Stephanie Sayson’s Develop Me for We: A Personal Development podcast inspires its listeners to reach their full potential. She left her stable job in her early 20s to pursue her passion projects, dedicating her time and efforts toward those goals until she succeeded. Today, she is a beacon of inspiration, sharing her personal experiences and reflections with others through her podcast.
Taking a Leap of Faith
Sayson admitted that she’s the type of person who prefers some silence to reflect. But because of her constant desire to learn, she decided to listen to the radio just so that she could gain information and inspiration, which ultimately led to her big idea.
“Most days, that inner lifelong learner comes out and binges through,” Sayson said. “I realized that none of the shows I was listening to were even local. I asked around — some friends and most would agree on the lack of local representation in the world of personal development and faith.”
With this, she knew it was time to make her move and leave her mark in the world.
This podcaster’s journey truly started when she began to believe in herself and her abilities. She then took the risk to leave a sufficient paying job in the corporate world. She did so, believing that she would feel fulfilled in doing what she loves. Thus, her podcast was born!
“Being an overachiever, I wanted to pursue excellence and get all the equipment and whatnots right,” Sayson shared. “But as you’ll hear in my story in the first episode, God was prodding me to trust Him and just take a leap of faith and do it. Fear and procrastination are usually masked in the desire for excellence and perfection. So I just got my phone and recorded myself in front of my clothes-filled cabinet. Yes, that’s my zero-cost soundproofing! Everything was just raw and candid with no edits — just add the start and end music, then post!”
The Journey So Far
Sayson said that being a podcaster is thoroughly enjoyable. She has been blessed with a creative platform that gives her the opportunity to express herself the way she wants to.
“You can’t deny how it’s definitely convenient that you don’t have to take hours looking nice for the camera and just wear pambahay,” Sayson said. “Unlike rich content like videos, podcasts solely rely on audio.”
With each episode that she creates, Sayson allows herself to be “vulnerable by sharing personal experiences and thoughts that usually stay in one’s head.”
“The Media Richness Theory is a framework that shows how a communication medium affects how the information is received,” Sayson shared. “I noticed that the times I would just be chill and candid, the audience would be more receptive. It’s through our little slip-ups and passionately animated storytelling that connects us to our listeners as if we’re just friends talking.”
Sayson also believes it’s important to live life to the fullest as it continues to fuel the content that she makes. As an avid bookworm, she has managed to read 17 books and counting in less than three months this 2021. This led to a series for her podcast titled, “Breview,” which Sayson describes as “a combination of a book preview and review.”
“It’s important [that] we do not isolate ourselves from the world we want to make a difference in,” Sayson advised. “Being relevant is just being intentional to have conversations with people you don’t necessarily share the same values with or read up content that’s outside your familiarity or preferences.”
A Lifelong Learner
Sayson wouldn’t have been able to give helpful advice to her listeners through her podcast if she didn’t choose to learn from her experiences in life. It’s that same openness to learn that has helped her grow and develop, eventually inspiring the tips for a better life that she shares with others.
“From reading five books simultaneously to binge-watching dramas at x2.00 speed, there’s no denying that I’m an overachieving lifelong learner,” Sayson said. “Since our experiences make better teachers, I ensure that my days are packed with interacting with the world and conversing with diverse people.”
“As I become more mature, I realize that the achievements I held so dear were only encasing me to a single concept of success,” she shared. “In the past, I would definitely have my graduating with honors, winning competitions, and getting immediately promoted as the top of mind — but the exhilarating highs from these don’t last. I’ve learned that success is being able to be content yet still strive to try new things, hone present strengths, meet new people, and most importantly, experience joy and peace even if nothing extravagant is happening.”
“Me for We”
Sayson’s version of self-love doesn’t just stop with her, but it extends to helping other people bloom alongside her. Her podcast may seem like a platform that she created just to express her own thoughts but it eventually became a platform for her listeners to find their voice.
“Allowing myself to be — I would have random people message me with affirmations that the episodes were conversational, like hanging out with a friend,” Sayson said. “This type of flow made them feel open to change and relax even if the process would not be an easy one.”
In each of Sayson’s podcast episodes, there would always be self-evaluation questions for her listeners to reflect and respond to, which she remarked as “coming from personal realizations from past experiences or speaking with others.”
“We pride ourselves on being self-sufficient, but it doesn’t end there!” Sayson asserted. “In order for a community to be healthy and effective, everyone must work together, having interdependence. We need one another. Acknowledging your limits is a sign of strength and asking for help is not [a sign] of weakness. Imagine the growth we can have through unity! This is an encouragement to each one of us — we all have a part in making a difference. If we aim for sustainable progress, our focus shouldn’t remain inward but outward as well. I acknowledge I have a purpose beyond me and that’s for we — the community.”
For aspiring podcasters, Sayson had this to say: “Your voice matters! Kuwento away! Whether it’s random sabaw moments or deep reflections, you shouldn’t feel pressured to act interesting and even parrot — else, you’ll end up as noise!. We all have something meaningful and beautiful to contribute. Dream big, but don’t be discouraged that you’re starting small. Stay humble and don’t forget to make the time to take the time to rest, too!”
Love listening to podcasts? Check out another noteworthy Chinoy podcaster, Mish Tan, here.