Lack of support and confidence are the main difficulties I’ve had to face so far. For my videos, for my podcast… I somehow seem to need some confirmation from people I care about no matter what I do. The problem is that it means my happiness AND my success depend on them. That’s bad. As much as you love your friends and family, you cannot let them steer your life… Plus, if you start believing in yourself, if you are proud of your creation, your job, or whatever you do, they will start to think so too. They will start following you.
You shouldn’t need anyone’s approval
This is the first thing I had to say in this weeks episode of Waves Podcast. Nobody should ever need another human being’s approval to do something. As Rebecca Knowles said it a few weeks ago, you only need to allow yourself. The reason for this is that relying on someone else’s opinion seriously threatens your freedom of being, it demotes your own opinion and will to a lower level as if they mattered less… Which isn’t the case. So yes, sure. Asking to your friends if they like such or such idea is great. But asking them IF you should do it or not is straight up stupid.
They could very well have a different sensitivity to the topic or the thing you are mentioning, but just because THEY don’t doesn’t mean nobody does. In fact if you think about it, it’s virtually impossible to find someone that understands all of your thoughts and ideas because we all have different stories. So expecting your friends to do so is dumb. And on the other side, it’s very unlikely that NOBODY on this planet will find interest in these thoughts and ideas because what we go through, what shapes us, doesn’t happen only to us. So yeah, you should give it a shot.
“But at least my close friends and family could share what I send them…”
Yeah, they could. But they most likely won’t. And there’s a reason for this. Instead of blaming them for not blindly sharing your stuff, the objective thing to do is to try and see WHY they don’t. Main suspect: your content AKA that very thing you want them to support. It can be your new online clothes store, your new video, podcast, or cat memes I don’t know. The point is: if they don’t share it, it is probably because they don’t think it’s worth sharing.
Wait. Don’t get pissed. I know this kind of thing is hard to read but it positive in essence. I truly believe that success is a process that we take time to understand. It is so big and complex that we struggle to even remotely get how it works. But the way I see it, is that if people don’t share your stuff and think it’s not worth doing it, they are actually protecting your project in the long run. Because picture this: you post your first YouTube video on Facebook and 150 of your facebook “friends” share it, their friends share to, everybody is nice to you and you get 10k views. You will have 10k people seeing a video you made that is not your best – because it’s your first – and they will judge your ability to make video based on this. So next time, if they aren’t directly required to share it, they will probably just scroll past it and ignore you.
Trust me, I’ve made a LOT of videos in my life and now that I regularly apply for video-making jobs, I only have 4 or 5 that I actually am proud enough to send to my potential future employers. Simply because I got to improve overtime. It’s part of the process. And don’t get me wrong, you could also very well study video making for a long time before sharing your first video, which would make your “first” content posted very high-quality, like Rosie McCarthy did on Not Even French. That would be different. But if you are prepared enough to post dope things right at the beginning, you may also be prepared enough not to expect your friends to share everything you do. It’s about maturity too. And I only learned that around a week ago… I’m 23.
If you really need support, here’s a few tips
With that being said, I’m also aware that we all have moments when we need help. This is also perfectly normal and I don’t want you to feel bad for feeling like you can’t succeed all by yourself, that a friend giving you a hand would be very nice, etc. This is you being human. It’s good. In that case, and if you think your content quality cannot be improved yet, that you are doing your best, here are a few things to take into account to get people’s support.
Make sure they actually see it. The recent success of social media has had a very huge impact on the visibility of our posts there. What people see on their screens now depends on complicated algorhythms that we aren’t sure exactly how they work. Consequence? Well you could have 100 subscribers on youtube and only get 50 views because your video is hidden behind a forest of videos of Jimmy Fallon talking to celebrities and guessing what’s in their box. So before getting mad: make sure they see it. Maybe send them a link directly?
Sell it well. For some unkown reason, the more important a project is to me personally, the more I struggle to talk about it. I know this is the case for many fellow content creators and not as much for real entrepreneurs, but still, keep that in mind. You need to be able to describe what you do precisely and why it’s interesting, you need to be CONFIDENT in what you do and believe people will benefit from it to hope convincing anybody. Like honestly, would you even watch a video made by a guy who goes “yeah, I made this but I’m not sure it’s great, idk, tell me what you think”? I know I probably wouldn’t. And I’m not especially a mean person. It’s just that there is so much to see, so many channels I’m subscribed to… I naturally select what I watch and don’t want to waste my time on something that sucks.
Don’t feel entitled to anything. This one is linked to what I said above, but it’s worth repeating: People aren’t mean. You don’t have haters. If they don’t show support it is not because they want to hurt you. There are actually many possible reasons for them not to see, watch, and share what you do, and you have no right to expect them to do it. Personally, I used to get mad when people didn’t share and I can testify that it only hurts you. You end up sad or mad vis a vis your friends, you end up doubting about your creations, about the very hope to ever make it a job… But when you turn the tables and realize nobody owes you anything, you start to appreciate every little comment and like, which in turn helps you create more and increase your chances of success.