Collaboration lives in the heart of creativity. It’s you and them, working together to create something that didn’t exist before. This is why podcasts are so popular. This is why businesses last. This is why we share with others the art, music, movies, TV shows, books we enjoy.

The hardest part of hosting a conversational podcast is keeping it conversational. Not transactional. Not extractive. Not “hey come on my show and say a few snappy things for a LinkedIn clip.” I never want my guests to feel as if I’m using them as part of a marketing funnel. And sure, you could argue that that’s inevitable. That the point of a podcast is for me to be seen. But I disagree. The point isn’t just for me to be seen. No. My podcast isn’t a public diary. My podcast is for us to be seen.

The magic of a conversational podcast is that it’s a spontaneous, unscripted collaboration requiring full engagement from both parties. If there’s a script, it’s not a conversation. It’s an interview. And if both parties aren’t engaged, aren’t present, then you can’t call it a collaboration.

Everything runs on connection and reciprocity. We’re hardwired for it (I’m reading a book on this). So why do people hate networking? Because most people approach networking with a transaction mindset. Come on my show, say something snappy and we’ll call it a day.

Most approach creativity in this way, too. It’s why most podcasts never make it passed episode 9. It’s why most people don’t write blogs everyday. These aren’t humble brags. I actually think it’s sad: how many people believe that they’re not capable of making something special because they’ve invested too heavily in the transaction mindset?

Let’s abandon the transaction mindset and adopt a mindset of connection. Let’s eradicate LinkedIn DM spams asking us to Join My World Class Podcaster Network. No harm in making a few friends along the way toward a better future.

Connection isn’t about passing Dunbar’s number. It’s not about kissing the asses of those with 100x your Twitter followers. Connection is about the relationship itself. Creating with a connection mindset means serving something to close gaps, build bridges, and strength bonds.

Don’t transact. Don’t divide.

Create and connect.

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