Ten years ago Anna Parker-Naples was facing an uncertain medical diagnosis, bed bound and stuck at home she decided she was going to master audio production. She began consuming podcasts, making podcasts and has since become an award winning podcast producer and narrator. Her company, The Podcast Agency & Expert Audiobooks, has helped launch over 160 podcasts and provides a range of podcasting services, from production, to marketing and branding. Today the Bedfordshire, United Kingdom-based entrepreneur is working on scaling up while also making time for her three children and staying on top of an ever evolving industry.
Parker-Naples story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
What was your reason for starting your business?
I started helping other entrepreneurs and coaches to podcast because I believe that audio is a powerful medium that can change lives. We can reach people who are struggling with an issue or a lack of connection that they may not be able to admit to anyone around them. With a podcast, they can feel as though they are being spoken to directly, and be inspired and motivated to take action to change their lives or business. I wholeheartedly consider podcasts to be changing the world one listener at a time.
How do you define success?
Success is being able to choose your path, follow your heart and do something you love while making enough money and more to create the freedom you desire for yourself and your family. No matter what is going on in your life, you can decide to make incremental changes, day by day, that hardly anyone but you can notice. And then a few years in, it is apparent to all how far you have come.
Tell us about your biggest success to date
My show ‘Podcasting for Entrepreneurs’ became no.1 in the UK Marketing charts this month, and I was the only solo female hosted podcaster in business. Six years earlier I was recognized in Hollywood as an award winning audio producer and narrator, which was incredible given that ten years before I had been told to expect I would never walk again (as a result of a challenging pregnancy). Working on audio from home gave me something positive to focus on when I was at my lowest ebb. It is incredible to now see that the impact of the audio I produce, host and consult on is influencing many others who are experiencing some challenge in their own lives.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Scaling up is my biggest challenge, because what got me here won’t take me there! It’s important for entrepreneurs to be constantly leveling up their knowledge and understanding of a fast moving online space. To address this, I ensure I am always a part of at least two mastermind classes with other high level experts so that I am keeping my skills sharp and my entrepreneurial insights razor sharp.
Have you experienced any significant personal situations that have affected your business decisions?
The day after I launched my business, my father had a heart attack. I had to dig deep to keep going. Over the past few years I’ve juggled building a successful business around all of my responsibilities for three children – only working during school hours as we live in a village and they can’t get there without me.
What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs?
Start and launch a podcast as soon as you can. This market is about to become flooded, but right now you can make a massive impact and position yourself powerfully amongst those in your industry at the top of their game.
How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?
I remember that each podcast we consult on, produce and launch will touch someone’s life in a positive way. You don’t have to have thousands of downloads to achieve impact (although that’s possible too!). Just one person who hears your content can make a difference, and have a powerful ripple effect.
Who is your most important role model?
I’m not sure that I have just one! I’m inspired by the people I see around me growing and attaining success, changing their own lives one day at a time. ◼