Discover more from Michelle Elisabeth Varghese
Hit Send Early
“I don’t know if we are ready to share the podcast tomorrow. We should wait to make some changes, we could probably fix things, listen to the audio again…” I trailed off, searching for more excuses.
“I sent it,” Sammie announced, ignoring me.
She published our podcast a day early.
This was two years ago when my sister, Sammie, and I launched our podcast, Status Post Adulting, into the world.
When I found out Sammie published our first episode, I knew there was nothing I could do. Still, I felt the feelings of doubt and uncertainty rise up inside of me.
The perfectionist in me wanted to wait until we had every detail polished before shipping our first episode. I had just been let go of my job, and I was afraid to be publicly vulnerable. I didn’t want the world to watch me as I tried to make a name for myself as a podcaster.
Luckily, my sister ignored me and hit send early.
Even after Sammie hit publish, I asked her if we could wait to tell people about the podcast. She agreed for about one minute before getting antsy and texting her friends with the link to listen.
My insecurity was replaced with jealousy as her friends let her know how excited they were, so I started to text a few of mine too.
I was reflecting on this as our two year podcast anniversary is today.
We were lucky to have author of The Pathless Path, Paul Millerd, on to interview this week and something he said stuck out to me.
I didn’t want to fail boldly, I didn’t want to succeed boldly either
Paul was talking about the beginning of his creator journey. Thinking back to how scared I was to publish our first episode, I see that I was afraid to boldly launch our podcast into the world.
I was afraid that if I told people about our podcast, then they would see me as I really am: an earnest creator daring to try and make a name for myself.
In my head, I started to imagine all my haters.
My old coworkers laughing at me for leaving my job to launch a podcast.
Random acquaintances wondering how my life led to this point.
To boldly try something different attracts attention. I assumed this was a bad thing. All I could imagine was the opportunity to fail in front of my peers.
What happened instead was the complete opposite.
Thanks to my sister, we did publish our podcast and we did tell our friends and family members.
Everyone was supportive, curious, ecstatic and overall proud that we decided to launch a podcast.
It was never about failing or succeeding. There are so many moments I will treasure forever no matter where my creative projects lead.
One of my favorite memories is when my sister and I visited our childhood friend last summer. Our friend had recently beaten cancer so we wanted to get together and celebrate.
Selflessly, my friend bragged to everyone at her get together about our podcast and insisted they download it on their phone. When we left her home, she gifted us with two sky blue coffee tumblers that she had engraved with our “Status Post Adulting” logo.
When she showed us the tumblers, she apologized that she only had one to give us. She had sent an online company a screenshot of our logo from Instagram as a reference for the engraving.
Instead of looking at only the logo, the company engraved a silver image of the whole Instagram post - likes, captions and all. Our friend said she was going to throw the flawed tumbler away, but I asked if we could keep it.
A part of me treasures that one a little more.
To me, the tumbler represented this idea of imperfect execution over perfection.
When we visited my friend a few months later, we saw all the same people again. They were singing our theme song, sharing episodes they enjoyed and letting us know what they wanted us to talk about next.
I’m lucky that there are so many people in my life who are rooting for me. I also started to learn that it’s OK to build and grow in public.
Writing and Tweeting
When I started writing online a few months ago, I carried these lessons with me.
I learned that people don’t mysteriously stumble upon your work if you’re keeping it safely bubble wrapped in a box.
So even before I thought I was any good, I started to share my writing.
I got onto Twitter, even though for years, I made being anti-social media my personality.
I leaned into the tightness, discomfort and cringe that bubbles up inside of me when I push myself to share my writing online.
At first, each tweet, many tweets, received 0 likes.
My three followers were not particularly engaged.
Then, one day, I got two likes. Drunk on my virality, I kept going.
My writer friend Sandra ofcommented on one of my early tweets, not so innocently asking me to share a link to my essay. It was that little bit of support that gave me permission to be even more shameless with sharing my work.
Slowly, the magic started happening again.
When I shared my essays on Twitter, people engaged with my writing.
Camilo, a friend that I met in someone else’s comments, asked me to chat about taking a sabbatical from work.
That same comment section is where Paul Millerd saw my essay on getting fired and he shared it on his profile and newsletter, Boundless by Paul Millerd.
Before this, I had no idea that people would be interested in hearing about my journey out of the corporate world. The conversations that followed inspired me to write more essays including Sabbatical Mindset, one of my most shared pieces of writing.
Over the last few months, writing friends, peers and even strangers have reached out in response to my writing and my podcast. Many people share how my stories resonated with them and have written personal messages opening up about their own stories.
Some people simply send encouraging messages in my DMs.
All of this happened because with the support of others, I boldly shared my work.
Each time I hit publish, whether or not it was an essay, a podcast episode or a tweet, I was putting something out into the universe inviting like minded people to come engage.
There’s no failing or succeeding when it comes to publishing online. That was the wrong way to approach creating and publishing.
Now, I see that every person has a story to share, a unique look at the world that is going to resonate with somebody.
I wish there was a way to capture all of this in a neat framework for people so that I could encourage them to do the same.
The thing about sharing your work is you and I can’t predict the outcome.
I can’t promise that the world is going to see you and that magical things will happen.
But if you never publish, I can guarantee that nothing will.
Be bold. Hit send early.
I’m grateful for all of you who have supported me on this journey. There’s more people than I could possibly name. If you are reading this, you are one of those people. Thank you.
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