[BIZ TIPS] But What If I Run Out of Things to Say? 6 Tools to Keep Creativity Flowing

June 30, 2020

“Trust yourself. When you are constantly asking yourself, ‘what if I run out of things to say?’ That is a trust issue, a self trust issue!”

I get a lot of questions asked of me all the time about all things podcasting.  The absolute number 1 question I get asked is “what if I run out of things to say?“, so today we are diving into this topic because it is so important for you all to know that there is always something to say.

Today I am sharing:

  • 6 tools to help you keep creativity flowing. 
  • A link to join my free webinar next Tuesday; The Seven Step Formula to Creating, Launching and Growing a Successful Podcast webinar.
  • The power you have in sharing your message in any space; podcasts, youtube, blogs, etc.  

We have entered an age where you cannot sit on the sidelines any longer, there are too many things happening in the world. There are too many people who need to hear from you, and there are too many people who need to hear your voice and to learn from you and holding back those gifts is not only hurting you and keeping you from reaching where you need to go, but it’s hurting those who aren’t getting the benefit of learning from you as well.

Grab your notebook and a coffee you guys, and let’s dive in!

Are you ready? Get listening right away by clicking the link above, or if you’re more in the mood to read today keep scrolling for the full transcription of today’s episode! Let’s do this!

Hey, welcome back to the Room to Grow podcast. Emily here, and today we are going to be talking all about learning how to take the fear out of feeling like you’re going to run out of things to say, especially when it comes to something like starting a podcast. But honestly, all of the steps that I’m going to go through here can be applied to content creation across the board. So whether we’re talking blog posts, YouTube videos, Instagram posts, social media, all of that type of stuff, this is going to give you a really solid base to pull from that is going to help you feel really comfortable in creating content. And I know that for something like a podcast, it can feel especially daunting, because we see some of these people who have been around for for a really long time, and I’m already over 200 episodes, but there are people who’ve been at this a lot longer than me, and they have, 500, 600, 700 episodes or more. And when you look at those numbers, it’s so difficult to wrap our heads around. Coming up with that much content, our brains jump straight from, okay, one podcast to 700 and how the hell do we get from point A to point B? So this is going to really break down some of the things that I teach my students, and what you can do to make yourself feel a lot more comfortable about content creation in general. This is honestly the number one thing when I ask people what’s holding them back about starting a podcast, this is the number one thing that I hear is fear around running out of things to say, quite literally, the question that I get is, what if I run out of things to say, I got you. I got you. 


We’re gonna go through all of that today. So first, I really want to let you know about a brand new podcasting webinar that I’m doing on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. If you’re listening to this in real time, at 7:30pm Eastern. So I’m going to be teaching my ‘Seven Step Formula to Creating, Launching and Growing a Successful Podcast that is going to absolutely transform your business, because using your voice is no longer optional. And I mean that both literally and metaphorically. We have entered an age where you cannot sit on the sidelines any longer. You can’t, there are too many things happening in the world. There are too many people who need to hear from you. And there’s too many people who need to hear your voice and to learn from you and holding back those gifts is not only hurting you and keeping you from reaching where you need to go, but it’s hurting those who aren’t getting the benefit of learning from you as well. And people are really starting to fully comprehend the power of a podcast. There are so many people to talk to lately who have been on the fence for months or even years about starting a podcast and it is beyond time to get started. And so many people have started approaching me about it just in the last two or three months alone, that I thought, you know what I need to put some more content out there to really help support people around starting a podcast. So this is brand new material that I’m sharing if you’ve ever attended one of my webinars before, this is different from what I have taught in the past. And honestly, just a podcast is an incredible way to drive traffic, to drive revenue. So many people, including me have built their entire businesses on the backs of a podcast. And having a podcast gives you credibility and status that can make it easier for potential clients to see how much you have to share and teach. And then you’re going to remain top of mind when it comes time to buy whatever it is that you offer, because you’ve already gained their trust, and the listeners have learned to love your absolutely killer content and the natural next step is for them to find ways to work with you more closely. So I’m teaching my seven step formula that I’ve never taught before all within this webinar. You’re not going to want to miss this. So Tuesday, July 7 2020, at 7:30pm Eastern.


Okay, so what if I run out of things to say, the biggest question that everyone seems to have, and truly this really does seem completely daunting when you’re starting out. So I’m giving you six solid ways to come up with topic ideas that are going to sustain you and keep you going for the long term. So number one: brain dump. I love giving this homework to people. And it seems so simple, but we forget sometimes. And then when we actually sit down and do it, we realize what a huge difference it makes. So set a timer for, I would say, anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes, even 15 to 20 minutes is fine. And just go, like whether you put pen to paper or whether you open a fresh Google Doc, whatever works better for you. Just let yourself pour out ideas of whatever is in your head. It doesn’t matter if you think that it’s going to be viable or not, just let the ideas come out of you. And you will be shocked at what you come up with. Even if every single idea doesn’t fly, I can almost guarantee that you will get at least 10 to 15 great ones. But probably more than that. So just do a giant brain dump, get it all out of your head, get everything out in front of you. And then those are going to birth more ideas. And you’ll see maybe one idea that you could break down into a, you know, two or three different pieces of content, it’s all going to work together, but you have to get it out of your head first, in order to get that visual to see some of the patterns as well. So brain dump the shit out of this. Okay, that’s going to help you a lot. 


Number two: is to take note of any and all questions that you get asked on a regular basis. And then you’re going to put them into an ongoing Google Doc. So keep adding the questions that people ask you on a regular basis as they come to you, as they approach you. And you’re going to end up with an absolute wealth of potential topics and ideas. Not only that, but when you take note of the questions that people are asking you, you’re feeding,  people are actually feeding you the language to mirror back To them for marketing. Think about this podcast alone. The number one thing that people tell me in this exact language is what if I run out of things to say? So how have I started this podcast, by letting you know that we’re going to be talking about what to do and how to handle that question? What if you run out of things to say? And I’m giving you the exact ways to deal with that question, the exact answers to deal with that question. So, people are feeding you the exact words that you want to use back to them. Because when it comes to market, this is like a very kind of basic marketing rule is that when when you are trying to market to a particular group of people, you want to present it to them in a way that they will understand like that’s super simple, and that they resonate with because that’s the way those those questions or that problem is being formed in their heads. And when you mirror that exact language back to them, that’s those moments that I’m sure that you’ve experienced. I certainly have when somebody has presented an idea or something like that to me, and I’m like, Oh my god, it’s like you’re in my head. That’s what we want. That’s what we want people to feel because that is going to really show that they feel more connected to us, and then they’re going to be more likely to buy from us. So this is really powerful, not only from making you feel a little bit better that people are asking you questions that you have the answers to, and it’s telling you that more than one person has this problem, if one person is asking it, at least 10, more of the same question. So when people ask you those questions, put this in a Google Doc. People are literally feeding you, your material. They’re feeding you your own content. You just have to mirror it back to them and then let them know how you would solve the problem of the question that they’re asking. We make it far harder than it needs to be. But it’s actually very simple. So I actually have a running Google Doc just to kind of give you an inside look at my business. I have a doc that is titled podcast ideas. It’s 65 pages long. It is 65 pages long. Because I have done all of these things. I will take the questions that people ask me and I put it into the Google Doc. And then I will do a brain dump. And I started with a giant brain dump at the very beginning of starting this podcast that has only continued to grow as a new idea pops into my head added to the Google doc and then you end up feeling so much more comfortable. Because if you have, you know, a week or a few weeks where you maybe have a lot going on or you’re just kind of feeling a little bit brain dead, you’re not feeling super full of content, super creative. But then you go to this Google doc and you look at some of the ideas that are sitting in there, you’re like, Oh, yeah, like I could talk about that. That one is really good. Lots of people have asked me that one. Again, you are feeding yourself content. And the content that you are creating from those ideas is going to be super valuable for the people that you’re trying to reach. Because you have already, it looked like you were taking it from the questions that they are asking. So you know that they need help with that. That is where value comes in. as so many people stress so hard about coming up with really valuable content. All you have to do is ask people what their biggest problems are, and they’re feeding you the content. They’re practically doing the work for you. Yes, you’re gonna have to do some work to come up with the solutions to that problem. But people are telling you exactly what they need. Don’t ignore that. Like make use of that. That is what is going to build your business, not to mention your podcast. 

Okay, so number 1: brain dump. Number 2, take note of any and all questions that you get asked on a regular basis and added to that Google Doc brain dump, you know, document what, however you’re doing it. Number 3, skim read titles, or check out content from people, places or sources that you don’t agree with. Places that you don’t agree with, this is going to get you fired up. And then you can turn all of your own points of view into your own piece of content, whether that’s a podcast episode, a blog, a social media post, whatever it is, this, it sounds counterintuitive, but think about all of the things that you see on the internet that get you fired up. Because we all have those types of lists. Okay, so now you just want to narrow that down to kind of your general like field or scope of knowledge or something like that, and go to the people or places or resources that you disagree with. That is going to get you fired up. You’re gonna get a little bit riled up and then you’re going to write this riled up post or put it in this riled up sort of podcast. But that is what people need to hear. Because I’ve also talked before about how being polarizing is really important. You need to be polarizing in your marketing and you need to be very clear on what you stand for and what you don’t. So that’s going to be really important. Really, really important. Okay, the caveat to this is that yes, you can also use content that you do agree with as inspiration. But be very careful about that, because I don’t want you to fall into the comparison trap. Recycling the exact same thing that somebody else is saying, or adopting somebody else’s language or words. So that’s a little bit tricky. I actually will often put blinders on with other people’s content, who are in the exact same field as me or have similar ideologies to me, because I’m always worried that I will repeat exactly what they’re saying. And I don’t even mean from a plagiarism standpoint, but I always want to try to be as original in my own content as I possibly can. So I’m very careful about trying not to consume much of what is in my exact same field and scope of knowledge. Instead, I will go to, you know, the places or people that I disagree with more often, because that really feeds me more. And I just don’t want to go down the road of, you know, like accidentally saying sort of the exact same thing. It’s just it’s a little bit of a tricky line to walk. But sure, you can definitely pull inspiration from people in places that you do agree with. Just be careful about that. 


Okay. Number4: is to break down old pieces of content like social media posts, blogs or videos and repurpose that into a podcast episode. So today’s episode is a fantastic example because I did an Instagram post with most of these points months ago. And it was one of my most saved posts, I would say about a six month period. Because this is a question that people ask me all the time. And recently, I’ve had a lot of people say the same thing to me. I’m like, Well, what holds you back about starting a podcast? And the number one thing that people almost always say is, what if I run out of things to say? So when I was thinking about coming up with this episode, I’m like, well, damn, like, I don’t think I ever turned that into a podcast episode. I think it was just an Instagram post. And people are really struggling with this. I have some solutions that will help them with that. I’m doing people a disservice by not creating that into a podcast episode that will reach more people, as opposed to expecting people to go find an old Instagram post that’s buried six months back. It doesn’t make sense, right? But in our minds, if we come up with something once, we’re like, oh, well, I already dealt with that question. But a lot of times, we have to say the same thing over and over again and in different ways and allow people to access it from different platforms to really get the message across. It’s sort of like sometimes we have to hear the same thing 50 times before it actually sinks in. And then the right person says it to us in the exact right way at the exact right moment. And that’s when we have the light bulb moment. We’re like, holy shit, I get it. Now. I know that I’ve heard this 49 other times, but it was that 50th time they finally got me. We’ve all had that experience. So I’m going to reference a couple different episodes here that I’ve done. One of them is about repurpose that shit, all about creating content from you know, other pieces of content. And the other one that I’m going to reference is an episode all about polarizing content, and how important that is to be polarizing in your marketing. So though, those will both be referenced in the show notes, you can go check Get that out because I think that’s going to help you out a lot as well. So yeah, break down old pieces of content and turn it into a podcast episode or take a podcast episode turn it into a blog, social media post, you know, you can pull a quote and use it for Twitter or something like that. Pinterest, you can send Pinterest to different podcasts and stuff. There’s so many options, the options are endless, endless and I go into that a lot more in the repurpose that shit episode. So go check that one out for sure. 


Okay, number 5: is to read, consume and listen to content that has absolutely nothing to do with what you teach. Again, I realized that this sounds counterintuitive, but your brain needs a fucking break sometimes. And it needs to be able to work on things in the background while you’re doing other things. So, you know, if you’re struggling and feeling kind of stuck about coming up with an idea for something, you know, a piece of content program, whatever that is. Go do other things. And that includes things like reading or listening to fiction books as opposed to because I have many times fallen into the trap of basically only reading exclusively business and personal development books for months and sometimes years at a time. And occasionally I will get to a point of just noticing that I haven’t read a book in three or four weeks, which is very unusual for me. And I’m like, What is going on? Like, do I hate reading all this? After 33 years, what is my problem? And I’m like, No, you know what, I need a fiction book. I just need something light and fun and just something that isn’t heavy. Like we’re allowed to do things for the sake of just pure joy. Like just pure joy. I’m going to reference another episode actually, with a coach of mine, who is just amazing. And she talks about that a lot. In that episode, about joy and how it’s allowed to be easy. And I think that it’s such a valuable reminder for all of us. But I can’t tell you the number of times where I have been stuck on an idea and not sure you know what to do and what piece of content to create and just feeling super weighed down and not creative or anything like that. And when I break away from focusing on that, and instead allow myself to focus on other things like just sort of random play and social time and seeing friends, movement exercise, I can come up with so many ideas while I’m walking or working out, it’s almost like a moving meditation to me. Just just things that have nothing to do with topics that you’re trying to create content around. Because otherwise you’re also going to burn out. If you spent years at a time doing nothing but consuming business and you know, personal development stuff and creating content around both of those things and nothing else you live and breathe that all the time. That’s not healthy for you. That’s not healthy for anybody. We all need to cultivate some sort of balance in our lives, whatever that balance looks like for you is very individual. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that balance looks one specific way and you have to meet that that isn’t true. You get to create your own sense of balance, balance and whatever works best for you, and your lifestyle and your business and your family and your friends and all those things. But you know that that balance does need to include some sort of play, and just ease and doing things for the sake of enjoyment, as opposed to always focusing on productivity. Okay, so that’s gonna be really, really important. And I can’t tell you the number of times where I’ve been so frustrated with myself that I can’t come up with an idea or something like that. And I finally just allow myself to take a step back, I go do something else, even if it’s for a few days, sometimes even for several weeks, which sounds very scary to entrepreneurs like what do you mean for weeks, but sometimes I have done that. And it has felt borderline terrifying because I’m like, has my creativity left me? Is it ever going to come back with? And when I finally allow myself to lean into just things that bring me joy for the sake of joy, as opposed to productivity, that’s when all the ideas start flowing in. So don’t negate that. That’s so important. And that’s such an important part of not only business and entrepreneurship, but just life. Like we’re still living life here. Okay? And I want you to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself first, especially in 2020. Okay, specially it’s 2020. There’s a lot of stress. Everyone is under a huge amount of duress. There’s a lot going on. There’s a lot of pivoting, there’s a lot of moving parts this year. And you need to cultivate that sense of joy more than ever before. 


Okay, and number 6, last one. Trust yourself. When you are constantly asking yourself, what if I run out of things to say, that is a trust issue, a self trust issue. And what I want to reassure you is that creativity begets more creativity. And as you continue to create, more ideas are going to come to you. I promise you, this is going to happen. You’ll find yourself with ideas popping into your head as you drive to work or listen to someone else’s podcast, often on a completely unrelated topic, which is similar to my last point about doing things that are unrelated to exactly what you do. You know, going about your day walking the dog, like whatever that is, ideas will populate much more than you’re expecting them to, much, much more. So keep your notes app handy, or also your Google Doc, if you can get that on your phone, the Google app. Keep that handy as well. And then just jot down a quick note every time something pops into your head. That’s another reason why my ongoing Google Doc for this podcast for the Room to Grow podcast is 65 pages long. Because I just keep adding to it and it just keeps growing. So that almost gives me that sense of security that I know that anytime I’m not feeling super creative, I have those ideas there to pull from. But as another example of creativity be getting more creativity, when I was doing the Instagram lives every day when the pandemic started, I went for three straight months, you guys, three straight months, and the only reason why I stopped it kind of unexpectedly was, you know, a few sort of external factors and I may actually start them up again. People have been asking me about them, and I really enjoyed them. But what I will say is that people told me I was crazy to even commit to that, like in the first week, people were like, Are you nuts? What do you mean? you’re gonna do this every day? Like, I’m gonna do this every day. Watch me. I can do this every day. So I did. I did every single day for three months and what shocked me, as much as potentially other people I don’t know, was that I never ran out of ideas. Never once. And it wasn’t even hard for me to come up with the ideas, I actually got to the point where I would get on with life without even knowing what I was going to talk about. And then the ideas would just flow out of me. In fact, that’s actually one of the reasons why I think I might start them up again, is because I felt even more creative when I was outputting that much content than I do not doing them. And it actually gets me really fired up and like gets my creative juices flowing to do those lives. So I think I might end up starting them up, maybe not every day, but I am going to potentially look at starting those again. Because I was enjoying them. People who were watching them were enjoying them. They were enjoying them anyway. I was getting really great feedback and the creativity that was flowing from me was actually kind of shocking to me too, more than anybody else. Like, oh, my goodness, where are these ideas coming from. So that’s what I want to show you up. I’m not special in any way, I just got to the point and have gotten to the point of trusting that when I need ideas to come, the ideas will come. And you will get there too. But part of creating that self trust is just taking the action to begin with. So that’s why you do the brain dump. You start recycling pieces of content, you skim read those titles, from places that you don’t agree with, you take note of all the questions that people ask you, all of those things are going to give you that foundation and that that basis and that that really strong start to just go out there and start putting stuff out there. Start the podcast, you know, put out there what you want. And don’t worry that you’re going to run out of ideas by episode nine, you’re not going to run out of ideas by episode nine, I promise you, I absolutely promise. If you run out of ideas by episode nine, come see me. And I can almost guarantee that I can get you back on track. Okay, but you are not going to run out of ideas by episode nine, I know that you’re not. I know that you’re not. So trust yourself enough to take that step. And I know that this can seem like a lot when you’re just starting out. But you have things to say that people need to hear. And people want to connect with you. They want to learn from you and grow with you, but they’re never going to be able to if you don’t show up for them in the first place. 


Okay, so just a quick review here. 

  1. Brain dump.  
  2. Take questions that everybody asks you on a regular basis, add them to that brain dump, the Google Doc, all of that. 
  3. Skim read titles or check out content from people, places and sources that you don’t agree with and get your all fired up a little bit. 
  4. Break down old pieces of content. 
  5. Read, consume, Listen, do things, you know, that have nothing to do with what you teach, because your brain needs a little bit of a break. 
  6. Trust yourself. Because creativity begets more creativity. 


Okay. And then just as a reminder, I am doing this brand new podcasting webinar on Tuesday, July 7 at 7:30pm. Eastern, it’s Tuesday, July 7 2020, assuming that you’re listening to this in real time, and the link is in the show notes to go sign up. You can also know, like jump over to Instagram, I’m happy to send you the link directly. I’m over @emilygoughcoach. And I’m going to be teaching a brand new webinar if this is brand new information, my Seven Step Formula to Creating, Launching and Growing a Successful Podcast that is going to absolutely transform your business because people are waiting to hear from you. And you have to start using your voice. We are beyond the point of that being optional. If you want to start a business and you’re telling yourself that this is the wrong time, you’re incorrect. There has never been a better time. Never has there been a better time. So please go sign up for that webinar. I absolutely cannot wait to teach this to you. And I can’t wait to see you over there. So excited. And if this is something that really resonates with you, if you know somebody who needs to hear about this, who’s also maybe a little bit stressed about running out of things to say, make sure to send this to them. Take a screenshot tag me on social media, I would absolutely love to thank you in real life. Okay, so thank you so much for listening. I’m always so grateful for you, you lending your ears and your very valuable time to me for these episodes. And thank you so much. We’ll be back on Thursday.

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast today. I’m so grateful you took the time and it means the absolute world to me for any references and Episode and all show notes. Be sure to jump over to roomtogrow.com

And if this episode touched your heart, it would mean so much. If you would take a quick second to hit subscribe, write a review and share on social media or with someone who really needs to hear today’s message. It makes such a difference to keep this podcast going so I can continue to bring you amazing content and absolutely incredible guests. Be sure to tag me on Instagram over @emilygoughcoach, so that I can thank you in real time for listening and connecting with you. We’re back every Tuesday and Thursday with brand new episodes and I’m looking forward to growing with you!


Questions?  Comments? Want to connect and chat about this episode? You can email me at info@emilygoughcoaching.com, or DM me over on Instagram @emilygoughcoach or Facebook at Emily Gough Coaching.  I would absolutely love to connect with you and thank you for listening in real life and here any takeaways you had from this or other episodes!.  It makes me day to see you listening to the podcast and fills me up with pure joy. Seriously.  See you on the ‘gram!

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