I spent my last semester of college working my ass off; I skipped entire days of class to drive three hours to and from interviews sometimes. I went to so many job fairs I lost count. The endless e-mails of “sorry” and “better luck next time” ate away at my soul. I wasn’t the only one dealing with this but everyone who has been in a situation where their whole outlook on life seems down and wonders where they will go after graduation is something too many people walk into asking “was it that I didn’t try hard enough or was I just not good enough?”
Luckily, I had a fall back. My brother who produced my podcast and I began to take our show from a neat side business and turn it into a full time business. It was exciting at first, and it was always meant to be temporary. Weeks turned into months, and months turned into a full year. Let me explain some of the hassles you’ll encounter if you break into full time podcasting.
1. You realize activity and productivity are two different things.
Podcasting, livestreaming, and blogging are all very work intensive, especially when you have to also be in charge of the business end of things with costs of equipment, services, contractors, and advertisers. You might spend countless hours on things that may seem neat, but will waste away because it wasn’t what you needed to do and you realize that the reason you wasted time on a useless project was because you didn’t want to work. You are your own boss, that is great but that means you are accountable for everything now.
2. You might spend days not doing anything.
This sounds like laziness but you reach “work to burnout mode.” At times I worked 72 hours straight with very little sleep because you just get in this mindset where you don’t know where or when to start. You create an unhealthy fixation on achieving “success” i.e more money, appearances, listeners, and viewers. Then you just crash and find yourself in a position where the thought of work makes you sick. With my producer I got into the habit of relying on him more but there are days where you just don’t want to do anything. You want to relax but you feel guilty for not working. You want to leave the house but you feel like you might realize that you wanted to do something. You create your own hostile environment.
3. Money starts to dry up.
Unless you are getting insane downloads, get ready to go through a period where you might not get a new client for months.
4. You might need odd jobs you didn’t think you’d end up doing.
I spent my young adult life trying to build a potential career in public policy. Instead I ended up as a full time podcaster. Guess what, when the money began to disappear and the time alone starts to add up, you might need to find something different to occupy your time and get some quick cash. So I became a:
-advertising production consultant
5. You still feel weird telling people what you do.
I feel like people would have more respect for me if I said I was a stripper or something. Podcasting to most people sounds like “has an audience of two listening to unedited audio in my Mom’s basement.” The only true thing about that for me is I live in my Mom’s basement.
6. It is still rewarding but not for all people.
I appreciate the knowledge, skills, and opportunities I’ve had podcasting that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, but I never tell anyone with a podcast this is worth doing full time. Some make it work, but some don’t. It is one of those things you have to figure out.
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