100 Women. 1 Year. 30,000 Downloads: Girlskill Anniversary with Anna Rova
About This Episode
This whole year I’ve been exploring what female success really is. 12 months and 150 hours spent on deep conversations with women from all over the world about life, success, womanhood, and femininity, tears and laughter, suffering and joy, fulfillment and devastation. The whole spectrum.
It all started with a deep yearning to create, to go deeper and to get out of my own “success” trap. In the beginning, I had a lot of doubts and fears and there were more questions than answers. But deep down in my heart, I knew this was the right path because every single conversation and every single pressing of the record button brought me enormous joy and fulfillment, widened my perspectives and views of womanhood and life, as well as challenged me as a podcaster, as an entrepreneur, and as a feminine essence woman.
When we launched the podcast on October 13, 2017 I didn’t know what it’s going to look like in a year… I didn’t think much about the business model I would be pursuing and where this all is going to go. I had a burning desire to express, to build a tribe and do my thing.
As you can see it’s been a slow but steady growth in terms of download numbers. We have reached 30,000 downloads in a year. We have reached 10,000 downloads in 5 months and another 20,000 in 7 months.
I am quite thrilled to have 2,500 plays a month knowing that perhaps more than 1,000 women around the world are listening and tuning in every week to my conversations with these amazing women and my solo episodes. What a privilege and honor to be in someone’s ears every week.
daily downloads since Nov 1, 2017
weekly downloads since Nov 1, 2017
yearly downloads since Nov 1, 2017
Top 6 most popular episodes — FYI Sex Sells 🙂
Obviously sex sells but I think it’s much more than that.
I’ve experimented with releasing solo shows and they proved to be quite effective and loved by the audience:
Podcasting is a lonely journey. You don’t get feedback or connect with your listeners in a live kind of way. I really miss that because I thrive being around people and their energies. I give a lot of energy and I receive a lot as well.
If you’re podcasting in a controversial niche like I am it is not only lonely but also hard, especially when you receive a lot of criticism and backlash.
So I’ve started collecting fan reviews!
“I just want to say that I absolutely love what you are doing, I think it’s so inspiring and true female empowerment. Thank you so much for taking the time to create incredible and motivating content. It is so important and so current for the modern woman looking to learn new perspectives on life and personal growth. I found your podcast after listening to a lot of Tim Ferriss and other great podcasters but I was still searching for something that truly resonated with me. It wasn’t until I found you that it hit me: learning from other successful women is exactly what I need. We are so unique and complex in so many different ways that only women can understand, and there is so much mystery and deeper levels for women to explore in ourselves. It is amazing to hear women actually talking about all this. So thank you Anna!”
Girlskill is succeeding because I keep showing up despite the negative self-talk, the criticism, and the doubts. Even when times got hard and nothing seemed to work, when I was exhausted and burned out, I never thought of stopping or giving up… I knew this was the right path. I knew this was me or rather the expression of me. During these 12 months, I learned the essential skill every creative must have — detachment from your work, which saved me so many times from extreme self-judgment, misery and procrastination.
Girlskill is also succeeding because it is really the expression of me and my message for women about rediscovering and embracing femininity. My mission and my message are true and authentic based on experience and everything around it resonates with followers and listeners. People feel when I’m present and when my work and dedication comes from the heart. They feel that I care deeply.
My followers, listeners, guests, clients, and supporters trust me and that is an incredible gift to receive as a creator. Trust is earned hard in today’s digital world.
I’ve recorded interviews from Bali, Spain, Australia, Thailand, and god knows where else. I’ve recorded interviews in offices, coworking spaces, at home, in Airbnbs and anywhere where I could find a quiet space. I’ve just been recording non-stop for the whole year. It wasn’t easy and at times my guests were not really interesting but I kept asking questions, staying curious about their journey.
I love podcasting because I love deep conversation. These days I sit down with someone and I am genuinely almost always interested in them. I start asking questions like it’s my second nature. It’s a craft, a science and also an art. I’m deeply curious about every single guest, their story, their way of thinking and how they got to where they are.
Girlskill is succeeding because I’m deeply interested in humans. No, wait… I’m deeply interested in women. Men are quite interesting too but I feel like that territory has been pretty much explored by me in the past. Actually, men as creatures are fascinating but I find women to be multi-layered, their bodies are designed to create life, their brains and souls are such incredible puzzles to explore and discover. I am a woman too, so I feel like I share this incredible bond with them that makes us go deeper.
We also live in complicated, challenging times where all women are figuring out their role in a relationship, family, and society and are looking for ways to make it work for them. I find that Girlskill Podcast and my work with women is helping all of us navigate these confusing times of what it means to be a woman today and I feel like I have some answers for women who are ready to receive them.
That’s why I interview women about their journeys, their femininity, and womanhood. And that’s why I am a femininity and feminine embodiment coach. Based on my interviews, my own experience and research into femininity and my coaching training today I guide women into:
- Letting go of overworking, perfectionism and control by overcoming their limiting beliefs and patterns, setting boundaries to rediscovering their worth and enough-ness as well rebuilding faith in their own voice and decisions
- Letting their bodies lead, stopping to overthink and starting to trust their gut and their heart when making decisions, embracing or expanding their full range of emotions, cultivating a sense of awareness and pleasure and feeling more without apologizing for it
- Crafting and living according to their own version of success doing work that inspires and ignites them every day
- Becoming deeply connected to themselves as women, understanding what true femininity is, embracing their natural cycle finally becoming free, lighter and open
My work really makes women realize and cultivate a deep understanding and knowing that they are enough, that nothing is required of them, that they are powerful and independent of external circumstances, that they are the creators of their own reality and that their femininity is their greatest gift.
It’s quite difficult for me to talk about what I learned from 100+ I interviews with women because our conversations were all deep but very general. That is why picking a niche is so important and this is why I am pivoting with my message.
What are the common threads between 100+ different women I’ve spent more than 150 hours talking too? They were so different that the only common thread is that they’re all women!
I’ve interviewed stay-at-home moms, helicopter pilots, painters and singers, pole dancers and sexuality coaches, entrepreneurs and digital nomads, health and financial coaches, polar expedition guides and world record business holders, yoga teachers and priestesses, fashion designers and branding experts and many many more women who were brave enough to share their stories with me.
If I did interview 100 female pole dancers, that would be a different story. I’d probably become an expert in pole dancing… at least in theory 😉
If I did interview 100 female sexuality coaches, I would probably know a thing or two about sexuality and started using it in my work naturally…
One of the most precious outcomes from this journey is that I am now intimately connected to every single one of these women. Some of these conversations really left me broken hearted… others left me so uplifted and excited about life… yet others, have touched the deepest parts of me that I never knew existed.
Learnings in Podcasting
- If you’re podcasting, start with a niche. Cliche but so overlooked… This is how you become an authority in your niche. Interview experts or amateurs on a specific subject and you’ll become a master of the subject yourself. Don’t know the niche? Just start. Sooner or later the niche will find you.
- Find and build your audience. Understand that your audience is NOT your Facebook friends or personal Instagram followers. Don’t assume that everyone is going to be so excited about your new project, they will want to promote you right away and share your every single episode. In fact, no one really cares about what you’re doing. People have their own lives and trying to make the best they can out of the resources they have available. Don’t take it personally. It is what it is.
I kind of ignored the first two points when I started. I didn’t focus on a niche and was interviewing women I found interesting about their journeys. My guest range was very broad, my audience was very broad and I was lost among all the other podcasts interviewing women about their journeys. of course, I didn’t know it back then.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
~ Steve Jobs
Why is that a problem?
So it was a great podcast but it wasn’t really standing out. Not yet. So I could pretty much interview any woman about her life and this would be the episode for the podcast. That’s great but I had trouble selecting guests and attracting women who are in line with my message of womanhood and femininity.
Halfway through I realized that I was simply afraid to make myself visible and actually start writing and talking about what I really think about the problems in modern day feminism. Getting pregnant during this year really helped me step out of my comfort zone and say
“Fuck it. No more hiding. I’m going full in.”
I also realized that playing small and not boldly expressing my “controversial” views about femininity attracted all kinds of women to my podcast and my work that really didn’t have to be in my audience. I sometimes ended up debating on the podcast and on social media with women who were my listeners about issues that honestly, I didn’t have time for…
— But Anna, how can you so be an independent, ambitious and driven and talk about all this femininity and womanhood stuff and letting him lead?!”
— Well, guess what!? I can! And thank you, you’ve helped me realize that this is exactly the niche I am in. I am neither on the left nor on the right. I feel like being a woman is power and I am convinced that we can lead in a feminine way without pushing, striving and trying so hard and without being a man. And yes, we can let him lead in his masculine in the same way that we lead in our feminine.
So I was done with this bullshit and arguing with women who weren’t aligned with my mission. If my message is not aligned with a woman’s views and values, that’s okay. I am okay with that. There is a place for every voice and every perspective. I’m sharing my perspective from my own lived experience and many other experiences from women who are walking the same path.
You don’t agree? You don’t align? You think this is all bullshit? Great. I’m not here to convince you of anything. I am always up for a respectful and challenging debate but, unfortunately, women’s issues today are wrapped up in much emotion, personal drama and stories that it’s almost impossible to discuss these issues objectively.
My Decision to Pivot
Here is what you can expect from Girlskill Podcast going forward:
- Interviews with women who have stepped onto the journey of being connected to their femininity & womanhood and how they apply these principles in their life with men, work, children, play and pleasure
- Interviews with experts on female-specific subjects and topics: bodies and health, style and fashion, creativity, relationships, sexuality, personal growth etc. This means that men could come on the podcast too! If there is an expert in the area of divorce, for example, I would be asking him about common mistakes women make… If there is a man who is an expert at working with the body then we talk about the female body and how can women leverage their strengths…
- Stopping to try and do it all and really focusing (following my own advice for women.) I could be doing 1,000,000 things to improve my podcast and increase my numbers. I find it so overwhelming to be following trends and social media and what I should be doing… Instagram, Facebook, Youtube! Oh my god, so exhausting. Fuck that. Instead, I chose to focus on producing amazing quality content and building my coaching practice.
Learnings About Women
- Women who achieved what they wanted in life didn’t wait for permission or approval from anyone. (Not even the patriarchy.) They went for what they want figuring it all out along the way.
- Everyone has shit days. Everyone is dealing with drama on a daily basis. Everyone is human. Everyone is doing the best they can. Even though their Instagram is perfect.
- Success means different things to every single woman but overall they seem to all agree on the fact that it is fulfillment. It is doing great work they enjoy, it is the relationships they build, it is feeling great within their bodies and it is being deeply connected with themselves. It is not a number, it is not an external version of success but more of an internal thing. Curious fact is that most women don’t talk about leaving a legacy, taking care of their family, pursuing a mission — the deeper side of success that men would often mention.
- Femininity is a concept that many women don’t think about much but when asked to define it they intuitive connect it with flow, with being yourself, with surrender and passion.
Business Model & Coaching
I’ve written a full report on how I came to finding a business model in building a coaching practice but I am not sure I can positively say that I have now “monetized” the podcast because there is no money coming in directly from the podcast yet. The podcast has definitely contributed to building authority and attracting the right clients but it’s difficult to point it all back to the podcast. I’d say it’s a really helpful and useful platform for my audience to either discover my work or dive deeper into the work I am already doing and start to think about the subjects of womanhood and femininity. But, as I mentioned before, the podcast has not directly produced income. My next steps are raising podcast sponsorships and actually getting coaching clients that can be traced directly to the podcast.
Last thing I would like to emphasize and give huge thanks to are my support systems that I’ve been building since the beginning of this journey. I am deeply grateful and owe so much to the following people:
- My business partner and my beloved husband Estring
- My team and all the people I’m working with to create and produce this podcast and the coaching
- My guests for saying YES to being on the podcast and opening their hearts
- My mastermind groups who’ve kept me accountable and on course with my goals, ideas and aspirations
- My mentors who have supported me with feedback, ideas and challenged me to make bold moves
- My girlfriends who have been with me when things got tough and I had to cry and fit my personal and business life into one big puzzle
- My first clients who have entrusted me with their femininity, their souls and their transformation
- My followers who keep reading my stuff and being on this journey and who perhaps are watching from the sidelines. I know you’re there and I can keep your presence
- My trainers and coaches who have shared their knowledge and passed down their skills in the most loving and supportive way
- Other podcasters, authors and influencers who I’ve been following and learning along the way for inspiration and encouragement
If you’re not yet subscribed to the Girlskill Podcast, obviously you’re missing out!