Episode 341: How I Grew My Podcast To 2 Million Downloads Without Following The Rules

Episode 341 - How I Grew My Podcast To 2 Million Downloads Without Following The Rules

I hadn’t thought to do an episode on how I built my podcast until my friend Alexander James (who I interviewed in Episode 340) started asking for the details. So I thought that I’d record an episode on how I built my podcast to 2 million downloads without following industry best practices.

This episode is about podcasting AND it’s about how you can be successful even when you’re not doing things the same way as everyone else in your industry – no matter what you’re working on. If you feel called to do things your way, this one’s for you.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • The thoughts I have about my podcast that make it easy for me to be consistent
  • Why I didn’t follow the advice given by experts on how to build a successful podcast
  • How I figured out what I wanted my podcast to be like
  • Why it’s easy for me not to compare my podcast with other people’s
  • The practical things I do so that I felt safe publishing ‘imperfect’ episodes

PGSD is opening to new students on 27 July 2022:

The PGSD Process will get you out of your own way in your business and have you making more money more easily. The doors to Perfectionists Getting Shit Done will be opening at 6am New York time on 27 July and closing at 11:59pm New York time on 2 August 2022. To find out more about the program and be the first to know when the doors open, join the waitlist here: samlaurabrown.com/pgsd.

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This episode is about podcasting AND it’s about how you can be successful even when you’re not doing things the same way as everyone else in your industry - no matter what you’re working on. If you feel called to do things your way, this one’s for you.


Hi, and welcome to another episode of The Perfectionism Project. A podcast full of perfectionism advice for entrepreneurs. My name is Sam Laura Brown, I help entrepreneurs release their perfectionism handbrake, so they can get out of their own way and build a fulfilling and profitable business. I’m the founder of the perfectionist getting shit done group coaching program, which is otherwise known as PGSD. And for even more perfectionism advice to help you with your business, you can follow me on Instagram @perfectionismproject.

I have just finished interviewing my friend, Alexander James, his episode, his interview that I did with him, it should have been released by now. So make sure you go and listen to that. If you haven’t already, it’ll be about emotional safety. I don’t know what episode number it is, at the time I’m recording this. But I know it’s going to be incredibly helpful for you.

So just want to point you there. But I was talking to Alexander after we finished recording, we stayed on and kept chatting away. And we were talking about the posts that I recently did, he brought it up and mentioned that I had recently posted saying that this podcast that you’re listening to is at 2 million downloads, and it’s generated over a million dollars in revenue and coaching clients. And he said, have you done an episode about that? Like, how did you create that, and it was just so interesting to me, because I hadn’t really thought to do an episode on that. I hadn’t even really registered it as a success. And that was really interesting to me.

And so I thought I would do an episode sharing how I have built a successful podcast without following the best practices that we had told you need to follow in order to be successful. And I also want to mention that this episode isn’t about podcasting. I’m just using podcasting to share some specific examples of what it looks like when you answer the question, what would this look like if it was easy for me. And that’s really what I’ve done with this podcast.

And I have a lot of helpful thoughts about it that make it really easy for me to record a podcast episode to figure out what to say, to feel confident recording episodes, knowing that nothing is going to be edited out unless I have a coughing fit or something not going to make you listen to that. But otherwise, if I lose my train of thought, or whatever it’s going to be seen in the episode and I can trust myself to just show up and chat and that it’s going to be helpful for you.

Whereas when I’m on other platforms, for example, Instagram, I have different thoughts about it. It’s nothing to do with the platforms themselves. But my thoughts are different on different platforms. And my thoughts about myself as it relates to those platforms are different. And so I have found it more challenging and other platforms to show up with the podcast, I have really helpful thoughts. So this episode, I’m gonna be sharing just by virtue of me chatting about it, some of the thoughts that have really helped me to get out of my own way and show up fully with this podcast and have it be the success that it is.

And also give you some permission to not have to follow best practices and to know that it’s safe to do it your way. This is something that I explore a lot personally, this is something that I talk about a lot personally, that we also work on inside PGSD is knowing when you need to learn things from others, which is important. And we want to be open minded. We want to be learning and growing and doing all those things. But at the same time, we want to be tapping into our own wisdom, our own intuition and instincts. And also being willing to experiment being willing to fail, being willing to do something that might not work or it might not work right away.

And I think that when it comes to the podcast and the way that I have shown up for the podcast, that it is an example of how to not be in your own way about something having said that I have been in my own way about it in different ways in the past for sure. And if I remember because it’s not in my notes, I might touch on that. But for the most part, I have really thought about this podcast in a way that helps me have it be so easy. And that’s been very intentional as well. At the beginning, I really asked myself, what would this look like if it was easy.

So anyway, I’m just going to chat through some of the things that have been really helpful for me and know that whatever it is that you are wanting to do, I want you to be thinking about that, as you’re listening to me talk about the podcast, so maybe it is a podcast you want to do but maybe it’s not maybe it’s YouTube or social media like Instagram, TikTok, whatever. Maybe it’s nothing to do with that at all. It’s something else. But you have been feeling like you have to kind of contort yourself to fit into these best practices. And you have the idea that you have to do things right. And you have to do them in a certain way or it’s not going to work.

And I love that this podcast has been an example of me having the self trust to ignore all of the best practices and trust my own intuition, based on what I love about podcasts, and following that, and also what I noticed as well is that I don’t have to not listen to other podcasts in order to trust my own intuition on that one. I’ve been working on this with Instagram. Some of my answer, my all or nothing kind of answer has been like, cool. I just need to not look at what everyone else is doing and kind of put my blinkers on. But with the podcast, because I have so much trust in myself with what I’m doing.

And that doesn’t mean I don’t get negative reviews. It doesn’t mean that there are a lot of people who don’t resonate with my podcast, I’ve had reviews saying, Why do you laugh when you talk like shit like that, like, it’s not like this lands with everyone. But I’m able to trust that it’s working, that it’s helpful. And that is going to invite people in who want to be inside PGSD. And it’s going to help them know that that’s a great fit for them and all that kind of thing that I really think about it in a way that means that I can be such an avid lover of listening to other podcasts.

And I can listen to all sorts of different formats I can listen to people do. I don’t really listen to short episodes, I’m biased that way. If it’s less than 20 minutes, I’m not gonna listen. But there are a lot of people who only want five minute episodes. So just because I’m not gonna listen doesn’t mean no one will. But what was I saying? Now I can’t hear from my phone where I was going with that? But when it comes to the podcast, that’s what I was saying. I can listen to other formats, I can hear interview shows, I can hear really structured and thought out interviews like a Tim Ferriss interview, for example, on the Tim Ferriss show a podcast I adore. Also, Armchair Expert another podcast I adore is a completely different style where Dr. Monica are just talking about whatever.

And I can listen to both of those and then not feel like I have to suddenly be super research if I’m interviewing someone. And also not feel like I have to you know, bring a friend on to chat with me on the podcast. Like I can just enjoy other podcasts for what they are and keep doing it my own way. So what I’m going to be sharing with basically the thoughts that allow me to do that and to be in love with podcasting. And the way that I’m doing it while still being able to see and witness and experience other people doing it and see them doing it well and not convinced myself, I should do it the same way.

So going back when it comes to the podcast, actually, before we do that, I want to mention I said 2 million downloads, we’re not actually fully at 2 million yet. And I was like felt so good for posting that we were at 2 million downloads, because we’re very close think we’re at 1.8 million, we’ll be at 2 million very soon. But definitely in the past, it was like well, I can’t claim that I am a certain kind of person until I feel like it’s fully clicked in. And to just recognize that we can be really generous with ourselves.

And it’s, I mean, maybe it’s technically lying to say we’ve had 2 million downloads, we’re very close, it’s gonna happen, it’s a done deal. And to just as perfectionist, we can just be so cruel to ourselves with what we’re allowed to count. And so I just want to mention that at the top that you can think of it like I’m thinking to myself, like I have 2 million downloads, even though technically, in like at this point in time, we don’t like I am the person who has more than 2 million downloads. So yeah, just wanted to mention that.

So going back and I’m just remembering when I was talking to Alexander about because I was thinking like, well, what, how do I think about the podcast because it feels so like, natural to me in the sense that I’m now like five years into podcasting, which I guess is the first thing to mention. I started in 2017. And you might know if you know my story, I started this business as a blog in 2013. It was called smart twenties. I was 22 years old. And I was just blogging. And what if you call it that because I would I didn’t have any my own ideas that I was sharing. I was just like, Oh, I like this YouTube video from this person or I like this blog post from this person.

And I didn’t have enough self confidence to even say that I had any kind of opinion on anything. I was just kind of gathering and collating together ideas. And then over time with that I developed an opinion and an ability to express my opinion and a confidence that it would be helpful for other people if I did that. So that came with time. And I’ve shared in other episodes about my own journey in those first few years with my business and that I didn’t even realize I was a perfectionist. When I started the business, and I all this misconceptions we hear about perfectionism. I believed all of them and I just I didn’t.

I really didn’t ever think of myself that way. I don’t even know exactly what I thought about it. But it wasn’t until I started my business and I did something that felt so true to who I was that my perfectionism handbrake really came on because it felt so scary to fail it being myself, it felt easier to fail it being someone I wasn’t, or to not be liked for being someone that I wasn’t. But to not be liked for being who I truly felt like I was it felt so unsafe emotionally, that I just completely shut down and actually only give myself some credit. That was my experience.

At the moment, I would say that I was like crippled, but I just kept walking through that thick, thick mud. And sometimes I would be stuck in it for months at a time. But I never gave up and I’m I could cry when I think about how proud I am of my past self for that. So anyway, I started in 2013. And it took me and I got into sorry, now we’re going through the whole story, but I got into business, like I would not have a business if it wasn’t for podcasts.

Because I was a uni student I was working a lot as well. And I was just sick of cuz I didn’t live close to work or uni or anything I was always driving around. And I just hate and I still hate ads. And just like radio ads. And like Steve gets really annoyed whenever the TV’s on free to air, I make him mute. Anytime that ads are on. I just feel like they just go right into my subconscious. But anyway, so I was just sick of the radio, and I found the TED Talk podcast. And then I turn through that really quickly. And then it suggested business podcasts, no intention ever of starting a business. And I just heard about all these people who have online businesses.

And it just like I was super fascinated by it, and personal development. And I’ve only just discovered the personal development world. And even I’ve always loved Oprah, but I only just like realize it was a whole thing. And so in 2013, I really started listening to podcasts, and they became like, my drug of choice so to speak, I was always listening to a podcast, they just filled me with this belief and this possibility. And I love that I have received so many emails and DMS and PGSDers well who like, I didn’t have any intention of being in business when I started listening to your podcast, and now I have a business.

And I just that’s how it was for me as well that I just was surrounded in my ears all the time by these people who are like me who were just showing up and giving it a go and figuring it out along the way. And I trusted that even though it didn’t feel relevant to me in that moment. Like I was listening to episodes about all sorts of things that I had no intention of ever doing. But it just planted that seed. And so anyway, I got into business, because of podcasts and because of how impactful and powerful they were.

And yet it felt so scary to think about me giving myself permission to put myself in that same company for me to say, I’m like these people, and I can be right next to them in Apple podcasts or whatever. And so I was just blogging. And I think I can’t remember exactly the order things happened. But then I started at some point, I want to say this is like 2016-2017 I was just blogging very, very sporadically, like one post every three months.

For most of my first few years and I just in 2016 had a real enough is enough off moment. Like I was just sick and tired of being in my own way. Like I just remember it so clearly, it was an April 2016. I was like I’ve had it I either go all in or I shut the fuck up to myself about it. Like I just, I’m not pretending anymore. I’m sick of pretending that I’m trying. I just want to try or just like let it be okay that I’m not going to try and stop pretending.

So anyway, with all that said, I around then I started doing Snapchats like chatting on Snapchat and then I’m sure I don’t know or it happened in but YouTube videos I started a YouTube series where I was just recording every day. While I was like putting makeup on and getting ready for the day and not doing anything fancy with makeup. It was just like how can I what would this look like if it was easy, I would fit it into my routine. And something I do every day is I get ready. So I’m just going to pop this up. I’m getting ready.

So anyway, I was doing that people were saying like, Oh, I’m you know, I’m listening to this like it’s a podcast like, well, that’s so much easier if I don’t have to do the visual side of things and I can just sit down and chat. And so I started that I think shortly after the YouTube channel so just want to say when I started my podcast that wasn’t like the first time I was ever figuring out what I was doing. It was called the Smart Twenties podcast when this podcast started. If you go back you will hear it.

Um, and I did at that point. No, I was a perfectionist, like I decided to figure that out. But I hadn’t. Like I, that was kind of the undercurrent, but I didn’t know that that was the thing that I was helping people with. So even I mean, it is a while ago now 2017. But also, it’s not that long ago, I think in 2018 was when I rebranded to the perfectionism project, the name of that I only came up with because I didn’t want it to be the Sam Laura Brown Show. So I was like, well, Perfectionism Project will do.

So that’s how that came about. But anyway, I started the podcast in 2017. And I’d had like, the idea, like, I started to play with this idea of doing a podcast about a year prior. And just shut it down. Like I had one of my blog readers reach out and was like, You should do a podcast like, Nope, no fucking way. I’m not doing that. That makes zero sense whatsoever. That would be embarrassing. Like, it just felt like she had been like, you should go to the moon. It just felt completely out of this world, not something I could ever do.

And then when I was doing the YouTube stuff, and practicing, chatting, the same with Snapchat, it was all practice, that I had the idea. And at that point in time, as well, I didn’t have the self trust to know that I could have an idea and execute on it without being in the excitement of it. And I’ve talked about this, in different episodes I’ve done on human design, which I am not an expert in. But I did an interview with Aditi and Mili around episode 300 or so there are a couple around that number relating to human design and when you’re this emotional type, so I’m a to for emotional projector.

But 50% of the population is emotional in the way that it’s defined here, which is you have these waves of emotion where you have like, so you have an idea, you have this really high, intense period of excitement. And then you have this low, like, Oh my God, that’s the worst fucking idea I’ve ever had. And then you’ll kind of get to your calm, kind of, yes, I should do it. No, I shouldn’t do it, kind of energy, so to speak. And so I didn’t have the self trust to know that I could go through that wave and still implement. So what I would do, and I’m not making myself wrong for this, it was a strategy. It worked.

I started PGSD this way, it’s totally okay. But I was in that excitement of like, I’m gonna start a podcast. And then I just started it. I did the same with the YouTube channel, I didn’t trust that I could get through that dip and still execute. I was like, capitalizing on the excitement, which now I don’t do that I’m very conscious about. I mean, I’m not perfect. But if I have an idea, and I can, I can feel it now that I’m aware of it. Like I can feel this excitement and I want to do something about it, like tell someone about it or like take the next steps. Like just hold on a second. And then I’ll let myself go through that like emotional dip where I’m like, worse idea ever, that makes no sense.

And then I’ll let myself like, see where I am, after all of that heightened emotion is out of it. And then make a decision from that place and like check with myself that I’m in that place of calm clarity, which is a practice and it’s not to say don’t make any decisions unless you feeling that way. But anyway, I started the podcast when I was in one of these, like emotional highs of like, okay, I had this idea, and I just need to do something about it. Because I know that tomorrow, we’re gonna think it’s so sad ever. And maybe I’ll never do it. So I decided to do it today to get the ball rolling.

So I started the podcast, and at that point, I had listened to a lot of podcasts. As I mentioned, I started listening to podcasts in 2013. And I knew what I liked as a listener. I had listened at that point to 1000s and 1000s of hours of podcast episodes. So I knew that personally, long form chatty tangents rambly bubble of that, weaving different ideas together. I like interviews but my favorites have always been solo episodes. They are the ones if I see on one of my favorite podcasts they have a solid episode or they have an interview I’m always going for the solo episode first.

Something about that format I really enjoy and what else I just basically I love the ones that it feels like it’s real like it’s I really them kind of thing like it’s if I met them in person, I get a similar experience. That’s the kind of podcast I like. There are a lot of people who like structured to the point they want like this little nugget, I love having longer form and letting my brain like go off on a tangent and then come back and like as they’re going unsanded or sharing their stuff, my brain will be doing the same thing.

So I won’t be listening to 100% of it. And I liked that I liked that I can zone in and zone out and they’ll still be chatting that gives my brain more time to wrap itself around that idea and explore it and that kind of thing. So that’s how I think that’s how I like to consume podcasts. My guess is you like the same because that is the style of this podcast. But I really just paid attention to what do I like in podcasts and there are a few that really inspired me to have the format be the way that it is.

The main one is Myleik Teele. I don’t think she’s really podcasting anymore but you can find her on Instagram @myleik, M Y L E I K. She’s incredible. And her podcasts were just chatty, super casual, and I just loved it. And that was the main one I want to say as well. There are other ones I love Tim Ferriss podcast, but I’m not going to be doing like all the structured research and all the interviews and things like that. But just hearing him chat about like, habits and routines and that kind of thing. Brooke Castillo’s podcast, The Life Coach School, love her podcast. The format itself like I would much prefer her just riffing for 60 minutes, then like a structured 30 minute chat, though, I would definitely appreciate it for what it is.

But I could really see like, cool, I love this podcast. But in the ideas in this one. And this is really helpful for me and I like I’m obsessed with this particular podcast, like Myleik’s one and I will listen to anything she says. And that’s the kind of content not content, but the way that she’s sharing really feels the most connective to me. And I want to create, like, I want to create the podcast that I know, as a consumer, I would absolutely adore. And so that’s like the launch episodes I’ve been doing this year, where I am like sharing little snippets of behind the scenes stuff and grouping them together.

I didn’t see anyone doing that. I was just like, what would I love? I wish that, you know, when I was listening to these podcasts or like hearing people talk about their business, instead of hearing them in hindsight talk about I want to hear them like talk about it when they’re in the moment when they don’t know yet. If it’s gonna work when they’re like figuring out their shit. I want to hear that bit. So that’s what I recall from my into anyway, this is just to have you thinking about like, what do you as a consumer, really, really enjoy.

And there is something to be said, I think for you know, you want to be thinking about your customer, your client and being in their mind, and what do they need to hear and that kind of thing. I know, for me the way my brain works, it has been easiest for me to think like what would I really love like, and this is an idea I heard from Tim Ferriss about scratching your own itch. Like that’s what my podcast was doing was like, this is the podcast that I would listen to, and the kind of format that I would listen to. That’s not to say that I listen to all my podcasts episodes or anything like that, though.

I have gotten really good at being able to listen and just do that in a way where I’m not judgmental. I’m just listening for the ideas. And I think it’s really powerful to be able to get yourself in a place where you can do that, instead of being scared to look under the hood to like, reflect on things and see what’s going on. But anyway, so yeah, I was really thinking about what I enjoyed. And so if there is, say with Instagram or TikTok, or like, I just mentioned those platforms as well.

Because anytime there’s a platform where there’s immediate feedback, like on Instagram, for example, where there’s likes and comments, and sharing, and bookmarking, and DMS and all the things like you can get this immediate, this immediate feedback loop. And it doesn’t reflect actually how many people were impacting. And you can trust that for every person who is liking or commenting or whatever, that there are going to be at least 10 more for every person who likes it, who are loving it, who have never, and will never tell you about it.

There’ll be people that may tell who become your clients and customers and all that stuff. So it’s worth helping them and it’s worth it because you are helping them as well. But just remembering like I love thinking our best PGSDers they just lurk and they sign up like we don’t hear from most of them. And, for example, like Stacey Boehman, I’m in her 200k mastermind. She did not hear a peep out of me didn’t like anything on Instagram, didn’t emailed, didn’t DM, didn’t comment, nothing. And then I invested 25,000 US dollars and then I’ve done that again.

So it’s not that, you know, the likes are an indicator of whether or not you are going to be able to achieve your goals and help a lot of people. So anyway, if you are maybe with Instagram, for example, finding that you like looking at what everyone else is doing and being really strategic about it and formulaic about it to just sit back for a second and think like what do I really love when I am on Instagram or when I’m buying something here all like to just reflect on your experiences.

And then it’s trusting that there are other people who are like you that you’re not this unicorn who’s the only one like I trusted, that I’m not this unicorn who is the only one who loves a three hour podcast episode. And it goes against a lot of advice to have a three hour podcast episode that they should be short and like 30 minutes or whatever. I love the three hour episodes so I’m going to create one, I’m going to trust that there are other people in the world like me, who can relate to what I’m talking about and love these long episodes.

And it’s this, like, often we can be in this mindset of like, well, people don’t like XYZ. People don’t like long episodes, people don’t like talking about this topic. People don’t. It’s like, when we’re thinking in that way. And I just want you to be honest to yourself, if you’re in this mindset of like, people don’t like whatever it is, then to just notice that you’re thinking of your worst customer, your worst client, you’re thinking about, like, sure there are some people, it’s like, replace people with with some people, some people don’t like three hour episodes, a lot like me do.

So to just be onto yourself, when you’re just, it seems so logical and realistic. Well, people don’t like whatever. There are people who do and trusting that you can find them. And showing up accordingly, showing up with the trust that you’ll find them is what will help you find them. So yes, with that said, where was I going with those? Oh, yeah. So creating in a format like thinking about what do I personally enjoy. And I think that has been the reason that I’m so able to listen to incredible podcasts and hear about how successful they are and keep my format the same.

And for example, with solo episodes, I only did solo episodes, I think for the first three years of the podcast, because I was like, it’s just too much of like the tech obstacle for me to do interviews, I just want to be able to record at midnight if I want to or to record eight episodes back to back and not have to worry about anyone scheduled or anything like that, like I can just record when I want to record. And as I mentioned, I love solo episodes. So I’ve been able to just really be so sold on this format, that it’s okay if people don’t like it.

And as I’ve shared people haven’t liked it and don’t like it, and will tell me that. And even though for like the most part 99% of the feedback I receive about the podcast is that it’s super helpful and valuable and life changing. And all those amazing things our human brain wants to like focus on that 1%. And I shared an experience that I had with developing shame resilience, where I saw these reviews that were just confirming my insecurities around the podcast, and processing them and letting myself cry about it.

And it’s Yeah, it sounds to say my brain as well, after every episode or like, not every episode, I’d say every second episode is like, Well, that wasn’t any good. We shouldn’t publish that. That was usually specifically like you were just rambling on that didn’t make sense. You didn’t bring the ideas together like, this isn’t going to be helpful. They’re not going to understand what you’re saying. They’re going to think you don’t know what you’re talking about, like my brain says that chatter and I’ve just learned not to listen to it.

So I just want to be clear about that as well. It’s not like well, I wish I was as confident as Sam about podcasting. And then I could do it. My brain is having those same default thoughts that your brain is having. And it was having them in the beginning. And it’s having them now. And I find it really calming to just know like, oh, that chat is gonna keep being there. And one thing that I was sharing with Alexander, that really helped me. And now that I’m thinking about Instagram this way, it’s been super helpful. And I’ve already recorded a podcast episode on this.

And I went and re listened to it to be like, what was my own wisdom on that when I recorded that which was maybe like a year ago at the time of recording this. And it’s on quantity over quality, which is something as perfectionist were like, I want quality. And I would rather do less but better. And in that episode, I talk about why it’s not better to do less but better, it’s better to do more imperfectly, and how that for me was really something that helped me release my perfectionism handbrake was that when I was focused on doing less podcast episode, so for me, for example, I was doing one a week initially.

And this is what I found to be true as well with blogging that when there was less content, and same with Instagram, when there’s less content, it feels like every piece holds more weight. And so I felt more pressure to get it just right. Where as when I’m producing at a higher volume. I find it easier to be in the thought of this is good enough. I’m just gonna get it out there.

And by virtue of that, I get more practice, I create more confidence in myself and self confidence, which is your ability to do new things. And yeah, so that belief of quantity over quality really helped me with the podcast. And so I think I did maybe the first I want to say 10 or so episodes, one per week. And then I was like, I’m going to do two per week, because my brain is very loud, when it is saying these episodes aren’t good.

And I think that if I, my hypothesis was, which turned out to be correct. If I do two episodes per week, then my brain can be calmed down and find some emotional safety in the thoughts that it’s okay if this one isn’t great, because there’s another one coming very soon. And this one will soon be forgotten about, like, that was the kind of mentality that I was in that it’s okay, if this is average, because another one’s coming in. It’s okay, if that was average, because then other ones come in, it’s okay if that.

And of course, you can see as an outsider, if you show up twice a week and do a thing you are getting better. It is becoming more and more helpful every time you do it. And even though my day to day experience, was not that the podcast episodes are getting better, am I experienced today, recording episodes is very similar to when it was 2017. That was recording. But I have learned so much about it by virtue of showing up more often.

And I was saying to Alexander as well that it gave me double the practice, instead of doing 52 reps, so to speak. In a year, I was doing 104. And it was really though just about that thought of well, it’s okay, this is average, because another one’s coming. That really helped me to just put one foot in front of the other. Also with that just being super committed to and this is like one of those obvious things. But it needs to be said, being super committed to the timing like to be committed on for me when it was a two episode. And then in 2021, I changed back to doing one episode and in the episode that’s about quantity over quality I go into where I made that decision.

But long story short, it was really around when I realized I didn’t need the quantity anymore to have the self confidence. And then Lydia was coming. And so I was going to be batch recording. And if I changed to one episode per week, I could have that workload. And I didn’t have a lot of time to do it. So that made sense. And yeah, it just made sense to do that. And now, I can’t remember what I was going to say about all of that. Let me think for a second. So anyway, I will just keep sharing, and hopefully whatever I was going to say I love that this is happening in this episode where I’m saying that I lose my train of thought, self fulfilling prophecy maybe.

But with the podcasting and doing the quantity over quality, it has just really helped me to let good enough be good enough. Like that’s one of those mantras, I don’t really say stuff like that, because I don’t particularly find it helpful. But if you want to think about how to embody that like that, the quantity of a quality thing is something that can be really helpful. And I found that when I think about that on other platforms as well, like I originally did that when I was blogging, and I just was so in my own way I was like I’m going to post every day.

And to do that they have to be average. Or I do remember what I was saying committing to the schedule, it came back to me. So committing to the schedule, that initially when it was two episodes per week, it was Mondays and Thursdays no matter what. N M W, no matter what. Mondays and Thursdays something has to go out. It can be total shit, but it has to go out. That is a really important thought that it wasn’t negotiable. It wasn’t.

And I can see like for Instagram, for example, a lot of times we like, well, if it does great. If it doesn’t well, that it just doesn’t but, the podcast, I have sold myself on this is my schedule that and I knew that for the quantity of a quality to work. I had to be committed to the quantity I had to be clear about that. It wasn’t like two episodes a week. And we’ll see when I’m inspired to do it. And I’ve talked about this before as well that I’m not saying to not create in waves of inspiration or whatever.

And power planning really helps you figure out what that rhythm can look like for you. But you batch record, and then they get released in the timeline that you create. And part of the reason for that is so you can let yourself get ahead. Because oftentimes, we’re like, I’m so inspired. And maybe you do this. I’ve decided like I used to do this with stories. I’m like, I’m so inspired. I’ll do like 30 stories today. And then I’m like, well now I’m not feeling it. So I’ll do it on the next day. And there’s no problem with that.

But it could also be that I could just record all of them or whatever and then just share them over the week. Like that’s the thing you can do so that people experience consistency on the other end again, it’s not to say that inconsistency like Myleik’s, podcasts, such a great example, she didn’t have this like schedule, where it was a certain time period that you know, it was every whatever day, I’m pretty sure, it was very sporadic. And that was okay. And I loved her podcast. And it’s really about figuring out what works for you.

And what worked for me was being committed to it has to go out there has to be one on Monday, there has to be one on Thursday. And instead of that creating pressure for me, it actually created relief, because I just had to get it done. And I could let it and it’s this pressure, I think comes from when we have to get it done. And it has to be perfect, not fun. When you have to get it done, it can be average, then I find it much easier to get it done. And to get those reps in and to create that consistency and to develop the self image and do all the things.

So for me having the schedule Mondays and Thursdays, that’s what happens no matter what. And that has really, really helped me with the podcast. And I don’t think it’s because consistency creates the success. And in the launch episodes I did that were released around the end of May, early June, I think it’s like 336-337 and 338. I talked about my big realization with this, which was that it’s not that like the timing of when you create the work creates the results. So if you do at the last minute, it’s not that you did it at the last minute, that’s the reason you’re successful.

The same as if you get your work done early, which was my experience with that launch. I had in my head, if I just do the walk early, then I’m entitled to success. And we can be in this mindset of entitlement around consistency that if I show up consistently, why should be successful and so many people like just be consistent and do what you love, and you’ll be successful. It’s like, well, yes, be consistent, but that isn’t what creates the result. But also, it is beneficial to be consistent, particularly when it comes to your self image and who you’re being in the practice that you’re getting. It’s not that that is the magic answer.

But when you’re consistent, what tends to happen is you’re showing up a lot, you are iterating, you are developing your skill set, you are finding your voice, you are figuring out what works, what doesn’t work, what to do differently, that comes when you’re showing up. But when we’re being inconsistent, it’s really challenging to analyze the data on what’s working and what isn’t working and what to do differently. Because what will come up is Well, the thing that’s not working is I’m not consistent. And that will keep coming up as the issue is in.

So you can’t actually get to what’s really going on because you’re always solving for consistency instead of solving for the real cause. And so that’s something that had come up for me that when I was doing stuff at the last minute that I could, and I was scared to do it early because it felt like it wouldn’t be as successful. And also I had this entitlement around if I get it done early, it should be successful. So I felt like if I get it done early, and it doesn’t work, I won’t know why. And it was that was like one of the biggest revelations I had is that when I got it done early, and I could remove this like well, you know, if it wasn’t last minute would have been better.

I could actually with my brain sold for it and being growth minded about it. Like I didn’t go into any shame about or anything, I was able to just be so objective and be like, Oh, cool. Now there’s not this like surface level issue on top, I can actually solve for like, what was I thinking? And what was I feeling and all those different things. And I could actually, I’ve never felt so empowered as I do, having had that experience, and actually being able to diagnose because I was getting the work done early and being consistent.

And it’s just hard to analyze the data and to be objective about it without going to shame when we’ve been inconsistent. So that’s just a little tangent on consistency. It’s not that, well, if you just podcast twice a week, you’ll definitely be successful, though I do think there’s a lot of truth to that. It’s not because the consistency itself creates an entitlement to success. So I hope that’s landing. So anyway, deciding Mondays Thursdays, that’s what I do, no matter what, even if I have to record at the last minute.

I’m going to record it, even if it just whatever is top of mind, whatever experience I’m having trusting that that’s going to be relevant. I find myself as well. Even recently, I’ve been like I have to have this thought isn’t helpful. I have to make sure I cover everything. If you’re thinking about that, I just want to like you have a little alarm bells go off. I have to cover everything is like not trusting that what we’re currently saying is enough. And this doesn’t mean not to analyze and think about what you’re saying and what assumptions like this has been really helpful for me to realize what I need to say that I’m not saying is like, what assumptions am I making about the person on the other end?

And a lot of times it will be like, you know, did they already know about power planning or that they already know about perfectionism or whatever like oh wait but not everyone does and so now I can create for that. But anyway, I think is really important with all of that to just, if you’re in your head about needing to cover everything being really formulaic and strategic, I talked about this in the episode with Alexander that that, for me has been a little alarm bell of like, I’m not trusting myself here, if I’m thinking like, I’m not covering everything.

So I’ve had times with the podcast where I’m like, I just need to, like, be more strategic. And I think that, and I want to say I was thinking that way about the podcast in 2020. Yeah, I want to say 2020, early 2021. And I know that like the podcast episodes, I get the most feedback about other ones where I’m just like, whatever is top of mind will do. And I’m just gonna let it be okay, that I’m not like covering everything. I’m just going to chat. gonna trust and I’m trusting it’ll land with them. And it’ll be helpful with for them like it and with this episode, my I’m just yeah, I’ll record this. And I think it’d be helpful.

So when I get strategic about, like, I need to make sure like, I have an episode on this kind of topic. And then episode on this kind of topic, like it just ate saps all the fun ride out of podcasting, and sharing and creating. But also, it’s not even my best stuff when I’m doing that. And so that’s been a big lesson for me is like trusting that whatever is top of mind, whatever feels basic and common sense to me, whatever feels fun for me, like that can be enough. And when I get really focused as well, on not just my experience as a creator, but also thinking about you on the other end of this.

And what does your week currently look like? And what did you go into, like, that’s something that I’ve been able to have a lot more insight into, as my business has grown. And as like in PGSD, we have hundreds of clients and things like that, that I now have, like real people that I’m getting consistently feedback. I’m interacting with, I’m really getting to understand that. But it’s not just like, I found it really helpful, at least not just to create only thinking about me, and not just to create only thinking about like, what they need to hear to be convinced, not helpful at all.

Because if when in that convincing energy, it’s not fun. And I find that anytime thinking like, I need to be super strategic, it’s like with this mentality of like, I need to figure out how to convince people. And the best energy I know that I can be in and Simone Seol, who I love, recently, not recently, I recently came across is that she said her marketing strategy for her business that’s very successful is being insanely helpful and invite them in, which is something that really resonates with me, so on as well.

But yeah, just trusting that whatever is top of mind, like that, you know your shit, whatever is top of mind, even if you’re like me, and you ramble and go on tangents, and forget things or whatever, that’s going to be so valuable for people, it’s so helpful to just remember that they don’t need you to say it perfectly, they just need you to say it. And also, it’s just so relatable and permission giving to also like especially, I mean, you might have a business where you have perfectionist.

So I would say most people are a perfectionist, whether or not they will admit it, but to just be showing up and doing the thing and not having to be perfect. We have this idea that people only want to buy from professional, serious businesses that are legitimate. And the truth is people buy from people, not they don’t buy information, they don’t buy products we are buying from people. And we are buying, and in Alexander’s episode, we talked about this you like people are buying, especially if you sell a service or things like that.

But I’d say there’s a lot of products, this also applies to like people are buying your relationship that you have with yourself, they can feel that and they want more of that. And they’re buying a relationship with themselves. And it’s really just thinking about, none of that equation needs you to be perfect. And in fact, the more serious and professional we try to be unless it’s like really how it is that we love showing up. But I’d say there are many people that that say like, like, I love feeling super, like professional and corporate and like blend and like washed down and whatever.

So not to say there isn’t that people like that. But to just it’s just all of this, I think comes back to trusting that you’re going to say what you need to say when you need to say it. Again, if it’s not podcasting, wanting to do like translating that to whatever platform that it is. So those have been some of the beliefs and I’m just going to say a few more things that I shared in that post and I realize this is getting on. That’s not a problem. But I also have other things I want to do today in my power planning. So we’re going to actually want to mention that as well.

This episode wasn’t planned. But I had buffer time in my power planning. So here we are. So in that episode, sorry, the Instagram post a mentioned a few things about how I have followed none of the podcasting best practices. Though I followed a couple like decent quality sound, having the podcast be on all the podcasting apps like that kind of basic distribution stuff. But here are a few things that are best practices that I haven’t followed that have worked for me. Instead of having a professional setup, I use an inexpensive mic.

For those who are wondering the Audio Technica ATR 2100, which is about 100 or so dollars, you can get it from Amazon. This is one Tim Ferriss recommended, so I just bought it and I didn’t do any research on it. And I use QuickTime. And I just hold my mic in my hand while I’m recording. I didn’t have a fancy podcast arm, it definitely doesn’t have a little, you know, logo attached to my microphone or anything like that.

A lot of time I didn’t have it had any headphones on, though I do right now because I was for when I was recording with Alexander, but normally I don’t. I just like, chat into it into QuickTime, which is free on like any Apple Computer. I don’t know if it comes on Windows or whatever. And yeah, I just hold my mic, and I chat. And right now I’m just sitting at my desk, I’m staring out the window. I’m just chilling, hanging out and relaxing. And I’ve found as well, at different times, recording podcast episodes sitting on my bed has been really helpful, like, recording somewhere really cozy, where I feel it’s easier to be chatty, just because I’m having different thoughts. But I found that helpful as well.

So maybe that helps you if you don’t like there was a time I like I really don’t feel like sitting at my desk and recording. And so I wouldn’t, and I just like oh, I just feel so chatty when I sit on the bed. And I just I guess it’s kind of like that Slumber Party vibe. So I did that for a bunch of episodes. And that was really great. So you can do stuff like that. And again, not just with podcasting with anything you’re doing thinking about, like, is there somewhere like, what, again, this is all about what would it look like if it was easy. So before recording, I spent about five minutes writing out some brief dot points. And then I trust myself to say what needs to be said.

So I’ve spoken a lot to this already. But on the note of notes, dot points, scripting episodes, it’s obviously I don’t script this, I would know, this, you wouldn’t write a script, it sounds like what I’m saying. But I find that I really, like I share best when I’m off script when I’m just chatting and riffing. And that’s what I personally love doing when I’m talking to people like exploring ideas together and that kind of thing. And I’m just chatting. And this episode, I had no notes. And I’m just looking at the Instagram posts that I posted, which I guess are my notes in a sense, but I was like, I’m just gonna record, Alexander suggested it, I think it’d be a good idea. Here we go.

And I’m trusting that I can just like, think about my experiences and share what comes to mind. Like if we’re catching up over a coffee, and you asked me, Hey, you know, how’s the podcast going? Tell me about how you build that this is the stuff I would say. So I don’t need like if we were having coffee. I don’t drink coffee. But you know what I mean? We were having a coffee, I prefer tea in a chai latte on almond milk, then I wouldn’t say sorry, can you give me a second, I’m just gonna write some dot points, or I’m just gonna write a script.

So I get it right. And so I cover everything. And then I will read it off to you. Like, I don’t like that vibe. And personally, I find podcasts that a scripted I don’t enjoy listening to you, I’m happy to read that same script as an email, but or as a post, but I just I like listening to people chatting away and exploring their ideas. And on this note as well I want to mention that I was talking with Alexander about how in terms of human design and that kind of thing that for different types of thinkers, generators and manifesting generators.

The strategy is to respond and I’ve coached a few PGSDers on this when they’ve said like, I just I can I can talk when someone’s asking me a question like I could be interviewed all day or you know, I could get questions. I’m thinking about one of our PGSDers is Kristen, like I can get questions via a like box on my you know, Instagram stories, but to like come up with the ideas myself like I just struggled to do that or like if someone asked me about my program, I can tell them about it. All my products, but if like it’s not prompted then I it feels weird to just recognize that I don’t know I just think of it like I’m always responding to you.

And you might not be here and you might not have directly asked a question, but I’m always thinking about you that comes in a creepy but I mean, sounds kind of creepy, but I’m always thinking about all of this stuff, and that I know what I’m doing. And this will be helpful. I also have thoughts about I don’t know, like, I don’t know what I enjoyed, and everyone’s gonna find out, I don’t know what I’m doing. But I have enough of the time the thought that I do know what I’m doing. And so I’m just showing up and sharing and that you don’t have to think about, you know, responding in such a…

I want to say contain, that’s not the word like just is very limited way of like someone needs to literally prompt you in that moment. To know that you can, like respond to an idea you had, or if you are, you know, sharing whatever it is that you share, that you can do that in a way that, like, I was saying to Alexander like, I mean, this is basically what the podcast is, I’m always having breakthroughs, and I like sharing them. And then our PGSDers are having breakthroughs. And I like sharing those, like a lot of episodes, like, the addiction to feeling behind that episode is an example that’s top of mind for me, where I’m like, Oh, I just coached to PGSD on this. And this was super helpful. I’m not going to chat about the podcast, like, that’s me responding.

There’s no one in the moment, I just, I don’t feel like I’m talking into the void. I feel like I’m talking to you, because I am talking to you. I also feel like I’m talking to myself. And I like talking to myself, I don’t actually walk around during the day and talk to myself out loud, though, a lot of people do that. There’s no problem with that. But I do find that this actually helps me get clear on my thoughts. And I have a lot of realizations while in the process of recording. So as well, that makes it fun for me, because I’m like, I’m gonna go into this come out of this with a better understanding that I went in with, and trusting.

And that’s okay, that doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m talking about as well, like it’s holding, you know, that paradox of like, you can be in the process of learning something and be an expert on it at the same time. So yeah, and you might not have a business where you are creating content, so to speak about your experience. But there’s still so many ways that all of this applies. And I want you to be thinking about what are the best practices, like if you write a list of like, I should, and fill in the blank, you’ll come up with those. And to just question them.

And I did this the other day, when I was working on launch content for the next PGSD launch, that I was writing out, like, you know, what should a launch… What should launch content look like? And like, it should be serious, and there should be a lot of it. And like all these assumptions, I was like, let me question that. And it literally like having the time in my power planning to do some self coaching that it wiped out, probably about 20 hours worth of work, like I was able to take 20 hours worth of work off my plate just by changing the beliefs that I had about what that content needed to look like, and giving myself permission to repurpose past content.

And even with the podcast before I’d been like, I don’t like when it’s so funny. I don’t like when people repurpose a podcast episode. I just want every episode to be a new one. And then I question that, and it’s one of those things I’ve heard myself say so many times, I’m like, let me just hold up a second. I say for example, Tim Ferriss podcast, I love his podcast, he repurposes old episodes. I still love his podcasts like why my belief felt so evidence based, and yet I have listened to episodes that have been reshard and different things like that.

So anyway, I gave myself permission to find episodes of this was for the clean rest series. To find some past episodes, it was super helpful. And like, it was just so fun to listen back to an episode that I did. I think it was in 2019 on clean rest, maybe even 2018 probably 2019. And I was like, I still teach this like, why do I have to recite it? And there’s definitely nuance that I can add to it. But especially if you are just starting getting you know, you’re practicing with clean rest, you don’t need all the nuance like why am I making myself rewrite everything from scratch?

So that’s something I want you to be thinking about as well. Do you have this expectation on yourself that everything has to be new and original, you kind of have a shared it before and to just give yourself permission to repurpose to make use of what your past self created and to know that when we’re scared of repurposing, we’re thinking about ourselves. And when were willing to do it, we’re thinking about the person on the other end, particularly the person who was only just found you and who isn’t going to go back into the depth of your archives.

We tend to often create for the OG followers who are never going to buy from us, instead of thinking about the new people who really want to work with us and really want to buy and also knowing that your best people like they want to hear it again. So anyway, that was really helpful. Just a little side tangent all about that. And I think I wrote I’m not concise to the point at all. I go on tangents and love weaving ideas together. Yes, I have evidence provided evidence of that, in this episode. And I think with that, it’s really like I’ve just given myself permission to talk how I actually talk. I am verbose, I share long winded versions of things.

And that’s okay, I don’t have to spend all this time trying to like literally, it could take me two hours, I’ve done this before, two hours to try and write a very concise like to say what I’m saying in this episode, it would take me longer to write it in an Instagram caption, if I’ve got my perfectionism handbrake on, if I don’t, it’ll take me say 10 minutes. To write these ideas that I think this post that I wrote, maybe took eight minutes, I want to say, because I was just like, I’m just going to share. So that thoughts helpful, I’m just going to share, but when I think about this has to be perfect. And this has to cover everything, there’s that belief again, then it is very time consuming.

At the same time, I can very easily the perfections power ups I send out. And if you’re not signed up for them, you can sign up via the link in my bio in the show notes, samlaurabrown.com/power, I send out every day, a two to three sentence email that If you enjoy this podcast, you’re gonna love them, because it’s going to be little reminders that are going to help you get out of your own way that they’re always going to feel like they come in the perfect time. So I highly encourage you to sign up for them. But I write them super easily, I can write about a month’s worth in an hour pretty easily. And my brain really thinks that way.

But when I try and it’s just so interesting when I try and do the same thing, but have it be perfect, it takes so long. And oftentimes I get to 80% done and I just give up on it, or I get it done, it’s not good enough to ever be published. So this is all just about how to think about yourself and your work in a way that makes it easy to show up, and giving myself permission to be chatty to not see it as a problem that I’ve just gone on 50 tangents and have all these open loops that I may never close for you. Sorry about that. But I just have given myself permission.

And to let myself weave ideas gonna be like, Oh, this is like that. And this is like that. And I’m just trusting that you like it and I’m trusting if you don’t, that you will not be listening to the podcast anymore. And you will find your people to listen to and learn from. So it’s really that trust, trusting that the way you are going to do it is going to work. And you don’t have to, like, I think all these best practices are people who have done things a certain way. And it worked and said, Okay, well everyone else should do it like this way because it worked for me.

It’s like me if I was saying, Okay, well, your podcast episodes need to be 60 to 90 minutes long, you need to chat without having them edited, you need to have, you know, very brief dot points going a lot of tangents. That’s not why this podcast is successful, it’s successful, because I’m doing it in a way that has allowed me to communicate my ideas effectively, to have you feel like I’m inside your head. And that allows me to do it again and again and again. Like we’re in 300 and something episodes at the time I’m recording this. And it’s really like, it’s not that any of these things that I’m mentioning is why it’s successful. It’s because I have been true to myself, and be willing to explore that along the way.

I think there are a few episodes that I tried scripting like maybe this will work. Oh, no, I don’t resonate with doing it that way. I actually find the more notes I write which I can feel like I do if I’m in my head about it. And being a perfectionist about I’m like, I need to cover everything or whatever. I mean, that mentality, I’ll write more notes. And I find it much harder to get my point across because I’m trying to read these notes that I have, instead of I’m just chatting and trusting myself. So none of this is like, well, I need to not do it Sam’s way. Sam’s way is to do it in a way that’s easy for me.

So if you’re going to do in Sam’s way you do it in a way that’s easy for you, and it’s probably gonna look different, it could look exactly the same, but it might not. And that’s such a beautiful thing. So I wrote I share a lot of my own personal development journey. Most of it captured in real time before I’m an expert on the ideas that I’m sharing. So like I mentioned before, that paradox of being you know a work in progress and a learner at the same time has been an expert and knowing that both of those things can be true. Also, I don’t have the podcast edited. So it includes arms and ahhs me losing my train of thought, every now and again and me misspeaking.

So yeah, sometimes I’ll say something out, like sharing an idea and be like, I feel like I could have explained that better. And I publish it anyway. And I trust that with the practice of saying it again and again and again. Because there are like a few key things that I’m sharing again, and again, like every episode, I might have a different spin on things, but I’m sharing the same stuff again and again. So I let it be okay. And I’m like trusting that it’s still going to be helpful for you. And that really for this to be beneficial for you, like, even sometimes it’s this is so I find really helpful to think about, like, sometimes your podcast, I just want to hear someone talk, like just a thought, like, they just want to hear you talk.

And it’s just so funny to think about, I just think about Alexander James, who I’ve been doing this episode, because I just interviewed him, I would just listen to him talk for an hour, just his energy is so grounded and calming to me. I don’t really hear what he says I obviously it’s super helpful. But I also like, just want to hear him talk. So it’s thinking about, like, your people just want to hear you talk. And for me, when I’m listening to a podcast, if I just get one little thought that I hadn’t thought before I had, or maybe intellectually knew, but I hadn’t thought of it in that way. That’s so worthwhile.

And it’s knowing that like, when you’re gonna have those moments listening to these podcasts is definitely I would not be able to pick what sentences of mine created that feeling for you. And so it’s trusting that that’s happening. So what else do we have? That was it, basically, and I mentioned about not doing interviews, and just doing that my way and not being in this mentality of like, I need to do interviews to grow the podcast to just trust that I can do a solo show.

And that is fine, that that’s more than fine that I love solo shows. So that is everything I really want to share in the rest of that process. I said, all of the above. Oh, wait, no. What did I say this approach to podcasting turns many people off my podcast, and is what makes others raving fans. And it works. Because all of this helps me to release my perfectionism handbrake and show up fully. All of the above was my answer to what would podcasting look like if it was easy, and this is going to look different for everyone.

For some easy podcasting looks like writing the script and state-of-the-art technical setup. And that’s a beautiful thing. Don’t do a podcast like me do a podcast like you. FYI, none of the above it precludes my brain from telling me that my episodes aren’t good enough, etc. I’ve just had to learn to ignore that voice and hit publish anyway, as that voice doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. And if you don’t do podcasting, just apply this to whatever it is that you do. This isn’t actually about podcasting.

So I feel like there’s a lot more I could say, But on that note that this isn’t actually about podcasting, sit with that for a minute, apply this to what is relevant to you. Do it your way, it’s safe to do it your way it’s safe to be in flow. It’s safer to feel easy. It’s safer to feel unprofessional, in the sense that it’s not polished, that it’s not perfect. It’s safe to be in flow. It’s safe to be in flow. Okay, with that said, I hope this was helpful. If it was please take a screenshot tag me on Instagram I’m @perfectionismproject. I’d be having a beautiful day and I’m going to talk to you in the next episode.

If you enjoyed this podcast, I invite you to sign up to receive a short, daily “Perfectionist Power-Up” from me. These are little notes and reminders sent to you via email that will help you plan properly as a perfectionist and get out of your own way. So you can go to samlaurabrown.com/power to sign up today and you’ll start receiving motivating Perfectionist Power-Ups this week.

Author: Sam Brown