Executive and Leadership expert Akua is celebrating a remarkable milestone of producing 100 podcast episodes of The Open Door Conversation Podcast.
In this episode, Akua reflects on her journey of starting her podcast and how her vision has changed. With being 5 years in business, Akua shares the key lessons she learned professionally and personally. And while taking a hiatus from social media, Akua looks forward to continuing her leadership framework and hosting People Before Strategy round-tables, providing a safe space for open conversations, which will be a great place for networking, and she will be answering questions.
This episode is a testament to five years of growth, learning, and unwavering dedication.
What's Covered in this Episode About Podcasting
Akua is reflecting on the journey of starting her podcasting and how her vision has changed.
Akua highlights the key lessons she learned both professionally and personally from producing 100 episodes and
She talks about navigating the challenges of running an online business.
Looking ahead about what the goal is for the next phase of her podcast and her business
Quotes from this Episode of Open Door Conversations
Get to Know the Host of the Open Door Conversations Podcast
Learn more about your host, Akua Nyame-Mensah.
Akua is a certified executive and leadership coach, recognized learning and organizational development facilitator, speaker, and former startup executive.
Since 2018, she has had the opportunity to partner with amazing organizations, from high-growth startups to multinational brands all around the world, to maximize people, performance, and profit. Outside of her coaching and corporate speaking engagements, she is a regular mentor, coach, and judge for various entrepreneurship-focused organizations.
Stay in touch with Akua Nyame-Mensah, Leadership & Culture Advisor:
Here’s the transcript for episode 100 about Celebrating 100 Podcast Episodes and 5 Years in Business
NOTE: Please excuse any errors in this transcript; it was created using an AI tool. Akua Nyame-Mensah 0:00 I can't believe it, I am celebrating a significant milestone. This is my 100th podcast episode. And in October, I am celebrating five years in business five years of working for myself full time. Hello, and welcome to the 100th episode of the open door conversations Podcast. Greetings. I'm so excited. I'm celebrating I've been celebrating all summer. And I just want to say thank you so much, to all of you listening to this for your continued support, for engaging, and for just being part of my journey. I really, really appreciate it. And this episode, if it isn't apparent already, we are going to be celebrating this significant milestone and be reflecting on the journey. And talking a little bit about some of the milestones and achievements I've been able to get to so far. Throughout this entire episode, I'm going to be practising gratitude and recognising not just the listeners, but the guests and the team, the human beings behind the scenes who have contributed to this podcast success. Beyond the podcast my business's success, and there are so many people who have been a part of my journey over the last five years. I'm gonna close out by just looking ahead and talking about some of the things that I'm up to next. And as always, I will ask for you to stay connected to subscribe and free to give me feedback because I think that's always helpful for a podcast host to get feedback. So let's get into reflecting on the journey. Podcasting terrified me still terrifies me. I remember one of my first podcast episodes, I rerecord it a few times and I actually got feedback from somebody who listened that said that I shouldn't have mentioned that it took me a while to be able to record a podcast episode and that it sort of took away from my expertise it took away from, or at least from their perspective, they felt like I seemed less than their eyes, because I mentioned that it took me longer than I thought it would. And that's something that really stuck with me. And when I think about my business, that's something that quite a few people, to varying degrees mentioned. I remember when I first decided that I wanted to work for myself, there were a few people in my life that said, No, you know, you should work for other people that it's going to look weird. If you leave someplace really quickly, that it's going to be really difficult to do. And don't get me wrong, it hasn't been easy over the last five years. But it's definitely been the best decision I've ever made. I don't think I am made for regular nine to five employment. The work I was doing prior to working for myself wasn't regular nine to five, employment. And I just really appreciate being able to have many different parts to my business. I'm a multi hyphenate. I'm multi passionate, I like having my hands on many things. But I also really liked my rest. I like to sleep I like to be able to do the things that are important to me as well. So I can show up and be effective and support my clients. And my business allows me to do that. The initial vision and purpose behind starting a podcast has definitely evolved along the way. When I first started my podcast, I thought it'd be a great opportunity to do a longer form content that would support my one on one clients. I always have kept my one on one clients in mind as I put together podcast episodes and would try and share them with them when they brought up specific questions or had specific challenges that they were working through. But I truly think that this podcast has been an opportunity for me to practice. And when I think about some of the key lessons learned, and I'll get to that a little later on. But when I think about some of the key things I've learned about myself and some of the key things I've learned about running this type of business, having a safe space to practice, I think is incredibly key. But let's get back to the vision and purpose behind starting this podcast and we can actually start at the name. When I thought about what I wanted to name my podcast. Open door was something that came to mind. Typically open door or open doors policy is maybe how you've heard it refers to a business and organisation or institutions commitment to being open to being accessible, transparent, welcoming people from various backgrounds. A lot of times, you'll hear leaders talking about having an open door policy where you know, anyone can sort of walk in at any support any point in time, as long as the door is, you know, physically open if we're thinking back to when we worked from offices, primarily. And people could come in to get feedback and to get, you know, support and have a conversation. From my perspective, I think there's three key things that I wanted to use my podcast for. The first is this idea of transparency. I think that as it relates to leadership, as it relates to culture, and people, it's really hard sometimes, for us to know how transparent to be. And so I wanted to create content, where I share transparently the elements, I thought that were important as it relates to leadership, and most importantly, to provide people with the questions, they could ask themselves to gain more of that awareness, or gain at least that transparency within themselves, then, of course, they can decide what to share and when not to share, because that's a very important lesson for leaders to learn as well. Transparency in one situation, one context, one environment is not the same in every single environment, space context challenge situation. The second thing that comes to mind as I reflect on this name, and what I was trying to achieve with this podcast is this idea of accountability. And I think that all leaders need to hold themselves accountable for their actions and decisions. And this podcast has been a way for me to hold myself accountable for creating content, accountable for distilling my ideas and processing my thoughts, and of course, sharing them as well. And last but not least, this idea of accessibility information, data shouldn't be withheld. And leadership or being a leader isn't about creating a secret society that other people can't make their way into. And so my hope is that by having this podcasts, the open door conversations, it's actually open people's eyes to what is possible, and open people's eyes to what I think are the true core components of being a leader. And a huge part of that, hopefully, is communicating the message that it's not just about gaining additional diplomas, skills, you know, getting another degree, but that leadership does really come down to your attitude towards it, the habits and routines that you build around it. And the intentions that you hold the assumptions that you hold as you engage with others. If you've listened to any of my podcast episodes, a lot of this is probably resonating, or I'm probably even repeating myself. But that's really something that comes to mind when I think about why I wanted to put together this podcast, as I mentioned before, initially, it was about sharing things I wish were shared with me related to leadership, the things that keep us up at night, the things that we don't create space to reflect on, because we're so busy delivering, producing and doing things for others. And so, I mentioned earlier that a lot of times this idea of having an open door policy refers to this concept of like physically allowing yourself to always be assessable, physically. And I just want to say that is not something I endorse, you can't always be assessable. In that way, when I refer when I refer to accessibility, I'm talking about this idea of having information and data being shared, right, and of course, being accessible, but you can have boundaries around it. And you should definitely have boundaries around it because you won't get any of your work done. If you just allow people to always interrupt you. And to always be there you have things you need to do to you have things that only you uniquely can do and you have a competitive advantage and and you need to protect your time to do that as well. So to sort of sum up or maybe close up what I initially was hoping to do with this podcast, I just want to encourage you listening to this to make sure you find spaces where you can have these open door conversations, where you feel like you can share you can be vulnerable, you can try things on, you can change your mind, you can have a different perspective. And you're more than welcome to join the next set of conversations I plan to have. It's going to be what I call more of a roundtable where we'll be discussing case studies, I'll be answering questions, there's going to be opportunities for networking, and this is something I'm going to be doing monthly. So for my perspective, it's an evolution of the podcast. It's about creating an actual conversation around the podcast, it's, I think, a lot more elevated. And I think impactful than simply having a LinkedIn audio conversation. And I'm really excited about it. And I think it's really going to help us take this idea of open door conversations really to the next level. And that's what I've always wanted to do. And so that's just something that I want to make sure that you're invited to please join the next one if you can't make the one this month. And now I wanted to talk about and highlight some of the key lessons learned, both professionally and personally, from hosting 100 episodes and navigating the challenges of running an online business. So the first thing I have on here, and it's probably not going to be any, it's probably not going to be a surprise to anyone. And it is a surprise, I think it's hilarious. But the first one I put on here and I'm laughing reading it is the internet is bae, I would not be where I am. Without it, it wouldn't be possible for me to do what I do without the internet 99% of my work is virtual, and I love working virtually you get access to this podcast virtually and online. And so that's something that I'm just really grateful for. And I'm happy. It's a resource I can tap into, because this is what my business is built off of. The second thing I have on here, which I think is really interesting as it relates to lessons learned is my perspective of labour has completely shifted. I mentioned before that I don't think I'm someone who is like a typical nine to five worker or employee. But my thoughts really around how to charge value, affordability, people being overpriced, expensive, has has really shifted. And I have a lot of, I think, interesting thoughts about this. And it really just comes from working in a very different way. And I would say comes from working in a way that's a lot more aligned with how I show up energetically, and a lot more aligned with my values as well. I think that we all do so much in our lives in our business, because it's always been that way. And many of us are just so busy doing things and living. And you know, working and getting things done that we never really stopped to question the status quo. And I think that when I look at my entire career, I look at how I make decisions in my life. A lot of times it's about challenging the status quo. Someone tells me this is the way it's meant to be. And I say, why can I do it differently. And I typically find alternative ways of approaching it or doing it, of attacking it of overcoming it. So I'm not going to dive deeper into this, maybe at some point in time. If I come back with the podcast, and I will be coming back at some point in time, I just haven't decided what that would look like. But maybe even within one of my roundtable conversations, having a conversation about salaries, having a conversation of what we get in exchange for work that we do, and what type of lifestyle we want, and why we want those lifestyles. But I think that my entire relationship with money, my perspective of labour has completely shifted. And I will say I feel like I am definitely working a lot harder. In many ways. There's a lot of things that I of course have to do, I can't get support with no one else can do it. I wear many different hats. But I love it, I absolutely enjoy what I do. And I think because of my attitude towards it, and the energy I put into it, it just feels incredible. And I love being able to pick and choose the people that I work with, and connect with people that are ready to invest in me. The next thing I have on here, and this is a lesson that I learned for some of you this might sound a bit harsh, but I think it's an important lesson to keep in mind, especially as someone who works for themselves. And I wrote down here is your network doesn't owe you anything. 99% of my paid work comes from what I put here, as random people, those of you who know anything about networking might know it as weak ties. And I'm just really grateful for everything that comes my way for the opportunities that people introduce me to. And so what's key here is that I remember when I first started my business, I would get so upset that people who knew me more interested in working with me and I'll take it a step further weren't were only not interested in working well, they entered were interested in working with me sometimes, but they weren't willing to pay me what I thought my value was or what I thought my work was worth. And so it cracks me up to reflect on that and remember how angry and upset I would get and I'm just really grateful that I got past that. And I just try and remind myself that no one owes me anything, especially my network, especially people that know me for my previous work, and I can create my own networks and I think that I'm at a point where my work speaks for it. Self. The next one I put on here is that no amount of training or education will make you a good coach or consultants. Recently, I was asked how did I end up doing what I do. And I remember laughing and being like, you don't you don't go to school to be a consultant or coach, like you don't, even if you work for one of the big consulting firms, you don't go to school to be a consultant. And I think that experience can be very helpful in some situations. But I also think that experience can actually keep you from seeing new approaches, right, it's getting to support your clients outside the box. A lot of times when I go into situations, I'm not actually the expert, what I'm an expert at a lot of times is the process of helping people think through their own problems. But ultimately, they're the ones coming up with a lot of their own solutions, especially when I'm doing coaching work. So what I think is more important to reflect on is practice. And one of the things I'm really proud of, and after doing this for about five years, one of the things I can say is that I've had 1000s of hours of practice, I have practised practised practice, I have 1000s of hours of facilitation practice, I have probably 1000s I didn't keep track of all of this, but 1000s of hours of coaching practice. And the majority of this, I will say is paid practice. And the way in which I I guess, in my mind decide whether or not it was a successful engagement is whether or not you know, I get that that constructive feedback in return and whether or not someone renews or someone comes back or someone refers me. And so that's what I try and keep in mind. And if anyone ever asked me again, how I ended up where I was, especially in relation to my education, because this particular question was like, What did you go to school for? Like, how did you end up doing this? And I just thought it was a really interesting question, because I don't think people who work at big consulting firms and so I get asked asked that question. But every time I record a podcast, have a LinkedIn live an audio event, a facilitated session, a workshop, that is all practice. And that's how I think Coaches and Consultants get better. The last one I have on here is that people will project their fears and way of seeing the world on you. This is what we do naturally as human beings. It's completely normal. And as I mentioned before, when I first started it off, you know, people were telling me that working for myself is too hard, that you'll never make it. And I mean, how do you define never make it right? I think all of us have to define what success looks like for us in terms of how I define success, that's always evolving. But I'm always trying to check in to see how do I feel? Do I like the process? Do I like the people I'm surrounding myself with to relate to people that I'm supporting? So to some, you might be expensive, you might be unreasonable, right. But the truth is that that's just made up right, who decides what's expensive, or what's being unreasonable, we all get to decide what our value is. And we can also decide what we want to accept in exchange for our work. I don't think however, there's anything wrong with recalibrating your expectations, if you seem to get a lot of that same feedback, and you decide that it's time to shift because that makes the most sense for you and where you see yourself going. But to me, I think these are some of the most important lessons that I've learned over the last five years and from hosting 100 podcast episodes, I think he's a little bit more personal. They don't necessarily relate to the guests that I've had on this show. But I've had a lot of really great guests that have shared a lot of really interesting thoughts, a lot of different parts of their journey. And if you hadn't, if you have not had a chance to take a listen to any of those episodes, I would just love to encourage you to take a listen to them. And what we'll try and do is link up maybe the top three or five guests that we've had, and share some of the things that they've learned on their journeys, and they like to share with their clients and their audiences. And terms of celebrating milestones and achievements. Reaching 100 episodes is something I never thought that I would do. Those of you who have been listening to my podcast, you know that practising gratitude is very important to me. And you just listen to this has been an important part of my journey. So I want to just thank everyone that has joined me on this podcast. As I mentioned before, I've had some amazing guests on my podcast, some of them I do not know why they said yes to join me. But I really, really appreciate it. And I just want to once again just say thank you so much to my listeners to the guests to the amazing podcast team behind the scenes who have contributed to this podcast success. I could not have done it without you. You're welcome to take a look actually at my podcast web page on my website's brand new, it's looking pretty. And you can actually read some testimonials from other listeners who have found some episodes incredibly helpful. And I just want to say, once again, thank you all so very much for going on this journey with me. I very much have evolved since I first started listening, or first started recording my podcast episodes, I think that my pace has completely changed. What I focus on has changed quite a bit. There's some episodes that I cringed when I listened to them, or somebody mentions them. But I'm really excited for all of it. And that's really that practice that I was referring to before that has led me to where I am now. In terms of looking ahead, what are what what's my vision? I'm sure you're asking what are my goals for the next phase of this podcast and for my business? I don't know if I mentioned this, but I probably did. We're gonna be taking a bit of a hiatus. I don't know for how long, I am sure, I will be back at some point in time. But for right now, I definitely just want to take a break. And you know, business wise, just double down on my existing channels that I've been leveraging, but I will definitely be spending less time on social media. One of the things that's always really important to me when I think about my business, and I think I alluded to this in my previous episode, episode number 99, where I talked about my evolving brand, one of the things I always want to check in on is where you know, where are, where are my people coming from. And social media has been a really interesting way for me to test things out, test my content, practice, speaking practice, having an opinion, practice engaging with others practice publicly practice speaking off the cuff. But I don't know if it's really the best place for me in terms of finding opportunities and finding additional clients. And so that's one of the things I'm going to be testing this upcoming fourth quarter up into 2024, to really see what makes the most sense. But currently, the data that I see, and I think also energetically, social media is not really the place, I want to spend most of my time and energy. In terms of exciting next steps, plans, upcoming projects, I will definitely be sharing a little bit more about my leadership framework, which if you've been listening to my podcast at all, you probably know all about it. But I've been working on it. And I have some really interesting updates related to it. If you're interested in learning a little bit more about what that looks like, I'd love to invite you to take my super actionable leadership assessment, because that's what it's based off of. And the leadership assessment will not only introduce you to my framework, but give you access to some really great podcast episodes, and some really great resources you can use to start to think about what stage of leadership you are in. The second thing, I think that's really exciting. And this relates to sort of shifting off of social media to creating that safe space to creating that space. So we can truly have open door conversations is I'd really love to invite you to join my next people before strategy roundtable. It will be happening soon. My plan is to have it monthly, and it's really going to be shaped by those who join us. Even if you can't join live, please register. And you'll get the recording. And you're more than welcome also to submit a question once again, even if you can't join live, I'll be answering everything that comes my way. If you've seen or listened to any of my content related to like AMA's last me anything as you know, that's something I really enjoy doing. And so if you want a safe space to ask a question, you can ask it anonymously, even this is going to be the space for you. From my perspective, it's truly going to be open to our conversations 2.0. As always, please share your feedback. Any suggestions you have if you have any topics you'd like to have me cover in future episodes whenever those future episodes happen, please feel free to reach out in the DMS and let me know. Thank you so much for your ongoing support and encouragement throughout the years. Please stay connected to me on social media. Please still subscribe. Please encourage others to subscribe and share the podcast from others who may benefit from the value insights shared. As always, thank you so much for taking the time to listen and until further notice. Stay safe and stay sane. .