Stacey Harris: What do you say we’ll do something a little different today? Let’s sit down with Lisa Carpenter and talk about imperfect action and why it’s just better.
Hello. Welcome to podcast Episode 541, so many. I am really stoked today because we’ve got a very different show. I actually have a guest. It’s not just me chatting at you today. It does mean this episode is a little bit longer but it’s also 100% worth it. I am joined by Lisa Carpenter, and technically, I joined Lisa. We actually recorded this episode for her show and decided it’s a really good conversation. We talk a lot about imperfect action. We talk a lot about podcasting. We talk a lot about how she started her show, launching the show alone, and with a value in that for where she is now. It is just all around a solid conversation. Enjoy that.
Before we jump into that though, I want to remind you that for the Podcast Newsroom, the new private podcast feed that we have, it is available, the September episode is up, we’re going to have a bonus episode dropping in a couple of weeks. Most importantly, I really want you to make sure you have subscribed to that podcast, the Podcast Newsroom over at uncommonlymore.com/newsroom before October. Because we’re going to actually do something a little different in October. I’m going to be releasing a private training as the episode of the month and we’re going to be talking about a private podcast feed; essentially, what I did with the Podcast Newsroom, how we’ve set that up, the tech that’s needed. This will be a full-on training on how to get your own private feed started and some of the benefits of using a private feed, some ways to use a private feed. All of that is going to come out in October for the Podcast Newsroom. In the meantime, you can catch up with the three things you need to know for September. We had some three things you need to know for August, which is also still really helpful content.
If you have already subscribed and added it to your podcast player, fantastic, just head over there and you can listen to those episodes. If you haven’t yet, go to uncommonlymore.com/newsroom. This is a private and exclusive feed so you do need to sign up for access. There’s absolutely no charge but you do have to opt in for access. You’ll sign up there and then you will get an email with a link to get the private feed in your podcast player. If you have any questions, just hit reply on any of those emails and the team and I will help you out. With that, let’s jump into my chat with Lisa Carpenter.
Lisa Carpenter: So, you guys are joining both me, obviously, Lisa, and Stacey Harris. We’re just going to have a really candid conversation. We’ve been friends, colleagues, supporting each other for quite a while now. Stacey is part of my podcast team now, which we’re going to talk a little bit about imperfect action, we’re going to talk about marrying facts and feelings. We’re actually recording this so that it can be shared on both of our platforms, which I also think is really cool because so many people get caught in it, “It has to be new. It has to be this way,” and God, I used to be like that. Now I’m like, “How can I repurpose everything? How can I make one thing and have it work a million ways?” and giving zero “What’s about that?” I’m super happy to be hanging out with you this morning, Stacey.
Stacey Harris: I always love hanging out with you. This is fun. I want us all to create less stuff and so we can sit down and bang out two episodes in one chunk of time. I’m all about it. I’m all about it.
Lisa Carpenter: For the people who are listening on my platform, Stacey, can you tell everybody who you are and what you do?
Stacey Harris: Sure. I am Stacey harris. I own a podcast production agency, which is basically a really snooty way of saying I help people create audio content and distribute it in a way that actually moves listeners from consumption to purchase. We talk a lot about strategic content and content for the sake of sales and not content for the sake of continuing to run in that magical hamster wheel of creation that I think in some ways gives us these little micro dopamine releases but then actually gives us no real results in our business. We’ll talk more about that with facts and feelings. But that’s what we do. We spend all day supporting service based and coaching and consulting businesses with educating their audience into a purchase. That’s what we do.
Lisa Carpenter: And you’re not a newbie.
Stacey Harris: No, no, no.
Lisa Carpenter: Because you’ve been running a team for a long time. Because when I first met you, I’m like, “I know you and I know exactly what you do.” Because you’ve always been so clear in your communication and your message, it’s always made it super easy for me to refer you because I know exactly what you do and how you do it.
Stacey Harris: I will never ever forget that because it was the first time we’d ever met in person. Gosh, it was like four or five years ago now but it was the first time we’d ever met in person, you’re like, “Oh, I know who you are,” and I was like, “Oh, that’s so cool.” I thought it was so fun because I knew who you were and I was like, “She knows me.” Yes, I’ve had a podcast for eight years this fall. We’ve just released 535 episodes. I’ve been doing audio even longer than that. I actually have my degree in audio engineering. It’s very funny because I took a detour into marketing and specifically social media and so it’s funny now as we come in, I’ve been an entrepreneur for 10 years now, this month with 10 years. It’s funny to realize that I did actually loop around to use the degree that I have. It took a while to get there but I did somehow accidentally end up using it.
Lisa Carpenter: Between you and I, because I’ve been coaching now for, gosh, over 20 years. I was actually thinking about this the other day, talking about facts and feelings because as you know, I’m in contest prep. Right now, the rule is Lisa cannot trust her thoughts or her emotions. Acknowledge them and then dismiss them. I got into this story of like, “I don’t know what I’m talking about.” False. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years and I started thinking about how many clients I’ve worked with, how many hours I’ve logged as a coach, and it really actually blew my mind.
I personally love working with people who have been mastering their craft over the years and I know on the interwebs, there’s a lot of new people showing up, and kudos to all the new people. If you’re starting a new business, that’s great. There’s something to be said for when you’re hiring people, to look for people who have the experience in the areas you don’t have, which is one of the reasons why I reached out and said, “Stacey, I actually want to hire you to be on my team,” because my podcast might be two years old, might be coming up on two years.
Stacey Harris: Right around. We should make a note of that.
Lisa Carpenter: We should make note of that. See, these are the things that other people make a thing about and I am like, “It doesn’t matter. Every week I’m going to show up whether it’s for years or whatever.” But when I started my podcast, speaking of imperfection, the reason I started my podcast was because social media was driving me crazy, Instagram with their 15 second clips—and for anybody who’s listening to me for a while now, I’m very long-winded, I’ve got lots of stories I want to tell—and it was literally taking me like 30 minutes to get an Instagram story up because I’d have to like chop it up. I’m back to doing that right now as well, anyways, but I digress. I decided that I was just going to start a podcast and I was going to talk about whatever the hell I wanted to talk about, whenever I wanted to talk about it. The only caveat for me was that I had to get out an episode every week. It didn’t matter if I was on vacation, it didn’t matter if I was on a beach somewhere.
Stacey Harris: Grilling chicken.
Lisa Carpenter: Grilling chicken, we’re going to talk about that episode. It was just a matter of getting the content out there. What I see so many people, especially in business—and I know you see this with podcasting—is everybody wants things perfect before they start and then they hide behind like, “I have to have the perfect graphic. I have to have the perfect person to do my sound,” and then this to that. I did it really messy. That episode that we’re talking about, I don’t know what episode number it is, we can probably link it in the show notes, but I was on vacation so it must have been around August, I was answering a listener’s question while grilling my chicken and then a freaking train went by.
There are train sounds in the background. I just hit publish on it anyways and I was doing my podcast, it was hosted on Anchor—it still is—set it up all by myself, had no idea what I was doing, figured out the graphics by myself, and literally record and go. There was no intro, there was no outro, there was no purpose, it was just “I am going to talk.” That’s how I started my podcast. We got over, I don’t know how many listeners we have now or downloads, see I don’t even know my data, we should probably talk about that. But in giving myself permission to record an episode like that, anything after that episode is polished.
Stacey Harris: Here’s the thing, I think we do this in lots of places in our life. I actually use you as an example a ton when I get on calls with podcasters who are just not ready to work with us and I talk about, “You first have to prove you’re going to show up for the thing to yourself.” It makes it a ton easier to make the investment, it makes it a ton easier to trust that there will be an ROI in whatever you’re doing. Certainly, specifically in podcasting I see this a lot, but seriously, last week I told somebody, I was like, “Get Anchor, plug your headphones into your phone, and prove to yourself that once a week, you can go and record.” Just start seeing what you want to talk about. Just start seeing what it feels like to do it because here’s the hard truth of it, almost no one listens to the beginning of our podcasts and your 50th episode isn’t any better when you wait to do it. It’s not like your first episode is suddenly going to be as good as episode 100 would have been. The first episode will always suck no matter how long you wait, so find ways to just start.
Again, I think this idea that is most universal for me is this idea of proving I can show up for myself, proving that I can come in and find something to say for 20 minutes a week, once a week, which by the way, we can literally all do. But I think that’s such an important part of it and I think that only comes through imperfect action. By the way, you only really decide what you like about your show and what works or doesn’t work in your show by taking the imperfect action, by showing up and recording at the grill with the train going by, and seeing what happens. I am curious, has anyone ever emailed you and complained about the sound quality on that episode for the train?
Lisa Carpenter: I had one client say something to me once about my audio. I said to him, “But you listened anyways, right?” He said, “Well, yeah.” The way that I look at it, my brand specifically because I work with women on letting go of this idea that it has to be perfect, that really kept me trapped in my life for so long like if I could just look perfect and be perfect, nobody will see that I’m insecure. I work with a lot of women around this. A big part of my brand is just like, “Go, do it. Just let it be messy.” I will record in my car, I will record coming out of the gym, I will record with the top down, the top up outside, I think the last episode I sent to you I’m like, “Oh my God, they’re mowing the lawn now.” Right in the middle of the recording, they’re mowing the lawn. I’m like, “Whatever, Lisa, just keep going,” because the people who resonate with my message may not love the audio but they’ll listen and those are my people.
My job isn’t to make everything perfect. My job is to be me 100% be real. If somebody listening doesn’t resonate with my message or they don’t like my audio, they’re not my people. We’ve definitely upleveled. When I made the decision to hire you and your team, in part it was to help me clean up the audio because I’m going to be recording messy, but part of it was also just allowing myself to be supported and not having to do everything myself anymore. Not that it was hard, but it was just that one more thing on my to-do list every week that I didn’t want to do.
Stacey Harris: I think you got to a point with your show, and I think this happens about the year point, if you’re somebody who’s looking for a check-in point with something, I always go either 90 days, 6 months, or 12 months depending on the thing I’m trying. With a podcast, I don’t think it’s out of bounds to do it dirty for six months to a year, but if you hit 12 months with something and you know, “This is something I want to move through specifically with the podcast,” and can say, “This is something that is helping me get clients. This thing is serving the purpose it’s intended to serve in my life or business,” then it’s time to get support with it because you either need to take whatever it is you’re doing to the next level, so we talk a lot about taking podcasts from good to great, so we’re cleaning up the audio, we’re building in some more marketing assets to make it easier for our clients to share the show, we’re optimizing show notes so that we’re more easily getting episodes found via search, things like that. We’re taking something that already works and we’re making it better. You’ll come to the point where you can go, “Okay, is this a thing I want to keep doing?” Great, then let’s make it better, or “I’ve been trying this for a while and I’m not getting the results I want,” don’t then add money to the situation, don’t then go, “So let me just hire my way out of this thing that doesn’t work, no, go do a new thing.
Lisa Carpenter: Right. There are the facts and the feelings part because for me, launching the podcast was really about working through the emotional discomfort around saying, “I’m going to do this thing, I’m going to stay committed to it every week. What if I don’t have anything to say? What if nobody listens? What if nobody downloads?” there’s all this stuff. Again, I see this happen time and time again, people decide, “Well, I need the perfect website. I need the perfect podcast. I need the perfect photos. I need everything to look perfect before I can go out and help people. Starting my podcast was just about “Just go do the thing.” In doing the thing, I found out that people do want to hear what I have to say. I loved it. I love that I have a platform where I can just say whatever the hell I want about whatever I want, about whatever topic I want, and the people who are meant to hear are going to hear it.
But what you were talking about was so important that you don’t need to invest in all the things right out of the gate. I see so many entrepreneurs and business people spending money on stuff because they’re trying to avoid feeling the discomfort instead of looking at the data and saying, “Does the data support me investing in this so that I can take this to the next level?” By the time I hired you, I had amazing downloads, I was happy with the traction the podcast was getting, and I really did need some support around, “Okay, I’ve been doing this for a while, what am I talking about now? Where am I leading people? How can I use this platform to reach more people?” I think it’s so important that everybody takes a step back and says, “What is it that I really need at this moment to move the needle forward?”
Stacey Harris: I think one of the things that we don’t talk about enough when we’re in that initial emotional discomfort of trying the thing is the thing we’re buying of going through the imperfect action and the discomfort is data. The fact of the matter is we don’t have facts to give an expert or give a support person if we don’t yet have data. Often, we have podcasters who will book a call with me or will reach out in DMs and say they want to start a podcast but they have no data around how they currently sell their thing, they can’t tell me how they’re currently getting results. Then no amount of investment with us in a podcast is going to be better or worse because you don’t have enough information for us to be making tactical and strategic decisions.
I often struggle through that discomfort of the imperfect action, you know how little I like to feel the discomfort or really anything except joy and wonder. I tell myself every time, “This is me buying data. This is me buying information because I know I want to have some facts.” I’m going to sit in the feeling so that I can have facts because if I don’t do one, I’m not going to get the other one. I don’t think we acknowledge what a gift that is to our business for us to acquire that data so that we can make strategic decisions because that’s how we buy more time on the other side, that’s how we buy better results, that’s how we do it is we spend enough time in that feeling to get to the fact.
Lisa Carpenter: That is still an uncomfortable place for me to be. “I’m going to hire Stacey and it’s going to be butterflies and rainbows,” and then all of a sudden you’re like, “You need to batch your episodes. Where are we leading people? What do you want to give them? What are you launching in the fall, Lisa? How are you wanting to support people?” I was like, “What? You don’t understand. I’m just winging it, whatever comes through comes true.” There was a huge level of discomfort and I still don’t love batching, which you know.
Stacey Harris: But I’m going to keep making you do it.
Lisa Carpenter: It’s getting easier and easier.
Stacey Harris: It’s a muscle.
Lisa Carpenter: Yeah, 2020, 2021, inspiration has been relatively low speaking of the feelings.
Stacey Harris: Yeah, in fairness, you started batching at a time where all of us got uncreative.
Lisa Carpenter: Right. I’m like, “I got nothing. I don’t know what I’m going to talk about because I’m just going to go off on a tangent.” But even with that, in having your team now, it’s having a clear direction around, “Okay, this is where we want to go, how can I create content that is going to support how I want to support my people so that it makes sense?” It doesn’t mean I can’t go off on tangents about other things, these are things that we can put in the podcast episode bank, but it just allows me to have more focus and direction. The way I look at it now is I wouldn’t go into the gym and just wing it every time. I know a lot of you guys do that in the gym, it’s not effective for creating results. Will you stay fit and healthy? Yes. Was my podcast growing because I was just recording episodes? Yes. But there comes a point in time where you have to look at “What kind of results do I want to have?” I love that people are tuning in every week. I’m so grateful for that but I want to make sure that people are having the breakthroughs that they need to create a more extraordinary life for themselves, which means I have to put more thought and intention into the content that I’m putting out in the podcast.
Stacey Harris: It’s funny because it makes me think of something we started talking about before we started recording. I hurt my back for a couple of weeks. I’m currently rehabbing my back, and if I just went in and winged it, I would have marked the box that said, “Work out.” I would have gotten a sweat in. I would have burned some calories. I would be somewhat stronger but without a plan, I’m not going to help my back. In fact, it might be detrimental to my back.
Lisa Carpenter: Correct.
Stacey Harris: The same is true with the podcast. We call them, only with Lisa, rogue episodes.
Lisa Carpenter: I have my own folder where I just drop rogue episodes.
Stacey Harris: She is our only client that has a folder called rogue episodes, and it is. Those rogue episodes are great. They’re why these strategic episodes work because we’re connecting, we’re staying in commitment, we’re staying consistent, and we’re showing up for our people. But if we don’t also have those strategic points in there, we’re just spinning around. We can say we did it and we can check the box and everything will keep moving forward but we’re never going to get to a result. We’re never going to get to people in a program, people on a sales call, people on a client list, which for people like you who actually care about their clients means those clients also sit in consumption of content instead of in results for themselves. What is your lack of strategy costing your clients?
Lisa Carpenter: That’s exactly right. It’s great that I inspire people but at the end of the day, I don’t want them to just be inspired. I want them to move into action, like I said, to create a better life for themselves. The other thing is around support. One of the things that I do for my clients, which they often struggle with, is allowing themselves to be supported, allowing themselves to receive support—and there’s my house cleaner vacuuming so this is how it rolls, people. She’s supposed to be here on Wednesday, she’s here on Thursday, I’m so grateful my house will be cleaned. Best day of the week by far—allowing them to be supported and learning to be supported.
During this season in my business where it’s really focused on booking clients for the fall, focusing on getting on stage right now, one of the things that I’ve loved, and I said this to you before we hit record, is it’s taken care of. If I don’t record any episodes, you and your team have gone back into the two years plus of episodes I’ve done, pulled out episodes that are relevant to the direction that I’m moving in, and you’ve repurposed them. You know what, nobody cares because if somebody’s listened to the episode before, one, they probably need to listen to it again because they’re going to hear something they didn’t hear the first time.
Stacey Harris: They’re listening with different ears.
Lisa Carpenter: Different ears, and I’ve got a lot of new listeners all the time. Like you said, they’re not going to go back to episode six even though episode six was like a bomb episode—I don’t know what episode six was.
Stacey Harris: We’re going to link to episode six now just for fun.
Lisa Carpenter: I don’t even know what it is. But that’s what I mean around that imperfect action but also allowing myself to be supported and not gripping so tightly to control. That’s another behavior that so many people get into. They want to control all the pieces but in trying to control all the pieces, they end up having no control and they get stuck not moving forward because they can’t make decisions.
Stacey Harris: I actually just sent an email this morning to my list about this because we’re playing with a little mini offer for people—because I was bored and thought it would be fun to be honest with you. My desire to create fun is usually building something new in an afternoon—and I sent them an email this morning because we’ve been doing our quarterly check-ins with our clients and we had a client the other day talking about their show’s fun again because she can just sit and record. It made me think of the fact that when you’re in the endless cycle of whatever you’re in right now—so for our clients, that’s the endless production cycle of the podcast: think of a thing, record a thing, upload a thing, tell people to go listen to the thing. Repeat. Because by the time you get to the end of the list, it’s time to start the list again—when you don’t have support, it is impossible to do your most important job, which is to step out of the process and evaluate to make sure that the direction you’re moving in is the direction you want to go.
Think of it like a road trip, you get on the road and you just start driving. At some point, you do need to reference, now not a map so much as the lady in my dashboard who yells at me when I turn wrong, but I have to evaluate, “Am I going the right place? Am I not going to the right place?” When you don’t have support, it gets real hard, if not impossible, to step out and evaluate, not just the facts but your feelings. “How do I feel about this show? How do I feel about this process?” so that you can evolve your process. There are times where I batch like crazy, there are times where I record one episode a week because that is all of the energy I have to expand per week and so we move back and forth. I can do that because regularly, I step back and I evaluate my facts and feelings because I have a team that produces my podcast too, although that took longer than it should have, but that’s a story for another day. But it’s true, when we have that support, it is what allows us to be present to what’s possible with the thing we’re doing. It allows us to see results from our actions.
Lisa Carpenter: Right. What I love about you and I—and this is something we both had to make peace with talking about—is that you typically default to “I just want to know the facts, give me the data.” Stacey will geek out over setting up a spreadsheet whereas it’s taken me years to get a spreadsheet. Then she puts me into my board with the spreadsheets and I’m like, “Revoke my access. I don’t want to see this.”
Stacey Harris: I have six ways you can look at the spreadsheet on the board. We will find you a flavor you’ll like.
Lisa Carpenter: I don’t want to know. The only thing I need to know is my rogue folder, that’s it. That’s all I need to know.
Stacey Harris: That is why you have a rogue folder, your one place to go.
Lisa Carpenter: Right. Then I’ve got my team who can answer my questions for me. But I typically default to emotions. You’ve had to learn to step back and go, “Okay, I’ve got the data but where are my emotions getting in the way?” Because I’m defaulting into the data and I’m not tuning into how I’m feeling. Whereas I’ve had to learn things like, “Okay, Lisa, you’re in your feelings but can we look at the data first and then make decisions from that place?” as opposed to making them all from how I feel because, again, feelings are not facts and data doesn’t always tell you the whole truth. Your podcast can be growing leaps and bounds but if you hate doing it every week, it’s soul sucking. It doesn’t matter what the data is telling you, you have to check in and say, “Is this something I want to keep doing?”
Stacey Harris: Oh, yeah, because if you hate it, it will never be the thing that will get you results in the way of you creating content the way you love. This is why I talk all the time that I get so mad because spending so much time on podcast related things, I get a ton of podcast related services ads. Regularly, I get these $97 courses, and I’m trying to contain my rage right now, around how you have to have a podcast because it is the marketing of the future and it is the only way anyone’s going to get clients and it’s nonsense. It’s utter nonsense. You will get clients in whatever way that you consistently show up and educate them towards the purchase. That could be a blog, that could be social, that could be cold calls to just businesses. It could be lots of things. I don’t know anyone who enjoys cold calls though. But if you hate it, if it is an uphill battle to get it done every time, it’s never going to perform the way you want it to.
You’re absolutely right. I 100% have to go, “Cool, so how do I feel about this? This is all here.” Because it’s easy to hide in the numbers, it’s easy to say there’s x amount of podcast listeners, 52% of households are listening to podcasts or whatever data it was that I read this morning in a really geeky breakdown about podcast stats, that’s irrelevant if those aren’t my clients, that’s not where the people who I talk to are spending their time if they’re one of the other 48%. But also if I hate it, if it is something where I’m always going to feel bad, it’s not going to work. But you also have to be really honest with yourself about finding that middle spot. Before we started recording, I was talking about this. I oftentimes will now slide the other way, because, thanks to Lisa’s bullying slightly, I have done a lot of work around my feelings in the last two years specifically and so now I can feel myself sometimes slide that other way and I’ll be like, “Wait, wait, overcorrecting.”
Lisa Carpenter: Correct.
Stacey Harris: Like, “Wait, wait, wait, now we have too many feelings. We need to adjust the percentages.”
Lisa Carpenter: Right. I think that everything you said there was so valid. I want people to take away the message that there is no right or wrong way. It comes to business, podcasting, writing, exercise. If you hate lifting weights and you love zumba, then go to zumba. It’s more important that you move your ass than it is like getting it right. It’s finding what really makes you feel good and then if you’re looking for specific results and you’re going to zumba and you’re loving it but it’s not getting you the results, “Okay, what is going to feel as great as zumba but is actually going to get me the results that I want?” You marry the two, but that takes practice.
Both you and I have gone through the process of burning our businesses down, for the most part, navigating the incredible discomfort of everything that comes with that, from releasing revenue, to releasing clients, to working through the messiness of messaging. The whole phase of like, “What am I even doing? What am I here for? What am I saying? Does anybody care?” The head trash around that to finding your way. I know one of the things that I appreciate about you and that I appreciate about myself is that we figure out our way, not what other people say we should do, so it’s not that I’m not open to learning and curious and willing to hear what other people have to say, but at the end of the day, comes back to me. What feels good for me around growing my business, connecting with my audience, and staying aligned with my soul’s work because that ultimately is what will make things feel light and easy. I’m not here for the hard anymore, I do enough hard sh*t in my life. I want my business to feel as light as possible knowing that there’s still going to be hard things that I have to do.
Stacey Harris: I agree, and that’s something I certainly appreciate about us. I’m going to take it a little bit further, which is I think there are things in business that are going to be hard, there are things that are going to be hard in life. I want to check the ease box as often as possible so I have the energy to show up for the stuff that’s inevitably hard. Because we have both been through the head trash of like, “What am I saying? What am I doing? What do I sell? Who do I sell it to? Maybe I just started and I don’t actually know anything about anything ever. Those days are going to show up regardless of the structure you’ve built around yourself, whether you’re alone, whether you have support. Not just in your business globally and not just in your life globally, but in each of the things. That’s one of the reasons I love having support around my show now is because I’ll be like, “I don’t actually think I’m interesting and/or funny ever. You want me to sit down and be both interesting and funny while educating and selling someone right now? No.” Then I get a reality talk from my team and they’re like, “Actually, we could do this or here, let’s put out this episode instead or whatever the thing is that I need then.”
But so often, that support for me is a big part of being able to come back that I do know what I’m doing. I also think that building that trust through imperfect action that you will show up for yourself and that it will be okay helps in those moments where I have to come back and be like, “No, no, no. I’m going to do this my way. It’s always worked out when I’ve done it my way. It was funny, I was on a call this week with our shared coach, Tara Newman, who has also been on this show—I highly recommend you listen to that episode if you haven’t, we’ll also link to it in the show notes—I said, “I’ve been unwrapping some of my own stuff this last year as well.” The thing I wrote down as we were talking was the more of myself I am, the more money I make, the more I come back to my instinct, the more I come back to my process, the more I come back to doing things the way I want to do it, the better the results are, the better the payoff whatever they may be—podcast downloads, performance in the gym, whatever it is. When I come back to being like, “This is what I like to do,” it always works out.
Lisa Carpenter: The problem people think they have is not usually the problem. It’s never a “That’s the problem,” it’s almost always a “You” problem. It’s not a damn problem, it’s not a circumstance problem, it’s a “you” problem. Until you’re willing to look at your own stuff around things, nothing is going to change. This is why I talk about that for years, I just threw money at everything—this course, that coach, this thing, this widget—because I thought that would get me to where I wanted to be. But that wasn’t the problem. It was always a “me” problem. If I can just come back home to “You know what, hit record, put it out there, Lisa,” I think there have only been two episodes I’ve ever recorded where afterwards I was like, “Maybe not.” One of them, I went back and I was like, “Okay, this is still valid but how can I clean this up so I’m not just in a total ranty pants? How can I deliver this in a way that it still hits home knowing that I was going to be quite polarizing?”
But for the most part, I really speak unedited from the heart and there have been many times where I’m like, “God, I really said that and I really hit publish on it.” That’s just the way it is but that’s what connects with my people because there are so many people out there, again, trying to invest their way to getting the results they want and they just need to be themselves but they don’t even know who they are.
Stacey Harris: That feeling though of putting out the uncomfortable episodes is another one of the reasons I like support. Because I had a client not too long ago who I know whenever she is releasing an episode that’s uncomfortable because I get one of those throw up emojis in my Slack where it’s just like, “I need you to hold my hair.” I love being able to support our podcasters and our clients through that because those episodes, regardless of show across the board to every one of our clients, are always ones where they come up on sales calls, they get emails, they’re one of the most downloaded episodes. Those episodes that make us uncomfortable are generally the episodes that perform really, really well. That’s another space where I love having that support and trusting that your support will help you keep the guard rails up so that if something is off the rails, they’ll be like, “Actually, wait, this is good but we need to bring it back to some action. We need to bring it back to some solid ground, maybe give it a little foundation.”
Lisa Carpenter: I don’t think you’ve ever had that conversation with me but I keep on waiting for it.
Stacey Harris: I haven’t had to have that conversation.
Lisa Carpenter: I keep waiting for it because every now and then I’m like, “Oh my God, is Stacey’s team going to come back at me and say like, ‘Are you sure you want to release this?’”
Stacey Harris: Honestly, with our clients, I think I’ve had one or two episodes across the board where we’ve gone back and said, “I think we need to clarify a point.” We’ve had one episode ever that we’ve straight up not published. We decided to pull it and they did a whole new version. For the most part, I highly encourage clients to just keep trying to get me to tell you, “You can’t publish that because you just get closer to that edge.”
Lisa Carpenter: Right. I think it’s also really important to note that, again, coming back to this imperfection, this 20-minute podcast episode that we’re recording today, not that we’re not memorable but in five months from now, is anybody going to remember it? We are so bombarded with content so if you’re so worried about getting your message perfect, it doesn’t matter because people are hearing things, different messages every single day from all the people. Just get your voice out there. One of the other things that I really appreciate about what you do is you’ve gone through some of my groups and comments and things and said things like, “These are some of the topics you need to be talking about.” I don’t always listen but when I am not inspired, I can look at the list that you guys have put together around some ideas of where I could go and oftentimes, it’s a jumping off point as opposed to me just sitting in my, “Oh, God, I’m talking about this again? Still, again?”
Stacey Harris: Yeah, that’s what I love most about having a strategy honestly. I think so often, we think about going in with this strategic purpose, means we’re going to be boxed in. But I so often think of that strategy as a platform for me to stand on “This is something for me to pull from. This is here for me, not for you. This is here for me.” Because almost never do I sit down at podcast recording time and I’m just suddenly inspired by a wonderful idea. It just doesn’t happen. I need a place to go to prompts, if nothing else, to go, “Hey, these are the things you talk about, Stacey, maybe try one of them.” Because I just think some days, I’ll sit down and be winning and charming and funny just on demand and that doesn’t happen. I need the prompts. I need the starting off stage. That’s why the strategies are so helpful. They give us that place to start.
I come back to this idea of rehabbing my back too, if after I’m done doing the things that are going to rehab my back, I’m feeling super fired up, and I want to go do XYZ for, I was going to say 30 minutes of cardio but never once have I finished weight training and been like, “You know what, it’ll be fun.”
Lisa Carpenter: Let’s do cardio.
Stacey Harris: Mostly because I never think, “Hey, let’s do some cardio,” but that’s again a song for another day. But if I want to go do more whatever, I can go do more whatever because I’ve already started. The body is in motion. Things are already happening. That idea of “If I just do five minutes, I’m just going to do five minutes and then I’ll do the 30 minutes of cardio I’m supposed to do.”
Lisa Carpenter: I’m laughing because you’re like, “When I have my podcast recording time,” and I’m like, “Oh, yeah, that time I’m supposed to schedule and sit down and batch,” as opposed to, “Oh, I think I should record an episode today.” After show prep is done, it’s going to be more regular on my schedule because it does serve me when I spend some time and just jot down some notes and then sit down and record two or three episodes back to back. It definitely makes it easier. Then those rogue episodes actually come through faster for me as well. Stacey, for my people who are listening who do have podcasts and who are creating content out on the web or thinking about starting a podcast, when is it the right time for somebody to reach out to you and your team and get support?
Stacey Harris: It generally falls somewhere between 6 to 12 months. If you’ve been doing this for 6 to 12 months and it’s working and you like it, it’s time to bring in some support. It could look like lots of things. It could be like sitting down with a content strategist and starting to build out some strategic plan—we’ve got that option with us as well—or it could look like full production. I recommend full production, it’s just easier.
Lisa Carpenter: It is.
Stacey Harris: Because the strategy is great right up until I hand it back to you and you’re like, “Cool. Thanks. I’m going to go not do this even though now I know.”
Lisa Carpenter: I have a document from you that you’re like, “Go do this,” and I’m like, “Oh, two years later, we’re still working on the damn document.”
Stacey Harris: You’re like, “Great, I now have this information but still no desire to do it.” I actually did know this. I just wasn’t going to do it. I know, you’re not the only one. Again, I recommend production. But generally around 6 to 12 months, it’s time to start asking yourself, “Is this part of my business or do I just like talking to myself alone in a room or having really inspiring conversations with guests and I want to make this whole thing a hobby?” which is totally cool. You do you. I have no problem with it. However, if it is going to be a thing that is a part of your business and is moving you forward and has a purpose in your marketing, it’s time to reach out and get some support. Because you need that time back to show up for the clients the podcast is bringing in, to show up for the new creative thing.
We have a client who we onboarded in April who had been doing her podcast on her own for eight months, same as you, recorded, figured it out on her own, created her cover art on her own in Canva. She did the whole thing and she wanted to start doing something else. She wanted to start doing videos as well. But the podcast was doing what it was supposed to do. She handed over production to us, so she had space in her calendar to try this new thing that she wanted to test out, so she could figure out if that was going to be worthwhile enough to hire support down the road. This is a textbook, how should we be doing it? I will be honest, I’m not perfect at it either, but generally when you’re finding those points where you’re like, “Oh, this is working,” you’re hearing the same episodes mentioned when you get on sales calls or people saying, “Oh, I found you via your podcast,” over and over again, it’s time to start handing over the production part of it so that you can focus on the show itself.
Lisa Carpenter: Perfect. That’s the thing. We can do things on our own. We’ve all bootstrapped stuff, there are lots of places in our lives where the women I work with are very, very self-sufficient to their detriment. There comes a point in time when you start to explore “What does it look like to give myself support so I can actually do less?” That’s a big thing for me. How can I do less better? One of the reasons why this journey for me to get back on stage has been so filled with ease—because it’s not a comfortable process—is because there is not a whole lot in my business other than me showing up and working with my clients that I am personally responsible for right now. Even with the podcast saying like, “Okay, find some things to repurpose. If I record nothing new, no big deal. If I record something new, awesome.”
But there’s no pressure on me one way or the other, it’s just all these things are off my plate and that’s what’s available to us when we allow ourselves to get support instead of believing that we’re winning some extra badge or award because, “Look at me, I’m doing all the things and I’m saving all the money.” There is a time and place to invest but for me, that was part of the learning process of growing my business was learning when it made sense to invest as opposed to “I’m going to throw money at this to try and fix the problem that I’m not really having because I’m the problem, that’s not the problem.” I’m just so grateful to have you and your team behind me. I love these conversations. Anytime that I can get Stacey to talk about her feelings, it’s a good day. Sometimes, she’s even now challenging other people on their feelings, I think you challenged me on our last group call together.
Stacey Harris: It makes me extra happy when I get to say stuff to you that you have said to me when I’m in it and it annoys me and I’m like, “Lisa, I don’t want to hear your facts and your information and your perfectly logical points right now. I’m not available for that.” I would like you to not be right now, could you wait and be right later? I really like when I get to bring them back and dish them back to you.
Lisa Carpenter: I know. I’ve trained you well but again, that’s what happens when we surround ourselves with people who balance out the things that we’re needing to lean into. I’ve definitely come over the years to really appreciate the data and the strategy as someone who was like, “I want to wing it and I only want to do things I’m inspired to do,” which was great and it kept me broke for a very long time. Little results, which is frustrating.
Stacey Harris: Yeah. I think in a call not too long ago, you also gave me data and facts when I was spitting in feelings. I was like, “Wait, did we have a whole personality swap on our last mastermind call? We might have.”
Lisa Carpenter: But that’s what happens when you show up imperfectly, allow yourself to be supported, give yourself what you need, and really take responsibility for the areas of your life that you need to grow in. It’s such a game changer. I’ve loved having this conversation with you. We should do it more often.
Stacey Harris: We should do it again.
Lisa Carpenter: I’ve been wanting to see your faces for a while. Everybody who listens to my show knows that the only guests that I ever bring on are people who I personally worked with or have a personal relationship with because I want to give you a platform to have a voice and I trust the people that I bring on are solid people delivering solid information who are truly committed to helping the people that they’re here to be in service to. It was awesome to have this conversation with you.
Stacey Harris: Thank you for having me. Thank you for being one of the first people to be like, “Okay, let’s book this,” when I was like, “Who wants me to be on their show?” I appreciate you and the work you’re doing in the world and the women who are listening to the show who are going to choose to show up for themselves with some imperfect action. But anything, if it’s a podcast, cool, but anything, let’s just all do one imperfect thing this week.
Lisa Carpenter: It really is like eat something that’s a little bit healthier, go move your body. Go to bed a little bit earlier. Anything, it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s better that it’s just done and use that momentum to move you forward. The best part about this episode, I’m going to click end.
Stacey Harris: Actually, I’m going to click end.
Lisa Carpenter: You’re going to click end, it’s your link. I don’t have to do anything. I literally just had to show up, which is so awesome, so thank you, Stacey. It’s always a pleasure to hang out with you.
Stacey Harris: Thank you.