Why I invested in my business when I couldn't really afford it

I’ve often heard it said about spending money on your business that the best time to invest is when you think you can’t afford to invest.

I heard one of my favourite people, Craig Petty ‘The UK’s No 1 Motivational Magician’ talk about this recently. Craig said: “There are times in the life of a business owner when you can’t afford not to invest.’

I was faced with this dilemma last April. At a business networking event, I got into a conversation with someone who was expounding the benefits for small businesses of doing podcasts. I vaguely knew what podcasts were - despite my advanced age, I do try to keep up with the latest social-media trends - but hadn’t really considered how they could help me get my stroke-awareness message across.

As networking relationships should, one conversation became two, became three, became four and I was nearly convinced. I went to a half-day workshop to learn how to produce and edit my own podcast, an experience which left me realising that I should just concentrate on the journalism side of podcasting (doing interviews and telling compelling stories) and leave the technical stuff to someone who knew what they were talking about.

So, even though I probably couldn’t really afford it at the time, I decided that investing in producing a monthly podcast was essential. I enlisted Pete Morgan, of MonkeyPants Productions as my producer and on May 17 2018, the first episode of The Warrior Podcast was unleashed. Since then, Pete and I have produced one episode a month, in which I have talked about my experiences, we have met other stroke-survivors, talked to medical professionals and those who recognised the dangers of stress just in time.

The effect on my business has been spectacular. Podcasting is a global phenomenon so I am not just reaching those who hear my talks or come across this blog, but people in scores of different countries worldwide. It’s possible to track downloads by country as well as just by pure numbers so I know my message is getting out all over the world.

It’s definitely been worth the investment and here’s why. There are probably 20,000 sales podcasts out there (OK, I picked that number off the top of my head, but it’s definitely a lot and unless you are delivering really good content, you are going to get lost in the crowd); there are less than a handful of podcasts talking about stroke awareness from the viewpoint of a stroke-survivor. So if someone does an internet search anywhere in the world for ‘stroke-awareness’, there’s a pretty good chance of them finding The Warrior Podcast (at thewarriorpodcast.libsyn.com and on iTunes, by the way).

Every episode is about 25 minutes long, so they don’t take too much of your time, while we have statistics showing that people who do find it are listening to about 80% of each episode. In an era when our attention span is very limited, that’s astonishing and a testament to the quality of the content.

I hope I’ve whetted your appetite for The Warrior podcast because this month’s episode is extraordinary. Ever since we started the podcast, I’ve toyed with the idea of asking Mrs Warrior to be interviewed for it. After all, her take on events is unique and she’s the one who came within inches of losing her husband to a stroke.

But she’s always been a very shy and private person, so I haven’t pushed it too hard. Any journalist will tell you that the way to secure the groundbreaking exclusive interview is by gentle persuasion, not by hammering on your subject’s door every day and shoving a microphone up their nose.

And this month, she agreed to speak. Her 25-minute chat with Pete and myself is emotional, brave, searingly honest and very powerful. Please give it a listen at thewarriorpodcast.libsyn.com or on iTunes. When people ask me why I chose to invest in what I do when I couldn’t really afford it, I will point them to this 25-minute interview