Opportunity - with Gigi Pitman

Opportunity, momentum, and burnout

opportunity

Transcript

00:00.00
Craig
Hello I’m Craig Constantonine welcome this is the podcaster community show short conversations that are not just about podcasting because I like to take the scenic route. My guest today is Gigi from musicians can thrive welcome Gigi how are you.

00:16.30
Gigi
I’m good. Are you.

00:17.63
Craig
I’m good um, trying to decide what level of energy to bring to today’s ah 1 hand I’m like it’s been a long weekend on the other hand I’m like I love talking to people so I tend to be me.

00:26.74
Gigi
Well I like that you said you like taking the scenic route because I feel like that’s usually the better path traveled.

Show more…

00:33.79
Craig
Actually it’s a warning that Craig is the squirrel get distracted easily the other as with any conversation that you have whether or not 1 is recording podcasts. There’s so many directions to go in right? so. I often find that there is great weight to picking the first thread and I really think the the idea of opportunities um is where I want to start today and I heard in your most recent episode. Um and I always do this how many episodes are you on but number one roughly.

01:06.39
Gigi
Oh you’re asking me 40 something I’m 4 seasons in I have recently started publishing sort of Youtube exclusive shorter versions of episodes from this live concert that I helped a friend with during south by southwest so that.

01:06.56
Craig
If you don’t know exactly. Ah.

01:25.58
Gigi
Might increase the number but in terms of episodes published on the podcast feed definitely at minimum 40 but probably more thank you.

01:26.90
Craig
Um.

01:34.68
Craig
That’s awesome I Just like to say that as often as I can because as we podcasters know it’s a lonely slog sometimes opportunity so in your most recent episode and I mentioned this before we started recording in your most recent episode. There’s a segment I Guess Iss The right term There’s a segment that you recorded that’s on the end of the show where you recorded um in in a terrible environment. It’s like you know, but the content was important so we’re not deleting this but in there when you got to the part where you were talking about an opportunity that you were traveling back to your home.

01:52.62
Gigi
Are.

02:08.51
Craig
You you like lit up like the quality. Not the quality. But I mean like the the overall quality went from like yeah I’m talking to like oh my God I’m so excited I Get to go back and work on this thing and I I think that that ties in with some of the points you were making and other things that I’ve read and listened to. About how to recover from Burnout you. It’s not sufficient to just be like all right I’m unplugging like I’m I’m backing away from the thing that burnt me out you you also need to find opportunities that that mental but words in your mouth that maybe like continue to light you up or that re-energize you so that the.

02:38.87
Gigi
Um.

02:47.66
Craig
Recovery from burnout is like 2 parts maybe more. But at least one part is back away and the other part is to also find things that still are opportunities and I’m what I’m wondering is is there a feature about the opportunities that you think make it work as something that would help you recover from burnout. So makes sense.

03:08.18
Gigi
It does? Yeah honestly I’m so pleased that that episode resonated with you because I am definitely a perfectionist which translates to part of why I got so burned out. Um, and so that segment you’re referring to.

03:17.43
Craig
Ah.

03:22.77
Gigi
I literally record it in the Denver airport. It has the worst audio quality I’ve ever published anywhere and I sat on it for about 2 maybe three weeks debating okay I’m talking about something important here and I don’t think I can have that same recording happen twice.

03:24.16
Craig
Like oh yeah, it’s bad. Yeah.

03:37.20
Craig
Years earlier and kept.

03:40.23
Gigi
So am I Okay with releasing this subpar audio quality and I talked to a few friends and they were like you know if people don’t like it. They’ll tell you but if they like it. It doesn’t really matter how perfect your audio quality is so I decided to say screw it and hit publish and ship the work.

03:44.44
Craig
Um.

03:54.72
Craig
Um, right.

03:59.77
Gigi
And honestly that episode I’ve gotten more positive feedback from than any I’ve released in the past twelve months so that was a good learning experience for my perfectionist brain but particularly with opportunities of burnout I feel like.

04:08.80
Craig
Um.

04:19.70
Gigi
Podcasting particularly presents this wonderful space where people can have conversations and they can have conversations at a length that brings out space for nuance because in this world that we live in particularly for younger generations. There’s so much for context I’m 25 years old there is so much pressure to be constantly on and available and publishing and particularly if you are an artist or a creator the sort of perspective is well. You have these free platforms that you can publish on and that you can build audiences on.

04:42.42
Craig
Yeah, present.

04:57.69
Gigi
So you should be consistent and publishing and creating and what we neglect to prioritize in the midst of that is when you are creating something from nothing. There is a certain amount of spaciousness in your mind in your emotions in your physical.

05:01.60
Craig
I’ll.

05:17.32
Gigi
Mental space. You need to have that kind of openness that emptiness in order for ideation to occur and if you’re causally interrupted with all this anxiety and stress and pressure of publish daily 3 times a day weekly. Whatever the best practices it’s.

05:34.31
Craig
Um, yes, and the barrage right.

05:36.82
Gigi
Ridiculous, Um, so that’s just a long way of saying that I got really burned out from podcasting because you build momentum towards something and eventually it starts to self-sustain that momentum where it’s the next interview the next episode.

05:53.48
Craig
Are.

05:55.61
Gigi
The next whatever that you have to publish and you’re basically on this hamster wheel of oh my God I have to do this I’m accountable to people or even just yourself like I’m the worst at setting deadlines I said too many.

06:06.00
Craig
Yeah, we imagine so the the question I have is about momentum like um first of all, yes I agree Amen once more louder for those in the back I totally agree with everything you’re saying I’m I’m wondering about the.

06:18.00
Gigi
Thank you.

06:22.46
Craig
I’m going to call it the delusion of momentum because I’m thinking you’re going to agree with my train of thought when I unpack it I think that the delusion of momentum is like the reef that I basically smashed the ship on of my own podcasting journey and I I thought that I don’t want to like be. Too specific about has to be every week or every two weeks or once month. But I when I first started podcasting. It was just like whenever we pushed the publish button whenever they were ready to go and then I wanted to do more conversations and I thought that it was important that I build this momentum of publishing the work. So i. I got and I had like a particular team member whose job it was when they came out, you’re like your job literally is to get us on a schedule I don’t care what it is just and you know like get us on a schedule and it changed how we worked and how we did things and now when I look back I think. Wait the actual thing that drew me in and I I said it intentionally is I wanted to have more conversations I didn’t actually want to publish more podcasts or have them appear on particular days of week. Nobody cares that like episode 7 came out on a Wednesday in 2018. It’s ah.

07:21.31
Gigi
The. They really don’t only the algorithm Cares. It’s the only thing keeping track of it.

07:34.40
Craig
Yes, So I think that um, figuring out. Maybe maybe the the question I have is for the people listening you know I’m listening people listening who are susceptible to Burnout. How do we use Momentum. Like ah so double-ended double-edged sword I Want to use momentum for the good that it gives me as a podcaster so I can do the work so that I can keep doing the work. But how do I not let the urge to be like a slave to the momentum or the urge to like.

08:06.45
Gigi
Aha.

08:07.21
Craig
Focus on the momentum be a negative like is there a way that we can tease that apart.

08:09.87
Gigi
I Think it comes with a lot of self-reflection and so you know I mentioned earlier that part of what I love most about podcasts is we have opportunities to have conversations with more context more nuanced because they are longer form. They kind of forcibly pull us out of that. Fast-paced sort of social Media Mania where it’s like we’re going to publish every day or every 4 hours you know, whatever the pacing is for some best practice out there if you step away from that it slows down the pace of the conversation. It increases the capacity for reflection and.

08:38.15
Craig
Um, right.

08:49.66
Gigi
Even just internalization of oh someone said this thing or they shared this perspective with me and here’s how it’s helpful and so when I I’m 4 seasons into my podcast between season 3 and season four I took a break of about twelve months and

08:59.31
Craig
Um.

09:09.36
Gigi
I Spent a lot of that time beating myself up for that break because I had this idea in my head of if I don’t feed the momentum. It’s going to stall out and what was interesting is actually I didn’t lose any audience. It just persisted it. It persisted.

09:24.62
Craig
Um, I was going to say didn’t anybody even notice that you stopped like.

09:28.96
Gigi
And what was also interesting is I had time to go back into the existing catalog that I had and with new people who’d never heard those existing episodes before share it with them for the first time so that’s that’s one side of it but then another piece is.

09:39.50
Craig
So.

09:47.94
Gigi
I’ve found that you know I have a pretty workaholic nature. So I’ve consistently been trying to teach myself how to rest and how to not work and how to not get burned out and for so long this just.

09:58.70
Craig
Um, what.

10:05.12
Gigi
Initial round of information that I could find about you know how to recover how to take care of yourself. Whatever you know I was always focused on rest. It was always focused on you know, catch up on your sleep and you know don’t don’t do anything.

10:18.68
Craig
Um, yeah, they’re like low hanging fruit.

10:21.81
Gigi
But the thing that I had to especially as an introvert that I had to realize was actually there’s a point where I’m having too much time by myself and I’m just me myself and I in my house wrestling with my demons saying you should be working right? now you should be creating right now.

10:39.23
Craig
Um.

10:40.94
Gigi
What the hell are you doing? Why are you sitting on the couch and the fact is I needed that time to do nothing to sort of have that spaciousness to ideate again and to start writing the songs that I’d been pushing to the side or to even sit back and reflect on all the.

10:53.38
Craig
Um.

11:00.75
Gigi
Like podcast interview conversations I’d had and go you know actually that person 2 seasons ago had a really good point and I don’t think I sat with it enough so there’s that rest component but also there’s the pushing yourself to start doing something again without doing. The same thing that burned you out in the first place. So for a concrete example instead of doing podcasting I just started going to shows more and starting to get to know that people had interviewed face to face and that was 1 baby step and it was critical.

11:31.75
Craig
Um, right? because you’re.

11:37.42
Craig
Um, make a number of good points I think that I say wrestling with my misconceptions about momentum or wrestling with my idea of. What people wanted and like for me the the idea that people want something in particular from me for any of my shows I think that’s a mistake I don’t think people want anything in particular for me. They didn’t even remember like Craig who like not even on their radar.

11:58.73
Gigi
Ah.

12:03.14
Craig
Every once in a while maybe an episode pops up in their podcast player and they go oh right I haven’t heard one of those in ages and they press play where they stick it in the list of things to play later and I I think releasing my expectations or my imaginings my imaginings of what other people would be thinking about me I think that. Made me go well if I actually think that people don’t notice when I actually publish then it doesn’t matter when I publish so I can let go of the urge to have this momentum or this constant pacing and I think when people first i’ve. I’ve seen a lot of people start podcasting call the sofa to five k podcast group. You know like what’s podcasting to like shipping their episodes and in the very beginning. Yes, it might be wise to say one needs a cadence so that you actually do all the steps and get over the fear but I don’t think that’s necessary once you’ve once you’ve gotten enough episodes or and a lot of people. You know their first episode is enough. They don’t need to really be told you must do the work they’re they’re like yes I’m doing the work. That’s not the problem the problem I have is how do I not focus on the wrong things I guess how do I not focus on the work for the sake of moving the odometer or advancing. The.

13:15.15
Gigi
I Think that’s one of the things that has actually evolved out of the changes in podcast platforms and how people use them because if we so I first got into podcasting probably.

13:15.85
Craig
The episode count or something.

13:34.62
Gigi
Let’s say twenty fourteen but really seriously 2015 and it was back in the days of you know Apple Reviews or Itunes Reviews being the absolute definition of whether or not a podcast was good and then also people were really focused on getting the highest number of possible episode downloads not plays.

13:43.45
Craig
Um, because I dones reverse right.

13:53.63
Craig
Um.

13:54.35
Gigi
Downloads to someone’s device because that could get them ranked on the Apple chart and it actually has nothing to do with how much your content resonates with your audience. Absolutely nothing and with the popularity of Spotify as a podcast platform because it’s not specific to Apple devices.

14:02.85
Craig
Right.

14:13.69
Gigi
Well then that metric becomes pretty much obsolete because I’m not downloading anything on Spotify unless I’m going on a road trip and I know that I’m going to be out of service range so that was the first sort of hurdle that I had to reckon with and realize oh actually the number of episodes published.

14:19.24
Craig
Um, yep, um.

14:32.46
Gigi
Doesn’t carry as much weight if I’m not focused on that downloads metric and 2 the timing of when I’m publishing literally no one is paying attention. Maybe if you get to the point where you have an audience that has been following you for let’s say 10 years and you’ve trained them to expect that every Wednesday you’re going to release a new episode. There’ll be some percentage of them who are going to check on a Wednesday morning and be like okay I’m ready start my day with Craig.

14:54.69
Craig
The name.

15:02.32
Craig
But that’s the tall like they know the tall head versus the long tail. That’s the tall head example of the of the shows that are huge. Those are the ones that prove the rules that we’re talking about which is like it doesn’t matter that you.

15:08.24
Gigi
Exactly so the thing that I spent twelve months wrestling with between when I ended season three and when I resumed season four roughly in April of this year was it’s up to you. It’s up to the creator and their life and the seasons within that life and the seasons within the years that make up that life that determine the pacing of your content creation and publishing because you are going to know what’s best you’re going to know what’s. Sustainable for you and your life and at some point we’re not any good to our audience if we’re burned out and cranking and exhausted.

15:57.68
Craig
There’s I feel like also part of what um I’m going to say a part of what suckered me into feeling like the publishing itself was the important part and I’m talking specifically about podcasting but I’ve also got the same problem in blogging too. Um.

16:11.74
Gigi
Um, it’s a consistent problem.

16:13.62
Craig
But I think what drew me in was what but what drew me in was this um idea that like almost that there’s a scarcity right? like but there’s no scarcity of bits we can publish all the things and we’re not going to run out of space or time on you know in the storage mediums and everything. And I I think when I started really I was going to say when I started to think but it’s really when I actually began to believe that nobody’s going to listen to anything I do except there’s like a handful of people who are going to hear this one episode that I do with whomever and for those people it. If I do it right? It’ll be transformational I’m like that’s pretty cool I’ll take that I’ll take I did 1 episode and 5 people went. That’s the best thing I’ve heard in a week like awesome that to me is what’s wrong with that. It didn’t cost me basically cost nothing for me to put the episode out. It cost nothing within the downloaded. It’s all this. You know all the overheads the costs are all gone so that’s great and I think that’s also what helped me get over. Um you know, being like tied to the dog cart of publication schedule and and I’d I’d be tied to the cart in multiple dimensions on multiple shows if they just.

17:22.20
Gigi
Um, other.

17:24.67
Gigi
Yeah.

17:26.43
Craig
Part of the reason why I had to get like like get ah let go of me like I need to be free. Yeah.

17:29.26
Gigi
Well, that was something that I wrestled with for I started my podcast in 2018 So literally 4 years I was wrestling with that because you know we both sort of correct me if I’m wrong, but we both got started with the podcasting on our own. Through an akimbo workshop.

17:47.45
Craig
Yeah I started well I started on my own like just how do you do this and.

17:51.50
Gigi
Okay, cool. So you started on your own but we both have had that sort of education and modeling shown to us and people who believe in Seth Godin and his teachings are often already aware that he has this practice of.

17:58.83
Craig
Near.

18:11.22
Gigi
Publishing a blog every single day for over 10 years at this point probably over 20 years if I’m really being accurate with my math. Um, yeah, and so the wonderful thing about that is it does help you get into a practice of something where you’re doing it consistently and you learn from those things. But.

18:13.20
Craig
Um, knee up. But.

18:17.25
Craig
Yeah I don’t know the exact date but it’s it’s more than a decade.

18:31.19
Gigi
Thing that I had to reckon with as I was trying to figure out what does it mean to be making something that feels good to me and that I can actually sustain in the midst of day jobs family friends life exactly and so sometimes.

18:45.75
Craig
Rainy Saturday afternoons but I don’t want to do the work right.

18:50.41
Gigi
You do need to push through that resistance. But other times that resistance is telling you something important and so I found that I could focus less on. Okay I’m going to publish it every other week or whatever instead it was I’m going to publish 2 episodes this month during this season while my podcast is actively publishing. And then this season is going to end and I’m going to have a period of rest and hibernation or reflection or creation for other things and then I’ll resume again in a more enlivened state and I’ve found that whether it’s.

19:16.29
Craig
Um.

19:29.42
Gigi
Podcasting or blog articles creating music and publishing it. Whatever your sort of creative medium is this is kind of a Contrarian perspective to Mainstream Understandings of what it means to create and do it consistently. But. Think it’s actually a gift to your audience to be really intentional about what you’re creating and how frequently you’re pushing it Out. We have so much information and content available to us at this point in time. It is absolutely Overwhelming. So.

20:03.77
Craig
Right.

20:08.18
Gigi
If your audience doesn’t actually need something every week or you think they do maybe sit with that and check. Do. They really? maybe it’s once a month maybe there’s a middle ground. Maybe it’s actually every two months it depends on your content your audience and your life. But. Feel like it’s also a kindness to the people consuming your content to not overwhelm them with something that might not actually be what they’re resonating with because you’re feeding your own anxiety about I need to say consistent.

20:42.10
Craig
Um, I’m on the treadmill here get away from me. Yeah I Think that’s a great point. Um ties all the way back into being self-aware enough to have enough selfkindness and enough self-care to like make sure that you can do the work and And. Brings us back to that idea. So yeah, um, I’m just watching our time slip away. Um I Think that’s a good place to stop Gt as much as I hate to say it that was a pleasure to get a chance to talk to you um took a while til I got around to getting to you. Um, after a mutual friend of ours said you should talk to Gt so.

21:13.81
Gigi
Thank you for chasing me down. Yeah I I genuinely appreciate it as someone who also knows what it’s like to schedule interviews with people I know that sometimes it’s easy to forget about and I was happy to talk to you and you.

21:15.77
Craig
Thanks for taking the time I’m notorious for that. But you’re very welcome.

21:26.47
Craig
Um, and.

21:33.75
Gigi
Approach me, you just caught me in a moment of very severe burnout. So thank you for persisting.

21:36.61
Craig
Yeah, um I mean to your credit you were like no I Really like and people saying no because it’s like I know exactly what you mean I think just tell me to go away and you were like how but if you come back and was like all right? So We just take a pause I I don’t mind we say to people I don’t mind waiting for schedules to align. Because I find that things often come out really good when everybody has in the right space the right headspace but hey cool. Thanks so much.

21:56.20
Gigi
Absolutely it was a pleasure. Thank you.

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