Episode 161- Become A Noticer

So a question that I’m getting a lot now is how do you come up with so much content? You know, doing a daily short form podcast forces you to think and do differently than if you’re not doing it. If I decided to do a weekly interview show, I would need to come up with the content for that weekly show or even a weekly solo show would have to be for that one show. But when you force yourself, you box yourself into a corner to do this on a daily basis, well you better come up with good or great content every day and I personally wanted that challenge. I actually needed that challenge because it’s actually more relaxing for me now than it was before I did it and I’m going to explain that I am an idea guy. I’m one of those people that has so many ideas running through my head.

My mind is going a lot and at times it’s hard to keep track. And when I didn’t have the show I would pile up all these ideas and these thoughts and they would go nowhere and it would feel like a bottleneck and I would actually get really frustrated because I had all these different things I wanted to talk about or do or create and I had no outlet, very little outlet for it. So doing the podcast clears my thoughts, it frees up my brain, it gets things out of my brain, written down, recorded, published and out there. So from a mental standpoint, it’s been really a relief for me. But I have a lot of people that talk to me and they struggle coming up with ideas for content. So they wound up either having what they would call writer’s block or ideas that they’re not happy with or just kind of copying in some ways other people’s stuff because they don’t have it on their own.

So I record this to give some tips and some ideas on coming up with content so you could do this in whatever way you see fit. And what I want to bring to you is an idea from an author who’s had a big influence on me most especially five or six years ago from his books and his content. His name is Andy Andrews, and he wrote a book called The Traveler’s Gift and about 12 other books. But one book he wrote was called The Noticer. And Andrew’s story is really compelling because when he was a teenager, both of his parents died and he found himself living underneath the pier in Orange Beach, Alabama. And he tells a story of this man named Jones who showed up at the pier and guided him and helped him to think differently and think to get himself out of that situation and with the lessons that he learned turned his life around.

And now as a bestselling author many times over. So The Noticer is about Jones. And from what I can recall from the stories, Andrews only met Jones a couple of times, but he created the character for his books to teach it to us. And Jones’ strength he explains is having the gift of noticing things about life that others miss. And Jones seems to always be everywhere and he knows a bit about everybody. He says that he notices things that other people overlook. And most of these things are in plain sight. So this theory of being a noticer is what I’ve used to constantly create content for the podcast, for books and to the groups that I run. When Jones says most people overlook it. I completely agree. It’s amazing how many times as I think like Jones and I become a noticer that I point things out that I see.

And so many people will say to me, you know, that’s so true, but I never thought about that. And that’s the sure sign of somebody who’s not paying attention to notice things. So be careful when you hang around with me cause I’m constantly looking for little things. I’m always paying attention for quotes or stories or lines, inspiration, problems, solutions and just little things that are real that most people overlook. And the thing about it is it never goes out of style and it never gets stale because you keep doing it every day that it stays modern, it stays to the point. And it stays relevant. So a lot of my stories come from my childhood and that’s where I’d encourage you to start because so many of the things that we believe are shaped from our childhood, but at the same time, often they’d let us down a path that isn’t beneficial to us.

So we learn from them and then when we think about it, we learn from it. We change the way that we think, we come up with the lessons that we learned without even having to think about it from the past. There are so many times I’ll think of a story or a conversation or interaction. I never thought that there was a story attached to it, but as I write it down, I think about it. I realize, Oh, that was the lesson that I learned from that. So I’m always trying to match up a story that’s intriguing, that has some type of a storyline to it that is entertaining and it has a lesson at the same time. Now what I know if I can get those three things as a basic, I’ve got a podcast episode or I’ve got a part of my next book, but it can’t just be a story for the most part.

So many people tell me, Oh, that’s a good podcast right there. And I’ll say, what was the struggle? Or what was the lesson learned? And they won’t have one and that never cuts it for me because it’s got to have all those variables to size up to be a good episode. So I am constantly taking notes. I’ve got my pad with me and when I was on a flight to Orlando recently to go to Podcast Movement, I wrote down what could be a hundred different podcast episodes just on a flight. Now all of them won’t be because it’s not going to have all the things together to make it a great episode. But as you keep writing down these ideas and then you keep thinking about the lesson or the takeaway and the lessons don’t have to be deep, they could be just something that make you think a little bit.

That’s a really basic framework to how I go about creating content for the podcast and what I also do, if you read my book Freelance to Freedom, I wrote the book similar to the way that I record these podcasts, so I want to keep it to the standard that these podcasts could be inserted into that book or even into a future book. And to me, I like to challenge myself with new ideas and new thoughts. That’s why I never wanted this to be just a podcast about business or freelancing or money or family. I never want it to be that narrow because I knew that the niche was me in this podcast and it wasn’t something like finance.


My friend Brad Barrett for the podcast choose FI who I talked about in a past recently we were talking about my podcast and I was so honored. He’s like, I listened to it every morning and even though the subhead is time and money freedom for freelancers, entrepreneurs, he said he looks at it differently. For him, it’s just life lessons from Vincent. I was like, I’m not changing anything right now, but I can see that being the case the way it’s shaped out. And by doing that, that gives me the flexibility as long as the integrity and the authenticity is there to go with it, whatever way I choose. And knowing that that’s the path that gives me carte blanche to create this the way that I want to create it. So my tip for you in terms of creating content is go become a noticer. Notice the things in your life, in the people’s lives around you that other people aren’t paying attention to, but that are right in front of your face. And then very importantly, start writing these things down.

Start keeping a log of these different ideas. And as you start doing it, you’re going to come up with more ideas. And it doesn’t mean that they’re going to be the best stories and the best content, but you need to get started putting something out there. So not only will your content be better by becoming a noticer, but you’ll also be a way more instinct person to be around because your observations are going to pique the interest of other people. And conversations will be a lot more fun and a lot more engaging because you’re curious and you’re looking to learn from people. But so often, so many people go into a conversation with wanting to tell instead of learn. So that’s just the tip for today on how I create content and I’ll be back with you tomorrow.

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