Back in 2014 I started a Christian apologetics podcast called Apologetics 105. After one year, I had nearly 20,000 downloads across 20 episodes. Not a huge listener base, but the engagement was there, and it was a lot of fun. I stopped doing that podcast for two reasons: (1) I felt that I had exhausted all of my personal knowledge on the topic and I did not want to be disingenuous and (2) All of that fun I was having stopped.
I tell you this because I am nearing 20 episodes on Rob Talks Money and I have not hit the 500-download mark yet.
If I were looking at likes and followers, I would obviously go back to where I built a listener base quickly, but I don’t look at those things as a single measure of success because that isn’t the best barometer to judge things on. If a podcast hits, like Joe Rogan’s for example, then you can look at growth as a sign of whether things are going well. But lack of growth doesn’t mean lack of success.
Honestly, what’s important to me and why I started this business is because I wanted to help people. Simple as that. I thought people were being screwed over in the financial sector and I wanted to at least be a local or regional voice that could help people in my town, county, or state.
If each show gets 10 listeners, that’s fine. If a Facebook post gets no likes, that’s fine. If a tweet is sent out and it goes into the dark mystic of the internet, that’s fine too. I don’t do this for the numbers or the attention, I do it because the people that I have helped have told me it’s worth continuing because it could help more people. I do it because I know the advice I am giving is actually resonating with the people following it.
I have read many blogs and listened to “businessmen” podcasts where they revolve primarily around numbers. They have said that if you are not getting big numbers then it must be a failure.
I don’t think that’s true.
A few months ago, I watched the movie The Founder. It was about Ray Kroc and how he started franchising McDonald’s restaurants for the McDonald brothers and went onto buy them out of the company. There is a scene in the movie where Ray is talking to the brothers about how they came up with the idea for McDonald’s and it was a rollercoaster of a story.
The thing that stuck out to me the most is one of the brothers concluded the story by saying, “And there you have it, an overnight success 30 years in the making.” And he’s exactly right.
Big things don’t happen overnight. Rhianna didn’t wake up one morning #1 on the Billboard 100 with no effort or work. There was a time when no one knew who Rhianna was. Comedian Rodney Dangerfield quit standup in his twenties (he says because he sucked) and sold aluminum siding. He didn’t “hit the big scene” until he was around 44.
Point is, a lot of people find their value in likes, comments, and followers. I find mine in the self-awareness that I have and the peer-reviews that I receive.
You should too.