So many people message me all the time asking me a similar question. How are you able to put yourself out there on social media and online, in so many different ways, all the time, without feeling afraid of the repercussions? It’s such a weird question for me to be asked, because this is such a recent phenomena for me. It was only 2 years ago, that I was one of those people asking this exact same question in my head.
I wanted to build an online business. I wanted an online presence, because that’s where the market is moving towards, but I was afraid to be online. Afraid to put my face and image and stuff online, because that meant that people could “find me”. Afraid to put myself out there, because that meant that people could make fun of me, and could reject me, or send me nasty messages.
So much fear inside of me. I was afraid of so many things.
Baby Steps Helped Me Get To Now
I wouldn’t say that one day I saw the light and everything changed inside of me, and I was able to put myself out there. It happened little by little, over a long period of time, through small changes. Like everything big that happens, it takes small baby steps to get there.
The main thing that changed for me was my absolute realization that I needed to, absolutely needed to, be online, and do all of my work online, because if I didn’t, I would be stuck in the dark ages forever.
Every single person whom I admired, or who I wanted to be like, was online, and doing great stuff on there platforms. They were not hiding in a corner, in an apartment, hiding from the world, and from themselves. They were doing what was necessary. Over and over again, they were being out there. Putting themselves out there constantly, and pervasively. They were bombarding the world with their message.
I saw that, and I learned from that.
Knowing that it wouldn’t happen overnight, I kept on going. I wouldn’t get comfortable going from being so private that even my parents didn’t know some stuff about me, to putting myself on social media, and blogging, like a mad woman. It would take time.
Decided On The Platform I Liked And Stuck With It
The thing is that it can be quite overwhelming at first. There were hundreds of different ways for me to share my story and my thoughts with the world. Hundreds! I could be on Twitter, or WordPress, or Facebook, or LinkedIn. There are many platforms popping up every single day.
But, I had to pick one or two. I knew that video was the wave of the future. Hundreds of thousands of hours of video are being uploaded every day, and watched every single minute. So I knew I had to start being comfortable on camera, and speaking my mind in video format. It was important.
Writing has always been an important part of my life, so I knew that writing, blogging, and creating books, would definitely be a part of my formula, whatever I did.
I don’t know what these would be for you. Maybe you work better with Snapchat. Or perhaps, you are a Twitter-kind of person. Figure out which platform suits your personality.
Consistency Has Been My God For Months Now
The most important thing with any of this is to choose a platform and be consistent with it. And I mean, consistent for years and years on end.
Most people think overnight successes when they see someone online who has millions of followers or subscribers. But the truth is they were probably working on their craft, on their online presence, for years on end, before anyone really noticed them. And then they kept on going for another few years, before they got to where you, a mainstream viewer, found them.
So don’t even worry about followers, or subscribers for the first few years. For now, your job is to find a platform that works for you, and to be consistent with it, for years on end. That’s all. Figure out what that platform is for you, and then make a plan to be on it, at least once a day for the rest of your life.
Yes, for the rest of your life, however long that be.
I know that I am going to be creating videos, and writing blog posts, for the rest of my foreseeable future. It will never stop. I might be making videos and writing at my deathbed. In fact, if I don’t die in a fiery car crash, but in bed, peacefully, you will find a laptop and a webcam next to me, for sure, along with a notebook, and a pen.
Forget About Subscribers And Followers – Pretend No One Is Watching
It’s such a funny thing about humans. We want people to watch what we are doing, but then when people are watching, we get really afraid that we are going to do something to screw up, and we don’t want them to watch anymore.
There are two things people say to me when they are starting out with being online:
First Silly Argument
“But, what if I post something, and it goes viral, and hundreds of people see it, and then I am so embarrassed. Or they send me hate mail and troll me.”
First of all, the chances of your content in the beginning of your journey going viral is slim to none. It takes a lot of expertise to create content that smashes the walls, and makes this ADD-riddled world sit up and take notice.
Second of all, the people who are going to troll you, are trolling anyone and everyone. They are not against you particularly. They are just trolls, with no lives, bored agendas, and no personality. Don’t let such foolish, silly people guide your life. That’s madness.
Also, if you have trolls, it means, your content is triggering something in them, or has some panache, so kudos to you. Take it as a compliment.
Second Silly Argument
“But, what if I post something, and no one reads it. I would be so embarrassed.”
Umm, yeah. Most people who make the first argument, end up making this second argument in the same breath. Wait, do you want people watching or don’t you??
But, the truth is, in the beginning, no one is going to be reading your stuff. Or at least you have to go in with the assumption that no one will be reading your stuff. Just go in with that assumption, and if someone does read your stuff, awesome. IF no one does, awesome as well.
I am doing all of this, creating videos, and writing, to become better at it. So good, so so good, that eventually, people will not be able to ignore me (as comedian Steve Martin says). I am doing all of this for practice. And I implore you to do the same.
Pretend no one is reading your stuff, or watching your videos, and everything will turn out perfectly.
Why Are You Doing This? Why Do You Want To Be Online?
The most important question you need to ask yourself is ‘Why?’ Why do you want to be online?
What is the point of all of this?
Why am I doing this, you ask? Well, I want to emulate some of my social media heroes. Not only that, I LOVE it!!
I love creating online content – I love creating it, putting it out there, seeing the feedback of it, learning from it, and creating some more stuff. Whenever I write one of these blog posts, or create a video, and put it out there, I am seriously in a state of ecstasy. Absolute joy. I am so happy, that I cannot believe that I am so lucky as to live in a world where I can create such content, and put it out there, at the cost of pennies.
We live in such an awesome world right now. We have the capability of putting stuff out there, even if we are nobodies and have other people read our stuff (or watch our stuff), and love it.
I love everything about it. I grow as a person from it, I become complete and whole, I feel more creative, and open, I love the connections I make from it.
What about you?? Why do you want to do this? Figure out your why, and it will make everything easier. You will be able to come back to it every single time, you get a troll coming at you, and making you wonder why the hell you ever started.
Forget About It, Once You Create It, It’s Out There, Not Yours Anymore
This is an important point. Most newbie creators I know, create something, they put their all into it, they die for it, they pour sweat and blood and tears into it, and then they wait. They play the damn waiting game. They click refresh over and over again, to see who has interacted with their posts. Did someone like it? Despise it? Hate it? Love it?
God, that’s tiring. Stop doing that to yourself. Think of this way. Once a store sells a pair of pants to a customer, they don’t worry about that pair ever again. They aren’t keeping themselves up at night, wondering about that pair. “I wonder if they are treating that pair of pants properly. I hope they are washing it on the delicate cycle. They better not be sitting down in the snow with it. I wonder how it’s doing.”
Once, they have sold it, they have sold it. It’s not theirs anymore. It’s gone into the ether. They forget about it.
That’s how I want you to think about your content. Yes, it’s your baby. Yes, you nurtured and loved and adored it. But now it’s out in the world, and in the real world, and you need to let it go. Let it go.
Let someone else deal with it and worry about it. Your role now is to go back to the drawing board and to create more and more and more stuff. That’s all.
Do Not Put Your All Into Everything You Create
Now, this is a controversial one. I know it. Every newbie creator that I know of, puts their all into everything they create. I am not saying to do a half-assed job or to create shoddy content.
But, remember this.
This is just one of the many shots you are going to be taking in your life. When Michael Jordan takes a shot, he gives it as much as he can, but he doesn’t give it so much that he burns out, and dies on the court after it.
Do you see the difference?
There’s a difference between burning yourself out because of one of your creations, vs. being able to create over and over and over again.
The ones who succeed, are the ones who are able to create over a long period of time, consistently. Keep on going. Keep at it. The ones who give up are the ones who burned themselves out in the beginning. We want to be here at the drawing board, creating, putting ourselves out there, until the very end.
Until death overtakes us, and makes us stop, we want to be creating.
We Need To Create For The Sake Of Creating, Not For The Accolades
This happens really frequently to me as well. I will be creating stuff, and getting nothing back from the universe. Nada. Zilch. Zip. No one’s reading it, and no one’s even looking at it. I feel like an absolute idiot. Why am I even bothering? What’s the point?
The point is to create. We are creating, we are being online, we are putting ourselves out there, not for someone else. Not for the accolades. Not for the likes, or the follows, or the subscribers. We are doing it for ourselves.
This is such an important thing that I cannot emphasize it enough. You are doing this, or you should be doing it for yourself. It shows when someone is creating something for themselves, because they need to do it, vs. doing it for the money or the fame or the praise.
The difference is palpable.
Remember Your Why And Keep Coming Back To It
I want you to remember this. We are creating and being online for us. We need to do it for us, because there’s a force inside of us, telling us, begging us, pleading with us, to be online. To be creating. To be making stuff, whatever it might be.
We need to do it. We would die if we couldn’t do it. It’s like breathing to us. We can go without breathing only for a few seconds, the same as creating stuff for me. In fact, I get downright grumpy and annoyed if I am unable to create for a couple of days.
Whenever I am in creation mode, I am happy, and orgasmic about life. I want to be alive. I want to be here, because the more I am here, in my body, in this space, the more I have the time to create, and to be putting myself out there.
But, when I don’t, I feel like something’s off. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I know there’s something wrong. I am missing something. What is it??? I don’t know, but when I remember that I haven’t created anything online in the last 2 days, suddenly, a lightbulb goes off, and I go back to the drawing board.
That’s when everything falls into place. As it will for you.