35. Start Where You Are

If you are like me and you read a blog or website like this where each new post has a cover image like you see above, and you actually notice the image, likely you notice that there is a sense of relevance between the cover image and the content within the post. This has been the case with all of my posts on Entrejourney, where I try to find the perfect image to capture what I’m talking about each week.

With this week’s post, I had a little bit of a harder time finding just the right image to reflect this post. Also, while I don’t mention anything about the image and just let it speak for itself (a picture is worth a thousand words, after all), this particular image is worth talking about as it relates to this blog post. This image of a MacBook sitting in the middle of a fall/winter-y wooded area personifies how I’m feeling in these first couple of months of 2018. Some would say the image speaks of death (leaves falling and a feeling of emptiness), but what I feel is more a change of seasons, a fresh start. I’ve always looked for ways to visually capture emotion or feelings as they relate to my life and this is likely the best representation of what I am expecting for 2018.

The title of this post adequately sums up what I am looking towards, which is starting where I’m at. I’ve been in many situations where I’ve postponed starting something because some things aren’t lining up and it doesn’t feel right to move forward with whatever it is I’m working on. I do want to clarify, however, is that I do feel this way right now still, but 2017 was a big year for me to learn to do, do, do. I don’t like the notion of “don’t think, just do,” because you can’t always simply pull an idea out of your head and just GO. Can you do that with your dinner plans or where to stop for gas or what you want to do this weekend? Sure! Could I, in a literal sense, go buy a microphone, audio editing software, and call a bunch of people I know and say, let’s do a podcast? Yes and no…

Apply your own situation for whatever it is you’re aiming to accomplish this year and just follow along with me here: I could do all of those things and just start where I’m at. What will my podcast look like a year from now, though, if I approach my podcast this way? I could very well still be recording episodes and sharing them with you, but the question becomes: what type of content quality will you, the listener, experience? It could all work out very well and be a huge success, and that would be awesome, but before I even begin sharing my podcast, with that question in mind, I know from experience that I would have a greater amount of traction or momentum if I take the time to really craft this “product” and its process so that I minimize the level of frustration that I, and you, experience.

What I’ve found with starting a podcast is that there are many articles on “how to start,” what to do, who to interview, etc,… The parts of this process that I have to figure out is how to craft each episode so that when you finish listening, you’ve learned something or got a good laugh or just simply enjoyed listening in on a great conversation. I also have to make the decision regarding how long each episode should be. From what I’ve learned is that many high quality podcasts that talk about topics that you’ll hear from me can last up to 90-minutes and people have said “what in the world could you talk about for an hour and a half,” or “what could you talk about that I would want to listen to for that long??” Many podcast hosts are saying that you’d be surprised how quickly the time passes when you’re talking about interesting topics and listening to great stories.

So that I don’t lose half of my potential listening audience before I launch my podcast, I will say that I most likely won’t be publishing 90-minute episodes. I know, in Atlanta, many of us have very long commutes to and from work or school and podcasts are a very popular source for filling your time while sitting in traffic. If you’re looking for something to add to your routine where you can listen to powerful topics and be encouraged or inspired to make a positive change in your life, then you will definitely find that with my new podcast.

I am struggling with the “start where you are” principle right now, and that was the purpose of sharing this with you. I have a plan in place to begin posting much more engaging social media videos and Instagram/Facebook stories over the next several weeks because I have to push hard against my fear of being “seen” on video and talking off the cuff to an audience because this will be a key skill I need to master as an interviewer or podcast host. In the spirit of being transparent, I get really, really nervous at the thought of recording my face or voice and letting you hear it.

Because of this fear, the first episode will be a comprehensive overview of what you can expect in this podcast, which will be tentatively called “Hard-knocks Life: An Entrejourney Podcast,” and you will definitely hear gradual improvements in my ability to feel comfortable or confident in myself with each episode.

Throughout the past year of writing this blog, I’ve had several comments from a few of you who regularly read it, and they have been very encouraging. It is my hope that, whether you have interacted with me here or on social media or not, that the topics I’ve covered thus far have been impactful to you or someone you know. I always love when you share a particular post with your circle of friends online in hopes that it will help someone struggling with a particular life issue. With this new podcast, I will be stretching myself as an entrepreneur, but also looking to go deeper and wider on this audio platform that is easier to consume than reading a verbose blog post.

God placed a burden on my heart many, many years ago that I had been given quite a few stories of heartache, loss, struggle, and joy and he is calling me to share these experiences with as many people as possible. Until the past year or so, I have been very hesitant to allow myself to be transparent and willing to let others in. What I have come to find, though, is that relationships that we all share with other people are becoming more and more lacking in the depth that we are willing to take ourselves. I have a very close friend, quickly becoming one of my best friends, and he’s what you would call a pretty macho guy with his big truck and all. We ended up in a couples small group Bible study together with our spouses and a few other couples and he was someone I picked out right away that I told my wife, Hannah, “I’m pretty sure we’ll have nothing in common…” To my surprise, both of us have a son around the same age and more importantly than surface-level interests, we both have talked many times about how we want to be better husbands and followers of Jesus. Because of these things, our relationship has really grown quite rapidly and we talk and text quite a bit each week and have great conversations.

Through this friendship, I’ve been learning that I must stop judging people or deciding prematurely whether or not I am going to have a meaningful relationship with someone. It’s God’s will that determines where he wants any of our relationships to go and what he wants to do in and through those friendships. Having said that, I am completely convinced that I am going to let go of control and let God do what he needs to do in my relationships so that his will can be fulfilled, regardless of my limited understanding.

So that’s where this podcast is going to allow for us all to begin to shed many of our preconceived notions and inhibitions and begin to live fuller lives, free from the fear of judgement. I will be having conversations with people from many different walks of life, in various stages of career, family, and relationships. My podcast guests will be sharing stories of trial and triumph (hmmm, that would be a better name for this podcast, right?… brainstorming in its truest form) 🤣 and also getting their direct insight as it relates to topics like work-life balance, raising kids, marriage, addiction, personal growth, and so much more. It’s my prayer that, through these conversations, we will all find practical ways to live better, more fulfilling lives, just the way God intended us to!

Thank you to all of you who have followed along so far and I want to assure you that you will enjoy this new adventure we are about to embark on. I am excited to let you know that I have taken yet another faithful step in God’s calling on my life for this season of my life, and announce that the podcast has an official launch date of March 5!

Mark it on your calendars here and keep tracking along here every Thursday between now and March 1, which will be the last Entrejourney blog post in this current format before making the necessary changes to reflect the new audio posts you’ll begin seeing the following week! I’m super excited and can’t wait to share it all with you!

Let me know what you think!

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