea of this is the next thing I’ve got to do. It’s like, “Do you want to do that? Does it bring you joy? Does it make you feel fulfilled? Does it spark something in you or are you doing it because that’s the next thing you ought to be doing?” Taking personal responsibility for this, there are a lot of things that if I look back on, I wasn’t doing them because they made me feel excited or joyful. I was doing it because that was what I was told I ought to do as the next step. I’m unraveling that so hardcore right now in my life. I’m being mindful with what you and I are doing too of not falling into that of, “This is the next thing you should do. You hit that echelon and this is the next thing you could do.” It’s like, “Do I want to or am I doing it because someone told me I ought to?”

It’s an ongoing process ultimately and deciding what works for us because it does work for some people to follow those steps. It does work for some people to read the books and implement things, take the courses, listen to speakers. They get motivated by that. I have too, over time. Right now, in my life, I personally don’t want to do that much planning because it burns me out. It’s more of tuning into my energy levels. I’m aware of what gives me energy and takes energy. When it comes to taking energy, I have to decide is this worth it? Things like planning, sometimes gives me a lot of energy. Sometimes it benefits, but it’s usually short-term plans because the long-term plans can shift so much. If we’ve learned anything in 2020, it’s like we don’t know what’s coming for us. Speaking of plans, remember back in March and April 2020, our president was telling us that the pandemic was not going to last that long, to go ahead and continue making plans for the future. Here we are in December 2020 and I don’t even know what Christmas is going to be like for this country. We’re past Thanksgiving and most people around the country were encouraged not to spend Thanksgiving with other people. Who knew that that was going to be the case in March or April, let alone February? We look at the beginning of 2020, none of us knew all of these things were going to happen and every single month has been that way.

A pretty easy path to unhappiness is trying to please everyone and trying to make everyone a fan. Click To Tweet

Maybe my feelings right now are a result of all that. Maybe I’ve been reminding myself that I don’t know what’s coming down the pipeline. I would rather take it moment by moment and not get attached to plans and hope for outcomes. You bringing up our dream of having a house on the Venice canals. You and I have each had that dream. Now, I never think about it anymore. Not that that doesn’t sound nice. I wouldn’t mind having a house on the Venice canals, but maybe I’d rather have a house in a different state or city. I couldn’t have predicted that years ago when I had that dream. The big theme here with looking back over the past year is that I’m grateful for the joy and grateful of the experiences. I enjoy learning. I like that part of evolution. I like that part of personal development. You and I, Jason, have refined our voice. We have invested in new equipment. We have worked with teams. We have had incredible guests. I’m optimizing the emails we send out to our guests. There are always little tweaks to do that are satisfying. We’ve had amazing feedback, including some of the wonderful reviews that people have written for us. Hearing people call our show is a great food for thought and how we go into depth, being acknowledged for things like that is wonderful when people use words like authentic that go deep with purpose and meaning. Somebody is saying that you and I have a gift for getting to the heart of the most important topics in our lives. What a compliment, being told that we’re thoughtful, compassionate and that we flow effortlessly. A lot of people have said wonderful things about us. From an ego level, it’s nice to hear that reflected back to us. It is an effortless thing. When I was saying it feels easy to me, I’m like, “That’s effortless.” I enjoy talking with you, Jason, because I care deeply about you as a friend. I respect you as a person with a platform online and your experience that you bring here. Ultimately, that’s the best thing I could say. Looking back, I am grateful that this has felt effortless and I’m grateful that this show has brought me much joy. Ultimately, that’s what matters. It’s not about the money. It’s not about the followers, not about the clout and all that stuff. What does that even matter? Has your life been significantly altered, Jason, because you hit some bestseller lists with your books? We’ve talked about that. No. Was your life significantly altered because you had a TV show? In some ways, yes, in some ways, no. Maybe people are reading this because of your TV show or because of your book, and that’s awesome. That’s what matters, but it’s not about how many downloads we get or how much we get paid. Ultimately too, Jason, it’s a gift that you and I don’t make a ton of money on this show yet because that shows that we’re doing it beyond the financial reasons. To go back to what you were saying, all these people are saying like, “The next step is to do blankety-blank. That’s because you’re going to make X amount of money.” It’s like, “No, we’ve done this show for a year and we haven’t made that much money from it and that’s okay.” We don’t have extraordinary, mind-blowing milestones. One of my podcasting friends in her media kit talks about how many downloads she got in the first month of the podcast. I remember seeing that for the first time and thinking, “What an achievement. Jason and I didn’t get those numbers.” I fell into that comparison trap, but who cares?

MGU 160 | Podcasting For A Year

It’s ultimately like, “Who cares? We care.” Who cares if you, the reader, is still reading this episode? Obviously, you care. That’s awesome, but we don’t even know. There’s not an easy way for us to know how many people even read this much of each episode. That’s cool, Jason, that we can’t see all those metrics you can see on YouTube because those metrics don’t serve you. In fact, I cringe when I look at our email metrics. It hurts every time I see somebody unsubscribe from one of our email newsletters. I don’t like looking at that stuff. It feels like rejection. I’m grateful with the show. We don’t know when people unsubscribe. We don’t know when people stop reading. We don’t get comments on every single episode. We get reviews and we see how many people download each episode and that’s it. It’s nice.

There’s tremendous power in the ancient mantra of fuck it. Not in a nihilistic way, not in denying, not to bypass the things that we’re feeling, but to your point, Whitney, we could be like, “Don’t you know how long I spent writing that newsletter? Don’t you know how much effort we put into this show? Don’t you know how long it took for me to do that YouTube video? You don’t just give me a thumbs down, you unsubscribed.” Fuck it. There are the people who will resonate and there are the people who won’t. I don’t know what the secret to happiness in life is, but I know that an easy path to unhappiness is trying to please everyone and trying to make everyone a fan. I don’t care anymore. There was a time that I did fall into that of like, “Everyone’s got to like me and I need to be universally loved.” I remember trying to play that role in high school and like, “Why?” I was trying to keep myself safe. If everyone approves of me and everyone’s like, “Jason, we love you,” then I’ll be safe. I realized that I’m not everyone’s flavor of ice cream. What we do online is not everyone’s flavor of ice cream, but for some people, it is their flavor. They’re like, “I like this flavor. I will take two scoops. Thank you very much.” Some people are like, “I hate that flavor.” Use the mantra, “Fuck it.” It’s liberating. The more I go through life, Whitney, I’m trying to let more things roll over my shoulder. For me, as a sensitive emotional person trying to not get emotionally wound up about things, it’s not easy sometimes as you know, but I’m getting better at it. With that, dear reader, we’re approaching the end of this episode. If you enjoy what you read and you haven’t left us a review yet on Apple Podcasts, we would absolutely love that. As Whitney had mentioned a few of the reviews, we always appreciate getting that direct feedback from you and your perspective, opinion and words on what we are producing here on the show. All of the resources, the videos, the articles, everything that we mentioned to supplement your learning and your growth, you can go to our website. I’m proud of our catalog and I hope you have the time, the gumption and the desire to dig in because we’ve got some great stuff on there. Also related, if you want to reach out to Whitney and I directly, email us at [email protected]. We have a great growing Instagram page @Wellevatr. We’re also on TikTok, YouTube and Facebook, but we’re the most active on Instagram. Whitney is designing some eye-catching beautiful, impactful stuff there. With that said, we always appreciate you getting uncomfortable with us. We hope this episode provided you with some food for thought, some great reflections, some new perspectives or maybe reinforcing some belief systems you share with us. We’ll see you soon with another episode. Thanks for reading.

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