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Meet Rhian Rogan of Rhian’s Hope in North Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rhian Rogan.

Rhian, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The journey to Rhian’s Hope starts with the everyone’s first favorite podcast, Serial – hosted by Sarah Koenig, produced by Julie Snyder, and sponsored by MailChimp. I binged most of the first season driving back from Las Vegas the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It took nearly that long – don’t drive back from Las Vegas the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

I wanted to start a podcast right then and there, but my investigative journalism skills + my ability to avoid being charged with libel were limited. So I set the dream aside as I changed jobs, joined the National Guard, and completed the Riordan Fellows Pre-MBA Program at UCLA Anderson School of Management.

In the Riordan Fellows Program, we spent a lot of time talking about academics but sometimes discussions shifted towards more personal ambitions. At the end of the program my classmate [shoutout Lizbeth!] who’d heard me talk about my goal of having a podcast gave me “Podcast Launch” by John Lee Dumas.

A few weeks later, in April 2017, I traveled to South Africa with a really awesome group of people, and someone asked: “What’s something you want to do, but haven’t?”. Starting my own podcast immediately came to mind, and for the rest of the trip, most of my one-on-one conversations centered around how I could make that happen.

The encouragement I got and still get from my friends in the Riordan Program and from my trip South Africa were so powerful in making me believe I could really launch my own podcast. Support your friends! It makes a huge difference

I don’t remember precisely how brainstorming flowed, but I knew a few things:
-I wasn’t interested [and you wouldn’t want] in a solo-dolo monologue.
-I didn’t want to do a two-person gabfest.
-I wanted to use the name Rhian’s Hope – borrowed from my mom’s favorite 80s soap opera, Ryan’s Hope, starring Red from Orange is the New Black and already claimed on social media platforms.
-I hate Instagram inspiration, so I wanted to offer more than incorrectly attributed quotes over pretty landscapes and sepia selfies.

With that foundation, I settled on interviewing people who I think inspire hope in others by taking what talent, skills, and resources they have to make a difference. People start with more/less than others, but everyone I talk to is making the world better and lifting others up in their own way. I think that’s so valuable.

I released the first three episodes of Rhian’s Hope five months after reading the book and sharing my dream with others. The early episodes, admittedly, are rough. But I feel like I learn and improve every episode. I’ve had the opportunity to interview so many people, and I never take that for granted. It’s exciting to learn and share and satisfy my curiosity.

Since starting the full-time MBA program at UCLA, my time has been even more limited, and I’ve considered cutting back, but every time someone agrees to an interview, I know the people need to hear it.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think it has been a smooth road because sooooo many people have done this before me and there are so many resources out there. It’s not uncharted territory at all. But am I always ready to go down the path? Nope. Time, money, and fear have all held me back in some way at one point or another.

There’s not a lot I can do about the first two: time – mine or that of my guests is limited, and calendars don’t always line up. I’m a full-time student now so can’t do much about increasing cash flow – yet. But I’m working to get over the fear I have of pressing send on interview requests, or the fear I have that I’m wasting people’s time when I’m interviewing them.

I constantly have to remind myself they’ve already said yes! Impostor syndrome is real, and I fight it all the time when I’m interviewing award-winning, world-changing, ground-breaking people.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Rhian’s Hope – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Rhian’s Hope is a weekly podcast about those who are using their platform to inspire hope in others. Each episode is an exploration of the challenges and opportunities that paved their path and the hopes they have for the future.

I haven’t really specialized, and that makes it hard to stay connected with niche audiences, but there are so many stories to be told from every industry. Guests run the gamut from politicians to athletes to professors to financial aid professionals to students to community organizers to journalists.

Rhian’s Hope is a one employee, no-budget operation, so I’m proud of every episode I release, but I’m always really excited when people listen to my podcast and learn something they can apply to their situation because that’s the goal.

But I’m also happy when people reach out to me because they want to start their own podcast. So many people supported my idea as I was getting things off the ground and I’m glad to be a resource.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m all about the growth mindset, so I want to keep growing Rhian’s Hope as much as possible to reach and help as many as possible. Doing that requires constantly thinking about what I’m offering. I’ve already written down my goals for 2019, and now I’m thinking about the specific steps I need to take to achieve them. Stay tuned!

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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