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This week, Corinna features a fellow podcaster, Carolyn Kiel of Beyond 6 Seconds. They talk about the why behind Carolyn’s podcast, telling the story that goes beyond the first 6 seconds of first impressions.
They discuss their podcasting journeys and how each works to peek behind the veil and get to the truth behind the story in their interview format shows. They share key takeaways from She Podcasts Live, where they recorded this show in person in Scottsdale, Arizona in October 2021.
About Carolyn Kiel:
Carolyn Kiel is a full-time instructional designer of corporate training initiatives. In her free time she hosts the Beyond 6 Seconds podcast, where she has interviewed more than 100 entrepreneurs, creatives and CEOs about the big challenges they’ve faced, and how these experiences have shaped their lives and identities.
Beyond 6 Seconds Podcast:
Facebook Group: Beyond 6 Seconds
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[00:00:00] Corinna Bellizzi: This is a live interview that I recorded when I was at she podcast live back in October and she podcasts live. I was really just living in that moment, connecting with other really vibrant and incredible women, all of whom or most of whom had their own podcasts. And in some cases, two or three under their belt as well, it was an incredible experience.
And when I’m most thankful for. It has inspired me to work, to build a stronger community of podcasters that support one another. I believe that is through collaboration that we can really change the world. And the importance of community is central to everything that we might do to push for the change that we want to see in the world.
So I hope you’ll listen to this episode with that lens. Give them. And think about what you can do to help elevate the voices of others around you.
[00:00:52] Show Bumper: Welcome to care more, be better, a podcast for people like you, who care about the social impact of conscious companies and everyday heroes hear inspiring stories from those who put people in planet before profit and personal gain.
You learn how you can make a difference, vote with your dollars and get involved today. Here’s your host, Corina bill Lizzie.
[00:01:17] Corinna Bellizzi: Hello and welcome fellow do-gooders and friends. I’m your host, Corinna Bellizzi, an activist, and cause marketer who’s passionate about social impact and sustainability today. I’m thrilled to be joined by a good friend, Carolyn Kiel, who has her own podcast beyond six seconds where I got to tell my story a little bit.
Now, Carolyn joins me today to talk to me about what social impact means to her and how she’s working to make the world a better price. We are actually both here now at she podcast live in Arizona. It’s a podcast conference specifically for women, as I’m sure that you could denote from the name she podcasts live.
So Carolyn, welcome to the show. How are you?
[00:01:56] Carolyn Kiel: I’m doing great. How are you doing
[00:01:59] Corinna Bellizzi: well? It’s fun to be here with so many women and really just hearing the stories of what they’re all out there to do. What I’ve been consistently surprised by is this continual message that I’m getting. Uh, the fact that so many of them are really just trying to make the world a better place through the things that they’re doing.
And sometimes the pathway to that isn’t necessarily as clear as I would have first thought, just by hearing about the. So I was thinking you could tell me a little bit about your perspective, why you started podcasting and what it means to.
[00:02:29] Carolyn Kiel: Absolutely. So the name of my show is beyond six seconds and I picked the name because I wanted to go beyond the six, second, first impression that we often have of people.
If we pass them in the hallway or maybe we know them casually or through work or a little bit, but I wanted to provide a platform where people could share their stories more openly, more candidly, and just have a little more time. Really talk about the types of obstacles they’ve overcome or managed through, or the types of transitions they’ve made in their life and their career and with their families, all kinds of interesting observations and interesting events.
I started out because I wanted to provide this platform. I had several friends through social media who had these amazing stories. They didn’t really go out and talk about it. I would only find out through sort of personal conversations or one-on-ones and I thought they were great. And I really thought that the rest of the world needed to understand what they were working on.
One of my friends was working on some drone technology that she was learning and trying to really make the world better through drones and, and understanding that technology. I had another friend who was doing annual volunteer missions in India with an orphanage that’s based there. And again, I really wanted to provide a wider platform for these.
So I built beyond six seconds. I interviewed the first six people who were basically my good friends, and I figured that they would be very forgiving of me if I had a technical problem or forgot to hit record as a, as a new podcast. Or sometimes you think about these things and it really just took off from there.
I started meeting more people through listeners who suggested guests for me, or. Guests would be suggested through people I’ve talked with on the show or their friends. And now it’s about 136 episodes later, and I’ve just met people from all around the world with all kinds of stories, whether it’s major transitions they’ve had with their job or major health challenges that they’ve overcome.
And it’s just been really thrilling for me to learn about people’s different situations and different experiences, and just really give them the opportunity to share and not necessarily give advice or tell people what to do, have the live. But just say, this is my experience and this is what I learned from it.
And maybe, you know, maybe you out there in the world resonate with it too, and maybe it can help inspire you or just help you to learn more about people who are different from you. So that’s one reason I started.
[00:04:48] Corinna Bellizzi: Well, um, when I hear some of that story, I feel like I’m looking in the mirror and I think it’s largely because the stories that impact us and drive us the stories that inspire us, we feel like we want to tell other people those stories and.
Perhaps even inspired them in some way, bring a little color to their life, especially if things are feeling a bit down. So you’ve been running the podcast, you said for over 130 episodes, which is a lot, um, you’re publishing every other week. So that means you’ve been publishing podcasts and sweat 2017.
Is that right? The
[00:05:22] Carolyn Kiel: very beginning of 2018. So January, 2018 was when I started publishing.
[00:05:27] Corinna Bellizzi: And I mean, really there’s just been an explosion in podcasts since then. So, um, what would you say to the budding activists out there? If they’re thinking about getting started podcasting? Cause we’re here at Xi podcasts live.
Many of my audience are budding activism selves, and I do think that there’s always room for more compelling voices. So what would you say to those people if they were even considering this.
[00:05:51] Carolyn Kiel: The best thing to do really is to just start. So sometimes I tend to be an overthinker and I’ll have an idea and I’ll think, and I’ll think, and I’ll think about when I should do it or how to do it with pot testing.
The decision was one that I made pretty quickly, which is sometimes somewhat unlike me. So I had the idea sort of around Thanksgiving. And then by the end of January, I was launching episode. So it was just something that it’s like, oh, I want to try this. And I did a little bit of research in terms of what is the basic technology I need.
Do I need to get to prepare for this and who can I ask to talk to? And then I just went with it. And for me, I would suggest, again, just, just started out just with podcasting. You really don’t need like a ton of expensive equipment. You can do it at a very, basically some people literally just do it with their phones and their, and their earbuds.
Uh, It really is just something I would say, just, just start and just try it just to maybe sketch out a few ideas for episodes ahead of time and just start recording episodes because the great thing about podcasting and really any kind of content creation is that. If you keep with it, you’ll get better naturally.
So it’s not going to be perfect. It might even be awful the first time, but that’s okay because it’s really just putting something out there as much better than never starting. And then you’ll find out if you like it you’ll find out what you like, what you don’t like. And then if it’s something that still continues to bring you joy and bring you meaning in the type of content you’re creating, then you’ll continue to do.
[00:07:21] Corinna Bellizzi: I wonder, given that we’re here at Xi podcast live, if there is some gem that you’ve taken from what we’ve been able to see here thus far, like something that you’re taking away that you might bring into your podcast or change about how you’re communicating.
[00:07:36] Carolyn Kiel: Yeah. There’s a lot to think of. One of the things that I’ve been thinking about a lot is around thinking about audience.
So when I started, it was something that I wanted to do to provide this platform for the people who were the guests on my show, as well as a creative outlet for me, and about types of topics that I cared about and wanted to share with my audience. But with podcasting, sometimes it’s challenging to understand who you are.
And to really get to know them as many pod testers know it, it can be difficult to get very specific statistics around listens and demographics. And, and it really depends on the types of hosting that you use. So it can be a challenge to understand who exactly. And how often and what episodes really resonate, you know, unless people reach out to you and will say that they enjoyed a particular episode, or they really like your show, which, uh, which fortunately people do reach out to me.
And that’s always very rewarding to hear when people are enjoying the content that I’m putting out. But for me, I’d say now after this conference, I really want to think more about the specific value that I want to prepare or give to my audience. So do I want to. Really focus on stories that have a particular theme or a particular meaning.
I guess that’s in terms of really thinking more about getting to know my audience, better, getting to know what their pain points are, what problems they’re trying to solve and potentially tailoring some of my content to that. So that’s one thing I’ve started to think about as I’ve been at this conference.
[00:09:05] Corinna Bellizzi: Well, it’s exciting. So in a recent interview, I got to connect with Aiden ni Palm, who has her own podcast all around, experiencing change and navigating through change. She is actually going to be hosting, um, her next season with a cohost, bringing in a child, a young adult, or not even quite an adult to be her co-host.
And then they’re going to interview. Young people. And so it will provide a completely different perspective with regard to change and how we all navigate through it. So I just thought that was such a creative way to change things up while still staying on the topic of your podcast. So what have you thought about with regards to seasonality and where you might have with the show?
[00:09:48] Carolyn Kiel: That’s interesting. I often think that when I first started that I probably should have thought in seasons just because of the pace of recording. And so I mainly record a lot and I’m releasing for the most part pretty consistently throughout the year, I take some small breaks around, um, you know, the end of the year holidays and.
Uh, break over the summer this summer, but in terms of seasonality, I still haven’t quite committed to changing it into seasons. I’m still releasing every other week, but I am thinking of maybe interspersing some of the interviews that I do with other people with a little bit more, maybe some very short.
Podcast episodes where I’m the one talking about something personal with my story and how it relates to some of the themes that I’ve covered on the show. Because another thing that I learned at this conference was that a lot of times, particularly with interview podcasts, the hosts will spend the whole time.
Sharing the guest story, but in a lot of cases, the thing that brings audiences back consistently is just understanding and liking and vibing with the personality of the host. So that’s not something I haven’t really shared a whole lot about myself on my own show. So, and it’s a challenge for me. There’s a reason for that.
And sometimes it’s a lot easier for me to platform other people than share about myself. So it’s something I want to think about. Maybe just sort of alternate. The, you know, a little bit about myself or, or maybe adding a little bit to the beginning of episodes that talk about how a particular topic is meaningful for me.
[00:11:12] Corinna Bellizzi: Yeah. I mean, that’s, that’s something I’ve struggled with myself because even as an extrovert, how much of yourself are you putting out there publicly to people you don’t know? Because it’s now in the public domain, anybody could call and listen to it. Uh, one of the things that I think helped me get over some of that was guesting on other people’s shows like your own because I’m having to practice talking about my purpose and my passion, and the reason I even started care more, be better, which is sometimes not the easiest thing to talk about because you’re reflecting on yourself and your own drive your own reasons for.
T undertaking this effort, which isn’t small. So, um, I would just love for you to tell us a little bit more about what your perspective is behind this whole concept of beyond six seconds and why you’re so passionate about telling these stories.
[00:12:06] Carolyn Kiel: Oh, so for me back when I started this, and again, I mentioned that I had these friends on social media who had these amazing stories that they weren’t sharing.
I had felt at the time that there were a lot of stories being shared by sort of people who seems like they were just sort of mainly on social media all day, mainly talking about themselves and their stories. And it was very repetitive and the stories were very. Kind of like cleaned up and very neat and just very aspirational.
And it almost seemed a little bit unrealistic because you know, when you’re telling a story, you’re not sharing every single detail, it’s a kind of a narrative that you look back and you kind of put it together and you leave out certain details and maybe sort of emphasize others. So I felt like a lot of the stories of overcoming challenges were not.
Authentic or they just left out a lot of the struggle or they made it just made it seem really easy. And I think that can be hard for people who are struggling to be like, well, you know, all these people did it. Like why can’t I do it? And, you know, the reason might be, well, there was like 10 or 15 years of really hard work and failure that led up to this point that they’re talking about now.
Or maybe you have just different circumstances in your life that made it more challenging for you to achieve this particular path. So I wanted to share these stories of people who were. Yeah, maybe not hadn’t hit the pinnacle of their success yet, but we’re working like sort of the, the ramping up and the, and the working in the progress on, you know, either businesses that they felt strongly about that were going to improve society or particular advocacy that they were doing.
Or volunteer work and things like that. Uh, Korean immune career changes because that’s another interest of mine is career development and how people sort of shape their, their careers in their passions and their interest in turn it in with their work life. So for me, that was important to be able to share those stories.
And I felt like. As someone who at the time was all, you know, had also been going through their own career transition, which is something that I talk about on other shows a lot. It was, it was kind of the content that I would want to hear is that there are other people working out a lot of great things.
Maybe, you know, I’m still early in their success and kind of getting in on the ground floor in terms of learning their stories. But this is something that is out in the world and it’s not all about all these people who have made it. And you know, it just sort of seem unrelatable to the rest of the world.
[00:14:27] Corinna Bellizzi: So I have three words in mind. Unscripted cathartic and real having been on the other side of that seat from you, when you conduct your interview, what I can say is that you, you asked really thoughtful and thought provoking questions, which I think is the core of what gets people talking in an unscripted.
And so if you’re interviewing someone who has been on the book tour circuit, or maybe they do have a big cause that they’re behind that they’ve spoken on publicly. A lot of times after a while, it can start to feel like you’re just listening to a Ted talk. So that’s what you’re talking about. And, um, I, you know, I would love to know if there’s like some science or ethos behind this crafting of questions that helps you get out the.
The truth or the more unscripted version of their truth when you’re speaking to these thought leaders when and whatever it is that they’re
[00:15:23] Carolyn Kiel: working. Yeah. And that’s interesting, it’s funny you say that because a lot of times my guests will start out if they, if they are someone who say on the book tour, or they speak on a lot of podcasts, a lot of times at the beginning, Like, I can tell that they’re reading off the quote unquote stripped that’s in their minds.
And I can just tell from sort of the way that their words flow and the types of things they talk about, but as we get into it, it shifts a little where they’re a little more unscripted. They have to think a little bit more about the questions and the pacing of their voice changes, which, which I think is fascinating.
And. Behavioral standpoint. I’m like, oh, this is now we’re getting into the good stuff. This is the stuff that you’ve admitted. You have not been asked like a million times that you actually have to think about. So for me, I always do a lot of prep before I talk to my guests. I don’t, I’m not someone who’s really.
Good or stilled at like just walking up to someone at the street and being able to learn their innermost secrets in within five minutes. But the great thing about social media is that almost everyone I talk to, whether they’re on a book tour or they’re just an average. Everyday person has some sort of social media.
Maybe they have a website that at least they might have some sort of, you know, Instagram profile, or I can learn a little bit more about what their public profile is. And if there’s someone who wants to share a story, may I’ll talk to them beforehand. So usually before I invite a guest on, I know a little bit about what I want to talk with them, even if it’s just a theme about this is, you know, this is your podcast and I want to learn like why you started this podcast.
It resonates for you, or this is a story you want to tell about growing up and the challenges that you face there and how it’s impacted you in adulthood. So I know a little bit about that as well, before I go into the interview and it’s something that I have. Written out, like I’ll have a write out the questions are all typed them out so that I remember what I want to ask them.
And some of them are, I do have some standard questions, like usually at the end, I’ll ask the guests, like, is there anything else that you. I don’t want to leave us with any parting words or anything that we can help or support you with, which is just sort of a standard thing that I like to end because it’s very, open-ended it gives them the last word.
So, um, it’s funny. Sometimes people say, well, no, not really. And then they’ll talk for five minutes and that’s great. I’m like, oh, this is like, the, this is really good. I’m putting this in audio grams. They’re like a little flip that people can share. So it’s interesting how that kind of helps people open up as well when you kind of give them the final word for that.
But, um, yeah, but otherwise I really. You know, so I’ll write out questions, but I don’t necessarily stick to that strip. It’s really just like little guideposts of themes that I want to hit on during the interview somehow. So we might go out of order. I’ll ask other questions based on stories or what they’ve shared with me during the episode.
And I really just try to keep it like a conversation. I really don’t want to. Question answer, question, answer. And you know, some, it depends on the rapport. Depends on the guests. Sometimes it flows easily more easily than others, but most of the time it’s a pretty casual conversation and people get pretty comfortable pretty quick for the most.
[00:18:25] Corinna Bellizzi: find too, cause I like to ask a similar question at the end. Like, is there a question that you wish I had asked that perhaps I haven’t or some parting thought and most of the time. They have a lot more to say, so it’d be careful even leave some time for that. Um, but I will also say that there is a moment sometimes at the very finished piece where it’s like, they can see that the end is in sight.
So they somehow relax about the whole conversation. And in that moment of relaxation, they’re able to more clearly communicate why, why they even agreed to come on your show in the first. So I just thought that was a really interesting as a human observation point. I also just want to say that I am so curious about where you are going to head from here, because you’ve been doing this for a few years now and.
You’re keeping out every couple of weeks. So, you know, is there a dream guests that you have in mind, someone you wish you could interview? I mean, maybe it’s a Michelle Obama’s of the world. I don’t know, but I’d love to hear from you. Like, if you have that dream in spot, what it might be. And then also if there’s a particular not-for-profit that you’re passionate about, that you think deserves more.
[00:19:42] Carolyn Kiel: gosh, we’ll in terms of dream guests, someone that I’ve had on my list for probably many, many years at this point, almost towards the beginning is Brandon Stanton. The, uh, he treats humans of New York, which is probably more he’s he’s Brandon of humans of New York, or Honi as it’s sometimes known because.
A lot of things, a lot of what I’m doing is really modeled in the spirit of the work that he’s done. And I’ve heard him talk on, you know, other podcasts and just from, he had a recent book tour. Cause another book that he wrote came out where he talks about his whole process. And there’s so much that went into humans of New York that when, you know, cause it didn’t start out.
As what it was with these photographs and these, you know, fundraising and things like that, it started as just him, you know, losing his job in like finance the finance district and not really knowing what he wanted to do with his life and him just wandering around New York city. Taking pictures of people.
And his idea was just very different from what it turned into. And he just organically through really putting himself outside of his comfort zone. Like, I don’t know if, if you haven’t been in New York city, it’s one of the most difficult places to approach strangers, just pee everyone’s on guard. They’re like, no.
Really wants to talk to a stranger like about who wants to come up and ask them questions. It’s probably the hardest part in the world to start a conversation. So he was doing that like day in and day out. And, um, and eventually he just found, evolved humans of New York into the storytelling platform where he got really good at telling stories in a very short form.
So I just love that journey. And he’s really inspired me in the type of work I’m doing. I mean, I’m nowhere near a humans of New York quality or influence at this point, but I just love the way that he shows. I know he doesn’t share his story that often. Cause he kinda likes to be behind the scenes and let his brand be in front.
But, um, that would be an ideal, really ideal part of desk for me. And uh, yeah. And I guess in terms of non-profits. One that I’ve been supporting for a couple of years is called she’s the first, which I think I, I learned about them when they were first starting. It’s probably been about like 10 years now, maybe a little more.
And it’s a nonprofit that invests in girls and women all around the world in different communities. Um, girls and women really don’t have a lot of human rights or opportunities or educational prospects, and it helps to go into schools and, and fund them and provide sponsorship for girls all around the world.
So, um, I’ve been sponsoring a girl in Nepal for many years now and kind of watching. Through the school system. And I feel like that where there’s a lot of power in women and education, especially for young girls, because that’s really where it starts is if you can keep a girl in school, they say that once girls have an education, as they earned money, it contributes, it all goes back into the local economy and the local village.
Um, so it really helps uplift everybody. Wow.
[00:22:29] Corinna Bellizzi: Okay. Well, I didn’t know about that particular not-for-profit, but last Friday, as we’re recording this, I just aired a podcast on the subject of people from Paul Hawkins regeneration, ending the climate in one gender and ending the climate crisis rather than ending the climate ending the climate crisis.
In one generation. And one of the things that he reveals in that text is that in nine out of 10 countries around the globe, there are laws that prohibit women or impede them in some way from pursuing education or getting a loan for money so that they can’t have their own. Freedom. They cannot necessarily as easily pursue their education or build a business to support their families.
So I think that’s a really great charity and I am going to do a bit of research on that myself. So thank you so much for that. So, um, do you have any closing thoughts as we’re here at G podcast live? Do you have anything that you’d like to leave our audience? Uh, well,
[00:23:29] Carolyn Kiel: again, thank you for the opportunity to be on your show.
And it’s so exciting to be able to record a podcast in person with you. It’s, uh, we have not been, uh, in-person with too many people in a, in a very long time. So this is really exciting and just a great opportunity, my parting thoughts, and I think it’s something that’s really echoed. Throughout all those sessions and the Xi podcasts live conference that we’ve been at is, again, if you have a content idea, really just, uh, you know, that you’ve been thinking about just, just find different ways to start.
And again, just don’t be afraid of doing it wrong. So one thing I think a lot of people don’t realize because I don’t talk about it that much is that this podcast idea, in addition to me, wanting to platform stories and do this. I had tried to, I was trying to write a blog before this for many years. And it just like, I would get writer’s block.
I would write like two or three posts and then it would just like, you know, fizzle out. And so I kind of felt like kind of a, not a failure, but I’m like, oh, this blog thing is like, just not something that I can keep up with, but I want to create something I want to be creative. And then I learned about podcasting, like, oh, well, if they interview people, like, you know, I’m sure I could find plenty of people to interview and then I’ll be consistent and then I can release more content.
So. The podcast kind of came out of this quote unquote failed blog opportunity thing that I was trying to write. But the interesting thing is I took a break over the summer from podcasting and I started to write a little more cause I had a little more time. So now the writing is like a little more personal.
So I guess my point is that your content strategy may evolve naturally over time and, and just start. Something. So if you start a podcast and then you decide, nah, this isn’t for me, but it may trigger something either. You’ll meet certain people that you wouldn’t have met before and it’ll result in another opportunity.
You’ll gain other stills that you can use for something else. Maybe you decide you really like writing. If you’re writing a podcast and you decide, well, maybe I’ll just like write a blog instead, or I’ll write a book. You never really know where it’s going to take you. So definitely just say, just try things out there really isn’t any downside of doing this.
So I’m just go out there and create. Go
[00:25:29] Corinna Bellizzi: out there and create, well, I just want to thank you so much for coming on my show and also just a warm thanks from me for being so welcoming to me as I was just getting my start podcasting. So for all of you listeners, uh, Carolyn was, uh, a bit of a cheerleader for me too, because before I even recorded my first show, I connected with her and, um, And listening to our show.
I have discovered a few of her, of my own guests, who she graciously introduced me to, including Courtney Stewart. Two has the company lip revolts and makes lipsticks with that are fierce and beautiful and amazing, and which give back to her community to women and to people of color. Uh, also a recent guest hunter Hanson.
Oh, my Lord, that was one of the funnest interviews I’ve yet conducted because he’s just so dynamic and interesting. And by the time I finished my interview of him, I was convinced I had autism. Um, and my husband probably thinks that that’s true too, but, you know, okay. Maybe I’m a little weird in certain ways and learning to accept that is a journey, but it’s also something that, um, I can just say.
It’s not the end of the world and the other that I absolutely adore. And I’ve now featured her a couple of times as Rebecca Bastian. I got to connect with her again recently because she’s doing some fabulous things with own trail to really help women be the master of their own domains, pave a path or a blazer own trails and a new and unique way while supporting one another.
So that’s just been a few of the fantastic guests that I’ve been able to interview through. So just thank you so much. It’s been an amazing collaboration so far, and I look forward to many years of shared friendship and podcasting.
[00:27:17] Carolyn Kiel: Wonderful. Thank you. Thank you so much.
[00:27:19] Corinna Bellizzi: All right, listeners. Now, you know what to do.
It’s time to go out there and do a little bit more good in the world. It could be as simple as sharing this podcast with someone that you think needs to hear it, you can go to care more. Dot com and I will be sure to include all of the links to Carolyn’s podcasts beyond six seconds, where to find her, her Instagram page and all of that loveliness.
And I encourage you to check out her interviews of some of the same guests I’ve featured, because you do get a different flavor, a different taste and a different perspective. Now we all tell different stories in each interview, and it’s just an incredible. Way to give a little love back to the people that are working so hard to put great content out there.
So thank you again, Carolyn.
[00:28:02] Carolyn Kiel: Thank you.
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