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Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed business woman Sarah Berthon about her podcast, Excel Against The Odds, created to inspire those struggling with chronic illness, and guide them through finding success.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I’m Sarah Berthon and I run the Excel against the Odds podcast. I am a chronically ill business mentor for business owners with chronic illnesses. I balance running multiple businesses, living with several chronic illnesses and raising kids.
How and why did you start podcasting?
Many people with chronic illnesses set up their own business but there isn’t much support for them. I wanted to create a podcast which would provide information on how they could run a successful business while also protecting their health along with interesting stories of other people doing exactly that. I felt that listening to a podcast can be less tiring than reading or participating in social media, so thought it would be a great option for the people that would find the advice useful.
What is your current podcast called, and how did you come up with the name?
My podcast is called Excel against the Odds. It’s to show people that it is possible to excel in the workplace or in business when you have a chronic illness.
What platforms can we find Excel Against The Odds on?
I publish on anchor and so it is available on Spotify, as well as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Breaker, Castbox.
What is Excel Against The Odds about?
The podcast is about working and, in particular, running a business with a chronic illness. We look at topics such as productivity, mindset, self-care and exercise and I also invite guests to talk about their experience of running a business with a chronic illness.
Do you host Excel Against The Odds alone, or have guest hosts/partners?
I host the podcast alone, but sometimes I have guests. My guests fall into one of two categories. They are either experts in a topic to do with health and wellbeing or business, or they are a business owner with a chronic illness and share their story.
Do you edit Excel Against The Odds or have someone who does it for you?
I edit the podcasts myself using Audacity
Do you script Excel Against The Odds, or just chat as you go?
I have a basic script and if I have guests, I will send then some questions before hand. However, the rest of it is free-flow!
How has Excel Against The Odds changed or developed since you began?
I’m definitely feeling more confident now, so I feel more able to have a proper conversation with my guests rather than just sticking to the questions.
What are you biggest challenges with Excel Against The Odds?
My biggest challenges are finding the time to edit the podcast and working out how to market it. My audience is pretty niche as it is for business owners with chronic illnesses and so I’m trying to work out how to best find them and tell them about the podcast.
What are your favourite podcasts to listen to?
I love listening to inspirational business podcasts, mindset podcasts and health and wellbeing ones. My favourite at the moment is ‘Feel Better, Live More’ with Dr Rangan Chatterjee
How and where do you promote Excel Against The Odds?
I mainly promote my podcast using Facebook and Instagram. I also ask my guests to promote the episode that they appear on.
Do you earn money from podcasting, or is it a hobby?
I don’t earn money directly from my podcasting, but I use it as part of my marketing for my Chronic Illness and Business mentoring company, Excel against the Odds.
What’s something you never expected about podcasting? What have you learned that surprised you?
That I really love interviewing other people. I get a real buzz from the process which I never expected and thoroughly enjoy getting to know people through the pre-call and the actual podcast recording.
What is the first piece of advice you would give to anyone inspired to start podcasting?
You should go for it. Decide on your topic and format and then just give it a go. If you make mistakes, it doesn’t matter as you can edit them out. Just relax and enjoy it!
And, finally, are your proud of what you’re accomplishing with your podcast? Is it worth the effort?
I’m proud that I am raising awareness of chronic illness in the work place and that I am providing advice for people with a chronic illness who either have a business or would like to start one. My business is part of the Small Biz 100 this year and I think that having a podcast helped to give my business a better image. I never believed that I would be able to host my own podcast and for a long while it was just a dream, but I’m now on my second series!
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