CNLP 412: Annie F. Downs Deconstructs How to Engage an Audience, Getting Traction on Podcasts, and Why Hobbies and Fun are Essential for Leaders

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Annie F. Downs returns to the podcast to talk about how she got her audience fully engaged in her book launch, which led to hitting the New York Times Bestsellers List.

She unpacks how she gets her audience engaged in all her platforms, what she’s learned about podcasting and why hobbies and fun are lifelines for leaders.

Welcome to Episode 412 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about what his top 3 hobbies are, and why they’re important.

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That Sounds Fun by Annie F. Downs

Remember God by Annie F. Downs

Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs

That Sounds Fun Podcast

That Sounds Fun Podcast Network

CNLP 340: Annie F. Downs on How to Really Connect with Your Audience, Why Production Levels Don’t Matter as Much as You Think, and How to Share More of You with the People You Lead

CNLP 240: Annie F. Downs on the Secrets of Reaching a Large Audience and Connecting with A Growing Tribe by Keeping it Personal

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Insights From Annie

1. Rest and Fun shouldn’t be optional for leaders

So many leaders say “I’m just too busy to rest/have fun” or “Work is my fun.” These mindsets are destructive, dangerous, and all too common. So many of us think we can’t afford to make time for fun, Annie would disagree.

She argues that fun is just as important as any other healthy discipline, and you need to make time for it. Carey agrees and points out that hobbies are absolutely critical for a leader who’s trying to live in a way today that will help them thrive tomorrow.

2. Always be watching for red flags that you’re running on empty

Annie loves her job. So, when she starts waking up with the Sunday Scaries where she isn’t excited to go into work, that’s a red flag for her to pay attention to. When she begins to see red flags, she knows that she needs to consider slowing down or taking a break.

One universal red flag that she said we all need to watch out for is whenever we have something secretive going on. Whenever you’re doing something in secret, you are past the point of healthy, and you need to tell someone about that secret activity.

3. Don’t have any hobbies? Look to your childhood

One challenge that many adults face is that they don’t have any hobbies, and they have no clue what hobbies they’d enjoy. Annie recommends that you look to your childhood to find the hobbies that you would enjoy.

For her, cross-stitching is tied to a positive childhood memory with her grandma, so that’s what she enjoys now. There is something similar in you. The question is: What hobby is it? 

Quotes from Episode 412

Joy and sadness actually are better together than they are apart. They actually make each other more vibrant - @anniefdowns Click To Tweet We lack in rest and we lack in fun. - @anniefdowns Click To Tweet It's okay to have a busy season. It's a problem if that season is extended and you're living an adrenally fatiguing life. - @anniefdowns Click To Tweet When you tell me about your fun, you're telling me about your soul and how you got here. - @anniefdowns Click To Tweet Joy and sadness are better together than they are apart. They actually make each other more vibrant. - @anniefdowns Click To Tweet Life is tragic, but God is faithful. - @anniefdowns Click To Tweet If people fall in love with the people of God, they will fall in love with God. - @anniefdowns Click To Tweet Your body cannot maintain a world where you don't do things that are healthy for you. - @anniefdowns Click To Tweet Get some hobbies. Get some friends. Click To Tweet A hobby by definition requires you to focus on it, not on your day job. Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 412

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Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

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Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

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Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Francis Chan

Francis Chan has become convicted that division in the church is escalating and causing deep harm. He also thinks it’s tied to the desire for celebrity and influence so many leaders have. Francis also talks about racial division and his experience as an Asian-American who has been the target of discrimination.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 413.

Lead With Confidence and Clarity. Grow Your Church.

As leaders, we tend to see the challenges and roadblocks before other people do.

We've all been there before...

  • You need to refresh your vision for the future but know that change will be an issue for that person.
  • You're overstaffed (or missing a key role) and can't find the right person to fill the role.
  • You aren't reaching enough new people even though you've tried everything that's working for other churches.
  • You can see the issue but aren't confident in what to do about it.

And with another Sunday morning coming up, it'll just have to wait until next week when you have a few minutes to figure it out.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof is a best-selling leadership author, speaker, podcaster, former attorney, and church planter. He hosts one of today’s most influential leadership podcasts, and his online content is accessed by leaders over 1.5 million times a month. He speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change, and personal growth.