Podcatchers, Health & Business, And An Action Item Challenge

Podcatchers, Health & Business, And An Action Item Challenge

Are You Up For Nadia’s Challenge?

SuperFred Nadia Bracken reached out to us just last week and issued a challenge to listeners and Freds everywhere.

Here’s what she said: “I like your show so much because of the action item. It is like I don’t have to decide what to do next. I don’t have to deal with decision fatigue. You just tell me and I obey.”

First of all, we love having someone obey us!

Secondly, we love the challenge that she followed up with, which is to be productive by performing one of our action items every day for the month of December.

We’re going to help you by giving you a list of action item ideas right here. If you’re like Nadia and you want to obey, choose one item per day and DO IT. Or if you have a better idea, feel free to do your own item.

But that’s not all! We need proof.

Every time you perform an action item, we want you to post it online and tell us about it. Post it to Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #WSSup. Or if you’re super obedient, take a photo of yourself engaged in the action item and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #WSSup. If you do that, as an added bonus, we’ll also allow it to be automatically posted to our Facebook page.

Now, get busy. Post your action item successes and photos.

Just please, no porn!

No, seriously. No porn.

Ralph Stabs iTunes In The Skull

That may sound a bit dramatic but trust me, I live with him. I know how much he hates iTunes.

We’ve actually both had similar problems recently with iTunes getting out of synch, deleting podcasts we wanted and adding podcasts we didn’t, and as a result we’ve both stopped listening to podcasts as much as we used to.

But Ralph had a bit of an epiphany when he realized hey, you know what? I don’t have to use iTunes! And thus began his quest to find another app.

Turns out there is a whole class of apps called “podcatchers” that let you listen to podcasts and Ralph rather vigorously researched and then finally tested out two finalists.

One is called Overcast and the other is called Pocket Casts.

They both have the un-iTunes-like advantage of being completely in synch across devices. So when he switches from desktop to laptop to iPad to phone, both apps always remember precisely where he left off on a podcast.

Each of the apps has some cool perks.

Overcast has a really great notes section where you can see more details and links. It also has a nifty feature where it will remove extra pauses in the conversation and even level out voices so they sound great.

On the down side, Overcast is focused on the mobile app and is not quite as robust on desktop. And you can’t create playlists on the desktop version.

Pocket Casts is beautiful, Ralph says, and he prefers its features and interface. But it has a few quirks, too. For starters, when you share a podcast to social media, it doesn’t link back to the podcast. Rather, it links to the podcast within the app. That deprives the content creator of the traffic and also doesn’t take listeners to the show notes. Plus the share links have Pocket Casts branding instead of pulling your feature image.

There is no playlist option on the desktop version of this app, either.

In the end, Pocket Casts wins for its simplicity and features. And iTunes is dead to us.

Your Seriously Social Moment

This is the last of Ian’s miniseries on roadblocks to creativity. But never fear, he’ll be back with more social goodness next week!

Today he mentions a book called the War of Art (yes, you read that right). He says the book has been a big influence on him. In it, the author says that if you’re doing creative work, you will face resistance. And the battle is usually from within.

The inner voice telling you that you’re not good enough. Or that you have other things to do. Or that you’re tired.

But Ian says: just start. You have to face the fear and resistance and GO. Keep moving forward and you’ll break into the sunlight of creativity.

Forty Three Things But A Pound Ain’t One

We’ve talked about our quest to be healthier, which started in earnest at the beginning of August this year. I visited my doctor in July and I visited him again just this week. And both times he weighed me and in between those times I lost 43 pounds.

The best part about that is that I haven’t obsessed about it. I didn’t cut out entire food groups like potatoes or meat or butter. I didn’t set huge goals and I don’t spend hours a day working out.

What I do is eat food. Real food. The only thing I’ve cut out is processed food, which primarily consists of sugar. And what I do is spend three miles a day on the treadmill. Whether that’s jogging, walking or crawling, it’s not about how fast or how hard. It’s a very simple activity that I do without stressing myself out. In fact, most days I barely break a sweat.

So how does this affect my business?

In a lot of ways, it turns out. For starters, it’s given me a lot more energy. I used to be perpetually tired. Sleep until eight, drag through the day, nap at three, dinner then bed. Stairs were hard. Leaving the house was hard. Sometimes just opening the computer was hard.

I feel a lot better now about everyday activities. I can do a lot more because I’m simply not tired and depleted every day.

Another positive effect has been better focus.

Ever have those moments where you open a closet to look for something and forget what you went to look for? So you close the closet and walk away and eventually it comes back to you and the cycle starts all over.

I was doing that constantly. Constantly unfocused. Constantly distracted. Getting anything done was a monumental task.

But my concentration has been noticeably better and I am far more productive and far more efficient, without changing much more than the amount of vegetables I eat in a day.

Turns out when you feed your body, you also feed your mind. Your business is tied into the rest of your life and wellness so ignore one to the detriment of the other.

You don’t need giant, lofty goals. You just need to decide what you want to get better at and then do something. Do one thing. And do it now.

Your Action Item(s)

Thanks to Nadia for posting today’s Action Item Challenge!

Your action item today is to download this list of action items and do one today. And then do another tomorrow. Keep going for each day through the end of December.

And who knows, you may just keep going after that without our nudging!

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Carol Lynn Rivera

Carol Lynn Rivera

I'm a business owner, content creator, podcaster and marketer. In 1999 I founded Rahvalor Interactive, a web and creative services production studio, with my husband and business partner Ralph. In 2011 we created Web.Search.Social, a consulting and marketing service line for small businesses. We also cohost the Web.Search.Social Podcast where we challenge the status quo of marketing and the Carbon Based Business Units podcast where we talk about the human side of being an entrepreneur. On any given day I wear the hat of project manager, consultant, social media manager and content marketer. My true passion is writing and in my spare time I'm busy planning my early retirement to Barcelona as a famous and wealthy novelist.
Carol Lynn Rivera
Carol Lynn Rivera
  • Larry

    Carol,
    Have you thought about making your logo “linkable” on the Action Item Challenge PDF. The reason I mention this is that I forwarded the PDF to a friend and he emails me back asking for the link to your site.
    Larry

    • Thanks for the heads up, Larry, that’s what you get for finishing you action item at 2AM! I replaced the document with on that has a link back to the site. Appreciate the advice. And thanks for sharing it with a friend!

  • I never, ever, ever visit iTunes anymore. I have ALWAYS HATED iTunes from the get-go! For starters, it doesn’t load worth a crap on my device. Pfft! Just sayin’. 🙂

    • Apple sucks you into its world and there doesn’t seem to be a way out… until… one day you realize there are other apps! Amazing.

  • Carol Lynn, you lost 43 pounds?! You go, girl! There should be a major happy-dance celebration goin’ on here!! NO CAKE at this party. Just some really good ‘real’ food. 😉

    Congratulations for not obsessing over your fitness/health/lifestyle goals. Your story is inspirational! xoxo

    • Yep, and 43 more to go 🙂 By summer I should be in good shape!

      • You can’t be serious! Drop another 43, turn sideways, stick your tongue out, and you’ll look like a zipper! I’m sure you look PERFECT, as is. 🙂 xoxo

        • I’ll just stand you next to my closet for whenever I need to wear a dress 😉

  • Pingback: Get Better! Improve Your Life And Business One Small Action At A Time()

  • Sorry, @carollynnrivera:disqus but long distance relationships don’t work. We’re going to have to break it up… 😉

    Great episode as usual. As I’m an Android user I’ve never had to cope with the horrid iTunes. I’ve loved BeyondPod. But since Ralph recommended Pocket Casts I gave it ago. It doesn’t have the same power features as BeyondPod but the interface is nicer. I just wished they had categories and the ability to set when the daily update is going to happen. But nothing is perfect!

    By the way, do you have a treadmill at home? I’d love to do some exercise but I really can’t be bothered to go to the gym…

    • SSHHHHH!!!! You weren’t supposed to admit that out loud 🙂

      I may soon be an Android user too… not sure I’m committed to Apple at this point. I love my Mac but the rest has been pretty annoying.

      And yes, I do have a treadmill. In my bedroom where I have to see it every day! Knock on wood or burn some incense or something because we’ve had it for about 17 years and it’s still working perfectly. I don’t like the gym either. It was worth the investment, especially when you start to add up the cost of the gym and how often you DON’T go. But there’s still the good old fashioned ground if you really need to take a walk 🙂

  • Ok.. I love these action items.I printed a copy so that I could look at it each day and challenge myself. Of course, I will be doing this well into 2016. But hey, I am tired of those who know nothing tell me what I should do without giving me an actionable items to make those things work. I love you guys and the fact that you think about how I am going to do what you say. Is it something I can do and if so how? Getting busy now..

    • Ok, this is a test… how many have you done? 🙂 I am getting a kick out of this action item list because it’s one thing to tell people what to do and it’s another when they actually listen! lol…