For the past six months, I’ve been working on a new podcast called Everyday Experts, where I profile people from a variety of jobs and industries about the people and systems behind the work they do.
I know a lot of business podcasts already exist. But I wanted this to be different. Rather than look to people we might traditionally perceive as de-facto experts (such as, CEOs, renowned entrepreneurs, or celebrity figures), I wanted to help uncover great leaders in unexpected places. That’s to say, people you might come across in your day-to-day life, but not necessarily recognize as experts.
Bus operators. Physical therapists. Beauticians. The local bar owner who’s always there to take a shot with you when you need one. The veterinarian who sees you only when you’re at your worst and worried sick about the health of your favorite pet.
To kick things off, I rounded up a group of people I’ve gotten to know personally — all of whom work face-to-face with their customers or clients — and I asked them: “Can I interview you about the work you do? I’d like to understand what makes you an expert in your domain, and what the rest of us can learn from this.”
We have a lot to learn from people who work face-to-face with others
Amazingly, many of them said yes. For this first season, that’s exactly who you’ll hear from — a diverse slate of individuals who have taught me a lot about what they’ve learned from working so closely with people in so many different contexts. All together, these stories, and so many more, offer a unique take at the work we do and the people we meet along the way.
I was getting very excited to launch this podcast and expose some of their stories to the world. And so were they. But then, COVID-19 hit, and everything changed. Under strict “shelter in place” or quarantine regulations, bars have been shut down, physical therapy practices have temporarily closed their doors, and beauty services have been deemed “non-essential” businesses, shut until further notice.
Due to the very nature of the work they do, most of these individuals are no longer able to do their jobs. Or, they have been disrupted in profound ways. As a result, the interviews I conducted — all between October 2019 and February 2020 — started to feel more like “time capsules” than real life.
It’s a scary time, to be sure. The world is collectively holding its breath as we wait and see what the full impact of this virus will be. And as for anybody who held a job in any people-first industry, ranging from hospitality to theatre, there is simply this moment, this pause, from everything they have known.
Given all that, it doesn’t feel quite right to launch this podcast now. At least, not as intended. But, their jobs aren’t going away forever — if anything, maybe their absence will remind us what a crucial role they play, and how much more we’ll appreciate then when they’re back. So I’m going to give it some time to see how things are looking on the other side.
For now, I wanted to share my trailer with you, to get a sense of what to expect in this future podcast. If these sound like the kind of stories you’d like to hear first-hand, please subscribe, and you’ll be among the first to know once I officially launch. Until then, stay healthy, and I welcome your ideas about other Everyday Experts that I might profile in the future.
Tune in here or subscribe at everydayexperts.co.
Also published on Medium.