“I don’t mean to blame the way I’m feeling on society, culture, economics — clearly I make my own decisions, I dig my own holes, and I do my best to create my own solutions.”Andrea Klunder
I feel like an impostor. Yes, on a repeated and ongoing basis – hence the name and premise of this podcast AND my podcast company.
But there are moments when this feeling is worse than usual.
And that was the entire month of March 2022.
Sure… I’ve taken breaks with my podcast before. Some planned, some unexpected. But this one is hitting me particularly hard because in March one of my podcasting mentors Elsie Escobar organized an incredible campaign called #claimpodparity to highlight and promote representation of women and non-binary leaders in the podcasting industry. She partnered with her companies Libsyn (my hosting company) and She Podcasts, along with various apps like Castro (my fave listening app for iOS) and publications…
My face, name, show, company was featured front and center along with so many other talented incredible creators, coaches, editors, and business owners.
And I haven’t released any new content anywhere in what feels like ages. I shared a few posts on Instagram and Facebook. I think I may have forgotten LinkedIn but other than that, I did absolutely NOTHING with this incredible visibility opportunity.
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“Sometimes, leadership is invisible, it’s messy, it’s retreating, and admitting you don’t know the way ahead… yet.”~Andrea Klunder
I’ve been head down in the weeds of my own business and, honestly, personal life. Trying to make some space at the roots of what isn’t working — why I feel like I work all the time and still struggle with money, why I rarely prioritize my own creative expression, why I’m exhausted and dissatisfied most of the time, why I can’t fully sit back and enjoy the incredible results my team and I help our clients to achieve with their podcasts, why my body is expressing physical distress signals that doctors can only surmise are the result of stress, why massages, healthy foods, acupuncture, meditation, exercise, and sauna visits aren’t doing the trick.
The work in the garden looks like hiring multiple new contractors, improving and documenting processes, creating more efficient systems, raising prices and changing my service model, re-starting therapy, appointments with new medical practitioners, revisiting why I stopped doing yoga during the pandemic when it was so good for my body, having difficult conversations, re-examining my economic situation and asking for help…
You’ll notice a lot of my verbs start with “re” — which indicates looking backward, or doing over — and in a lot of cases I sort of feel like I’m retreating rather than moving forward.
Meanwhile I’ve been producing multiple shows for my incredible clients, unexpectedly became the co-host of one of them, teaching two after school podcasting programs for my amazing high school students — and I feel myself falling behind in my timelines, promises, and responsibilities.
There have many days the last couple months where I’ve been lacking focus, wanting to sleep for half a day, yelling at – or at least firmly telling – myself in my own brain to get the fuck up and make things happen.
I just need a minute.
To gather my thoughts, rally my resources, and re-emerge at some point with some newfound fresh energy from somewhere.
This is the work.
I have been reading and hearing about on many podcasts especially during March, women’s history month, how women are holding a heavy burden between work and home life, how the emotional load is disproportionate in this society, I’ve been learning about personal finance and how we live longer, have less economic power, and pay higher rates for things like healthcare and insurance. I’ve been seeing the ways in which we are still less visible and less well compensated than our male counterparts. Hence the whole point of Elsie’s #claimpodparity campaign.
On March 8th, my students wished me Happy International Women’s Day and it triggered me. I asked them why they think we need International Women’s Day and one student said “because a hundred years ago, women were not treated equally.” Another said, “yeah and we’ve come a long way since then – things are a lot better now.” And I said, “A hundred years ago?!”
I don’t mean to blame the way I’m feeling on society, culture, economics — clearly I make my own decisions, I dig my own holes, and I do my best to create my own solutions.
And I’m not sharing this with you because I’m fishing for reassurance.
I think the lesson I’m learning that I want to share with you is that, yes, sometimes leadership looks like confidence, organization, having your shit together and boldly advancing. It looks like visibility, content creation, and an active social media feed. And sometimes, leadership is invisible, it’s messy, it’s retreating, and admitting you don’t know the way ahead… yet.
So for the moment, I’m on my knees in the dirt, with my head down, and the sun on my back. There will be a lot of rainy days. And that’s okay. I think after a while, it’ll all be worth it.
If you’re there, too, I see you. Let’s share some lemonade in the garden when it’s ready.
Connect with Andrea
Email or Voice firstname.lastname@example.org
LinkedIn: @andreaklunder (I only accept connections from people I actually know, so include a message to say you’re a Creative Impostor listener.)
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