by Michelle Michalak November 13, 2017

Shelby Stanger is the host of "Wild Ideas Worth Living," a podcast that's all about taking a wild leap of faith and having meaningful conversations with people who have made it happen. 

From Slyde's POV Shelby's making it happen in the podcast world & beyond and we we couldn't wait to find out more.

Tell us a brief bio on you...

I’m a writer, surfer, podcaster and lover of people. I genuinely think everyone has an awesome story, but gravitate towards adventurers, especially ones who have done something a little off the beaten path or “wild.”

I’ve always loved people’s stories, and I started publishing them at age 16. In college, I studied journalism, and then worked as a journalist for the Vans Warped tour (a dream first job at age 21), then worked at Vans doing Girls Marketing/PR, and then helped run international sales and marketing until 2009.

In 2009, I started my own consulting and freelance writing business. My stories have appeared in Outside, ESPN and Shop-Eat-Surf, among others and I’ve helped tell stories and consult with brands like prAna, Nike and Body Glove.

I started Wild Ideas Worth Living last year, and aside from my podcast, I also speak to outdoor groups and lately to teens (I’m still a big GROM at heart). I love people and I love telling stories, so I’ve done my best to marry these as my career and also find time to surf, run, do yoga, volunteer, write jokes I only think are funny, and take long walks on the beach.

What was the inspiration behind "Wild Ideas Worth Living"? 

I’ve worked as a journalist for 20 years and I love old-school storytelling. I also love stories of adventurers doing things people think they are crazy for doing. In hearing stories about real people conquering fears and making tough decisions, I learned to get over my own fears.

I read an old Jim Rohn quote that says, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. I wanted to create a podcast with stories that allowed others to be with and hear positive people who went after their wild ideas and made them a reality so they could too.

These are the stories I wished I’d heard when I was scared to quit my job, move to New Zealand and make many major decisions that initially made zero sense on paper. Most of all, I’ve come across so many great stories and people, I just wanted to share them with a wider audience.

What are your must have pieces of equipment to run the show?

  • My voice
  • Schure microphones
  • Zoom H6 recorder
  • MacBook Pro
  • a TON of energy and persistence.

Prior to being a Podcast host what was one of your most momentous career highlights?

In 2009, I quit an amazing job. Initially, I struggled with the decision so much, I started to develop depression. It made zero sense on paper, but the day I gave notice, I was invited to cover a group of surfers/watermen to surf in the Mentawais, an archipelago of islands off Indonesia.

While my job was just to write, inevitably, I eventually had to jump off the boat and surf. I had only surfed small waves in San Diego, so was a bit out of my league in Indonesia. Eventually, I gained enough courage to take off and catch the best waves of my life on that trip. It left me with an immense amount of joy and confidence that’s stayed with me and helped propel my career for the last decade.

On that trip, I learned when you face your fears, commit to life and to your dreams, magic often unfolds. I know this makes me sound like a hippy, but it’s happened to many people I’ve since interviewed.

What are your 3 greatest joys from hosting your own Podcast? What has been the biggest lesson?

The hardest lesson is podcasts are really time consuming, hard to produce, and expensive if you bring on a professional editor. Most people quit podcasting after show seven.

 The biggest joy has been meeting and hearing intimate details from amazing people, getting letters from listeners saying my show caused them to quit their job or go on a huge adventure, and having doors open to talk to bigger audiences and to challenge myself. It has not been the easiest, but the best adventures are never “easy.”

How would you describe the current state of podcasting? What do you think the future holds?

Podcasting is HOT. People get their news from podcasts, learn about new hobbies from podcasts, study business on podcasts, and are entertained on podcasts. Many also prefer podcasts over radio. People also love old school storytelling, and I think you’ll see more podcast users and shows every year.

If you had 3 tips to give to someone considering doing their own Podcast what would they be?

I actually just wrote a blog about this HERE

1. Do research on every guest so you can ask well-informed questions.
2. Invest in good equipment. Invest in the time to learn how to make a podcast and create a show people want to hear, not just that you want to hear.
3. Be original.

Check out the EPIC Podcast→

Wild Ideas Worth Living Podcast

Michelle Michalak
Michelle Michalak

Michelle's diploma reads BA Psychology with a minor in English, and her license plate reads #CaliforniaDreaming4Life. She begin her career in the NYC fashion industry working with fashion and internet pioneer, Bluefly.com However, due the constant "nagging" of her entrepreneurial spirit, her crush on surfing, and hardcore love for the ocean, she chosen to call San Diego home for the past 10 years. On the west coast she 's chased waves & enlightenment working alongside "Gurus" in the online marketing & personal development industries. It in May 2012 she found her true Zen & Stoke, and joined the Slyde Handboards Team.


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