2020 was undoubtedly the year of the pandemic but it was also the year of the creatives. So many creatives were ushered into the spotlight. You could create a video from your home in any part of the world, it would go viral and within the twinkle of an eye, you’d become a celebrity and an influencer (case study – Elsa Majimbo from Kenyan).
Do you watch and see people breaking limits but you are confused and stuck, not knowing what to do? The worst part is that there’s that burning in your heart because you know you are capable of so much more – you can feel it but you just don’t know what it is. I know, I’ve been there.
Let me tell you what you probably need to hear: you are blessed with virtue and creative ability, but the problem is that you are afraid to start. You are afraid of critics and you’re afraid of failing.
Maybe you even started; you ate the frog, decided that you are tired of sitting on the sidelines, took your time, and then created very good content for your page but it was met with zero engagement. Just a couple of likes and a handful of uninspiring comments. You are discouraged – the failure is too painful.
Here’s the gist, friend, you are exactly where you need to be. I know it feels like wasted effort but it’s not. You know all those favourite content creators and influencers that you admire? There were once nobodies; no one knew them or cared about their personality or their content.
If you truly want to be successful, you have to be ready to deal with several noes. You would have to master failure and setback well and learn how to fail forward. The vice president-elect of the United States, Kamala Harris, will always say in her interviews, “I used to eat no for breakfast, people kept telling me no, it’s not your turn but I chose to ignore that.” Now that she’s where she is, her words now sound like a really good motivational quote but, in real life, that kind of stuff is much harder to deal with, still, it has to be done.
Don’t be afraid of failing, learn to fail forward. Let me explain that. When I finished school and was waiting to be called for NYSC, I was eager to get a temporary job to earn some money and build work experience for my CV. Then, Linda Ikeji had just broken even with her blog and was a millionaire from blogging. I was filled with awe. If she could do it and cash out big time like this, why not me? I took a job as a blogger at an internet newspaper in my city and, guys, I hated it. I hated it so much that it almost gave me depression. I used to despise going to work every day, sitting on my laptop all day checking for the latest breaking news so our website could report it first. The worst part of it was that there were no closing hours or weekends or holidays with blogging. A trending news or gossip doesn’t care whether today is Sunday or whether it’s midnight. If it was happening, no matter where I was, what time it was, even on Christmas day, I had to open my laptop and write about it fast before the news becomes stale.
I couldn’t bear it; I felt like a slave. It made me develop a new profound respect for Linda Ikeji and all bloggers putting in all that work for years, it was incredible. I still believe bloggers are not appreciated enough. I quit my job later even though I wanted to drive Bentleys and Range Rovers like Linda, I didn’t need anyone to tell me that it wasn’t for me. But it wasn’t an all-around bad experience, I discovered something beautiful from the process: my love for storytelling and writing. So, I took and ran with that instead. While I am no successful blogger now, I am a successful content writer making good money from it.
So what if you’ve been feeling stuck and unaccomplished? It happens to the best of us. But you see that idea you have? Try it out already, just start! What do you have to lose? There’s even the possibility that you may become a one-hit-wonder and go viral or you build sustainable success over time or discover, as I did, that that seemingly great idea is not really for you, either way, you’ll know yourself better, find something you’re more in tune with, and move forward. Are you not tired of sitting on the sidelines watching others blossom in their discovered talents? Stop watching and wishing and start doing.
Take this as the sign you need – from this failed blogger to you. Don’t be afraid to put in the work. Even when no one is looking your way or engaging with your content, keep moving! Be determined to push, you’ll get better at what you do and at the right time, the lines will fall in pleasant places for you.
Love and light.