👻 Be a Ghost + Patty Steele

Presented by Memberful

Presented by Memberful

The process of writing your second draft is the process of making it look like you knew what you were doing all along.

Neil Gaiman

👻 Be a Ghost

I love the Ambies. It brings creators together for a night of celebrating shows that make us laugh, think, or in special cases, change us. But what I enjoy most is the energy I get from being around people who truly love and care about the stories they’re telling, the experiences they’re creating.

Because the day after the awards show, a week later, a decade beyond, the creative machine still needs its coal—it doesn’t get easier because of a trophy and round of applause. In fact, if our focus drifts too much toward recognition, it can blind us, stripping us of the joy of the process.

We can become our own venom.

Luckily, we’re also the antidote.

So be a ghost. Put your head down and steal away to the lab, pouring yourself into your next episode. If your time on the stage never comes, it won’t matter. Because every day, creative growth is a reward within your grasp.

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🎙️ Signal Flow: Patty Steele

Industry game changers and valiant minds from creative professions share their wisdom, adversities, and paths to innovation.

Patty Steele, host of The Backstory with Patty Steele

Patty Steele is a legendary figure in the radio broadcast industry. She has worked alongside some of radio’s most iconic personalities such as Elvis Duran, Scott Shannon, Danny Bonaduce, and John Lander. As a co-host to all of the above, Patty brought her insights, humor, and sincerity to a medium where longevity is solely equated with massive listenership. Her podcast, The Backstory with Patty Steele, explores the pieces of history you didn’t know you needed to know.

The way radio evolved, it got away from being natural. Everything was “get set in two seconds and get out and keep moving.” Over the years radio became very, very corporate. The joy of just communicating got lost in the need to please people in glass offices.

The beauty of podcasting is it’s a much more intimate medium. One of the things I really love is it can be niche, sort of esoteric. You don’t have to worry about whether the masses are going to turn it off because they don't want to hear about XYZ.

If you can give listeners something they really can't get anywhere else, that's not only a great gift to a listener, it's also a great gift to the person doing it because you're speaking from your mind and your heart.

The Backstory shares wonderful little stories from history and the episodes are only six or seven minutes long. The greatest compliment I’ve gotten from listeners is they wish the episodes were longer. What that tells me is those six or seven minutes are packed with lots of information and it’s whetting their appetite for history. I’m setting them up to explore.

I want people to fall in love with history and what it means to who we were, who we are now, and who we might become.

We all desperately need to feel like we have an escape, to just sit back and relax. And sometimes it just takes six or seven minutes. It’s the beauty of short stories as opposed to novels. 

One of the greatest classes I ever took was a theater voice and speech class in college. It gave me so many tools for relaxing my vocal cords, where to speak from, reaching down and allowing your diaphragm to project your voice. If you’re a podcaster, check out YouTube for classes like these. They’re a game changer.

There’s a tea that I use, if I really need it for my voice, called Throat Coat. It’s all herbal and natural and has no caffeine and it has this softening effect on your throat. Highly recommend it.

One of the greatest things about my podcast is everything I'm reading, I would be reading anyway. And now I have something to do with all of that information.

The download numbers matter, sure, but first on my list for my podcast has to be the joy of curiosity through creating and sharing. I’m a firm believer that the success will follow.

Monetization is something I’m still learning about. It's a terrible thing to have to worry about when I just told you that curiosity is number one. But we all have to keep a roof over our heads. That’s the double-edged sword in any creative endeavor.

My friend Steve Goldstein said to me that when you make a buck off of something, the beauty of that is it tells you what you're doing is desirable. And it also tells other people that what you're doing is desirable. And it increases your opportunities to continue to grow and do more.

🥾 Further Exploration

In a pinch for time but need something to ground you from the stress of the day? Check out The Space, an ultra-short-form podcast (about 1-4 minutes in length) that offers a mini escape each morning and evening with short meditations. Bonus: The show’s S-tier episode titles are inspiration in their own right.


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Until next time, have a bold week.

- Doug

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