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Archive for August, 2017

Don’t Limit with Goals & Anti-Goals: Treat Your Work/Career/Life Like a Garden Instead

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

BESIf you follow me over at Instagram, you know I’m kind of a flower nut. I grew up in gardens – my mom is a gardener, and both of my grandmothers were gardeners too, one of which had a farm. I was reminded of gardening again when I read the post which the gurus are touting around the internet, about the importance of setting anti-goals. But, I have a bit of a problem with that idea, in that it doesn’t quite hit the mark for me as a career coach in an ideal state.

I’ve always been a cheerleader of writing down your goals. I do it once a year, as a habit, and then carry them around with me. I LOVE checking them off when they are accomplished, which in turn gives me some free mental space to think ahead to future goals too. It’s a great habit!

What I believe the writers of the linked article above are focused on is ensuring your day is NOT filled with stuff you hate. Important, yes, but again where I have a problem with it is that it focuses a little too heavily on what you don’t want, and sometimes focusing on what you don’t want can reverse, in that it takes your eyes off of your goals and sometimes puts the icky stuff front and center in your life, rather than the stuff you actually love and care about instead. You attract what you focus on.

This is where I return to the garden, which I still think is the best analogy for living your best life, career path, or day. Like a garden to a gardener, I think you should focus both on what you love–water, care for, and nurture your goals and/or best stuff. But, I also think you should spend a little time on what you don’t love – and weeding that stuff out of your day/life/career. Weed out the icky stuff. Also, are there items in your career garden overgrown? Meaning–is it time to cut back, or move on to another area of your life? Do a little trimming if you’re over extended and burned out, maybe?

Much like our lives, gardens can get over grown with stuff that consumes us and causes burnout. (In my current garden, there is a battle between daisies and Black Eyed Susan in the picture above – another analogy – which do you want more of and less of, or do you prefer a balance?) I also think of my career in seasons too – much like a garden. What season are you in with your day job, or side gigs, or non-profit work, and/or is it time for a change?

Your garden is your life/career/work palette. Don’t just think of it as a list of “love” and “hate” – I think that’s way too simple an analogy for a best life. Sometimes, there are surprises in your career or life you never expected that pop up too, and what if they don’t make it to your love and hate lists? You could miss out on something amazing just thinking bi-modally.

I’ve said my peace. Whatever analogy you use for your work/career/life, I hope most important that it works for you – whether that’s a love/hate list, a garden, or something else in between.

___

Erin Albert is a career coach, pharmacist, entrepreneur, community builder, writer and hack gardener.

P.S. It’s World Photo Day today! – Get out and take a pic or two – maybe of your garden?

Podcasting, in 5 Minutes or Less

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 8.42.45 PMWhen @AmyStark wanted me to talk about podcasting in a 5 minute talk at #SMDames17 (that happened today, as a matter of fact), I must admit that even I was a little intimidated to drink from this firehose in 300 seconds. There’s a steep learning curve to podcasting, and I’m still learning myself.

So, I wanted to share a little more about the “Podcasting Hierarchy” I flashed at the audience for 5 minutes today, and share a little more with you, the fab 13, on where you can go to dig a little deeper (or climb a little higher?) into the world of podcasting, if you’re so inclined.

I laid this out via Maslow. Let’s begin with the basics at the bottom. If you’ve never listened to a podcast before, take out your smartphone, head to iTunes or wherever you buy apps and look for Stitcher. Download it. Then start picking out podcasts you like. If you don’t have a smartphone, use a desktop player, like ShortOrange.  Right now, I’m personally listening to a lot of EOFire, BizChix Podcast, The Ask GaryVee Show, Tim Ferriss, James Altucher, and of course, the Pharmacy Podcast. Find stuff you’re interested in and step into the world of podcasting by listening.

Maybe you listen – and you have your favorites. Great! The next step is…if you’re building a business or brand, to ask yourself: does your ideal customer or Avatar listen to podcasts? Do your competitors have podcasts? An episode I like of EOFire has a link on defining your ideal customer or Avatar. Personally, I’ve noticed that while my target market for many of my books tend to be women, more men than women listen to podcasts. I don’t really know why that is, either, but realize your ideal customer, then ask if they listen to podcasts, OR could YOU be the FIRST podcast in your space?

Next up – try pitching to be a guest on your favorite podcast that fits your brand. I’ve personally not been good about this – I’m a little more focused on getting great guests on my segment of the Pharmacy Podcast. But, if you’re a rabid fan of a podcast in particular and it fits you and your jam, then why not pitch to them? You can try on the podcasting concept on someone else’s show, before you get heavily invested.  Another way to test the waters low stakes is try the free app Anchor.  You can record little audio snippets and updates with this app, then post it online at your other social media portals. It is, methinks, ephemeral now – I think the anchor clips (or waves as they call them) go away after 24 hours.

Let’s say you’re hooked. Great! Next up, you’re going to need to learn the mechanicals of a podcast, and frankly – this is the steepest part of the learning curve. It’s also where you need to spend the most time getting educated and understanding your why – why do you really want to start a podcast? What’s the goal or outcome? It’s where I’m still learning – and that’s also the technical aspects of recording, editing and hosting a podcast. One of my favorite places to learn is She Podcasts, a closed Facebook group of women podcasters. I’m lucky, in that on the Pharmacy Podcast, I don’t do my editing – we have a founder/wizard in Todd Eury who does that. All I use is a magical microphone, my MacBook Pro, Skype and a call recording software for my computer. You could use Garage Band, or maybe even quicktime.

See, I’m still learning here.

If you have multiple parties speaking live in the same place and not using Skype, you should also have a mixer. Then you need to use Audition or Garage Band to edit the podcast, add the jingle/intro, and any audio jingle outtros. Also, it’s nice to get the “uhms” cleaned up throughout the recording. This is where I’m still lost – and I’m still trying to learn more about the editing process.

Last but not least, at the top of the podcasting hierarchy (at least technically speaking) is getting a host for your podcast. I don’t mean emcee here either. I mean, you can’t just throw your podcast onto your WordPress site – it needs to be hosted by a site built for the bigger bandwidth necessary to stream and listen to podcasts. We use Libsyn at the Pharmacy Podcast, but you’ll see in my slide above that there are several choices for podcasting hosts. I’m not even going to go there when it comes to getting registered and the podcast on iTunes…that alone could take hours. Even simple stuff, like the right podcast art thumbnail for iTunes is a science in and of itself.

The peak or summit of this hierarchy is honestly creating a sustainable podcast. There are costs associated with equipment, jingles, hosting and the most precious resource of all – your time. It takes a long, long time to make a podcast profitable with advertising revenue and/or helping you drive your business.  Massive time vacuum.

So, this post was a little longer than 5 minutes for me to write. But I wanted to leave a digital leave behind for more on this podcasting magic, because it really has been magic for me. I’m grateful to the Pharmacy Podcast for the opportunity to co-host, and glad to help the women in our audience today at #SMDames17 think about another channel for themselves and their businesses to consider….