Someone recently asked me how I choose guests for the NNL podcast. It may seem like I’ve hosted quite an eclectic group of people, ranging from developers to CEOs to consultants to sex-tech innovators.
The question caught me off guard. I realized I was just using my gut to decide who to invite on the show. But I had never really thought about how my gut was deciding.
I think I’ve figured it out.
People I meet generally fall into one of two categories: those who are walking towards something, and those who are simply working.
It’s a subtle distinction, but it makes all the difference.
That doesn’t mean that you need to know what you want to do with your life. It’s possible to be working towards something but not sure what we’re working towards.
When I was building my first app Reader Tracker, I had no idea that I’d be eventually teaching and podcasting at Novice No Longer. But at every step along the way, I could have told you what I did to get to where I was, and exactly why I made the decisions that I made in order to get there. I was working towards something.
But I wasn’t always working towards something. Most of my life, I was just working.
I’d go to work at my mostly stress-free retail job, either grab drinks with friends or watch movies when I left work, and then repeat all again the next day. It wasn’t a bad life by any means — in fact, I was very happy. I can understand why most people stay at this stage. It allows time to pursue other passions, like movies, video games, or delicious craft beer.
But something in me changed. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment, whether it was an article I read or an app I downloaded, but I saw a world where I could create new things. I found career paths that didn’t just pay well, but had no ceilings at all.
Ever since discovering that I was working towards something, I have made it my mission to surround myself with other people who are also working towards something, too. And to share as much of that knowledge as possible with the world.
That’s why I’m trying to do with my podcast, and how I find guests. Because when you’re working towards something, it helps to surround yourself with like-minded people.