In this episode of the show I am excited to speak to Marie Gettel-Gilmartin.
We discuss her journey to podcasting starting from her time abroad in Japan and the perspective shifts this has given her in her life. We then talk about the topics of resilience and equality, before diving into Marie’s personal experience with her show, how she felt before starting, what helped her in the process and what she loves about it now.
Marie Gettel-Gilmartin, founder and principal of Fertile Ground Communications LLC, is a writer and marketing communications coach who loves to help clients communicate clearly and painlessly. Fertile Ground Communications is a certified women-owned business enterprise, disadvantaged business enterprise, and emerging small business, dedicated to creating a kinder, more sustainable, and just world. Marie has 29 years of experience as a writer; technical editor; manager of a 70-person, multi-state publications team; communications strategist; and marketer in the environmental consulting industry. She helps clients communicate about pressing issues and positions them as experts in their fields. Writing communications that boost employee engagement, she also coaches leaders and executives on how to strengthen communications and leadership. Fertile Ground Communications has a corporate social responsibility statement, which states their commitment to Black Lives Matter, centering the voices of people of color, providing pro bono services, and working toward racial justice. Marie regularly writes on these issues and volunteers her time in the community. She has also committed to lifting up people of color in her business.
Marie hosts the Finding Fertile Ground podcast, a place for people from underrepresented populations to share their stories of grit, resilience, and how they found their own fertile ground in their career or life. In April 2021 Marie launched the Companies That Care podcast, interviewing business leaders who are working to create a better world for all.
You're listening to podcasting for experts with honest conversations about using podcasting as a tool to grow your reach, increase your audience, make a positive impact on the world, and most importantly, to get paid for your efforts. I'm your host, Jess, and we are pristine podcasts. Let's talk podcasting. Hey, everyone, and welcome back to season two, Episode Four. In today's episode, I'm talking to Marie goettl Gilmartin, a writer and marketing communications coach, and the host of the finding fertile ground podcast. Marie is passionate about connecting people and resources and solving seemingly impossible problems. She helps you to discover what makes you special and how to share it with the world. In this episode, we discussed Maria's experience of living abroad in Japan, how that influenced her view on the world, how she transitioned into the work she's doing now, and what made her so passionate about our own stories, particularly those of resilience. And, of course, we'll also talk about her journey to podcasting. I really hope you enjoy it. Hi, Marie, thank you so much for taking the time to have a chat with me today about all things podcasting. Thank you for having me. You're very, very welcome. So I'm a bit nosy. I become like, I want to know who I'm talking to. And, you know, I read a little bit about what people are about, I guess what's really important to them. And I always find it so interesting how everyone's stories very much leads to what they're doing today and how it's never like a linear pathway that we're always told, like in school like you do this, then you do that. And then you do that. And it's kind of not like that. And one of the things that I read about you was that you actually went to Japan for three years to teach English. And I really would love to know more about what that was like, because that's like a complete change of culture. And yeah, how did that feel? Well, it was mind blowing, because I'd never been overseas before. Because American, a lot of Americans, you know, in contrast to Europe, people who don't have a lot of money in particular, my family didn't have a lot of money when I was growing up. So we travelled around the US a lot. We did a lot of camping and things like that. So, and my parents both had lived in Germany. Before I was born, they both like taught English in Germany. And so I have that kind of seated in my route somehow, you know, the living overseas idea. And so I got an English degree, and I decided I wanted to go live overseas. So I got the opportunity to be a teacher for a junior college in a town called Wakayama, which is about an hour away from Osaka. And I applied and I did not know any Japanese, I was working as I was working as a daddy, the summer before I went, and I thought I'll just apply and if I get it, I'll go I bet to go, you know, I'm kind of you life that way. And then I got the job. And then I fortunately convinced my college roommate, who was kind of taking a gap year after college to go with me. Thank God because it would have been so much harder if she hadn't been with me. But and the the really amazing thing that I just have to give kudos to my parents because my parents said goodbye to me to go, you know, fly off to Japan for a year. And this was back in 1986. So there were there was no internet. There was, you know, there was no easy way to keep in touch with people. I mean, we had the postal service that was really and then phone calls are very expensive. Yeah, yeah. So they say goodbye to me. And the next week, they put my sister on a plane to China, because she did a year abroad in China must have been so hard. I know. And I think back to that, because I'm a mom of three now. And I think oh my gosh, I can't imagine doing that. But anyway, it was a great experience. And I only intended to stay in Japan for a year. But I met my husband there. Um, we met through a mutual friend and he wanted to stay longer. And I knew he was the one for me. So I ended up really mostly staying there for three years because he really wanted to stay there. So it was a wonderful, wonderful adventure. We were able to travel throughout Asia, and a lot of Americans that I do kiss we generally have high college loans, and I had college loans and some people were really smart and paid off their college loans when they when they were to Japan because the pay was pretty good. And I spent all my money on travel that I just paid cause was off when I got back. I think that would have been me like since we've, I mean, since I've moved down here, there's so many places we've gone to for no reason whatsoever. And people Oh, it's like, why do you guys keep just going places? And I'm like, well, it's different. And I don't know, I grew up in Germany, but in the flattest of the flattest parts, and we don't have massive mountains just outside of the window. And we don't have anything like that. So I keep going places. And I don't know, it just feels so different to just look at the landscape and try foods and meet different people. And it's very, I can very well understand doing that. As Yes, and I remember the first day we arrived was kind of traumatic, because the people we were working for were really, it was two men and they owned a company where they would find contract, like English teachers to go work at various places, mostly this junior college that I was at, but they were not very honest. And they were very, not very experienced as business owners. So my friend Ally, we had a really it was a very difficult arrival in Japan. We knew low Japanese, we arrived at Narita Airport in Tokyo, and we had to find our way to the Shinkansen the bullet train to Osaka without knowing any Japanese. So we had to like take an airport limousine to get to the train station and then buy train tickets. And by the time we were able to figure it out somehow. I don't know how we did it. But by the time we got to the Shinkansen, there were no seats available on the train. No, we had to sit so we've had like travelling we had cheap tickets. So it probably took us like we had to go through Seoul to get to Japan because it was Korean Air. It was cheap. And so we'd been travelling for like, you know, 2024 hours. So we had to sit between the cars with all of our luggage. I mean, we had like three suitcases each for three and a half hours to Osaka. What I always think is like, Thank God that happened when you were young. Because now I'm like, I can't be asked like find out. Know exactly, I was 21 years old. So you're right. Thank God, I was young. And so then we arrived, it also got and we call this guy the you know, the guy who hired us and said, where do we do now? He said, Well, you have to go find a hotel, bro. Like, there's no way we can find a hotel. So we basically insisted that they come to the train station. And you know, you probably know a little bit about Japanese culture. They they had to get used to American women who were like, No, you have to come get us. So we we insisted and they came and they got us a hotel. But it was really it was not an easy start. So the next day they came in medicine, we took the train to Wakayama and block I have the Japanese call it Inaka, which means like the country that it really was a small city, it was a beautiful city. And so I just remember arriving at our apartment, the first month we were packed together in an apartment with other English teachers before an apartment was available. So we can move into a more spacious area. But I remember sitting in the tatami room. And it was like late August, though, we could hear you know, we could hear the sounds of frogs outside there. Were like rice paddies right outside the apartments, and it was just so overwhelming. It's like, oh my god, I'm in Japan, I just will never forget that feeling. You know, so I can totally relate to you that I mean, travel is such a great discovery. And I still love that. So, yeah, plenty. I don't know, every time we go to the mountains here, people like to eat meat, cooked, you know, the whole day, you know, and it tastes so good. But like we would drive three hours south up into the mountains to go have lunch and then drive back for three hours just because it's like, so good. And they know how to cook it like properly. But it's just one of those things where people think like, you're crazy for doing that. But I just really enjoy it. And you're sitting there in between the trees. And I don't know, there's something just very peaceful about the whole thing like sitting outside on the old wooden chairs. And I just I enjoy that. And I have those moments where I'm like, That's when I noticed like, oh, yeah, I am actually somewhere else. Like this is not what I'm used to. So much more interesting. It stretches your mind and you know, your senses and all that. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. So how did you end up going from teaching to writing? Yeah, so I started template. When I got back from Japan. I told my husband that I would support him for a year so he can write his big novel. Do you want to be a writer? Well, it turned out that I actually did that for 29 years. Because I kind of realised that I'd like to work and I'm a shy extrovert. He's an outgoing introvert and so He actually was a stay at home dad when we had our kids. So it worked really well. I worked my way up the career ladder and was in the corporate world for 29 years. And I found myself I was drawn to the leadership roles, I was in major leadership roles. And I'd reinvented myself over and over again in the corporate world. And then after 28 years of this particular company, and the way I first started this company is I started out temping, and I was a temporary receptionist and admin assistant. And then I found out they had an editing department. So I applied to be in the editing department. And so that's where I was basically, I became a writer, technical writer and a proposal manager, and then I became a staff manager. And that's how I got my start was really temping. So it was a great, great place to work. And it was an environmental consulting firm. So after 28 years, we got acquired by a really big engineering firm. And my specialty was sustainability and corporate citizenship, like social impact communications. And also I was part of our Corporate Communications Group, which had some toxic leadership. So So after all that time, right after we got acquired, my position was eliminated. And so it was actually very generous, they gave me either two weeks to find another job in the company, or I could take my severance, and go somewhere else. And so I had a decent severance, you know, not compared to tech companies, but I probably had like two or three months, you know, salary. So I knew that I didn't think I could stay in a company that would still employ these toxic leaders. So I so I left and within a month, I found what I thought was my ideal job. And it was as a communications manager for a small company, located here in Portland. And the first day on the job was horrible. And I stuck it out for a year. And there were some really positive things about that company, and you know, and and that year, but then a year later, I got my job eliminated, again, got laid off again, or made redundant. Did you say your? Yeah, whatever is the polite way for getting thrown out thing? Yes, exactly. It made redundant in many ways kind of says it more than got laid off, you know. Yeah, so that was really devastating. But you know, nowadays, what I look back on that I feel like it was a real gift to me. Because all the years that I was in corporate, I always thought, well, you know, someday would be really cool to open my own firm. And, you know, I had that in the back of my head. And so after I got laid off, I was like, Okay, this is it. This is what I meant to do. It took me a while to get there. I want to be completely honest about that, that I'm absolutely there. And I realised that that's what I was meant to do. So I am a writer and marketing communications coach, and or consultant, and I love to help clients communicate clearly and painlessly. That's what I do for a living. And I founded this company called fertile ground communications. And the reason I called it fertile ground was that I was looking for my own fertile ground, in my career, so that it was really meaningful to me. So yeah, and I passionately committed to social justice and inclusion, and have really made it a priority to share stories of people who are historically excluded in the media culture. Hmm, that's something that I found really interesting. So I agree about the name. Like when I saw that, I was like, reading through the website, and then I thought, I loved the way you've expressed this whole thing that every person has a story to tell, that can really make them shine. And a lot of times, like we can see the story, I don't know if that's like a super thing. But if you asked me to, like, you know, tell people more about myself, I'd be like, oh, yeah, and I did a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and whatever. But you know, you kind of like brush it under the carpet, I will be like us nothing, you know, like minimising the whole thing, the good things and the bad things, you know, we can minimise, like everything, I guess. So I thought that that was very, very powerful. Because if we're not able to tell our story, the world is not going to move ahead in any which way, we're not going to make any positive impact on anybody. Because our story is, I guess the thing that leads us to impacting other people. And that won't happen if we don't know how to share it, or if we don't feel confident to share it. Absolutely. Do you think it was when you were working? And you were having this experience of having like the toxic leadership team and all these practices being employed and people being almost, you know, like little victims in different places in the company, or somebody gets picked on and then they disappear and someone else gets picked on? Was it then that you started thinking more about inclusion and having people's voices heard more? Or is that something that comes from even before when you were abroad, and you had a different experience and it really broadened your mindset to see that people can be vastly different. But still, just because it's different, it doesn't mean it's not any good. Is that something that was work or personal history? I think it was personal history really, with a combination of what I saw in the workplace, too, so. So I was kind of born passionate about social justice, I think and about people who are excluded. And then the other thing is my personal history. So I was born with birth defects, I had a cleft palate and a cleft lip. And so I got bullied a lot when I was a junior high. And so I think that it made me more attuned to other people and how they were feeling. So I think I've always been pretty sensitive to how other people are feeling. But I think over the years, as I've worked with a variety of people, and also I'm a voracious reader. So I've always been interested in reading stories about or by people who are different cultures, or who had different types of experiences and things like that. So yeah, I don't know, I think it was just the way I was wired, partly, but then I become much more intentional about what my, what my passion and what my kind of my legacy is, I think I wouldn't call it a legacy really, this is my this is what I'm called to do right now, I think. Yeah, like that. I think it's something that so many of us are looking for. And I think we actually know the the answers in our story, that's what I think like, it's our experience. And if we just, you know, sometimes I don't want open my eyes to that. I'm just like, oh, yeah, look at that another time. Put that out there. But yeah, I think that's really where the answer lies for so many of us. So seeing that the passion, and the work was in for not necessarily in writing, actually, how did you think podcasting was the best method to use instead of, for example, you know, writing articles to share people's stories, or putting together a book or a gazillion different options that you would have literally to get the word out. Why podcasting out of all mediums? Yeah, that's a good question. You know, it's funny, because a lot of people who are professional writers, you know, they're like, Oh, I started writing when I was a child. And I did write when I was a child that I, I was sort of spotty, like, I would start a diary or journal, and then I wouldn't stick with it. Well, so I wrote a lot of letters, I was, uh, you know, back because I'm way older, the you back in the old days, you know, we wrote a lot of letters. So I did a lot of that kind of writing. But I actually started blogging when I like 2003 2002, maybe 2003, a long time ago. And so I would chronicle things travels, I have a lot of stories on my blog about places I've travelled to. But also, as my kids were growing up, I would use the blog as a vehicle to kind of keep track of what was going on, I feel kind of bad, because I have sort of been ignoring my personal blog, and I kind of miss it. But anyway, I also would use it to spill out my thoughts about politics and things that are going on in the world. So when I started my business, I really was intentional about I want to be able to say whatever the hell I want to say, in my business, and not have to worry about somebody else telling me like, oh, no, you can't say that. You know, yeah. Because that was an issue, right? When you're in a big corporate world, you can't say something that might offend a client or, you know, so tired of that. It's like, I want to be myself, I want to say whatever I want to say. So I started writing about communications, as was a lot of, you know, on my professional blog about communications, but I also started talking about started writing about the workplace like about toxic work environments, and how to communicate better more effectively. I don't remember exactly how much I wrote about race before George flow just murdered that when George Floyd is murdered on the same day that Amy Cooper was the woman in Central Park that called the police on Christian Cooper no relation for birding while black. That happened on the same day in May 2020. And so I wrote an article about the weaponization of white women's tears and I just kind of spilled out my guts right my anger and and also my culpability as a as another white woman, you know, this is there's a history in this country of white women manipulating the situation to their to their favour by crying, and that's what Amy Cooper did. So I wrote this article and it went kind of viral on LinkedIn. And my teenage side was kept telling me like mom cuz I was getting trolls on LinkedIn these racist Of course, of course. Yeah, he would look for articles about diversity, inclusion, and you know, say horrible things. And my son was like, Mom, this is a good thing. So I was found by I have two people. One of them. Her name is Jackie capers, Brown. And she's a podcaster at a business coach in Columbia, South Carolina. And the other one is named Charles Jackson. And he's a video podcaster in Tampa, Florida. So they both invited me on their shows to talk about this article. And when I had the conversation with Jackie, I found that even though she was interviewing me, I found through my conversations with her that she has been through a shit tonne in her life. Like she saw her mom die when she was 13 years old. She also lost a son when he was like 18 years old. So we also bonded over the song Rise Up by Andra day, because that's she asked me about my, what's my favourite song, and I said, that's my favourite song. So it was all around the topic of resilience. And Jackie has this incredible resilience. So after being interviewed by those two, I thought, you know, I've always felt really inspired by stories of people who've been through a shit tonne of their lives and who have become stronger because of it, because that's kind of that's my story, I told you that I had, you know, Virta facts. I've also dealt with, like my oldest son was born at just 24 weeks gestation, one pound, six ounces, tiny little thing. And so that was my first experience of motherhood. So he was in the NICU for 117 days, I also had a freak benign ear tumour thing in my 40s, that caused me to have four surgeries, including one on my brain. So I have been through a lot in my life, right. And when I was a kid, I had all these surgeries. But my mom tells me that I was always really happy, I was a happy baby, I was a happy kid, even though I was going through all this awful stuff that no child should have to a door. So I'm just fascinated by why are some people able to take, you know, survive all this stuff and be resilient, and other people it just destroys. So I'm just fascinated by these people who are able to overcome so much. So that's why I decided to start a podcast, partly because Jackie, the conversation with Jackie was really a good one. And I thought, I think this would be really interesting to do. So that's how I was drawn to it. And Jackie was sort of my mentor in podcasting, too. She was very helpful as I was getting started. And so I have two podcasts. My first one is called Finding fertile grounds. And it's stories of grit and resilience. And my first episode was a refugee from Parindey that I had met at an event type, I've coordinated and she left baroody, when she was six months old, and her family was in a refugee camp in Tanzania. She came to the US when she was telling me she has such a story. So I knew I wanted to start with illevate story. So and I know a lot of people who've been through a lot too. So I just made a list of all these people who have grit and resilience stories that I started contacting them. So that's how I started, I find some interesting topic because I've also not had like the best whole bunch of a good few years. And it's kind of something that I had other people comment on it were like, Oh, I can't believe you know, after all that, you know, you keep going. And I'm like, Well, you know, like, what else am I supposed to be doing? It's kind of the thing where I don't give up about anything. So my boyfriend always says, I'm kind of like, I'll bang my head against the wall until I find a spot that's like soft enough that I get. Well, it sounds like I need to interview you for my podcast anytime I'm up to one of the the other thing that I've actually just started Season Two of my podcast, and I've actually kind of switched it up a little bit. Because before it was just stories of grit and resilience on a variety of topics. But now I really tried to focus on people who have found their fertile ground in their career, or in what they're doing in life. So I think that your story would be a perfect one for that. Yeah, totally up for Yeah, it's powerful to hear from people that managed to achieve, despite anything and everything. And it's the thing where I'm like, Oh, I see all the options, and I see all the pathways, how it goes for people. And I find those pathways more interesting than anything else. Because not everything always works out the way you think it does. So you have to, you know, go left, go right and keep going in that general direction. And it just is what it is. And I think if you have the expectation that something is just going to go from there to there in a straight line, you're probably going to get disappointed because it probably doesn't happen like that. So I'm like, Okay, well, I hope it goes that way. But I'm not expecting it to go that way. Because it probably it won't, but especially when you start your own business. Well, yeah. He said that you had some support in the form of someone who's already walked the path, which I think is very useful. And how did you feel before the first episode went live? Well, you know, thinking back to when I was first interviewed by Jackie and Charles, I remember how nervous I was so nervous. Oh, My gosh, I think back on that, and I mean, I still I might get a little nervous, especially if I'm interviewing someone semi famous. Like I've interviewed some authors, and I was very nervous before those, but I was so nervous back then. And I also have never, I was telling my husband this the other day, I'd never have liked my voice. I've always been, you know, that's typical, right? Most people don't like their voices. But one thing that podcasting has done for me is that I don't mind my voice now at all. In fact, I like it. It's really interesting. Because you when you're editing podcasts, right? You listen to the podcast. Yeah, yes. Yeah, you don't you do your own editing, I do my own editing. And so I've just I've gotten used to my voice. And I think it doesn't bother me now. So. So my first interview, I was just really, I was excited. And I think I really helped because the first few people that I don't remember the first person I interviewed that I didn't actually know the first few people that I interviewed, I at least knew a little bit. I didn't know incredibly well, like my second interview was with a woman who is living with stage four breast cancer. Skye Leibold. That's probably my most popular episode, actually. So I didn't know her incredibly well. But we had served on a choir board together. So I knew her vaguely right. And so that helped me a lot that I actually had met them in person. But with the pandemic, obviously, starting a podcast of the pandemic, it's actually been a gift because I've interviewed people, you know, in other parts of the world, I've interviewed a few people in Italy, you know, so whereas in the old days, I think a lot of podcasters were like in a studio. And you know, it was before everybody had zoom and so, so now I'm much more relaxed about it, but I just remember how nervous I was. And I didn't you know how they say often for podcasters when you start a podcast, you should start with three episodes. My first podcast, I did lot to that I just started with one. And I shared it a lot on social media. Yeah, I was excited about it. But I was nervous before doing the first interview. I think I remember the first time I went live on Facebook, I was sweating. I was like, press the button now like now Yeah, then within 10 seconds, the bin lorry went outside my house and started collecting the trash and I was like I would get more nervous. I get more nervous going live. I've taken some webinars about tick tock and things that I know that tick tock supposed to be really good for you're promoting a podcast and that's not live most of tick tock dot live, but I'm more comfortable with audio than video. I think I still haven't gotten over that nervousness. So and Facebook Live. I've done a few lives too. And that makes me more nervous. I think there's something about a podcast is first of all, audio. And second of all, I edit my podcast pretty heavily. So I really care about the product. I want to make sure it's really high quality. Whereas Facebook Live, you're just winging it, right? So and whatever happens happens, that's the thing. I'm never someone collected my rubbish. And I was like, I'm like, wait a second, like, oh, so I find the podcast also controllable. And I have I was saying the other day, I have way too many bad hair days to be doing YouTube on the regular because I just wake up and I look like my hand was like in the plug socket or something. I think everything is sticking up. And I'm like, I'm not going to record myself looking like this. And I don't want to go and fix it. And I don't know. So I find the podcast is like the sweet medium, because it doesn't matter how you look, you can still go and get the recording done. So definitely works for me. Hey, are you spending hours extra editing every other week? Because you forgot to do things like switching off your aircon or moving the dog outside of the house? Did you secure an amazing guest interview only to then forget to press record? Or maybe your guest forgot to press record. And now you have to work with a really low quality backup recording. Do you want to batch your show and finally get ahead but you can't for the life of you remember what's already done and what's not. Don't worry, this is really normal. There are way more steps involved in running a successful high quality podcast than meets the eye. And it's really easy to forget something here and there. But let's be realistic. If you really want to grow your show, you can't carry on like this. If you want to design a podcasting workflow that works, then grab our podcast workflow blueprint now, you'll get immediate access to our entire podcast workflow that we've been using with all of our clients for months. The Blueprint contains a video training that explains exactly how our system works, the Trello board template that you can just plug into your account or transfer to your platform of choice. The fully customizable template episode workflows, guest email swipes and as a bonus, the guest booking automation video training. You can check it all out and get your copy at pristine podcast.com forward slash blue print. And now back to the episode. Was there anything you were scared of? Was there any like thought? Like, what if? Oh, I don't think so I don't think I was really scared. No, I can't think of anything. Hmm. Yeah, that's someone, you know, judges me, and what if someone from my work hears this and those kind of things? But no, that's the freeing thing about having your own business that I don't really give a shit anymore. You know what I mean? Right? I don't have to worry about that. And, and I've written pretty openly about toxic work environments, and actually shared anecdotes without sharing names, you know. So I love the freedom of being able to do that. And I'm not outing anyone. Specifically, I just am talking about toxicity. And so stay with the podcast. I was nervous. I have to say, though, on my birthday, last year, I did a podcast about my own story. I was nervous about that one, because I've talked pretty openly, like I was sexually assaulted when I was 13. And I've talked pretty openly about that, you know, over the course of the podcast, but I told that story, you know, in that podcast, and that made me nervous because it was all me for the whole episode. You know, and I don't think fear is really has been really part of my emotions. It's more nervousness, though. Yeah. I think nervousness is good, though. It's probably something you got to do. Right? Right. So yeah, yeah, I've always, you know, I've that the irony of of me is that I've always loved that, quote, leap, and the net will appear. But it wasn't until I had to start my own business. And now I look at it and say, I got to start my own business. But until I was faced with that, I mean, that was really the first time in my life where I was on a situation that was not of my own making. You know, like when I went to Japan, I made that choice. Yeah, you right. Yeah. Yeah. And so I think that that is the same thing with podcasting. I think that you jump in, you just have to trust that. You're gonna be fine. That's kind of I guess I'm getting used to that being a business owner. Yeah, no. What's the worst thing that's gonna happen? Okay, he started podcast, no one listens. Yeah, okay, exactly. That's what that happens to everybody. You know, for the most part, he started podcast, and very few people listened to it. And that's okay. You know, this and that and not knowing, you know, from year to year, you don't you know, when you're a business owner, you don't know for sure how you're going to do the next year, right. You have to be willing to live with little risk. And so yeah, podcasting is like that, too. And, you know, it's funny, because I'm on these podcasting groups on Facebook. And there are people who are braggarts, they go on and on about how many downloads they have. I mean, they're, you know, they, they drive me crazy. And my podcasts are, you know, I mean, they're not, like wildly successful, I would say that they're, according to what I've read, they are like, Elon bought 10% of podcasts, because a lot of podcasts just fizzle. Right? You know, like, 75%, or something like that. So yeah, exactly. Exactly. And you know, what really makes my day is if somebody says to me, Oh, I listened to You're such a sad part, because that was really interesting. Because I don't always really know who's listening to my podcast, right? So that is what I live for. And if I inspire people, even if I inspire one person, I've done my job. So I try to be more focused on that than the downloads. But I started a new podcast in April, and it's just taken a little bit longer to get to take off, I think, because it has a different audience. It's more about business. It's called companies that care. And so that's been a little bit slower to get going. But it's really interesting stuff. So yeah, I'm hoping that if I just keep with it, it'll catch traction. I think it will, like I found that you can say something one way, and then you just say it a little bit differently next time. And suddenly, you've hit the nail on the head with what resonates with the right person that you're looking for. And sometimes it just takes a little bit of time. Like, I really like to work with expert based businesses. I don't care what you're an expert in, but I feel like you know, when you know a lot about it, and then you ask the person the question, and they go, so. And then they start, that's when I know I'm talking to somebody who's really passionate about it. And it could be anything. And it doesn't matter what it is that they do with I don't care if you're passionate about Star Wars, like if you've got something to share, and there's people that who are really interested in it as well. And you can form a community around it. I think that's amazing. And that's what this is so great for. And yeah, there's lots of people who have podcasts who just want to chat with their friends every Sunday for one and a half hours and they record themselves. That's great, but that's not who I can help because I don't know anything about that. I don't know how it works, and I don't listen to it. Right. So I can't be you know, if it works for you. That's amazing. But I just I can't offer you anything of value because I don't know anything about your audience. I don't know what the point is. So I'm not really sure about that and that It's taken me a while to figure out, you know, through doing and through talking to people, that there's people who I really do not want to work with, because we can't help them. Right. So it's sometimes just in the choice of words and what you're talking about. And I think with time and with refining all of that, traction comes eventually through the consistency and through reaching more of the right people, and they share it with their friends, and they share it with other people that they know might be interested. And over time these things just grow. And yes, it might take a little bit longer. So what Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think if it's worth it, it's it's worth it. Right. So what would you think are some of the long term goals not just for the podcast, but as far as impacts concerned? Like if there's something that you could help to change? Be the vehicle, the podcasts, or the actual work directly, you know, in the form of consulting, what would be the change that you would like to see? Well, I think that my two shows have different goals. My first show, my goal is to inspire people. That's my number one goal. And I also want people to feel like they're not alone. Because you know, I've interviewed a lot of people who've been through trauma and sexual assault or abusive childhoods or you know, recently I interviewed a guy who was brought up in the Seventh Day Adventist Church and he's gay are these bisexual saris, bisexual, black, bisexual, young man, so he shared his story, and he had just been in a, an emotionally and physically abusive relationship, his very first boyfriend, and it was just like a, it was a, it was a shit show. Yeah, exactly. So So and a lot of people have this stereotypes about domestic violence and domestic abuse, that it's, you know that it's a domineering man and a submissive woman. Well, in this case, it was the same sex relationship. So you know, things like that. Very, yeah, my guests have gone through a lot. And so when people hear their stories, I want them to feel connected to my guests. And almost, with the exception of the one interview, I mean, the one birthday story I did about myself, and then one little mini episode, all of my podcast episodes are interviews. So I want people to feel inspired, feel like they're not alone. And then for my second one, olm, actually, with my rebranding of my first podcast, I want people to feel like, they don't have to be stuck in a dead end job, that life is too short, to be unhappy, working in a cubicle. And, you know, with people who you're not crazy about, or working for a boss that you don't respect, life's too short to be unhappy in your job. So I want people to get some hope out of stories of people who went on to do something different. And I've also found this is really another conclusion I found with my podcast is, a lot of people have started their businesses based on their grit stories. So like, I interviewed a widow, who actually, you know, was widowed at a very young age with two young children. And she created a business to help other widows, you know, so that is just like man, or another woman who I interviewed on my company's to care podcast, who had an eating disorder growing up, and she started a boutique that has a mission to make every person feel beautiful when they leave her shop. And she has a foundation that raises money for people who are going through eating disorder treatment. So like, I'm so inspired by these people that have taken their experiences and have created something like a business or about profit out of that, like amazing. So. So that is, yeah, those are some of my goals. And for the other podcast companies that care, I interviewed business leaders who are trying to make the world a better place for all. So whether that's in sustainability, or social impact, or philanthropy, or something along those lines, or just being a caring company. And my goal for that is, again, to inspire people that capitalism does not have to be a selfish thing. It can be something that you can help other people with, you can create a company that actually has part of his vision to help people. So I want people to think about business in a different way. Those are my goals. They're very interesting, because obviously, Albania has been a communist country up until very recently, and the people are struggling you know, there's that, you know, you must help others at all costs. Even if you yourself don't have anything to eat. You know, you have to share you can't make sure that you're looked after. And the companies are profiting from the, you know, making as much money in the shortest period of time despite what happens to the people So it is it's very hard to see. And I believe that there can be a middle ground of sorts. And it is unfortunately going to be private businesses that will have to care. You know, here is private businesses putting roads and villages because they have a company, their their trucks are breaking down. So they're putting down a road, because the government is not going to put down a road. They're too busy stealing the money. So Oh, my gosh, it's, so it is going to be businesses that have to care more than other people. And if they don't care, either, then yeah, it's not going to be very pleasant, long term. So it's going to take a while, I think, for people to experience change, and to think beyond their own pocket. That must be a real illuminating experience to live in a country like that right now, while they're going through those growing pains. Yeah, very interesting. Very sad to see sometimes. But, you know, it's very frustrating. You know, when I'm talking to people, and they're like, Oh, well, you know, I'm just waiting for a man to come along and take me out of my parents house. And I'm like, yep. And, you know, you could just move out yourself, right? Yeah. But like, oh, no, because you know, and I'm like, okay, yeah, sure. Like, you're up against like, a monstrosity, that you can't fight by yourself. It's not gonna, not gonna happen, but for sure, I didn't. I was so blissfully ignorant before I came here, you know, I thought everyone grew up with the same thing. I was in Germany, I went to the UK, I assumed everyone would have a similar experience, like completely, blissfully ignorant. And then I'm here and I'm like, What do you mean, you don't have hot water? What do you mean, you don't have any running water after 10pm? Like, what what do you mean? And I'm like, Okay, right, like, things are really different. So I learned so much, and so much more needs to happen, but slow going for sure. That's very eye opening. I think it's felt like a developing country, really, I think, probably a develop everybody should travel or live in a developing country at some point of their lives. Yeah. Yeah, counter sign that like I, like I said, so ignorant. And then when people share, you know what it's really like, then I'm like, Oh, I see. Right. Okay, very different. And then I can imagine what their experiences and then you understand where their attitude comes from, and then you understand why they would fake their papers to get across the border. And then you understand why, you know, and they complain about that anymore. I'm like, I'm not making fun of people who are desperate or who get married for money, I stopped making fun of it, because your situation can be really dire. And if that is a way that you can get out of it, you know, go for it. Like just yeah, you need to look after yourself. And here, no one's going to look after you. So you're going to do whatever you can. Wow. But it's it's very difficult to think it's 2021. And that's the necessity that's out there. So yeah, lots of work needed, I guess, to facilitate some kind of change. So yeah, we've talked happily over our time, as usual, as it's happened with every single interview, I will definitely go and change the timings that we plan in so we can try and stick to it. Because so many interesting people, so many interesting stories. I don't know if that happens to you when you're interviewing people, and you're like, oh, yeah, I want to know. You know, there have been a few that have, you know, like, oh, it's not my favourite necessarily. Yeah. And so they tend to be shorter. You know what I mean? Yeah, it's when you question and the answer is, yes, I do. Yeah. Or, you know, actually, I had this one interview, a few, maybe two or three episodes ago. And I went ahead and used it. But I like it. I was really on the fence. I asked her because I always ask people the beginning, tell me your childhood story. Because I like you. I'm really interested in how people get to be a certain way and what makes them tick. And I think, yeah, I was thinking this child, his story was even before I said, What's your grit and resilience story? She taught, I swear for nine minutes without stopping. So yeah, and I think she had been on a lot of podcasts. And what she told me was all her website, she had like a language that, you know, kind of a narrative that she used for everything. And I did end up using the the ad, but it was not my favourite. I think that's why I really struggled. So we do, you know, podcast editing for clients alongside some other things. So we listened to a lot of podcasts, right? And I've always found it interesting how sometimes it just, you know, just doesn't materialise, or we've edited somewhere, there was more filler words than there was words. So it's become very difficult to like use or we had somewhere the person's just been doing like a sales pitch throughout the entire thing. Like every reply was a sales pitch. Yes. And I was like, Oh, I don't think I would want to publish that. So I'm like, I'm going to be very honest. Because if I did an interview, and then the person went, I don't want to publish that. Thanks. You know, I'd be like, oh, so I'm like, I'm gonna put a disclaimer there upfront. Yeah, I really like that disclaimer, because I think I want to be honest that for me, yeah. And the other thing that I found, which I you know, as we both are learning things through podcasting, was that a lot of coaches love to be on podcast, like life coaches. You know what golfer roulette, some kind of coaches, they love that. And so they also tend to be the types who kind of use podcasts as their platform to advertise their services. And sometimes that can go on and on. And when I started my second podcast, I actually put on the sheets, or whatever the graphic and what I was looking at looking for. I actually said, generally, I'm not interested in coaches, you know, I'm kind of going that way. Because it's Yeah, have you had that experience? So I've worked online for about six years now. So I've not I used to work in daycare back in the day, and then I've had a bit of a change, but it's been six years now. And a lot of my clients were business coaches, coaching business coaches, who coach business coaches, and I did a lot of marketing and tech and still do for a good few hours a week. And yeah, it's kind of unless I know that there's substance behind what the person is doing. Yeah, I'm probably also not very interested. Yeah, just because it's all the same, right? And I don't like teaching these achy. So a lot of the stuff that I talk about, like on Instagram, I'm like, right, like you mentioned earlier, launching with multiple episodes. Yeah, you can do that. But you also cannot do that. Yes, it might blow up. Yes. It might not blow up. Yes, it might work for you. If you already have a major audience, if you don't, it's not gonna make a difference. You can launch with one and just not stress yourself out, like, yeah, do you? And yeah, yes, you can do use smartly. Or you can do you not knowing anything, and you just fall over 17 times, if you have the, you know, mojo to keep going, you will just keep going. And that's your choice as well, I can give you, you know, a heap of tips along the way of what I've seen may or may not make a difference. But in the end, if you don't feel comfortable, if you don't have the time to batch record, you know, five episodes, we'll start with one, then whenever it's not in the long run, it's not going to make a difference. Yeah, and I did with my second one, I did that launch with three. And I was just telling somebody the other day who's thinking about starting a podcast, like I saw no difference. Yeah, I actually got more numbers of my first one that I did with my second one. I don't think it makes a difference. Just you know, this woman who she does, like, it's YouTube, like Monday, motivational minutes sort of things are messages of like, Yeah, you should be doing, you should be doing the podcast, you should be putting on a podcast, like it's fine real estate, you can just extract the audio, export it, upload it, don't have to do anything else, you've already created the content. I think that's one of the things I talk about a lot is having one thing as that central piece of content, and then having everything else just be a regurgitation of whatever that central bit is. And if you can do video, then do video because it gives you the most options for repurposing, but if you don't like video, then consider podcasting. And speaking in general is not your thing, then write very good, very long, very optimised blog content. Like there's always an option. I don't even tell people Yeah, you have to be doing podcasting. No, you don't if you don't like it, you don't have to do shit. Like I don't like it fine. Don't do it. Right. It's not for everyone. I'm sure not. I think the other thing is you need to be really comfortable. I feel like the kind of podcasting I do. I feel like I need to really be vulnerable and authentic with my guests to invite that from them. Right. It's a trust thing. It's like, Yeah, put something out. They put something out. And that's how it happens. For sure. And not everyone likes to do that. No, no. And not everyone is suitable to be a podcast guest. I mean, I've told people like, are you comfortable? spill your guts. Oh, audio because I asked some hard hitting questions. I asked, you know, people of colour I asked them about, you know, when did they first experienced racism, you know, are asked immigrants about what it feels like when you first came here came to the country for the first time, you know, and not everybody wants to talk about those things, though. They're not easy times. But yeah, I think that's where the biggest learning experience is like, sometimes it's only after the bad things happen that I can see. I'm like, All right, I could see where that went wrong some time ago. Right. We're gonna do that another time. Because now I I know. And a lot of times I realised that while I'm explaining it to someone, and then I'm like, now that I'm saying it out loud, just connecting this thing or that thing down there. And I should have seen that sooner, like good point. You sound like you have a lot of wisdom in your very young years. Because you're pretty young. I'm a sparkling 32. So yes, yes, no, I really You do seem to have a lot of wisdom. So yeah, I buy that. But I have you know, sometimes you have wisdom when you think about it, or you look at other people's things. And then still in your own, you know, in your own business, you're still like, I'm going to fall over this one. I'm going to trip over here. I'm not going to listen to this person, or they've told me five times not to do. Right, right. So the different kinds of wisdom. So, a question that I like to ask everyone, is there any tip that anyone's ever given to you that has ever become like a little mantra or something you can fall back to as Anyone ever said anything that really resonated? Well, I can think of two things that you can use which one you want, if you don't have time for both. The first thing was when I was in high school, I was on this speech team. And we used to go around to other high schools, or no, actually, it was college campuses, they would have like a de la the speech and debate competition. And we would, you know, give her speeches that compete. And my high school English teacher was the coach. And we were sitting around in like, a University Centre, during the competitions, like, between the matches, and another student group had music blaring really loud. And I complained to her about a psycho, that group has their music so loud, and she said to me, Marie, there's no use complaint a unless you're going to do something about it. So I that has always stuck with me that like, yeah, if I have an opportunity to do something about it, I need to do something about it instead of just completed. So that gave me kind of the, you know, I can't say I always have the courage to confront something like that, then I think in that case, I probably just shut up. I stopped complaining, right? That's one thing that really has stuck with me ever. The other thing that is more on a professional basis was I think I was 31 when I got a really big promotion at work. And I went from managing a very small publications group in my company to managing a four or five office multi state. So like, yeah, it was a huge step up. And I was, you know, like, struggling with, I felt like I needed to pitch for a raise, because it didn't automatically come with a raise. So I needed to ask for a raise. And so I talked to a couple of male mentors of mine. And one of them said to me, Marie, you need to think like a man. And that was really helpful for me, because, you know, often as women, we undervalue what we can provide. Oh, yeah. And especially in the business world, you know, you probably heard the statistic that women are fully likely to interview for a job if we're, like, 100% qualified for it, and a man is, is likely to apply if they're, like 50 or 60%. Qualified, you know, and there's that quote about I wish I had the confidence of a mediocre white man. Yeah, that's actually I was gonna say I just Denise Duffield Thomas did this talk some time ago about how men sell and how women sell? Uh huh. Yeah. So she was like, she's got this phone. And she's like, she's like, okay, so I'm the man. Now. Here's this phones. 200. Do you want to buy it? Bs? Thanks. Here's the money, goodbye. And then she goes in, here's how women sell. I've got this phone, but it's really not very good. So I better not show it to you. Well, maybe if I lost another 30 pounds or so then I could show you the phone. And okay, here is the phone, but I'm not really sure it should be 200. Because that would have cost me about what you have. What would you give me 50 for it? You know, it was so true. I like I'd never noticed how much we do do that. And our people ask me all sorts of questions, because they're like, why do you change jobs every year and a half kind of thing. And I'm like, Well, I was a nursery assistant. Then I was a nursery nurse and I was a room leader. Then I was a deputy manager. And then I was a manager. There was no growth opportunity where I worked. So I went to get another job. Because that an unusual thing to be doing. Like, I don't want to be doing the same thing for the next like 10 years for no reason whatsoever. But that was That was weird. That was like worth the question. Or I used to do tech obviously had this guy tell me he was like, Well, I thought you were really very knowledgeable. But I couldn't have a woman in charge of our tech. Oh, really? I was like, no worries. Like, I wish you the best of luck with your a nice day. Yes, exactly. Thanks for dodging a bullet. Like imagine if he'd like taken me on. And then I would have worked for him. And then he would have complained every other day about some made up thing. But things like that, where I'm like, did he just say that? Yeah. And I'm like, okay. Okay, like, so I just lucked out. And I was like, right, I'm gonna go find someone that's a bit more dodged a bullet? Yes. Like, thank you for telling me that. Yes, exactly. So that's I think it's it's really true that we've been put in a position where I think everyone's had so many experiences of being kind of like excluded a little bit, that it's easier to just not put yourself out there. Because you feel like you know, you're not really good enough. Although you might have the same results. I see that with business owners all the time, particularly the ones that run agencies, they get the same results that male counterparts get, but it's my Facebook feed is full of men going, hey, here are these amazing results I achieved. I do want to come and hire me. And the women are like writing all this fluffy stuff. And I'm like, Well, if you just did the same thing. I think it would work either way. Right? Right. We tend to use a lot more words. Yeah, I feel like we need to we need to explain ourselves more. But yeah, yeah. I could rant about that for two hours. I guess that would be a good topic for a podcast. That would be interesting. So where can people find out more about you? Where can they find the podcast? Where can Yeah, I have a website, www. Fertile Ground communications.com. Everything's there. I also have, I'm on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and under fertile ground communications. Perfect, I'm easy to find. I'll put everything also in the show notes for everyone so that it's easy to connect, because I think there'll be lots of people in the audience that will be very interested to listen and to find out more. So yeah, and I have podcast tabs for both of my podcasts on my website with a list of all the episodes and I usually write blog posts for each episode too. So photos and stuff like that. Oh, so you're bigger communicator. That's me, I'm like, I will talk another three hours. Thank you so much for taking the time to do the interview. I really enjoy so many different podcasts talking about so many different things, and all of them equally interesting. And I'm kind of like, regretful that. In all the however many years there are left for us to listen to each other's podcasts. That that I think about that so many interesting things like, Oh, I always used to say, how could you pick one career, but just do one thing. But this is interesting. And this is interesting. And this is interesting. And I'd like to know how to do that. And that and that lay? How could you just pick one thing? Well, I have to say that's the other thing about podcasting I love is I have met more interesting people in the last two years that I have for years. I mean, fascinating people all over the world. And about one or two months ago, I met this woman who I felt like it was my soulmate. She's a black woman who lives in Italy. Really, I know. And we I found her on Huffington Post. So I contacted her and said, Could I interview she had a really interesting grit and resilience story. And we really hit it off. You know, it's like how I mean, things like that podcast, it gives you an opportunity to meet these fascinating people who have incredible stories. So I love that about it. Yeah, that definitely I can vouch for that. So thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today. I really enjoyed chatting about all of those topics that there isn't enough hours in the day to talk about. And I would love to talk again, I've seen him saying that to everybody. I would love to talk again, potentially, you know, in a few months down the line as well, because I love to hear how their journeys developed. And you know, if there's anything that has changed, that's really taken off and how that's come about, because there's always a point where things start changing and start growing quite a lot. And I think it gives us a lot of perspective shifts. So I think I'll definitely reach out to everybody again, to do some kind of follow up and to see what's changed and what's new. Yeah, sounds great. Thank you so much for your time, Justice Federer. Pleasure. Thanks. Alright, so that's it for the interview. I really hope that you enjoyed our chat. I know I did. I'd love to hear what your thoughts are. So why not stop by over on Instagram. You can find us at pristine podcasts so that we can discuss the show together. You can go and find out more about Murray at fertile ground communications calm and you'll find all of her links in the episode show notes as well. That's it for me for this episode. If you enjoyed the show our entire team would appreciate if you leave us a review. If you would like to be a guest on the podcast or if you'd like to talk about collaborations then please drop us an email. You'll also find the email address in the show notes. As always, I hope you have an amazing day and we will see you for the next time. That's it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening. We really appreciate you. If you're ready to step out of overwhelm. Then don't forget to check out the podcast workflow blueprint at pristine podcast.com forward slash blueprint. The link is also in the show notes
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