I think a lot about stepping out into the world, putting words, photos, voice, or video on YouTube, Medium, of Instagram. Having the audacity to share my life, knowledge, or opinions. On that journey, I am regularly coming across new obstacles. One of which is the problem that I think that everything I have to share has already been said. Someone else created a higher quality piece on it. My content will not be compelling enough to satisfy the level of perfection people are used to by now.
You might have come across this thought as well. It's a daunting one. It stops me before I even begin, and as I have said before: you just have to start; otherwise, you actually never will have a chance to get better. It's just a fact: training makes perfect. Waiting does nothing.
Recently, however, I came across a new thought (I'm not really sure as to what actually inspired that one): There are always new people who step into the world, search for content, services, or inspiration. Not everybody knows all you know, knows who you know, has seen the resources you've learned from. This thought is a calming one for me. But let me explain:
I often thought: how is it possible that the market is never saturated with devices, cars, phones, and the like? How come there is always more work? Well, one of the reason is the development of new versions, features, and stuff breaking and needing to get replaced. That's obvious. But there is another aspect: there is always some humans who have their first device. Not only because they just got inspired to get into it, but also the way simpler reason: age. The 18-year old who wants to buy his/her first car or the student who needs a laptop now to write his theses.
With material things, that is easy to understand for me. With intangible things like knowledge or information, it is trickier. The laptop someone buys has to be produced. Information on the internet is endless. It doesn't matter how many people access it. It's always there. It can be multiplied unlimited times. For me, that meant: everybody will find the source of knowledge I learned from themselves, everyone can learn it all based on the material that's already there. I did it? So why would it be different for someone else? Why should I publish more on that same subject? Is it even worth to be just another voice in the masses?
I came up with reasons why this thought is flawed, why it actually is more of a handicap, not just for myself, but for the people who want to find the information as well:
1) I Might Present It Differently
Information is always kind of the same. But I know I learned lots of different things over the years. I also spent a tone of time researching specific details, comparing features, learning, forming my opinions. All of this time spent is knowledge gathered, value accumulated. Now it's time to present this information, put it online, with my words, naming, in my format. The result? Someone looking for it can find it faster, more efficiently, or presented in a form that suites them better.
If I would not have written that article, uploaded that video, they might have never found what they were looking for!
2) The Person Might Like My Style Better
We are human. Last time I checked, that meant that pretty much everything is based on interpersonal connections: how do you like the person that's presenting something, is the keynote speaker likable, does she have a pleasant voice? And all this is different for every consumer or listener.
That means even if two people present precisely the same information, there might be people who prefer Jody over Jack. That's just human.
The same thing will be real for you and me. You might read this article because you like my style but chances are you like the next article better. Maybe you sign up to my newsletter because you'd like to hear my opinions on other things as well, possibly you don't. That's ok. There are plenty of people out there for everybody, and you will find your fans just the way I will.
3) Juxtapositioning My Learnings
“Every idea is a juxtaposition. That’s it. A juxtaposition of existing concepts.”
~ Steven Grant
I mentioned earlier that presenting information in a new way is super valuable. That is uniquely true for information that's remixed, reconnected, shown with a modern twist, in a new way. On top of that, I have a different background, interests, and all kinds of history. You might see something in an entirely different light. So your presentation will be different from mine. A combination of all that we have had to research with all our lifetime. Now we can present it condensed, ready for someone to find, understand and use much faster. Go publish your version.
4) Follow Someone Who's at a Similar Stage
This warrants an example: I've been fascinated by people who are sharing their income goals for years. I've started following the story of one man in particular when he was making $3.000 USD per month. Now the same guy is making over $200.000 USD per month and has an extraordinary life. All this in a matter of a couple years.
Next, to his income, the quality of his website, content, and production speed and volume have increased as well. He’s one of those people who I thought are the reason for me not to publish my own stuff. Why would anybody want to learn from me if there is someone who has figured it all out? Has so much more "knowledge" to share? Is there room for both of us?
But there is one very distinct issue: someone starting out might feel incredibly disconnected from the rich guy. I know that I felt very connected to him at the beginning because 3k felt reachable at the time. Someone making 200k per month looks impressive, but there is no connection, it's out of reach.
Having followed him for years, seeing his growth, I now know that 200k is reachable. It's interesting for me to keep following that journey. But for someone new, someone who's beginning? It might actually be discouraging, and I know I would look for someone I can relate to. Following a peer is much more realistic. So you might be the best option for someone!
5) Reachability and Personal Connection
When someone is publishing for a huge following, chances are they are not very responsive to their comments, emails, or other inquiries. This is totally understandable, but it breaks the connection. Some people don't mind. They enjoy following the big profiles on Instagram (shameless plug of my not so big Instagram Profile). But I often find it more inspiring to follow someone who actually responds. Someone I can have a direct message conversation with. This increases the relatability factor quite a bit. As time goes on, for most this will change at some point. The amount of messages increases, the comments become hard to handle. But for a certain time, there is room to connect personally. I am at this stage, please feel free to reach out on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Telegram. Who do you follow, do you connect with them personally, build that connection?
6) Connection Through Documentation
This speaks to point #4: I want to see how someone is growing with his own goals, his own process. Fighting different stages, succeeding, failing, and telling me all about it. I often find that I am somewhat detached if I know someone has half a million Instagram followers but complains about low engagement. However, someone with 10k? It becomes relatable. That's where I can feel connected.
If you really want to put your voice out there, the sentence:
"It's all been said before."
Doesn't matter. There are undoubtedly people who will be missing out because you decided not to create. People who will not find the solution or opinion you would have presented, they don't get the inspiration they where looking for or find the person they would have loved to follow, who will show them a new way of life or present solutions for their problems. All that because you let yourself get stopped? Are you ready to accept that, or will you surrender to your muse and publish?
I clearly prefer the later: Realizing the power in sharing information, stories, thoughts, and ideas. Do you?