How To Embrace Radical Responsibility, Empower Your Choices, And Build A Successful Platform With Marsha Vanwynsbergh Of Own Your Choices Own Your Life

TBF Marsha Vanwynsberghe | Radical Responsibility


When you embrace radical responsibility and empower your choices, your platform becomes a catalyst for transformative change. In this episode, Marsha Vanwynsberghe of Own Your Choices Own Your Life takes us on a profound journey of embracing radical responsibility, empowering our choices, and building a successful platform that leaves an indelible impact. Kicking off the episode, Marsha challenges the status quo by urging listeners to stop seeking validation from those who don’t understand their aspirations. She shares how she defied skeptics and took a leap of faith into the world of podcasting, even when the odds seemed against her. Her mission? To change the narrative, uplift stories, and foster connections that transcend borders. As the discussion unfolds, Marsha delves into the power of podcasting as a medium for transformation. Through the vulnerability and authenticity of her guests, Marsha has created a space where profound conversations flourish. From humble beginnings to reaching incredible milestones, she reminds us that each download represents a real person whose life has been touched by the stories shared on the show. It’s time to unleash the power of radical responsibility, empower your choices, and build a successful platform that leaves a lasting legacy. Tune in now!


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How To Embrace Radical Responsibility, Empower Your Choices, And Build A Successful Platform With Marsha Vanwynsbergh Of Own Your Choices Own Your Life

I’ve got Marsha Vanwynsberghe here on the show. I’m excited for you to get to meet her. She is a two-time podcaster. Having multiple shows leads to some insights. She’s a storyteller, an NLP trainer, a speaker, a publisher, and a six-time bestselling author of When She Stopped Asking Why. She shares her lessons as a parent who dealt with teen substance abuse. That was when she started her first podcast. Now, she does Own Your Choices Own Your Life, and that has much resonance with owning your voice, your podcast, and how you show up in the world. That’s what we are going to talk about on the show.

Marsha has been published seven times with her co-platform. Everybody holds a story, and she’s on a mission to continue to help women and men speak, share, and publish their stories through her tools, outspoken NLP certification, programs, coaching, and podcasts. Marsha teaches the power of radical responsibility and owning your choices in your own life. She empowers people how to heal and own their stories, be conscious leaders, and build platform businesses that create massive income.

She is someone we want to read from. Don’t miss the host of Own Your Choices, Marsha Vanwynsberghe. Marsha, I’m glad you’re here. You have made a lot of good choices in your podcast that I can hear. You have well-over 560 episodes, and that is amazing. You are the pride of podcasting, and because of that, you are with 2% of podcasters who keep going past 500, which is rare.

About Own Your Choices Own Your Life Host Marsha Vanwynsbergh

TBF Marsha Vanwynsberghe | Radical ResponsibilityMarsha is the 6-time Bestselling Author of “When She Stopped Asking Why”. She shares her lessons as a parent who dealt with teen substance abuse that tore her family unit apart. Marsha has been published 7xs, most recently with her co-platform, Every Body Holds A Story, and she is on a mission to continue to help women and men to speak, share and publish their stories.

Through her tools, OUTSPOKEN NLP certification, programs, coaching, and podcast, Marsha teaches the power of Radical Responsibility and Owning Your Choices in your own life. She empowers people how to heal and own their stories, be conscious leaders and build platform businesses that create massive impact.


Follow Marsha Vanwynsbergh on Social: Website | Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn | Podcast | Youtube | TikTok

Thank you. I receive that, and I appreciate it. I’m happy to be here and talking all things about podcasting, something I absolutely love. We’re grown. We’re up into that top 2%. Isn’t the stats that it’s less than 3% make it past episode 21 or 25 or something? It’s small.

What people don’t understand is that when you get to this position where you are with 500 or more, it’s hard to beat you, especially because you are publishing three episodes a week. One of them is a short one that then leads to Patreon, and we’re going to talk about that in a minute. Still, you’re publishing three episodes a week, which keeps your numbers boosted above other people. It’s hard to beat you on the charts and your category. That’s shrewd. That’s one of the reasons to keep sticking with it.

It’s a consistency piece. I do three episodes a week. I was doing two consistently. When 2020 happened, I was like, “What else am I going to do? I’m just going to keep recording.” I was on a coaching call, and two of my mentors at the time were talking about if they could go back and do anything differently, they would’ve started with five episodes a week. They would’ve started little mini ones, 5 or 10 minutes. They would’ve done it that way from the very beginning. I was like, “I can do three.” I know some people get very overwhelmed by three. It’s not overwhelming for me. I’m like a sponge with ideas, and I share a lot of what I’m walking through on a regular basis. It doesn’t feel that hard.

There’s a naturalness that you’ve had from the beginning of the show. When I go back and get a podcaster who’s going to come on the air, I want to check out one of their early episodes, the middle, and the different types of episodes you have, then I check out your most recent one. As I was doing that, I was hearing this fabulous excitement and energy you have about podcasting. Very often, when someone’s been doing it a long time, they decline in that energy. You’ve gotten more excited over time, which is interesting. You’re fascinated by your guest, and you’re in the middle of it. The binge factor of your show is that it has grown. Your love and appreciation for the act of podcasting is coming through to the listener.

I do appreciate hearing that because I’m at a point now where I do a fair amount of research on some of the guests that I bring on. I probably get 15 to 20 pitches a week. I probably only take less than probably 10% of what I get. There are some that I go out and pitch because I feel like they’d be a great fit. I take it very seriously when I have a guest on. Whereas I know I’ve been interviewed by some, and I’m like, “Did they read anything about what I did? I don’t think they have a clue about my story.”


TBF Marsha Vanwynsberghe | Radical Responsibility


I’m not judging that. I’m just saying it’s important. I take this very seriously. I will read the books of some of my guests, especially when they are very successful books, etc. I like to get a background. I will listen to a podcast interview. I do take it seriously, but I also feel that it allows the depth of conversation that we get to have.

That is one of the most common things that aspiring podcasters are worried about. Those who haven’t dived, tried it, and committed to it, are going to run out of things to say people to interview and topics to cover. You’ve doubled down on topics in the last few years easily. There are no real repeats in there. You might discuss something like mindset in a different way, but there are no real repeats in what you’re doing in your topics.

I am willing to grow. I’m putting myself into situations. In the last few years, I have taken my Practitioner Master’s and Trainers. I’m training other people to be practitioners. I’ve had to get into some uncomfortable learning to be able to do this work. That has allowed me to dive in more in the podcast episode. You have to be growing on a regular basis, consuming the right amount of information, not over-consuming.

There are certain podcasters I listen to regularly because they speak my language, and I get them. They then will open up an idea in me that I’m like, “I could spin this. This is about something related to me or what I’m walking through.” Sometimes it’s a very vulnerable episode. I believe in being real. We could benefit from a lot of us doing that more and sharing what it’s like to walk through some of this and navigate.



Let’s go back to the beginning a little bit now and talk about the start of the podcast. Your show is called Own Your Choices Own Your Life. I love that title because you’ve made some significant choices here in the way that you’ve taken your show and started it. What was the thinking when you were starting the show for the first time? What was it about? Why were you doing it?

This is such a great question, and I’m going to tell my story in a very short snippet if that’s okay. I was a parent who was dealing with teen substance abuse. I was in this space of trying to fix, manage, control, and navigate everyone around me. I lost myself completely in the process. I couldn’t figure out how to navigate something I didn’t ask for and what I could do.

It came down to understanding what was my choice to own and what was not my choice and going back and forth with choices. The choice became a pivotal word in my life at that time. On a regular basis, every five minutes, I would sit down, and it’s like, “That’s not my choice. What is my choice? Own my choices.” I sit, and it’s like, “When I own my choice, I can own my life.” That became something that I said. When it came to naming the podcast, I had this moment. I’m like, “I love that name. It’s a long name.”

It does deviate. I usually say 3 to 5 words is ideal. Yours is six, but they’re not super long words. Let’s keep it clear. You do own your choice. You all going to want to check that out. It’s the larger part of it.

I don’t always follow the rules that everybody recommends either, but I looked at it and went, “They are the words that speak to me. I wanted to start a podcast.” I started a podcast shortly after I wrote my book. I wanted to create a space where people could talk about overcoming difficult stories because even back then, in 2017 and 2018, the social media and podcasting world was very curated. Even think about how our Instagram feeds used to look. Everything matched. We were in this space, and I was like, “None of this is real. This is not what life is like.” We have to change the model.

I remember saying, “I want to start a podcast to see if people want to share difficult stories and what they’ve overcome.” I can’t even tell you when people laughed and thought it was a ridiculous idea, “What do you know about podcasting? What do you know about this?” I was like, “I don’t know, but I can figure it out. I don’t think we’re going to change the narrative until we change the narrative.” That was where the words and the title came from. Five hundred and sixty episodes in, I have no problem finding people who have stories and who have overcome unbelievable things. It’s powerful because we can learn a lot from each other.

When you tap into something universal, there’s longevity in that. We try to contrive it, and that’s what happens a lot in the podcasting advice that’s out there. It was programmatic, and you’re talking about rule-breaking, but you’re rule-breaking on something that shouldn’t have been a rule.

I didn’t know exactly what the stories were going to be about, but I wanted to create a space for those kinds of stories. It’s allowed me to have unbelievable conversations with people from all over the world, but it does come down to the people who walk through difficult stories and are willing to share them and the lessons that they’ve learned with others. I’m sure you know this. In the beginning, most people, when they start a podcast, they just announce to their friends, “I have a podcast. Who wants to be a guest?” That would be rule number one never to do.

I don’t mind you doing it if it’s your practice. Practice with your friends. That’s an okay thing to do, but let’s not air them unless they turn out to be fascinating and good or unless your friend is Oprah or something.

I’m sorry to my early friends who are reading. This is not a dig at you. Your podcast is your brand. It is who you are. When I say, “Own your choices, own your life,” people know me for those words. I use those words. I pulled up my very first episode. I found the video for it on YouTube. I clipped it and shared it. I talked about why you own your choices in your life and what it means. I’m saying a lot of the same words now. I have had people say to me, “Why would you share that? That’s not that good.”

Your podcast is your brand. It is who you are. Click To Tweet

It was a video back in 2017.

We didn’t even have ring lights, but I’m proud of that. I’m not ashamed of that. I also want to put that out there because it gives people insight that we all start somewhere. I will never hide that early work ever. I will always show it because if it’s one thing that stops the barrier from somebody starting something, then it’s worth it.

We don’t always know. I love that you use the phrase, “Own your choices,” because I’ve made a choice and a decision to go into podcasting. Now am I only going to dip my toe in? That’s not owning a choice. That’s not what you did. You went in and you said, “I’m all in. I’m going to figure this out. I’m going to be consistent. I’m going to be constant about it. I’m going to try this and keep going.” It has turned into quite a bit. What I want to talk about now is how that shifted into community business choices, things that came along the way from podcasting. What happened on that path?

2018 to mid-late 2019, I was in this space where I was sharing. I didn’t have a business attached to it, but I had people reaching out saying, “I resonate with your story. I resonate with what you’re sharing. Do you take clients? Do you help people with their books?” I listened to what people were asking. If it felt aligned and I liked it, then I was creating it. If I didn’t want to do it, I wouldn’t have done it. Same with if I didn’t like podcasting, I wouldn’t do 500 episodes. I do what I like. People started to reach out to that. In that process, I started coaching people on how to write their books, how to share a vulnerable story, and speak from the stage.

My podcast has given me access and connections to clients, speaking opportunities, and other podcasts. You have to go first. I mean this with so much love. You have to be able to go first because I get messages from people all the time who hard-pitch themselves to me. They’re like, “I want to get on shows.” I’m like, “Start your own show so that you know what it’s like to be a host.” You can’t just ask and not give to. Those are a couple of thoughts I wanted to share.

Podcasts can give you access and connections to clients, to speaking opportunities to other podcasts. Click To Tweet

I’m glad you said that because, so often, I get a pitch and think, “You have no idea what it’s like to be a podcast host. You have no idea what drives them.” This is why you’re having to work as hard as you are to try to pitch yourself. That’s not the answer. I do see that very frequently. It’s given you this perspective on what you can build and what you want to build. Now you’re making some significant, personal choices and professional choices in it. What are some of the things that you’ve built now from your podcast? I know that you have a community. What types of things have you built?

I have built a membership site before. I built it into Patreon. I have taken it into building programs and connections. I don’t hard sell, but I always share what I’m doing because people are listening, so why not share? I have done it with the podcast. The other thing I’ve done between podcasts and email communities is they get first access to a lot of things. They’ll get first pricing and information that doesn’t go out to social media yet.

It’s been neat because I’ve had a couple of master classes that I’ve run that have been just for the podcast community and, all of a sudden, pop a bunch of people that I’ve never met before. I’m like, “This is cool.” You also have to be willing to foster that community and offer them things that they do feel special because we also have to recognize not everybody is on social media. There are some people who don’t have it at all, and they love podcasts.

Probably less likely for the particular area that you’re in, where you’re talking about deep dive into some hard problems that I’m contemplating, and I call them the 2:00 AM problems. What do you do at 2:00 AM when you’re suffering, worried about your kids, dealing with substance abuse, or those things? You don’t go on social media because you don’t want to see people liking, friending, and sharing stuff like that. You go to buy a book. You go to listen to a podcast. You consume something very private.

There’s an intimacy in that, and you are that guide. You are that person that they’re relying on. That’s an intimate level that they’ve come to. You may not realize it on your end until they start reaching out and you realize, “There’s a deeper connection here than I thought I had.” That’s because you’re hitting them at a moment when they need you most. They value that. That’s why they want something from you. They want a course, a program, and your coaching.

I never looked at it that way. I forgot I was in those spaces. The other thing about podcasting for me that is important to continue is the fact that it is a free resource. When I was in the worst moments of my life, I couldn’t afford to pay for anything at all. I will always have a free resource. When I do have somebody who reaches out about coaching or support, and they’re not in the space, not even financially, just mentally are not in the space to create change and commit to something like that, they’ll say, “What do I do?” I’m like, “I have 560 episodes. Start picking whatever speaks to you because there are lots of free resources.” It’s very important to me. It will always be a point of my business that there is a free resource that is going out on a regular basis.

TBF Marsha Vanwynsberghe | Radical Responsibility
Radical Responsibility: Just start picking whatever speaks to you because there are lots of free resources. It will always be a point of the podcast business that there is a free resource that is going out on a regular basis.


That’s critical. You’re recognizing the value of that. The other part that we underestimate as podcast hosts is that when we’ve given somebody something so freely, they still feel like they owe us. That’s where they recommend our show and they come back when they do have something and say, “I’d like more of what you have. I will buy your book. I will take that course, show up on your masterclass, and tell everybody about it.” They become our fans because of that.

Fostering that community, you continue to give back and do that. I started reading reviews on Fridays. Friday is our review episode. What do you think happened? My reviews went up. People loved it, and I love it. I don’t know who that person is, but I’m reading them out because they’re taking the time to write the reviews. I feel like what you’re doing is you’re creating a very reciprocal relationship with a listener and letting them know they’re valued. What do we want as humans? We want to know that we’re being valued. I feel like that’s a very important piece.

If I can share one quick story, it’s a powerful one. In late 2018, I started to notice my podcast was getting a lot of downloads in Africa. I thought, “That’s interesting.” All of a sudden, I was getting messages from this person. We connected. She made it very clear from the beginning. She was in her young twenties. She was a human trafficking survivor, not a victim. She’s like, “I’m not a victim. Don’t call me that. I’m a survivor.” She had this dream of speaking at the UN about trafficking because she said, “We have so many people speaking about trafficking who were never victims and never experienced it. They should not be speaking about it.”

She had this vision. She googled podcasts on stories, choices, and overcoming. Mine popped up. She started to listen. We connected. We started to build a relationship. When my collaborative book called Owning Your Choices was published in 2020, I reached out to her, and I was like, “I can’t think of a better story to include in the book.” She was like, “I don’t have any money to put together for this.” I’m like, “Leave that up to me.” I did GoFundMe. I got the whole thing covered. Her story is in our book. We got to ship a whole box of books off to Africa during the pandemic, which took almost one year.

TBF Marsha Vanwynsberghe | Radical Responsibility
Owning Your Choices: Stories of Courage From 8 Inspirational Women Around the World Paperback – September 24, 2020

She has a foundation. She’s openly talking about this. I look at it and go, “The reason I share that story is it’s not a look-at-me. It’s that like, I kept believing that we could connect to people more and more people about sharing stories.” Now it’s opened up a door for her. She’s now a published author. She’s openly sharing and supporting other people. If you believe in your mission and what you’re doing, the right people will find it if you keep going.

I love that connection. That’s something that I discovered early on when our very first podcast on 3D printing. We had Africa, Brazil, and these great countries of people who were saying, “There’s no information here for us. The podcast is the only open place we can get information that we can afford.” I thought, “That’s the reason to keep going. There was enough for me.”

There have been times when I think, “Do I just keep going at the pace that I go?” I then was like, “There’s always more than backs out there. You never know who it’s going to reach.” I share her story on a regular basis on shows and times that I’m interviewed because that will be a legacy moment for me. That will be a moment where I am forever grateful that our past connected, and it was only from podcasts. She said the exact same thing. There were no other resources to try and find something. The podcast was the only thing she could do and listen to in her room. That’s what she had. I’m forever a fan of it.

You mentioned briefly this community building and that Patreon is now a part of your strategy. Let’s talk a little bit about that. For those of you who don’t know, think of Patreon as a donor subscription. It’s a combination of both, but it’s specifically built for podcasters.

If you search on Patreon, you are going to see some people who have 20,000 subscribers every month. There are different people in different shows. Like anything, it’s not easy to move people from one platform they’re used to to another platform. We looked at it and went, “How about we try it as an option for growing our podcast community?” We all know that there is a ceiling in the sense that people who tend to get sponsors’ support for their show have X number of downloads per episode, yet you’ve got people who are still having great success with their shows. I’m super grateful for all of it, but I’m not at that level. I thought, “Let’s try it.” The other thing we’re doing with it is we’re building out a digital magazine to go in line with my NLP certification that I created.

The digital magazine is to connect with other podcasts, podcast hosts, authors, and speakers, and then use QR codes to link to their shows so that we can be able to connect because I’ve met a lot of people over the years. I’ve loved those connections. We wanted to group it in and include that in the Patreon cost per month. We’re fairly new to it. The thing that I was very clear from the beginning is I don’t want it to make more work, so how can we do this? We decided to take the Monday episode that I was already recording and put it into Patreon only, and then include all the video content that’s in there.

TBF Marsha Vanwynsberghe | Radical Responsibility
Radical Responsibility: The digital magazine is to connect with other podcasts, podcast hosts, authors, and speakers, and then use QR codes to link to their shows so that we can be able to connect.


Just so that everybody understands how this works, she has a five-minute episode that airs in the public feed that sends everybody with an outro, but it is an advertisement at the end for where they can get the rest of the episode. It doesn’t cut off at a weird point. You do a nice job of getting the five minutes in. Your team does a good job of putting a cutoff point that doesn’t leave at mid-sentence. I’ve heard some that are bad that leave it at this place where you’re wanting more, but you got a little bit of it, so you get enough of a nugget.

This is what I’m talking about the learning curve. I also have a very strong business brain. I started to look at it and went, “People don’t even know there’s an episode missing because it’s not showing.” Patreon doesn’t connect to Spotify or Google. Apparently, that’s all coming. We’ll see. That’s coming later. I’m like, “They don’t even know what’s missing. I can’t encourage people. I can do an ad, but we had to try and figure this out.”

My podcast editor manager is an amazing human. We could take a 4 or 5-minute clip. I’m like, “As long as we can make it smooth.” The ones that she’s done have been outstanding to me. They lead right into what the episode’s about, but it leads to Patreon. Now, at least if you’re a regular podcast listener, you see that there is an episode there. It’s 4 or 5 minutes, and it leads to the others. We are also trying that. We’re open to trying different things. We’ll see and decide if this is the way to go. I don’t know yet, I’m not sure, but I also know it’s not more work for me.

That’s important. You’re testing something and seeing where it happens. I love that you’re keeping up that experimental model of podcasting. You didn’t lose it along the way where you’re like, “I’m setting my ways, and I’m done. This is how it works.” There are a lot of podcasters to do it, but then it starts to sound like you’re phoning it in.

I did not want that at all. At least now I feel better. You can see those episodes are there. When I go to my stats, and I look on my podcast platform, they’re getting as many downloads. Those five-minute episodes are getting as many downloads as some of the other ones. I know people are listening to them. I know they’re being listened to.

I’m an expert here in binge listeners, but it’s a binge listener model for us to say, “I know you’re doing three shows a week. I only have time to listen on the weekend. On Friday, I download all three episodes, and then I binge them right in a row.” It’s going to go from one to the other, and a five-minute episode is like nothing. Why would I bother to skip it? I might as well hear it.

Some of my Monday ones are even the juiciest ones I share a lot. I might even share more vulnerable stuff. I’m a very open person. I’ve shared my story here. I’m very vulnerable. My podcast community gets more of me than social media does.

They get the real you for a longer period of time. It’s hard to be real for 30 seconds.

That’s why I’ve also been able to build that connection with them because I’ll see reviews that come in. I don’t know who they’re from, and I’m like, “Some of that is landing. People are hearing that, and they’re connecting to that.” For me, it works. It’s not what everybody’s show is about. For me, it’s been important to have this connection with people in the podcast. We had a family funeral. My one side of the family lost her husband, and she goes, “I listen to your podcast all the time.” I was like, “You do?” I sat there, and she said, “We all do. We don’t say anything t, but we all listen to it. It’s supportive, and we love it. Thank you.” You do not know who is listening.

That means so much when somebody who knows you is more than willing to take the time to listen to it. That’s a big testament to the power that you’re creating there. There are some brilliant things about the show that I’ve mentioned already some of them. That is the model of conversation that you have in your guest interviews because you have many submissions and you’re being very discerning about who you’re choosing to come on a show. There’s a deeper connection before you even start.

That says to me what you mentioned earlier that you are doing your research. You’re not only choosing the person that you have a conversation with, but you’re interested in that conversation and you’ve done enough research to know what it is you ask. That makes a very different interview episode. Sometimes, I listen to a podcast because I’ve been researching and listening to many. I’m like, “What did they say? It didn’t even gel in my mind.”

The interview episodes tend to be more like that because how many interviews do you hear a day? Are you interested in that conversation? In this particular case, I was listening to one of your interviews and I thought, “You went right for the question. You went right for the heart of everything. You’ve got them to open up.” Before you know it, it was like, “I couldn’t tell which one of you was speaking. Which one of you is it?” It was such a cool conversation. That’s a unique place when you’re collaborating in your interview.

I don’t think I’ve ever been told that before. I love and appreciate that because that’s the piece that I’ve put a lot of thought into who does come on the show. I’m invested in their story. I also have done a lot of interviewing. I will go to the point of the story. I will ask the question in a super tasteful way. There’s nothing exploitative at all. The reason I do that sometimes is because I can create a safe environment for that person to know that you can show up and share. I’m not judging. I’m here in this space. That feels special to me. I love being able to do that. That has allowed us to have some conversations. There have been a couple of episodes where I’m almost like I’m hosting. I have to get back into a little bit of a hosting hat here for a second because I’m engaged in the conversation.

That’s what I mean when I can feel when it shifted into that in your episode, and you do have to take control, and you do, before the end comes right back out of it. It is a unique place that you don’t hear often. A lot of times, because the interviews are too short, the people who are doing the ten-minute interviews will never get into any depth. Yours are 45 minutes to 1 hour. You’re getting into it, so you’re giving yourself enough time. When you hit that collaboration point, and you’re spending enough time in that place, it’s a powerful model for interviews that I don’t hear often.

Thank you for saying that because I am also a guest. I’ve probably had 100 interviews where I’ve been the guest. Some are very much like, “We only do 20 or 30 minutes,” and then they’ll ask a question. I’m like, “How in the world do I do this in five minutes? I can’t. It’s too deep.”

I can’t stand it when they’re like, “Here are the five questions I’m going to ask you, and it is going to happen in rapid fire.” I’m like, “Do I want to do that?”

There are a few shows I’ve turned down because I’m like, “No.” It is the same thing as branding. It’s the same thing if I’m the host or if I’m the guest, I don’t like randomly pitching myself to everybody because this makes no sense either, but I can tell when I get into some interviews, and I’m like, “They’re not confident.” It’s not a judgment. It’s just they’re not there, or they’re having a hard time, etc., and other people are easy.

It is something that people will have some strength with. You can gain strength with practice, but as you do it, it builds this conversation. I’ve had a couple where I’m not scared. I get excited about who I’m going to interview, but I’m almost nervous, and I will take the time to do even more research. I was introduced to personal development back in 2015. One of the very first books I read was by Kute Blackson. I loved his book and work. His PR team reached out and asked if he could be interviewed. I had the moment going, “Is this a joke?”

I felt like it when I had Mike Michalowicz on my show. It was one of those big deals as an entrepreneur.

I doubled down. I went back and read both books. I had this incredible conversation. I did let him know the amount of how his work affected me and how appreciative I was of it. We had this conversation where I almost forgot there was even a mic. We were in this deep space. I can’t get that with everybody, but I can get that with a lot of people because I also think that people who have listened to the show know we’re not talking about fluff on my show. I don’t do fluff. That’s not what we do.

You don’t do gotcha, which is also another thing that they were like, “I can’t believe I shared that on the show,” which then harms you because, in your world, if they don’t share the show, there’s not an additional boost of growth. That’s part of the point of having guests. When you’re in a vulnerable topic, sometimes they don’t share, but if they feel comfortable with how it went, that feeling is carried over into the sharing side.

I know some people who have never shared. That’s always a bit frustrating because the host is putting in a ton of work, and the person could at least share it, but they don’t always. In a testament to what you’re saying, I did one that, in the conversation, was beautiful. He was a veteran, and his story is unbelievable. As we went through it, you could see he was almost feeling like, “I can’t believe I said that.” As we went through it, I was like, “We kept the conversation going.” It was beautiful. He did a fantastic job.

When it was done, I was like, “Is there anything that you did not feel comfortable with?” He goes, “No, the things that came out, I’m surprised that they came out, but I’ve also grown a lot. I feel okay with it, but thank you for asking because I’ve had 3 or 4 hosts who will pick at my wounds and ask questions to make it juicier or whatever you call that. I ask them, ‘Please don’t air this.’ Sometimes they will, and I won’t share it.” I’m like, “I’m sorry you’ve encountered that because that is not what podcasting is about at all.”

It shouldn’t be what podcasting is about.

It’s not what vulnerability is about. For anybody who’s wondering what you think that you’re being vulnerable, that’s not it either. You need to be respectful. Some people have walked through unbelievable stories, and we don’t need to glorify them for a show. That’s wrong.

I have had it where something happened to somebody even after the fact that it was a massively bad divorce, and they had mentioned their spouse on my show and asked to have it removed. I gratefully did it afterwards. I was like, “I’m happy to do that because I don’t want you having something out there that makes you uncomfortable. I don’t think that’s how I show up in the world anyway.” I’m glad you asked that at the end. That’s an interesting way. I don’t know that there are a lot of hosts that do, “Is there anything that makes you uncomfortable?” You do edits, so you have the ability to do that. Why not ask it?

I wouldn’t ask on every episode, but I could tell from him. The other thing is I said, “If you build a connection with somebody online, you’re paying attention, reading body language, and building rapport.” I could tell that he was almost a little bit like, “I can’t believe I said that.” He didn’t say anything wrong. It was a difficult part of his story. He said, “I don’t typically share it that often, but you also didn’t exploit it and some people do. I’m totally fine with it. I love how it came out.”

I’m like, “I just want to ask.” He also said, “Thank you for asking. People don’t tend to ask that.” It’s this level of respect, but it’s also because I’ve spent a lot of time being a guest and I know what it’s like. I’ve had some hosts be quite exploitive of my own story to the point where I’ve even said like, “I’m not answering that question. It’s not appropriate. It’s not what this show is about.” I’ve seen both sides of it, and we need to be able to respect people, especially when they’re coming in and sharing something openly with us.

It comes with knowing the experience that you had. You know that this feels right, this works, and the relationship is better as an outcome because you put the hours in. You certainly put the episode numbers in. Before we go, I want to make sure that I tap into any advice you have coming from that place of knowing for someone who hasn’t gotten off the fence and decided to own the choice of podcasting.

The first comment that I’m going to say is to stop asking the people who are not meant to be the ones to support you on the journey. Please stop asking them because if I would’ve listened to everyone in my life back then, I wouldn’t have even started. I wouldn’t have written a book. I wouldn’t have started because people thought it was crazy. Deep in me, I felt we can’t change the narrative and the difficult stories people are walking through if we don’t start talking about them.

I didn’t know what it was going to look like. I had no idea, and that’s okay. Stop asking advice from people who are not where you want to be and who are not doing the work that you want to do. Love your mom and dad, but don’t ask your mom and dad about your podcast because they’re not the people that are going to be listening to it. Find mentors. There are lots of free advice out there to be able to start.

This is one right here. Take this advice. Marsha is giving you advice. Take it.

If you feel called to do it, inspired and nudged to do it, just freaking do it. Set yourself up for success. You might here go, “She does three episodes a week.” Who cares what I do? What do you want to do? What can you be consistent with? Find your way to be consistent. Your podcast could be one of the best ways to grow your confidence in yourself because I also work with people to help them find their voice, use their voice, and share their stories.

I don’t know how many times people say, “I can’t do it. I can’t speak like you do.” I’m like, “You haven’t even given yourself a chance. You have to start. There’s no other way to get better at your skills than by using your skills.” That’s the other thing I would say about podcasting. Lastly, it’s brought some of the best people, experiences, and connections into my life. I’m grateful that I didn’t listen to everyone many years ago and said, “I think this is for me, and I’m going to do it.”

I am glad you do it. I’m very sure your many listeners and subscribers are glad that you’ve stuck out well-over 560 episodes and are still going. I can’t wait to see what your digital magazine turns into and what comes next for you. You’ll have to keep us updated and let us know where you are in six months or a year from now.

I would love that. Can I share one more quick thought for people who are reading and thinking? Learn to celebrate every single milestone. If you get ten downloads, celebrate the ten. If you get a 100, celebrate the 100. You do not have the right to celebrate 100 if you can’t celebrate 10. I’m serious and honored because you have a listener at the end of that download. They’re not a number on the screen. They are a listener. Celebrate that. I remember in the beginning celebrating the numbers that were happening. I’ve seen it grow exponentially. Podcasting is a long game. You have to be willing to play the long game, but you also have to be willing to celebrate all of those milestones along the way.

Podcasting is a long game. But you also have to be willing to celebrate milestones along the way. Click To Tweet

Thank you for sharing with us. Own Your Choices Own Your Life, three times a week, you are going to check out Marsha’s show right away.

You’re amazing. Thank you for having me.

I love the concept of being a rule-breaker. I did a podcast episode about that, being a rule breaker, and the idea of being a rule breaker. Knowing that you’re breaking the rule is much better than blindly happening to break a rule. It doesn’t usually work out for you. We see this all the time. You think, “I got this, I know what I’m doing,” but when you don’t have enough knowledge, haven’t gone and tried it long enough, and haven’t figured out what’s working and not working, then breaking the rules are a whole lot harder. This is something that I learned early on. Getting good at something and then breaking the rules, you can do all kinds of stuff because then you are making a choice. That’s what Marsha was talking about.

Owning your choices isn’t about making default choices. It’s making a concerted effort and choice, and that’s making such a difference in her show. It makes such a difference in how she shows up in the world and such a difference in the impact that our podcast has on the other side. I love that she also waited until someone asked her and the audience came to her and said, “We want this mastermind, this class, and these things.” That’s amazing.

Sometimes, you might own your choices like Marsha did and say, “I don’t do that, but I’ll help find you someone who can.” That’s a great solution as well. That’s something we practice in my core company, Podetize, all the time. There are people who are not the right clients for us, but we have those clients as our clients, and we can refer them out.

Making those choices in how you build your business is important instead of stumbling into doing things by default and doing things because they happen to you. Own your choices, life, business, and podcast. I love where Marsha’s going with this. Marsha Vanwynsberghe, you’re not going to want to miss her show, Own Your Choices Own Your Life. Go check it out. Thanks, everyone, for reading. I’ll be back next time with another episode and guest.


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Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard is a former Authority Magazine and Inc. Magazine Columnist on disruptive innovation, and host of 5 top-ranked podcasts including: The Binge Factor and Feed Your Brand–one of CIO’s Top 26 Entrepreneur Podcasts. She is the co-founder of Podetize, the largest podcast post-production company in the U.S. As a content, product, and influence strategist for networks, corporations, marketing agencies, entrepreneurs, publications, speakers, authors & experts, Tracy influences and casts branded content with $2 Billion worth of innovation around the world. Her marketing methods and AI-integrated platform, provides businesses of all sizes a system to spread their authentic voices from video to podcast to blog, growing an engaged audience and growing valuable digital authority.
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