Take the Challenge | An Interview with Melissa Llarena

In that interview, GaryVee said that if a listener were to launch her podcast as a result of their conversation then he’d be their guest. In that moment, I decided to take the challenge …”

This series is all about Libsyn podcasters. Its sole purpose is to introduce these awesome podcasts to the world as well as share their podcasting insight to empower the community!

Q & A with Melissa Llarena | An Interview with Melissa Llarena

When did you think about starting a podcast?

I started back in 2017.

Why did you start podcasting? 

It was a dare.

My husband heard a podcast interview conducted by James Altucher. Gary Vaynerchuk was his guest.

In that interview, Gary said that if a listener were to launch her podcast as a result of their conversation then he’d be their guest.

James jumped on that offer and said he would also be a guest on any new podcast.

My biggest lesson here is that while many of us are cynics when it comes to celebrity pitches, some are worth the effort. Of course, I lost hope at one point.

I pitched myself to both men by writing 1K words a day about my podcast launch on Medium to get their attention.

So yes, around day 80, my brain was melting. However, something in me made me persist. I also loved the idea that a mom living “my suburban mom life” could pull off such a challenge.

It consumed me for 100 days. I ended up writing about 67,000 words; I had to count. My curiosity was too big not to.

Ultimately, yes, it’s hard to get the attention of folks with millions of followers.

However, knowing that Gary Vee had invested in Medium com and that I wanted to work on my writing skills, I found a way to enjoy the process.

The day I learned via text that I snagged an interview with GaryVee, I was doing an unsexy “parenting thing.”

I was in a swim class surrounded by tots in floaties and suffocated by the smell of chlorine.

It’s important to know that even if your guest’s audience is unlike you in many ways, (i.e. Gary has a hard-hitting male hustle audience), as a podcaster, you can find commonalities.

You can also  ignore the whole feeling like you have to belong. It’s okay to stand out in a crowd. Seriously, how many moms with 3 boys are hitting up GaryVee for an interview?

Also, my writing fiasco played a role in helping me find my voice and speed up my thought-to-paper time … which is helping me as I’m writing a book.

Right now, I am sharing some of those insights on my podcast, as well as where I’ve had to write during multiple lockdowns here in Sydney, Australia.

What’s the name of your show and what is it about? 

“An Interview With Melissa Llarena” is the only podcast that features famous thought leaders across competitive disciplines around the world who courageously and creatively followed their curiosities before they felt totally ready.

My plan is to shrink the distance between where you are today vs. your heroes. I do this by setting an example — interviewing my heroes!

I’ve had the honor to have interviewed some of the most candid and open guests. They have not been shy about sharing their deeply personal and authentically captivating stories.

I’ve interviewed a range. Suzy Batiz, a self-made millionaire, who observed that I’m taking my courage for granted. Cal Fussman, who graciously let me in on how his children helped grieve the loss of his dad (coming in 2022).

On my podcast, guests who appear wildly successful and ambitious discuss topics pertaining to relatable situations.

My questions tend to be deep and relevant to listeners who feel like regular media is missing realness.

What’s your podcast set up

Camtasia for my intros/outros.

Zoom for the guest interviews.

My interface is Focusrite – Scarlett 2i2 – 2nd generation 2-in/2-out USD audio interface

I use an audio-technica microphone.

How have you promoted your podcast?

I love being a guest on other podcasts. I also use Twitter and Facebook to get the word out.

You can also find me on Instagram @melissallarena I love audiograms in particular.

If you’d like to get on my list, you can easily do so, and I’ll even throw in a free gift: My Courage Makerspace Playbook

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?

100 episodes in, I wish I realized that we get to change as a result of these conversations, even ones where it’s just us behind the mic.

Take the opportunity to listen to your guests and learn from them. Try what worked for them and see if it works for you.

And for those who do solo episodes, use the audio to craft and refine your message in an intentional manner. Try reading your transcripts and catching any personal bad habits.

Then, of course, storytellers should definitely use their podcast journey to see which stories give listeners goosebumps.

Other than these insights, also get legal approvals for every single use case imaginable.

I’m writing a book now about harnessing your imagination and I had to go back to my guests to get their approvals.

And no, I didn’t have to write another 67K words to catch them a second time, but can you imagine if I did? Lesson learned.

I hope you’ll take a moment to check out my podcast! It’s 100+ episodes deep and I have some amazing episodes already lined up for 2022.

Melissa Llarena took a dare. 67K words later she started her podcast with guest star GaryVee. Melissa interviews wildly successful thought leaders — her heroes — to get deep inside what really makes them tick. Listen to her courageous and insightful interviews on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. 

Have you ever thought about why some people are famous and others aren’t and what separates them? Are they really that unreachable? Melissa Llarena bridges this divide, jumping in courageously to interview her heroes, including thought leaders across competitive disciplines all over the world. 

A mother of 3 goes from suburban housewife to podcasting innovator. Have you got that kind of gumption. Gnawing at the bit to test your mettle?  We can help you with our Start Your Podcast blog series. If you are ready, we have the best podcast hosting plans around!

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