Today is very special indeed, because it was one year ago that I began this podcast. 52 weeks, three episodes a week, and now here we are at episode 156.
I have been thinking about this episode, trying to figure out what I should talk about here. Of course I’m grateful, very grateful to everyone who has taken the time to listen over the course of the last year because without you guys…I would just be a guy in a man cave talking to myself. It is totally you, the listeners who have made this possible.
The other day my daughter in law Lyndsay, my son Clintons wife, sent me a message on Facebook, she had an idea. She wrote:
Hi Alf! It would be great for the listeners to have an episode to hear what you’ve changed about yourself since you’ve started your Podcast. Anything in particular….just so we know if talking about your thoughts has changed you and in what way. Just a thought!
I read her message and the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was a great idea, so I’m going to give that a whirl.
As many of you know, I began this podcast because it was a journey I was already on. A journey that I wanted to bring other men on with me. I had no idea how profoundly I would be affected by doing this.
What you may not realize is that every single episode I created caused me to do some of the same things that I encourage other men to do. It caused me to look inward, to evaluate and scrutinize my thoughts and positions. To make a determination about where I stood and what I believed.
When I’m talking to you guys in a podcast, I’m not just talking to you, or at you…I’m talking to myself as well and I can say that is has had a huge effect on me this past year.
Making this podcast I was forced to realize that some things I thought I believed were still just ideas. It wasn’t until I gathered these thoughts up together into a podcast that I came to understand where my own focus was lacking…and then I was able to make corrections where needed.
Like I said, I have been on this path of self improvement for awhile, but there is something about sharing the journey and the philosophy that takes it to a whole other level. It becomes magnified, it becomes enhanced.
Throughout this past year, because of sharing this podcast with you, I have improved my focus. My relationships have improved. I have gained confidence in areas where I previously had none. My vision of what it means to be a man in the world has been sharpened and refined. In short, creating this podcast has made me a better man.
There is a saying that says; You don’t know what you don’t know. It’s very true, and sharing this content with you every week has revealed to me some of the things I didn’t know that I didn’t know…but now I do.
I am far from a finished product. I’m sure there are still many things that I don’t know that I don’t know, but through effort and focus and daily commitment I expect many of those things will be revealed as time goes on, and I’m excited about that.
When I started this podcast I was in totally unknown territory. I had no idea what to expect. I did make some goals though. One of those goals was that I wanted to have a total of 200,000 downloads in the first year. We come in a little short of that at around 189,000. I don’t feel bad about that at all though, because it was just a guess in the first place, and we came close, and 189,000 is quite a lot! We have listeners in 115 different countries, wow! I don’t know how many countries there are…but that has to be most of them.
Another goal I had was that I wanted the podcast to begin paying for itself, to generate some revenue. Not just so I would get money, but also as a means of validating it’s value. When people put something of value into the world, the world will respond by giving value back.
I didn’t want to produce something of no value…what would be the point in that? So for me generating revenue would be one of the indicators that I was on the right track, that people were finding value in the content.
I’m happy to say that the show has started generating some revenue…so I do feel like the world is finding value in it.
In December we brought on our first official sponsor; Stump Town Kilts. They are now the official sponsor for every Friday episode. I have not heard recent statistics about how many of you are taking advantage of the 10% discount they are offering, but I really hope you guys are checking out their website and I strongly encourage you, if you are ever going to wear a kilt in your life, to make it a stump town kilt.
I have three of these kilts myself and I believe they are the best, most well made, innovative and superior kilts that are available today. Another great thing is that they are not the most expensive!
So guys I’m asking you to help support this show by supporting our sponsor, Stumptown Kilts. Just go to stumptownkilts.com and type the code betterman at checkout to receive 10% off your online purchase.
I also started a Patreon page. Patreon is a place where people can support the content they love in the form of monthly pledges. In return you get little awards and recognition, but more importantly you have the knowledge that you are supporting something you believe in.
It’s pretty awesome because you can pledge as little or as much as you want, it’s totally up to you. I currently have seven Patreon Patrons and I appreciate every one of them so much. These are the inner circle people. I think of these people as the raging fans. The people who are so aligned with this philosophy that they went through the trouble of going to patreon.com, finding my page, and pledging their support. There are links at the bottom of all the show notes pages to make it easy for you.
If you have not gone to the Patreon page yet, I’m asking you to right now. There is a video I made there telling you about it, I think its kind of funny. But if you are a raging fan, if you believe and find value in this content and want to become a patron of the show, please head over there and see what you can do.
There are some other, smaller revenue streams as well and it all adds up and it all tells me that there are people out there who want me to keep going, it really means a lot.
In the future I hope to have some more merchandise like t-shirts and mugs but I want to find a partner that will make it affordable for you guys as well.
Also in this coming year I have another project I’ll be working on. I am going to compile all of the Wednesday stories in a book, or a series of books. There will be more about that as details unfold, but if you are interested in getting one of these books I would love it if you sent me a message either on the website, or Facebook, or you can always just email me at: email@example.com. Let me know you want one. As the launch approaches there will be discounts offered to people who get in early.
One of the commitments I made when I started this a year ago was that I wanted to become a better podcaster every time I sat down at the mic. I believe I have accomplished that. It feels very natural now. In the beginning I wasn’t used to hearing my voice and I would cringe every time. I felt stiff and awkward, but now things are coming pretty easily and I hope that translates on your end.
I mentioned earlier that revenue is one indicator that I’m on the right track…there is another one, and that is one of my favorite things in the world; listener feedback.
In the past year I have received many letter from you guys out there. From people as young as 16 and as old as 55, from both men and women. I cherish every one of these letters. Some of you share how the program has helped in some area of your life, others just offer their thanks and gratitude. Many of you have given me ideas for show topics or asked questions.
I love hearing from you guys, it makes my day, and I answer every email I receive so thank you, and please keep the letters coming.
In wrapping this up I want to sincerely thank all of you for the past year. It has helped and changed me as much as anyone and I am so grateful, and it couldn’t have been done without you.
Keep your ideas and questions and comments coming, and please consider lending your support.
I guess the next logical question is, how long am I going to do this? Will we be back here in another year with episode 312? The answer is truthfully, that I don’t know.
What I do know is that for now at least, I’m still going. I suspect that as long as there is evidence that we are having a positive impact on the world, as long as I keep getting letters telling me about the difference we have made, that I will continue.
Now lets head out into the big world, as a community of men dedicated to the principle of perpetual improvement in all areas of our life. Lets be examples for other men to follow. Just like I’m sharing this journey with you, you can also share your journey with other men you know. Together, by all of us individually becoming the best man we can be, we will have an impact on the world. And it all comes down to being a better man today, than we were yesterday.
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