Monday, March 23, 2015

The Hurdles of Creating Content (with no experience creating content)

   Everyone says "just start a podcast". If you're an avid listener of any byte sized content or you frequently adjust your radio tuner to the NPR station then maybe you've thought of creating such content. Or maybe you've heard Kevin Smith or Joe Rogan say something along those lines. One way or another you somehow got to this blog so you must have an interest in creating some sort of online media.
   At the time I'm writing this I barely have a company name and a few haphazardly recorded interviews talking about possible podcast ideas. That's right, ideas that are possible. Basically, I've got one step up from nothing.
   That isn't to say I haven't learned anything. My audio editing skills have gone from absolutely nothing to complete novice (a small but important step up), my understanding of how to prepare a guest for a recording has developed loads, I've started to undertake the idea of starting a business around podcasts and the way I listen to the podcasts I love has gone from passive to analytic. And all of that is just the stuff I spat out for this little blog post! Imagine if I sat down and tried to come up with something to impress whatever Russian people actually find their way here.
   So if I've learned all of that how can I have almost nothing to show for it? Because not all adventures start out with clear victories. Not all I've accomplished has a physical (or even digital) presence. There have been a lot of obstacles along the way that have forced me to grow and that's what I've accomplished. From the courses I'm taking on organizational structure of a business to the new podcasts I've found about the business of creating media, everything is pushing toward my goal. Even my new activities outside of this side venture have shown positive growth.
   What I'm trying to say is, the biggest hurdle of creating content is learning. Learning how to create content.
   That's all I really have for now. I'll be working on a preview of sorts highlighting the best of my first interviews talking to a few friends about their podcasts and about starting a media production company. Until then, I'll leave you with this.

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary." - Vince Lombardi

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

"Hmm... You had me at restrictions."

   The farther down this path I walk the faster things seem to happen, or rather, the more things that need my attention seem to present themselves.
   I knew that starting a business is difficult. I'm not going to act surprised. All I really wanted was to start a podcast, but the pull of ideas left and right, forward and back, left almost nothing productive to work with. The reorganization was required. 
   Fine. Then I started to build the foundations of a business. I created divisions, posts and descriptions of what all of those would do. Then what happens? I realize, that I'm going to run all of them. I'm the one. Someone has to do it, and it's not going to be anyone else. 
   Okay, I've accepted this. Once I start getting these posts down I can hand them off to others. It's the same as the job I currently have. I need to master my post, so I can create the book that explains everything I do, then train a person to follow that book and do my job, that way I can move up to another post and learn that one. The corporate ladder exists in a small business as well. 
   Basically what I've learned is that unless an idea smacks the person in the face they aren't going to want to put in too much effort until they see it 'taking off'. Why would they? My wife actually said "I don't really see it as a business..." If my wife can't even see it that way why would I expect anyone else to?
   Then last weekend happened. I had set up a time for us to Skype our friend Danny down in the lower 48 who has been running a music/clothing company that he started. Who better to ask for advice than someone who is already running a small business. The three hour conversation taught me 2 things. 1, one of my "co-founders", Ike, is thinking about the business and his podcast, just not explicitly to me/out loud. He showed interest in not only the content we create but the creative control we had to maintain. How did he show that latter part? Well, 2, Danny showed extreme interest in this idea. At one point he even talked about using his company/brand to release our podcasts, thus eliminating a need to form a company to begin with. My newly intrigued partner Ike put the kibosh on that idea with the simplest of statements; "Hmmm... You had me at restrictions." It was brilliant. Of course we wouldn't want to do that because then his company would have a way it wanted things done. 
   I know Danny didn't want to take over and make this project his. He has a lot going on in life as it is and he just gets excited. I'm glad! I welcome his involvement! Not only is he a great musician, businessman and friend, but he also has the drive to add to our momentum and make things happen. 
   Overall I see only positives from all of this. Now I just have to organize a time to sit down, 1 on 1, with Ike and get him positioned in my company as an executive in charge of business meetings and give him some executive producer jobs and we'll be set. But first I need to find the right title for him in the company. Obviously Co-founder, Executive, CFO, are all things I need to clearly define. By the next post, I had better have sat down with him already... 

"Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless." - Thomas A. Edison