Why Consistent Effort and Some Natural Talent Are A Killer Combination

(AKA how to beat the odds with your podcast)

In the small New England town where I grew up, girls’ sports weren’t a budget priority. When I joined the track team in high school, we practiced with the boys.

That’s where I met Dave and Lowell.

Dave was the natural talent. He had that lanky, long-muscled physique built for distance running. But running wasn’t his only or even his primary passion.

So while he attacked practice hard, he didn’t seem to think much about it. He won most of his races handily with grace and ease.

Lowell was built like a spark plug: low to the ground, heavily muscular with short legs. But oh, what a work ethic!

Every time I saw Lowell he was running. Or hitting the gym. He didn’t win solo events, but his steady performance anchored the team races.

One day our coach made an off-hand comment that stuck in my 14-year old brain: if he could only combine Dave’s talent with Lowell’s work ethic, he’d have a world-class runner.

Right? Talent + consistent effort = winning record.

That’s why these stats from a reddit thread about the 2 million or so podcasts floating around make exactly the right point:

  • 90% of podcasts don’t get past episode 3. That’s 1.8 million who quit.
  • Of the 200,000 left, 90% will quit after 20 episodes. That’s another 180,000 gone.
  • To be in the top 1% of podcasts in the world you only need to publish 21 episodes of your podcast.
  • Your competition is not the 2 million podcasts. It’s the 20,000 podcasters who didn’t quit.

You can have all the natural podcasting talent in the world—but if you’re not willing to channel your inner Lowell, you just might quit before giving your podcast its best shot.

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