1. Be very specific with submission
There were quite a few things that caused me inconvenience, and ultimately ended with quality artists being excluded from the first episode. In all fairness to the bands, they didn't know that Spotify or YouTube links weren't very useful. Heck, I didn't even know. Now that I do, however, I can address it when soliciting material. Hopefully opening the door for more awesome music coming my way. Which leads me to my next lesson.
2. Have realistic expectations.
When I decided to redevelop this I was super excited about the potential of connecting with some incredible artists. Not that I didn't, but there was a lot of undeveloped talent to sift through. Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic about the product that I've presented. It just took more effort on my part than I initially anticipated. Being on hiatus for 5 years or so, and still being a fledgling show at the time, I didn't account for how lucky I was to have close relationships with a ton of fantastic bands that were just building a name. 5 years later, they're at a completely different stage of their careers, if they're bands even still exist, and I'm not. Therefore, I need to work on cultivating some similar relationships again.
3. I need a lot more time than I thought.
This brings me to lesson number three. I'm at a completely new stage of my life. I'm not afforded the amount of free time I once had. Between combing through submissions, finding tidbits to talk about, recording a voice over, editing, and re-editing...I think you get the point. And in this stage of life, I have to fit these things around the schedules of others. That wasn't a concern 5 years ago, so I didn't realize just how much time I spent on an episode. Also, I didn't have the luxury of just asking my friends to use their music this time. When all was said and done, the actual working time was a matter of hours, but from a perspective of someone with other commitments and priorities, it can seem like forever.
4. Finish what you started.
With all that said, this is the most important lesson. Not just for art, but for life. For weeks, maybe months, I had this weight on my shoulders. The weight of an unfinished venture. It was killing me inside, and certainly affecting my moods. Once I finished it the weight was lifted. I felt free of my burden, and proud of my accomplishment. I'm no soothsayer or prophet. I can't promise the future offers a successful debut, career, or even another episode. What I can promise is that I feel a lot better now, than if I still had an unfinished podcast on my mind.