The email caught me off guard. I never imagined someone expressing such personal, emotional feelings that were prompted by an idea hatched nearly 18 months ago with the launch of the Hobson Digital Podcast Network. As I write these thoughts to share with you, I’m still stunned to realize the impact that a little idea can have on someone I’ve never met.
What’s it all mean? We’ll get there in a moment. First, here is an excerpt from the letter written by a listener:
“I listened to the podcast Friday afternoon & was waiting for the “right” words to surface before I reached out (clearly that didn’t happen). More importantly, I realized it wasn’t about words, but the impact I felt while listening, and listening, and listening. In a nutshell, Episode 58 was on heavy rotation & my reaction to it morphed each time. Initially, my chest felt tight, my stomach swirled & I sobbed nonstop – like the ugly snot kind. At each go around, that heart gripping pain gave way to understanding, clarity, and hope through your divinely guided words. They allowed me to view myself through a bit more loving & compassionate lens. That’s the start I needed AND this is where & how I believe the true healing can begin.”
For the sake of protecting the privacy of the letter’s author, we’ll refer to the writer as Janet. She lives in a different time zone than me, but often the difficulties of life can send us in directions we never planned on going. For Janet, her pain and sadness led her to an internet search for a podcast about marriage. That’s where our paths intersected.
A few years ago, my wife and I sought the wisdom and insight of a wonderful marriage counselor named Terry. His kind, thoughtful, Biblical input provided a much-needed course correction in our world. In the course of an appointment with Terry, I threw out the idea of him sharing his wisdom on a podcast.
He wasn’t very familiar with the concept but after a brief explanation, he promised to think it over and let me know in short order. The answer came a few days later. He was willing to give it a try and thus was born “The Marriage Doctor Podcast.”
This was a little idea taking shape. We had no concept of where it would go or what it might become. In many ways, we still don’t.
The debut episode went public on February 1, 2017. We haven’t missed a week since. Every Friday morning at 7:00, a fresh episode is made available free to anyone wanting to listen. Having now produced several dozen episodes of the podcast (60 as of this writing), we’re beginning to see evidence of a small idea growing into something of impact and substance.
The brief excerpt I shared from Janet’s letter is just one of many that have come to us from listeners across the nation, sharing how the simple weekly conversations between Terry and me have helped them through difficult times. There are thousands of podcasts in the marketplace with far more listeners, but our original, small idea was to do whatever we could to encourage, inform, challenge, educate, and impact at least one marriage every episode. We pray for the Lord to use our imperfect efforts and words to do something powerful in the lives of our listeners. And He is. Beyond that, it remains to be seen whether this “little idea” goes anywhere else.
Little ideas are the foundation of every big impact. No one simply wakes up one day and discovers the miraculous loss of 30 pounds, the explosive growth of their business, a suddenly healed relationship, or the uncanny ability to run a marathon. No matter what you dream of accomplishing, there are some very firm, clear, non-negotiable requirements:
- Start acting on the idea instead of waiting for it happen on its own. It won’t.
- Do ONE little thing each day to help bring your dream alive. Trying to lose weight? Skip dessert once. Then do it again. Make the difficult become routine and then find another step that seems difficult. Rinse. Repeat.
- Seek input from wise people. Somewhere in your world is someone who accomplished something they never thought they could. Buy them lunch and ask to hear their story. Learn from it.
- Tell someone else about your dream. Whether they laugh at you or respond with encouraging words, letting someone else in on the vision takes the concept from the private comfort of your brain and makes it public. There’s a good kind of pressure involved in sharing.
- Remove quitting as an option. Dealing with a tense family relationship? Giving up will never lead to healing. Wanting to get in better shape? Sweat. Learn what “good sore” feels like.
- Mark your milestones and celebrate the little victories along the way.
- Have a greater purpose than simply benefiting yourself. You’ll find much more satisfaction when your dream can make an impact in the life of someone else.
We started this conversation with the illustration from Janet’s letter to the Marriage Doctor Podcast, so let me conclude it by sharing my dream for the program. Ready? National. Radio. Syndication.
The little idea is already in place. We’re taking small steps along the way. Buckle up, friends…something big might be coming in the days ahead.
We would love to be part of shaping a strategy for reaching your personal or professional goals. For more information, contact Hobson Media and let’s dream big together.