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Learning Life Lessons In Unexpected Places

By Cheval John

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Sometimes life lessons can come in unexpected places.

Like if you missed your bus to go to a sporting event or you have a flat tire.

The only thing you have control over is how you react to circumstances that is out of your control.

You can choose whether to have a pity party and rain on the parade of people who are having great days or see it as a life lesson.

I had decided to go to downtown Houston to put up a blog post and participate on Twitter chats.

When I missed the bus at a “particular time,” at first, I was mad at myself.

It was freezing cold outside and had to wait about an hour before the next bus arrived.

I could have continued to wallow in self pity.

However, I decided to just enjoyed the scenery and wait patiently.

After the next bus arrived and arrived at a local coffee shop where I normally do some blogging and participate in Twitter chats, a person was at the table where they was only one place where you can plug your computer.

With the batteries running out, I decide to make the most of it and in the process, I ended up chatting with college students and later, some business people who were on their breaks.

If I had arrived earlier, I would have missed out on the opportunity to have a conversation with the people about meaningful topics.

So the next time something does not go your way, take a deep breath and relax.

That could turn out to be a lesson in disguise.

Have you ever experienced a time when things did not go your way and it ended up being a blessing in disguise? You can leave your comments below.

First Lesson In Podcasting: Start Locally

By Cheval John

This is the first “lesson” chapter of my second book “8 Lessons Every Podcaster Needs To Learn.”

I am blogging this book as part of Nina Amir’s Write Nonfiction In November challenge.

The post “The Process of Writing A Book” explains why I decided to join in this challenge.

You can see the introduction of the book, “Introduction To Podcasting” right here.

If you have a desire to write a book and want to join me in this challenge, then head over to Mrs. Amir’s blog to find out more about blogging a book.

Without further ado, here is the first chapter.

When many people are first starting out, they are tempted to reach out to the most recognizable person out there.

The logic is that the recognizable guest will “drive” many listeners to the show.

It is very reasonable if you want to start your podcasting journey on the right foot.

However, this is the wrong approach.

Many of these big name people will not even give you a second thought because your are not big enough, especially if you are just starting your podcast.

They will feel nervous because they do not know what to expect.

That is why it is important to start locally because your potential guest already know you and trust you.

If you built that relationship with the people who are prominent in your area, then it will be easier to approach them to be one of the “firsts” guest on your new show.

And once your podcast gains traction, it will be easier to reach out to the “big name” people because they will see your track record and nine times out of ten, they will accept.

When I was in preparation to launch my show, “What’s The Word?,” I reached out to a “prominent” person and she accepted the invitation.

Three days before the show was set to launch, she sent me a message saying that she was not able to do the show because she had to focus on her new clients and wished me luck.

Though I was bummed, it was a blessing in disguise because it allowed me to reach out to the people I already knew at my alma mater, Sam Houston State University.

The show launched a few weeks later and from that moment, I had many “well known” guests on the show.

So if you want to have a great start to your podcast career, it is really important to start locally.

What are your thoughts on podcasting? Leave your comment below.

Video courtesy of Nina Amir.

There Is No “I” In Team

By Cheval John

Thank goodness you are not Kaelin Clay.

The senior wide receiver made what is possibly the bone headed play of the year that caused his team, the Utah Utes to lose against the Oregon Ducks 51-27.

The Utes had a 7-0 lead and had all the momentum going for them when quarterback Travis Wilson found Clay wide open down the field for what would have been a 78 yard touchdown pass.

However, Mr. Clay was so focused on celebrating the score that he dropped the football a yard shy before crossing into the endzone.

With a heads up play by Oregon’s defense, they pick up the football and returned it 99 yards for the touchdown and tied the score up at 7 after the extra point.

From that moment on, the Ducks steam rolled Utah en route to an important win that kept them alive for one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff.

The lesson from this: Always be a team player because it is not all about you.

Your actions can either elevate a business, organization, etc. or bring down them down very quickly like Mr. Clay’s foolish action brought down his Utah team against Oregon.

What are your thoughts on that wild play between Utah and Oregon?

Video courtesy of ESPN via BBA News

Introduction To Podcasting

By Cheval John

As promised in my last post, “The Process of Writing A Book,” I will be sharing each chapter of the book “8 Lessons Every Podcaster Needs To Learn.”

This will be my way of letting the readers of this site get to see my writing process in creating a book and also I want to be as real and transparent as possible.

I want the readers to be a part of the book writing process and share their feedback with me on whether this book will be beneficial for those who are looking to create their own podcast.

So without further ado, here is the “Introduction” to the book.

Podcasting has made a resurgence in the last 10 years.

It was a once forgotten medium because the technology was only available on computers.

After Apple created the iPod in 2005, many flocked back to podcasting because they believed that they could reach a wider audience.

They are signs that podcasting will continue to grow in the near future.

The reason is because Apple has led the way in innovation again with their new product, the Apple Carplay.

Carplay allows anyone to connect their iPhone to their cars.

It was released this year on selected car models like Ferrari, Honda, and Hyundia and will be available on all newer models with the rest of the big name brands in 2015.

One might think this is all great, but what all this have to do with podcasting?

The answer is everything because the iPhone has given people the capability to download their favorite podcasts and listen to it anywhere.

That means that if you are small business owner, freelance writer, a college student who are trying to showcase their expertise in order to land their dream job, etc, starting a podcast will allow you to reach your target audience and establish your credibility.

And it gets even better with Carplay because podcasters are able to reach people who have to commute to work on a weekly basis.

So you might still wonder why I should journey into podcasting when the medium is the 11th social media platform used by 6% of marketers according to the 2014 industry report by Social Media Examiner?

The reason is because that same report has indicated that 21% of marketers are going to create their own podcasts this year and 24% are thinking of the possibility of having a podcast.

So if you are convinced and are ready to have your very own podcast, I salute you.

As you are thinking about what platform will best fit your podcasting needs, the third chapter, “Start A Podcast” in my first book, “8 Things You Need To Do Before Quitting Your Job” explains what platform will work for the newbie podcaster.

When you come to the decision on which platform you feel comfortable with in creating your podcast,
more questions will enter your mind like how do I secure my first guest?

Should I reach out to that A-Lister or should I start local with the people I know?

This book, “8 Lessons Every Podcaster Needs To Learn” will be the step-by-step guide to grow your podcast the right way.

It is based on the lessons I learned the hard way while hosting my very own online radio show/podcast, “What’s The Word?” on BlogTalkRadio.

My hope is that you will avoid the same mistakes as a podcaster and that you will grow your personal brand and establish yourself as a thought leader whether you are a business owner, freelance writer, college student or even an employee.

Let the lessons begin.

Video courtesy of Cliff Ravenscraft

The Growing Pains Of A Student-Athlete

By Cheval John

University of Georgia’s tailback Todd Gurley was suspended indefinitely by UGA’s athletic department.

Gurley is currently being investigated by the NCAA for an undisclosed rules violation.

One could suspect that it was for accepting improper benefits, which is an NCAA violation.

“I’m obviously very disappointed,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said in a statement. “The important thing for our team is to turn all our attention toward preparation for Missouri.”

If it’s true, then Gurley made a huge mistake on his part.

However, we have to look at the bigger picture at what is going on in college athletics.

The NCAA is making billions of dollars a year, mostly from football and basketball.

Though college athletes receives a stipend in the form of scholarships, they do not receive a share of the revenue.

We have heard from many prominent figures that mentioned that the NCAA is taking advantage of the student-athletes.

They might go even further as saying that the NCAA is run like a business despite being a non-profit organization.

If that was the case, then the non-revenue sports would not be there and it will devoid those, particular women athletes, the opportunity to gain an education.

On the other hand, the NCAA has so many byzantine rules that it is difficult for athletic administrators to really see if they are following the rules.

I could go even further to say that most of the rules are so petty and ridiculous that it seems that they want the student-athletes to remain poor while they are in school.

Though I am not condoning the alleged improper benefits violation of Gurley, a person can understand why he did it.

If the NCAA can ease up on some of their rules like allowing a family friend to pay for meals they can’t afford, then I think that we would not see so many violations of improper benefits.

That is something that they can think about.