In Episode 16, being the last episode of 2022, we talk about the first year of The Savory Shot, the guests we’ve met during this time and our reflections. When Mica first started planning this podcast, the goal was to create a space where guests could share stories and experiences, and the listeners could connect with one another on a deeper level. Fear kicked in and she began doubting this start. Pushing this aside, The Savory Shot began! The most impactful thing – connecting with the listeners.
In this episode, we reflect on lessons learned from the listeners and the guests.
Mica: [00:00:00] Welcome to the 16th and final episode of the year of the Savory Shot. Hey, yo. Hey, yo. Y'all know me, I'm your host, Mica McCook. First off, I just wanna give a huge, huge thank you to all of y'all for tuning in and a special shout out to those of y'all who have been with me since episode one. Y'all. You mean the world to me.
Mica: So thank you. You could have been anywhere, doing anything, but you're here with me, and I appreciate that. So thank you. Well, I hope y'all had a fantastic holiday season. Whether you celebrated Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza or something else. I hope y'all had fun. But, now's the time to say goodbye to this year, and hello to the next one.
Mica: Are you as excited as [00:01:00] I am? Y'all? I got my tequila shots ready to go. I'm gonna be howling at the moon, eating some barbecue, singing my little heart out at karaoke. I plan to ring in the new year with style. I can't wait to hear what y'all do. But I wanna talk about today's episode. Today's episode, I am going to close out the year by reflecting on all of the uh amazing conversations I had this past year.
Mica: Speaking of which, Did you catch the last episode with Clay Williams? Y'all already know what I'm gonna say. Go back and listen to it. Y'all, y'all, y'all, I promise. I promise you will walk away with a strong desire to either start a community or join a community. I ain't playing [00:02:00] facts, but before we get ahead of ourselves, let's start the show.
Mica: When I first started planning this podcast, my goal was to create a space where my guests could share their stories and experiences and, and the listeners could connect with one another on a deeper level. I had these ideas of the kinds of conversations I wanted to [00:03:00] have and who I wanted to have them.
Mica: But I also had a mix of emotions. Y'all. I feared that I was thinking too big. Dreaming too big. And way in over my head. Cause anyone who knows me will tell you that when I start a new project, I go all in. I don't do things small. I think big. I operate big. Y'all, when I was a little girl, my cousins did not like playing dolls with me because I would create these elaborate storylines and characters. Y'all, it was like watching a whole ass telenovela.
Mica: And that's my personality, y'all. I'm a visionary. As David Schwartz, author of The Magic of Thinking Big. He says, "Look at things not as they are, but as they can be. Visualization adds value to everything. A big thinker always visualizes what can be done in [00:04:00] the future. They're not stuck with the past."
Mica: And y'all, I wanna make an impact on a global scale. And because I wanna make a big impact, I tend to take on huge boulders of responsibilities and y'all, I fill my plate as if I'm at a buffet restaurant. And with this podcast, I constantly worried about taking on too much, too soon. But as I sit back and reflect on all that has happened, I know now that I was thinking too small.
Mica: Too safe. Too basic. And in a way, I limited myself and my full potential. You know, there's one quote that comes to mind when I think about limitations. It's by Bruce Lee. He said, "If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life.
Mica: There are no [00:05:00] limits. There are only plateaus, and you must go beyond them." Y'all. That is gospel right there. This year I had the opportunity to have so many bombass conversations with some truly remarkable people, from food stylists to food photographers, art directors, y'all. I couldn't be more grateful to each and every one of my guests, but it's not just the conversations with my guests that made this year so special.
Mica: The deep conversations I've had with y'all, the listeners, had a huge impact on me. Your messages, your feedback, your reviews. Y'all, my cup runneth the fuck over. It puts the biggest smile on my face and it helped me grow and learn in ways that I never could have imagined. So that's what I wanna talk about in this episode.
Mica: Lessons that I've learned [00:06:00] from y'all, the listeners and the guests.
Mica: The first lesson I learned with this podcast was defining what it meant to start something. Does this sound like you? "Ooh, I have this idea. It's a freaking great idea. It will change lives. Make a huge difference. Save the world. But before I can begin, I've got to make sure everything is perfect."
Mica: Oh, I'm calling people out in this episode. Have you ever found yourself stuck in the planning stages of a project and you feel like you can't quite take that first step? Maybe you're worried about failing or making a mistake, so you keep telling yourself that you need to do more research [00:07:00] or gather more resources before you can begin. And the next thing you know, a whole ass year goes by and you still haven't started. As the saying goes,
Mica: "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Y'all. For me, the hardest thing for any project is that first step. You want that first step to be perfect and epic. And a lot of times you don't even know what the heck that first step looks like. What is the first step? Is it writing a business plan? Setting up a bank account? Creating an email address? An Instagram? What?
Mica: In episode two, Aaron Clift, he had a great point about this topic. He says the first thing every creative should do is [00:08:00] get in the right mindset. He asks his students, What does it mean to be in business? And his philosophy is, being in business means that you have a profit motive. Meaning the moment you decide you wanna make money doing photography, you are in business.
Mica: I feel similarly about projects, except I believe that you should write down the starting action of a project and define what it means to start. Abraham Lincoln once said, "The best way to predict your future is to create it." In the thinking stages of this podcast. I was just muddled with ideas and y'all, I couldn't figure out where to start.
Mica: It was overwhelming. My brain would just go, mur, mur, mur, and then I'd go into hibernation mode. So I defined my starting action as buying The Podcast Planner Workbook by Addy Saucedo, and then I bought a second [00:09:00] book called Podcasting by Amanda Mayo. Those two books helped me form a checklist to launch the podcast.
Mica: So the next time you are about to start a new project, first define what your starting action. Ask yourself, what action do I need to take in order to get started on this project? The action can be as simple as, I don't know, cleaning your desk, or it can be complex with sub-tasks. Then ask yourself a second question, when do I want this action completed?
Mica: Whatever you decide to do, make sure it is a concrete and achievable action that will help you move closer to your goals.
Mica: In episode six with Amy Cooper. I learned that to achieve your goals, it's important to be bold, loud, and unapologetic. In episode nine with Joanie Simon, y'all. [00:10:00] I loved, loved, loved her story about how she quit her full-time job and pursued food photo.
Mica: Talk about a huge risk. Y'all in Sukhinder book "Choose Possibility." She says, "Before we take a big risk to realize an ambition, we have chances to take small risks to discover opportunity." This means that in order to reach new heights, you've gotta be willing to make big moves. And when you inevitably encounter failures along the way, it's important to view them as opportunities rather than setbacks.
Mica: Amy Cooper's point is that women need to show up. They need to take up space, talk about what they're doing. They need to ask for the money that they wanna get, and most importantly, get out of this head space that they're not supposed to bother people and really put themselves out [00:11:00] there. And I get it, y'all. Making bold moves is scary.
Mica: It takes, it takes a lot of bravery and a lot of confidence. As a Black and Mexican person of color and a woman, embracing a bold and unapologetic mindset feels scary. It's unnerving. But y'all, I know it's important to embrace those nerves and see them as a sign that you're pushing yourself and doing something meaningful.
Mica: I mean, that's what failure is all about, right? It's just a part of the journey towards success. Y'all, I will never forget the day I announced that The Savory Shot was launching. My heart was pounding in my chest and my palms were sweaty as I typed up my first caption on Savory Shot's Instagram. It was a scary moment for me because I knew I was taking a risk by putting [00:12:00] myself out there and my business out there.
Mica: But I also knew that I worked hard for months to get everything ready. But there was still a part of me that worried about the unknown. What if the launch didn't go as planned? What if I faced challenges that I wasn't prepared for and couldn't overcome? What if no one listened to the show? These thoughts raced through my mind as I took a deep breath and hit the publish button.
Mica: Even though I was scared, I also felt a sense of determination. And I was excited. I had done my research and put in the hard work to make sure the first episode was a success, and I also knew that come what may, I would face each challenge the same way I faced all other challenges in my life. One step at a time, one problem at a time. Y'all, whoever told you that multitasking is a [00:13:00] necessary skill is straight up lying to you.
Mica: It's like playing a whack-a-mole game where you're trying to hit all these different things at once, but you're just stressing yourself out and not doing any of them well. Trust me, I've tried it. It's way better to focus on one thing at a time and give yourself full attention. When I think of failure and the bad connotation it has, I can't help but think about the conversation I had with Frank Curry in episode 13. We talked about the importance of encouraging failure when the opportunity allows because it's actually a pretty powerful tool for learning and growth. Frank shared a story about how he encourages his students to fail, and how he teaches them that they could use these failures as an opportunity to become better photographers.
Mica: He looks at failure as a chance to figure out what went wrong and come up with a plan to do better next time. It's easy to see failure as a negative thing, but [00:14:00] Frank's story reminds me that failure gives us a chance to circle back even stronger and better and unstoppable. I'm unstoppable. Sorry. That song, that song has been stuck in my head all week long.
Mica: Episode 12 with Addie Broyles, I learned that networking is a muscle and you need to exercise it every day. Addie taught me to look at networking events as opportunities to, to connect and be a connector. Look at networking events as community building. Cause you know, at the end of the day, that's what I want.
Mica: I want a community. [00:15:00] Clay Williams from our last episode has a great point about the difference between networking and a commuity. He said, networking asks, what can you do for me? While community asks, what can we do for each other? And damnit y'all, that's the truth I wanna live and operate by.
Mica: I have a friend who always seems to know someone for everything.
Mica: It's almost like they have a connection for every, uh, occasion. Need to get your AC fixed? "Oh, I know a guy for that. He's the best in town." Need help with your website? "You should call so-and-so. They're great." Or maybe you wanna get involved with the local charity. "Let me connect you with so-and-so. They're the president of this organization." Y'all.
Mica: It's impressive how they're able to connect with so many different people and how they're always willing to help out other small [00:16:00] business. I think it's a testament to the importance of networking and the value of building relationships. Y'all, 2022 was one heck of a busy year, and 60% of my booked gigs all came from referrals.
Mica: When I think about community and doing my part to lift my community, I think about the two awesome conversations I had with Kristina Wolter from episode seven and Meika Ejiasi from episode five. Kristina and I share a similar philosophy that community will always, always, always win over competition.
Mica: Kristina mentioned that when she feels down or stuck in a rut, reaching out to her community and doing test shoots helps keep her inspired and helps motivate her. She said it's such a great way to find support and encouragement when you need it. Meika Ejiasi's [00:17:00] "lift as you climb," value is one that stuck with me all year. When Meika said, "There's so much room at this table.
Mica: There's a space for you. I may not have opened this door, but I'm here now and I'm going to do what I can to keep this door open and pull up as I climb." Y'all, I felt that in my soul because that's what I want this podcast to be. I want to use this podcast to help lift other professionals up. And as the podcast evolves, I hope to shine a light on my guests and empower listeners to apply what they learn from the guests to climb their own ladders.
Mica: Business strategist Jim Rohn once said, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." It makes sense, right? If you surround yourself with a diverse group of people, you can learn new things, access different resources, and open up a, open up [00:18:00] a whole bunch of new opportunities. There's a book by Keith Ferrazzi called Never Eat Alone.
Mica: He talks about how important it is to build relationships and be a connector. Quote, "Real networking is about finding ways to make other people more successful." That's where the lift as you climb comes into play. Keith also says that "I've come to believe that connecting is one of the most important business – and life – skill sets you'll ever learn.
Mica: Why? Because flat out people do business with people they know and like. Careers in every imaginable field, work the same." So y'all don't be scared to reach out and connect with others, even if it's just for quick chat or coffee or brunch. Trust me, the more you invest in your network, the more it will pay off in the [00:19:00] long run.
Mica: You should take the initiative and start building and strengthening your network today. Right now it'll be worth. I like, uh, Keith's formula, "Success in life equals the people you meet plus what you do together." And it's true. I learned that it's not just about what you know, it's also about who you know and how you'll connect them with other people.
Mica: So to wrap things up, I want to share my goals for 2023. I've talked about this on before on the podcast, but I love reflecting and setting intentions for the future. If you are interested in doing something similar, I use a workbook called Power Sheets from Cultivate What Matters to help me. It's super duper helpful. [00:20:00] But I have three goals for this podcast.
Mica: One, to think big. Two, build a community either on Facebook or something like Slack. And three, be a connector. I wanna leave you with a few thoughts before I end today's episode. Y'all, in 2023, we're going to need to be loud, unapologetic, and crazy ambitious Cause if we can't do it now, when can we? We need to try and find the joy in whatever we're doing.
Mica: And if you can't, then let that shit go. Be a connector. You never know who might be able to help you or what doors might open as a result of your kindness.
Mica: Thank you for your time and for listening. Y'all, I hope you have a bomb [00:21:00] ass New Year's filled with food, champagne, tequila for the fun ones, friends, family, hugs, songs, and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of confetti.
Mica: The Savory Shot will be back better than ever on February 8th, so be sure to check in then. But you can keep in touch with me on Instagram. I will be there every day, or you can send me an email. Till next year, y'all. Holy shit. Holy crap. Happy New Year y'all. Bye.