Ossa podcaster Alexis Newlin is a writer, recreation therapist, and podcast host based in Fresno, California. Her podcast, The Brave Podcast, is a weekly inspirational conversation about bold moments and brave stories.
Her writing service, A Peach In Cali, focuses on content creation for Christian ministries. She credits her spiritual connection with the bravery and inspiration she needed to start her podcast and share her voice with the world.
After being diagnosed with stage 4 thyroid cancer in her lungs in 2017, Alexis decided to face her biggest fears, one of which was stepping into the spotlight as a podcaster. Her aptly named podcast serves to inspire others to face their fears and take a leap of faith.
Read on for more about Alexis’s personal journey and listen to her show below (leave a review, too!):
The Brave Podcast
Tell us what your podcast is about in 3 sentences or less!
No matter what you’ve been through, everyone has a story to tell and to share your story is BRAVE. Each week a friend and I get together and share stories as a means to encourage others.
What’s a quote or piece of advice that you try to live by?
Do it afraid!
I am pretty adaptable.
One thing on your bucket list:
I want a family on my own.
Oh, this is hard question. There are so many. I think I’ll go with “It’s not over yet” by For King and Country
Last text message you sent:
“Well, I’m glad that stopped. That’s annoying. Take care of yourself.” (My friend caught the stomach flu from her friends kids and was warning me about it)
What was your first job?
I was a sandwich artist at Subway. Worked there for over a year. It took two years after that before I wanted to eat a Subway sandwich without feeling sick.
Any unusual hobbies?
Finding random places on a map and visiting the place. So far, I’ve found almost every hidden beach on the central coast of California.
Biggest Pet Peeve:
What inspired you to start your podcast?
I have always struggled with fear. Then I got diagnosed with cancer and made it a point to conquer as many fears as I could. Slowly, I started doing things that scared me but I loved: writing, rock climbing, traveling solo, starting a business, etc.
Podcasting to be honest, was a God idea. God told me to start a podcast to encourage others. I didn’t want to, I am a hider by nature and like to stay in the background. But the feeling to start a podcast didn’t go away. So I finally gave in, and through Youtube learned all that I could on how to launch my first one. I am now 12 episodes in and I had no idea how MUCH I loved doing this. I love sharing peoples stories and learning more about them. I love to encourage.
Podcasting is the perfect platform for that and I am so glad I said yes to God despite my fear.
Tell us more about your work/life outside of your podcast.
I am not a full time podcaster (although I wish I could be!) I work at a children’s hospital in Madera, CA as a recreation therapist. I use people’s leisure interests and activities as a form of therapy to get them back to being independent. It’s a fun gig. I really enjoy working with the kids and my staff members.
What is your show’s USP?
Hmmm…it’s just stories from everyday people to encourage others.
What is one of the greatest challenges you have personally faced with your podcast?
EDITING. Oh my word, it is time consuming. But, I also like it. My biggest editing mistake was accidentally erasing one of my interviews. I use Garageband to edit and I learned the hard way that touching/moving the little arrow at the beginning of the track can and WILL erase your recording. I thought I was moving the track I was trying to edit.
There was a lot of crying and wanting to give up that day. Thankfully, I figured out how to get back what I erased.
What was one of your favorite episodes you’ve ever done? Why does it stand out?
My favorite episode was with my friend Katie Joy. We talked for hours and it was so fun to just hang out with her and gain wisdom from her life, Also, she has rambunctious cats and they made themselves known several times in the interview. I didn’t even try to edit them out.
What is one thing you have accomplished with your podcast thus far that you are most proud of?
Pushing the publish button on January 1st. I was so terrified. I literally ran back to my room and hid under the covers. I could not believe what I had just done. I was really proud of myself for doing so.
What is one major milestone that you would like to accomplish through your podcast in the next year?
Growing the podcast meet up group I just created in my hometown. There are other podcasters in my city; I’d love to connect with all of them and build a community that encourages others to enter this field.
What is a trend or development in the podcast industry that you foresee happening in the next few years?
I see more people making podcasting a real living. This is such a wonderful field that give you the opportunity to reach so many people. I am an encourager and it is so fun to know that I can spread encouragement all over the world, just with my voice. A voice is such a powerful thing. It can change lives for the better.
What is one of the best pieces of podcast-related advice you’ve ever received & why?
Just do it. You’ll always need to work on something. Don’t worry about being perfect. Get the equipment, push record and share your voice with the world.
What is one of the worst pieces of podcast-related advice you have ever received & why?
I haven’t gotten any yet really, just comments about the microphone I am using. I have a blue yeti.
What are some of your favorite women-hosted podcasts (besides your own)?
The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, Office Ladies, Complicated Heart with Sarah Mae
Let’s close out with some inspiration! Can you tell us about a time when you took a huge risk/did something you were scared to do, and it totally paid off?
I had a lung surgery in 2017 to check for cancer. As I was recovering at home, I decided to book my tickets and go to Italy by myself for two weeks. Right after I booked my tickets, I got the formal diagnosis; I had stage 4 thyroid cancer in my lungs.
I later received treatment and was weakened from the radioactive iodine. Despite being able to only walk a few feet without taking a break, I went on my trip to Italy anyway, not knowing a soul. It was the best two weeks of my life and by the end of it, I was walking up to 16 miles a day. So glad that I went!
Are there any great podcast-related resources you love that you would like to share?
Buzzsprout! They are amazing and so supportive of new podcasters. They share a lot of free resources and content to help you grow your podcast and become a better podcaster.
Also, anything by Pat Flynn. He taught me how to edit my podcast in Garageband through his Youtube channel. Seriously, check him out.
And Podfest! Buzzsprout paid for my ticket and this changed my life! I found an amazingly supportive community through Podfest. And it helped me find Ossa.
Is there a charity or cause you care about that you would like to share?
First Descents. They provide free adventures for young adult cancer or MS patients. Through them, I’ve gone rock climbing twice, conquered a serious fear of heights and made some life long friendships.
How do you feel you’re making a positive impact and generating change through your podcast?
When I announced that I was going to start it, I had friends reach out to me saying that my bravery in starting mine encouraged them to start their dreams. One of my friends started his financial planning company. A few others are now looking into starting their podcasts. I think all it takes is one brave act to cause a positive change in this world!