This blog post is me trying to get into the one percent.
Oh no, I don’t mean the wealthy one percent. That will take more time. I’m talking about the creative one percent. The one percent willing to be an active creator and not a passive consumer of online content. The one percent that actually makes things and shares them on the internet. And no matter what, if you too are creating things and sharing them on the internet, I salute you, cause this stuff ain’t easy, but as long as you are doing something, you’re in rare company.
First off, I know you struggle sometimes with motivation. It’s funny; we live in the most creative era ever known, and yet even the best of us have a hard time with just creating things and sending them out into the world. This is only my second blog post, and I’m struggling myself already. Why? Maybe it’s because we fear being judged. Or maybe it’s because we might not be.
Which is worse, having many people look at what you’ve created and ridicule you for it, or being the proverbial tree that falls in the forest of the internet and no one hears you?
Maybe that’s why 99% of people never try.
But you have, and so have I.
If it was easy, everyone would do it.
So, you want to be a one-percenter too. Fantastic. Let’s go into this together.
What motivates you? One of the big things that motivates me is my age. I’m a little older than most online creators, and if most people my age would embrace the child-like wonder we used to have and think about the possibilities, there would be no way we couldn’t take advantage.
For me, I wanted to be a writer when I was little. That would require writing a piece, getting an agent, maybe getting a publisher, or contacting a newspaper or magazine and hope they like what I wrote. Today, we can publish our own blogs and reach the entire world. We can publish our own books. We can do it all ourselves.
I wanted to be on radio. Today, we have podcasts.
I wanted to be on TV. Today, we have YouTube.
I wanted to share my photos with people, talk to people in other countries, learn about other cultures. Today social media allows us to do that.
We live in the golden age of creativity, and people in their 30s, 40s, 50s and up have the perspective to give this age its maximum respect. Hell, I remember when I thought the push-button touch tones on our phones were cool. Now everything’s all Star Trekky.
It’s a great big bus, yet only 1% of us do any driving. The rest of us sit in the passenger’s seats and consume. All we do as consumers is share or click to thumbs up or heart or whatever and scroll and scroll and scroll for hours.
And even Facebook says when we are passive consumers just reacting to content, we become depressed, numb, and we fall down rabbit holes for hours until the day has gone by and we have made little impact upon our world.
I’ve done it too. It’s time to change it up.
How To Change It Up
The first thing? I watch a video.
When I need motivation, the one video I go to is this one. My friend Roberto Blake is known for his deep knowledge of the digital experience, but one of my favorite things about him is he doesn’t hold back when he goes on occasional rants. One rant is my go to piece on starting off on the right foot.
When he talks about figuring out what you love to do, remember it can be just about anything. No idea is too weird.
So when he says, “making corny 80s reference jokes that nobody gets”, he is not talking about me. No way.
And put it out there because you want to. I know in the world of social media, social proof, and building audiences, people measure the thing based on the attention it gets but put those thoughts away. Be doing what you love because you love it.
I posted a picture on Instagram five hours ago. So far, it has only one like.
If I didn’t love taking pictures, I would be discouraged. I’m not. I posted it because I love taking photos and sharing them. So I’ll do it again. And again. Because it’s fun.
When you love something, it shows, and that will carry you. You will find others who love what you do and they will find you too. It’s that organic networking that will lead to the attention and audience you want. Don’t force it and don’t forget why you are doing it. When you play for the love of the game, it doesn’t matter if you have two or two million likes. To quote Damone in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, “no matter what happens, your toes are still tappin’. And when you have that, then you have the attitude!”
How To Turn It Into Action
I will not point you to a Gary Vaynerchuk video.
I will point you to one of his articles. Click that lightning bolt. It’s taunting you.
Because sometimes, you need to read something, scan it, take notes, read it again, and put it inside your head so it will take root. This article explains what I’ve been trying to say here in much too many words.
“We’re just living through this incredible era and nobody is actually doing. Start f***ing executing.”
If you want to have a game plan, he spells it all out for you. The what, the how, the where, how to speak your truth and where to put it so people can see it. The instructions are easy; it’s the execution that’s tough. This piece will help you put it all into place.
Don’t worry about quality. Just make something. Be a creator. Follow your passion and put it out there.
You will get better. I will get better. At this stage in the game (my second blog post and whatever or wherever you might be), it’s about the action. We’re chopping wood. We’re swinging the axe. Eventually we might have a nice cabin or some firewood for the winter.
It won’t be today, but if we don’t chop that wood, it won’t be tomorrow either.
And the best part? The more time we spend creating something we love, the less time we spend on reacting to all the other stuff that other people have created instead.
We change the narrative. Or at least change our space.
99% of you won’t.
Be the one percent.