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Behind the Podcast: the "No, You Go" Podcast uses Humor, Friendship, and Relatability to Inspire

We're living in a new era of work. From working remote to circumventing traditional work structures, there are several new ways to earn income and leave your mark on the world. However, there isn't an abundance of advice out there to help you get to where you want to be. The No, You Go podcast offers a wide range of career-focused advice for the modern workplace, from navigating a raise to scoring a book deal. Hosted by A Book Apart CEO Katel LeDû, front-end developer Jenn Lukas, and author Sara Wachter-Boettcher, No, You Go combines humor, professional advice, inspiring guests, and a sense of relatability. The episodes often feel like the listener is eavesdropping on a funny yet incredibly informative conversation between friends. Simon Says spoke to the hosts about what inspired the show and how they maintain its focused yet free-flowing spirit.

(Note: Some answers have been lightly edited for readability and flow.)

  1. No, You Go just launched this year. How did the show come about? How did you know that an engineer, author, and CEO would have such great chemistry?

We knew we had great chemistry because, well, we're friends! We spend a lot of time together, and we're comfortable talking about pretty much everything with each other. What we realized is that so many of our private conversations touched on subjects like navigating career choices, negotiating, and pursuing our passions, and that other people might benefit from hearing those conversations, too. So far, that seems to be true!

2. Your show has a free-flowing humor; I love the way you take the first part of the episode to talk about your lives, personal happenings, and trade banter before launching into a more formal interview with your guests. Did you plan the show this way, or was this something that happened once you started production?

We did plan that! Early on, we read this article about the intimacy of podcasting, and one of the pieces of advice was to really plan what you want to say and bring notes, but then let the conversation go naturally, don't follow them too closelyÔøΩ be "raw and real." And so that's what we try to do: we want it to feel like a good conversation, but that means preparing so that it's the best version of that conversation it can be.

3. Your show features a lot of powerful women from all industries. In the season finale, in which you interviewed Leah Culver, you briefly discussed the pros and cons of the #metoo movement. Has the #metoo movement affected any of your show topics or the guests you've chosen?

We see No, You Go as part of a broad, ongoing feminist movement, not a response to any one issue. Obviously you can't talk about women and work without topics like sexual harassment coming up, but I think for us, what's most important is finding the women and non-binary or genderqueer folks who are doing interesting, ambitious things with their lives, and letting them tell their stories in a way that centers them and their experiences. We need more stories from their perspectives, in all forms, all the timeÔøΩ not just stories about their trauma or pain.

4. One of my favorite parts of the show is the "Fuck Yeah" moment. How did this segment start?

This was all Jenn's idea! We all wanted the show to have a celebratory feel, and this was a way to consistently make sure we did that. It's a nice way to end each episode on a high note, and it allows us to throw in something silly sometimes.

5. You recently wrapped the first season. Some shows produce episodes year-round; others prefer seasons. What led you to the seasonal production model?

We are committed to running a consistent schedule and having fresh content all year, but producing a podcast is a ton of work, and we all have other stuff happening: businesses to run and jobs to do and babies to care for and everything else. So, we decided to run 10-episode seasons, with a break of just a few weeks in between each one (Season 1 wrapped on March 20, and Season 2 starts on April 17). That allows us to have some room to breathe and prepareÔøΩ to sign new sponsors, to set up a newsletter, to schedule out a bunch of guestsÔøΩ without feeling like we're on hiatus for months. Especially as a new show! We don't want our listeners to forget about us.

6. The episode descriptions for your show include full transcripts. This isn't something a lot of podcasts have latched onto but can be great for expanding your audience. What drove that choice?

One of our values is inclusivityÔøΩ in fact, it's maybe our biggest value. We want No, You Go to make space for people who have frequently been ignored or pushed aside at work, in the media, and in culture at large. Transcription makes the show accessible to more people, including folks who have hearing impairments, so we see it as essential to being inclusive. Yes, podcasting is an audio medium, but we know that people, especially women, with physical disabilities are often marginalized at work. So why would we want to lock up content that could help themÔøΩ or at least make them feel more supportedÔøΩ in a format they can't access, or that isn't as comfortable for them as text? It's extra work to do a good job with transcription, but we think it's crucial.

7. No, You Go has fully embraced advertisers/sponsors, but they always feel very brand appropriateÔøΩ a perfect fit for your audience. How do you decide on sponsors? What advice can you offer fellow podcasters who are considering sponsorship for their shows?

As a new show, if we'd gone the route of traditional advertising, we'd have been starting from zeroÔøΩ zero listeners, zero history, zero reason to spend money with us. But we knew that we had a great audience already for each of us as individuals, and we also knew that we had a concept that really fit what a lot of companies want to support right now: content by and about professional women. So we decided to start from what we already had built, going to the people we knew in our industries first, to gain that early support. That would be our advice: if you're new, figure out who you already know and what they care about, and see if your show fits. If so, start thereÔøΩ and as you build your audience and prove your concept, others will come.

8. The podcasting industry is growing exponentially, and some shows are even making the jump to live audiences and network specials. What's next for No, You Go?

Definitely an HBO special, sold-out live shows, fame, fortune, the works! Seriously, we don't know where it will go yet. But we do know that there's a huge audience out there hungry for more stories about work and careers that they can relate to, that they can see themselves inÔøΩ and more advice that feels relevant and useful, not geared toward someone else's life. So we want to keep pushing forward: improving our skills as podcasters and interviewers, getting the show in front of new audiences, and building momentum. As we do, we know that opportunities will come up, and we'll make the most of them.

9. You record the show in Philadelphia. On your website, you describe Philly as America's most underrated city. How do you incorporate the Philadelphia spirit and love into your podcast?

We've just been talking about this on the showÔøΩ it'll be in an upcoming episode! We think being in Philly is right in line with the concept. That is, we're talking about challenging limiting notions of what ambition and success can look like. And so often, we hear from people that they feel like they have to live in San Francisco to pursue tech, or have to live in New York to pursue media, or whatever. And we want to say, there are amazing, interesting people living all over, doing big things. You're not less valuable, or less ambitious, or less interesting because you choose to live somewhere that's not considered "the" place. Plus, Philly's just so much cooler than people realize: it's historically fascinating, super walkable, charming, fun, and full of amazing restaurants. It's super diverse, not snobby, and relatively affordable compared to other East Coast cities. You should visit.

10. Aside from the show, where else can we see your work?

Definitely follow the show on Twitter @noyougoshow, and us personally at @sara_ann_marie,

@jennlukas, and @theledu. Our personal sites are:

http://sarawb.com

http://jennlukas.com/

http://www.katelledu.com/