I Have  A Fear of Heights

When I was 17 years old I fell through a ceiling. Luckily I got stuck on my way to landing on the table of knives right beneath me. I was working in a grocery store and was walking back and forth on two 2 X4 pieces of wood. One was on the top of a walk-in freezer, and the other end of the planks rested on a three-inch lip of the heating duct. My trainer showed me how to walk over, pull out a filter and explain how to put the new one in. I had to remove probably 5-7 filters. The last thing he said before he climbed down the freezes was “whatever you do, don't fall through the ceiling.”

I was able to replace all the filters. Each time I would just walk backwards to the freezer. This time I wanted to turn and walk forward. When I did, for a very brief moment both my feet were on one of the boards instead of two and that board teetered another to make me lose my balance. The ceiling below me was a drop ceiling with those thin white strips and foam ceiling tiles. While a million thoughts went through my head when I realized I was indeed going to fall I stretched my body out as far and wide as I could. This spread me weight out across the tiles and while my legs went through, the top half of my body was laying flat on the tiles. The ceiling started to bend, and it was just a matter of time before the whole thing would cave in. I took all I had (and between you and me – I got some help from my invisible sky buddy) and threw myself back on the freezer. I pulled back the insulation I had just bangled to look down at a table where they cut meat to see I would've landed on a pile of knives. All this to say that after that day, I've had a fear of heights.

True or False: Starting a Podcast is Hard

I recently spoke the Utah Podcast Summit. This was year two for this event, and it was impressive. I had a blast talking to everyone, and then I took two days to go hiking with my friend (and former School of podcasting member) Eliqikte from the Travel Gluten Free Podcast. In my presentation, I asked

True or False, starting a podcast is hard. Answer? False. You can fire up your phone and use an app like backpack studio and have it upload to Libsyn and be on the Internet in minutes. There are THOUSANDS of podcasts left to do from Anchor.fm users who started a podcast and quit after one episode. Why?

Start a Podcast May Require Your To Overcome Fear

Starting a GOOD podcast is hard. Overcoming your fear may be hard, but starting a podcast can be very easy.

Often we worry about things we don't need to worry about.

“Everyone will hear me.” – TRUTH when you first start off if you have no current following very few people will hear you.

“I'm afraid of sounding stupid.” – TRUTH this is not radio. You can edit out every stupid thing you say. Don't believe me? Then you've not been listening to the bloopers I put at the very end of most of my episodes.

” I don't understand tech” and yet you've figured out the fax machine, email, CDs, and all the other technology that has come along.

Hiking in Utah is Different than Hiking in Ohio

My friend Elikqitie told me, “If you're coming to Utah -YOU HAVE TO GO HIKING.” I've been trying to say Yes to more things this year, and so I agreed. There is more to this story though. Not only am I afraid of heights, but I also have sun poisoning. In other words, I'm allergic to the sun. This is why Casper looks at me and says “Man are you WHITE!”

So I was afraid of heights and afraid of burning to a crisp. How did I overcome my fear?

Get a Guide/Mentor To Help You Avoid Mistakes

Elikqitie got on a Zoom call and watched me shop for a backpack with a built-in water system, a hat to shade my face and neck, and some long sleeved shirts that had built-in UV protection. She saved me from spending too much money on stuff I didn't need, and let me know when I could go with an “off brand” to save me additional money.

Everything Was Cool Until the Last Hike

I was having a great time (Elikqitie is a great guide) and the last hike to the “Delicate Arch” was pretty much straight up. I am not in the best of my life. I had walked 10 miles the day before and had already done another 8 miles today. We started up the hill, and about halfway up we started taking breaks so I could catch my breath. I wanted to kick every sign I saw with the word “Trail” and it just pointed straight up. When we were getting close to the top, I noticed I was a sweaty mess, and I could feel my heartbeat in my temples. My body really was saying, “Um Dave? Watcha doin?”

It's Just Around The Corner

People kept telling me, “It's just around the corner.” This whole time I was walking on rocks that were as wide as a whale. Paths were often six feet wide it not more. Throughout all the hiking I had been able to control how far from any edges I got. I had not had a problem, but when we went around the corner the path went from six feet wide to probably three. Everyone had to go single file and if you looked to your left you will notice a drop straight down hundreds of feet.

Getting Control of Your Mind

In my mind, my inner voice was screaming “HEY WHERE DID THE PATH GO? –  I'M GOING TO DIE – DON'T LOOK AT THAT! (too late).  So I controlled what I could control.

My eyes – quit looking left, and instead look at the path and your feet

My feet – taking bigger steps will mean I get off this cliff sooner

My breathtaking deeper breaths might give my brain what it needs – oxygen.

“H.O.P.E. = Have Only Positive Expectations”. – Anonymous

The View From the Top Was Amazing

When I turned the corner I saw the Delicate Arch. I watch the sunset on it and made some friends.

You may be worried about things you don't have to worry about. I would love to be your guide and help guide you through the paths of podcasting.

It may be a little scary, but when you see your show in all the apps, the view is worth the struggle.

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one.”?—?Elbert Hubbard

The Confidence-Competence Loop

The walk down wasn't completely calm, but it was a lot less scary. This is due to the confidence-competence loop which is:

Learning leads to competence leads to confidence. Confidence leads to learning leads to competence leads to confidence (you get the idea).


If you're stuck and can't get over your fear, find a guide to help you over the hurdles.

Take some time to think about where your fear comes from, and see if you can understand it. It is real? Is there a real threat?

Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that could happen?

Be prepared for your brain to get triggered so you can acknowledge your fear, face it, and focus on the things you control.

You got this. If you need help, reach out. I'd love to help

One Trait That Engaged Audiences Have: Belief

I spoke at the Utah Podcast Summit and something came to me when I was thinking about engaged audiences. They share something. BELIEF. While religion has a group of people who share beliefs, if you think about groups like Vegans, or the Dave Ramsey “Debt is Bad” listeners. They share a belief that unites them. The No Agenda Show is having meetups around the world WITHOUT THE HOSTS. Why?

Because the audience wants to have conversations with like-minded people.

What Will Your Audience Say You Believe?

When I asked the members of the School of Podcasting they stated:

“Content is King” and “Anchor Sucks” or “Know your audience.” While these are not shocking, I'm pretty sure the people at Anchor are not happy that I am so vocal about my disdain about their platform. You need to be yourself and realize IT'S OK if not everyone likes you. They typically just leave, and you never hear from them.

School of Podcasting Testimonial: Shane Wayley

Shane does three podcasts: Spybrary, Tourpreneur, and Radio GDR

This is Shane Wally from Spybrary, Tourpreneur, and Radio GDR.  I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the school of podcasting course because the cool thing about what you've done there is I had to launch two podcasts one was a hobby cast (fine if it goes wrong). Tourpreneur is all about the tour business.  It's it's something I tried to make a business out of and I needed it to be professional looking sounding and available where you can find all good podcasts.

What I love about the School of podcasting course you have all the modules clearly labeled, I was able to get in what I needed, and actually, implement it. And in record time got the shows out there because most of us know that if we don't have guidance from people like you, it can be a bit of a nightmare.

So I love that you have everything in one place clearly labeled, and you have a gift sir, and I think all your listeners will agree. You can take quite technical subjects and break them down for layman like me to understand. I could wax lyrical about this for a long time, but I really wanted to give you my thanks publicly. I also wanted to assure anybody out there who is on the fence, either about starting a podcast and they're overwhelmed or they've been using out of date YouTube clips and even more frustrated, to just bite the bullet just sign up to Dave's course.

Because it's all there. He really does flatten the learning curve. You'll have your podcast up and running in no time. I also I have to say because I don't think you talk about this enough Dave,  your office hours, you give coaching outside, of the courses. You also have been really cool to me by being available on email for a couple of snags I had with my sound quality. It's not just the courses but the support that comes with it.

Dave has not paid me for this testimonial. This comes from the heart, Dave, you've been a huge help to me in what I'm trying to achieve with my podcasting. Thank you.

Shane Whaley

Question of the Month:

Have you celebrated a milestone episode? What did you do? If you have a milestone coming up do you have any plans? Have you listened to milestone episodes? What worked? What didn't/

Let me know by June 21 2019

Mentioned In This Episode

Utah Podcast Summit

Travel Gluten Free Podcast

Shirts That Provide UV Protection

TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack

3 Month Podcast Quick Start Package

Your Podcast Consultant

Ask the Podcast Coach

Podcast Review Show

Podcast Rodeo Show

Power of Podcasting Network

Spybrary, Tourpreneur, and Radio GDR

Work With Me

Join the School of Podcasting or let me be your podcast mentor

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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.
1 comment on “Overcoming Your Fears So You Can Start Your Podcast
  1. Teresa Whittet says:

    Oh my goodness!! Loved this episode Dave… especially how you explained the correlation between your near death experience to starting a podcast.
    I’ve been listening to your School of Podcasting for a while (when everyone else is listening to music at work?)and THIS episode is my favourite! I always get your enthusiasm in your podcasts but this one I felt your passion for teaching AND podcasting! I’ve been planning a podcast for year now(don’t ask) but you’ve convinced me with this one episode to just to it! Way to go and thank you!
    Sorry you had to got through that experience but you’ve proved that we can accomplish anything with “mind over matter” and push through with determination!
    Thanks again and keep on being you! ?? Teresa Whittet

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