39-year-old Tod Perry is a busy man. The Long Beach-based freelance advertising copywriter and former CBS Radio host is a regular contributor to the popular news sites GOOD and Buzzworthy, and is a new father. He also co-hosts and produces What’s This Tao All About?, a popular podcast in which he and Taoist Institute founder Dr. Carl Totton discuss the philosophy of Taoism, a traditional Chinese spiritual practice that goes back more than two thousand years.
About The Podcast
Described as “a lighthearted podcast hosted by a Tao master and a curious writer,” What’s This Tao All About? works its way through the chapters of the Tao Te Ching (The Way and Its Power) and relates them to the challenges of modern life. The results are often enlightening and surprisingly funny. That’s not a small challenge–one of the central tenets of the philosophy is that Tao cannot be described in words. Perry and Totton released the first episode of the podcast series in August 2015, and what they originally planned to be a weekly 12-episode series is now entering its second year, with 24 episodes and counting.
Getting The Podcast Started
Perry describes What’s This Tao All About as a “labor of love that accidentally became successful,” based on his long-time interest in Taoism and the popular book, The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. He took the time recently to answer questions about how he set up the podcast and to offer some concise advice for would-be website owners and podcasters. The first order of podcasting business was setting up a website for the podcast, because he needed a way to host the audio files, give listeners information about the show, and reach people searching online for information on Taoism. He chose HostGator’s shared web hosting plan for his website, he said, because it offered a “good deal and great reputation.”
[bctt tweet=”#PodcastAdvice from @WhatsThisTao: Over prepare & allow plenty of room for happy accidents.” username=”hostgator”]
Advice For Future Podcasters
Perry said the biggest challenge presented by podcast itself is coming up with compelling and relatable topics. That’s not surprising, given Taoism’s long history, many facets, and nuanced philosophy, but Perry is apparently meeting the challenge just fine. What’s This Tao All About? listeners have left consistently great reviews for the podcast on iTunes. One described Perry as a “podcast genius.” Perhaps because he’s a genius, or a busy new dad, or a true student of Taoism’s focus on simplicity and clarity, he offered up a single piece of advice for podcasters-to-be: “Over prepare for your conversation topics and allow plenty of room for happy accidents.”
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Casey Kelly-Barton is an Austin-based freelancer who enjoys writing about business development and marketing, e-commerce payments and fraud prevention, and travel.