I’ve been dreaming of creating a podcast since 2019 after discovering Cathy Heller's Don't Keep Your Day Job Podcast. Each day during my daily walk, I'd pop in my headphones & tune into the latest guest speaking with Cathy about what they dared to do instead of existing in a 9-5 job. But I wasn't ready to consider what I would do instead of passing time in my 9-5.

So, I continued on my way, wracking my brain about what I could do differently. Could I even make the shift from full-time to part-time? Should I go fully into freelance? How does one do that when you crave structure from someone else? I continued to mull over these things.

Then in 2020, I read Untamed by Glennon Doyle. That book shook up my entire world. One of the inspirational items on my desk is a hand drawn cheetah with Glennon's "You're a goddamn cheetah" quote written around the cheetah. Although, the entire book is a master piece & there are excerpts I send to friends for various situations, the excerpt on page 66 spoke to my very soul.

It reads:

"In order to move our culture forward, revolutionaries have had to speak and plan from the unseen order inside of them. For those of us who were not consulted in the building of this visible order, igniting our imagination is the only way to see beyond what was created to leave us out. If those who were not part of the building of reality only consult reality for possibilities, reality will never change. We will keep shuffling and competing for a seat at their table instead of building our own tables. We will keep banging our heads on their glass ceilings instead of pitching our own huge tent outside. We will remain caged by this world instead of taking our rightful place as co-creators of it."

I knew in my soul, my body, my heart, & my mind that I couldn't live in a reality where despite pushing my way to the table & leaning in, I kept crashing into this invisible wall or ceiling. For 10 years I met this barrier. For 10 years I dusted myself off & tried to move forward & then through a different way. But each time I crashed, I lost a little sparkle. By the end, I felt like I was screaming about the problem & was met with "there is no problem".

"If those who were not part of the building of reality only consult reality for possibilities, reality will never change".

I read these words over & over. Turning them around in my head. As I did, the smoldering ashes of my soul started igniting. I could feel the sparkle coming back, but it was just out of reach. This excerpt gave me the extra push I was longing for. It was the permission slip to go for it. If not now, when?

I needed to break down the cage I was so carefully placed in. After realizing this & feeling my determination it was as if the bars suddenly widened just enough for me to slip through. In my small (or big way), I needed to do what I could to help any person who was like me, thrashing against some invisible force that just wouldn't budge.

Now, it is time for me to pitch my own huge tent & my own table. So in July 2020, I formally started Helen Merz Photography & created a plan to make that my sole job within a year. One of the biggest reasons I offer photography to local brands & businesses is to provide them with an experience that adds to their sparkle, that showcases their work through beautiful images that attract their ideal clients. That offering is for those who dare to do something different.

But offering that service isn't enough. I put this idea of a podcast on hold while I figured out how to be a full-time business owner & create great experiences for my clients. Now that I have a great handle on that aspect, I'm able to shift my focus a hair & get the Build Your Own Podcast off the ground!

This podcast is a labor of love & I hope to showcase other table builders (literally or figuratively). I want to have conversations about how your soul was ignited & what push you over the edge to follow your heart, your passion, your instinct. I want listeners to hear that there are people out there bringing their sparkle to the world in a different way. I want this podcast to become a movement highlighting an alternative to what society prescribes.

If you'd like to be a guest on the show, please email me at helenm@helenmerzphotography.com with the Subject: BYO POD GUEST. My goal is to release 1 episode by the end of the year.

I can't wait to continue working on this project & booking guests. More information to follow in the coming weeks.


Helen M.

"We will remain caged by this world instead of taking our rightful place as co-creators of it."

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

If you'd like to be considered as a guest on Season One of Build Your Own - Podcast, fill out the form below!