How do you become the best at asking questions?
ou must have heard that if you are good at something, make it something you are the best at. Everybody has a ‘thing’. It can be dancing, singing, sports or drawing. Mine, however, has always been asking questions, about any and every topic under the sun. Start any discussion with me and watch me get so invested in it as if you are narrating my life story. I will probably interrupt you a million times to ask exactly what, why, where, how, and why not something happened.
But how do you become the best at something like asking questions?
Podcast was the obvious answer. Surprisingly, I have more difficulty in writing about the podcast than actually executing it. Being a regular listener of all sorts of podcasts this was an idea I had been flirting with but never really knew how to pull off.
It had to be perfect. I needed a ready-made audience. I needed just the right guests and the best equipment. However, one fine Ramazan morning when I was sitting at an official meeting, desperately deprived of caffeine and sleep, I made the impulsive decision, as you usually do when you have barely slept and had zero coffee, to finally just do it. So, I did.
Within a week I had three episodes down and was listed on Spotify, Apple and Amazon Music. It was really that simple. It is far from perfect, borderline bad, but it’s out there and it is only going to get bigger from here.
The morning of the day I published the podcast I promised myself that I would put up the next episode even if I get zero downloads the first time around. Luckily, I have gotten way more than that, but I am solely focused on the process and truly enjoying it rather than obsessing over the fruits of it.
What I have realised and learned is that it does not need to be perfect the first time around, and you most certainly do not require any fancy equipment to do something like this.
I named my podcast Stitching Consciousness. It’s a platform for exploring climate, sustainability and consumption practices by unlearning what we know and learning out-of-the-box ideas for existing and potential environmental problems. We explore the multifaceted layers of sustainable production and consumption of textile goods in the bi-monthly podcast. It is the diary of an opinionated millennial.
The podcast is focused on circularity in textile production and traceability in their supply chain. It is something that has fascinated me for two years now and something I know I can talk about for years to come. In a circular model of fashion, products like garments are produced in a manner that they can be used again without reducing their value. “Circular fashion can be defined as clothes, shoes, or accessories that are designed, sourced, produced and provided with the intention to be used and circulated responsibly and effectively in the society for as long as possible in their most valuable form, and return safely to the biosphere when no longer of human use.” (Anna Brismar, Green Strategy, 2017)
It is meant for all sustainable development enthusiasts and environmentalists. Whether you work in the textile sector or not, the mere fact that everyone owns and wears clothes makes you just the right audience for this podcast. It covers inclusivity and diversity and how the white world dominates the fashion industry. I have had guests from three continents so far, all of them of different backgrounds, different stories, different perspectives, but a common goal.
Now that the scariest thing - taking the plunge or the first step - is out of the way, I have moved on to conducting a video podcast along with the audio, which will be available on my official YouTube and Instagram channels.
What I have realised and learned is that it does not need to be perfect the first time around, and you most certainly do not require any fancy equipment to do something like this. All you need to be is unapologetically fearless; everything else will just fall in place.
The writer is a training and development advisor at a German development organisation. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org