I failed. I’m walking away from my new podcast.
No one has told me how hard it is to declare failure before the world has called it a failure.
It beginning of the end started with a feeling of annoyance.
I was in Italy. I need to record a session. I booked a meeting room to record the podcast, too echo-y. I tried the hostel. They couldn’t allow me to book a room for 2 hours. I tried again, in Amsterdam, in a WeWork. Again, plans failed. I won’t go into details.
It was a lot of friction. Perhaps it’s supposed to. After all, I’m doing something new.
I remind all the people that might learn something from this podcast. All the praise I would get. I would have a podcast season that benefits future new coaches, just like me. I focus on the outcomes and tell myself the suffering is worth it. It’s part of the process.
It’s a passion project. If I’m not getting paid, isn’t it supposed to be enjoyable? After all, isn’t the moment all there is?
There is a war happening on the inside. I started to drag waking up. I was not looking forward to the day. Days were dark. I escaped to food, learning, reading, porn, cigarettes, podcast and other work.
I started asking myself why am I doing this? I couldn’t come up with a good answer.
I was driven by momentum. A well-laid-out plan. All the successful outcomes I dream of. But I couldn’t come up with a reason why it is important enough.
After weeks of introspection, (1) the podcast wouldn’t be great if it was a drag every day. (2) If things stay the same, I would hate my passion project till the very end (3) I overweight a beautiful plan, a great outcome (4) I am stealing myself the opportunity of doing something I enjoy and enjoying the same results.
Other factors: (1) I was lonely. (2) I was burnt out. (3) I was conflating learning and sharing coaching to the podcast (4) My skill didn’t translate well (5) it wasn’t aligned with my life goals
Would I still make the podcast? Yes, knowing what I knew then.
What would I do differently? Write a “specs sheet”. Why do I want to start this? What’s the outcome I want? What does success look like? What milestone to achieve to prove this endeavor is a good idea? Me and my audience? How does it align with my life goals? Is this a full-body YES? If it’s not a success, how can I make this worth doing personally for me?
When I feel frustrated, I can look back and see what assumption I’m making.
If you’re facing a similar situation, what to do? Pause everything that you can and make time. Isolate other causes of frustration (jet lag, family relationship, health, grandma funeral, and cleaning my environment.) Come to a sense of peace and boredom. Be impatient with journaling and be patient with decisions. Writing down the question swirling in the head (why am I doing this? is this worth it? how long it’s going to last?). The only way to make decisions is to think through all these questions.
After going through the intellectual information, ask the body and heart, and see if it’s a full-body YES.
If it’s not, then STOP.
What’s next? Back to the drawing board to find the idea where my curiosity meets my genius meets what the world needs.
Thank you, Steve Schlafman for the generous questions. And writing out his failure, closing a VC fund and podcast before it got published.
For Jim Collins that it takes 4 years to find your hedgehog.
And Seth Godin 👇