003: Unlocking Your Podcast’s Potential by Building Through Community with Ashley Menzies Babatunde

003: Unlocking Your Podcast’s Potential by Building Through Community with Ashley Menzies Babatunde
003: Unlocking Your Podcast’s Potential by Building Through Community with Ashley Menzies Babatunde

Do you ever find yourself pondering the humanity behind the experience? Beyond the accolades and shiny facades we often see from friends, colleagues, and family? Today’s guest, Ashley Menzies Babatunde, firmly believes in the transformative power of storytelling to uncover these hidden narratives and recognizes its profound ability to forge connections, kindle inspiration, and nurture a sense of empathy. Ashley is a lawyer, career advisor, passionate storyteller, and the host of the No Straight Path Podcast. She is dedicated to exploring the intersections of humanity and career, and today, she shares her podcasting insights and experiences with us.

Tuning in, you’ll hear Ashley’s inspiring story as she reveals that the road to success is far from linear. She talks about how life’s ups and downs, including the passing of her mother, inspired her to start a podcast showcasing the stories of others, all in the pursuit of helping others feel less lonely. She highlights the invaluable influence of a solid community, why being intentional with your actions is key to your purpose, and why she is so passionate about giving other people hope in both their careers and life journeys. Be sure to listen in to today’s episode to find out how Ashley’s passion project became something that helped her feel truly alive again!

Takeaways From This Episode:

The path to success isn’t always “work hard, get results fast.” Success isn’t linear, and with the co-existing failures and life’s disappointments, it can be a lonely road to travel. Ashley shares how failing the bar exam and grieving the passing of her mother inspired her to start her storytelling podcast, No Straight Path, to help more people feel less alone.

For those starting out as creators, a relationship resembling Ashley’s with the HubSpot accelerator program can be a pivotal factor in elevating your podcast’s growth and impact. From guest swaps to building “sticky” audiences and harnessing valuable metrics, the support and connections that come from a like-minded community are invaluable!

One highly effective strategy for expanding your podcast’s audience is through guest swapping. Ashley highlights the need to be intentional about your guest swaps and why she aims for guests who genuinely connect with her audience and complement the purpose and why of her podcast in order to make the most impact.

Ashley emphasizes the power of releasing goals to make room for unexpected magic. She shares her podcast’s future plans, how being too fixated on metrics caused burnout, and her determination to focus on what feels right and build sustainably, valuing both internal and external success

Preserve the inspiring creator space and recognize who you are in this space. As Ashley puts it, “You can be a business owner and not be a business person!” She believes that hiring a business-, operations-, and strategy-oriented person who enjoys doing that kind of work is a key element for future success.

With podcasting, revisiting your initial motivation or “why” is crucial. While podcasting is enjoyable and rewarding, it can also be demanding and challenging to maintain consistency and growth. Ashley imparts some great advice for navigating tough times, reconnecting with your purpose, and understanding why you’re pursuing this endeavor to provide the motivation you need to persevere.


“[In No Straight Path], we explore the human stories behind success. We often see the accolades, we see the job titles associated with someone’s LinkedIn profile, all the shiny parts, but we rarely see the real journey behind the accolades in real-time.” — @ashley_menzies [0:03:45]

“I realized there was a gap in the market here. There’s something here where we’re in these overachieving spaces and people aren’t talking about failure. They’re not talking about setbacks. They’re not talking about the humanity behind the experience.” — @ashley_menzies [0:06:18]

“The power of story is just so healing and so beautiful!” — @ashley_menzies [0:07:29]

“Although [my podcast] started as perhaps a grief project and a passion project, it really helped me live again. It helped me feel truly alive [and] give other people hope in the career context and the journey of life context.” — @ashley_menzies [0:08:32]

“A lot of podcast growth often happens through guest swaps, because what you’re doing is you’re tapping into another person’s audience.” — @ashley_menzies [0:15:07]

“A journey can be lonely sometimes. It’s very interesting how I created a podcast to help people feel less alone, but then simultaneously, I’m on a journey that can feel lonely sometimes. Having a community and having a support group is invaluable.” — @ashley_menzies [0:16:19]

“It can be a distraction sometimes when you’re trying to grow from a business perspective from your purpose. I always try to go back to my purpose. My purpose is to help people feel seen, heard, and valued and to inspire.” — @ashley_menzies [0:21:15]

“I’m [in] a space where I just want to put out great stories and grow as organically as possible.” — @ashley_menzies [0:24:17]

“Podcasting is fun, it’s amazing, but it’s also challenging to be consistent, to grow. It’s not an easy industry at all. Going back to your why [and] figuring out your purpose – during the hard moments is going to help you continue down this path.” — @ashley_menzies [0:30:00]

Resources from Today’s Episode:

Ashley Menzies Babatunde

Ashley Menzies Babatunde on LinkedIn

Ashley Menzies Babatunde on X

Ashley Menzies Babatunde on Instagram

Ashley Menzies Babatunde on YouTube

No Straight Path

O’Melveny & Myers LLP

HubSpot Podcast Network

Podcast Movement

Connect with Carli:

Business Beyond The Mic on Spotify

Business Beyond The Mic on Apple Podcasts

Business Beyond The Mic on Instagram

Carli on Instagram

Carli on X

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