Why I Started a Podcasting

At the beginning of the year, I made a promise to myself that I would step further out of my comfort zone. With the ability to finally get my thoughts out on paper with the blog, I figured I would take it a step further, and put my voice on the air. I have had relative success on Live video on Facebook and I was a guest on a few podcasts prior to my launch.

Once I launched episode one of the Whoisvgt3 Project, I was hooked. Prior to this, I was fearful. What if I sound stupid? What if I say something stupid? What if I say something controversial and the mob attacks? What if no one wants to be a guest? How the hell do I even start? These fears ultimately drove me to actually hit the record button. I had to tell myself that regardless of the circumstances I am a creator. I have thoughts. I have ideas. So I figured it out, and it was actually easier than I originally thought. I have seen a number of blogs and youtube videos with established podcasters like the Joe Rogans and the alike, I checked out their equipment and it far exceeded my budget. I quickly realized I just needed a few things. Not even necessarily needed, I already had. I had my thoughts, I already had a microphone, and a computer. All I needed in a sense was a platform and an RSS feed to broadcast to other platforms. I found the anchor.fm had the ability for a simplistic approach to podcasting and allowed me to learn the basics while not overwhelming with information.

After I got going, I also made a goal. I needed at least one podcast a week. Knock on wood I have been able to maintain that, and I will likely be able to exceed this number if I continue my current trajectory.

So now we get to my “why”. Why I have a love for the art of podcasting. I call it an art because there is something special about being able to sit down and converse with people. It is a developed skill. Most people that have conversations today whether it be on social media, which is most conversations, or in-person our knee jerk reaction is to listen to respond and not listen to understand. 

I quickly learned that it isn’t always about me talking, but me listening and understanding someone else’s perspective. In a short amount of time, I realized that it isn’t about me it’s about me being able to provide a platform for people to discuss thoughts and their ideas. Over just 11 episodes in I have had very raw and personal conversations that have made me feel inspired, gratuitous, and humbled. From casual conversations to in-depth raw conversations that left me in tears or laughter.

It comes from a genuine place because I am naturally curious. I also care, which I think helps. I care what people are into. I like to take a look inside people’s thought process and ask myself why do they think this way, good or bad. I like to analyze people’s successes and failures to provide a roadmap for those who listen that may be experiencing similar events in their lives.

I enjoy spending time catching up with old friends, and people that may have never gotten the opportunity to be on a podcast. People that are curious or have something that they want to get off their chest. I’ve utilized the platform in a way that I don’t say no to a potential guest. I love telling stories and sharing my thoughts but I enjoy listening to others even more. From surviving cancer to gaining insight on religion, from talking hip hop to talking politics, I feel that no conversation is off the table.

If you’re thinking about doing a podcast, I think you should do it. Be warned, there are some downsides. It takes a little bit of upfront capital if you haven’t already invested in some basic equipment. Microphone and computer. As the podcast grows I do plan on investing more into more sophisticated equipment. The next couple of downsides are that it takes time and energy. I fear that there will be a day when I am overwhelmed with requests, and I have to make sacrifices whether it is on the content or my personal life, there is a give and take. I hope to continue being in a position to provide the platform that many have tuned into and been a part of, and for that, I am extremely thankful.

Below I have included multiple ways to listen to the podcast. I hope that you all enjoy the content and if you feel compelled to, subscribe and rate the podcast as it helps with getting more potential followers.

iTunes

Google Podcast

Spotify

Anchor.FM

Radio Republic

Breaker

Until next time,

signing off til next time

Do Good…just because

Over the last few months, I have been attached to a constant thought about doing good things in my life. Not for personal gain, not for fame or glory, but just to do good. I currently have my hands in a lot of pots right now. From the blog to podcasting, to streaming video games, and currently going to school for IT. On top of that, I have an obligation to my children as their father and as I watched them grow I constantly ask myself if my actions are in line with what I want to teach them.

I’ve been in positions throughout the last decade ranging from the military to a small business owner, and semi-influencer level to shape and mentor many people. As transparent as I can be I have not always been the type to do good just because, but often I found that I was doing something to get something in return.

This leads me to today. I work as an in-home expert for a large corporation, Asurion. If you have phone insurance, chances are Asurion is the under-writer for your plan. My job is simple yet complex. I help people set up, activate, and ensure their information is transferred to their replacement device. We also are tasked with selling a new program that covers the rest of the electronics in their home. Over the last eight months that I’ve been in the position, I’ve restructured how I approach sales. I don’t. I no longer worry about the sale. I worry about the customer. I focus 100% on the customer and their needs. I see fellow experts down and out because they are graded on this performance and the other night I had to jump on my soapbox and tell them that it doesn’t matter. While my leadership might think it would be counter-intuitive to tell my colleagues that metrics don’t matter, I felt a lot of weight being lifted off their shoulders. I simply told them. Do good, just because it is the right thing to do. Take care of the customer’s needs. Make them your friend and if you get a sale cool, if you don’t it doesn’t mean that you’re less of an expert.

In my position, I see certain individuals seeking praise from leadership. They want the gold star and the pat on the back. They want the accolades and the trophies. While that’s fine and dandy I believe in a higher purpose. I want to do things not because I will get recognized. I just want to provide an excellent customer experience. I want to make someone smile. Make someone laugh.

Not only do I see it in my job but I see it across the board. I see it in life.

I’ve also been studying a lot of philosophy lately and I ask myself why do good things? Why not be an asshole? Why don’t I treat people like shit? The answer is simply because I love people.

I’ve been through hurt and pain. I don’t want anyone to feel that way. Furthermore, I believe that positivity breeds more positivity and negativity breeds more negativity. So if I see someone struggling I want them to know that they are not alone and I have their back.

A few days ago an employee of mine sent me a LinkedIn article talking about bad leadership. To summarize it talked about a boss yelling at an employee for him being late one time in about six months of working with the company. The boss told the employee next time you’re late you won’t have a job, without even talking with him and figuring out why he was late in the first place. After he was embarrassed he started looking for other jobs. The trust was lost. The loyalty between the employee and the company was abandoned. Below my employee wrote, “This is why you made a great leader, keep up the positivity and shine your light.”

I told him, “I think the difference between me and them is that I honestly, to my core, care. I loved serving you and being a part of your journey.” I just wanted to do good things, regardless of what I got in return. I was afforded an opportunity to lead young minds and shape what a leader is supposed to be and now they will go on to do the same thing. Through my learnings of leadership, I’ve learned great leaders don’t make more followers, great leaders create leaders.

Shifting gears to my current position, I was asked. How do I get sales? This comes from the fact that I am one of the top performers in the Milwaukee market. I told them what I do isn’t teachable. What I do is care. I don’t expect anyone to buy from me. I don’t expect anything from anyone. Maybe it comes from serving my country, serving my employees, serving my team. I have always served without the thought of recognition, or reward. I just like to know that I am impacting those around me to do positive things.

My hope is that with this message we stop asking what is in it for us, but what is in it for the better of humanity. It’s time to do good, just because.

until next time,

I am Vernon Gene Thornton III, aka whoisvgt3 and I approve this message.