Kelly: Laura you are a wife, mother of five grown children, award winning lawyer and a successful podcaster. It's so much fun to have you on my blog because I have listened to your podcasts since you first launched The Productive Woman. I consider you one of the top communicators today up there with Michael Hyatt and Michelle Cushatt. In fact, you were up for a podcast award recently! Congratulations. Laura: Wow. Thank you for putting me in such good company, Kelly. Michael Hyatt’s podcast was the very first one I listened to, so I guess I should credit him for starting me on the path that led to the launch of my own podcast.
Kelly: What is your mission for The Productive Woman?
Laura: The Productive Woman is a podcast about productivity for busy women. On it I talk about pretty much anything related to productivity—time management, organization, goal setting, priorities, etc. My mission, I guess, is to create both a resource and a community for busy women. As I say at the beginning of every show, my goal is to help busy women find the tools and encouragement they need to manage their time, life, stress, and stuff so they can accomplish the things they care about most and make a life that matters. I am by no means an expert, but I think if I share the ideas and solutions that help me or my occasional guests on the show, and other women share the things that work for them, by being transparent and open we can help each other find solutions that help us live better, more productive, more meaningful lives. That’s why I launched this show.
Kelly: One of my favorite things to do is grab a cup of coffee and sit down to listen to your weekly session. I learn so much from each topic you present. In fact, the subjects you choose tend to line up with my needs. For instance, one podcast was about packing for a business trip. This came in handy for a writer's retreat I attended in February.
In spite of your full plate you took precious time with me to encourage me on the phone to go to this retreat. It turned out to be a life changing time for me with a wonderful group of writers... How do you do it?
Laura: I’m so glad you went to Deep Thinkers and found it as rewarding as I have the times I’ve gone. Susie May Warren and her amazing My Book Therapy team do such a great job of teaching and encouraging writers through that retreat and the others they do.
As for how I do it . . . I guess it’s one day at a time, Kelly. I don’t think I’m any busier than anybody else. We all have a lot on our plates these days. But to me, the most important thing is relationships, and everything else takes a second place to that. I try very hard to order my life in such a way as to make time for the things—and the people—who matter most.
Kelly: Can you give us a little insight into what it was like to start a major project like this Podcast?
Laura: It was intimidating. It’s actually pretty easy to launch a podcast—you literally can do it with nothing but an iPhone, a website, and an iTunes account—but I have a tendency to do everything the hard way. I thought about it for months but had a hard time deciding what to podcast about. Ultimately I decided to invest in Cliff Ravenscraft’s Podcasting A to Z course. (Cliff is the podcasting expert Michael Hyatt relies on and recommends.) I took the class in December 2013—best money I could’ve spent to prepare for launching a podcast of my own. By the time I finished the one-month online course, I had my topic, my title, my artwork, my recording gear—everything I needed to launch the show in January 2014. But I didn’t. I spent the next six months coming up with all sorts of reasons why I wasn’t quite ready. Eventually I realized that all those reasons were just excuses. The real obstacle was my own fear. I was terrified of putting the show out there and having people think it was dumb. I was afraid people would say, “Who does she think she is, anyway?” That fear of what people would think, that lack of confidence in myself and my idea, absolutely paralyzed me for months.
Eventually, thanks to some encouragement from Cliff, I took the leap and recorded and published my introductory episode. I still struggle nearly every week with a fear that I have nothing worthwhile to say, but I’ve managed to publish an episode every week since July 2014 except for the weeks I took off during the holidays.
Kelly: What are some ways you get inspired to formulate ideas to produce one of your shows?
Laura: That’s a constant challenge, Kelly. I want the show to be worthwhile, to offer content that’s really going to be useful for the listeners. And I worry that every topic has already been addressed by other, better speakers.
That being said, I get my ideas from a lot of places. Often they’re born out of my own efforts to manage things well and make a life that matters. I figure if I need help in an area, there might be other busy women who need help in that area too. Sometimes I get inspired by an article I read, or something I see on TV, or a discussion on Facebook, or an email from a listener, or a conversation with a friend. I love hearing from listeners about their questions or the things they want to learn more about.
Kelly: I happen to know that creative talent runs through your family. Can you tell us how your husband plays a role in the show?
Laura: Mike is my chief encourager, which of course is an incredibly important role. But he’s also a brilliant musician with many years of experience with audio recording. So he composed, arranged, played, and recorded the show’s theme music, and he provided a lot of the gear I use to record. I consult with him regularly on the technical side, in terms of how to get the audio quality to be the best possible.
Kelly: As if that is not enough, you are laboring over another project ~ a novel. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Laura: I’ve been working for about three years on a novel I call Do No Harm. It’s women’s fiction and tells the story of a successful young obstetrician whose world gets turned upside down when a delivery goes very wrong. Although Do No Harm is her story, it really is more about how we (Christians, and specifically Christian women) treat each other—the masks we wear, the way we hide our own wounds from each other, and the way we too often judge each other. I wrote the novel, really, to explore questions in my mind about the difference between what the church is and what it ought to be. It’s been said that Christians often “eat their wounded,” and I wanted to explore questions of grace and forgiveness and community and new beginnings.
Kelly: A topic near and dear to my heart as well... I can't wait to read your book :-D You are a humble yet fascinating woman Laura. If someone wants to find out more about your podcast and your writing where can they reach you?
Laura: You’re way too kind, Kelly. But thank you. The Productive Woman (the podcast) is available in iTunes and Stitcher, but the easiest way to find it is on its website at theproductivewoman.com. There are links there to subscribe to the podcast and also links for my various social media channels. Here are the links to my website and blog as well.
K elly: Thank you for visiting my blog today Laura! You are a true encourager and productive woman. Many blessings on all you do!
Click on the links below to find out more about Laura and her work~