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Casting Off Negativity: My Journey Back to the Heart of Podcasting and Fishing

This is a long post. It should probably be on the website. Actually, let’s do that.

Fun times interviewing WERF.TV out of SoCal

I usually take July off for the summer after being fortunate enough to attend ICAST with the Fishbites team in 2021.  That would ensure that I could go back to the show in Orlando for the following years and come home with a ton of content to talk about and products to share.  However, this year, I decided to take a bit more for myself and the family because, well, things change over time.  So why am I telling you this and taking up your time with a blog post?  I’m glad you asked (well, that your eyes are continuing to read)

You might not know this; there is PLENTY of drama that goes on behind the scenes in the fishing community, let alone in the social media/influencer world.  I’m guilty of pouring some of that tea and contributing to it several times.  That being said, I needed to take a step away to decide if I truly wanted to continue with this adventure of podcasting and sharing on social media.  The short answer is a resounding yes.  More on that, though, through here.

There was a ton of negativity and, for lack of better terms, “bullshit” happening that I was getting wrapped up in for too long, such as social media group posts that were more about smashing another person than helping a community.  Misinformation and a general trolling mentality seemed to start showing up more & more that I couldn’t understand why it was necessary to attempt to be funny for likes.  Finally, several situations, such as if you’re not with me, you’re against me, were unnecessary and created more of a divide.  I’m not even talking politics here!  I’m talking about fishing!  

As I was in this spiral of feeling it was my job to keep the peace and put fires out, I realized that I’d been fighting an uphill battle with no true known enemy and no support to draw from.  I decided to move laterally and get away from it.  I returned to what I learned to do: feed my brain with knowledge and work in my field.  It was my mistake to try and take care of other people’s fields based upon what I saw was the “right thing to do” or “guide them” to where I thought it should go.  I am not sure I can help with policing a community or individuals, especially when there is nothing gained from it.

In feeding my brain, I found a new book and a line stuck out hard for me.  It essentially reads as keep surrounding yourself with negatives, and you’ll have more negatives compounded several times over.  Be that people, choices, or destructive decisions, they become compounded and grow.  I was living that!  So, I decided it was time to start cutting, and things finally started to come back into focus.  The book’s title is “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy (<---that isn't an affiliated link) if you’re interested.

Was the podcast a negative?  No, it brings me joy, and I love learning from people.  Was the constant search for guests to come on the show a negative?  No, I learned about people’s passion for this sport and saw it through their lens.  Was the constant daily posts on Facebook to drive the algorithm to put me on people’s feeds a negative?  Absolutely, yes, especially when I had to make them fit a mold of engagement, or I’d be pushed off.  Was seeing certain people post negative things on social media?  Indescribably, yes, especially when they were nothing more than fake to drive engagement, making themselves out to be someone they aren’t, or taking someone else down online because ______ (insert your reason there).  I’d just had enough.

Sure, you might be reading that and saying that this is what I signed up for when I crossed into that “influencer” world (if you know me, I despise that word and never call myself that).  Or that I’m being overly sensitive and should grow a thick skin.  Sure! You’re probably right, except that you’d be looking at that from the lens of what you think based on your life, not mine.  The reality that follows that, though, is that you probably do not know me personally or have only met me in a short time, so you don’t have a complete picture.  This is also what I was doing with those I saw this all from.  That was another thing that I decided needed to be cut away, and I got right to work on that.

As I write this, I have episodes ready to post and record new ones.  I’ve realized that my spot in this game of social media is where I was when I started.  Spreading knowledge, sharing the nuts & bolts of products, giving feedback in my realm, and not worrying about what others are doing.  I’m only in competition with myself in this sphere, and I owe you, the listener & reader, the very best I can from that lens.  I’m not a YouTube personality.  I’m not a fishing guide.  I’m not a manufacturer of a product.  I’m not a director of events.  I’m a podcast show host who shares the stories of others happily weekly and tries to make someone’s fishing journey a little easier.  That is good enough!

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