Behind so many of our biggest problems is a maddeningly simple root cause.
It’s behind everything from personal problems such as neglecting to save for retirement or look after our health to massive global problems such as climate change.
They simply don’t feel urgent.
We know they’re important, and that we’ll likely regret our inaction if we fail to do anything about them.
But on any given day, there are more immediately pressing problems to solve, fires to put out, and deadlines to meet.
And so these important-but-not-urgent issues get relegated to the pile of future problems for our future selves to figure out.
Or next week.
Or next month.
Or next year.
When we have more space to think, more time to plan, more money to invest.
The problem is that sooner or later, future problems always catch up with us.
When it comes to podcasting, figuring out marketing and growth is the problem most frequently relegated to the future.
We have regular deadlines that keep maintenance-oriented tasks like production, guest outreach, and admin humming along on schedule.
But there are no deadlines, forcing functions, or external accountability to provide urgency to the activities that will lead to growth.
So unless we have a business that depends on the podcast to drive a significant percentage of revenue, there’s no actual need to market our shows whatsoever.
But it gets worse.
As opposed to the familiar, repetitive system that guides maintenance-oriented tasks, growth-oriented tasks are often:
- Unfamiliar (Scary)
- Untested (We might end up wasting our time)
- Unclear (We don’t even know where to start)
- Require us to put ourselves out there (And risk rejection)
This means not only is there no urgency to focus on growth-oriented tasks, we actually face significant internal resistance to doing them.
And so, growth has a way of staying perpetually on the horizon.
Something we know we need to do to reach our goals, but something we can never quite bring ourselves to get started on.
But here’s the thing.
If we’re not growing now, there’s no reason to believe that our shows will start to grow simply by giving them more of the same.
Which means if we’re not satisfied with where our current trajectory is leading, we can’t leave the shift in direction to our future selves.
So how do we introduce urgency to growth?
If we’re internally motivated, we can set growth milestones with hard deadlines or use calendar blocking to schedule in time for growth-oriented activities.
If we’re externally motivated, we can find accountability partners with regular check-ins or create a commitment contract with negative incentives if we don’t stick with your goals.
In both cases, we can bring structure and routine to our growth-oriented tasks and seek out a network of people who are equally (or more) focused on growth than we are.
In short, we can make growth a priority and take actions consistent with that priority.
And once we do that, it’s only a matter of time before the results follow.