Nearly three years ago, I became a weekly radio show host. I didn’t have a polished business plan meticulously outlining the vision, strategy, benefits, or risks. I just had a feeling that it would be good for me and thankfully I listened to that inner voice. I’d done some public speaking engagements for my day job, and I am equal parts Mexican and Portuguese with the gift of gab. So I just figured how hard could it really be?
I don’t have millions of listeners, and I’ve had a bumpy road, but it has blossomed into one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. I’ve learned so much about live radio, met so many inspiring people and more importantly I have learned so much about myself and discovered my authentic voice. I decided to write about my experience because I hope that by sharing my story, you too might be encouraged to listen to your inner voice and explore new endeavors that will lead you to self-discovery and ultimately joy!
So this is how it all began. I was helping a friend with her new weekly radio show. I was in full marketing consultant mode discussing her strategy when I said, “maybe I should start a show too?” My friend said, “that might be good, let me think about it.”
I translated that to, a kind no and I had no idea why I’d even mentioned it. What was I thinking?
Well, a few weeks later my friend called and said she spoke to the station owner and he was interested, and a month later I was a radio host for a live 55-minute weekly show! My initial excitement immediately vanished and was replaced with immense fear. What had I done?
My husband got my home studio (or more specifically, my kitchen table) ready for my live radio debut. He found me all of the coolest equipment, and I contributed a picture of my mother, the inspiration for me to become, Molé Mama! I lit a candle to perfect my creative space, took a deep breath, and checked my support system (husband, cool as a cucumber in case something went wrong with the electronics…or me).
My show notes were neatly organized in PowerPoint slides, and my laptop was sprinkled with stickies reminding me to smile and speak slowly. I was ready, or so I thought. During those first terrifying shows my husband sat at the end of the table and would hold up large cards with inspiring phrases, suggestions on where to take the conversation, and he was my biggest cheerleader.
I quickly found that sitting in a room by yourself, speaking into radio-land and trying to find something meaningful to say every week was proving to be the most terrifying thing I’ve ever tried. I would spend 20 hours creating content for a 55-minute show only to burn through it all in the first 15 minutes. Fifty-five minutes seemed like a lifetime.
My heart would be racing out of control with panic as my producer whispered in my headphones suggestions of things to talk about when he sensed I’d run out of content. And while telling stories about cooking with my mama in her final months and how we both came to grips with her imminent departure was delightful, the prep and the intensity of it, well… I wanted to quit. Thankfully my husband was persistent and managed to get me to commit to putting in my best effort for 6 months. He also gave me a graceful exit by explaining that if at the end of that time I still felt the same way then walk away and know that I gave it my all and it’s not for me. I had to get honest with him and most of all, I had to get honest with myself.
Eventually, it got a little easier. My cousin saw my dedication and decided that she was in for the ride (no matter how short it might turn out to be). She began to book amazing chefs and entrepreneurs who are passionate about their businesses and have inspiring stories.
A few weeks ago while celebrating my 100th show and the launch of my new podcast, it hit me, my radio show had morphed into my dream gig! My inner voice had launched me onto a platform where I met and will continue to meet amazing chefs who open their hearts, kitchens, and share their stories with me! The connection and love I experienced with my mama while we cooked that had been lost when she died had resurfaced with my guests, and this is why I loved it so much. This was the connection my soul craved and mourned, to connect with others thru their love of food.
I’m so incredibly grateful that I listened to my inner voice (that occasionally sounds like my husband) and I didn’t quit!
What did I learn?
Joy is my ultimate measurement of success! Life had conditioned me to believe that hard work worth doing earns lots of money. Reframing my ideas about success required a lot of soul searching and unlearning. Loving what I do and helping others are my 2 new measurements, and they make my heart smile.
I’m capable of learning something entirely new at any age! Learning to be a radio host has been like learning to ride a bike. I started on a tricycle, moved to a 2 wheeler with training wheels and eventually I’ll be on a speed racer; be patient, and you will progress.
Amazing people will show up to help you! I continue to be astounded by the support I continue to receive from my husband, family, friends, my radio family, guests, and listeners!
Listen to your inner voice, it’s trying to help you! I love my weekly radio show, and I continue to learn so much and be genuinely inspired by my guests. After most recordings, my face hurts from smiling for 55 minutes!
So remember to say yes to your inner voice! Your inner voice knows what you want most, and through all the noise it will always be there cheering for you if you only stop to listen.