Mick MontgomeryMick Montgomery http://www.mickmontgomery.com Content Creator | Producer | Blogger | Podcaster Tue, 05 Sep 2017 16:41:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://i2.wp.com/www.mickmontgomery.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/cropped-Montgomery_Avatar.png?fit=32%2C32 Mick Montgomery http://www.mickmontgomery.com 32 32 My Juice Cleanse Detox Report #fitwithmick http://www.mickmontgomery.com/myjuicecleansedetox/ http://www.mickmontgomery.com/myjuicecleansedetox/#respond Tue, 05 Sep 2017 16:41:32 +0000 Mick Montgomery http://www.mickmontgomery.com/?p=2488 Need to jump start your a new healthy lifestyle? Maybe a Juice Cleanse Detox is the right solution for you. It certainly was for me, and Let me share why it was helpful, and why it was challenging.

This will be a quick Blog post, but I hope it is an informative Blog Post! This past weekend was Labor Day weekend, and while most folks in the U.S. were taking it easy with a well earned holiday. I decided to do something a bit more challenging than that. I decided after months and months of false starts, I was going to do something drastic to kick my booty in gear for this long awaited journey to fitness I had put off.

Why did I do this? Well, I’ve noticed over the past few months that despite healthier eating, I was seeing very little progress in weight loss. A trip to the doctor determined that my vitals were normal and blood analysis did not turn up anything odd. A friend of mine at work asked me if I had considered a cleanse to jump start the process.

“At the very least, you’ll just feel better, and your body will get a ton of nutrients.” she said. That made sense to me. I had done a Juice Cleanse in the past and I liked the results but did not like the process. I knew this time around, it would probably be the same, but I had tried a lot of stuff. So, why not a Cleanse?

I followed the Joe Cross 3- Day Juice cleanse program, which you can find information on here. I know, it’s a Doctor Oz link. Gross, right? Well, the information is solid and Joe Cross is a go to person for solid information on the effects of losing weight through Juicing. He was the subject of the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. His website is here if you want to check it out. I have no familiarity with his products or programs outside of this three day cleanse. So, I do not advocate for any of that stuff. If you do, great, would love to hear your feedback below!

The Cleanse was simple enough. You drink five different fruit and vegetable juices every day for three days. You drink warm water with lemon in the morning and herbal tea at night. You eat one solid meal of fruits and vegetables at night. I followed this program to the T, but I did not do the Lunch Time juice recipe as I found it unbearably gross. I hate Gazpacho and it’s essentially liquid gazpacho. So, I made my own juice for lunch by day 2 and 3. It worked fine. There is no refined sugar, no caffeine.

Here were the results. I weighed in before the cleanse at 333 lbs. This is not my heaviest, but damn close. Now you can see why I wanted to try anything! After the cleanse this morning I was down to 326. That is a seven-pound swing. Now, a lot of that is ‘water weight’ and I acknowledge that, but that’s still a good chunk of weight off the ole body! I now feel really good now that I am on the othe side, but it was a rough experience, to say the least. Let me explain.

First, I had to sit through two social meals where everyone ate food like Fried Chicken and Waffles and Burgers and Fries and all kinds of fun stuff. There was a lot of social pressure to partake, but I held off, having to explain several times that I was on a cleanse. I had a lot of quizzical looks, but I just held my ground and drank my juice which resembled something you would find at the bottom of a fish aquarium.

The other part that I noticed were mood swings that I can attribute to low blood sugar. I certainly got more upset than I should have when I misplaced my car keys. Also, it is a LOT of work juicing this much! I have a masticating juicer so that helps, but it’s a lot of time cutting and juicing veggies and fruit. This is something I could probably stream line over time, but it was a lot of time standing at the counter making juice.

Here are some tips, if you want to do a cleanse like this for whatever reason. First, take care of yourself with rest. I slept a lot, and a took a nap in the afternoons. This helped out a ton. Second, go easy on exercise. I relied on swimming and walking, but avoided anything hardcore like the gym or cross-fit inspired workouts. Also, consider the right time and plan for it. I deliberately picked a non-busy three day weekend to do the cleanse. This helped a lot. I can see if you did this during say a busy week at work, you might have a melt down due to stress and fluctuating blood sugar levels. Also, if you have any health problems or conditions like Heart Disease or Diabetes, you REALLY need to consult a physician. I am not a doctor. I am a dude who tried a thing and found some positive results that worked for me. Everyone is different, and you should use caution.

All in All, this was a good experience for my overall health. I would like to figure out how I can incorporate what I learned from this experience into a sustainable lifestyle. I will let you know how that goes! Feel free to continue to follow this blog for more updates. If you have experience with cleanses and would like to leave feedback, feel free to leave a comment below! If you have questions, you can do that too!

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I’m Ready To Make Stuff http://www.mickmontgomery.com/im-ready-to-make-stuff/ http://www.mickmontgomery.com/im-ready-to-make-stuff/#respond Thu, 30 Mar 2017 16:10:18 +0000 Mick Montgomery http://www.mickmontgomery.com/?p=2416

It has been well over six months since I bowed out of the Content Creator Game. I left behind four successful and growing Podcasts to go work for one of the best companies in the United States. But that itch never left.

I needed a good long break away from working on Spazbot Studios and Podcasting and Streaming. I had given it my all for about two years, and we were rewarded with wonderful experiences and tremendous growth, but at the end of the day, I was WIPED OUT. After I quit my day job and finalized my last show at Spazbot Studios, I took a well needed four-day break. It was not until I was in the lap of leisure that I could see just how tired I was.

Physically, I was not healthy. Emotionally I was fine (due to some heavy therapy), but pretty spent. Creatively I was just simply done. I almost had zero interest to make anything. It took me a few days to absorb the magnitude of my ‘departure’, and once it sank in I realized I just needed some time to do something else and rest up a bit.

DAVE'S NEW BOOK: Head Strong!

I do not feel I need to go into the scope of what happened on the shows, but needless to say, I think they transitioned very well with me out of the picture and really started to find their own footing. I took a break from even listening to all of them, as I needed to just get some distance from it all.

However, gradually, slowly, my batteries re-charged and my focus renewed. When I arrived at the new job, I threw my entire professional focus at that gig. I needed to absorb the culture, adjust to being in a new industry, build relationships with colleagues, and just BE in that gig. However, after six months, I felt I was in a good enough groove that I needed to do something.

Luckily, The back half of Season 7 of The Walking Dead was about to premiere, so I decided to get BACK into the Hosting chair and resume my role as Producer on that show. It was good to get back into it and start Podcasting again. It was good to be in that rhythm of writing a show, recording, doing post, and releasing the episodes.

I also realized I could make some stuff on my own. I really could. Sure, I don’t think I could ever have the same workload I had from 2014 – 2016, but I could do some stuff!

So, what should I do?

JINX Brand

Well, for starters, I think I am going to do another Podcast. I have been working with a new producing Partner on it, and it’s been a really easy process. We have a name. We have a show format. We have hosts. So, I think we will give it a go and see how well it runs.

Also, I will be appearing on Dead Fans Talking regularly as Host, and I will probably start making some appearances on Super Heroic again.

Also, I really want to get into some personal filmmaking. It has been my hope to get better behind the camera producing Video Content, and while I get to be around some stellar video craft people on a daily basis, I do not get to make as much content as I should in order to grow, so I hope I can do some short form filmmaking on a project I’ve had in my head for a while.

I have a book to finish, which I’ve been working on off and on for a few years now. I should probably wrap up that draft and get it to an editor to maybe get chugging on that.

I also have a few screenplays and a stage play to wrap up and start circulating amongst colleagues for feedback.

I also have this Blog, which needs some love and attention, so I am going to do that at least once a week. I also have a few series to kick off here this year, that I think will bring some value to you readers on your own personal journeys.

Essentially, I need to make stuff on my own again. I need to do that. It’s just a part of what I am and what I need to do. I think there is tremendous value in getting paid for your creative work, but sometimes, as a creative person, you just have to do stuff for you, regardless of the monetary value of it. You just need to make stuff. That is what I hope to start doing again.

Stick around, as I am going to do some annoucements on this blog about some upcoming stuff!

What are your thoughts on this decision? I would love to know! Feel free to leave a comment below, or hit me up on Twitter! If Facebook is your thing, feel free to ping me on my Facebook Page! Lastly, feel free to follow me on Instagram. I’ve been doing more stuff with that photosharing app, some of that stuff is personal, some of it professional. Check it out!

Anyway, I missed creating. Let’s fix that! See you soon folks!

 

 

 

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What Happened To Me in 2016 http://www.mickmontgomery.com/my2016/ http://www.mickmontgomery.com/my2016/#respond Fri, 30 Dec 2016 19:15:46 +0000 Mick Montgomery http://www.mickmontgomery.com/?p=2378 MM Content Creation 2015v1

Sometimes the journey you start takes you to an unintended destination. We all get to decide what we do once we arrive. It has been well established by many that 2016 has been a rough year. I will not belabor that point in this post. My intention here is to celebrate the things worth celebrating that happened to me during this very complicated year.

This week I started my annual Goal Setting Process. I started a formal goal setting process under the tutelage of Fran Montano in 2007. This was during my ‘acting’ days, and Fran was both Acting Coach and default spiritual advisor. I learned the value of setting intention around the new year from Fran, and have continued that trend ever since. I will take you through my process in separate post. Suffice to say, I am in process and step one is expressing gratitude to those around you who helped you achieve your goals, or simply did something wonderful for you along your journey. I did that a few days ago.

That expressin of gratitude kicks off a process of self reflection. It is of course my responsibility to review the past year and think about what it was and how I feel about the year in its entirety. This year the task has been tougher for a number of reasons. The year itself had many ups and downs both in my personal life and my professional life, but I know at the end I am walking out of 2016 with some huge blessings. Some of which were very unexpected.

This is a blog where I discuss my professional life as a Content Creator, so I will spare you the details of my personal life issues. Also, This will not be a diatribe on the Political landscape of 2016, nor on the deluge of Celebrity Deaths in 2016. Lucky for you I subject my reactionary ramblings to my personal Facebook account. However, as I reflected on my life as a Content Creator, my thoughts inevitably turn to the big change in 2016, the moment I stopped Podcasting and Streaming.

I have heard a few folks comment on my transition on shows and on twitter and facebook. I have said very little about the transition, because to be fair, I had little to say. It was a big roller coaster ride, and I wanted share with you why I stopped Podcasting and Streaming, and why it was a good thing for me.

We have to start a while back. We have to go back a bit to 2015. 2015 was a HUGE year for Spazbot Studios, my content production company. We had seen MASSIVE audience growth and we were making some decent money. However, like all small buisinesses that ply their trade on the internet, I ran into a very common problem. I had issues with Scaling. By November of 2016, I was writing, producing, editing and posting four Podcasts. I had additional live streams on Twitch for three of those four Podcasts. I was spending somewhere between 20 – 25 hours a week on Spazbot Studios. It was not a full time job, but you have to also remember, I had a full time job working in the Post Production Industry here in Los Angeles, Ca. So, at the end of the day I was working around 60 to 65 hours a week. This pace was only worsening.

Luckily, Spencer Downey took some of the tough stuff off my plate, but I knew that I had a real problem. I was doing about 90% of the work, and I was the head of the company. This meant we would never really grow past what we had achieved, and the more I realized that, the more I became depressed and exhausted by the work. Never a good place to be at when you are making content, After over a year and a half of the grind at Spazbot Studios, I started to succumb to a very troubling thought. I wanted to quit. I was not burning out. I had burnt out completely.

If I were to paint the best picture I could, it would be the Spazbot Holiday Special we produced in 2015. We had every Spazbot Contributor on a two hour live stream, where we gave out gifts and talked about our shows. It was amazing! The Spazbot Faithful were out in full force, and it was a tremendous celebration. However, it was so much work and prep for me personally, that after it was done and the stream shut down. I simply laid down in my studio on the cold tile, and I fell asleep. Does that sound good to you? It did not feel good to me either.

Physically, I was breaking down. I had gained a lot of weight in 2015, a year I wanted to lose a bunch of weight. I often found myself exhausted and coffee was not doing anything to keep the engine reved up. I would often climb into bed with my kids to read them stories and fall asleep mid book only to have my wife wake me up, because I had to do a show. I share this part of it with you, because I think Burn Out is pretty awful, and if you are in this boat right now with anything you are doing creatively, I want you to really consider re-evaluating your work and workflow. It is not worth your health. Like me, maybe you are already considering whether or not you should quit, but the idea of quitting feels awful as well.

Quitting is not something I am good at doing. I do not like leaving jobs unfinished. I hate missing or flaking on committments. While I have become more selective about what I take on in life and as a professional, but, when I do take something on, I do not stop until I have achieved the goal I was hoping to achieve. My goal for Spazbot was to make it a full time job, but with the revenue stalled and the work only increasing. I knew that I had to either take a drastic risk and quit my day job, to tackle Spazbot full time, or I had to shut down Spazbot. Both of these felt like terrible solutions to the problem.

Was there a middle ground? What was taking up the majority of my time and making me feel the most stressed out. Guess what? It was not Spazbot Studios. It was my day job. A lot of Content Creators struggle with the ‘Day Job’. Lots of us do not talk about it very much. However, if you make content online, you will eventually start to bounce that question around. Could I just make stuff full time? How would I pay my mortgage? How will I get by? Some folks can and do take big risks, but with two kids and a wife in Graduate School, I simply needed to keep the job I had.

However, my number one source of stress was my Day Job. I will not get into the details of why my other career was red-lining. Suffice to say, we all work at places we do not want to work at in our professional journey. So, one day my wife and I were talking over breakfast, and she looked at me and said, “Mick, I don’t know what has to change, but something has to change. You will figure it out.”

That day I decided, I needed to devote some energy towards finding a new job. So, I set some goals. I wanted to stop working in Hollywood. I did not want to take a pay cut. I wanted to work for a terrific company. I wanted to work for a company that made things. I put some elbow grease into the process and in January of 2016, I started looking for a new day job.

We all know that finding a job can be a challenge, but I was determined. I had refined a workflow around identifying jobs. I developed relationships with recruiters. Yet, sometimes, a miracle happens, an unexpected Miracle.

A friend of mine had pointed me towards a position at Riot Games. It was a role on the Video Production Team. I looked over the job description and realized that much of my ‘day job’ career skills would transfer over to the role of ‘Lead Video Operations’. So, I decided to apply. I had my eye on a move to the Video Game Industry for a long time. With Video Game Studios ever expanding their in-house media products in support of their games, I thought that I could definitely lend some expertise. After all, I had 13 years of experience working in the Entertainment Industry, and I had been a writer, actor, producer and most recently a content creator. However, getting ‘In’ would be a challenge.

I had a close call in early 2016 when a producer for a significant ESPN ESports Project had asked me to join her team. However, the project was short term, and it did not feel like the right move at the time. I had to turn it down. That was discouraging, but luckily, I had been reading Jon Acuff’s book Quitter at the time, and he had actually written about this very scenario. So, I felt okay about the decision and kept moving forward.

Now, back to Riot Games. You folks know what it is like to apply for a job online right? You submit a resume, cover letter, and you immediately get a call back right? WRONG! We all know how discouraging it is to apply for jobs and never hear a lick of feedback. So, while I felt right for the role at Riot Games, I was somewhat cautious with my optimism. I did not know anyone there. I was submitted blindly on the website. So, imagine my surprise when, they reached out to me, and we started to chat. That was a big surprise, but a welcome surprise. Over the next few months, I spoke often with the Team at Riot Games.

I also kept making content for Spazbot Studios. I would even say that some of the BEST work we did at Spazbot Studios happened in 2016. We had am amazing opportunity to interview Dustin Browder about Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard invited me to their Warcraft Movie Premiere. I even had this great opportunity to attend the Legion Summit press event for Content Creators. We made the 150th episode of The Starting Zone, and everyone seemed to really enjoy that. Good stuff was happening for sure! However, a lot of these experiences kept reinforcing one simple thought. I had to work for a Video Game Company!

During the Legion Summitt event in 2016, I sat down and had some drinks with Jeremiah Bonjean. He was one of several NEW Blizzard Community team members I met at the Legion Summitt. Jeremiah had a similar story to mine. He had worked in the Entertainment Buisness and had hit that Burn Out phase. He had found a new home at Blizzard Entertainment, and he told me how wonderful the transition had been for him both professionally and personally. I did not share with him my talks with Riot, but I did share with him my own desire to leave the Entertainment Industry. He was incredibly encouraging, and wished me luck. I did not share with him I was interviewing at Riot Games. Only a small handful of people knew. But this small thirty minute chat made me feel like I was on the right track.

The interview process at Riot is very well documented on a lot of different job sites, but safe to say, it is a long intentional process. However, in some ways, that was really helpful to me. Had Riot offered me a role in March, I would have missed out on some great memories in 2016. That would have sucked. But eventually, the job offer came, and I had to make some tough calls.

Obviously, I said yes. Riot is a terrific company with an awesome Game, League of Legends. League has an amazing community of players, and if you know me, I am passionate about gamers. Also LCS is probably the biggest eSports attraction right now, and it would be terrific to get to see the behind the scenes of a major eSports operation. Plus, I would be working with a TOP Level Publishing Team making incredible video content. Lastly, the interview processs allowed me to meet and chat with a truly thoughtful and talented team of people. Riot tries to hire top talent, and it showed. So, saying NO to the opportuntiy would have been a mistake. So, I said yes!

I cannot tell you the bag of mixed emotions I had over the next three weeks. I felt elated to join Riot, but I also knew I had to say good bye to a lot of people and things I enjoyed doing. I also knew that the future of Spazbot Studios was in question. I will spare you the details, but suffice to say breaking the news to all the Spazbot Contributors was equal parts tough and great. I appreciated that everyone offered me kind words congratulating me on the new gig. However, when I let them know I was going to step away from Podcasting. That was definitely a bummer. I will spare with you the behind the scenes of what happened with each show. Suffice to say, the results were this:

Stormcast stopped Production Completely after three years of podcasting and streaming.

The Starting Zone stayed in production, but with brand new full time hosts, Spencer Downey & Jason Lucas.

Super Heroic was also taken over by Spencer Downey with the same Contributor Team, and the plan initially was that I would return to the show. That has not happened, and for the most part. I do not see it happening in the future. The team knows this, and we are still discussing what 2016 is going to look like.

Dead Fans Talking was taken over by Wendy Maybury and Jarret LeMaster. I returned briefly for an episode this Fall, but scheduling conflicts have not allowed me to continue. This show is also still up in the air for 2016.

I stepped away as well from Convert To Raid entirely.

Essentially, I stopped Podcasting and Streaming. And for the past four months outside of a single podcast episode of DFT in October, I have not made anything. Why?

There were two main reasons why I stopped and stepped away. First, I needed time to devote my complete mental and creative energy to Riot Games. It was a big adjustment for me, and I knew I needed to stay focused on that. Second, I needed a break from podcasting and streaming. See the Above section on Burn Out.

The process of leaving the shows could have been better on my part. I did not feel comfortable sharing with the Spazbot Community my new role at Riot Games. In fact, I didn’t share where I went for over a month publically. Why? Well, I did not want the where I was going to become the distraction for the the community. I wanted Stormcast to end and allow that to be the story for Stormcast. I wanted The Starting Zone to move forward without the story being about Mick going to Riot. In hindsight, that may have been the wrong decision on my part, but it is the decision I made.

However, despite needing that ‘break’ from making content, I had no idea the void it would leave in my life. I went from making four to six hours of programming content a week to absolutely nothing. The tweets and emails and facebook messages stopped. I went from having laughs with colleagues on a weekly basis to being alone in my own thoughts and process. That part was hard.

I have said this before, and I will write it again. There is a different between good content creation and great content creation. Good Content is well crafted, edited and produced and consumed by an audience. Great Content is well crafted, edited and produced and supported by a vibrant and passionate community of people. The community was the big reason I kept working and taking my work from hobbysit podcaster to professional content creator. It was tough to walk away from that. It is still tough to be honest, but lately I have become more and more grounded in my decision, and learning to value my new community of creative people.

I went to Blizzcon 2016 this past year for the first time as a fan. I saw some of my old friends, fellow content creators, and Blizzard staff. A lot of folks were kind enough to congratulate me on my new journey. Some people, even thanked me still for the work we did in 2016. I appreciate that. I have this memory of standing in the middle of the Con Before the Storm, and looking at the content creators and community members laughing and talking and making content. That community of people is still there. Still making stuff. Still laughing, and I am laughing with them still. I am still a fan, and I always will be.

While at Riot I have been a part of a lot of amazing projects, and I do not regret my decision to join the team in any way shape or form. Life is filled with complex emotional experiences. That is okay. You can experience joy and accomplishment and also feel lonely and worried. There is an eb and flow to everything. However, as I sit here four months after the break away, I still know I made the right decision, and I am glad that I made it. I work with some amazing people. People driven to make great things. People driven by this tremendous responsibility to honor the gamers who spend their time playing our game. I have never worked with such a collection of talented people. It is such a blessing.

I appreciate that people have asked if I will ever come back, or if I will ever make anything again, or podcast again. The answer is quite simply, yes. I will eventually do more work. I will create more things. They will be new things. They will be different things. I will be back at some point to continue the work, because I like to create things. That is my deal.

And I guess that was 2016 in a nut shell. The one thing that remained constant was my desire to create content. The one thing that changed was how I create content. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

What changed for you in 2016? How do you feel those changes have affected you going into 2017? I would love to hear about your expereinences making things in 2016, and your plans for 2016! Feel free to leave a comment below, or hit me up on twitter!

 

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Tough Endings, New Beginnings, Gratitude http://www.mickmontgomery.com/newbeginnings/ http://www.mickmontgomery.com/newbeginnings/#comments Mon, 01 Aug 2016 18:42:54 +0000 Mick Montgomery http://www.mickmontgomery.com/?p=2296 MM Inspired 2015v1

This is what bittersweet tastes like. If you are reading this post, then chances are you read this post over at SPAZBOT STUDIOS. If you have not read that post, then here is the simple version. I am stepping away from my role as Executive Producer and Co-Host of both The Starting Zone and Stormcast. This was an incredibly tough decision for me to make, and I wrestled with it a lot, but in the end it is the right decision.

When I started Spazbot Studios, I had a pretty simple goal. Make Great Content with Great People. I knew if I could just do  that, then the sky was the limit, and we could become a successful new media production company. If we did that, then I  knew two scenarios could potentially unfold. The first was pretty ambitious. The shows become really successful, and Spazbot Studios would turn into my full time job. The Second Scenario, Someone would see my work and ask me to come work with them, but I always knew that for me to say ‘Yes’ to that, it would have to be an incredible opportunity.

Scenario number two happened, and I said ‘Yes’. I took a job with a great company, with a terrific future. It is a great opportunity, where I get to use all the tools and knowledge I have learned producing content for Spazbot Studios, and mix it with my 14+ year career working in the Entertainment Industry.

However, the bittersweet part of taking this job is that I am no longer able to produce content about Video Games, and that is why I am stepping down from Stormcast and The Starting Zone.

That is really hard for me to do, Friends.

The Starting Zone has been a part of my life for over seven years. It was the cornerstone from which I founded and built Spazbot Studios. I learned so much about SO many things producing that show. Because of TSZ, we created Stormcast, which has become the most successful Podcast I have produced to date. Both of these shows proved to be terrific learning opportunities, and without them I would NOT have been able to go to this next great opportunity.

I will miss them. I will miss the rhythm of producing them each week. The writing, the vetting, the editing, the research. I will miss recording them live, and then posting them up. I will miss the feedback from the audience. I will miss chatting with folks about the games on twitter or facebook. I will miss your three page emails about changes to the games. I will miss it all.

I know many of you would like to know where I am going and what I am going to do, and I promise you, I will share with you the next leg of my creative journey, when I get there. I know that some of you will be pretty stoked about it. For now though, my focus will be on the shows ending, and the future of Spazbot Studios.

The Gaming Community is often criticized for a lot of things, but what people rarely do is point out just how AWESOME the Gaming Community is. I know it is Awsome, and I know that it is full of terrific, smart and passionate people. I have been so BLESSED simply because I am a GAMER.

The Future is Bright, My Friends. I promise.

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Create Your Podcast | Part 2 | Format http://www.mickmontgomery.com/create-your-podcast-part-2-format/ http://www.mickmontgomery.com/create-your-podcast-part-2-format/#respond Thu, 10 Mar 2016 15:00:58 +0000 Mick Montgomery http://www.mickmontgomery.com/?p=2226 MM Podcasting 2015v

If you read Create Your Podcast | Part 1, you have defined whether you are passionate about, your podcast topic and whether or not there is a NEED for it. Now, it is time to get down to the nitty gritty, and time to start creating your podcast. First stop, pick a Format!

What do I mean by Format? Well, format simply defines the arrangement of things. If you come from a Broadcast Background, then format might be a familiar term to you. Another great synonym for Format for our discussion is Foundation. The way in which you discuss uour topic must be built on a foundation that provides some level of consistency for your listeners. This allows them to follow your show in an easier fashion, and absorb the awesome that is you! Format Consistency sets and expectation for the listener as to how they can expect the show to flow. The Format is also important for YOU as the producer. When you set your format, it makes it easier for you to start writing your show.

Also, there is another term, you may see me use, and that is ‘segment’. Think of Format as your Entire Show and Segments are the smaller parts of your show.

Let’s quickly discuss two key factors in defining a Format for your show. Those two key factors are CAST and DURATION. They are unrelated, but at the same time they are related. The interesting thing about defining your FORMAT is that there is no real starting point. You could start with Duration or you could start with the CAST, it really does not matter. You can also simply start with an idea and determine the cast and duration once you settle on a format.

Duration for our discussion here is the length of an average podcast episode. Podcast are an undefined medium in terms of Format, so in theory, you can pick whatever time you want. HOWEVER, if you worked in Radio or Broadcast the format is set in stone and unchangeable. The entire Industry is set upon these chunks of time which are mostly 30 minutes or one hour. Podcasts are NOT defined by those restrictions. A Podcast could be five minutes long or four hours long.

However, you should really consider a few things before you set yourself on a Duration. Old School Podcasters would tell you the ideal Duration of any Podcast is 22 minutes. That is the average length of an American’s commute to work. Many Professional Podcasts seem to be bound by this idea. However, there are many successful podcasts that exceed on hour routinely. The WTF Podcast does over an hour. Pete Holmes, You Made It Weird Podcast can clock in sometimes at three hours. You can do a Five Hour Episode, if you can keep those five hours interesting. And that is the key, can you make it interesting.

Personally, I think you want to pick a duration that restricts you a touch. Why? Because it forces you to edit down an idea to its quintessential premise. It keeps you from rambling unnecessarily and pushes you to get to the point of the matter with out chasing off topic conversations or leaving in extraneous detail. More often than not and audience will not be overwhelmed by a show that clocks in under and hour. Keep that in mind.

Cast also informs your format, and can inform Duration quite a bit. A dialogue between two regular hosts might need more time than twenty minutes, where a solo hosted show would be better served coming in under twenty. Cast is really quite Key, because in my experience the more people involved in the record, the longer it will go, especially if you examine a Talk Show Style Format.

So, what are the most popular formats? Glad you asked! Here they are along with recommended cast sizes and duration.

Single Host Talk Show – This is one person speaking to the microphone about a topic. It is popular for specific types of talent. For example, The Rob Cast is a popular Podcast by Rob Bell. He is a former minister and author. His show format serves his talent, speaking directly to the audience. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore history is another. Here Dan Carlin talks to the viewer directly about a historical topic of his choosing. Keep in mind, the Single Host is also the most challenging performance wise to pull off well, and for a non-experienced performer, one I do not recommend.

Cast: (1) Host. Duration: 10 – 30 Minutes (recommended).

Multi-Host Talk Show – This is a very popular format, and all of my shows currently fall into this category. Here multiple hosts get together to chat about a particular topic of interest. The success of this format lies in the chemistry between the hosts. In my experience, the topic is important, but people tune into these types of podcasts because it feels like they are listening to good friends having a chat about a topic they really enjoy. Nerdist strikes me as a great example of this type of format. Chris Hardwyck, Matt Mira and Jonah Ray built specific shows into their rotation that simply relied on the three main hosts to chat about life and their interests. This is a fairly easy format to pull off, and the most challenging aspect I have found to it, is getting multiple people together to record a show.

Cast: (2 – 4) Hosts, I recommend no more than four. Two to three hosts feels ideal. Duration: 20 minutes to one hour (recommended).

Interview Show – This is also a very popular format and many people have found great success with interview shows. While they have waned in popularity in our POST SERIAL World, they are still quite popular. Here a host or hosts will interview someone. Most people think the Interview Show has to feature celebrities, but that is not the case. If you were doing a Mental Health Podcast, you might choose the interview format and interview various care givers or researchers in that field. I often incorporate interviews into my shows, and I find them a lot of fun to do. Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast might be the very best of the Interview shows out there today.

Cast: (1) Host / Interviewer (1 – 2) Interviewees. Duration: 20 minutes to one hour (recommended).

The Journalism / Documentary Show– This is the New King on the throne for Podcasts. The Serial Podcast took an already popular format and took podcasting out of the ‘cottage industry’ phase and into the ‘enterprise’ phase. While This American Life and Planet Money were already finding success by re-issuing their radio programs as Podcasts, Serial came in as a dedicated Podcast presenting the same high quality experience you would come to expect from a funded Public Radio News Program. This made way for shows out of Gimlet Media like Reply All or Start Up. I would also like to point out, this is the HARDEST type of show to produce by far due to the amount of resources you need to make it work. This is PINNACLE level producing and while I do not want to discourage you from pursuing this format, you should understand what you are getting yourself into.

Cast: (1 -2) with potentially multiple interviewees in one show. Duration: 20 minutes to 30 minutes (recommended).

Scripted Shows – These types of shows are fewer and far between, but some are great. Welcome to Night Vale is a huge success not just as a Podcast, but also as a touring show. Here producers write a script and hire actors to perform it or they perform it themselves. Think of it as an old school radio play of some sort. The scale of these shows can be extreme with tons of production value from original music to large recording stages, or like LORE PODCAST one person recording a monologue of sorts.

Cast: (Multiple) it really depends on the story you are telling. Duration: 20 minutes to one hour (recommended).

Keep in mind Duration is a funny thing. Most people would tell you to consider average commute times when developing your show, which keeps it in the 15 – 22 minute range. However, some shows can go on for 1 – 2 hours and be perfectly entertaining for a certain audience. When you are unsure what to do, try to keep it short. Leave folks wanting more!

Now, the moment is upon you! What kind of format are you going to pick? This is an important step as it really informs how you structure your show moving forward. It also heavily defines the amount of ‘off air’ production time you will put in doing things like prepping production elements and booking guests. These are things to keep in mind as you start to actual write your show!

That is what we will get into NEXT in Part 3, writing you show! This is an area of Podcast creation, where I see a lot of podcasters stumble, when they can easily succeed! I will even provide you with a look at a show template you can use to write your show.

What did you think of this article? Did you find the information helpful? If so, I would love to know about it and chat with you! Feel free to leave a comment below, or hit me up on twitter!

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7 Easy Ways to Fix Your Microphone Performance http://www.mickmontgomery.com/7easyways/ http://www.mickmontgomery.com/7easyways/#comments Thu, 18 Feb 2016 12:00:15 +0000 Mick Montgomery http://www.mickmontgomery.com/?p=2209 MM Podcasting 2015v

Did you buy a fairly decent microphone, but your audio still sounds like crap? There’s a good chance it is not your microphone. It is probably you. But there is hope, you can fix it!

At Spazbot Studios we have more than a few microphone performance ‘experts’. I readily admit,  I would be lumped into a group featuring Spencer Downey and my co-host on Stormcast, Willie ‘Dills’ Gregory.  Some might call us  ‘The Audio Snobs’. We often notice problems with vocal performance not just within our group, but other shows and other content creators. We try to discuss these issues openly in our slack to help folks understand how to be conscious of their vocal performance. Recently, we had a twitter conversation about microphone performance, and I thought, “You know what, I need to write about this,”.

Before, I move any further, I want to point out that while I may know some tricks for better Microphone Performance, I was not born with this knowledge. I had to learn how to use a microphone like any other person. I have performed with microphones a number of different ways, and I was fortunate enough to have a kind sound technician offer me advice on how to improve what I was doing to also make his job a bit easier. So, consider this post a kindly offering of helpful advice.

One more thing, I am not going to get into Dynamic vs Condenser Microphones as that debate is terrifying and probably not actually helpful. What is helpful is understanding the directional preferences of your microphone and the sensitivity of your microphone. Do you know that? If not, read the manual on your microphone.

Here is a really good question to ask before we get started. “What type of sound should I strive for, Mick?”

This is a great question. It is actually a better question than, “What microphone should I buy?” You may not realize how sensitive some of your listeners actually are, and how much they can be distracted by the smallest things, but you need to undestand that it is a Big Deal to some of your listeners. When you are recording your podcast, you want to deliver a warm and clear vocal performance that is free of background noises, distortion and percussives. You should sound like you are right next to the listener not shouting in a cave that also has a helicopter taking off and a Dragon learning how to roller skate while his little brother learns how to make pyro-technique entrances for his favorite WWE Super Star. This makes your listener really sad. Trust me. So, how do you do get that kind of audio?

I will remind you once again, your Microphone is not the problem, you are the problem. I can have a Telefunken ELA M 250/251, but If  do not know how to use it properly, I am wasting the  nine grand I spent on it. Also, you maybe on a headset microphone. If you are, a lot of this will matter to you as you should be conscious of where you place your microphone in proximity to your mouth! That leads me to Tip #1!

Tip #1 – Proximity is the most important thing ever! 100% of every microphone on the planet benefits from  your lips being about 1 – 4 inches away from the microphone. Yep, that microphone should be no more than a finger’s length away from your lips. I cannot tell you how many performers I see get this wrong. I routinely see people a full two feet away from their micro-phone, and this really puts you in a situation where capturing quality audio is almost impossible.

Here is why! The Further you are away the more you have to increase the volume of the microphone so it can pick up your audio. This is bad if you are in a non-audio sensitive room (like a recording studio). If you are far away and you crank your microphone up, that means you will hear things like the air conditioner, the ceiling fan, the floor creaking, your dog farting, your wife doing the dishes, etc. If you have a sensitive condenser microphone it will pick up ALL of that. This is why when people buy a microphone they over look a very important accessory (besides the cable) the STAND. That is the single easiest way for you to get your microphone closer to  your lips during the record.

Same thing goes for Head Set Microphones. Is the microphone down near the crook of your mouth, or is it tucked up back by your ear? If it is up by your ear, you are going to capture LESS clear audio, than if it is right near your mouth.

But regardless of how you get close to that Microphone, you absolutely MUST get close to that microphone! The further you are away the worse your audio will get. This tip is #1, because it is the source of about 80% of your problems.

Tip #2 – Speak Clearly and Slowly For Crying out Loud! This is a simple technique that helps any performer. Essentially you want to speak clearly and precisely so that the listener can follow what you are saying. Also, for you SPEED Talkers, you absolutely must slow down. No Microphone is going to fix these problems. This is on you. If you speak too quickly, your audience will stop listening and stop subscribing. So, you must focus on speaking clearly and in most cases a little slower than you would if you were speaking to your friends normally.

Tip #3 – Don’t Yell Into the Microphone! Most of you when you start will not have the budget to invest in a compressor limiter gate to keep  your voice withing a certain threshold regardless of how loud or soft your voice gets. Microphones can be over-whelmed by the decibel level generated by YOU without this piece of equipment. When this happens, your audio becomes distorted and sounds ugly. Therefore, you have to do a couple of things to mitigate this.

First, you can keep your voice down and avoid yelling into your microphone. Strive to keep your voice nice and even throughout your record. This is a PRO move! The other thing you can do is learn to back off your microphone when you are about to yell, raise your voice, or perhaps laugh really loud! Essentially, do the opposite of what I indicated in Tip #1, get some distance from that microphone, but only when you yell!

Tip #4 – Don’t Whisper Into Your Microphone! A lot of folks like to dip their audio to make a point when they are speaking. It is kind of like an aside to the audience. It is an effective technique, but if you drop your audio too low, then you cannot be heard. This is also a unconscious issue for a lot of performers. As  they speak longer they tend to drop the volume of their voice which requires an audio engineer to ‘ride the levels’ to keep the recording even! This is a big problem, and it is one I recommend you assess for yourself. If you listener is ever thinking to themselves, “What the hell is he or she saying?” You have lost them and you will lose that subscription.

Tip #5 – Percussive Sounds are bad! When you say words like ‘probably’ or ‘punctualty’ or ‘people’ what do they all have in common? That hard Percussive ‘P’ which can create a popping sound in your microphone. When you hit that hard P, You create a percussive wave that hits the microphone head.Reducing Percussive P sounds is more challenging to pull off naturally. So, how do you fix the problem?

This can be reduced by applying a pop filter or pop screen to your microphone set up. This is almost a requirement in my book and it is a relatively low cost item! Do you see the filter I linked over to the right of this text? That filter is less than seven dollars. You can also get an old fashioned foam pop filter that covers the head of your microphone. Regardless of the solution, you can drastically increase your performance by simply having a low cost solution to mitigate percussives that hit your microphone head.

Also, for you head set folks, foam pop filters can be purchased for the most discreetly sized head set microphone.

Tip #6 – Watch your Breath! Do you like to listen someone’s nose whistle? Do you enjoy answering the phone to find someone breathing heavily into the phone from their end? Guess, what!?! Your audience does not like this either, and they will complain when they hear it in your Podcast recording. Once again, Pop Filters and Screens can assist with reducing the noise of your breath into the microphone, but your own consciousness of the problem is important. I employ a technique I simply call ‘the tilt’. When I am recording a show, but I am not talking, I tilt my nose and mouth about thirty to forty-five degrees to the right (or left) away from the Microphone. So, if my Mouth is facing directly towards the microphone, that is zero degrees. Then I rotate my neck about 30 degrees and now if I breathe through my nose or mouth, it will not funnel into microphone. Problem solved!

Tip #7 – Become One With Your Microphone! This is going to sound a little blue pill / red pill, but bear with me. When I used to play Baseball, I had a favorite bat. I used it for batting practice and during every trip to the plate for games. When I played it felt like an extension of my body. I felt like it was a part of me. You need to develop this same relationship with your microphone. This comes with practice, but over-all you need to work with your microphone and develop a sense of awareness as to where it is at all times! Am I too far away? Am I too close? Am I breathing into this thing? You will eventually find this sweet spot and consciousness about your microphone.

If you have ever watched me record a show (yes I stream our live records), you will notice that I am constantly adjusting where my microphone is at. Granted I have particular Boom Microphone that makes this easy, but if you asked me if I knew how many times I actually did it during the record, I would have no idea. I just know when I am too far away, or too close to the microphone. You need to work with your microphone to develop a second nature level awareness of your proximity and positioning around your microphone. This will come with time, but it will only come, after you consider the previous 4 tips and work them into your technique.

I hope you found this post helpful. It was intended to provide you with simple and in some cases FREE ways to improve your performance on the Microphone. I know that not everyone can go out and afford more expensive gear to manage their microphone performance. I will discuss those options in a later post, but for now I hope for some of you this will prove helpful. If you have any thoughts or questions, leave a comment below or you can hit me up on twitter!

]]> http://www.mickmontgomery.com/7easyways/feed/ 1 Create Your Podcast | Part 1 | Passions and Needs http://www.mickmontgomery.com/createyourpodcast1/ http://www.mickmontgomery.com/createyourpodcast1/#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:02:30 +0000 Mick Montgomery http://www.mickmontgomery.com/?p=2182 MM Podcasting 2015v

Congratulations. Seriously. You deserve it. You decided to jump into the big deep waters of podcasting. It is an adventure, and you are going to get a lot out of it. However, how do you start? How do you create your podcast?

That is a great question. There are a lot of ways to start a podcast. Sometimes two great friends are talking at lunch about a subject they are passionate about and then one of them says, “We should do a Podcast!” Sometimes, a Blogger gets such great feedback on their written words, they are told by their community that they should do a Podcast. There are lots of ways that spur someone to that eventual conclusion, “I should create a podcast!”

Podcast Set UpHowever, how do you translate that great energy and primal motivation into Action? I have thought long and hard about this. As I have stated before on this blog, I think the process for technically crafting a podcast are very well documented on the web. There are a ton of How To Videos out there that show you tools, services and software for making all the magic happen. There are even tons of blogs and videos on WHY you should podcast that range from personal fulfillment to smart business cases filled with graphs and analysis.

However, in all my time living and working in the Podcast community, I find there is very little discussion given to creating your podcast. Sometimes, I think Podcasters who are successful take what they do for granted. Especially when they start talking about the Craft of Podcasting. We talk more about Craft and less about the ART of Podcasting. We can unfortunately make it seem like good shows just grow on trees. One must simply pluck the ripened fruit from the golden Orchard of Podcast wonder! Bite Freely, my friends, for you too can pull magic from the Podcast Ethos!

It simply does not work this way. A good Podcast is actually somewhat hard to make. We spend so much time futzing with the technical when we start learning about podcasting, that we rarely have time to stop and think about what we are actually going to SAY or PRODUCE when we have finally hit record! What are you going to say? What is your show about? And if your answer is, “I’m just going to copy what <insert the name of you favorite podcaster here> does!” You need to stop. You should not pass go. You will not collect $200.00. That is the worst idea you could possibly have.

Your show should come from you. You are valuable. You may not realize it, but you are why your podcast will be successful. Your voice, your energy, your inherent qualities will make your show great. So, you cannot copy another person’s format and idea. It has to come from your thought, intention and heart. Now, you may feel unable to do this, and this is why we are doing this series. I want you to know how to create, produce and craft a good, if not great, Podcast.

Therefore, I decided to create this little blog series called CREATE YOUR PODCAST. We are going to discuss how you take your desire to podcast and develop that into an actual show. We will discuss writing, formats, niche examination, etc. so that you can create the type of content that people want to hear. Hopefully by the end of this series you will be able to take your idea from desire to production with confidence.

Before we begin I highly encourage you to read this POST I put out a few weeks ago entitled Four Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Start Your Podcast. I will reference that blog post and those questions a bit more in this Post, so you want to make sure you are caught up. You will see why shortly.

Chances are you have an idea what your Podcast could be about. But what makes a Podcast work with an audience? There is a whole bunch of wizardry and magic behind what makes a successful podcast. At the end of the day no one REALLY knows why a podcast is successful, but if you tried to pull the pieces apart you would note that a Good or even Great Podcast does two things and sometimes both. It speaks to an individual’s Passion or it fulfills a Need.

The Second of the four questions I recommend you ask your self is simply, “Are you Passionate about your subject matter?” I think Passion begets understanding when it comes to a particular topic. For example, if I am passionate about the Art of Wood Working, I will read every blog I can, study design concepts, by books by famous wood workers and eventually… eventually I may get a crazy Idea to do a Podcast about Wood Working, and when I start my Podcast I will know so much about my subject my listeners will find value and hopefully be inspired to go make a cross cut sled. (go look it up).

Your Passion for your subject matter will create knowledge and that knowledge will be instrumental in building the format and structure of your show. Also, it will come THROUGH in your writing, presentation and performance. If that listener is also equally passionate about your subject they will become not just a subscriber, not just a patron, but your advocate to their other friends who share this interest. People can tell if you LOVE something. They can feel it when they hear you talk about it, and that is important. If you do not have the PASSION for your subject matter, then ask yourself, why am I doing this?

The answer to that question is really important. Because at this stage in your movement towards becoming a Podcast Producer you need to understand why you are doing it. If you just want to cover something you think is popular and could make you some money, you will fail. I guarantee it. So, make sure your show has an inherent love and passion for the subject.

The other important thing a good or great podcast does is fulfill a NEED. If you pick up any solid book about business (I recommend this one) it will tell you that a successful enterprise first and foremost fills a Need. For example, here is Buford. Buford really like to read books about Wood Working, but the local library has too few books and he read them all. The nearest book store is kind of out of his way, and they do not have many books. Boy, wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to just order almost any wood working book ever written and it would be delivered to your door? Good news, there is a website that does that. It is called Amazon, and while Buford is at it, he can order up that Coping Saw he needs for his next project. Amazon is successful because it filled a need.

What need will your Podcast fill? Will it provide valuable information and news to a specific segment of folks who are underserved? Will it give comedy fans another great show to download so they can laugh for a few minutes as they do the laundry or commute to work? The answer to this question is specific to your own show, and only you can answer it, but I highly encourage you define an answer.

These questions and their answers get us to that all important word that people LOVE to discuss, Niche. Does your show provide value to a specific type of person with a specific type of interest. This is a Niche, and when you can become an expert or a trusted voice to a Niche Audience, you have really hit upon something. You have created value for people. Creativity can add value! Who would have thought it?

Frustrated GuyBefore we close, I just want to speak to those of you who may find yourself struggling with your answers to these questions. You might already have doubts about your choice for a show topic and you may feel a bit discouraged. Here is what I would say to you. Good! That is great! If you doubt your commitment now, you should re-group and perhaps pivot. It would be better to start from scratch before you get knee deep in producing a show that you do not have a passion for or fails fulfill a need. You would rather fail fast than fail slow.

Now, you may have read this an thought, “Ok, I get this and I know my answers to the questions! What do I do next?” The next step is to pick a format for your show, and we will discuss that in our next installment of this series, and that will come soon enough. Until that next post hits, I would love to hear your feedback on this article post. What stood out to you? Are you having a hard time answering these questions?

 

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Crossing Those Milestones http://www.mickmontgomery.com/crossing-those-milestones/ http://www.mickmontgomery.com/crossing-those-milestones/#respond Tue, 02 Feb 2016 18:52:42 +0000 Mick Montgomery http://www.mickmontgomery.com/?p=2191 I am a big fan of Milestones. I first noticed how much I liked them as a young kid learning to play golf. My father was a country club golf professional and PGA member, so golf was an important part of my childhood. I always looked forward the YARD Markers on the course. These are the little signs that indicate you have crossed a certain amount of yardage on a course (200 yards, 300 yards, etc.) I always felt a sense of accomplishment when I would pass them because I knew I had made progress towards a goal.

Content Creation has lots of different types of milestones. Passing your first 1000 download episode for your Podcast could be one. YouTubers like to celebrate how many subscribers they get. Bloggers often examine daily visits. This week I celebrated a milestone with my colleagues on Super Heroic, which is a show about Comic Books Movies and TV Shows. We fired up the Podcast back in July. If you have not checked out, I highly encourage you to do so.

This week we will publish our 50th episode of the show. This Milestone is big or little for a lot of podcasters. I have worked on several Podcasts over the years and I have celebrated the 50th episode a few times. It is a great feeling, because you know you endured. You have found the groove for producing your show and you have made good on your commitment to deliver content on a weekly basis. It is a pretty cool accomplishment. I am super proud of the work we have done on this show, and I am proud to celebrate what we have done with my co-hosts who also have shown up week after week to record these shows.

As a Content Creator you will cross a lot of milestone. Sometimes you will miss them or minimize them, and I really encourage you to NOT do that. Content Creation is a Journey. As you walk along your own creative journey, you should ask yourself, what kind of journey am I going to have? Is this a cross country trip where I drive 12 hours a day with no stops until I arrive at my destination exhausted and spent? Or is this a journey that has a fluid destination, where I get to stop along the way and appreciate the view and suck in that sense of accomplishment? Perhaps it should be the latter, versus the former? You get to answer that. You can do that right now. Find that NEXT milestone for your show and write down on a piece of paper and post it on your monitor or on your fridge at home. It could be something simple or big, you decide.

If you are reading this and thinking to yourself, well, that’s fine, but I have not even launched my project yet. It feels like a slog, and I am struggling to find the milestones to celebrate my journey right now. I totally get it. Here is what I would say! Set your own milestone! Make it up. Figure it out for yourself and then when you cross it, you can celebrate it. That maybe launching your website or publishing that first podcast episode, or heck, it might be just writing the show notes for your first episode. It does not matter what the milestone is as long as it matters to you.

Milestones  force you to stop and take a look around at what you have accomplished and hopefully you can celebrate what you managed to pull off. You NEED to do that for yourself. Content Creation as a journey has ups and downs, and the downs are the parts where you learn what you are made of, but the ups are where you get celebrate and say, “We Did it!” So, do not over-look those milestones. Point them out. Ring that bell, make people aware you did something great!

Also, CELEBRATE with your community! They brought you to that moment as well. You made the content FOR them after all. They should feel a part of your milestone as well!

What do you think? What is a big milestone have you accomplished recently? I would love to hear about them. Feel free to leave a comment below or you can hit me up on twitter!

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The Good Plan Now Vs The Perfect Plan Later http://www.mickmontgomery.com/the-good-plan-now-vs-the-perfect-plan-later/ http://www.mickmontgomery.com/the-good-plan-now-vs-the-perfect-plan-later/#respond Thu, 28 Jan 2016 22:52:15 +0000 Mick Montgomery http://www.mickmontgomery.com/?p=2186 MM Content Creation 2015v1

Planning is important. However, when do you stop planning and when do you start taking action? It is important for all of us as content creators to understand that sometimes good enough is simply good enough. Sometimes mistakes are the best thing that can happen to you.

I am a dreamer, and I am a planner. Those two things can be terrific individually, but sometimes together they can become a mess. If you shove a little perfectionism in there, you have the best recipe ever for never accomplishing anything. And this is a big problem. Sometimes our desire to be successful or to deliver a project that warrants praise becomes so large it overshadows the practicality of actually getting the project launched.

Are you in that same boat? Have you assembled a few pieces of the puzzle to launch your blog or podcast, but you simply have not clicked publish? Perhaps you have doubted the quality of your work too much, or you have stalled yourself out trying to figure out something like THE BEST media hosting service. If this is you let me clue you in on a secret. You should just push ahead and accept the fact that you are going to make a mistake. That may sound like a terrible idea, but trust me, those mistakes might prove to be incredibly valuable.

I know quite a few content creators who muddle around with details about their chosen project for so long that they never actually RELEASE the project. Why? The reality is they are afraid of failure. They make failure too big! The create this idea in their head that if they fail at this dream project then their dream is dead! But that is not true. I have yet to work with a Content Creator who launched a ‘good enough’ project and then received any response telling them not to quit their day job. Sure, it has happened, to someone, but I have yet to see it.

The reality is you HAVE TO FAIL. Failure makes you better! I once had a conversation with a friend of mine who does Stand Up Comedy. He told me that he actually looked forward to a new joke bombing, because then he ultimately knew one way or another if the joke was any good. If the audience laughed, he had a winner for his act. If the audience did not laugh, he could bury the joke and move on to another idea.

Failure is valuable. I repeat that for those of you who just did a double take. Failure is valuable. In Fact, Failure is almost a necessity in the creative process. Thomas Edision and Louis Lattimer reportedly had over 10,000 prototypes of the light bulb, before they found the one that worked. That is a lot of failure. We learn from failure, and we GROW because of that. Failure is essential, and that is why it is valuable.

This is especially true about Launching a New Media Project. We put so much emphasis in the world of content creation on a ‘successful’ launch, we paralyze ourselves. This is a terrible problem. A good blog published blog post is better than an unpublished perfect blog in progress. Why? Because no one will see the unpublished work. They will see the GOOD published work; and they will appreciate good work. In the end, you are better off putting out 4 good blog posts a month versus no perfect podcasts that month, right?

Also, you never know what will hit. You really have no idea. A toss away idea for a Podcast Episode or segment, could spawn a terrific conversation online amongst your audience. You have no idea! I cannot tell you how many times, I have thrown together show notes for a Podcast episode last minute only to have folks pat me on the back later and tell me how great it was. It did not feel great as I was making it, but in the end others enjoyed it immensely. What if I had just decided to shut down and cancel that show? I would have missed out on having a good show, and I would have missed out on the opportunity to connect with those audience members.

As I wrap this up, I hope you feel OK about GOOD ENOUGH. I hope you swallow your nerves and bravely push ahead with your project. It may feel uncomfortable, but trust me, a good plan today is better than a perfect plan that never sees the light of day. Get out there and create bravely and boldly and when you fall on your face, learn from it, and become an even better content creator!

I am curious as to what your thoughts are on this subject! If you want to chat about it, leave comments below or hit me up on Twitter!

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What I Gave Up to Podcast & Make Content http://www.mickmontgomery.com/what-i-gave-up-to-podcast-make-content/ http://www.mickmontgomery.com/what-i-gave-up-to-podcast-make-content/#comments Tue, 19 Jan 2016 12:00:20 +0000 Mick Montgomery http://www.mickmontgomery.com/?p=2175 MM Content Creation 2015v1

There are some things people do not want to tell you about getting into content creation, espeically something like a blog or podcast. But in the interest of honesty, I want you to understand, you will need to sacrifice a part of your life to make this work.

The Good News is the scope of what you need to give up might be something very small, but of course, it could be something very big. That is entirely dependent on you. I cannot shape your day to day for you. Only you can do that. However, I can share what I gave up to make content and podcast. Maybe that will give you a good idea, of what is in store for you. Also, for those of you who are already on the journey, you may read this blog and need to re-think some things.

I knew when I decided to work a full time job AND create content  something would have to give. My greatest obstacle in making the content I wanted to make would not be money, equipment or even help, it would be time. This has been said by so many content creators and podcast gurus I do not even know who to give the quote credit, but the quote goes something like this, “Time is your most valuable resource.” Why is that? Isn’t Money your most valuable resource?

Time is your most valuable resource because it is irreplaceable. You cannot buy it, you cannot manufacture it. It simply comes and goes. You need time to do things like blog, youtube or podcast. Even the most efficient production workflows take up time. For example, I estimate on a good week that each Podcast I produce takes me at the minium 3-4 hours of work. Those hours are eaten up with writing the show, research, booking guests, record time, audio set up, audio post production, prepping the show for posting, posting the show on servers, etc. Sometimes, I produce three to six Podcasts a week. So, that is anywhere from 9 – 24 hours of work. Then I have this blog, other projects, writing gigs… is it starting to make sense? So, best case scenario I have a 20 hour week. Worst case scenario it could be 30 hours a week running Spazbot Studios and working creative projects.

I knew I had to make room for this schedule. I knew I had to sacrifice a few things to make this feasible and do a few things like, Work a full-time job, raise a family responsibly and above all else sleep and take care of myself. So, I decided I had to give up a lot of things to make room for Spazbot Studios.

The First thing was Sports. I was spending a lot of time a week watching sports and playing in Fantasy Sports Leagues. I knew standings, schedules, stories about the NFL, NBA, MLB etc. I listented to Sports Talk Radio in my car to keep up, checked websites. It was a lot of time. So, I cut it completely out of my life. I do not watch games, do not listen to Sports Talk, etc. As I publish this, the NFL Playoffs are happening. I have no idea which teams are even in the playoffs. Trust me, this was rough to make happen, but I had to do it.

The Second thing I gave up was Facebook. I do not do Facebook in terms of reading the ‘news feed’ or commenting on people’s photos or reading articles posted by friends. I simply do not have the time. I hate to admit it, but I used to waste 1 – 2 hours a day on Facebook, and trust me, some of you waste more time than that. So, it had to go. I deleted the app from my phone and I now only check our Show Pages and my Messages. I almost titled this blog “I gave up Facebook to Podcast!” My, that would have been sensational. #ClickBait.

The Next few things I did not give up, but I cut way back on them. For example, Professional Wrestling, I love it. I make no apologies about it. However, watching 2 – 3 shows a week takes up a lot of time. So, I cut it way back. I no longer visit news sites, I no longer listen to Podcasts about it. But I allow myself a viewing of WWE NXT every week. Usually, watched while I’m editing shows or writing show notes.

Movies and TV and Netflix also were reduced significantly. I stopped watching TV Shows regularly that were not part of research for the shows. Luckily my wife and I were not big TV junkies, but I was a movie junkie. I probably reduced my consumption of both by 80%.

Reading for Pleasure was also cut way back. I used to read two to three books a month. Now I am lucky to get a few chapters read a month of a single book. I do read a lot, but a lot of my reading now is about business management, efficiency or researching how to be a better content creator. Obsessed much?

The Last thing to get a reduction was Gaming. This is simply conditional mind you. However, my time spent gaming was reduced, and the time I spend playing flexes quite a bit from week to week. I love playing Video Games (clearly), but I no longer put in the hours I once put into the vidja games.

Now that you are reading this, you might be thinking to yourself, what kind of life is this? Where is the fun? Trust me, I have a great life. I am blessed. I have a lot of quality time spent with my wife and kids, and I get a LOT of personal reward out of making the content and developing relationships with the people in the communities that support our shows. That is awesome stuff! Sure, my hobbies were drastically reduced, but in a way I replaced them with something really rewarding, marking stuff.

And I think this last part is really important. You can see, I have a lot of interests. I have those interests, because they provide me value. However, your values or interests can change and shift. I think that making content brings the individual a LOT of value. You may need to give up something to do that, but you will GET something very unexpected as well, and that is okay.

This is the exercise you need to under-take to determine what may have to go in order for you to work on your show, blog or YouTube Channel. The First thing is to itemize your day to day schedule. Look at the time you spend doing everything from working to commuting to spending time with friends to leisure, etc. etc. etc. Please, include things like sleep and exercise.  Assign and hourly value to all the things in your list, then total it all up. If you want to be super nerdy, use a spread sheet. I did.

Then examine the workflow for your Content. How many hours a week do you need to devote to it in order to make it good? Now compare the two lists. Do you have enough time each week? Maybe doing your project will not force you to sacrifice something. I have no idea. That is up to you, but if you see a deficit in time. You need to start prioritizing your first list. What is the MOST important things to you. I hope it is something like Family & Relationships, Self Care, Professional / Job, and all the lesiure stuff is last.

Then you have either hard or easy decisions to make about what you need to cut back on. And Let’s talk about that last part. Giving up things to make things. I want to acknowledge that may feel really hard to do. You may have this great Warcraft Guild and you cannot think to cut a few nights out of the week feels like cutting off a limb. Trust me, I get it. But what I can say to you is that you will not regret it. You will get NEW rewards out of making that project happen.

Making Content is not easy. It takes time and it takes energy. However, the rewards can be more than you imagined. I hope found this Blog valuable, and if you did let me know about it. Leave a comment below or hit me up on twitter. I would love to chat with you about it.

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