Podcast Fanatic to Podcast Host
P&P is launching a new podcast
For over a decade, I’ve been a podcast fanatic. I have learned business and life lessons. I’ve found community. I’ve been entertained and intrigued.
In fact, one of my very first blog posts was about my favorite podcasts…I really need to update that post.
Back in 2006, I was tuning in to Debbie Millman’s “Design Matters”. This was before the mainstream podcast popularity brought on by iPhones. Back then, I was daydreaming of a design career in NYC while working my day job in Eastern Kentucky.
At that day job, around that same time, I was charged with producing a podcast called, “Health Matters”. I worked behind the scenes to recruit guests and handle logistics. We recorded in person at Morehead State University’s WMKY station, with the help of student interns. Occasionally, I would join the two male hosts to bring a young, female perspective to conversation.
A few years ago, I seriously considered starting a podcast to share stories of Appalachia. We landed on a name, secured a URL and social handles, but never pulled the trigger. It felt good, but wasn’t the right story for me to tell. Many organizations, like SKED and Mt. Association, are already sharing the stories of business and success in our region. I did not need to be another voice claiming them.
That thought changed a few months ago.
The short story is, I got frustrated.
I had just read yet another article listing top businesses in Eastern Kentucky, failing to include a single one that was female-owned. I could quickly count about 3 dozen businesses that fit the criteria, so how on earth did this still happen in 2020?
That moment was a turning point. If I simply sat in exasperation and did nothing, I was part of the problem. The spark of frustration quickly turned into action.
The podcast world is filled with stories working to shift the narrative of Appalachia – have you listened to Black in Appalachia? It’s so good. There are also endless podcast options for entrepreneurs. Bro-marketing, online courses and coaches, venture capital start-ups, the top 10% level of success – it’s all covered.
I listen to and find value in so many of these. And it inspires me to join the conversation. I want to tell the stories of women in small towns, challenging the status quo in little and big ways. Who are choosing to run their businesses in areas where many say it’s just too hard.
So, thanks to the robust network of brilliant women I’ve had the privilege of connecting with in the past decade, I’m going to tell them.
And, let’s face it, as an extreme extrovert I will run toward any opportunity to have a conversation.
As a female founder in Eastern Kentucky, I have noticed a few trends.
1. Women in small towns who choose to build a business often confuse people.
When I left my day job back in 2013, co-workers continually told me how lucky I was to have the ability to go home and raise my children.
Don’t get me wrong, choosing to be a full-time mom is a perfectly valid, wonderful choice, but that wasn’t mine. I was leaving my 9-to-5 with the goal of continuing to build my business. Yes, I also wanted to find a way to balance motherhood, and career in a way that I didn’t feel my day job allowed. However, this concept was so confusing that many conversations simply ended with the other person shrugging and saying, “Well, yeah, but you know what I mean.”
I never did know what they meant.
2. Women in this region are often overlooked as strategic, innovative business owners.
I know dozens of remarkable women running interesting, successful businesses across Eastern Kentucky. From building healthcare practices to media franchises, founding nonprofits to running restaurants – women are rewriting the rules of small business in innovative ways.
3. Female business owners are less likely to own their business ambition.
So many women I talk to in this region often downplay their goals, dismiss their success and side-step leaning into their business savvy. They are too busy to seek recognition and too humble to think they have wisdom to share.
My ultimate goal for this podcast is to challenge each of these trends and amplify the voices of the incredible women throughout Appalachia and beyond who are carving their own paths. And, in the name of full transparency, I’m kind of nervous. A bit fearful. So, I am claiming my word of the year and moving forward. I hope you’ll join me.
Pursing Fearless will be releasing its introduction episode on February 22 and then a new episode every Monday on all the podcast apps. To stay up to date on all things podcast, sign up for the newsletter or follow us on Instagram @PursuingFearlessPodcast.