When Your Winter Body Didn’t Get the Memo: How to Kickstart That Summer Confidence into High Gear

Let me start by saying congratulations, you made it through the Winter in the middle of a Pandemic. Winter months in Canada are already tough if you live in any Province with the exception of British Columbia. As if the frigid blustery winds and hazardous icy roads aren’t enough to keep you home, the government Covid-19 lock downs reinforced that. Then if we weren’t already up against enough with the isolation, our bodies took a further beating as we still indulged in a series of holiday meals. In Alberta, gyms and recreational facilities were closed for almost 2 1/2 months which would be the nail on my coffin for myself, as my weight ballooned upwards rapidly. Seeing as this was my first winter in a pandemic, I admittedly was not prepared to cope in the best way, but I should be thankful that the worst that happened to me was a doughy belly and a double chin. I’m blaming my inability to adapt accordingly and find alternative ways to motivate and prioritize better nutrition and exercise.

Home work outs have never been my thing, but as I’ve come to find out, sometimes we need to force ourselves out of the familiar. It takes some time, especially if your stubborn like myself who gets discouraged easily when I lack the presence of reinforcing elements. One of those elements is having an active presence in the outside world, where our interactions can often validate the hard work we are putting into our personal fitness and appearance. My interactions have been mostly with clients who are for the most part strangers and have an already pre-existing sense of loathing towards me as child welfare worker. I’ve also admittedly been using my mask to hide my fuller chipmunk cheeks. So with less social outings happening under the current circumstances I feel it is more important than ever to authentically find validation from within ourselves, namely Confidence.

Transitioning to a place of practicing personal validation through other means is no simple feat. I imagine this could be a lot harder for my generation as we are far more cognizant of the differences between what is sincere interaction and the superficial world of likes and followers. I would never typically support the idea of subscribing to the practice of validation through selfies and half naked thirst trap photos, but a fluffy blonde like me even has her breaking point. If I hadn’t become totally bored through the first wave of my social media feeds I may have just likely began an OnlyFans for some compliments now and again. But for the most the most part, many of us adults aspire to channel our energy and attention to a small few so that to not distract us from our goals and responsibilities that absorb much of our time. The majority of my network uses social media platforms mostly to post pictures of their animals, new furniture, DIY projects or children. Which leaves me with the conclusion we need to work even harder to tap into that self love and confidence at all costs, and here’s my How To Guide to get yours rolling!

1. Get Your Butt Outside

You don’t need to be the outdoorsy type or the adventurous weekend warrior-while these for many seem to be perfect opportunities for Social Media Content. The art of being outside doesn’t actually always have to be about gruelling hikes up mountains or even overtly physical at all. This time of year always offers up ways to draw you outdoors whether its doing yard clean up, gardening/planting, washing your car at home, or enjoying the dog park which by the way you don’t need to have one to still enjoy those playful paws. Take a book on a lunch break and have a coffee on an outdoor patio, or simply just people watch. Exchange smiles with new faces you pass by while you take in a new neighborhood stroll, popping in and out of local shops. How about dusting off the ol’ cruiser bike and taking it somewhere scenic outside your neighborhood, or organize a squad bike beer tour through downtown? You can even cook all your meals outside by BBQing as much as possible. There is movement and social interaction happening in all of these options that are sure to get your that much needed vitamin D and Dopamine back into that ailing spirit of yours.

2. Make your Meals Colorful

Spring and Summer months invite a broader range of delicious produce options, and there is a need to support our local farmers and markets even more than ever. According to the Hello Fresh Blog, our brains respond to light energy, aka color, by stimulating the pituitary and pineal glands. These endocrine glands regulate hormones like serotonin, which is responsible for making us feel happy. Research has shown that different colors also affect blood pressure, pulse, and respiration rates as well as brain activity and sleep/wake cycles. These color triggers set the mood for us to feel more energetic, happy, and relaxed and are strong enough to even have an effect on people who are blind!

Additionally it is mentioned that we are also influenced by the visual cue of color when it comes to our perception of how something will taste. Colorful food can influence our brain to create an expectation that specific colors will taste a certain way. For example, the more vibrantly colored a food is, the more intense we expect its flavor to be.

If you are even somewhat of a meal planner, aim to prepare meals that have at least 5 or more colors in them. Whether it be a pasta salad that is loaded with spinach, red onion, cherry tomatoes, orange peppers and Hemp Seed- the challenge of not duplicating color can offer a variety of nutritional benefits that boost your energy as well as fill you up with all the good stuff!

3. Dance to your Favorite music

I know I can’t speak for all, but as a result of my vegetative state along with the extra pounds I’ve packed on; movement can feel sometimes painful or uncomfortable. My joints and body need some time to recuperate and I can quickly become fed up if I take on something too rigorous. Additionally when the body hasn’t done any kind of significant exercise its not uncommon for you to experience muscle tightness and soreness that can also prevent you from being active the next day. Consistency is key when developing a habit, and getting active again can be admittedly hard enough without being reminded how out of shape you’ve allowed yourself to become. So start with movements that don’t feel like work, and help to loosen those hips and shoulders. Throw on a belly dancing tutorial, or flail around like I do to some House Anthems like its 2005 again. Many fitness apps offer short dance movement classes that are easy and fun to follow. If you are an Albertan like myself maybe you need to brush up on your line dancing and prepare yourself for Calgary Stampede festivities we have been missing.

For Classes Check out the Peleton App

History of Country Line Dancing That You Probably Didn't know - Dance Poise

4. Ditch the Scale

Just like our beloved Aaliyah sang how “Age Aint Nuthin But a Number”- so is your weight. Because just like age, you are as old as you feel and same goes for your weight. Our bodies listen to our negative self talk and also revolt when we put it under too much stress. Stress can significantly impact your ability to maintain a healthy weight. It can also prevent you from losing weight. Whether it’s the result of high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, unhealthy stress-induced behaviors, or a combination of the two, the link between stress and weight gain is glaring. Hovering over numbers on a digital scale completely derails and undermines the idea of being good to your body. Numbers on a scale can never reflect the fun we experience and sense of achievement when doing our bodies good. If you are not convinced then perhaps use how your clothes fit as a means of measurement, but whatever you do stay off the digital confidence killer.

Get off the scale!

Or consider an alternative like the Shapa Scale that keeps the positive elements of the scale while removing the negative ones. This unique system gives you feedback about your weight, but not in pounds.

Instead of sharing a number that provides little to no insight, Shapa gives you useful feedback through a more meaningful 5-point color system.

Blue = losing weight
Teal = starting to lose weight
Green = maintaining your weight
Light Gray = starting to gain weight
Dark Gray = gaining weight

Shapa looks at your trend over the past few days compared to the past few weeks to determine your color and lets you know if the changes you’ve been making recently are getting you closer to, or farther from, your goal.

5. Wear The Bathing SUit

There is no prep involved here. If its cute, wear it. If its a bikini, wear it. Then finish it off with some Sexy Sunnies to block the haters.

Plus Size Bikini Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

6. Don’t forget your Vitamins

Focus Supplements and Vitamins for ADHD: Zinc, Iron, Magnesium

I have a tendency to learn things the hard way, just like when I failed to get regular oil changes on my BMW. I came to find out after a very expensive lesson that things can’t run optimally without the combination of chemically engineered elements. Turns out our bodies are the same and can pay the price if we don’t fuel it properly with the nurtients and minerals it needs. Vitamins that support weightloss such as Vitamin B, Magnesium, Vitamin D, Iron, and Green Tea Extract all have vast benefits. Vitamins and Herbs that support energy are Vitamins B12, CoQ10, Rhodiola, Citrulline and Beetroot powder also compliment the need to fuel an increase in activity and movement.

Knock- Knock Wall Street- A New Herd of Female Wolves are in Town: Women Investors on the Rise

Very important lessons 'Working Girl' taught me about success | HelloGiggles

Let me start this blog post today by giving you a heavy warning that by no means am I a financial guru, or am in a position to give any kind of advice when it comes to building or managing wealth. I would be a raging hypocrite if I sat here and boasted about all of my amazing habits when it comes to money.

And not like I need to prove my shortcomings, but to put things in perspective, your girl here is still paying her student loans from 14 years ago. If I could put a face plant emoticon here I would. I’m pretty sure I could make a good argument as to why I’m paying a student loan that is headed into the next decade of its existence if I had not been gainfully employed, but that is not the case. In fact I landed a pretty sweet gig just upon graduation. After having spent years as a single parent in University living off of about $1200 dollars a month, working part time at Eddie Bauer and La Senza, making a salary was foreign to me. I felt like I had made it in the world and stepped up and out from below the poverty line, never wanting to go back again.

It would a be a year later that I took my first vacation since I was a teenager and travelling on my parents dime. And it was glorious- in fact so glorious that I would continue to take vacations on a steady basis. I figured I was living in Northern Alberta at the time so it was more of a necessity in order to deal with dark and frigid winters. And once you begin subscribing to the “Treat Yo’Self Tribe“- one could recognize that this is a slippery slope into years of bad spending habits. It becomes far more slippery if you begin using money as a means to cope, escape, or a distraction from the challenges that get thrown your way. And don’t get me wrong there is something very pleasing about pressing the checkout icon and getting the notification that the shoes you have to have are on their way stat! And to be fully honest I have made an art of this and am aware of others who practice such habits-there are support groups available for this! And if you are a fly on the wall you may here some examples below that sound awfully familiar.

For Example:

So your kids got sent home because there was a Covid Outbreak at their school and Mrs. Holland expects you to teach New Math to your kids, but you only remember the old school way- Logic says, pour yourself a glass of wine into the biggest glass and order a set of new ones that fit the whole bottle on Amazon Prime that night.

So your significant other cheats on you and you want revenge. So its only right that you and your girls book a Girls Trip to Vegas that then requires hot new bikini’s, new wedges, new trashy dresses and the sickest hotel suite available. Add Cabana’s, bottle service, and somewhere in between some pricey Vegas Strip Pizza Slices.

You have a brunch coming up celebrating nothing extraordinary but its been awhile since you saw your buds so you need to have an epic new outfit. And not only that but you know that one girl is going to show up in her Red Bottoms, whereby mid conversation she will point them out to everyone. And even though you were all mid-conversation about the how hot we all thought Steven Tyler was in our teens, she’ll look down at her nose at you and impose the new topic about her sugar daddy who bought her 3 others just like it. So in the event, you order the best replica Birkin Bag on the market and hope it gets its ass over to you from China in time. You may even practice out loud how awesome its going to be when you tell her that you can buy your own damn designer goods and that Sugar Daddy’s are not a commodity you have time for because your too busy killin’ it at life. And then to prove your point you order bottles of the most expensive champagne, because why not, your already 8 Bellini’s in, so its basically more cost effective at this stage.

So unless you are born wealthy, won the lottery, or can suck the life right out of Daddy Warbucks little Happy Gilmore, your going to have to learn to be far more disciplined. I’ve also learned that being day drunk tipsey and having a credit card is also not wise when mall hours are still open. Pretty sure you won’t find that tip-a-roo in any Harvard Business School textbook, but you can definitely find it here on Cece D’s school of hard knocks.

It wouldn’t be until maybe 5 years ago I began saving money for my retirement. I remember when I sat with the financial advisor you’d think the panic in his face would have been enough for me to give up my Starbucks for life. What had a lingering impact however was when he asked whether I could change my quality of lifestyle upon turning 65. He said if I were to cut my monthly salary in half would I be alright with that and would that be enough to get by on? And as I sat with that question and tried to consider what I would be willing to give up I came to the conclusion. What’s the whole point of working your whole life to wind up in retirement, finally free to do whatever you want and not have the coin to fund the last chapters of your life story. Its not an ending I’d settle for!

So let me ask you when have you ever bragged about the extraordinary performance of your stocks during a girls’ night out? And if you do, then sisters…why are you not schooling the rest of us! As a woman with a now adult daughter and a career, the mind-numbing typical topics about relationships, children, and new sustainable fashion treasures have me asleep by the second round of Patron Shots that I’m usually ordering in the hopes to ignite more indecent and provocative subjects.

I don’t know what happens during a guy’s night out. I feel like there is lots of meat eating and bravado nonsense talk, but I imagine men like to show off when their portfolios are booming. And I suspect this because I love talking about my portfolio now and find myself texting/calling the male members of my family who are all heavy into trading and have done well. Now let me say this, the only time they do talk much is when the scotch is flowing, never knowing what crazy absurdity will blurt out their mouths next. Things have changed though with the introduction of my own stock market and trading knowledge whereby we have at least 15-20 minute conversations now and they are actually 55.8% sober during these moments. Impressive I know.

Boston Guys Night Out | WeekendPick

So my question is: Are women uninterested in the stock market or are they just not talking about it?

I personally have begun bringing it up every chance I can get when I’m in a social conversation. Not only because its something I’m interested in, but I am also lacking in the area of newsworthy events to discuss. The success of their attentiveness on the subject has been about 1 in every 3 who will actually engage in further conversation. While most of my women friends are professionals, business owners, and many have also spent a large chunk of their life making babies or taking care of babies. And No Judgment, somebody needs to do this job as well, and do it real good. And there are still some other topics besides family, but where shall today’s moms fit in stock shopping? The days are fully scheduled with child care, work, trying to keep fit, and self-care.

So it should come as no surprise that only 26% of American women invest in the stock market. I struggled to find the Canadian Percentage- perhaps no one knows or has bothered to care?

According to an article by the Globe and Mail A report from Boston Consulting Group published earlier this year estimates that women now control 32 per cent of the world’s wealth, and they’re accumulating that wealth at a compound annual growth rate that’s 2 percentage points higher than that of men.

Additionally, within Canada alone, a 2019 report from CIBC World Markets Inc. finds that Canadian women control $2.2-trillion of personal finance assets directly, a figure that’s expected to grow by more than 70 per cent in the next decade. A big reason for that is that women now constitute 61.4 per cent of Canada’s labour force, according to a report from Catalyst published last month.

Why Comfortable Work Shoes Are Part of Women's Empowerment – Footwear News

The author Donna Bristow-managing director of North American Wealth states when one considers Canadian women with full-time jobs make just 89 cents for each dollar earned by their male counterparts, with even wider pay gaps at senior roles. Add women’s longer lifespans and tend to peak earlier in their careers, and it’s clear that it’s even harder for women than men to save for a comfortable retirement.

In times of gender equality propagation, why the heck are we not taking care of our financial futures? Why are so many women ignoring the opportunity of building wealth?

Karolin Wanner touched on some legitimate points in her article: 4 Reasons Why Women Don’t Invest in the Stock Market

1.Lack of Knowledge and Confidence

2.Women Are Less Risk-Averse Than Men

3.Women Have Less Capital Available

4.Women Have Less Time Because They Are the Major Drivers for Household Duties and Child Care

So now that you are ready to put a power suit on and buy a briefcase in every colour, how do you begin now that you are obviously dressed for success?

10 Fascinating Facts About The Brilliant 1988 Film Working Girl

Clever Girl Finance wrote Investing For Beginners: How To Get Started with A Little Money ,an informative and straightforward guide to get you going. Not only does it touch on the To Do’s but covers the mistakes to avoid and what emotional implications to plan for. I read, and continue to read many articles like this that use common language that don’t assume that you already know what an ETF is. I look up words and terms that I’m not familiar with then I seek more insight as its no secret, I’m a social worker, not a finance major. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed if you need the Dumbest book for Dummies. For gods sake, a large majority of us took home economics in high school. Who would have thought that Skip the Dishes would bless our lives 2 decades later, now wishing we had learned finance to fund our love for Quiznos and their soft cookies at midnight on a Tuesday/Thursday and sometimes Saturday night.

Reflecting back on how I decided to begin learning about the stock market and without being cognizant of the above reasons, I’ve become kinder towards myself with regards to the mistakes of the past. And since I began this new financial interest, I’ve approached it with an uncanny ferocious sense of commitment. I admittedly sink most of my “Funny Money” into heavily researched stocks that have consequently prevented me from spending money on anything that loses value the minute is leaves the store. I’ve also shared with friends that the more money I have tied up, that the likelihood of my famous impulsive buys and spiraling Amazon Sprees is now a thing of the past.

So the next time Louboutin Linda flaunts her shoes, I’m ready to ask her about what percentage of returns those broken in heels gets her. It will go over her head and most likely no one will laugh or get it. Regardless, there’s an unmistakeable boost of confidence that comes along when taking control of your future. Move over Leonardo, here comes Cece D- The Cougar of Wall Street

The Last Laugh of Blah Blah the Clowns: First Steps to Developing our Podcast

I’d say for the last year I’ve had multiple conversations with friends about starting a podcast/vlog talk show. We’d often find ourselves bent over in laughter as the conversations and off the cuff humor would just slide off our tongues like the perfect piece of Hubba Bubba. Our brand of sidesplitting musings is offbeat and for the most part peculiar, which I believe comes from our diverse backgrounds whereby we still manage to find our lives, experiences and beliefs relatable. You see we all have a comprehensive past to draw eclectic wisdom and lessons from which have shaped us as women and empowered us even further to mastering the art of learning how to not take oneself too serious.

I’ve long let go of documenting my life via social media apps for many reasons, mostly positive. But I still get the regular reminders from followers and readers “When are you going to come back to SnapChat/Tik Tok/Instagram- you were so F******* Funny!” And to be quite honest, the pandemic has left my social life and adventures quite baron, giving me more time to spend capturing every waking breath or move of my 7 month old dog- which quite frankly I think everyone is getting sick of. But in addition to my dog obsession, I think going forward there is a better and more enriching method to share my thoughts, insights, opinions and unintentional banter that seems to appeal to the broader masses. And what better way to do than with another person, or a series of guests and folk I find intriguing.

I knew I was onto something when I personally could not quit the art of poking fun at myself- especially when others would laugh, not out of discomfort, but because they saw themselves in my flaws. In fact they also found forgiveness and acceptance along the way. Who knew what a profound impact I could have being the class clown in my adult life would have. If only my 7th grade teacher Mr. Bowers could have recognized that before I got sent to the hallway on a daily basis where I honed the skills you see today.

“If by chance some day you’re not feeling well and you should remember some silly thing I’ve said or done and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled.” -Red Skelton

In the article The Benefits of Laughing at Yourself, According to Science, psychologist and humor researcher Dr. Arnie Cann, says it all depends on context — more specifically, it’s how we choose to use humor that can lead to positive or negative effects. Laughter releases dopamine, increases blood flow, and strengthens the heart, but beyond its many health perks, a good sense of humor leads to increased optimism, which in turn, boosts our resiliency and enables us to thrive when we’re faced with adversity.

Ultimately, self-mockery should be a way of acknowledging our flaws and limitations through the softer lens of self-compassion. The act of poking fun at ourselves is admitting that we’re imperfect humans — but it’s only when we can recognize our own infallibility with kindness and grace that we’re more able to view those around us the same way. In forgiving all of our awkward mishaps, we make room so that others can, too.

So after months and months of saying we are going to do this, tonight I head over to Michella Klyne’s, fellow funny woman and master of many arts to discuss what this is all going to look like. While we are just starting at square one I know going into this that I want our content to appeal to the fellow clowns of the world, or the ones looking to earn their red nose within the journey.

There are so many “How To” Blogs and forums on this subject and I came across this list on RRS.COM that provided me the most concise approach to tackling this new project.

1. Know Your Audience, Define Your Niche

What is your topic?

The first thing everyone is going to ask when you start promoting your podcast is, “What is it about?” You need to be crystal clear on this answer if you hope to grow a loyal fan base.

You’ll want to choose a topic that you already have some knowledge of and/or interest in. Then ask yourself, what unique insight do you have to offer about it? Before you jump into recording a single episode, understand exactly what your focus is.

Another important question to ask yourself is, is this a topic that you’ll be able to produce enough content on? Some topics may seem exciting at first, but when you start considering what episodes you could create around them you may realize they don’t have enough substance to them.

Finally, can you narrow your topic down? It’s important to niche down to something specific, rather than keeping it broad. For example, talking about parenting is fine, but it may be too broad to capture — and keep — an audience.

Niche down to something more specific to create the most loyal fanbase. When you niche down your listeners will feel as though you’re talking directly to them. They don’t say “the riches are in the niches” for nothing. Put another way, the more specific your niche, the easier it will be to create episodes that are perfect for your ideal listener.

For example, instead of using the broad topic of parenting, niches for this subject could be: parenting children with special needs, parenting without yelling, parenting abroad, managing your own passions while parenting … you get the idea.

Take a moment to think about your topic now. Is it broad, or is it specific? To help determine whether or not it’s too broad, grab a pad of paper or open a word processing document and start jotting down a list of subtopics related to your current subject.

If in doing so you see that there are far too many subtopics coming to mind, it may be a sign that you need to get even more specific with the main topic your podcast will be about. On the other hand, if you can’t come up with any additional subtopic ideas, you may need a subject that is slightly broader.

Get Clear on Your Ideal Listener 💡

Who are you talking to? Why? Just like a business owner wants to determine their ideal customer, you need to figure out who that one perfect person is that you want to share your message with.

When you consider one perfect person instead of a group of people, it simplifies the process of catering content to them that they would want to listen to. Things to ask yourself as you create your ideal listener persona are:

  • Is this listener male or female?
  • What age group do they fall into?
  • Are they self-employed, an employee, unemployed, etc…?
  • What’s their social life like?
  • What are their hopes, dreams, and challenges?
  • What would they want to know about the topic of your podcast?

The more specific you can get here, the better because the answers to these questions could turn into your material for your first several episodes. Which brings us to the next section …

2. Create Episode Subjects

Now that you’ve narrowed down your focus to a single topic, can you come up with several subjects within your topic to talk about at length?

Try brainstorming a list of episode subjects to make sure there’s enough to say. If you can’t come up with enough material, you may need to choose a broader topic.

To help you in your brainstorming, think about all the aspects of your topic. If your topic is something like parenting abroad we mentioned earlier, consider all the things your ideal listener might want to know about that. Here are some examples in this niche that may inspire you in brainstorming with your own topic:

Niche – Parenting abroad

SUBTOPICS
  • Schooling while living abroad
  • Spotlight on different countries – could make for a multi-episode interview series
  • Learning more than one language
  • Dual citizenships for parents and their children
  • Becoming an expat
  • Medical care abroad
  • Visas and passports

A great place to start when thinking about your episode subjects is looking at books and blogs on the topic. Specifically, look at the table of contents in books on your subject. They are great for inspiration. 

3. Pick Your Format and Hosting Style

There are several formats a podcast can have. Your format might be educational, storytelling (nonfiction or fiction), conversational, or interviews. You can host your podcast yourself, or you can have multiple hosts as well.

Podcasting with friends

A trend we’re seeing these days in the world of podcasting is that people are creating shows with a friend or even a group of friends. What’s great about starting a podcast with friends is not only can you split the startup costs, but it can add a lot of variety to your show too.

Having multiple personalities that are hosting can add interest and pull in a wide range of listeners. It’s why shows like The View are so popular. Audience members all have their favorite host, and each one brings something different to the table.

Perhaps you have a friend, family member, or even a work colleague that you have a lot in common with. Starting a podcast could be a fabulous way to explore your interests together, and potentially even make some money along the way.

If you choose to start a podcast with friends, here a few things to consider:

  • Who will be listed as the show hosts? You could list multiple hosts, or just one “main” host.
  • What happens if one of you loses interest? Will you put the show on pause or will you have a rotating guest host?
  • Have a plan in place for how you will handle the finances. Include everything from how you will divide the costs to how you will split the profits. If your show starts making money, you’ll be glad you thought of this ahead of time.
  • Consider what happens if one of you moves, or you just want to produce the show from your own homes. For this, you’ll need additional equipment and software to record your episodes remotely.
  • Who will be in charge of what? One can edit and one can promote, for example. Think about all the tasks involved with producing a podcast, and agree on a plan for how you will divide the work.

Podcasting alone – just you and the mic

You don’t have to have anyone else on your show to be successful. Your show can be just you sitting in front of a mic telling a story, or teaching your audience something new.

To host a podcast by yourself, the work will all fall on your shoulders in the beginning. That is unless you have a company backing your show from the outset. You’ll need to come up with all the show ideas, create the content, and then market them.

This format is wonderful for podcasters who want to dip their toes into the world of podcasting before jumping in with both feet. Then again, fiction and nonfiction storytellers alike can produce dozens of episodes by themselves and grow a rabid fanbase.

If you decide to use the interview format, think about who you can interview, and create a list of people to reach out to.

If you want to do an interview-style podcast, make an interview wish list. Think of all the people who might have something to say on your topic, and start compiling their contact information.

By the way, go big with your interview wish list! You never know who will say yes to you, and the bigger the guest the larger the potential audience you’ll have to promote your show to.

Pro Tip: Four great places to start looking for guests are other podcasts, blogs, YouTube, and HARO.

HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out, and podcast hosts can sign up as a journalist on the platform to seek out guests for their upcoming shows. This is still a largely untapped source podcasters that isn’t yet saturated with hosts, so it could be a wonderful place to find experts to interview.

Network with other podcasters, bloggers and vloggers to hone in on who the best guests would be for your show. One thing you can do while networking is an attempt to become a guest on other people’s shows. Not only will this help you stay on the radar of other podcast hosts for those moments you’re looking for potential guests, but it’s also a great way to promote your own show.

Consider what subjects they can talk about, and begin designing your show around those subjects. Once you’re up and running, begin contacting and scheduling your interviewees.

guest podcasting

A few things to consider if you will be doing a lot of interviews:

  • First, you’ll need to make sure you have a podcast guest release form (download one for free here) for every guest that will appear on your show. This document will protect you from things like copyright claims, edit and payment demands, potential lawsuits and more.
  • In the beginning, you can probably get away with using a template online, but as your show grows it may be a good idea to consult with an attorney for this and all legal forms related to your podcast.
  • Schedule interviews well before you plan to launch. It’s no secret that people are busy, and you don’t want to find yourself scrambling to find a guest at the last minute so you can keep up with your posting calendar.
  • Have a launch date in mind when you start interviewing guests. This doesn’t have to be a firm date, but guests like to know an approximate date as to when their episode will be live.
  • Batch several interviews at a time so you’ll have plenty of content even if someone backs out or has to reschedule. Besides, when you batch interviews, all your equipment will already be set up giving you the ability to get more done in less time.
  • If you can have your guests market your show, it will help you grow your audience faster. Therefore, ask your guests if they will help you promote once their episode is live. Most people are willing to do so, but it helps to put the ask out there ahead of time anyway to keep it top of mind. Then, once the show is live, be sure to give them the tools to make promotion easy.
  • If you’re completely new to the interview game, you may also want to practice with friends and family before interviewing a guest for your show. While your first shows may still be cringeworthy, practicing as much as you can prior to recording the real thing never hurt anyone. Even seasoned actors do dress rehearsals and dry runs.

4. Get the Right Equipment 🎙️

Sound quality is critical in a good podcast. If people hear too much background noise or if your voice isn’t crystal clear, they’ll navigate away. 

There are far too many podcast fish in the sea. You need to make sure you make it easy for people to listen. While you technically can record a podcast with your computer’s built-in microphone, you’ll get better sound from a high-quality microphone and headphone set.

Additional podcast equipment you may want to consider includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • A computer
  • Pop filter
  • Boom stand/microphone stand

Don’t forget to purchase podcast hosting as well. Believe it or not, to get your podcast episodes on iTunes, Google Podcasts, and other outlets, you’ll need a host for your episodes. 

With RSS Podcasting, all you have to do is upload your audio files via your web browser, and we automatically generate and update your RSS podcast feed

image of new RSS podcast hosting account on a mobile device
Click the image to create your podcast RSS feed.

5. Get Recording Software

There are many free and paid options for recording and editing software. Your computer may already have Record It, or if you have a Mac,you have iMovie or GarageBand.

Alitu is also a great option as it takes care the processing, branding, publishing, and editing for you.

Tips for Recording and Editing Your Episodes

– PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

Before your first interview or recording session, you’ll want to practice with your recording and editing software. Look for tutorials online and learn everything you can about how it works. Then, record practice episodes both alone and with friends or family.

Remember, these practice sessions don’t have to see the light of day. Although it could make for some fun bloopers if you ever want to create an episode like that for your fans. The goal is to get comfortable with speaking and recording, as well as editing. That way when you’re ready for the real thing, it won’t feel as scary.

– Choose a sound-friendly recording location

While it’s true that you can clean up your sound in the editing phase, finding a sound-friendly location for recording is better for audio quality. Let’s face it though, odds are unless you have a big budget or a company backing your show, you won’t have a soundproof podcasting studio for recording your first episodes.

Choose the quietest place in your home or office to record your episodes. Some podcasters choose to record in their closets, others under blankets, and others still just try to use a place with minimal background noise and echoes. 

– Take your time

Becoming a good podcast host is a marathon, not a sprint. At first, recording and editing may take you a while, and that’s okay. You can worry about speed later. In the beginning, you should focus more on getting it right. Quality over quantity as they say.

As time goes on and you get familiar with your tools and the act of recording and editing, it will get easier and faster to produce episodes. In fact, at some point, you may even be able to hire help to scale your podcast. But, don’t feel like you have to rush to get to the big leagues. 

– Accept that there will be hiccups

If you go into this knowing that it won’t be smooth in the beginning, you’ll be less likely to get frustrated when things inevitably go awry. It’s important to know that even the most seasoned podcasters have trouble from time to time.

Episodes accidentally get deleted, guests bail without warning, entire episodes are recorded with the microphone off – it all happens, and it’s completely normal. When things go wrong, you have two choices – 1. Give up, or 2. Dust yourself off and try again. We sincerely hope you’ll always choose the latter.

Intros, Outros, and a Name

Oh my! While we’re discussing recording, now’s a good time to mention that you should also start thinking about your intro and outro, as well as your podcast’s name.

An intro is usually a 15 to 30-second audio byte introducing/opening your show. A typical intro will include music and mention the name of the show as well as who the host is. Some hosts choose to use the same intro for every episode, whereas others will change them up by season or even use a new intro with each episode they produce.

The outro is the show’s wrap-up and indicates to the listener the show is ending. In this segment, you can add a call-to-action, mention your show’s social media handles, or include a website where listeners can learn more about you.

If you’ll have music in the intro and/or outro segments, you’ll need to find royalty-free music, or create some original pieces. If you’re not using original music, do your homework about the music you’re choosing before adding it to your podcast. 

It’s important to make sure that whatever music you use is not copyright protected to avoid lawsuits, fines, and having your entire podcast shut down.

video podcasting

What’s in a name?

You might be wondering why you need to think about your name now. As you begin promoting your show and seeking potential guests, not only will they ask you what it’s about, they’ll want to know what it’s called. It’s also a good idea to start building brand awareness as you prepare to launch so that people will already be familiar with it when it comes time to go live.

Having a name in place sooner rather than later will help you with other branding decisions you’ll need to make soon as well. For example, you’ll need the name to include in your intro and outro, to purchase website name or develop a podcast page on your current website, and to snag social media handles.

We cover how to choose a name for your podcast more in-depth here, but a few tips you may want to keep in mind when thinking about your name are:

  • Unless your show is based on a geographic location, you might not want to include cities, states, or countries in the name
  • Use caution when naming it based on current trends or it might feel obsolete when the trend fades
  • Don’t rush to make your name choice, but don’t take too long either
  • Podcast names should be easier to remember
  • Finally, just because you choose a name doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it forever. You can always create a completely new show under another name later if you really want to.

Relinquishing Independence and Inviting Interdependence: Understanding When its Safe to Let Go of Control.

Solo Vacation-Its a thing “Independent Women” Do.

This is a tough post to write because simply put, I’m pissed off. I never like to write when I’m upset because often my emotions at the best of times can be fleeting and reactive. And I am glad that I took the time to take a few days to cool off before publishing this post and took time the time to reflect upon what ignited my temper tantrum. You see, I feel more and more these days that my affinity for independence, has impeded on my ability to engage and trust in the idea of Interdependence- A term that up until recently seemed like a swear word.

To provide further insight to my inner workings, I am a deeply sensitive person, who has a history of being taken advantage of in previous romantic relationships, by friends, and family. Over the years I have become far more assertive in protecting my best interests, as these experiences have not only hurt but been a reminder that I often get tired of. These experiences have served only to reinforce the idea that the only person I can count on at the end of the day to protect my achievements, growth, and my value quite frankly is me. But what if this isn’t the case all the time?

Let me also just say before my loved ones read on and feel hurt by my unhinged thought processes, allow me to shine light on you first before I go any further. I do not want to minimize the people in my life that are amazing and loving supports who have been unwavering with their loyalty to me. Without them I would not be the reasonably sane person I am today. I feel like I belong and am important to those who show me love, kindness and thoughtfulness. They aspire me to continue being who I am in my most authentic form, and also why I’m writing this today. I believe it is my responsibility to address that no negative experiences from the past is going to discourage me from being who I love to be. They allow me the safety to love fearlessly- I’m in gratitude of that.

But as mentioned above sometimes I just get tired. You see, I have been indepedent for a very long time, long before I actually had developed the skills to actually carry that out sucessfully. I was a boarding school kid who’s parents lived on the other side of the world. For the longest time I had very little need for them and relied mostly on the company and guidance of my peers and teachers at the time. So when I ventured into the cold world of hard knocks, I was simply a lamb to the slaughter, naive to the dangers and cruelty that lay beyond the borders of my prestigious boarding school campus.

It would be through a series of really crappy life lessons learned that I’d finally figure out it that is was do or die if I did not do what was necessary in terms of creating some stability. Having a daughter at the age of 22 and being a single parent had a lot to do with motivating me to be my best ally in life. I had learned through some traumatic and life altering experiences that counting on people or believing in people was never a safe option- which in hindsight is really sad, and I don’t believe this to be true for everyone. I strongly believe that my mistrust is rooted in my own trauma, and am able to see examples of people who truly can be counted on. Read Here to Learn More.

When I consider examples of the term interdependence what comes to my mind is a few of my friends who are married/common-law. I would say “happily married,” but there are days I’m sure they’d disagree with that statement. I most certainly am not the one to make any judgements on marital bliss given my own track history. So I will stick with the topic and zero in on part of their marriages that is heavily rooted in their commitment to the partnership aspect of it. I percieve this like perhaps a running contract whereby they have developed some level dependability on the other person. As in, to know that if they fall, the other will catch them. If they loose their job, they will clothe and feed them. If they want to pursue their dreams, they will carry them until they succeed, or again…catch them if they fall. The freedom to raise their children as a stay at home mom or dad and know everything will be taken care of. And if I could be perfectly honest…the freedom to be a kept Woman/Man/preferred Pronouns* le sigh….one could always wish right? My dream would also include a nanny, a cook, a personal trainer and an on call therapist that also feeds me grapes while draped in fancy loungewear.

I digressed.

But as much as brood over this idea, I don’t actually believe I could ever be that woman. My experiences have defined me, and to be honest ruined me to ever accept a life of leisure. Underneath all that layered scar tissue lives a little twinkling light of wonder that glimmers with the thought of one day letting myself kick up my feet and letting Jesus take the wheel- but with Jesus being a man, I have my doubts even with the almighty…enough said.

As I dive deeper into my own self awareness on the subject, it is not independence that I’m flouting, it is Mistrust. The kind whereby I imagine I could make someone feel “not good enough” to take on the role of being my partner. Or perhaps giving the impression that the care I require from another could ever live up to the expectations I have set for myself. I also worry about my ability to live through another disappointment that at times in my life has almost annihilated me. Yet here I stand like a bronzed statue, weathered by the storms, blessed by the luck of the seagulls excrement; my placard almost illegible. Nobody knows what to think when they see a spectacle as grand and calamitous as this but maybe admire from a distance, maybe occasionally taking a photo with it. That pretty much sums up the bulk of why few have been brave enough to tackle exploring a partnership with me. They just don’t know where to start.

But like most good parties, pity parties too must come to an end. Just as I love to take care of the loved ones in my life, I need to allow others to take the opportunity to take care of me, even if I feel that they fall short at times. Not every man or woman is meant to be kept, just as every man or women is not meant to be keeper of others. Nor should I assume that the value behind the “keeping of each other” should be measured by the means that we often run too when we think of freedom, namely financial freedom. Although if I never had to work again, that it would sit okay with me!

According to Terry Gaspard, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, “Reliance on others can be healthy and affirming. The problem is that as children we weren’t always taught how to balance self-reliance with healthy interdependence.” Terry explains “On the surface, it’s wonderful to be independent, self-sufficient and resilient. But when you believe you must do everything for yourself, you create your own demise. It’s hard to let your partner in. It’s hard to give him/her room to come through for you. But if you are ever to enjoy the full nature of intimacy, you must. In small doses, self-reliance is positive. But when it pervades your approach to the world it can deprive you of true love, commitment and trust. To avoid this fate you must learn to reign in your self-reliance, to recognize when it prevents you from trusting in your partner, and to acknowledge when it denies your partner of everything you have to give.”

Dr. Willard Harley, a marriage counselor, defines interdependent behavior as activities of a spouse that are conceived and executed with the interests of both spouses in mind. He maintains that certain levels of dependence in intimate relationships can be beneficial and promote emotional closeness.

6 Steps to Achieving Interdependence

1. Take ownership if you are too self-reliant. If it’s extreme, pinpoint the source of it and examine your thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs.

2. Challenge your beliefs and attitudes about accepting nurturing and support from your partner. Resist the urge to be self-reliant around hot-button issues such as money, work, or family matters — like how you celebrate holidays or vacations.

3. Visualize yourself in an honest and open relationship and work toward allowing yourself to be more vulnerable with your partner — a critical aspect of intimacy.

4. Remind yourself daily that it’s healthy to accept help from others and a sign of strength rather than weakness. This might also apply to your work setting.

5. Develop a policy of joint agreement if you are in a relationship. This term, coined by Dr. Harley, describes an agreement couples make to resist making decisions without an enthusiastic agreement between them and their partner — especially important ones that impact both people.

6. Adopt a mindset that it’s good to count on your partner. Believe that you can share your deepest feelings with him/her and it will promote healthy attachment, trust and intimacy. You must let them in and embrace the idea that you don’t have to go through life alone.

Dependence is often seen as a dirty word in our culture. It conjures up images of weakness and insecurity. But certain levels of dependence in intimate relationships can be helpful and sustaining. Intimacy serves to help illuminate parts of oneself never truly realized. Healthy partnerships bring out the best in people, because when they feel safe and loved, they are free to grow and explore who they are as human beings. Instead of depending on a partner, we need to seek interdependence. We must believe that we do not have to go through life alone.

“Life doesn’t make any sense without interdependence. We need each other, and the sooner we learn that, the better for us all.”

― Erik H. Erikson

As I suspected, in being overly self-reliant, I must remember that by allowing myself to depend on others, I can help develop autonomy and strength. Revealing vulnerability with my partner, has never been the issue, its the “what’s next part” that has always scared me. What if they think I’m crazy, or what will they do with this info? Will they use this to hurt me or use against me? Will they magnify my weknesses and silence my strengths? Or alternatively will Letting go of control, fear and other intense emotions help to make my relationships more solid.

Only time can tell as I grow more secure in the idea that others love me,. To accept that independence and love do not need to exist on separate planes.

When you depend on others, you are at your strongest. I will take this forward with me as I relinquish some control and communicate faith in others ability to “Take Care of Me.”

A “Hand up Mentality” – Why Women Can Be So Darn Cruel.

I believe there was a time in not too long ago that my insecurity would have suggested that the lack of interest by fellow women to engage with my projects was personal. And perhaps still may be the case, however`oblivious to it I may be. I’m often blinded by my unrealistic Utopian expectations whereby women can sit cross legged and braid each others hair in the metaphorical sense. So you can imagine when there was a call to my fierce women posse to assist with building a network of culture and support I was equally as optimistic that they would flock to the opportunity.

If you have ever had the pleasure of being in a women’s washroom at a wine festival, you will understand the energy and spirit I am trying to harness. There is such a genuine expression of love, appreciation and unbridled desire to build one another up within the confines of this little sink space empowerment. I’m sure many women can attest to entering the public washroom of a Wine fest, head hanging low with regret, then leaving this magical space tall, proud, and ready to conquer the world. I ask myself why is this so hard to recreate on a website platform or in real life, surely we are also kind and supportive humans sober too?

So I began to do a little bit of research into this and found that there isn’t any simple answers. Gender related topics can be a challenging and slippery slope to tackle as the term “Gender” becomes more fluid in society and negates many of the explanations I came across. However, I’m never one to back down from considering certain components and came across a few worth exploring.

I came across this book Hardball for Women: Winning at the Game of Business which aims to decode the male business culture and show women how to break patterns of behavior that put them at a disadvantage. Initially I had to put my feminist pride aside so that I could revert back to 1952 whereby my “femaleness” was the problem that required change so that I could consider what it was Pat Heim and colleagues were trying to teach me about gender. I went to the website where they hail to be “The Gender Experts.”

I’ll save challenging this for another day…or perhaps never.

However, the book claims that there is a natural law in the female “culture” that allegedly shapes how women interact with other women at work and in their personal lives. They call this the “power dead-even rule.”

It claims that this is a subconcous process whereby the rule governs relationships, power and self esteem.

” For a healthy relationship to be possible between women, the self-esteem and power of one must be, in the eyes of each woman, similar in weight to the self-esteem and power of the other. In other words, these key elements must be kept “dead-even.” When the power balance gets disrupted (such as a woman rising in status above other women), women may talk behind her back, ostracize her from the group or belittle her. These behaviors are to preserve the dead-even power relationship that women have grown up with their entire lives. “

How did Alanis Morissette not include a phrase from this rule in her hit song “Hand in my Pocket”?

As Jagged of a pill that this is to swallow, I can’t say I disagree with some aspects of this. However, I feel like this suggestion falls short as it considers that all women were born with vagina’s, therefore all had the same experiences growing up that shaped this governing rule. If this may be the case how do we account for trans, non-binary, gender fluid population and the space they hold in the world of power inequality?

Feeling unsatisfied with that explanation I moved onto the concept that relates to our emotional intelligence (EQ). In my quest for answers, I came across an article by Dr. Shawn Andrews who brought up the book The Power of Perception, which states “that women at higher leadership levels tend to display more male-specific EQ competencies, such as assertiveness and confidence, and leverage less female-specific EQ competencies, such as interpersonal relationships and empathy. ” The book goes on to state that if a female leaders put less of a premium on the value of relationships, that she may not spend the time necessary to cultivate relationships with junior women.

“This is also called the Queen Bee Syndrome, when women behave in ways more typical of men to display toughness and fit in. For women at the very top, part of their success is convincing men that they aren’t like other women.”

I’m sorry, in my world there is only one Queen Bee and she goes by Beyonce!

Dr. Shawn Andrews, who wrote another article for Forbes called “Leadership, Gender and the Power of In-Group Bias.” explaining the third reason. To summarize, Dr. Shawn explained that when the competition for “spots” in favored in-groups increases, women are less inclined to bring other women along. This can happen when there are few females in an organization or few females in leadership roles.

They go on to say a fourth reason is that because of obstacles women face in their career and corporate environments, and the achievement of hard-fought success, their attitude toward other women is “I figured it out, you should too.” Executive women are often overly encumbered with daily duties and responsibilities and don’t take the time to mentor and support young women.

I’m sorry…. I’ve watched women in my field of social work be extremely “overly encumbered” by duties before, during and after hours and take on mentor roles.

Poppycock!

However in that fourth statement, it speaks directly to the reasoning to why my Feature Friday was created. There is a reason why there were “Men’s Only Clubs” that sought to foster wealth from within a privileged group. If you have ever stepped foot into the Petroleum Club in Calgary you’ll understand even though it members are welcomed from both men and women. However historically membership was help by high ranking oil and gas executives which were positions typically held by men. I myself have witnessed the undying culture of brotherhood called “The Old Boys” within my private school of Shawnigan Lake School. I had arrived only 2 years after they went Co-Ed so I understand this concept well. I’ve watched them publicly grope and make the young girls serving them uncomfortable at times on Alumni weekends with nothing said to prevent it from occurring. I’m guilty as well of participating as I said nothing and just glared feeling somewhat powerless in a room full of Old Boys who were “Just having fun.”

Who was I to spoil that?

*Cringe

But within that moment of regret, I also remember better times when one of the first girls to attend the historically all boys school became Head of School in her grade 12 year. I was privileged to be surrounded by a Kaleidoscope of brilliant young women who worked collectively to navigate within this old patriarchal system and go on to take their place at the top. When I look at what the formula was for this success, it was really quite simple. A unified and loyal sense of sisterhood whereby we were only as strong as the weakest link and if one of us was floundering, we all surrounded her to rebuild and carry her to the finish line. Shout Out to all my School House Gang! Woop Woop!

With that being said, perhaps my motivation is based in nostalgia, or perhaps a deeper desire to debunk the hard truths discussed above. The whole preface of my blog platform is to spread and celebrate women’s energy. I identified within my own frustrations and experiences a huge void that needs to be filled for women to begin supporting one another in business. I continue to urge my colleagues, readers and blogging community to apply for the next Feature Friday so we can celebrate you and inspire others alike! Blogging strategy is often based on building higher Blog traffic in order to allow typically invisible small businesses to be brought to the forefront of Search Engine Optimization. So Share, Share, Share!

If you like what you have read and want to read more articles alike please see my other blogging and social media sites.