Musings on Top Podcasts from Robby Fowler

Introducing Spark: A Series of Musings on Top Podcasts

Early in the summer, I threw out a question to my beloved email tribe. I asked if there was interest in learning from some popular podcasts I listen to. In particular, I wondered if some cliff-note-nuggets of wisdom I gathered from podcasts would hit the spot.

You tribe, emailed back and said, “You bet!”

Let me introduce you to Spark: a series of musings on top podcasts. Here’s how this will work.

  • They’re based off a “spark” I get while listening to a popular podcast…or new podcasts
  • They’ll be stream of conscious 
  • They won’t be over-thought, over-tweaked pieces of sculpted art that intimidate you
  • They’ll hit you when they hit me
  • They’ll relate to business, life, or the gospel

Here are the wins for you.

  • Find inspiration.
  • Catch your breath. Take a break. Hop off the hamster wheel. Consider something. Noodle for a second.
  • Discover a great podcast episode for your own enrichment.

To boil it down, I hope what “sparked” for me will ignite something for you—personally or professionally.

Enough introductions. Let’s jump in!

Spark, Issue No. 1: Why I Still Enjoy Client Work (From the Serial Podcast)

This issue of Spark came from listening to Serial podcast, Season 3, Episode 1. Here’s a link to the Serial website. And here’s a link to the part of the episode that caused the spark (in my personal favorite podcast app, Overcast).

This season of Serial follows a year in the justice system, starring Cleveland, OH.

I love how the host of the podcast, Sarah Koenig, tells a story. I’ve listened to every episode, beginning with Season 1 (which took the podcast world by storm).

The Moment the Spark…uhhh…Sparked!

The spark happened with roughly 10 minutes left in episode 1 of season 3. A defense attorney featured in the story is recapping what just happened at trial. The prosecution changed their charge against his client in the ninth hour. In court, the charge went from a felony to an “m4 misdemeanor.”

“Why the change of heart?”

That was the obvious question posed to the defense attorney as the episode wraps up. For months leading up to the trial, the prosecutor wouldn’t budge.

Here’s what the defense attorney told host Sarah Koenig:

It’s…timing. The eve of the trial can be a magical time. Samuel Johnson said, “The process of going to trial concentrates a man’s mind wonderfully. A clarity descends. Sometimes you learn something about your case you didn’t see before.”

What a great quote! Even if, like me, you have no idea who Samuel Johnson is, you get it.

You can relate. Am I right? You get it. The night before a big presentation or sermon. The night before a big game. The night before a big pitch or sales meeting. Something about that moment brings a sense of clarity and focus.

Maybe it’s the fact of moving from theory to practice. Maybe it’s the impending move of taking this idea out your brain and placing it in front of other people.

Whatever it is…it most definitely IS!

My Spark? I Still Enjoy Client Work (Or to reduce it to a principle, Gratitude)

What sparked for me was this thought.

After 18+ years, I still enjoy client work. Working with real clients ‘concentrates a man’s mind wonderfully. A clarity descends. I always learn something I didn’t see before.

Whether it’s something I read on a blog, learned from a “Guru Marketer”, or saw someone else do, client work clarifies what’s truth.

Working with real clients and their real businesses and brands…

  • Separates the wheat from the chaff in my own practices
  • Helps me discover new approaches
  • Keeps me humble and grounded
  • Always improves every one of my processes
  • Pushes me further
  • Teaches me more than any book, course, or conference ever could

The spark is akin to the veteran quarterback. Every new season brings the same question. “How long do you plan on doing this?” The response is always a version of this: “As long as I still love competing.”

The veteran quarterback knows there are no substitutions for the clarity and focus you get headed into game day.

I still enjoy client work. For me, each client means another game day. And for that, I’m grateful.

What about you? Email me back with your ‘sparks.’

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Transparency Note: I have no affiliation with this podcast. The views and opinions in this article are my own. Likewise, the views and opinions in the podcast are those of the creator.

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