I’ve Had These Opportunities Since I Started Podcasting

Women in podcast studio with mic and long dark curly hair talking about opportunities.
This is me interviewing a guest for my podcast.

My podcast launched in April 2022 and since starting this podcasting journey I’ve had opportunities I never imagined would happen. When I started my podcast it was with the sole intention of having my own show to share immigrant stories. But it really opened up a new world of opportunities. It’s crazy to think how you can start something with one goal in mind but as you go through the journey it can take you down a different path. 

Let me share a few opportunities I’ve had since starting my podcast.

Speak at Events

Public speaking has not been my main skill. I remember in high school being so afraid in my public speaking class whenever it was my turn to give a speech. However, I’m glad I took that class even though I still need to practice this skill. But anyway, since starting my podcast I’ve had the opportunity to speak at a few events. 

One of them was to share about my business, the services I provide, and how I got into podcasting. And the other I was debating on sharing about my business but God told me to share a little of my story and I did. As my podcasting journey continues my opportunities to speak at events will continue to grow as well.

Be a Guest on Other Podcasts

As part of my podcasting journey, I’ve had opportunities to be a guest on other podcasts. If you want to start podcasting you don’t have to do this, it’s completely optional. However, I’ve been invited to be a guest and I’ve also pitched myself.

I’ve been on over 25 podcast shows and counting. In each episode, I’ve discussed different things, different parts of my stories, my business, my poetry book, my podcast, and some combination of all of those things. Depending on what your expertise will depend on which podcast you’ll want to be a guest for, but the opportunities are endless. 

My best advice to start being a guest on podcasts is to join Facebook podcasting groups that are tailored for finding guests. Being a guest on a podcast was actually my first experience with podcasting before I started my own show, however, when I started podcasting it wasn’t my intention to be a guest on other shows, it just happened. But this is also a great way to market yourself, your services, books, business, etc. I’ve made some great connections being a guest on different podcasts and I’m so grateful for the opportunities.

Intern for One of My Favorite Podcasts

Okay, this opportunity is one I’ll always talk about because it was a full-circle moment for me that I’ll never get over. Back in 2019, I went to the Lifeway Women’s Live Women’s Conference for the first time. The host that year was Jamie Ivey from The Happy Hour Podcast. Since then I followed her on Instagram, listened to her podcast faithfully, and have truly enjoyed the good content that she produces.

And one day I was like, “I want to start a podcast.” God put it in my heart in 2019 to start a podcast and I wanted it to be similar to Jamie’s. I was going to have friends come on the show and talk about the good things they were doing in life because we don’t take time to celebrate ourselves enough. 

Well, earlier this year I saw in Jamie’s newsletter that they were looking for interns. I applied thinking it doesn’t hurt to try. Then went through the whole process and Angie Elkins, who at the time was the editor for the show, did my interview and at the end of the interview, she said they wanted to extend the offer. I legit cried and if you know me, I’m not one to cry easily. It was just such a surreal and full-circle moment.

Those five months of the internship were so great and it was amazing to see the behind-the-scenes work it takes to run a podcast business. Also, all the different people that were in place to help things run smoothly! Can’t wait to be there one day.

Co-Host Virtual Podcast Networking Events

Earlier this year I was asked to co-host a virtual podcast networking event. This was for the Facebook group Women in Podcasting with Francy. She hosts Life with Francy Podcast. We would host this event every third Sunday of the month.

Podcast hosts and expert guests would come together to share about their show, what they speak about, and if the hosts were looking for guests at the moment. It was so fun being able to serve in a leadership role for a podcasting group, especially a group for women. I’ve made some great connections from those events and still keep in contact with some.

Opportunities Are Endless

As you can see podcasting has provided opportunities that I didn’t think about when I first started this journey. I am so glad I took the leap of faith when I did and I cannot wait to see what other opportunities this journey provides in the future. 

You never know where your journey will take you unless you start! So, if you are thinking of starting a podcast – I say start! And if you need help getting it launched get in contact with me and let’s set up a call to discuss how I can help you! 

With Love, Heidy

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Blog Book Review

Book Review: A Just Mission – Laying Down Power & Embracing Mutuality

Picture taken by me

A Just Mission is about how churches in The West go out into the world on short-term mission trips but rarely do they have people from the countries they are going to leading these trips. Mekdes Haddis uses her experience as an immigrant; she’s from Ethiopia and came to the US for college and culture to provide solutions to better mission trips. For example, she gives suggested solutions from training and development, mutual benefits instead of one-sided, and inclusivity of indigenous leaders on the missions’ team.

There were a few things that stood out to me in the book. First, in chapter three, she said, “We are not made to objectify one another; we are made for holy community, to equally reflect God’s beauty to one another.” This comes from having her hair touched without permission only because of curiosity. This is something I’ve heard people of color experience all the time. But as Mekdes mentioned, she’s never had the urge to touch straight hair, and hair has a lot of representation in many cultures.

Chapter five is about decolonizing short-term mission trips, and there were a few things in this chapter that stood out to me. First, she and her husband are very intentional about which organizations their money is going to. She writes, “For my husband and me, choosing to support mission organization has been a difficult journey because we know too well how culturally and spiritually unprepared people mischaracterize or demean our people. For the most part, we have shifted our financial support from Western institutions that promised to end poverty to those that invested in indigenous leadership.”

On pages 112 and 113, she includes a few steps to ensure good practices of short-term mission trips, and number six is something I’ve felt was always weird. Mekdes tells us to leave our cameras at home or hire a professional photographer from the community and support a small business. I have always felt strange when teams go on mission trips, take pictures and videos, and post them all over their social media. I understand wanting to show others their work in order to motivate others to get involved as well, but have you stopped to think that maybe they don’t want to be photographed?

I went with my church once to feed the homeless at a local park, and there was a person taking pictures and videos of us praying over people and handing out sandwiches. One of the persons receiving the food told them no pictures, which made me feel a little awkward. What are the intentions behind our actions? Are we doing this from the good of our hearts, or are we doing this to show off our good deed for the day to get an appraisal from others?

Matthew 6:3 (NIV) says, “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your hand is doing.”

I hold this verse close to my heart, and I don’t post or boast of it when volunteering for certain things or making donations to charities, but that’s me. Everyone is different.

In chapter eight, she touches on the issue of immigration because a report from Religion News Service shows that 75% of white evangelical Protestant Republicans believe immigrants are invading American society. Mekdes writes, “This is an area where we need to have a clear stance, because it would be hypocritical to send the very same people who don’t want immigrants among them to the homeland of those they despise with the ‘gospel.’” Of course, this stance is close to my heart because of the work I’m doing with providing a platform for immigrants to share their immigration journey in order to change the narrative of immigration to a more compassionate and empathetic way.

Overall, this book has a lot of information and resources to improve how American churches approach mission trips. And I believe anyone who has thought about going on a mission trip, has gone on a mission trip, or attend a church that goes on mission trips should read it.

With Love, Heidy

What are your thoughts on the way American churches approach mission trips? Do you think any improvements need to be made? Why or why not?

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