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Finding Alignment, and Celebrating Women in Podcasting - Alexandra Cohl

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

For today’s Quest for New Inspiration episode, I am joined by one of my favorite podcasters, Alexandra Cohl of The Pod Broads. We discussed her journey into podcasting, how to find alignment in your passions and work life, and how she celebrates women-hosted podcasts! Check out both her The Pod Broad and her Instagram Pod.draland.

Alexandra Cohl is a PR and marketing consultant for podcasters through her company POD.DRALAND. She is also the host and executive producer of The Pod Broads, a podcast about women in podcasting. When she is not podcasting, you can find her in her NYC apartment asking her cat Zuko "Are you a cute baby?" for the millionth time.

Guest Links:

Transcripts (Auto-generated)

[00:00:00] Hello? Hello. Welcome to another episode of the quest for new inspiration. My name is KT Maschler. And this week I was joined by one of my favorite podcasters it is a complete honor to be saying her name on my podcast.

Alexandra Colh of Pod Broads. she is also the creator of Pod.dreland on instagram which features women hosted podcast she's trying to meet, to discuss her journey into the world of podcasting, how to find alignment with your passion and your career. As well as how she celebrates women hosted podcasts. I hope she inspires you as much as she has inspired me.

Alexandra Cohl: So my name is Alexandra Cole and I have been in the podcast industry, I guess [00:01:00] technically like a little bit over two years. If you count. When I initially started my blog back in July, 2019. And so the main things that I do. We all do a lot of things in this industry for, in it.

Um, but I have a log that is officially now a business called Padre land. And that initially started as a space for me to uplift and amplify at women hosted podcasts and just women's voices and experiences in the podcasting industry and that developed into a podcast. So the pod broads is my podcast and on it, I interview women in the industry.

Sometimes it's people who are in front of, you know, front facing hosts, et cetera producers, CEOs, owners of their own podcast companies. So just giving space and platform to these women's personal stories and their professional stories and how those two things intersect and. Basically, I guess my mission has just [00:02:00] always been to do that, to provide space for women who have a bunch of different experiences, because while we have, you know, universal experiences as women, we also have many varying ones.

And I just like to use my platform to give a space for people to do deep listening to all of these women's stories. And, you know, hopefully take that into their days and the way that they view the world and maybe. You know, decide to think about things moving forward. Um, and outside of that, my like work work is I do PR and marketing for podcasters and it all stems from the same place.

So that's the slightly quick gist of it.

KT Maschler: Yes. I love it. Well, I got to know you in a very different way than I guess your other podcast listeners, I actually found you because I loved your niche in your kind of, I guess, mission. And so we got to work together as your you're my [00:03:00] PR director for a little bit.

So that was awesome. But so just as speaking towards that, you do have such like a narrow. Niche and kind of focus on just amazing women. And that's what like stood out to me. What kind of led you in that direction? What kind of started you down that path?

Alexandra Cohl: Yeah. I would say I always point to. A few different things that I think really led me to this point, because before I was doing the work that I do now, I had been teaching for many years and I was specifically teaching, writing, creative writing.

And I ultimately did that for about six years post undergrad. And I realized during that time that. While I loved that work. And you know, it's a part of who I am. I got to a point where I wanted to invest more in my own. Creative endeavors and like my own vision versus, you know, spending it can, it can be tough as a creative to be [00:04:00] spending all of your time, putting so much into other people's creative work and not being able to put that into your own.

And so I just kind of hit a point where I was like, this is not for me anymore. And I did a bunch of different jobs, so I kind of like loosely, uh, reference a few of them, but I also was. Someone who did experience many like toxic things in the workplace and like undervaluing myself and, you know, because of how money conversations around money and like workload where and so part of when I made that shift into the work that I'm doing now has been kind of like rewiring my brain in a way around that.

It's difficult, but it is essential and necessary and has already, you know, changed my outlook on what I can do for my life and the last couple of years. And that like stems back to when I [00:05:00] started my blog. So I started my blog when I was in grad school. And when I was kind of making this realization like, Hmm, I kind of want to do something different.

I'm not exactly sure what it is, but I know that the. I'm a writer first. So like my mind went to, I want to be a writer. I want to, um, I want to also create podcasts. Like I knew there, there was a time in grad school where I remember I was in one of my classes, um, one of my creative writing classes and we had to write like a pretend bio of like, what would be a part of our bio, like, you know, 2, 3, 4 or five years post grad school.

And in it, I had like written in that I was going to have a podcast. The idea that I have at that time is not the idea that what came to be, but I knew that that was the trajectory that I wanted to follow, because at the time I had been listening to a bunch of women hosted podcasts, and a lot of them were about like, people starting kind of like, you know, second life was one of those.

I don't know if you've ever listened to second life, but I loved that one because it really showcased women being able to make [00:06:00] drastic changes in their careers. Later points in their lives. And I was in a place where like, all of my on-paper experience was teaching oriented, a little bit of writing, but not in the way that like you can transfer into a writing career really easily.

Like those are very different industries, especially on paper and what people are going to be looking for. So I was like, okay, how am I going to do this? Um, and I didn't know if I could do it. And, you know, I grew up from a. Background that very much stressed, like stability. And so it was really scary to even kind of think of like, so what if I don't just go like the, like the professor route?

Cause that's, you know, I have my undergraduate degree in English lit I have my masters in English lit the next obvious step would be to be a professor, um, which ironically is not terribly stable nowadays, but, um, I. I kind of like started to make this decision toward the end of grad school. And I started the blog.

And also during that time, that was, I'm always terrible with [00:07:00] dates, but I think it was like 2018 when I started on that like listening journey. And that was also two years into like the Trump presidency and also conversations around the me too movement. And personally, I was like, finally, starting to deal with.

Sexual trauma that I experienced when I was a kid that I had like repressed for 17 years. And so that's a big part of my experience in getting to this mission, which I kind of shorthand say, listen to women. And I was finally dealing with that and in dealing with bag and still dealing with it comes a lot of, you know, self discovery and.

Difficult moments. But I found that the more that I was able to talk about it and share my story, the more empowered I felt, and in not just being able to talk about that without like, you know, completely breaking down and really struggle. But empowered and seeing like the patterns in my life [00:08:00] that it informs and also what steps I could take to start to heal and also feel just more empowered in things like my work and kind of seeing how those things connect.

And so when I kind of made that initial mission and did it specifically in podcasting, it was also because I saw it so much. Format where women could share. And like people who were listening could really do deep listening rather than like, you know, listen and then interrupt and be like, yeah, but what about this?

And like, so it was, it was, I loved the medium for that purpose. And I got so much from these women that I was like, I feel like more people need to be listening to them. So I'm just going to start writing about them. And hopefully people will start listening to me and listen to them. So. Yeah, those were, those were like some of the key factors that just made me feel really strongly about doing what I did and am still doing.

And it greatly informs the way that I [00:09:00] move within my work in the way that I move in my interviews, how I approach difficult subjects sometimes, but also want to like give women a space to share about things. You know, do my best to make them feel safe, to share what they want to share. So, yeah,

KT Maschler: I just, oh my gosh, sorry.

I'm going to fan girl for a hot second. I oddly like I've known you for like, almost maybe a year now. Like I. Have low key been like fan girling about like you and your podcast. You been since the start one of my biggest mentors. So, and like, when I lack inspiration, I definitely go to your podcast and like, listen to all, like you talk to so many incredible, incredible women.

So where do you go when you are lacking inspiration?

Alexandra Cohl: It's such a good question. And also thank you so much. That's so nice to hear. Cause I definitely have moments where I lack inspiration and I'm like, is [00:10:00] what I'm doing. Even making a difference and hearing you say that, lets me know that it is. So I appreciate that a lot.

And how, where do I go? I've been thinking about. This past week, actually, because I feel like I'm in a space where like, I know certain things I want to do, but I'm not feeling that like, feeling of inspiration in my body, like, you know, you can like really feel it when it's a strong emotion. And so I'm like, okay, what do I, what do I need to do right now?

And I think sometimes when I'm not feeling inspired and I'm looking for where to be inspired, I kind of. Do the opposite of being active about it. And I have to find ways to like rest my mind and like give myself a break because if I'm like going to the point of burnout, which I'm kind of in right now, I'm like, it's hard for me to find inspiration.

If I'm. Burnt out. So if that's the case that I need to rest, I need to try and get outside [00:11:00] as much as possible, which is also hard when you're like in that mode. But it does help when I do it. I also, I just tweeted this the other day, but I think. I also like to consume other art without like some, without the purpose of like going into like get something, but also just like consuming other people's art.

Because I find when I'm not trying for it, that's when ideas will start to like go off in my head, you know? But also it's funny, you mentioned like the women, like you go to listen to the episodes with these women to get inspired and like. My guests inspire me a lot. And so like, I will say that when I'm struggling to get in the mode of like, oh, I really want to edit this week or something.

I don't always want to edit when I'm ha I'm not actively doing it yet. And you know, that feeling, but I will say every time that I like get, be like, okay, I have to do this. Um, so that I can publish this episode. I'll start listening to [00:12:00] that, to my conversations with these women. I always ended up getting into it and then like inspired after.

And I'm like, see, that was like, I needed that. I needed to go edit that episode because remembering what we talked about on it is like inspiration in and of itself. Especially in the industry that I I'm in. So. Yeah, I think it's a combination of like some of those things and just doing my best to check in with myself to see which thing I'm most open to receiving.

Or if I need to do like a little like me time before I even try and find some inspiration.

KT Maschler: Yes. A little margarita me-time

no, but I definitely relate to that. I am like the queen of either doing. The late, late, late Thursday night, the night before, or like, oh, I can totally get up at four 30 in the morning and get it done by like six and publish it. No. Oh my

Alexandra Cohl: God. Oh [00:13:00] my God. I was like, impressed if you're able to do it, but I definitely, yeah.

Sometimes, I mean, those, those, like all nighters are like late nights in like college. Definitely are good practice ground for, you know, having a work outside of your own work and making it work somehow. So,

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KT Maschler: so a couple of last questions. So you mentioned kind of, you know, having that thought that you might be like a professor at one point in time, what kind of do you think your younger self would like, you know, Just going into college self, as I like to say.

Well, think of you like now in your career choice.

Alexandra Cohl: Mm. I think, I think two things, I think she would be like stoked and super proud of me in that I am, you know, building something of my own. Cause I don't, I don't think. I, I, I hear people use this phrase now and I'm like, okay, I identify with it in terms of saying they're like an accidental entrepreneur.

And I definitely think that that was me. Like I never went into school thinking like, I'm going to [00:15:00] be an entrepreneur. Like I didn't clearly did not study business. But I, I think that, I didn't know how many options there were for. When I initially went to school, actually went to school to study fashion design, and then like changed my major twice.

Yeah. So she'd be very surprised at this. And now I don't think she'd be so surprised, but she'd be like, oh, that makes sense. Like, you know, um, Cause, like I knew it was funny. Cause I was like, I remember in sophomore year of high school, I was like, oh, I'm going to study English. And then like the last two years of high school, I got really into fashion design and like project runway.

And I was like, I'm going to do this. And um, quickly, my first year of undergrad, I realized no. And then I ultimately changed my major to English, but I think that she would be so a little surprised, but happily surprised and like proud in the sense that. I am speaking openly about something that at the time I was not sharing with anyone.

And [00:16:00] like consistently creating my own content on like a weekly basis. I think she'd also be confused that I like really use social media like that. Like, she'd be like happening, but okay. Sure. Um, and I, oh, shoot. There was one other thing I was going to say, let me see if I can think of it. Um, Oh, yes. So, you know, I do PR and marketing for podcasters, and I think that part, the most would blow her mind because I definitely, like, I think there's a general association of like the type of people that do PR or do Mar like, especially PR like, I feel like the way that I see it characterized and like, you know, joke content, or like things like that are very.

Separate from who I feel like I am. And so I think that would be very surprising to her. And it also, I guess, is still a little surprising to me now I'm like, oh God, more than 10 years post that. Um, but [00:17:00] I, I also like the, like, I'm now learning more about this industry and changing some of the perceptions I had about it now that I'm in it.

So I think. That was a really long-winded answer, but those were the main things that I think, oh, that's perfect.

KT Maschler: And definitely as like a watcher and a definite fan girl of your Instagram and podcast, Twitter, Instagram, whatever social media. Well, they all combine each other nowadays. Right? My favorite ones, there are definitely the sticky notes.

Like I love sharing those. Those are my fees.

Alexandra Cohl: Yeah. I need to go back to those. I haven't done them in a while and I've been missing them, but I just like. Have been overwhelmed with other content, but they're not gone forever, but yes,

KT Maschler: I am super proud of you and watching you evolve all of the, all the way to your recent live show.

I was so jealous. I couldn't be there at that was so exciting. I'm so proud of you.

Alexandra Cohl: Um, thank you. I wish you could have been there too. I definitely want to do more. [00:18:00] So hopefully sometime in the future. You'll be able to be at

KT Maschler: one. Yes, for sure. Okay. Any last piece of advice to anybody in general or anybody who might be wanting to start their own podcasts or blog?

Alexandra Cohl: Um, I would say, I guess the piece of advice that's coming to me now, because I am always very interested in advice that acknowledges the whole. The full self and how it comes into the work that you do. Cause I don't believe that you can divorce the two, um, whether you want to or not, you know, they bleed into each other.

Um, and so my mind went to

like figuring out what feels like in alignment for you. And I think that that was something that. Really tough for me for a certain amount of time, but at a certain point, which was very much [00:19:00] during the first wave of the pandemic, especially since I realized that, you know, even people with the most quote unquote stable list of jobs were losing their jobs.

It really like push. Maybe past the point that I already was trying to get up, but past the point of fear of like, well, what if I don't make enough money? If I jumped full into freelance right now? What if this, what if this? But I was so unhappy in my past job at that point that it was just sucking the life out of like anything I could have been putting towards something new.

And I'm getting better at identifying those moments of like, is this feeling in alignment with me? Or is it not? And if it's not, what a steps do I need to take to either change that or pursue something that does feel more in alignment with me. And so I think that if you're wanting to try and do something, if you want to try and make a podcast, do you want to make a blog?

You want to start social media page for the hell of it, for the fun of it, or you [00:20:00] want to actually build it into something that could relate or inform your career. I definitely say, go for it. But I think if you're struggling to decide if it feels right just make sure that you're not making a choice based on like the fear and the what ifs, which I know is way easier said than done.

But I promise you, like, if you're moving more in alignment with what you want to be doing and how you want to be spending your time and like not have your time being taken away from something you want to actually do. Make the, like, choose that because ultimately even if there was some like stumbling in the beginning, ultimately you're going to be way happier with that choice.

And you know, you figure it out. You maybe you get a few more jobs if you need to put it in, in the beginning, but, uh, you do figure it out. And I think that it's, it's, it's worth the like, struggle to do something you want to do that. Spend your time being so [00:21:00] unhappy in a place that's not even giving you this quote-unquote stability.

You think it's giving you. Yeah,

KT Maschler: no, that's awesome. I totally believe that. That's um, if anybody wanted to learn more about you or your podcast, where would they go? Yes.

Alexandra Cohl: So my podcast, the pod rods, uh, its full name is the pod. Brad's a podcast about women in podcasting. You can find it on any streaming platform that you listened to.

Um, my Instagram is Patrick land pod to at DRA. And D and my Twitter is the same minus the period. Um, and I also took talk and you can find everything on my website, www Padre And. Yeah. If you want to work with me, you can also hit me up after the new year. Cause I'm taking a much needed break.

KT Maschler: Yay. As deserved as dessert. Thank you so much. I am so glad I finally got you on my podcast.

Alexandra Cohl: [00:22:00] Me too. Thank you for having me on this is so exciting to get to be in this space together after having gotten to work together. So, um, I'm so stoked to be here. Yay. Thank you.

And that is it for this week's episode. Thank you guys so much for tuning in every single place truly does mean the world to me. If you guys love the podcast, make sure you let me know by sharing the podcast, leaving review or a five star rating on apple podcast or your favorite podcast player.

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