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  • Micah Durling

Embarking on An Adventure

Updated: 43 minutes ago

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

We’ve started a Podcast. Yep, past tense started. Go check it out! It’s called #IHateSocialMedia. More on the name in a moment. Before I dive in and tell you what the podcast is all about, I do have to say this: this whole experience has been fraught with challenges. I got together with my team, told them about this idea probably just over a month ago (It’s not a joke, this is true). My anticipation was dumb. They were like, “So when do you think you'd want to kick this off? Are you thinking like August?” 

And I'm like, “Oh, no. I was thinking like, in two weeks.” I had no idea what I was even suggesting. 

Thankfully, they understood better than I did what a podcast was going to entail. I'm thinking of this like video production…run and gun, you know, that kind of thing. No, it's not like that at all. There's a lot of things that get involved in all of that. And here's the thing. It's still not right. There are all kinds of things that aren't right. The lights aren't quite where they're supposed to be. The signs probably going to have to be moved. There're all sorts of things that aren't right. But I want to encourage you with this, and you're going to find that the whole podcast is kind of centered around encouraging small business owners.

That's really the desire of my heart, but none of this is perfect, and I don't want perfect to be the enemy of great. I think this can still be great. And what you're doing can still be great. Just get started. Don't wait for the perfect itinerary before embarking on the journey. Just get out the door. That's the biggest thing. Get going. Get moving. Make the mistakes we already have. And as we progress, we're going to make a lot more of them. And you're going to hear about it. So? So back to what this is.

#IHateSocialMedia. Why would even name a podcast that? Especially because the reason for the podcast is to help businesses like ours and Lord willing, like yours, that really want to do more with social media. Unfortunately, most of us don't know where to get started. And here's the thing: To me, there seems like this this veil that's around social media. There are thousands of so-called “experts” all over the Internet willing to sell you their $97 course on how to explode your business utilizing social media. Is any of that true? I mean, surely some of it's true. Surely, there are experts out there that really know what they're talking about. But then there's also the hucksters who don't have a clue what they're talking about, but they're willing to make money off of you. Let me start with a question: How are we going to teach each other? How are we going to dive in and figure out what works and what doesn't when it comes to social media, what's effective and what's just hype? 

The first thing we're going to do is we're going to have guests every week. This is going to be a weekly, 20-30 minute-long podcast. I want it to be something that you can listen to when you're getting ready or maybe on your way to work. You can listen to it during your lunch break, on your way home in the evening when you're getting ready for bed. Shucks, for some people, if you've got a long enough drive, you could probably fit a podcast in on your way to the grocery store.

I just want it to be something that's not going to be a burden to add it to your life. And that's why it has to be 20 to 30 minutes. So, we're going to have guests. What kind of guests? There're going to be business owners, social media influencers, and social media managers for both small and large corporations. I want us to have a well-rounded perspective on what's true and what's not, what works and what doesn't. Right? So I want to have people on that have succeeded in areas of social media, and I also want to have people on that have failed at social media. Not completely, but they've tried things that didn't work because I think it'd be really great if we could see what the minefield looks like, just to see the whole landscape of things and know what pitfalls to avoid.

But then again, on the other hand, I want us to know what are the areas where we should invest time? What are the things that really, really matter? And that's the heart of the whole thing. At the end of each podcast, my team and I are going to get together, we're going to talk about what we learned in that episode. And then later in the week, we're going to distill it all down and find the most important elements for succeeding social media. These are the tactics that you can readily apply and execute at your own business to grow in the social media space. In #IHateSocialMedia we're going to put our money where our mouth is, and I mean that the strategies we present to you will be what we implement in our own business.

So, we want to hear from you. If you implement the things you learned here, I want to hear from you. Did it work? Did it not work? I want to talk to you about why it didn't work. If a strategy doesn't work, it doesn't mean that something was wrong with the strategy. It could mean that, but it could also mean that something was wrong with the execution or the timing. There's a lot of other things, and I want to look into them, too. But here's the crazy thing. I think if the totality of the podcast was inviting guests, asking them the hard questions, and really seeking to understand social media, I think that would be enough to be a fantastic podcast. Where I think we really level it up above the kind of the noise of that space is when we start to distill down what we're learning and giving to you one, two, or three points that you can readily implement into your current strategy. I think that makes it really just a cut above. 

But I think what's going to set it apart, is actually the thing I'm most nervous about, if I'm being completely honest. We're actually going to implement those things into our own business and tell you whether it's working or not. And the reason I'm nervous about that is because there's a level of transparency and vulnerability that I don't think you're going to find anywhere. And I'm the reason I'm excited about it is because, like I said, you won't find it anywhere. I think that's something you can use. Can you imagine? I mean, we're actually going to be learning from people implementing in our business and then telling you whether it worked for us or not. There's a lot of vulnerability because we're going to mess it up. I promise you we will mess it up. And that's there's going to be a level of embarrassment probably that's unavoidable. But I'm willing to go down that road and suffer humiliation if it comes to it so that you can have tools that matter, not just what somebody says, but what another fellow business owner has experienced. And if it works, think about that. If it works…I can tell you this is what you need to do. This is how you need to do it. And I can walk you through that stuff. And I'm not I'm not trying to charge for any that. There's not going to be a Patreon account where we're trying to raise funds here. My business is going to completely pay for the entirety of the podcast. Now there is a financial side to this, and it's simply this: As we learn and as we grow from the podcast, we benefit ourselves. I'm just looking to provide the same thing for you. And so we're kind of letting our hair hang out in the wind and saying, “Hey, look at us as we succeed or fail at some of these things.” I think that turns this podcast into something no one's done before and something no one's seen before.

It's not being done anywhere that I'm aware of, and I think it makes it powerful. So, I hope that you are as excited about that as I am terrified about that. I'm excited and terrified. I think it's going to be awesome, and I think I'm going to hate it sometimes. But I think the benefits far outweigh my embarrassment. 

My big ask is this. If you look across social media, it's unbelievable to me how—I’m just I'm just going to be blunt here—how rude people can be. I don't want that here. I'm all about constructive criticism, but I want us to have the mindset that we're just going to help each other. One of my favorite sayings is that a rising tide raises all ships. What I want us to do is help each other. And I think we can. I think there's space to do that without putting each other down and just being a source of negativity in our lives. There's just too much of that. So, my hope, my prayer, is that this is going to be a space where business owners can come together, encourage and build each other up constructively. Yes, critically, of course. But in a way that's, generally speaking, a positive experience. I want this to be generally a net positive for your life. 

I know how it feels. I know what it's like. My business is small. We are a sub $1 million company as far as net revenue. I'm just saying that I'm putting that out there just so you can, you know, we're small. But it doesn't matter if you have a $5 million business, a $10 million business or a $20 million business. The only thing that matters is are we implementing strategies that work. Are we executing them well and are we getting results? So, I want to help you do that. I am pumped to learn with you. I'm pumped to walk through this journey with you. And just so you can have a sense about the timeline, I'm literally thinking of this in terms of a two-year scope. So what you are going to end up with, or what we're going to end up with, is a real time case study that you're going to observe. You will actually watch us perform a case study on ourselves over the next two years. You'll see the results, whether they've worked or whether they haven't. I think that social media is an extraordinarily powerful tool. I think that there are, of course, hucksters, but I think there are brilliant people out there that truly care, that truly want to help, that are going to bring us information, that are going to help us, and you, turn a corner. All I'm asking you to do is come along for the ride.

I just I really think there's an opportunity for us to grow together, and I'm looking forward to doing that. Come along with us for the ride. It's going to be epic, so find us. Like and subscribe and share with your friends. Hit the button, smash that like button, whatever you're supposed to do. We're going to learn what it is, and I want you to do that with me. We’ll talk again soon.

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