Episode 101 100th Episode Celebration | 10 Things I Learned On My Podcasting Journey: Solo Episode by Chris McDonald

Feb 3, 2023

Today, I celebrate my 100th episode!!! I’ve had the privilege to interview some incredible guests on my podcast, whom I’ve learned from and built an amazing holistic community alongside. 

To celebrate my 100th episode, I had listeners call in and share what they have learned and enjoyed from the show. 

Getting to 100 episodes has been quite the journey. In this episode, I talk about the 10 things I learned since starting my podcast. 

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Listener: Hi, this is uh, Lauren Tierney. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist from Northern California. So with this amazing podcast, I've learned so much useful holistic approaches, tools, tips, all those good things that I'm able to successfully apply to my work with clients. I appreciate this. So much. It really inspires me to do my best work as a holistic therapist.

I hope to see many, many more podcasts. Thank you so much.

Chris McDonald: This is Holistic Counseling, the podcast for mental health therapists who want to deepen their knowledge of holistic modalities and build their practice with confidence. I'm your host, Chris McDonald, licensed therapist. I am so glad you're here for the journey. Hi, and welcome back to the Holistic Counseling Podcast.

I am so excited for my hundredth episode. This is going to be awesome. So I'm gonna share with you today, some listeners have called in to share what they have learned, and I'm gonna be sharing 10 things I've learned from my podcasting journey as part of this solo episode. But I just wanna say and shout out to you, the listener, that I am so grateful for you for where I am today.

I could not be here. Having this episode if it wasn't for you. A billing of podcast is never easy. It's, it's hard. It, it's a lot of behind the scenes work, but to get able to be to that place where I can get to a hundred, it is just an amazing accomplishment. And just to let you know, I am someone who is humble.

It's hard for me to acknowledge publicly to say yay me, but I'm, I'm working on that. That's one of my goals for this year is to really acknowledge my accomplishments. I usually kind of brush 'em off. Yeah. Yeah. Anybody could do that , but it's not true. Right. Not everybody can have a podcast and get to 100.

I guess it goes back to my childhood. I've always been shy and, you know, podcasting for me is, is a great fit though because I can be behind a microphone. It's not in-person. I don't do in-person interviews and I can do solo ones . So it's perfect. But yeah, like I said, my intention is to acknowledge this and I'm glad that you're here to celebrate with me.

My heart is so full as I listening to my listener Collins, as they shared what they've learned.

Listener: Hi, this is Samantha Mann, licensed clinical mental health counselor, supervisor and certified hypnotherapist. I have been following the Holistic podcast for quite some time now, and what I have gained and knowledge has been exponential, and I am especially appreciative of the supportive group that is on Facebook that allows all of us to have a safe place to talk about these very important holistic processes.

Thank you. Hi there. My name is Susan Youngsta and I am a local L C S W here in the Triangle in North Carolina. And I was calling to say how much I love the Holistic Counseling podcast, as well as the community that this has provided myself.


Listener: locally, I'm getting to know other clinicians that operate from a holistic viewpoint and something that I have learned from listening to the podcast as well as talking with many of the clinicians and providers that come to this group is just that I am not alone, and that this is something that many of us do find really.

Important and valuable, and that therapy doesn't have to be, so, what's the word? I want? Clinical from what we were taught maybe in school or from what we know historically for how therapy models tend to look, that there is space for holistic counseling in the therapy world and that it is very beneficial and that people really seem to thrive and benefit from that.

And I'm just really excited to keep learning more. So thanks so much. Yes. Hi. This is Aina Middleman. I'm a licensed clinical social worker calling from Raleigh, North Carolina. I'm new to the Holistic podcast, but I'm so grateful to be able to peruse episodes and and learn various aspects of clinical work that are more holistic in nature.

And I'm excited to be on the podcast too. I particularly liked Ria Bloom's episode where she talked about how to use tarot cards in clinical. Thank you very much, and congratulations to your hundredth episode. Bye. Hi, my name is Marlo Sell and I'm a licensed clinical mental health counselor in Raleigh, North Carolina.

I'm calling because I'm super excited about this hundredth episode for the Holistic Counseling Podcast, and I love, love. So much of the information that comes from this podcast as a therapist and also in my private life, I've been able to use so many, so much of the information from this podcast, from my own wellness to my client's wellness, I've implemented different yoga techniques that, um, Chris has talked about.

And even when it comes down to just overall wellness, right? Healing ourselves, protecting ourselves, protecting our energy, and also. Dealing with trauma and grief. You know, we all deal with that at some point in our lives. And, um, what I love about the podcast is that you get tidbits that you can actually implement into your life right away.

So it has been tremendously helpful for me to listen to the podcast and to be able to employ these skills into my own life. So congratulations and I look forward to hearing.

Chris McDonald: And I hope you have learned a lot as well. But let's go ahead and dig into today's episode. So 10 things I've learned from my podcasting journey.

Listener: This was hard for me at first. I honestly sat here for a moment with a blank piece of paper, . I was like, I don't know. What did I learn? Hmm. It's one of those moments I'm like, I know I've learned some things, but then as I thought about it, I said, you know, there is a lot I've learned and, and it's way more than 10 really, but I'm gonna narrow this down for you.

Start with number one. Number one is don't be afraid to take risks, because anytime you step outside of private practice, or coming from agency work or the school system like I did into private practice, it is a risk. It is a leap of faith and it's scary as hell. I'm not gonna joke with you on that. It is hard, um, especially if you come from a W2 job to a business owner, that's a huge mind shift.

And it, it can be just like terrifying, but it's possible. So I want you to know that, that I've done. That means you could do it too. There's nothing super special about me as far as you know, I was a school counselor. I never had a business. I didn't know the first thing about what I was doing, as most of us don't, didn't learn any of that in grad school.

Or if you're wanting to start a new offering, like a course or maybe you wanna offer a membership. It's, it can take a lot to get you to that place of wanting to take risks, but knowing that, you know, I've already started to monetize this podcast and I had written a book and I'm still selling books, so that just really can be something that can happen for you.

I'm not gonna say it's always easy and it's all sunshine and rainbows cuz it's not, it's hard sometimes, you know, it can be difficult to build an audience and to get things rolling for yourself, but just, just know, having that faith and belief. , this is an opportunity. Seeing things as opportunities is important.

And I know a lot of you are worried about financially in investing in some things like platforms if like, if you're doing a course or if you're podcasting, of course there's, there's costs involved, but, but it's worth it and this is a business write off and hopefully you can earn some of this back later on.

So that brings me number two, you as a mental health therapist. Already have the skills to host a podcast. If this is something that you want to do, just know that our training sets us apart from everybody else, right? Because not everybody has these amazing communication skills. You would be surprised.

How you can just kind of glide right into doing interviews and sitting back and asking questions and listening, the active listening, reflecting back. Sound familiar? . Same with a podcast. Being a good listener, being a good host, building rapport. You got this, if this is something you're interested in. And also with audience building, that's a whole other episode, but to build an audience, you have to build rapport with people.

That's what you're an expert in, right? As a therapist. So just know it. It can be scary if you're starting with zero or one person, right? Who's your fan? But you can do this and, and just taking that time, know. That you got the skills already and just making that a mantra for yourself. And it does take a little practice.

And I will tell you, , the first time I ever record an episode, this is when I did my first podcast called Nothing Left to Give. Yeah, it was. I was a nervous, crazy wreck. . I mean, I was sweating. I was sitting there just like tapping my foot, nervous. Oh my God. How's this gonna go? I'm actually recording. This is only audio.

I don't see the person, will they think I'm an imposter? I had no idea what to expect, but you know what? It went pretty well. I'm actually afraid to listen back to that first episode cuz I've learned so many skills from that. And you know, you do get, the more you do this, the better you get. Just know that you can come from that place of being so scared and like, how am I gonna do this?

Imposter syndrome. You can overcome that. And I think imposter syndrome does come up a lot when we start a new offering and just. Can I do this? Are people even gonna wanna follow me? Those are all normal thoughts. Just keeping that in mind as as you move forward with whatever you wanna do, because of course when we just focus on providing therapy, of course that's seat time, right?

And we can only do so much. We hit a wall that we can only hit, make so much money. When we only offer therapy. But going beyond that is amazing because you can, the sky's the limit of what you can make and the possibilities are endless. So just, just keep that in mind. So number three, so many people in this field and people that are, I would say, related to this field, cuz I've interviewed a lot of people that aren't therapists are willing to help.

But , the caveat is you have to ask. So not everybody's gonna be like, Hey, let me collaborate with you and help you with this podcast. No, you really have to get out there, build those relationships, and ask for what you need. Or if you really wanna promote something, just, you know, get with another therapist friend and say, Hey, can you put this in your email newsletter to clients?

And I'll do the same for you. So it does take, I guess, thinking about this whole journey, a bit of bravery, courage to do this. So you do gotta dig deep and do the. Internal work to get to that place in order to start that process to make sure that you're working through some of this in. But just know you can build that confidence in whatever it is that you wanna do outside of the therapy room.

So number four, guesting on podcasts. So being a guest on another podcast is actually fun. . I really hated it when I started. I'm not gonna lie, oh my God. Again, back to anytime I start something new, I am just so anxious and leading up to it that anticipatory anxiety. Sweating. Just my heart racing is hard and I remember just white knuckling it through.

My first interview was with On Therapy Chat by Laura Reagan, so she was so kind to have me on their first guest appearance. I've never been interviewed for anything, so I'm like, I had no idea. She never told me the questions, which some people don't. And for me, I'm a planner. I'm organized. I like to know ahead of time.

I had to wing it. Wing. It is not my best strength. I've learned to wing it more over the years, but oh my goodness, this was rough. And I was just thinking about how difficult this is. Cause I'm not, wasn't looking at her. We're only using audio. But it does help in some ways to tune in, but still in other ways it's, you don't have those cues, right.

To look somebody in the eye on video or, oh, oh my gosh. And then she asked a couple questions. I. I had no idea, or I knew like a little bit, I'm like, uh, I'm not sure. And then I rambled on. And then when it was finally released, oh my God, I was a wreck. So I, I remember I was in my car and I played it just kind of wincing, like, oh, I must sound stupid.

That was the big thought process for me. My underlying belief that I'm gonna sound stupid. And you might have that as well if you've never done that. But you know what? I sounded pretty good. . I'm not gonna say it's my best interview. I think it was, uh, episode 180 on Therapy Chat. If you wanna give a listen, it's about using holistic practices based on my book, self-Care for the Counselor.

But yeah, that's . It wasn't my best interview, but I think I did pretty good for the first time. So given ourselves credit when credit is due. So knowing. Once you get rolling with that, just like anything else, it gets easier. So now I go on, usually, sometimes I'm a little nervous, depends on the day, but usually I'm just pretty confident.

And most of the time I find, because I pitch different podcasts, I send out emails to say, Hey, here's a potential topic. I love your podcast. Um, here's some things I loved about your podcast. Would you be interested in having me as a guest? Period? And I usually have a specific topic, but you know, , if you're guessing on things you love, it's not so hard.

And sometimes I feel like, wait, gimme more time. . I wanna share more about holistic counseling or grounding meditation, yoga, whatever the topic is. But yeah, podcasting can just give you little snapshots of of things. So you're only on air for a short period of time, and. I do find it very exciting now it's, it's fun and I feel it's very, it's much an honor to be on a podcast as a guest, so just know if that's something you're interested in, either to promote your private practice, which some people do.

It's a great way to get out there and get the word out. About what your business is or if you wanna promote a course, those kind of things. It's a wonderful way to get in, especially if you're looking to target other therapists or finding podcasts that match your target audience. And again, that's a whole process.

that's for another episode too. Okay, so now number five. So the amount of holistic modalities we can learn is endless. That's what I've learned. I'm like, wow, I've never heard of this. I've never learned that before. There is so much out there, more than I ever imagined. I feel like with this podcast, I've only touched the surface out of all the holistic modalities.

And of course I'm not talking about just quote unquote therapy modalities. So these are in general holistic modalities cuz I do interview other, um, Energy healers, people who are just, yo, not just, but yoga teachers, you know, any kind of holistic modalities that I've done. So there is other things that can be incorporated in therapy or as a separate business.

So many things, and I'm thinking about a lot of the practices that I've talked about here, like using crystals in therapy, energy practices like E F T or using energy healing, trauma-informed yoga, N L P, walking meditation. So much, so many great episodes. I think in this podcast. Uh, or the holistic strategies for grief and trauma.

Trauma informs sound healing with my buddy La Atkins. There's a lot on this podcast. I think that is helpful to learn all the different modalities. It's just amazing, I think too. Continue our learning as we, we go in this practice of therapy that it helps us to grow, doesn't it? To step outside of ourselves.

And that's why holistic counseling is so amazing because we are growing and learning and implementing more practices for clients and reaching more because in therapy we have to individualize and maybe traditional talk therapy isn't for everybody. And that sometimes if we learn. Different. We can give something to someone who has been in therapy before and they just got stuck and never could work on through certain issues.

So just know that that's something that can be amazing is to learn from somebody. Modalities, which brings me to number six. I am learning right along with you. And sometimes I'm taking notes when I'm giving interviews because I was like, Ooh, that's really good. I could use that in therapy or that's something I could use in my personal practice because, and I found today I was, uh, driving in the car and I listened to one of my episodes cuz I haven't listened to all of 'em.

I just haven't had time to hear 'em all back. But you know what's funny is I still learn from my own episodes. I play them back just to hear how it sounded, if there's things I can make changes with and kind of reflect on it. , but then I, I still like the content and today I learned something too. I'll just share it coil quick with you and I'm trying to episode 39 and with Stacy Shapiro about energy practices and holistic counseling.

If you haven't listened to that, highly recommend it. We talk a whole different realm of energy practices, but one, one thing that she shared was this really simple technique of breathing in relax. And then breathing out, release. And you can use this with thinking about an area of tension for yourself, and I would think it would be helpful, even just noticing where you feel that emotion in your body.

Doesn't have to be tension. Could be the emotion itself. Just see how it goes. Simply breathing and relax. Breathing out, release and try it. See how that goes. See, I'm still learning too, . And that's the funny part I find with these episodes, they're so jam packed that you can't possibly remember everything.

And I'm the host and I don't remember everything. And honestly, sometimes I finish episodes and I'm like, okay, wait a second. What happened? ? Because it is a lot of information sometimes, especially the longer ones. So yeah. So that might be something for you to think. Go back and listen. Re-listen to some even that you've heard because you'll probably get something else out of it.

And that number seven, that brings me to another part of this podcast and all podcasting in general. Building your community and you as a listener are part of my community, but this is the key to monetizing a podcast. So of course it costs money to have a podcast and we do have to make some money eventually because it does cost some money out of pocket.

But having a community is what's gonna help you. To be able to sell products or like I had my holistic online webinar series or my book and I'm still selling those, or my holistic intake forms I've done. But you can't just start a podcast without an audience. Well, you can, but it's more difficult. I had a little baseline of an audience, so just starting somewhere can help.

But once you have that community, you can u develop what's called the email list and be able to email them and send them information about what you're, what you're selling to monetize. And hopefully get to that place if you wanna do sponsors, but of course you have to build the audience. That sounds like another episode I gotta do if you're interested in, you know, having a product that you wanna sell.

But yeah, community building, and I've built my community in a couple ways. One is through my Facebook group, holistic counseling and Self-Care Group. If you haven't joined, It's a wonderful place to be if you wanna come join us. But through the years I started that in, I believe it was 2017 when I, after I published, self-published my book and it's grown to 1300, over 1300 members as of today when I'm recording January 23rd, 2023.

And I have so many rock stars in there of people that commented and everything. They post different things. There's a lot of support in there, knock on woods. So far, there's not been much drama. I can think of only one time. There was a tiny bit, but everybody is just so welcoming and it's a safe place to talk about these holistic modalities where you won't feel judged and.

You know, just to ask those questions that you might be afraid in traditional therapist groups where sometimes therapists can be judgey or the more traditional therapists may be like that, oh, you can't use tarot in session, or How dare you use crystals, and that's not evidence-based, so you won't find that in my group.

But building those relationships is key. And I also have an email list and continue to build relationships with who's on my email. This was built over the years. I used to do a lot of in-person workshops in the Raleigh area. I did some, worked at some or worked. I presented at some conference, several therapist conferences.

Also, just did some, some yoga, did some self-care groups for therapists at one point. Pre pandemic, so it takes time. I used to do a networking group for therapists in this community as well. So over the years, especially if you're in a place for long enough that you really start to, you know, touch base with some of the same people and it starts to feel familiar.

You get to know each other, and of course I'm still building those relationships, which is amazing. I still like to go out and meet other therapists for coffee, for lunch sometimes, or just to chat on Zoom if we can't. In person building those networks will help your business for therapy. Right. To find other people to refer to for them to cofer to you.

But also, you know, I, the good news is that I gear my podcast towards therapist, so that is helpful. That my regular business, it can be helped. Right. But also, My podcast business is the second part. So I've had to kind of streamline and think about my podcast as a separate business and really make that shift.

Because for me, my brain usually goes to, oh, it's just part of my regular business. But it's not, it's something different, right? It's another business and entity in in it and of itself. So that brings us to eight. There's a lot involved, and I'm just gonna talk about podcasting in general for this. You have to build a lot of systems in place in order to manage the back end of it and for it to flow.

This can be extremely difficult when you first start because it's so many different tat it's very overwhelming. I had a lot of anxiety when I started. Both my first podcast and my second cuz it's like, okay, who's gonna do what and what do I want to do? Or can I, do I have time for this And I've had to hire out cause I cannot do it all.

I'm not gonna edit. I started right away with an editor cause I'm like, Nope, I have no interest in learning. I did learn some, but I don't really wanna do it. And finding those people that are most helpful as editors that communicate. And also finding, I have a virtual assistant for my private practice, so she helps me with podcasting.

I have somebody that helps me with social media, shout out to Lane, who is amazing, and Lexi, my va, who have helped me so much to grow. I couldn't do this without them. I would be an insane person working. Like 24 hours a day . So figuring out what you can afford, but knowing that you probably can afford more than you think.

a lot of us are resistant to hire out, but I think with podcasting you have to do it some, and it's hard when you're first starting, but just know there's a lot of moving parts. But once you get it rolling, get things shifted, it kind of runs itself. Just like with your private practice, if you have one that once you figure out how the whole process works of getting referrals, what do you do when a client reaches.

Do you give it a consultation? How do you get them in your system? Those that can kind of roll along too. And of course there's blips that happen. One time I had an episode, That wouldn't play that was uploaded, so that was a little stressful. Uh, so there can be tech issues that's gonna happen. Same with your private practice, right?

Sometimes EHRs aren't perfect. There can be problems with that, or Zoom doesn't work. Properly. If you're doing online counseling, that's just a joy , uh, or the sound is terrible, you can't hear your client. Those can all be stressful, but just know that's, that's part of the journey and we're all learning as we go, and, and just to work on your own self-care so you're not as reactive.

I know sometimes I've had. Times that I've not been as good at that and got highly reactive. An example, my podcast went down. This has really upset me. He freaked me out. Cause I'm like, some people listen to my podcast through the website. Oh my Lord. So that was for like two weeks. I was getting bombarded with all this malware and spam and couldn't get it fixed.

And finally I got a firewall set up so that that problem was solved. But my gosh, Stressful every day I'd get, oh, your website is down. Oh my God, . Too much. Too much. So thank God I worked through that. But just know that things will not always go smoothly, but just trust your inner resource that you got this.

So number nine, get some training before diving into something new. So let's say you wanna build a course, get some training. Don't just make a course and then, Hey, I'm gonna, But you have no audience . It's not gonna work unless you're extremely lucky. But usually that's not how it works. So really learn about course creation.

I know for me, for podcasting, I got training from Melvin Voorhis from selling the couch, his healthcasters, which was amazing to get me going and understanding. But now I'm working with Girl the show, their accelerator program, which. Helped me to really figure out other tools for introducing my podcast and how do I continue to monetize and getting podcast coaching.

So just just know that the more training and consultation coaching you can get, the more it's gonna help you to be successful. Cause we can't know it all. You can do your own private research, but just having someone to bounce off ideas with is just, oh, amazing. And I can't imagine doing this journey without that.

I know at some point I won't have a coach again. But man, it's really helpful to be like, what do you think about this? Because other people I. Other colleagues, therapists. I only know a handful of people who are therapists that are podcasters. Actually a couple , not a handful. And people in my personal life, nobody

So they'd be like, I don't know. What do you think? And my poor husband, I'll be like, this is a business question. Can I ask you this? And he's like, sounds good to me. So really find somebody who knows the business and knows the process. And finally, number 10, follow your passion. This is so important and know it will lead you in the right path.

I have done this and I came to this podcast because I realized with my other podcast nothing left to give, which was for a burned out healthcare professionals. My heart wasn't totally into it, and something was calling me to the holistic realm, and I finally listened that this is where I belong, that I wanted to build this holistic community to help them deepen their knowledge and to help build that.

We don't feel so alone. I think it's very isolating as a holistic therapist, I know in the South where I live. North Carolina. I don't know a ton of people in the area. I know some now, but, um, it's just so amazing to meet people from all over the country, from all over the world actually, that are interested in holistic modalities.

It makes me feel less alone and I hope it helps you feel less alone too. And that's my goal too with this podcast, is to continue to build. This holistic community and that part of that is through the Facebook community. And I'm looking to do more things in the future to continue building this community with my holistic happy hours, which are local.

And then some are virtual where we just get together and hang out. Or I have a theme, um, that I'll be doing like February 11th, I'll be doing a trauma. Informed Yoga and Networking event at Reflections Counseling. And Carrie, email me if you're interested locally, chris holistic counseling podcast.com. But let me just close up this episode and just let you know my heart is full.

Thank you so much for being a listener and I can't send enough thanks to you and if you share this podcast or rated reviewed, it's just I would not be where I am today without you. It's just been a privilege. And an honor to provide this podcast. And I just look forward to helping you further deepen your knowledge and helping to feel more confident in building them into your practice.

And one last thing, if you haven't yet rating review, I hope you can do that right now. So once you're done with this, and I know you're tired of hearing that, probably you're hear it a lot of podcasts, but it. Is what really helps with podcast growth and continue to reach more holistic therapists so we can build this community still and keep this podcast going.

Awesome. So nama, stay my friends and once again, This is Chris McDonald saying each one of you, much light and low. Until next time, take care.

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Self-Care for the Counselor - a holistic guide for helping professionals by Christine McDonald , MS,NCC,LPCS