As we close out Black History Month, it doesn't mean that we stop celebrating black history. Every day is black history. Every day, we are writing black history.
And as I think about how podcasting has allowed me to have an impact on black history in the making, I wanted to share some of my vibranium with you (Black Panther reference here – if you haven't watched it yet, you better get to a theatre near you right now).
I'm going to share with you, my top 7 tips that will absolutely help you to blaze your trail and write your own black history.
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7: Believe in Yourself
I think most of us struggle with this, because we haven't been able to articulate and write down our own vision. Many of you will help a 1,000 people get where they need to be, but if I ask you what's your vision for 10 years out from now, most of you struggle!
So here's where we are going to start. Take out a sheet of paper right now.
Write the date 1 year out from now
Now based on one year out from today's date, I want you to write down:
Who am I? Meaning who are you going to be 1 year from today?
What will I stand for?
What's the vision for myself, your family and the world?
Now I want you to write down 1-3 goals for each of these areas of your life:
family, relationships, health, spirituality, money, business and recreation.
Last thing. Write down Who I'll need to be to achieve these goals by the target date!
Now the crazy thing is that we started with one year, but two years ago, I did this exercise for the next 10 years. I now have documented my big hairy audacious goals out to June of 2026 and each year this exercise helps me get clarity about what must happen in my life to achieve my goals and also have confidence in who I am and why God brought me into this world.
I now believe in myself more than ever before because of it and you can too.
6: Let go of perfection and chase after progression
You know what I've learned over time as a podcaster, is that we get caught up worrying about the wrong things. But 99.9% of people DO NOT care about perfect! You know what the majority of people care about? Most people care about what's going to solve their problems, and they want it from people they trust.
We've got to put in the work! We need to invest the time to begin building and connecting with our own tribe/ audience. I've learned you've got to also be cool putting yourself out there, but that requires that you let go of the attachments you've got to being perfect.
We have got to understand and accept that success will not come overnight, you've got to put in the work and chase after progress one win at a time.
To achieve progress, you have got to get comfortable with sacrifice, as we are already all very busy. so the only way something new is going to happen, is that we have got to roll up our sleeves and HUSTLE!
If you don't know, the word hustle refers to your willingness to do whatever it takes to get what you want out of life and your business or career. If you're waiting for everything to be perfect, you're gonna get beat by dudes like me that are up hustling after midnight while you're getting your beauty rest. I knew nothing about this business of podcasting, but I've been grinding every night for two years and I've gotten better and better as a result.
And here's what's awesome about HUSTLE, real hustle is done by like 1% of people. Most people don't hustle because it's hard work. it's inconvenient. it's long hours. and you fall down a bunch and you've got to comfy with failing and trying over and over and over again with new approaches a lot of the times.
So there's no perfection in blazing your trail. But if you keep pushing through all the unknowns, you are going to experience progress along the way. And that's the goal. That's what we're chasing.
5: Grow And Glow Up Faster By Surrounding Yourself With Your Own Team of Winners!
Since becoming a podcaster, I've now began surrounding myself with other like-minded trailblazers. Some are folks I've interviewed. Some are other podcasters who I'm growing up with and we push each other along.
It's amazing because my day to day interactions and inner circle is so much different than it was just 3 years ago. The people I roll with now are way smarter than me, they are positive, hungry, they are achievers who I am inspired by. On days where I doubt myself, they speak confidence and life into my soul. When I'm scared about jumping off my cliff of comfort, they remind me that I'm more than able.
I can think of a handful of folk in my own winners circle who just in the past week have poured into me, whether in a simple message in our mastermind slack chat or a phone call while we're in our daily commutes or a deep face to face conversation in the dark of night to help refill the tank of wisdom and inspiration.
And there's no need for contracts or formalities. Just align yourself with other like minded folk who are pushing toward each of our respective mountain tops and we check in and we help push each other up.
Surround yourself with beautiful and positive people who believe in you and who love you.
And hears my advice: It's not about what you can get. I challenge you to pour into them as much as you can. Add value to their lives as much as you can and believe me, in return they will help you to achieve your dreams in ways you could not alone.
If you trust me on this one and we all begin to execute this challenge, then all boats are gonna rise with the tide.
4: Feel the fear and JUMP anyway
You and I are comfortable standing on the edge of our comfort zone. I like to call this the edge of your cliff of comfort. But what you're dreaming of achieving requires that you jump off your cliff of comfort and trust that you'll soar to a higher heights.
Now the above doesn't make sense to most people. But that's cool, you're not most people. You're a trailblazer and you've got a new path to chart. In some cases, no one has ever done what you're about to do. That's ok. You're the trendsetter. You get to break down those walls, limits and barriers.
I felt the fear on February 1st, 2016. I had no prior experience in audio. I had no prior community. I struggled to get people to download this podcast when things just got started. I'd go back and listen to the first several episodes and hear my edits and I cringe even now. But again, that progression has kicked in now and I've gotten to that higher height with time.
But none of today's success happens, had I not jumped! So Jump! Feel the fear in your gut. Feel the doubts in your mind. Eat up all the negative chatter from the people closest to you and JUMP anyway.
3: Be Courageous and Reach Out To The Impossible Ones.
In January I interviewed THE John Rogers on this podcast. People say Stephen, how'd you land John Rogers. Well I was courageous and I reached out. I felt the fear and I jumped!
My getting John Rogers is what opened the door for me to ask for the Apple feature, and though the feature didn't come for another 6 weeks, it's what opened the door to have that convo. So if I wasn't courageous back in September to ask for John's interview, fast forward 6 months later, I would not be on Apple's home feature.
2: Let go of short term results and keep your eyes on the long game
Now it's human nature to compare ourselves to others. We do it every single day. Too many of us suffer from the Jones' effect.
As podcasters, we seem to geek out on the metrics. If John Lee Dumas is reaching 1,000,000 people a month, we are depressed cause we're reaching 5 or 10,000 a month.
But I learned quickly that again, it's not about the numbers. In the long game, it's not about the money you earn. We can't take the money and the cars and the homes and the downloads with us to our grave. But we can extend our lives through our legacy. And if your podcast or career or business has impact that extends beyond the bottom line, then your life will have meaning long after you and I are gone.
I am learning to enjoy the process, and to deliver tremendous value in the content that I'm creating for you, our Blazer Nation and I'm having fun doing it.
As here's what's amazing, I'm no longer tripping on the downloads, but the accolades are still coming right. So focus on what really matters over the long game. Don't get tied up in the short term results.
1: Know that Consistency is KING!
How many of you can relate to coming home at the end of some super long work days …
You’re tired, you might plop down on your couch, your brain is sizzling like an egg on a hot pan, and an ideal situation is to grab something to munch on and go turn on Netflix and you zone out.
Well that was my natural desire this past week and has been several times over. But I have learned to fight through those urges, because I know I MUST publish this episode at 5am on a Monday morning. It's no longer an option for me. If there comes a Monday morning at 5am when I don't publish and I didn't tell you I wouldn't, somebody please come check on me, cause that's a signal something went wrong.
My tribe knows that they can trust that I'm going to have something solid every Monday morning. I'm no different than General Hospital or whatever your fav tv show is. You know the day and the time. It's not up for debate.
In that same light, you've got to begin being consistent about what you're offering to the world. It's not just ok that you do it today then you casually skip a few days and come back to it. No! You've got to show up again and again and again. And when you promised people you were going to show up.
One of the smartest things you can do for yourself if you want to see this tip in action, is keep an eye on the people who are excelling at the things you want to excel at.
So commit to consistency. I want you to commit to growth every. single. day.
If we're going to blaze a trail. If we are going to write history like MLK, like Barack Obama, like Ava Duvernay, like Oprah, we need to reject conformity and begin to anticipate breakthroughs that will come because you're showing up daily.
SUMMARY: 7 Ways To Blaze Your Trail & Write Your Own Black History
- Believe in Yourself
- Let go of perfection and chase after progression
- Grow And Glow Up Faster By Surrounding Yourself With Your Own Team of Winners!
- Feel the fear and JUMP anyway
- Be Courageous and Reach Out To The Impossible Ones
- Let go of short term results and keep your eyes on the long game
- Know that Consistency is KING!
Thanks for Listening!
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