Month of Learning

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The Longer You Stay With Something, The More Fun It Gets

The longer you are invested in something, you find clarity and the more fun you get back.

Sometimes a lot of effort is focused on what can come to you immediately. The more you are devoted, over time, the greater the reward. It will never be easy, but it does get easier.

You Are The Media is coming up to eight years. 2021 has probably been the year where I have had the most fun and freedom (such as the YATM Month Of Learning and the new online/offline hybrid events). It makes me realise that creators who keep going can have personal satisfaction in what they produce. 

Consistency and commitment can lead to contentment.

In one sentence, it works like this. You build your own platform, people subscribe, you deliver, earn trust, people come back, you scale, you have freedom and you enjoy the whole process. Fun comes into play when people feel a part of something too.

You can all sing together too. Have a look at what I mean…

Look at it this way, if you do what everyone else does, the more likely you’ll get the same results as everyone else. This is where sameness creeps in.

The Longer You Want To Play, The More Important It Is To Build 

Enjoyment comes from being independent and not at the whim of someone else.

If you are seeing you are forming a following, it helps if you can find a way to direct people. It is wise to have a strategy to move people to a place you have some control over. Online subscription platform, Only Fans recently reversed their decision to ban ‘sexually explicit content.’ For many sex workers, this was their only space where they had built their audience. The content change that was quickly halted, briefly closed the door on them, where control (and revenue) was about to come to an end. 

It is a reminder that it is good to use social platforms and tech companies to help us grow, but also know that the switch might be flicked at any time. Leverage to build your own platform. When you have the freedom, on your own terms, you do have more fun. This comes from owning your space. 

Don’t Lean Into The Short Term Too Much

For some years I fell into the trap where results have to be determined by what can be delivered quickly. Let me highlight an example. In 2015, I published a book called The Content Revolution. The problem was the book was there on Amazon and I expected people who had never heard of me to buy the book. In that first year of publication, it didn’t sell many copies.

Similar to many people, I was playing the game where I didn’t have an audience and anticipated people to purchase. It’s only by the persistence with the same theme (in my case the relationship between content creation and building audience), that over time, you take more pleasure from what you produce.

What became a fully invested project, with not much return in 2015, became a marker to figure out new possibilities over the coming years. That is what gives you immense satisfaction by just keep going. Don’t be tied down to short-term expectations. 

By Keeping With Something Over Time, It Becomes More Enjoyable. Why?

Coming up to the eight years in the YATM saddle, I have a better idea of what it takes to get to a place where the entire experience is fun. Here is what I now know:

You Can’t Stop 

The things that are not successful, in fact, become the pillars that support you. I have delivered events where no one attended, I have created downloads with a handful of views. When you are in it, it feels like an unrewarding and empty slog. It’s not about where you are now, but where you can be in say, five years from now.

Be Scared 

Getting people to attend events is always a challenge, but I know the format and delivery are right. Being scared encourages you to do your best work (as you have nothing else to base it on). In having a good scary feeling, being scared means ‘when you deliver something you haven’t done before and have no idea how it’s going to be received. It’s when you create something where you’ve let your guard down and feel vulnerable or when you start something new with no track record to speak of.’

Learn The Tools 

This isn’t about finding a way to automate everything, but understanding how everything can piece together. For instance, I realised that when I sent a ‘thank you’ email to people who subscribed to YATM, most people thought it was an automated message. By figuring out the best way for people to know it’s me, I learned how to send 30-second videos where I could address them by name.

Build Your Audience 

To get to a place where you know people and the conversation becomes two-way, establish a relationship that doesn’t exclude people. Find ways to get people to join you via landing page, email, social media DMs, your blog. If you’re just sending random messages to people, you will never have their permission to build that connection. It’s the connection you have with other people, that allows you to share what is on your mind and could be of use to them.

Learn To Enjoy It 

if you set your goal to be the ultimate business person, you are going to fail (and you become miserable). tried this, by pretending I knew all the answers it just distances you. If you say, ‘I want to enjoy this and others to enjoy it too,’ then it encourages you to deliver what feels right for both sides. It’s also to remember that you don’t have to be for everyone’s tastes. 


Let’s Round-Up

The longer you are committed to your overall message and delivery, the more fun comes from being involved and ownership of what you create. The reward is not what you can take immediately.

It all comes to how you look at the long and short term. The short term can look slightly fuzzy and not too sure if your efforts are producing what you expect. It’s the building blocks over the long term that help you understand that everything is part of something much bigger. 

It’s the persistence that relates to the same goal that helps. You recognise the achievement and joy you can take from the work you have put in.


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