Ep19: 3 leadership lessons I learned from my first year of podcasting: The TalentGrow Show’s 2015 Year in Review

TalentGrow Show 3 leadership lessons from my first year of podcasting by Halelly Azulay

As I wrap up my first year of podcasting on The TalentGrow Show, I look back and shares my story of how the podcast got started and the three biggest leadership lessons I have learned that can apply to any leader as they think about their goals and their work. I get up-close-and-personal and share the behind the scenes stories, fears, concerns, hopes, and dreams I have experienced as a newbie podcaster and suggest lessons that you can immediately apply and benefit from. I also make a personal request for a couple of tiny, quick favors at the end - will you be one of the listeners who will grant me these easy wishes? Listen, enjoy, respond, and share!

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Transcript (ish)

It’s a wrap! 2015 is ending and the first year of podcasting on the TalentGrow Show is in the books. And what a ride it’s been! Whew!

This is my last episode and it only seemed appropriate to do a year in review and share some of the highlights and lessons learned. Plus, my informal survey of opinions on Facebook confirmed that this is what you would find interesting to hear.

How it all started

I have been a voracious consumer of podcasts for a couple of years now, and for a while I was a podcasting wannabe. But I had no idea how to start. It seemed so daunting. But if you know me at all, you know that once something strikes me as interesting and gets my ambitions riled up, I go research it with a fiery passion and gobble up everything I can find to learn about it.

And if you know me at all, you also probably know that I can stay in this ‘analysis paralysis mode’ for quite a while.

So I want to give a shoutout to two people who helped me break-out of that mode, in two different and very important ways:

First, Marcus Sheridan, the Sales Lion. I listened to an episode of his podcast where he riffed on the benefits of podcasting to the entrepreneur who publishes it. Most of what he said, I’d heard already. But it was something about how he said it that really resonated for me, really clicked. It really helped catalyze the decision for me to move forward with this dream. That day, I decided to move ‘podcast’ up on the list of goals, above ‘book #2’.

Second, Espree Devorah, a fellow member of a Facebook group whom I’d never met or interacted with, who offered to give a free 15-minute coaching call to anyone in the group to help with their podcast. She spent almost an hour with me and totally pushed me to move into implementation mode BEFORE I WAS READY. Oh my gosh, so scary. At the time, I was busy learning about equipment, and recording methods, and editing, and publishing platforms, etc., etc.

Espree said “Why haven’t you launched your podcast yet?”

I started listing all my ‘reasons’, or excuses as they probably really were.

She said, “you need to just schedule your first 3 interviews. You’ll figure the rest out once you do it.”

GULP! I started with various “Yeah, buts” but Espree was right.

She pushed me. It made me scared as heck. And I did it. Exactly a year ago, in December of 2014, I reached out to several colleagues and booked their interviews. And I recorded four different episodes in the course of the last 2 weeks of that month.

I then had a few more recording sessions in the first quarter of 2015 while I worked on figuring out the behind the scenes stuff needed to actually make the podcast a real thing that people could download and listen to.

I launched in March of 2015. I don’t know if I would have kept sitting on the sidelines if it weren’t for that coaching from this complete and generous stranger with whom I connected on Facebook in the most indirect, impersonal way to that point. Who said Facebook was a waste of time? Think again.

Lessons learned

So along the way, I’ve learned several lessons from my podcasting newbie journey. Here are my top 3 lessons that any leader can also apply.

Lesson #1: Start before you're ready

The first big lesson I learned from Espree was start before you’re ready. When you’re maybe 80% or 85% ready, get moving. Create some external accountability and/or schedule something important. Then you’ll have a deadline and some pressure. And amazingly, you’ll figure out what you need to do get it done.

Now don’t get me wrong. I did NOT have it all figured out when I recorded my first few episodes. Nor when I started publishing. But we never have it 100% figured out. We just have to move forward when it’s ‘good enough’, and keep learning and iterating. Constant Beta mode.

Lesson #2: Don't go it alone

The second big lesson I’ve learned from podcasting is don’t go it alone – get help and delegate. At first, I intended to do everything myself, in true Halelly fashion. I’m overly ambitious, frugal, and independent. That’s a deadly cocktail for burnout, lemme tell ya.

But I’m glad that I realized very early on that there are people out there who know podcast editing and production because that’s what they do for a living. I mean, let’s face it: I don’t really have any ambitious to become a pro at editing or the technical aspects of getting the podcast to go live. And trying to learn the ins-and-outs of these processes was going to be the death of me. So I decided to get a pro to help me. I hired a guy who does nothing but edit and produce podcasts for a living.

First of all, I was not that expensive. And if you think about the value of the hours upon hours that I’d already sunk into trying to figure this out, and the hours I’d inevitably have to sink into this going forward to make it work (and probably not so well, either), it’s really a no-brainer – it’s a huge return on investment. This is one of the lessons I’ve been really trying to apply in my business, to try to do what I’m great at, and what brings me alive, and to outsource the rest.

Now, I’ve got a long way to go yet, and there are lots of things I still do on my own that I probably have no business doing and that I should delegate, but I’ve also made great strides and it’s been very beneficial for my business and my sanity. So here’s a big ol’ shoutout to Tom Hanson of KNVP Studios who takes care of all the technical back end production stuff to bring you this podcast.

Lesson #3: Listen to your passion and maximize your strengths

My third big leadership lesson that you can also apply is to listen to my passion and leverage my strengths even more in my work. Doing this podcast has reminded me how much I enjoy the process of following my curiosity, learning and chasing down interesting ideas, connecting with fascinating people, and sharing my learnings with others to help them grow. I do this in my speaking and workshops work too, for sure, but podcasting allows me a unique way to really capitalize on my top strengths and to be my best self. I have found so much joy in podcasting that I wish I could just podcast full-time, so it’s inspired me to re-visit some old dreams that I’ve been pushing back.

There are more ways that can perhaps help me leverage my strengths more fully, more frequently, in my work. I am working on fleshing these ideas now, as I plan my goals for 2016 and beyond. I can’t quite share more with you because these ideas and plans are definitely not ready for prime-time, but I’m definitely acutely aware that there’s a lot to this podcasting thing for me, and I am pushing myself past doubts and fears to explore what else, what more, can become of this passion of mine to be curious, to learn, to curate, to be open-minded and use my critical judgment to select and connect the best ideas and people, and to formulate them into interesting and digestible content that can bring insights and value to others.


So – in summary, the three big leadership lessons I learned from my first foray into podcasting were: when you are working on a big scary goal, start before you’re ready, get help and don’t go it alone, and listen to your passion and leverage your strengths, because that’s what will give you joy but also allow you to add the most value to others.

I wish you a very healthy, happy, and fulfilling 2016. Thank you for listening to the TalentGrow Show and for sharing this journey with me. I would love to hear more from you about what you would like me to cover in future episodes – ideas, topics, and/or people – right in the comments below this episode here on talentgrow.com/podcast/episode19. I take your ideas very seriously!

Do me a favor... or two

And if you want to help me reach more people and make an even greater impact, you can do me 2 small, quick favors that will take you 4-5 minutes:

First, hop on over to iTunes and give the show a rating and a quick 1-3 sentence review about what you’ve enjoyed about this show. [Here's an easy tutorial I've created to take all the thinking out of this.] This not only assures others that it’s worth checking out – it makes it more likely that they discover the show in the first place.

The second quick favor I would love from you is to share your favorite episode (or just the main page of the show) with others via Facebook, or Twitter, or LinkedIN, or email, or however you share stuff. It would mean so much to me.


Regardless, I want you to know that I really appreciate you, and I hope you make it a great winter holiday season and a happy new year. See you in 2016!


Intro/outro music for The TalentGrow Show: "Why-Y" by Esta - a great band of exquisitely talented musicians, and good friends of mine.

Don't forget to LEAVE A RATING/REVIEW ON iTUNES! It’s easy to do (here’s how to do it in 4 easy steps). Thank you!!