Week 2: Connecting and Becoming Royalty

As I have been saying all week, my resolutions this year are myriad. Well, twenty-two to be exact. Although I can’t update progress on the whole lot of them the way I did with my five little rules last year, I can give you a few highlights.

Progress Point: #1 Connect better with the scalawags

There is something to be said for having an identity outside of one’s parenthood. When I gave up working outside the home upon the birth of my first scalawag, I had no notion of how depleting it can be–for some, not all–people who care for children full-time.

The parent who does work outside the home is the one for whom they always reserve warm hellos and goodbyes. Their value, in many ways, is because they are absent. Absence, perhaps, really does make the heart grow stronger.

While my situation hasn’t changed…I still drive them to school, pick them up, make them lunch and do all other kinds of things I don’t love, I have changed. I am future podcasting royalty, and my attitudes and behaviors at home must, in some intangible way, be reflecting this.

Because I could swear that they are treating me differently. There is more deference when I say “no”. There is more laughter, for one, because I feel like laughing again, and for two, they are really funny.

My eldest and I did take up a few matches of UNO, until he lost two in a row and became very, very upset.

Later that same day, he asked if I would sit with him on the couch and have hot chocolate with him. This was truly a surprising thing. I mean, he’s always asking for things, but rarely does he ask me to come sit with him.

I hustled to make us hot chocolate. We snuggled under a blanket (he is not usually snuggly, but for this once he made an exception.) He leaned his head on my shoulder.

I asked him, as his indulgent father and I ask one another every year,

“What was something good that happened last year?” He gave a sweet answer.

“What is something you want to do this year?”

“Go to a real movie theater and see a movie,” he replied.

I smiled, because that actually sounds like a lot of fun.

I have decided to draw a one-to-one relationship between the amount of time I spent playing UNO with him (and actually really playing, not pretend playing) and the fact we had a nice moment on the couch together later that same day.

Genuine connection gives rise to more genuine connection. It’s a virtuous cycle. And I am here for it.

Progress Point: #10 Become podcasting royalty

The dreaded learning curve is upon us. The one in which I have no idea about anything. “You don’t know what you don’t know,” as they say. And so you learn in the doing.

For example. Earlier this year, I had written that article about my lifelong strong with picking at my fingers, and the little ring I got for Christmas to help alleviate the picking by giving me something to play with?

Well. I sent it to the company, LEVITAYT, just, on a whim. To say, “Thanks for making something that helped me.” They responded by saying that if I would be interested, they would make a 15% discount available to my readers if they might find this stress-relief jewelry thing interesting.

Not gonna lie, every. single. day. on Instagram, I get three or four offers to represent jewelry companies. I have always assumed they were a scam of some kind. But even if they weren’t, I would have to be super annoying and trying to promote the product….me, little nobody that I am, with my miniscule little following. I have no pretensions about being an “Influencer,” remember. I’m just a middle-aged mother of two living in Alsace, France who loves to write, wear pretty clothes and make people smile.

I have, also, on many occasions, wondered what would happen once the podcast was off the ground and I would need real money, not just the 20 bucks I spent to get on Apple Podcasts. Like, money to promote. Money to pay someone to edit the podcast. Money to have a real website. Money to pay someone to do social media posting. Money to do my visuals for me. Money to travel to those speaking engagements I dream of doing.

And I knew that there are two ways: Corporate sponsorships or crowdfunding.

On one hand, the “You Should Stop Shopping!!!!!!” guru couldn’t stomach the thought of sponsorships, of hawking wares. On the other hand (which looks great thanks to my LEVITAYT sress-relief ring, Promo Code LILY15) knew that money would become a necessary evil.

I set it in my mind that I would only ever enter into a partnership with entities who do something I truly believe in. Mental Health services? YES! Musicians, authors, artists? YES!

Or, something that I come to discover that makes my life better. Like this ring.

There is no money in this deal for me, but they are promoting my Instagram page when I post a photo of me wearing my ring, or a video on TikTok (oh, we’ll get there in a second) which drives traffic towards my podcast.

Growth of listenership at this early stage in the game is absolutely critical, according to my podcasting gurus, because the platforms pay attention to early numbers (which they don’t always share very reliably with creators, but that is another problem and part of the aforementioned learning curve.) Their numbers tell them the cold hard truth: are people listening or not?

And if they are listening, then the platforms will promote those podcasts on their own pages. And that, my friends, is the first step to becoming podcasting royalty.

So I am over here working my hiney off to get people to listen to the podcast.

So on the first Monday after my podcast launched, I got my first visibility exchange partnership offer. That is pretty awesome.

What’s more! since I started tagging LEVITAYT in my posts when I’m wearing the ring, I have had people contact me and ask my counsel about what jewelry they should buy for their picking problem, and I can only suggest the one I know, because I only have that one. So I do. But I do see how this works now. At my scale. On my tiny little level.

The Marketing Guy

The message arrived in my Facebook Messenger app at 5:23AM:

You need marketing. Podcasts don’t get views on their own. They take advertising.

Mysterious stranger (okay not really, but I want to leave you in suspense for a second.)

Listen, kiddo. You’re hired.

Lily Fields, future podcasting royalty.

So. Who was writing to me at 5:00AM to talk about marketing? Someone for whom it was decidedly not 5:00 in the morning.

The Marketing Director for a Hollywood studio, that’s who. But I know him better as the kid I used to sing in the Show Choir with in Junior High, and the gangly kid I used sit in the Band Hallway with during study hall in High School.

Also, one of the most self-deprecating, funniest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Also, haven’t seen him in way more than twenty years.

Yup. I sometimes forget that I am the center of the universe and that there are people in my life who have exactly the right skills, and exactly the right motivation to help me at exactly the right time. I digress.

So that Show Choir kid ended up making (some of) his Hollywood dreams come true.

I happened to notice, whenever I would post about the podcast on Facebook on my personal page, he was always the first one to “like” the post. Weird, I thought. He’s not really my target audience.

As it turns out, he has taken interest in my podcast, in part because he knows something about media, and in part by virtue of those long hours of Show Choir and Study Hall, he has taken pity on my little cause.

He has pushed me to get myself out to where the people who will listen to the podcast are. He told me what market to target with some smallish social media ads. Mid-week he said, “Scrap that target. Try this one.”

Then, at 4:00AM one day this week, he says,

You need to be on TikTok.

Hollywood

Hollywood, I am forty-four years old.

Lily Fields, middle-aged mother of two.

Lily, just do it.

Hollywood

Yessir.

Lily Fields, doubtful but hopeful future podcasting royalty.

I immediately joined TikTok and uploaded a video I had made for Instagram earlier that day.

Big journey, smalls steps, right?

When I woke up this morning, I had more than one hundred notifications and reactions to the ads he had me set up. Listenership, based on what I can glean from the limited analytics available to me, is up. And I am on TikTok giving advice about self-love on being your own Valentine according to your own Love Languages.

No wonder I can’t sleep.


Have you listened to the Sing With Your Feet, my new podcast yet? You totally should. And you should share it with someone who needs a little fairy dust in their lives!

Take a listen here:

Episode 31: Mental Health Sing With Your Feet

Talking Points: Rage; Sublimation; Mental Hygiene. Episode 31: Mental Health is part of our series on the Ideal Life Categories. The series began back in Episode 15: The One About Our Bodies, in case you want to get caught up. Links: The Great Bathrobe Refashion: https://lilyfieldschallenge.com/2021/05/18/the-great-2021-bathrobe-refashion/ Rage Refashioning: https://lilyfieldschallenge.com/2021/05/27/rage-refashioning/ Sublimation: https://lilyfieldschallenge.com/2021/06/09/sublimation/ You can contact Lily by email: lily@lilyfieldschallenge.com. A great big thank you to Seven Productions here in Mulhouse, France for the use of the song "La Joie" as the intro and outtro to the show. Thanks also to Matt Kugler who sang it and Claude Ekwe who wrote it.
  1. Episode 31: Mental Health
  2. Episode 30: Contentment
  3. Episode 29: Commitments
  4. Episode 28: Lucidly Ever After
  5. Episode 27: Passionately Curious

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

3 thoughts on “Week 2: Connecting and Becoming Royalty

    1. Thank you! But this is just the start of the road…I’ll need some serious stamina. But I do believe it when they say, “Find work you love and you’ll never work a day in your life!” Love to you!

      Like

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