🎉 Episode 100 🎉

This is the 100th episode! 

Dan reflects on the past 100 episodes and what he’s learned from building this show and what’s to come.  He shares the changes that are coming starting next week and previews the next season for the show.

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Let’s go! 🚀


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Resources Mentioned:

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Effortless by Greg McKeown

Text Version:

Today marks a milestone for the Meaning Movement. This is our 100th episode. Woohoo!

While there are plenty of podcasts that surpassed this milestone many time over, it feels significant and a good moment to pause, reflect, and gear up for what’s to come.

I’d like to do just that in this episode. I’d like to offer some thoughts and learnings from building this thus far.

While this isn’t a show about podcasting or how to podcast, it is a show about doing things that matter to you, creating work that you feel connected to, and leaving a legacy that you’re proud of.

And this show is that for me. I hope that some of this will apply to you and your work, wherever you are in the world and whatever it is that you’re doing.

Learnings

Let’s talk about learnings. There are 3 main ideas that I want ot share as I think back on where we’ve been.

Slow and steady wins the race

Most podcasts only release a few episodes. The average show dies before it gets to 10 episodes. I knew it would feel like a bit of a slog at times, but I’ve taken the slow and steady approach. I’ve been at this for more than 6 years. The average on that is just over one episode a month. That’s slow.

For the first few years, I would do one show a week for a few months, and then get a bit burnt out or not have enough time to keep up that pace.

It’s important to note that at no time over these years has The Meaning Movement been my primary income. At times it has been my main focus and what I’ve put most of my energy and effort into, but very rarely and only for short periods of time.

It’s been a side hustle. But I’m finally going to change that — more on that later.

After a while I settled into a groove of releasing every other week, which has been much more sustainable.

I’ve released more episodes by staying slow and consistent than I did by going fast and needing breaks.

The take away here is that pace matters. Don’t go so hard you burn yourself out. When you’re creating something, learning something, or involved in some kind of work that requires a sustained effort — don’t try to go faster than is sustainable for you.

Find your pace and stick with it.

Go all the way or quit now

I knew when I started that I was going to release more than 100 shows.

I feel like a podcast like this really starts after 100 shows. Why? Because hosts need to find their footing and get thier reps in. They need to practice.

And the same is true for me. I’m proud of the first few episodes. But I’d only interviewed a handful of people. You can go back in the feed and listen to them if you’d like.

(A personal favorite of mine is the interview with Ryan O’Neal from Sleeping at Last.)

I knew that if I was goign to do this, I needed to be committed. Otherwise I may as well not start at all.

So here’s the takeaway: if you’re not going to see an effort through, you should quit as soon as possible.

This is tricky, because it could spill over to the sunk cost fallacy. In decision making the sunk cost fallacy is the human tendancy to stick with something due to the amount of time and resources that have already gone into that thing.

This is very relavant to the decisions we make about what we pursue and how to go about pursuing them.

You have to commit to stick through the hard slog of creating when a project and idea doesn’t always feel as fun and inspiring as it once did. And you also have to give yourself the permission to quit if you want to.

Commit to the long haul. But give yourself check in points along the way to pull the plug if it’s not taking you where you want to go or otherwise not serving you.

The key is not to quit just because it’s hard.

Keeping your pacing right helps with that as well.

Build Systems

I’m a big believer in systems. I’m not the most systematic and disciplined person, but I like to find ways to spend a little extra time and energy now to save time and energy later.

James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, writes in that book: “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

And I really believe that to be true. You can only do so much. You can only keep at it for so long. Eventually, something will break and it’s your systems that catch you.

There are a few systems that have really helped keep the podcast going.

1) Booking guest: I have a sequence of links that guests go through to book a time with me, submit information about themselves and thier work, and finally get them prepped to be a guest. It’s simple. But it’s automated and guests love it and often comment on it.

I also have a standard format and templates that my editor and I use for every episode.

And my editor and I have a checklist on everything that has to be done to get an episode live: – Title – Description – Intro recording – Outro recording – etc.

If we didn’t have a checklist, things would get missed.

Sometimes they still do get missed, because we’re not paying close enough attention.

But a checklist and a good systems saves a ton of time and energy.

What’s to come

Now that we’ve made it to 100. I’m changing everything!

Just kidding. That’s not quite the case, though it feels a little like that.

We’re about to embark on a big experiment. We’re going from 2 episodes a month, to four episodes a week.

We’re approaching this effort as a season of 24 shows that will run from August through October. At this moment, they’re almost all recorded.

I have a project manager, an editor, and a writer all working with me to help scale the show up.

In keeping with the learnings I just shared, we’re treating it as an experiment to see how the effort feels, and then giving ourselves an opportunity to adjust, reset, and recommit.

As of right now, since much of the work is already complete for this season, we’re planning on keeping it going. After this next season we’ll have a short break of a couple weeks, and then do it again.

After that season, we’ll re-evaluate, adjust, reset, and recommit.

If this works, we’ll be well on our way past episode 200 much faster than what brought us to 100. If we do it well, we’ll be there in just over a year’s time.

But I reserve the rigth to course correct as we go.

With all of that said, I wanted to say thank you for being a part of this journey.

To celebrate 100 episodes, I’d like to invite you to think of one person who might enjoy this podcast and share it with them.

Just say: “hey! I like this show and thought of you. You might enjoy it to.”

Also, if you haven’t left a rating and review, we’re at 97 in apple right now. I’d love to see us pass 100 reviews.

Thank you for listening and following along.

Season 10 of the podcast starts on August 1st. It’s going to be fun to see where this next effort takes us.

Hit that subscribe button and we’ll see you then.

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