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It’s Okay To Suck At Things

“A barista pouring coffee into a mug that says ugh on it at Bar Nine” by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
Here’s some thoughts I wrote down 6 months ago about Youtube…

I’ll admit it:

I suck at YouTube.

I do.

I just started posting 5x per week there on March 30, and I’m a bit embarrased by some of my videos.

Okay, maybe they’re not TOO bad. Like, I know how to edit videos and I think I have a good eye for shots..

My first one’s pretty good (some say):

But compared to Casey Neistat? Compared to Amy Schmittauer?

Yeah, I don’t got it just yet.

Is this going to stop me from making videos, though?

The 20-view videos?


Let me tell you why..

I’m Going To Get Better

I know I’m going to get better. In fact, I’m confident as hell that I’m going to get much better.

Why do I say that?

Because human beings get better at everything they practice at.

I’m putting out 5 videos per week. That’s a ton of practice. That’s a ton of hours logged with my camera and my editing software.

5 videos per week = Lots of mistakes.

Mistakes I learn from, though.

Every mistake is a lesson. I just figure I’ll learn enough lessons to eventually be good someday if I stick with this.

And people don’t get that. They don’t understand that you can literally become good at anything if you practice enough.

And don’t tell me this is obvious. If it were, people wouldn’t quit stuff.

When we work hard to create something and it doesn’t do well, we start telling ourselves we’ll NEVER be good at it — and that’s simply not true.

But there’s something else I need to say..

It’s NOT Okay To Suck If..

You legitimately aren’t trying to learn something new every day.

Imagine if I just put my head down and created new videos every day without looking for guidance elsewhere.

The reason I got any good at blogging was because I read a shit ton of content about how to be a better blogger.

I learned about email lists and headlines and call to actions and all of that other stuff.

That’s how I got good — by simultaneously practicing AND looking for guidance elsewhere. Learning something new every single day.

Create, fail, learn, repeat.

We learn BOTH by creating and by looking to others in the form of blog posts, videos, and maybe even a direct email.

That’s my formula.

Just make sure you’re constantly tweaking. DO pay attention to your stats — because then you can make tweaks based off what’s working/isn’t working.

Is a post not doing well?

Maybe it’s your headline — in fact, it’s probably your headline.

Maybe it’s your content?

Maybe it’s the fact that you don’t have that many followers? What’s that? You ONLY got 30 views on a recent post? Rejoice for that. That’s 30 human beings that read your writing.

The majority of successful creators don’t just create — they look back on what they did and look for ways to improve.They’re ruthlessly honest with themselves, and they aren’t afraid to get uncomfortable uncovering the parts they suck at.

You need to do the same.

UPDATE: October, 2018 — I Don’t Suck Anymore?

I wrote these words originally in March. Now I ALMOST have 2,000 subscribers on Youtube, and over 80,000 Facebook likes thanks to 5 viral videos I made.

My videos still suck — but I’ve gotten better. At least, that’s what people tell me. :)

Give Yourself Permission To Suck

Get comfortable with sucking. Wake up every day and greet it with a smile.

I promise you this: embracing how much you suck is the ONLY way you’re going to find success at anything creative.

Just look at my story! 😄

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by + 381,508 people.

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