Joe Rogan may not have a University degree, but he has ingested far more information than he would have otherwise received with even a Master’s degree. When you can read, and you have an open mind, it’s amazing how much you can learn. Of all the books Joe has read, I’m willing to bet he’s spent some time with Dale Carnegie’s, “How to Win Friends, and Influence People”. Being well-read though is only one part of what has made The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast, the most successful podcast on earth. Joe has a larger audience than any show on Fox, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, or any other major network. Joe doesn’t just have the largest Podcast, he has the largest audience…period.
Inspired at least in part by Joe Rogan, myself and millions of other people have been trying to emulate his success by starting our own Podcasts. It doesn’t matter what the topic, somewhere there is a Podcast talking about it. Whether you’re interested in ceramic figurines, ten pin bowling, astronomy, or quilting, there is a Podcast for you…and it’s usually FREE!
Much to the disappointment of many Joe Rogan emulators, their Podcasts usually fall far short of their expectations. Instead of amassing an audience of millions, they discover that they are lucky to have an audience of dozens. Due to these unfavourable results, the vast majority of podcast hosts give up, fold up their tent, sell their gear on kijiji, and pretend their failure never happened. Most who fail never fully understand WHY they failed, or how to fix it. Here are some considerations for you, if you wish to either start your own podcast or re-launch a stagnant one.
First, let’s be honest…Joe had a head start. It’s a lot easier to succeed at a Podcast if you already have a following who is interested in your opinions. Gaining a following is the toughest part, so if you’re going to make it, you’re going to have to earn your audience…it won’t just happen on its own, nor will it happen by accident. Although pre-existing notoriety is a significant bonus, it’s only part of the recipe. Numerous late-night hosts have started their own podcasts, only to discover that their late-show talent doesn’t translate to their podcast talent. Despite their running start, these celebrities have not been successful in transitioning their existing audience to the podcast format. Here’s what they’re missing.
People hang out with people they like and trust. When you tune in to the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) you don’t feel like you’re being force-fed a contrived narrative, instead, you feel like you’re chatting with a good friend. Listening to the JRE is like having a virtual coffee shop chat with the most interesting people on the planet, who have interesting ideas. In contrast, listening to the news feels like we’re being told what to think, and how to behave. A newscast pretends to be the unsullied purveyor of truth, though in recent years the credibility of this claim has been eroded worse than the wheel wells of a 1973 Chevy truck. We don’t trust the news, because they have proven themselves to be untrustworthy.
Joe doesn’t tuck us into the fold by proclaiming that he is the holder of the truth. Instead, Joe takes us on a journey of curiosity and shows us how to ask meaningful questions about interesting topics. Mr. Rogan models what it is to set your ego aside, and be open to the truth, whatever that may be. Being proven wrong is a Freddy Kruger level nightmare for many people, and they’ll fight to be right till their last breath. Joe shows us a different way, the way of courageous curiosity.
The skeptic is forever looking through the lens of “What’s wrong with this picture?” A person who chooses curiosity over skepticism looks through the lens of “What’s the truth of this picture?” Joe’s rare ability to disconnect from the outcome, and just follow the evidence is part of his magnetic charm. He earns our trust, by being willing to admit when he is wrong, and by rarely stating his opinions as facts. Joe doesn’t actually “know” much, but he is aware of much. He follows the Socratic philosophy of, “the only true wisdom, is in knowing you know nothing”. On most topics, Joe’s just guessing, as are the rest of us and he doesn’t try to hide it.
All of the above culminates to: Rule#1. Dig for the truth, not for validation that you are right.
Rule #2. Prioritize substance over bling.
A client of mine is a sales rep for Bacardi. He once told me that with enough money thrown into a marketing campaign, you can sell a whole lot of any liquid, but only for a short time. If it tastes like skunk piss, the marketing campaign will only yield short term success. For long term success, there must be quality in the substance of your message, not just clickbait.
Having celebrities on your show doesn’t hurt, …but it’s not as important as the topics you discuss. If you’re not going to say anything original, then at least convey your thoughts in an original way. Ride the waves or relevance by being quick to discuss trending topics, but ensure to pose meaningful questions, and get beyond the surface of a story.
Rule #3. Respect your audience
Respecting your audience, means being a professional. Being a professional, means being prepared. Provide your audience with decent quality audio for starters. If you don’t have a good quality microphone, you better have exceptional skills as an orator and be extremely likable for the audience to overlook your audio shortcomings. If you are interviewing a guest, have a plan. Make sure your launch straight into an engaging first question. The first question sets the tone, and the pace for the rest of the interview. If you get off to a slow start, it’s tough to recover.
Rule #4. Be 100% honest and transparent.
Like selling piss in a bottle, if you put out clickbait, your success will be short-lived. It’s difficult to gain the trust of an audience, but it’s very easy to lose that trust. You won’t get more than a second chance at best, so resist the temptation to B.S. your audience.
***disclaimer*** parody doesn’t count, as long as your work is clearly a parody. EG: My recent “Trump” interview was a parody done with a professional impersonator, but some people thought it was real. The show notes have all the contact information for the impersonator, to ensure I’m not accused of violating Rule #4.
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Holiday Mental Health – It’s Okay if it’s not the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
The stores are stocking up on red and green everything, the shelves are lined with ornaments and dancing reindeer and you can’t ignore it even if you want to – the holiday season is nearly here.
For many, Christmas means celebrations, decorations, rum and eggnog and time with family. From sledding and snow days to hanging the lights and putting up the tree, there are lots of things to love about the holiday season.
However, for others, there are lots of reasons why it might not be the most wonderful time of the year, and that’s okay too.
While the claim that suicide rates spike during the holiday season has been repeatedly misused and ultimately disproven as the “holiday suicide myth” (1), the holiday blues are a very real phenomenon. In the midst of the celebratory season, feelings of anxiety, isolation, depression and grief can be overwhelming, particularly when combined with additional stressors such as strained personal relationships and financial uncertainty. Not everyone is looking forward to Christmas, and in the midst of the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic, which has left many people without employment and unable to travel, the emotional toll of this holiday season promises to be increasingly complex.
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Alberta Division released a statement regarding coping with the holidays during these unusual and uncertain times.
“The pandemic has disrupted many yearly holiday traditions and has increased collective anxieties and social isolation. As we look for alternative ways to spread joy and take part in new ways of celebrating the holidays, Albertans must focus on their mental health during an already busy and often overwhelming season.”
According to the CMHA, these are some simple but useful ways to maintain your mental health during the holidays.
Focus on what you can control. Like the food you eat, the time you have a shower or the media you consume.
Anxiety is normal. During times of crisis it is normal to feel increased anxiety. Acknowledge those feelings are valid.
Limit your consumption of media. Allow yourself time to focus on activities you enjoy instead. Reading, listening to music or meditating are all great ways to de-stress when you are unable to attend regular holiday festivities.
Remain connected to your body. Exercising regularly, getting outside, eating well and resting will support positive mental health.
Be open with your support system. Identify supportive people you can connect with if you begin to feel overwhelmed or lonely.
Reach out for help. If you or a loved one needs help, call 211 (Alberta only) or the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642.
As the holidays arrive amid the fog of the ongoing global pandemic, remember – it’s okay to feel confused, frightened, and uncertain of the future. You are not alone, and there are always resources available to help you and your loved ones through these complicated times. Be gentle with yourself and others, ask for help if you need it, and above all, be kind.
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