In May of 2015 I launched my podcast, Moms With Dreams, aka The Moms With Dreams Show. I wanted to share my message of encouragement and hope on a platform that would allow me to reach women across the world. I had no idea that podcasting would change my life. So today, in honor of International Podcast Day, I’m sharing a snapshot of my podcasting journey with you. Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to start your own podcast, become a raving podcast fan, or a loyal listener.

Just in case you’re brand new to podcasting, allow me to give you a little context. The term, podcast, originated from the combination of “pod” from Apple’s iPod + broadcasting. It’s similar to internet radio. But unlike internet radio that’s broadcasted live, a podcast is pre-recorded. You can think of it as on-demand radio.

A podcast consists of a series of pre-recorded episodes that are syndicated on distribution channels. The most popular channel of distribution is iTunes. Millions of listeners tune into podcasts regularly through iTunes alone. Other popular distribution channels include Stitcher, Google Play, and Sound Cloud. Most importantly, a podcast is often syndicated on its owner’s website.

In a nutshell, you can find a podcast on virtually any topic that interests you. All you have to do is pick a platform to listen (i.e. iTunes, Google Play, etc.) and start searching for what you like.

Now that I’ve given you some context, let’s get down to the juicy part about how podcasting has expanded my life.

On so many levels I was not prepared for the personal growth that I would experience as a result of starting a podcast. I’m grateful that it’s been all good things, but I had to climb a serious learning curve and learn some valuable lessons.

I’ve grown so much since May of 2015 when I launched my podcast. Here are six ways in which podcasting has expanded my life.

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Consistency! Consistency! Consistency! I am more consistent now than ever.

I used to think that being consistent was constricting. I’m a free spirit, and I get bored easily. So the idea of doing the same thing at the same time each week was a struggle. Even having a blog didn’t make me as consistent as I am with my podcast.

I realized that my listeners look forward to new episodes each week. And I certainly don’t want to let them down. It’s hard enough trying to get listeners in the first place. My goal is to keep them happy, coming back each week, and inviting their friends to listen.

Before my podcast, I would say I’m going to do something but find excuses that kept me from doing the work. Well not anymore. I have a schedule that I follow every week that keeps me on track with interviews and publishing new episodes.

I’ve learned to let go. I stopped trying to do it all on my own, and now I delegate.

As an entrepreneur and borderline perfectionist, it’s hard to let other people do things for me. I’m usually afraid that their work won’t meet my standards and I’ll end up having to do it all over anyway.

But that just isn’t smart thinking. It’s impossible to do it all, be everywhere, grow your business, make new connections, and so on, when you’re doing it all by yourself.

For the first year I edited all of my episodes. In the beginning, I spent hours upon hours editing through trial and error. My production skills weren’t horrible, but they were definitely basic, to say the least. Now I have an editor, who is AMAZING! I don’t know what I was thinking and why it took me so long to find him.

I’ve freed up my time and got rid of a lot of stress that I didn’t know was there. Now I’m outsourcing other tasks in my business, which is helping me focus on the things that I love to do.

I’m fully convinced that I would not have overcome my fear of delegation had I not started my podcast.

I’m a better speaker, and I don’t hate the sound of my own voice anymore.

I won’t say that I don’t still get nervous when it’s time for me to speak to an audience (because I do), but I don’t get nearly as nervous as I used to. Interviewing guests on my podcast helped me conquer my fear of speaking and I’ve learned to like the sound of my voice. When you’re doing something consistently, you have no choice but to get better at it.

I have more confidence and am more outspoken.

I’m a soft-spoken person and tend to think of myself as being shy. But since I started my podcast, I see the growth in me. You have to step up and be confident when you’re interviewing guests and hosting a show. There’s no room for shyness. Because I allowed myself to be uncomfortable as a new podcaster, I’ve become so confident that people who meet me never believe me when I tell them that I’m shy.

I got over my fear of technology.

As I shared with you earlier, I had a HUGE learning curve in the beginning of my podcast journey. I didn’t know anything about editing audio. I was nervous about messing up and looking ridiculous. But each week I kept learning and got better. Eventually my technophobia went away.

I’ve made friends with guests and fellow podcasters.

I’ve met some of the most beautiful souls on the planet. Some are previous guests, while others are podcasters. The podcasting community alone is a wonderful place. Everyone is supportive and encourages each other. I’ve expanded into communities and spaces where I would never have gone without my podcast.

My life will never be the same, and I’m so glad that I decided to start my podcast. Just as I had no idea where it would take me a year ago, I have no idea where I’m headed in the future. But like the popular song by Fat Joe says, I know that I’m going “all the way up”.

If you’re thinking about starting a podcast, and you’re not sure where to begin, you can either post your questions below or email me directly at Erica@momswithdreams.com. I’ll be sure to get back with you as soon as possible.

Happy International Podcast Day!

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