We learn by doing things poorlyYou get to do something new. You've never done it before, and you are feeling uncomfortable. In some cases, that feeling will stop you from starting your podcast. Today, we talk about that feeling and how to overcome it. If you can't get yourself over the hump, this episode will help.


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Think About Your Firsts

If you remember the first time you tried something, it typically wasn't great.

  • First Kiss
  • Riding a bike
  • Driving alone (especially on the freeway)
  • First day of school

We Learn From Doing Things Poorly

Last week, I burned some toast. I've been making toast for 50+ years. I forgot to set it back after doing a muffin. Have you ever bounced a check? Forgot to write something down? Been in a car accident? Been divorced? We learn by trying things, producing a “rough draft” (if we were writers), and the next time we try it we often do better.

My Pep Talk

People often say my show is funny.

I've made people laugh in very tense situations, so I had the ability

I had played the guitar in front of thousands of people and led classes for decades. Public speaking was not the issue.

I practiced over and over and over. I would time it and got it to where I didn't forget anything the night before.

When Our Fears Leave Us Frozen

I was asked to do 5 minutes of stand-up comedy at a Cancer and Comedy event. I've never done stand-up and didn't really want to do it. My friend needed someone to fill in the “opening act” and so my desire to help my friend had me saying “yes.” It also had to be clean comedy as it was being held in a church.

I had been brainstorming for a few weeks and decided to reshape a talk I had done for a high school reunion. In this case, I had no idea who my audience would be. I didn't really test my material (besides the reunion evening). I didn't want to let Brad down for asking me.

A friend of mine, who I thought was pretty funny, had done a set at an amateur night and just bombed.

I thought about that time in elementary school where the minute my first choir performance had me vomiting the minute the last note was over.

I can speak in public. I do it all the time. This was trying to make people laugh—something I had never done before.

Change Your Thinking and Your Focus

When Brad came up and asked me how I was doing, I said, “I love you (for the opportunity), and I hate you (as I was WAY out of my comfort zone).

As this was something I had never done before, I felt something I had never felt before. I didn't know what I was feeling. I felt like I was going to explode.

So, I embraced my uncomfortableness.

If we learn by doing new things, on the other side of this awkwardness is a lesson.

So try not to focus on how YOU FEEL but instead on how your content will make YOUR AUDIENCE feel.

Also, new podcasters get petrified of THE AUDIENCE. The average podcast episode on Libsyn gets less than 200 downloads. The media podcast on Buzzsprout is 33.

When your need to serve is stronger than your fear of looking unprofessional, you will press record.

Dave's First Comedy Stand Up

Press Record

Remember This Last Point

When we look at people who are really good at something, it didn't happen overnight.

Podcast Rewind:
I appeared on episode 16 of Tell Me How You're Mighty: Infidelity Survival Stories.


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 Mentioned In This Episode

Join the School of Podcasting Community

Cancer and Comedy Podcast

Start Ugly: A Timeless Tale About Innovation & Change

Streamyard Livestreaming Tool

Ecamm Livestreaming Tool

Alec Johnson Take One Tech Academy

Building a Better Dave “Was Frosty Depressed?”

Building a Better Dave “Amish Porn”

Better Dave, “It's Your Birthday”

Profit From Your Podcast Book

Power of Podcasting Network

Dave's YouTube Channel

Dave's Podcasting Newsletter

Buy Dave a Coffee

Put Dave In Your Pocket


00:00:00 – How We Learn

00:01:04 – Introduction

00:01:41 – Getting The Nerve to Podcast

00:03:28 – The Invite

00:09:07 – Performance Night

00:10:51 – I'm Going to Explode

00:11:28 – Pep Talk

00:13:38 – What is This I'm Feeling?

00:14:21 – Brain Tatoos

00:15:30 – Switch Your Thinking

00:18:22 – Daves Comedy Set

00:24:20 – Daves Comments

00:26:16 – The Magic of Podcasting

00:28:00 – Serve over Fear

00:29:11 – Join the School of Podcasting

00:30:10 – Podcasting Tips

00:30:27 – One Way To Get Past Your Fears

00:31:56 – Invest In Yourself

00:34:40 – Podcast Rewind

00:37:09 – Question of the Month

00:38:09 – Live Appearances

00:38:38 – We Learn From Mistakes

00:39:48 – The Goal of This Episode

00:40:21 – Follow the Show

00:40:45 – Bloopers



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About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.

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