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The Audio Journal Format
Alain recently asked a few questions about the audio journal format for my Pursuing A Balanced Life podcast. He said that he found it fascinating that I managed to record over 600 episodes in light of the fact that he never considered such an audio format to be one that would help generate income or business from such a personal podcast. He wanted to know if I felt that this was a winning formula for me due to the fact that I had already established myself within the podcasting industry. He wanted to know if I thought that such a format would work for someone who is just starting out and where this would be their only show. My response to these questions is the main focus of this episode.
Five Insights I've Gained Over The Past Six Months
Yesterday, I posted a significant blog post celebrating the first six months of consistently maintaining my commitment to putting my helath and fitness above all other life pursuits, including my business. Near the end of this week's episode, I share five insights that I've gained over these past five months.
1. Putting Your Health & Fitness First and finding way to fit in your work
verses being more efficient in your work so that you can find time to fit in your Health & Fitness.
2. The importance of knowing what you're going to say yes to and what you are going to say no to ahead of time.
3. Starting the day off knowing what the most important one, two or three things I need to accomplish today, that is above everything else.
4. The ability to actually say no to great opportunities that don't fit within your current plans for the future.
5. Life is lived inside the margin you allow for yourself.
It’s Friday morning and I have about three really important things that I want to accomplish today. Things that I feel are really important and that I feel “called to do.”
I’m talking about the types of things that if I were to ask myself at the end of the day, “Did I do, today, what matters most?” The answer would be yes if I got one, two or even all three of these things accomplished.
The cool thing is that my calendar is WIDE OPEN and free from any commitments today.
However, before I get started on the first of these three projects, I want to go through my email and get to Inbox Zero. My goal is to finish responding to all emails by 11:30 AM. That’s about an hour from now.
I’ve been working on my email for about 20 minutes now and I’ve spent most of this time time explaining to a friend why I’m not going to be able to hop on Skype within the next few days to “catch up” and sending pre-written messages that explain why I’m not able to devote much time answering these technical “quick questions” via email.
There are days where I am a true ninja in the art form of “saying no.” Other days, that people pleasing side of me creeps up and temps me to say yes.
Here’s what I know.
- I know that I have several big projects to work on between and the end of the year.
- I know that I just returned from a trip to Colorado where I spoke at a conference and held a one day business mastermind.
- I know that this coming Thursday is Thanksgiving, we have a guest staying with us for the next week and there are all sorts of family commitments.
- I know that immediately following Thanksgiving, our family is hopping on a plane to Orlando to spend eight days on a family vacation.
- I know that there is very little work week time between our return from Orlando and the Christmas holiday.
- I know that during the first week of January, I’m going to Nashville for a one day personal mastermind event.
- I know that on January 12th, I launch another four week session of Podcasting A to Z, which I have to market between now and then to fill up that class.
- I know that just one week after that A to Z session ends, Stephanie and I are going on a seven day cruise with Dan & JoAnne Miller, Mike & Gail Hyatt, Michael Stelzner and his entire family as well as a large group of other like-minded folks.
That’s just my calendar into the third week of February. I have a nice yearly calendar where I can see how many work days I have between each of these events listed above. I know that my time is extremely limited when it comes to working on the most important projects that I know that I should be focused on. Projects that are most in line with what I am called to do and that will allow my work to benefit the greatest number of people with the most powerful amount of impact for each person influenced.
Here’s what else I know.
- I know that I am committed to spending quality time with my wife.
- I am committed to spending quality time with each of my three children.
- I am committed to creating awesome memories with intentional family time moments.
- I am committed to eating healthy and to working out, being intentionally physically active, six days a week.
- I’m committed to going to bed early and waking up early each morning.
- I’m committed to reading on a daily basis to keep my mind fresh with new ideas and inspiration.
- I’m committed to journaling and creating content that inspires others.
If you put all that into the calendar over the next three months, it is very clear that I am not going to be able to commit to quick calls or Skype chats and to answering the myriad of “quick questions” that flood my email inbox each day.
Is there a temptation to keep them there and try to get a response to some of these folks when I have some free time? Yes. That temptation is there. However, I know, based upon my commitments listed above, if I say yes to all these emails, I going to have to start saying no to one, or more likely many, of the commitments I have above.
Knowing what you will say yes to helps make it easier to give a no response to things that you simply do not have the time to do.
I heard Andy Stanley once said… “When you get to a certain level of success, you’ll have to come to the place where you do, for some, what you wish you could do for everyone.”
Each day, I try to pick about five or so of these “quick questions” and give them a carefully crafted response that I hope will help them take what they are doing to the next level.
For everyone else, I send them the following message.
(BEGIN QUOTED PRE-WRITTEN QUICK QUESTION RESPONSE)
Thank you so much for reaching out to me!
I receive between 100+ emails each day and most of them contain quick questions just like this.
One of my most valuable resources is my Podcast Answer Man Podcast found athttps://PodcastAnswerMan.com. There are over 300 episodes of this show and I do take questions that are submitted in audio form, as long as the question, and its answer, would apply to multiple people. The voice mail feedback hotline number is 859-795-4067. Or you could record the question as an .mp3 file and attach it to an email sent to [email protected] I do ask folks to limit questions to one per call. I do get about 15 questions submitted for the show each week. And as you might imagine, not every question makes it into the show.
I have also created an amazing, free, tutorial on the basic foundation of podcasting at http://LearnHowToPodcast.com.
Unfortunately, my commitment to other projects keeps me from being able to spend much time with technical questions via email.
If you are looking for a more immediate response, may I suggest that you reach out to the larger collective of podcasters that gather online in an online community like the one found athttps://plus.google.com/communities/102333709604116814839
If you feel like you’d like to work with a podcast consultant, one-on-one, I have a referral network of hand selected consultants that I trust. Their rates start about $150/hr. If you would like me to refer you to someone you can work with, please just reply and ask for a referral.
I hope you don’t find this too off putting. I am just trying to make sure that I maintain my ability to keep up with the other clients, students and projects that I have already committed to and make sure that those who contact me, via email, get a timely response.
Ps. The best offer that I have to offer is my Podcasting A to Z course. I encourage you to check out http://PodcastingAtoZ.com to see the full details of what I offer during this four week course. The greatest benefit of the course is that it provides a place where you can ask as many questions as you want during a four week period of time, and I am committed to answering every single question.
(END QUOTED PRE-WRITTEN QUICK QUESTION RESPONSE)
If you’ve ever received this pre-written response from an email that you have sent to me, I hope this post will help give some insight as to the reason why it was sent.
Okay. So I’m now headed back to my email inbox. I need to paste that, and a few other, pre-written response to about 15 of the 38 other emails in my inbox. The rest are all business action items that I need to handle.
After that, I’ll close my email for the day and only focus on the three projects that I have planed to work on this afternoon.
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Shocking Podcasting Patent Lawsuit Update (00:16:25)
In this week's episode, I share the story published by ArsTechnica that Personal Audio, LLC had attempted to drop the lawsuit against Adam Carolla, but Adam refused to drop his defence of the lawsuit.
It seems that Personal Audio LLC, had dropped the other lawsuits that they had filed with two other podcasters, without having received any money from those podcasters. It also seems as though these folks saw that they were fighting a losing battle and wanted to get out to avoid having their patent for delivering episodic content was deemed invalid. However, at this point, it appears as though this case is going to be heard by a jury this September. Full details in this episode.
Six Tips For Dealing With Email Overwhelm (00:29:32)
I get a ton of email. Currently, I receive well over 100 emails every day from individuals who have questions related to podcasting, business coaching, etc. I'm not opposed to the approach of having someone else process my email for me and I certainly recognize that this may become a reality for me when I get to the place when I begin receiving more than 500 or 1,000 emails each day. However, for now, I'm proud to report that I still make it a point to respond to every email that I receive and that I do it personally.
What may be shocking to you is that I typically get to “Inbox Zero” at least once per day. If I had to guess, I typically get to zero emails in my inbox an average of between 20 to 25 days per month. In the episode, I share six strategies that I use that helps me from being overwhelmed with my email. I use these strategies, personally, so that I can continue to focus on the things that are most important in my business.
I'll list the six tips below. However, you'll want to listen to this episode to hear my explanation of each of these tips.
1. Before you open your email, know what you will say yes to and know what you will say no to.
2. Catalog your most frequently asked requests and prepare pre-written responses to paste in response to those emails.
3. When giving a “no” response, be sure to provide something that will help the person get what they are looking for.
4. Move all “to do” items out of your email inbox and into a task management system.
5. Create labels with filters to help you easily identify the most important messages in your inbox so that you know what to deal with first.
6. Create separate “virtual inboxes” for certain categories of emails that are either more urgent or less urgent than messages that go into your normal email inbox.
Video Recording of this episode
The following video is an UNEDITED version of the Behind The Scenes Recording of this episode of Podcast Answer Man. Join me for a future live broadcast of Podcast Answer Man. Click here for details.