What initially started as a personal desire to contribute to the difficult (un)employment situation due to the COVID 19 health crisis, quickly turned into a much more complex project in and of itself.
I naively thought that putting a voice out there was a simple thing to do and that adding even more voices would be the best contribution we could possibly make especially for people who cannot afford to have professional advice or may not know where to turn to for support.
If you check any tutorial on podcasting, they say that all you need is a microphone, some relevant topics, passionate and professional people who know what they are talking about, a good audio software to make it sound decent and …voila’ …. you have your mp3 file!
Easy right? Well…not quite!
But as I have some experience in the music recording world and in audio equipment, I thought to myself this would be a walk in the park! After all, what you read on the Internet must be true!
So there I was ready to embark on this “walk”! I reached out to my network in mid May to see who wanted to come for a “stroll” with me and provide some guidance and support to people who maybe struggling to navigate through the current World of Work. The response was truly remarkable ! It seemed that everyone wanted to take part of this.
But as we all know, any initiative takes time and commitment so slowly but surely and for many good reasons, people dropped out as they had other priorities and couldn’t commit. So from the many who initially raised their hand, only a handful stuck with me to the end and to the very tight self imposed deadline I had set up for this. They carved the time from their busy lives and made the effort to provide their voice to the episodes; they are the guest speakers who you will hear more from and my “walking partners” in the park: Susan Kaye, Karin Wierinck, Sunita Malhotra, Irina Bouras, Mona Amin and Andreea Coman.
And even if we were sitting behind a microphone and a desk and weren’t really walking, it felt like a walk in the park! Our minds wandered where they needed to wander in order to share what we could share and contribute to this immediate Call for Action. I am grateful to them for these lovely “peripatetic” metaphoric walks and for having embraced the sense of urgency behind this project.
But then the landscape changed!
Once the wandering, wondering and talking finished, the lovely park which was surrounded by green trees, Swiss lakes, colourful flowers, happy bees buzzing around doing their thing, became a steep hike up an unknown and never before explored mountain! And as I started walking up, it felt like it just kept getting bigger and bigger and that the milestones of publishing relevant materials on the right supporting platforms was getting further and further away!
So there I was naively facing this new “landscape”, this unexpected mountain with my “Sunday walking in the park” sneakers, T-Shirt, sunglasses, thinking that at the end of the day, it’s just a mountain and all I needed was a good map, a bottle of water, an energy bar and focus!
There were definitely maps out there to show the way and help navigate but the territory in front of me looked very different than any map could possibly show. A map doesn’t show you the weather conditions you will find along the way, it will not alert you if there is a landslide, or fallen trees that block your path and suddenly force you to find alternative ways. A map won’t tell you how to manage your energies as you are starting to climb nor will it tell you that as you’re climbing you better make sure you can handle the altitude because it really does get steep and high.
Very quickly I realised that hiking up was going to be a very very different ball game from walking and wandering in the park! I was clearly not expecting this. I knew technically all of the things I had to do: I knew I had to host the podcast somewhere, connect it somewhere else, build some visibility around it, and the list goes on and on and on, but this was a completely new landscape for me. I struggled. What do? Turn back or continue? In my mind I wanted to continue because of the importance of this and because I felt responsible towards my “walking WoW partners” but I realised I was unprepared to face the steep climb alone.
Luckily someone “back at the base” who was already supporting me in the thousands of other projects I have besides podcasting (from my website, to the design concept of a new album, to trainings and events I want to create, to setting up a company, etc..etc) was keeping an eye on me. He already warned me that I was putting too much stuff on my plate (not a good idea to go hiking with a full plate btw nor to gobble it all up at once and go on a full stomach!).
When he saw me embark on this next step of the journey and realised how tough that mountain was going to be for me, he left his “base camp”, put aside his own personal, professional and creative projects, and joined me in this incredible hike up what felt to me like Mount Everest!
These past weeks, notwithstanding the hundreds of challenges including very personal ones, we worked remotely for hours on end to make this happen. I was managing all of the audio backend and the whole WoW concept, trying to figure out ways to engage with listeners, keeping the “WoW walking partners” up to date as they kept asking me when are the episodes coming out, and how they could help; and he was managing all of the technical back end to make it happen, to give the creative spin to the idea, make it look even WoWier than ever. He’s been my alpine guide and sparring partner throughout these months!
Thank you Andrea Bressan!!
So, yes, behind every idea, every initiative that becomes real, there’s always a story made of people, adventures, obstacles and many many learnings along the way. This project has been more than a simple walk in the park! It’s been a true WoW thanks to the WoW walking partners and alpine guide! And we just started…..