simone knego

I Met 100 People During a Pandemic Through Podcasts

As I set out to write a book, I had no idea of the power of podcasts to better share my story.

When I published my book, The Extraordinary UnOrdinary You, the entire world was right smack dab in the middle of a lockdown due to the Covid pandemic. You have to admit that my timing was pretty awful. But I don’t think any of us knew just how long the pandemic would last.

Sadly, there were no bookstores open for me to do book signings. There were no libraries to speak at and no place that would even consider hosting a book launch party. When launching a book, this is a very difficult spot to be in.

I wrote my book because I wanted to share my story.

And there I was with a book to share and no physical way to share it. I was forced to think outside of the box.

In my efforts to find a way to share my story, I learned about podcasts. I was nowhere near ready to create my own podcast. But I discovered that there are currently more than two million podcasts with episodes that total over 48 million. That’s a lot of podcasts. I found that there are so many other incredible people with successful podcasts who love to have guests on their shows. So I made it a goal to be a guest on 100 podcasts this year.

I recently appeared on my 100th podcast and it has been an incredible journey.

Podcasts have been an amazing way for me to share my book with others.

But it hasn’t just been talking about my book. The past year has been an amazing opportunity for me to share my story and to talk about mindset. I believe this is an incredibly important message that we need to talk about regularly in our post-pandemic world.

The best part about it has been the truly remarkable people I’ve met and the stories I’ve learned from people all over the world. I’ve done podcasts in New Zealand, Australia, and England, among others, without ever having to leave the comfort of my own home.

I even have my own recording studio that’s actually quite perfect for interviewing on a podcast. When my kids were little, we had a little room off the garage that we super-insulated so the kids could play and make as much noise as they wanted without bothering anyone. Now that my kids have outgrown their playroom, it’s the perfect place for me to get away where no one on the other line can hear my dogs or my kids. Conversely, I can’t hear anything else that’s happening in the house. This allows me to really focus on the conversation with each podcast host.

I’ve learned so many things throughout this process, but here are my five takeaways from my 100 podcast experiences.

Everyone has a story.

Of the 100 podcast hosts that I interviewed with—all 100 had a story. My favorite thing about this experience, hands down, was meeting 100 new people while learning their stories. And I got to do it all from the comfort of my own home at a time when no one was really having a conversation with anyone because the world was in lockdown.

Yes, they had me as a guest to share my story. But in the sharing of my story, I got to hear their stories as well. And some of the best conversations were before or after the recording happened. Many times, once the recording stopped, there were even deeper conversations about life—conversations I would have never been a part of if I hadn’t been willing to put myself out there on their podcast.

It’s important to listen to yourself.

Probably the most difficult part for me, especially at the beginning, was going back and listening to my podcast episodes. Although I know how to speak and keynote speaking is my thing, I was surprised at all the filler words I used. There was one podcast I was on where I heard myself say “you know” almost 200 times!

It’s made me become very aware of my word choice. And instead of saying ‘um,’ ‘uh,’ and ‘you know,’ while I’m trying to think of an answer to their question, I pause and say nothing at all. I’ve learned to be still until I have developed something to say in a clear and concise way. It’s not easy when someone asks you a question and you have to come up with an answer in the moment. But through this experience, I’ve learned how to do just that.

Be your authentic self.

I’ve never really had a problem being my authentic self. I am who I am. But these interviews really taught me how to dig deep and answer questions from a place of raw authenticity that I may have masked before. Going into this experience, I didn’t want to answer a question just to answer it. I wanted my answers to be real. It’s the raw details, not the shiny moments that have the ability to make the greatest impact. My goal by sharing my stories is to inspire that one person to change their mind, to see themselves differently, and to really realize what they’re capable of. That requires honesty.

At first, I felt a little bit of a barrier to feeling comfortable enough to bare my soul to the world. I have six kids and I want to make sure that they are going to be proud of me at the end of the day. But I realized that me being my authentic self is what’s going to make them proud, not making something up so I look better. My story is about real human moments and the lessons that come from them.

Being real and authentic means that when a podcast host asked me what the three material things were that I couldn’t give up, the first things that popped into my mind were wine, leggings, and jeans. He laughed at my answers and said he loved the fact that I was real. His answer to the question—chicken wings. We both laughed. It’s so much better to be real and authentic with people.

Don’t be afraid to try new things.

Being a guest on podcasts was completely outside of my wheelhouse. I didn’t have a microphone, I didn’t have headphones, and I had no idea what I was doing. The first few times, I was learning something new, and I wasn’t perfect at it. But it was an incredible learning opportunity and I’ve gained a great new skillset because of this experience.

Podcasts were completely new to me, but here I am, 100 episodes later with so many unique and valuable moments to look back on. And the incredible thing about this experience is that those podcasts will probably be out there forever. Years from now, someone will stumble upon one of my podcast interviews and it will change them for the better. That’s more than I can hope for, but exactly where I want to be.

Every choice we make leads us to something else.

Making the choice to put myself out there and interview on 100 podcasts gave me experiences I couldn’t have anywhere else. Sometimes we may be afraid of putting ourselves out there. Fear of judgment is a real thing. But speaking on podcasts is a great way for us to learn about others and to really learn more about ourselves. It’s the perfect medium for connecting with people, sharing our stories, and serving as an inspiration for others. It was a great way for me to take a risk, learn more about myself, and even enhance my speaking ability.

When I made the decision to write a book, podcasts weren’t even on my radar. But now here I am a year later, and I’ve participated in 100 incredible podcasts. I started this journey with the hope that I would help that one person change for the better. But the beautiful thing is that I’m that one person—doing these podcasts has changed me for the better. And I will never be the same.

I’ve learned that podcasting gives us the opportunity to share our stories in a way that is impactful for people. These small snippets of our lives that we share in a short, recorded segment of a podcast have the potential to do so much good for those who listen to it. You are reaching people all over the world and that is pretty spectacular. You never know whose life you’re going to touch—and that’s the beauty of it.

Meet Simone Knego

Simone Knego is an international speaker, award-winning author and two-time TEDx Speaker. Her work has been featured on ABC, NBC, and CBS and in Entrepreneur Magazine and Yahoo News. Her literary contributions have been honored by the National Indie Excellence Award and the NYC Big Book Award. Simone has not only summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, but she is also the heart of a bustling household with six children, three dogs, and one husband of 31 years. As the creator of the REAL Method, Simone continues to inspire and impact teams, fostering growth, and promoting self-discovery. 

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