If you’ve been producing your podcast for long, you know how much work goes into creating a great podcast.
Guest outreach & management, research, recording, editing, promotion… Let’s just say it’s a lot.
Each episode of my last podcast took 15-20 hours of my time to produce from start to finish. That’s not counting the additional time my team spent working on the show.
And yet, while all these necessary and time-consuming tasks add up to what feels like a lot of work, they’re not the real work of producing a standout podcast.
In reality, these tasks are merely the final 20% of the work, if not in time then certainly in impact as none of these tasks can carry our podcasts to success on their own.
The real work of creating a meaningful podcast happens off the mic and away from the computer.
The real work is the vision.
The real work is developing the ideas that make up the show.
The real work is not simply finding and researching guests but finding the right guests to illustrate and personify the big idea your podcast explores.
The real work is collecting the dots and then connecting them. It’s idea generation, development, and articulation.
In mediocre podcasts, the real work gets lost in the shuffle, displaced by the busywork of recording, editing, and promotion.
No amount of busywork can salvage a podcast devoid of real work, however.
What’s the point of recording and editing fantastic-sounding episodes, after all, if the ideas behind them are stale?
Unfortunately, far too many podcasters approach their shows this way.
It’s an easy trap to fall into.
Busywork is tangible. It can be measured on a clock, checked off a task list. There’s a start and an end and a finished product.
Real work is rarely so solid.
Real work has no end, stretching out endlessly into the horizon. It’s hard to know where you are in the process, how close you are to your destination… and if there even is a destination.
This work is about thinking. About searching. About exploring. It’s about seeking and finding and connecting the dots in a way they’ve never been connected before.
The real work is happening during every conversation you have in your day-to-day life. It’s every person you meet, every idea that comes across your radar.
To the best podcasters the work becomes in indistinguishable from the rest of their lives.
Approaching your show this way is a superpower.
This is another reason why it’s essential to create the podcast you actually want to spend all your time on.
Because if you play your cards right, it will be.