With Brandon Stanton of Humans Of New York, I saw what is possible for me. I am a very imaginative person and most times, I piece all the stories I would like my podcast to carry and the weight of impact I desire it to have on people that would listen in my head. But in the middle of those thoughts, I stop myself because it seemed impossible. I want to be able to reach the ‘grassroots’; go into villages; places where we rarely go for vacations (lol) to document their stories with my team. Right now, I feel that by doing this, I am helping their voices to be heard and probable help is sent to them from my online community/listeners in case they need it. I’ve always desired to build a mobile team as well and we could travel the world documenting stories. You know that saying that if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough. Well, mine scares the hell out of me that most times I stop imagining. I love seeing the world through the eyes of people and ‘sharing in’ their experiences. In no particular order, here are some of the things researching and reading Brandon’s story and journey to building the Humans Of New York brand taught me.
- It’s A Journey: Oh! How much sometimes, I mount pressure on my growth process. From Brandon, I learnt more about the beauty of trusting and walking in my process. I preach that a lot but I guess I never really understood it. This moment, I am deciding to take it easy and go with the flow. I’m so big on consistency and I try to be consistent but some seasons are so dry that I have no documented story to share on my podcast. I beat myself up sometimes for this because I promised myself to be consistent. But right now, I choose to go with the flow really and lean into my process.
- Not To Neglect Other Areas Of My Life: My career, relationships and so on are just one aspect of my life and a culmination of those other aspects make me whole. I shouldn’t be so drawn into one aspect that I neglect the others. The consequences are always devastating. I have a dream for each aspect of my life journey because we as humans are multifaceted. I should try to balance it and again, trust in my process.
- No One Can Actually Steal My Dreams: You know, before deciding to write all of this and record the bonus episode, I was sceptical because I was like ‘What if someone steals my idea/dream?’ And then it occurred to me that someone might steal it but won’t be able to do it like me and stand the test of time because the fire is not burning in them as it is in me. So, problem solved!
This is a very pivotal moment for me because I’ve seen what’s possible and I realized I’ve not been fantasizing about using my platform as a safe haven for people to share their stories. I’ve always thought it was somehow ‘stupid’ for lack of better words. Because this is a journey and I definitely do not have it all figured out at once, I am going to keep working with the resources I have now while striving to be better and hone my skills on having better interview conversations with people in such a way they feel safe to open up to me and my listeners. I am so proud of myself for choosing to lean into this moment and learn from Brandon. You might be wondering if I’ve met Brandon but no I haven’t. Just looking at his work and perusing his website taught me so much.
I decided to share more of this moment in writing on my blog to probably cover areas I didn’t touch on the bonus episode of my podcast; Calm Down podcast. Actually, I am more of an ‘audio journaling’ person because that way, I am able to express my ever ‘busy moving mind’ faster and accurately. With writing, I feel my mind works so fast that my typing/writing pace isn’t able to grasp and document all the fast-paced thoughts in my head. So I am happy I at least get to write it down. You can listen to the bonus episode embedded below or just check for the Calm Down podcast by Viola Ekene on your favourite podcast app and listen. If you feel like perusing through other episodes, please do and if you like what you listened to, consider subscribing and sharing.
It’s so incredible how much our journey can inspire someone we’ve never even met just like Brandon’s story inspired me. Phew! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you too Brandon for never giving up regardless of the challenges you must have encountered. Bless your heart!
Related Post: My Struggles As A Nigerian Content Creator.