I made it to Maryland with zero arrests, no tickets and only one Bus malfunction. Have you ever crossed one of the "Seven Engineering Wonders of the World", also known as the Virginia-Maryland Bridge Tunnel? Well if you do, you may see an eight foot section of my exhaust that I watched tumble into the line of traffic behind me. For every car that passed me after that, I pulled the "look straight ahead as if I don't see them" move. It's one you might do if you just got caught picking your nose by a bus full of middle schoolers too.
When I had my epiphany to start this venture a long time ago, it seemed relatively easy on paper. Fast forward to my first blog post at the turn of the year, I knew it required more than I thought, but still felt it was quickly attainable. Over the past couple months I've spent the bulk of my time learning the logistically items of vlogging, editing, etc. I've managed to mix in a number of trips to get the first group of episodes done as well. I have roughly 22 different interviews slated to take place or have already taken place and should be going live on iTunes shortly. Being that I'm exactly two full months in, I want to share 5 quick things that I underestimated:
1. It is Hugely beneficial and almost imperative to have a partner. I do not have a partner. I do not have a business partner or a relationship partner. Shoot, I don't even have a friends with benefits partner to keep my head on straight. We've all seen the Seinfeld episode which depicts the benefits of sex or no sex (George abstains and becomes a genius, while Elaine tries the same and becomes a complete airhead). My point for needing a partner though is simply the need to bounce ideas or plans off of someone else. Obviously distributing some of the duties is one thing, but not having a soundboard was underestimated.
2. You can't pay people to handle the essential aspects. I do have an outstanding helper in Joe who handles every aspect of the audio editing for the podcast. He does a phenomenal job and accepts an incredibly reasonable rate. However, website coding, photo manipulating, video editing, setting up business entities and all things technological have been time consuming, frustrating and most of all, requires me to endlessly sit at a freaking computer which is basically why I wanted to leave corporate America. I've realized that you have to roll your sleeves up and learn these yourself. My problem is that I want everything done and done now, which only works when you control those timelines yourself.
3. Developing a social network, engaging the masses and marketing content to tens of thousands of people on a pint size budget is not a realistic task. It is doable and I'm confident I can, but it rose dramatically up the totem pole of priorities now that I'm further along in the process. I've spent a ton of hours just studying this aspect and I'm sure I'll share more about this down the road. 4. It is just not realistic to think the get rich quick stories are so plentiful in today's society. Absolutely their are one hit wonders, over night millionaires and other nonsensical "I made it" stories out there. The YouTube star Casey Neistat, who is famous for his NIKE video that now has 25-million views and he supposedly clears $6-million a year for his vlog, actually started his first company 13 years ago. Oh, and the NIKE video that he launched, yeah, that was 8-years in the making. He also just sold his BEME business to CNN for $25-million a couple months ago. All I'm getting at is that Casey Neistat is/was/will always be successful because of who he is, how hard he works and what drives him. The YouTube network is just one piece and as I've learned in sitting with every entrepreneur is the timeline to their success is not months, most commonly it is multiple years after they launched.
5. Once you commit, you just make it work. I've paid three different people to help me produce videos. Not one of those videos, nor even elements of the videos they made will ever make it to my platform. Why? Because they were not EXACTLY what I wanted and because they didn't portray my personality on them. So, back to part two, if you want it done right, do it yourself. After I hit my boiling point waiting for others timelines to mesh with mine, I gave up and locked myself in a room for a couple weeks and taught myself everything. I'm not the best at any of it, but it's mine and it's what this entire venture is about.
Okay, so I'm exactly two months in from the day I committed. If I didn't know the date, I'd guess it was six months ago. I've learned a ton, I've been out of my mind frustrated and I've scoured the internet to the point where I'm probably pretty close to having seen every site out there. My conclusion is that I'm reinvigorated solely because I feel like I turned the corner. I'll have plenty of stumbles, but making so much progress on my own is indescribable. I'll put it right up there with completing my first Ironman. They are both mentally challenging and sitting at a desk all day takes it's toll on your back, shoulders, neck and my flat, 36 year old Dad butt, similar to a triathlon.
Time to plan another trip and shut this laptop for a couple days.