Creating The Content That You Feel Called To Create

by Cliff Ravenscraft on November 24, 2014

I recently came across one of quote on the internet that says… “Some people will only love you as long as you fit into their box.  Don’t be afraid to disappoint.

Focus On The Positive Concept

As a content creator, you simply cannot expect to make everyone happy. I have come to the place where I believe it is detrimental to your brand, and your overall health, to even attempt to make everyone happy.

Recently, in episode 379 of my Podcast Answer Man podcast, I opened the show by letting my audience know that this episode was going to be out of the norm, that I would be spending the entire episode sharing some thoughts that I had about the direction that I may be heading with my personal brand. I shared some pretty aspirational visions that I had about what that future might look like.

The feel that this was a perfect episode for Podcast Answer Man as my target audience is made up of people who are building personal brands and businesses around those brands.

I felt that it was good to share my journey of how I’d achieved far greater success than I have ever anticipated with Podcast Answer Man and the vision I have for future that may contain success far greater than I could even imagine at this point. I had stated I have a sense that if I knew where I was going to be in ten years from now, I’d be scared to death, because it’s so far beyond what my current confidence level would allow me to pursue.

I also shared that the majority of the impact that I have, in the future, may be completely unrelated to my consulting and coaching work in the area of podcasting.

I received a lot of very positive feedback as the result of this episode via email, face to face conversations at a recent conference, etc. The overwhelming majority of the feedback could be summed up with what Kathleen Thompson shared as a comment on the show notes posted to my website for this episode.

  • I listened to your podcast while cooking dinner. It’s amazing to me that someone like you who has already accomplished so much is thinking so many of the same thoughts, with big, scary, and fuzzy dreams for your future. When we say we want to change the world, we really do have to be prepared for it to be a much larger piece of the world than we currently influence. And that is downright scary. I think you have the potential to reach many more people than you currently reach. As I think it was Todd who stated, your heart, accessibility, and passion for helping others is what draws us to you. Where you’ll go – who knows? So I suggest you keep you mind, heart, eyes, and imagination open. Can’t wait to see what the future will look like in the life of Cliff Ravenscraft! All the best – Kathleen Thompson

Of course, I love it when I get feedback that supports what I’ve been feeling in my heart, when the feedback seems to confirm my thoughts about the direction that I’m heading.

However, it never fails. I could have over one hundred people tell me how much they love something that I’ve recently done or said, and if I get one person who posts something negative or critical, it can cause me to take pause and question my own motives. This happened when Rob Flores posted the following one line comment on that episode.

  • Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an excessive sense of self‑importance. Lay off the Kool Aid – Rob Flores

Here’s the deal, when I hit the record button, I wondered if people would think that I seem arrogant by sharing these thoughts of such a lofty vision of the future. However, there was absolutely no question in my heart as to whether or not I should share what was on my heart at that time.

The next week, I recorded episode 380 of the show and titled it “Are Podcasters Narcissists?” Again, I felt that this content would be a great topic for those who are building a personal brand. Too many of us already struggle with questions like “Who am I, to say that I’m an expert?”

During the episode, I went through a personal evaluation of each of the symptoms listed for someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I shared my authentic and transparent thoughts on how I felt I ranked with each of those symptoms. At the end of the episode, I suggested I feel that most podcasters need to be more bold and do more things that may seem narcissistic to many. Overall, I felt very good about that episode.

Once again, I got a lot of overwhelmingly positive feedback about this episode. Here are just a few things that people said about this episode…

  • Hi Cliff, as a new podcaster I REALLY enjoyed this episode. Your authenticity and honesty in sharing who you are and your wisdom on how to deal with that kind of feedback. Thank you for encouraging us to share our message without making excuses or feeling like we have a narcissistic disorder 🙂 Besides. its your show, why can´t you talk about what you want? I am a new listener to you on podcasting tips, but this was just as helpful. Thank you from a new regular subscriber. God bless you. – The Goals Coach
  • I loved the discourse on narcissistic personality disorder and you addressed the Rob Flores comment in exactly the right way. Two words came to mind as I listened to you: authentic and human. Authentic for not straying from who you are, and recognizing there are traits in your personality that could lead to issues if they were expressed in excess, which they are not. Humanness (is that a word?) for sharing feelings that we all experience – occasional jealousy and envy, and an enjoyment of praise. To me, and to many of your listeners I am sure, your openness is refreshing and honest. – Heather Bayer

Not only did I feel confident in episode 380, I had more than than 50 people who went out of their way to tell me that the most recent episodes of Podcast Answer Man have been the most meaningful to them in their journey of building their platform.

However, yesterday I received my weekly email digest of all new written reviews posted to my iTunes listing for the Podcast Answer Man podcast. There was one written review with a two out of five star rating under the name “Dr. Arcane” posted on November 18, 2014. The written review says…

  • I just spent more than an hour listening to Cliff explain how he’s not a narcissist. He admits, he doesn’t want to talk about podcasting any more, he just likes to hear himself talk. Every once in a while, he’ll actually have an episode that focuses on the technology or procedures of podcasting, but more and more, he just focuses on motivational self-help-feel-good stuff. The good episodes are getting further and further apart. I know what podcasting is. I know what they are good for. I’m sold on that already. Quit talking about why podcasting is wonderful and talk about something USEFUL!

I will tell you that after eight years of podcasting, this type of feedback still packs a hefty sting. However, I’m happy to report that I was able to read this, ponder what was being said, and then make a decision of whether or not I agreed with this feedback. Thankfully, I had the overwhelming, positive, feedback from others that have confirmed the direction that I’m heading with my show.

By the way, I’ve never stated that I don’t want to talk about podcasting any more. I’ve simply stated that I no longer want the focus of the Podcast Answer Man podcast to be only be on the technical procedures of how to set up a podcast. My target audience, for Podcast Answer Man, is made up of those who already have a podcast and who are looking for education, encouragement and inspiration that will help them take their message, their business and their life to the next level.

For those who are looking for the technical procedures of how to podcast, they only need look at my website to see where I’ve devoted thousands of hours to making all that content available.

I see where Dr Arcane and others are coming from. I understand the appeal for folks to have a podcast that does nothing more than focus on technical procedures that have to do with audio equipment, RSS feed configurations, product reviews, etc. However, that simply is not the type of show that I have in my heart to create. I’ll never be able to make these people happy and as a result, I must remind myself that many of these people are going to post negative feedback in iTunes, in my show notes and in my email inbox.

What I’ve learned, that works best, is to keep a record of most of the positive and encouraging feedback that you receive. Keep creating the type of content that you have in your heart to share and that is confirmed by the feedback of people who tell you that this is the type of content that is making a positive difference in their lives.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe there is a great deal of value that can be gained from negative and critical feedback. My show has certainly improved over the years as a result of some painful and honest feedback. Even some of the most scathing and hurtful words have helped me see where I’d lost my focus in the past.

Yet, when it comes to the recurring theme of negative feedback from those who simply disagree with the type of content that I feel called, deep in my heart, to share, I simply choose to focus on the positive feedback.

In fact, this entire post was inspired both another piece of written feedback regarding the past two podcast episodes that I’ve mentioned above.

(BEGIN QUOTED FEEDBACK)

Cliff,
I really appreciate these past few episodes. (I appreciate them ALL, but I’m also very thankful for the topics you’ve shared recently.) You shared some very inspiring updates on your personal journey, and what you feel you might be building towards. Your words didn’t sink in right away when I was listening to your episode yesterday, but for some reason, today while I was working around the house, some of your words jumped back into my thoughts. For example, you mentioned (I think in last week’s episode) that you could foresee yourself speaking to a very large group, perhaps in a venue the size of a stadium. To be absolutely honest with you Cliff, I don’t doubt that at all. There’s something about you that is much larger than simply being Podcast Answer Man (not that I’m saying that’s simple – don’t get me wrong!) Also, I don’t typically listen to PABL, but I’m so intrigued by what you mentioned in episode 381, that I’m going to download it right away!

You occasionally bring up faith in some of your episodes, and I’ve been more attuned to that in the recent couple of months. I was raised in the Roman Catholic faith, but I do not feel I have practiced my faith wholeheartedly in more many, many years. My wife and I were married in the Catholic Church just over 5 years ago, and we occasionally attend mass, but we both come up excuses that make us feel like it’s ok for us to stay at home on Sundays. Truthfully, I feel a bit lost in my role in my faith. I’ve never really known how to talk to God. I just try to be a “good person” and love/serve others, but when it comes to practicing faith, I just feel like I’m “going through the motions”. This is something that I’ve felt some guilt for many years, but never knew quite what to do about it.

I’m really not sure where I’m going with this, but I felt compelled to reach out and tell you that I resonate with your intuition, that in your lifetime, God truly does have much larger plans for you. I do believe your recent successes, as deserved as you are of them, are simply God’s plan in action to set your environment and lifestyle to exactly where you need to be to pursue the next level. (Ok, those words fit a little too well together!)

I’m so grateful to be a follower of yours, to listen to your show week after week, and to be an alumni of yours. Your journey is amazing and inspiring beyond words, and you inspire me to want to be a better Christian.

Thanks Cliff!

Darcy Sabatino

(END QUOTED FEEDBACK)

This feedback confirms that I’m creating the content that is according to my mission and purpose in the world.

Whatever you do, create the content that is in your heart.

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  • Chuck Gnarl

    Cliff,

    Raising your Kitching Flack on your new format ; A) you’re too long winded. Pretty much a blabbermouth. This is the result of you just winging it and not having a predetermined strategy for your content. B) The sheer volume that you talk about yourself two words to mind grandiose and pretentious.

    Remember the advice you gave to Michael Hyatt about Podcasting be about the conversation? All of your current podcast Have not been conversational; #pabl You flat out told people you don’t want feedback. Family from the Heart; As husband and wife talking about what they did last week and what they’re going to do next week. Question for you; what community Are you constantly referring to?

    Bottom line; your current state of the union with regard to your most recent podcasts are pretty much amateur hour.

    But yours to seeing Cliff; my opinion doesn’t matter.

    If you stop being so dang long winded you will catch less flak.

  • Chuck, Here is my response to what you have shared.

    A) Yes, i know that I can be long winded at times. However, I’ve been long winded in a total of 3,281 podcast episodes that I’ve produced since December 2005. I’ve attempted to cut down on my long windedness in the past. However, at times, I just feel led to communicate the way that I communicate. I get that not everyone likes this. However, for every one person that tells me that they hate how I go on and on with my ongoing monologues, I have 100 people who tell me that they absolutely love the way that I communicate in my show.

    As for not being prepped prior to going live. There are times that my lack of prep is actually intentional. Especially with the three most recent episodes. However, in the past, back in June and July especially, those were not intentional. That was simply due to a lack of margin due to the massive amount of transition that took place in my life and in my business this year.

    As for just winging-it. That actually is my predetermined strategy. I prefer an unscripted approach to the podcast content that I create. I take a much different approach to my public speaking. However, in the podcast, I intentionally come to the mic and speak what comes to my mind as I am speaking. Again, I know that not everyone enjoys this approach and I’m totally okay with that.

    B) As for how much I talk about myself, this, again, is intentional. The second sentence in my personal mission statement is “To share my passions and experiences in life in an authentic and transparent way that inspires others to make positive changes in their lives and to connect others around shared passions.”

    As for rehashing the previous week’s episodes… I have received much feedback from long-time listeners and new listeners, alike, that tell me that they have thoroughly enjoyed the most recent episodes and found them to be quite encouraging, inspirational and extremely valuable to them as they are on their own journey of working out the fine details of building and growing their personal brand.

    As for my core audience going bye-bye if I keep this up. I’m not sure how long you’ve been listening to my show, but I’ve had several people who have told me those exact same works as far back as my first 100 episodes, then the second hundred and I have no doubt that I’ll hear this warning again through the rest of these third hundred epodes.

    The fact is that my core audience has grown over the years. Yes, my approach to the show does cause some churn among some listeners who feel almost exactly they way that you do about my show. However, I can assure you that if you were not able to pull a great deal of value out of these past three episodes, then you’re not going to be happy with my show moving forward.

    I get an email each time someone posts a comment to my site. I see that you did a bit of editing on you comment. Before the edit, you also wrote…”Remember the advice you gave to Michael Hyatt about Podcasting be about the conversation? All of your current podcast Have not been conversational; #pabl You flat out told people you don’t want feedback. Family from the Heart; As husband and wife talking about what they did last week and what they’re going to do next week. Question for you; what community Are you constantly referring to?”

    Yes, I do remember the advice I gave to Michael. The advice was to have a conversational tone with the audience. To sound like you are having a conversation with someone rather than sounding like you are teaching them as if giving a lecture. All 3,281 podcasts episodes that i have produced have had this approach.

    As for the comment about PABL, I flat out told people that I was not in a place to hear their feedback on what I could do to improve my health and fitness at that time. I admitted that I was struggling, that I was working through those issues and that I needed some time to deal with that struggle. I simply wanted to avoid getting about 50+ emails a day telling me what I could do to improve my eating habits and how to build more physical activity into my daily routine. That has nothing to do with not wanting to have a conversation with my community. I simply didn’t want to have a conversation about one particular topic. My community gave me that space and I very much appreciated it.

    As for Family From The Heart. I don’t feel any need to defend that show. It is what it is. If you don’t like it, don’t listen. 🙂

    As for the community that I refer to all the time. I am referring to the 10’s of thousands of people that I know on a very personal level all around the world. Most of them are people I’ve only met online. However, I’ve had the awesome privilege of meeting just over 2,000 of my listeners face to face in one of the many meetups and live events that I’ve hosted.

    Here are links to a few community photos:

    1) http://gspn.tv/fhx9

    2) http://gspn.tv/0lqb

    3) http://gspn.tv/m8vd

    4) http://gspn.tv/vt2x

    5) http://gspn.tv/b5l2

    6) http://gspn.tv/ushu

    7) http://gspn.tv/4yk0

    8) http://gspn.tv/kc7f

    9) http://gspn.tv/rbft

    10) http://gspn.tv/qrx0

    11) http://gspn.tv/2onp

    These photos are just a very small sample of the photos that I have with me meeting the community that I speak of face-to-face. If you ask any of them, almost every single person in any of those photos will tell you that I have personally paid for a meal for them.

    For me, it is all about the community. It is all about the relationships.

    One other thing you edited out of your original comment. You wrote.. “But yours to seeing Cliff; my opinion doesn’t matter.”

    I’m sure that this was a typo. However, you opinion does matter. Your words had more of an impact on my, today, than they should have. I had weighed your feedback carefully and I’m still confident that the direction that I’ve been going with my content is the right direction.

    I’m not saying that your opinion doesn’t matter. I’m simply stating that I do not have a desire to create the content that you desire.

  • @chuckgnarl:disqus, I couldn’t disagree more. I personally find #PAM to be one of the most inspirational and educational podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis. It is the reason I have a podcast in the iTunes store, and on multiple occasions, a great source of motivation to keep myself going. (This fact is not something that I have shared openly prior to this.)

    I prefer the phrase “you keep building on the previous weeks’ episodes” – because that is exactly how it has felt to me. As for the “not being prepped prior to going live” comment, I personally see this as Cliff is so authentic with his message, that he has grown to a place where he is (almost automatically) mentally preparing himself for each episode for the full 7 days in advance, subconsciously. He doesn’t need to script his episodes like I did when I started out. He knows what he wants to talk about, and knows exactly how to articulate it. This is exactly the material I look forward to week after week. I already know all the podcasting technical stuff. Cliff is so much more than that.

    Chuck, I hope that you can improve your mindset to one of abundance, love, and appreciation. You, yourself, have a lot within you to give to the world. However, based on the few words you’ve decided to share here, I believe your current mindset is holding you back from success.

    I wish you all the best…

  • Chuck Gnarl

    Amateur hour in full effect!

  • Chuck, I wish you great success in finding podcasts that fulfill the content desires that you have.

  • andrewmcgivern

    Longwinded Blabbermouth would be a great name for a podcast!

    Although Podcast Answer Man has changed over the years it is still one of my favourite podcasts and probably the only show that I’ll pause the show i’m currently listen to and play PAM as soon as I see it is available in my podcast app.

    I’m just as interested in Cliff’s new format as I am with the technical details of podcasting. Long winded… definitely. But not in a boring an uninspiring way. Sometimes the longer route is the scenic route. If you want the specifications and reviews of equipment then amazon.com has all of that for you.

  • Thanks for chiming with your thoughts Andrew. I’m honored that you enjoy taking the scenic route with me each week. 🙂

  • Cliff-

    I fully support your “new” direction.
    (For me, it’s always been there, it’s just becoming more clear.)

    Last week, I listened to PABL for the FIRST time ever. It just happened to be Episode #853
    (I call it the “Start Here” episode.)

    I just loved it! It was so great.

    Carrie and I drove from Kansas City to Colorado Monday. We listened to that same episode together in the car. Carrie loved it too. We had great conversation after we listened to it. Conversation about the episode and how you were able to talk so openly about your struggles and your “new” direction both personally and in your business. We also talked about our lives and the direction we are traveling in both business and personally.

    I could go on and on….

    I’ll sum up with my response to “Dr. Arcane”.

    It goes like this: “In my opinion, the good episodes are getting closer and closer together.”
    (Not that there were many bad ones!)

    Keep it up Cliff!!

    -Derek

    P.S. Will you post a link to the SPRINT that you will be participating in in Nashville?

  • Darek, Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this encouraging feedback. I”m honored that this you and Carried listened to PABL 583 together and that it sparked a great conversation between the two of you.

    If you keep listening to PABL, I’ll share more about the triathlon as it gets closer. The registration for it is not open yet. I start official training in January. 🙂

  • Kathleen Thompson

    Hi Cliff,
    I want to encourage you to continue on your journey, wherever that may lead. It is clear to me that you are working through a transition right now, and taking us along with you. I so appreciate you sharing your journey with me, as it allows me to share my journey with you. It gives us all not only encouragement, but also a sense of community.

    There will be some shake-out. There always is when you change something. And I understand people’s disappointment when something they have relied on for quite some time is no longer there for them. It is difficult, especially when they didn’t initiate or want the change. However, as you know, in the end it is your decision.

    Thanks for letting us sit in the back seat and share this ride with you.

    All the best, Kathleen

  • Thank you so much Kathleen. I’m honored to have so many wonderful people, like yourself, who are willing to go with me, wherever this path may go. 😉

  • Thanks for the feedback Paul. I’m so glad to hear that this post has given you a sense of freedom to create the content that you most feel called to create.

  • David Fell

    Thanks for sharing on this topic.

  • I’m glad that you enjoyed it David.

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