Behind The Scenes Of The First Season Of Unleashing Your Great Work | UYGW27

After 27 episodes, the first season of Unleashing Your Great Work is coming to a close. Amanda digs into what it has been like to learn podcasting. She shares what has surprised her about doing an interview-style podcast show. She also shares the lessons she’s learned in the second half of the season from her guests. Listen in for this special behind the scenes episode!

Join us as we discuss:

01:07 How Dr. Amanda launched her podcast by mistake.

04:17 Why it is essential to know your own skills and preferences.

05:42 Solo episodes versus interview episodes.

07:00 How Dr. Amanda was surprised to discover how much she learned about great work by talking to people who are doing it.

09:11 The top lessons that Dr. Amanda learned from the second half of the first season of Unleashing Your Great Work.

13:15 There are real skills to great work.

17:26 The most interesting thing about interviewing people on a podcast.

About the Host:

Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist, speaker, author and coach changing our perspective on the world of work. It IS possible to do Great Work– launch a successful business, make a scientific discovery, raise a tight-knit family, or manage a global remote team– without sacrificing your health, happiness and relationships.

Amanda is the Author of the forthcoming book, Great Work: Do What Matter Most Without Sacrificing Everything Else, and the creator of the Great Work Journals. Amanda’s TEDx talk has received more than a million views and has been featured on TED’s Ideas blog and Ted Shorts.

Her ideas have also been featured on NPR, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and Thrive Global.

Sponsored By The Aligned Time Journal

The Unleashing Your Great Work podcast is sponsored by the Aligned Time Journal! The Aligned Time Journal is here to answer the question “But HOW?” How can we figure out what our Great Work is? How can we get started, stay with it, and finish our Great Work so it can go out in the world and have an impact?

Click here to learn more, and try it out for yourself!

For more information about the Unleashing YOUR Great Work podcast or to learn more about Dr. Amanda Crowell, check out my website:

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Dr. Amanda Crowell:

Welcome to unleashing your great work, a podcast about doing the work that matters the most to you. I'm your host, Dr. Amanda Crowell, a cognitive psychologist, coach, and the creator of the great work journals. Every week on this podcast, we are asking the big questions. What is great work? And why does it matter so much to us? What does it take to do more of your great work without sacrificing everything else? And how does the world change when more people are doing more of the work that matters the most to them. So whether your great work is building your own small business, or managing a remote team at a multinational company, you'll find insight and answers here.

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

Welcome, everybody to unleashing your great work. This is the end of season one. And what an amazing experience it has been for me in the last six months. I don't know if you recall this, if you've been following the podcast from the very beginning, but I launched my podcast, by mistake. I had planned sort of originally to launch my podcast in September of 2021. But I was still writing my book, great work. And I wasn't ready. And I needed to do this massive revision. And I knew that I wasn't going to have the time to really focus on the podcast, and make it as good as it could possibly be. So I decided that I would release the first episode in January. Now I actually had the first few episodes recorded. So when I rescheduled to, you know, release the podcast in January that felt like forever away. And of course, in October, it's really not that far away. And in between is the holidays, I was also doing that big revision to great work, which involves like really deep revisions, it had a new title, it had a new chapter, it was a lot. And I did it in just a couple of months. So I was very preoccupied. So imagine my surprise when the podcast launched itself. And I had no idea until somebody sent me a message saying, Amanda, I loved your podcast, I was like, What are you talking about? And then suddenly, unexpectedly, my podcast was launched. And it has been a wild ride. Since then, you know, when I started thinking about doing a podcast, I was both really kind of overwhelmed by the idea of it, because it has a lot of technological aspects to it that I wasn't familiar with. I didn't have a great microphone, I didn't know how to use sort of audio editing software. And there was a lot about it, I really did not understand. And so I was somewhat daunted by those things. And yet, when you talk to people about launching a podcast, they'll tell you that it's one of the easiest ways to create consistent content. And, you know, I've been pondering as the end of season one is upon me, do I think that podcasting is easy? Or was it as I feared in the beginning, pretty difficult. And one of the interesting things about creating any piece of content is you have to kind of know your style. And it turns out that when it comes to podcasting, I really want my podcast to sound good. I want it to be easy to listen to. There are a couple of episodes in season one where the audio wasn't working quite right. The episode was just LeBlanc, we had classic zoom troubles, there was a lot of unstable internet dropped conversations, it was it was quite a task for the editor to have that processed and put together in a way that it was listener Abul. And yet, it still wasn't great. And that bothers me. And I think some people don't worry about that. But I really want it to sound good. And so like anything, you have to kind of know your own skills and know your own preferences. And then it's been a real journey for me to figure out which pieces of it really mattered to me, and which pieces I can let go. There's a lot of different ways to automate parts of your podcasts like for example, auto generated transcripts aren't very good. And yet I use them because that's not where I'm choosing to put my time and money at this point. Would I prefer that the podcast be much more readable? The transcript of course I would. And yet, one of the things I really learned again, you know, you learn it no matter what kind The content you're creating is that some parts of that content are going to matter to you like, for me, the sound quality matters. The fact that it's edited carefully matters to me a lot. But I learned that, you know, having an auto generated transcript is something I can live with. Having show notes written by somebody else is something I can live with. I had to learn all of those things as I was figuring out what it meant for me to have a podcast. So and it's still you know, I would say, overall, when people ask me the question, is podcasting? Easy? Is it hard? Is it worth it? Is it good, I would say, it's really good because I like it. I would say that my favorite part of podcasting actually is talking to people, I started the podcast thinking it would be maybe it's just a solo podcasts. And so the solo episodes like this one are a lot like blogging. So I thought I would like it because I really liked blogging.

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

And it's very similar in to blogging in the sense that you get your ideas together, you write them, you flush them out, and then you record them. And so it's a lot like writing a blog, but then you read the blog into your microphone. In that part of podcasting was a lot like blogging, I felt comfortable, I liked it, I enjoy doing them. But what really surprised me is that the interview episodes of the podcast are really, really fun. So unlike creating a blog, or a solo episode of a podcast, it isn't so much, you know, getting my thoughts together, organizing them and then recording it. It's instead like just preparing to have a conversation with somebody showing up and seeing what happens. And it's sort of amazing to me what happens in those conversations. You know, I started this podcast thinking I knew what great work was, I had already written the book before the podcast launched itself in January. And so I was surprised to discover how much I learned about great work by talking to people who are doing it. So I learned a lot. And there's an episode of the podcast called six lessons, six lessons from the first 12 episodes of the podcast. And I continue to do interviews after that, of course, and the lessons just keep coming. So I really have learned a ton about great work. And I've learned that we really want to talk about it, the people I've spoken to, I think I've really enjoyed the conversations, because it's not so much the same story over and over again, when you do something, like for example, write a book, you then go and have the conversation about the book 1000 times on podcasts, in interviews, on the train, you know, you're trying to help people understand why they might read it. If you have a business, you talk about the business and the problems that you solve. If you're a creator, you talk about your most recent work, and the storyline and the purpose and the inspiration. And that's just part of being a content creator, an entrepreneur like that. It's fine. It's, it's good. It's great. I love that part, too. But what I think was interesting for other people being on great work this unleashing your great work podcast, is that the conversation wasn't really about those things. It was about your experience of doing great work, how did it feel what was hard, what was joyful, and I really found that people opened right up and wanted to talk about it. Very often, they realized things about their experience by explaining them to me. And they were joyful conversations. They were meaningful conversations. And I feel so grateful that I was able to have those conversations with people. And just like the first episode that I recorded the six lessons from 12 episodes, that first sort of retrospective episode I did. I've learned even more about great work in the second half of this first season. So top five lessons that I learned from the second half of the first season of unleashing your great work. The first one is that great work responds most vigorously to action. So many of the conversations that I had with people were about, you know, wanting something for a long time. But the real magic the real turning point is when they did something about it. So when Michelle Kaplan, for example, quit her job doing HR. That was when she found herself out in the world doing new things she met Ken Davenport, he invited her to his program and before long she was a Broadway producer. She wasn't going to Be a Broadway producer, if she was still stuck in the rat at her HR job. So, the same thing that same storyline over and over again, it's when Lauren hope KRAS left her unfulfilling job and decided somehow or other, I'm going to be a full time stand up comedian that the pathway became clear. And I know for sure that that's been my experience as well. I always tell the story of going to my postdoctoral research fellowship, that's the training you get after a PhD to teach you how to be a professor. And being there and being on the the academic job market and realizing that, you know, I wanted something more, I wanted something closer to the ground, real students, real teachers, real schools. And it wasn't until I kind of gave up on being a professor and said, What else is there that the whole second chapter, professional chapter of my life opened up. And everything that's that culminated in the book, great work came out of that choice to say, I'm not going to follow the beaten path, I'm not going to follow the yellow brick road, I'm going to take this action, that totally changes course for me. And that's when the pathway opened up for me. And it's time and time again, I hear the same story from my guests.

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

And that actually is a great segue to the second lesson I've learned, which is great work really, thrives on courage. No, nobody I talked to who was doing remarkable things, did it without ever feeling nervous, without ever feeling uncomfortable without ever really, really questioning what they were doing. Every single person I talked to tells a story of being really afraid, and then doing it. Anyway, probably the best example of that is the most recent episode with Stephanie Willoughby, where she talks about the fact that she was a television producer, the work timeline, the work hours, just wasn't conducive to the kind of mother that she wanted to be. And so she took a flying, you know, took a flyer on becoming a photographer, a newborn photographer. And she describes so eloquently what it was like to ask her husband to trust her, and then to feel the crushing weight of that responsibility, as she tried to build her business. And that story of courage, is when I hear over and over again, I didn't want to say it, I didn't want to do it. I was scared. I was nervous. Everyone thought I was crazy. But I did it anyway. And that's what made all the difference.

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

Now, of course, Stephanie will be as an amazing photographer, Lauren hook, crass is hysterical. Michelle Kaplan is an amazing connector, which makes her great Broadway producer. It's not only that these people took risks, and were in action. And were very courageous. They were also quite skillful. And that's one of the very interesting things that I really learned maybe most emphatically at the beginning of the of the first season here is that there are real skills to great work. And one is a, you know, a bias towards action, a bias towards courage. And one is that there are skills around collaboration that are very important. You can there's a podcast episode called, called great work is done in community that really talks about that skill set and how for some of us, that's kind of a hard skill set. And in the second half of the season, I talked to Don quarry, and he talks about this incredible skill set around knowing when to say yes, and I love that so much that episode is really good. He talks about how the bias to should be towards No. And it should be the harder decisions should be when to say yes. So a lot of us talk about how important it is to say no. And yet, the bias is towards saying yes. And he talks about how at the highest levels of any industry, the thing he sees the most is that the people really succeeding, they say no to almost everything so that they protect their time to do the things that they're most, you know, called to do, their most capable of doing, and everything else they say no to. And I thought that that was such a brilliant, you know, piece of common knowledge just turned on its head. We talked about how difficult it is to say no, but really, we should instead according to Don and I find myself agreeing with him. We should instead really struggle to say yes We should really think about it really tested against our goals really make sure it's a good use of our time. And then we will really be able to sort of direct all of our effort and all of our intention towards what we're really hoping to accomplish, which, of course, is our great work. And it's important that we do that. Because another lesson I've learned about great work is how important it can be, not just to the person, every single person I talked to talked about, you know how great it is for them, that they love it, that there's joy in it. But also the work that these people are doing is important to the world without fail across the board. The work these people are doing is important. Jess LeBlanc talks about centering student voice in policies made by schools, why is that important? Because we're ignoring the lived experience of our students. And then not they're not getting the education that actually prepares them to to solve the problems that this world badly needs solved. And it's not just social justice issues that are important. I loved talking to Stephanie Willoughby, about how doing your lifestyle photography, taking pictures of you, when you're pregnant, or when your baby's small, or, you know, any point in your life actually leaves behind your family's legacy. Like how will your great great granddaughter know who you are. We'll look at the pictures, maybe the pictures of Stephanie will be tuck that kind of legacy. Preservation is very important. Diane DiNapoli, the penguin lady, the story she tells most often her most, you know, riveting story is about going to South Africa and saving 10s of 1000s of penguins who had gotten caught in an oil spill. That's important. The stories that these people tell across the board are just so critical. Like these are people really in the world doing what matters, Lauren hook crass, talking about being a fat activist, Don quarry, helping people actually use their most valuable resource, which is their time in a way that lines them up to do great work. This stuff is important. But it wouldn't be worth it.

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

If it were only important. I think the thing I loved the most about interviewing these people on my podcast was how much fun. It was. Great work is fun. And it's fun to talk about hearing my guests light up about the difference. They're making the people they help the, you know the animals, they get to play with the students, they get to talk to you. The pictures, they get to take the executives, they get to coach, they just light up and we need so much more of that in the world. People doing their great work doing the work that matters the most to them. And my sincere hope is that over the course of this first season of unleashing your great work that you dear listener, have been called to do your great work. Have you started to wonder what it is? Have you started to consider what action you could take? I really hope so. Because I think that the world is so much better, so much brighter, so much more able to solve problems and be innovative and be a better place to live. A better place to raise a family a better place to to exist when more people are doing their great work. This is the end of season one of unleashing your great work but it is not the end of the podcast. I'm happy to say we will be returning in the fall. I'll be returning in the fall with Season Two of unleashing your great work. And I am already knee deep in interviews for season two. And I cannot wait to see you then.


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