A wake-up call this week in the form of feedback given to me about my new podcast which launches later this month

They called me out and they were right

I had a wake-up call this week in the form of feedback given to me about my new podcast which launches later this month. There’s a valuable lesson in it for any content creator, so I’d like to share it with you.

Let me give you just a bit of setup first.

Here’s the deal. I’m feeling some pressure when it comes to this new show. I had a wildly successful podcast for twelve years, then I went on podcasting hiatus for a few years.

Now, I have high expectations of myself to start strong with this new show as I step back on to the podcasting stage.

There’s nothing wrong with stretching one’s self to reach higher. But it seems maybe I took it a little too far.

I researched.

I backed my ideas up with stats.

I created a framework to make the content actionable.

I kept it all within a nice concise 19 minutes.

I scripted the content (something I’ve never done with a podcast before).

I spent hours writing and re-writing the episode to get it “just right.”

It was those last two that did me in.

Here’s the feedback I received this week from two separate people after they listened to an advance version of episode one.

“I’d like to hear more about your business, your why’s, and your personality before you give the framework. Otherwise, it feels like a course via podcast. That makes me want to be more selective in listening to episodes only when the topic is relevant vs. listening to every episode.”

“Infuse more of your personality. At times, it felt like an MBA lecture.”

I immediately knew they were right. I’d made the common mistake of trying so hard to be credible and valuable that I had squeezed one of the most important elements out of it.


I didn’t leave any room for my own personality and story. I even teach my clients this stuff and I still missed the mark on this one.

Here’s the takeaway.

Yes, it’s important to have solid content that is valuable and credible, but what really keeps people coming back to listen is who you are and how you uniquely show up.

This applies to creating content for your marketing as well for your course.

I’ve seen worries about getting it “just right” delay course launches many, many times. I’ve also seen it turn courses and programs into dry lectures that fail to make a connection and have the desired impact despite being chock full of value.

It’s understandable to feel a lot of pressure to create ideas that people find novel, useful, and authoritative. We should always strive to master our craft and create quality work.

But don’t let the pressure, perfectionism, and impostor syndrome choke the life out of your perspective and voice.

rule of marketing

The #1 Rule of Marketing


Always enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind.” — Robert Collier


Earlier this week I was at dinner with friends where a variety of conversations were taking place at the table. My attention was suddenly pulled to a conversation about yoga.

Now, the truth is that yoga as a topic would not normally grab my attention. I think yoga’s great, but it’s not really a top-of-mind interest for me. Normally, my mind would have filtered this conversation out and my focus would have remained on the interaction I was already a part of.

However, this yoga conversation was different. My friend was recounting a recent experience where she ran a workshop for veterans to help them process trauma stored in their bodies through restorative yoga. She explained how one participant had a big emotional release at the end of the workshop as her body let go of anxiety and tension that had long been stored in her muscles.

That got my attention.

I immediately switched my focus to her story. Ever since I read The Body Keeps the Score last year, processing trauma through movement has been at the top of my mind as something that could help me and others close to me to improve mental health.

In other words, this particular story “entered the conversation already taking place” in my mind. This is one of the most important things you can do when creating content and messaging for your marketing and sales. You have to meet your intended customers where they are.

What are the top-of-mind pains and problems they think about regularly? What keeps them awake at night? What are they actively interested in and looking for? What language do they use when talking about these things? Why are these things important to them?

It’s imperative to know the answers to questions like these so that you can tie your message and value proposition to them.

Only then will you get through the “spam filter” in their mind and gain their attention.

Be sure to speak to pains, problems, unfulfilled desires, and unmet needs before you start talking about your solution.

Just talking about yoga will get lost in the noise. Talking about yoga as a way to improve flexibility and prevent injury is a top-of-mind topic that will stand out and grab the attention of a specific audience. Talking about yoga as a way to mitigate the effects of sitting at a desk all day working at a computer will stand out and grab the attention of another specific audience.

When creating content for the purpose of expanding your visibility, gaining the attention of your market, and generating leads, the #1 rule is to always enter the conversation already going on in your customer’s mind so that your voice doesn’t get lost in the myriad of conversation taking place at the Internet table.

How to uncover and leverage your unique genius

Focusing on your unique genius and strengths in your business, body of work, and daily activities provide you with the greatest opportunity for fulfillment and growth in your work.

Leveraging your strengths is also your greatest opportunity to create value for others and to contribute to something bigger than yourself.

When used in the right way, your strengths are a competitive advantage and a key element for strong brand positioning as a thought leader. A strong brand position helps you stand out and attract your ideal audience and customers.

Understanding your unique genius also helps you create courses, products, and services that leverage your strengths. When you do this, you create greater results for your clients and students.

Further, you feel more confident when you talk about (i.e. market and sell) and deliver your products and services because you have a greater understanding of how your customers will benefit from working with you.

Finally, this process provides you with the exact language to describe what you do best and how it is unique. This makes your messaging more compelling to the clients you enjoy working with most and do your best work with.

For the past decade, I’ve refined a process for helping my students and clients uncover and connect with their unique genius.

Today, I’d like to share with you a worksheet that walks you through part of that process. This is pulled directly from my Launch Your Course online workshop.

You can access the Google Doc version of the worksheet here.

Are you taking this opportunity for granted?

I told her she was overlooking a huge opportunity.

I was on the phone with a client who wanted to build a personal brand as a thought leader in the homesteading niche.

She and her boyfriend recently purchased a plot of land. She was waiting to start the brand because they have a lot of work to do before they can move there.

I told her that would be a mistake to wait. Then I gave her the following advice.

“Capture everything you do, starting now. Shoot videos with your phone, take photos, and/or take lots of notes to turn into blog posts. But whatever you do, start sharing your journey online now. There so much you will be doing in the coming months that will be fascinating to the audience you want to attract.”

Building a fence around the property.

Setting up an address with the Post Office.

Researching what kind of solar panels to install.

All of these topics would make for excellent audience- and brand-building content.

One of the best places to find compelling content is in your day-to-day activities.

This could include:

  • Things you think about
  • Decisions you make
  • Something you are learning or researching
  • Your routines and systems
  • A tour of your space
  • Challenges you’ve run into and how you manage them
  • An “over the shoulder” explanation of how you do something
  • A sneak peek at a new project

And that’s just to name a handful of possibilities.

It can be as simple as turning on the camera and giving them an inside look for five minutes.

This kind of content is exceptionally effective because it feels real and transparent, it helps them connect with you, it satisfies curiosity, and it’s just really valuable and interesting for your audience.

Don’t take this for granted.

Get in the habit of creating content by mining your day-to-day and capturing things you are already doing.

You’ll never have to wrack your brain again for content ideas.

It’s important to have practices in place to intentionally counterbalance that with noticing the good.

When your brain is a real @$%&*

Think of one of your most vivid memories. What’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Was it a good memory or a bad memory?

When I was given this prompt by a friend, the first thing that came to mind was receiving a phone call from my brother telling me that my dad had passed away.

Research tells us our minds are more likely to remember bad memories than good ones. Scientists believe there are deep-rooted evolutionary reasons for this.

In other words, our brain can be a real @$%&* sometimes.

Perhaps this is related to why we are much more likely at the end of the day to dwell on the things that went wrong or didn’t get done rather than what we did well.

We’ve all had those moments when we doubt our ideas, feel like we haven’t done enough, or impostor syndrome gets the best of us.

If our brains have an inclination to more readily recall negative things, it’s important to have practices in place to intentionally counterbalance that with noticing the good.

I recently came across just such an exercise from author and psychotherapist, Pete Walker. It’s called a 12×12 Self-Gratitudes Matrix. You make a list of twelve things about yourself in the following twelve categories.

  1. Accomplishments
  2. Traits
  3. Good Deeds
  4. Peak Experiences
  5. Life Enjoyment
  6. Intentions
  7. Good Habits
  8. Jobs
  9. Subjects Studied
  10. Obstacles Overcome
  11. Grace Received
  12. Nurturing Memories

The idea is to memorize and recite these lists in those moments when you get caught in a downward spiral of fear, doubt, or “not enoughness.”

I was stunned at how hard it was to make these lists. It was as if my brain was afraid to acknowledge the good for fear that it would leave me vulnerable to the possibility of the bad.

It was all the more reason for me to persevere and do the exercise.

Whether it’s the 12×12 Self Gratitudes, positive affirmations, keeping a gratitude journal, or something else, I encourage you to integrate some sort of practice to train your brain to notice and remember the good things about you and your life.

As a creator and thought leader, you put yourself and your ideas out there, set ambitious goals, and expose yourself to the criticism every day.

It’s vital to have a source of grounding that reminds you of the good in your life for those moments when self-protection goes awry and threatens to slow you down or derail you.