The end goal of what I’m about to share with you is to give content creators of all kinds – personal brands, entertainers, and yes – you Business People – I’m looking at you… I’m here to give you some peace if you are not harvesting any results.
I’m going to do three things.
- I am going to ask you to watch a 5-minute video, please stick with me! The video is from a far more entertaining presenter than I have ever been. You are going to love it!
- I’m going to share a story that completely inspired me.
- I’m going to connect it back to why you MUST keep going with content creation with 4 Keys to how to think about content creation for the long haul.
The video is from Steve Harvey. It was released on Facebook last year and it’s about a guy I know personally. If you are from the Rochester, New York area and you are in my childhood sphere of influence (The Finney School), you very well may know John Walker. Yes, the father John Walker. No, not our friend from high school, but his dad, who Steve Harvey is talking about. So here we go.
You just can’t help but love a good story like this.
Think about the positivism and persistence that John Walker brought to the table. He was there for Steve. In the Amway world, if you know multilevel marketing, there were people who were in John’s down-line. He was probably working with a lot of those people and any one of them taking off would benefit John in a financial way. John cared bigger than that. He was on a mission to train a young Steve Harvey into realizing his true potential.
36, then 37 days, then 38 days and obviously ongoing for a while, he planted significant seeds. Undoubtedly, you know the Steve Harvey name. Why do you know the Steve Harvey name? He started waking up in the morning with the right attitude… and his attitude made the difference for his life.
Now think about his impact. Steve gives a lot of advice, a lot of motivation. He is now the one sewing change into people. This is basic farming, so let’s celebrate farmers for a second here.
If you are in business you are in farming.
When a farmer puts a single seed in the ground, tend to it, eventually something comes up. What does he do then? If the farmer is a good steward of his crop he takes a handful of the fruit and sells or eats them while also saving some of the seeds. Then he puts those back in the ground. One seed yields thousands of seeds and a handful of fruit, and those thousands of seeds can turn into millions, and so on.
The description Steve gave of John is perfect because John has always been and continues to be a positive person. You naturally feel accountable to him because there’s just something about his countenance that says you want to be better because you met John. He’s still doing this to this day, and I love the man for that and many other things. His children are just like him. It’s beautiful.
9,500,000 people are listening to Steve Harvey on the radio regularly. Many seeds sown by John Walker to help change one life and his influence in Steve’s life is now affecting MILLIONS OF LIVES!!! I’m not sure that John may have never known the story were it not for Steve telling it on TV. And that’s the connection to content – you may not know your impact for a very long time BUT… you can and will have impact.
I want this level of influence, don’t you?
So, let me tell you a personal story now.
My story maybe not as grand as having helped Steve Harvey become the Steve Harvey we all know. My story starts with the truth that when I started doing content creation, I didn’t know if anybody was really listening. Oh yeah, I got some numbers – a pile of views, decent watch time now and then. I could see some stuff happening, but not a lot of conversation. Then one day, seemingly out of nowhere, I ended up getting a call from a longtime friend of mine who said the unexpected and nearly unthinkable:
I quit my job because of you.A guy nicknamed Zipper.
My heart sunk because I felt very on the line. Whatever I had said, clearly hit home for him and he went and did the seemingly unthinkable. He left a 20 year job, steady and safe income, for the void! Ah, but then he went on… My friend had found an inroad to chase his passion and landed his dream job. He credits me, probably more than he should, but some of the words that I spoke in my content online had made a difference. In the beginning of my content journey, and for a pretty long time, there was a long silence. I was learning live while iterating and putting content out on the regular I truly didn’t know if anybody was listening.
I didn’t know if I was making any changes or doing any good. And, I’ll be honest, I didn’t start monetizing or finding any real value in my content with an audience where I could say this effort is affecting our pocketbook, so my family can eat. That took about 18 months. Eventually I started seeing a financial component arise from this work. Ultimately, I was and am perfectly fine with that because until that day where money came in – and it did – I ran into these stories where people are like,
Oh my gosh, you made the difference. We changed – I changed my mind – I did this new thing – I changed my behavior – I’m seeing results in my own life.” Wow, right?
As a content creator I am sowing seeds and I am finally getting clarity that these seeds are growing. They are growing in ways that I’m proud of. No, I didn’t grow a money tree yet, but the money tree is starting to grow where we will find ways to monetize. For me, I don’t necessarily even need that now that I see how I’ve helped people. What I do want to do, is do well and do right by my friends, my peers, and the people who I might be able to term as my tribe.
You may lose heart and I don’t want you to lose heart.
If you are in it for the right reasons and you’re creating strong, valuable content for your niche, success will happen. You may create the type of content that that yields a Steve Harvey. It may not be the type of idea or thought that I shared that changed my friend’s career trajectory. Maybe it will be the type of information that makes somebody’s day better because you made it easier. Maybe you saved them money, time or embarrassment because whatever thing you taught or explained in relation to your expertise did the right thing in their world and they will recognize it. They might not recognize that you need to hear about it, though.
The truth is that you need to take a chance on yourself. You need to leap into content with a belief that you’re voice will matter to someone. The good stuff as content goes is that content which is value driving selflessly. You are supposed to be giving into people’s worlds, understanding that there is no expectation of return because you’re just doing a good thing. Karmically and not that I necessarily believe in karma, but it’s a great short term for it. What goes around comes around.
You’ve gotta be in this game as it were, the content creation side, to build the relationships and the credibility. Build the trust so that you are the “go to” resource for your tribe.
The only way you do that is with presence.
Most people don’t get married after the third date. Why? Because they’ve met somebody but they don’t fully know that somebody. There’s an attraction – personality, physically, whatever it is, and they start dating and then hang out with each other and they build a rapport with each other, that is very multilayered. People dating are building trust and when that trust is so rich, it becomes love and it becomes something that turns into a marriage.
The best dating IMHO is actually Courting. That’s what I advocate for life and also for content creators. To a certain degree, don’t we need to spend time building that relationship and trust? The hard answer is yes. You need to do this in order to build a relationship. If you’re only interested in the quick hit, you can do advertising, play with funnel theory, run an ad somewhere. This is especially true if you’ve got a widget or a basic product that you’re just trying to make transactions. Don’t do content, that’s not your play. For many of us we are the experts who need to differentiate ourselves. A key differentiator for us in how we express our value in content.
So how do we learn from John Walker and apply it to our content journey?
1. Consistency. John called Steve daily; Same. Time. Daily.
2. Consistency. John called Steve with the Same. Hope-filled. Message.
3. Consistency. John called Steve with a Mentor’s Heart EVERY. DANG. TIME.
4. Farming. John understood the laws of nature regarding farming. Plant a seed. Tend that seed. Water it, pull weeds, protect it. You’ll see fruit grow.
Plant content seeds like John Walker, that’s the lesson today. Remember, usually your first video is your worst video. Your first blog post makes less sense and provides less value than your 10th blog post. Whatever you’re creating is not as good today as it will be down the road. Part of the journey is you iterating towards getting better. There are so many reasons why it’ll be quiet, but you will keep planting seeds the whole time. You are growing and getting better as you learn how to do this thing.
Go and plant seeds today. If you have not shot a video for yourself today or in the last week, month, year, you’re not behind per se, you could have been doing it. But you know what? Why don’t we put a stake in the ground that today if you don’t do it tomorrow, you are behind. And so tomorrow you better; do it so you can catch up to yourself. The race is really for all of us. I hope it’s a race against your best self so that you can always iterate towards greatness.
I’m cheering for you. I always want you to know that I am one of your greatest cheerleaders. I am here to cheer you on for your success and I want greatness for you, which is why I’m encouraging you to create content and express your expert value.
Fantastic post Josh!!!
Awesome blog! Transformational content! Inspiring a CTA (Call To Action)!