You know that filming videos in 2018 is essential to build your online brand. Yet, you're still not making them. But one day you will – at least that's what you keep telling yourself...
Chances are that whatever your justification is for not getting in front of the camera ("My camera isn't good enough...", "There's nowhere to film in my apartment...", and so on), it's likely your ego that's preventing you from building the video skills you need to make it online.
In this episode, we'll provide you specific action steps on how to overcome camera shyness, stage fright and procrastination when it comes to filming and publishing videos. We'll help you quiet that fear-of-judgement keeping you from venturing out past your comfort zone.
Hello and welcome episode 31 of the Active Growth Podcast. Today, we are re-visiting a topic that we've touched on before and that is the very important topic for any entrepreneur. We could summarize this topic as resistance. Here is the kind of thing I mean.
As an entrepreneur, you're doing a lot of learning and that's the reason you're listening to this podcast as well, so you're listening to podcasts. You're reading business books. You're reading blog posts and so on. You're trying to learn this entrepreneurial skill. Now pay attention to or think about what happens when you encounter some advice that you want to implement. So maybe you read about some strategy, some technique, some thing that you think yes, this makes sense for my business. I want to implement this. This is going to help me.
Basically one of two things is going to happen. We could think of useful implementable advice in two categories. The first category is the kind of thing where you go ahead and do it and the second category is the kind of thing where you go ahead and don't do it. So you want to do it and you could do it if you think about it. It's like yes, I'm capable of doing this but for some reason I don't do this. I basically can't get myself to do this.
That is what I mean by resistance. This is something we all experience. We resist things for no apparent reason. Like I said, we were capable of doing it and we want to do it and it's probably going to be good for you but somehow there is this resistance. Sometimes this feels like resistance. Sometimes this feels like I can't get myself to do this. Sometimes it sounds ... maybe you just have a reasonable sounding excuse. But really, it's this intangible thing. It's this thing where you just can't get yourself to do the thing that you really want to and should be doing. Needless to say, the more this happens, the worse off you are, the most instances of good advice that you encounter, that you can't get yourself to implement the worse off you'll be and as an entrepreneur if you get good at overcoming this resistance, that will make you a better and more effective entrepreneur.
So that's what we're talking about today. We're talking about this in a very specific context which is the context of video marketing. Okay? We're talking about the idea of recording and publishing videos of yourself. However, even if you aren't interested in video marketing, if you have ever wanted to publish something, a piece of content, a landing page, a video, a product, a course, a newsletter, anything and you felt that resistance, this episode is for you. So you can basically just think of everything we talk about that relates to video marketing, just relates to any kind of creative work you put out there.
So I'm sure this will be a super helpful episode for you. I know that this is a problem that so many entrepreneurs struggle with, enough that it comes up again and again when I talk to people who are running their own businesses and starting their own businesses, and I think you'll find some very, very useful advice here and we're trying to present this advice in such a way that it won't be the kind of advice where you go, yes, I want to and should do this but I can't get myself to.
Now, you can get all the show notes for this episode including links to any resources we mention, by going to activegrowth.com/31. Activegrowth.com/31. There you can also leave us a comment, either a written comment or a voice message, so if you have any questions, if you have anything else you'd like to learn from us or have any feedback for us, you can do that right there. That is activegrowth.com/31. And with that, let's get into the episode.
I'm Shane Melaugh.
And I'm Hanne Vervaeck.
And if you are a follower of Active Growth, you may know that I do a lot of video content and in fact I have been doing video content for a long time, and I encourage people to create videos quite often. Not so much actually if you look at Active Growth, the site, blog, we haven't really talked about video marketing lately a lot, maybe we should. But if you know me in person, chances are that at some point, I've talked you into recording videos of yourself and there are various reasons for this. I think that making videos is, first of all, video marketing is great. It's been really good for me. I think it's a great channel for communication and marketing. But also I think making videos of yourself, recording yourself, is one of the best ways to improve your communication skills.
As we've talked about in previous episodes, you know good communication skills really benefit many, many areas of your business and your life. But there is also something very interesting about specifically making videos, because if you think about this right now. Let's say we have a conversation and I talk you into making videos. Let's say I convince you, yes, this is something you should do that this would be good for you and your business and you should do this. But imagine what it would feel like if right now you were sitting in front of the camera, the lens pointing straight at you. A little red record light blinking and you're supposed to talk to this camera now and then explain something or just talk about something related to your business, and then you're supposed to upload that to YouTube for the world to see.
A lot of people, even just listening to this will have sweaty palms, right? Some people will be listening to this and be like no this doesn't bother me at all because I know for sure I will never, ever do this. Never. Because you're just basically, it's terrifying. There is something terrifying about it. People are incredibly afraid of public speaking and recording a video and uploading is kind of like public speaking.
So this is one of the things that then comes up when I tell people they should make videos or when I work with people who want to start making videos then this often comes up as like how do you get yourself to do this? Right? You're sitting there super nervous. How do you get yourself to actually record this and actually upload this? And the question I've been asked in many different contexts is basically that for me when I got started, how did I overcome this? How did I get over this massive feeling of resistance of creating what is basically a crappy video, your first video is going to be crap and then uploading it anyway? That is what we're going to talk about in today's episode. Exactly the things I did and the things you can do to overcome this kind of resistance.
You already made a very interesting distinction there Shane, between recording the video and actually uploading that video because it's one of those things where a lot of people are like okay, yes, I'm going to do this but then it just ... they never upload it right? It's never for the world to see, so that's exactly what we're going to talk about here. How you can actually get that out there?
Yeah and it's for sure this, it's kind of this stage fright because if you're talking to a friend about something related to your business, you probably have no problem, right? If you tell yourself or if you sit in front of a camera and you don't record or you record and you tell yourself I'm just going to delete this right away, this is never going to be uploaded again, it's probably going to be much easier to make that video. But it's the moment when you're like okay this is for publishing for the world to see. That's where the fear sets in. That's where this resistance comes in.
Now, like I said in the intro, we're talking about this in the context of making videos because that's where you most clearly feel this resistance but the same thing just in to a lesser extent will also keep you publishing whatever else. Publishing blog posts or an app that you've been working on or publishing your business, publishing your product to the world, right? It's the same kind of fear that can hold you back. Even if you don't plan to make videos yourself, if that's the case, I'll try to convince you another time. Even if you don't plan to make videos yourself, this episode will help you overcome a certain kind of resistance.
The ego is a frightened, pathic, grasping creature. This is a quote by Terrance McKenna, a man who has said many wonderful and crazy things and I don't agree with many of them but this is one I do agree with. The ego is a frightened, pathetic, grasping creature. I start with this quote here because I think the ego plays a huge role in this resistance. Right? You feel uncomfortable recording video, let alone publishing it and it's because your ego is basically interfering. So in this context, what I mean is the ego is that fearful animal part of your brain that is constantly feeling under threat. It's the part of your brain that's constantly telling you, oh better not do this. Better be careful. Better play it safe. Don't put yourself out there, right?
In anatomical terms, this would be the amygdala in your brain basically just firing off like crazy saying no, no, no. Don't do this. We're afraid. The ego is basically saying, look, your survival here is important and by putting yourself out there, by doing something like speaking in public or recording and uploading a video of yourself, your social standing in the tribe is threatened, right? If you make a fool of yourself, or if you do something that's out of the ordinary and most people don't do this, right? So if you put yourself out there, you make yourself vulnerable. You might make a fool out of yourself, and if you do this too much, you might get expelled from the tribe and that is terrible and you could die. That's our evolutionary brain, right? Thinks that this is how it still works.
Therefore do nothing out of the ordinary right? Don't stand out. Don't do anything stupid as making a video of yourself, where everybody can see you and judge you. Just keep your head down and survive. That's where this comes from right?
Just to be clear. You're not going to die if you make a video and upload it to YouTube.
Yes. And this is part of the problem, right? Even if you notice. Well I'm probably not going to die, you also don't think of it like that. You don't think oh my god my life is in danger. But it's like this part of your brain is like no it is. It seriously is. Don't do this. Alright?
So another thing to say here, this doesn't always feel like fear. Like I said, you don't actually feel like your life is in danger. You might actually have ... this might actually feel very, very different. But we'll get to that in a bit.
Now if we think about it like this, the source of this is basically our ego or it's this kind of primal part of our brain, trying to protect us. There are probably many things you could do and you might think of to kind of control this fear response or to somehow appease it or calm yourself down or whatever. But the thing is for me I actually didn't struggle with this problem. Even in my earliest and crappies videos, they were very, very crappy. I never perceived this as a difficult struggle. It's not that I didn't have these fears, right? It's that I was just like oh yeah I'm making video. It's all good. It's just that I had a stronger reason.
So quite simply, the way this works for me is that, even from the very first video I ever made, it was more important to me to get my message out there, then basically the fear of making a fool of myself or the fear of just having the video judged by other people. So I cared more about saying the thing I wanted to say than about whether my video would get a lot of views or whether it would get this like or whether I would look like an idiot.
Basically I had a strong reason why. I think that's super important to have. I think that is the number one thing that has the date in the past and still has to this day motivate me to create content is that I have the perfectionist reflex for sure. I'm always very aware of the short comings of my content. But whenever I publish content it's because the thing I want to say is more important to me than whether I look like an idiot.
I actually had a very similar experience I guess when I started doing videos, because the reason I started with video marketing was because I needed to build a brand from scratch and I needed to do it quickly and I needed to stand out and I knew that by writing blog posts just like everybody else, it would take me much longer to get that brand awareness and basically to build up my audience and so on. That's my why for doing videos. Doing the videos was more important than not doing the videos because building that brand and building that website and building the audience was more important than the fear of actually getting in front of the camera.
There is on other thing that's maybe a little bit sneaky and not everybody will be able to relate to that but I was doing videos in French which is not my model language. I actually much rather preferred talking in another language than writing in another language because it's much easier when somebody hears that you have an accent and so on and they are more forgiving about the errors that you make rather than in writing. Then you have the grammar police coming to hit you, right?
So maybe for me that was also one of the reasons why I was like okay I'd rather be speaking even if it's in front of a camera, then having to write out everything in French. But that's just something specific.
Yeah, that's very specific to this case of a second language, but I think this could be true for other people as well where you might find it actually in speaking, if you're not thinking about speaking in the context being recorded or something, you might find that oh yeah I actually find it easier to express myself just talking than writing. So I think this could apply to people as well, even without the language factor.
I also think it's very interesting what you just told us because it shows that it's a very different example of the same thing that I've been talking about which is you had a very, clear strong conviction of something that helped you overcome this resistance. And for me, it was more about the message but for you it was more like let's say tactical, right? You had very clearly thought out why video, rather than writing and I think your thing about the sneaky admission that this actually easier than writing or more pleasant than writing, it is also kind of a way to trick your brain into saying, well the alternative is worse, so we better do this. Right?
But I think the important thing here is that if you had just said oh I should do videos but without any kind of strong conviction, maybe just some guru told you make videos, and you're like okay I should do this, then you wouldn't have these tools at your disposal to overcome the resistance and it's because you had this very clear idea of these are the reasons why video is going to help me in ways that writing blog posts or doing something else is not going to help me. That then becomes this strong like you say, the very strong reason why that helps overcome the resistance. Maybe for context we should also say, what you did there, so this is before you started working for Thrive Themes, was you built your own brand in French market. Did you do weekly videos? Is that what you did?
Yeah. So for a year I actually did one video a week which was very short videos about something marketing related, because my audience was online entrepreneurs and I was also selling online courses and so on and the little videos were basically nuggets of knowledge that would attract my ideal audience of people that would then be interested in taking a longer course about online marketing.
I think another interesting there is that you did weekly videos, which is also something I did early on. I did a weekly update video for my subscribers and this is another thing that can help overcome the resistance. Not so much initially. For the first video, it doesn't help but if you basically tell yourself and you tell your subscribers check back for weekly videos, then after awhile it just becomes the thing that you do. For me it was on Sundays I did this. And so it's just like on Sundays I make videos.
I don't have to make an extra decision about this. I don't have to be like oh my god, where do I fit this in? Should I do it today? Should I not do it? It's like no. I make a video every week and it's on Sunday. End of story.
Yeah, exactly. I did a video every Friday. Now I was batch filming because that was just easier but again it was very clear to my audience that every Friday there would be a video coming out and I remember I think missed one week in the 52 weeks and basically then you have your audience asking, oh, but where is this week's video? So definitely it's ... I think we talked about it when we were talking about procrastination but having a set schedule, not having to think about it and announcing it publicly that this is something that you're going to do, definitely helps.
To keep them going with this basically.
My next piece of advice here is to start with tutorials. I think using tutorials, making tutorial videos is kind of a soft approach into easing yourself into making videos and later making more kind of speaking directly to the camera. Videos that are, let's say, where the spotlight is more on you. I also want to mention this, that most of my early videos were tutorial videos and if you were thinking before, if I say well for me, getting the message out there, was more important than my ego. If you're thinking, oh wow, he must have had some world changing deeply important message. It's like no. It doesn't have to be that, right?
Like, my early videos, some of my early videos were about water cooling components. As some of you might know, I used to have an e-commerce store selling water cooling components for computers. This can be, so setting up a water cooling system in a computer is fairly complicated thing to do. And so people need help with this. So I would do a tutorial that's like, here is how to install a water cooling component on your computer's processors and I would show how to do it and explain how to do it. Explain what to look out for in order to not break your computer. This kind of thing. So it's not like this is my life purpose, my mission, the thing that keeps me up at night. It's just that I know that some people know this. I know that some people don't know how to do this but they want to learn. I know that I can teach them and this was my community at the time. Like it was important to me to help these people out, right?
It's more like when I say my message is important. It's not like I want to change the world even though that can be a strong driving factor. Nothing against that, but it also can be ... my message what's important to me is that I'm helping my friends, right? I'm helping my friends figure this thing out. That's important to me.
That's something I want to emphasize. Like it doesn't have to be grandiose, right? It just has to be important to you personally.
I remember watching a video you sent me later on. I didn't see it at the time but how to put insulation around your microphone so it doesn't reverb.
Yeah, oh man. That's such a good tutorial. I love that.
Magnificent DIY tutorial from Shane Melaugh.
That was great. That was in one of my paid courses actually. Yeah. But that is an example. It's just like me and a cardboard box and some tape and stuff going here's how you've built this box around your microphone so that you have better audio quality and exactly this kind of thing. And for me, it's like I get invested in what I do. So maybe that's also part of this. I get invested in what I do. If I spend time thinking about audio quality, I really think about audio quality, right? I get into it. It becomes really important to me and so I get invested in helping people get a great result. In that case, get a great result on a very low budget. This is important to me, right? That's what I mean when I say my message is important to me.
And it does help people out. I mean that's the goal of the message essentially. You've managed to reach that goal basically.
Exactly. So tutorials are great for that because it's usually easy whatever your market is, it's usually easy to figure out okay what are some things that people struggle with, you know? What are maybe some tools that I use on a day to day basis that I could help people understand how to use them? What are some problems that I can help people with this tutorial?
I think it makes it easier on you in terms of that resistance because when you're creating a tutorial, it's not like you're telling your life story or conveying a personal message or expressing a personal belief. Those are things where you're on the spotlight, right? That can really trigger that fear of oh my god, what will people think of me, right? Is this too controversial? If I tell people my beliefs and my convictions and tell them my story, is this ... will I offend people? Will I bore people? Even worse, right? What if people are bored?
Because it's all about me, then. So I wouldn't start with the kind of videos where you are kind of explaining your life philosophy to the camera or even like the daily vlogging kind of thing where you are just filming yourself doing things where the spotlight is just on you and you feel like if somebody gives that video a dislike on YouTube, it feels like a personal insult, right?
Exactly. I think that's the big difference. It's that the reactions, because of this personal content, the reactions that it will get is also personal. So with a tutorial, if people think that your water cooling component, whatever tutorial is boring, you can just be like well water cooling is not the most exciting topic, right? Sorry Shane. But if your standing there and being like oh this is something that I learned and this is my life purpose and whatever and somebody is like eh, boring. It's kind of hard to accept.
So, also in terms of the goal right? If you make this kind of personal video, then it's more like well I want to reach people with this and I kind of ... I want approval, right? The goal of a tutorial is, the way I think about it is the goal of a tutorial is I want to help one person solve this problem, right?
If there's one single person who watches my tutorial video and it helps to do something that it couldn't do before, then that's a successful video no matter what else happens with that video. This is, by the way, still the case. I've just recently published three videos on how to use Trello, a productivity app, right? You can watch these videos and you'll see that, just watch these videos and notice how they aren't about me, right? These videos are not about me. In fact, these videos are about you. These videos are about you and Trello. I think you can see that this kind of thing, that this is what I'm talking about, right? It's like I'm not in the spotlight of these videos and it's easier to make such a video.
There's one other advantage with the tutorial videos, is that because you are showing something either you're filming maybe what you're doing with your hands, like I was doing with the sewing videos or you were probably doing with the water cooling where you're actually like filming the computer and showing how to do stuff. Or maybe you're screen casting something so it's software that you're showing. So, the spotlight literally is also not on you. You can not show your face in those parts of the videos even though we will always try to get you in front of the camera, because it helps for that connection with your audience, but you could say okay I'm only doing a small introduction. I'm only doing a small outro and in the middle, I'm just filming my hands or my screen or whatever you're showing. So it's also literally much easier to not be in the spotlight because the people are not looking at you particularly.
So let's talk about what I would call the social media problem because this is all something that as I was thinking about this topic, why was this never as difficult for me as it seems to be for many people. I think a trick that I had and still have up my sleeve is that I am not involved in any social media in any personal way. So there are no social media accounts that I use personally. There are social media accounts for businesses. I don't use those either. But basically I am not involved in social media.
That means that I never got caught up in this whole thing of caring about how many likes or up votes something gets or how many connections or friends or whatever I have, right? I think of this as like, I never started smoking so I never had the problem of having to quit smoking, right? I never started social media so I have never had my brain get tangled up in all this kind of chasing of social currency and all this kind of stuff.
That is also something that I think is important here because the more you are caught up in that way of thinking, the more strongly you are a social media user, the more likely you are to really fear this kind of judgment. To really fear what happens if I publish a video and it doesn't get enough likes or whatever? I also think that again everything we talked about just before will help with that as well, right? It's ... I think for that, it is very important to initially don't put the spotlight on yourself because you might already be doing that in a form on social media and you might be caught up in a thing where you're seeking validation and you have this fear of not enough validation. All this stuff that I read about anyway, apparently people think this way.
Apparently it's a problem for certain people.
It seems so yeah. Anyway, I think that's something. If you're caught up in that and then you make a video with you in the spotlight, I can understand how that would be terrifying.
So again basically everything we talked about before try to shift your focus on helping one person. Alright? This is also something that I think is important in the way you communicate. A typical example, and this is an example you had as well Hanne actually is that as soon as you started recording video, you switched into what I call your stewardess voice. Right?
I can still speak in my stewardess voice if you need to.
Exactly. Which is kind of funny. So it's like as soon as you knew, okay I'm being on video. I'm recording a video. It's like you changed the way you speak and it's usually better to just speak as if you were speaking to a friend. As if you were speaking to one person. It's very normal. The stewardess voice thing with, it's just quite funny, because your stewardess voice is so different from your normal voice. But it's actually quite normal for people to do that like as soon as they are on stage or in front of a crowd, they suddenly speak in ways that they would never talk to their friends, right? It's like you take on this oratory style that is basically weird.
I don't know what you're talking about Shane. This is absolutely how I'm used to talking normally. And this is also how I'm recording the whole podcast from now on.
I like it. It's like an elevator. Somehow ... I'm in an elevator. Anyway. So anyway, I think that's great. I think you have a great stewardess voice. It's one of those things where it can make it difficult. You suddenly feel like I have to play this role which is different from the person that usually am and everything feels strange and if instead you just think about I'm not making this for a huge crowd. I am making this to help one friend solve one problem.
Because let's be honest, in the beginning it won't be for a huge crowd anyways? Your first videos weren't watched by thousands of people. Nobody's first videos are probably watched by thousands of people unless you already have like a huge audience. But most of the time it's just you and your mom watching those videos.
Exactly. Exactly. Which is really good right? Because you don't have to be that afraid? It's like one of those things, you know. It's like when women are afraid to go to the gym because they are like oh my god what if I blow up and I become huge, muscular and square? Right? It's like no. Nobody has this problem. People would like to have this problem. Oh I went to the gym once and now I'm hugely muscular. It's almost like this fear of oh I published a video and ...
And it's going to go viral.
Yeah, everybody saw it. Everybody saw it. Nobody has this problem. This is not a real problem.
There is another real problem that I want to talk about because I think this is something that's really different between women and men which is when I started thinking about videos and deciding that this was something that I really wanted to do, one of the things that I was really afraid about was to get comments about my appearance.
Anybody who ever published anything on YouTube that that's a reality and also knows that women get more comments on their appearance than men. That was ...
Hold on. I'm glad you bring this up because men basically get no comments on their appearance whatsoever.
I've published like thousands of videos at this point. Nobody has ever said oh this guy looks cute. Maybe it's just I'm not very cute, but that's besides the point, it's like because we see this a lot right on Thrive Theme videos when it's me and the video, basically everyone just comments about the content. But when it's you or Steph in the video, then there is always comments of people saying oh my god, you look so cute. Or I want to marry you or some such thing. And look, we delete those for the most part. When we find them we delete them, so you won't see this but we see it. This is, this is really strange. I have to say. It's really strange and I'm glad you bring this up because yeah it really is different for women.
Yeah, it is a reality. I mean, we delete at least one comment on every YouTube video of somebody giving comments on your appearance for the good or for the bad. It's just one of those things. When you start making videos, it's super uncomfortable. You already feel pretty self conscious about being video and as a woman you will probably put on makeup and that's a whole other story because I know we also had this discussion with Shane about me when I'm going to record a video I'm going to put on makeup and you're not doing that.
I put on a shirt.
Yeah, exactly. Me too. I put on clothes. It's like one of those things where it's just so much harder as a female to do this and for me, like my mind hack or whatever when I started with this face to camera videos, I actually decided, this was one of the biggest reasons why I decided to talk to a female audience because I knew I wanted to videos, I knew that it was the way to get my name out there and so instead of just starting this YouTube for a random audience, I decided to do this for female entrepreneurs so at least in my mind, I could imagine that women watching the video and even though we're very harsh on each other in real life, we don't leave harsh comments on YouTube.
So of course, it's kind of ridiculous because the videos are on YouTube anyways and it's not as if only women are watching them but because I was speaking to a female audience and most of the people following me were women. At least for me, it was one of those things where I could more easily get over that. It allowed me to now, after doing 50 plus videos for what was in my head, a female audience to not be self conscious about this anymore, and to do the videos for Thrive Teams and then to see somebody commenting on whatever they want to comment on and then just be like oh that's so cute. You're sitting behind your computer commenting on my appearance. You would never, ever, ever have the courage to come see me in real life. Delete.
So that's really something, I have to say women have it harder there because it's like that fear, part of that fear of I will be judged no matter what I talk about, it's like I will be personally judged is I think just truer for women than for men. Also, I think this thing that you said about you make videos for a female audience and then you imagine that only women see it. I think in part that's true because I notice this a lot that I just get almost no exposure to female entrepreneurs and marketers. And it's not because I'm not interested. I think it's just that because all these tools we use like YouTube and all this stuff, uses these algorithms to determine what to show us, right?
For some reason, YouTube will just consistently decide to show me videos about business and entrepreneurship that feature men and not videos that feature women. It's not like I ever said I don't want to see these, it just somehow decides that this is what it's going to do. So I think it's actually true to some degree that you will probably have a mostly female audience if you brand yourself as being for women. I think it works. This is where the bubbles that we're all sitting inside online work in your advantage.
Earlier on I said that if you have this fear of publishing, you have this resistance, it doesn't always feel like fear. That's probably the trickiest situation when it doesn't feel like fear. It feels like reason. Right? You're not thinking oh my god, I'm so terrified of doing this, you're thinking well I would do this but I don't have time or this or that or the other. You're thinking that it's perfectly reasonable. You have a reason not to do it. But that's where this becomes interesting where some things you decide to do them and you just do them. And some things you decide to do them and then you don't do them. You make excuses instead. That's an interesting psychological things.
So one of the things I want to address here is if you are thinking oh my reason for not publishing this video or not making this video in the first place, is not because I'm afraid or because of my ego or whatever, it is simply because it's not good enough.
No, it's because I don't have a professional, Shane.
Yes, I don't have the professional camera. I don't have the right set up yet and I'm going to get this, that, and the other and then, then it's going to be good enough. What I want to say here is that this is 100% your ego talking. This is 100% fear based. It's just dressed up as reason. We've talked about this before, you can listen to Episode 9 of this podcast. You can go to Active Growth.com/9 to find it. We've talked about procrastination by perfectionism. Where essentially you're always going this isn't good enough, this isn't good enough. That's the reason I'm not doing it. So if that's your problem, definitely go listen to Episode 9. We dive deep into problem and how to solve it. But I just wanted to mention that here and I just also want to reiterate and I want to tell a story about this as well because you have to be aware it will never feel good enough. You will never get to that point where you're like yes, now it's good enough. Now I'm going to publish this.
This idea of it has to be good enough first is literally like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. No matter how far you go towards the end of the rainbow, you will never get there. I have experienced this personally very much. So I want to give you an example of how this kind of problem, this is my resistance that I still have and that I basically still have to routinely overcome. If every time you see a video I've made or something I've made, I have overcome this resistance to some degree.
Recently I have been working on the outline of new productivity course. So I'm working on a new version of Focus and Action. I'm not sure maybe I'll call it a different name, but years ago, about six years ago I published a productivity course for entrepreneurs and I called it Focus and Action. And right now I am working on kind of a new version of that although it's going to be a completely different product but again it's basically going to be how to be more productive product. A course that teaches how to be more productive.
And it's quite interesting to see this contrast. Six years ago I did it the first time and now I'm doing it again because I remember exactly six years ago how I was feeling that well yes people are asking me for a productivity course. People are constantly asking me how do I get so many things done and so on, but I'm not really good enough yet. Right? I'm not really productive enough. I don't really have a solid enough system. I don't think I can really teach this. I first need to read more books and learn more things and experiment more and then I will make a course.
I have to talk myself out of this. I have to overcome this. And make this course anyway. And, this isn't interesting for several reasons. So first of all, I made this course even though I felt like I wasn't really good enough and this course was very well received. People who took this course I basically got only positive feedback and some people told me that it really made a huge difference for them. You know it kind of changed their lives and the way they work. So it would have been a shame not to produce it, right? It would have been a shame not to do that and deprive those people of that benefit.
And, when I look at it now, when I look back at this course, I can clearly see how incredibly much better I've gotten at everything that I talk about there. But right now, when I work on this course, I still feel like that while it's not really good enough yet. I still feel like ... it's like the same tape playing in my mind, you know? Well my system isn't very solid enough. I'm not really that productive. I should read some more books about it. Blah, blah, blah. I've heard it all before exactly six years ago.
This is insane because me now, I could go back. If I could have conversation with the Shane from six years ago, I could be like yes you have some good ideas about productivity but I can help you take this to a totally different level. So it's clear to me that I got so much better in the meantime and I know that the course I made then was valuable to people and yet still, the same voice is playing in my head.
For me it doesn't matter which topic of e-course. It doesn't even matter if it's a free e-course or a paid e-course. I make the course, because usually I'm pretty convinced about the fact that okay yes. I'm going to make this course. Just get them working. Usually I film the course and then I'm like this is crap.
Nobody wants to see this. Nobody is going to pay me for this if this is a paid course. Exactly like you're saying, this is not good enough. I need to add more stuff. Whatever. It's funny because now I just know that I'm going hit this wall basically. And it's like oh here we go again.
Exactly. I think that's another thing to realize here. As far as I know, this will never go away. This is something that I've heard from many people that do, professionally speak on stage. That they say, I still get stage fright. Every time I go on stage, like before I have sweaty palms, I'm nervous. Then after a minute or so on stage, everything is fine, but I still get the fear, right? I think this is also one of those things, don't expect that you'll get to the point where it's like yes I always feel perfect about this. I always feel 100% confident about everything I record and publish. Everything is fine. No. It's just like you learn to tango with this part of your brain that says don't do it, right? And like oh it's you again. Great. Yes, I know. Okay. It's almost like having an argument with a relative where it's like it's my crazy uncle right? Okay yes. Tell me all your crazy ideas. I'm like yeah yup. Fine. I'm going to go on with my life now, right?
So it's a big like that, right? Like yeah sure. All this stuff is going on in my head and I'm just going to publish it anyway.
And that discussion becomes much easier if, the reason that you publish anyway is because I know this is valuable content. I want to get this message out there. I'm building my brand and this is why I want to be in front of the camera. So again, we're getting back to this why in the end, to overcome this chatter in your mind. That seems completely reasonable reasons for not being in front of the camera. If you have your why when you can actually answer those reasons then it will be easier to overcome that fear that's been hiding.
So let's wrap this up and talk about what exactly to do to overcome this problem. So I think in summary, like you just said, it basically all comes down to the same thing. And, I think one of the things that you can deliberately do here is you can be very clear about what you care about here. What is the outcome you care about? And, what I like to do, when I say be deliberate about something, what I usually mean is write it down. Write down somewhere, this is why I'm making this video. This is what I'm looking for. Because if you've written it down, the reason I'm making this video is because it will help me do this, that, and the other. The reason I'm making this video is because I want to help people solve this problem and the goal of this video is to help one person solve this one problem. And you've written that down. You've made it very clear.
So it's not some vague idea in your head where it's like oh wait. Does this have to go viral? Does it have to make me a super star? Do I have to look great in this video? No, no, no. It's you've written down exactly this is what I care about. And it will make it much easier than to kind of get your focus on the right things and not be jerked around by these fear responses and excuses.
Like we said, start with something like a tutorial. Explain something that seems easy to you but isn't easy to other people so that your early content isn't about you. Think very clearly about a single recipient of your message. Think about one person who watches your video and follows your advice, what do you want for that one person? You can maybe think about a friend even, someone you care about and think about. That is my audience. That's who I'm making this for.
Another thing I also want to mention is that maybe if you have this, if this doesn't work for you, if you do all this and you're still like sitting there going I just don't want to do this, then maybe you need to change topics. Because I think if you don't care more about getting your message out, then you care about protecting your ego, well maybe you've just got to find something you care more about? Right? Like I said before, it doesn't mean it has to be a more important, more world changing thing. It just has to be something that's more important to you. And then finally, definitely do videos even though everything we talked about doesn't only apply to making videos. It applies to publishing anything because publishing is always putting yourself out there. But definitely do videos. Especially if you're scared of it, because it is a great exercise.
It is a great exercise in overcoming your fears. It's a great exercise in improving your communication skills and video marketing. Using video as a marketing channel can be super helpful. We'll probably talk about this more maybe in future episodes or on the blog, but yeah for sure. If you haven't made videos yet, start doing videos.
And that wraps up our episode. So I hope you enjoyed this and I hope you can walk away with this with some useful advice that will make an actual difference, right? So don't let this be one of the three things that you resist and one of the things that comes to mind here and I'm actually not sure what the source of this quote is. I remember, someone telling me something like the obstacle to your task, is your task. So the things that's preventing you from doing the thing that you're supposed to be doing, that becomes your task. I recommend that you treat resistance like that. The thing that's holding you back from doing what you know you should be doing, treat that as the problem. That's the primary problem you need to be solving. I hope that what we talked about in this episode can help you do that.
Now I've got two more things here before we come to an end. The first is I actually have to issue a slight correction to something I said on this podcast. So basically I said, I'd never gotten a comment on my appearance because on a recent video, on YouTube I got a comment, a totally straight faced comment that said Shane is a handsome man that looks like a vampire and is full of wisdom, which I think is great. I think that's a wonderful comment.
I honestly don't know if it was meant as a joke or if someone is just sincerely calling me a wise vampire, but I think that's wonderful. I just wanted to mention that because it's funny. It actually, if anything, shows further the problem of like the difference, of being a man versus a woman. And putting yourself out there because even though this is a comment about my appearance, it's not creepy. It's basically just funny and silly. It's just not the same kind of comment that we get on the videos on Thrive Themes where there's a female presenter. Like Hanne mentioned this. There's basically always at least someone and it's not like this. It's not funny. It's always unpleasant. Yeah I think that's just one of the things where I wish I could present a solution to this problem, but I think the truth is that if you are female and you do this, it's just the difficulty level is higher, right?
It's like your difficulty setting, this was a video game. If you're a woman and you want to publish videos, it's like the easiest difficulty setting you can choose is hard and for men they can choose an easier difficulty setting. I think that's just something we have to deal with right now. It's basically unfair but also I think what you'll see with many amazing female YouTube personalities and marketing personalities and basically, let's say female online celebrities who put themselves out there a lot. This is a problem you can overcome and I think Hanne and Steph on our team demonstrate this as well. It's definitely something you can overcome but we have to acknowledge that it's going to be a little bit more difficult for women to do this.
The second thing I wanted to mention is a follow up on the Episode 26 of this podcast, where we talked about the large scale attention game. If you haven't listened to this yet, definitely go check it out. That is activegrowth.com/26. This is a very important thing that is happening on the internet and to the world at large. I think you must know about this and be aware of this in order to be able to formulate a good strategy for your own business.
So there is an update here. We talked about how basically people's attention is being taken up by all these mostly smartphone apps and large social networks and things. All of these things are vying for every possible second of your attention. That's basically not a good thing if they succeed or the more they succeed, the more these internet giant companies succeed at capitalizing your attention the less in control you are of your own life and your own time. That is well it's kind of points us towards a dystopian Black Mirror like future. There was a bit of doom and gloom in this episode when we talked about this of course.
One thing I wanted to mention here is that what I find very encouraging is to see how Google has made this a topic in their latest or in their upcoming Android version, Android P, they've actually included several features that are all meant to help you disconnect from your phone. So there are more advanced, do not disturb function. The function where you can make your screen go black and while at a certain time of day and where you can also stop notifications coming in. So it makes your phone less attractive to you essentially.
They have a slew of features like this that are suppose to help you for example get some sleep instead staying up, staring at your phone until late into the night. And basically just help you untangle yourself from your phone. Look, I'm as suspicious as the next person when a gigantic corporation says here's something we did for the good of the world, right? But I do think this is a good time. We'll have to see whether this becomes a trend. I hope so. We'll have to see how this is actually like in practice, but I think it's very encouraging to see that a company like Google is looking at this topic and they are doing something about it. They are not just going well, it's not our problem. Right? They are actually doing something that looks to me like more than lip service to help with this problem.
So that is an encouraging add on to Episode 26 of this podcast. Alright and that is it for the extra notes for today's episode. Thank you very much for listening and head over to activegrowth.com/31 to leave a comment or a voice message. Get in touch. Let us know what questions and feedback you have. Thank you very much and I'll cal you in the next one.
Get out your camera or smartphone and make your first video today! But before you start, get a piece of paper and finish this sentence:
"The reason I'm making this video is..."
Find your 'why' and imagine the people you're making the video for. See if this helps you overcome your resistance.
As always, we want your feedback, questions, tips and stories. You can leave them in the comments section down below or leave us a voice message by hitting the "Start recording" button below:
See you soon with another episode!
Alexandra is a traveling marketer. When she is not editing podcast episodes or writing blog posts, she's out there exploring a new city. She's the creator of the Morning Mindset daily mindfulness journal.
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