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Strategies for Beating Burnout and Having Fun with Your Podcast for Years to Come
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Are you feeling stressed or burnt out on your podcast? It’s easy to fall into that trap when you’re putting in long hours and constantly striving for perfection. But there’s a way to avoid burnout and keep your show fresh and exciting! In this blog post, Mike Montague explains that by incorporating playfulness, humor, creativity, and spontaneity into your podcast, you can have more fun and keep things interesting for both you and your audience. Get ready to have more fun and bring new life to your podcast!
WATCH THE VIDEO VERSION OF THIS BLOG POST/PODCAST EPISODE:
Read the Blog Post: How To Enjoy Your Podcast Journey
If you’re looking for the right answer that will solve all your problems and make the whole podcasting thing a breeze, you might be stressing yourself out and burning out.
Think about it: what did you want to be when you grew up in fifth grade? Personally, I wanted to be a radio host. So that’s exactly what I did. I got my own show on Mix 93.3, the top 40 radio station here in Kansas City. But it’s one of those things with fifth graders: they’re really bad at picking a career.
I wasn’t happy being on radio. For one, the pay was really bad. Also, I had to work from seven to midnight every night, which made it very difficult to have a social life. I didn’t like the job at all. And there’s something else.
A recent study showed that the average college graduate will have about nine different jobs in his or her working life, seven of which haven’t yet been invented yet. For example, when I was in fifth grade in 1991, podcasting wasn’t an option for me. Let alone knowing that I’d enjoy it so much more than working in radio.
Supreme Court Justice Howard Thurman once said,
Ask not what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and then go do that.
You have to be authentic and passionate about what you do. Don’t hold yourself back. Live your podcast wholeheartedly. It’s your show. You can do it any way you want. Be great. Go for it. Don’t be generic. You aren’t generic. You’re unique. So go do that.
The hard part is that sometimes your inner child is just a whisper while the outside world is very loud. Social media, the news, colleagues, or family telling you how to be are often louder than those inner promptings.
But why should you worry about people who don’t listen to your podcast? It’s not meant for them. Rather, worry about the people who want to listen to your show and find value in it.
With 8 billion people in the world, you’re bound to find people who want to hear your kind of podcast.
Showcase your talent or that of your guests, and make sure you show off what you’ve got in every single episode.
Sound like a tall order?
Here’s how you can pull it off. The first step is to figure out which playful personalities you can incorporate into your podcast today.
#1 The Joker
Jokers love telling jokes, sharing funny stories, and playing pranks. I am one of them, but if that’s not for you in your podcast, don’t do it. There are other personalities we’ll talk about that might be a better fit.
#2 The Athlete
Athletes love physical challenges. You could do some kind of exercise podcast where you actually demonstrate it during the show.
#3 The Explorer
Explorers love record from a new location, trying new things, or covering a new topic each week instead of having an ongoing podcast about the same topic.
#4 The Competitor
Competitors love challenging their guests in a game or doing something interesting that allows them to keep score on the podcast.
#5 The Director
Director likes to put together games for other people, facilitating a party or a group discussion or something interesting where other people on the podcast are creating magic, and they’re just the facilitator of that process.
#6 The Collector
Collectors like asking guests to bring something on the show to share. They might also show their collection or add something new to their collection each week and talk about it on the podcast.
#7 The Creator
Creators love making something as they podcast. These can be anything from making up a story or talking to someone while they painting a picture or doing a puzzle.
#8 The Storyteller
Storytellers love to tell stories. A great example is serial podcasters who tell an ongoing story across multiple podcasts or tell a new story every week.
#9 The Deep Thinker
Deep thinkers like to ponder questions. They love to get really deep into a topic or a book they have read. They love to share ideas with other people who are passionate about that particular topic.
#10 The Gamer
Gamers like to play online video games, board games, or role-playing games and record it. Streamers, for example, have had a lot of success with this.
Which One Are You?
Now, I want you to choose one. Joker, athlete, explorer, competitor, director, collector, creator, storyteller, deep thinker, or gamer – which one do you feel most connected to?
Once you’ve figured that out, the next step is to build that into a sustainable structure for your show. If you want to keep the project going for years and make it a lifelong project for you, you need to find a way to create a safe space to play.
Fear kills the fun. If you make it too complicated, try to make it perfect, or put too much pressure on yourself, you are going to burn out.
Create a safe space. Allow yourself and your guests to let loose. Have fun using one of these personality styles to build something interesting for your show.
Setting The Right Framework For Your Show
There is a framework for an interview podcast, a serial podcast, etc. One of my shows, How to Succeed, has been running for seven years with over 500 episodes.
It has three basic questions. What is your attitude to success? What is your behavior, and what is your technique?
Once those three cornerstones are established, I can improvise everything else around them. I don’t have to worry or stress out about where the podcast is going. In every episode, I know I’ll find something interesting.
There are many different ways you can create a framework for your show.
Maybe include a game or challenge at the end of the podcast, or have a fun, playful opening?
I love the British game show “I Literally Just Told You.”
Borrowing their concept, you would make up questions about something that happened earlier in the podcast. If I asked you right now who said the quote, “Ask not what the world needs, ask what makes you feel alive, and do that,” you’d know because I literally just told you.
It was Supreme Court, Justice Howard Thurman. You can do something similar to highlight your guest and your content. Create entertaining ways to engage your audience. Think icebreakers, puzzles, and fun, interesting questions for your guests.
How could you give them the challenge to solve over the course of the show? Maybe a mystery that you reveal at the end of your show to keep them engaged.
This is just one example of something you can try.
The best thing about podcasting is that no one listens to a podcast if it fails. Don’t be afraid! The second thing is that you can design it yourself. When I was on the radio, I hated that all the songs were picked by other people. I had to read corporate sponsors, which I didn’t want to do.
With my podcast, I can make it as long or as short as I want. There are no rules to break. You can’t get in trouble for doing a 10-minute podcast one week and a 40-minute podcast the next. If that makes you happy, do that.
Be yourself. Be awesome. Take a stand; be passionate. Go deep on a topic, get weird, and be creative because that’s what the world needs. We don’t need you to sound like every other podcast out there. There are enough of those podcasts already. We don’t need another one.
At the end of the day, you should be looking forward to your next episode saying, “Yes, I can’t wait to interview this person,” or “Yes, I can’t wait to press record.” If that’s not the case, keep working on the format of the show until you have a podcast you’re excited about.
About Mike Montague
Mike is the host of two podcasts. How to Succeed, which has over 550 episodes and over 2.7 million downloads, features sales and leadership topics each week. Playful Humans, featuring people who play for a living, just completed its second season and was ranked #1 on Amazon Music’s Inspiring Indies playlist. Mike is also a keynote speaker, sales trainer, game show host, and MC for live events. His mission is to help adults rediscover the power of play.