As Natalee Champlin learned after her experience as the temporary host of The Mentee Project, failure can happen in ways that you can’t even begin to anticipate. She began her journey as an interested podcast listener who was voted in to host the entire third season (and temporary COO) of the podcast.
She ended with the podcast on a temporary pause, almost losing her voice, and encountering a healthy dose of conflict along the way. She learned that
Yet, if you ask Natalee, this failed experience was a powerful lesson in stepping out of one’s comfort zone. As Natalee and Joshua describe in a recent episode, many podcasters are afraid to try something new or different because of the sting of failure.
This fear can appear in different ways:
- Being afraid to start a podcast
- Being afraid to let go of a podcast
- Being afraid to try something new or different with your podcast
Whatever it is, this fear is the opposite of how you should be thinking.
If you are too afraid to step out of your comfort zone, you will not be too afraid to learn something new.
Being able to experiment and learn from those experiments is crucial to surviving as a podcast in a podcast-filled world. As Natalee shared with Joshua, a proactive podcaster survives because they persist. They learn what works (and what doesn’t) for their brand and their podcast.
That learning doesn’t start if you don’t get out of what you already know (aka comfort zone). If you don’t start that podcast that’s been on your mind, you won’t learn how to podcast. If you don’t let go of a podcast that isn’t moving you forward, you’ll never learn how to grow. If you are too afraid to try out new technology or different formats, you could end up losing some of your audience (because they’re using the new technology or became bored).
The key is to leverage everything, good and bad, to help you become a better podcaster. While it’s easy to learn from success (you just keep doing what works (, it’s more helpful to learn from failure (aka what doesn’t work).
To learn from failure, you need to step over your comfort zone and into a proactive podcasting mindset. To you get to that mindset, here are 3 knowledge nuggets that Natalee shared in her discussion with Joshua about her experiences as a podcaster:
- Remind yourself that it’s OK to stop (or pause). Realize that it’s OK to stop a project or pause it until you are better prepared to handle it. Natalee learned this while hosting the Mentee Project podcast. Joshua learned this while starting 6 to 7 podcasts until he got it right.
- Reflect on your experience. It’s easy to feel resentful, angry, or disappointed when things don’t work. It’s harder (but more valuable) to reflect on the experience. The next time something doesn’t go as planned. Ask yourself:
- What didn’t go right in this situation?
- What did go right in this situation?
- How can I improve my performance in the future?
- What information or data do I now have that I didn’t have before?
- What opportunity do I now have because of this failure?
- Respond with your best foot forward. Once you have reflected, move into an action mindset. Decide if the thing you’re doing is worth continuing. If it is worth it, decide whether it’s important to continue now or in the future.
These are the steps Natalee took when after her experience with The Mentee Project. These are the steps that helped move from that failure into a new space (her own podcast and podcast community). By stepping out of her comfort zone, she stepped up to a new level of experience.
It’s the same steps you can take if you encounter a failure while doing your podcast. By doing this, you can become a more powerful podcaster, whether this is your first podcast or 100th.
Natalee Chapman is an entrepreneur, Mom, “wannabe astronaut” fill-in marketing director, business coach, and former host of the third season of The Mentee Project who is building a leadership development company.
Resources to Check Out