New Year – new 100-day challenge?
Why do a 100-day challenge? Fueled by a desire to finally get things happening, after 2020 gave me the gifts of high-level procrastination and serious FOMO as we watched everyone else smash their goals in lockdown while I juggled remote-schooling, running a business and keeping three kids safe and happy.
My 2021 goals aren’t huge – just get all the things that were on my to-do list in 2020 completed. One of the biggest of those goals was to start a podcast. This has been constantly put off while I rebrand (and then rebrand again), finish my website, find my focus, and every other excuse out there.
In the spirit of ‘doing the hard things’ (thanks Glennon Doyle) – I’m plunging in headfirst. Given that I’ve failed even the 21-day challenges I’ve tried recently, I’m curious to see if I’m a better marathoner than a sprinter.
I’m loosely following the 100 Day Project, which is a free global art project. Participants choose a project, do it every day for 100 days and post about it online with #The100DayProject. Simples.
This challenge has started at the end of January. Late enough to not just be a new years resolution, but a challenging time with the return to school and work after the holiday period.
In the first ten days, I’ve fluffed. I’ve avoided. I’ve fallen down countless rabbit holes. But I’ve had some successes too.
The Project – Podcast launch
Why a podcast?
My goal for the 100-day creativity challenge is to get my podcast up and running. It’s been on my ‘to-do’ list since before lockdown when every man and his dog were making podcasts to pass the time. I managed to get a microphone before they were cleared out by fellow wanna-be podcasters, joined a quite costly course (thinking that if I invested enough cash I’d be motivated to complete it), and then completed the first few lessons.
The biggest challenge I had set up my podcast was deciding on the focus. Everyone’s advice was to do something relating to my business, but I had an amazing idea that was more of a passion project.
As the year went on, this seesawing between ideas and focus, profit vs fun kept me inert and my podcast still wrapped in the box.
The Challenge begins.
This time round, I am determined to make this work. If it fails, then I can pack up the idea for good and never mention it again. But I have a feeling it will work, and I can already see how this can grow as both a passion project and business project.
To begin with, I set out an ambitious plan for my 100 days, consisting of recording 5 days per week/editing 2 days per week. This would give me 75 episodes at the end of the challenge. I’ve quickly scaled that back, and am spending the first 25 days doing the setup/behind the scenes work that will get things moving instead and will then re-evaluate how many episodes I can actually manage to publish.
My first 10 days have looked something like this:
Setup and tech
I’ve already got the microphone, laptop, ring light (for video) and transcription software ready thanks to my burst of podcasting enthusiasm in lockdown.
I’ve started making Canva promo’s for my social media and blogs – these will be rolled out as I go. After posting my intro post to the project, I got a massive two comments – and one of those was from my mum, so this is going to be an uphill battle!
Name and content
One of my biggest challenges has been what on earth to call my podcast. My original name, Nimble Ideas, was quickly squashed by everyone who heard it. A surprising number of people have never heard the word Nimble before, or misheard it as Nipple. Back to the drawing board for this.
On day 9 – I had a breakthrough. I wanted my podcast to embrace not only the creative side of me, but find a way to include my ideal clients on the journey. I wanted a name that positioned me as an expert and thought leader, and set me up as a guide on this creative journey through podcasting as well. And so, after a flurry of ASIC searches and domain name hunting, the Learn.Inspire.Create Podcast has been born.
Each day I’ve been going back over my notes from the course I started mid-2020 – and working out what I’ve completed, what needs to happen next and where I’m up to. I keep getting stuck on the third lesson (Create – largely due to the naming issue) – but making slow and steady progress to get things to fall into place.
Next sessions are on Launch, Grow, Guests and Profit, so should move quickly through those.
I’ve been chipping away at all the little background tasks that go into my website – setting up email newsletters, landing pages for the podcast, updating Instagram and so on. These will continue over the next 90 days as I get through each section.
To wrap it up – the first 10 days has felt unproductive, but when I put it all out there like this, I feel like things are progressing well.
The plan for the next 10-15 days will be:
- Complete the Create section of the training
- Create the updated graphics with my new name/logo/socials
- Put out a post asking for podcast guests
- Overcome the tech and fear and have a go at a first episode
- Call in a favour from a friend and do a trial run of a pod
- Learn and practice how to edit, transcribe, publish and promo the pod
- Setup the workflow so that it’s easy and streamlined to jump in and record/transcribe/publish
- Set out a rough plan of topics with ideas and start to map out content
That should set me up nicely to start the focussed recording/creating from day 25 or so.