Everything in life comes with by-products.

When we voice our opinions, we’ll have a bunch of people agree with us. For those same people, we’ll have people who disagree with us. If you buy a car, you’ll now have to pay for fuel, insurance, and maintenance for as long as you keep it.

So, the first realisation is that there will always be by-products. That’s inevitable.

This week, I wanted to share with you the inevitable by-products that come with content creation and growing publicly. I’m no Matt D’avella or Ali Abdaal but over the past 6-months, I’ve experienced a cocktail of mostly positive and a few negative by-products as a result of regular writing and video making.

We’ll cover the good, the bad, and the ugly. The aim here is for me to reflect and in doing so provide some hopefully valuable realistic insights to anyone looking to begin their public journey.

The Good

The feedback loop, serendipity, and networking potential.

The good things are actually great, even amazing things. I’ve written about these before but you can have a read if you missed those (serendipity and building in public).

As a result of regular writing, I’ve improved the speed at which I am able to write these weekly articles as well as the quality of them (or at least I think this). I’ve been able to connect as a by-product of my writing, with like-minded individuals and bigger content creators — something that doesn’t come so easily otherwise.

Not to mention the confidence rise, the birth of a community (you guys) who reply to and engage with my content, as well as the few exciting opportunities so far that have transpired through growing publicly.

The Bad

Vanity metrics, trend traps, and burnout.

It’s very easy to feel little, irrelevant, or stupid even when you look at your numbers as a small-time content creator.

A guy with 400 subs telling me I should use Notion… pfft c’mon mate.

The reality is that you can never truly convince yourself that numbers don’t matter. Currently, there are three vanity metrics that hold an upper hand on me: YouTube subscriber count, Newsletter subscribers, and Twitter followers. I should know that these numbers mean nothing. I’m working on it.

This brings us to trend traps. It’s easy as someone looking to grow their personal brand to just create content around stuff that has a proven record for being easily marketable — I guess you’d call this the content creation equivalent of the hypebeast culture. But you’ll very soon lose all originality, charisma, and perspective. I’m trying to avoid this at all costs.

Then there’s also burnout — we detailed this in last week’s article so I won’t dwell on this, have a read here if you missed it.

The Ugly

People copying you. Without permission.

A very bizarre and new experience for me. But earlier this month, I noticed a YouTuber copying my videos to the point the scripts could have been mistaken for the same one in a lot of places. I asked a few fellow creators for advice and was reminded, amongst other great advice, of the famous saying:

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery — Oscar Wilde

I’ve not come across any other ugly downsides to growing publicly other than this. But, I may in the future. So, it was actually great to have this experience early on in my journey. I like to consider any event as a learning opportunity and so I managed to learn here that for someone to copy my work, I must be doing something right. So, all that I will continue to do is make great content.

Summary

Have a more considered outlook on content creation. Generally, it’s fantastic.
Growing publicly is like a chemical reaction I suppose:
Value + Content → Valuable Content + By-Products
For as long as you are aware the grass isn’t always greener but generally is the vast majority of time then you’ll have a great time growing publicly.

What do you think? Let me know, hit me up on socials. 👋🏾


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