I was 22.
It was a busy lunch rush.
Our kitchen team was slammed.
I had to go to the back to get 2 bowls of hot and sour soup for a customer.
Midway through my first bowl, it happened.
I got snapped at.
By one of our employees.
He told me to hurry up (because I was in his way).
But I was also stressed.
And funny things happen when you’re stressed.
So I immediately made a trip to the washroom.
And I broke down.
Tears all over my face.
That was the day I understood 2 things.
- How you treat others holds significant impact, so treat people well when you can
- 2. Employees contribute toward your work culture, so hire accordingly
Normalize years in the making.
Not overnight success.
I’m 25 now but I started drawing religiously since I was 9.
When I posted my art on Instagram last week, the comments said I was talented.
I don’t see it that way.
It took me 16 years and a lot of ugly sketches to get to that level of “talent”
I’d imagine the process will be the same for you and whatever your thing is.
I’d imagine your hard earned success to have taken a lot of grit and time and effort.
So if you’re just starting out, please be patient and continue to put in the work.
5 years ago, my answer would have been: product designer at a tech company (because I was an industrial design student in Toronto)
Today, I’d tell you my answer to that question is: I have no idea.
But that’s okay.
I’m not struggling to find my place in the world.
I just think the world is a lot more open than I thought it to be.
Our resources and inputs matter.
If you’re looking for specific results with a specific outlook, having the right ingredients helps get you there.
For example, filming a video with lots of valuable content—BUT having the scratchiest, filthiest, neck-hair-raising audio recording.
Or, having the greatest e-commerce idea of all time—BUT living with the worst wifi connection and speed (think of pages that never ever load, and if they do it takes 65 seconds)
You can always be scrappy, but the truth still goes.
Your ingredients matter.
Today is one of them.
Because I’d rather sleep.
I have other things to do.
There’s a lot going on.
And our family is prepping for the Lunar New Year (IYKYK).
But even on days where I don’t feel like writing a post, I still do it.
Because I treat it like it’s part of my job.
And with your job, you don’t leave just because you don’t feel like working.
You get the job done regardless.
I was a quiet art kid.
From 2015-2020, I found my confidence when I went to an arts school.
Now I’m 3 years into social media marketing at a fast food restaurant, where I’m feeling at the top of my own game.
If I could go back to build my self confidence earlier,I would do this more often:
Listen to the way you talk about yourself to yourself.
If you don’t like the way you do self-talk, understand why, and change it.
What I say: Nobody cares about the writing I put out
My immediate response: There’s no point in writing something nobody wants to see
The change: Not everyone is supposed to care about what I write about. Actually, the success of my writing will stem from solely one person, which is myself. That’s it. If I can write about stuff that I care about, that’s enough.
Positive self talk is the smallest tweak that has made the largest impact on my self confidence.
First time driving.
First time moving out.
First business venture.
First try at making bread.
First day at a new job.
Antsyness is to be expected.
Not to be confused as a sign to back out.
All reasons are what I’ve found during or after writing for 1000+ days.
Stemming from personal experience:
- It gives you an excuse to practice and develop a useful skill (in this case, writing)
- Creating purely for yourself is brings an unparalleled joy. No strings attached. No bosses to report to. It’s all you.
- The barrier of entry for things like writing, drawing, or designing is low. You don’t have to be talented or skilled to begin. All you need is the desire to create.
- It can bring you random opportunities that change your life. It won’t be obvious at the beginning, but I can probably trace some cool things back to my daily writing. Like that time I went viral on LinkedIn (90k impressions on a single post)
- You will learn so much about yourself. Your interests will develop. The way you manage your time will change. You will give yourself chances to explore things you constantly used to put on the back burner.
It’s really simple actually.
There will be good writing and there will also be bad writing.
The trick is simply to keep writing.
It’s the end quarter of 2022. If you’re looking to start making content for your personal brand or business, you need to consider the following question.
What is the core reason why you want to start making content?
More times than not, many people start the journey of making content but eventually stop after a few weeks because they burn out.
Nobody liked their posts. Nobody engaged with their content. Just crickets.
Please consider the reason why you want to put yourself on this journey, because 99% of new content creators don’t get traction for a long time.
(Of course luck plays a role, but luck isn’t a consistent winning strategy).
If you’re looking to start making content, I want you to do it for your own self.
No clout, no big lofty numbers to reach.
Just you and your own journey.