Listen on any of the major podcast streaming platforms including:
To round out season two, I’m pulling back the curtain and chatting with my producer about the behind-the-scenes of the show. Lauren Popish is the founder of The Wave Podcasting, an agency and recording studio based in Los Angeles that helps people tell their unique stories through podcasting by providing audio editing, educational resources, and a digital community.
Lauren is a total pro when it comes to successfully launching and scaling a podcast, which is no easy feat into today’s market. We discuss what the top podcasts have in common, the importance of building a community around your show, and her advice for how to finally take the leap and follow through on that podcast idea that you’ve been thinking about.
In the second half of the episode, we turn the tables and Lauren asks me some questions about where the idea for American Building came from, how my goals and priorities for the show have changed over time, and what I have planned for season three. I also share a little bit about my family history and the impact that my parents have had on my career and ability to take calculated risks.
Lauren Popish is the founder of The Wave Podcasting, an agency and recording studio based in Los Angeles that helps people tell their unique stories through podcasting by providing audio editing, educational resources, and a digital community. Previously, she worked as a Product Manager at CBRE, Customer Success Manager at Floored, and a Design Strategist at Gensler. She graduated from Arizona State University.
[00:00:00] What goes into making an iconic building in America? What are the stories and who are the people behind the next generation of architecture? If your work touches the real estate industry in any way, or you’re just curious about what goes into one of a kind cities and towns all across our country, join us on the American Building Podcast.
In season two, we learned about everything from skyscrapers to single-family homes from the famous and soon-to-be-famous designers and developers responsible. This season focuses particularly on the pandemic and how our buildings will change in response. Our sponsor is the iconic design firm, Michael Graves Architecture and Design. And now, your host award-winning architect-turned-entrepreneur, Atif Qadir, AIA.
[00:00:47] Atif Qadir: This is American Building, and I’m your host, Atif Qadir. I’m the CEO of REDIST, a technology company focused on innovative public financing for real estate projects. We are recording from the historic home of world renowned architect, Michael Graves, in Princeton, New Jersey. Check out this amazing space for yourself at the Michael Graves Architecture and Design YouTube channel. Now, let’s build something.
Today, our guests for the special season and episode is the amazing, the fearless, the one of a kind editor of the American building podcast. Lauren poppish Lauren is the founder of the wave podcasting, an agency and recording studio based in Los Angeles that helps women and me tell their unique stories through podcast.
By providing audio editing, educational resources and a digital community. Previously, she worked as a product manager at CBR E a customer success manager at floor and a design strategist at Ginsler. She graduated from the Arizona state university go sun devils. And in this conversation, we are going to go behind the scenes on the American building podcast and talk about how the magic happens and more broadly about why you should start your own podcast today.
So thank you so much for being here with us. It is such
[00:02:15] Lauren Popish: a treat. Thank you for having me.
[00:02:17] Atif Qadir: Absolutely. So we all know that podcasts are about listening to audio, but give us your working definition of what a podcast is. This is
[00:02:32] Lauren Popish: so much more controversial than, you know, defining a podcast. Mm-hmm because there is a community of people, the original podcast founders who believe that a podcast must have an RSS feed, which is just a technical way of saying it has to be built on a particular tech platform.
Mm-hmm . The RSS feed is what allowed blogs to come into being. And it’s the same system that allows your favorite directory like Spotify or apple to string to you updated episodes. Mm-hmm . But I think we now have an evolved definition of what a podcast is. Mm-hmm it is really more about. Listening and the audio medium itself.
And I like to think of podcasts as any kind of medium that you use as a companion to other activities. So a companion medium. So you’re listening and consuming while you’re driving, you’re working, you’re cleaning, whatever it is a podcast is that partner, that companion while doing something else, it is not the primary thing that you’re doing at the time, unless you are a dedicated.
Audio enthusiast who only likes to do that at one.
[00:03:47] Atif Qadir: I think that’s, that’s amazing is addressing the reality of the way that people listen. And as we’ve started preparing for season three, with our podcast, a big part of that preparation is asking our listeners about their feedback. And what we often hear is that our listeners on the American building podcast, like to listen while they’re driving while they’re running, while they’re exercising.
And I think that duality is really, really important to, to re.
[00:04:12] Lauren Popish: Absolutely. It does change the way that we think about creating our episodes, creating our content. Mm-hmm knowing that our audiences are sometimes distracted mm-hmm, sometimes doing other things, but also want to find value in the time that they have to be slow.
And while doing something, maybe monotonous mm-hmm . So it is a good context to have when creating content and creating good episodes for our listen.
[00:04:42] Atif Qadir: And there are more than 2 million podcasts on iTunes, 2 million podcasts. So most of them die after a few episodes. What do you think is going on there? Yeah,
[00:04:57] Lauren Popish: this is an industry term called pod fading.
Meaning you fade out after a very short period of time, or, you know, your podcast stays available through directories or through, you know, apple and things like that, but aren’t actively being produced. So pod fading is the word for that. And what typically happens. In my experience is that there is a lack of awareness about what it actually takes to sustain a podcast.
Like so many people who start something new mm-hmm the actual act of starting up can feel like the most difficult and sometimes the most fulfilling part of a project you’re doing it for the first time. You’re learning. You get to buy that fun equipment. You get to tell your friends about it. Mm-hmm but it’s actually recording that 20th episode.
50th episode, a hundredth episode. Mm-hmm , that is the more difficult task and podcasting in particular is a time intensive, medium that I think you’re not totally aware of. When you think about just opening up your phone or opening up a recording platform and speaking into it. So I think it’s a combination of a lack of awareness of what it takes really to go into it.
And maybe also. No real long term vision for how a show would grow, evolve, how to continue to come up with topics really more of short term thinking. But we do know that the shows that do you know that magic number that we think about is the 50th episode, the podcast that make it. Episode 50 do have a very good chance of reaching a wide audience and being successful in the ways that we think about podcast success, large listeners, monetization, things like that.
But getting to episode 50 can be the hardest part of that process.
[00:06:53] Atif Qadir: So the continual work that’s necessary to get to episode 50. I think a lot of that is, uh, recognizing the fact that one person can’t do everything that you actually need to have really good help and really good team members along the way.
So you edit and consult for over a dozen successful podcasts, like the American building podcast. What do you think that successful podcasts have in common? Like the ones that are able to get through the 50th and the hundredth and.
[00:07:22] Lauren Popish: Yeah, there is a number of things that you can optimize both in your process and in your show.
But there really is one thing that I think sets apart these highly successful or what we term to be or perceived to be successful podcasts. And that is that there. Team or the host of the podcast spends the majority of their time. The majority of it building community around the podcast, outside of the actual production and less time on the actual production or the, the creation of the show itself.
Now. What we see with most podcasters, especially podcasters who want to grow, who want to step up into that next level of growth is that they’re spending most or all of their time. Getting the show out into the world, doing the recordings, writing the show notes, doing the editing, all of these things that it takes to actually have a podcast mm-hmm but no time.
Building awareness and bringing the show out, doing the work to expose new audiences to the show, building community around it, and ultimately building something bigger than the podcast itself. Mm-hmm . If you can spend as a podcaster. 50%. So half of your time or more on those marketing community, building external activities that are bringing awareness to your show and not actually the steps to produce it.
That is a key indicator of, of a successful show. But to your point, What it means is that sometimes or often the most successful shows have a lot of help behind the scenes and are handing off key production tasks to other folks like me and my team, so that you can be freed up to do that kind of awareness work.
There are some tasks that. Require the host or the original podcast team to be there doing those tasks. Mm-hmm things like promoting your show, going, being guests on other people’s shows, promoting your brand, speaking to your audience, answering Q and as from your listeners. Those are things that you can’t outsource.
You have to be the one as the host to really tell the story of your podcast and share it with the world. But there are steps that you can’t outsource. There are tasks that you can outsource, like mm-hmm, editing. Show note, writing, creating some of your marketing collateral. And those are the types of things that me and my company help with, but there are a number of, of different groups that help with that kind of thing as well, because it doesn’t require necessarily you the host to have to do those things.
For it to work.
[00:10:12] Atif Qadir: So it’s like the reality of, if you are going to win a gold medal in figure skating, it’s not like you are sewing your costume. You are choreographing, you are choosing the music. You are able to have an excellent team around you, so you can land that triple axle and get that gold medal. I get it.
[00:10:31] Lauren Popish: love that analogy. I have never thought of what goes into the figure skater life. And that is exactly right, but I think it’s so critical to point out that for a. Everyday person who is podcasting largely is a hobby with the hope that mm-hmm , it grows into something more sometimes bringing on external resources, just isn’t accessible.
And it’s an important thing to note because it means that the shows that make it in the world and the, you know, voices that we hear out in our media have a certain amount of access to. Funds to be able to bring in external people. You know, obviously companies are at an advantage for building podcasts because you can often put those costs on your business.
But if you’re an individual that can be a daunting thing to think about having to spend your personal money on a production team, knowing that you may not see an ROI on that for mm. A number of months or years. So it’s, it’s just important to call out that that cost factor and cost as a result of time, mm-hmm is probably one of the reasons that we think that there is less diversity in podcasting than you would normally want to see or like
[00:11:48] Atif Qadir: to see.
So in, in that context, what would you say are the reasons our listeners should consider starting their own podcast?
[00:11:59] Lauren Popish: Well, you noted the fact that there are 2 million podcasts out there mm-hmm , but in the scope and the scale of other digital marketing platforms, 2 million is actually a very small number.
That’s a really good point. So there are about 500 million blogs. Mm-hmm there are about a billion individual Instagram accounts. These are often platforms that, you know, If you were to go online, would, you’d be told that you should use to be able to build an audience or build your brand or build your company.
But it’s extremely saturated and hard to play. We still see podcasting as a non saturated, you know, accessible. Space to grow a company, a brand and find success. Even though there are 2 million podcasts out there that window of time where this is kind of untapped as a medium podcasting is closing. Yeah.
Quickly. I think it’s important to note that it took about 10 years to get to the 1 million. Podcasts on apple podcasts, but in about eight months we jumped to 2 million and that really happened over the pandemic. So we are seeing a rapid increase. Folks streaming into podcasting to build new ones, but you also noted that a number of those 2 million podcasts aren’t active.
And so there is still a ton of room to build something and be successful. So what I like to tell folks is. Podcasting while it can have a big upstart cost and time it’s a learning curve. Um, there is a lot of time and effort that goes into it. It is one of the most untapped digital marketing platforms where you can actually.
Build and grow an audience for whatever your end goal is, your company, yourself, your personal brand,
[00:14:04] Atif Qadir: whatever it is. I think particularly what I’ve enjoyed is this idea of being able to focus conversations and thoughts I’ve had in my head about my industry already in the venue of a discussion to become something where.
I’m able to continually learn and continually be able to advance my knowledge in my area as well. So I think even thinking about the, the podcast from a goal perspective beyond being able to have X number of followers, I think there is something much more deeper, intrinsic and beautiful about to be able to think about entire set of reasons of why someone should start their podcast.
[00:14:47] Lauren Popish: Absolutely to your point. It is one of the most authentic mediums. All of us have a voice. I like to say that your individual voice in many ways is as personal or unique as your fingerprint. It can be one of the most intimate ways to get to know someone. It also went podcasts typically range in time from.
10 minutes to 90 minutes with the average being about 30 mm-hmm there aren’t a lot of other platforms where you get to sit in your audiences here for 30 minutes and really speak your mind and your peace and allow an audience to consume that. Instagram. I think the average consumption time is about three seconds for reference.
So 30 minutes is an amazing amount of time to communicate something that is important to you and actually drive action from drive engagement. Mm-hmm so it’s an authentic medium, it’s a medium that inspires action. And I think the last point that you. Have showcased so well on your show is that it is also a place to meet people.
You admire network and grow your personal and professional community.
[00:16:08] Atif Qadir: Mm-hmm so. For someone that has a beautiful idea that they wanna pursue with their podcast, they have the effort they’re ready to go help our listeners understand how much does it cost to do a podcast. So you don’t become a pod fade podcast.
[00:16:23] Lauren Popish: This is a good question. And a really hard one to answer. As you can imagine, there’s just a huge range. Mm-hmm educational platforms like myself, like to tote the fact that you could and can start a podcast for free. You own a number of. Objects equipment that it would take to produce a podcast. You own a phone with a high quality microphone.
You own likely a computer that has some kind of connection to the internet that allows you to interview people through free platforms like zoom. I’d like to think of costs though, in kind of two parts. There’s your initial upstart costs, which are kind of high for podcasting, mostly because of the nature of equipment mm-hmm and then ongoing costs that you would incur month over month as a result of just running your show.
Now, I did say that you can start for free, but you also risk not being able to produce a show of the highest quality and really. Limiting your ability to grow from the very beginning because your audience expects a certain level of quality. The more people coming online, listening to shows now want to hear that high quality audio.
They don’t wanna hear you that background noise from you recording in your car, for example. So my recommendation for minimum investment in a podcast would be to buy some equipment, a good external microphone. Mm-hmm you can use a set of headphones like that. Come with your. iPhone as the baseline, a good microphone is gonna cost you about a hundred dollars.
So that is kind of a good upstart cost. There is free hosting. So this is the middleman between you uploading your episode, your actual raw audio file and getting to the directories like Spotify and apple. There’s a middleman platform called a host that you submit your audio. So hosting platforms, there are free ones we recommend from a data standpoint that you pay for it.
It’s about $15 a month. So your upstart fees, any new podcaster should expect between 50 and $200 of launch costs and 15 to. $500 of ongoing costs, depending on if you want to outsource some of your editing and production tasks, what you choose not to pay for you’ll pay for with your time. So it’s an important thing to take into account what your time is worth, how much of it’s available, and if it is worth spending on a task like podcasting, editing, writing,
[00:19:06] Atif Qadir: things like that.
That’s an excellent point. And on that note, podcasts can become more than just the podcast really quickly. So from the easy stuff, there is social media accounts to downloadable content. To virtual classes and more and more time consuming things like in person events. So walk us through the universe of options that podcasters have to engage with their audiences beyond the podcast itself.
[00:19:36] Lauren Popish: Absolutely podcasting can open a door to all kinds of new things. Ultimately, podcasting is a form of digital marketing. Mm. And. When you’re marketing something, you’re promoting it, right? So a podcast can be used to help you identify and create a brand that where the podcast is the primary marketing channel for that concept.
So you may not have had a brand, but through your podcast, you’re now a true crime expert or junkie mm-hmm , you’re now a. Business or entrepreneur specialist. And when you use that channel to create a new brand for you, you can also use new channels to promote this identity and grow your audience. Even wider.
That looks like engaging on social platforms, Facebook, Instagram, new ones, like TikTok, Snapchat, wherever your primary audience hangs out. That’s where you should be spending time. Also looking at. Products and services that can be sold in accompaniment or through your marketing channel, your digital marketing channel, which is your podcast.
Mm-hmm . You can create courses related to your brand and expertise, digital and physical products. And then obviously you mentioned live events is also a place where you can engage with your audience. I think a lot of people, I come into contact with want their podcast to help them create a brand for them.
But there’s also a number of people who use a podcast as an extension or a way to your market, an existing brand they already have. So if you have a company, if you have an identity as a, you know, like me, when I created for my first podcast, I was a book enthusiast, but it was a brand that already existed a podcast.
Also a good way to extend and expand to new audiences through the brand that you already have. Mm-hmm the ecosystem is really limitless. It’s more about identifying the brand that you want to expand or create through your podcast and the adjacent channels for reaching new audiences. And then also.
Considering how you can make money through these channels. Mm-hmm, selling advertising, taking listener donations through platforms like Patreon. Mm-hmm , the options are unlimited. It’s what your bigger task will be, is determining what is important and prioritized for you and your.
[00:22:08] Atif Qadir: that’s a really good point.
And now listeners, I’m gonna do something that I have not done yet in the 60 or so episodes so far is turn the reins over to someone else to ask me the questions. So I’m a little nervous, but let’s see what we do. I am so
[00:22:24] Lauren Popish: happy. The tables have turned office. it’s your time on the hot seat? I do have some questions for you about this journey of starting American building podcast.
Mm-hmm and I guess the first one is, how did you get started? What was the reason for creating this show in the first.
[00:22:45] Atif Qadir: So I think a lot of it has to do with the way that the, the building industry produces and consumes information and the way that business development and sales happens. So I think for a previous generation, a lot of that content was driven around newspaper articles or interviews that focused on ideas of how big somebody’s building.
How much money they made or how big their loan was. And oftentimes the, the way that business development happened and the way that you got a deal done was taking someone out to golf or a steak dinner. And you could imagine that there are, there was and continues to be an entire swath of people for whom none of.
Is the inspiration for why they, the work that they do, nor the decisions that they make in terms of who they hire as consultants or what projects they take on. So I had a chance to meet Joe fury, who is the president of Michael Graves, architecture and design, which is one of the most famous design firms in the world.
And he actually contacted me through LinkedIn. So when I left, uh, Exel develop. And started doing my own development projects. Uh, one of the first things that I realized is that LinkedIn is a really inexpensive, relatively underutilized marketing tool. So every day I would just put out, spend about an hour doing research on a particular topic, and then present that in summary to the world out there.
And after. A while I started getting quite, uh, significant following and Joe had actually been reading a number of my posts about design, about real estate and the interplay between the two, because I’m a licensed architect and a real estate developer. And he finally. DM me and was like, Hey, you seem like a pretty cool person.
Do you want to just like meet up or something? Our office is in Princeton and I was like, ironically, it was a Saturday. And I was at my parents’ house over that weekend. And they live about maybe a 10 minute drive away from the Michael Graves office. So I just drove to their office on a Monday morning.
We totally hit it off. I invited Joe to speak at a event that I was doing at Harvard, like a, a month or two later. And. We realized that there actually was this entire set of opportunity that an amazing design firm with a great legacy like Michael Graves has in order to shake up and rethink how they present themselves to an entire new generation of their clients.
So gen Z millennials, they probably think very differently than people, a generation to go. And then, uh, when I started my firm reest in January of 20, 20, shortly after we started the podcast, I realized very similarly that this could be a wonderful way to tell the story of projects and the people behind them with the particular emphasis or a note on the way the projects were financed, which is the focus of my business.
Readest so that’s essentially the way that we got started and what the Motus opera or the, the reason for being is, is for. I love
[00:25:43] Lauren Popish: that some of the original inspiration for your thinking had to do with breaking norms of the way that business was being done. Mm-hmm and even the way that you came into contact and had those first interactions with Joe was an example of modern changing networking and, and business building techniques.
Mm-hmm . And then the creation of this podcast is just an extension of that. It seems really aligned. The original vision that you
[00:26:14] Atif Qadir: had mm-hmm for it.
[00:26:16] Lauren Popish: Absolutely. In addition to the vision for the why, the podcast for the creation behind the podcast, there’s also the name American building. How did you come up with that name?
[00:26:30] Atif Qadir: So I think for, for us operationally, the way that it worked was I thought of any word that could potentially have an influence or be potential as a part of a name. So a big Excel file, probably a hundred, hundred 50 words. And then I started just matching different words together because I knew that I wanted like similar to a name, a first name and a last name that I wanted two parts to it.
So I started going through, um, literal. I probably could have had a friend, uh, cause I went to MIT for undergrad, write an algorithm to match them all together, but I was doing a dumb wise, just an Excel, just matching things left and right. And what I particularly came up with was this idea that I wanted a name that felt both like a noun and a verb.
So building is both, I mean, not initial glance, it’s a noun, but in reality it’s actually a verb as well. And I think for, for me, that was a big part of it. And then in addition, I wanted to make sure that we were grounded in a particular geographic scope, because for example, Michael Graves is a firm that does work all across the United States, uh, re refocus on the United States.
Uh, and I think in particular as an industry and architecture, we often think of high design. We think of Europe, which I think is a huge fallacy because there’s tons of amazing stuff. Produced here in the United States and has been for a long time and all across the world besides Europe. So I think that for me, grounding it in that specific noun gave us also a geographic bound to what we were doing.
So for example, I’m not doing, I never cover any projects outside the United States. And I mean, to be honest, I’ve actually only talked to designers and developers that are based in the United States, but that that’s essentially the way that we, we bound our podcast and the way that we came up with.
[00:28:17] Lauren Popish: I love it, even though all of the projects and all of the guests have been based in the us, remarkably, there have still been so much external influence from going to school outside of the us.
Mm-hmm having experienced building outside of the us, but it all centers around this geographical location. And I think that’s been really powerful for the message of the show. So. We see the process of the podcast. Once the recording is done, mm-hmm and makes the files make their way to us. But tell us about your process.
So what does the process look like? Mm-hmm for an episode from when you develop the idea to actually bringing it to
[00:29:00] Atif Qadir: life mm-hmm . So essentially there was a period of time, about six months where myself and the team and Michael Graves came up with our business plan, our strategy of what we were looking.
To accomplish through the podcast. That essentially took the form of a, uh, Google drive document where we defined, what are our goals? What are the resources at our disposal? And what are the ways that we’re gonna get from those resources that we had to the end goal that we wanted. So, namely. Laying out.
What does an episode look like? How are the questions gonna be asked? What are the subtle things that we’re attempting to do episode from episode? Are there things like advertisements? What are the additional things that we’re offering to our customers besides the audio itself? And once we were able to develop that we then were able to.
Come up with a description of the entire process from start to finish and then go to all of the, the guests that we were potentially thinking of doing, of having on the podcast. So a lot of it leaned on my personal network and, uh, Joe’s personal network, cuz essentially wasn’t we didn’t have an opportunity to say look at our amazing podcast that everyone listens to.
It’s more. This is our idea, wanna be the Guinea pig. So we were able to get some really fantastic guests early on, including, uh, Maryanne Gil Martin from mag partners. She’s just a total boss. And I think that that really helped to set the stage for the amazing set of guests that we’ve had, uh, across the season.
And I think that the reality also is is that business plan, wasn’t something. Moses brought from the mountain and carved in stone. And then these are the commandments that we use for eternity. The reality is that these, our goals and our priorities have changed over time. And as we started getting feedback on the episodes and what’s working, we made certain tweaks.
And I think probably two of the most kind of useful ones were, uh, switching our outreach and our LinkedIn outreach primarily to my. As opposed to doing it through a corporate account. Uh, namely, because I just have a large following, um, as it is and a number of people that I like engaging with. So I think that was a really important improvement that we had along the way.
And I think in particular, uh, towards the middle, towards the end, we, uh, started recording episodes with younger staff at Michael Graves. And then shortly we’ll be, uh, or later this season, the end of the season. Rather, we also had, uh, an episode with younger staff from my company read and. That allowed us to do was then connect with an entire new generation of listeners.
And what we saw is every time we had a younger guest in particularly a shorter episode, around 20 minutes, that we saw a really big pop in listenership and all of these tweaks, all of these adjustments are essentially the way that we see our product or getting to a finished product is, uh, as an experiment that continually adjusts and changes along the way.
[00:32:07] Lauren Popish: I think that mindset of continual evolution of continual iteration first it’s very design centric. Mm-hmm, , it’s, you know, very based in design thinking, but it’s exactly the kind of thing we recommend to our clients because when it comes to building something, your first time is always a guess mm-hmm
And so we always want folks to lean on the audience to tell them what to do. Mm-hmm and I think you’ve done that. So, so well, As we’re looking towards the future of season three, what do you hope to get out of American building? What is next? What’s in the future? .
[00:32:46] Atif Qadir: So I think that what I would really like is that the American building podcast becomes an avenue very selfishly to continue learning.
I really love the opportunity to spend the time to focus on somebody else’s project and try to understand what makes them tick. And what makes them do what they do every day. Uh, and I think that, that from an intellectual perspective, I love, I think from a, a human perspective, it has made me a wildly observant person.
And I feel like I’m a bit. I would say maybe two thirds, Terry Gross, one third Sasha bar Cohen in the way that I try to run the episodes. Uh, so that I think has been really, uh, really useful. It has been wonderful for me to learn in depth about the, the customers and the stakeholders for my own business, which is Reddi.
And I think it also has allowed me to have a platform to bring on people. Aren’t normally the ones that are on the cover of anything related to our industry. Look at dwell magazine, look at the real deal. Look at any of these magazines. The people that you see are not generally looking like me are looking like Lord.
And I think if I’m able to hit my goal of 70% of our guests being women, 70% of our guests being people of color, I think will allow a entirely different voice to be. What’s the benefit of that. Finally, having a built environment that actually reflects the people that live in it that I think is, is the largest goal that I would, I would hope to accomplish going forward.
[00:34:30] Lauren Popish: so epic and so beautiful. And you know, I stand by you in this mission. It aligns perfectly with what we’re trying to do at the wave. So I just love that. Now that you’ve done almost 60 episodes. Very exciting. Mm-hmm if you could go back and give yourself advice mm-hmm on the first episode, what would that advice be?
[00:34:54] Atif Qadir: So I think probably the advice that I would give is the reality that. You need to just get started. And we spent a lot of time with our preparation and I’m really glad that we did. And I think that in retrospect now having met many podcasters, having spent time at, for example, south by Southwest in Austin, and then through Lauren, that there is an amount of preparation they need to get started.
And then also sometimes you just need the push just to go. And I think the advice that I particularly think about in that instance is what my. Parents said to me, when I decided to leave Exel development and start my own development company, which was to not live a conditional life. And what they meant by that was, don’t say to yourself, things like I will be ready when I’m going to be successful when I’m going to be happy.
When, because today. Is the day to be and do all of those things. And I think for me, that’s probably the, the push that I would have given myself is just to get going, just start doing it, just do it.
[00:36:01] Lauren Popish: Excellent advice. And it sounds like your parents may know, or thing or two . Do you think they, you think they’re kind of smart, maybe have some life life experience, know a few
[00:36:13] Atif Qadir: things?
I, I think so. And I, I think, especially from. when you’re a child of, uh, diaspora of any type, there are many realities of the existing, the previous generation that you just sort of learn in passing. Were just so wildly. Epicly crazy. So for example, even the way that my family came to the United States, it was during the Iran, Iraq war.
My parents’ work visas from Bahrain got rescinded and they essentially had a week to pack up their entire lives and just move back. to wherever they didn’t particularly care, but just couldn’t be here. And during that week, I think this is if I did believe in any miracles is probably, it is when that same week is when my parents got green cards to come to the United States.
And what’s so hilarious. There was actually a photograph. At the airport in Manama. Uh, so that’s Gulf airs, uh, headquarters. And we were photographed in the terminal that was for Asian destinations. So essentially for those anywhere in the continent of Asia. So ostensibly our family friends thought that we were flying to Pakistan and instead there was this expression called the evil eye.
So it was considered bad luck to tell people if you had some amount of amazing. Like a stroke of good luck. So they actually didn’t tell most of their family, friends that they had got green cards to come to the United States and actually were going to the United States. So when everyone packed up, they’re like, oh, bye.
See you later. We’ll write postcards and things like that. And everyone left, we actually just walked to the terminal next door, which was the one for European and north American destinations. And that’s where we actually went. We went to New York and we landed. And that’s where we were. I mean, for someone for that type of a reality.
And then my mom’s a chemist and her first job was driving a forklift in the warehouse of a pharmaceuticals company because she apparently by their measures, wasn’t qualified enough to be an R and D chemist, which you was already, or my dad who was an accountant, a startup at cash register at toys, Russ, because.
He guess deemed wasn’t qualified to be a, uh, corporate accountant, that those types of realities makes you realize that those things. Second generation might, uh, hold as the reasons for not doing something is just completely bonkers and insane. If all of that could happen, all the hilarity that ensues related to those two circumstances, including my brother and sister’s first day at school in the United States was Halloween.
And nobody actually told them that it was Halloween oh my gosh. So if, if they could handle all of that, starting a podcast is small fries in comparison.
[00:39:08] Lauren Popish: That is the perspective we all needed to do something we’ve been avoiding for a while. So thank you for that motivational little piece. It’s all.
relative and it’s all, there are much bigger things to tackle than starting your podcast today. Mm-hmm thank you for that. finally last question. What can I and your listeners and your avid fans expect from you and American building in season?
[00:39:43] Atif Qadir: So we’re all ears. So listeners, if you have any suggestions advice, please get me on LinkedIn.
You can, uh, send feedback through the website itself way. You can get in touch, get in touch with us, cuz we are in the position now of collecting all that valuable information for us to get ready for season three. So we have our own list of things that we want to improve and build upon both from an operations perspective and episodes perspective, a guest perspective.
I think that. The biggest thing that a wonderful listeners can look forward to is continual experimentation. So we’re. Keep on reinventing. We’re gonna keep on changing, adjusting, improving, because we wanna make sure that we do the very best for our listeners and make sure that they get the most out of their very valuable time and limited time that they’re able to spend with us.
That is my promise, uh, going forward, continuing and thematically. So, uh, season two was focused on the pandemic and how our buildings and our built environments are changing in response. Season three is going to be focused on the world beyond so web three and themes of decentralization, which are happen.
All across the world, whether economically, politically, socially, how those are impacting the built environment. So season three, you’re gonna be listening to, or learning from architects in the metaverse. So designers that design homes and buildings in the metaverse, I’m also going to attempt to do an episode where I record as an avatar in the meta.
That is also gonna hopefully gonna happen in season two. And then we have a number of other things that we, we hope to release in order to, uh, including some NFTs in order for our listeners. Uh, many of whom are probably from, uh, I know, are from the industry like Lauren and I to get ready for this next evolution.
That’s happening. As we move to to web three is probably just as big as the invention of AutoCAD. So all your architects out there and the invention of Excel. So all your developers out there get ready. Buckle up because this is happening.
[00:41:58] Lauren Popish: Holy cow, I cannot wait for what’s to come. Some of this is news to me, the avatar and the metaverse I’m I’m shocked.
And I we’re gonna, we’re gonna figure it out excited. There’s so much to look forward to. I can’t
[00:42:13] Atif Qadir: wait. So that’s, that’s pretty much it from us. So thank you so much for joining us today on the American building podcast for the special episode. Absolutely.
[00:42:25] Lauren Popish: It’s always so fun to chat about buildings, podcasting and everything in
[00:42:31] Atif Qadir: between.
Perfect and listeners. If you want to hear the behind the scenes stories of how iconic building in our country were designed and built, just subscribe to this podcast on Spotify, iTunes Googled. Anchor Stitcher or wherever you like to listen, rate and review us on iTunes to help us reach a wider audience and follow us on Instagram app American building podcast.
My name is opt KA, and this has been American building.
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