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3 Life Changing Lessons I Learned from Starting a YouTube Channel

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Like me, many of you have YouTube channels that are sitting around collecting dust because we just didn’t know what to do with them. Afterall, being a content creator and YouTuber is hard work and it can amplify all this is good or bad in your life. My channel has been around since 2008 but I didn’t know anything about sharing a message because I didn’t think I had one. But once I started to go all-in on my channel, I started to learn a few hard, but necessary lessons about what it takes to grow into the kind of person who has a successful business and channel.

The process of content creation can reveal a lot about a person and how they view the world. So it’s no surprise that really starting a YouTube channel challenged me and my low self-esteem. After all, what was my message? Why would anyone care to watch me? 

Here are three of the lessons I learned from going all-in on my YouTube channel:

1. It’s not about me

This is one of the hardest lessons in life for people to learn. I’m one of those people. Perfectionism and other variations on anxiety would have us think the success of our content, in whatever form, is about us, the creator. It’s really not. While content may be the way we express our message, we are the messenger, not the message. By taking the message off of myself, I am better able to answer viewer questions and truly provide the kind of content people are searching for online.

“Content that serves is content that sells.” – Marie Forleo

2. No one cares who I am

This lesson hurt deeply, I’m not going to lie. We live in a very self-centered society where voyeurism and reality would have us believe that our everyday lives are interesting enough to build a successful business. The harsh reality is that no one knows who I am and I’m not famous enough for anyone to really care what I do on a daily basis. That’s why new YouTubers with vlogs and bloggers with lifestyle blogs find it hard to gain success faster than other content creators. Consumers are online to find solutions to their problems. Yes, they want to be entertained as well, but you’ve got to solve their problems.

Many famous YouTubers with vlogs or those with reality TV shows are people with some kind of influencer or celebrity status already. There is something truly unique about them which draws in the audience. They didn’t start that way though. These people started by building a brand around one thing they were good at and serving one audience really well. Only after you’ve done all of that do you get the privilege of talking about whatever you like and have people actually care about what you had for breakfast or what you eat in a day.

When you create that video about reviewing the latest product my audience is searching for information about, I understand they may not know me, but they know the product. By leveraging the name recognition of the product I’m reviewing or the celebrity I’m about to disagree with or book I’m going to review, I create a win-win situation. I get the views (and maybe subscribers) and they get answers to their questions. Everyone is happy.

3. Serve the audience

The final piece of the puzzle is likely the most important. As I’ve said before, no one really cares about me because they don’t know me. It’s not because I’m not a person of worth, it’s just that the viewer has a problem and they are looking for a solution, not my musings on the latest Nike shoes or the shenanigans of my dog.

As content creators and business owners, we have to remember that our job is to serve. If we aren’t offering a solution to someone’s problem, what are we doing? YouTube is a search engine and people are looking for answers to specific questions. By providing those answers, you can increase the opportunity for them to get to know you, like you, trust you, and then buy from you.

“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” – Craig Davis

Serving the audience is really about looking outside of yourself and not creating selfish content. It is not my job to create content I want to see, but rather create the content that my audience is looking for. What keeps them up at night? Why are they online searching for answers? Certainly I can weave in my story and message within those answers, but the content must first and foremost serve the audience. Without an audience you are just shouting in a vacuum.

And while I’ve had to refocus my YouTube channel many times, the only reason I haven’t been consistent in content production over the last 4 years is because I took the focus off of the audience and put it on me. While I would love to have a successful business and have my YouTube channel be a part of that equation, I have to remember to serve first.

Wendy Coop is a veteran and military spouse turned entrepreneur and freelance writer. She creates content to help entrepreneurs and leaders fulfill their potential and purpose through mindset. She is also a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. Learn more at WendyCoop.com.

Life

These 7 Daily Resolutions Can Change Your Life

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We all strive to be better every day. Most of us want a new day to bring something new, and we plan for it as well. Of course, the execution is debatable as procrastination is real and it becomes an overwhelming feeling at times. Also, not to forget the customary practice of making resolutions on new year’s eve!  All of us are fascinated by the thought of preparing long lists of resolves to mark the beginning of a new year. Not sure how many people are able to translate these resolutions into functional realities. (more…)

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4 Reasons Why Content Is Pivotal For Mental Health Healing

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One of the most important things for an entrepreneur’s mental health is expressing their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. This is where content creation and writing becomes pivotal. Whether you read something that resonates with you or you write a compelling blog post, the act of expressing yourself through content can help to put a smile on your face and make you feel better about things.

Most entrepreneurs don’t spend as much time taking care of their mental health as they should. Over the course of your career, you will experience a lot of ups and downs; these emotions have the potential to take a toll on your mind and body if you don’t learn to manage them properly.

Here are four reasons why expression through content is pivotal for healing, slowing yourself down, and giving yourself grace when the going gets tough.

1. Content can be a form of self-expression

When you are an entrepreneur, you frequently face feelings of insecurity, doubt, fear, apathy, and exhaustion, just to name a few. Some days it feels like no one is on your business’s side and everyone else has it all figured out. On those days some of us try to look at our website’s analytics to cheer up. 

But an even more freeing task is creating content. You create content to improve your business and reach more people’s lives. But, there is something special that happens when you write with the intention of expressing your thoughts and feelings — you open a door to yourself. 

Content is inherently personal, which means content creators open themselves up when they share their thoughts on a platform. Everything from the title of the post, the keywords they choose to include, and even the content itself helps you to understand who the author of that post truly is. And as an entrepreneur, this can be an important experience because it allows others to empathize with you.

2. Self-reflection will lift you up

As you think through what to write about and how to express yourself, the process of self reflection is a valuable step you need to go through. You’re able to reflect on the blessings you have, assess what you learned from the negative experiences, and create a plan on how to maintain the positive experiences you’ve had. 

There are a few ways that self reflection can help you with mental health healing. The act of reflecting on your experiences helps to create clarity in feelings, thoughts and emotions which will eventually lead into acceptance for what has happened or is happening currently without feeling overwhelmed by it all. This process also leads people towards finding new things they enjoy doing. Self reflection is therapeutic and can be implemented anytime you feel the need to overcome overwhelm.

“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.” – Hal Elrod

3. A sense of belonging and camaraderie

It is important to have a support network of people who will listen and understand what you are going through. When you post a blog or upload a video on YouTube, there are others who feel the same way and experience a sense of connection with you.

When you put time, attention and thoughtfulness into your writing, it is amazing when someone reads what you’ve written and comments on it thanking you or expressing how they resonate with what you’re going through. It’s hard to put into words how powerful it feels when someone who has gone through the same experience and reads your words then reaches out.  There is power in expression but miracles happen when people bond over a similar experience.

4. Library of content to share with more people

It can be very difficult to know what content to share with people as the symptoms of mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.) vary from person to person. But as you accumulate more and more content, this will increase the number of articles or videos available for readers to choose from depending on their specific purpose. It also builds your personal library of resources you’re able to share to different people you encounter or engage directly with.

As chaotic and distracting social media can be, it can also be a beacon of hope with the right content. Many people share viral posts, or content that interest them. Since your content is valuable and personal, the more you share it, the more likely it is to be shared with the right audience.

You never know who is watching (reading)

Your content is speaking to someone and even though they may not be actively engaged, their experiences with your work are impacting them. Think about the last time you watched TV: did everyone in the room have something entertaining to say? 

You never know who’s watching because there’s always somebody reading your posts or viewing your videos-even if they just skim through it briefly. This is why creating content worth consuming is critical, not only to get you out of your funk, but also to serve your audience.  Be authentic and stay true to yourself; make every post count as an opportunity for connection with your best self and for potential readers to bond with you.

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Life

5 Ways To Invest In Yourself and Change Your Life

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Warren Buffett once said, the best investment you can ever make is in yourself. Time and money spent on bettering yourself are never considered a waste. Whether it’s through learning how to make money online, exploring new ways to increase your financial security, or watching TED talks to expand your knowledge. Do not be stingy when it comes to self-improvement because it will definitely pay off in the end. 

Need some ideas to get started on your journey to becoming a better you? Here are 5 ways to invest in yourself and transform your life. 

1. Change Your Self-Concept

Having a negative self-concept can have a tremendous impact on your life. Limiting beliefs and self-doubt are some of the main reasons why many never achieve or attempt to pursue their dreams. Take a moment and think about all the negative thoughts you have repeated to yourself throughout your life. How have these thoughts impacted the way you live life? From now on, create a new self-image by turning these negative thoughts into positive ones and appreciate your good qualities. 

2. Sign Up For An Online Course

If you’ve been wanting to brush up on your Photoshop skills or learn how to code professionally, this is the perfect time to get started. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can access an endless amount of valuable information online. For example, sites like Coursera and Youtube are both awesome resources for online learning. With a few search strings and clicks, you can find all the information you need. 

“Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” – Robin Sharma

3. Learn From a Mentor

No matter which stage of your life you are currently in, working with a mentor can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Not only can they guide you in the right direction, but also transform your vision, provide you with new insights, and connect you with amazing resources. If you’re feeling unmotivated or unsure about what you want to do in life, consider finding a mentor to help you navigate this process. 

4. Start A Side Hustle

The salary from a 9-5 job would rarely allow you to reach your maximum income potential. Why not achieve financial success while pursuing your passion by starting a side hustle? Whether it’s through starting an ecommerce business, freelance writing on the side, or starting a Youtube channel. There are infinite numbers of ways to make money, and there is bound to be one out there that fits your passion and skills. 

5. Nourish Your Body

As many may say, “health is the new wealth”. Without a healthy and functioning body, living a fulfilling and comfortable life becomes difficult. To take care of your body and prioritize your wellbeing, start with small habits such as eating healthier foods and exercising regularly. Bike or walk to work instead of taking the car, and opt for a healthy protein bowl instead of greasy burgers at Burger King. With time, these small habits can make an incredible difference.

Check out the infographic below, to see more ways you can invest in yourself:

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Life

How to Turn Inward and Detox Your Mind

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When we are overwhelmed by confusion, our psyche tries to establish certainty to alleviate our discomfort. This is usually accomplished by mentally imagining and acting out a plot. Unfortunately, much of the time, we mentally visualize pessimistic (or worst-case scenario) scenarios to provide certainty. (more…)

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