Happy Birthday to Inspireland

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Since the episode with Andy from headspace went live on Wednesday I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response to the interview.  I’ve never had so many downloads, emails, tweets, or page views and I’ll get back to everyone who made contact over the next few days.

This surge in interest is down to the popularity of Andy and the importance of headspace to its users but it comes around the same time that the Inspireland blog and podcast are 1 year old and I couldn’t have wished for a better birthday present.

Beginnings

I started Inspireland a year ago in response to an urge to create something, anything.  This urge had been neglected since my mid 20s as a result of a combination of marriage, children, work, busyness, and excuses.  The initial plan was just to record a podcast but everything I read about podcasting told me an audience need somewhere to interact with you so the blog grew out of that.

At the beginning I was wary of the amount of time blogging would consume but the work has been worth it as I’ve been introduced to some great people through the blog.

The podcast itself has allowed me to interview some of my heroes and my mobile phone contacts list is now littered with names of people who I’ve long admired.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how generous many of my guests have been with their time, support, and advice.

Lessons learned

I’ve learned lots of personal and professional lessons since I started podcasting.  Here are a summary of some of the main ones;

  1. There’s always enough time in your day to do some of the things you think you’re too busy to do.
  2. When I say I’m going to do something I do it.  This wasn’t always the case.  I’ve gone from a fella who had great plans to a fella with good plans that he follows through on.  For example, I’ve just committed to doing a skydive even though I’m terrified of heights, and I know I’m going to do it.
  3. I’m not a great interviewer but I’m getting better.  You may not have noticed this because my guests are so great.
  4. If I take a break, I stop.  I decided to take a break in June and July while I was on holidays and it took me until the end of October to get back on course.  Habits are important.  I spoke more about this here.
  5. Happiness spreads.  I’ve gotten lots of pleasure from the preparation I’ve done for my interviews.  This has involved reading books, listening to albums, watching videos/movies, travelling to places, discussing ideas with friends.  The joy this gives me spreads to all areas of my life.
  6. Little wins are all I need.  Every time a friend tells me they listened to one of my episodes, never mind enjoyed it, I feel great.  Same goes for tweets, emails, iTunes reviews, etc.
  7. People want to help.  My friend Wil has edited all my recent episodes in exchange for a bi-weekly cup of coffee.  I hate editing and he just does it quickly, brilliantly, and without wanting anything in return.  Another friend, Adam, has helped with the layout of the blog because I’m a very slow learner when it comes to techy stuff.  I could go on and on but my point is most people, the good people, are sound!
  8. Slow growth is still growth.  I spoke at the beginning about my recent stats going off the chart.  This is great but for the most part my growth has been slow and steady.  Stat success feels good but doesn’t equal success, just look at what music, movies, books etc sell well.  This article about 1,000 true fans by Kevin Kelly is great for any of you who make anything.
  9. The 30 Days Challenge has taken me from interviewer and observer to participant.  As well as interviewing interesting people I’m now doing interesting things.  This development came about almost by accident and has been great fun and massively fulfilling.  This month, for example, I’m meditating every day, coming up with an idea for a piece/pieces of guerilla art in Dublin city, and I’m going to learn an old school dance.
Plans for the coming year

Jesus, that sounded preachy, sorry about that.  Over the next year I plan to keep doing what I’m doing but get better at it.  I also plan on writing a short, non-fiction book about the 30 Days Challenges once we complete 10 months (or 12, we’re not sure).  I also want to host at least one live podcast event that we record for youtube.

Thanks to everyone for helping, listening, being a guest, telling your friends, or just reading this.

Dave

 

It's good to talk

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